§ Amendment proposed [11th July]: In page 1, to leave out line 14.—[Mr. Wallhead.]
§ Question again proposed, "That line 14 stand part of the Clause."
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I should like to add a few words to the statement which I made when the matter was before the Committee on the previous occasion. Since that time this matter has occasioned some comment in various parts of the House and in certain newspapers. There is, apparently, in the minds of some of the writers in the papers some misapprehension. I am charged, particularly by one of the South Wales papers, because I made an attack upon this gentleman for speaking his mind very freely with regard to certain individuals. I want to say very clearly that if this gentleman had in 1926, in the course of the dispute, directed his statement or his charges against certain individuals I should have said nothing at all about the matter. If he had said that certain members, say, of the Miners' Federation, ought to have been punished or that certain action should have been taken against them, that would have been a matter of opinion, but the statement which he made was not against certain individuals at all, but against the miners as a class. The statement was not only made against the men who were actually engaged in the dispute at that time, but ipso facto it included their wives and children as well. The statement was made on the 23rd June, 1926, at the Annual Meeting of the City of London Conservative and Unionist Association. I am going to quote the statement as given in the Press. Lord Hunsdon said:The Prime Minister has told us not to cherish malice and vindictiveness. They are 2307 not British characteristics. But while the miners are our enemies we should not feed them. We did not feed the Germans, and I cannot fur the life of me see why we should feed the miners.I regard that as a very grave statement. This Gentleman says that he has forgotten that he ever made the statement. He has forgotten where he made it. I am afraid that that statement makes the offence even greater. It seems as if it is the habitual mind of this Gentleman that he does not know where he makes these statements, and that he takes no note of where he happens to utter sentiments of that description. Had it been a mere charge against a handful of individuals concerned in running the dispute on one side or the other I would not have taken any notice of it, but his statement indicates an attitude of mind, and I am not prepared to let it go unchallenged. Therefore, I stand by my Amendment.
The argument has been used that the line which I suggest—this so-called vindicative line—will make it difficult to get gentlemen to serve upon Committees of a public character. I do not believe, and I do not think there is any reasonable-minded man in the House who believes, that anything that I have said is directed against the average man who serves on public committees. This is a specific case, and I am making a specific case of it. I want to exonerate our front bench in regard to this matter. Whatever may be said of the back benchers, I think it will be recognised that our front bench are perfect gentlemen in this matter. Whatever ruffianly conduct may be attributed to the back benchers, our front bench can be exonerated. They will act in a perfectly gentlemanly and a perfectly proper manner [Interruption]. When in 1924 our front bench appointed two eminent gentlemen, Mr. Bertrand Russell and Mr. Lowes Dickinson, to serve on a committee dealing with the Chinese Boxer Indemnity Fund and the education question in China, two gentlemen whose fitness for the position could not be questioned, and whose peculiar characteristics were undeniable and could not be challenged, the party opposite, without waiting for the termination of the contract as is done in this Bill, without waiting for the time to arrive for reappointment, shifted them from the Committee because they did not approve of the philosophies and sentiments that 2308 those gentlemen were supposed to possess. Therefore, it comes ill from hon. Members opposite to charge us with vindictiveness. They had little or no ground for removing the gentlemen whose names I have mentioned, but we have good grounds for doing what I am asking the House to do, and I hope that there will not be found on these benches a single representative of working people, the miners in particular, who will vote against my Amendment. Let it be remembered that for centuries the miners have been compelled to use industrial action to improve their conditions. In the industrial struggle the one weapon that can be used and is used against the men who are on strike or locked out, and against their women and Children, is the starvation of the men and their families.
If the hon. Member proceeds on those lines, I am afraid that we shall get far away from the subject of discussion. The fighting of industrial disputes does not arise.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I am only using it as an illustration of the vindictiveness of the statement to which I object. Although starvation is not a weapon that is used by reasonable men, this gentleman gloried in the fact that it has to be used, and he recommended its continuance. It is for that purpose that I move this Amendment, and I hope I shall be accompanied by every Labour member on these benches.
§ Mr. BATEY
I am sorry that we have to debate this matter at this late hour and still more sorry that the Government have made up their minds to stand by Lord Hunsdon. They propose to give him a certificate of suitability for this position. I can understand a Tory Government doing that, but I cannon understand why a Labour Government should do it. In my opinion Lord Hunsdon by the words he uttered in 1926 proved up to the hilt that he is not a suitable person to be appointed on any board by a Labour Government. We made our position quite clear a fortnight ago. If we were right then we cannot be wrong now, and we propose to insist that this man's name shall be removed from this Board. Since this matter was discussed the words of which we complain have been brought to the notice 2309 of Lord Hunsdon, but so far he has never expressed any regret. If a man is a gentleman and his attention is drawn to words which he may have uttered in the heat of the moment he will express regret, but there has been no regret on the part of Lord Hunsdon. He stands where he did. He said in 1926 that the miners were the enemies of this country. [Interruption.]The right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) says "hear, hear."
§ Mr. BATEY
Yes, of course I will withdraw. Nobody fought us harder than the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1926, but he never uttered anything like that expression. He never said that the miners were the enemies of this country and ought to be starved. It is the most diabolical statement a man can make and we expect him to express regret and withdraw the words. Two arguments have been used for retaining Lord Hunsdon's name upon the Board. One is that if the Government were to remove it there is a possibility for the House of Lords would not pass the Bill. If they refused to pass the Bill there would be trouble with the House of Lords. At the moment I confess that I should like some good clear issue upon which to fight the House of Lords [Interruption.] If they refused to pass a Bill granting loans to public authorities for the purpose of carrying out relief schemes we could not have a better issue upon which to fight them, and I commend that suggestion to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Let them throw out the Bill if they wish, we should then have a good case, and if we went to the country upon that issue this Government would come back stronger than it is at the moment. We have been told that if we persist it amounts to "Spoils to the victors." Well, why not? All the long years that the aristocrats have been governing this country they have been giving the spoils to their friends. Now that there is a Labour Government, built up by the pence, the hard work and sacrifices of the working classes, why should they not have some of the spoils of victory? There is no argument in the statement that we want to institute a new system 2310 of spoils to the victors. My answer to that statement is that we would simply be continuing the system that has been in existence in this country ever since there has been a House of Commons. The time has come when a Labour Government, put into power by the working classes, ought to recognise that if there are any honours to be given they should not be given to the enemies of the working classes, but to the working classes themselves. I hope that even now the Government will not persist in their determination to stand by Lord Hunsdon. In my opinion every Member of the House who votes for Lord Hunsdon is backing Lord Hunsdon's words—that the miners are the enemies of the country. I am sorry that we have to divide on the matter, but we intend to do so, and I ask the House to vote with us and show that it disapproves of the name of this Gentleman being amongst the list of Commissioners.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I do not think that this issue ought to be confused in any way, and I feel impelled to rise simply on account of the last words of the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. Those of us who go into the Lobby in support of the Government must not be taken for a moment as giving our approval to the sentiments which Lord Hunsdon expressed. No hon. Member on this side of the House would associate himself with the expression that the miners are the enemies of this country. That opinion has nothing whatever to do with the issue before the House. Whatever opinion Lord Hunsdon may have expressed upon the subject of the general strike of two or three years ago does not necessarily affect his qualifications to serve as a member of this Board; it has nothing whatever to do with it. As a matter of fact there are some of us on this side who might, in certain circumstances, have been prepared to acquiesce in the resignation of Lord Hunsdon from this Board, had the Government seen fit to recommend it. But we ought to make it plain in the House of Commons that the Government came down the other day with this Bill, in which they asked us to accept Lord Hunsdon as a member of this Board. What, it seems to us, is the only issue to-night is that if, on account of pressure from the back benches, the Govern- 2311 ment were to throw over their own nominee, which they themselves had invited this House to accept—some of us have many criticisms to make of the administration of the Board during the last two or three years—if the Government were to throw over a member of the Board who has admittedly given devoted service over a large number of years to this Board, that would definitely discourage any public man or public woman from giving voluntary service to any board. This raises a very important issue because, in the future administration of the public life of this country, an immense number of these wholly nonpolitical boards must be created. If we were to vote as the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) suggests, we should be giving definite discouragement to any public-spirited man offering his services to the State in an entirely nonpolitical capacity. That is the reason why we ought to support the Government to-night.
§ Mr. EDE
It is a significant fact that no Member on the Government benches apart from the Front Bench, has, in any of the discussions on this Measure, risen to support the retention of this name in the Bill. I should be untrue to the very large number of miners whose votes and work have placed me in the House of Commons if I went into the Lobby tonight and gave a silent vote against the retention of this name in the Bill. I join issue at once with the hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby). I have had many dealings with the Public Works Loans Commissioners. It is a body which has to act in a judicial capacity in considering applications for loans, and surely it is a sound principle that a body which is to act in a judicial capacity should be constituted, not merely so that justice should be done, but so that the people who are going in front of that body should feel assured of justice. During the next few months it is quite possible that various local authorities in the mining areas may have to make applications to the Board for loans. Does anyone mean to tell me that, if the Commissioners turn down an application for a loan from a mining area, no matter how bad the case for the application may be, if this man remains on the Board—after the utterance he has made regarding 2312 what he is prepared to do to the miners—the miners will not be convinced that it was turned down for no other reason than his animosity towards the community of which they form a part? When this matter was last before the House we were told by the right hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young) that it was wrong to criticise this gentleman. The right hon. Member said:—Let me mention in passing one circumstance that has come to my notice since I spoke, I hope with moderation, earlier in the debate. This has been treated as a Motion of Censure, and it has been characterised as such by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The gentleman whom we are censuring is, I am told, at the present time an invalid and unable to defend himself."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th July, 1930, col. 875, Vol. 241.]In spite of the fact that he was an invalid and unable to defend himself on that occasion, he was able to go to another place two or three days afterwards and vote against certain proposals which the House of Commons sent up there for further consideration—proposals not unconnected with the particular industry with which he was dealing when he made the speech quoted by the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallthead). Really it is too pathetic to hear the hon. Member for East Aberdeen talk about attacking people because of their political opinions and their public expressions on these matters. I was a Member of the House of Commons in 1923 and the Conservative Government of that day proposed that my hon. Friend the present Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs should be a member of a Commission appointed to draw up new Statutes for the University of Cambridge and the hon. Member for Windsor (Mr. A. Somerville) actually moved this Amendment in Committee.To leave out ….'Edward Hugh John Neale Dalton, Esquire, Doctor of Science, Cassel Reader in Commerce in the University of London.'The hon. Member said:—My reason for moving this Amendment has already been given by the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge. I have nothing to say against the introduction of these two gentlemen and the presence of one of the names is, at any rate, a testimony to the impartiality of the Government in placing on the Commission a defeated Socialist candidate for the Borough of Cambridge. It is no doubt the fact that there is a very strong feeling among the large majority of the members of the Senate of the University of Cambridge that these two 2313 gentlemen should not be on the Commission. They are partisans and, as I said before, it would be a great pity if this Commission should start its work under the suspicion of being a partisan body. On the ground that there is this feeling in the University and that the work of the Commission would be greatly handicapped by this feeling among the responsible representatives of the University I beg to move the Amendment."—[OFFICIAL REPORT (Standing Committee B), 11th July, 1923, col. 681.]
§ Mr. EDE
If the hon. Member has a little patience I will tell him the whole story. The Amendment was not carried but the hon. Member for Windsor and his friends were not daunted by one failure and on the Report stage the then member for the University of Cambridge, Mr. J. F. P. Rawlinson—a lawyer, if ever there was one.—
I think it only fair to say that although we may have held some opinions which he did not hold, everybody knows that there was no man in the whole of England who was so kind to the children as the late Member for Cambridge University.
§ Mr. GODFREY WILSON
On a point of Order. Is the hon. Gentleman in order in referring in this way to a Member of the House of Commons who has been dead far some years?
The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
I must confess that I did not quite catch the hon. Member's meaning. [HON. MEMBERS: "He called him a cave-man!"] I am aware of that but I am sure that the hon. Member did not use the expression in any offensive sense. I think, however, it is much better that no references of that kind should be made to former Members of the House who are dead.
§ Mr. EDE
I have no desire to hurt the feelings of any hon. Member. My reference was intended to be humorous and not offensive. I was a friend of the right hon. and learned Gentleman to whom I 2314 alluded, and, if my remark was taken as offensive, I willingly withdraw. I hope the incident may be allowed to rest there, because in a matter like this we do not want to raise unnecessary heat. When the matter came up on the Report stage, that very distinguished Member, on the same grounds, moved for the withdrawal of the same name—that of a gentleman who was qualified in every way except for political opinions, if political opinions be a disqualification to hold that particular office. I feel, as representing a great mining community, that the Government do not realise the length of memory that the mining community have in this matter, or the depth of the hatred in which they hold this name. I cannot, as the representative of the miners, do otherwise than vote to-night for the removal of this name from the Bill.
§ Sir JOHN FERGUSON
I will not take up much of the time of the Committee, but it happens that I was present on the occasion on which Lord Hunsdon made his alleged statement—[Interruption]. It was made at a meeting in the City of London. He was referring, among many other things, to the strike—[HON. MEMBERS: "Lock out."]—and, in the heat of the moment, he used words such as might be construed to mean what we have heard to-night. He immediately corrected himself within two minutes of having said it and put the matter perfectly right. I hold no brief for Lord Hunsdon, but I have known him for many years in business, and I know there was nothing further from his mind than to make such a statement as that. People who are engaged in business have not, perhaps the same facility of expression as comes from training in this House, but I am sure hon. Members opposite, who know perfectly well that I have no axe to grind in this matter at all, will believe me when I say that Lord Hunsdon immediately put the matter right before he left the room. I think it is only right that I should state that publicly.
§ Mr. COCKS
I rise to support the Amendment. I am astonished that, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has seen fit to oppose it. It is said that, if the Amendment were carried, it would be re- 2315 introducing the spoils system into public life. That is all unutterable nonsense. It is always with us, and the people who have the spoils are the capitalists and the Tory party. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have always boasted that they do not mind very much who presides for the time being over the Treasury bench, because they always rule and govern the country through the control of finance and another place and control of Committees such as we are discussing to-night. This Amendment is an attack on the spoils system and to prevent the re-election of this Peer, who is 76 years of age and has been on for 46 years. Because it is an attack on the spoils system I am astonished that the Government should support the continuance of that system by opposing the Amendment. I was reading in a newspaper which everybody regards as one of the finest papers in the country—the "Manchester Guardian"—that "age, temper and judgment" were no irrelevant in discussing the qualifications of members of the Board. Upon that ground, Lord Hunsdon is absolutely unqualified for sitting on the Board or any other Board. A few years ago he stated—in spite of the speech of the hon. Member opposite—that he considered the miners were the enemies of the country and that as we did not feed the Germans—
I do not want unduly to interfere, but I would remind the hon. Gentleman that that quotation has been repeated on at least a dozen occasions.
§ Mr. COCKS
I thank you, Mr. Dunnico, for that reminder. I will not repeat it again, but it is within the memory of the Committee what Lord Hunsdon said. A statement of that sort is a libel on some of the finest people in the country. Everybody knows that the miners volunteered in great numbers in the War, in such great numbers that many thousands had to be sent home to work the mines. The Noble Lord the Member for Newark (Marquess of Titchfield) will agree with me that the Sherwood Foresters, who represented the Notts miners, were some of the finest fighting material in the British Army. The man who slandered these gallant men is given his reward 2316 four years later by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who places him again on this Board. That is not what we ought to expect of members of the Socialist party. Is this the end of all our wanderings? Have we wandered all these years in the desert of opposition, have we come back to popularity and power in order that the Chancellor of the Exchequer can place Lord Hunsdon on this body? I have heard a great deal about Socialism in our time, but what we have is Lord Hunsdon all our time. What is the meaning of the inevitability of gradualness? Does it mean the inevitability of Lord Hunsdon?
The hon. Member has been corrected twice. He must keep within the bounds of Order.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
On a point of Order. When you called the hon. Member to Order on the first occasion, he was correcting misstatements that are being made. The unwritten rule of this House is that an hon. Member must be called to Order three times before he is asked to sit down. I ask you whether the hon. Member ought not to be treated the same as any other hon. Member and have as many chances given to him.
The Chairman does not need to be educated in his duties by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). I rose twice to correct the hon. Member and thought that he had finished, but the hon. Member may continue his speech if he has not finished.
§ Mr. COCKS
I am the last person in the House to dispute your Ruling, Mr. Dunnico. You reminded me that a certain quotation had been made by other hon. Members, and I accepted that, and tried to keep within the Rules of Order. I do not see where I overstepped the Rules. I will leave the particular point which I was making.
There has been a threat, I understand, that if this Amendment is carried the Government will resign. I have never heard a more grotesque suggestion. Fancy the Government going to the country against their own party, with the battle cry of "Hunsdon and starvation"! I can conceive a more effective election cry than that. But 2317 there is no danger of the Government being defeated on this issue. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is sure of the support of hon. Members opposite. I do not know about the legions of Portugal, but I do know, as regards the hon. Members opposite above the Gangway, that the rival legions of Beaverbrook and Bewdley have at last been united—both the people with dirty hands and the people who have not yet taken off their gloves. After all, it is only natural to expect the right hon. Member for Bewdley (Mr. S. Baldwin) to support the appointment of Lord Hunsdon, because it was during the strike—[HON. MEMBERS: "Strike!"]—lock-out—that the right hon. Gentleman sent a telegram to America telling the Americans not to send money to prevent our people from being starved.
All these people will be supporting the Chancellor of the Exchequor. The other day the Chancellor described the hon. Member for Westmorland (Mr. O. Stanley) as a guinea pig. I consider that charge was unjustified, but all the guinea pigs are with the Chancellor to-day, all the representatives of the financial and banking interests. We have heard of the prodigal son and the herd of swine. That is nothing to the parsimonious Chancellor of the Exchequer and his herd of guinea pigs, genuflecting not before the fatted calf but before the golden calf. He will get his majority, but, when the roll is called, he will not see behind him the men who have fought for Socialism on many a stricken field, the representatives of South Wales, of Yorkshire, of the coal fields of Durham and Nottingham. We have been told that if we disagree with the Chancellor's action in this matter we need not vote. We can sit still and see injustice done. This is how that attitude has been described by a modern poet in, perhaps, some of the bitterest lines I have ever read.Be still, be still, my soul,It is but for a season.Let us abide an hour and see injustice done.I cannot be still and see injustice done. I hope the Government will give us a free vote, but if they refuse then, not gaily or joyously, but in a spirit of sorrowful determination, I intend to give a vote against the appointment of a man who by his callous and cruel utterance shows that he is unworthy of any public 2318 office, especially one received at the hands of a Socialist Government.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I am placed in a very awkward position on this question, because I happen to represent a constituency which includes a considerable number of miners, and consequently I deprecate the words of the quotation which has been read by the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallhead). As a Member of this House, I consider that we are entitled, before we discuss an important question of this kind, to have a statement from the Front Bench opposite. I understand from the newspapers that there has been a meeting of the members of the party opposite and that that meeting, by a very narrow majority, decided in favour of Lord Hunsdon's name remaining on the list of Commissioners. I would like the Chairman of the Committee himself to give a lead to the House in this matter. This is an important question. Here we have a member of another place who, apart from one indiscretion, is a gentleman of the highest moral character—I may say a gentleman of as high a moral character as any hon. Gentleman sitting opposite—and because of some silly phrase used by him at a political meeting, which I understand he has withdrawn, his name is to be excluded from the list of Commissioners appointed under this Bill.
What about the Prime Minister? What about the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the wonderful work which he has done as shown in the unemployment returns which have nearly reached 2,000,000? What would happen if the Prime Minister were to be condemned for all the silly things he may have said from time to time? What about the things which the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in the critical times of the War, the most critical Lime in the history of this country, which I will not quote against him? In spite of those things, in the greatest city in this country, including the guinea pigs referred to—there are guinea pigs on the other side of the House as well as on this—those gentlemen who control the capitalist system of this country conferred the highest honour they could upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In spite of all that, members of the Socialist party come here, and man after man they get up and waste the time of this Committee — [Interruption]— 2319 debating whether a venerable old gentleman like Lord Hunsdon ought to be allowed to sit on a Board which, at all events, is doing good public work for the nation. I put it to hon. Members opposite and to the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), who is always to be heard on a question of real public importance, but who has not been very quick to get up to-night. We all agree that the miners as a class represent the cream of the workers of the country. None of us on this side has a word to say against the average working miner. What we say is that the words of Lord Hunsdon would have been perfectly justified if they had been issued against the person who, as the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil said, rattled and misled them.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I am sure the hon. Member does not wish to misrepresent me. I did not say they deserted them. I said had the statement been made against members of the executive I should take no notice of it. That would have been legitimate criticism. I did not say whether they deserted them or not.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I have no fault to find with the hon. Member. He knows that what I said is true, in substance, and he would not have quarrelled with it. I shall vote with the Government, not because I have any respect for them and their decision, but because I believe this is a charge of pure vndictiveness brought by the party opposite in order to curry favour with the constituents.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Philip Snowden)
I did not think it necessary that I should intervene, but the hon. Member seems to be under the impression that I should give some lead to the House, and I have no hesitation in doing so. I very deeply regret that this incident has arisen; and I can quite understand the actual indignation and feeling of the miners' Members. But we have heard to-night from the hon. Member opposite that on the occasion when these words were uttered by Lord Hunsdon, realising the seriousness of what he had said, he took the earliest possible opportunity of withdrawing them. No one, I am sure, would have justified such an expression, and to that extent I am wholly with the 2320 expressions of indignation that have been made. But, if we are to disqualify a man from occupying a position of voluntary service simply because of his political views or of some indiscretion, there are very few people who would not be disqualified. I am certain neither I nor any Member on this side of the House would be able to fulfil such a qualification. Some of my hon. Friends have defended what they call the spoils system. I certainly do not do that. It has been my duty during the last 12 months to make selections for Committees and Commissions and other forms of public service, and I have never taken into consideration a man's political views, and so long as I have those duties to discharge I never shall. I do it solely from the point of view of the individual's qualifications for the work he has to perform. It may be that sometimes I have selected for appointment a member of my own party, not because he was a member of my own party, but because I believed he had very special qualifications. Lord Hunsdon has been serving the public in this capacity for nearly half a century and I have heard not one single word to-night of complaint about the way in which he has discharged his duties. I knew nothing about this incident until it was raised when the Bill was in Committee about a week ago. To withdraw the name of Lord Hunsdon now for something he said a few years ago, for which I understand he was sorry, would be an act of ingratitude for half a century of public service, and I am not prepared to do it. We shall oppose the Amendment, and, if any members of the party behind me go into the Lobby in support of it, all of them, I believe, with the exception of the hon. Member who spoke from just below the Gangway, will do so from honourable and conscientious motives.
The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Robert Young)
I gather the purport of the implication. It was not directly made, but still deprecate the way it was said.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to say he is perfectly right in his interpretation of the hon. Member's speech, which is without parallel for its offensiveness.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I fully appreciate the feeling which prompts the minds of Members of the House in their support of this Amendment. I sympathise with them, but they have expressed feelings upon the matter to which I equally take exception. The Government cannot accept the Amendment, and any Members sitting behind me who go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment will do so upon their own responsibility.
§ Mr. CAPE
I want, first of all, to repudiate the statement which was made by the hon. Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Mr. Dixey) when he said that we on this side were opposing this appointment in a spirit of vindictiveness. As an old Member of the House, I wish to state that the miners' Members have not at any time shown any vindictiveness to their opponents in this assembly. During the 1926 controversy we met with terrific opposition and a large amount of criticism from hon. Members who now occupy the Opposition benches. We accepted that criticism in the spirit in which it was made, and on no occasion can it be said that we have shown any vindictiveness when we have replied to the criticism that has been hurled at us. Not only as a Member of Parliament, but as a member of the Executive Committee of the Miners' Federation during 1926, I want to make a clear and distinct statement that, as far as criticism was concerned, we did not squeal against it. We realised that not only Members of this House, but the public outside would have different points of view, and, being Britishers, we took up the position that every man in this country had a right to express his point of view so long as he confined himself to fair criticism.
There is not a single hon. Member who has taken part in this debate who has been prepared to say that the words of the Noble Lord who is referred to in the 2322 Amendment can be styled as fair criticism. One part of that criticism almost reached the realm of vilification, and it is on that ground alone that we, as miners' Members, are joining with the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallhead) in backing up this Amendment. The Noble Lord, in the statement which he made, particularly went out of his way to vilify a class of men who at that time were fighting for principles which they thought to be right. We still think that the fight in 1926 was for justice and right. I am one of the back bench Members of this party who, generally speaking, follow the lead of the Government, and up to the present time I have not cast a vote against the Government. I make this frank confession that many times my conscience has been stretched to the uttermost limits, and on the present occasion it is stretched to breaking point. Much as I regret it, I shall find myself in the Lobby against the Government if this question goes to a Division. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has put the position for the Government. He has told us that it is their intention to stand by what they propose. I feel it very deeply to-night that I am not in agreement with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The suggestion that these appointments are non-political is all bunkum. The committee was appointed some years ago, and nearly every member of it belongs to one political party. I cannot be persuaded that the members of the committee were appointed upon an unbiased and unpolitical basis. It will be found on analysis that on any committee of any importance that was appointed by the late Government 80 or 90 per cent. of the members belonged to the Conservative party. Therefore, when hon. Members try to tell me that appointments of this kind should be made outside political aspirations, it leaves me quite cold.
The miner Members of Parliament cannot be accused of vindictiveness in matters that have been debated in this House; but on the present occasion hon. Members may call us vindictive if they like. Hon. Members opposite criticised us very much during 1926 in a way that sometimes made us very resentful, but we never brought a vindictive spirit into the debates at that period. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about calling us mur- 2323 derers?"] It does not matter what hon. Members call us on this occasion. They may say that we are vindictive, or they may use a more far-reaching word; the fact remains that we cannot resist the opportunity to show our resentment at the words used by the gentleman whose re-appointment to the committee is proposed by the Government, and I believe that every representative of the miners in the Labour party will go into the Lobby against the Government.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
This is not only a matter for representatives of the miners but for every man or woman who has come here in the name of the Labour movement. It is a very serious matter that we are having submitted to the House. There is no evidence, as far as we have heard to-night, of anything in the Press reports in the nature of a withdrawal. It seems very remarkable that it should now be said at this stage that there was a withdrawal on the spot.
§ Sir J. FERGUSON
I beg to tell the Committee again that immediately the statement was made by Lord Hunsdon, he said, in perfectly clear language, that he was very sorry that he had used such words. [Interruption.] That is perfectly right and that is the perfectly gentlemanly explanation which he made at once.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
The explanation given by the hon. Member now gives us a little better understanding that his Lordship was endeavouring to apply some better meaning to his words than was originally intended. But I wish to submit that his lordship was perfectly conscious of what was the actual meaning of those most important words used on that occasion. I rather think there were others who had exactly the same thought in their minds but they had not the courage to express it.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I want to say further that it is appalling to think that any man representative of public life should come forward and make such a daring assertion against those noble workers to whom the highest tributes have been paid again and again, particularly when some great mining disasters have taken place.
2324 The hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks), put in the form of a question: Is this the end of our wanderings? I want to suggest to the hon. Gentlemen who are taking up this position to-night that this is only the beginning of the wanderings of the Labour party. The suggestion that has been made that the selection for this Committee is non-political is symptomatic of the dangers which the Labour party are running day by day. This is a momentous occasion. It is far-reaching and significant, further than any man or woman who is giving close attention to political developments under the present Government can foresee. Reference Vitas been made to the risks of going into the Lobby against the Government. You are to go into the Lobby at your risk or abstain from doing your duty to the workers by selling them politically. It is appalling that men who have toiled in the very bowels of the earth under terrible conditions should have such insulting language directed at them. It is a call for the deepest expression of indignation that a Labour leader should deliver himself in such a way that he had actually to be called upon to apologise and withdraw a statement made about one of his faithful followers who seldom addresses the House. Having made such a statement and submitting that any Labour representative should not stand by this Amendment is proof of that failure of the Labour Government which I am sorry to say is going to lead to the failure of the Labour party at the next General Election.
The hon. Member who has just spoken as a representative of the miners says that he has had his conscience strained to the utmost limit when he has gone into the Lobby before. What does that mean for the Labour movement? It means that conscience has got to be suppressed. What is taking place to-night will encourage such members as the hon. Member who has just spoken and instead of the disaster which seems to be facing the Labour party we are going to reach the Cape of Good Hope.
§ Mr. MAXTON
It is a most extraordinary situation in which the House finds itself to-night. Everybody knows—I say it quite advisedly, and Members in all parts of the House know perfectly well—that this Noble Lord is not a suitable person to perform these very important 2325 public duties at this particular time. Every one of us knows that. And at a time in this nation's history when we wanted the greatest initiative, wisdom and drive in the organisation of our national life, we find a responsible Minister coming into the House and recommending to us a body of persons to decide about important local policy, not one of them capable of having a sympathetic understanding of the Government's policy. We have also this outstanding case of a man who has definitely shown that he is completely out of sympathy with all the aims and aspirations of the working classes of this country. I was very interested to note that the principal speaker on the Conservative side of the House was the hon. Member for Aberdeen, Eastern (Mr. Boothby), because if one looks at the statement of the loans and amounts to be written off, one finds that dating right back to 1877 up to the present time. Fraserburgh harbour appears quite regularly. It has been a borrower of regular sums—£40,000, £50,000, £30,000 and so on—and always at each period a large proportion of the principal is written off. I can understand the hon. Member for Aberdeen, Eastern, being quite satisfied with the composition of the Board and its operations in the past, but I have a greater understanding of the attitude of the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallhead). Merthyr is largely a miners' town and has an honourable connection with this party, and by far the majority of its population is unemployed miners. I can understand a representative of that town wanting some control of the personnel of a committee that is going to decide upon claims that might be put forward by Merthyr or similar towns and that will give healthy employment to the people of the area and improve the amenities of the place. I appreciate very much the point of view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and hon. Members opposite in backing up Parliament. I have done that quite frequently myself, often on occasions when I was not quite sure that it deserved my backing. But I do not think I ever did it when the public weal was so much involved as in this matter here. I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer should allow his desire not to let down permanent officials at the Treasury or men who have given public service on this Committee in past years to lead him into a course which is 2326 a letting down of a very large proportion of the common people of this land. I ask him quite seriously, and without any heat, to adjourn the debate for this evening and bring the Council of State into operation—the whole Council of State and not just the two-thirds that has been normally operative—and see if an agreement cannot be reached to fill this Board with live, energetic men, following the course adopted by the party opposite when they were in office of allocating the places on the Board roughly in proportion to the various parties in this House. That is the intelligent and wise thing to do.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
Although the hour is very late, perhaps it would be right for some hon. Members in other quarters of the House to express their views on this important matter besides those Members in the various sections on the Labour party. For my own part, I am in complete disagreement with all the views expressed by Lord Hunsdon in the course of his political career, and the political observation so often quoted in this debate appears to me to be outrageous. That is the only epithet that can properly describe it. But the point is whether his name should be struck off the list of the Commissioners of public works. The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Marton) says that Lord Hunsdon is not fitted to perform this particular duty. If he and his hon Friends had given to the Committee any reasons as to why Lord Hunsdon was unfitted for the particular duty, no doubt the House would have considered them, but an observation made in heat at a particular time and subsequently withdrawn—
Sir H. SAMUEL
We are informed that that was so. It is not a proof that he is disqualified for acting as a Commissioner for public loans. If hon. Members opposite had proclaimed to the Committee that their party was not sufficiently represented on this Board and had asked for further representation, that would have been a matter which, whatever party might have been in power, would have been considered and probably acceded to. But that is not the claim made in this particular case. It is urged that one individual should be struck off the list for his political views 2327 and the way in which he expressed them. If that is right in one case, it is right in all similar cases. If at some future date a Government of another complexion came into power and took exception to some observations made by a Labour representative and we struck off that name for that reason, then I think hon. Members opposite would complain with vehemence and would be quite right to do so, and any such action seems to me to be most deleterious to the public interest. It would mean that we should have to abandon the present national practice and healthful custom in the public interest of bringing in all sections into the public service on all authorities performing duties of a public national character. If it is understood that each Government strikes off the names of persons it dislikes, we shall be introducing a new and most regrettable principle into the conduct of our affairs, and, once introduced, democracy would be to some degree on the down grade. I think the House should support the Government in their action.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I do not intend to continue this discussion, especially as the speech we have just listened to from the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) has, to a very large extent expressed what I believe to be the general view on these benches. It is our intention in the Division to support the Government in the attitude that they have adopted. I take this further opportunity of congratulating the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the firmness and determination with which he has repulsed one of the most spiteful and venomous procedures against an individual which I have ever seen in this House. When we look back upon the disaster of the labour troubles of three years ago and all the wrong things said and done, including words in all sorts of quarters, when we remember that leniency has been shown even to men who placed stones on the railway lines, I am astounded that those who have the gravest need to seek oblivion and to plead that bygones should be bygones should have given us the exhibition to which we have been treated to-night.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
I am a little surprised at the line taken by the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. Batey) and 2328 also at the characteristic speech of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. During the period of 1926 we had a Tory Government in office, and we had a Tory Lord Chancellor. Some of us remember that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) was a Member of the Coal Commission in 1925. I do not want to enter into that, but I want to remind him that the then Tory Lord Chancellor removed a number of men from the Bench and not a single one of them has been returned. If there was any venom, spite and vindictiveness, it was shown then by Members of the party opposite. It is not with good will that I go into the Lobby against the Government, but I am going. I want those opposite to realise that other people can be determined as well as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have an open mind on this matter, and I would be prepared to take the line suggestd by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). It would suggest a means by which not only this matter could be settled satisfactorily, but would be an opportunity to set up a Committee which would do what the people outside are expecting.
I do not want to be offensive to this man. I understand he is 76 years of age. The Member for Darwen has stated that there is no reason why this man's name should be withdrawn from the list of Commissioners. I submit that it is sufficient reason that it is time that this man was retired. I resent the suggestion, conveyed not only from the other side but from our own side, that men sitting on these benches have not as much capacity as gentlemen chosen previously.
The time has come when Members on this side will have to make it perfectly clear, that, if we are capable of being chosen by our countrymen to represent them here, we are capable of representing them in the capacity of Commissioners or members of Committees. I do not want to go into the lobby against the Government. I would prefer that the Government even now would agree to the suggestion of the hon. Member for Bridgeton to adjourn this debate and ask all the parties to agree in putting up a real live Committee that would be capable of rendering service to the country. I know something of the history of my country, sufficient to know that now we have political power we 2329 shall have economic power. If Members of the Opposition are going to take up the position that spoils are to go to them, whether they are in office or not, I have to tell them that that period has come to an end. I certainly hope better counsels will prevail and that a system will be established which will enable all parties to be fairly represented on Commissions of this sort. Why not on this particular Commission? I hope that every miners' Member in this House, and every member of the Labour party, will vote against the Government.
§ Mr. BROAD
If the vote about to be taken were one in condemnation of Lord Hunsdon, then without hesitation I should be with this vote against him. But it is something more: it is a vote of no confidence in our Government. I think that is the position, especially in view of the statements which have been made. I have had no private communications, but I think I can see how the position has arisen. In the ordinary way, almost automatically, these names have been put forward for reappointment without knowledge or thought of the opinions held against these people. Had our Ministers in the first place been fully appraised of the position; had they had an opportunity of knowing, in all probability they would have found some tactful way of handling the position. I do not see how it is possible at this particular moment, or at any time since this Bill was put forward for the Minister to withdraw these names. I do not like some of the arguments used from our Front Bench. The original Act of 1875 arranges for the reconstitution of this Commission every five years. It was the intention of the original Act that there should be such reconstitution, and that those responsible for the Government should have to select the names. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary are now fully appraised of the full case against these names. Had they, first of all, nominated this individual and then withdrawn the nomination, it would have been a gratuitous public affront which we could not have justified in this House.
I deplore that the name has been put forward, but we should be resentful if one of our point of view had been named by a party in office and then they had publicly affronted that man by withdraw- 2330 ing his name. I have as much abjection as I had the other day to the principle laid down that a gentleman, however eminent he may have been in his day, if once appointed to a commission should be there for ever and ever although there may be a change of Government. We have been too long excluded from these Commissions, and I think the Government should have been more careful in submitting these names to us. Having once put forward the name, the Minister could not without breach of all the common decencies in public life then withdraw it. These attacks therefore on the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary are not justified.[Interruption].—Hon. Members may have been right in expressing their condemnation of one who has proved by his language that he is an enemy of the people, of one who has preached the class war, who has proved himself the greatest enemy of the people by his desire to starve the people to his will, who belongs to that class of financiers who have benefited by the return to the gold standard. That man is an enemy of the people, and I am glad this point of view has been expressed here this evening, but I do not see how we, as a party can do more.—[interruption].
As the woman who was the first to enter into this House, I can truthfully say I never witnessesd a more distressing evening than this. I am not going into the merits of the appointment of Lord Hunsdon. There are different reasons urged against him. Some say that he is too old, others that he has made a mistake, others that he is an enemy of the working people. Throughout the House, however, there has been a real tribute to-night to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the great courage he had shown. [Interruption]. I admire courage wherever I see it, and to me, as a politician, it is positively painful to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has given long service to the Socialist party, long before some of the hon. Members were born, absolutely vilified by the highbrows of the Labour party in this way. That to me has been very painful. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken a stand, not for one section of the House, but for public life in England and Wales. People are talking as though it were a great honour 2331 to serve on committees nowadays, but it is a great hardship. Nothing has shocked me more than to see the ungenerous attitude which the hon. Members opposite show and their absolute lack of fair-play to one of the bravest and most honourable men in public life to-day. I do not always agree with him, but it ill becomes hon. Members, who are not fit to tie his shoe strings to speak in the way that they have done to-night. I only wish the right hon. Gentleman had behind him more men of courage who enjoyed also the confidence of the public.
§ Mr. LAWTHER
I wish to say a few words about the message put forward by this gentleman—we are precluded on this occasion from calling him by any other term. Speaking as a miners' representative, I have heard no argument put forward to-night to change me from the decision I took when this individual's name was first put forward, namely, to vote against his inclusion on any body whatever. I have no hesitation in declaring that, if this issue we are now to decide were placed before mining communities, they would regard this name in the light in which it ought to be regarded. I remember
§ very clearly in 1926 how I was privileged, like many hon. Members of this House, to read the utterances put forward by Lord Hunsdon. [Interruption.] You can bark as long as you like, but I am going to put forward the miners' position in regard to this creature. I remember very vividly hearing this incident related to me. As far as we are concerned, the statements which he has put forward and all the excuses put forward on his behalf to-night only make his crime worse than it was. It has been put forward as an excuse for what he said in 1926 that he was an old man and did not know what he was saying. Then the only course we can adopt is to get rid of him by carrying this Amendment. It will immediately be said that it is too humane a remedy. Despite the utterances of the Noble Lady, as a miners' representative I believe that we should be betraying the confidence of those who elected us if we did not do everything in our power towards putting this creature out of office.
§ Question put, "That line 14 stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 209: Noes, 63.2333
|Division No. 457.]||AYES.||[1.10 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Clarke, J. S.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Cluse, W. S.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Colman, N. C. D.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Compton, Joseph||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Albery, Irving James||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Harris, Percy A.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Ammon, Charles George||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Arnott, John||Day, Harry||Henderson, Arthur. Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Dixey, A. C.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Atkinson, C.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Edmunds, J. E.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth. Bedwellty)||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Harriotts, J.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Elmley, Viscount||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Benson, G.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)|
|Beiterton, Sir Henry B.||Ferguson, Sir John||Jones, Rt. Hon Leil (Camborne)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Blindell, James||Foot, Isaac||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bracken, B.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lathan, G.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gibbins, Joseph||Lawrence, Susan|
|Brothers, M.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Lawson, John James|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Gill, T. H.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gillett, George M.||Lunn, William|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lymington, Viscount|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Glassey, A. E.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Gower, Sir Robert||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||McElwee, A.|
|Butler, R. A.||Gray, Milner||McEntee, V. L.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Margesson, Captain H. D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Strauss, G. R.|
|Markham, S. F.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Marshall, Fred||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Mathers, George||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Melville, Sir James||Romeril, H. G.||Tout, W. J.|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Milner, Major J.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Train, J.|
|Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Salmon, Major I.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Montague, Frederick||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Viant, S. P.|
|Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Muirhead, A. J.||Sanders, W. S.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sawyer, G. F.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|O'Connor, T. J.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||White, H. G.|
|O'Neill, Sir H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Sitch, Charles H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Skelton, A. N.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Palin, John Henry||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Paling, Wilfrid||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Penny, Sir George||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Smithers, Waldron||Womersley, W. J.|
|Pybus, Percy John||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Somerset, Thomas||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Mr. Benjamin Smith and Mr.|
|Remer, John R.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)||Barnes.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Price, M. P.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Hopkin, Daniel||Ritson, J.|
|Barr, James||Horrabin, J. F.||Rowson, Guy|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Sandham, E.|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Brooke, W.||Kinley, J.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Shield, George William|
|Buchanan, G.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lees, J.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lindley, Fred W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cove, William G.||Longden, F.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Daggar, George||McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)||Sullivan, J.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||MacLaren, Andrew||Toole, Joseph|
|Duncan, Charles||McShane, John James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Ede, James Chuter||Matters, L. W.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Maxton, James||Westwood, Joseph|
|Gould, F.||Mester, Fred||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Moses, J. J. H.||Wise, E. F.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)|
|Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Muff, G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Haycock, A. W.||Murnin, Hugh||Mr. Wallhead and Mr. Batey.|
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
I beg to move, in page 2, line 10, at the end, to insert the words,William Baker Neville, Esquire,Charles Latham, Esquire,Harrison Barrow, Esquire,William Turner Jackson, Esquire.I hope that in all parts of the Committee there will be an acceptance of this Amendment. When this Bill was before the House on Second Reading I said that the Government would be willing, and, indeed, they desire, to invite the services of some of the additional Commissioners who would have a different view-point from that of those already on the Board, 2334 and that we would find representatives who had had experience of finance either some of the big municipalities of the country or in Co-operative Societies. Every member knows that the borrowings which this particular Board has to sanction are not by the larger local bodies which borrow on their own account. Of the four men whose names I submit to the Committee, believing it will meet with approval, three, Mr. Charles Latham, Mr. Harrison Barrow and Mr. Jackson, are men who have been acquainted with finance on the big municipalities; Mr. Latham in London, Mr. Harrison Barrow in the Birmingham Municipal Council and Mr. Jackson in 2335 Manchester. Large questions of finance are also dealt with by the Woolwich Co-operative Societies, of which Mr. Neville is secretary. I believe that these names will commend themselves to the Committee as men with wide experience, from a somewhat different angle from those gentlemen who already sit on the Board.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
A few minutes ago the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us most emphatically that he never took political views into consideration in making appointments. The speech which the Financial Secretary has made seems to point out that the general qualification of these gentlemen is on political lines. However, no doubt he will be able to reconcile the differences between himself and the right hon. Gentleman. I want to know whether the Mr. Harrison Barrow mentioned is the notorious gentleman of that name? [Interruption.] It is a perfectly straightforward question.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I did not hear the concluding words of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but I certainly do resent the form in which he puts his question that political considerations have not entered into these proposals at all. I happen personally to know Mr. Jackson, who either is or was Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Manchester Corporation. Mr. Harrison Barrow either was or is Chairman of the Finance Committee of the City of Birmingham, and I believe, an ex-Lord Mayor.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
After the debate we have had one does not want to make statements in this House simply because people happen to have similar names, but I think the House will want to know whether this is the gentleman who was sentenced to six months' imprisonment during the War. If the Chancellor cannot tell me, the Government ought to consider the question, because a gentleman of that name was, on 24th May, 1918, at the Guildhall, sentenced to six months imprisonment. Is it or is it not the same gentleman?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
If I ever did remember the incident to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers I had entirely forgotten it. He is a member of the 2336 Society of Friends, and some of my friends behind me say that a conviction was registered against him on account of his association with some publication during the War. That is all I know, but I have already said, and I repeat, that since then he has been Lord Mayor of Birmingham, and I am sure that the fact that the citizens of Birmingham thought him fit for the highest honour they could offer him ought to satisfy the hon. and gallant Gentleman.
§ Mr. BARR
It seems to me a most remarkable thing that those who went into the Lobby because they said politics should not enter into appointments now raise a political question. I know many members will disagree with me, but in ordinary cases I believe in the principle of not allowing political or other considerations to enter into the question of appointments, but I do hold also that there may be cases, on one side or the other, in which they should understand that there are those on the other side who have strong feelings, but for my part I am not ashamed to stand here and to say that I think those who underwent the sacrifice and made the stand did a great service.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I am afraid I was sneaking from a rather dim recollection in regard to Mr. Harrison Barrow and the Lord Mayoralty. I am told that he was offered the Lord Mayoralty but refused to accept it.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
What an extraordinary situation! The Chancellor of the Exchequer has admitted and confessed to the House that the Government had taken no real trouble to search up the antecedents of these gentlemen who are now to be added to the Commissioners. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has presented those names, including the name of a gentleman who has apparently served a long term of imprisonment, without even being aware of the facts. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman must allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed. I will call him to order if he is out of order.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
On a point of Order, may I ask whether an hon. Member is 2337 entitled from his seat in the House, to shout another hon. Member's name across the floor repeatedly and offensively?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I will deal with the hon. Member if he is out of order. It is not confined to one side of the House. I did not hear any name mentioned.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Perhaps I may be allowed to develop my argument. We have listened to a good many views from the other side of the House. It is clear that these names have not been examined from the point of view of the merits of the individuals and the work they have to do, nor from the point of view of commanding public confidence or adding to the weight and authority of the Board, when we find that a member is appointed who has a record for striking at the interests of this country during the crisis of the War. We are not now dealing with mere words, however ill conceived or ill conditioned. We are dealing with actions that have been the subject of proceedings before the proper tribunals and punished at law, and for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to come down to this House ignorant of a matter of this kind, which was common knowledge as soon as the names appeared on the Order paper, shows that he has not given proper attention to the real merits of the case.
We know perfectly well wily this proposal has been brought forward; it was a desperate attempt by the Government to stave off the anger of their own supporters below the gangway. When the Measure was first brought before the House there was no idea of adding these names. It was only when auger was expressed at the appointment of Lord Hunsdon that the Government sought to find a line of least resistance, not by excluding Lord Hunsdon, but by throwing in additional names to dilute, as it were, the hostility. None of these names would have been put forward at all if the Financial Secretary to the Treasury had done his duty the other day, and had not, in the most cowardly manner, moved the adjournment of the debate. He has had an example from his chief of Parliamentary duty as discharged by a Minister. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not be content simply with flouting his own supporters; he should discharge his duty by examining the character and antecedents of the men whose names are submitted to the House of Commons for 2338 inclusion in public bodies of this important character [Interruption]. I shall not take much longer if I am not interrupted, although it would be quite easy to dilate on this subject. This proposal is purely political in its character and is not made to improve the Committee. It is an attempt to placate the wrath of the miners' members and other Socialists. Why does the Chancellor of the Exchequer wish to do it now? He has carried his division and we have supported him. Why should we add these further names to a Committee already as large as has been found necessary for its work? As far as we are concerned, we will have nothing to do with this weak and dishonest expedient, nor take any part in placing on a public board at this time a man who has to his record a criminal conviction for malicious injury to this country in time of war.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
I intervene because Mr. Harrison Barrow is a colleague of mine in the representation of a ward on Birmingham City Council. I know him personally and the value of the work he has done on behalf of the citizens of Birmingham. In the early part of the war he was Lord Mayor-elect for the City of Birmingham, but did not take on the office because, being a member of the Society of Friends, he felt he could not take on the offices that would accrue to the Lord Mayoralty during the progress of the war. He will strengthen this Board to a very considerable degree. He has been chairman of the Birmingham Corporation Tramways Committee, and he is a respected member of the Birmingham Corporation Finance Comittee; and I would ask the House to remember that Birmingham is the second largest city in the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Well, it may be the third. Mr. Harrison Barrow is also a member of the Birmingham Municipal Bank Committee, and at least two of those offices eminently fit him for the job for which he has been selected by the Government on this occasion. During the last municipal election campaign, so well respected was he that he received 5,800 votes, which is more than some hon. Members opposite may have received in a Parliamentary election. As far as his term of imprisonment is concerned, there are some men one can honour for making a stand 2339 for principle, especially when they are protecting other people who have been first attacked. What happened was that during the war period certain inoffensive working class persons were arrested for distributing leaflets.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
Certain people were arrested for distributing leaflets. They were published by the Society of Friends Committee, of which Mr. Harrison Barrow and another gentleman, whose name I have forgotten, were members. These people, though they were not charged in the court, took upon their shoulders the responsibility for the publication of these leaflets for the purpose of protecting poorer people, some of whom had lost sons in the early years of the war and who were keen on the question of peace by negotiation propaganda. That is all it was. That was not sedition. Mr. Harrison Barrow was fighting for a principle which 99 per cent. of the front bench of this Government were fighting for during that particular period, and also even some members of the Conservative party and many of the Liberal party as well. Here we have a man who had the courage to face that prosecution—a man who is not of working class origin and had sufficient wealth to live upon and to enjoy comfort—undergoing imprisonment for the principles in which he believed. I suggest that that is no detriment to his character but a tribute to his character, and this House would be well advised not to take any notice of the ill advised attacks on his personal character by persons who have no personal knowledge of the case. I believe that I shall be supported even by Conservative Members representing Birmingham constituencies, and, at least by my five Labour colleagues from Birmingham in what I have said as to the integrity of Mr. Harrison Barrow and the honour and esteem in which he is held by the vast majority of the citizens in that great city.
Mr. F. OWEN
This House is accustomed to somersaults by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill). By an overwhelming vote in the Lobby we have just decided to take the political bias out of our public appointments. The right hon. Gentleman 2340 returns from the Lobby and proceeds to defend that principle. He proceeds to hold up to public contumely a man whose offence was a purely political offence during the War. [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman begs the Committee to forget 1926 and then comes down with the skill of practised oratory and presses for remembrance of what was committed in the turmoils of 1918. The Leader of his party shows more tolerance than the right hon. Member for Epping. It is only a few weeks since that right hon. Gentleman unveiled a statue to Mrs. Pankhurst, who was associated with this very campaign which is in question. [Interruption.]
May I be permitted to make an explanation? When I made that statement I understood that Mrs. Pankhurst had taken part in the movement to secure peace by negotiations. On that point, I may be mistaken. [Interruption.]
On a point of Order. Is it not usual, when a charge has been made against a person with a distinguished public career in later years—[Interruption].—The hon. Member has definitely associated Mrs. Pankhurst—[Interruption].
§ The CHAIRMAN
Only one point of Order at a time. [Interruption.] I understood that the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Owen) was giving the explanation that he was mistaken and was withdrawing it.
If I may be permitted to satisfy the right hon. Gentleman's impatience, when I made the statement that Mrs. Pankhurst was associated with the campaign to secure peace by negotiation, I may have been acting under a misapprehension. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
Hon. Members should give the hon. Member an opportunity. If the hon. Member gets up to withdraw, he should be given an opportunity to withdraw. I understand the hon. Member is proceeding to do so.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
On a point of Order. I do not take up much time in this House. I want to be respectful to the Chair. I wish the Chair to take notice of both sides of the Committee. The point of Order I wish to make is that the hon. Member has not said anything to warrant the interruption and the charge made against him that he has made an unworthy charge against some person who has passed away when he suggests that she may have taken part in this past campaign.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think every intelligent Member realises that I was giving the hon. Member an opportunity to withdraw.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
Mr. Chairman, may I ask if it is in order for you to address such a remark to me? [Interruption.] I rose, I believe perfectly in order and certainly respectfully, on a point of Order. Is it your opinion of order for the Chair to make suggestions with regard to the intelligence of myself or any other Member.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I can assure the hon. Member that if I meant anything, I meant that my remarks were intelligible to every Member.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
May I put a point of Order for the protection of hon. Members of this House? May I ask you, as Chairman, if it is in order, even for you, when a Member of the Committee gets up and in a perfectly courteous and Parliamentary manner puts a point of Order—because, in my opinion, the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Owen) was not insulting—to make references to me—[Interruption.] I will have no insults, even from the Chairman.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I did ask right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on that side to allow the hon. Member to speak, and, in doing so, I was calling them to order. I find nothing wrong in regard to what has been said and no insult. What I said was, though I might have put it the other way round, that my remarks and 2342 my ruling were quite intelligible to any Member of the House. I apologise to the hon. Member if he thinks I said anything to offend him.
I was about to say, when I was interrupted, that, if I did state that the lady in question had taken part in a campaign to secure peace by negotiation, I did it under a misapprehension, and therefore I wish unreservedly to withdraw that statement. I would like, before I resume my seat, to add that surely there can be no grave charge against a Member in saying that he served a term of imprisonment for a purely political offence, seeing that many distinguished Members of this House have served terms of imprisonment for purely political offences, and, therefore, I merely wish to try to recall the Committee to a more proper sense of things as we left them when we emerged from the Division Lobby on the original Amendment.
§ Mr. DIXEY
As I understand it, the charge made by the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) against the Chancellor of the Exchequer has really nothing to do with the question of what Mr. Harrison Barrow's record is. The question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a perfectly proper question. Why does he present names to the Members of this House without having considered their qualifications properly? Would it not be advisable at this point to consider adjourning the consideration of these names until he is in a position to give the Committee full information in respect to them?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I have already stated to the Committee that I have known Mr. Harrison Barrow for 20 years. The disqualification—in the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman's party—has been stated. That was a purely technical offence, and the circumstances redound to the man's credit. As regards the aspersions of the right hon. Gentleman that political motives have entered into this, I deny that altogether. As I told the Committee, everybody is a politician, and you could not appoint a person to a committee of public service who is not a politician. I have not appointed these gentlemen because of their party associations or because of their political views. I looked round 2343 and consulted two or three of my friends, who had long years of municipal experience, and asked them if they could make suggestions to me of men within their own knowledge who would be qualified by their experience. After a short time, I came to the conclusion that the most suitable persons would be those whom we recommend now, Mr. Harrison Barrow and Mr. Jackson. It is quite true that they both happen to be Labour people.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
As I raised this question, may I say one word about why I did so? I really asked it in order to get information from the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to whether he knew the full circumstances about these four gentlemen. It appears that this gentleman about whom I asked the question is a personal friend of 20 years' standing, and it is all the more surprising that the right hon. Gentleman did not ask the Financial Secretary to mention that fact. It is a matter of some interest to the public—to put it at its mildest. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said it was only a technical offence which the gentleman had committed. I do not want to put the gentleman in a false position, or myself, or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, so perhaps I had better read one or two sentences out of the report in the "Times," because the "Times" is the only paper in this country whose law reports are admitted to be perfectly accurate. It can then be decided between us whether this is a technical offence. The date is 25th May, 1918.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
The report states:The hearing was resumed yesterday of the summons against Mr. Harrison Barrow and"—I will not give the names of the other people, which are not relevant—for procuring someone else to publish copies of a leaflet entitled 'A Challenge to Militarism' without mentioning on it the name of the author or submitting copies to the Press Bureau.The Chancellor thinks that a technical offence. During the day, the report says, 2344 he was asked whether in future they would be prepared to submit any war literature to the Press Bureau. Mr. Barrow replied in the negative. That is technical too. I thought it was a political offence before with the Chancellor of the Exchequer; now it has become a technical offence. The magistrate, in summing up, said the leaflets were a glorification of those who refused to fight. Is that merely technical in time of war? They were intended, he added, to induce others not to fight. He convicted him on the second summons and should, as they declared they would not obey the law in future, he must impose a heavy penalty. That is from the "Times" extract. If he thinks that is a technical offence, when the country is in the middle of a great war, other people will disagree with him.
§ 2.0 a.m.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I am sorry I interrupted the hon. and gallant Gentleman when he was speaking. I see on the Government Front Bench my right hon Friend the First Commissioner of Works. I have heard my right hon. Friend again and again being asked by hon. Gentlemen opposite, "What did you do in the War?", and my right hon. Friend's reply was always, "I tried to stop it." There were many people who tried to stop it during the war, and many went to prison.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
The hon. and gallant Member for South Leicester (Captain Waterhouse) has mentioned the name of a ship in which I served during the War. Will he say why he has mentioned it?
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
It seems to me that it will be a great deal more interesting to the Committee if the hon. and gallant Member will explain his own experiences during the War instead of asking us to hear about trying to stop it.
§ Lieut-Commander KENWORTHY
The hon. and gallant Member has called out the name of a ship which I had the honour to command. For some years hon. Gentlemen opposite have shouted that name at me from time to time, but usually from behind an Order paper or 2345 a hand. This is the first time I have been able recently to identify an interrupter and to be able to ask what is meant on the Floor of this House. I presume he refers to an accident that was the subject of a Court of Inquiry. I was on patrol in the North Sea in the early part of the War. It is a personal matter, and I have been challenged.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
It is now two minutes past two, and I want to know whether it is in order for the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) to indulge in naval reminiscences.
That is not a point of Order. If the hon. and gallant Member is out of Order, I will correct him.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I rise to a point of Order for the purpose of asking you whether, in the event of the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) embarking upon the escapades of a particular vessel in the Great War, it will also be in order for hon. Members on this side of the Committee to deal with incidents—[Interruption]—if necessary to rebut the statement of the hon. and gallant Member. I submit to you that if these extremely interesting topics are raised on one side of the Committee, they shall be raised on this side.
It is impossible for me to anticipate what the hon. and gallant Member is going to say until I have heard him.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I was going to be very brief. An insinuation has been made against me. [Interruption.]
I understand that an hon. Member has made some remark which the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull considers to be a reflection upon him. That remark has been made, and the hon. and gallant Member is quite in Order.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
All that I was going to say was that three men were killed. There was a Court of Inquiry. I was re-appointed to my ship, or, rather, I remained in command of her, and commanded her on active service with the Grand Fleet for another year. And now may I ask what the insinuation is? Two or three hon. and right hon. Members of this House to whom I have shown documents have been good enough to send letters of regret or apology. This same story was used in a bye-election. It has simply spread like a snowball. Let us see that the snowball melts away now.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I am perfectly satisfied. This gentleman, Mr. Barrow, is going to occupy an unpaid position on a Committee with a great many others. His financial capabilities no one has questioned. His tactlessness has not been questioned. We have heard my right hon. Friend, the First Commissioner of Works, who is a Privy Councellor, say he tried to stop the War, and I honour him for it.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
They were trying to save valuable lives. I wish more people on all sides had done the same. I hope in another war all the people will do the same. This is the mole hill which hon. Gentlemen opposite have enlarged into a mountain. As I said just now, with complete indifference to their vote in the last Division, I was with the majority. I supported the Chancellor in the last Division. I shall support him in this division. For the sake of political stability, they must at least let this name, to which objection has been taken, be added without further implications being made.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Is that your intention, Mr. Young, to put the four names together so that we have to challenge them together?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
In that case, we shall vote against these names, not in relation to any particular individual, but because we consider they are brought forward by the Government not to improve the character of this Committee but 2347 from political reasons. On those grounds we shall give our vote.
§ Mr. BROAD
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) has spoken without his book. He says that these names have been introduced afterwards. He does not know apparently and has not taken care to inform himself, that two of these names were on the Order Paper before the discussion arose on the last occasion, so that he is wrong there. It was the intention of the Government to put the names down before the discussion to augment the list of gentlemen who should be on this Committee, because it was so obvious, from the age of so many of them and from their lack of attendance in the past, that you were not likely to have a full Committee unless the numbers were augmented. That is a very good reason why men with vigour of mind and body should be appointed to make good the deficiencies in the others. And if it be that a challenge is to be made to this gentleman owing to
§ the fact that he has been committed to prison for what was a political offence, when it was necessary for some people to defy the law in order to refute the concocted lies manufactured for the purpose of inflaming people's minds in war time, we should honour a man of that sort.
§ There is something else. If the fact that this gentleman was put in prison for an offence which is an honour to him is to be brought up, I shall go carefully through the list of the other names to see how many of them ought to be in prison for profiteering during war time. No wonder they wanted the war to go on. The war was a profitable thing to a good many people. If these names are to be challenged by a vote, then I think we ought to challenge every other name and make a full inquiry as to where they got their money from.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 195; Noes, 46.2349
|Division No. 458.]||AYES.||[2.14 a.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lathan, G.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Egan, W. H.||Law, A. (Rosendale)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Elmley, Viscount||Lawrence, Susan|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Foot, Isaac||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lawson, John James|
|Arnott, John||Gibbins, Joseph||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Lees, J.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Gill, T. H.||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Glassey, A. E.||Lindley, Fred W.|
|Barr, James||Gossling, A. G.||Lloyd, C. Ellis|
|Batey, Joseph||Gould, F.||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Bellamy, Albert||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Granville, E.||Longden, F.|
|Benson, G.||Gray, Milner||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Lunn, William|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Blindell, James||Grundy, Thomas W.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||McElwee, A.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McEntee, V. L.|
|Bromley, J.||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)|
|Brooke, W.||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||McKinlay, A.|
|Brothers, M.||Harris, Percy A.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Haycock, A. W.||McShane, John James|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Mansfield, W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Marcus, M.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Marley, J.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Herriotts, J.||Mathers, George|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Maxton, James|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hopkin, Daniel||Melville, Sir James|
|Charleton, H. C.||Horrabin, J. F.||Messer, Fred|
|Chater, Daniel||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Milner, Major J.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Morley, Ralph|
|Clarke, J. S.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Johnston, Thomas||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Mort, D. L.|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne)||Moses, J. J. H.|
|Cove, William G.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)|
|Daggar, George||Kelly, W. T.||Muff, G.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kennedy, Thomas||Murnin, Hugh|
|Duncan, Charles||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Kinley, J.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Shield, George William||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Shillaker, J. F.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Palin, John Henry||Simmons, C. J.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Paling, Wilfrid||Sitch, Charles H.||Wellock, Willfred|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Potts, John S.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Price, M. P.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||White, H. G.|
|Pybus, Percy John||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Stephen, Campbell||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Ritson, J.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Strauss, G. R.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Romeril, H. G.||Sullivan, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Rowson, Guy||Thurtle, Ernest||Wise, E. F.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Tinker, John Joseph||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Sanders, W. S.||Toole, Joseph|
|Sandham, E.||Tout, W. J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sawyer, G. F.||Townend, A. E.||Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Barnes.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Somerset, Thomas|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Muirhead, A. J.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Penny, Sir George||Womersley, W. J.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Remer, John R.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Euan Wallace.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
Question, "That the Bill be now read a Second time," put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. WISE
I have an Amendment on the Paper, in page 2, line 10, at the end to insert the words:together with an equal number of persons having experience of administration as members of local authorities or of trade unions or of co-operative societies, who shall be appointed by the Treasury so soon as may be after the passing of this Act, and who shall be deemed to be appointed by Act of Parliament.This Amendment is designed to secure that the Board shall include the representatives indicated in the Amendment. In view, however, of the fact that the Government have met us by appointing four members of rather broader experience than the original members of the committee, I shall not move the Amendment.
Motion made, and Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.