Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [28th July].
That the speech of the honourable Member for the Kirkdale Division of Lancashire, reported in the 'Manchester Guardian' newspaper of Monday, 28th July, 1930, is a gross libel upon honourable Members of this House and is a grave breach of its Privileges."—[Earl Winterton.]
§ Question again proposed.
§ Mr. SANDHAM
May I, in the first place, express my regret that I was unable to be present in this House yesterday when the matter was raised? In the second place, may I intimate to the Noble Lord that I only got his letter at 8 o'clock last night? In the third place, may I remind Members of this House, and the Prime Minister in particular, that I am as conscious of my duty as any Member of this House as to what I ought or ought not to do. I shall be quite happy to read the speech referred to in the Motion if the House agrees, and you, Mr. Speaker, permit me. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I said:Comrades of Number 9 Division. It is now six months since I addressed you. At that time I passed some mild criticism on the Labour Government, and I also issued a warning. Six months ago I pointed out that the Labour Government would fail because it sought to deal with the problem of unemployment on precisely the same lines as the Tories. I said then that any Government which tried to solve this problem on other than Socialist lines was doomed to failure. Events have proved that my warning was justified. A year ago at the Brighton Conference, Mr. J. H. Thomas told us if we gave him until February of this year, he would work wonders. He has. Today there are half a million more men unemployed than when Mr. Thomas took on the job, and now in sheer desperation Mr. Thomas has been transferred to a more comfortable post and Mr. MacDonald is now responsible. Mr. MacDonald, if anything, has done worse than Mr. Thomas, and the reason is this. Although there has been a change of men. there has been no change of policy. In fact, we seem to have reached the position when our party is the only one in the country that does not possess at least a paper policy. I will deal with this later.When Labour took office, the idle rich, the parasite landlord, the usurer and the ex- 310 ploiter were all assured that nothing of a Socialist character would be tried. Society heaved a sigh of relief. The election figures had given it a fright. It had begun to picture the serious possibility of a revolting working class demanding justice for itself and its children. But when society saw that the first great act of the Labour Cabinet was to buy itself new tall hats in order to show its respectability, society's ruffled feelings were smoothed down. When Mr. MacDonald announced that there would be no Socialism, society laughed aloud. Here, it said, was no Government of the working class, but a collection of perfect English gentlemen only anxious to maintain the great British tradition.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
When Notice of this Motion was given in the House, exception was not taken to the whole speech. Exception was taken to certain parts of the speech, and the hon. Member should deal only with those parts to which the Motion refers.
§ Mr. SANDHAM
May I submit that that has been my grievance. It has been no part of my fault that the tearing out of certain sentences from the context has altered the meaning altogether?Here, it said, was no Government of the working class, but a collection of perfect English gentlemen only anxious to maintain"—
§ Mr. MAXTON
The hon. Member, at the opening of his speech, deliberately asked the permission of the House to read the complete speech. I understood that that was assented to unanimously by the House, and now to ask the hon. Member to recast the whole line of his speech in the middle of it, would be putting him, it seems to me, in a most unfair position, when he is in a very difficult personal position.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If there is any question of unfairness connected with this, it is entirely my responsibility for allowing the hon. Member to read the speech, but I naturally thought that it was the proper thing to give him a chance to make his own statement. I naturally thought that the rest of his speech had some bearing on the passages to which exception was taken, but I cannot allow the hon. Member to proceed on the lines he is going. He must confine himself to 311 those parts of his speech as to which complaint is made.
§ Mr. MILLS
There is an Order on the Paper to-day, called the Dartford and Purfleet (Thames) Tunnel Bill, which I have had the honour of working through this Parliament, and am I in order, as one of the ordinary Members of this House, in demanding that the hon. Member who is attempting to apologise should indicate whether he includes me in this general attack of corruption against Members of the House? [Interruption.] I cannot get at him outside, or I would.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have given the hon. Member my rulings. I hope he will abide by them in making his further remarks to the House.
§ Mr. SANDHAM
I accept your ruling with very great respect.Now I would just like to say a word on the suspension of Mr. John Beckett. The Mace, as you know, is the symbol of authority in the House of Commons, and is of gilt. Once there was a real gold Mace. A man called Oliver Cromwell, enraged for the same reason that some of us are to-day, because Parliament was becoming only a symbol of authority, too, ordered one of his soldiers to 'Take away that bauble.' The real gold Mace was lost—what is worse, Cromwell's spirit is also lost. When John Beckett touched the sacred symbol the other day, faces went white with horror. When J. H. Thomas took the initiative some time ago in handing over to the bankers the sacred reality of Parliamentary power, not a thrill of apprehension of regret stirred the conscience of these same custodians of democratic law and tradition. The sheer, stupid, tradition of this ghost-house has got most of the Members in its deadly grip. Labour Members can receive bribes to help pass doubtful Bills in the interests of private individuals. Labour Members can get stupidly drunk in this place. But none of these things are against the sacred traditions of the House. In fact, they are in keeping with them. It is known that Labour Members accepted money from moneylenders and other interests, and it is known that Labour Members of Parliament get drunk in the House. Our leaders see nothing wrong in that, or at any rate, such conduct is not bad enough to create a demand for their expulsion. But immediately John Beckett touches the sacred symbol, the gilt toy, all the pack are in full cry. They are as righteously indignant as would any tribe of savages be if somebody had desecrated the temple of their favourite medicicine man.Indifferent Members from the Opposition Benches, from the smoke rooms and terrace, careless as to India or anything else so long 312 as their Capitalist interests are safe; office-conscious snobs from our benches flattered by a little brief authority; all troop to vote against the handful of us on whose Socialist conscience the dead and imprisoned Indian martyrs lie heavily. It is too much for Beckett. I know the feeling so well myself.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member has now concluded that part of his speech to which exception was taken. If he has any further remarks to make upon it, I shall be glad to hear them.
§ Mr. SANDHAM
I submit to your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, with great respect. May I now proceed to read my reply? I came to the conclusion that the position which I was placed in was a serious one, and I sat down and put into writing what I considered to be the reply that I ought to give with the clarity and brevity that I feel is essential in this House.
In reply to the Noble Lord, I want to say at the outset that I stand by every word in my speech. Frankly, the honour of hon. Members opposite is of less concern to me that the honour of the working-class movement. I am not surprised that certain Members are indignant at my charges, but I can only marvel that the Member who seeks to indict me is the Noble Lord. Twenty-one years ago in this House he was earning a reputation for being very offensive to any Member of this House who came direct from the working-classes.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Order. That is not the Question which is before the House. What happened 21 years ago does not matter.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I have never seen in this House an occasion when an individual making a personal statement was interrupted in the same way as my hon. Friend. I would advise him very strongly to take his seat now and not to rise again.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
On all occasions when a Member makes a personal explanation it is listened to most patiently, but it has always been laid down—and I have often referred to the Ruling given on these occasions—that the hon. Member who is making the explanation must 313 confine himself to the charge which is made against him and to the explanation in defence of that charge.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I have the manuscript of my hon. Friend, and he was proceeding to refer to the occasion when the Noble Lord 21 years ago charged the hon. Member for West Ham (Mr. Thorne) with drunkenness in this House. Surely, when a charge of the same kind is levelled by the Noble Lord it is legitimate Parliamentary debate to reply to it.
§ Mr. THORNE
As my name has been mentioned, I would like to say with regard to that incident that it is quite true to say that—[Interruption.]—I am not going to have any mud on my name now.
§ Mr. SANDHAM
Twenty-one years ago in this House he was earning a reputation for being very offensive to any Member of this House who came—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Order, Order. The hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Sandham) will be pleased to retire while this question is being considered by the House.
§ The HON MEMBER withdrew accordingly.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)
I beg to move to leave out from "1930" to the end of the Question 314 and to add instead thereof the words "be referred to the Committee of Privileges."
I think, Mr. Speaker, the duty of this House is perfectly plain. The Noble Lord drew attention to a speech delivered by the hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Sandham). There were two statements in that speech to which special attention was drawn and upon which any action that this House may take will be based. The two statements are as follows:Labour members can receive bribes to help to pass doubtful Bills in the interests of private individuals.It is perfectly obvious that the charge there does not mean that we are free to do it if we like, but that as a matter of fact it has been done. The second statement is:It is known that Labour Members accepted money from moneylenders and other interests, and it is known"—and so on.
Those are the two statements. [Interruption.] Those are the two very serious statements that have been made and which have to be dealt with by the Motion of this House. That is my point, and I want to confine the attention of the House at the moment to those two points—one point repeated in two variations. The hon. Member appears to-day, and he shows quite clearly that the statement was considered, was written out before it was delivered, and that it was coolly and deliberately given out to the world. To-day he has withdrawn nothing. He has explained nothing. [An HON. MEMBER: "Give him a chance!"] He has justified nothing. The charges are perfectly specific. He must have in his mind facts, men, actions, and he must be asked to inform the representative Committee of this House as to whom he had in his mind and upon what basis he made his charge. In order that that may be done, I am going to move—and I mean to take up no further time about it—that the Resolution moved by the Noble Lord yesterday be amended so that all the words after the words "Monday, 28th July, 1930," be left out in order to substitute the words "be referred to the Committee of Privileges." I do that because I want action to be taken at once. I see that there is another Resolution or Amendment on the Paper asking for the setting up of a Select Committee. That is going 315 to take time, and a Select Committee cannot sit and cannot work when this House is not sitting. The Committee of Privileges is, as a matter of fact, a Select Committee. The Committee of Privileges has all the powers and authority that a Select Committee of this House has got.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am afraid that it cannot. That is why I want it to sit now. This is Tuesday, and we shall certainly not rise until Friday, and I believe that the Committee of Privileges can, at any rate, give us some indication between now and then as to what substance there is in those charges. If there is no substance in them, it certainly would be able to give us a report to that effect. Therefore, for expedition, I propose to move that this matter be referred to the Committee of Privileges.
§ Mr. STANLEY BALDWIN
I have no desire at this moment to make a speech, but, as the Leader of the Opposition, I wish to endorse every word which has fallen from the Prime Minister, who, as the Leader of the House, has the honour of this House in his hands. I think that the proposal he has made is a perfectly correct one. We are bound to examine into this matter, and we cannot help it. The sooner we do it the better, and I hope that any necessary steps, if such steps are necessary, to enable the investigation to be continued at a later date after Prorogation will be taken. I beg to support the Prime Minister.
Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I am quite in accord with the suggestion made by the Prime Minister and with the observations made by the Leader of the Opposition.
§ Mr. MAXTON
My hon. Friend the Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Sandham) is quite prepared to have this matter fully investigated by any competent committee. He is prepared to have the matter probed to its very foundations. He proposed to-day, if he had been permitted to carry his speech to a conclusion, to extend the charge and to limit it. He was speaking at a conference, occupying a privileged position. He had a right and a duty to look after 316 the good name of the Labour movement, and he was indicating to the people to whom he had a responsibility certain directions in which there were flaws and faults which ought to be corrected. He was putting that point to the people who had the responsibility and the power to make corrections in that direction. He proposed here to-day to make it perfectly plain that his charge was limited to a very small minority of Labour Members. That was the limitation that he proposed to make to-day. He proposed to extend the charge by saying that there was not merely such a minority in the Labour party but in the other parties as well, and that he was prepared to go before any responsible committee, where witnesses would be protected and privileged, to bring forward his witnesses in substantiation of his charge.
Since I have seen the mood and the temper of the House to-day and the great unanimity among the Front Bench leaders, I am going to suggest that I cannot feel any confidence that the Committee of Privileges, while it may be capable of looking after the good name of the House generally, is a suitable tribunal before whom the hon. Member for Kirkdale can appear, because it is quite obvious from the proceedings here to-day that his case has already been prejudged. What I am going to suggest is, that the Prime Minister should add to the Committee of Privileges one or two Members who might be somewhat in the category of the prisoner's friends in a military court martial, otherwise I do not think that full justice can he done either to the House of Commons or to the offending Member. In these matters there are always two sides. It is absolutely necessary that the prestige of the House should be maintained, but part of the prestige of this House rests upon the fact that it is an old established principle that one man, however unpopular his cause may be, or however unpopular he may be in person, has full liberty, as representing his constituents, to stand and speak what he believes to be the truth. I do not wish to move an Amendment, but I hope the Prime Minister will accept my suggestion. In the event of that suggestion not being acceptable to the Prime Minister and the Leaders of the Opposition, it will be my regrettable necessity to vote against the Motion.
§ Sir HUGH O'NEILL
On a point of Order and information arising out of the course which has been suggested for dealing with this very serious matter, may I ask whether the Committee of Privileges would normally deal with this matter in public, and if not whether it is in the competence of the Committee of Privileges or not to decide whether or not the matter should be dealt with in public or in private?
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I wish to make reference to only one phase of the charge or charges Which have been brought forward by the hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Sandham). The phase of the matter to which I refer is that which concerns the possibility of hon. Members being under the influence of drink. This has been a recurring question in the House, hon. Members having to take the onus of making statements and, consequently, getting into considerable trouble. The Committee of Privileges ought before now to have had seriously under consideration the palpable fact, with which we are all familiar, that there is such a result taking place frequently in this House as hon. Members being under the influence of drink—[Interruption.] I submit, Mr. Speaker, that there is no hon. Member of this House who can dispute having seen from time to time Members of all parties in this House under the influence of drink. [HON. MEMBERS: "Rubbish! and "Privilege!"] I want to suggest, and I am submitting it in the interests of the House and in the interests of common truth, that the Committee of Privileges ought before now to have given, and I hope that it will now give, serious attention to that particular aspect of the affairs of this House, in the interests of all concerned. We know perfectly well the situation in the House and how serious the developments are. [HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down!"] We know that in this House there are these shebeens in our establishment—the only part of the country where this provision is made without licence.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I pass from that phase of the charge, but I do submit that it is a very serious matter for the Prime 318 Minister of this country to be dealing with an issue of this kind, and particularly with that particular charge, when he himself knows the serious results that have taken place in this House as regards even the Front Bench.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Motion before the House is that this matter be referred to the Committee of Privileges.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
With all due respect, that is why I am submitting that for the prestige of the House it is essential and imperative that this matter should be taken into serious consideration, in the best interests of the conducting of the affairs of the House and the country.
§ Mr. W. J. BROWN
I desire to raise two matters on the Amendment which the Prime Minister has moved. I want, first of all, to ask whether the House can be informed how the Committee of Privileges is composed, and if it is not a Standing Committee to whom the selection of personnel for the purpose of dealing with this particular matter will be left. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is a Standing Committee!"] If it is a Standing Committee, then I think in justice to the hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Sandham)—I am sure that it is the desire of the House to be fair upon this point—the present personnel of the Committee might be announced and an opportunity given to the friends of the hon. Member, if they so desire, to suggest additional names. My second point is, that the Prime Minister has suggested that the Committee of Privileges is a better instrument than a Select Committee, because a Select Committee cannot sit during the Summer Recess, and because in his view it is essential that a report should be forthcoming upon this matter before the House adjourns.
I wish to say to the House and to you, Mr. Speaker, that I have never, in public or in private, made charges of corruption against anybody, but there are charges in existence about which probably nothing would have been heard under ordinary conditions which become immediately relevant and overridingly important if a Member of this House is placed on trial, as it were, for saying that corruption does exist in the House of Commons. If some of the charges which are in existence are to be 319 adequately investigated, a longer period than three or four days will be necessary. If we are to probe this matter to the bottom, two conditions must be satisfied. The first condition is, that those who think they have information to impart—I am not in the least prejudging whether they have or not, or whether the information is of any value or not—it is essential to the proper probing of the case that the individuals who think they have information to impart must be assured that they can give evidence under conditions of safety. In the nature of the case, the kind of individual who will speak on this matter will not be the principals but the go-betweens, and the go-betweens in many cases are poor men, who will speak if they can speak safely. but who will not speak if they cannot speak safely. Therefore, if the House does desire a full investigation into the charge of corruption, it seems to me that we must give immunity to witnesses and we must allow adequate time for the investigation of the charges that may be made, with power to the Committee to subpoena not merely witnesses but documents.
I trust that I have said nothing out of order. I have documents in my pocket about which I have said nothing outside or inside this House, but which are going to be investigated if this charge of corruption is gone into; but if I am to produce documents, I want an assurance that the conditions under which that Committee will operate will be conditions which admit of witnesses speaking freely and of adequate investigations being made. Surely, if one of our Members is to be placed on trial for having said that corruption exists, we have in duty bound to see that the investigation is of a complete and thorough character, and surely 1 am entitled to ask the Prime Minister for an assurance, before we pass this Vote, on these two issues, (1) as to how the Committee will be composed and (2) whether it will operate under such conditions as admit of a complete investigation of the truth or otherwise of the charges made by the hon. Member for Kirkdale.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I desire to associate myself with the remarks of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton West (Mr. W. J. Brown). If I could have had my way, 320 instead of sending this matter to be considered by the Committee of Privileges, I should, if I had been in order, have moved that a committee of Judges be appointed to investigate these charges. I think the hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Sandham) would have accepted that proposal. We have to bear in mind that the hon. Member for Kirkdale is in almost the same position as a prisoner at the bar and the prisoner himself and his friends must be satisfied as to the fairness of his trial. Even the Law Courts in this country take considerable pains to see that the prisoner is at all times satisfied as to the proper conduct of his trial. [Interruption.] I may be trying the patience of hon. Members but I want to say quite frankly that we do not think that the prisoner in this case, the man who is being charged, is at all likely to get a fair trial. [Interruption.] I am going to make my statement.
Take the speech of the Prime Minister to-day; consider the tone of it. Would any judge in this country make a speech in a case he was going to try of the tone in which the Prime Minister has referred to this matter? Would any hon. and learned Member of this House, any King's Counsel, if they were defending a prisoner at the Bar allow a juryman who had expressed himself in the same tone as the Prime Minister has this afternoon sit and try the case? If any member of the jury had spoken of a case in the same tone as the Prime Minister has spoken King's Counsel would certainly object to that man sitting on the jury and trying the case. The Prime Minister has already read out the charge, and the tone and temper of his speech shows that he thinks there is no foundation in fact for what has been said. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nothing of the kind!"] The hon. and learned Member for one of the Nottingham divisions who has a great experience in the defence of prisoners at the Bar, if he were in the House, would say that if any member of the jury spoke in that tone he would immediately object to him trying the case.
Look at the Committee of Privileges. It is well that we should consider, when a man is on trial, who are to be the jury; who are to be the judges. Let the House mark this point, that the man who is being charged to-day—[Interruption]—or who is to appear before the 321 Committee, is associated with a group—let us be quite frank about this matter—who are not popular in the House. I admit that with the exception of my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) we are not popular. The only difference is this; that long after the so-called popular men have left this House I am likely to be here. But the more unpopular the man the more certain we should be that his trial is fair. Let me give an illustration from my own experience in the Law Courts. [Interruption.] I am going to insist upon my rights as a Member to state my case and no one is going to interfere with that right as long as I am in order. Recently, I had to appear in the Scottish High Court, and I heard the Judge who was trying a case say that the criminal was charged with a fearful offence but the more fearful and bad the offence the more certain he was going to see that he got a fair trial. That is the law.
Let hon. Members try to put themselves in the position of the hon. Member for Kirkdale. Look at the group which is going to try the case. If any hon. Member put himself in the position of the hon. Member for Kirkdale would he be quite sure that he was going to get fair play? Look at the names. There is the ex-Prime Minister, the man who was accused from these benches three or four years ago with almost being a murderer and with having uttered untruths in this House and outside. He is one of the persons who will try the case. The Prime Minister has shown himself unfitted by his tone and his remarks. Then there is the right hon. Member below the Gangway opposite (Mr. Lloyd George) whom we have denounced from every platform as being incapable of doing anything right. That has been said in the Labour manifesto and on many public plat-forms—
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I have made a mistake and I retract. I see that he is not on the Committee, but take the right hon. Member sitting beside the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), the right hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson). He is a Tory in disguise. Go over the names—Lord Hugh Cecil—[HON. 322 MEMBERS: "Order!"]—the right hon. Member for Oxford University. Is there a single miner or a single Labour Member of Parliament who would think of being tried by the right hon. Member? He is another. Then there is one of the late Deputy Speakers of the House—
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I have no hesitation in meeting that point. It is perfectly true that the hon. Member for Kirkdale has made charges. [Interruption.] Have hon. Members gone so far that they have no sense of manners? It is perfectly true that the hon. Member for Kirkdale has made charges, but he is in exactly the same position as a man who utters a criminal libel. The moment he goes before the Court the charge is against him, and the moment the hon. Member goes before the Committee of Privileges the charge is against him of having libelled his fellow Members. I want to claim this in common fairness. We will allow the three, six, nine, and 10 Members to remain, from whom certainly the hon. Member will not get a shadow of fair play. [Interruption.] There are 10 of them from whom we do not think the hon. Member will get a fair trial. In fairness we are prepared to allow them to remain. All we ask is this, and I hope that this Assembly will grant the request, that two names be added to the Committee of Privileges; and the names I suggest are those of the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) and the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, West (Mr. W. J. Brown). [Interruption.] Why the hilarity? It is perfectly obvious that there are certain sections of the House from whom we cannot get fair play.
I ask for the hon. Member for Camlachie to be added to the Committee because he is the only Member of our small group with any legal training. [An HON. MEMBER: "What group?"] Our group is well defined, and every hon. Member. knows it. I am not going to argue that matter now. It is also eminently fair to ask that the hon. Mem- 323 ber for West Wolverhampton be added. [An HON. MEMBER: "He is going to be a witness!"] With his Civil Service training, and also his training in connection with trade unionism, he is a man who, from our point of view, is absolutely essential on this Committee. I ask that these two names be added. There are your 10 Members, your packed jury, and all we ask in the interests of semi-decency—[Interruption]—is that these two names should be added. I see that the Chief Whip is conversing with the Prime Minister. It is a new found friendship. In 1917 he would have put him out of public life without a trial, because he was a patriot. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order;"] My request is a moderate one. It is not asking too much, and, if the House does not give it to us, we will regretfully divide against the Amendment. I do ask every Member who has any knowledge of legal affairs, or who has any regard for the rights of Members of this House, to grant us our rights, even at this moment of our manifest unpopularity. We ask for two counsel for the defence, as against the 10 counsel who will be against us.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Certain private Members have been expressing certain opinions about the Committees of this House, I wish to say that other private Members do not share in those opinions. The vast majority of the private Members of this House, if they desired to give evidence before a Committee of Privilege or any other Committee of this House, would regard that tribunal as being as fair a tribunal as any in the world. A Select Committee of the House is limited to 15 Members. I do not know whether there is anything under the Rules of the House which would prevent the point which the hon. Member makes being met. The names of the Committee elected at the beginning of this Session were the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General, the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Bowerman), the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University (Lord Hugh Cecil), the Foreign Secretary, the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert), the right hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson)—who took the place of the right hon. Gentleman the Member 324 for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) when he went on to the Statutory Commission, but I presume he now stands as a Member of the Committee—the hon. and gallant Member for Tonbridge (Lieut.-Colonel Spender-Clay), and the Home Secretary. That makes a Committee of 10. A Select Committee is limited, under the Rules of the House, to 15 Members, and personally I see no reason why, perhaps, the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) might not be added.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
When a Committee of Privilege is set up at the beginning of the Session, it is limited by the House to 10 Members. The Motion then is that the Committee should consist of 10 Members, and we cannot add to it now.
§ Mr. BROWN
That, of course, affects the Amendment which has been moved. May I put it that it might be possible for one of the Members to retire in favour of another Member, because since the charges which have been made are so grave, there should not be the slightest suspicion of any kind outside this House that the House as a whole does not mean to do utter justice in this matter.
§ Mr. TINKER
I would make an appeal to the House, seeing the grave character of the charge in which everybody is involved. There seems to be some doubt as to the composition of the Select Committee. I do not share that doubt myself, but I would suggest that it might be well that, in order to give satisfaction, a few more Members might be added to the Committee. There can be no objection on the part of the House to adding one or two more Members.
If I am correctly informed, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is away and cannot possibly be back during the time this Committee will be sitting. Therefore, a vacancy will be created which another Member can fill.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Strictly speaking, this Committee has no more power than any other Select Committee. It will not judge anything. Only this House has power to judge. The House 325 alone has power to inflict the penalty. But the Committee of Privileges must sit in the first instance to inquire into and investigate the whole subject raised by the alleged breach of Privilege, because that is their particular function. When they have made that investigation they will make a report to the House. Nothing will happen until the House acts on that report, or does not act on it. The Committee might recommend further investigation before a judicial tribunal. The Committee might find that when the matter is scrutinised there is nothing in it, or that it arose out of some trivial circumstance, and put the question aside; but it would be quite open to any Member who was not satisfied with the decision or the recommenda-
§ tion of the Committee to move anything he likes on the consideration of the Report of the Committee. The whole power lies entirely with the House. The Committee is only a committee of investigation in order that the House may be thoroughly advised about the facts of the case.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and negatived.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 419; Noes, 8.329
|Division No. 474.]||AYES.||[5.8 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Butler, R. A.||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Egan, W. H.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Caine, Derwent Hall-||Elmley, Viscount|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cameron, A. G.||England, Colonel A.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Cape, Thomas||Erskine, Lard (Somerset, Weston-s-M)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Carter, W. (St. Pancras. S.W.)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Alpass, J. H.||Carver, Major W. H.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Fermoy, Lord|
|Ammon, Charles George||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Fielden, E. B.|
|Arnott, John||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Qx. Univ.)||Foot, Isaac|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A.(Birm., W.)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Ayres, Walter||Charleton, H. C.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Chater, Daniel||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Christie, J. A.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Balniel, Lord||Church, Major A. G.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke).|
|Barr, James.||Clarke, J. S.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)|
|Batey, Joseph||Close, W. S.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)|
|Bellamy, Albert||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes, Moseley)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Gill, T. H.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Gillett, George M.|
|Benson, G.||Colfox, Major William Philip||Gilmour, Lt.-Cal. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Compton, Joseph||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Berry, Sir George||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Gossling, A. G.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Cranborne, Viscount||Gould, F.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Crichton, Stuart, Lord C.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Blindell, James||Crookshank,||Capt. H. C. Granville, E.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir||Philip Gray, Milner|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Daggar, George||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Bowen, J. W.||Dalton, Hugh||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E, W||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Boyce, H. L.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Bracken, B.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, s.)||Groves, Thomas E.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Dawson, Sir Philip||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Day, Harry||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter F.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Brooke, W.||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Brothers, M.||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N.'th'ld'., Hexham)||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Hall, Capt. W. G, (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dukes, C.||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Duncan, Charles||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Ede, James Chuter.||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Buchan, John||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hanbury, C.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Edge, Sir William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Burgess, F. G.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Harris, Percy A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Edmunds, J. E.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Markham, S. F.||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Marley, J.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Haycock, A. W.||Marshall, Fred||Sanders, W. S.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Mothers, George||Savery, S. S.|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Matters, L. W.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Melville, Sir James||Scott, James|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Messer, Fred||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Middleton, G.||Scurr, John|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Millar, J. D.||Sexton, James|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Mills, J. E.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Milner, Major J.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Herriotts, J.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Shield, George William|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Mond, Hon. Henry||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Montague, Frederick||Shinwell, E.|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Morley, Ralph||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sinkinson, George|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen, Sir Aylmer||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Mort, D. L.||Smith, H. B. Lees. (Keighley)|
|Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Moses, J. J. H.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Isaacs, George||Muff, G.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Muggeridge, H. T.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Murnin, Hugh||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Nathan. Major H. L.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Naylor, T. E.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Snell, Harry|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Sorensen, R.|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Oldfleld, J. R.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Kenworthy. Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Knight, Holford||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O (W'morland)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||O'Neill, Sir H.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molten)||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Lang, Gordon||Palin, John Henry||Strauss, G. R.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Paling, Wilfrid||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Lathan, G.||Palmer, E. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Peake, Captain Osbert||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Penny, Sir George||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S W.)|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Perry, S. F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Leach, W.||Phillips. Dr. Marion||Tillett, Ben|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Pilditch. Sir Philip||Tinne, J. A.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Pole, Major D. G.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Potts, John S.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Llewellin, Major J. J.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Toole, Joseph|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Pybus, Percy John||Tout, W. J.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Quibell, D. J. K.||Townend, A. E.|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Train, J.|
|Long, Major Hon. Eric||Ramsbotham, H.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Turner, B.|
|Longden, F.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Raynes, W. R.||Viant, S. P.|
|Lowth, Thomas||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Walker, J.|
|Lunn, William||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Lymington, Viscount||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wallace, H. W.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|McElwee, A.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|McEntee, V. L.||Ritson, J.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|McKinlay, A.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Romeril, H. G.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Ross, Major Ronald D||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Rowson, Guy||West, F. R.|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Mansfield, W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||White, H. G.|
|March, S.||Salmon, Major I.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Marcus, M.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Margesson, Captain H. D.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Charles (Devon Torquay)|
|Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)||Womersley, W. J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.||Charles Edwards.|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Horrabin, J. F.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Maxton, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Stephen, Campbell||Mr. Kinley and Mr. McGovern.|
|Buchanan, G.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
Question put, and agreed to.
That the speech of the hon. Member for the Kirkdale Division of Lancashire, reported in the 'Manchester Guardian' newspaper of Monday, 28th July, 1930, be referred to the Committee of Privileges.