§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 11.19 a.m.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
The provisions of this Bill require very few words of explanation from me at this stage. It is a matter which, of course, concerns the Dominions and their Constitutions just as it concerns us. As the House will see, four Dominions—Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa—have desired to be associated with this Bill. As regards the Irish Free State, I received a message from Mr. De Valera yesterday telling me that ht proposed to call his Parliament together to-day to pass legislation dealing with the situation in the Irish Free State.
The legal and constitutional position is somewhat complex, and any points with regard to it which anyone desires to raise would more properly be dealt with at a later stage.
The Bill gives effect to His Majesty's Abdication, and provides that His Royal Highness the Duke of York shall succeed to the Throne in the same way and with the same results as if the previous reign had ended in the ordinary course. It is necessary to have an Act of Parliament because the succession to the Throne is governed by the Act of Settlement, which makes no provision for an abdication or for a succession consequent upon an abdication. It is also necessary expressly to amend that Act by eliminating His Majesty and his issue and descendants from the succession. This is effected by Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Clause 1.
Sub-section (3) deals with the Royal Marriages Act, 1772. This Act provides, in effect, that no descendants of George II other than the issue of princesses married into foreign families, shall be capable of contracting a marriage without the consent of the King, with the proviso that where that consent is refused in the case of such a descendant above the age of 25, he may give notice to the Privy Council and the marriage may take place after 12 months, unless within that period both Houses of Par- 2204 liament have expressly declared their disapproval of the marriage. The Act was passed merely to provide a measure of control over the marriages of those who might themselves succeed to the Throne or whose descendants might succeed. It would be clearly wrong that the provisions of the Act should apply to His Majesty and his descendants who, on the passing of this Act, will cease to have any right in the succession.
§ 11.23 a.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
We on this side desire to support this Bill in order that we may carry out the wishes of His Majesty that this chapter in our history which is closing should be closed with the least possible delay. But a new chapter is being opened, and I want to say a word or two as to why we support this Bill. We are concerned with fundamental economic changes. We are not to be diverted into abstract discussions about monarchy and republicism. The one essential is that the will of the people should prevail in a democratic country. Further, we want the mind of the nation to return as soon as possible to the urgent problems of the conditions of the people, the state of the world and the great issue of peace.
I want to say one or two words on the lessons which, I think, we should draw for the future. It is not my intention for a moment to glance at the past. I believe that a great dis-service has been done to constitutional monarchy by overemphasis and by vulgar adulation, particularly in the Press. The interests which stand for wealth and class privilege have done all they can to invest the monarchy with an unreal halo, and to create a false reverence for royalty, and this has tended to obscure the realities of the position. I think, too, the continuance of old-fashioned Court ceremonial, and the surrounding of the Monarch by persons drawn from a narrow and privileged class, have hampered him in his work, and have at times frustrated good intentions. I hope that we shall see a new start made. I believe this is necessary if constitutional monarchy is to survive in the present age. Some pomp arid ceremony may be useful on occasions, but we believe that the note of monarchy should be simplicity. We as a party stand for the disappearance of class barriers and a moving towards equality, and we believe that in the 2205 interests of the Throne, in the interests of the Commonwealth, and in the interests of this country, we should see the utmost simplicity in the monarchy, which will, I believe, bind together people and Monarch more closely than before.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
On a point of Order. I want to ask for your guidance on a point, Mr. Speaker. As you know, Sir, we have sent to you and the Prime Minister notice of an Amendment. I only want to know, for the purpose of the business, if it should be your wish to let us know if that Amendment is to be called?
§ 11.27 a.m.
§ Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
We are still under the sense of grief at the loss of our King, to whom our allegiance is owed. We look forward to the accession of the new King, and we shall rally round the throne. Next week we shall get back to our ordinary business and we shall once again concern ourselves, as the Leader of the Opposition has said, with the great problems of the condition of the people. Meanwhile, our task to-day is to pass, and to pass quickly, the Measure which is now before us, and, on behalf of my hon. Friends and myself, I can tell the House that we shall give it our support.
§ 11.28 a.m.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I beg to move, to leave out from the word "That", to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:this House declines to give a Second Reading to a Bill which has been necessitated by circumstances which show clearly the danger to this country and to the British Commonwealth of Nations inherent in an hereditary monarchy, at a time when the peace and prosperity of the people require a more stable and efficient form of government of a republican kind, in close contact with and more responsive to the will of the mass of the people, and which fails to give effect to the principle of popular election.The Amendment has not been placed on the Order Paper by my hon. Friends and myself because the speed with which this legislation has been brought forward made that impossible. The rising of the House followed so speedily after the publication of the Bill that it was impossible to have an Amendment on the Order Paper. I apologise to the House and to you, Sir, for my inability to put it there. 2206 Like the two right hon. Gentlemen who have spoken from the Opposition benches, I am concerned primarily in this House with the condition of the people and with the economic problems of our time. I am concerned, like the Leader of the Opposition, with the breaking-down of class barriers, and I endorse fully his statement on that matter. Here to-day we are confronted with an important political problem, probably one of the most important political problems that this House will have to confront during its years of existence, and to me it seems quite the wrong way to tackle it that there should be a general suggestion that there is something wrong, something positively wrong and not decent in any suggestion that in this democratic House, elected by the people on diverse political principles, there should be a breathless hush, and that no suggestion of any division of opinion between the warring political principles upon which this democratic assembly is got together should be voiced.
My hon. Friends and I have been sent here, election after election, standing as Socialists, and telling our people frankly that we were Socialists, for the socialist system of society as a society of equality—economic equality, social equality— with neither Kings, nor courts, nor nobles, nor peers, for a no-class society. Here to-day we are asked to give our consent to the continuation of the outstanding symbol, the very head and front, of a class society. We would be prepared to say—although on every occasion, during Jubilee celebrations, Civil Lists, Oaths of Allegiance, we have always taken what opportunities there were of putting forward our anti-monarchist views—that we have realised in the past that they were not practical politics at the given moment. I say to this House and to the country that after the experiences of these last few weeks republicanism has become more an issue of practical politics than it has been for many years. I know that a large proportion of the Members of this House will do their utmost to place monarchy back in the position it was in some months ago. I want you to remember your childhood's nursery rhyme:Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,All the King's horses and all the King's men, Could not put Humpty Dumpty back again." [HON. MEMBERS "Together again."]2207 Through three reigns the constitutional monarchy has worked as a reasonable device. Hon. Members of this House are charged with a greater responsibility in these days than any monarch, are asked to face greater problems than ever a monarch was asked to face, and I want them to look at the thing as sane men, as they would look at the ordinary political problems that confront us, and realise that constitutional monarchy is only a device, a device which, I say, worked reasonably well during three reigns, which has not worked well in these last weeks, and which is unlikely ever to have so long a run as it has had of smooth, easy working. As my hon. Friend the Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) said yesterday, this crack-up of a monarch is not merely just the matter of a failure of a man, or the passions or affections of a man, but is something deeper and something more fundamental than that—the whole breakup of social conceptions, the whole breakup of past ideas of a Royal Family clear of the ordinary taints and weaknesses of ordinary men. The King is victim of something that has swept over Europe and the world, and cracked crowns in every corner of the globe. We here, with the supreme egotism which is perhaps one of our most valuable possessions, say that Great Britain can remain immune, clear of all the movements that sweep over the world.Nations not so blessed as we,Must in their turn to tyrants fall ",But we are above all that sort of thing.
Let hon. and right hon. Members, if they care, go on living in their fool's paradise. The economic and social forces that are at work in the world will affect this country as they have affected other countries. I have hoped, and I do hope still, that the necessary social and economic changes may take place in this country by more humane, smoother, kindlier methods than have arisen in other countries. That has been my hope; that still remains my hope, but it will be fulfilled only if the representatives of the Commons of this land are prepared to meet their difficulties in advance and create a political structure which can respond speedily and accurately to the 2208 will of the mass of the people, so that, through ordinary governmental representative democratic institutions, we can give effect to the changes that have now become necessary in human affairs.
To-day, I say that the step we are taking is a reactionary step, in attempting to set up again a governmental form which pertains to a class society, which pertains to a past age, which has a connection with problems that are not the problems of to-day. We are doing a wrong and a foolish thing if, as a House, we do not seize the opportunity with which circumstances have presented us of establishing in our land a completely democratic form of government which does away with all monarchical institutions and the hereditary principle.
§ 11.39 a.m.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I beg to second the Amendment.
The issue has appeared to me as one of very great significance for the working people in this country. As I sat and listened yesterday to the Debate I thought of how a few weeks ago the impression was abroad throughout the land that the Monarch was almost a unique personality —[Interruption]—
§ Mr. THORNE
On a point of Order. Although I am opposed to the Amendment, is not the hon. Member who is now addressing the House entitled to a fair hearing, and not to be exposed to the buzzing that is going on at present?
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I thank the hon. Member. Possibly the House is just exercising part of its ordinary discretion in this matter. I am not asking for any special favours. I represent a point of view which, I believe, has a very large backing in the country. I was saying, however, that, in my opinion, there was something very humiliating yesterday in the attitude of so many hon. Members of this House who, a short time ago, were prepared for every form of adulation of the Monarch; yet yesterday there was not one of his friends in this House who was prepared to stand up and make an appeal to the Government that those who had gloried in the qualities of the Monarch and had tried to persuade the country that he was a unique personality, should make another appeal to him to change his decision. Not one of his 2209 friends was prepared to challenge the assumptions of the Prime Minister that this man, a man of mature age, was not the person best entitled to say who should be his wife and share his Court. I believe that was very significant indeed.
The passage in the Prime Minister's speech was of very great significance, in which he told us how he had put it to His Majesty that a great position had been built up for Monarchy in this country and how, in a short time, all that might be lost. I believe profoundly that this effort being made by the Government in connection with a constitutional issue cannot meet with success and the glamour be restored to this ancient institution. The one argument for its retention is that it remains the only link binding the Dominions and keeping the Empire together. Again and again in recent years an attempt has been made to put that across as being the great function of the Monarch to-day. If your Empire is being held together only by the link of Monarchy, it is held by a very weak link but I do not think it is true. I think it is a complete illusion.
As I see it, the British Commonwealth of Nations is not held together by sentimental attachment to a particular Royal Family, but because of the associations that grew up with the development that took place. What basically keeps them together now is their economic interests. The idea that you can connect these Dominions within a Commonwealth by a particular family appears to me to lead inevitably, in the future, to your Empire fading away. I believe that the determinant is economic—that there is a real economic interest between them, that they will stay together in the Commonwealth, and that this form of government is of no vital importance. The dilemma of the King arose because the King was, like any of the rest of us, a human being. He was only a man like anyone else, and, in spite of all that Governments can do, his successor or successors will also only be human beings, and the problem that has arisen in the present instance may very well arise in the next few years. I know that the new Monarch is a married man, but so was Mr. Simpson, and just as it happened with others, so also it may happen here; and, as the Prime Minister said, another happening such as that of the present time would put an 2210 end to the Monarchy. If that be so, is a great mistake now being made by hon. Members here in not facing up to the opportunity that was provided by the present circumstances? Is the opportunity not provided here to-day for intelligent people to devise a. form of government that will be a rational form of government, that will be in accordance with the needs and difficulties of to-day?
Let me remind the House also that the success of the Monarch in some of the years past was due to the fact that the Monarch was outside of politics, outside the political struggle. The King could do no wrong, because the King's function had become largely a decorative function. But I know that there was a, great deal of misgiving in the party above the Gangway in 1931; I know that one of the leading Members of the party, one of their leading authorities on constitutional history, thought that the events of 1931 were a Palace revolution. Hon. Members above the Gangway will recollect how they felt that there had been a departure from procedure, and intervention into politics by the Monarch in this country. It was possibly considered by hon. Members opposite as necessary owing to the exigencies of the situation, but it was there, and it shows one of the dangers inherent in a hereditary Monarchy in the circumstances of to-day. I believe that, with the development of events in the world, the Monarchy may be used by hon. Members opposite more and more as a buttress of their class privileges. After all, I would suggest to hon. Members above the Gangway, is there not something very significant in the way in which the Conservative party goes to the lengths that it does in order to try to create this glamour about the Monarch, to spread all these illusions about the wonderful gifts of the members of the Royal Family? Is it not a matter of deep significance?
I realise, with the Leader of the Opposition, that our function here is to deal with great fundamental economic problems, but those great fundamental economic problems are also closely associated with this monarchial system, and the monarchial system has a very great significance with regard to the maintenance of the present economic order. It is for that reason that my friends and myself have always taken 2211 the opportunity of pressing upon the House the importance of making your democracy a real democracy from top to bottom—a real democracy in which the will of the people can prevail without question. One question that is debated often enough with regard to the social struggle is whether, within the confines of the present State in a country like this, it is possible to make the transition from the present economic order to a Socialist economic order, and, looking at it quite bluntly, I believe that the forces which render it practically impossible are the forces which gather round the hereditary Monarch, and the association of the Forces—the armed Forces—so particularly with the Crown. It is the King's Army, the King's Navy, the King's Air Force. I know it is our debt, as one of my friends beside me reminds me, but it is of the utmost significance that the forces upon which the State rests, the armed Forces, are so associated with the King.
There is one thing also that I would like to say in conclusion, and it has to do with a statement made by the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) yesterday. He said that there will be no non-jurors, and I think it is only right that I should indicate what my view is with regard to the Oath of Allegiance. The Members of this House took the Oath of Allegiance to the present Monarch. Now, by this legislation, the supremacy of Parliament is again being asserted, or, at least, the supremacy of the Cabinet is being asserted, and Members will be released from that Oath of Allegiance. I look upon the Oath of Allegiance very much in the same way as Members here are acting with regard to the Oath of Allegiance. It is an oath to the King, his heirs and successors by law established, and it will be the Government that comes into being according to the circumstances of the time to which allegiance is given. Naturally, we do not think that we have a majority in this House, and, not having a majority in this House, we shall not be able to stop this legislation. We will act as we have always acted, but we believe that behind us in the country there will be a much greater volume of opinion than many people imagine at 2212 present. This crisis has revealed the weakness of the hereditary Monarchy. It has destroyed so much of the glamour that has been built up about it, more especially during recent years and there will be many who will join us in saying it is time to put an end to all this flummery and to bring into being a modern form of government, a real democratic government, based on the principle of popular election.
§ 11.56 a.m.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Simon)
I shall best interpret the general feeling of the House if I do not attempt to deal at any length with this manuscript Amendment. It expresses a sentiment which rouses very deep feelings of resentment in the hearts of most of us, but the conditions are such that it can be discussed calmly and, I hope, with dignity, and certainly briefly.
It is a measure of the misfortune of all this business that it should give occasion for such an Amendment. It is true that what has happened has deeply, even inexpressibly, shocked the British people—I do not mean merely the events of yesterday, but the incidents and rumours which led up to the events of yesterday. It is right that this should be so, but the fact that it is so only demonstrates how deeply this conception of constitutional Kingship is embedded in our hearts. If it did not represent an idea deeply cherished and profoundly respected, we should care much less about what has happened than we do.
The institution of the Throne is greater, far greater, than the life or experiences of any individual. If institutions were not greater than our frailty or the inscrutable promptings of an individual human heart, orderly development would be impossible. The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) described constitutional Monarchy as a device. Is not the Presidency of a Republic a device? History does not show that Republicanism is a guarantee of stability—certainly not of stability combined with civil liberty.
This conception, created by the genius of the British people and valued as the symbol of Commonwealth unity, can withstand this shock, grievous though it be, 2213 and will, I believe, be once again vindicated and strengthened in the new reign. The hon. Member for Bridgeton mistakes a most grievous incident in the history of an institution for the breakdown of the institution itself. The hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) said just now that he supported this Amendment because he desired the will of the people to prevail. The will of the people will prevail, and when this Bill passes tonight, the individual who ascends the throne is one who has already won our esteem and who, with his wife at his side, will hold in trust for us this precious possession.
§ 12.3 p.m.
§ Sir AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I ask the indulgence of the House while I say a few sentences. I am the oldest Member in the service of this House present today, I have served as one of the confidential advisers to His Majesty's father and grandfather. I was junior Member of the Government in the last decade of Queen Victoria's reign. The House will understand what emotions have pressed upon me in these last days and what are my feelings. But it is not in that capacity that I ask the House to listen to me today. I sit for a poor constituency in the second greatest city of this country. West Birmingham is no home of the rich. It is a constituency of poor streets and mean houses, the people living in back courts to a very large extent, all of them very near the hardships and sufferings of life in their cruellest form. That constituency, those people who sent me here, men and women, poor as they may be, suffering as many of them are, see in the King of this country a friend and in the Monarchy their safeguard.
I think it was right that some Member standing for such a poor constituency should repudiate in their name the suggestion of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), that the Monarchy is a castle of class and privilege. In the minds of those whom I represent, it stands higher than all class. They think of it not as an institution or as an individual buttressed with privilege; they think of the Monarchy as the first servant of the nation. When the Monarchy is clouded in sorrow, they are the first to sympathise, and their sympathy is among the most sincere. When there is occasion to rejoice in these back streets, there are 2214 no civic processions, no civil declarations. The fête is the people's own fête in honour and affection for the wearer of the Crown. Let it go forth not only here in this country and in the Empire, but let it go forth to all other nations, that our King is the people's King, their guardian and supporter.
§ 12.8 p.m.
§ Mr. GALLACHER
I wish to identify myself with this Amendment. In doing so, I would like to remind the House that 40 years ago Republicanism was quite the thing in this country, and I do not think that I am wrong in saying that a very prominent politician from Birmingham was in the forefront of the Republican movement. What I am concerned most about is that we have the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Liberal party saying that next week we will go on with our ordinary business. There seems to be a tendency to accept this event as something that has happened, and then life will go on as though nothing had actually taken place. But this is the most unparalleled event in the history of this country, and it expresses and represents something. The crisis itself is superficial, but beneath the superficial crisis there is something that demands, and must get, attention.
I have listened to the attempts being made to put a case for the Monarchy. The Home Secretary says that it is an idea deeply cherished. He ought to have said "an idea deeply cultivated". I will confound the Home Secretary, and I will confound every supporter in this House out of the mouth of the principal spokesman. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) states here that he represents a poor constituency, with poor streets, awful houses, terrible poverty, suffering and hardships, these people living in wretched unhygienic houses, no clothes, no sufficiency of food, part of them broken—he has the audacity to tell us that they look upon the Monarch as their guardian. Guardian of what? Guardian of their poverty; guardian of their suffering.
What cant. What humbug. When we were discussing the Civil List I drew attention to a remark made by the hon. and learned Member for 2215 Bristol, East (Sir S. Cripps) wherein he said that if the aristocacy were not removed, then the people, rising against the aristocracy, might overthrow the monarchy. I said that he was wrong and that not anywhere in history was there a case of the workers overthrowing the Monarchy. But the ruling class know no loyalty. As long as the King served their interests, they would keep the King. When the King failed to serve their interests, out the King would go. That was while we were discussing the Civil List. Where is your loyalty to-day? At the time when there is the greatest need for loyalty, it is not there. It is not there because he ceased to serve the interests of a particular group that surrounds the Monarch, the Cabinet at the present time. Their loyalty goes and the King matters nothing, and you cover it all up by talking about the Constitution, but underneath this crisis, this superficial crisis, is the crisis of unemployment, the means test and the derelict areas, and, instead of dealing with the superficial crisis, we ought to be dealing with the real, fundamental crisis. Last night the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) made a reference to the effect that a working man getting into such a mess would be deprived of his benefit, and Members shouted "No, no?" The Minister of Labour has gone away, but I would like to ask him whether, if a working man in any particular town got into a mess, left his job and went to live in another town, he would get Unemployment Benefit? No. In every part of the country workers are suffering from unemployment and the means test—suffering terrible poverty. That is the problem we ought to be discussing, and if we could solve that problem, the superficial problem or the superficial issue would fall into its proper and insignificant place.
Therefore, I want the House to understand that this crisis is not finished. I have a letter in my hand sent to me this morning from Lincoln's Inn, and it represents what will now become customary discussion. This individual wants me to raise what he claims to be the average view among all intelligent people under the age of 45—I do not agree with him about that—but he is for the King—for the past King, if there is a past King—and for Mrs. Simpson. And the peculiar 2216 thing is, that up to a couple of weeks ago, the main body of the Members of this House were for the King and Mrs. Simpson. There was not a word against Mrs. Simpson. But this writer of the letter is for the King and Mrs. Simpson, and he has some very queer things to say about the relations of the Cabinet and the new King. This is going to be more and more discussed. All the evil forces will begin to form round about this question.
I cannot describe this event, it is such a unique thing. Never since the time of Cromwell have you had such a situation confronting the House of Commons. It cannot simply pass into history and die. The only way in which we can overcome the forces that represent both sides of this trouble is to unite all the people we can for the purpose of solving the economic problem, the problem of unemployment, the abolition of the means test, the abolition of the unemployment assistance Regulations, construct huge schemes for the derelict areas and get a peace policy based on collective security. Let us get this without the worry and trouble of a Monarchy, and we can win the masses of the people of this country and weld them together as the greatest possible factor for the pacification and progress of Europe. It is on these lines that I appeal to Members of the Labour party to support the Amendment and to go forward with a policy of peace and progress, appealing to the masses of the people, confident of getting their support.
§ 12.17 p.m.
§ Mr. MATHERS
I do not propose to intervene in the Debate except to mention one point. I am quite content to let the statement made by my leader stand for me. I raise a very minor point and I am glad that the Attorney-General is here to deal with it. It has attracted my attention that in the Schedule to this Bill His Majesty is not described, amongst his other descriptions, as Defender of the Faith. I thought that probably that had something to do with the fact of his not having gone through the ceremony of Coronation, but it will be within the recollection of those Members who attended in another place this morning that His Majesty, in the Instrument that was read to us there, was described, amongst his other descriptions, as 2217 Defender of the Faith. Is it possible for us to have explained to us why the difference is made in the Schedule to this Bill?
§ 12.19 p.m.
§ Mr. CLUSE
As a back bench Member of the Labour party and as one who for years has been theoretically a Republican, I think I am entitled to make a few remarks on this issue. I desire to say nothing that would provoke any feeling among those who disagree with me, but I would like to say that the speech of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) was very interesting, and that to me it expressed the difference between our point of view and his. He said that his constituency was a constituency full of poor people but that those poor people were patriotic. I think I can say quite fairly, in answer to that, when he comments upon the absence of riches in his constituency, that the rich do not live in his constituency but live on his constituency. As far as I am concerned I am much more seized with the idea of abolishing the poor in his constituency than I am with abolishing the Monarchy. It is a question of degree with me.
The hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) referred to the means test. I am very much concerned with the abolition of the means test, but I repeat that I am more concerned with its abolition than I am with the abolition of the Monarchy. If we were to associate, in our campaign for the abolition of the means test, a campaign for the abolition of the Monarchy, we would be liable to be unsuccessful in our campaign for the abolition of the means test. We have to be realists. I am more concerned with great possible changes than with arguing about democratic ideas which might arouse the people of this country against us. The people in my constituency, I hope, are very much concerned about the work of the London County Council. I am more concerned about a Labour majority being returned to the London County Council than I am concerned in arguing about Republicanism or the institution of Royalty. I believe that in this country we can establish not only political democracy but social democracy, and the question of the continuation of the Royal prerogative can be left not to the limbo of the forgotten past but to the consideration of future generations.
§ 12.22 p.m.
§ Mr. G. HARDIE
It is only the question of heredity that makes all the difficulties with which the House is faced. The will of the people is what I, with others, believe in, and when the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) made that remark I looked across the Floor of the House and said, "There was the will of the people, so far as the last voting was concerned." But it is our business to try to change the will of the people. When the Home Secretary was making what he thought his big blow in regard to a president in place of a monarch he failed entirely to point this out to the House: "A president can always be removed; a monarch cannot. Is it fair to a nation claiming to be intelligent that we have to depend upon the accident of birth to fill the highest posts in that nation? What I have listened to in the list two days with regard to the responsibilities of that post, most of it not true but taking it as true, means that you want to have the biggest brain and the best intellect born into your community to fill that post. Have you any guarantee, because a birth takes place in a palace, that you are going to get that mental capacity which is necessary? Why should the accident of birth at any time determine the position of any individual born into the world? Why, for instance, should the fact that a child born in West Birmingham which is described as poor and poverty-stricken, have its possibilities restricted by the accident of birth? Why should that child not have access to the highest posts in the university?
Why should we be tied to this question of heredity? If the nation was sane in its outlook we would not to-day be wasting the time of the Commons in discussing this kind of stuff while so ninny people are poor and suffering, even around this House. I remember that when I was a boy "Reynolds's Newspaper" had the power and liberty to say everything it liked about Royalty. The War changed that and brought another aspect towards Royalty. Since 1914 there has been a continual building up around the Throne, but what has happened recently has done more for Republicanism than 50 years' propaganda could do. I am quite content with this. If this is the 2219 best that Monarchy can do, I am prepared to take the mind of the public on the results, especially of the present situation.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 403; Noes, 5.2221
|Division No. 41.]||AYES||[12.26 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke||Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Gluckstein, L. H.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Colfox, Major W. P.||Goldie, N. B.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Colman, N. C. D.||Gower, Sir R. V.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J.||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Granville, E. L.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S.G'gs)||Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'burgh,W.)||Gridley, Sir A. B.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Courthope, Col. Sir G. L.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)|
|Ammon, C. G.||Craddock, Sir R. H.||Grigg, Sir E. W. M.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Craven-Ellis, W.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Apsley, Lord||Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Assheton, R.||Crooke, J. S.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll,N.W.)|
|Astor, Major Hon. J. J. (Dover)||Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C.||Guy, J. C. M.|
|Astor, Visc'tess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.|
|Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)||Cross, R. H.||Hamilton, Sir G. C.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Crossley, A. C.||Hanbury, Sir C.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Crowder, J. F. E.||Hannah, I. C.|
|Baldwin. Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cruddas, Col. B.||Hannon. Sir P. J. H.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Daggar, G.||Harbord, A.|
|Balfour, G. (Hampstead)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.||Harris, Sir P. A.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H.(Isle of Thanet)||Davison, Sir W. H.||Haslam, H. C. (Horncastle)|
|Balniel, Lord||Dawson, Sir P.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)|
|Barnes, A. J.||Day, H.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Barr, J.||De Chair, S. S.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)|
|Barrie, Sir C. C.||De la Bère, R.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.|
|Batey, J.||Denman, Hon. R, D.||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Dixon, Capt. Rt. Hon. H.||Hepworth, J.|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury)||Dobbie, W.||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Dodd, J. S.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)|
|Beit, Sir A. L.||Doland, G. F.||Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S.|
|Bellenger, F.||Donner, P. W.||Holdsworth, H.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Darman Smith, Major R. H.||Hollins, A.|
|Bird, Sir R. B.||Dower, Capt. A. V. G.||Holmes, J. S.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Drewe, C.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.|
|Blindell, Sir J.||Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop)||Hopkin, D|
|Bossom, A. C.||Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Horsbrug h, Florence|
|Boulton, W. W.||Dugdale, Major T. L.||Howitt, Dr. A. B.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W.||Duggan, H. J.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Duncan, J. A. L.||Hudson, R. S. (Southport)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Dunglass, Lord||Hurd, Sir P. A.|
|Broad, F. A.||Dunn, E. (Rather Valley)||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Dunne, P. R. R.||Jackson, Sir H.|
|Brooke, W.||Eckersley, P. T.||Jagger, J.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Ede, J. C.||Jarvis, Sir J. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Jenkins, Sir W. (heath)|
|Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||John, W.|
|Bull, B. B.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Ellis, Sir G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Elmley, Viscount||Keeling, E. H.|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Emery, J. F.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)|
|Butler, R. A.||Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Keyes. Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.|
|Cape, T.||Entwistle, C. F.||Kimball, L.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Errington, E||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Erskine Hill, A. G.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Cary, R. A.||Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Lathan, G.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Everard, W. L.||Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak)|
|Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||Flides, Sir H.||Law. R. K. (Hull, SW.)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington,'E.)||Findlay, Sir E.||Lawson, J. J.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Fleming, E. L.||Leach, W.|
|Chmaberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (Br.W.)||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Leckie, J. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Foot, D. M.||Lee, F.|
|Channon, H.||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Leech. Dr. J. W.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Fraser, Capt. Sir I.||Lees-Jones, J.|
|Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Chater, D.||Furness, S. N.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.|
|Choriton, A. E. L.||Ganzonl, Sir J.||Levy, T.|
|Clarke, F. E.||Gardner, B. W.||Little, Sir E. Graham.|
|Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Garro Jones, G. M.||Liewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lloyd, G. W.|
|Clues, W. S.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Locker-Lampoon, Comdr. O. S.|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Lo[...]tus P.C|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Pilkington, R||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Mebane, W. (Huddersfield)||Plugge, L. F.||Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.|
|MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Spender-Clay Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. H. H.|
|McConnell, Sir J.||Potts, J.||Spens, W. P.|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Power, Sir J. C.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'I'd)|
|MacDonald Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.)||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)||Ramsbotham, H.||Storey, S.|
|MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Ramsden, Sir E.||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|McEntee, V. La T.||Rankin, R.||Strauss, E. A (Southwark, N.)|
|McKie, J. H.||Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ"s)||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Maclay, Hon. J. P.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Macmillan. H. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Rayner, Major R. H.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Magnay, T.||Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Maitland, A.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.||Remer, J. R.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Mander, G. le M.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir M.||Ridley, G.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Rltson, J.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Markham, S. F.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|Marshall, F.||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)||Thorne, W.|
|Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)||Tinker, J. J.|
|Mothers, G.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Maxwell, S. A.||Rothschild, J. A. de||Touche, G. C.|
|Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Rowlands, G.||Train, Sir J.|
|Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Rowson, G.||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.|
|Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. W.||Turton, R. H.|
|Milner. Major J.||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)||Viant, S. P.|
|Montague, F.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R.||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.||Salmon, Sir I.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Moreing, A. C.||Salt, E. W.||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)||Samuel, Sir A. M. (Farnham)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Sandeman, Sir N. S.||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tott[...]nham, N.)||Sanders, W. S.||Wedderburn, H. J. S.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cir'nc'str)||Sanderson, Sir F. B.||Wells, S. R.|
|Mulrhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Sandys, E. D.||White, H. Graham|
|Munro, P.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Nall, Sir J.||Savery, Servington||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. H.||Scott, Lord William||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Seely, Sir H. M.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Noel-Baker, P. J.||Selley, H. R.||Wilson. C. H. (Atterclitfe)|
|O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Oliver, G. H.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.||Shepperson, Sir E. W.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Shinwell, E.||Withers, Sir J. J.|
|Owen, Major G.||Short, A.||Womersley, Sir W. J|
|Palmer, G. E. H.||Simmonds, O. E.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Parker, J.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Patrick, C. M.||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)||Wragg, H.|
|Peaks, O.||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.||Wright, Squadron-Leader J. A. C.|
|Peat, C. U.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Percy, Rt. Hon. Lord E.||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Smith, L. W. (Hallam)||Smith, L. W. (Hallam)|
|Peters, Dr. S. J.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Petherick, M.||Smithers, Sir W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Somerset, T.||Sir George Penny and Commander|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)||Southby.|
|Gallacher, W.||Salter, Dr. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Hardie, G. D.||Stephen, C.||Mr. McGovern and Mr. Buchanan.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee on the Bill," put, and agreed to.—[Captain Margesson]
§ Bill accordingly considered in Committee.
§ [Sir DENNIS HERBERT in the Chair.]