Motion made, and Question proposed:
That a sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1936, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-Rumanian Clearing Offices under the Debts Clearing Offices and Import Restrictions Act, 1934.
§ 6.36 a.m.
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
This clearing office was set up under the Act of 1934. The position is that this is a token Estimate because it is anticipated that under the machinery of the principal Act fees and commissions will be charged which will recoup the cost of the clearing office. The present supplementary estimate envisages only two clearing offices—one in existence and one potential. The one in existence, the Anglo-Spanish clearing office, was set up under the Order confirmed by the House last week. With regard to the Anglo-Rumanian position, it is that negotiations are at this moment going on between the Rumanian authorities and the Treasury, and it may be, although it is not certain, that as a result of these negotiations there will be set up a clearing office similar to the Anglo-Spanish clearing office. The Estimate envisages no further clearing office. I can tell the Committee that no further clearing offices are in contemplation. Part one provides only for the expenses of these two clearing offices. The only other part I would refer to is that in which an expenditure of £200 is specifically provided to cover an Anglo-Rumanian clearing office, should that be the result of the negotiations at present taking place. If that does prove to be the result of the negotiations the controller of the new clearing office the Secretary and certain of the staff, will he the same personnel as are now opera- 898 tive as regards the Anglo-Spanish clearing office. This is a token vote because under Section 5 of the Act there is power for the clearing office to charge commission not exceeding two per cent. on all sums disbursed by it. The exporter pays for the cost of the upkeep. It comes to this, that this is a debt collecting service to assist our commerce. That is an outline of the position. It is not believed there will be any charge on public funds at all.
§ 6.41 a.m.
§ Mr. DALTON
May I ask for a little more information regarding the Anglo-Rumanian negotiations and the facts upon which the negotiations are based. I think the hon. and learned Gentleman will agree that these clearing offices should not be set up without very good reason and that they do not promote good will between nations, although they may be necessary in some circumstances. I think we should have a little more guidance before we agree to this token Vote, since upon it may depend a certain modifying factor in future Anglo-Rumanian relations. Could we have information as to the present state of the balance of indebtedness between Roumania and this country? I presume it would not be proposed to set up machinery unless the Rumanian debts to British business were already large and were accumulating? I imagine that has been gone into very carefully and I am sure the hon. and learned Gentleman will give us more particulars to justify us in taking this rather harsh measure magainst a friendly state. With regard to the Anglo-Spanish office, could we have particulars about the total debt and whether it is increasing rapidly? I do not think the hon. and learned Gentleman gave statistics which would form a basis on which we could judge.
§ 6.43 a.m.
§ Mr. GARRO-JONES
Will the hon. Gentleman include in his reply the question of what happens to sums remitted from this country to Spain and Rumania. Do I understand that this is a clearing house which takes money in and puts money out, takes money remitted from Britain to Spain in respect of Spanish imports into this country? If I wished to purchase a large quantity of lemons from Spain to distribute amongst 899 hon. Members and wanted to pay for them, I should not be allowed to send that money direct to Spain but should have to pay it into this clearing house. If that is so, to what extent is this going to cripple by delays such import trade as there is from Spain and Rumania to this country? Are elaborate forms to be filled in and how long will it take? There is a considerable amount of trade between Spain and Rumania on the one hand and this country on the other in small items. Is there any limit? Suppose I wanted to buy only a dozen lemons and confined my generosity to the Front Bench, where the need is greatest, would I still have to pass this transaction through the clearing office? How much delay would occur? To what transactions does the principle apply, and when is the scheme to begin?
§ 6.45 a.m.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
May I put one or two questions. My hon. Friend who has just spoken must be mistaken about the wants of the Front Bench. Anyone who has noticed the acidity of the Chief Whip will not think he wants any more. The hon. and learned Gentleman, the Financial Secretary spoke with a degree of certainty about there 'being no more clearing houses set up.
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
What I said was that the present Estimate contemplated one in respect of Spain and possibly one in respect of Rumania, and that no more were at present in contemplation.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
Will he tell us whether this is because of a change of policy on the part of the Government, that no more are contemplated, or whether it is because there are no other countries whose circumstances, vis-à-vis this country are similar to those of Roumania and Spain.
§ 6.47 a.m.
§ Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS
There are two items in the Vote, one relating to an Anglo-Spanish clearing office, which is already authorised, so that therefore the question of principle cannot be discussed because the House, by a Motion carried three or four days ago, signified formal approval of the establishment of this Office. On the other hand, the Anglo-Rumanian clearing office has not 900 yet been established and may not be. It is in one sense now under our control whether it should be established, and I take it we can raise the question of principle on the Anglo-Rumanian office. I am one of those wino has no particular love for these institutions. I do not blame the Government for having asked Parliament to pass the Act two years ago because it represents a form of self-defence against the systems of exchange control which foreign Governments have adopted. Last autumn there was an International Parliamentary Conference held in London at which the representatives of 29 nations were present. I read a paper on the subject of international bartering, which ha!, a bearing on this issue, because if in any one state proposals are made for the bartering of goods it is really another form of what we are doing here through clearing houses. The conclusions at which I arrived on that occasion, and which were formulated in a resolution, were a general condemnation of the system of exchange control as being the very worst conceivable form of trade hindrance. The remarkable thing was that that was put to the vote and with the solitary exception of the Italian delegates, who explained that because of existing circumstances they could not vote though they approved in principle, the twenty-nine nations were unanimously in condemnation of a system of exchange control.
I regret this has not been followed up. They were not Government representatives, but still they were the representatives of 29 States and it is rare for such unanimity on an economic matter of such immediate vital importance to be achieved at an international conference. The decision of that conference was to condemn systems of exchange control and the reply to it was to set up clearing houses. They are not desirable and the sooner we can get rid of them the better. I am delighted to hear the statement of the Financial Secretary that only these two are in contemplation. It is by no means certain that the Rumanian one will be established, and I hope at the earliest possible moment it will be made perfectly clear to other nations that exchange control is a very dangerous instrument and detrimental to the countries who establish it, because it is analogous to opening a 901 bank in which you invite deposits and decline to cash cheques. That is the financial analogy. I shall not hesitate to vote for this small vote.
§ 6.50 a.m.
§ Mr. PRITT
I only want to ask one very short question, and that is with regard to the Anglo-Rumanian Clearing House. I recognise that this sort of thing has to be established. No one any longer expects commerce to work unless it is either hampered or assisted by public action but with regard to one particular thing, the natural result, which should be considered, of putting on such control, is that so far as any English money is outstanding from Spain it would be collected and diverted for the very proper function of paying off English exports to Spain. Will it not permit nearly every Spanish exporter of goods to England, where the export has not yet been made, saying that he is not going to send the goods if his money is to go to an Englishman in whom he has no interest?
§ 6.51 a.m.
§ Mr. BEVAN
After having listened to the extra clear statement of the hon. Member for South Croydon it is impossible to be confused. He has spoken with his customary lucidity and has convinced the Committee that there is one department of international commerce in which there should be absolute free trade; and that is in cash. I never can understand the reasons of hon. Members who persist in assuming that it is posible to construct all sorts of restrictions on the distribution of commodities and the free flow of goods and yet assume that they will not have to take the next logical step of controlling and restricting the flow of international currency. The one is the direct consequence of the other, and it is absurd for the hon. Member to admit the restriction of goods and disclaim the necessary currency consequences of that restriction.
§ 6.53 a.m.
§ Sir C. MacANDREW
I would just like to ask the Financial Secretary two questions. Am I right in thinking that the charge of two per cent. is going to be made on the money that is going to be dealt with?
§ Sir C. MacANDREW
Apparently the appropriations in aid are going to come to roughly £250,000. On page 13 there is a list of the various people who are going to deal with this money. It seems to me that unless this money is going to be exchanged back again in extremely small sums the staff dealing with this quarter of a million is very large indeed—a staff of 40. That staff does seem rather excessive. On the other hand, the two per cent. is a maximum; and I imagine that no doubt the actual percentage that will be charged on the money will be very much less than two per cent., and in that case, if the percentage is small enough, it is perfectly easy to see that this staff would be too small. I hope the Financial Secretary is taking into account that he is perhaps under-staffing his office. I do not think- it is a very important point but it is something we do not wish to lose sight of.
§ 6.55 a.m.
§ Mr. G. STRAUSS
I take it that it will be compulsory, when these clearing offices are set up, for exporters from this country to put their transactions through these clearing offices, and I would like to point out that in spite of other clearing arrangements it is not always to the advantage of the exporters from this country that they should put their transactions through these offices. For example, in respect of the clearing arrangement which exists to-day between this country and Turkey, the British exporter, sending his goods to Turkey, will have to' wait six or sometimes nine months before he will get his payment from Turkey through the clearing arrangements. On the other hand, the exporter from France, where no clearing arrangement exists between France and Turkey, is able to stipulate for immediate cash payment and is, therefore, put in a much better position than the 903 English exporter. I want to know whether that point of view has been borne in mind.
§ 6.57 a.m.
§ Captain RAMSAY
In Scotland we are familiar with other difficulties of the same nature which are even more pronounced. There are certain European countries who, even though they are under some form of agreement to contribute to a clearing fund, find themselves denied commitments to carry out such a scheme by their own nationals, and cases have been brought to my notice where importers into a foreign country will give up to 25 per cent. discount in order to get payment in sterling. The effect of this is that although our payments are sent direct to the foreign country concerned, that is, sterling goes straight from the British buyer to the foreign country, when the position is reversed, the foreign national is only allowed to pay into his own pool, with the dual result that not only is British sterling sent direct from this country but British exporters wishing to get paid for goods they have sold in that same country are met with the reply that there is not sufficient sterling wherewith to pay them.
I hope that my hon. Friend will give this matter his very closest attention. I myself, and I believe others of my hon. Friends, especially those who are in any way connected with the tweed industry or the woollen industry in Scotland or England, will have had cases of this kind brought to their notice in the last three or four years. Will the Minister represent to his colleagues to institute some form of control that would be effective. So far we have not been able to secure a water-tight scheme. The measures of control have so far been exercised for a period merely to the detriment of our own nationals owing to the whole scheme being defeated from its start by the foreigner who offered 20 per cent. commission for direct payment in sterling. I hope when he replies he will be good enough to tell me whether, in the first place, the Government have in contemplation schemes relating to Greece and Austria and any other countries in Middle Europe, and, if so, whether he cam hold out any hope of putting some scheme into operation for 904 preventing foreign nationals defeating any ordinary clearing scheme.
§ 7.2 a.m.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
At this hour of the morning it is difficult to state one's case adequately. It seems very curious to me that sometimes the Treasury answers on matters of this kind and sometimes the Board of Trade. I was surprised a few months ago when I was making inquiries regarding another trade agreement to find that the Board of Trade were dealing with the matter. In this case I understand that it is purel3 a Treasury matter. I do not know if I should be in order in asking the hon. and learned Gentleman who is to reply whether he is quite satisfied that the Treasury is really the best Department for dealing with matters of this nature, because the Board of Trade obviously has a much wider experience.
§ Mr. GARRO-JONES
On a point of Order, Mr. Chairman, may I ask whether you are having regard to the relevance of the remarks now heir g made? [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman is quite entitled to draw my attention. I am paying particular attention to what the hon. Gentleman is saying.
§ Mr. GARRO-JONES
Surely the point before us is whether or not Clearing Offices should be established. If we are to discuss the Department that should administer it we can begin with the Attorney-General and then go along the bench. That being so, I respectively suggest that the hon. Gentleman is out of order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If he had gone into greater length I should have paid more attention to him. I am afraid if I were to be as strict as the hon. Gentleman suggests, it would be inconsistent with the tone of the earlier Debate.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I should not go so far as the hon. Member suggests. I suggest that the Foreign Office should have a hand in this matter; but I observe there is no one representing the Foreign Office here at the moment. I want to go back to my original point, that the Board of Trade it the most suitable Department for dealing with these matters with their knowledge of foreign countries and statesmen, with whom it is necessary to 905 negotiate agreements. In the case of the Anglo-Italian Clearing Office, that comes under the Board of Trade, while other duties come under the Treasury. There is another question that I wish to ask. Arc not special officers of these Departments members of the Treasury staff, and are they not paid in the ordinary course of events? Why are these extraordinary measures necessary for these people? There is one other matter and that is in regard to appropriations-in-aid. I understand that these Clearing Offices are intended to be self-supporting. It is interesting to know exactly where these amounts are to come through. It is rather difficult to state the cost adequately, but I believe these Clearing Offices arc necessary in the present state of world affairs.
§ 7.10 a.m.
§ Mr. LOUIS SMITH
This particular Estimate is not so important as the one which we were discussing earlier; but it is indeed one of considerable importance. I am in favour of avoiding overtime in any undertaking, and I wonder why, in connection with this work, there should be an item of £1,000 for temporary assistance and overtime. There may be good reasons for this owing to the fact that this clearing office may shortly be done away with, and perhaps the Minister thought it better to arrange for temporary assistance and for overtime for existing officials rather than to engage others. But I should like him to explain this item, which amounts to nearly one-third of the total cost. I take it that the payment of agents, again a large part of the total, indicates that the appointment of agents has been adopted rather than the appointment of other officers who would be giving their full time, and that it may be considered as an economy on the part of the Treasury. I deprecate such an important matter being taken at a time when many hon. Members are unable to be present, and which apparently has been forced on the Committee by hon. Members opposite owing to some incident which happened yesterday and which they have now forgotten in their wish to go to sleep.
§ Mr. TINKER
I do not want it to be understood that this side is tired. We are just as fresh as anybody on the other 906 side. I want to ask what is the amount of the debt owing to our traders, and how many are concerned in it. I also want to know who are the agents to whom these payments are to be made.
§ 7.15 a.m.
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
The hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps) said that he took the assurance I gave that we had no more than these two Clearing Offices in contemplation as indicating to some extent a change of policy. It cannot be too emphatically stated that as a matter of general policy His Majesty's Government views these Clearing offices with aversion. The fewer that can be set up the better we shall be pleased. They tend to canalize trade and to freeze trade in certain directions; and they have other obnoxious consequences. But they are a method of self-defence when other nations are putting on exchange restrictions, tariffs and quotas. With regard to the Rumanian agreement, negotiations are going on. What has existed between Rumania and this country is not a clearing agreement but a payment agreement. In August, 1935, a payment agreement was signed with Rumania that provided for £100,000 to be paid into a special account at the Bank of England and for certain provisions of sterling to be made by Rumania. That Agreement came to an end on January 31st, and at present a new arrangement is being made. One of the results of these negotiations may be that from a payment agreement we shall change our procedure to a clearing agreement.
The hon. Member also asked for some details about the Spanish agreement. The trade position between this country and Spain is roughly as follows. Whereas we purchased from Spain about £11,000,000's worth of goods every year, we sold to her about £5,000,000's worth. In recent years, with the exchange restrictions in Spain becoming more complex and more strict, we received complaints from the commercial community that they could not get payment for their goods. To give a round figure to the Committee, the fact is that if one takes financial and trade debts, it amounts to more than £5,000,000 in arrear. That is a very considerable sum in comparison with the trade; it is about 907 half a year's trade in arrear. We tried our best to get the Spanish Government to expedite the release of exchange to meet our creditors. These efforts seemed unavailing until, just before Christmas, the Spanish Government came along and suggested a clearing office as the best way of overcoming the difficulty. The purpose of the Anglo-Spanish clearing office is not to provide a permanent method of exchange and trade between the two countries. Its object is a temporary one. It is to try and eat away this hump of debt that has accumulated. As soon as this arrear of debt has been liquidated through this arrangement and payment has become normal, it is the intention of both parties that the clearing office shall be abandoned: that trade shall flow in the usual channels. The load of debt is embarrassing the whole of our commercial relations at the moment. Our object will be the more quickly achieved if the balance of trade remains as at present—if there is a big balance of Spanish imports over our exports to Spain.
§ Mr. MORRISON
The hon. Gentleman will be amazed many times. The object will be the more quickly achieved the more we retain the balance of trade in something like its present proportion. It means that if the imports continue to exceed the exports the more there will be in the clearing house to pay the debts. If there were to be a sudden rise in our exports our exporters would never get paid. I hope the commercial community will take that to heart and not indulge in rash advances of export; that they will do their best to maintain a steady flow of Spanish imports into this country until trade resumes its normal course. I ask to be excused if I am more reticent about Rumania, seeing that negotiations are in progress. In reply to the hon. Member who asked me a question, if he does import his hundred lemons from Spain the Spaniard who sent them will look to be recouped by the Spanish end of the clearing house arrangement. There are clearing houses both in Spain and in this country. There is enough favourable balance to pay the debt of the Spanish exporters and make a considerable inroad into the load of debt.
§ 7.25 a.m.
§ Miss WILKINSON
This is a serious matter. The hon. and learned Member emphasises that the object of this clearing house is to secure a flow of imports into this country. Those of us who are concerned about the distressed areas are also concerned about the haematite mines in West Cumberland. When we raised the question with United Steel they said that they were getting their haematite ores from Spain, but while they do the mines in West Cumberland have to be closed down. Is this vote going to facilitate the arrangement whereby these men are kept out of work while United Steel and the Government combine in some sort of financial arrangement which makes these men lose their jobs? What about the talk of the Government finding work for men?
§ Mr. A. HENDERSON
I see the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade sitting on the Treasury Bench. He is a great authority on these agreements. Would it not be an advantage to the Committee to have his views on this matter?
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
It would, no doubt, be to the advantage of the Committee. The hon. Lady has just made one of the best tariff speeches I have heard on her side of the House.
§ Mr. F. ANDERSON
I represent one of the divisions in West Cumberland. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the Government in answer to me said that they did not propose to put a tariff on incoming iron ore?
§ Mr. MORRISON
This clearing office has no effect upon the policy of Protection or Free Trade as applied to this country. It is not a tariff question at all. Assuming that there was a duty of 20 per cent. on haematite the payment would still have to go through the clearing office.
§ Miss WILKINSON
In its determination to preserve this balance of trade does not the Government in effect facilitate the operations of United Steel?
§ 7.30 a.m.
§ Mr. MORRISON
No. The answer is quite definite. The Clearing Office has nothing to do with the amount that is imported. The object of the Clearing Office is to secure the payment of debts, 909 and it is thus a debt-collecting agency. The operations of the Clearing Office would be expedited, assuming there were a maintenance of the present balance of trade between this country and Spain.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Is it not the case that the hon. Lady the Member for Jarrow (Miss Wilkinson) was alarmed lest the English iron ore miners should be adversely affected? Surely it would be the other way about, because the payments to Spain for iron ore would go into the clearing account, which would mean that there would be some considerable delay before the Spanish exporters got their money. Consequently, as the delay would be a disadvantage to them, there would be less likelihood of their being anxious to sell their iron ore to this country, so that the hon. Lady's fears are entirely unjustified.
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
In so far as that element entered into the matter, it might have the effect which my hon. Friend suggests, but I wish to emphasize that this clearing agreement has nothing to do with any policy directed to tariffs or Free Trade or anything of that sort. It deals with money and not goods, and it is purely a financial instrument. One hon. Member inquired about the payments agreement with Turkey. It is a payments agreement, and not a clearing system.
§ Mr. MORRISON
Certainly; the hon. Member can rest quite assured on that matter. The Turkish agreement is a payments agreement. I was also asked why this matter was dealt with by the Treasury, and whether the Board of Trade was not the appropriate Department. The fact is that the Treasury does negotiate these agreements, as they deal with money and not with goods. The Treasury acts in the closest co-operation with the Board of Trade, and makes the agreements, but there is no lack of liaison between the two Departments.
§ Captain RAMSAY
Can my hon. and learned Friend answer the question about exporters who are ready to give a discount on cheques sent from this country?
§ Mr. MORRISON
That is provided for, once this Clearing Office is established 910 on both sides. Any difficulties in connection with the payments agreement receive the most careful consideration.
§ Mr. E. J. WILLIAMS
Has there been any consultation at all with the new Government in Spain? The hon. and learned Gentleman will realize that there is now a Labour Government in Spain.
§ Mr. MORRISON
It is the fact that this agreement has been in operation since 13th January last, and it has been working smoothly since then. The new Government of the Spanish Republic is working in just as well with it as the previous Government. It is in the interests of both nations that it should continue. I was also asked about the item of £1,000. It is really for specially qualified assistance necessary for starting the Clearing Office. When you start a Clearing Office without very much experience of it, you have to get highly qualified officials, particularly from the Bank of England and other commercial establishments, to assist you to get it running, because it would be a great folly if by the setting up of such an agreement, you should inadvertently do damage to commerce by unwittingly hindering the ordinary course of trade. Therefore, it is being started with gentlemen of great experience in commerce and finance, but that is a temporary measure.
§ Mr. MORRISON
I am told, with regard to the Spanish agreement, that the total amount of debt which was subsisting at the time when this agreement was made was somewhere between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000.
§ Lord BURGHLEY
Is ordinary indebtedness going to be turned into the account as well as the ordinary day-to-day commercial indebtedness 7 There is £15,000,000 of loans to Rumania at present, and on most of that they are to a considerable extent in default. I should like to know whether such ordinary debts are to be taken into account. The Committee will be aware that Rumania is not a poor country as compared with other countries. They have a considerable amount of rich agricultural land. I shall be grateful to the Minister if he will tell us about this matter.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
I have one question to ask, which is, perhaps, more a question of natural history. The hon. Gentleman told us of some animal in regard to which he said, by way of analogy, that we could eat our hump. Would he tell us what the animal was?
§ 7.40 a.m.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I do not wish to take up the time of the Committee. I know that all through this discussion the Committee has been inspired with a very genuine desire to carry through the business with the utmost expedition compatible with the public interest. Nevertheless I would like to ask one or two things with which my hon. and learned Friend has not dealt in his remarks. It is to us, being supporters of the Government, very regrettable that the items A, B and C for salaries and other payments, amounting to a total of £5,570, should exceed the appropriations-in-aid by the sum of £10. That is not a very large sum, but it is nevertheless regrettable that the Treasury, with all their financial ability and acumen, have not been able to balance these two sums. I will not go into it in very great detail. I see that hon. Members opposite are getting tired. The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood), particularly, looks very tired. He took a very prominent part at the beginning of the debate. He was consistently on his feet giving us the benefit of his advice and his experience, but for the last four or five hours the right hon. Gentleman has completely passed out of the picture. He has not given us any advice or any remarks for a long time.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I am sure my hon. Friends on this side are very grateful. We were not given very much chance earlier.
§ Mr. SILVERMAN
On a point of Order. I understand the hon. Member has just made a charge against the conduct of the Chair. He says that that side of the Chamber has not had a chance all night.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I did not at all mean what the hon. Member meant. All I meant was that there was so much discussion from that side of the House on these various proposals that we on this side of the House were a little reluctant to prolong the proceedings.
§ Mr. GARRO-JONES
Is it not a fact that the Patronage Secretary has been spending an hour or two going from one Member to another advising them that, if they continue this Debate long enough, they will prevent our party from getting the Workmens' Compensation Bill today?
§ Mr. SANDYS
Certainly. So far from coming to me and suggesting that I should make a speech, the Patronage Secretary came to me and my hon. Friend here and said he hoped we would not speak if we could avoid it, and that, if we did speak, we would be as short as possible.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I apologise, but I was only answering remarks made from the other side. Members who rise for the first time to make a maiden speech ask for the indulgence of the House. I am not making a maiden speech, but I think that all of us, at this advanced hour, should ask, not for the indulgence of the House, but for the indulgence of those who are going to read the OFFICIAL REPORT the following morning. Let me return to the point. I noticed, I thought, some misunderstanding on the part of the previous speakers who, I think, suggested that, as certain officers provided under this Estimate who were lent from other Government Departments were pail by those Departments, that money should not come in under this Estimate. I would draw hon. Members' attention to 913 the fact that at the foot of the page there is an explanation which says that some of the officers are on loan from other Government Departments, by whom their salaries were paid in the first instance, but that this is to be recovered from the present Vote.
I return to the original point. With all deference to my hon. and learned Friend, I do submit that, in spite of all the lengthy remarks and the very lucid explanation which he has given us about the Vote and the whole object of it, he has not explained the one point which seems to me to concern us most, and that is why the estimated expenditure exceeds the appropriations-in-aid by £10. That is the whole point of the estimate. I therefore wish quickly to go through this Estimate. We have a Controller, a Secretary, Staff Officers and Higher Grade clerks. These are the most important officers who control this important and responsible office. It will be seen that it is hardly possible to make any reduction or economy on these items. £250 for a Controller seems to me very reasonable and £160 for a Secretary. It is impossible to effect a very serious economy in these items. I see that in the case of the permanent clerical staff there is a, subdivision as to classes into men and women. I notice, however, that under the items five typists and six temporary shorthand typists, there is no indication as to whether they are men or women. There is a point there. In connection with the wages of men and women, undesirable as it may seem to some people who are constantly raising in this House and elsewhere the question of equal pay for equal work, the fact remains that men and women are not paid the same, and I would be glad if my hon. and learned Friend would tell us what proportion are men and what are women.
§ Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS
Is not my hon. Friend under a misapprehension? The figures he is reading do not represent the salaries of those persons for a full year, but merely for the brief weeks between now and 31st March.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I am very grateful to my hon. Friend. The only real suggestion I would make is that there are two large items for temporary shorthand typists and temporary assistants, and the latter amount to no less than £1,000. Every- 914 body knows that temporary people are invariably paid at a higher rate, and I suggest to my hon. and learned Friend the Financial Secretary that if he placed on a permanent basis one of these persons who are on a temporary footing, he might save £10. If however my hon. and learned Friend can assure us that he has thoroughly looked into the possibilities of effecting this economy I will not press my objection and I trust that likewise hon. Members opposite will see their way not to oppose this vote.
§ 7.52 a.m.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I beg to move,That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again.It is perfectly clear, from the exhausted condition of the Financial Secretary and from the mental condition of the hon. Member who has just spoken—that, after all, is typical of the state of mind of hon. Members on the other side—that the sooner we adjourn this Debate the better for all concerned. We have manfully through the night given what little knowledge we possess on these benches to the other side, while people with profound knowledge of very difficult questions have lain slumbering. Four hours ago it was my very painful duty to call attention to two hon. Members sound asleep on the back bench. [Interruption.] If I do close my eyes I remain perpendicular. The public has a right to know that the night has been spent in this way with a dishevelled Financial Secretary struggling now with his own supporters, who have recently come to life for reasons best known to the Patronage Secretary. I think our hearts go out to the Financial Secretary on that ground alone, for I think the House will now agree to the Motion to report Progress. I am not moving it with any ulterior motive. I want hon. Members to believe that I am acting in the best interests of the House and in the best interests of the Government and in the best interests of one of the junior Ministers. In view of the fact that the hour is now eight o'clock, the normal breakfast hour for moderately early risers, I hope the Patronage Secretary will be a good boy and agree to adjourn the Debate.
§ 7.58 a.m.
§ Captain MARGESS0N
Again an appeal is made to me to agree to report Progress. Hours ago, on what I think 915 were most reasonable terms, the Government would have been prepared to accept a Motion of this kind. I think the Committee will agree with me that seldom have we had a higher standard of Debate than that to which we have listened tonight. The Debate on Miscellaneous Expenses, a most abstruse and difficult subject, was argued from all side with clarity and ingenuity. I do think that with a little more latitude, having gone so far, we can accomplish the task we set ourselves to do. I am most grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood), who spoke in such solicitous terms of the Financial Secretary. Let me assure him that the next Supplementary Estimate will be taken by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade and the next falls to the lot of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, who has not been heavily engaged during the evening. While the two Ministers are busily engaged the Financial Secretary can have a rest, and I do not think that, if we carry on a little longer, we shall be putting an undue strain on the Minister.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Do I understand from the Patronage Secretary that, if we succeed in disposing of the three Orders, he does not intend to proceed further [Interruption.]I do not know how many Patronage Secretaries there are. Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman propose to proceed with the Amendments in Committee on the shipping subsidy Bill?
§ Mr. ALBERY
Will the hon. Member remember that last night several hon. Members stayed here late to deal with the Amendments to that Bill, and that it might be convenient to those Members who have stayed through the sitting to take it now?
§ Captain MARGESSON
It is not the intention of the Government to report Progress at the end of the Votes. That offer which was made to the Committee some hours ago did not then find favour. Consequently it is the intention of the Government to go ahead with their programme, and we hope that the shipping Bill will be completed. The Government do not intend, however, to take Order No. 4—the Unemployment (Northern Ireland Agreement) Bill.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
The Patronage Secretary now appears in an entirely new rôle. Several hours ago he sought to cajole the Committee into accepting the proposals to which be has just referred. The Committee refused to succumb to his blandishments. Now, in a fit of pique, he is seeking to keep the Committee several hours longer. He is seeking to deprive private Members of using a privilege which both he and the Prime Minister have boasted has been furnished to private Members in the last few weeks, and a Privilege of which, they said, they did not intend to deprive private Members so long as the Government found it possible so to do. Only the other day the Prime Minister insisted—in reply to the right hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee)—that, private Members' time having been allotted, it must he considered in relation to the Government's programme. It was because of private Members' time having been so allotted that we were asked yesterday to suspend the Eleven o'Clock Rule and continue the debate which is still in progress. There is no justification for the action which the Patronage Secretary now proposes. There is no emergency for the Committee stage of the Shipping Subsidy Bill. A few days will make no difference to tramp shipowners operating on the existing subsidy. The interruptions were not all on this side. The hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) was unable to restrain himself.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
No doubt the nature of the hon. Member's observations inevitably inspires interruptions. He was making constant interruptions when Members on this side were addressing the Committee.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member has made a statement with regard to my behaviour in the House. In fact I was absent from the House continuously until three minutes before I spoke.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
If I have said anything that is contrary to the facts I will certainly withdraw. I am not conscious of having said anything that is. I have not regarded the matters coming within the previous discussions as falling into 917 the categories of humour or frivolity. If Members on both sides of this Committee have availed themselves of the opportunity to indulge in flippancy, I have had no desire to copy them. I have regarded these debates as of the most serious character. We are now coming to the debate in relation to the Board of Trade vote. These are serious matters and the Patronage Secretary has just declared that the debate on the miscellaneous services was of a very high standard and applauded the oratorical virtues of my hon. Friend behind me. It does appear that in the circumstances Members on both sides have done enough and had enough.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
The hon. and gallant Member must not lead me into the path of temptation. At the same time hon. Members have had quite sufficient of this Debate. Something has been said in the course of previous Debates as to the capacity of Members to take part in these discussions. I confess that I do not feel in the least fatigued. In fact I am just warming up. I have every desire to see the Debates properly conducted. It is not a question of fatigue. It is a question whether we can best conform to public opinion and assist the Government in its business by proceeding now or delaying, until a more convenient opportunity, the business before us. This is private Members' day and hon. Members will soon be returning to the House. We shall expect the Home Secretary, even the Prime Minister, and the Lord President of the Council, refreshed from his visit to the Scottish Universities, where he has received, according to the Press, the plaudits of the undergraduates. For these reasons it is not proper for the Patronage Secretary to make too heavy demands on hon. Members. He should address himself to the matter not out of pique having regard to the effect on the progress of national business.
§ 8.14 a.m.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I hope the Patronage Secretary will adhere to his determination not to accept this Motion. The hon. Member who has just sat down has been warming himself by his perfervid oratory and he has tried to inspire some warmth into his supporters. Up to 918 Three o'clock he was like the world famous Duke of York, who led his men up the hill, sat on the top for three or four hours and then led them down again. That is unusual for leaders opposite. They usually lead them, not up the hill but up the garden. The hon. Members on this side of the House are prepared to facilitate Government business, but there are a number of questions we are anxious to have answered. Perhaps some of the hon. Members on the Liberal Benches are also desirous to elucidate certain points. They do not look very well. In fact they remind me of the words of the poet Hood, who wrote:A corpse so placid ne'er adorned a bed: It seemed not quite, but only rather dead.It is refreshing to find the hon. Members so anxious to preserve the interests of private Members. Private Members have been literally conducting this Debate on both sides of the House. We on this side are anxious to facilitate Government business but we require certain elucidation. On these grounds, though it is certainly late in the morning and we have a very hard week in front of us, I do beg that we should proceed with the rest of the business and help the Government to get through it at the earliest possible moment, but, of course, always subject to satisfaction being given to us who are eager and anxious inquirers.
§ 8.21 a.m.
§ Mr. EDE
I should have thought that at this late hour of the morning there was a good logical reason for accepting the Motion. We have made some progress. This side has made very considerable progress, because on the confession of the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Sandys) we have destroyed the discipline of the Government ranks. He assured us that the Patronage Secretary went to him and implored him first, not to speak, and if he did speak to be brief. The hon. Member spoke in spite of what the Patronage Secretary said to him, and though it may have been the hon. Member's idea of brevity it certainly was not ours. I can only imagine that after so flagrant a defiance of the Chief Whip, the hon. Member will not get the Government whip much longer. The hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Wise) is now in a fit condition to take part in our De- 919 bates. A few hours ago I had to draw attention to the fact that he was behaving like an inverted pendulum. He was then sitting on the bench behind where he is now sitting, and it will be within the recollection of hon. Members that the hon. Member for Frome (Mrs. Tate) turned round and awakened the hon. Member from his slumbers. I am assured that if a lady is able to do that in a certain way, the Gentleman owes her a pair of gloves.
§ Mr. EDE
I regret to observe that at least the hon. Member is anxious to save Government time, but he appears to know the rules of the game sufficiently well to have moved down from that bench and very ostentatiously taken his place by the side of the hon. Member to whom I alluded and she, not desiring to act as his nurse very much longer, has, after a few words whispered in the ear of the Liberal National Whip who sits at the corner of the Government bench, left the House. The hon. Member may have been appealed to by the Chief Whip, but I notice he did not get up to confirm what the hon. Member for Norwood had said. I doubt whether he was really in a position at that time to realise what was being said to him by the Chief Whip.
§ Mr. EDE
I was not suggesting anything in regard to the hon. Member for Norwood, but I did suggest just before he came into the House that this side had succeeded in the first task of an Opposition, to secure the disintegration of the discipline of the Government forces and that the hon. Member himself had furnished up with evidence to the effect.
§ Mr. SANDYS
This Debate has shown that never have the Government supporters been so solid behind the Patronage Secretary.
§ Mr. EDE
We all knew what the young lady said to the curate— "People complain of the length of my sermons," he said, and the young lady replied: "They are not as long as they seem." The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) complained about the Financial Secretary, who, however, has been out and had a brush up. The hon. Gentleman opposite said to the Patronage Secretary, "I propose next to put up the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade." Well, physical circumstances prevent him from getting dishevelled. We all know people cannot grow hair and brains too. As soon as I have been assured that this Debate will run for an hour I shall get rid of some of my hair. It is unfair that we should have no real barometer from which we can deduce how far the disintegration of ministerial discipline is going on.
Really I do feel that: at this stage we might be allowed to tell the House exactly what we have done. Never has there been a finer tribute paid to an opposition than that paid by the Patronage Secretary. Many of us have sat through all-night sittings before, and none of us, I venture to say, has had on those occasions the intellectual pleasure of the duel between the hon. and learned Member for Bristol East (Sir S. Cripps), the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Pritt) and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on a very complicated and intricate matter which might with great advantage to the public have started at 3.45 and gone on till 11. This has not been a night, on the Patronage Secretary's own showing, that has been spent in dreary repetition or in frivolous dissertations, and I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman may now very well accept the Motion which has been moved. There has been very little show of tempers. I am aware the right hon. Gentleman has lost control. He is being led from the rear.
§ 8.32 a.m.
§ Mr. RAIKES
I protest at the remarks the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) has made. Reference has been made to the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Wise) being in a state of slumber. I would tell the hon. Member that the 921 hon. Member for Smethwick is giving pleasure to the Lady Members of the House, by whom he is known as the Sleeping Beauty. I regret the efforts that are being made to stoop to mockery. I also object to what hon. Members opposite have said in regard to the hon. Member for South Croydon. (Mr. H. G. Williams). It has been suggested that the hon. Member for South Croydon has been interrupting in the course of this Debate. There is no one who knows him who would believe that he would interrupt anybody. On the other hand, there is no Member of this House who gets more persistently interrupted than the hon. Member for South Croydon does himself. The only reason is that he talks a good deal of sense which hon. Members opposite do not like.
Now, in regard to the attitude of the Patronage Secretary. The Patronage Secretary realises, and all his supporters realise, that admirable and important tough private business may be, Government business comes before all. We know the sacrifices that have to be made in the interests of Government business. We all love private Members to have a fair share, but duty is to come before pleasure, and Government business must be given an opportunity for proper discussion. The hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) gave us one little quotation. It occurs to me there is one old verse which might appeal to hon. Members opposite. It is:No man lives for ever.Dead men rise up never.But even the weariest river.Winds somewhere safe to sea.And so it will be when the Government business is accomplished.
I have sat through the whole night, and I am not aware yet that I have been to sleep. Also, I am unlike a great many Members opposite apparently, in the ranks of the idle rich who have time to sit here and have nothing else to do. I have been listening with the greatest possible care to the Debate the whole evening, and I am bound to say there were a great 922 many questions discussed which seemed to me perfectly plain and easy to understand by the paper I had in my hand, and that is why I did not take any part in the Debate. It so happens that now I have a very pertinent question, but the hon. Member rose in his place and thwarted me.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I am sure the hon. and gallant Member would not wish to misrepresent members on this side of the House when he suggested we had not made any contribution in the early part of the debate because we had nothing worth while to say. The reason was that our feelings and intentions were so admirably expressed by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
§ Mr. BEVAN
In the earlier part of the sitting the Government Front Bench were able to give adequate expression to the views of their back benchers. Now the front bench are apparently exhausted and the back benchers are to emerge. What is now being done is a deliberate organised attempt to prevent this House discussing workmen's compensation.
§ Mr. SANDYS
The hon. Member is misrepresenting hon. Members on this side. Who was it moved the motion to report Progress? Was it not the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood)?
§ Mr. BEVAN
If the Patronage Secretary will accept the Motion to report Progress we will sit down at once. The reason why the discussion is continuing is that we are attempting to place before the Committee reasons why the Motion to report Progress should be accepted. Hon. Members know very well that what is before the Committee is a, sinister attempt on the part of the reactionary forces of the Conservative party to prevent us having an opportunity to expose the deficiencies of workmen's compensation, and I hope that the constituents of hon. Members with note it.
I am going to make an appeal to the Opposition. There is plenty of time to get through the business now before Eleven if they will withdraw the Motion.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I understand that the hon. and gallant Gentleman says that before Eleven o'clock we could get three and a half most important Supplementary Estimates. I hope that the constituents of the hon. Members opposite are aware of the fact that when there was most important business they were silent. But there is a plot now to prevent the details of the Workmen's Compensation Bill becoming known.
§ Mr. ALBERY
There are many who have been sitting here and who were here last night who have not spoken at all.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I want to suggest in all seriousness that the Government is making a very great mistake. We are very anxious to facilitate public business in the manner in which public business should be discussed. We resist the Patronage Secretary in his effort to involve this House in a discussion of public business at a time when we ought to be in bed. If the Patronage Secretary thinks he is going to get his future business through in this way he is making the mistake of his life and he had better acquire a sense of responsibility. The conduct of business in this House is as much in the hands of the Opposition as in the hands of the Government, and if the Government wishes to get business through it will have to reach a reasonable accommodation with the Opposition. The Opposition is not going to be bullied. What the Patronage Secretary has now said is this "You have seen fit to make use of Parliament by discussing these Amendments all night. We are going to punish you and you will not get a discussion on Workmen's Compensation."
§ Captain RAMSAY
Will the hon. Member give his frank opinion that there was no attempt by Members on this side to delay business?
§ Mr. BEVAN
The hon. and gallant Gentleman need not take my word. The Patronage Secretary has stated that there was a very high level of debate. The Opposition is beginning to feel that the Patronage Secretary is starting to bully it. We are willing to make an accommodation, but not an accommodation based on the offer he made. We are prepared to listen to an accommodation which enables some of the business to be got through, and in order that the Committee may rise in time to give us the private Members day It which we are entitled. If we are not given it we shall be compelled to submit these Estimates to a microscopic examination and meticulous analysis. We will expose them all to public criticism, and the Patronage Secretary will find when Four o'clock comes that he has made far less progress than he would have made if an accommodation had been made now. If he wants to get his business through quickly he had better make an arrangement quickly. The fact is that the Patronage Secretary has been badly spoilt by the Labour party.
I have a business to attend to and a train to catch. Can the hon. Member give me any indication how long he is going to speak?
§ Mr. BEVAN
I can assure the hon. Member that he has my permission to go now. I suggest to the Patronage Secretary that now is the time when an accommodation might be made. It can only be made if he will yield some of his obstinacy. If he does not do so we shall put on it the obvious interpretation that the Government is attempting to hammer the Opposition into submission. I can promise them a very bad time if they try to do that. Hon. and right hon. Members are coming to the house fresh and without recollections of the struggle in which we have been engaged. I appeal to them to bring to this matter a dispassionate view. I ask them to try to 925 seduce the Patronage Secretary from his obdurate attitude. It has been suggested on more than one occasion that the House of Commons does itself no good by all-night sittings. The House will do itself less than justice if it allows its business to be scamped. If the Government desire that there shall be—as there must be, if Parliamentary business is to continue—proper relations between the Front Benches, there should be a concession made now. If they do not make a concession we shall regard the attitude of the Patronage Secretary as a declaration of war.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Would it not have been better if hon. Members opposite had made a concession six hours ago?
§ Mr. BEVAN
If the Opposition had made that concession an important matter of public business would not have received the necessary public examination. Nothing has more vindicated the desire of the Opposition to subject these Estimates to examination than the exemplary Debate that we have had. It would have been dishonourable to Members of this House if the Estimates had—
§ Mr. PETHERICK
What I was trying to indicate was that hon. Members opposite are interested in the first part of the programme, and that we are interested in the latter part. I do not see that we should forgo our rights to discuss questions in which we are interested.
§ Mr. BEVAN
The inspiration on this occasion is so broad as to be in doubt. The hon. Member is now merely engaged in supporting the Patronage Secretary to prevent us from having an opportunity to discuss the Workmen's Compensation Bill. I hope constituents in all parts of the country see in this an opportunity of the National Government to prevent us from discussing the industrial welfare of our constituents when one of our party has been fortunate enough to be successful in the Ballot.
§ Mr. BERNAYS
I myself am deeply interested in the Workmen's Compensation Act. I have been looking forward to the discussion. I have a speech ready. I am disgusted with the hon. Member's action in wasting the time of the Committee.
§ Mr. BERNAYS
So far from being one of the "Yes men" of the Government, I do not take the Government Whip.
§ Mr. MAGNAY
Is it in Order to say that an hon. Member's constituents have been disenfranchised? There is no such word.
§ Mr. MAGNAY
May I allow the hon. Member to have a breath? May I ask him to consider that, if minorities have rights, so have majorities? If he was 927 a Member of the Durham County Council, he would know what the majority of the Labour Councillors would do with such talk as he is talking now.
§ Mr. MAGNAY
That gives me an opportunity to say that I was not asleep. I wish to heaven I had been asleep.
§ Mr. BEVAN
If anyone could listen to the brilliant speech of the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir Stafford Cripps) and remain insensible, there is no difference between his waking and sleeping condition; he is equally insensitive in both. We only want the Patronage Secretary to be reasonable. We do not want him to show the white flag; we want him to be dignified and not like a spoiled boy. Let us have friendly co-operation and see bow much business we can get through by half-past ten, and then we can have a discussion on workmen's compensation.
§ 9.9 a.m.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
In staying here all night and listening to others one has probably suffered as severe a strain as those who have spoken. We on these benches have been willing to enter into an arrangement to get a reasonable amount done. I hope there will not be too much talk of the assassination of the Workmen's Compensation Bill. The hon. Member who has just spoken and the hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Shinwell) have had by far the largest share of the speeches. There must, be a certain responsibility shared around this Committee, although I concur with the Patronage Secretary that a great deal of this Debate has been extremely amusing and sometimes brilliant. I am glad, however, that the Strangers' Gallery has not been filled with representatives of foreign countries or members of the unemployed, who might have thought that we might have occupied our time better.
§ 9.10 a.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
I agree that Parliament has not been seen at its best during this 928 last night. It is one of the occasions when, after the whole thing is over, one is inclined to feel disgusted at the whole situation. We are all human, and we have arrived at a point where neither side gives way. The result is that business is suffering. I appeal to the Patronage Secretary. We have an important Measure on the Order Paper to-day—the Workmen's Compensation Bill. All engaged in industry, especially the miners, were looking forward to having a chance of stating their case on that Bill. If we have offended, the Patronage Secretary is in a, position to rise above that kind of thing. If he thinks we have carried it too far and have overstepped the mark, at least he can show how big he is by saying: "All right, seeing that the Measure is so important in the eyes of the workmen, if I can get some compromise I will agree to finish in time to give the Bill a chance." I am putting it from the workmen's point of view. I know very well that the Mover and Seconder of the Bill have been perparing all the week for the opportunity of stating their case. I want everyone to imagine how they would feel if they had got a chance in the Ballot to move a private Member's Bill, and had dreamed over it, only to be met, when they came down here in the morning, with the news that they had lost the opportunity. There is no Member of the House who would not feel disgusted if it happened to him. That is why I ask that at least some opportunity should be given for them to move their Bill. I do not want to carry on this discussion by recrimination and by pointing out the defects of the other side. I know you can point our the same kind of defects in my side. There has got to come a time when you must come back to common sense. It may be that I have no right to appeal, but If am appealing, that this Motion should be accepted. Just imagine the position when we go to our people and say the Workmen's Compensation Bill had not a chance. We may say it is all the fault of the Government, and the Government side may say it is the other side's fault, but the rank and file of the electors will say both sides are to blame, and Parliament will stand somewhat discredited by what has taken place. I make this appeal to the Patronage Secretary, and I do hope he will give us a chance for the Workmen's Compensation Bill.
§ 9.14 a.m.
§ Mr. FRANKEL
I rise to make what I hope will be a few simple remarks, and also, as a new Member, to put the case as I see it. I may differ from some of my colleagues who spoke earlier, for I must confess to being very tired, but I have also been very interested by the course of the Debate. I have been in this Chamber since about three o'clock yesterday, and, like a good many other Members, started the day's work feeling that a very heavy responsibility would have to be carried by the Members of the House on that day. May I ask hon. Members to return to what, in my opinion, are the fundamental issues about which very much has been said during this Debate. I heard the Leader of the Opposition yesterday afternoon complain about the amount of business which Members of the House were asked to discharge during one sitting. I was not in a position at that time to be absolutely certain that what the Government were asking the House to put through in one sitting was reasonable or unreasonable. I was not in a position to be sure, because I might have believed that it was quite the normal thing.
Since this Parliament started, except on one occasion before Christmas, we have sat until at, least eleven o'clock at night, and on many more occasions until later than that, and I began to think that it was normal. But this Debate has proved to me quite conclusively that what the Government have been asking of us has been entirely and absolutely unreasonable. This has been proved to me during the course of the various discussions which have taken place since last evening. As a new Member I found the papers which I collected yesterday to be rather intricate and rather difficult to understand, and I felt, as a new Member, that it would be impossible for me to take part intelligently in the discussion of these Estimates. Perhaps that may be due to lack of intelligence or lack of knowledge on my part. If that is so I plead guilty, and, unless my colleagues on these benches had done what they have done since yesterday evening, it might have taken me years to have appreciated the significance of these Estimates and the importance of them. I think that as the result of the Debate that has taken place since yesterday evening I have learned more of 930 these Estimates than I could possibly have learned in the normal way by even years of study.
It has been admitted from the Government Front Bench that the discussions have not been without value—that, in fact that, as a result of the discussions, many things have been brought out which even the Members on the Government Front Bench had not fully appreciated. It is not unfair to say that they have agreed that that is so, because on many points they have reserved giving an ultimate judgment, and have said that elucidation on various points will have to come. I want to take this opportunity of saying, again as a new Member, that I may have been disappointed in the last few months at the procedure and conduct of the House. I entered it with fairly high ideals, and I have been disappointed, not only with the Government benches, but with the benches of my own colleagues. But nothing has made me more proud of them than this Debate which has gone on since yesterday. It has reaffirmed what I always ought to have believed of them without any dubiety. I say that quite sincerely. It was said by an hon. Member a few minutes ago that he was glad that members of foreign Governments were not present in the Distinguished Strangers' Gallery. Some hon. Members have said that they were glad that members of the public and the unemployed were not present. I feel certain that had they been present, we on these benches, by comparison would not have suffered. [HON. MEMBERS "No, but they would."] In this Debate, I contend, there has been a real attempt from this side to elucidate the Estimates. I admit that during periods of the Debate, due to the obstinacy of hon. Members opposite, there has been obstruction—obstruction which I think was justified by the attitude of the Government. I would, however, appeal to the Committee not to be obstinate too long and not to take advantage of the Opposition. We may not be strong enough to enforce all our rights, but I am certain that the Government will not succeed in their intention, as it has been enunciated. We are ready to continue the Debate, but it is more important to consider the future and the possibility of avoiding further friction. 931 For those reasons, I support the Motion to report Progress, and I hope it will be accepted.
§ 9.23 a.m.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
May I join in this [post mortem] which always occurs on the day after the night before? In every Parliament there is a stage at which the Chief Whip, becoming more and more optimistic, puts more and more pressure on the Opposition, and the Opposition come to the conclusion that if they are to have their rights, they must make some demonstration. That happened early in the last Parliament, I think on the Army Bill, and we had the usual [post mortem,]and thereafter, apart from a little episode connected with the then Dominion Secretary—who seems to have an irritating effect on the House—things went as smoothly as even a Chief Whip could desire. We have now had a further demonstration of the necessity of not overcrowding the Order Paper. I appreciate the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has a good deal of business which he wishes to get through by 31st March, but it must be borne in mind that that business can only he got through decently and efficiently if both sides agree upon how it shall be conducted. He knows the difficulties that can be created by an incessant refusal to arrange business; it causes irritation and does not add to efficiency. Therefore, I suggest that as we have now had this protest, he ought to give a reasonable assurance as regards the business for to-day. If that reasonable assurance is given, I suggest that the results of these proceedings will not be detrimental to the reputation of Parliament or the reputation of either party. It will simply show that in a perfectly natural and human way circumstances arise in which both parties are concerned about asserting what they believe to be their rights. I hope we shall come to a fair understanding about those rights and that, henceforward, the conduct of business will be made easier.
§ 9.25 a.m.
§ Captain MARGESSON
The right hon. and learned Gentleman and those hon. Members who were in the last Parliament know that appeals were frequently made to the Government not to take some particular item of business on a particular night, and I think they will 932 agree that the Government never sought to force the House to take such business when it was inconvenient. The right hon. Gentleman the Member of Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) knows that the business has been arranged by agreement, and that when the Opposition has said to the Government "You are pushing us a bit too far." the Government have on every occasion been ready to meet them. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said, I do not wish to fall foul of any Opposition. That is not my business. My business is to get the work of Parliament done as easily and as expeditiously as possible. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will recall that in the last Parliament there was another instance in addition to that which he has mentioned in which we had a very protracted debate, and I am glad to think that those debates were conducted with the same good humour as the Debate in which we are now engaged. I think it will be agreed that we have always tried to meet hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite as far as possible in the arrangement of business.
The hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Frankel) suggested that the Government's programme to-day had been overloaded and that that was the cause of the Opposition's grievance. May I remind the Committee that the Prime Minister stated at Question time that we hoped to get the first five Orders on the Paper. There may have been some dissent, but I did not notice any violent protest from the Leader of the Opposition. The right hon. Gentleman was in his place and spoke about next week's business, but he did not say to us, in regard to to-day's business, "You are going far beyond the bounds of what is decent, and you arc not going to get the first five Orders". All we said was that we hoped to get those Orders, and surely even the Government and the Chief Whip are entitled to have hopes. I do not want the Committee to take what I say in any wrong sense. There has been no bargain, and there has been no breaking of understandings. But when the Opposition asked for a day for a Vote of Censure against the Government on the question of the special areas, I pointed out, through the usual channels, how pressed the Government 933 were for time owing to the fact that the financial year ended on 31st March. I pointed out that there would be a good opportunity of debating the subject of the special areas on the Civil Vote on Account. That Vote must be taken on two days, and the Opposition has the right to chose the subjects of debate on those days. Had they wished it, the special areas could have been debated on the first day and any subject which they liked on the second day They did not, however, care to avail themselves of the opportunity and asked for a special day in order to move the Vote of Censure. In the course of the conversations I pointed out, over and over again, that we would do our best; to meet them, if at the same time we could be helped to get through this very long list of Supplementary Estimates.
I repeat that there has been no breach of contract or anything of that kind, but when we announced that Monday had been set aside for the Vote of Censure, we thought we would be fairly secure as to getting our Supplementary Estimates. When I was asked by the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Sir C. Edwards) what was the intention of the Government in regard to to-day's business, I said we would be content not to proceed with the Report stages of Votes, the Committee stage of the British Shipping (Subsidy) Bill, or the Second Reading of the Unemployment (Northern Ireland Agreement) Bill. I said that I hoped we might be allowed to take the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund (No. 1) Bill, because that was a formal stage, but apart from that, all I asked on behalf of the Government was that we should be allowed to get the Supplementary Estimates. I felt that I ought to give that explanation to the Committee because of what was said by the hon. Member for Mile End about overloading the programme. I think I can claim that I have never tried to force hon. Members. It would be very foolish of me to do so, and I recognise that it is upon the good will of hon. Members that one has to depend in order to get business through the House. We are, however, entitled to get the Estimates which have been put down, and I hope, after what I have said, that hon. Members will also agree to giving us the Committee stage of the British Shipping (Subsidy) Bill. That is not 934 asking very much, and I think we can hope to get that business done within a reasonable time. I do not propose to ask for the Report stages of Votes on the Paper, nor will I ask for the Unemployment (Northern Ireland Agreement) Bill, because I understand that some question of a breach of faith might be raised if I attempted to take that Bill. Whatever hon. Members opposite may have said against me in the course of this Debate, I assure them that I do not wish to force them to take business which they ought not to be asked to do.
§ 9.35 a.m.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Everybody appreciates the tone of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's statement, and I think it has tended to remove a good deal of the ill-feeling which had previously been engendered in this Debate. I understood him to say that earlier in the proceedings he was prepared to accept the disposal of the Supplementary Estimates and to be content with that. Is it not possible to come to some arrangement whereby the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, having secured all that he previously desired—[HON. MEMBERS: "No !"]—should make an accommodation with my hon. Friend the Member for Bedwellty (Sir C. Edwards)? They have been practically disposed of. I think there are two or three remaining. On the assumption that we can dispose of these Estimates for 10.30 or 10.45 this morning, leaving for further disposal the Committee Stage of the Shipping Subsidy Bill, is it not possible to reach an accommodation? Both sides would then be satisfied. The right hon. Gentleman will have secured practically all that he asked for previously, and I hope that, in spite of the feeling that seemed to exist in several quarters he will agree to this suggestion.
§ 9.36 a.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I entirely agree with my hon. Friend when he referred to the changed tone of the Patronage Secretary, and my only reason for rising is to call his attention to this fact. It is true that the Opposition sought a day for a Vote of Censure. We knew, of course, that the Patronage Secretary's programme was pretty well overloaded and that if a day was to be given for that purpose, some sacrifice would have to be made by us, but we 935 scarcely expected he would put on the Paper a two-days' programme for the purpose of conceding a day for next Monday's Debate. I have listened to most of the Debate between 3.45 yesterday and now, and what has emerged has been that the Patronage Secretary himself must have discovered that these Supplementary Estimates were of far greater importance than he imagined. He made reference to the Third Readings of the Shipping and Milk Bills next Monday, but really it is not quite what one expects that, at the end of a day when a Censure Motion has been moved, the Third Reading of a Bill should be put on the Paper involving an Exchequer payment of over £2,000,000.
Probably one of the major causes of the attitude of hon. Members on these benches is a succession of similar incidents. For instance, the right hon. Gentleman will remember that one day during this week the Bacon Order was on the Paper to be taken after 11 at night. It affected the food of the people, and if hon. Members believe that day after day questions of that description are to be taken after 11 o'clock, and then, as yesterday, they discover that there is a Third Reading to be taken that might involve a subsidy of £2,000,000 and a Third Reading on Monday involving over £2,000,000, it looks to some hon. Members as if it is going to be a perpetual situation of pressure and overloading. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate, therefore, that there is an Opposition point of view in this matter. If I am to sit up all night, I should prefer, if possible, that we do not wait until 9.30 a.m. the day after to talk about entering into an agreement, but that it should be entered into before 3.45 p.m. on the day previous to the morning after the night before. Looking at the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, I can appreciate that, after sitting up all these hours, he would be very pleased if he could leave this morning without discussing cattle diseases, education and the multiplicity of problems confronting his Department. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade is bursting to deal with any old subject that comes before him, and I should hate to see either of them leaving without having satisfied themselves that they have done their work 936 faithfully and well. In any case it seems to me that at 9.30 or 9.40 a.m. it is rather too much for the Patronage Secretary to expect, only having secured two Orders during the last nine hours, that he will get four Orders in the next hour.
§ 9.42 a.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I wish to support the Motion to report Progress. We have been debating for at least two hours an item dealing with a matter of £10. I find, as a matter of arithmetic, that about £300 or £400 falls due to those hon. Members who are present, and we have been discussing a matter of £10 for about two hours. The hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Griffith) catechised Members of the Labour party and let them have the religious opinions of Members of the Liberal party. He said that if there were people from foreign nations present in the galleries of the House, what a spectacle it would be. I say that if there were people from any of the Continental nations in the galleries, they would have observed that, at a time when all the world is engaged in other conflicts, the Members of the British House of Commons are engaged in discussing the domestic affairs of the land and giving proper time and attention to them. I have been in this House since 10 o'clock yesterday morning and sat more or less all through the discussions that have taken place, with the exception of having had one or two snacks. Whatever the arrangement may be with Members of our own Front Bench, I say that the time for arrangements has gone by, and it is no use trying to patch up an agreement now, after all these 24 hours have passed. I must remind my own colleague the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) that it is all very well being told about certain arrangements, but we have been definitely and consistently, as an Opposition, going on all through the night, and I do not see why any accommodating spirit is necessary now at breakfast, time.
We shall go on demanding the rights of an Opposition in this House. We ask for no mercy; we get no quarter. When you talk about the dignity of the House of Commons it is absurd, even from a business point of view, to talk about making a business arrangement. Neither on one side nor on the other does it appear to me that you are able to make up your minds. I claim only the right of the ordinary Member. I have sat here loyally 937 with my colleagues during all of yesterday and all to-day so far, and I claim that we cannot be thrown about like corks on the water. I want to raise one or two objections in regard to the conduct of business in this House. Motions to report progress have been moved at intervals, giving the Government an opportunity of considering whether it was possible or not to come to some arrangement, but I do not believe that we are able to rush through in one hour business that should honestly take three or four hours to discuss. It is most unfair, and I also feel that most of the hon. Members who are now present are not in a fit and proper condition to continue the Debate.
I aim making my protest because I want the business to be done in a business way. The Patronage Secretary has been appealed to by the right hon. Gentleman leading the Opposition on three occasions, and nothing has been done. The
|Division No. 75.]||AYES.||[9.55 a.m.|
|Agnew, Lieut. Comdr. P. G.||Dunne, P. R. R.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.|
|Albery, I. J.||Eckersley, P. T.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir w. J. (Armagh)||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Everard, W. L.||Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J, T. C.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Fleming, E, L.||Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Foot, D. M.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.|
|Balniel, Lord||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Baxter, A. Bevertey||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Penny, Sir G.|
|Beit, Sir A. L.||Ganzonl, Sir J.||Peters, Dr. S. J.|
|Bernays, R. H||Glucksteln, L. H.||Petherick, M.|
|Bllndell, Sir J.||Goldle, N. B.||Plugge, L. F.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Porritt, R. W.|
|Boulton, W. W||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Power, Sir J. C.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Pownall, Sir A. Assheton|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Grimston, R. V.||Procter, Major H. A.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N.W.)||Ralkes, H. V. A. M.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Guinness, T. L. E. B.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Hanbury, Sir C.||Rankin, R.|
|Bull, B. B.||Hannah, I. C.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Burghley, Lord||Harris, Sir P. A.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Burgln, Dr. E. L.||Harvey, G.||Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Holmes, J. S.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.|
|Channon, H.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)|
|Chapman, A. (Ruthergien)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Salmon, Sir I.|
|Chapman, Sir 8. (Edinburgh, S.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)|
|Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J.||Hulbert. N. J.||Sandys, E. D.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Hurd, Sir P. A.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Jackson, Sir H.||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Craddock, Sir R. H.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kirkpatrick, W. M.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Crooke, J. S.||Latham, Sir P.||Spens, W. P.|
|Cross, R. H,||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Crowder, J. F, E.||Leckie, J. A.||Storey, S.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.||Lloyd, G. W.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)||Mabane, W. (Huddersfletd)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davison, Sir W. H.||MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.||Sutcllffe, H.|
|De Chair, S. S.||M'Connell, Sir J.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Donner, P. W.||McKie, J. H.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Dorman-Smith, Major R. H,||Magnay, T.||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Makins, Brig. -Gen. E.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Dugdale, Major T. L.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Turton, R. H.|
|Duggan, H. J.||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||Maxwell, S, A.||Wallace, Captain Euan|
§ responsibility that has been put upon the youth of the Patronage Secretary may have been too great. The Prime Minister and the Lord President of the Council have not put in an appearance. A Law Officer of the Crown was present on only one occasion. In a business house the chief of the staff can be found to assume responsibility. I have never found any place so defective in its management as the House of Commons this morning. I appeal to the Patronage Secretary to accept this Motion to report Progress, so that we may sit again. I want this business to be finished.
§ 9.54 a.m.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 153; Noes, 70.
|Ward, Lieut. -Col. Sir A. U. (Hull)||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Ward, Irene (Wallsend)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Warrender, Sir V.||Wise, A. R.||Commander Southby and Lieut.|
|Waterhouse, Captain C.||Withers, Sir J. J.||Colonel Llewellin.|
|Wedderburn, H. J. S.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Grenfell, D. R.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Quibell, J. D.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'Isbr.)||Groves, T. E.||Rlley, B.|
|Batey, J.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Ritson, J.|
|Bevan, A.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Broad, F. A.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Shinwell, E.|
|Compton, J,||Holland, A.||Sllverman, S. S.|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Hoillns, A.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhlthe)|
|Daggar, G.||John, W.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Dalton. H.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Stewart, W. J. (H'ghfn-le-Sp'ng)|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontyprldd)||Kelly, W. T.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Kirby, 8. V.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Davics, S. O. (Merthyr)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Lawson. J. J.||Watkins, F C.|
|Ede, J. C.||Leach, W.||Westwood, J.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Lee, F.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Logan, D. G.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Frankel, D.||Mainwaring, W. H.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Garro-Jones, G. M.||Marklew, E.||Wilson, C, H. (Attercliffe)|
|Gibbins, J.||Paling, W.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Green. W. H. (Deptford)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Potts, J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
|Division No. 76.]||AYES.||[10.2 a.m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Quibell, J. D.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Groves, T. E.||Riley, B.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Ritson, J.|
|Atllee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Batey, J.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Bevan, A.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Shinwell, E.|
|Broad, F. A.||Holland, A.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Brawn, C. (Mansfield)||Hollins, A.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Compton, J.||John, W.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Dagger, G.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Dalton, H.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Kelly, W. T.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Kirby, B. V.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Lawson, J. J.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Dunn, E. (Bother Valley)||Leach, W.||Westwood, J.|
|Ede. J. C.||Lee, F.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Logan, D. G.||Williams, K. J. (Ogmore)|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Mainwaring, W. H.||Williams, T,.(Don Valley)|
|Frankel, D.||Marklew, E.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Garro- Jones, G. M.||Oliver, G. H.||Windsor. W. (Hull, C.)|
|Gibbins, J.||Paling, W.|
|Green, w. H. (Deptford)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Potts, J.||Mr. Whitney and Mr. Mathers.|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Agnew, Lleut.-Comdr. P. G.||Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Albery, I. J.||Boyce, H. Leslie||Colville, Lt. Col D. J.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldtl.)||Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Craddock, Sir R. H.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bull, B. B.||Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page|
|Banfield, J. W.||Burghley, Lord||Crooke, J. S.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Burgin, Dr. E. L||Cross, R. H.|
|Belt, Sir A. L.||Cartland, J. R. H.||Crowder, J. F. E.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sit J. C. C.|
|Bllndell, Sir J.||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovll)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Channon, H.||Davison, Sir W. H.|
|Boulton, W. W||Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||De Chair, S. S.|
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 71; and ask Noes, 156.
|Donner, P. W.||Kurd, Sir P. A.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Dorman-Smith, Major R. H.||Jackson, Sir H.||Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)|
|Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)|
|Dugdale, Major T. L.||Kirkpatrick, W. M.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Duggan, H. J.||Latham, Sir P.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.w.)||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)|
|Dunne, P. R. R.||Leckle. J. A.||Salmon, Sir I.|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Lloyd, G. W.||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)|
|Eckersley, P. T.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Sandys, E. D.|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.|
|Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||M'Connell, Sir J.||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Everard, W. L.||McKle, J. H.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Fleming, E. L.||Magnay, T.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Foot, D. M.||Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.||Spens, W. P.|
|Fremantle. Sir F. E.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Fyfe, D. P. M.||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Storey, S.|
|Ganzoni, Sir J.||Maxwell, S. A.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Gluckstein, L. H.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Goldie, N. B.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Mitcheson, sir G. G.||Thomas, J. p. L. (Hereford)|
|Gridley, Sir A. B.||Moore- Brabazon, Lt.-Col, J. T. C.||Tltchfield, Marquess of|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)||Tree, A. R. L, F.|
|Grlmston, R. V.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.||Turton, R. H.|
|Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N.W.)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Gulnness, T. L. E. B.||Peake, O.||Wallace, Captain Euan|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Penny, Sir G.||Ward, Lieut. -Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Hanbury, Sir C.||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|Hannah, I. C.||Petherick, M.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Harris, Sir P. A.||Plugge, L. F.||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Harvey, G.||Porritt, R. W.||Wedderburn, H. J. S.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Power, Sir J. C.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan||Pawnall, Sir A. Assheton||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmoath)||Procter, Major H. A.||Wise, A. R.|
|Holmes, J. S.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.||Withers, Sir J. J.|
|Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Horsbrugh. Florence||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Rankin, R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hulbert, N.J.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Commnder Southby and Lieut.|
§ Original Question again propsed.
§ sever hon. Members rose—
|Division No. 77.]||AYES.||[10.11 a.m.|
|Agnew, Lleut.-Comdr. P. G.||Croft, Brig. -Gen. Sir H. Page||Hanbury, Sir C.|
|Albery, I. J.||Crooke, J. S.||Hannah, I. C.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Cross, R. H.||Harris, Sir P. A.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Crowder, J. F. E.||Harvey, G.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Davison, Sir W. H.||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)|
|Balnlel, Lord||De Chair, S. S.||Holmes, J. S.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Donner, P. W.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.|
|Beit, Sir A. L.||Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Bernays, R H.||Dugdale, Major T. L.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)|
|Blindell, Sir J.||Duggan, H. J.||Hulbert, N. J.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Duncan, J. A. L.||Hurd, Sir P. A.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Dunne, P. R. R.||Jackson, Sir H.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Eastwood, J. F.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Eckersley, P. T.||Kirkpatrick, W. M.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Latham, Sir P.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Everard, W. L.||Leckle, J. A.|
|Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Fleming, E. L.||Llewellin, Lieut. -Col. J. J.|
|Bull, B. B.||Foot, D. M.||Lloyd, G. W.|
|Burghley, Lord||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)|
|Burgln, Dr. E. L.||Fyfe, D. P. M.||MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Ganzonl, Sir J.||M'Connell, Sir J.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Glucksteln, L. H.||McKle, J. H.|
|Cazalet. Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Magnay, T.|
|Channon, H.||Goldle, N. B.||Makins, Brig. -Gen. E.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.|
|Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Maxwell, S. A.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Grimston, R. V.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.|
|Courtauld, Major J. s.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N.W.)||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)|
|Craddock, Sir R. H.||Guinness, T. L. E. B.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.|
§ Questions put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The committee divied: Ayes, 155; Noes, 70.
|Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col, J. T. C.||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Titchfield. Marquess of|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.||Ruggles-Brlse, Colonel Sir E. A.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Peake, O.||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)||Turton, R. H.|
|Penny, Sir G.||Salmon. Sir I.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Peters, Dr. S. J.||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)||Wallace, Captain Euan|
|Petherick, M.||Sandys, E. D.||Ward, Lieut.-col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Plugge, L. F.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|Porritt, R. W.||Seely, Sir H. M.||Warrender, Sir V|
|Power, Sir J. C.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Wedderburn, H. J. S.|
|Pownall, Sir A. Assheton||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Procter, Major H. A.||Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Raikes, H. V. A. M.||Spens, W. P.||Wise, A. R.|
|Ramsay, Captain A. H, M,||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Withers, Sir J. J.|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Storey, S.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Rankin, R.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Sutcliffe, H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Tate, Mavis C.||Mr. James Stuart and Captain|
|Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., s.)||Waterhouse.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Grenfell, D. R,||Pritt, D. N|
|Adamson, W. M.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Qulbell, J. D.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Hall, J. H. (Whltechapel)||Rlley, B.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Rltson, J.|
|Batey, J.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Bevan, A.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Rowson, G.|
|Broad, F. A.||Holland, A.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Hollins, A,||Shinwell. E.|
|Compton, J.||John, W.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Daggar, G.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Dalton, H.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Smith, E, (Stoke)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Kirby, B. V.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Davles, D. L. (Pontyprldd)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng,)|
|Davles, R. J. (Westhnughton)||Lawson, J. J.||Taylor, R.J. (Morpeth)|
|Davles, S. O. (Merthyr)||Leach. W.||Tinker. J. J.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Lee, F.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Ede, J. C.||Logan, D. G.||Westwood, J.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Marklew, E.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Frankel, D.||Montague, F.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Garro-Jones, G. M.||Oliver, G. H.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Gibblns, J.||Paling, W.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Pethick-Lawrence, F.W.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Potts, J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Groves and Mr. Mathers.|
§ Original Question put accordingly.
|Division No. 78.]||AYES.||[10.20 a.m.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)|
|Albery, I. J.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Gridley, Sir A. B.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Craddock, Sir R. H.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Croft, Brig. Gen. Sir H. Page||Grlmston, R. V.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Crooke, J. S.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.)|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Cross, R. H.||Guinness. T. L. E. B.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Crowder, J. F. E.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.||Hanbury, Sir C.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)||Hannah, I. C.|
|Belt, Sir A. L.||Davison, Sir W. H.||Harris, Sir P. A.|
|Bernays, R. H.||De Chair, S. S.||Harvey, G.|
|Blindell, Sir J.||Donner, P. W.||Heilgers, Captin F. F. A.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan|
|Boulton, W. W.||Dugdale, Major T. L.||Herbert, Mnjor J. A. (Monmouth)|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Duggan. H. J.||Holmes, J. S.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Duncan, J. A. L.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O, J.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Dunne, P. R. R.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Eastwood, J. F.||Hudson, Capt. A. D. M. (Hack., N)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Eckersley, P. T.||Hulbert, N. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Kurd, Sir p A.|
|Bull, B. B.||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Jackson, Sit H.|
|Burghley, Lord||Everard, W. L.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)|
|Burgln, Dr. E. L.||Fleming, E. L.||Kirkpatrick, W. M.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Foot, D. M.||Latham, Sir P.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Leckle, J. A.|
|Channon, H.||Ganzonl, Sir J.||Levy, T.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Gluckstein, L. H.||Lindsay, K. M.|
|Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.|
|Colvllle, Lt.-Col. D. J.||Goldle, N. B.||Lloyd, G. W.|
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 158; Noes, 72.
|Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Pownall, Sir A. Asshclon||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.||Procter, Major H. A.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|M'Connell, Sir J.||Ralkes, H. V. A. M.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|McKie, J. H.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Mngnay, T.||Ramsbotham, H.||Thomas, J.P. L. (Hereford)|
|Making, Brig. -Gen. E.||Rankin, R.||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K, M.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Turton, R. H.|
|Maxwell, S. A||Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)||Wakefield, W. W.|
|May hew, Lt.-Col. J.||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Wallace, Captain Euan|
|Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Haggles- Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|Mltcheson, Sir G. G.||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.||Salman, Sir I.||Wedderburn, H. J. S.|
|Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.||Sandys, E. D.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Peake, O.||Seely, Sir H. M.||Wise, A. R.|
|Penny, Sir G.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Fortar)||Withers, Sir J. J.|
|Peters, Dr. S. J.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Petherick, M.||Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.|
|Plugge, L. F.||Spens, W. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Porrltt, R. W.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Mr. James Stuart and Captain|
|Power, Sir J. C.||Storey, S.||Waterhouse.|
|Adams, O. (Consett)||Grenfell, D. R.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Qulbell, J. D.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Rlley, B.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Ritson, J.|
|Batey, J.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Robinson, W. A. (St, Helens)|
|Bevan, A.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Rowson, G.|
|Broad, F. A.||Holland, A.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Hollins, A.||Shinwell, E.|
|Charteton, H. C.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Compton, J.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Daggar, G.||Kirby, B. V.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Dalton, H.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Davidson, J. S. (Maryhill)||Lawson, J. J.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ghfn-le-Sp'ng)|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Leach, W||Taylor, R.J. (Morpeth)|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Lee, F.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Logan, D. G.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Lunn, W.||Westwood, J.|
|Ede, J. C.||Malnwaring, W. H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Marklew, E.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Mathers, G.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Frankel, D.||Montague, F.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Garro-Jones, G. M.||Oliver, G. H.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercllffe)|
|Glbblns, J||Paling, W.|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Potts, J.||Mr. John and Mr. Groves.|