HC Deb 07 April 1913 vol 51 cc965-8

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—[Colonel Seely.]

Captain CRAIG

There is one point of interest in reference to aeroplanes and aircraft of all kinds, as to which we should have some information from the Secretary of State to-night, or at all events on the Committee stage. The only words to be added to the Bill in Clause 5 are, "And also all aircraft of every description." Everybody will be well aware that if there are, say, a hundred privately owned aircraft at a time, and it was found necessary by the Government to take them over under this Army Act, it would also be necessary to take possession of the aerodromes, sheds, and all appurtenances attaching to them. Otherwise the Government might find themselves handicapped if the machines only fitted particular sheds, or if they took over the machines without the spare parts and appliances necessary to make them get under weigh or receive them on land. If the right hon. Gentleman will take that matter into consideration and either make a statement now or in Committee on the Bill he may be able to satisfy us on the points I have put to him.

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Colonel Seely)

The point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman is a most interesting and important one, and I shall be glad to make a full statement upon it on the Committee stage. This Clause is consequent on other legislation which the House was good enough to pass on a Motion made by me, and it includes aircraft and other vessels, as does the Bill to which I refer. The particular point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman is one of real importance, and I certainly shall be glad to make a full statement upon it.


There is another small but important point to which I would like to call the attention of the House and especially the attention of the Secretary of State for War. It arises out of Clause 6 of this Bill, and it has to do with the right or the obligation of a soldier to support his wife and children. Under various Acts of Parliament, and especially under the Summary Jurisdiction Act of 1895, the age up to which children have to be supported by their father is sixteen years. But under Section 145 of the Army Act there is only power to make deductions from the soldier's pay in respect of the child up to fourteen. I hope it will be possible in Committee to bring the Army Act into accord with general legislation in other respects, and make it quite clear that the soldier is liable, just as a civilian, to support children up to the age of sixteen. I shall hand in an Amendment and raise this question, and I hope it will be possible to make the law quite clear.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow (Tuesday).

The Orders for the remaining business were read, and postponed.

It being half-past Eleven of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at Half after Eleven o'clock.