§ (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act the Treasury may advance by way of loan to the Governments of the Protectorates of British East Africa, Nyasaland, and Uganda, for the purpose of the improvement of communications and trade facilities in those Protectorates, any sums not exceeding in the whole three million pounds.
§ (2) The amount advanced to each Protectorate under this Act shall not exceed the maximum amount specified in the Schedule to this Act:
§ Provided that those maximum amounts may be varied by the Treasury and the Secretary of State as between the three Protectorates if it appears to them that it is expedient to do so, having regard to the ultimate requirements of those Protectorates respectively.
§ (4) Every such advance shall bear interest at such rate (not less than two and three-quarters per centum per annum) as the Treasury and the Secretary of State may fix as being sufficient to enable it to be made without loss to the Local Loans Fund, and shall be repaid within such period (not exceeding forty years from the date thereof) as the Treasury 34 and the Secretary of State determine in each case, and either by means of equal instalments of principal, or by means of an annuity of principal and interest combined as may be similarly determined.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That seems to be a direct negative of the Second Reading, and I do not think that I could take an Amendment of that kind.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
May I move in Subsection (1) to leave out the words "of the Protectorates of British East Africa"?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Would it be in order for me to move to report Progress, and ask leave to sit again? We have none of these Amendments on the Paper. The Second Reading of this Bill was only taken just before the Easter adjournment, and we are now being asked to proceed with the Committee Stage of a very important Bill as the first Order after we reassemble.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Baronet had put down his Amendment it would have been more convenient. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme has handed in a number of manuscript Amendments to Clause 1. Several of them will come in more properly on Clause 2, which deals with limitations, and any matter of that kind should be brought up on the second Clause. The first Amendment of the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme in order is to leave out of Sub-section (1) the word "Nyasaland."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I think it would have the same effect if the hon. Member moved to leave out the word "Nyasaland."
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I want to put in Sub-section (1), after the word "may," the limitation "within the next five years." It seems to me proper to make it quite clear at the very earliest point in the Bill that we are not tying Parliament's hands for an indefinite period; and this Amendment does not seem to me to be in the nature of the provisos mentioned in Clause 2. They are conditions which the Protectorate Government have to fulfil before the Treasury and the Colonial Office will consider the matter of a loan. In the first Clause, however, we are dealing with powers granted to the Treasury and the Colonial Office here, and I want to prevent them acting in this Bill, say, some twenty years hence, when Parliament 35 has quite forgotten the circumstances which have rendered these advances necessary. I want to keep the finger of Parliament upon the pulse of the Colonial Office so that they shall not have an indefinite sanction to go on advancing moneys to British East Africa or elsewhere. I submit, therefore, that this is the proper place to insert this limitation.
§ The CHAIRMAN
In that case, it is a limitation on the whole Bill, and ought to be set out in a separate Clause. The hon. Member can move the next Amendment to leave out the word "Nyasaland."
§ The CHAIRMAN
Those words are inserted, of course, in order to prepare the way for the limiting provisions which come up later in the Bill.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "Nyasaland."
By omitting this word we shall confine the Bill to the granting of loans to British East Africa and Uganda, leaving out Nyasaland. British East Africa and Uganda are, in the first place, one area. They adjoin each other, and any money spent in British East Africa will find a natural counterpart in Uganda. Even the main subject of this loan, which, I understand, is the extension of the railway to Uganda, will be expenditure of our money in both those Protectorates. Therefore, I do not quarrel with the idea that this loan should cover both these Protectorates, but Nyasaland is separated by a large distance from British East Africa and Uganda. The conditions there, moreover, are entirely different. British East Africa, we hope, will become a white man's country similar to Rhodesia, but Nyasaland can never be anything but a tropical country; it can never be a white man's country. For that reason I think we ought to hesitate before we start this new principle of granting loans of public money at extraordinary low rates of interest to a Colony such as Nyasaland. There might be some excuse for trying to force development at an unnatural pace in British East Africa. The demand for cotton goods and the demand for some dumping ground for our surplus population might perhaps be some excuse for spending £3,000,000 of money in those more 36 salubrious climates, but none of those reasons extend to Nyasaland. There is a further reason why I really want Nyasaland out of the Bill. Most of the land in British East Africa is leased out for ninety-nine years to various landowners. They have only a temporary interest in the land, and at the end of ninety-nine years it will revert to the Colonial Government. That is some sort of ground for advocating the expenditure of public money in building railways which will send up the value of this land, because ultimately at the end of some eighty or ninety years the additional value will revert to the public, and not simply rest for ever in private pockets. That does not by any means cover the whole of the land in British East Africa. Unfortunately, before the present Colonial Secretary came into power—before, I think, the Liberal Government came into office—large areas in that country had been granted out in fee simple to people like Lord Delamere, the Eckstein group, and Lord Hindlip. Various large landowners got early rights in that Colony over very large areas indeed. Their land is certainly outside the general scheme of British East Africa, where, generally speaking, the land is held on a terminable tenure. In Uganda the land still belongs to the chiefs. Therefore, in both those countries the expenditure of money on railways or even on roads will ultimately benefit the Governments in those countries. Unfortunately, it is at such a distant date that the benefit is hardly one we may take into account, but there is that ultimate reversionary interest to be obtained in those countries.
There is no such consideration at all in the case of Nyasaland, because there, unfortunately, all the land is held now by white squatters in fee simple. They have an absolute title, and there is no reversion to the State. There is no interest in the land except that of the white settler, and we ought to hesitate a good deal before we advance British money at an artificially low rate of interest in order that the owners of all these plantations may get a bigger return for their investment. They have already got the land, but it is not our business to make that land more valuable than it is already. There is no doubt that if this £816,000, nearly £1,000,000, is voted by this House, every single estate in Nyasaland will rise in value some 10 or 20 per cent. by reason of the possibility of the expenditure of the money. The mere passing of the money 37 without the actual expenditure will increase the saleable value of those properties, and I think we ought to be very careful before we make these loans to landlords, however estimable. I know that the hon. Member for Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees) is interested in the district, and, if I were interested, probably I should like to get the loan just as much as he does; but we represent the taxpayers, and we ought not to pick out particular landowners in particular countries and make them the recipients of our beneficent legislation. I know that the Colonial Secretary will say this is not a Grant, but merely a loan. That is merely playing with words. The money is lent upon terms which these Colonies by themselves could not possibly obtain. If they went into the market in the City of London to-morrow and tried to raise the money for financing this railway or developing these districts, or making new roads, they could not raise it at less than from 5 per cent. or 4½ per cent. In any case, it would be a rate of interest out of any comparison with the rate they would have to pay under this Bill. In the Bill the minimum rate of interest is to be 2¾ per cent. I expect we shall be told on behalf of the Government that that is not the rate of interest they propose to charge, that 2¾ per cent. is merely pro forma. That is all very well for this Government, but if we had a Government which would be representative of these big interests in British East Africa, if not under their control and influence, and if we pass this Bill there is nothing to prevent the Colonial Office in that case, or the Treasury, from reducing the rate of interest to 2¾ per cent. The last loan made to British East Africa, it is true, was made at 3½ per cent., and the presumption is that this money will also be advanced at 3½ per cent. and not at 2¾ per cent. Even if that be so, there is a great difference between getting this sum of over three-quarters of a million at 3½ per cent. instead of the 4½ per cent. or 5 per cent. which they would have to pay in the money market at the present time. It amounts to a direct bonus of from 25 per cent. to 30 per cent. on the total amount of money proposed to be advanced. That is to say, if this loan of over £800,000 is made on these artificially low terms we are, in fact, presenting to them about one-fourth of £800,000, or £200,000 cash down.
I have not been able to get the figures of the population of Nyasaland, but I should be surprised if the population of the country includes more than 2,000 white 38 inhabitants. To give £200,000 to a country with only 2,000 white inhabitants seems to me to be little short of a scandal. I know the population of British East Africa is 1,855,000 and the white population is only 3,175. It is asking the House of Commons to do a great deal when it is asked to make a loan on these artificial terms to a white community which consists of very little over 3,000 inhabitants. I do not think the Committee should be misled by the Government calling this a Loans Bill. It is in fact a grant of public money. To lend people money at a low rate of interest really means presenting them with a certain capital sum. They could not get this money in the market at less than 4½ per cent. or 5 per cent., and if it is lent to them at 3 per cent. to 3½ per cent. you are giving them the difference between the amount of money that could be obtained at each of these rates. There is a big principle involved in this Bill which will not be confined to Nyasaland. If we once yield to the clamour of the different Protectorates such as British East Africa and Nyasaland the next claim will come as I rather hope from Nigeria. If you once agree to assist some of the Protectorates and Colonies in that way other Protectorates and Colonies will claim an equal right to the advance of money on artificially low terms. You will have created a precedent.
It is a new precedent. I do not think it compares at all with the Grant of £30,000,000 to South Africa after the Boer war. We advanced that, and I know it will be said it was a precedent, but that was after a war, and it was absolutely necessary that we should put our hands into our pockets to save many people from starvation. Similarly a Grant was made to Jamaica after the earthquake there, but in that case the country was ruined, and we had to make the Grant on artificially low terms. This, however, is the first time that British credit has been pledged to secure a loan to a Colonial Government which is not paying its way at the present time, and requires a subsidy from year to year, although I admit that Nyasaland does pay its way, and that there is a balance there between income and expenditure. But Nyasaland is not and never can be a white man's country, and there is no excuse in that case for forced development, whatever may be the case in British East Africa. There is a back belt of land which is still the property of the native chiefs in Nyasaland, but half of the total area is the property of white 39 men in fee simple, and therefore just as in the case of British East Africa, the expenditure of this money will simply go to increase the value of the property of these people. For these reasons I do urge the Committee to reconsider the advance of this money to this very small, minute, and interesting Colony of Nyasaland.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. Member who has just spoken, but I think he was a little in error when he alluded to the rate of interest. I understood him to say that although the minimum rate of interest in the Bill was 2¾ per cent., that would not be the rate at which the Government would advance the money, and that another Government might come in, and there would be nothing to prevent them, if they were contaminated by the influence of landowners, from advancing the money at 2¾ per cent. I think he is mistaken. If he will look at the Bill he will see the words:—
"(4) Every such advance shall bear interest at such rate (not less than two and three-quarters per centum per annum) as the Treasury and the Secretary of State may fix as being sufficient to enable it to be made without loss to the Local Loans Fund. …"
Therefore, if the interest was reduced to 2¾ per cent. it must be without loss to the Local Loans Fund. The rate of interest at which money can be raised without loss to the Local Loans Fund at present is 3½ per cent. I do not know whether the hon. Member expects another Government soon to come into existence, and that when it comes into existence it will be much easier for that Government to borrow money at a lower rate of interest than right hon. Gentlemen opposite can do. No doubt that is true—
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)
Do you anticipate that Consols will fall?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
They will borrow money at a cheaper rate because the price of stocks must rise. I think the money could be borrowed at a cheaper rate. Prices would rise in the market because there would be greater confidence in the Government. I am glad to see that hon. Members agree with me on that point. The hon. Member moved this Amendment on the ground that there are only 2,000 white people in Nyasaland, and they are 40 all landlords, and consequently no money should be advanced to them for the sake of improving the communications or trade facilities of the district. I do not quite know what "trade facilities" mean, and I have handed in an Amendment to leave out the words in order to ascertain what they actually mean, but I will not discuss that now. It is not a good reason to refuse to advance money to Nyasaland merely because a certain class of people will benefit. So far as I am concerned, if the money is really to be devoted to the benefit of Nyasaland, if it will tend to encourage people to go out there and to extend the Dominions of this country, I should be in favour of the money being advanced. Whether or not the right sum is advanced, or whether or not it is advisable to do it in this way, I do not know, but I presume that those questions would be more in order upon the question that the Clause stand part of the Bill, and I shall defer any remarks I wish to make on that subject until you, Sir, put that question. If the hon. Member goes to a Division on this particular Amendment, I am afraid I shall not be able to vote with him. He has made this point, if it is correct, that the number of white inhabitants in Nyasaland is only 2,000, and the sum of £816,000, which is the sum to be advanced, does seem to be a rather large sum to advance to a Colony which, apparently at present, is so sparsely populated with white people.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I never said it was. I said that it was advanced to a Colony which is so sparsely populated as only to have 2,000 white men in it at the present moment. No doubt it is advanced to encourage settlers to go there, to improve the means of communication, and for other purposes according to the Bill. I should like to have some further information as to what is the prospect of white settlers going to Nyasaland before we commit ourselves to this amount. I really know nothing whatever about that, and the Committee should have some information upon that subject While I am on that point, may I point out to the right hon. Gentleman that he obtained both the Committee and the Report stages of the Resolution after eleven o'clock without any discussion whatever, owing to the foolishness of hon. Members on this side? Consequently we are justified in asking for full particulars upon the Committee 41 stage of the Bill. I only mention that in order to remind the right hon. Gentleman that if I do have a few remarks to make I am perfectly justified in making them, because it was his persuasive eloquence which saved him on those two particular occasions.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
I desire to make one or two observations somewhat on the lines of those of the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir F. Banbury). When one remembers what a difficult matter it is in this House to obtain loans for the development of our own country and for the purposes of public works and improvements here, one is a little surprised at the rapidity and case with which great Loans and Grants of this description can be secured for Colonies which are not suitable at all to white people. The Secretary for the Colonies can take it from me as an outsider that that seems to be one of the most important elements in this case. If the contention of the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) is correct, that under no circumstances can Nyasaland ever be a white man's country, I agree with the hon. Baronet that some definite and cogent reasons ought to be given by the Government for including Nyasaland in these Grants. If the statement of the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme is correct, there are only 2,000 white people there, and I understand a considerable amount of effort and money have been spent on this Colony already. When one considers that, in spite of that expenditure, there are only 2,000 white people there, and that there is no prospect, for climatic and other reasons, of the country ever becoming more thickly populated with white people, and also the remarkable fact, for which the evidences are overwhelming, of the way in which neglect to assist our own industries and people and our affairs at home, one would like to hear some justification for the Bill now before the Committee.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Evidently the unhappy landlord is not likely to get more justice in Nyasaland than in the United Kingdom. The remarks of the hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood) were, I fear, governed by the prejudice he unconsciously nourishes against the landed interest.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I am afraid he has unintentionally misled the Committee as to 42 the facts. It surely is not the case that Nyasaland is not a white man's country. In point of fact, Nyasaland consists of a plateau and low country. I know that the low country is not what is generally termed a white man's country. So far as I am aware—I have not been there, but I have special means of knowing the facts—white settlers live well and have propagated their species and can Jive for several generations in the plateau, which is properly considered to be a white man's country. I will instance Sir Harry Johnstone, whom the Committee will accept as a good authority on the subject. Sir Harry Johnstone certainly always maintained that the higher part of Nyasaland, that is, the large plateau, was fit to be a white man's country. There is another point as regards the land upon which the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme has unintentionally misled the Committee. He said, in regard to Nyasaland, that all the land which was worth having was already alienated and in the hands of landlords. That is very far from being the case. So little is it the case that when the Colonial Office were under contract to pay for the construction of the Shire Highlands Railway, which runs from the lowland to the upland plateau, and when they were under contract to give some 3,750 acres for every square mile for making that line, the right hon. Gentleman declined to carry out that part of his contract and, by arrangement, substituted for it another form of remuneration to the railway, and he did that on the ground that this land, which, I admit, comprises a great deal of the best land in the Protectorate, was already occupied to a considerable extent by the natives. The right hon. Gentleman was anxious that they should not be disturbed in their tenancy, and arrangements were made for leaving that land in their possession and in the possession of the State, so that there should be no encroachment upon those whom hon. Gentlemen opposite might describe as the indigenous landlords—the natives who live in the place. I hope the hon. Member will accept that from me as a fact, because he has unconsciously misled the Committee. Then it was rather suggested by the hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood) that this loan only benefited the white community. That is entirely a mistaken view. It is quite true that the white community are a very small proportion of the population of this 43 particular Protectorate, and for that reason it is the case that any loan of this sort which is raised only upon the security of the Colony will benefit the natives of the country. They have already immensly increased in prosperity within the last few years. They are much less poverty-stricken than they were, and the further development of their communications would increase the cotton cultivation—such valuable cotton as is cultivated there.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I did not stop them running away. The construction of this railway will be of greater advantage to the natives of Nyasaland than to anyone else. I really challenge contradiction upon that. It will also, for the reason given by the Colonial Secretary the other day, save the British taxpayer in the long run, and will also be of advantage to Lancashire in providing that particular kind of cotton which of all others it wants. I should hesitate to say anything about any company which operated in this area and abstained from doing so on the last occasion, but after the remarks of my hon. Friend I will say that I do not think it is a criminal act or an outrage on the part of British capitalists to expend £2,000,000 in this country, upon which they have not received a penny of return, in the development of Nyasaland. Really it is a very odd thing that they should be attacked for that. They are not buying up land. They are not extending their area. The lands which they at present own were acquired long ago by private individuals from whom they purchased them. In so far as the action of the British Government and the Colonial Office goes, I think they have not acquired a single acre. On the contrary, the policy of the Government has been not to alienate a yard of land in Nyasaland. The shareholders and debenture holders of the company who have expended all this money would naturally be entitled to participate pro rata in the resulting prosperity, and they would to some extent profit by any development of communications in Nyasaland, which is the case with all owners of any sort or kind in all countries of the world, and it is an amazing thing that those who are sufficiently enterprising to go to this distant country to build a railway there and to open it out should 44 be really treated by the hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood), whose zeal for single taxing rather runs away with his judgment, as if they had been guilty of some criminal act rather than of that enterprise which has built up the British Empire. Then the hon. Member said it was only habitable by coloured persons, but the plateau of Nyasaland, upon which sub-tropical vegetable products grow, comprises several clmates at different levels, some of which are admirably suited for European settlers, although the lowland tropical country is unfit for European settlers. I do not know where he gets his information about the vast quantities of land leased out by the Colonial Office on a ninety-nine years lease in Nyasaland.
§ Sir J. D. REES
In spite of the intervening distance to which he referred as considerable, the hon. Member leapt backwards and forwards from one Protectorate to another, so he must excuse me if I really failed to follow his argument in that particular. He said there were plantations all round Lake Nyasa. If it is so I am not aware of it. I believe there are very few, if any, plantations on the shores of Lake Nyasa. The hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) said he presumed that this money was to be loaned to Nyasaland for the purpose of encouraging settlers. I really do not know. If it is, that would be a good object, but it is not the sole object. I submit that no one stands to profit more than, if so much as, the native inhabitants, of Nyasaland by the opening out of their territories.
§ Sir J. D. REES
If it is considered that this sum is being provided solely for European settlers I shall be very much surprised. It is a very rough and ready method of giving the substance of this Bill to say there are so many European settlers, and there are £816,000 and divide one into the other, and the House of Commons make a gift of so much to each European settler. That is not by any means the purport or the effect of this Bill. However, my particular object was only to call attention to particulars in which, I think, the hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood) seriously, though unintentionally, misled the House.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
My hon. Friend (Mr. Wedgwood) spoke of forcing development at an unnatural pace in these Protectorates. He really, altogether, misunderstood the situation with which I have to deal. I am not forcing development, but I am endeavouring to meet a development which has gone so far ahead of any reasonable anticipation which we could have had, and so far ahead of any communication which we are able at present to afford in order to get the produce to the coast—produce which is tending greatly to the benefit of the natives who produce it and greatly to those who employ it as raw material in this country. In Nyasaland it is most desirable that roads or a railway should be made northwards to the Lake in order to develop the trade of the northern part of that Protectorate and to develop it just as much for the advantage of these coloured inhabitants as of the white inhabitants, and I do not propose for that purpose to take a differential census between them. My hon. Friend talked as if we were imposing a charge on the taxpayers of this country, and he spoke of our generosity. We are doing nothing of the kind. All we are lending them is our credit. It is not going to cost the hon. Member or his constituents one farthing.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
It is still so valuable an asset that I have to come to the House of Commons for permission to pledge it for the advantage of the Protectorates for which we are now responsible. There is no grant of money at all. There is no paying proposed to be done by the Treasury or by the taxpayers of this country. The whole of the loan is to be repayable as regards interest and sinking fund. The rates of interest will be regulated by what are the market conditions at the time that the local loan is issued. My hon. Friend said that this was the first time that British credit had been pledged for such a purpose as this to a Crown Colony except that he gave the instances of South Africa, after the South African war and the earthquake in Jamaica, but his usually accurate and fertile memory has betrayed him on this occasion. There was precisely a similar Bill to this in 1899—I admit not a year of very good precedent—in which loans were made for precisely similar purposes to Protectorates and Crown Colonies who were then receiving Grants-in-Aid, which East Africa and Nyasaland are not receiving—to the Gold Coast, the Niger 46 Coast Protectorate, Lagos, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, the Malay States, Barbadoes, St. Vincent, the Seychelles, Cyprus, and Mauritius.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
It was rather more than I am asking for—£3,351,000. It was suggested, I think, that the East Africa Protectorate was not paying its way. As a matter of fact it is this year out of a Grant-in-Aid from the Treasury. Nyasaland requires no further Grant-in-Aid, but it has contributed greatly to the industry of this country. It is doing great credit to the Government which has been carried on there under our ægis for many years, and it is producing large crops of tobacco, cotton, and coffee, most of which find their way to this country, and all of which contribute to the prosperity and the well-being of the natives there. I am convinced that Nyasaland is well entitled to the share which I propose it should have out of this loan which is to cost this country nothing, and I hope, therefore, the House will not contemplate for a moment omitting Nyasaland from the Bill.
§ Mr. GRANT
I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that we shall not have to spend any of our money in this country. Of course there is the question of security, and perhaps hon. Members opposite, if they had local personal knowledge of the Colonies, would not be so anxious as they are. The records of these Protectorates are such that they turn any sort of speculation into a very good investment. The hon. Member has moved to omit Nyasaland. Of all these three Protectorates, if any has a claim on the House it is Nyasaland. More work has been done in Nyasaland by individual enterprise than in either of the other Colonies, though it has never been so much in the limelight. Magnificent work has been done by white settlers, first of all, I think, by Scotch missionaries, in developing the country. I was there twenty-five years ago, when the position was very different from what it is at present. Since then it has developed entirely by the efforts of individuals, and with very little assistance from the Government. I think there is no question whatever that the Highlands there are as much a white man's country as many portions of East Africa. Of course there are swamps in the Lowlands where it is not so, but the Highlands and plateaux are just as healthy as perhaps most 47 healthy places in East Africa. I know men who were there twenty-five years ago who have married and are still there, even in the swampy countries. Hon. Members have criticised the idea of this money being spent on a limited number of white men. It is not only for the white man that the money is being spent. Last year some 20,000 of the natives in these countries trekked down to South Africa to find work in the mines. They are a very thrifty and a hardy race, and are anxious to work, and they have a most fertile country. The natives do not like leaving their own country; they would very much prefer to remain there. Here you have a region where these men are anxious to work and to go ahead, and, of course, they want carrying facilities. They feel compelled to go, or it may be that they are sent by the chief, down to the mines of South Africa to bring back money to their own country. I hope that part of the money which the right hon. Gentleman is asking credit for will be used to run the railway up into the Angola country. If it were in order to do so, I would move that an increased amount of £500,000 should be asked for Nyasaland. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman is asking enough if facilities are to be provided and if the country is to be properly developed. The country is simply an outlying State of the Home Country. I do not care to whom the land belongs; it is our interest to develop the land, not only on behalf of the natives, but on behalf of the home workers of this country. Every step we take in that direction is good for that country and good for us at home. If the hon. Gentleman opposite goes to a Division on the Amendment, I will vote against him. I wish the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to go further than he has done. I wish he would extend the money a little more, so as to provide adequately for the development of the country.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I am not persuaded by the reply of the Secretary of State for the Colonies that he has any case at all for taking this money. I do not think he has given any reply to my hon. Friend (Mr. Wedgwood) who moved the Amendment. I took a careful note of his two points, and I understand that he asks this House to give him over £750,000 because he is endeavouring to meet development in a land which does not belong to us, and that the development is to be met 48 by the creation either of roads or railways towards the North. I am perfectly certain that there are a great many Members of this House who would suggest to him and the Government other districts in the North where roads and railways are required for similar purposes of development of lands that belong to us and over which we have got no Protectorate. The second point was that we were not lending, but simply lending credit. I should like to understand from the Colonial Secretary exactly what takes place when you lend British credit in a land that does not belong to you. I take it that there is some local authority on the spot which approves—some individual or some company with schemes for developing the country which does not belong to us. If the people in authority in this country which does not belong to us approve of the schemes for developing the country, they pledge our credit to the extent of £750,000 for the success of their schemes. Presume that one of these schemes fail, how are we to get control of the people who are developing the scheme in a country which does not belong to us, and over which we have no control beyond that of a Protectorate? How are we able to recover our money?
§ The CHAIRMAN
This seems to be a speech on the Second Reading of the Bill. That point was raised and fully debated on that stage. We are now dealing with the question as to whether Nyasaland should be differentiated from the other Protectorates.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Amendment is to leave out Nyasaland. I presume that it will be in order for the hon. Member to state his reasons for leaving out Nyasaland. If there is not much reason to think that Nyasaland would be able to meet its obligations, it might be that the other two Protectorates could meet their obligations if Nyasaland was left out.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I shall endeavour to confine myself to your ruling. If I was out of order, I was betrayed into that in attempting to reply to the second point of the Colonial Secretary who elaborated the argument that we were not lending the money, but lending credit, and I was trying to conjure up what would happen in regard to Nyasaland in the case of our losing the credit behind us in connection with any of these schemes. I shall leave that point. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Grant) reminded us that recently there was a trek of some 20,000 natives from Nyasaland south to the mines in order that they might make, presumably, a livelihood. One would like to ask why it was necessary for 20,000 natives to leave their own land to find a livelihood elsewhere.
§ Mr. HOGGE
The hon. Member suggests that there was a famine last year. If there was a famine, I should have imagined that a Gentleman like the hon. Member would have reminded this House of the fact, and would have sought relief for those people afflicted by famine last-year, just as he appears to be anxious now to secure this credit from the British public for that country. The real reason obviously is that these men were driven out of Nyasaland for the same reason that people are driven out of lands anywhere—because they have no access to their own lands, and because their own lands have been exploited or stolen by people who have no right to be there. The natives who were born to enjoy what we call their country are denied their rights by a Government which is supposed to be the pioneer of freedom all over the world.
§ Mr. HOGGE
The hon. Member said his hon. Friend knew all about it, but when his hon. Friend intervened, he pointed out that there was no such thing as a famine, thereby revealing the poverty of the argument of the hon. Member for East Nottingham. The hon. Member pointed out that there was a low-lying part occupied by natives and a high-lying part, or plateau, occupied by white people, and he informed the House that, so far as climatic conditions were concerned, there was no possible reason why white people should not live for generations on that plateau. It is interesting to surmise how many generations they could live on the plateau, and whether we could expect to find in Nyasaland descendants of the famous Biblical personages noted for longevity. The hon. Member also pointed out that this money would benefit the natives of the country. I take it that one of our objects in being in the House of Commons is to benefit the natives of our own country, and, therefore, we are bound surely to be extremely jealous of the pledging of British credit to such an ex tent as will preclude those of us who re present our constituents in this House from obtaining equally necessary loans. I hope I will keep within the limits of order in making only one reference by way of illustration to what I mean. For example, Scottish Members have been hammering at the Government for a sum of £3,600—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is making a Second Beading speech. The House has passed the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. HOGGE
If the amount for Nyasaland, which is nearly £750,000, were left out as the Amendment proposes, then this would be an obvious object for which our credit would not be pledged. I do not mean to go into this at any length, but I wish to make the House cognisant of what was in my mind, and to show how we are putting up opposition to this Bill. In ordinary circumstances we might be in favour of loans to different parts of the British Empire if the thing were fairly done, but this is not fairly done. It has been pointed out that one reason for 51 granting this loan is to open up lines of communication throughout Nyasaland and other parts of the Protectorate. I presume I must at present confine myself to Nyasaland alone. When these roads and communications are made in Nyasaland, who gets the increase? Is it the natives of Nyasaland or do we, as the mother Government who stand behind the credit for the money that is advanced? Do we get any advantage from these particular roads or communications that are to be laid down? My hon. Friend for one of the Divisions of Aberdeenshire is, I know, interested in lines of communication between England and Scotland—lines of communication which would yield a profit to the Government if they would open them up. Here is a proposal to advance money to a Protectorate thousands of miles away from this country which will enable them to open up facilities in their land which are denied to us here at home by our Government. For these reasons, and a large number of others which I could advance if I were in order, I am opposed to this particular proposal, and I will vote with my hon. Friend if he goes to a Division.
§ Mr. STEPHEN GWYNN
There is one particular reason why I should be opposed to the Amendment of my hon. Friend. I take it that there are certain cases in which this country is justified in expenditure of a promising kind on its Colonies, and in this respect Nyasaland occupies a peculiar position. So far as my reading goes, it is the only one of the tropical Colonies in which money has never been wasted on war. I cannot remember either any war or any punitive expedition in Nyasaland. These people have never counted upon the Government of this country for that kind of expenditure which is only wasteful and murderous. They have managed their country well, and I think that to give assistance to the local Government in a case of that kind is a good thing. I am not quite sure about our title in a Dependency of that kind, but there is no doubt that we are in control of that country, and I think on the whole that the Lest thing which we can do for the people is to assist them in making railways, which is one thing that they cannot do for themselves. In doing that we do a service not only to them, but also a service to this country, because the effect of giving railways and increasing communication in Nyasaland will be to increase the purchas- 52 ing power of Nyasaland, and to make Nyasaland a better market for British produce. That is where the interests of the constituents of hon. Members will come in, and of all the British Possessions in Africa that for which I should be most inclined to vote money for the relief of existing authorities is Nyasaland.
§ Mr. J. M. HENDERSON
I do not object to advancing money to improve the condition of the inhabitants of Nyasaland if the advance will in any way be of advantage to this country. But that is my difficulty. We have been told nothing about the existing volume of trade in Nyasaland or Uganda. We have not been told who will be responsible for the repayment of the money, or how we can be assured that the money will not be lost. No doubt the negroes in Nyasaland are very amiable men and were created for some wise purpose. But we always find that when we want money for ourselves, and for little extensions of railways or telegraphs, or something else, the British taxpayer is always trotted out; and yet we can have £20,000, £30,000 and even £800,000 for some distant place over which we have very little control. Can my right hon. Friend give any particulars as to what is the volume of trade, and what is the amount of cotton or coffee produced and as to whether the trade is sufficiently worth all this money? My right hon. Friend spoke about lending the money, but if the British Government will lend me their credit that is all I want. I can get the money all right. If Nyasaland does not belong to this country, the ultimate benefit of this expenditure will inure not to this country necessarily, but to the natives or settlers in Nyasaland. I think therefore that we want a little more information, before making this advance for improvements, as to what is the trade, both outwards and inwards, and what are the sources of revenue. We know very well that the principal source of income in Uganda is shooting licences. They keep a reserve of big wild game, and the biggest revenue comes from that. Before I make up my mind as to voting, I want to know what is the volume of trade in Nyasaland at the present moment, what is it is anticipated it will be, who is responsible for seeing that this loan is paid, and who will scrutinise the expenditure of it on the various contracts for laying railways?
§ Mr. BOOTH
I was not inclined to vote for this Amendment until I heard the speech of my right hon. Friend the 53 Colonial Secretary. He convinced e that it was my duty to vote against the Government if this is pressed to a Division. I understood his principal point to be that this is a thriving Colony which is doing very well. I say, therefore, let well alone. I fail to see how, when a Colony, particularly Nyasaland, is going on so admirably, you are going to improve it by State meddling or State loans. It seems to be assumed by hon. Members opposite that for the State to put money into a given locality must surely do it good. In my opinion it must invariably do it harm, and that applies particularly to Nyasaland. If the Colonial Secretary is right and things are going on so well, and such progress is being made, that justifies us in waiting a little further before pledging British credit for this advance. But suppose that his facts are wrong, and that money is needed, that this Colony is not doing well, and, as the hon. Member for East Nottingham suggested, that even debenture holders can get no return, it is quite clear that this is not the right time to make a loan of £800,000. Hon. Members opposite again and again have said that we ought to have a business Government to develop the resources of our own property. I cannot, of course, at this point raise, what I raised on the Second Reading, and hope to raise again on the Third Reading, as to whether this is a British Possession or not. I do not know whether the Union Jack waves over Nyasaland or not. We can get no definite statement from the Treasury Bench on this point; but I do not think that £800,000 should be paid out for this territory with a vague political position which no one dares to define for fear of international complications.
Even if hon. Members are correct, and that it is the duty of a grandmotherly Government to give assistance to develop and encourage particular Colonies by huge State doles of money, we should do it on business lines. What would a business house do if it were developing a new scheme in Nyasaland? It would not primarily pledge its credit for a large sum of money, but it would send out a business man to administer the money that required to be spent. If we are to take a business view, and Nyasaland is in a deplorable state, as the hon. Member for East Nottingham suggests, and needs our help through a Grant of money, let us do it on business lines. The political position is so very indefinite in regard to this place that 54 no light can be thrown upon it. Whenever a question is asked, it is evaded, because it is one of these troublesome things that bring the Foreign Office into conflict with the Colonial Office. But waiving that for the moment, because it is a Second Reading point, the business point in relation to Nyasaland is just as vague and unsatisfactory as the political position. Who are the people who are to be responsible for repaying the money? The loan is for forty years. Can anyone say what Nyasaland will be during the next forty years? Who can say what kind of Government will last for that period? We are making that loan now when there is a population of less than 2,000 whites. Are we prepared at this stage of development to pledge our credit for this Colony?
If we are to develop the country we should know more about it. If we are to send such a large sum of money there let us boldly place the country under the Union Jack, and administer it from some Department under this House. We do not know whether these settlers will decrease or not. Very likely the 2,000 settlers who are there at present will not stay there for ever. In a few years there may be 4,000 whites, or 40,000, or only 1,000; but there will be very different people there long before the forty years have passed. We do not know who is going to repay the money. We do not know what the future of this territory will be. Therefore, no case has been made out for retaining Nyasaland in the clause. The hon. Member for Egremont (Mr. J. A. Grant) suggested a very novel idea. The hon. Member suggested that some Scotch missionaries visited the place. Are we giving this loan to Nyasaland in order to further the Christian religion? If our desire is to spread Christian civilisation I want to know are we going to do what was done by Spain, in connection with its military conquests? Spain extended its conquests in the name of religion. Religious men accompanied its troops and were the protectors of the natives. The priest, as a rule, was the champion of the native population. He was the first to learn their language, and at times he made representations on their behalf to the authorities in Spain as against the local military chiefs; and in reference to the remarks of the hon. Member for Egremont, I want to know are we going to do that in Nyasaland?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member for Egremont (Mr. Grant) simply spoke a 55 single sentence in allusion to the fact that Nyasaland owed much in its early days to a Scottish missionary, but I think that is a very small peg on which to hang an argument.
§ Mr. BOOTH
Although I may have attached too much importance to my point, it is not suggested that it is not in order. I want to make this point, that if we have the courage of our opinions we should plant our flag in Nyasaland, that we should have a definite Government, and that we should make someone responsible there for the administration of the money. The position at present is too indefinite. To say that this is in the interests of the natives is a thing that I do not believe for a moment. This money which is to be borrowed is not in the interests of the natives, nor do I know of any request from the natives for money. The natives in Nyasaland, as in other parts of Africa, do not want to be exploited. They have got their own ideals, and they do not want to bring in railways, and to be moved about by promoters from one place to another. That is not at all what the natives want. They do not want to be moved every other day like a Cabinet Minister. They want to settle down. I would rather, before giving my vote, hear some more full pronouncement from the right hon. Gentleman, whose ability and courage we all admire. I think the House is entitled to hear some explanation of why this £816,000 is necessary for Nyasaland, and if the money is to be advanced it should be done on business lines, with someone responsible and in authority in regard to the expenditure of the money.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I will answer the questions which have been put to me quite shortly. The loan will be raised by the Local Loans Commissioners in England. The Treasury will have to be satisfied as to the provisions made for its repayment. It will have full control through the Colonial Office and the British Government over the Protectorate, and over the whole of its finance. I have been asked about the finance and treasury of Nyasaland. I will give the figures to the House. The Nyasaland revenue in 1905–6 was £69,000; it is estimated for this year to be £139,000. The Grant-in-Aid in 1905–6, found by the taxpayers in this country, was £32,000, and last year and this year it has been nil. The exports from Nyasaland in 1903–4 were of the value of £27,000; 56 in. 1912–13 they were of the value of £174,000. I cannot imagine a series of figures, taken over those years for which this Government has been responsible for the Nyasaland Protectorate, which can show a more progressive Protectorate or a better example of liberal administration for all the inhabitants of the country, irrespective of those which I have stated. They show what we have been able to do-for them, and what I think may be expected to be the still further advance and prosperity of that country by the loan which we propose to make for the extension of the railway, which has already been a blessing.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what the expenses in Nyasaland were? I think the revenue was £69,000.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
There was a Grant-in-Aid of £32,000 added to the revenue of £69,000, in order to meet the expenditure. That was in the year 1905–6, immediately after the hon. Baronet and his Friends had done with the country. We came into power in that year, and the result now is that there is no Grant-in-Aid, that there-is no deficit, and that there is a revenue in the country of £139,000.
Mr. F. HALL (Dulwich)
I think the speeches which have been made by hon. Members on the other side this afternoon simply confirm the idea of their principles formed not only on this side, but among some Members on the benches opposite, that their policy is that of the Little Englanders—that money should be spent in our own country, and that we should not go out of our way to develop our own Colonies or those countries to which we have promised to give our protection. If hon. Members had considered the figures which the Colonial Secretary has given, or if they had been within the knowledge of those hon. Members, they would have shown themselves by their speeches more thoroughly conversant with the whole question of Nyasaland. The hon. Member for Egremont is one of those Members of the House who has a personal knowledge of the facts of that country, and I think his remarks made it perfectly plain that it was necessary for its further development that this assistance should be given, and that the produce of that country should be brought down, in order that it might be placed on ships for exportation. I should have thought that under those circumstances the great 57 majority of Members in this House would have considered that the Government, at all events, for once are doing right in making this advance, or, at any rate, in standing behind the credit of Nyasaland in order that the necessary loan may be obtained. I could not help wondering at the figures which were stated by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood). He apparently is unaware of the fact that the East African Protectorate has not been so financially successful as Nyasaland itself. He did not mind the fact that £1,855,000 is being granted to the East African Protectorate, but he did take exception to the fact that, considering Nyasaland has only 2,000 white people, the sum of £816,000 should be advanced to that country. I wonder if my hon. Friend knows that in the East African Protectorate there are only a little over 3,000 whites.
Mr. F. HALL
If the hon. Member knows that there are only a little over 3,000 in the East African Protectorate, I cannot help thinking, though it was perhaps unintentional, that he was misleading the Committee, when he suggested that it was ill-advised in a case where there were only 2,000 whites, to make this loan. I submit that if we have taken under our care any Colonies or any countries in any part of the world, it is necessary that we should give them every attention in order that they may be developed, and may become the successes which we desire to see. I think the figures given this afternoon by the Colonial Secretary ought at all events to set at Test the minds of many of those hon. Gentlemen who are so carefully considering every penny that is to be expended because it does not happen to go to those parts with which they themselves are familiar. The figures which have been given prove that assistance heretofore has been money well spent, and I sincerely trust that Members of this House, by a large majority, will back up His Majesty's Government in this matter. It was rather amusing to hear from an hon. Member on the other side of the House that no definite statement can be obtained from Members on the Treasury Bench. I think there are many Members in this House who will endorse that observation. But it seems rather extraordinary that it should have emanated from one who, one would suppose, is at all events a strong adherent and follower of His Majesty's Government. I 58 am rather anxious to see whether those hon. Members who have spoken against the policy of the Government in this specific case will, when the Division takes place, once more bring their minds to that degree of satisfaction which will enable them to support the Government, notwithstanding the fact that they have stated that this amount of money ought not to be advanced.
§ Mr. MORTON
I do not desire to make a Second Reading speech, and I hope, therefore, Sir, to keep in order so far as your ruling is concerned in regard to the voting of this money, and unless the money is voted by the Committee you cannot go on with the Bill. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down seems to think he has got over the difficulty by calling us names, because, apparently, we do not want the money of the people to go outside this country among syndicalists and promoters of companies, and in other ways all over the world. My hon. Friend from Ireland (Mr. Stephen Gwynn) spoke on the subject, and I am not surprised at his observations, seeing that he represents people who are to get £200,000,000 at a low rate of interest. I believe that Uganda, at any rate, has already had over £6,000,000 granted by this country, in grants and loans and whether or not we have got any return for it I do not know. My real objection to the proposal is that we want this money in the Highlands of Scotland.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have no doubt all hon. Members could say something similar, but, if I allowed the hon. Gentleman to proceed on the line he is taking, I would have to allow the whole of the Members of the Committee to advocate the spending of money in their constituencies. That is clearly not in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman will see what would happen on the Committee stage of a Bill if every hon. Member, in discussing its provisions, advocated the individual interests of his own constituency. That is a position which I cannot allow.
§ Mr. MORTON
All I wish to say about the point is that I object to the Government making this loan, more especially when there are many parts of this country in which the money is wanted. I suppose we are attempting to do what is called "colonising East Africa." I want to do what Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman promised in 1905, namely, to "colonise our own country first." I have in my pocket and elsewhere many letters—
§ The CHAIRMAN
If I allow the hon. Member to continue, his example will be followed, I have no doubt, by others.
§ Mr. MORTON
My constituents are asking for a similar advance at a low rate of interest, and all I am asking is that before the Government make this one they should attend to my Constituency, from which has come a lot of applications.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member has tried three times to continue the point, and I cannot allow him to proceed with it.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MORTON
I am sorry I cannot discuss the question. It is a matter of economy, and it is a question of doing justice to your own people in your own country first. I am ashamed of the Government, because they absolutely refuse to do justice to their own people in their own country. I am sorry we cannot give our reasons for voting against this, or for objecting to it. I am sorry I cannot promise that we shall vote against it, because we shall be driven to support the Government in any case; but that ought not to prevent our saying what we think about it. All I can say now is, that I am not allowed to discuss the question, or to give my reasons for objecting to this Grant. I say again that I am ashamed that the Government of this country—and a Liberal Government—should treat their own people as they are doing in the promotion of this Bill.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I listened with great attention to what fell from the Colonial Secretary. It was very impressive to hear of the progress of Nyasaland, how the conditions have been improving, and how the revenue has expanded. The question naturally occurs to one, if the prosperity of Nyasaland is growing at this rate, why should not the Protectorate, if it desires railways and other forms of development, come to the money market in the ordinary way, and obtain a loan from the financial magnates at rates which the 60 money market can afford? That is a point upon which I would like further information. I know that if any one speaks in that way, he is at once told that he is a "Little Englander." But there are many people who say that. It very frequently happens that the financial magnates are called in to finance developments which are likely to pay, while the British taxpayer is called in to finance those which are less likely to pay.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is an argument against the Bill, and not against the particular Amendment before the Committee. I must appeal to hon. Members to get a little more definiteness in their minds.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I desire to argue the question definitely, and still more definitely as regards Nyasaland, because we have heard a good deal about debenture holders who have not been receiving their interest, and things like that. I would like to know who these debenture holders are, and in what their money was sunk. Was it sunk in the development of the land, or merely in purchasing the land from the chiefs? That is a very important matter.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I very much regret that hon. Gentlemen opposite did not give us this information. In all these countries the most important thing is to maintain the fundamental rights of the natives to the land. In far too many cases, by some juggling transaction with the chiefs, the natives have been deprived of certain fundamental rights, and have been forced to go and earn their living elsewhere. My hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) spoke about land ownership. I understand from what has passed in the Debate that there is a considerable quantity of low-lying land which, for practical purposes, may be regarded as impossible except as a means of access to the higher lands. With regard to the good land, it was said—I have no personal knowledge of the subject—that a great proportion, nearly one-half, is in the hands of gentlemen whom we should be inclined to call in this country land speculators. Whenever you develop land you increase the demand for that land. If you construct a railway you send up the value of the land, and the cream of the 61 benefit is skimmed off by those who hold the land. The hon. Member for Egremont (Mr. Grant) said that he did not mind who the landowners were. On behalf of my constituents, I very much mind who they are, because it seems to me that while there is a great deal to be said for the British Empire's developing its own estates, there is very little to be said for its developing the estates of other people. I do not intend to follow in the footsteps of my hon. Friend (Mr. Morton), but I should like to cite some instances along the West coast of Scotland and elsewhere, in which the Congested Districts Board has spent money in constructing piers and—
Mr. F. HALL (Dulwich)
After the rulings you have given, is the hon. Member in order in discussing land in Scotland?
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
I have no intention of advocating any claim whatever. If the hon. Member opposite had paused to hear what I had to say he would have seen that his intervention was really unnecessary. My object is to show what has been done in various parts. You have had roads constructed, piers built, and various places developed at public expense, and what has been the result? As soon as land in those places was wanted for any purpose it had gone up in value. It is the invariable experience everywhere. I do not see why that should happen in South Africa also. If we are to make railways and develop the land it is most important that we should know who will be the real beneficiaries. For that reason I hope that my right hon. Friend will give us a little more information as to the state of land ownership in Nyasaland. Before the House votes money for this sort of thing very full information should be given. We ought to know what the various companies are, how much land is privately owned, and on what conditions the land is held. Until we have that information I do not think we are justified in making advances of this speculative character, which I suppose the House is asked to make because the loan could not be obtained on satisfactory terms on the money market in the ordinary way. It is perfectly clear that certain individuals will benefit, but whether the British taxpayer will be making a good investment seems to me another matter altogether.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I would point out to the Committee that hon. Members are traversing ground covered by Amendments which have been handed in. I cannot allow these matters to be discussed twice over, and I shall be obliged to rule out Amendments if they are covered in the present Debate.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If hon. Members keep repeating arguments on this Amendment, I shall be obliged to take that fact into account on subsequent Amendments.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I wish to object to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that the English taxpayer was not being called upon to contribute anything, because Nyasaland will provide for the interest and the sinking fund. The British taxpayer is going to provide his credit. If Nyasaland attempted to borrow this money on its own account, it would have to pay, I do not know what rate, but probably 5 per cent. or 6 per cent., instead of 3½ per cent. Therefore, rightly or wrongly—I do not go into that point—the British taxpayer is providing in the shape of credit the equivalent of a very considerable sum of money for this Protectorate. With regard to the right hon. Gentleman's statement that Nyasaland has been so much more prosperous because of a Liberal Government, may I point out that the Liberal Government has done nothing to develop the country? The country has been developed, as far as I know, without any assistance from anybody. It has been developed by individual enterprise, which I consider is the proper way to develop a country. The right hon. Gentleman must be very hard put to it, if he has to claim credit for the Government for the development of Nyasaland. With regard to the statement of the hon. Member for Sutherlandshire (Mr. Morton), that ho would be driven into doing something that he did not like—
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Gentleman has the courage of his opinions, but the party has not. Then may I point out to his party that they need not be afraid, because most of us on this side will vote against the Amendment, and therefore hon. Members opposite may have the courage of their opinions for once.
Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
I shall certainly vote against this Amendment, because I am keenly anxious to see Protectorates and Colonies developed. The hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) said that Nyasaland was very prosperous, and therefore we ought to leave it alone. I do not think that the Colonial Secretary would wish to find means of communication or methods by which trade could be carried on, unless the Colony was prosperous. Knowing that Nyasaland is prosperous, I hope the Grant will be given; but there are two points upon which I should like some assurance. It is stated that there is to be a charge on the revenue and on the assets. Do I understand from that, that if Nyasaland gets this Grant and the railroad is built, the British Government will have the equivalent to a first mortgage on the railroad, and that, whether the railroad pays or not, the property in the railroads will belong-to the British Government? Further, if the money is raised on British credit, I should like an assurance that if it is spent outside Nyasaland, it shall be spent in the British Empire and not in foreign countries—that is, that the materials for the railroad and things of that sort, shall be bought here and sent out, and not bought in foreign countries.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
As provided by the Bill, the British Government will have a first mortgage on all the revenues of Nyasaland. The materials, if the railway is made by the Government, will be purchased here; but if the railway is made by contract by private firms, they will be purchased by the private firms at their own discretion. The land is divided between private owners, the Government, who own a large quantity, and the natives, who have large reserves and possessions of their own; so that all three are equally interested in the matter.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I really do not know, but I have no doubt there are. I have never known a country in which there were not.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the answers from the Front Bench. The Secretary of State has not attempted to deal with the points made by my hon. Friend the Member for the Tradeston Division of Glasgow (Mr. Dundas White), or to show that the benefit 64 of this expenditure will not go into the pockets of the landlords. He has stated that the land is equally developed between white settlers, the Government, and the natives. If he will refer to a White Paper which was issued at my request three years ago, he will find that the land is equally divided between land owned by the chiefs and land owned by the whites, and the Government now regards itself as being in the position of fiduciary trustee for the chiefs. The land was stolen before Sir Harry Johnstone took charge of Nyasaland. In the days before the Protectorate was declared, white settlers went in, and got concessions from the chiefs, and half of that has now gone into the private possession of the white settlers. Will anyone in this House deny that the very fact that the House is going to vote this money will send up the value of the land which these white settlers possess, and that their property is going to be increased by the vote of Members of this House. Not a single argument has been adduced against it from the Government Bench. They admit it by silence, and they try to pass these things, and to assume that this money is going to be a benefit to trade and to the native. What nonsense it all is! They know perfectly well it is going to benefit those who own the land in Nyasaland. We have a lot of this sloppy sentimentality about benefiting the natives. The natives were a good deal happier when they had got no white men to boss them and make them work. They were happy enough working for their own families in their own country, when they had not to go off to work in the mines of Rhodesia and contract phthisis. Then we have all this cant about providing British credit to make them happier. I do not mind the Member for Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees)—he is honest. He says this is for the benefit of shareholders and debenture holders. There is something to be said for an argument like that, but nothing for the argument brought forward by some people who trot out the natives as if they were helping them, instead of being out to make a profit.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I do not know which company—it is the company of which he is a director—it is the railway company. Hon. Members opposite are quite right when they ask for assistance for these 65 undertakings which do not pay, but I am sorry to hear that argument coming from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, because I have in my recollection an example set by an ancestor of his 300 years ago, who went out to develop Orinoco and Guiana. To do so he fitted out a ship, just as the hon. Member opposite fitted out a company for Nyasaland, but, in the instance of which I speak, the ancestor of the Colonial Secretary fitted out his own expedition, and sold his own estates in order to do so. When it failed, he did not come whining to the Government to ask for a subsidy to help him out.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
He had a Free Grant from the Crown of the whole of Venezuela and only surrendered it because his beer went bad.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Yes, he got a Grant, and went to develop it just as the settlers in Nyasaland. He failed, but he did not say, "My debenture holders ought to be helped because they have been helping the natives." People when they go into a business like that go into it as a speculation. Sometimes it pays, and sometimes it does not. The Nyasaland Railway Company in this case does not share any benefit. The whole thing is a mere speculation, and they have no right to come and ask Parliament to come and help them out of the hole they have got into. People who get the benefit are landowners in Nyasaland. The land there is owned by private persons—it is not so in British East Africa, or Uganda, but there it is. Therefore, I do think that this House ought to think twice before it lends its credit and gives enormous financial advantage to a community which consists at the outside estimate of 2,000 white men. I do not suppose really that there is 2,000. That minute community is going to have a deliberate cash gift of £200,000, the equivalent of the reduced amount of interest. It is a country which cannot become a white man's country. It is all very well for hon. Members to talk about the Sessi Islands, but they know perfectly well that the white man does not bring up his children there. Whatever may be said in favour of voting money for a country like British East Africa, where the money spent will result in the land of the Government going up in value, and for developing British East Africa and Nairobi, because there white men can live and bring up their families—no arguments can be brought on those lines in favour of 66 Nyasaland. I do sincerely trust that the Committee will strike Nyasaland out of the Bill.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I will not say a word except by permission. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Wedgwood) has again made statements that are entirely erroneous. I do assure him he is grievously misleading the House. No company that I know of has ever been assisted by the State in this country, but so far as this company is concerned it will actually lose a concession in consequence of this very arrangement. The hon. Gentleman is totally mistaken in every remark he has made. As I seem to be the only representative of commercial interests in Nyasaland present in the House, I should like to state there is absolutely no land speculation at present going on in that Protectorate in any quarter whatsoever, and that the Colonial Office has most carefully guarded against such speculation by refusing to carry out even arrangements made for the transfer of land lest they should lead to any such speculation. The hon. Gentleman talks about people having got into a company. The fact is that long ago, and long before he was born, certain individuals obtained certain rights from the chiefs before this Protectorate came under British control. No doubt those rights changed hands for valuable considerations, but it is absurd to talk of what is really ancient history. Another hon. Gentleman the Member for the Tradeston Division of Glasgow (Mr. Dundas White) asked what have commercial speculators done in this country. I can tell him. They have, for one thing, built a railway, and out of private funds without any help whatsoever. It is the only part of Africa in which any effort of that kind has been seen. Does that disqualify those who did so from any fortutious improvement in the conditions of the Protectorate which may take place?
§ Sir J. D. REES
The hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) in a speech the other day referred to me, and included me in a catalogue of cantankerousness with himself as likely to raise objections to this Bill. I am strongly in favour of the Bill passing on public grounds, and not on any private grounds whatsoever. There are no people with whom I am associated who will profit by 67 it. The only real point raised against the inclusion of Nyasaland or against this loan is an entirely erroneous one, based upon a complete misconception, and that is, that this Protectorate is not as much under British control as Ceylon, India, or any other Possession. It was I who gave the hon. Member for Gravesend the judgment of which he made, in my opinion, very unfortunate use, and a use which was not relevant. There is no doubt about the position of this Protectorate, and the money lent to it is just as safe as money lent to British India or any other Possession.
Mr. CATHCART WASON
I think many of my hon. Friends have come back in very cheerful mood from the holiday, because many speeches which have been delivered, and notably that from the hon. Member for Tradeston (Mr. Dundas White), show a holiday spirit, and we have not heard a single word from this side of the House to justify any of us in voting against this proposal. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"]
§ Sir J. D. REES
Will the hon. Gentleman kindly speak up? We cannot hear him on this side, and we are very anxious to do so.
Mr. C. WASON
The hon. Member for the Tradeston Division made a great point of the well-known fact that if this railway is made and if Nyasaland receives the benefit of this loan, the land will go up in value. Of course it will go up in value. Every single improvement that we make anywhere in land by opening up communications, whether one part of the world or another, will have that effect. But my hon. Friend forgets this, namely, that as the value of the land goes up, so at the same time will its taxable value increase in the same way. [An HON. MEMBER made an observation which was inaudible.] Of course you can tax it!
Mr. C. WASON
It will go up exactly according to its value. Another hon. Friend kept on repeatedly saying that this land did not belong to us. It does absolutely belong to us. It is in the hands of the Colonial Secretary, who can do as he pleases with it. The Colonial Office can put any taxing value they like on this land, and they can use it for the benefit of the natives. I sincerely hope they will do so, because anything more sad than that 20,000 of these natives have yearly to go to the 68 Transvaal mines I do not know. I think it is a shame that they have to go down and work in those mines, where many of them die. The passing of this Bill will, I hope, do away with that, so that these natives may be able to remain in their own country through the judicious expenditure of this public money. The Member for Tradeston, whose speech interested me most as being the most practical, went on to say, "Why should you not go into the open market for this loan?" We are. As far as I understand, this money is being obtained exactly on the same terms as loans are provided for all our other Protectorates—Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and so on. The British taxpayer has an enormous interest in the matter. He is the man who is going to benefit more than anyone else from the expenditure of this money. It is his trade that is going to benefit—it is the workmen of this country who are going to find the railway material and the many things that the settlers will want out there. It is our ships which will carry the produce from that country to this country, so that I think the Government deserves credit for having brought forward this Bill.
§ Mr. MARTIN
It seems to me that one of the strongest arguments produced in this Debate against keeping in the word "Nyasaland" came from the last speech of the hon. Member for East Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees), when he informed the House, I have no doubt with entire accuracy, that he and his Friends spent a large sum of money in building a railway in Nyasaland out of which they could get nothing whatever.
§ Mr. MARTIN
Perhaps I have emphasised it a little, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman did not say they got nothing out of it, but he intimated that they were in a state of poverty with regard to that railway.
§ Mr. MARTIN
The debenture holders were mentioned, and I do not suppose that the common stock gets anything when the debenture holders do not. What kind of argument is that to put forward to induce this Government to put £816,000 into a country which is so poor that it cannot support the only railway it has got?
§ Sir J. D. REES
I think it is rather a pity that the hon. Gentleman will not treat the subject seriously. I said nothing of the sort, and the hon. Gentleman wholly misrepresents what I did say. [HON. MEMBERS: "What did you say?"]
§ Mr. MARTIN
I will leave the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. F. Hall) suggested that the "Little Englanders" on this side of the House, after hearing the figures given by the Colonial Secretary regarding Nyasaland, would be obliged to turn round and support this Bill. I could not see anything in those figures. What are we concerned with when we lend money? I suppose the same principle should apply to a Government—at any rate theoretically, though not always as a matter of fact—as applies to an individual. When an individual proposes to lend a sum of money, what is his first inquiry? What security am I likely to get? The hon. Member for Dulwich suggests that the figures given by the Colonial Secretary offer no security whatever. He tells us that two years ago this Protectorate was in such dire circumstances that practically a large subsidiary had to be given by the Imperial Government to keep it alive at all, and that for the past two years that subsidiary had been discontinued because the Government of the Protectorate had been able to get a revenue sufficient to pay their debts. He said that the revenue for this year was £69,000, and that it was hoped or expected that next year it would be £139,000. What difference does that make to us? The only thing we are concerned is ay to what surplus they are likely to have. You have to take off what they spend before there is anything for the creditors. You cannot allow your debtors to die! If you shut off the money required to run the Government there would be no Government. It would soon die, and we would not get anything. Perhaps the whole of the £69,000 revenues was spent this year—no doubt it was—the right hon. Gentleman's figures suggested that. I can assure hon. Members that in that new country—everyone here who has any knowledge of new countries will agree—no matter how largely the revenues may increase, the expenditure is bound to increase in a greater degree, so that we may be assured that if £139,000 comes in next year, the expenses will be correspondingly enlarged—will probably be more—and therefore there is absolutely no security.
70 The right hon. Gentleman told us that the Treasury had to be satisfied that there was security. If that condition was satisfied, the loan, to my mind, would never be made. The right hon. Gentleman, in an answer to an hon. Member, drew attention to a Clause which offered security. I do not read that Clause in the manner which I understand the right hon. Gentleman to put it forward. I understood him to say that they had a general charge upon the revenues of the country. I do not read the Clause in that way. What the British Government have under the Sub-section of Clause 2 appears to me very plainly not to be a general charge upon the revenues of the country at all, but to be a charge on the revenues of the country in priority to any subsequent loan—which is a very different thing! Of course it would not make any difference if it were the other way about, as I have pointed out. Suppose we had a general charge upon the revenue, and could take the first money? We simply could not do it if we wanted to keep the country going. Every country must have enough money to pay the necessary cost of its Government. The Debate has not been very long, but it has been long enough to convince me—even if I have to suffer from the opprobrious name of "Little Englander"—to vote in favour of the Amendment. Whatever may be the case in regard to the other two Protectorates which are to be assisted, an overwhelming case, in my opinion, has been made for excluding this apparently worthless country of Nyasaland from sharing the loan of the Government. £816,000 is a large sum of money without any security whatever. I defy any Member of the Government to show us where they have the slightest security. Something was said to the effect that we were not giving the money. If you lend money to a party who has not got anything, and who is not likely to have anything, you might as well make a virtue of necessity and give it to him out and out. It is not a question of credit, of this country lending its undoubted credit to a perfectly solvent institution in order that that institution in which this country was interested might get money cheap. This is a question of lending money to a Government which has no resources and no means of paying, and is never likely to have in our lifetime.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
I desire to support the views expressed by my hon. Friend 71 who has just sat down. We have succeeded in gleaning no information as to the nature of the security offered by this derelict State, either from the statement made by the Front Bench or by the hon. Member for East Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees), who speaks from personal knowledge as to this community. This question of pledging British credit without security is a matter of great concern to the people of this country. I spoke on the Second Reading, and I noticed that the Secretary of State for the Colonies, speaking afterwards, seemed to suggest that I thought that the British taxpayer was going to be called upon immediately to provide this money directly. I am perfectly well aware that this is a question of guaranteeing or raising a loan for this community, but it seems to me that if the British Government depart from their usual policy to lend money to these derelict Protectorates on inadequate security, it will not indirectly, but directly, affect the pockets of the taxpayers here. If the right hon. Gentlemen destroys British credit, when money has to be raised for the benefit of the British taxpayer there will not be so good a return. If you set to work to build the hundreds of thousands of cottages which the Government suggest building—and some day we may find it just as profitable to develop this derelict country as to develop derelict portions of East Africa—because a great deal of this country is derelict!—and we try to secure money for the purpose of doing so, it will affect the conditions under which we can develop this country if in the meantime you have destroyed credit by these wild-cat proposals which are being brought forward with regard to Africa.
There is another very important aspect of the question which has been pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, In this country of Nyasaland there is a very great portion of the land which has passed entirely from the control of the Government into private hands. The hon. Member for East Nottingham in this connection mentioned the fact that concessionnaires dealing with the chiefs had acquired rights over the land. I do not know what right a chief has to part with the rights of the native people to lands, probably for a bottle of gin, or a looking-glass, or a string of beads, or something of that kind.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Yes, with a bottle of rum thrown in; but that was the way in which this land was acquired in those by gone days to which hon. Gentlemen alluded. The land has passed out of the hands of the Government, and money spent in the development of this land is not money spent for the benefit of the Empire, or of the British taxpayer, or of the natives; it is simply spent for the benefit of the landholder, or the concessionaire, or the syndicate. It is just as well that we should make some criticism on these methods of expanding and developing the British Empire. We know perfectly what is going on and has been going on in the past—
Observations on the methods of expanding the Empire are out of order on this Amendment.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
I am dealing with the question of developing Nyasaland as part of the British Empire. We have heard from the other side of the House a statement that these methods would benefit the British taxpayer, increase the trade of the country, and increase Imperial trade. I was just pointing out that this expansion is not a matter of developing trade, and that what is going on is a matter of Europeans going and acquiring this land and endeavouring to turn the natives, who formerly held the land, into serfs.
The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN
That, again, is a general question which might be discussed on Second Reading, but it is not pertinent to the immediate question of Nyasaland.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Is it not in order on this particular question of Nyasaland, because it is there, and there only, that we have allowed the whites to acquire the title to the lands which they have got from the natives? It does not apply to the other Protectorate of East Africa. It only applies to Nyasaland. It is, I submit, pertinent to the argument that we should deal with the economic state of affairs which has been brought about?
I think I made a perfectly plain statement on the point, and the hon. Member in possession of the Committee is perfectly well able to take care of himself.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
I thought I was submitting a good point. I seem to be a little 73 unfortunate, because during the course of the Debate a very general discussion has taken place, and I seemed to be following the question already raised and dealt with without any objection. The point as regards the ownership of land is very largely a question of security for this loan. If this land were in the hands of the Government, then the expenditure which will take place as a result of this loan will enhance the value of Government property.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Is the hon. Member in order on this Amendment in dealing with occurrences which happened before this Protectorate was assumed by the British Government? Are the circumstances to which he refers, being anterior to that date, in order in being discussed?
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
As regards the point of Order of the hon. Member for East Nottingham that I was dealing with facts prior to this Protectorate coming under the British Government, I would point out that I was merely dealing with the statement that he made as to what happened before, and as to how the land was acquired from the chiefs. This question of the ownership of land is a very fundamental one. If the Government owns the land and provides money for developing it, then the value of that land will be enhanced, and the Government security will in consequence be enhanced in value. We know that this land has been largely jobbed away and is no longer in the hands of the Government. I am quite confident that no addition to these development schemes advantages the natives; that the native is better living under his own tribal conditions, untouched by Imperial expansion.
§ Sir WILLIAM BYLES
I will not detain the Committee long, although I think the Debate, though long, has been by no means unprofitable. There are two classes of persons, in whom I am deeply interested, affected by this Bill. The first is the native population of Nyasaland. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to say whether there really is any benefit to the native popu- 74 lation by this loan of money. I cannot believe it. I share in a good many sentiments that have been expressed by hon. Members behind me as to the happiness of the natives, and as to whether it is promoted by these schemes. I am very sceptical indeed about the exploitation of black labour in Africa by large white trading companies. The second class, to which I can refer, is the vast cotton operative population of Lancashire, a portion of which county I represent. I suppose it is argued, although I have not heard any answer from the hon. Gentleman, that the object of this money really is the growing of cotton for Lancashire.
§ Sir W. BYLES
In that case I shall not have the slightest hesitation in going into the Lobby in support of the Amendment, because I believe that these tobacco and coffee growers ought to be perfectly well able to borrow money and to make their own railways without any help from British credit.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I wish to explain, in answer to the questions put by hon. Members as to the security for the interest on the loan, that the real security is that we have in this country the entire control over the expenditure of Nyasaland, no expenditure can be incurred there without the estimates having first been submitted and approved by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. In the same way we have control, to which my hon. Friends attach some importance, over the taxation which is levied and the revenue which is raised in Nyasaland. In these two directions we have the control which is necessary, and the security given for the interest on these loans is as full as could be desired. In answer to my hon. Friend (Sir W. Byles) I think the development of the railway to the lake is an advantage to the natives as well as to the whole community.
§ Mr. MORRELL
I am disappointed that my right hon. Friend has not answered more specifically how this is going to encourage the growth of cotton, but perhaps the best way to raise that point would be on the next Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 166; Noes, 25.75
|Division No. 66.]||AYES.||[5.48 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Mount, William Arthur|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Alden, Percy||Gilmour, Captain John||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Glanville, H. J.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Grant, J. A.||O'Dowd, John|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, Walter Raymond||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gretton, John||O'Malley, William|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Barnston, Harry||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hancock, John George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pratt, J. W.|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Harvey, T. E, (Leeds, West)||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Hayward, Evan||Radford, G. H.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Boland, John Pius||Henry, Sir Charles||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hewart, Gordon||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Higham, John Sharp||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Robinson, Sidney|
|Campion, W. R.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cassel, Felix||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Rowlands, James|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Clough, William||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kelly, Edward||Shortt, Edward|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Kenyon, Barnet||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Cotton, William Francis||King, Joseph||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Crooks, William||Lardner, James C. R.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Crumley, Patrick||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Cullinan, John||Leach, Charles||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Levy, Sir Maurice||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Delany, William||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Colonel A. R.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Webb, H.|
|Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Macpherson, James Ian||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Doris, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Molloy, Michael||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Falconer, James||Morgan, George Hay|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Morrell, Philip||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Morison, Hector||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Outhwaite, R. L.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wardle, George J.|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Pointer, Joseph||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pryce, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hodge, John||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Hudson, Walter||Sutton, John E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Thomas, James Henry||Wedgwood and Mr. J. M. Hogge.|
The next Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme is not in order, because it is outside the scope of the Money Resolution.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Is it not in order to include another East African Protectorate 76 in the list and to rearrange the amounts in detail, which were allowed to the Protectorates. There are four Protectorates, and it seems to me it would be in order to move the inclusion of the one left out with a view to redividing the £3,000,000 upon this footing.
§ Sir GODFREY BARING
I understand there are a large number of manuscript Amendments to this Bill, and it is a most inconvenient thing, to use no stronger term, to try to follow these Amendments. I venture to ask you, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, on a point of Order, if it is possible to place these Amendments in some way before Members, so that something like an intelligible discussion might take place. Unless we can have these Amendments put before us I should like to move "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again," in order then that we may have the Amendments before us.
In regard to the point of Order raised by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, I cannot agree with him. The condition suggested in his Amendment is outside the scope of the Bill, and therefore I cannot accept it. With regard to the point raised by the hon. Member (Sir Godfrey Baring), the complaint was raised earlier in the Debate, and in the circumstances I cannot accept the Motion. I will read the next Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, in view of what has been said by the hon. Member (Sir G. Baring). It is in Sub-section (1) to leave out the word "improvement" ["for the purpose of improvement of communications"], and to insert instead thereof the words "revenue-producing improvements." If hon. Members have followed what I have read they will see that that point has been already covered by previous Amendments.
I am quite willing to hear a statement from the hon. Member on a point of Order, but not a mere disagreement with what I have said. If the hon. Member has a point of Order to raise I shall be glad to hear it.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
The point of Order is that I do not think you grasped the meaning of my Amendment. My writing is rather bad, and I should like with your permission to read the Amendment. My Amendment is to leave out the words "the improvement," in order to substitute "revenue producing improvements." That seems to me to be a point that was not dealt with in the previous discussion.
That is a matter which I have already considered with the Chairman, and I have given my decision.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I think the question of the object to which this money is to be devoted is a very important matter and ought to be extended. It is extremely unfortunate that we are not allowed a chance of discussing this question.
§ Mr. MORRELL
The last Amendment dealt entirely with Nyasaland. Therefore, I respectfully suggest that if it dealt with the same subject as my hon. Friend's Amendment, the discussion must have been out of order. My hon. Friend's Amendment covers the objects for all the Protectorates.
If it is the same point I have decided it, and the hon. Member must not argue with the Chair.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I understand from your statement, Mr. Maclean, that on a subsequent Amendment the question of objects may be raised?
It is quite clear that it may be raised. The subsequent Amendments deal with communications and trade facilities and all matters of that kind.
§ Mr. MORRELL
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words "communications and." The Clause would then read, "the improvement of trade facilities."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I wish to safeguard my own Amendment, and if you put the 79 Question that "communications and" stand part, I think it will cut out my Amendment.
§ Mr. MORRELL
My object is mainly to ascertain what position we are in with regard to the production of cotton. My hon. Friend on a previous Amendment said that cotton crops are now being produced in large quantities in these Protectorates. I am in favour of anything that will enable these crops of cotton to be brought to the coast, and to that extent I am in agreement with this Bill. But I submit that it is of the utmost importance that we should see, when we are pledging British credit in this way, that we do it by methods which are advantageous to this country. As far as I can see the only real ground for this proposal is that these are cotton-growing countries, and we are entitled in the interest of the nation to develop cotton-growing countries just as we attempted the same thing last year by means of the Soudan Loan Bill. To that extent I have already supported this Bill, but as I read this measure the money can only be spent for the purpose of providing facilities for carrying the cotton to the coast, and it cannot be spent in any way to assist the development of the growth of cotton. I do not understand why we should limit the objects of this loan solely to railroads and harbours and roads, and why we should not include the ordinary development of the country, and especially the growth of cotton.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I think I can explain the circumstances. These communications, both by railway and by road and by steamer or by piers, are necessary for the transport of cotton, hide, tobacco, and other articles which are now being produced in these Protectorates. There is no difficulty about the growth of these articles. Their production is enormous and increasing, and you have not sufficient railway or steamer communications to get the bales down to the coast and to this country. There are bales now on the railways between Uganda and East Africa which cannot be conveyed because we have not the money at the present time to increase the facilities on the railways. I have not asked for more money than is necessary for the communications, and none of this money could be spared for cotton growing, which is carried on both by white men and the natives with great success. The pro- 80 spects of production are very great, and I hope will be most satisfactory.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I have listened to many extraordinary speeches from hon. Members opposite, but I do not think I have ever listened to a more extraordinary speech than the one which has just been delivered by the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Morrell). The hon. Member is a Free Trader, and, being a Free Trader, he pleads here for a bounty for his own constituency, which is the very worst form of Protection. What argument has the hon. Member advanced for leaving out the word "communications"? He says that if the money is spent for providing railways it will not be devoted to encouraging cotton growing, which, he thinks, would be advantageous to Lancashire. Like the sugar bounties given in some foreign countries, the hon. Member thinks that some bounty should be given to Lancashire. After this, I hope we shall not have any hon. Members opposite going into the country and talking about their devotion to the principles of Free Trade. That devotion only exists when it does not interfere with the benefits to their own particular constituencies. In the last Division I supported the Government, and I always do support them when they are right. On this occasion, although I am a Tariff Reformer, and always have been, I have never been in favour of a bounty for one particular trade. Therefore, on this occasion, I shall be perfectly logical if I support the Government. I do not see how the hon. Member for Burnley can possibly support his own Amendment, and his only course is to admit that he is wrong, and withdraw his proposal.
§ Sir GODFREY BARING
I rise to make a further appeal to the Secretary of State for the Colonies as to whether he thinks this Bill can be usefully discussed when we have not a single Amendment printed and before the House. I protest against these proceedings as a travesty on the Committee stage, because it is impossible to carry on the Debate when a large number of manuscript Amendments are presented to the House which we have not had an opportunity of considering. I have not been permitted to move to report Progress, but I ask the right hon. Gentleman, to make that Motion himself, and, if he does so, I am sure he will not lose any time by taking that course, which I assure him will conduce to the dignity of the House of Commons and the proper order of debate.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
Nobody suffers greater inconvenience or discomfort from manuscript Amendments in the handwriting of my hon. Friend than I do myself. I have not had the slightest notice of any of these Amendments. I have obtained with some difficulty manuscript copies from the Table. My hon. Friend never gave me any notice that he was going to put down any Amendments to this Bill. This happens to be the first Order, and it is not really a contentious Bill, whatever may have been said during the last two and a half hours. It is a Bill of great importance and one which the House in its holiday and leisure mood will do well to pursue. It has been dealt with by hon. Members on both sides who are quite capable of explaining not only the meaning of their Amendments, but also their handwriting. We shall understand what the intention of these Amendments are, and then we can decide whether to vote for them or not. I hope the House will not ask me to put on one side a Bill which is greatly looked forward to by those concerned, and which I think it is well should be dealt with quietly and soberly on a day like this.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that we should go on with the business before us. It is true that the Amendments are not on the Paper, and that this is very inconvenient, but it very often occurs at the commencement of a sitting after there has been an adjournment for the holidays. It is not always easy to find out exactly what measures the Government are going to take, and Members may very likely miss the opportunity of putting down their Amendments in proper time. This is a very simple Bill, and the Amendments are easily understandable. I do not think the House, therefore, is being put to the inconvenience to which it might be put if it were a very complicated Bill, Amendments to which required studying before they could be understood.
§ Mr. MORRELL
My object in moving this Amendment was to get an explanation as to the precise way in which this was going to help the growth of cotton. That, in the view of the hon. Baronet, is the same as a bounty. That question would really be beyond the limits of order, although you allowed the hon. Baronet to make this particular charge against me, with which at another time and in another place I shall be very glad to deal.
§ Mr. MORRELL
I did, as a matter of fact, deal with that particular point on the Second Reading of the Soudan Loan Bill last year.
§ The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Whitley)
The hon. Baronet has already made some dozen, interruptions, and I hope he will not make any more.
§ Mr. MORRELL
That precise point was raised and answered on the Soudan Bill last year. I am perfectly satisfied with the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, and I therefore beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, in; Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "and trade facilities."
I do not know what is the meaning of the words "and trade facilities." They seem to me so vague that they might mean anything. I think if we are going to advance this money, against which I have no objection, we ought to advance it for the improvement of communications—for making railways or roads. There is no doubt a good deal to be said for advancing the money for those purposes, but I cannot see that there can be any argument for advancing money for trade facilities. I understood the right hon. Gentleman a short time ago to say that the amount of money which he intended to apply to these Protectorates was only sufficient to provide for the cost of improving or making railways. If that is so, there is no object in putting in these words "and trade facilities," and, if it is not so, I do not think that we should authorise the expenditure of money in such a very vague way. We ought to have some undertaking from the right hon. Gentleman that this money is going to be devoted to certain purposes, and certain purposes only. I trust that he will be able to accept this Amendment, which, if I understood him rightly, would allow him to spend the money in the way he desires, namely, for communications, 83 either by road or railway. I do not, think that I am moving an Amendment in any way contrary to the spirit of the right hon. Gentleman's Bill, and I therefore hope that he will accept it.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I explained on the Second Reading of the Bill what were the objects to which this money would be devoted. The money is entirely for the purposes of communications in the Protectorates, but, out of abundance of caution, these words, "and trade facilities," have been put in in order to cover two of the objects which I mentioned. They are the piers at the lake terminus in Nyasaland and the Kilindini Harbour, which might not technically come under the heading of communications. The words are put in for no other purpose. I explained on the Second Reading what were the objects to which the loan was to be devoted, and I adhere to that explanation, but, if these words had not been inserted, the harbour works and piers, which are an essential part of the scheme, might have been cut out.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
It seems to me unfortunate that we were not able to discuss before whether the Government are right in advancing money for communications and trade facilities when those communications and trade facilities are not revenue producing. The two examples the Secretary for the Colonies has just given us are the provision of piers and harbours. They are on quite a different footing from the question of railways. If you invest your money in railways, you know that year after year there is a steady revenue from your investment, but, if your money is put into roads, you get nothing back in the way of interest. It is true that the country has an advantage, but there is no steady revenue coming in to pay the interest on the debt. It seems to me, if you leave these words "and trade facilities" in, you do leave the door open for including in the objects for which the advancement of this money may be granted an enormous number of objects which will not be revenue producing. It is not unnatural that the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Morrell) should think that under the words "trade facilities" he might get money spent on practical experiments in the growing of cotton, and, although we know that the Colonial Secretary does not want to spend money that way, he will not be there to control other 84 Secretaries of State who may succeed him. There has recently been in British East Africa the development of a soda lake. The Magadi Soda Company will, no doubt, be familiar to hon. Members opposite. That company has itself built a railway, and is going to do all that which you are now proposing to do under this Bill. They have built a railway, and now under this Clause you have power to build railways. The words "and trade facilities" might cover all sorts of undue facilities for concessionnaire companies similar to the Magadi Soda Company. The tighter and harder we draw the line as to the purposes to which the money can be applied the better. I hope the hon. Baronet will press his Amendment to a Division, and get the Grant cut down to railway communications so as to shut the door to a very wide application of these facilities.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I desire to support the Amendment, because I look upon the inclusion of these words with considerable suspicion. The hon. Gentleman opposite has told us that under this expression, "and trade facilities," money might be expended upon the development of growing cotton in one of these Protectorates. May I remind the hon. Gentleman that is not a trade but an industry, and I should protest against the money being used to develop various industries without any recognition of a most important industry in every country, namely, that of agricultural development. Surely there is the strongest reason for saying plainly what is intended. If it is intended that these words should be restricted to the development of harbour works and piers, why not use those words. After all, it is most desirable, if we are authorising the advancement of a large sum of public money that we should not only be certain that our security is good, but that we should also clearly specify what is that security. If we adopt the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman that this money is to be expended on communications and on certain piers and harbours, well and good; we know where we are, and we are able to judge on such information as he is able to give us whether the security is a good security or not. It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to say that is his intention as to the mode in which this money should be applied, but, if the Act of Parliament does not restrict that intention to those particular purposes, it is quite possible, the Act having been once passed, 85 for this money to be applied to all sorts of trade purposes which were not contemplated when the Bill was before the House, and which were not in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman who presented it. As a matter of principle, and in the interests of the right of this House to control the expenditure of public money, I shall support this Amendment.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I hope my hon. Friend will not press his Amendment to a Division. It seems to me that the words "and trade facilities" must be construed with the context, where you have the words "for the purpose of the improvement of communications," and I submit that they mean trade facilities of the nature of communications. I do not understand the objection of the hon. Member for the Wilton Division (Mr. C. Bathurst), because, supposing the money were advanced for the development of agriculture, I should have thought that it would have met with his approval. The hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Wedgwood) spoke of such assistance being given for cotton cultivation as if it were altogether objectionable and preposterous. I am not here to recommend the money being expended in that way. I am satisfied for my part that the trade facilities would be in the nature of communications, but I do not think the Committee quite appreciates the fact that in Central Africa cotton growing is not exclusively a British proposition. The natives of the country are growing cotton, and are being assisted in the enterprise by the Protectorate Government. I think that may possibly weigh with hon. Gentlemen. The Colonial Secretary says that he has no intention of using any of the money for this purpose, and I should have thought that was pretty clear from the Bill that it would not be used for that purpose.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I think hon. Members might very well trust the declarations that have been made, but, if they do not, it is amply guarded in the Bill itself. If hon. Members will look at Clause 2, Sub-section (1) (a), they will find that the legislative authority of the Protectorate must have provided to the satisfaction of the Treasury and the Secretary of State for the Colonies for raising and appropriating and duly applying the loan. Therefore, the Ordinance by which the loan is applied must have been approved by the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Treasury, and the application of the loan will only be for those purposes for which the loan is 86 being taken and is now asked. I hope the hon. Baronet will not press his Amendment.
§ Sir G. BARING
I said just now that I should probably vote against most of the Amendments, but, if this Amendment is pressed to a Division, I shall vote for it. It seems to me a thoroughly sound one. I cannot conceive wider words which could be used than "and trade facilities," and, when the right hon. Gentleman says that the object has to be approved by the Treasury and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, I would point out that they would have to have regard to the words in the Bill itself. Having regard to these wide words, I think he would find great difficulty in future in not assenting to any matter in connection with trade, or what was likely to facilitate the carrying on of any trade in the country. I think the right hon. Gentleman might see his way to change these words, and that some other form of drafting might be found. I certainly cannot vote for the words "trade facilities."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I shall go to a Division, because I think this is an important Amendment. I am sorry I cannot agree with the right hon. Gentleman when he said that these words were covered by the words he read from Clause 2. I think there is no protection in them whatever such as that proposed in my Amendment. As the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir G. Baring) has said, in days to come you may have a Chancellor of the Exchequer or a Colonial Secretary who, in determining whether or not they will advance this money, will necessarily be guided by what is in the Bill, and they will not look to see what the right hon. Gentleman said on the Second Reading or in the Committee stage. They will be guided by the words of the Act. Further, it is quite evident that there may arise a Chancellor of the Exchequer, or a Colonial Secretary, who would be of opinion that trade facilities should rightly be given, and they would do exactly what the right hon. Gentleman has told us he does not want to do. I am not desirous of dividing unnecessarily, and therefore I will make a suggestion which, I think, would meet him and also meet me. He says what he desires to do is to spend a certain amount of the money upon a pier, or piers, and a harbour, and that it has been held that the word "communications" will not include that. He also said that there is no concealed motive, and that we could take it for granted that all the money 87 which would be spent besides that upon roads and railways would be spent upon these piers and harbour. If the right hon. Gentleman will consent to the words "trade facilities" being left out, may I ask him what is then to prevent—and I am willing to move if he will consent—the insertion of these words "including piers and harbour"? That would make it read, "for the purpose of the improvement of communications, including piers and harbour in those Protectorates." That seems to me to absolutely meet the objection of the right hon. Gentleman, it also meets the objection of the hon. Baronet, and it meets my objection, and also that of my hon. Friend who spoke on this side. I have no wish to injure the Bill, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will accept my suggestion.
Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
I hope the Secretary of State for the Colonies will not agree to take out these words. When making new railroads and developing a country, you have often to offer trade facilities in order to bring about trade and bring it to the railway. A number of railroads in America have found it necessary to put up cotton compresses with a view to making the cotton more easily handled. That is to assist communications, but it is also a trade facility; it brings trade to the railroad and develops the country. In other places they have put up elevators in order to deal with the grain When it is brought to the railroad, to help to bring it to the railroad and to help to get it along that road and on board ship. The result of offering facilities for trade is most advantageous to a railroad, and is likely to produce good results; I shall therefore vote against the Amendment.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
It seems to me from what has been said by the hon. Member who spoke last that there are many things which can be included in the word "communications." I should have thought that they were part and parcel of the railways. The hon. Member for East Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees) thought that if this Amendment were limited it might affect some operations which he mentioned, but I think what he said had the opposite effect to what he intended. He referred to the way in which some of the Protectorates are advancing money to the natives for the growing of cotton.
Mr. DUNDAS WHITE
Well, he said it was for the benefit of other people and, I take it, for the growth of other things. Is it not important that we should know whether the money which is to be advanced along those lines is to be made available for these other things? Another point he raised in connection with the words "the improvement of communications and trade facilities." He suggested that these words would mean "trade facilities" of a like nature. I venture to point out that he forgot that the word "other" was not there. If it had been "communications and other trade facilities," I agree that his interpretation of the words might apply, but in the absence of the word "other" it does not seem to have the narrow application. If the only things contemplated besides communications are piers and harbours, I would suggest that it should be so stated in the Bill. I do not very often vote with the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, but I certainly would be pleased to support him upon this point.
Mr. F. HALL (Dulwich)
I am quite prepared to accept the statement made by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, but he must be perfectly well aware that this Bill, if passed, will be alive in the ordinary course of events long after he ceases to hold his present position. I am one of those who believe that in drawing up a document you ought to put on that document what you mean. The hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Shirley Benn) has raised a question with regard to cotton, and the Member for Burnley (Mr. Morrell) appears to think that it would be desirable or necessary to have some provision made more or less in the way of a bounty towards cotton-growing. I cannot help thinking that all these things would come in under the actual words "trade facilities." The Secretary of State for the Colonies said that so far as he was concerned, his only intention was to pro-o-vide for these piers and harbours. I venture to think that the suggestion put forward by the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London is one that would meet with the general opinion of the Committee. It would clearly define our present opinion, and if eventually it was found necessary to make some alteration, it would be easy for the Colonial Office to come to this House and get the powers which were thought necessary, and, in the ordinary course of events, the House, if satisfied, would agree to give them. He 89 has told us exactly what he means, and I think we are prepared to give him all the facilities he asks for. I hope he will accept the suggestion of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I would like to point out that piers and harbours are not the only things which I specified. I do not want to narrow the Clause so that the money may not be expended on the other things which I mentioned to the House on the Second Reading, such as new roads, bridges, relaying of rails, and steamboats. It may be said that this is all a matter of "communications," but it is also a matter of trading facilities. I therefore hope that the Committee will leave the matter as it stands.
§ Lord ALEXANDER THYNNE
I hope the hon. Baronet will not press this Amendment. After all, we are not all expert Parliamentary draftsmen. I understand that the House approves generally of the proposals, but that there is some doubt whether or not certain objects are or are not covered by the word "communications." I suggest that it is far the wiser course to give too much rather than too little latitude to the Colonial administration in a matter of this nature. We are investing this money for the benefit of these Protectorates, and we must trust somebody. We cannot supervise the details of the expenditure of this money ourselves. My hon. Friend (Mr. F. Hall) appeared to lament that the present Secretary for the Colonies will not always be in power. I suggest that we have two safeguards. In the first place, we have the double safeguard of the expert administrators on the spot, and then we have that checked by the non-political experts of the Colonial Office at home. That in itself is a sufficient safeguard that the money will be properly spent and for the general objects which the House has manifestly approved, but we have an additional important safeguard in so far as the expenditure of this money will have to be reviewed, on some future occasion, on the Colonial Office Vote, and we shall be able to take the Secretary for the Colonies or some subordinate official to task if they have not spent the money under the Act in a proper manner and within the intentions of this Clause. I think everyone who has any experience of Colonial administration will agree that the House never makes a more serious administrative blunder than when, in voting sums of this 90 character for Colonial purposes, it attempts to hedge round with too close a hedge the objects on which money is to be spent, and so hampers the man on the spot, depriving him of a discretion which he ought to enjoy.
§ Sir JOHN JARDINE
It seems to me that the words "trade facilities" are too wide and may let in too many things. It would be easy to insert the words "harbours and piers and trade facilities in connection therewith." I think these words would really limit the Clause to what the right hon. Gentleman has said he means this Clause to mean. I agree that if the words "trade facilities" were kept in the Clause they would include such things as railways, docks, harbours and piers, steamboats in the harbours, cranes, the use of electric, steam, or water power for loading ships, and matters of that kind. That is what the hon. Member opposite wishes to provide for in this Bill, and what we are told the right hon. Gentleman wishes to provide for, but I think it is more reasonable to limit the words to what the House of Commons thinks the money ought to be spent upon. I think it would be a guide to the Government out there and to the Colonial Office—whether with the present head, as we hope for many years, or one from, the other side—if we kept the words limited. I would like to see this Amendment passed.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
May I point out to the Noble Lord who has just spoken that there would be no opportunity of revising the expenditure under this Bill after it becomes an Act? The money would be advanced under the Bill, and any opportunity there might be afterwards would be on the salary of the Colonial Secretary, when a question could be raised as to whether or not the money had been advanced wisely; but it would have been advanced under the provisions of this Act, and the House could not interfere with that. An hon. Member suggests that the word "communications" would not include rolling stock. Surely a railway without rolling stock would be useless! It would not be a "communication." The word "communications" must include, not only the lines, the rolling stock, and the engines, but everything connected therewith. Therefore, in pressing this Amendment to a Division, which I certainly shall do, I am only carrying out the desire of the right hon. Gentleman himself.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
I would point out to my hon. Friend that he has entirely misunderstood what I said, and that apparently he misunderstands the system by which this House keeps control of Colonial Office administration. The Colonial Secretary will bear me out when I say that the House will have an ample opportunity of criticising the manner in which this money has been spent. [An HON. MEMBER: "After it has been spent."] Quite true. The House will have ample opportunity of expressing an opinion whether the money was properly expended and expended within the four corners of its intention. It is entirely the fault of the House that they do not discuss in detail
§ every year the administration of the Protectorates. I suggest that the Committee would run no risk in accepting the words in the Bill. It is easy to see that my hon. Friends have no experience of Colonial administration or they would realise the intense inconvenience that has been occasioned to Colonial Administrations in the past through their being hampered by unnecessary and vexatious restrictions.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 161; Noes, 30.93
|Division No. 67.]||AYES.||[6.47 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Glanville, Harold James||O'Dowd, John|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P (Stroud)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Malley, William|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Grant, James Augustus||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Gulland, John William||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hancock, John George||Parry, Thomas|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Pointer, Joseph|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Hayward, Evan||Pratt, J. W.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Henry, Sir Charles||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Boland, John Pius||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Radford, G. H.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hewart, Gordon||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Higham, John Sharp||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Boyton, James||Hodge, John||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hudson, Walter||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Illingworth, Percy H.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Rowlands, James|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kellaway, Frederick George||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Clough, William||Kelly, Edward||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||King, Joseph||Shortt, Edward|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molten)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lardner, James C. R.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Sutton, John E.|
|Crooks, William||Leach, Charles||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Crumley, Patrick||Levy, Sir Maurice||Thomas, James Henry|
|Cullinan, John||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Delany, William||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Macpherson, James Ian||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Wardle, George J.|
|Doris, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Duffy, William J.||Martin, Joseph||Webb, H.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Molloy, Michael||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Morgan, George Hay||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Falconer, James||Morrell, Philip||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Morison, Hector||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Field, William||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Needham, Christopher T.||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Joseph|
|Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Gilmour, Captain John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||G. Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Greene, Walter Raymond||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gretton, John||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Barnston, Harry||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Cassel, Felix||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hoare, S. J. G.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Hogge, James Myles||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Hunt, Rowland|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Mount, William Arthur||F. Banbury and Sir G. Baring.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
There are two Amendments handed in by the hon. Member for Newcastle - under - Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood).
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
May I address you upon that point? The second Amendment is one by which I want to extend the powers of the Government to advance money for the purpose of the development of mineral resources. I propose that because minerals still belong to the Crown in British East Africa, and because their development is a purpose for which our money might very properly be spent or our credit given. The subject has been discussed, and I do not want to take up much time, but I should like to know whether it is not possible to get this Amendment accepted. If you are spending money for the development of big ranches, you are spending money to improve other people's property; but if you spend money to develop the minerals or the soda deposits, or any of the other possibilities of British East Africa, then you are not only developing the country, but are actually getting your money back.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think that, generally speaking, the Amendment has been covered by the Debate, but if the hon. Member has some fresh point, I do not object to his putting it to a Division.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "facilities" ["improvement of communications and trade facilities"], to add the words "and for the purpose of the development of mineral resources."
94 The Committee will understand that at present the money can only be spent on railways, roads, piers and harbours. It would also be advisable that the money should be spent in testing minerals, or in any other work connected with mineral development. The minerals belong to the Crown, whereas the surface does not; therefore, rather than being left out, they I should secure priority of treatment. At any rate, the owners of the minerals and the surface should be put on exactly the same footing.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Montagu)
I hope my hon. Friend will not press this Amendment. I quite appreciate that departing as he is now from the attitude he took up that these advances should not be made at all, he should say that if they are made they should also be made for the improvement of mineral products. The amounts which are mentioned in the Schedule to this Bill have been estimated upon what are, as far as one can foresee, the necessities of the case for communications and trade facilities. The object which he proposes now is quite outside anything hitherto contemplated, and if these words were inserted in the Bill the sum of £3,000,000, which has been estimated as the sum required for the purposes of communications and trade facilities, would not be sufficient to meet the needs of the case. I hope he will not enlarge the scope of the Bill, to which he objects, by pressing the Amendment.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. J. WARD
It is rather surprising that during the Debate both sides have practically accepted the principle that this money might be spent where it so happens, either by coincidence or design, that the profits of the expenditure will go into the pockets of private individuals, yet, when my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme proposes to extend the advances to the only properties in these Protectorates which are still public property, the revenue from improvements of which 95 would go into the national exchequer of the particular Protectorate, then we find we are doing something which is not contemplated by the Bill. It seems to prove the contention that this Bill is simply for the purpose of increasing the value of the property of private individuals, and really not in any way whatever of assisting making these communities successful commercially and otherwise, if by that means you do not enhance the value of private property. Supposing it is true, as the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Montagu) suggested, that so far as we know the calculations have been made on the basis of some outstanding liability with reference to communications which are in contemplation, and that you have been able to estimate down to a very small fraction. Surely that should not prevent the Government from taking an enabling Clause, at any rate, in case there is an opportunity during these developments to enhance the value of the mineral wealth, or to exploit it in any way, or to investigate the fact that they are there. That might be done even during railway construction with a very little outlay. These words would not compel you to engage in this branch of industry, and they would not compel you to spend money in this direction, but they would give you an opportunity of doing so, and I scarcely see the reason for objecting to this Amendment.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I hope the Committee will reject this Amendment. I rise for the purpose of pointing out that the hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood) has again unintentionally rather misrepresented the circumstances. It is not the case that the minerals are the only things belonging to the Crown. In these Protectorates the greater part of the surface belongs to the Crown.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
All the area that belongs to the Crown is that part round Lake Rudolph in the Northern Territory.
§ Sir J. D. REES
In Nyasaland the greater part of the land belongs to the Crown. The hon. Member was also wrong in saying that the minerals belong to the Crown. A very large portion of them 96 belong to the Chartered Company. I mention that to show the hon. Member that he is not right in his facts.
§ Mr. BOOTH
The hon. Member just now said that the bulk of the surface in these Protectorates belongs to the Crown. I want to know what he means by the "Crown." Is it some local Crown or is it the Crown of this country? This is only a Protectorate. We are not lending money on the securities of the land of the Crown which belongs to the taxpayers here. The hon. Member has been sitting in the House and not listening to a word of the Debate. The whole case of the Government is the authorising of a loan to the Protectorate, the Protectorate Government undertaking to repay the loan in forty years, and we are to nurse that Protectorate and to supervise it and impose our will upon it legislatively and administratively. Then the hon. Member says the land belongs to the Crown. To which Crown? If it belongs to the Crown of England, clearly this is not a Protectorate. We are the owners of the place. I do not understand it at all, and therefore I leave the hon. Member to muddle through in the careless fashion in which he is contributing to the Debate. Coming to the merits of the Amendment and forgetting all about this ludicrous interlude of the hon. Member, if we are going to deal with minerals at all, the time is at the beginning. Surely the Colonial Office are aware of the discoveries of oil in Somaliland, not very far away, and if we wish to know whether there is oil or whether there is any other mineral in any of these Protectorates, the time to find it out is at the beginning. I do not think it would cost a very large sum to prospect and to test the ground, and it would be a misfortune, such as this country knows in a very acute way, if minerals or oil were discovered later when works have been erected, lines of communication opened, cities built and perhaps valuable fabrics erected on sites which were afterwards wanted for shafts. I submit, therefore, that it is a very per- 97 tinent Amendment, and I do not think the answer that has been given at all meets the case. The hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood) wants to be included in the scope of this Bill prospecting for minerals and oil, and, if the country is valuable, the time to do it is now. The reply of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is that the money is already allocated to some other purpose. We know that. He is a man of great intellectual power, and he knows very well he need not have got up to tell us that. The point is, Is not this the time to insert this additional purpose along with the others in the Bill? I dare say an estimate has been made closely and somewhat accurately. We assume all that. But surely it is not an answer to say that the money is wanted for something else! Why meet in this Committee at all? We
§ are met here so that our united endeavours may result in the production of a good measure. There is no finality in the Government. They suggest two objects for the expenditure of money—communications and trade facilities. The hon. Member (Mr. Wedgwood) suggests a third, to my mind equally good, and certainly this is the time to suggest it. The answer is that the money is wanted for other purposes. If this is a business Government, desiring to develop these Protectorates, I should expect a little more understanding than has been displayed by the Front Bench.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 32; Noes, 157.99
|Division No. 68.]||AYES.||[7.10 p.m.|
|Adamson, William||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Morrell, Philip||Sutton, John E.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Thomas, James Henry|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Needham, Christopher T.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Field, William||Parry, Thomas H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Grant, J. A.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Hogge, James Myles||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wedgwood and Mr. J. Wood.|
|Hudson, Walter||Rowlands, James|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Cullinan, John||Higham, John Sharp|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Dalrymple, Viscount||Hinds, John|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hoare, S. J. G.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Delany, William||Hodge, John|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Doris, William||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Duffy, William J.||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Barnston, Harry||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Falconer, James||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Kelly, Edward|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Ffrench, Peter||King, Joseph|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lardner, James C. R.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Law, Hugh, A. (Donegal, West)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Gilmour, Captain John||Leach, Charles|
|Boland, John Pius||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Boyton, James||Glanville, H. J.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lynch, A. A.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Goldsmith, Frank||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Greene, Walter Raymond||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gretton, John||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Molloy, Michael|
|Cassel, Felix||Gulland, John William||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morison, Hector|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Clough, William||Harcey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Henderson, J. H. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Crooks, William||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon, S.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hewart, Gordon||O'Dowd, John|
|O Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|O'Malley, William||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wardle, George J.|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sanders, Robert Arthur||Webb, H.|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Sandys, G. J.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Pointer, Joseph||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Pratt, J. W.||Shortt, Edward||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Radford, G. H.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Talbot, Lord Edmund||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Thynne, Lord Alexander||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Verney, Sir Harry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Robinson, Sidney||Walker, Colonel William Hall||Wm. Jones and Mr. Geoffrey Howard.|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
§ Mr. HOGGE
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "Protectorates" ["trade facilities in those Protectorates"], to insert the words "owned and controlled by the Governments of those Protectorates."
The object of the Amendment is perfectly simple. You want to avoid the exploitation by any person whatsoever of the credit which the British Government is giving to these Protectorates. We have had a long and painful experience of the exploitation of various Dominions abroad, in whatever shape they are. There are frequently unscrupulous individuals who make use of these opportunities. The Colonial Secretary himself defined the words "trade facilities" to mean two things, namely, piers and harbours. Both of these objects are fairly tangible, and are the kind of things that are always owned or controlled by the Government of the country, or, at any rate, ought to be There are some cases in which private individuals in this country take toll from the community for private rights they have in connection with objects of that kind, but, generally speaking, objects of that nature ought to belong to the community, and the community ought to get the proceeds. Obviously, if these words are put in here, they do away with the necessity fur any further debate on this point. It clinches the matter. It makes it perfectly plain that British credit is not to be used for the purpose of exploitation. Surely that is an Amendment which the Financial Secretary to the Treasury ought to a accept quite readily on behalf of the Government! It will save any further debate, and it will save any Division, and we will get on to the next Amendment.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The object of this Bill is the improvement of communications and trade facilities in the Protectorates concerned. My hon. Friend who moved the Amendment wants to limit those 100 activities to undertakings, not only owned or controlled, but to undertakings both owned and controlled. The policy of the Government and the intention is, as a general rule, so far as can be foreseen, that the improvement of communications and trade facilities shall be owned and controlled by the Protectorates, but it is, I think, not an unfair thing to ask that we should have a free hand, because there may be a case—it is not likely—in which for the quicker and better improvement of communications and trade facilities, some private company, or some company that is not both owned and controlled by these Protectorates, might be usefully employed, and although I give the assurance that it is our intention to try to avoid that, if what we desire under the Bill can be done without it, yet I think it would be a great mistake to insert limiting words in the Bill itself.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
I agree with the hon. Member opposite, but his speech is rather disquieting. If the words proposed are inserted, it might cause great inconvenience, and also defeat the object which the House has in view. I take the case of a State railway on which the Government wishes to spend a portion of this loan. If these words are inserted they might not be able to do so. They would not be able to spend any of the money on such State railway if part of it was leased to a company for the purpose of administration. I think for reasons of that sort the House would be very unwise to adopt the words suggested by the hon. Gentleman opposite. I confess that what the hon. Gentleman has said has caused me great disquietude, and it seems to me that the only conclusion we can draw from his speech is that the Government has not got a very definite idea of the specific objects on which these moneys can be spent. I do not want to blame the hon. Gentleman who spoke for the Government at present. If the Government has any definite idea 101 of the precise and specific objects for which these loans are required, and if these loans are founded upon anything like close estimates, the hon. Gentleman ought to be in a position, out of respect and courtesy to the House, to give us an assurance, without any qualification, as to whether the words suggested by the hon. Member can ever become operative, or whether they are wholly superfluous and unnecessary. I would only say that, I think this is another example of the great inconvenience of the head of the Government Department not being in his place when important measures of this sort are under the consideration of the House.
§ Mr. J. PARKER
I find myself in a position of perplexity in regard to this particular Amendment. I am sure that the Secretary of State for the Colonies is in favour of the credit of the Government being carefully protected in connection with the loans proposed to be made. The question which the representative of the Treasury has brought before the House is important from another point of view. The intention of the Government is to use this money, so far as possible, for assisting those objects which belong to the Protectorate, and not to assist private individuals. It seems to me that under no circumstances ought this House to give credit or to grant loans to Protectorates of this character to be used for putting money into the pockets of private individuals. In this connection we have had other Amendments before the House. The question has been raised as to who is going to benefit by the advances. I confess that, the Debate to-day has made me feel that certain persons in this House are particularly interested in pushing this Bill through, and I have been asking myself how much kudos they have in connection with certain private enterprises. There is no doubt at all, I think, that there will be benefit to the various Protectorates involved I admit also that benefits will come to the Mother Country as the result of facilities granted for cotton growing and for better railway communications. I agree with my hon. Friend (Mr. Hogge) that it is important that the benefits which arise shuold be kept for the whole people, and not for a few interested landowners who happen to get there first. I heartily support the Amendment.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not think I could support the Amendment as it stands, for this reason: The proposed words would prevent the Government from 102 leasing any railway if they desired to do so from motives of economy, or for any other reason. If the hon. Member will leave out the words "and controlled," and limit the Amendment to matters owned by the Government, I should support it. I do not think this money ought to be lent to private individuals. If it is advanced by the State, the enterprise ought to be owned by the State. I think the Amendment is too limited, and would, as the Financial Secretary said, have the effect of preventing, in certain cases, small departures from the rule. It seems to me that the Government are singularly unfortunate in the arguments they use against this Amendment. The arguments employed against this Amendment, and also against the last Amendment, were to the effect that they did not intend to do anything contrary to the Amendments, and yet they could not accept them.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I think I can make this clear to the Committee. Hon. Members on this side know quite well that it is my policy and intention that the whole of these works should be owned and controlled by the Protectorates. That has been my policy, and the policy of my predecessor too. Really, if the Committee would allow a little discretion in the wording of the Act, there is no intention whatever of lending money to private individuals as suggested, but it might be convenient—though I myself do not think it will be—that an existing railway should construct for us, and for our future benefit, an extension of a railway. Surely, if it is found necessary or desirable to exercise it, that discretion might be left to the Secretary of State and the Governor of the Colony, in case it should turn out that that was the best way to construct a railway! There is no idea at all, and there is no possibility, of financing private individuals for their own profit. It is for the Government of the Colony and of this country to take the best steps in their power to advance the prosperity of the Colony itself, by whatever means seem most suitable, as to the construction of railways or means of communication. I ask no more latitude than that, and I think it reasonable that that latitude should be allowed in the exercise of my discretion.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
There are two different ways of developing railways by the State. One is for the State to borrow the money and build the lines itself. The other, which has been adopted in Uruguay 103 and Turkey, is for the State to provide cheap money for capitalists to build railways. That is not a system which I would recommend this country ever to follow, but the door is left open to it by this Bill, and we want to bar it out. The Government in this country has in recent years taken up a very firm position in refusing to lend to private persons even for the building of houses for the deserving poor. It has said quite emphatically that it will only advance money on the terms that the building concerns will bind themselves not to divide more than 5 per cent. interest, so that they are what is called "disinterested companies." I think that they have been very wise in doing so. Once you go outside the line, once you say to a certain firm of capitalists or to special individuals, "We will provide you with cheap capital and allow you to make what you can out of it," then all sorts of demands will be made on you, and not only that, but you will be providing the sinews for the exploiting capitalist. This railway which my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary has in view may be that one in which the hon. Gentleman opposite is interested. I strongly urge upon the Committee if that is the special case concerned, that the extension of that railway to other points should be made entirely independently of that concern. After all, it has not been a striking success. The Colony has been a striking success, but the railway has not. Therefore, if that is the case which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind, I think that it would certainly be advantageous that we should prevent that company having the handling of this money.
I do not know whether that is the case or not. The only other case which I can think of in any of these Colonies is the case of the Mogadi Soda Railway. In the case of a speculative company like that, as to whose deferred shares illimitable prospects were held out by the companies financing them, it is extremely undesirable that we should provide cheap capital to build this branch line or to enable such a company to carry soda or any other product. You do not want to have the Government providing capital at 3½ per cent. for any firm of capitalists to exploit. If the rate of interest is limited by Statute and the articles of association provide that any extra profit will go to the people who use the railway, either in the shape of lower freight rates or lower passenger rates, it would be a different thing, but it is not right to pro- 104 vide companies with what is necessary at a cheap rate of interest and allow them to make as much as they possibly can out of it. That is the principle which we ought to establish by voting for this Amendment. The junior Member for Halifax (Mr. Parker) said that it was remarkable that he and I should agree in supporting this Amendment. Well, I agree that it is. The junior Member for Halifax representing the Socialists, and myself representing the individualists, agree in this principle with the hon. Baronet representing the City of London, and so we have the representatives of sound finance, collectivism, and individualism all agreeing that we must not allow the State to become the financial batter of uncontrolled capitalists in want of capital.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I understand that the Secretary of State is bringing in this Bill making these arrangements in order that the Government may build certain railways instead of any private capitalist or existing company whatsoever. That being so, it is an extraordinary thing, or it would be an extraordinary thing if the hon. Gentleman had not gone clean wrong to-day on so many points, that he should have gone so absolutely wrong over this matter. I can assure him that that is the purpose of this Bill. So far from its doing that which he deprecates, it makes that which he deprecates impossible, or at any rate improbable, for the Secretary of State is able to say that it is his intention to do this himself and not to do it through any company. At the same time, I do not know whether this Committee notices that if we accept this Amendment we will make it impossible for the Nyasaland administration to manage any railway made in the way suggested by the Government, as the Uganda Railway was, and to employ as their agencies for management any existing railway company. That, I think, would be a pity on public grounds. In the case of India where there are so many more miles of railway than here, the greater part of the lines is actually the property of the Government, and yet the Government find it more convenient to manage those lines through the agencies of existing companies. I do not know that the Nyasaland administration or the Colonial Office would take that view in regard to the projected railway on which this money is to be spent, but I do know that if this Amendment is put in it would deprive them of that useful option in case they wished to exercise it.
§ Sir G. BARING
I am very glad that the hon. Member for East Nottingham has taken part in this Debate. I was afraid that he was not going to say anything on; this great railway question on which he is such a great expert. I am rather unfortunate with regard to this Bill. I came down to the House to-day with the full intention of supporting it in all its stages, I and voting against most of the Amendments, and I find that I have already voted for two Amendments, and that I shall have to vote for this Amendment also. The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary made an appeal to us to give him a certain latitude, but I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman cannot hold his office for ever, and as we know, any declaration which he makes in this Debate I is not binding on his successors in the Colonial Office; and it might be that some day the hon. Member for East Nottingham would be administering at the Colonial Office, and might take a wholly different view from that of my right hon. Friend. In a country like Nyasaland it is important that a railway of this character should be controlled and owned by the State. We are lending a large amount of money for this undertaking, and it is most desirable that where State credit is lent the control and ownership of the undertaking should, as far as possible, reside in the State.
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
We have had three speeches made in opposition to this Amendment, two from the Government I Front Bench and one by the hon. Member for Fast Nottingham. The hon. Member this afternoon seemed to illustrate the process of reversion to type. His remarks reminded me of his earlier manner in this
§ House, when it was his practice on occasions to make speeches in support of the right hon. Gentleman now occupying the Front Bench. I think that he made the best speech against the Amendment which we have heard, but the effect of the speeches against the Amendment has been to convince me that everyone who takes up the old Liberal principle in regard to the administration of national finance in its relation to private companies must support this Amendment. What alternative is open? We have the assurance of the Colonial Secretary that he intends to do the right thing. Everybody who knows him knows that he so intends. But the permanent officials at the Colonial Office, after all, are the men who will be responsible and will have to administer this money, and the question is: Ought we to give them the power to pledge British credit to private speculative undertakings? Anybody who knows the history of these undertakings in Africa knows that they are undertakings with which it would be most undesirable to have the Government associated. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman in this matter not to take up a cast-iron attitude against a great many of his admirers and supporters in this House. What practical objection is there to saying that if British credit is to be used it shall only be used on behalf of undertakings which are owned and controlled by the Government? I understand that that is the intention of the right hon. Gentleman. If so, why on earth not say so?
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 45; Noes, 137.107
|Division No. 69.]||AYES.||[7.45 p.m.|
|Adamson, William||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Barnes, George N.||Hodge, John||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hogge, James Myles||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hudson, Walter||Sutton, John E.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Thomas, James Henry|
|Cassel, Felix||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Chaloner, colonel R. G. W.||Morrell, Philip||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Crooks, William||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wardle, George J.|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Needham, Christopher T.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Parker, James (Halifax)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Gill, A. H.||Pointer, Joseph||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Glanville, H. J.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Rowlands, James||Pringle and Mr. Wedgwood.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Baird, John Lawrence||Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Barnston, Harry|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Greene, Walter Raymond||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gulland, John William||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Malley, William|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Boland, John Pius||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Boyton, James||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hayward, Evan||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henry, Sir Charles||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hewart, Gordon||Pratt, J. W.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Higham, John Sharp||Radford, G. H.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hinds, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hoare, S. J. G.||Rea, Rt. Hen. Russell (South Shields)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Illingworth, Percy H.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Clough, William||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kelly, Edward||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Crumley, Patrick||King, Joseph||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cullinan, John||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Delany, William||Lardner, James C. R.||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Shortt, Edward|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leach, Charles||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Doris, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lynch, A. A.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Macpherson, James Ian||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Falconer, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Webb, H.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Molloy, Michael||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Field, William||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morgan, George Hay||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Morison, Hector||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Mount, William Arthur||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Nolan, Joseph|
|Goldsmith, Frank||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wm. Jones and Mr. Ceoffrey Howard.|
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I have a further Amendment to make the sum £2,000,000 instead of £3,000,000. I want to make that alteration, because it seems to me that the amount asked for is unnecessarily large for the purposes of the districts concerned. The amount to be granted under the Bill in the East Africa Protectorate amounts to £1,855,000; the white population of that Protectorate is 3,175, thus making an amount of about £100 per head. That seems to me excessive. Of course it is not the question of a Grant to an individual person, but we have to judge of both the benefit which these people would receive from the money and also of the security which measures their ability to repay the loan and pay the interest upon it. Having regard to the white population of the district and the measure of security to be obtained, there is not a private financier in the world who would risk his money on that security, and no benefactor of mankind who would give the money in such large quantities for such uncertain benefit. You are making a great mistake, I think, in advancing any money on these special terms to British East Africa. If those 108 Colonies want money for development purposes, why should they not go into the market like North Staffordshire or any other district in this country?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I warned the hon. Member once before that we cannot have the same speeches repeated over again on a series of Amendments. We heard all the hon. Member has said on the first one. If he decides to move a further Amendment in this series, he must confine himself to the new point.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
My whole point is that the security is inadequate, the white population being so small, and it does seem to me that we might adopt the advance of a rather smaller sum than £3,000,000. I propose to reduce the amount by one-third, making the loan £2,000,000, and in doing that I make the security better to 109 that extent; at any rate, it would secure sounder finance than is exhibited in the Bill at the present time. The whole support for this Bill comes from hon. Members opposite. It is introduced by a Liberal Government, it is true, but it is being based on Tory precedent and Tory finance, and I think we have a perfect right as Liberals to protest against this measure throughout.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid the opportunity for that was on the Second Beading, or it will be on the Third Reading, but not in Committee. The hon. Member seems quite unable to distinguish the purpose for which we meet in Committee.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Yes; the object of the Committee stage is to amend the Bill, and I think that in moving the Amendment to substitute £2,000,000 for £3,000,000 I am doing so. But I certainly do not think that it would make the Bill tolerable, and I shall still vote against it on the Third Beading, for it will not make a Tory Bill a Liberal Bill because it has been brought in by a Liberal Government. I propose to make the Bill better by making the amount £2,000,000 instead of £3,000,000. One other point, namely, as to the interest on the money we are advancing: We are told that this is going to be paid for by those countries out of their surplus revenue, though they have always a difficulty in making both ends meet at the present time. The Secretary of State for the Colonies has pointed out that Nyasaland has made both ends meet for two years. I think British East Africa does not make both ends meet yet; I think even now the deficiency in her revenue is met by a Grant-in-Aid; at any rate, I find that last year, or in the year 1911, the Grant-in-Aid to British East Africa was £130,000. What is to happen if there is no surplus revenue in those Colonies? We make it up by Grants-in-Aid paid out of the pockets of the British taxpayer for the benefit of those Colonies. We have done that in Nyasaland, and we are doing it in British East Africa. Of what good is it to tell us that interest is to be paid out of the surplus revenue of these Colonies?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is now disregarding the whole of my ruling, and is discussing the Bill as a whole. I call upon him now to resume his seat.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
I beg formally to move in Sub-section (1) to leave out the word "three" ["in the whole three million"], and to insert instead thereof the word "two."
§ Mr. HARCOURT
The Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Mr. W. Thorne), and spoken to by the hon. Member for New-castle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood), is one which I cannot accept. The hon. Member does not imagine that I should put forward a Bill for a loan of three million pounds unless I was convinced that the security was good; nor can he suppose that I would put forward a Bill for a loan of three millions for specified works which I have described to the Committee if two millions would suffice for those works. I have told the Committee practically what sort of works it is intended to do. The larger part of the money I admit goes to the East Africa Protectorate, but it is extremely essential to strengthen the Uganda Railway and to make a proper harbour at Kilindini, where there is the most ludicrous waste of time and energy and money that can take place, the whole of the traffic of that port being carried by lighters and dealt with by hand labour. I believe, in fact I am convinced, that the expenditure of this money on those works will prove remunerative, will make the security immediately better, and will cause the prosperity of those Protectorates to become still greater. It will certainly hasten their development and make the surplus more sure. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme is mistaken in thinking that the East Africa Protectorate is now, or has been until recently, receiving a Grant-in-Aid. The last Grant-in-Aid to the East Africa Protectorate was in the financial year 1911. Since then the East Africa Protectorate has been self-supporting; it is going ahead very rapidly; but it has now an amount of produce with which it is impossible for the Government of East Africa to deal, with the present lines, the present number of steamers on the lake, and the present wharfage accommodation. It is for the purpose of effecting improvements in that direction that the money is being asked for, and I hope the House will grant it.
§ Mr. MORTON
I hope the Committee will support the Amendment, because the Bill will not be quite so bad if the amount involved is £2,000,000 instead of £3,000,000. 111 I shall object to all this money being advanced to speculators in East Africa until you have attended to the people of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words:
"Provided that those maximum amounts may be varied by the Treasury and the Secretary of State as between the three Protectorates if it appears to them that it is expedient to do so, having
§ Question put, "That the word 'three' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 149; Noes, 19.111
|Division No. 70.]||AYES.||[8.0 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Gilmour, Captain John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Gladstone, W. G. C.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Alden, Percy||Glanville, Harold James||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Dowd, John|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||O'Malley, William|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Greene, W. R.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Gretton, John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gulland, John William||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Barnston, Harry||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hancock, John George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pratt, J. W.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Bonn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Radford, G. H.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hewart, Gordon||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Boland, John Pius||Higham, John Sharp||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hinds, John||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Boyton, James||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Brady, P. J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Illingworth, Percy H.||Rowlands, James|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Cassel, Felix||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Kelly, Edward||Shortt, Edward|
|Clancy, John Joseph||King, Joseph||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Clough, William||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lardner, James C. R.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Crooks, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Cullinan, John||Lynch, A. A.||Wardle, George J|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Webb, H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Macpherson, James Ian||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Delany, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Doris, William||Molloy, Michael||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Falconer, James||Morgan, George Hay||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Morrell, Philip||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Ffrench, Peter||Morison, Hector||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Field, William||Mount, William Arthur|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Needham, Christopher T.||Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Gill, A. H.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Adamson, William||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Barnes, George N.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Parker, James (Halifax)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Pointer, Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Hodge, John||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Hogge, James Myles||Sutton, John E.||Wedgwood and Mr. W. Thorne.|
§ regard to the ultimate requirements of those Protectorates respectively."
§ What I object to is the giving of power to the Treasury and the Secretary of State to alter the maximum amount specified in the Schedule or to alter what Parliament has decided. Nowadays we leave far too 113 much power to the bureaucracy in this country. We are continually getting into their hands and grumbling about it afterwards. Members from the Conservative Benches, now occupied by the hon. Member for the Wilton Division (Mr. C. Bathurst) alone, go up and down the country denouncing the bureaucracy, pointing out how much more power we give them than they ought to have, and complaining of the robbery of Parliamentary rights; and yet when we have a Bill such as this brought forward, with a proviso which deliberately takes out of the hands of Parliament and puts into the hands of the bureaucracy the main principle of the measure, they go into the Division Lobby and vote for it through thick and thin. This proviso has been inserted purely to meet the convenience of the Colonial Office. They have worked out, apparently in great detail, the exact amount which each Protectorate wants out of this £3,000,000. They have got down to £1,000 what each Protectorate wants, but in this proviso they make all their calculations null and void and give themselves power to vary these amounts as they like, provided the sum total does not exceed £3,000,000. If they manage to save a little on British East Africa—which is not impossible out of a sum of £2,000,000—I do not think that the Secretary of State has any right to transfer that saving to Nyasaland or Uganda. One of the powers which we value most is that of preventing Government Departments from taking advantage of savings on one estimate to increase the expenditure in another Department. In our annual Budgets and our annual criticism of expenditure we prevent saving in one Department from going to defray increased expenditure in another; the saving passes into the Old Sinking Fund, and cannot be squandered by another Department. This proviso is put into the Bill simply in order to prevent the Department from being hampered, as Departments are hampered at present, by our supervision over finance. It gives them power to use savings in one Protectorate—not in one Department, but in one Protectorate—for additional expenditure in another Protectorate. If it is wrong to allow one Department in England to use its savings for the benefit of another Department in England, it is ten times worse to allow the Colonial Office to use the saving in one Protectorate for increased expenditure in another Protectorate at any time in the future when there is no 114 control whatever by Parliament. I should like the Colonial Secretary to tell us why the proviso was not put in if it was not in order to get round Parliament in the way that I have suggested.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I think it is perfectly right and proper to give certain powers of virement in such circumstances as these. I am really suffering from my own virtue in putting a Schedule into the Bill, showing as nearly as can be arrived at by estimate the amount required by each Protectorate. I might not unreasonably have asked the House to pass a Bill providing for a loan of £3,000,000 to be divided, as appeared subsequently necessary, amongst the three Protectorates; but I thought it would be more to the convenience of the House, and I certainly thought it would have appealed more to my hon. Friends sitting behind me, if I gave the best estimate at which I could arrive of the amounts which I believed it necessary to spend in the three Protectorates. It has not been possible for me to make a detailed estimate, or to ask for tenders, or to enter into contracts for the work to be done, because I am, at any rate, a sufficiently sound financier not to enter upon such tenders or contracts in advance of Parliamentary authority. I hope, therefore, that hon. Members will not penalise me for my financial rectitude in this matter. If it is found that the railway in Nyasaland ought to cost a little more, and that the railway in British East Africa ought to or may cost a little less, I think it is reasonable that there should be that power of virement between the three Protectorates. I hope, therefore, the Committee will leave that power in the Bill, accepting the Schedule as an indication of the amounts considered necessary.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I, for my part, should not like to see the discretion of the Colonial Office restricted in this matter, but I think the hon. Gentleman is justified in moving his Amendment if only on account of the fact that Sub-section (2) is absolute nonsense as expressed. If the Committee will consider the natural and ordinary meaning of the words contained in the first paragraph they will find that it is provided that neither of these Protectorates shall have advanced to it any sum exceeding the maximum amount mentioned in the Schedule; and the second paragraph goes on to point out that in fact they may. The mandatory word "shall" has really no meaning in this first paragraph if the proviso 115 which the hon. Gentleman seeks to leave out stands as at present. Either the maximum in the case of each Protectorate is what is stated in the Schedule or it is not. If it is, and if the amount cannot be varied, and indeed the word "shall" suggests that it cannot, then the proviso is absurd. I venture to suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that what he really means by the first paragraph is that the aggregate amount advanced to all three Protectorates shall not exceed the aggregate amount of £3,000,000. As at present expressed, if the English language continues to mean what it meant before the Debate began, all I can say is that this is nonsense.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I think the hon. Member has established a case for better drafting, but I see what the meaning of the words are, and it is that the amounts can only be varied by the Treasury or Secretary of State which would prevent the amount, specified being exceeded in Africa without that sanction. While I think that intention is clear, the Clause to some extent is badly drafted, and that is shown by contrasting the two operative parts as was done by the hon. Member (Mr. C. Bathurst). I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied with the wording. I would like to thank him for putting the Schedule in. I think it is quite obvious, if he had gone for the £3,000,000 and said nothing about a definite allocation, but indicated in general terms, he perhaps would have got his Bill, easier. He erred on the side of giving definite information, and went so far as to put specific amounts opposite each Protectorate. I hope the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme will take that, into account and not press the Colonial Secretary too far with this Amendment, especially in view of the fact that the trouble has arisen over the frankness and candour of the right hon. Gentleman to the House, and on account of the explanation that he put in in order to inform the House of his plans. I thoroughly approve of that course.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
It is all very nice and charming to hear the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) talk of frankness and candour, but nobody knows better than he does that if the Secretary of State had not done so the hon. Member would have got them out of him before the Bill had been long in Committee. I quite 116 realise the wisdom of putting this in. I do not want to press the matter to a Division. The Colonial Secretary has been very good to me, and the Chairman has not called me to order. I have two other Amendments to the proviso, one to give power to the Colonial Secretary to use any money not required in those Protectorates in any part of Africa, such as in Somaliland for prospecting for oil, which the British Navy wants badly.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
The money must be spent in East Africa, and therefore it is no use suggesting he should have the power to use the money elsewhere. I still think the old Parliamentary practice as to votes is a good one, and I am afraid the new-practice will not convince me to the contrary. I was also anxious to raise the question of the system of land ownership and taxation. There is a very radical difference between the system of land ownership and taxation in Nyasaland and the other two. In Uganda and in British East Africa we have a state of affairs somewhat similar to what the right hon. Gentleman created in Nigeria, where the land was all nationalised, where the railway was built so that the railway increased the value of the Government property. In Uganda you have a similar state of affairs. I think this proviso should bind the Secretary of State or the Treasury to have some regard to the person whose property you are increasing, and should prefer the ultimate, requirements of places like Uganda than of those friends of the hon. Member for East Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees). I do not know if that Amendment is out of order.
The whole subject was covered by the previous Debate, and I shall rule that Amendment out of order. The hon. Member can deal with the question put down at the end of the proviso.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
As the Colonial Secretary has put the maximum amount in the Schedule, I do not propose to press this particular Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I desire to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to add the words, "That the system of land owner- 117 ship and taxation in the various Protectorates shall be considered at the same time."
I cannot accept that Amendment. The whole of the circumstances have been very amply-covered by the preceding Debate.
I cannot accept the Amendment, and I call upon the hon. Member to move his further Amendment.
The ruling is that the matter has already been covered by Debate, that an expression of the opinion of the Committee has already been obtained, and that, therefore, it is unnecessary to move the Amendment.
The one which the hon. Member is proposing to move. I now call upon the hon. Gentleman to move his further Amendment.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
May I again ask on which Amendment this question of the system of land ownership and taxation has been dealt with?
During the preceding Debate. It is perhaps not possible for anyone at this stage of the discussion to state accurately the precise moment when the Committee dealt with the matter that the hon. Member now raises, but I am clearly of opinion that it has already been decided by the Committee. As that is my decision I am quite sure the hon. Member will accept it.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
On a point of Order. I think the Deputy-Chairman has not been in the Chamber all the time, and of course does not know what particular Amendment has been discussed. Therefore I quite agree that he cannot tell me. But I enter an emphatic protest against simply being told that the matter has been discussed and voted upon, and in not being given any indication as to when and how. In my opinion it has not been decided.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I was thinking of moving to omit Sub-section (3), and I want to ask you first whether my object may be attained if a discussion takes place on the Question, "That the Clause stand part?" I am anxious not to multiply Divisions or points of Order, but I would like to know whether this proposal does or does not increase the National Debt? I would like to get a statement, and if you rule that I can raise that financial point on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part," that will meet the case. If not, I will move my Amendment now.
If the hon. Member wishes, he can move or he can discuss it upon the Question, "That the Clause stand part."
We must have some question before the Committee. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will move to omit Sub-section (3)?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I beg to move, in Sub-section (4), to leave out the word "two" ["not less than two and three-quarters per centum per annum"] and to insert instead thereof the word "three."
I am of opinion that it is certainly undesirable to lend money to private corporations at such an extremely artificially low price as 2¾ per cent. I do not believe that even in the palmy days of 1896 you could borrow money from the bank at 2¾ per cent., and I am certain you could not get it anywhere now at that rate. To allow the Treasury, therefore, to advance money at that rate to a private railway company, or to any other private company, soda or steamship company, seems to me to be a perfectly atrocious proceeding for the British Treasury to adopt. We ought to be very careful that we do not make the terms of this loan quite ridiculous by putting it at the low figure of two and three-quarters. It may be possible for the British Government at the present day to borrow as low as 3¼ per cent. But the cost of raising and administering that loan is in addition to that three and a quarter, and therefore I am inclined to think that, by a minimum of three and three-quarters in the Bill you would not 119 be doing any real wrong to the public, and would be getting a better security. I am against giving bonuses to particular districts and particular industries, because I think it is contrary to the doctrines and principles of Free Trade; if it has to be done, at any rate let it be done in accordance with reasonably sound finance.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The words in the Subsection follow exactly the wording of the Local Loans Act of 1887. Otherwise I should be inclined to agree with the hon. Member, that it is the duty of this House not to consent to a Bill of this kind, but to protect the Local Loans Fund, and therefore the British taxpayer, from lending money at the lower rate. The hon. Member will observe that it would not be possible for the Treasury to advance this money at 2¾ per cent. What they have got to do is to fix the rate of interest so that there shall be no loss on the Local Loans Fund. At the present time Local Loans stock stands at 87, and, therefore, if the money was lent to-day it would be impossible to lend it at much less than two and three-quarters or three. The loan is safeguarded by these words, "without loss to the Local Loans Fund." I can assure the hon. Member that he need have no anxiety about the rate of interest which will be charged.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
As I understand it, the Protectorate is coming to this House and asking for a loan and the House has decided—I myself voted in favour of it—that that loan should be given to the Protectorate. If the House did not give the loan the Protectorate would have to go into the open market, and would probably have to pay some 5 or 5½ per cent. at the present time, and they would have to pay that over the whole term of the loan. We are going to let them have it at 2¾ per cent. If it were a business transaction they would have to pay the sum they agreed for over the whole period of the loan, thirty years or forty years. Why should this loan be carried on on any other than a business basis. If it pleases the Protectorates to come here and borrow at whatever the market price is, I could quite understand our saying, "if this turns out to be a loss we shall raise the interest," but on what possible ground can you say that if we can at any time lend on a lower basis we shall have to reduce the rate. It does not sound businesslike. What I want to ask is, what possible objection can there 120 be to putting in a limit of 3¾ per cent.—what possible harm can be done? Would the Protectorates object to it? As far as the Government is concerned it would be some protection to the British taxpayer as to the return he was going to get, because if the value of the money did go to 2¾ per cent. he would make a profit. I voted for, and I am in favour of these loans being made, but every loan we make does seriously affect the credit of the country. Nobody knows that better than the hon. Member opposite. The more of these loans we have, so much the worse for us. Therefore, it does not seem to me, without being-hostile to this Bill, which on broader lines I am in favour of, an unreasonable Amendment to suggest that in no circumstance should this loan go below 3¾ per cent.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is going to answer that point—I hops he wall Surely nobody is inconvenienced by putting in the figure three instead of two, and if no one is inconvenienced, why should it not be done. The fact that my hon. Friend has got some musty old books which shows that something was done in 1897 does not affect the case. This is a new transaction. The hon. Gentleman has not been put in office in order that he may follow the law of the Testament. We expect originality from the hon. Gentleman and justice to the taxpayers. I am perfectly certain these people could not get money lower than 5½ per cent. They would be only too delighted to get it at 3¾ per cent. Anything below 5 per cent. will be a boon and a godsend to them. At any rate, we could justify it a little easier if we could say that the lowest interest was 3¼ per cent. This place is a long way off—it is thousands of miles away—and if we embark this three millions of national credit in this country several thousand miles away it means three millions less available in case of a European war. I do not know what other view can be taken. One does not want to make too much of that view, but there is no doubt this will mean three millions less available resources in any conflict of this kind. Let us be careful, let us be sure. If there is inconvenience it should be pointed out. I should have thought everybody would be agreed to put in the figures 3¾ per cent.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The rate of interest for the whole term of a loan is, of course, fixed, but the whole sum is not to be loaned at once. Loans are to be made for 121 different purposes, when the Government of the Protectorates have taken certain specified action. If we make a loan, we must see that the Local Loans Fund does not lose by the rate of interest charged and that interest will therefore depend upon the cost of floating the Local Loans Stock at the moment. My hon. Friend says what is the objection to making a profit out of the Protectorate, to which we lend the money, and charging them a rate of interest higher than necessary to protect the Local Loans Fund. To supply a Protectorate with loans at a rate of interest that will enable this country to make a profit, does not seem to me to be a policy that ought to commend itself to this House.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I am sorry the Secretary to the Treasury takes up what seems to me to be a wrong point of view. You are going to make a loan of three millions. It is obvious, from the rate of interest which is struck, that the Treasury may have a loss. The money will not be advanced for years and years, possibly ten years, and during these ten years the cost of Local Loans Stock will be up and down. It is the duty of the Treasury to strike a possible rate of interest that will guard them against loss. Instead of being 2¾ per cent., it ought to be 3½ per cent., in order to safeguard us from any loss on terms that may turn out to be unremunerative, because, when we have to find the money, it may cost more. I do not understand the new Treasury spirit, which is that you must lend money as cheaply as possible on all loans. It seems to me a new principle in the Treasury, which was presided over by Sir George Murray and Sir Edward Hamilton. At any rate, sound economists will be right in going into the Lobby to protest against this idea that the Treasury have got to lend money at a less rate and take no insurance whatever against the prospect of finding that money extremely expensive to raise when they come to raise it.
§ see the difference between the price at which the Protectorates could borrow in the open market and the price at which they could borrow on our guarantee, and his answer is no answer, and I venture to say that the Government could not cover it with any insurance company, no matter how small the difference. The Protectorates could not borrow at less than 5½ per cent., but they can borrow on our credit at 3½ per cent. We are taking all the risks. If they get the money at 2 per cent. less, they get it at the risk of this State, and we are charging them 2 per cent. for guaranteeing it. Therefore, whatever price the Protectorates get it less than 5½ per cent. is a gift from us. If we made, as the right hon. Gentleman said, that profit of a half per cent., what would it mean? It would mean that we get from the Protectorates a ½ per cent. to cover a risk of 2 per cent., or only one-quarter of the premium which we ought to get. To suggest that that is taking some advantage of them is to use terms that I do not understand. Of course we do not find the money, but we risk the whole capital. We guarantee the total capital, and the value of the loan with our guarantee is a difference of 2 per cent. per annum. For that 2 per cent. we are going to charge nothing. Even if we did get a ½ per cent. I think it is an extraordinary doctrine for the Treasury to say we are making money out of them. If we are conferring a benefit on those regions, surely it is proper that we should have a modest sum to cover that guarantee. No company, not even the great firm of Rothschild, would take the responsibility which the Government is taking on these terms, because we are really making them a handsome present. What I complain about is that an endeavour is being made to whittle down the risk. If we are in fact making them a present of 2 per cent., why not state it openly? I am not quite sure how we ought to vote on this matter, but I am certain it is a very unpleasant position for our Front Bench to be in.
§ Question put, "That the word 'two' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 150; Noes, 24.123
|Division No. 71.]||AYES.||[8.48 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)|
|Alden, Percy||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Beauchamp, Sir Edward|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Barnston, Harry||Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Black, Arthur W.|
|Bcland, John Pius||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Malley, William|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hewart, Gordon||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Higham, John Sharp||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hinds, John||Pointer, Joseph|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hodge, John||Pratt, J. W.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Radford, G. H.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Clough, William||Hudson, Walter||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Illingworth, Percy H.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Cullinan, John||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kelly, Edward||Rowlands, James|
|Delany, William||King, Joseph||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Doris, William||Lardner, James C. R.||Sandys, G. J.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yerks, Otley)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Shortt, Edward|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Sutton, John E.|
|Falconer, James||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Thomas, J. H.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macpherson, James Ian||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Field, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Furness, Stephen Wilson||Molloy, Michael||Webb, H.|
|Gill, A. H.||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Morgan, George Hay||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Morison, Hector||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Grant, J. A.||Needham, Christopher T.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Greene, Walter Raymond||Nolan, Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gulland, John William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Hancock, John George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||O'Dowd, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Adamson, William||Dairymple, Viscount||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Barnes, George N.||Goldsmith, Frank||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Gretton, John||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Boyton, James||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hogge, James Myles|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wedgwood and Mr. W. Thorne.|
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (4), to leave out the word "forty," and to insert instead thereof the word "thirty."
Personally, I think thirty years is quite sufficient time to enable these Protectorates to pay back the loan. The right hon. Gentleman no doubt shares the view held by his predecessor and by the whole of his party when they sat on this side of the House that loans are a bad thing, and that when you do advance a loan it should be repaid as quickly as possible. If you make the period longer than thirty years you are allowing the Protectorates a longer period in which to pay back the loan than is necessary. There is another factor 124 to be considered. The investor likes something which is repayable within a short time. He likes to think that he is certain to get his money repaid at not too distant a date. If the period is altered from forty to thirty years, I think it will be found that the loan will be obtained upon far better terms. I do not know what arguments the right hon. Gentleman has to advance, in favour of a period of forty years, nor why the Treasury should have the power of demanding repayment at less than forty years. There is power under the Clause to enable the Treasury and the Secretary of State to require the loan to be paid off in a less period than forty years. We have moved certain Amend- 125 ments, and the right hon. Gentleman has generally said that he agrees with the Amendment, and that it is not the intention of the Government to do anything but what the Amendment would enable them to do, but at the same time he has objected to the Amendment being inserted. Evidently it is the intention of the Government not to exact the full term of forty years, and I trust, therefore, that I shall be more fortunate, and that the right hon. Gentleman will accept my Amendment of thirty years. I see no reason why it should not be inserted, and I am not at all sure that it would not be advisable to leave out all the words after the word "years," so that the loan would be repayable at the end of thirty years, and not before. I do not quite know what he means to do under the Clause as it stands—
"as the Treasury and the Secretary of State determine in each case, and either by means of equal instalments of principal, or by means of annuity of principal and interest combined, as may be similarly determined."
Does that mean that the loan is to be repayable by drawings? If it means that the Treasury is to have the right to repay the loan by annual drawings, that is all very well if the loan is issued below par, because the repayment by annual drawings is an incentive to the investor. If, on the other hand, the loan is issued at par, then the annual drawings are rather against the investor, and he would prefer to know that he would be entitled to receive interest for a fixed period, and the return of his capital at the end of that period. I think that by far the simplest way of raising the money would be a loan extended to thirty years without any question of annual drawings. I am inclined to think it would be better in the interests of the Treasury to put in thirty years and leave out all the words afterwards. If the right hon. Gentleman accepts my Amendment, I shall be prepared to move to leave out those words. I do not insist upon the second Amendment, if the right hon. Gentleman prefers to keep the words in, but I think it would really be in the best interests of the Protectorates, because they would be able to borrow their money cheaper in the way I have suggested.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
The hon. Baronet told the Committee that the investor would prefer thirty years. I do not profess to be an expert in these matters, and 126 I dare say that may be true, but I must admit that I have not myself unduly considered the preferences of the investor. I have been looking rather at the interests of the Protectorates. Of course, it is quite possible the interests of the investor and the Protectorates may be the same, but I am not quite sure that they are. If you reduce the period of repayment from forty to thirty years, it is obvious that you are going to do it by a heavier annual payment to a sinking fund, and the Protectorate, therefore, will have to find interest plus a heavier sinking fund during thirty years than they would during forty years.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
It is quite possible they can get the money cheaper, but, on the other hand, in the case of a growing Protectorate, where they are dependent upon their development—I believe it to be assured—which is partly dependent upon their growth, and partly upon the assistance we give them, it may be an added hardship to insist upon a heavier payment towards a sinking fund, in addition to the interest they have to pay, in order to spread it over thirty years rather than forty years. The hon. Baronet quoted to me an authority which I shall always receive with the greatest respect, that of the late Sir William Harcourt, who, he said, quite rightly had always been in favour of short loans, because on the whole he thought that loans were undesirable where you could find the money by Votes. But I did not find it possible to ask the House to vote £3,000,000 as a gift to these Protectorates, and I thought they could find the interest and sinking fund, and that we could then give them assistance by the use of our credit. I agree that a short period is desirable where you have to make a loan. The hon. Baronet now thinks that a forty years' period is too long. I thought I had acquired virtue and merit in his eyes by fixing forty years as the period, because on looking back to the Bill which is the precedent, or one of the precedents, of this Bill, the Bill of his own party in 1899, of which he was a warm supporter, I found the period fixed there should not exceed fifty years from the date thereof. I went very carefully into this question. I thought fifty years was too long, and I now find that the hon. Baronet thinks forty years is too long, but I did not 127 expect when I made the sacrifice of inserting forty years that I should be met, by one whom I shall always regard as my mentor in matters of finance, with a suggestion that I should reduce it to thirty years to the great detriment of the Protectorates on whose behalf I am speaking. I hope that after that brief explanation of the momentary forgetfulness of the hon. Baronet we may agree that between his thirty years now, and the old fifty years of which he was so warm a supporter, my own proposal of forty years may be accepted.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not know what is the authority of the right hon. Gentleman for stating that I was so warm a supporter of a fifty years period in a previous Bill. I really do not remember what occurred in 1899. It is quite possible I may not have protested against the action of my own party on that particular occasion, but I have stated more than once in this House that I do not regard the Conservative party in the past or in the future as being absolutely infallible. On the contrary, the Conservative party have made many great mistakes in the past, and I have often voted against them, and I am quite certain they and I will do the same in the future. My withers are unwrung by the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman. May I point out that I stated at the commencement of my few remarks that my copy of the Bill had got no period in it at all, and therefore I thought it was necessary to call attention to the period, and I put down this Amendment to insert thirty years. Later on I found that the right hon. Gentleman has inserted forty years, but as I had put down an Amendment, I felt in duty bound to move it and to give my reasons. After all, I do not think there ïs any great difference between thirty and forty years, and after the right hon. Gentleman's speech I do not think I will press the Amendment to a Division for such a small difference as ten years. I should like also to point out that when I said the investor would like a period of thirty years better than forty years, it must not be supposed that I was speaking only in the interests of the investor. I probably used the wrong words. I should have said it would have been easier to obtain the money if it were to be repaid in thirty years, rather than in forty, because the investor would probably come more eagerly for a loan which was repayable in thirty years, than for one repayable in 128 forty years. That is what I intended to say, and I apologise to the right hon. Gentleman for not having made my meaning quite clear. I do not think it necessary to press my Amendment, I feel inclined to withdraw it. It is rather unfortunate that we cannot get our Bills printed in the same form. The right hon. Gentleman has a Bill with a forty years period. I have got a Bill with no years in it. That does make it a little difficult to carry on a discussion in this House.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
The next Amendment—to add the words, "Provided that no advance shall be made by the Governments of the Protectorates to private firms, persons, companies, or corporations which might in any way help them to finance dividend-earning propositions." That is covered by the discussion on the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge). The next Amendment, by the same Member, in line 4, at the end add: "(5) In so far as such advances are spent on the purchase of material it shall not be incumbent on the Governments of the Protectorates to purchase such materials through the Crown Agents." I had some doubt about that, but on the whole, I have come to the conclusion that it is outside the scope of the Bill.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
May I say just a word or two on that point. There have been certain railways built in the Crown Colonies and Protectorates, notably in the Malay States, which have not been made through the Crown Agents, and these railways have been made at a much cheaper rate than railways hitherto made. As may be seen from the book by Sir Frank Swettenham, these railways have been made chiefly because the Crown Agents got no percentage or commission charge. May I suggest that where we are advancing this large sum of money to these Protectorates at an artificially low rate of interest, we ought to put in some power to prevent Crown Agents from drawing a percentage of such an enormous expenditure. Here we have a case on "all-fours" with the Federated Malay States. I have looked upon the Crown Agents as being somewhat blood-suckers in the case of Colonial railways, and I hope we may have an opportunity of making a protest against Crown Agents getting a picking out of this £3,000,000. It seems to me that it is in order in this discussion.
I have carefully considered it, and I came to the conclusion that it is outside the scope of the Bill.
§ Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I am sorry that owing to my own fault I was not present at the Second Heading of the Bill. I do not want to oppose the Motion that the Clause stand part of the Bill, but I should like to have some little explanation as to the financial status of these Colonies. I do not doubt that in advancing this sum of money to these three Protectorates we shall get the interest and sinking fund, but I cannot lose sight of the fact that at any rate, up to a year or two ago, one or two of them were in the position in which they required a Grant-in-Aid to meet the ordinary expenditures. It does seem to me to be rather taking a hopeful view of the future to expect that these Protectorates, which two or three years ago could not find the money to meet their ordinary expenditure, are now going to find the interest and sinking fund necessary to meet an expenditure of something like £3,000,000. I do not pretend that it is not quite right, and in the interests of the country as a whole, that we should advance this money. But we ought really to know what we are doing. I am not going to say that it would not be in the interests of the taxpayer to advance this money, and yet have to find some of the interest and sinking fund himself. But we ought to know what the chances are of the taxpayer having to find a portion of the interest or sinking fund. I do not say that I would oppose this Clause if the right hon. Gentleman should get up and tell us he thinks that in certain circumstances the taxpayers of this country might have to find part of the interest or part of the sinking fund, but we ought to know where we are, and we ought to deal with this question in a businesslike manner. The right hon. Gentleman ought to take us into his confidence and tell us what he thinks would be the likelihood of these Protectorates fulfilling their obligations. There cannot be any doubt in the mind of any reasonable person that none of these Protectorates could obtain the money on anything like the terms upon which we are going to lend to them, consequently they are receiving a very considerable benefit from the taxpayers of this country. Looking at the matter without knowing anything about 130 these countries, it seems to me it is very unlikely, unless we have an extraordinary succession of prosperous years in these three Protectorates, that they will be able to meet this fresh obligation which will be put upon them.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I desire to oppose this Clause. In passing it we are committing a crime against our Free Trade principles—we are giving authority to the Government to advance money at an artificially low rate of interest to three Protectorates—British East Africa, Uganda, and Nyasaland. The claims which those Colonies can put forward to have money lent to them for their development on artificially low terms can be advanced by every Colony and every self-governing Dominion in the world. Other Colonies and self-governing Dominions raise their own money, and are their own guarantors, but the more shaky of them have to pay a higher rate of interest than those which are better established. Here we are taking three of the most shaky Protectorates in the whole world and pledging British credit and supplying them with money at 3½ per cent. which they could not raise in the market at the present time at less than 5 per cent. The Clause is against our Free Trade principles because we are giving a bonus to these particular Protectorates and the industries connected with them. Lancashire votes for this Bill and the Secretary for the Colonies violates all his ancestral principles of sound finance and Free Trade in order to bring it in because he believes the cotton industry will benefit to the extent of £3,000,000. The cotton exported from British East Africa is a drop in the ocean compared with that consumed by Lancashire. You never mention cotton in this House without finding Lancashire Members violating every principle they ever held dear, and the extraordinary thing is that the "Manchester Guardian" backs them up the next morning. If I were interested in cotton, I hope I should still remain a Free Trader. In any case I have no intention of supporting this Clause which selects one particular industry and three particular Protectorates as the beneficiaries of British generosity.
I also object to this Clause because I believe in fairly sound finance. Of all the risky speculations into which the Government has ever gone I imagine that this loan of £3,000,000 at 3½ per cent. is quite the riskiest. Uganda at the present time receives a Grant-in-Aid every year. 131 British East Africa received a Grant-in-Aid up to last year—certainly in 1911–12. Nyasaland also receives a Grant-in-Aid, or did so up to the last year or two. These Colonies, which have been or are still in receipt of bounty from the British taxpayer, are to be loaned £3,000,000, the interest and sinking fund on which will amount to £130,000 or £140,000 a year. Does any Member of this Committee believe, or does the Government imagine, that these Colonies, which until recently have been in receipt every year of national bounty from Great Britain, will be able to meet that additional £140,000 a year which they will be called upon to pay? This expenditure is by no means confined to the building of railways, roads, and harbours. Unremunerative development will be financed out of this lordly loan, and the revenue will not be coming in from these particular undertakings. Revenue will come in, indeed, from the railways, but we know from the example of the Uganda railway that you have to wait fifteen or twenty years before such a railway becomes remunerative or even covers its working expenses. You are expecting these young Colonies—like all young Colonies, semi-bankrupt—to meet this additional charge of £140,000 every year.
We know perfectly well what will happen. In the eyes of the Treasury and in the eyes of certain Members of this House who have interests in that part of the country, these Colonies will pay the interest and the sinking fund religiously every year, but it will be a book payment and nothing else, balanced by a Grant-in-Aid from this country of the same amount, or perhaps more. There you have bad finance. There you have the sort of Imperial finance that one associates generally with Members on the other side. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] I except the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London; I was referring to Tariff Reform Members who have the idea that you can benefit by taking half-a-crown out of one pocket and put two shillings and sixpence into the other. You are not going to make that £3,000,000 remunerative by spending it on railway development in a country which is not ripe for development any more than you can make £3,000,000 remunerative by building light railways in the Highlands or in parts of this country where there is no traffic for them to carry. Waste of money is waste of money, whether in East Africa or the 132 North of Great Britain, and it seems to me that these loans will be wasted. That is why I am against this first Clause. It is bad political economy because it is Protection and not Free Trade, and it is bad finance because it is throwing money away which might do good work elsewhere.
§ Mr. MARTIN
I desire to add a word upon the financial question. While the Clause was being discussed, the Secretary for the Colonies was kind enough to point out that the Government's idea was that they were to have a full return, and that they were sure to get their interest and sinking fund from these Protectorates because they had absolute control over the expenditure of the money. I am quite unable to follow that argument. I quite admit it is a very proper thing that the Government should have this power, because these Governments, like other Governments, might be extravagant, and it is only right that the Imperial Government should have the powers to intervene and prevent that. My point is that without any extravagance the Protectorates will never have, at any rate for many long years to come, any money out of which they can pay this interest and sinking fund. In other words, the experience of all new countries is that the better progress is made and the greater the prosperity of the country the more difficult it is about money. That is to say, that while its revenue naturally increase with the increased prosperity, that increased prosperity demands, not only the increased revenue, but much more than that for expenses—not extravagant expenses—but legitimate expenses. In Australia and Canada this has been illustrated in a very plain way. There is no province in Canada and there is no State in Australia which is not very heavily in debt, and that debt has been incurred by this very thing. They have been obliged to borrow early in their career. When the loan fell due they were utterly unable to pay it, and in many instances utterly unable to pay the interest and sinking fund, and the only way they kept going was to keep on borrowing, increasing their debt all the time. I do not say it is not necessary. I do not say it is not a very proper thing for a new country to mortgage its future as long as it does not go too far in that direction and really bankrupt itself. If you take any of the provinces in Canada you will find that they never really paid any interest or sinking fund or principal, or anything else of their debts. There have been certain times, in 133 very prosperous times, when the Government was able to reduce its debt, but it has been rare, and on the whole they have never done it.
What will happen there? The Colonies are not responsible for this money except to this country. The Colony is not responsible to the man who is going to lend the money to this Board that is provided for, and when the interest becomes due there is no doubt in the world that this Government will have to pay it, and they will have to pay the sinking fund. You cannot get blood out of a stone, and if the Protectorate has no money you cannot afford to shut off their necessary expenses for the purpose of forcing them into a course that no country has been able to adopt in any part of the world. It appears to me plain that what the Government are doing is to substitute themselves as the body that incurs a perpetual debt with regard to these Protectorates such as the Provinces of Canada and the States of Australia have incurred on their own account, and the protection that the right hon. Gentleman puts forward is no protection at all, except with regard to extravagance. No Colonial Secretary could afford to take up the estimates for expenditure necessary in these Protectorates and cut off anything which was really necessary. Unless they do that they never can get the expenditure down below the revenue so as to afford any surplus whatever to pay interest or sinking fund. I am much disappointed to think that this Government could propose a scheme of this kind, which is simply one of those Imperial advances which one expects from the other side of the House. That is the difficulty that I find myself in so often. I find that the policy of the Government strikes the ideas of hon. Members opposite very often. The Government are throwing this money away, and will eventually have to pay every dollar of it. There may come a time, perhaps in 100 years, in which it may be recovered, if these Protectorates get stronger. No doubt a debt like that could be recovered in Canada, but not many years ago it could not have been. For that reason I am opposed to the Clause altogether, and shall vote against it.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
I am sorry that the hon. Member, speaking from Canadian experience, thinks that the Protectorate of East Africa will never have the money to pay the interest and sinking fund on this moderate loan. I have not the least doubt myself, with perhaps quite as full 134 a knowledge of the internal economy of these Protectorates, that this expenditure will itself almost immediately produce much more than the combined annuity which will be necessary to liquidate the loan in the moderate time which is inserted in the Bill. I am sorry, too, that my hon. Friend (Mr. Wedgwood) should have spoken of these "semi-bankrupt" Protectorates. A careless and really unjustifiable word of that sort flung across the House at the end of the dinner-hour travels on the cables further than it deserves or than it is wished that it should.
§ Mr. HARCOURT
It is not encouraging to men in the public service, or even working for their private ends but working, on the whole, for the good of the country in which they live as well as for their own advantage, to have taunts about "semi-bankruptcy" thrown at them simply because they have arrived at a situation in which the majority of this House think that they are entitled to some assistance, not by British cash but by British credit, because they have arrived at a position in which they can safely be entrusted with a loan for the purpose of their own development. The hon. Member said that the Uganda Railway took fifteen years to pay. I think it did, but it took many years to make. That is not a true analogy as to whether an improvement of an existing railway which already pays might not immediately pay a very much higher interest or whether a feeder line which could be made cheaply and rapidly may begin to pay a handsome return for the existing railway which it is able to feed. I really rose, however, not to deal with this criticism, but to answer a question by the hon. Baronet, who asked what were the anticipations as to the capacity of these Protectorates in the future to meet the charge put upon them. Nyasaland has not needed Grants-in-Aid from this country for over two years, and the East Africa Protectorate has required no Grant-in-Aid for three years, and they have each in that time shown a surplus which was available for remunerative expenditure. Uganda, it is true, still on this year's Estimates requires a Grant-in-Aid of £10,000 as com-compared with £35,000 last year, and over £103,000 at the time when I first became interested in Colonial affairs. There has been a progressive decline of the Grant-in-Aid until, I think, it is fair to imagine that 135 the figure of £10,000 that we have reached now is almost vanishing point. I have not the slightest doubt as to the competence and capacity of all the three Protectorates to meet the charge which will be placed upon them. It will not all fall in the first year, because the whole of the loan will not be raised in the first year. It is going to be raised to the amount which is
§ required each year by the local authorities, and only that charge will accrue to these Protectorates at that moment. I have not the least doubt that they will easily be able to meet the charge.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand as part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 169; Noes, 19.135
|Division No. 72.]||AYES.||[9.37 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Alden, Percy||Gill, A. H.||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Gilmour, Captain John||Nolan, Joseph|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Gladstone, W. G. C||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Glanville, Harold James||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Dowd, John|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow), W.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Grant, J. A.||O'Malley, William|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Greene, W. R.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Gretton, John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Barnston, Harry||Gulland, John William||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hancock, John George||Pratt, J. W.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Pringie, William M. R.|
|Bonn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Radford, G. H.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Black, Arthur W.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Boland, John Pius||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Boyton, James||Henry, Sir Charles||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hewart, Gordon||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Higham, John Sharp||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hinds, John||Robinson, Sidney|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hodge, John||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cassel, Felix||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Rowlands, James|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Illingworth, Percy H.||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Clough, William||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Shortt, Edward|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Crooks, William||Kelly, Edward||Sutton, John E.|
|Crumley, Patrick||King, Joseph||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cullinan, John||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Thorne, G. R (Wolverhampton)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lardner, James C. R.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Levy, Sir Maurice||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Delany, William||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lynch, A. A.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Doris, William||Wacpherson, James Ian||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Molloy, Michael||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Falconer, James||Morgan, George Hay|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Morison, Hector||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Captain|
|French, Peter||Mount, William Arthur||Guest and Mr. Webb.|
|Adamson, William||Hudson, Walter||Thomas, J. H.|
|Barnes, George N.||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wardle, George J.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Pointer, Joseph|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh. Central)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Henderson, J. M (Aberdeen, W.)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wedgwood and Mr. Martin.|
|Hogge, James Myles|