§ (1) The Minister of Munitions shall have such powers and duties in relation to the supply of munitions for the present War as may be conferred on him by His Majesty in Council, and His Majesty may also, if 203 he considers it expedient that, in connection with the supply of munitions, any powers or duties of a Government Department or authority, whether conferred by Statute or otherwise, should be transferred to, or exercised or performed concurrently by, the Minister of Munitions, by Order in Council make the necessary provision for the purpose, and any Order made in pursuance of this Section may include any supplemental provisions which appear necessary for the purpose of giving full effect to the Order.
§ (2) Any Order in Council made under this Section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent Order in Council.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "such" ["such powers and duties"], to insert the word "administrative."
I make this proposal because it is of all things desirable that there should be no possibility of misunderstanding. Speeches were made yesterday which showed that some hon. Members thought that the words as they stood in the Bill might be capable of a wider meaning. That is not a view which was held by everyone. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Duke) told us yesterday that he certainly took the narrower view of the words, but it is better to remove all doubt, and inasmuch as all that we had in mind from first to last was that the Minister of Munitions by these words should get certain administrative powers and duties, it is better to put the word "administrative" in. The effect is of course that these are not, and could not possibly be, words which would confer on him any legislative powers whatever. For instance, it would not empower him to impose penalties on people for doing things which they were otherwise lawfully entitled to do, and the consequence is that Clause 2 in effect says that the powers and duties of the new Minister fall into three classes. There are, first of all, certain administrative powers and duties, such as are first mentioned; there are, secondly, certain powers and duties which are transferred to him from one or other of the existing Departments picked out, say, of the War Office and put in his charge instead of remaining at the War Office; and, in the third place, there are powers and duties which he will acquire not by transfer, but by sharing them and exercising them concurrently with existing Government Departments. I hope the Committee will see that the word 204 which we now insert does really meet, as it is designed to meet, the anxieties which were expressed in certain quarters yesterday. The Bill as originally drawn, in my belief, was perfectly right, but be that as it may, it is much better to put the word in and get this possible bone of contention disposed of and proceed with the business of manufacturing munitions as fast as we can.
§ Sir T. WHITTAKER
For the purpose of having this matter perfectly clear I should like to ask whether this word "administrative" would permit the Minister of Munitions to obtain a general register of all persons of military age for industrial purposes?
§ Sir T. WHITTAKER
I was anxious that there could not even be the beginning of the thin end of the wedge of any kind of compulsion.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
There is a series of Amendments standing in my name and that of certain of my hon. Friends with a view to preventing any new powers or duties being imposed upon the Minister of Munitions. They were put down with a view to prevent wide powers, unnecessarily as we believe, ever being conferred on this Minister by the Bill in its original form. The Home Secretary has referred to the discussion which we had yesterday, in which there was a very strong division of opinion on both sides of the House as to the meaning of the earlier part of Clause 2. I am glad that, although the Home Secretary then assured us that the earlier words could not bear the construction that I am certain others put upon them, he is now introducing this Amendment in order to prevent the slightest misconception on the matter. As I and those who have taken the same view as myself in this matter believe that the Amendment which the Government now proposes prevents any wide extension of the powers of the Minister of Munitions in regard to which suspicion was entertained yesterday, it is our intention not to persist in them, but to accept that offered by the Government.
§ Mr. LOUGH
Will my right hon. Friend also insert the word "administrative" before the words "powers and duties." That is the part of the Bill in which great widening powers may be given. The first three lines of Clause 2, to which the Amendment applies, would seem really to be confined absolutely to the production of munitions, but afterwards the powers to be transferred are greatly widened. His Majesty may also, if he considers it expedient, transfer any powers and duties to any Government Department or authority, and that might include any local authority which has some legislative power, as well as a Government authority.
§ Mr. SHERWELL
The assurance of the Home Secretary just now with reference to the qualification that the insertion of the word "administrative" involves is quite satisfactory, but there is one point upon which he gave us no enlightenment. As I understand his last speech, this Clause proposes to confer on the Minister of Munitions the right of administration of the various Defence of the Realm Acts. The powers of the Defence of the Realm Acts are very wide, and as I understand the situation there is practically nothing under the plenary powers conferred by the various Defence of the Realm Acts to prevent the Minister of Munitions carrying out almost every item in the unauthorised programme which was published at Manchester the other day; and what I want to understand clearly is that under the proposed transfer to the Minister of Munitions of the indeterminate powers under the Defence of the Realm Acts we shall not have some procedure taken of an administrative kind, which is not in the contemplation of the Home Secretary at the present moment.
§ Mr. ANDERSON
There is a misunderstanding on this point, and the future Minister of Munitions is very largely responsible for it. We are anxious that there shall be no undue debate on this matter, but his speech at Manchester has raised very grave suspicions among work people and throughout the Labour movement, and the point was that he might get large powers under the Defence of the Realm Acts and bring them to bear upon the question of munitions. He said:—To introduce compulsion as an important element in organising the nation's resources of skilled industry and labour did not necessarily mean conscription in the ordinary sense of the term.206 If the Home Secretary will give us an assurance that this is not in any sense the Cabinet policy, and that there is no intention of bringing these powers of compulsion to bear, so far as we are concerned there will be no reason at all why the Bill should not immediately go through without discussion.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I hope the Government will give no such undertaking. The Labour party do not speak for the working classes on this question at all. The hon. Member (Mr. Snowden) made a speech yesterday in which he said, "Under no circumstances will we have compulsion in this country." I should like to ask him this: In the event of the voluntary system, which I believe will see us successfully through, failing, what will he do then? We have not reached that stage yet. The voluntary system has given us what we have. There are certain powers under the Defence) of the Realm Act which, in respect to certain slackers, ought to be put into operation. There was an excellent suggestion made by a recruiting agent of the Government, I believe, Mr. Bottomley, a former hon. Member of this House. He is now a recruiting agent, I believe, and the most effective recruiting agent of the Government, too. He has done very good work indeed. What Mr. Bottomley suggested at a meeting in Yorkshire was this, and it was received with great applause by all the workmen present, that where a man consistently got drunk and did not do his work the recruiting agent should tap him on the shoulder once and say, "If you do this again you are a soldier and work under military law." We cannot play with this question.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is a question for another occasion. It cannot arise out of this Amendment, which is merely a drafting Amendment inserting what is the effect of this Clause.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
My point is that I do not wish the powers limited, and it was only because the suggestion was made by certain hon. Members that their powers should be restricted that I went out of the line of order to urge upon the Government to stick to what they have got in the Bill and not to weaken the powers of the new Ministry.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I will answer the points that have been raised in the hope that we may be able to conclude this discussion without reopening the very large 207 questions which really are not involved in this Clause, and to avoid the reopening of which was the object of the insertion of the words which I have proposed. My right hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Lough) asked whether or not we should be prepared to qualify in line 15 the phrase "powers or duties" in the same way that we are qualifying it in line 11. We cannot do that, and I will point out why. In line 15 we are concerned with transferring certain existing powers exercised by certain existing Departments to the new Department. That new Department will not thereby acquire for the State any greater powers than exist already. The only difference will be that powers which have been exercised hitherto, it might be by the Admiralty, or it might be by the War Office, are powers which then can be exercised by the Minister of Munitions. That does not add one single bit to the extent to which powers may be exercised by the Executive without reference to Parliament. Not at all. It is a pure question of transferring from one hand to another hand powers which have already been defined and have already been conferred upon the Executive by Parliament either in the course of recent years or long ago. My right hon. Friend will see, therefore, that we should only produce confusion if we introduced the words to qualify the phrase in line 15 as he suggests. It would at once raise points of difficulty as to what would be left outside. There may very well be some exceptions, but, whatever the exceptions are, they ought to be transferred without qualification or variation to the new Department from the old Department.
In the hope that we may, in these circumstances, avoid the very large questions which have by no means been decided by the House by the vote they gave yesterday or the vote they will give today, I should like to remind the Committee of what I said yesterday. I said yesterday, clearly and beyond dispute, something which I will claim leave to repeal here now. I interposed, and said on behalf of the Prime Minister and my other colleagues and the Government as a whole, that this Bill was a Bill to constitute a Minister of Munitions with a Department for that purpose, that there was no intention of using the Bill to procure by a side wind what the Bill does not plainly say, and that if any such powers are needed in respect of labour 208 they must be asked for from this House. I think those words were perfectly plain and clear. We have gone further to-day to secure that by the insertion of this word "administrative," and nobody can interpret this Bill in a different sense. I would ask under these circumstances that we might now have our Clause without raising afresh this very highly debateable subject, which really does not arise.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
Does the statement of the right hon. Gentleman mean that under this measure we are now considering there will be no compulsory powers to transfer people from one vocation to another, because I understand that already on the Clyde notice has been given to a certain number of shipbuilding yards that they propose to close them. That is a very serious matter, and it affects some of my Constituents. It appears to me, from what I know of them, that a great deal more efficient work could be done by keeping the men where they are than by transferring them to some larger yards which are already overstocked. What you want to do is to redistribute your work and give everybody the opportunity of doing their work without overloading one yard and leaving entirely silent the machinery in another, at the same time leaving a lot of people out of work at the suggestion of a local committee which may or may not have some interest in the transfer.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
I desire to thank my right hon. Friend for the very full and ample way in which he has settled the doubts which were expressed on a previous occasion in regard to this matter. Those doubts concerned only the nature of the powers which were asked for by the Government. By the Amendment which he has proposed he has quite clearly and fully defined, as it seemed to some of us they were not defined before, the nature of the powers which the Government seek in this Bill. In no quarter of the House have I found any other desire than the desire to strengthen the hands of the Government in any way that will lead to the earliest possible victory in this War in which we are now engaged. The Government have now clearly defined the powers which they seek towards that end, and I am sure the vote of the House will be now as it has been in the past—a unanimous one.
§ Mr. HOUSTON
I confess I am becoming somewhat impatient of this discussion. 209 Whilst we are talking here our brave men are being slaughtered in the trenches, and the reason is shortage of munitions. I think the sooner we get to work, and the sooner we cease talking, the better. I have always been opposed to the Liberal instrument of the Guillotine and the kangaroo, but I feel inclined to call upon the Prime Minister to put it into operation now.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Yesterday I expressed the fear that in the creation of this Department we were putting into the hands of the Minister of Munitions the power to exercise control over labour. Although the Home Secretary has introduced a word which he says will meet that objection, and which he says will co-ordinate certain departmental powers held by the War Office and the Admiralty at the present time, my objection has not been met. I expressed the view that the Minister of Munitions will be enabled to exercise a controlling power over labour through the Defence of the Realm Act, and my difficulty was created by the statement which the late Chancellor of the Exchequer the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs made in the course of his recent speech at Manchester. He said:—Now I come to the part of labour, and here again I really must speak quite frankly. It is no good putting me into this post unless I am allowed to speak quite frankly to employers and to workmen alike. The employers are now under the Defence of the Realm Act, practically subject to complete State control for industrial purposes.Then the right hon. Gentleman went on to say, dealing with the question of labour:The second point is that we must have greater subordination in labour to the direction and control of the State.It seems to me that if the Minister of Munitions is to have complete control of labour—
§ Sir J. D. REES
On a point of Order. I should like to know whether a discussion of the speech of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs is in order upon this Amendment. It has been mentioned once or twice, and no ruling has been given?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Only so far as it is concerned with the definition of the word to be inserted, "administrative."
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
That is my point, that this word "administrative" does not meet the objection raised if the administrator is able to administer the powers under the Defence of the Realm Act, and I have quoted the late Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech, because he said in effect that once his office was constituted 210 he would have the power to subordinate labour under the Defence of the Realm Act. For that reason I think the objections raised against conscript labour from this side of the House are positively not met by the assurances now given by the Home Secretary. My objection remains to giving to any man this great and uncontrolled power to subordinate labour, as he suggests, in the interests of the State.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. COWAN
I beg to move, in Clause 2, after the word "War," to insert the words "and for the organisation of industry and the utilisation of labour and capital in connection therewith."
The object of this Amendment is the reverse of the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for North-West Lanarkshire. A layman, reading the Bill as introduced yesterday, would, I think, be forced to the conclusion that it did provide powers for the compulsory organisation of labour or for what certain hon. Members described as conscript labour. I believe the Ministry of Munitions to be created for the purpose of enabling the nation to win this War. Accepting the assurance of the Government that the shortage of munitions is our greatest handicap in this War, and realising that our brave soldiers are dying in the trenches because they have not enough munitions, I regard the whole discussion which has taken place yesterday and to-day as futile and mischievous, and if this Bill now introduced and amended does not give the Minister of Munitions the powers which he indicated in his speech at Manchester that he ought to have in order to make the output of munitions adequate for this tremendous occasion, I say that those powers ought to be expressly given.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Does the hon. Member propose to give powers other than administrative powers by his Amendment?
§ Sir J. SIMON
The Amendment of the hon. Member is either inconsistent with what the Committee has already decided or else it is redundant on what the Committee has decided. He has given two 211 explanations of his proposal. According to the first it is inconsistent, and according to the second it is redundant. Whatever be the explanation, we must resist the proposal.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The CHAIRMAN
With regard to the Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. Member for North Somerset (Mr. King), that seems to be also in the nature of redundancy; it does not add to or subtract from the Bill.
§ Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
Mr. TYSON WILSON
Will the Minister of Munitions under this Clause take over all contracts now in Canada? I understand that the War Office has given the Dominion Government special contracts in the Dominion. Will, or can, the Minister under this Clause take over these contracts?
Mr. T. WILSON
Then I would like to say that I have a letter from Hamilton, Canada, complaining, with regard to contracts executed in that country by certain firms in Hamilton, that native born Austrians and Germans are being employed. If we are having alien enemies manufacturing ammunition for us it is the duty of the Minister of Munitions to see that alien enemies are cleared out of the way where munitions are being manufactured. I have also a complaint, and I can raise the matter later on when the Minister has been appointed, that the contractors are not paying full salaries to the men who are doing the work.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is a question of how the powers are to be exercised if they are to be given by the House, and 212 no doubt there will be an opportunity of raising these questions later on.
§ Mr. GEORGE LAMBERT
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman what are the powers that may be conferred on the new Minister of Munitions by His Majesty's Order in Council, and when does he expect the publication of those powers, because that is, after all, one of the most important points in this Bill. Shall we have the publication of the Order in Council before the discussion takes place, which has been promised, on the question of munitions? Personally, I do not want any delay, but I most sincerely hope that the widest possible power will be given to the new Minister. Apparently the Ordnance Department of the War Office have failed in their duty. I am sorry for it, but I do hope that the new Minister for Munitions will have complete control over this Ordnance Department. I do not think we can have two Departments conducting the same operations, and, therefore, I attach some importance to this matter, and I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman would kindly tell us when this Order in Council, conferring powers on the new Minister, will be published, and will it be published before the discussion takes place as to the methods which the right hon. Gentleman, the Minister for Munitions, is to adopt in carrying out the duties imposed on him by carrying out this Bill?
§ Sir R. COOPER
I am not quite clear as to the meaning of the ruling which you gave a moment ago, and therefore I would like to ask, if I am in order, whether we can understand that it is the intention of the Government that the new Minister shall, in these powers, have the control of the whole contract system? I do not know whether you ruled that out of order a moment ago. We are in a difficulty, in as much as yesterday, on the Second Reading, the Home Secretary, for very good reasons, I am sure, did not give very much information as to what the powers, under this Clause, of the Minister for Munitions would be. But I think that every Member takes it—and I would like to know, if one may assume—that the new Minister under these powers will have the full control of the contracts that are in existence, as well as the new ones which are to be made.
On a point of Order. The question of the transfer of the powers of the Ordnance Department to the Minister for Munitions has already been passed. The powers conferred by the Orders in Council have nothing to do with the powers of Departments, and therefore the last question put to the Home Secretary is, I submit, out of order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
We are now on the general question, that the Clause stand part of the Bill. At the same time we are not dealing now with the question of administration. We are merely considering what powers are to be given to the proposed new Minister, and not the way in which he shall exercise those powers, if he gets them.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I may venture to reply briefly to the questions raised by hon. Members. The hon. Member for Walsall (Sir R. Cooper) asked whether or not the Minister for Munitions would take over pending contracts which were entered into with private firms earlier in the course of the War. It is certainly contemplated that he will have to take over many such contracts. Of course, it depends on what the contracts are. If the hon. Gentleman looks up the Order Paper he will see that in Clause 4 I propose to move a new Subsection, which will, in terms, authorise the taking over of those contracts. Then my right hon. Friend the Member for South Molton (Mr. G. Lambert) asked whether the Order in Council would soon be ready. I know that a great deal of work has been done upon it. Nobody knows better than he, owing to his great experience of the administration of one of the fighting Departments, that it is a very complicated subject and that a great deal of care has got to be taken to draw the line exactly. But I am told that the Order in Council is in a very advanced state. Of course, every Order in Council is necessarily published, as my hon. Friend knows, and I should hope that it is possible for it to appear before the Debate which will take place on the general subject of the Ministry of Munitions. On the other hand, it is very undesirable to postpone that Debate, and I would sooner not make a pledge. I will only say that we will do our utmost to produce the Order in Council at the earliest possible moment, and, of course, the sense of the House will be consulted as to the most suitable day for Debate.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Molton is one which the House ought to bear in mind, and which, no doubt, the country will bear in mind. He has been connected with one of the great fighting Departments, and he tells us that there has been mismanagement in the supply of ordnance by the Ordance Department. That is what we have been contending for.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
I am sorry that I had not an opportunity of making a very few observations before the Home Secretary replied. It is entirely my fault, but the superior intelligence and wisdom of the right hon. Gentleman had the preference. This Clause deals with the powers which the new Minister is to possess. We have heard from the Home Secretary that the powers of other Departments are to be transferred to him, in so far as they bear upon the provision of munitions of war. But there is just this difficulty in my mind, that there may be powers possessed brother Departments which are not directly or obviously connected with the provision of munitions and yet which in certain cases have a very distinct bearing upon the subject. The right hon. Gentleman who is to be the Minister for Munitions has told the country—and I think that the country received the intimation with very great satisfaction—that one of his chief works will be to get rid of red-tape. It is a very necessary provision before we can get many more munitions of war. I would like to ask the Government, if there is anyone who can reply, whether, for example, the powers now possessed and exercised by the Home Office with regard to the inspection of factories where munitions are being turned out will be exercised, as hitherto, by the Home Office, or whether they will be transferred to the Minister for Munitions?
I do not know whether members of this Committee have noticed, as I have, recent cases which give great point to this particular consideration. A very short time ago a very large and important firm of engineers in Leeds found themselves in this position: They were employing a considerable number of women in turning out munitions of war, and there was a temporary breakdown in their machinery. In consequence of that it was necessary, in order to keep the whole factory going, so that the work should not be brought to a standstill, to work overtime, so as to make 215 up for the loss occasioned by this temporary breakdown. A prosecution was brought against the firm for an infringement of the Factory and Workshops Act. Evidence was given in which it was shown that the employment, generally speaking, was model employment. There were no complications, the conditions were admirable, the wages were high, and the amount of overtime was trifling. At the same time it could not be denied that a technical breach of the law had occurred. The stipendiary magistrate who heard the case had to say on the evidence that there had been a breach of the law. But he said, "At the present time, when we are all straining our utmost endeavours to provide the country with munitions of war, I am certainly not going to do anything to stop them, on a trifling matter of this sort, providing munitions for our Armies at the front." I think that that statement of the magistrate must commend itself to every sensible person in this country. But what must have been the shock to the sense of propriety, not only of people in this country but of our Allies abroad, to find that notwithstanding what the magistrate said, that he would inflict no penalty, the Home Office of their own act insisted on reopening the case, and that the Magistrate having said that a—
§ The CHAIRMAN
Other hon. Members wanted to discuss the administration of the powers which it is proposed to confer and I drew their attention to the fact that we must keep ourselves to the question of what powers are to be conferred.
§ Mr. McNEILL
I am sorry if I have transgressed your ruling. My intention was to show by argument that the powers possessed by the Home Office as regarding the inspection of factories, at any rate factories engaged in turning out munitions of war, ought to be transferred under this Clause to the new Ministry, and it was in order to give point to that consideration that, I hope not improperly, I was giving an example from our recent experience to show how the improper exercise, as I consider it in the circumstances, of the powers of the Home Office was delaying the attainment of the object which we all have in view. I will not go further into it. I think that I have said enough to show that cases of that sort may arise when, owing to red-tape in other Departments, the clearing axe of the right hon. Gentleman who is to take over this new Department will be extremely useful, and that 216 he ought to be given free play in matters of that sort. An example of the same sort of thing are the powers exercised by the Board of Trade. I hope that these powers also will be transferred to the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Munitions. The powers of the right hon. Gentleman are to extend to anything connected with the provision of munitions. One of the most important of matters connected with the provision of munitions—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am sorry to intervene again, but clearly if I admit the hon. Member I must admit all other hon. Members, and then we should have a full debate as to how the Minister for Munitions is to act if you give him the powers. The points which the hon. Member is raising are all covered by this Clause. Any administrative powers of any other Department may be transferred to this new Minister, but how he is to exercise those powers is a matter which is not to be discussed in the Committee of this Bill.
§ Mr. McNEILL
With great respect, Sir, I do not think, if I may say so, that I have made myself quite clear. The point I am raising is not as to how the Minister is to exercise his powers, but whether or not particular powers shall be transferred to him. I shall not go into further details, but I certainly have not understood—from anything that has fallen from the Government Bench up to now—them to say that every sort of powers, of all Departments, including the Home Office or the Board of Trade, which can directly or indirectly have an influence upon the provision of munitions, shall be transferred to this new Ministry. If I have such an assurance then I have nothing further to say in the matter. I will only conclude by stating quite generally that I do hope, for example, that in regard to the powers of the Board of Trade, which are being at the present time and quite recently have been exercised in various matters in ways which have been very detrimental to the provision of munitions of war, that we shall see a completely new departure, and that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the new Department will be able to clear out of the way red-tape methods not only with regard to contract work with which he is concerned, but in other Departments of the Government which, at the present time, I believe are obstructive rather than helpful.
§ Dr. ADDISON
The words of the Clause are, that where powers exercised by 217 Government Departments, not necessarily the War Office or the Admiralty, are needful in regard to munitions such powers may be transferred to the Minister of Munitions. It is not expected that the Ministry of Munitions would undertake all the practical work of the Home Office; still, as to certain of their powers, as those of other Departments, it may be desirable to transfer them to the Ministry of Munitions. It is because of this that the words "a Government Department" have been inserted in the Clause.
§ Mr. McNEILL
Supposing it were brought to the knowledge of the Minister of Munitions that in some particular factory the work in which we are all interested was frustrated or delayed through the red-tape action of any Government Department, would the Minister of Munitions have power to go to that particular factory and say, "I am, for this purpose, going to take the place of the Home Office or the Board of Trade, or whatever Department it is, and I am going to clear them out, and take their powers over for this particular purpose. I am not going to allow any munitions of war to be delayed through any rules or regulations made by another Department." Would the Minister of Munitions have that in his power?
§ Dr. ADDISON
Of course the hon. Member will see that the case of a particular factory applies to the Ministry of Munitions, and while the new Department does not take over the whole of the duties of other Government Departments, I have no doubt that other Departments will act in co-operation With the Minister of Munitions, who will consult them, and the matter will be arranged.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I am afraid that assurance is not sufficient. We have had too many experiences in the past where Government Departments have not co-operated. They have been fighting each other, competing with each other, totally disregarding each other. We ought to see, as I hope we may, that there is going to be a different spirit from that which has ruled under red-tape regulations. Are we to understand that this particular Ministry will be vigorous enough to assert itself. That is what we want—not merely action in regard to individual works, or individual employers, 218 but against the officials of some other Government Department. Unless they are prepared to go into such questions as the hon. Member has indicated, so that the Minister can say, "The supply of munitions comes first," the House will not be satisfied.
§ Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.