HC Deb 03 June 1918 vol 106 cc1375-8

Considered in Committee.

[MR. WHITLEY in the Chair.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, of all Expenses of the Central Emigration Authority constituted under any Act of the present Session to provide for the establishment and powers of a Central Emigration Authority, and for other purposes relative thereto."— [Mr. Hewins.]


I beg to move, at the end, to add the words "not exceeding two thousand pounds in any year."

Before we pass from this we ought to have some sort of idea of what these expenses are likely to be. So far as I have been able to make out from the Bill this expenditure is absolutely unnecessary. We are going by this Bill to establish an Authority to perform very little work other than that which is being performed by the Board of Trade and by certain local authorities. It is not only certain expenses that have to be paid under the first two Clauses of the Bill, but the Bill provides for the payment of a chairman and a vice-chairman. There is nothing to suggest what sort of salaries they are to get or what kind of individuals they are to be. We have not been told. We are now also told that the Authority is to appoint officers and servants with salaries. So far as I can make out, looking through the Bill at the moment, they are to be paid to do work which at present is being done by the Board of Trade. I find it very difficult to make out whether this work which the persons concerned are to do is or is not the same work which is being done by the Board of Trade, or whether it is different work. We have no idea of what the expense is under this Bill, or how far it is to be in substitution of other expenditure which is now being defrayed under the Board of Trade Votes. I think we should have some satisfactory assurance from the Government that no very large sum of money is going to be expended under this measure. Two thousand pounds will, I think, be quite ample for any reasonable purposes of the Authority. Because the whole of the expenditure that is now incurred by the Board of Trade for the bulk of the work might very well continue, as it appears to me there is no reason to interfere with that work. All the Authority would appear to have to do will be to form a Committee for the purpose of disseminating any in formation which might appear to be useful to intending emigrants. Such work might very well be done for £ 2,000 a year.


I should like to explain that this Resolution is intended to enable us to get on with the work of the Authority. I can give my right hon. Friend the assurance that, so far as is contemplated by the Bill, this will lead to economy and not to increased expenditure. I explained on the Second Reading the way in which we intend to make use of existing organisations and existing machinery, and I hope that in the circumstances my hon. Friend will not press his Amendment to a Division. We really want to get on with the business. We will welcome any suggestions that the hon. Gentleman will make subsequently. This Resolution is merely to enable the Government to get on with the setting up of the machinery of the Central Authority, and it does not include any huge financial expenditure. I hope my hon. Friend will allow us to get on with the Bill, and not delay it.


I think a Resolution of this kind ought to be brought on at an earlier hour, because it is a little difficult for hon. Members to address the Committee—

It being Eleven of the clock, the Chair man left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

Whereupon Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Whitley), pursuant to the Order of the House of the 13th February, proposed the Question, "That this House do now adjourn."


It is pretty evident that the Finance Bill will be completed to morrow. In view of that fact, I wish to ask a question about the important Amendment which comes first on the Education Bill. I am sure the Government would agree with me when I say that it would be very unfortunate if we had any hitch in regard to the important Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Chorley (Sir H. Hibbert), and I would like an assurance that the matter will be disposed of, even if we have to sit a little beyond eleven o'clock.

Lord EDMUND Talbot (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

The intention is to take the Education Bill on Wednesday, and it is assumed that the Committee stage of the Finance Bill will be finished to-morrow. If it should be finished early, we might take the Small Holdings Bill, and possibly the Trade Boards Bill.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Two minutes after Eleven o'clock.