§ (1) Every former enemy alien who is now in the United Kingdom shall be deported forthwith unless he shall within one month after the passing of this Act make an application to the Secretary of State in the prescribed form to be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom, stating the special grounds on which such application is based, and unless the Secretary of State after duo inquiry shall grant him a licence to remain.
§ (2) The applicant shall advertise notice of his application in some paper circulating in the district in which he resides or in which, if he is interned, he was residing previously to his internment.
§ (3) The Secretary of State may, not less than one calendar month after the date of such advertisement, if he is satisfied that there is no adverse report on the applicant by the military or by the police authorities, grant such licence, subject to such terms and conditions (if any) as he shall think fit, on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:
- (a) That the applicant, although a former enemy alien, is in fact a member of a nation or a race hostile to the states recently at war with His Majesty and is well disposed to His Majesty and his Government;
- (b) That the applicant is seventy years of age or upwards and has been at least fifteen years resident in the United Kingdom;
- (c) That the applicant is suffering from serious illness or infirmity of a permanent nature;
- (d) That the applicant has one or more sons who voluntarily enlisted and served in the British Navy or Army or the Navy or Army of one of the Allied Powers;
- (e) That the applicant has lived for at least thirty-five years in this country and married a British-born wife;
- (f) That the applicant, although her husband is a former enemy alien living abroad or deported, was at the time of her marriage a British subject or citizen of an allied state.
§ (4) If the application for a licence is made on any ground other than one or more of those above specified, the Secretary of State either shall refuse the application or may. if he is satisfied that owing to the exceptional circumstances of the case deportation would involve serious hardship of a personal nature on the applicant, grant him a licence under this Section.
§ (5) In granting a licence under this Section, the Secretary of State may include in the licence the wife of the applicant and any child or children of his under the age of eighteen.
§ (6) A list of the persons to whom such licence is granted together with a statement of the special grounds on which it is granted and of the exceptional circumstances (if any) under 1350 which it is granted shall, as soon as may be after the granting of the licence, be published in the Gazette.
§ (7) Any licence so granted may be at any time revoked by the Secretary of State.
§ (8) If such licence is not granted or if, having been granted, it shall be revoked, the Secretary of State shall make an Order (in this Act referred to as a Deportation Order) requiring the alien to leave the United Kingdom and thereafter to remain out of the United Kingdom for a period of seven years after the passing of this Act. The Secretary of State may, by a Deportation Order, require the alien to return to the country of which he is a subject or citizen.
§ Adjourned Debate resumed on Amendment [3rd November], to leave out Clause 8.—[Colonel Wedgwood.]
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'one' ["within one month"], stand part of the. Bill."
At the Adjournment last night I was pointing out that the proposed Amendments to which the Home Secretary alluded as the justification for his change of front in no way affected the fundamental objection which he had urged to Clause 8 in its original form, as passed by the Committee. In the Clause as introduced by the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) there always was a discretion to the Home Office to go outside the categories where, owing to exceptional circumstances, deportation would involve serious hardship of a personal nature upon the man. As to the other point which the Home Secretary laboured, that of the great assistance he would have from the Advisory Committee, there was nothing in the Clause, as passed upstairs, which would have prevented him appointing Advisory Committees without any further reference to this House.
Therefore the cogent arguments which were adduced by the Home Secretary in Standing Committee A against the category system were in no way affected by the Amendments which he had put down on the details of these particular categories. Last night we were assured that there was no bargain between the Government and a certain group in this House that they would accept Clause 8, and as the Clause remains essentially in the form to which they objected in Standing Committee, we can only assume that the change of attitude is due, not to any conviction on the part of the Government, but to a perfectly proper desire on their part to meet the wishes of the majority 1351 of the House of Commons. I do not think the decision of this House on the pilotage question has got any bearing whatever on this entirely separate problem of the repatriation of aliens; and with the best will in the world no one in this House can say what the general feeling about Clause 8 may be, and if the Government really want to get the wish of the House do not let them go by a hole-and-corner discussion with a few Members last week, but let them take off the Government Whips and see what the House really wants. Yesterday the hon. and learned Member for York based his plea for this Clause very largely on his own election pledges and on those of the Government, but, as is sometimes the case with a very able advocate, he proved rather too much, because he quoted the declared policy of the Government to send back to Germany every Boche in this country. The Clause does nothing of the kind, and if there is anything in my hon. and learned Friend's contention he ought to withdraw this Clause and bring in a much shorter Clause to say that every German, whether or not he has been in this country thirty-five years, whether or not lie has got a British wife, whether or not he has served in the British Army, or whatever he may have done in the War, shall be deported out of hand. But, of course, the Clause does nothing of the kind, and my hon. and learned Friend knows that such an extreme measure is absolutely out of the question.
The real issue, as the Home Secretary has pointed out, is one of method, and it is probable that the method favoured by the hon. and learned Member would, in fact, allow more exemptions, owing to the cast-iron category system, than by leaving the responsibility on the Home Secretary to try every case on its merits, acting through an Advisory Committee. But we have got to remember that on this particular question in the War there were a great many people who found that violent language about unarmed aliens, interned or otherwise, in this country was far easier and far safer than going out and killing the dangerous alien enemies on the Western Front, and now that they have no longer got this convenient and popular cry in which to indulge, to have left the Home Office to proceed by the tried and safe methods of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee would not have allowed these super-patriots to pose as having again saved the country from 1352 the dangers of a pro-German sentiment. But in this House surely we ought to get away from all this election claptrap. I object to this Clause because I think it unfair. Whatever may be the intention of the hon. and learned Member for York to exempt those cases which have already been tried by the Committee on which he sat or by the Committee of Mr. Justice Younger, as the Clause stands all these cases would have to come up for a fresh decision, and I object to the Clause because it throws over all the careful work which has been done by those Committees who have gone at great length and in great detail into these individual cases. Two of these Committees sat in the War, when the danger from aliens was greater, and certainly the strength of feeling against aliens in this country was no less than it is at the present time. If there is any fresh evidence against the alien today, there is ample power for the Home Office to deal with him under the present law, and, failing fresh evidence against individuals, surely there must be some limit to the number of times that these cases are to be re-tried. At the time of the Armistice there were 21,000 uninterned enemy aliens in this country. They were all dealt with, as was mentioned last night, by Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee of 115.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
Will my hon. Friend excuse me? I said last night, expressly, that of the 21,000 enemy aliens in this country in 1918 only, I think. 3,250 had their cases reviewed by Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee.
§ 4.0 P.M.
We are quite in agreement. I say that those 21,000 had all been tried by a Committee which sat in 1915, the early days of the War, and the hon. and learned Member last night made a point that though some of these cases were reconsidered in 1918 a large number, in fact the bulk, of those cases were never again considered, but he did not mention, and I do not think anyone mentioned last night, that in those cases which escaped the attention of the Committee on which he sat the police have carefully been watching them, and in hundreds of cases where there was any doubt whatever they have been brought up since before Mr. Justice Younger's Committee. I 1353 think that is a far safer method, to put the onus on the police rather than to have a hard and fast rule that all these 21,000 cases are to be gone into again. Of the aliens who were interned, a large number of them were interned not because they were dangerous, but for their own protection and because it was impossible for them to support themselves outside those areas which were prohibited for alien habitation. Surely it is ridiculous that those people who have just gone through the mesh of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee should again be hauled up for further proceedings. Apart from the objection to trying all these people over again, it does seem to me very unjust to proceed by the method of categories. The fate of many of these people is of urgent importance, not only to themselves, but to British wives and to children born in this country, and, as is pointed out by Mr. Justice Younger in the Report which was circulated two days ago, these aliens by their attempted adhesion to this country in time of war committed themselves to an act of treason against Germany while the legend of German invincibility was still current. What is going to be the fate of these people if they are kicked out of this country and sent back to Germany? Quite apart from the injustice in the individual cases, I feel that the Clause adopts the wrong method. I believe we are all agreed on the object. The hon. and learned Member opposite does not want to turn out all the aliens in this country any more than I do. He only wants to turn out, as we all want to turn out, the dangerous aliens. He recognises, I have no doubt, that in in the interests of British industry and in the interests of British-born women and children it would be inadvisable, impracticable and harsh to turn out all enemy aliens, and, in the words he quoted:send back to Germany every Boche.Therefore the hon. and learned Gentleman would leave discretion to the Home Office, but he would largely take away the value of that discretion by tying their hands. The fact that that discretion is left at all gives away the whole case for this Clause and shows that the Clause is mere eye-wash for electioneering purposes. We have the evidence of those best qualified to judge from practical experience that you cannot work on a hard and fast rule. Mr. Justice Younger in his Report- 1354 a Report no doubt framed after reading this Bill—said that his Committeesoon reached the conclusion that if their representations were to be justified in some instances on grounds of humanity, in others on those of fairness—to say nothing of the national welfare and good name of this country—it was essential to examine every case on its merits. No generalisation was possible.Surely the House does not know enough about the matter to set its own opinion above that of the Committee which dealt with thousands of cases, and to lay down in a few lines of an Act of Parliament this generalisation which Mr. Justice Younger found was impossible. If you lay down a rule at all, even if it is far better drafted than any of the rules which have been put forward, it will be very difficult for the Home Office in practice to deport. The Home Office officials will very naturally say, "If Parliament thinks it is all right as a general principle for a resident of thirty-five years in this country with a British wife to stay here, we need not worry about making any further inquiries." We must in these matters avoid the tendency to fly to extremes. There is no doubt whatever that we were culpably negligent during and before the War, but let us see that in the reaction against our pre-war carelessness we do not fall into a danger of another kind. I hope the House will reject this Clause on the one hand, because I believe that it will not stop the dangerous alien, who will easily be able to drive a coach and four through your precious categories; and, on the other hand, because many of those who will be caught in its net will be the very cases who, in the interests of our British industries, not to speak of humanity and fairness, should be allowed to remain in this country.
§ Sir ERNEST WILD
I listened to the whole of the Debate with interest last evening and again to-day to the remnant of the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend who has just sat down. There are two currents of thought running through the Debate—first, the question of principle and, second, the question of method. With regard to the question of principle, that was laid down from his point of view by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas). I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman is not present, because I wanted to say a word or two about his speech. He laid down the principle from his point of view in these words:We ought not to keep open a wound which ought to be healed.1355 He gave us an admirable discourse on class hatred, of which, of course, he is in a peculiar position to be an exponent. That does represent many of the speeches we have heard on this Clause. There is a feeling among some Members that the sooner we make friends with the Germans the better, and that we want to forget and forgive. The hon. and gallant Member who moved the deletion of the Clause talked abouta country with which we are now at peace.That drew sympathetic cheers from some hon. Members who were here. We had a very pathetic allusion to "women's tears." Women's tears were the tears of women who had married Germans, and who cried if their husbands were deported. It really is remarkable. Any stranger who, coming to this country for the first time since the Armistice, on entering this House would be astounded to find that within less than a year from the Armistice there was all this invertebrate sentimentality with regard 10 our enemies. It reminds me of the lines in the "Mikado"—The idiot who praises with enthusiastic tone every century but this and every country but his own.There is a feeling among some people in this country that they have always to think of the alien and of everybody but their own people. Women's tears‡ What about the Hun who caused millions of our women to shed tears? Those are the people I care about; those are the people for whom I should have expected to elicit sympathetic cheers from my hon. Friends opposite. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby told us about "a young lady of Gloucester." Nobody could quite follow what happened to her. Apparently she went to Germany, and married a German. I have read the report of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, but I do not know where the "young lady of Gloucester" is at the present moment. As I had the privilege of saying in my maiden speech in this House, if it is the point of view of any of my hon. Friends that we ought to consider the feelings of our enemy aliens or their dependants, then I do not think it is any use arguing with them; we are on entirely different planes.
§ Sir E. WILD
As I am vociferously and ironically applauded by the hon. and gal- 1356 lant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy), I pray heaven that I may always be on a different plane from him. That is the position with regard to the people of this country. I am not going to indulge in any rhodomantade or any sort of rhetoric on this matter, because we want to consider it calmly and dispassionately. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Lieut.-Colonel W. Guinness), whose speech I listened to with unfailing regret, talked about "eye-wash,'' "election claptrap," and matters of that kind. I understand it is the province of a Member of Parliament to represent his constituents. There is no doubt that the general feeling among the people of this country, men and women, is one of hatred against all Germans, although there may be, and I trust there are, exceptions. This Clause makes provision for them. That is what the people think, and that is what we, as representatives of the people, are here to interpret. That feeling has been well expressed in the lines—It was not part of their blood,It came to them very late,With long arrears to make goodWhen the English began to hate.That is the feeling. Some of my hon. Friends may deplore it. It will be the truth at all events for this generation. I need not recapitulate the facts—the general adulation by the German people of the "Lusitania" massacres, the horrible brutality committed by the Huns and applauded by the whole of the German people almost without exception. That feeling cannot die simply because we have signed an Armistice or even because we have signed a Peace. That being the fact, it is quite idle for the hon. and gallant Member for Bury St. Edmunds to talk about the "stunt Press" and "electioneering claptrap." It was what was said at the Election. [HON. MEMBERS "Hear, hear !"] Those cheers admit my point. My hon. Friends opposite have the candour to admit that it helped to win the Election. Having helped to win the Election, it is quite unnecessary to elaborate the point that we are here to redeem our pledges.
§ Sir E. WILD
If my hon. and gallant Friend will contain himself for a moment —I am not so accustomed to address the House as he is—perhaps lie will allow me 1357 to come to the matter point by point. I am cooling to the point to which he referred, but, if he will allow me, I will do it in my own way. The point he makes is the ordinary dialectical point that if you do not like a Clause you say it does not go far enough. Because this Clause does not say they are to turn out every Boche, they say it is some dereliction from principle. The Clause says that, primâ facie, every alien is to be deported. But as the Clause will be amended if the Home Secretary's Amendments are accepted it will provide that he, assisted by an expert Committee, shall be enabled to consider exemptions. Then certain exemptions are put into the Clause and others are upon the Order Paper. In order that there shall be no hardship at all these words will appear thatOwing to the special—I understand the right hon. Gentleman is to move the word "special" instead of the word "exceptional"—circumstances of the case if deportation would involve serious hardship—I understand the words "of a personal nature" are to come out—on the applicantthen a licence may be granted. Therefore, not only are we going to put in every specific exception, but we leave in that general provision under which many of the cases that have almost drawn tears from my hon. Friends will be considered and in proper cases exemptions will be granted. On the question of principle those who feel that the hatred for Germans cannot die out, at all events for some years to come and ought not to die out, are most diametrically opposed to those who would forgive, forget, and make friends with them.
May I deal with the other point with regard to method? A good deal of chaff, some of it good-humoured, has been hurled at the Home Secretary and the Government for what is called a change of front. It has been alleged again and again that there has been some sort of bargain made with some of their supporters. Although that has been denied by the Home Secretary and the Solicitor-General, that denial has not been accepted as I think it ought to be accepted in Parliament. I wish to bear my humble testimony that there was no sort of bargain. [An HON. MEMBER: "Was it discussed?"] What has happened is this, This Bill was debated on the first day of 1358 the Autumn Session. It was perfectly obvious to the Government, I imagine—I speak as a humble supporter of them—that the general feeling of the Rouse was not with the Government in the attitude they then adopted. There were two Divisions on the Wednesday, and in those Divisions, although the Government Whips were on, a great number of their supporters, in fact, the majority of their supporters, went into the Lobby against them. I am not talking about the Pilots Division, which was more or less a misunderstanding, but the Division about employment and the Division about another subject which escapes me at the moment. It was obvious, although the Government Whips were on—and my hon. and gallant Friend vigorously asked the Government to take the Whips off in this instance—that there was a large section of the normal supporters of the Coalition Ministry, those who want to support them if they can, who did not approve of the attitude that the Government at that moment were adopting. Is it a bargain for the Government to recognise facts? Is it a bargain because the Government see that the line that was taken at a particular moment was not the line that recommended itself to the majority of their supporters? The next point is one that ought to appeal to all. We had a, Grand Committee upstairs on this subject, and we discussed this matter for eight days. This is the Clause that that Committee, after due consideration, recommended, and it certainly behoves the Government, I imagine, to pay some attention to the labours of a Committee that they themselves have appointed.
There is this further point to be made in favour of the Home Secretary: Under this Clause, by the Amendments which he will recommend to the House, he will get an Advisory Committee and he will get general directions to that Advisory Committee, with an added discretion for himself. He therefore gets all that he has been contending for in all the discussions on this Bill. Really, a good deal of the criticism that has been directed against this Bill has proceeded from certain Members on certain Committees who think that their labours have been wasted. Let me respectfully assure them that their labours have not been wasted. If this matter goes before another Committee, and if a man can prove that he comes within any of these categories, all that he has to do is to bring that fact 1359 before the Committee and satisfy them. It would not take one minute. Under this special proviso, there is protection in proper cases against any hardship to the enemy alien with a British wife. I do not say for a moment that because a British woman has been shortsighted enough to marry a German that German is to be allowed to remain in this country for all time. I do not suppose that any hon. Member will advance that proposition. On the other hand, it is quite reasonable, if a British woman has married a German and they have lived here for a great many years and the German is perfectly innocuous, to suppose that will be a special circumstance which the Committee will consider, and which the Home Secretary will very properly take into account. There is one other point I would like to see in the Bill rather than left to Orders in Council. It would prevent any suspicion in the country—and there is suspicion in the country—regarding what is called "the hidden hand" protecting any highly placed alien. My hon. and gallant Friend talked about a highly placed alien being able to drive a coach-and-four through these provisions. It would be much more difficult for him to do it if this were done by Act of Parliament than it would be if he could bring influence, real or imaginary, to bear upon any public Department.
The last point on which I wish to defend the consistency of my right hon. Friend is this. The whole question between him and those who took a different view on the Committee is whether this ought to be done by Order in Council or by positive legislation. There is no question of principle between my right hon. Friend and myself and those who agree with me. One gladly recognises that the administration of my right hon. Friend with regard to aliens has been firm, and that he is just as desirous that they should be excluded as any Member of this House. But there was a time—and this is the whole secret of the question, if secret there be—when he thought that an Order in Council was a more convenient method. The House, however, by its action last week, has convinced the Government that procedure by Order in Council is not very popular with a democratic House of Commons. The real reason that we want to see this in black and white in a Bill, and not left dependent upon Home Secretaries, is that 1360 we do not want to see a repetition—someone may succeed my right hon. Friend—of that appalling piece of departmental management on the part of Lord Gladstone, when, the Aliens Act having passed the House in 1905, he drove a coach and four through it. Therefore, the real point that the House is asked to determine is whether or not a policy upon which all lovers of their country are agreed is better done by Order in Council or by Act of Parliament, and in my humble judgment the latter is the best course.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
There was one sentence in the speech of the hon. and learned Member (Sir E. Wild) with which we on these benches wholly agreed. He said that he found himself on an entirely different plane from us. We feel that we are on a different plane, and we desire to remain on a different plane from the hon. and learned Member. There is one other curious thing to which I will draw attention. This Clause was moved by the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher), and it was supported by the hon. and learned Member for Ealing (Sir H. Nield), the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Home Secretary, the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General, and the hon. and learned Member for West Ham (Sir E. Wild). Its rejection was moved by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), seconded by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Mid-Antrim (Major O'Neill), whose brother, a distinguished member of this assembly, was the first to give his life in our cause. The rejection of the Clause has been supported by soldiers, and opposed wholly by attorneys. If it be a question of selection which is the patriotic side, then on the whole I would rather be with the soldiers. But I do not wish to give the impression that we are unreasonable in our point of view. We are prepared to accept the proposition which was made by the Government, namely, that the Home Secretary should have the power to consider cases and make Orders, and when Orders were made, that they should be laid before this House and this House should have the power of saying whether or no the Orders were properly made. That was proposed by the Government, and that is the course which appears to us to meet all the needs of the case and to allow for amply dealing with any ease that may necessarily have to be dealt with.
1361 What is the history of this Clause? This Clause was moved by the hon. and learned Member for York in Committee, and the Home Secretary poured ridicule upon it. He said that it was quite the wrong way to go to work. The hon. and learned Gentleman persisted, and he got his way. He carried the Clause in Committee, and we are now discussing whether or not it is a reasonable Clause. I would ask hon. Members to read some of the Sub-sections in it. Take the first paragraph. An enemy alien is defined as being an alien, a members of any country with which we were at war in the year 1918. Are the Russians to be considered as enemy aliens? We were at war with Russia during a great part of 1918, after the Armistice. Are they to be considered enemy aliens under this Bill? It appears to me, as the Clause is introduced, that it would certainly apply to Russian subjects in this country. I would ask hon. Gentlemen to read the second Sub-section. It forces a man who is going to apply for an exemption, and whose affections and interests are probably all bound up with this country, to advertise the fact in his local paper in order, as the hon. and learned Gentleman said in Committee, that anyone in the district who has a grudge against him may give secret information to the police or military. Sub-section (3) says that a man shall not come under this Clause, though a former enemy alien, if in fact he is a member of a nation or race hostile to the States recently at war with His Majesty. I have never heard anybody define what that means. I suppose it is intended to cover cases like the Czechs. What about the Balkan States? This is supposed to be a legislative proposal by an hon. and learned Gentleman. Are members of the Balkan States described in this Sub-section as being of a race hostile to the States recently at war with His Majesty? What about the Hungarians? Is Hungary included in the Sub-section? Is that the proposal solemnly brought forward by the hon. and learned Gentleman who has convinced the Standing Committee that it is the right course to pursue?
Paragraph (b) is a savage proposal—that anybody under the age of seventy years should not be permitted to remain. If an enemy alien came here five years ago at the age of sixty-five for some illicit purpose and he is now over seventy years of age he is to be permitted to stay, but if a man was brought over here in 1850 as a baby and is now sixty-nine, he 1362 must be deported according to the hon. and learned Member. Then, according to paragraph (c), if the applicant is suffering from a serious illness or an infirmity, of a permanent nature he is to be allowed to remain. If a man is a spy and has only one eye or a wooden leg he is to be permitted to stay. That is certainly so, because it is an infirmity of a permanent nature to have only one eye. I would really draw the attention of the House to paragraph (d). It is drawn by an hon. and learned Member who professes to be able to guide this House in legislation. It is an exemption for a man whose son has served in the Army or Navy. The hon. and learned Gentleman has forgotten the Air Force. Paragraph (f), I venture to say, is an infamous provision. Under it no provision is made for the wives of enemy aliens to remain in this country. Sub-section (5) provides for children under the age of eighteen. Supposing a man came here with a family, and is now over seventy, and he has a young family, the eldest of whom is over eighteen, and is the breadwinner. All the other children, the old man, and probably the old woman, who are helpless, are to be permitted to remain; and the young fellow who is over eighteen, and is the breadwinner is to be compulsorily deported by Act of Parliament. I will not say anything about Clause 8, which gives the Home Secretary power to send people back to the country to which they are supposed to belong—sending back, perhaps, a sympathiser with a monarchist regime to a Bolshevik Russia—the sort of thing which is a national outrage on the traditions of this country. Let us consider the history of this. It is proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman in Committee. The Home Secretary very properly resists: He says the proper way to do it is by Order in Council. He resists it, and comes to the House of Commons and puts on the Paper an Amendment to reject the Clause. Then the Government is defeated, and a conference takes place at Downing Street. No bargain was made, it is said, but I ask the right hon. Gentleman this question: Was Clause 8 discussed at the conference?
Captain BEN N
We may take it then that Clause 8 was discussed. No bargain was made, but, after the conference, the Home Secretary takes off his own Motion 1363 to reject the Clause. That is not a bargain. I ask Members of the Coalition who are supposed to be Liberals what they think? After all, this is not a matter which concerns the Whole House, but concerns many Members of this House who were returned to support the Liberal tradition. What do they think of a so-called Liberal Minister being made a puppet of the party below the Gangway? Of course this is a domestic affair of our own, but, at the same time, is there any wonder that some of us feel somewhat bitterly about it? There is one phase of the whole matter that has not been discussed at all, and that is the question of reprisals. Does anyone deny that if we deport all persons of enemy countries, those enemy countries have not the right to do the same with regard to us? Then what is going to be the effect of an Order for the deportation of all British people from Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, and Turkey? [An HON. MEMBER: "What about Russia?"] We do not know; Russia has not been explained. Take the case of our great Eastern trade. Everyone knows that business in Constantinople, which is carried on by Englishmen is very large and very profitable. Does anyone deny that in the event of the passage of this Clause it would be open to the Turkish Government to send about his business every Englishman in Constantinople? And Bulgaria—are we to leave the exploitation of the Balkans entirely to the Americans? Supposing Bulgaria turns out every Englishman who is attempting to reconstruct the trade in those prosperous parts of the world. Really, is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting, in deference to the wishes of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, that we are to destroy our trade in these countries because of the fatuous policy of the Government? No one has attempted to deal with this matter, or to say what will be the result of this Clause in the direction to which I have referred. It is not really in a material spirit that we oppose this Clause at all. We oppose it for other reasons altogether. The hon. and learned Member for the Upton Division of West Ham (Sir E. Wild) thought fit to ridicule women's tears. That is the sort of sentiment that is expressed in this House.
§ Sir E. WILD
May I be allowed to explain? I have been misrepresented. I did not ridicule any women's tears, but the only tears I cared about were the tears of our own people.
Captain BEN N
I have no desire to misrepresent the hon. and learned Gentleman, but he does not understand that the tears of the women of the world have welded the women of the world together in a determination to put a stop to all this sort of hatred and suspicion, and he does not understand that the people who suffer in war get a sympathy with one another. It is said that this is based on the principle of 1816. We do not want the principle of 1816. We believe this country is now to enter into the Council of the League of Nations with Germany and the other enemy Powers. We want to go into that Council able to say, "We have beaten Germany; she deserved to be beaten; and now that she is beaten we desire to see friendship established in the world." That, at any rate, is in accordance with the high traditions of this country and of this House, and if the Government is really bound by some agreement to the Titus Oates party, all that I say is, that if they have only got their coupon on condition that they pass this Clause, let the Government take off their Whips and let the House have an opportunity of vindicating its honour.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I listened almost with pleasure to the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and I should like to congratulate him on his very energetic speech, but I think the energy was a little out of proportion to the subject we are discussing. I should like. to make one or two remarks on his speech before I deal with the subject. He said that Germany might retaliate by turning out all Englishmen. That assumes, to begin with, that we are going to turn out all Germans. That is neither the proposal in the Clause nor the proposal in the Amendment, and I would like to ask my hon. and gallant Friend whether his proposal is that all Germans should be allowed to stay here?
§ Captain BENN
I will answer the right hon. Gentleman. My proposal is that where the safety of the country requires the removal of an alien, let him be removed.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
And that is the sole ground of our proposal. I think all this talk about different planes is a little exaggerated. At bottom I do not think there is so much difference between the moral plane of one section of the House and another, as one would gather from this Debate. The hon. and gallant Gentleman says we are proposing to send all the Germans away. We are not sending all of them away. Might I remind the House that the whole of this energetic speech was in favour of one method, namely, by Order in Council instead of the Bill? Does he mean to imply that the Turks will not retaliate if we use an Order in Council, but that they will if we use the Bill? My hon. and gallant Friend made some other interesting remarks. He told us that those in favour of his view were all soldiers and those against it were all lawyers. I think the Division list will show that that is not so. About the only thing that struck me about that remark was that it was rather hard on one branch of the legal profession, the only branch represented in the Discussion, with one exception. I think they belong to what is called, erroneously no doubt, the higher branch of the profession. Then my hon. and gallant Friend made another very interesting remark. He appealed to those who call themselves Liberals and who support the Government. Well, after his experience and that of my right hon. Friend a. few days ago, I should have thought he had enough to do in dealing with his own Liberals, and that he might leave ours to look after themselves. I admit I have not followed this as closely as my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, and I may, perhaps, not thoroughly understand all the intricacies of this question, but I have tried to, and, as far as I. do understand it, I think all this discussion is entirely wide of the mark, and that there is very little difference in practical results between the two methods which are under discussion.
I must first say a word or two about two aspects of the discussion, though not of the question, which have greatly interested the House. They are amazed that the Government should put down an Amendment and then a week afterwards should themselves be supporting the Clause which they wished to remove. I would remind the House that Governments very frequently change the Amendments in the course of a Bill going through the House of Commons. One would think that 1366 such a thing had never happened before. It happens constantly. I would say this, further: The idea that the Government is not to consult particular sections of the House in regard to particular Amendments is contrary not only to the whole experience of government in the House of Commons, but is contrary to common sense. I have had a good deal longer experience in Opposition than as a member of the Government, but I have myself piloted one Bill through this House—the Military Service Bill. I say to the House that any Minister who is worth anything —I do not pretend that I am worth a great deal—looks at the Order Paper every day before he comes down to the House. He sees what Amendments are down and what amount of support is behind them. Before he comes to the House he goes into the Amendments, and he regularly gets into contact with people who are going to move the Amendments, and when he can meet them on the Amendments he tells them so, and over and over again hours of the time of the House are saved. I will instance the Case of the Bill to which I have just referred. My right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty was assisting. He is a very old hand at this sort of thing, and he adopted a very astute method in regard to particular Amendments, It depended upon whether the person moving the Amendment was more likely to be influenced by the glory of making a speech or the glory of getting his Amendment. I saw it succeed many times. He said to the Gentleman who was to move the Amendment, "If you make a speech I will not give it to you, but if you move it without a speech we will accept it." There is no crime in that.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
There is good tactics in it, at, any rate, and nobody would have said anything about it had it not been for the meeting in Downing Street the other day. The only difference is that we asked these Gentlemen who had been identified with this Amendment to come to Downing Street and to talk about it. It was done a little more openly than these. arrangements are generally done, but I say, so far as I am concerned, that, so long as I am a member of the Government and responsible to this House, I shall not only claim the right to meet hon. Members, but I shall think I am very foolish if I cannot come to an agreement so far as possible. 1367 As regards a bargain, that is a more serious matter. If the suggestion is that the Government, under the fear of being defeated, made a bargain with hon. Gentlemen whom we met the other day, and under that bargain agreed to do something to avoid an adverse Vote in this House, which we thought unjust, then I say that would be a very serious charge, and we should be very much ashamed of ourselves if we had done it. There is nothing of the kind. What really happened was this. Before we ever met or consulted —I believe it was the night after we were defeated. And does the House expect me to assume that an incident of that kind takes place without our paying any attention to it? It does not. It is a little like what Dr. Johnson said of the clergyman ministering to a condemned man: "Nothing will concentrate your mind so much as the knowledge you are going to be hanged to-morrow." It did make us pay closer attention than we had done before to the particular point. Do not let the House suppose that my right bon. Friend had gone on with this alone; the Cabinet shared in the responsibility. He told us what he proposed to do, and we approved of it. When I discussed it with him before we came down to the House I said, "I see the Committee has carried through this Clause. Can you not get what you want by an Amendment of the Clause, instead of going right against the decision of the Committee upstairs, and deleting it altogether?" The House may say that I should have thought of that before. Very likely I should have done so; but it is of the highest degree important that if these Grand Committees are to be quite successful that their decisions should not be thrown aside by this House, if it possibly can be avoided. That is a perfectly reasonable attitude to take. We met—there is no mystery about it—the hon. Gentlemen to whom reference has been made. We said to them: "Let us hear your point of view, and we will consider to what extent, without going back on what we think is right, we can meet you." That is the bargain! Nothing more nor less. Is there anything, I ask the House, in that bargain which the Government is not only entitled to make, but wise to make? So much for that.
Let us come to the point in dispute. I myself believe that in the result there is nothing to choose between the two methods. It is all very well to say that my right hon. Friend to-day is supporting what a week ago he opposed. That is not 1368 so. Anyone who looks at the Clause which stands in the Bill and compares it with the Clause as it will be after amendment in accordance with our Amendment, will see that the proposals are not by any means the same, but radically different. That has been admitted, I think, by hon. Members in the House yesterday, and it has been admitted by my hon. and learned Friend (Sir E. Wild) to-day. The difference really is a very great one. As the Clause came from Committee it had no Advisory Committee in it, and it seemed to me that the wording of it gave the impression of which my right hon. Friend spoke—that nobody would be exempt except those who were specially down in the category. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear!"] That is not the meaning, not in the least; on the contrary, the Clause as it will stand, if these Amendments are accepted, means this: that there will be a wide discretion—as wide as my right hon. and learned Friend would exercise in any case—to deal with every case of hardship, and that tins Statute will be there with this advantage, that everyone who comes within it will automatically escape the need for deportation. Suppose this Clause were not adopted, the result would simply be that my right hon. Friend would be allowed to deal with the subject in his own way. He would deal with it, I believe, in precisely the same way as it will be dealt with under this Clause. He would have to appoint a Committee to carry out the work, whereas this Clause decides the Committee by which this work will be done. It is a great mistake to suppose that the people who take the view which was largely held in the country at the time of the election—and I think it is largely held now—that now that peace has come we do not want to stir up hatred or anything of the kind, do not feel very strongly. I confess I share that view. We cannot immediately forget all these things. But I say that those who take the other view and who think that they are helping on the cause of getting rid of this hatred by pressing their point of view—I am sure they are wrong—are creating in the country a feeling that there is a large body of people at the head of affairs who are very tender to these aliens—who entertain and support the idea that they have not been good citizens and that they will be better in their Own country—if they give that impression I am convinced that the result will be that the Germans who are left will have a much worse time than if 1369 the country is satisfied that their cases are all being looked into, and that those only are being allowed to stay who can stay without danger to the country.
Before I met this criminal conspiracy in Downing Street, and when 1 discussed the matter with my right hon. and learned Friend, I was, I confess, under the illusion that seems to exist in the case of many hon. Members who have been making speeches, that these people had gone through two Committees, and, therefore, I at once agreed to the deletion of the Clause. I said to myself—and I believe I will be supported by the hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, who are not so inhuman towards the Germans as hon. Members opposite seem to imagine: If the people who have gone through the mill of these two Committees and, after doing it, have not been interned, even when the country was in danger—if these people who have stood that are now to be sent out of the country whatever their position, I think that is utterly unreasonable, and I hope the House of Commons will take the same view. That is not the position. A certain number were examined in 1915; others in 1918 and 1919. In regard to those who were only examined in 1915 I do say that after three and a half years of war that the position is quite changed. It is not unreasonable that there should be another examination before we allow these people to become permanent citizens in this country. It is unfair to take single utterances in a speech without looking up the context. For instance, I noted a reference to one of the speeches of the Prime Minister. I have read more of the speech; but never for a moment did he say that every German, without exception, was to be bundled out of the country. What I myself have said was that those people who have been so dangerous during the War and who for our safety were interned—
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I say for ourselves —I may be allowed to put it in my own way—where these people, for our safety, were interned, then they were not good citizens, and I should like to see them sent back. That is perfectly plain. It is not the extreme view that large-minded people have to condemn. We have got to deal with human beings as human beings. We cannot imagine that the country at once 1370 should be in the same condition as before all these terrible things happened, but I say this, if the position were as put by my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Antrim, it really means that we were going to disregard altogether the work which has been done by the Committee of which he is a member, and of which Sir Robert Younger was chairman, or the later work of Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee. It means we were to disregard all that. I say that would not only be unjust but absurd.
§ Major O'NEILL
Would the Government accept Amendments to this Clause excluding from the purview of the proposed Committee those people who had successfully gone through the 1918 Committee or the 1919?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
So far as I am concerned, I think that is fair. That is my view. I do not believe there is this difference. The suggestion of the discussion is that the Government were making the most of the situation; and it had been driven into this against our better thought. If it had not been for that, the whole difference would have been as to method and what was best. What is the difference in method? In my belief, if this Clause is carried my right hon. and. learned Friend will act in precisely the same way as if it were not there at all. The difference is this: As at first proposed, the matter would have been accomplished by an Order in Council, but it is possible that there may be a. change in the office of Home Secretary before it is carried out, and that there may be some occupant who may come there and who did not want to carry out the distinct will of the House. That is the difference between these methods, an Order in Council or an Instruction being put in the Bill itself. If you look at it in this way, I myself am in favour of putting what the House of Commons wishes into the Bill, and not proceeding by Order in Council. That is really the whole subject we have been debating so long, and I venture to suggest to the House that whatever difference of opinion there may be the House should now come to a decision.
The point was raised whether or not we should put on the Whips. I am quite indifferent about it. My right hon. Friend expressed the opinion that it is only a question of method. Suppose we put on the Whips, after a statement of that kind 1371 it would be ridiculous to regard it as a question of a vote of confidence in the Government. I have no objection whatever to leaving this to the free vote of the House. If I leave it, I leave with it—for what it is worth—my own strong expression of opinion as to the method in the Bill, and on the question of working, and still more from the point of view of treating the Grand Committees with the utmost respect we can. I am convinced that this is a better method, and I am ready to leave it there. But if we do it in this case we must also do it in the other Amendments which I have said I am ready to accept. We cannot pick and choose. Therefore I say that to those who believe that they have a majority, and who have a desire to come to a decision. They wish the Whips to be taken off. If so, I am ready to take them off, and I hope the House will now come to a decision on the issue.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I would not have intervened in this discussion except on the declaration of my right hon. Friend that he is going to take the Whips off. I intervene for a few moments because I may get some votes in favour of this Clause being omitted. I want to approach this question entirely from the point of view of a dispassionate observer who has had a very considerable amount of experience in the investigation of this matter. I was a member of Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee which was set up in 1915, and we worked for twelve or eighteen months, and covered a large number of cases, and I was also a member of the second Committee set up under Mr. Justice Sankey with a considerable amount of fresh personnel, including the Member for the City of York (Sir J. Butcher). Therefore, I may claim that I approach this question with a considerable amount of personal experience. What is the real position? Do the Government and the House of Commons approach this question from the point of view of public safety or of prejudice? If it is from the point of view of public safety then I must ask what is the new position?
All the interned enemy aliens have been subjected to the sifting process to which I have referred by the Committee of 1915. We dealt with them first in the mass and then in detail, and after all that had been done we had the advantage of a police 1372 report and a military report on every separate individual case, and following on that there was the general review of 1918 when again each of these cases was subjected to separate consideration. Finally we had the Report of Mr. Justice Younger, which is now in our hands, and his Committee after considering the question generally, came to the conclusion, as we did on each previous occasion, that the only safe way was to examine each case on its merits.
With regard to the whole of the enemy interned aliens at the Armistice date nearly 84 per cent. of them have been repatriated and only 16 per cent. remain to be dealt with, and the whole of that in per cent. have been subjected to the careful examination of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who represents a division of Kilmarnock and also the hon. and gallant Member for Reigate (Brigadier-General Cockerill), and what was his position during the War? He was the head of the Military Secret Service specially charged with investigations of this kind. Therefore the whole question of the advisability of these enemy aliens who have been interned as to their being allowed to remain in this country has been subjected to a close and searching investigation. As to the others who have not been interned surely we are not going to deal more unfairly with them than we do with those who have been interned. Those who have not been subjected to this process are now to come within the scope of this Bill. Those who have been interned under circumstances of suspicion and those against no suspicion could be alleged and who have been exempted and allowed the ordinary amenities of British subjects with certain regulations as to their movements are now going to be brought within the ambit of this Bill. Surely my right hon. Friends opposite cannot possibly mean that. Those who have been left out because there was nothing against them to justify their internment are being brought within this Bill.
With regard to those very few enemy aliens in our midst who have been expressly exempted from internment after the War they are to be pilloried in the local Press. Under the Government Amendment in regard to these cases every applicant has to advertise notice of his application in some paper in the district in which he resides, or in which he resided previously to his internment. Was 1373 there ever a more impossible or a less justifiable label and stigma put upon men and women who have been found harmless showing the extraordinary arid good results of the course already taken. Almost alone amongst the Allied nations this country was free from any outrage during the War which could be traced to enemy aliens. We had no attempts made by them at the destruction of bridges or railways, and the whole internal safety was assured in the most remarkable and extraordinary fashion. Is it public safety or prejudice? I think I have demonstrated with such information as I possess that it is not public safety. I admit that I joined those Committees with very different views to those I had three months after I had worked on those Committees. I took a very strict line, and it is with that knowledge and experience that I beg the House not to degrade its ancient traditions in dealing with the stranger within our gates.
We get very little response in this House to that kind of feeling, but in spite of that I make this appeal: What has differentiated this country from all other European nations in its dealings with foreigners? On the whole we stood for generosity and for thinking the best of people, and for taking risks which, on the whole, have been thoroughly justified. We have brought within the ambit of our nationality men and women of every nation in the world who have enriched our citizenship in art, literature, and in every range of those subjects which contribute to the well-being and amenities of life, and after the War, when let us hope passion and prejudice have shown some signs of dying down, we call upon them to advertise themselves in the local Press. Many hon. Members of this House who have adorned it have sprung from alien races, such as Disraeli and Goschen. Any one of those ancestors of ours might have been alien enemies under such a proposal. The whole wide range of the Jewish nation might easily have been brought within this measure.
I beg the House not to go back upon those traditions. Is there to be no response to the nobler ideals for which we fought in the War? Is it public safety or this low-grade prejudice which we legislate for? I cannot be charged with prejudice in favour of the enemy after my experience on those Committees, but is it any use to appeal to both my right hon. Friends opposite to take a wider and a more generous 1374 view? I thank the Government for taking the. Whips off, and I appeal to the House to give a response to the call which is felt amongst us, the call of tradition, the glorious and noble traditions of the past. I believe that call will find an echo, if not in a majority of hon. Members in the Lobbies, in the wise and generous common sense of the British people.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I only want to say one or two words to show why in the Division I shall vote for the exclusion of this Clause. I listened with great admiration to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House, and I thought he was quite right in saying that every Government, quite rightly, endeavoured to meet the views of their critics in the House of Commons from whatever point of view. I do not in the least complain that the Government should have endeavoured to meet the views of a particular section of this House, but. I think there is another observation which the right hon. Gentleman will agree with, and it is that the Government, while they are perfectly entitled to try and meet one section of opinion to a reasonable extent, other sections which do not agree with that section are not precluded from supporting their opinion because of an arrangement which the Government have made. I think on this particular occasion the arrangement made by the Government is open to criticism. In general it is the Government's business, as the executive, to ask for whatever powers they consider necessary in derogation of individual liberty in the public interest and the security of the State, and it is the business of the House of Commons to act in the interests of liberty and to see that the Government do not get more powers in derogation of individual liberty than the public safety requires. In this particular instance the Government have not adhered to that attitude. They are taking more powers than they themselves in the first instance thought necessary. They are allowing the House to impose upon them by Act of Parliament certain powers which they thought it sufficient to have by Order in Council. My right hon. Friend minimised the matter very much indeed; but I confess I prefer the first thoughts of the Government to their second thoughts. My right hon. Friend the other night told the story of Balaam as a, striking example of the error of preferring second thoughts to first, 1375 and once I remember a powerful sermon was preached by Cardinal Newman on the wickedness of second thoughts. I at any rate prefer first thoughts of the Government to their second. If it be true that the Home Office will administer this Clause in such a fashion as has been suggested it will amount to precisely the same thing as if the Clause did not exist at all and we shall have played a rather silly farce. I do not see the advantage of that. My right hon. Friend said it would gratify the feelings of the people who continue to hate the Germans. That seems to be true. There are a great many people who hate the Germans vehemently, and the Government by the insertion of this Clause, however it may be administered, are saying legislatively, "Damn the Germans," much in the same way as people on the Continent cry, "Damn the Golf Clubs."
My hon. Friend, the Member for one of the Divisions of West Ham, was anxious to have the Clause because he wished to express his discontent and his fear of the Hidden Hand. I cannot understand why lie should be so afraid of the Hidden Hand. As I understand it, one of the characteristics of the Hidden Hand is that it can do anything with the Home Secretary. I always thought that that was the Hidden Hand's strong point, and in that case the Clause would be no protection for this country. Again we have been told of women's tears. We ought not to be restrained by anybody's tears from doing a judicious act. Two tears do not make a smile. It is no use thinking to compensate those whom the Germans made martyrs by making a number of English wives of German citizens shed a new lot of tears. Let us start in a more sober and tranquil vein, since veins are in fashion, and consider what really is in the public interest and what are the strict realities of fact. I cordially agree with the hon. Gentleman when he says you do not want a sentimental solution. Hatred is a sentiment. Let us get rid of all sentiment, of hatred, love and fear, and look straight at the simple facts. What are those facts? The Government did not want this Clause and they only put it in in order to please certain sections—the sections they wished to please being those who defeated them in the Division Lobby—a sort of kissing the rod, a graceful ceremony when performed with due humility. 1376 But that does not seem to me an adequate-reason for the Government action. They tell us there are dangers, and they want to take precautions against them. Of course they do. But nobody would seriously think the difference between an Act of Parliament and an Order in Council, or the process of examining those persons who have not been examined by Mr. Justice Younger's Committee, but who were examined by Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee represents all that is in the public interest.
What is the purpose, then, of this Clause? It is merely to put into your Act of Parliament the phrase "enemy aliens "and to put a stigma, as it were, upon them. I believe this to be both foolish and mischievous—foolish because it cannot do any good to any human being and mischievous because it tends to keep up an attitude towards Germany and the Allies of Germany which it is essential for the prosperity of our country should be modified. I do not like the Germans. I do not trust the Germans. I do not propose ever to forget the crimes and perfidies of which some of them have been guilty. But let us-look at the facts of the case. We cannot kill the Germans all off. We have to put up with the knowledge that they are therein the middle of Europe, some 70,000,000. of them. We have to get on with them somehow or other. If it were a case of taking effective precautions against some dangerous tendency in Germany, I agree some action should be taken; but it appears to me that this is a wholly valueless precaution. We must try and get on with Germany. We have to trade with Germany and we must make the best of Germany, not because we forget how bad the Germans have been, but because they are a fact, and we must be loyal to facts. Putting aside all sentiments of love or hatred, the real truth of the matter is that there are 70,000,000 Germans in the world with whom we have to get on somehow. They may be perfidious, they may still be totally impenitent, and we must, therefore, take all precautions we think necesary against them. But do not viciously and foolishly try to put a stigma upon them which, if it produces any effect at all, will only make them worse and more hostile to this country and more disposed to revive the quarrels of the past. Look at it from a matter-of-fact point of view. We have to trade with Germany; we want a prosperous Germany, because that means a prosperous 1377 England. But do not let us have these foolish expedients in an Act of Parliament. Let us take proper precautions, whatever the confidential advisers of the Government deem to be necessary. Let us make the best of the situation, hoping that in process of time good will come out of a position which hitherto has produced nothing but evil.
§ Sir RYLAND ADKINS
I am one of those who spent three or four months inquiring into hundreds and thousands of these cases, and I, therefore, hope the House will not think it improper for me to express my opinions in temperate language as I trust, avoiding imputing motives to anybody. The view I very respectfully put before the House is this, that we are not concerned, as has been said by more than one speaker, with the enjoyment of appropriate hate or with allowing ourselves to be drawn into inappropriate affection; we are really merely concerned with justice. Justice is never needed for people who are popular or who are good; justice is only required and only appealed to when you are dealing with the bad, when you are dealing with those with whom you have no sympathy. All the House is really asked to do in this Division is to decide which is the better method and which is the more likely to promote justice in dealing with a large number of persons of alien race. I trust that no one here has any real sympathy with men whom it is to be hoped everyone in this House will be ready at a moment's notice to turn out of the country if they are satisfied that the country's peace demands it, but they are entitled to be treated with scrupulous justice and they surely are secure in this country of England against anything approaching torture. Some of the arguments used in this Debate would lead logically to the conclusion that if we were fighting a cannibal country, and the people of that country might have killed and eaten some of the prisoners they have taken, therefore, the same process should be applied by us to them—a policy of tit for tat—a policy extremely easy and extraordinarily attractive for the moment, but one which leads us into difficulties quite as great as any more careful and less obvious method.
If this Clause is rejected it will result that under Clause 1 the Home Secretary will have the power for twelve months of dealing with enemy aliens as he has done 1378 during the War. But if Clause 9 is kept in the Bill, and I for one am not going to vote for its exclusion, the Home Secretary will also have power to put greater restrictions on fresh aliens coming here, men who may have been the crews of submarines or who may have given orders or carried out orders for some of the worst crimes committed in the War. This Clause deals only with those who have been in this country during the War, who have had their cases investigated in 1915, everyone of whom has been under police supervision, everyone of whom has been under the authority of that Department of State over which the hon. and gallant Member for Reigate presided, and 7,000 or 8,000 of whom have been before two Committees, and of all those who have not appeared before two Committees, if my information is correct, the majority are women, who in most cases are easy to supervise. In view of these facts, which is the more just course? Is it to leave to the Home Secretary power for another year under Clause 1? Surely after all the elaborate processes going on throughout the whole of the War it is incredible there should be anybody left who is a danger to this country and who could not be dealt with in the twelve months after the War under the authority possessed by the Secretary of State. That would not in the least prejudice our dealing with the question of fresh aliens coming here. On the other hand, if we maintain this Clause we are maintaining a Clause, the phrasing of which and the intention expressed in which will give an impression to the people of this country that you are excluding nearly all aliens, whereas everybody who has gone into the matter knows that, in the interests of the British people and in the interests of British-born women, and of children who are becoming British, you cannot, even if you wish, you cannot in practice, exclude the greater number of the comparatively small minority now here. I yield to no Member of this House in my desire to get out of this country any dangerous enemy at once, but I would never be a party to anything which appeared to me to have the effect, under the guise of excluding Germans, in practice, sending women and children to wilt under the inferior civilization of our enemy. I am convinced that there is the gravest danger of that if this Clause remains—less, of course, with the Amendments of 1379 the Government, but even real if they are made. Merely in the interests of justice and acting on the experience which I have now had of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee, knowing that case after case has been sent to Germany, for no fault, after all, but because he was better there than here, and knowing also case after case where the police, military authorities, and others said, "There is nothing against this man; he is not interfering with British labour, but is a person of perfectly good character, but he may be naturally in these times unpopular in the neighbourhood," and then we are asked, forsooth, that this poor wretch, who has been, perhaps, before two Committees, is to make a new application and advertise it in the local papers. That is not justice. That is torture. We have no right to torture our enemies, even if they have
§ done it to us. Consequently, I am confident that I am doing right, as far as my own conscience is concerned, and I support, out of no sympathy for the Germans and abating no jot of the desire to keep one's country free from evil influences, that cause which is the cause of our country, the cause of justice, and I ask the House to reject this Clause.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Might I make an appeal to the House to come to a decision? I do not put this as any ground on which I can press it, but it was really in the hope of an immediate decision that I said I would take off the Government Whips.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'one' ["within one month"], stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 226; Noes, 116.1381
|Division No. 122.]||AYES.||[5.36 P.M.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral||Davies, T. (Cirencester)||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Archdale, Edward M.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Howard, Major S. G.|
|Ashley, Col. Wilfred W.||Denison-Pender, John C.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Atkey, A. R.||Dennis, J. W.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)|
|Bagley, Captain E. A.||Dixon, Captain H.||Hurd, P. A.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Dockrell, Sir M.||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Donald, T.||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, London)||Du Pre, Colonel W. B.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Elveden, Viscount||Jodrell, N. P.|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick||Eyres-Monsell, Commander||Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)|
|Banner, Sir J. S. Harmood-||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfrey||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Farquharson, Major A. C.||King, Commander Douglas|
|Barnston, Major H.||Fell, Sir Arthur||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar (Banff)||Forrest, W.||Knight, Captain E. A.|
|Bell, Lt.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Foxcroft, Captain C.||Lane-Fox, Major G. R.|
|Bennett, T. J.||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Ganzoni, Captain F. C.||Lloyd, George Butler|
|Bigland, Alfred||Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir A. C. (Basingstoke)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Billing, Noel Pemberton||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Birchen, Major J. D.||Gilbert, James Daniel||Lonsdale, James R.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-||Gilmour. Lieut.-Colonel John||Lorden, John William|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Glyn, Major R.||Loseby, Captain C. E.|
|Buckley, Lt.-Col. A.||Gaff, Sir R. Park||Lowe, Sir F. W.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Gould, J. C.||Lowther, Col. C. (Lonsdale, Lancs.)|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Greame, Major P. Lloyd||Lyle, C. E. Leonard (Stratford)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R. (Torquay)||Green J. F. (Leicester)||Lynn, R. J.|
|Burn, T. H. (Belfast)||Greene, Lt.-Col. W. (Hackney, N.)||M'Donald, Dr. B. F.P (Wallassy)|
|Butcher, Sir J. G.||Greer, Harry||M'Guffin, Samuel|
|Campbell, J. G. D.||Gretton, Colonel John||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Bosworth)|
|Campion, Colonel W. R.||Griggs, Sir Peter||M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)|
|Carew, Charles R. S. (Tiverton)||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Macleod, John Mackintosh|
|Carr, W. T.||Guest, Capt. Hon. F. E. (Dorset, E.)||Macmaster, Donald|
|Casey, T. W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Fred. (Dulwich)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James Ian|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hamilton. Major C. G. C. (Altrincham)||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Cayzer, Major H. R.||Hanna, G. B.||Malone, Major P. (Tottenham, S.)|
|Chadwick, R. Burton||Hanson, Sir Charles||Manville, Edward|
|Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Luton, Beds.)||Marriott, John Arthur R.|
|Child, Brig.-General Sir Hill||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Martin. A. E.|
|Clough, R.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Matthews, David|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Mitchell, William Lane-|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General G. K.||Hickman, Brig.-Gen. Thomas E.||Moles, Thomas|
|Colvin, Brig.-General R. B.||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel F.||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Courthope, Major George Loyd||Holmes, J Stanley||Morrison, H. (Salisbury)|
|Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Hood, Joseph||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.|
|Craig, Captain Charles C. (Antrim)||Hope, Harry (Stirling)||Mosley, Oswald|
|Craig, Col. Sir James (Down, Mid.)||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hope, John Deans (Berwick)||Murchison, C. K.|
|Curzon, Commander Viscount||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Nall, Major Joseph|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Horne, Sir Robert (Hillhead)||Newman, Major J. (Finchley, M'ddx.)|
|Nicholson, R. (Doncaster)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough W.)|
|Norton-Griffiths, Lt.-Col. Sir J.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell-(M'yhl)|
|Oman, C. W. C.||Roundell, Lt.-Colonel R. F.||Thorpe, J. H.|
|Palmer, Major G. M. (Jarrow)||Samuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)||Tickler, Thomas George|
|Palmer, Brig.-General G. (Westbury)||Samuel, Right Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Pearce, Sir William||Sanders, Colonel Robert Arthur||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone)||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Peel, Lt.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Seager, Sir William||Waddington, R.|
|Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)||Seddon, James||Ward, Colonel L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Wardle, George J.|
|Percy, Charles||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W.)||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Philipps, Sir O. C. (Chester)||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville||Whitia, Sir William|
|Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray||Stanley, Col. H. G. F. (Preston)||Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tyson|
|Pownall, Lt.-Colonel Assheton||Stanton, Charles Butt||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Preston, W. R.||Starkey, Capt. John Ralph||Williams, Lt-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Steel, Major S. Strang||Wilson, Colonel Leslie (Reading)|
|Pulley, Charles Thornton||Stephenson, Colonel H. K.||Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)|
|Purchase, H. G.||Stewart, Gershom||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Ramsden, G. T.||Sturrock, J. Lang-||Woolcock, W. J. U.|
|Randles, Sir John Scurrah||Sykes, Sir C. (Huddersfield)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Ratcliffe, Henry Butler||Talbot, Rt. Hon. Lord E. (Chichester)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Rees, Captain J. Tudor||Terrell, G. (Chlppenham, Wilts)|
|Remer, J. B.||Terrell, Capt. R. (Henley, Oxford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir|
|Remnant, Colonel Sir James||Thomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)||Herbert Nield and Mr. Bottomley.|
|Richardson, Alex. (Gravesend)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hayday, A.||Robertson, J.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wisbech)||Robinson S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Herbert, Col. Hon. A. (Yeovil)||Rodger, A. K.|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hills, Major J. W. (Durham)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Hinds, John||Rowlands, James|
|Bell, James (Ormskirk)||Hirst, G. H.||Sassoon, Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Benn, Capt. W. (Leith)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Scott, A. M. (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Bentinck, Lt Col. Lard H. Cavendish||Hodge, J. M.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Hopkinson, Austin (Mossley)||Short, A. (Wednesbury)|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Hurst, Major G. B.||Sitch, C. H.|
|Bramsden, Sir T.||Irving, Dan||Smith, Capt. A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Briant, F.||Jameson, Major J. G.||Spencer, George A.|
|Brown, J. (Ayr and Bute)||Johnstone, J.||Spoor, B. G.|
|Carter, W. (Mansfield)||Janes, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Oxford Univ.)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Clynes, Right Han. John R.||Jones, J. (Silvertown)||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Coote, Colin R. (Isle of Ely)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish University)||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander||Tootill, Robert|
|Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)||Kenyon, Barnet||Wallace, J.|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Kidd, James||Waterson, A. E.|
|Dawes, J. A.||Kiley, James Daniel||Wedgwood, Col. Josiah C.|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)|
|Edge, Captain William||Lewis, T. A. (Pontypridd, Glam.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Edwards, C. (Bedwellty)||Lunn, William||Wignall, James|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Finney, Samuel||McMicking, Major Gilbert||Williams, A. (Consett, Durham)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Maitland, Sir A. D. Steel-||Williams, J. (Gower, Glam.)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Mallalieu, Frederick William||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Gardiner, J. (Perth)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Murray, Dr. D. (Western Isles)||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Murray, William (Dumfries)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)||Neal, Arthur||Wood, Major Hon. E. (Ripon)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Newbould, A. E.||Wood, Maj. Mackenzie (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Guest, J. (Hemsworth, York.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)||Young, Lt.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Guinness, Lt.-Col. Hon. W. E.(B. St. E.)||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Young, Robert (Newton, Lancs.)|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||O'Connor, T. P.||Younger, Sir George|
|Hallas, E.||O'Grady, James|
|Hancock, John George||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Major|
|Hartshorn, V.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||O'Neill and Mr. A. Shaw.|
|Haslam, Lewis||Reid, D. D.|
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt)
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "one month" ["within one month"], and to insert instead thereof the words "two months."
I do not think one month is sufficient time for the police to lay the necessary 1382 documents that have to be considered. It is only for convenience that I ask the House to change the period from one month to two months.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
I beg to move to leave out the word "special" ["stating the special grounds"].
1383 We have already been told by the Government that in the case of those, and they number several thousands, who have already been examined by two Committees, the intention of the Government shall not apply to them. We are, therefore, now back to the people who were examined by the first Sankey Committee in 1915, whom it is now thought right to be examined again by the Advisory Committee. H you put in the word "special" you are tending to mislead these people and to make them think that it is only certain kinds of reasons which they are asked to give. Three or four years have passed since they were acquitted, if I may use the phrase, in 1915, and it is desirable in the interests of justice that the wording of the Section should not mislead them, and that they should not be excluded from giving any reasons that occur to them. Some of those reasons might appear "special" to the Home Secretary or the Committee, but they might not appear "special" to these persons, many of whom are poor, illiterate people who do not understand the meaning of language as hon. Members of this House do. Therefore, in fairness to these people, I ask the House to leave out the word "special." If people are to show cause why they should not be turned out of the country it is common elementary justice that you should hear anything they have to say. If you leave out the word "special" you are asking them to tell anything they have to say, and you are not confusing them.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I do not think the fears of ray hon. and learned Friend are really well grounded, but at the same time I do not think it really matters whether the word "special" is in or not. The Committee will act upon special grounds. However, I am prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move to leave out the words "after due inquiry."
This is a consequential Amendment on a subsequent Amendment setting up the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee being set up, these words become unnecessary.
§ Amendment, agreed to.
§ Major O'NEILL
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert the wordsProvided that this Sub-section not apply to such former enemy aliens as were exempted from internment or repatriation on 1384 the recommendation of any advisory committee appointed after 1st January, 1918, and before the passing of this Act.This is the Amendment as to which the Leader of the House signified his intention of taking off the Whips. It is intended to exclude from the purview of the new Advisory Committee to be set up those people who successfully passed through the Committee which was appointed in 1918, and those who passed through Mr. Justice Younger's Committee, which has just reported. In other words, it will mean that the new Committee to be set up will deal only with those enemy aliens who were never interned during the War and whose cases have been reviewed by one Committee only—the Committee of 1915. After the Debate which took place on the Clause it is unnecessary to go into the work of these Committees again in detail. I think it was universally recognised by the House—in fact, it was conceded by the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher)—that it would be unnecessary and undesirable, and would lead to large extra expense and to a great deal of unnecessary clerical labour, if you were once again to review the cases of those men who had been exempted by Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee in 1918, and again by Lord Justice Younger's Committee this year.
§ Mr. A. SHAW
I beg to second this reasonable proposal, which carries out a. promise given by the Leader of the House. It would be most unfair to hon. Members if their time were wasted by a mere duplication of Committees. I have had the honour, like my hon. and gallant Friend (Major O'Neill), to serve upon one of the Committees to which this Amendment refers. That Committee was appointed after time Armistice, in May of this year. When I was asked to serve upon it-I asked for what reasons the Committee existed, and the reasons given to me on behalf of the Home Office were exactly the reasons which were given to-day by, the Government for setting up the new Committee, namely, that the War was over, and that we must have a strong Committee to consider what aliens it would be safe to allow to reside permanently in this country. No British workman likes to see good work which he has done done over again, and I think I may say, not only on my own behalf but on behalf of my colleagues and of the learned judge who presided, we do not like to see our good work 1385 done over again. No one likes to see good work torn up and destroyed, and no one likes to be put to do the same work all over again. That is the whole point of this Amendment. Its object is to save duplication. What about the personnel of the Committee on which I served? I was somewhat horrified when I was first told who sonic of my colleagues would be. As a humble Scottish Radical I was told that a distinguished general from the War Office, the hon. Member for Reigate, was to serve on the Committee. I was told that he had been at the head of a great organisation at the War Office, and that he was the greatest expert in this country, and perhaps one of the greatest experts in the world, in tracking down enemy aliens. I said to myself, "Can any good thing come out of the War Office? Is it possible that this Tory militarist and a Scottish Radical can see eyeto eye?" We did see eye to eye on practically every case. Then 1 was told that the hon. and gallant Member for Mid-Antrim (Major O'Neill) would be on the Committee. I said to myself, "Look here, this is growing worse and worse. I am a Scottish Radical, and I am asked to work alongside a violent Ulsterman of the most stern and unbending type." [HON. MEMBERS: "Agreed, agreed !"] No doubt it is agreed, but my hon. Friends must allow me, after months of labour, to place before the House my considerations. Three out of five members of that Committee had fought in the War. I do not want to rub that in, but, at any rate, they had no soft feeling towards the Germans who had tried to wipe them off the map. When it 'is proposed, as it is proposed in this Bill as it stands now, to scrap all the work which Lord Justice Younger's Committee have done, there is no reason in it. There has been no word of reasonable complaint made against that Committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] If my hon. Friends opposite will give me an undertaking that they will support this Amendment, I will sit down.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I said last night that I wished to maintain the decisions of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee this year and Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee of last year. I do not think the words of the Amendment are quite happy, but I shall be prepared to accept them, subject to anything the Home Secretary may have to say.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I have never had any other idea than that the work of these two Committees should be respected, and, subject to anything the Home Secretary says, I cordially support the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (2).
I hope to carry the House with me in this Amendment, and if there are any cries of "Agreed!" from below the Gangway I will at once sit down. To whom does this apply? Not to the aliens who have been exempted by any Committee set up after January, 1918. Those were cases which were specially brought up for re-examination, and they have been exempted after careful examination. There must have been a primâ facie case for re-examining them. What about the others which were not brought up because there was no primâ facie case against them for any examination, or those cases who were not interned at all because there was no primâ facie case for interning them? How was it found out there was no ease for interning them? First of all, by a very careful report by the police. I have read hundreds if not thousands of these reports of the police, night after night after leaving this House. I have taken the cases home and have read them, as all members of the Committee did. In addition to that there was the report from the War Office. Every one of these cases has been examined at least twice if not thrice. It has been under careful observation the whole time, and yet these people have been exempt from internment. Although they are not naturalised citizens, yet these people are citizens in every other respect. They are ratepayers and taxpayers, and carry on some useful employment of some kind or another. There are a few, I dare, say, who do not require to earn their living, but all these cases have been most carefully investigated, and in the vast majority of cases these people are respected by their neighbours, because in every case where there is a complaint by neighbours or any person who knew anything about the district it was taken up at once and carefully examined by the police and the military authorities and effectively disposed of in 1387 one direction or another. If there was any reasonable ground of suspicion the case at once came up before the Commission. And after all those investigations those people were allowed to remain at liberty, and yet it is proposed that these people shall advertise in the local papers, giving certain information and notice of an appeal against being deported from the United Kingdom. I would urge on my right hon. Friend, from his knowledge of these matters to which he has given consideration, that so far as the Safety of the Realm is concerned—and that is the only consideration—he will advise that there is no reason at all why this stigma should be placed on these carefully certificated aliens. All these people have been twice or thrice certificated by the military or the police as being citizens of real respectability. There is no shade of suspicion that they are anything like a public danger, and they should therefore be free from the stigma which this Clause proposes.
§ Captain ORMSBY-GORE
I beg to second the Amendment.
This seems to me to be one of the most important parts of the Clause, and it does introduce in practice an element of petty persecution. There is no getting away from it. I may mention the only case of which I have personal knowledge, the case of a German governess who came to this country and got her livelihood teaching music. During the War she passed through all the meshes and acted as a perfectly loyal citizen. She kept in the background, and she never wishes to have anything more to do with Germany, but to live here her whole life. She will be forced under this provision to go out into the open in a provincial town and make a parade of her existence at a moment when, I believe, all her neighbours are only too anxious to recognise that she has behaved loyally to this country and, therefore, should be free from petty persecution of this kind. I cannot see what anybody gains by this. If it was a question of the defence or the security of this country it would be different. I absolutely agree that our efforts before the War to keep out spies and enemy aliens were quite inadequate. We have got to be more careful in future and to see that those who were unfriendly to this country are deported and not allowed back. But when you have had five years of war and 1388 found that individuals have been respected, have been citizens of this country and have not been a danger, then such individuals should not be exposed to this form of special publicity. It seems to me to be quite unnecessary in the interests of the defence of this country and to be adding a sort, of sting, a vindictive element to this machinery. r hope that the House will delete this provision.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
I hope that the House will administer the same kind of answer to this sentimental suggestion as it did to the one that preceded it a short time ago. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir D. Maclean) the leader of the Liberal rump, spoke of casting a stigma upon these people. It is the very opposite. It is enabling them to make known to all their friends and neighbours that although they are Germans, or whatever they may be, they have been so very good that they arc now going to claim all the benefits under this Bill. Personally, I confess that if I lived in a district where one of these persons resided, such as this governess, if she were as charming as my hon. Friend has pointed out, I would be very glad to know that she was prepared to face all inquiry, and I should be the first to congratulate her on her decision to remain here and to partake of the hospitality of the British nation. It is provided that the advertisement is to be in some paper circulating in the district, which usually means a local paper. Who ever reads local papers? The only people I know who ever read local papers are the Members of Parliament who look there for the reports of their speeches which they have furnished to them.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
The use of the advertisement is that anybody who knows about the existence of the person, and has reason to think that he or she is not a desirable person to remain here would watch the local paper for that purpose. Personally, I do not think that there is very much in it, but we have got to do something to make the thing go. When this Bill first came to the House it was a wretched one-Clause measure, but we have got it to assume a more important form. This is a concession to public opinion, which is not so sentimental as some hon. Members think. It is an indication abroad that we are in earnest in this matter. Of course, if the advertisement were in some well-known journal 1389 which circulates everywhere it would be a different matter, but we must not be led away by sentimental statements which would have meant any public speaker being hooted off the platform if they had been uttered eighteen months or two years ago. During my election, in view of what the Prime Minister said and the Lord Chancellor said, I told my Constituents that we were going to get rid of these people once for all. I am old-fashioned enough to believe that what I promise to my Constituents I ought to perform. I know that that is an unorthodox doctrine now. It has not episcopal sanction. An archbishop told us the other day that we must not trouble too much about our election pledges. But there is a great deal of feeling en this point. We have this Bill here now, and do not let us make it a milk and water measure. Let us have every provision which can be of assistance. Though I do not think this is a great provision, it cannot do any harm and may do a little good.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I quite agree with the hon. Member who sat down, that this is not a very important Clause in the Bill. So far as I am concerned I have no very strong views about it, and I would be guided entirely by what is the view of the House. But may I remind my right hon. Friend (Sir D. Maclean) that the mere fact that people were not interned during the War is no evidence that they passed the second Committee, the 1918 Committee? The 1918 Committee was set up to review the cases that had been exempted in 1915. Of course a very substantial number of those—
§ Mr. SHORTT
It is not the case that every single person coming under this will have been challenged twice. He may have been challenged only once.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
A great number of the persons concerned here are persons who have never been interned at all. Those persons have been subjected, and rightly subjected, at least twice to inquiry by the police and the military authorities. They have been on the list of the police and the military authorities, and they have been subjected the whole time to very careful supervision.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I agree that the police and military authorities have done their duty in maintaining supervision over these people. What I was pointing out was that only a number, and not a very large number, of those exempted by the 1915 Committee have had their cases reviewed by the 1918 Committee. With regard to this particular Clause I would only say this: There can be only one reason for it, that which my hon. Friend explained, namely, that if anyone in the neighbourhood knows anything about an alien he or she will come forward and say it. I assure the House it is highly important that anyone in any district should tell us, the Home Office, or tell the police anything about any alien which we do not know already. I leave the matter entirely to the House.
Mr. TYSON WILSON
I am quite satisfied that everything that can be known is known to the police. I would leave the matter in the hands of the police.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
Might I be allowed, as a member of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee, to refer to an experience on that Committee, an experience which to my mind illustrates strikingly the valve of this. We had a case before us of a gentleman of high education and position. He had never been interned and there was no police report against him. He had a perfectly clean sheet. When his case came before us he had numbers of testimonials from people who were, I think, quite sincere. They said they thought he was an admirable person, of strong English sympathies, who ought to remain here. What happened? If lie had resided here he would have remained uninterned till now, posing as a faithful British citizen. Fortunately some relative of his who knew him intimately, more intimately even than the police or any of his neighbours, wrote a private letter to the Committee informing them that although on the surface this gentleman was a warm British sympathiser, he was in fact a dangerous German, who ought to be shut up. On the strength of that information we interned him, and I cordially hope he is back in Germany in his spiritual home. That is exactly the sort of case which this advertisement would prevent arising, namely, the case of the person who, the police say, is all right, who gets testimonials from all sorts of respectable people acting per- 1391 fectiy bonâ fide, and who has not been found out. What is the hardship? The advertisement will cost perhaps 2s. 6d. to 5s. The man or woman asking for exemption is asking for a favour. Is there any hardshinp in the advertisement itself? If the person is perfectly innocent there is not the remotest harm. Take the case of a lady in whom my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford is interested. An attractive lady, beloved by her neighbours, recognised as a thorough British sympathiser. What harm would it be to her to say that she desires to remain here, to put in an advertisement to something like this effect, "I, So and So, desire to remain hero and not go back to Germany."? All her friends, including my hon. and gallant Friend, would be delighted, and would say that this was a consummation of her hopes and theirs. That is the case of a worthy person. How about the guilty person? How about the person who has evaded the investigation of the police like this individual whom I have mentioned, who deceived all his neighbours, or rather all except one All we say is that the advertisement should be issued so that anyone who may know something about this presumably dangerous person may have noticed that he has applied to remain in this country, and would thereby be able to inform the authorities. In any case will it do any harm to the applicant? In some cases it would be a real protection, which I am sure Members desire to accord to people in this country who do not desire to harbour German spies.
§ Major O'NEILL
There is one argument which is conclusive in favour of this Amendment, and it is this: that the House has just agreed to put into this Bill a provision that those who have successfully passed through the 1918 Committee and Mr. Justice Younger's Committee are not again to have their cases reviewed. In neither of those cases was it necessary to put any advertisement in any journal. Now that we have admitted that the work of these two Committees has been good work, that those who have passed those Committees are deserving of final exemption, is it not fair that those who remain should have their cases examined under similar conditions
§ Mr. SPENCER
The reason above all others why I am going to support this Amendment is the illustration given by 1392 the hon. and learned Member for York. He has given an illustration which, to my mind, will cause most of us to pause, at least, before we give assent to this Subsection. Ho has stated to the House that on the receipt of a letter relating to the conduct and character of a man in a certain district, where he passed as an honourable citizen, without any further investigation—[Cries of "No, no!"]—
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I say that we did what we could to verify. We were satisfied that it was proved, and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition (Sir D. Maclean) was satisfied that it was a good and valid letter, and upon the strength of that we interned him.
§ Mr. SPENCER
On the strength of that letter, arid without the gentleman in question having to appear before you, you sought to verify that letter. [Some dissent.] If you give an illustration, it would be better to give a full illustration, rather than misguide the House in this way. The Home Secretary has told us today that the police have a full record of most of the enemy aliens in this country, and that if it, were desirable that any of them should be deported they have the essential evidence; but at the present time they have not any knowledge whatever which would lead them to take action against any of the enemy aliens in this country now. To have a Clause of this character, which would make it imperative for all the enemy aliens who desire to stay in this country to advertise in the local papers, which we are told is not of any use whatever, is putting them to unnecessary trouble and giving certain persons, evilly disposed to a single individual, a free opportunity to damage that individual's character, whether it is blameworthy or not. It is establishing a form of provocation which is both undesirable and unnecessary, and if there is the feeling in the country which certain Members below the Gangway state there is, I think they are the only persons who are able to discern it. I think the greatest feeling belongs to those two or three Members who are creating most of the disturbance on this Bill. Most of the Labour Members and the great labour populations are pleased to let the knowledge of this thing pass away as soon as possible. Every man who is a peaceful citizen, who 1393 is not au enemy to the country, they are anxious to leave alone. For that reason I shall support the Amendment.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
I hope the hon. and learned Member for York will not press his opposition. I need not appeal to the bon. Member for Hackney because he took a very light hand indeed in the matter, and, while he was speaking nominally in favour of a certain point of view, he could hardly restrain a smile. We have beard from the Government that they believe they have all information. May I say that an advertisement in an obscure provincial paper is not the smallest guarantee that we have any accurate or useful information which will not be obtained otherwise? It would be an opportunity for anybody with a grudge to use it; it is an opportunity in certain cases, which are not always well-founded cases, to provide materials for public disorder. It does not materially advance the Act. Those who were anxious that this should be struck out are not consciously moved by sentiment. We merely want absolute justice dons On Mr. Justice Younger's committee we read many anonymous letters. I cannot remember one that had a real grain of independent truth in it. Such letters are nearly always expressions of feeling and not relations of fact. It is what I am certain would happen in response to a tiny advertisement in a small local newspaper.
§ Mr. DENISON-PENDER
I had not intended to speak on this particular Clause, and though considering that this was not a very important matter, I have listened with a very open mind. An hon. Member who rose from the benches opposite has entirely altered the opinion I held. I cannot help thinking now that this is a very important matter. I listened most carefully to his remarks, and I rather thought I heard words which indicated that he imagined the people of this country were going to forgive and forget a little more rapidly than many of us anticipate they will do. I do not mean by that that I wish this Bill to be any harsher than is necessary, but I cannot help thinking that the people outside this House are trusting us to tighten rather than to weaken this Bill. I shall give my vote in support of retaining this Section, and I hope that Members will realise that we are here to express the opinions we expressed outside and that everyone will support this Clause.
I hope that the Government and the House will insist on this Sub-section. The first essential of the Bill is to so enact legislation that instead of the benefit of the doubt being given to the alien it shall be given to the safety of the citizens of this country. That seems to me to be the whole object of this Bill. Under this particular Sub-section you have some chance that the people in the district in which the applicant is living may have some say in the matter from their knowledge of the man's antecedents. There is no question of harassing, but you enable the citizens of the country and of a district to see that the interests of the nation in that district are kept clear of any possible spying. What has amused me rather more than anything else in the Debate has been the position taken up with regard to this Sub-section by a few of the ex-Liberals who sit on the Front Opposition Bench, I mean the outcasts from the Liberal party who sit below me. They seem to be rather amused on the subject. I suppose they think because they have got the money bags that they have got the opinions, but the nation I believe thinks rather differently. What I would wish to point out is the extreme reluctance of those hon. Members to in any way let the people know what is being done. I have always advocated a strong Bill of this kind, and I believe that the country would like to see a strong measure, and I think any powers which show that we are looking after the interests of the nation rather than that of individuals we should take, and that is why I hope this particular Subsection will be retained.
§ Major HILLS
I do hope that the Government will not insist on carrying this Sub-section. I have not heard a single argument which goes to prove that this Sub-section will prevent the staying here of dangerous aliens. The only effect of it will be that some people will have to go through a rather unpleasant ordeal. I would ask hon. Members opposite, do they not think that this Sub-section could very well be dropped? I agree that we were absurdly lax on this subject before the War and that we required to strengthen our powers, but this machinery will not 1395 help and will not really protect our country against spies. To compel harmless aliens to advertise seems to me to be no protection.
I shall certainly vote for the retention of the Sub-section. If I were drafting a Bill to prevent undesirable aliens remaining in this country and to get rid of them I would make every man who desired to be exempted advertise the fact that he was claiming that exemption. The hon. Member who spoke last talked about harmless aliens. We want to get at the harmful aliens. Even if hardship should be done to a few harmless aliens, and I see no hardship whatever in this, that is an unfortunate fact, but we have been at war with Germany, and we want to get rid of the bad ones, and those people will have to suffer from the fact that they belong to that nation. It is absurd to say there can be no good from the advertisement. It is obvious from the cases of which we heard that there may be cases which have escaped the notice of the police, and where notification should be given to the public. I maintain if you are going to make this Clause fully satisfactory and workable you must retain this Sub-section.
§ Mr. AUBREY HERBERT
I have nearly always agreed with my hon. and gallant Friend on this side who spoke a few minutes ago, but on this occasion I cannot agree with him. There is, as has been said, possibly very little in this Clause one way or the other. I have been abroad a good deal myself, and I have constantly had the fact advertised in the local papers, and not always in complimentary
§ references. That never hurt me, and I do not think it is going to hurt aliens a great deal in this country. These advertisements will only appear in the local papers. The aliens have been here probably for a considerable time, and I think it will give a certain amount of satisfaction to the people in this country to know who are aliens. Therefore, on those grounds I shall support the Subsection.
§ Major LANE-FOX
I do not agree with the hon. and gallant Member who said that this is the only way of keeping out harmful aliens. It seems to me a most inefficient way of doing so, and it might be the cause of very great hardship to a number of inoffensive people. A good deal has been said about election pledges. I am inclined to agree with what one hon. Member remarked that some very odd things were said at the election. This can hardly have been the subject of an election pledge, and, therefore, I think that those hon. Members who are so anxious to keep strictly to their pledges need not bring forward that argument in support of this Sub-section. Surely the object ought to be to make the procedure against aliens as little disagreeable as possible. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] To harmless people I think it must be obvious that it is most necessary that your procedure should be as little disagreeable to all parties concerned as possible so long as it is efficient.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 144; Noes, 157.1397
|Division No. 123.]||AYES||[6.45 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral||Campion, Colonel W. R.||Forrest, W.|
|Archdale, Edward M.||Carew, Charles R. S. (Tiverton)||Foxcrott, Captain C.|
|Atkey, A. R.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Fraser, Major Sir Keith|
|Bagley, Captain E. A.||Casey, T. W.||Gardner, E. (Berks, Windsor)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cautley, Henry Strother||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham|
|Banner, Sir J. S. Harmood-||Cayzer, Major H. R.||Glyn, Major R.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Chadwick, R. Burton||Goff, Sir R. Park|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar (Banff)||Child, Brig.-General Sir Hill||Greame, Major P. Lloyd|
|Bell, Lt.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Clough, R.||Greene, Lt.-Col. W. (Hackney, N.)|
|Betterton, H. B.||Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Bigland, Alfred||Colvin, Brig.-General R. B.||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Billing, Noel Pemberton||Cory, Sir lames Herbert (Cardiff)||Hanson, Sir Charles|
|Birchall, Major J. D.||Courthope, Major George Loyd||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Bird, Alfred||Crack, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Herbert, col. Hon. A. (Yeovil)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-||Croft, Brig. General Henry Page||Hickman, Brig.-Gen. Thomas E.|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Davies, T. (Cirencester)||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel F.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Dixon, Captain H.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Dockrell, Sir M.||Hood, Joseph|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Du Pre, Colonel W. B.||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R. (Torquay)||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Burn, T. H. (Ballast)||Fell, Sir Arthur||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Campbell, J. G. D||FitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.||Howard, Major S. G.|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Marriott, John Arthur R.||Roundell, Lt.-Colonel R. F.|
|Hume-Williams, Sir Wm. Ellis||Matthews, David||Rutherford, Col. Sir J. (Darwen)|
|Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Moles, Thomas||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone)|
|Hurd, P. A.||Moore, Maj.-Gen. Sir Newton J.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H.||Morrison, H. (Salisbury)||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Jameson, Major J. G.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Mosley, Oswald||Starkey, Capt. John Ralph|
|Jodrell, N. P.||Murchison, C. K..||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Nield, Sir Herbert||Stewart, Gershom|
|Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Oman, C. W. C.||Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead).|
|Kerr-Smiley, Major P.||Palmer, Brig.-General G. (Westbury)||Terrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts)|
|King, Commander Douglas||Pearce, Sir William||Terrell, Capt. R. (Henley, Oxford)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Peel, Lt.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Thomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)|
|Knight, Captain E. A.||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Lloyd, George Butler||Percy, Charles||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell (M'yhl).|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Perring, William George||Thorpe, J. H.|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Hunt'don)||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Tickler, Thomas George|
|Lonsdale, James R.||Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Lorden, John William||Pownall, Lt.-Colonel Assheton||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Loseby, Captain C. E.||Pulley, Charles Thornton||Waddington, R.|
|Lowe, Sir F. W.||Ramsden, G. T.||Ward, Colonel L. (Kingston-I'pon-Hull)|
|Lyle, C. E. Leonard (Stratford)||Raper, A. Baldwin||Whitla, Sir William|
|M'Donald, Dr. B. F. P. (Wallasey)||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)||Rees, Captain J. Tudor (Barnstaple)||Williams, Lt-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Macleod, John Mackintosh||Reid, D. D.|
|Maddocks, Henry||Remnant, Colonel Sir James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Captain|
|Mallaby Deeley, Harry||Richardson, Alex. (Gravesend)||C. Craig and Mr. Denison Pender.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hartshorn, V.||Purchase, H. G.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Haslam, Lewis||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Heyday, A.||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Hayward, Major Evan||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wisbech)||Richardson, Sir Albion (Peckham)|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hills, Major J. W. (Durham)||Robertson, J.|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Hinds, John||Robinson S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Bell, James (Ormskirk)||Hirst, G. H.||Rodger, A. K.|
|Bann, Capt. W. (Leith)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G.||Rowlands, James|
|Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish-||Hogge, J. M.||Samuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Hope, Harry (Stirling)||Sanders, Colonel Robert Arthur|
|Bramsdon, Sir T.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Scott, A. M. (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Briant, F.||Hopkinson, Austin (Mossley)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Horne, Sir Robert (Hillhead)||Seager, Sir William|
|Brown, J. (Ayr and Bute)||Hurst, Major G. B.||Short, A. (Wednesbury)|
|Carter, W. (Mansfield)||Irving, Dan||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Aston manor)||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York)||Sitch, C. H.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Oxford Univ.)||Johnstone, J.||Smith, Capt. A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon Lord R. (Hitchin)||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Spencer, George A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Spoor, B. G.|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Jones, J. (Silvertown)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)||Sturrock, J. Leng-|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Coote, Colin R. (Isle of Ely)||Kenyon, Barnet||Talbot, Rt. Hon. Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish University)||Kidd, James||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)||Kiley, James Daniel||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lane-Fox, Major G. R.||Tootill, Robert|
|Edwards, C. (Bedwellty)||Law, A. J. (Rochdale)||Wallace, J|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ. Wales)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander||Lunn, William||Waring, Major Walter|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Finney, Samuel||Macmaster, Donald||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||McMicking, Major Gilbert||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Mallalieu, Frederick William||White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)|
|Gardiner, J. (Perth)||Manville, Edward||Wignall, James|
|Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir A. C. (Basingstoke)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Williams, A. (Consett, Durham)|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Mount, William Arthur||Williams, J. (Gower, Glam.)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Grant, James Augustus||Murray, Dr. D. (Western Isles)||Wilson, Colonel Leslie (Reading)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Murray, William (Dumfries)||Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)|
|Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)||Nall, Major Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Griggs, Sir Peter||Newbould, A. E.||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Grundy, T. W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Guest, Capt. Hon. F. E. (Dorset, E.)||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Guest, J. (Hemsworth, York.)||O'Neill, Capt. Hon. Robert W. H.||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Guinness, Lt.-Col. Hon. W. E.(B. St. E.)||Ormsby'-Gore, Hon. William||Young, Lt.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Palmer, Major G. M. (Jarrow)|
|Hallas, E.||Parker, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Hancock, John George||Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)||A. Shaw and Maj. McKenzie Wood.|
|Harris, Sir Henry P. (Paddington, S.)||Pratt, John William|
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, in Subsection (3), to leave out the words "not less than one calendar month after the date of such advertisement."
The whole Sub-clause will read: "The Secretary of State may, if he is satisfied that there is no reason to the contrary, grant such licence." It is quite clear that if you are going to set up an Advisory Committee to go into the cases you cannot limit it to the period of one month.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, after the word "satisfied'' ["if he is satisfied"], to insert the words "on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee hereinafter mentioned."
That is the Advisory Committee which is mentioned in an Amendment later on which I shall ask the House to accept, and which will be set up for the purpose of deciding these cases.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, to leave out the words "adverse report on the applicant by the military or by the police authorities," and to insert instead thereof the words, "reason to the contrary."
It is on the advice of the Advisory Committee that the Secretary of State would act and not on that of the police.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, to leave out the wordson any one or more of the following grounds, namely:(a) That the applicant, although a former enemy alien, is in fact a member of a nation or a rave hostile to the States recently at war with His Majesty and is well disposed to His Majesty and his Government.and to insert instead thereof the words(4) The committee may, unless satisfied by reports from the naval, military, Air Force, or police authorities that there is good reason to the contrary recommend the exemption from deportation of a former enemy alien on any one or more of the following grounds, namely.
Will this Amendment cut out an Amendment next on the Paper to leave out the whole of these categories altogether and to leave full discretion to the Home Office? I am afraid that as the Home Secretary's Amendment says the Committee must 1400 work on one or more of the following grounds, it would preclude us leaving out those grounds altogether.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to he left out stand part of the Bill," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I beg to move, as an Amendment to tile proposed Amendment, after the word "authorities'' to insert the words "or otherwise."
My reason is that the Committee might very well, as in the somewhat notorious instance I gave the House a little while ago, get reports from people who are not Naval, Military, Air Force, or police authorities. Therefore I think the Home Secretary will agree that the words "or otherwise" ought to be inserted so as to leave it open to the Committee to get information from any source that may be available
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment agreed to.
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "on any one or more of the following grounds, namely."
My object in moving this is to leave full discretion to the Home Office acting through its Advisory Committee to frame their own grounds of exemption or to inquire if they think fit, according to the view of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee, into each case separately on its merits. I think the House has discussed the matter o fully this afternoon that it is fairly well acquainted with the issue, but I believe that we shall get a more efficient inquiry into these cases if we leave full freedom to the Home Office. We all wish the dangerous aliens excluded, but to secure that we must give the greatest possible elasticity to those police authorities and Advisory Committee who are responsible for the administration of this Clause. This Clause will put an onus on the Home Office to try all cases which have not been specially exempted, and provided we do not tie our hands in this way I do not 1401 think the Clause will do anything but good. Mr. Justice Younger's Committee have reported that no generalisation on grounds of exemption is possible. If the new Committee which is to be appointed disagree with the view of Mr. Justice Younger's Committee there will be nothing in this Clause to prevent them setting up their own categories. As we have been told this afternoon by the hon. Member for West Ham, who is a very strong supporter of this Clause, that he in no way suspects the Home Secretary of undue leniency to enemy aliens, I feel that it is quite safe to leave to his discretion the exact details as to the procedure of this Committee. After all, this is only a transitory provision. It is only the people who are now in the country who are going to be affected. It is probable that the Committee now to be set up by the present Home Secretary will deal with all these cases in a short time, and in the interests of efficiency I hope the. Home Secretary will regain complete freedom and cut out these categories. I also feel that it may be worth the Government's while to accept this, because I am quite certain that if they do so they will go far to meet the misgivings of those of us who have been fighting certain details of this Clause because we believe that, as the Clause now stands, it will tend not to greater efficiency in the control of dangerous aliens, but to greater danger of laxity.
§ Major HILLS
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do not want to repeat arguments that have already been used in this House, but I do appeal with some confidence to hon. Members to ask themselves whether the Clause is stronger with these categories in it. Are you not legislating for a future that you cannot foresee? You give here certain classes who may claim exemption. On those categories certain decisions will be come to, and it seems to me that there is a danger that anybody who comes inside these categories may by that fact be regarded as entitled to exemption. I believe that that is the ultimate effect of setting up these categories. We do not know what is going to happen in the future. We give to the Home Office very great powers of a similar character with regard to people who disturb the peace inside the country, and I do not think it is asking a great deal to extend those powers to aliens. I think the Home Office is 1402 really the proper authority to interpret this Act. I agree entirely that we want to keep out all dangerous aliens, but we cannot at this moment foresee exactly who may be dangerous ten, twenty, or thirty years hence. Do let us leave this-matter to the Home Office, and trust to the great protection of criticism of the Minister in this House. I am sure that if he or any future Home Secretary did not do his duty he would be very soon brought to book.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I hope the House will not accept this Amendment. The House has already voted upon the whole Clause as it stands, and the Whips were taken off, and the House expressed its absolutely free and unfettered opinion. I feel bound, as the Minister in charge of the Bill, to accept the decision of the House, and I look upon that decision as involving essentially this system of categories. It is an essential part of the Clause, and the decision of the House was that what is an essential part of the Clause should remain part of it. Therefore, I must ask the House to reject this Amendment and keep the Clause as it stood. With regard to the rest of the wards Which I propose to leave out, namely, category (a), the reason why, that is left out is that it is provided for is the proposed new definition of "enemy alien."
§ Captain W. BENN
I do not think the Home Secretary's speech really covers the point. The substantial part of the Clause which the House decided to accept was Sub-section (1). The Home Secretary 'himself has said that we are now discussing the question of method. We are agreed as to What we desire to do, namely, to send out of this country all dangerous enemy aliens. The question is, what is the most efficient way in which that end can be achieved? The Home Secretary was very frank. He said that the whole question is a question of method, and that there is no question of principle involved. I have no hesitation in saying that everyone who has had any work to do in connection with Committees on aliens will agree that discretion is the wiser course. That is the opinion of the Home Secretary. That is his considered opinion given to a Committee of this House. When we examine the Amendments that have been put down to this category system we see that it is really unworkable. As a matter 1403 of fact, what it would do would be to exonerate the Home Secretary from what should be his duty, namely, to give a firm and just decision in each case that comes before him. He would be able to shelter himself behind one of these Sub-sections, drawn up now, in a state of experience which cannot fit us to decide what may happen in the future. If hon. Members will look at the categories they will see how everything suggested by the ingenuity of the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir John Butcher) has been modified and changed. The necessity for fifteen years' residence is taken away, although what is the sanctity of the age of seventy years no one can say. Then the provision as to serious illness or permanent infirmity is altered. Then there is an alteration in the provision as to service in the Army or Navy, and paragraph (f) is taken out altogether and other details are introduced. I submit that experience has shown that a system of categories is not an efficient way of going to work, and for that reason I have great pleasure in supporting the Amendment moved by the hon. and gallant Member for Bury St. Edmunds.
§ Major O'NEILL
I feel that I cannot allow this Amendment to pass without a word upon it, although I have already endeavoured to deal with the question of categories. As the House knows, I entirely disapprove of a system of categories such as is set up by this Clause. I realise, and I think the House realises, that although the Home Secretary accepts this principle of categories, he only does so because of the saving Clause which is contained in Sub-section (4). He knows perfectly well, after his experience of administration in the Home Office with regard to aliens, that if these categories had to be rigidly adhered to a state of absurdity would result. If I thought it worth while to suggest Amendments to these particular categories I could do so ad infinitum. For instance, one thing I could suggest would be that there should be added at the end of each of these different Sections the words "and has nothing material against him."
§ Major O'NEILL
I have not seen it, but it seems to be very relevant. As matters stand, it seems to me that you would let 1404 off a man simply because he is seventy years of age, even though he might be a criminal.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
According to the Home Secretary's Amendment, unless the Committee is satisfied by reports from the naval, military, Air Force, or police authorities, the man is not exempt even though he may be seventy years of age.
§ Major O'NEILL
At the same time I should have thought that the addition of those words would be desirable, in order to make it perfectly clear that all these things are subject to a man's having nothing material against him. I think, however, that these categories cannot really be of very great importance, owing to the saving Clause in Sub-section (4), so that I do not think it really makes very much difference whether they are passed or not. The hon. and learned Member for York told us yesterday that these particular categories are the ones which the 1918 Committee acted upon in their deliberations. On that I would merely observe that we were then in a state of war, whereas now we are at peace, and I do not think it reasonable to suggest that categories which were no doubt perfectly suitable for the deliberations of that Committee are suitable for the deliberations of the Committee which is to be set up under this Bill. However, I need not labour the point, having registered my protest.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I am much obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend, who, I gather, will not support this Amendment, but will act upon the advice given by the Home Secretary. I am very glad that the Home Secretary has taken up a strong stand in this matter. The hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn) attributed these categories to my ingenuity. They are not, however, my invention. I wish they had been. They were the product of the experience of some thousands of cases considered by Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee. Mr. Justice Younger was a member of that Committee, and entirely acquiesced in those categories. The reason for having them was this: We had an immense number of cases, and we came to the conclusion that, if we could say that a man came within category (a), (b), (c), or whatever it was, then primâ facie he should be exempted, unless there was some adverse report against him. We reserved to ourselves, 1405 however, a discretion, such as is reserved in this Bill to the new Advisory Committee, in cases where, although a man did not come within any of the categories laid down, there was some special reason for exempting him. The Committee found it to be of the greatest possible help to have those categories and that general power of exemption; they could not have gone on otherwise. For that reason I attach great importance to the giving by this House of directions to any future Advisory Committee that may be set up to consider these matters, and, to giving such Committee the benefit of the experience gained by the Committee over which Mr. Justice Sankey presided with such distinction and ability.
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
The Home Secretary has told us that the reason for leaving out paragraph (a) is that the provision contained in that paragraph is covered by a new definition of "enemy alien."
That part has gone. We are now discussing an Amendment to the words proposed to be inserted.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Am I not in order in arguing that the Amendment ought to contain some words safeguarding these people who have been left out? It does not do so, and is therefore objection-able.
That does not arise at this point. We are discussing whether there shall be categories in the Bill or not.
§ Sir H. NIELD
We have been discussing this question now for the best part of three hours, and a decision has been arrived at after very long speeches, though I frankly confess that I should very much have liked to have been able to take part in that discussion before the Division was taken. The House has come to an emphatic conclusion upon these very categories which form the basis of the objection to the Clause. Are we to have no finality? Have we gone back to the old days of party government, when the desire for office was so keen that it led to the invention of all kinds of ingenuity whereby a Clause might be opposed? My hon. and gallant Friend (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) may keep quiet. He knew nothing about those days, though I think he is trying to bring them back 1406 again. I think, when the House has come to a decision so emphatically, after a Debate which has turned so conclusively upon whether we are to have an Order in Council or to have the categories set forth in the Statute, it might be accepted as final within an hour of its having been given. I protest against this Bill being made the cover of offensive attacks upon those Members who have thought it their duty to take a strong line. I resent the speech of the hon. Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn) with all the force of my being, when he talks about some men going out to fight. One hon. Member, an old colleague of mine, with whom I have fought shoulder to shoulder in this House, was kind enough to inform us that the place for us super-patriots was on the Western Front. Does he stop to realise that while young men like himself had the opportunity of going back to their regiments with which they had been associated in their young manhood, and of taking up commissions and, incidentally and quite properly, taking their military pay, we older super-patriots stayed to give our services to the State from morning to night all during those years of war, and that we have lost those far dearer to us than our own lives? I wish it had never been possible in the Debates in this House to have poured scorn on those who feel deeply on this subject and who have suffered loss as the result of the iniquities of the enemy. Yesterday the Solicitor-General compared 1916 with this time.
The hon. and learned Member is getting rather far away from the purely technical Amendment.
§ Sir H. NIELD
I will not pursue that line of argument, although there is much to be said. When the House has come to a decision after long debate, I do ask that it will not go back upon its decision within an hour of having recorded it. I fail to understand why this aliens' question should arouse all this bitterness. I do sincerely hope that those of us who have suffered as we have suffered may at any rate have the right of expressing our opinions.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment, as amended."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 63.1409
|Division No. 124.]||AYES.||[7.19 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral||Gretton, Colonel John||Murray, William (Dumfries)|
|Ainsworth, Captain C.||Griggs, Sir Peter||Nail, Major Joseph|
|Archdale, Edward M.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)|
|Bagley, Captain E. A.||Hacking, Colonel D. H.||Nicholson, R. (Doncaster)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Hancock, John George||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Hanson, Sir Charles||Oman, C. W. C.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Luton, Beds.)||Palmer, Major G. M. (Jarrow)|
|Banner, Sir J. S. Harmood||Harris, Sir Henry P. (Paddington, S.)||Palmer, Brig.-General G. (Westbury).|
|Barnston, Major H.||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Parker, James|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar (Banff)||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Peel, Lt.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hickman, Brig.-Gen. Thomas E.||Pennefather, De Fonblanque|
|Bell, Lt.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel F.||Percy, Charles|
|Betterton, H. B.||Hinds, John||Perring, William George|
|Birchall, Major J. D.||Hood, Joseph||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Bird, Alfred||Hope, Harry (Stirling)||Pratt, John William|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)||Purchase, H. G.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ramsden, G. T.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Horne, Sir Robert (Hillhead)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Howard, Major S. G.||Rankin, Capt. James S.|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hume-Williams, Sir Wm. Ellis||Rees, Captain J. Tudor (Barnstaple)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R. (Torquay)||Hurd, P. A.||Richardson, Sir Albion (Peekham)|
|Butcher, Sir J. G.||Hurst, Major G. B.||Richardson, Alex. (Gravesend)|
|Campion, Colonel W. R.||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H.||Robinson S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Carew, Charles R. S. (Tiverton)||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York)||Roundell, Lt.-Colonel R. F.|
|Casey, T. W.||Jameson, Major J. G.||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Jophcott, A. R.||Rutherford, Col. Sir J. (Darwen)|
|Cayzer, Major H. R.||Jodrell, N. P.||Samuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Sanders, Colonel Robert Arthur|
|Chadwick, R. Burton||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Scott, A. M. (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone)|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)||Seeger, Sir William|
|Clough, R.||Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Kellaway, Frederick George||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Kerr-Smiley, Major P.||Stonier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Coote, Colin R. (Isle of Ely)||Kidd, James||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cory, Sir James Herbert (Cardiff)||King, Commander Douglas||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Courthope, Major George Loyd||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Starkey, Capt. John Ralph|
|Craig, Captain Charles C. (Antrim)||Knight, Captain E. A.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Croft, Brig.-General Henry Page||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Boner (Glasgow)||Sturrock, J. Leng-|
|Davies, T. (Cirencester)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Dawes. J. A.||Lewis, T. A. (Pontypridd, Glam.)||Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)|
|Denison-Fender, John C.||Lloyd, George Butler||Terrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts)|
|Dixon, Captain H.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Dockrell, Sir M.||Lonsdale, James R.||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Du Pre, Colonel W. B.||Lorden, John William||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (M'y[...]l)|
|Edge, Captain William||Lowe, Sir F. W.||Thorpe, J. H.|
|Eyres-Monseil, Commander||Lyle, C. E. Leonard (Stratford)||Tickler, Thomas George|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||M`Donald, Dr. B. F. P. (Wallasey)||Townley, Maximilian G|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)||Tryon, Major George Clement.|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wallace, J.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Macmaster, Donald||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Waring, Major Walter|
|Forrest, W.||Maddocks, Henry||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C.||Manville, Edward||Whitla, Sir William|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Marriott, John Arthur R.||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Gardiner, J. (Perth)||Mitchell, William Lane||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavletock)|
|Gardner, E. (Berks., Windsor)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir A. C. (Basingstoke)||Moore, Maj.-Gen. Sir Newton J.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Woolcock, W. J. U.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Morrison, H. (Salisbury)||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Goff, Sit R. Park||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir|
|Gould, J. C.||Mosley, Oswald||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Greame, Major P. Lloyd||Mount, William Arthur|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. W. (Hackney, N.)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord E.|
|Grelg, Colonel James William||Murchison, C. K.||Talbot and Captain F. Guest.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Guinness. Lt.-Col. Hon. W. E.(B St.E)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Hallas, E.|
|Bell, James (Ormskirk)||Edwards, C. (Bedwellty)||Hartshorn, V.|
|Benn. Capt. W. (Leith)||Entwistle, Major C. F.||Heyday, A.|
|Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish-||Finney, Samuel||Hayward, Major Evan|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Galbraith, Samuel||Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wisbech)|
|Bramsdon, Sir T.||Glanville. Harold James||Hills, Major J. W. (Durham)|
|Briant, F.||Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)||Hirst, G. H.|
|Brown. J. (Ayr and Bute)||Grundy, T. W.||Johnstone, J.|
|Carter, W. (Mansfield)||Guest, J. (Hemsworth, York.)||Jones, J. (Silvertown)|
|Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander||Royce, William Stapleton||White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Shaw, Hon. A. (Kilmarnock)||Wignall, James|
|Lane-Fox, Major G. R.||Short, A. (Wednesbury)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Loseby, Captain C. E.||Sitch, C. H.||Williams, A. (Consett, Durham)|
|Lunn, William||Smith, Capt. A. (Nelson and colne)||Williams, J. (Gower, Glam.)|
|Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Spencer, George A.||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Murray, Dr. D. (Western Isles)||Spoor, B. G.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Midlothian)||Thomas, Big.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Tootill Robert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Major|
|Robertson, J.||Waterson, A. E.||Mckenzie wood and Mr. Newbould.|
§ Proposed words, as amended, there inserted in the Bill.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), paragraph (b), to leave out the word "seventy," and to insert instead thereof the word "sixty."
According to the categories on which we have just voted, if an applicant is seventy years of age and has been at least fifteen years resident in the United Kingdom, and if he is not otherwise criminal or objectionable, he is not to be deported. I understand that safety is the ground for this Bill. It is excused on the ground of safety of the realm. If a man of seventy is presumably too old to do us any harm, what about the man of sixty-nine? Then we come down to the man of sixty-five. Surely we are not going to have a war with Germany, Bulgaria, or Turkey for five years. Surely we can let off a man of sixty-five. Cannot we go on to the sixties in the same way? After all, a man of sixty is not of fighting age. Those hon. Members who were round the age of sixty said, quite rightly, that they were too old for fighting, though we know that had they been younger they would have fought in the War and remained in the front line for four years, no matter how many times they were gassed and buried in the trenches. Surely the same applies to the alien who is otherwise not objectionable, a friend of this country, and against whom nothing is known. We have won this War. We do not want to make ourselves the laughing-stock of the whole world. Are we afraid of old men of sixty? What will the world think of it? Is it to be said that the British Empire, standing victorious, is afraid of old men of sixty years of age, against whom nothing is known, for fear that they might possibly come and blow up the House of Commons? I do not propose to press this to a Division, but I do think the right hon. Gentleman might accept this small concession. There has been too much talking of planes. I have not used the expression myself. An hon. and learned Member 1410 below the Gangway twitted me yesterday with being one who really loves the Germans. He really does me too much honour. I do not love them; I dislike them intensely. I wish I did love them, because, after all, that was what was taught us at our mothers' knees.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I hope my hon. and gallant Friend will not press this. Everything that was said in favour of sixty years could have been said in favour of fifty.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, in Subsection (3, b), to leave out the words "and has been at least fifteen years resident in the United Kingdom."
It will thus not be necessary for a man of seventy to have been at least fifteen years resident in the United Kingdom. If a man of seventy is harmless, he is probably just as harmless if he has lived here five years as fifteen years. It is really the age that matters.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, in Subsection (3, c), after the word "serious," to insert the words "and permanent."
§ This is purely a drafting Amendment.
§ Captain BENN
Suppose a man be suffering Iron; serious illness which is not permanent, is he protected in any way from deportation?
§ Mr. SHORTT
But we are working in categories, I hope, so long as I am at the Home Office, with common sense and common humanity. The thing is done every day when a deportation Order is made. In that case of serious illness which, I have no doubt, the hon. and 1411 gallant Gentleman has in mind, about which a relative sent a letter, the man has not been deported, although the Order has been made, because he is still in bed, owing to his being unable to move.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In Subsection (3, c) leave out the words "of a permanent nature."—[Mr. Shoat.]
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3, d), to leave out the words "voluntarily enlisted and."
This category provides that where an applicant has one or more sons who voluntarily enlisted in the forces he shall have a licence granted. When the Draft was put into operation in the United States of America, directly the United States came into the War, everyone was made compulsorily to serve, and whole regiments were raised, one of them composed entirely of Germans. When I say Germans, they either went there or were born there, but spoke no English. These men did excellent service, and I am told were as keen and wanted to get on with the War as much as any of the others who fought so gallantly. In our country, as we know, a great many of these aliens have sons who desired to enlist, and voluntarily enlisted, and served, and many were killed and received decorations. But there were others who did not voluntarily enlist, but waited until they were fetched. The young Englishman who waited until he was fetched is not stigmatised. He receives the same decorations and pension, or his widow receives the same pension as others. Why should we make the distinction here? Some might have come of military age after the Military Service Act was passed, because they were too young voluntarily to enlist. Really, I think, this is a case where the parent—probably an aged parent—of a lad who was called up and served, and risked his life fighting for the country he has made his home, might be let off. I am sure if this were put to the people of this country they would say so. If I might appeal to chivalry—and I think this is a case where one might legitimately appeal to chivalry —I say these men should be put in that category.
§ Major McKENZIE WOOD
I beg to second the Amendment. I object to this paragraph altogether on principle, be- 1412 cause I think anyone who has served in His Majesty's Forces ought to get the same treatment as those who have served voluntarily. I do not think this paragraph achieves the object which it sets out to achieve. Its object, as I take it, is to give special treatment to those who have served in the forces, but not against their will. We have had the same test applied in the matter of demobilisation in the last few weeks. It was said in the new Regulations for demobilisation that there was to be separate treatment meted out to those who voluntarily enlisted and those who had enlisted against their will, and we find that has resulted in Derby men, for instance, who tried to enlist a long time ago but were rejected as being unfit, and were later on roped into the forces as conscripts, not getting the benefit that is given to voluntarily enlisted men, although they served in the forces in every way voluntarily and with their own consent. The same can be said of those boys who did not come into the forces until they reached the age of eighteen. Many of them tried to enlist when they were seventeen, and were rejected because they were too young. When they became eighteen they were roped in automatically, but technically they are not voluntarily enlisted men, and as a result their fathers do not get the benefit of their having enlisted voluntarily. A father might have two sons in this category who, although not voluntarily enlisted, had striven to enter the forces and do their bit with the rest. I oppose this paragraph, therefore, because I say it does not effect the object it sets out to achieve, and I hope at any rate the Home Secretary will give a sympathetic hearing to the Amendment.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I think both of my hon. Friends opposite have rather missed the object of this category. It is, that where you are considering the case of a man whose son or sons came forward voluntarily and enlisted, you are justified in saying that that man has given sufficient proof that he is net a dangerous alien and ought not to be deported. The whole point of it is that where you get a voluntary enlistment you get the necessary proof, but the mere coercion involved in the Conscription is no proof of the father's frame of mind at all. Therefore, what we are dealing with in this category is means of proof to satisfy the Secretary of State.
§ Amendment negatived.1413
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (3, d), leave out the words "the British Navy or Army or the Navy or Army," and insert instead thereof the words "His Majesty's Forces or the forces."
§ After the word "Allied," insert the words "or Associated."—[Mr. Shortt.]
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3, e), to leave out the words "lived for at least thirty-five years in this country and."
Where anything is not known against the individual in this case, or he has gone through the test of the two Committees, and has married a British-born wife, is he going to be deported simply because of his nationality? That is the point. He has not been in any way suspected of communication with the enemy. He has passed through the meshes of the Committees, has lived for thirty-five years here, and has married an English girl. There may be cases, as one hon. Gentleman had the temerity to suggest, where a man came here as a spy and deliberately married some girl of a particular character in order to protect himself. But he is got at under the Act already. This suspected man can be dealt with under the Orders in Council, or the Home Secretary has the power to deport him—and he is quite right in doing so. I think, however, where a man is just an ordinary German here, perhaps without any hostile intent at all, and married, as I suggest, on the mere ground of nationality I think he might be left. Are you, simply because of his nationality, going to insist on such a man going back to Germany? If so, you will have many cases such as referred to by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Mid-Antrim yesterday. If we could have had a Division after the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend with the Members present in the House then we undoubtedly would have carried his proposal. Here is a question not of the safety of the country. I have had letters, and I have them in my pocket, I will not harrow the feelings of the House. I got one letter this morning and another yesterday from these unfortunate British women who have been mentioned, asking me to try to do something for their husbands, who had no stain on their character. Of course, there may be another side to this. I do not know I It is not as if these men were in any way dangerous, or if the most careful investigation had not been made, and their full records deposited at the Home Office. We 1414 have been told that they had married English girls, who themselves do not want to go to Germany and who do not want to lose their husbands. They say—Germans, Turks, or Bulgarians—they are good husbands. "He is a good father to my children," says the woman; "let me keep him here." I do not think the Home Secretary can resist this Amendment if he is to live up to the pledges he gave to me in the Grand Committee that on the mere ground of nationality you would not break up a home. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman means to keep to that pledge. I do not think pressure will have been put upon him in a contrary sense. I am sure the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) would not wish that to be done in this case. He would not wish to break some woman's heart.
§ Mr. T. GRIFFITHS
I beg to second the Amendment.
I hope the Home Secretary will accept the Amendment. Let me give an illustration to the Home Secretary to show the effect that this may have upon some people. I know of a German who came to this country. He has three boys. These were brought here when young. They went into a Welsh district to live. The boys were taught the Welsh language, and subsequently they married three Welsh women. The children of these three sons attend church and Non-conformist Sunday Schools. Why should we penalise these children by this Act? Personally, I ought not to support this Amendment, because the family supported the Coalition candidate at the last Election against the Labour candidate. From a political standpoint, therefore, seeing that these people opposed the Labour candidate, I ought not to support this. From the standpoint of justice, however, and from the ordinary traditions of this country I think the Home Secretary ought to accept this Amendment. I want to express my own feelings in this matter. We are receiving invitations to speak in the country on the League of Nations. It ought not to be on the League of Nations, but on the League of Haters if we do not accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I hope my hon. Friends will not press this Amendment. I am proposing to ask the House to change these words by adding "unless there is something serious against them proved to the satisfaction of the authorities." The Bill 1415 does not prevent cases like these put forward being approved by the Committee and the Committee exempting them. The hard cases mentioned by hon. Members are provided for in a subsequent part of the Clause.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (3, e) leave out the word "thirty-five" ["thirty-five years"], and insert instead thereof the word "twenty-five."—[Mr. Shortt.]
Leave out paragraph (f), and insert instead
(f) that the applicant came to reside in the United Kingdom when he was under the age of twelve years;
(g) that the applicant has served in His Majesty's Forces during the War or resided in the United Kingdom for not less than twenty years, and has rendered valuable personal services to this country during the War;
(h) that the applicant is a minister of religion."—[Mr. Shortt.]
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, in Subsection (4), to leave out the word "If" ["(4) If the application"], and insert instead thereof the words "the Committee may also where."
I propose to read how this Clause will run if the House accepts the Amendments I am proposing at present—The Committee may also, where the application for a licence is made on any ground other than one or more of those above specified, if satisfied that owing to the special circumstances of the case, deportation would involve serious hardship to the applicant, or to his wife or children, or injury to any British interest, recommend his exemption as aforesaid.The Amendments with which I follow the present one will, if they are adopted, leave the Clause that I have just read out. I think it covers the whole cases we have heard mentioned of the wife, the children, and the applicant himself, and gives the Committee full power.
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if this proposed amended Clause will meet the cases of hardship which otherwise would be caused by the withdrawal of the original paragraph (a)? There are many aliens in this country who are nominally subjects of Turkey. They may be Greeks from Smyrna or Armenians from Van or elsewhere. They are intensely anti-Turkish and intensely pro-Ally. Paragraph (a) covered their case, but it has been struck out. The definition put down in the name of the hon. and learned Member for York 1416 is to be accepted, as I understand, by the Government. The aliens will, therefore, have to rely for exemption upon Sub-section (4), with which we are now dealing. I think the words "exceptional circumstances" would not cover the cases I am alluding to, because those concerned are a class and not single cases. So far as my judgment goes the word "special" would cover their case. If the Home Secretary will tell me that that is his view of the matter I shall be quite content, and I am sure a great many earnest friends of this country who have had the misfortune to be born subjects of Turkey will be very much relieved and very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. SHORTT
My view is that the word "special" would cover the cases mentioned. I will consider, and if there is any chance that their cases are not covered, I will see that some term is used to cover them. Personally my impression is that these cases are covered by the word "special" and that was one reason for the change which I will propose.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In Subsection (4) leave out the words "the Secretary of State either shall refuse the application or may if he is," and insert instead thereof the word "if."
§ Leave out the word "exceptional" ["exceptional circumstances"], and insert instead thereof the word "special."
§ Leave out the words "of a personal nature on," and insert instead thereof the word "to."—[Mr. Shortt.]
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, to leave out the words "grant him a licence under this Section," and to insert instead thereof the words "or to his wife, or children, or injury to any British interest, recommend his exemption as aforesaid."
I propose this Amendment in place of the one down on the Paper in consequence of the promise I gave to the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill," put, and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."1417
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after the word "or," to insert the words "owing to the special technical knowledge the skill of the applicant would involve."
With regard to the insertion of the words "injury to the wife or children," I thought that provision was already included in the words of the Clause, but if the Home Secretary thinks they are necessary I have no objection. When, however, we come to the word "injury to any British interest" I should like an explanation. Take, for example, some skilled workers employed in chemical works who have special knowledge or aptitude, and it may be very important that the British manufacturers should retain such men in their service, I think it would be only reasonable to retain them under those circumstances. I object to the wideness of this Clause. I know some hon. Members have said that it would involve great injury to British interests to deport any enemy aliens, and the hon. Member for Oxford University said "the more the better, because these Germans are engaged in production," and he asserted even if it throws Britishers out of employment it does not matter. I do not want this Clause to be enlarged in that way, and that is why I have proposed the addition of these words.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I know the hon. and learned Gentleman did mention those words to me, but I have not had an opportunity of really considering them, and if I accept them I hope it will be clearly understood if I afterwards find they are injurious that I shall be at liberty to strike them out in another place.
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment agreed to.
§ Proposed words, as amended, there inserted in the Bill.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (5), to leave out the words "under the age of eighteen."
This Amendment is proposed in order to make the incidence of this Bill less harsh and troublesome. I do not know that that will commend itself to certain Friends of mine, but I think we should bear in mind what we are doing. I do not think that this Bill has been properly 1418 considered, and I hope there will be a few days allowed to pass before we take the Third Reading. I am providing that the licence may be given to the children, even if they are nineteen or twenty years of age. I do not know whether the idea is to punish these Germans by breaking up their families. Are we afraid of these children? Apparently we were afraid of the old men, and now we seem to be afraid of the children. I think in the case of these children we might allow the legal age of twenty-one.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I do not think it is any hardship in these cases for them to go back to Germany under these circumstances. If a child of eighteen has spent most of his life in Germany, and has come over here because he has seen a good job, it is no hardship to send him back to Germany; but if he has lived here all his life, and has ceased really to be a German, then the Committee would grant him exemption, and all that would be necessary would be for him to make an application for himself. That is all the proposal means.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendment made: In Sub-section (6) leave out the words "together with a statement of the special grounds on which it is granted and of the exceptional circumstances (if any) under which it is granted."
At the end of Sub-section (8) insert
(10) The provisions of this Section shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any other provisions of the principal Act or this Act, or any Order in Council made thereunder providing for the deportation of aliens.
(11) The Secretary of State shall appoint an advisory committee for the purpose of this Section consisting of a chairman and such other persons, including Members of both Houses of Parliament, as the Secretary of State thinks fit."—[Mr. Shortt.]
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, after the words last inserted, to add "(12) This Section shall not apply to a woman who was at the time of her marriage a British subject."
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I wish to ask with reference to this Amendment a question in order to relieve the anxiety of certain people who have been frightened by the threats of certain newspapers, or the speeches of hon. Members, to the effect that their children are going to be shipped off to Germany because the mother has married a German. I hope this proposal will have an explanation 1419 from the Home Secretary as to what this Section means, and an to whether these women are going to be separated from their husbands simply because their husbands happen to have been born in Germany. They are British women and their husbands are quite harmless and well-disposed towards this country, but simply through the accident of birth they have been born in Germany. [Laughter.] I notice that the President of the Board of Trade smiles. Perhaps I may be putting my case badly, but I do not see why it should be taken to be a laughing matter. These people are frightened, and they think that their little families are going to be broken up. For these reasons I ask the right hon. Gentleman for some assurance on this point.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I am not quite sure what it is my hon. and gallant Friend wishes me to explain. I do not think we could have anything clearer than the Amendment itself, which says, "This Section shall not apply to a woman who was at the time of her marriage a British subject." I cannot make it any plainer than that. Of course, if she is married to a German who is considered to be a dangerous person, then she must suffer with him.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Ordered, "That further consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned." —[Colonel Son ders]
§ Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), to be further considered Tomorrow.