§ Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [8th June], "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
§ Question again proposed. Debate resumed.
§ Mr. KILEY
In the discussion which took place the other evening on this Bill, I thought it my duty to call the attention of the House to what I regarded as several objectionable features which are contained in the proposal. One of these was the objectionable arrangements which are being made with regard to certain traders who are a very deserving class of the community. They are not to be allowed on any consideration to carry on their business as they have carried it on for a considerable time. If hon. Members will look through the Clauses they will see that pawnbrokers are not to be allowed to receive or to sell or in any way deal in firearms. The butcher, the baker, or the candlestick maker will be perfectly entitled to dispose of these goods, but if a man carries on the occupation of a pawnbroker he will be debarred from doing so. I think this is the first time such a principle has been laid down in a Bill, and the House ought to give more than the usual consideration to a proposal of that kind. There is also a proposal that no person should be allowed to have a firearm without a permit from the police officer of the district. If this Bill had laid down some general principles for the guidance of the police officer, I could have understood it, but I do not think this power should be left to the free and unfettered discretion of a police officer, however able he may be. Some police officers are very capable, some take a long view of their duties and responsibilities, but there may equally be other police officers who are very aggressive and obnoxious and difficult people to get on with, and therefore I object to powers being given to them such as are proposed in this Bill. It is quite true that it is open to an aggrieved person to go to the local Court and contest the action of the police officer, but sitting as I do on the Bench, where one has to decide upon the action of a police officer who, rightly or wrongly, has given his decision that he does not wish the appli- 656 cant to have firearms, I realise that the person would be rather prejudiced in his application. Therefore I feel that if these powers are to be left to a police officer, some general principle should be laid down to which the officer should have to adhere. Power is also given to the Minister to make rules and regulations. During the War that was a very wise and perhaps a very necessary power, but it has not been, in my experience, an altogether satisfactory procedure. These rules can be worked in a way that would, shall I say, meet the needs of the case, but, on the other hand, they are very often passed in haste and issued to officials to administer, and these officials have to interpret the rules, and it is very difficult at times to get a proper view taken of the proposals. Then, the Minister in charge now may take one view of his responsibilities and another Minister following him may take a totally different view. Therefore, if powers of this kind are to be given, rules should be made in the Bill, and it should not be left to the mood of the particular Minister of the day as to what regulations should be made. There is another provision in the Bill which I think may become a serious danger, and that is in reference to the export trade of this country. This is a very important business, and one does not want to put any difficulties in the way of the trade being carried on when a dealer gets a request from our Dominions for firearms, or even shot-guns. A distinction might be drawn between revolvers, which are a dangerous type of firearm, and other varieties. If these proposals were confined to revolvers, or firearms of that type, there would be a good deal to be said for them, but this Bill will apply to others besides those things. It might even affect the little shot-guns which boys use for shooting sparrows. As all these things are embodied in this Bill, it calls, I think, for a particular examination, and I invite the Home Secretary to elaborate a little more what he proposes to do under this Bill. If he does not, I shall feel it my duty to move the rejection of the measure
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
This is a Bill which contains very much more than hon. Members might at first sight suppose. When I first glanced at it I took it to be a Bill to deal with the supposed epidemic of crimes of violence in the country; in fact, when the Home 657 Secretary attempted rather to force it through the House at a late hour the other night, he told us that was practically all there was in the Bill. He did, I admit, say something about the international question, but the impression that his speech left on us was that it was a Bill to deal simply with the case of men who had become used to violence in the War, who have not been able to settle down, who may have been men with criminal propensities and who have got used to carrying firearms and are a menace to the public. However, there is really a great deal more than that. I hope to show the House that as regards the first object, the prevention of an illicit traffic in and the illegal carrying about of lethal weapons, the Bill is unnecessary, and that as regards international control of the traffic in arms which has been referred to by the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley) it does not go far enough, and in these circumstances I do not think the House should give it a Second Reading without far more consideration. With regard to the prevention of persons carrying pistols in England, of course Ireland is put into the Bill, but, as I suppose all hon. Members know, the state of affairs in Ireland is such, unfortunately, that over a great part of the country there is no means of enforcing the King's Writ, and this Bill will not be worth the paper it is written on so far as Ireland is concerned. In England there is in force the Pistols Act. It is a very short Act, almost a one-Clause Act, and it provides, briefly, that no person shall purchase a revolver or pistol or pocket firearm of that description unless he has got a gun licence, and a gun licence must be got from a police officer or from a magistrate. I have heard it said by older Members of this House, very experienced Members, that there is very little need for new legislation. I believe the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Frederick Banbury) will bear me out in this, that there is very little need for half these new Bills, and that all that is necessary is that the old ones should be put in force. If this Pistols Act of 1903, introduced by the Conservative Government of that time, were enforced the evil would very largely disappear. Practically the whole of the Clauses in this Bill dealing with the internal traffic in firearms are covered in the Pistols Act. The Bill now introduced and the Pistols Act contain a Clause 658 which I can only suppose is put in as a jest. That is Clause 4 in this Bill and Clause 5 in the Pistols Act. It forbids a person to sell a revolver to anyone who is drunk or insane. Is it really necessary to put in a Clause like that? Is any man in his sober senses going to sell a pistol to a drunken man or a lunatic?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
My hon. Friend says they would do it for a profit. I have a better opinion of my own countrymen. I do not believe any gunsmith or pawnbroker or dealer in weapons in the land would knowingly sell a weapon to a lunatic or a man in drink, and I consider a Clause like that—I do not know whether this is an example of the Hibernian humour of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced this Bill, or whether he is following the precedent in the Act of the Conservative Government—an affront to the whole of the trade of the country, and quite unnecessary, and I hope it will be struck out in Committee. But there is a much greater principle involved than the mere prevention of discharged convicts having weapons. In the past one of the most jealously guarded rights of the English was that of carrying arms. For long our people fought with great tenacity for the right of carrying the weapon of the day, the sword, and it was only in quite recent times that that was given up. It has been a well-known object of the Central Government in this country to deprive people of their weapons. The most notable and successful case was that of the King's Government in the time of Henry VII., whn he got into his hands the whole of the artillery in England, and by that means was able to overawe and break the power of the great nobles. That is the most successful case in which the Executive has attempted in this country to gather all power into its hands. I do not know whether this Bill is aimed at any such goal as that but, if so, I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that if he deprives private citizens in this country of every sort of weapon they could possibly use, he will not have deprived them of their power, because the great weapon of democracy to-day is not the halberd or the sword or firearms, but the power of withholding their labour. I am sure that the power of withholding 659 his labour is one of which certain Members of our Executive would very much like to deprive him. But it is our last line of defence against tyranny, and it has been successfully used recently, especially in Germany. Under these circumstances I do not think I need press that point any further.
I come to the other point of view, the prevention of free and unrestricted trade in firearms. I do not think that case is any more urgent now than it has been in previous years. I know there have been very sensational cases in the country recently, but we have had this sort of temporary disturbance and panic in years gone by. There was the famous shooting case which culminated in the Sidney Street affair, when the Secretary for War made his first effort at military command after he had left the Army. At that time there was a great outcry in favour of arming the police, and there was a demand for special legislation against the carrying of pistols. But it passed away in time and nothing more happened. Like my hon. friend the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kilby), I very much object to power being given to the police to judge whether a person is fit to have a firearm or not. I hope the Committee will not give such a power to them. Under the original Pistols Act that power was placed in the hands of magistrates in petty sessions, and this giving the right to the police to decide a point of this kind is quite a new development in this country, and is contrary to English practice. In England the police are very respected public servants; on the Continent they are petty officials with tremendous powers, which they use to the full and which are not conducive to the free development of those nations. We do not want that kind of thing here, and I hope that the power will be given, not to the police, but to magistrates at petty sessions, and that there will be no attempt to make police officers petty officials to control the concerns of private people. Any such attempt should be resisted by the House to the utmost. We have here a chance at any rate of stopping one more attempt to set up a petty police bureaucracy in this country.
There is a much more important principle involved in this Bill, one with which 660 the right hon. and learned Gentleman dealt very briefly when he introduced it the other night. He told us the object was to allow the Government to control the traffic in arms. He mentioned a Convention that had sat in Paris. He gave no particulars by which it was possible to trace the body to which he referred, but I assume it was in connection with the League of Nations, and I should like to read out to hon. Members part of Article 8 of the Covenant of the League, as follows:The members of the League agree that the manufacture by private enterprise of munitions and implements of war is open to grave objection. The Council shall advise how the evil effects attendant upon such manufacture can be prevented, due regard being had to the necessities of those members of the League who are not able to manufacture the munitions and implements of war necessary for their safety.That Article was signed by the Signatories to the Covenant. The hon. Member for Whitechapel dealt with the legitimate trade in sporting guns, etc., for the Colonies, and I am inclined to agree with him that that is a trade with which no one wishes to interfere. It will, however, be hampered by this Bill. The trade in munitions of war and weapons generally, however, is a matter to which I wish to draw the attention of hon. Members, so far as it is affected by the Bill. We already have the prohibition in the Covenant of the League of the manufacture by private enterprise of any weapon for the discharge of poison gas and liquid fire, and, therefore, the principle is accepted. I want to know why the Government, acting upon this pious declaration of the Covenant, are not also prohibiting the manufacture by private enterprise in this country of all weapons and munitions of war. They would do a tremendous service to humanity if they would adopt that policy, and I think that probably they could persuade other nations of their goodwill. All nations have goodwill at heart, and if they were approached in the right spirit, they could be induced to collaborate with us in putting an end to this traffic. One of the main causes of war is propaganda by the great armament firms on both sides deliberately encouraged and subsidised. It has been proved, for instance, that Krupps subsidised newspapers in Germany in order to make trouble between that country. Propa- 661 ganda by big armament firms has been one of the most fruitful causes of international misunderstandings which have ended in the terrible tragedy of war. If we had the Government coming down with a Bill to prohibit the private manufacture of and trade in weapons of war, I am sure this House would support them. We have no such proposal here, and I am not sure that this Bill is even aimed at the traffic in arms in various parts of the world. I was once engaged in trying to check the gun running traffic across the Persian Gulf. That traffic could have been checked at its source but for certain diplomatic difficulties raised by foreign countries. We have an opportunity of stopping it now, and I only wish this Bill had been so worded as to cover that particular question. The whole business of the international trade in arms, apart from private enterprise, is one which it is opportune to discuss at this point. I do not know how many wars are going on in Europe which are being waged with weapons supplied by us. The Bolshevik army is liberally supplied with British-manufactured weapons of war.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. and gallant Member must confine his attention to the subject matter of the Bill, which has nothing to do with the supply of arms to the Bolsheviks.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Then I will not mention any particular nation. I submit that the power to make this Bill effective in that direction lies entirely in the hands of the Secretary of State, and I hope he will avail himself of it to the full. I must make one remark, however, with regard to the supply of weapons to youths. Under the Pistols Act of 1903 no person under the age of 18 was allowed to buy a revolver. I have been brought up among firearms all my life. I probably had a gun at as early an age as any Member of this House. I have no particular belief in depriving boys of guns. Still, I do think that no person under the age of 18 should be allowed in these days to buy a pistol. It was laid down in the Pistols Act that anyone of the age of 14 years and one day, boy or girl, could buy a lethal weapon. Young democracy is being educated to-day by means of the cinematograph, and magistrates have frequently declared that certain crimes committed by young people have been due to their seeing similar crimes 662 enacted on the screen. I would prefer to have seen the age raised from 14 to 18. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, with regard to Ireland, the age is raised to 16. In Scotland, England and Wales a boy or girl over 14 can buy a pistol. May I ask why Irish youths are differently treated, and if they only come to years of discretion at a later age than young people in other parts of the United Kingdom? Finally, I would suggest that although this Act is required more in Ireland than in any other part of the Kingdom, it will be utterly useless there. I suppose the right hon. and learned Gentleman will admit that we can no more put this Act into operation in Ireland than we can govern the provinces in which to-day we are totally unable to maintain order. It is a waste of time, therefore, to attempt to apply this Bill to Ireland. For all these reasons, I am afraid, unless the Home Secretary is prepared to give more satisfactory assurances, I shall have to vote against the Motion.
§ Earl WINTERTON
This Bill is very typical of the way in which the Government nowadays manage their business. They invariably lock the stable door after the steed has disappeared. To have been of any use in Ireland, the Bill should have been introduced 18 months ago, and, so far as the present situation in that country is concerned, I do not believe the Bill will have the slightest effect. The Home Secretary knows perfectly well that the ordinary law in Ireland does not run there now. I do not agree with the hon. Gentlemen who have spoken to-day. This is not a bad little Bill, and I can understand why anyone holding the view which those two hon. Members, and those who act with them, entertain would object to it very strongly.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I will proceed to explain why, and will take what the hon. and gallant Gentleman himself has said. He holds the most extraordinary theories of constitutional history and law. His idea is that the State is an aggressive body, which is endeavouring to deprive the private individual of the weapons which Heaven has given into his hands to fight against the State. He told us he was sorry to say that, in the reign of Henry VII, the then Government succeeded in 663 disarming a large portion of the population. Holding those views, and believing that it is desirable or legitimate or justifiable for private individuals to arm themselves, with, as far as I understand his remarks, the ultimate intention of using their arms against the forces of the State, he objects to this Bill. There are other people who hold those views in this country, and it is because of the existence of people of that type that the Government has introduced this Bill, but has introduced it, as I have said, much too late.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I do not think the Noble Lord wishes to misrepresent me, and therefore I am sure he will forgive me for interrupting him. Surely he understands that the very foundation of the liberty of the subject in this country is that he can, if driven to do so, resist, and I hope he will always be able to resist. You can only govern with the consent of the people.
§ Earl WINTERTON
That would involve a long constitutional argument which would be out of order on this Bill, but I will put this point through you, Mr. Speaker, to the hon. and gallant Member. I say it is intolerable that, at this time, such a doctrine should be preached in this House as that it is desirable that people should arm themselves against the State. And, even when it is from the hon. and gallant Member that such an argument proceeds, I say it is a kind of argument calculated to do the gravest injury in the country. I am quite sure that the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley), at any rate, would not agree with that argument, although he opposes the Bill. He opposes the Bill on other lines. I feel sure that there are very few hon. Gentlemen in this House who would support the argument put forward by the hon. and gallant Member.
This is a Bill of considerable importance, and I am very glad that the Government has introduced it, even at this late hour, and that they propose to strengthen the powers possessed by the Home Secretary with regard to the possession of firearms by criminals, persons of weak intellect, and persons ill-disposed against the State. As the law stands at present, there is far, too much opportunity for all of those three classes of people to avail themselves of firearms. It is per- 664 tinent to the consideration of this subject to point out that it is desirable that the Home Secretary should be armed with greater powers than he possesses at the present time, for the purpose of carrying out his function of securing the internal safety of the realm. It would be out of order on this Bill to do more than mention the fact that the powers of the Home Secretary in this country are very much less wide than those of the corresponding Ministers in continental countries, and even in the United States of America. He has not, for example, any power over a great portion of the police forces of this country. The Minister of the Interior in France, on the other hand, controls the police in practically every county in the country. It is, therefore, desirable, in these very difficult times, that the Minister responsible for the internal security of the country should be armed with the powers necessary to enable him to deal with the situation with which he is likely to be faced. Unquestionably, since the War, there are far more people in this and every other country than there were before the War, who not only know how to use firearms, but who, as the result of their War experience, and of the small value necessarily placed upon life during the War, are prepared to use those firearms against the State and its officers. That has been proved, not only by the number of acts of a criminal nature which have been committed since the Armistice, but by the threats of violence which have proceeded from potential criminals of a political type. Before the War, the majority of the people in this country had almost forgotten that there were such things as firearms, and it was not necessary that the Home Secretary or the police should possess the powers which are necessary to-day. I recollect that, at the time of the Sidney Street outrage, which was referred to by the hon. and gallant Member, it came out by means of question and answer in this House that the Metropolitan Police were unprovided with firearms and were uninstructed in their use. That was simply because the average criminal in those days did not possess firearms, and shooting by criminals was an exceedingly rare occurrence. That, however, is not the case to-day. One constantly reads in England, Scotland and Wales of criminals using firearms against the police. While no one suggests that any attempt at armed in- 665 surrection is likely on the part of the great mass of the people of this country, it is desirable to prevent political criminals who wish to overthrow the State by violent means from being able to obtain firearms—
§ Earl WINTERTON
—and to arm the Home Secretary with larger and wider powers than he possesses at the present time. It is well known that there is, at any rate, a proportion of persons in this country who are prepared to use illegal weapons against the State and its officers for political reasons. They are entirely lacking in physical courage, as is proved by the fact that they were conscientious objectors during the War, but it is desirable to be prepared for them as well. The hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) on Tuesday night made a most extraordinary statement. He said:I am only pointing out that this is a Bill in which, I think, the Home Secretary wants to deal with the misuse of firearms—the prevention, for instance, of a desperate criminal having access to arms, so that he can provide himself with a means of offence against peaceful citizens—and there is the bigger question which must arise on a Bill of this sort, namely, the political aspect"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th June, 1920; Col. 365, Vol. 130."]Later on he said that the Act might have a political effect. Those are very strange words to fall from the lips of a member of the party to which the hon. Gentleman belongs. I should be very sorry to think that he or his party held the view that the use of firearms in any way could possibly have a political aspect. The only meaning, if there is any, to be attached to his words was that firearms might be used for political purposes, or that the State, in depriving people of the use of them, would be doing it for political purposes.
§ Earl WINTERTON
That does not arise on this Bill. If it did, I could give the hon. and gallant Gentleman a very much better answer than he would be prepared for, and I could make a better case than he makes when he opposes this Bill. As one who supports the Second Reading of this Bill, I would suggest to the Government one or two respects in which it 666 might even be strengthened, and thereby carry out more efficiently the purposes which the Government have in mind. For example, Clause 8 deals with the removal of firearms or ammunition from one place to another in the United Kingdom or for export, and it says that the Secretary of State may prohibit their removal or export unless it is authorised by the Chief Officer of Police of the district from which they are to be removed. I do not see that it is necessary to weaken the powers of the Home Secretary, and I should be glad if it could be indicated, in the reply on behalf of the Government, why it is necessary to weaken his powers by making the matter dependent upon what may be done by the local police. The central executive authority should have full power, in view of the times in which we live, to prohibit the removal of firearms and ammunition. The House will realise that that only refers to the rifles and other arms coming under this Bill, and not to ordinary shot-guns. With regard to the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull on the manufacture and export of munitions of war, I think he would find that there are many on this side of the House who would be disposed to agree with him that the time has come when the question whether the manufacture of munitions of war in, and their export from, this country should be allowed, is a question which should be most earnestly considered by the Government. It would not be in order to deal with it in full on this Bill, but I rather wish the Government had taken wider powers in that respect. I can see no moral justification for permitting big armament firms in this country to export arms at the present time, and I wish there was a Clause in the Bill which made it more difficult for them to do so. I want to put another point to the Government in the hope that they will put down an Amendment in Committee. Clause 12, which is referred to as the saving Clause, and deals with the case of antique firearms and of firearms which are in the nature of War relics, says at the commencement:Nothing in this Act relating to firearms shall apply to an antique firearm which is sold, bought, carried or possessed as a curiosity of ornament.I do not want to deal with what is partly a Committee point, but I hope that before the Committee stage the Government will 667 put down an Amendment making those words a little clearer, because I think they will be very difficult to interpret, and may lead to litigation. I never knew such a term as "antique firearm" to occur in an Act of Parliament, and I suggest that it might be qualified by means of an Amendment to the effect that it should be something which is not capable of being used with modern ammunition, or something of that sort. The provisions that relate to firearms as trophies of war are, I think, quite satisfactory and sufficiently wide, but I am bound to confess that there seems to me to be one rather serious mistake in the Bill. In Clause 11 the following words are used:Provided that a smooth bore shot-gun or air-gun and ammunition therefor shall not in Great Britain be deemed to be a firearm and ammunition for the purpose of the provisions of this Act other than those relating to the removal of firearms and ammunition from one place to another or for export.5.0 P.M.
The effect of those words is to bring within the scope of the Act a sporting gun or an air-gun such as is used by children. I suggest that the Government might consider also whether the small rifles which are popularly known as rook or rabbit rifles might not be excluded. A point also arises about the sporting rifles used in Scotland by a comparatively small proportion of the population, which is not very popular in the estimation of many hon. Members of this House. I presume the Government does not wish to prohibit or make more difficult the use of sporting rifles for deer-stalking, and I venture to think they might find some form of words to exclude them, while at the same time carrying out the object of the Bill, which is to prevent the use of and trade in ordinary rifles. Possibly it may be somewhat difficult to carry out that suggestion, because there is the question of the ammunition being the same, but I hope it may be found to be possible. Another point which was raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull was the age at which firearms could be used. The Pistols Act of 1903 is repealed; and under that Act there are in Scotland, in England, and I think in Wales varying ages below which a boy is not allowed to have a pistol. I think 18 is quite young enough for any boy in any part of the United Kingdom to be provided with firearms within the meaning of the Act, 668 although he can have a shot-gun or air-gun before that. One views with some alarm the increase of the use of revolvers by youths. The age might well be made 18. Clause 14 deals with the unlawful Drilling Act, which was brought in soon after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in consequence of the large bodies of persons in various parts of the country engaged in military evolutions and drill for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of the day. The Act was passed in a hurry through both Houses of Parliament to deal with that, and it enables the Lieutenant and two justices of the peace of a county to prohibit people coming together for the purpose of training and drilling and the use of arms. Clause 14 proposes to give the power at present exercised by two justices and the Lieutenant to the Secretary of State. I think that is quite right, but at all events the Unlawful Drilling Act has been in abeyance for the last ten years. It was certainly in operation in the case of the Ulster volunteers and the Sinn Fein volunteers.
§ Earl WINTERTON
It is true there have been prosecutions under the Act, but it is in abeyance in this way, that it has never been properly carried out. In this country there have been cases in our history when persons have assembled together for an illegal act, and have never been interfered with at all.
§ Captain BENN
I did not mean that the Act was effective. What I meant by shaking my head was that the Government in Ireland do not act under that Act, but under the Defence of the Realm Act.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I said "in operation" when I should have said "in effect." I agree that the Act is in operation, but it has not been effective It is true that they do not act under its terms, and I regret that they do not. They might have made more extended use of those terms. I think this is rather an important Clause. It is merely another example of what good the Bill will do, because it will put greater powers into the hands of the executive officer responsible for the internal security of the country. While I have no doubt that some other hon. Members, for the same 669 reason that the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) put forward, may oppose the Bill, I shall be very glad that it has been introduced. My only regret is that it was not introduced some time ago. The only people who will have reason to fear its operation are the aiders, abettors and participants in crime and disorder in this country or in Ireland.
§ Captain BOWYER
I should like to call attention to one or two features which will be of interest, especially from the point of view of the traders, who in the Bill are called "firearm dealers." As regards exports I should like to ask whether it is not a fact that Clause 1, Sub-section (1), makes it absolutely impossible to export arms at all in that the purchaser has got to have a certificate. Moreover, looking at the transactions which will occur from the seller's point of view, is it not a fact that the seller has to exact from the purchaser his signature in a book? If that is the case it makes it physically impossible for anyone outside this country to buy arms or ammunition. It puzzles me enormously because the first words of Clause 8 expressly give the Home Secretary power to prohibit the export of arms, and I thought my reading of it must be mistaken. Another point which will interest the traders very much is that there is no differentiation, as far as I can see, between the big wholesale manufacturer and the small retail dealer. The case of a man with a shop in the Strand and the wholesale manufacturer cannot be judged pari passu; a distinction must be made; and in the Bill both are dealt with as being firearm dealers, and certain things, such as a daily return of ammunition, are called for from the wholesale manufacturer, which it is impossible for him to comply with. I do not know whether the House realises that if my reading of this is correct Clause 2, Sub-section (3)—I do not say that it is a bad thing and that it should not be thoroughly supported—absolutely localises any dealer's chance of dealing, because it says:Every person who manufactures or sells firearms shall provide and keep a register of transactions and shall enter or cause to be entered therein the particulars set forth in the Second Schedule to this Act, and in the case of a sale shall require the purchaser, if not known to him, to furnish particulars and to sign his name and address in the said register.670 Surely that means that if I have a shop in Birmingham, I can only deal with people who come to Birmingham. I do not want the right hon. Gentleman to think I have a shop anywhere, nor am I, unfortunately, connected with the trade. But it strikes me that the result in this case is absolutely to localise the trade of the retailer, and possibly of the wholesaler too; I do not know, but I should be glad to know whether it is not putting upon the retailer rather an anxious task, if he has got to say to any customer who writes to him, "No, I cannot supply you because you must come and let me see whether I know you." Of course, the answer to this may be that under Clause 1, Sub-section (1) if a person has a certificate and sends it by post, and the dealer recognises the name as one with which he is familiar, the journey is unnecessary, but apart from that there is a certain uncertainty, and I shall be very glad to hear what the right hon. Gentleman has to say about it. These are Committee points, but if he can say whether there is any substance in any of them, or that I have grossly misread the Bill, I shall be obliged.
The Government has adopted in regard to the last two important measures before the House, a very conciliatory attitude. On the Agriculture Bill, the Minister in charge said they were open to give in Committee the most generous consideration to Amendments which might be put forward. The same thing is said with regard to the Gas Regulation Bill. I hope we may have a similar assurance from the Minister in charge of this Bill. The Noble Lord (Earl Winterton) raised a very interesting point, and opened up a fairly wide avenue in a perhaps rather academic Debate, as to the limits of resistance to the State, which were in order. I hope it will not be altogether disagreeable to him to learn that, I think, on this side of the House, we are in very much more agreement with him than perhaps he believes. There could be nothing more dangerous at the present time, or indeed at any time, than to lead the people of the country to believe that their method of redress was in the direction of armed resistance to the State. The time for that has gone. We have in our methods of election, in our access to Parliament, and in other ways, means of redress against the action of the State which in times past were not afforded, 671 and some of us, looking back into history, may believe it was because at one time people were able to carry weapons and use them against the State that we are in the happy position in which we find ourselves to-day. When coming to the House I sometimes pass what I think is the finest statue in London, that to Oliver Cromwell, which stands outside the House. We certainly owe much of our liberty to-day, and the fact that we do not need, and I hope never will need, to resort to armed resistance, to the fact that some 200 or 300 years ago there were people who found it necessary to take up arms against the State. But when all is said and done, there is also agreement between the two sides of the House that the State may act in a very aggressive way. Perhaps in this quarter of the House we are more sensitive to aggression made upon life and limb and liberty than in other quarters of the House, and in other quarters the greatest sensitiveness is shown when the State makes aggression upon forms of property. In both cases, the House is agreed that there should be a remedy against the action of the State, and that the proper remedy is afforded by access to the Courts. That is a matter upon which there will be unanimous agreement on both sides of the House. Whenever the Executive tends to aggression, whether it be against life and liberty or against property, I think the feeling of the House is that the subject should have free appeal to the Courts, and I am quite sure the noble Lord will agree that nothing should be done to bar the subject from that redress, and it is by giving him opportunity through Parliament and through the Courts to find redress that we shall most effectively turn his attention away from using weapons.
That being so, we are bound to scrutinise carefully, and perhaps more particularly in a Bill of this kind, any Clauses which would remove from the subject that means of redress, and it is in that respect that I think the portions of the Bill which affect Ireland should be particularly scrutinised. Perhaps we have some little ground of complaint of a certain lack of frankness on the part of the Secretary of State when he introduced the Bill. It was opened up to us as one which dealt with criminals and with the export of arms, but nothing was said of its relation to the present situation in Ireland. 672 In view of the circumstances under which the Bill was brought forward, that matter should have been introduced and spoken of. I admit it was at a late hour in the evening, and the right hon. Gentleman probably wanted to get through his job. I am not making any very serious complaint; I am merely pointing out that introducing Bills at that late hour and putting them through under such pressure is likely to lead to lack of apprehension of what very serious issues may be involved.
With regard to that portion of the Bill which really deals with criminal conduct it is not surprising that at the end of a great war we should need some legislation of that kind. The last Bill—the Pistols Act—was introduced in 1903 after the South African War, and arose out of the necessities of the time. After any great war there is a certain callousness with regard to life that needs to be dealt with, and in so far as this Bill merely extends the Act of 1903, bringing not only pistols and revolvers but other firearms within its scope, the whole House is, I think, willing to support the right hon. Gentleman. With regard to the very much more important part of the Bill which deals with the manufacture, sale and export, not only of firearms but also of weapons referred to in Clause 6, weapons "designed for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing," that also is a provision which will be welcomed by the whole House. Anything the Government does to carry out either the particular convention that has been referred to, or to proceed in the direction of disarmament, or the control of the manufacture and sale of arms and munitions, will be entirely supported from this side of the House. I hope that in the passage of the Bill through Committee the Government will be prepared to extend that section of the Bill and make this a really comprehensive and effective measure. It is a Bill which is dealing fairly, comprehensively and effectively with the sale to individuals, and we should like to see it deal just as effectively with the manufacture and sale to countries, and if the Government will extend these provisions in that direction the extension will be welcomed by the whole House. There is a very useful provision in the first part of the Bill dealing with the sale of arms to individuals 673 under which it is necessary to keep a register showing the sales that have been made, and in which the nature of the transaction is set down, and particulars of the person to whom the sale is made. It would be useful to have a similar provision in the second part of the Bill dealing with the export of arms and munitions in a wholesale kind of way, so that we might really know the destination of arms and ammunition which leave this country, particularly under the present circumstances, when there appears to be a good deal of confusion as to whether we are supplying arms and munitions to places abroad.
I wish to draw particular attention to those Clauses of the Bill which deal with Ireland, because we are now making a piece of permanent legislation. If the condition of Ireland had been the same as this country—and all of us only wish it were so—it might have been sufficient merely to extend the operation of the Pistols Act of 1903 to Ireland, but I do not think anyone is prepared to deny that some kind of exceptional kind of legislation with regard to firearms is necessary in Ireland. But such exceptional legislation ought not to be embodied in a permanent Statute. This Bill is not for an emergency, but is a Bill which will remain for a very considerable time. The proper course for the Government to take would be not to embody exceptional and emergency legislation in this Bill. If they want special powers to deal with Ireland, they should have dealt with it in a separate Bill. We cannot at present stress too much the importance of doing nothing further to irritate and aggravate the condition of things in that unhappy country. We are in the extraordinary position of carrying on a kind of civil war there, and at the same time passing a measure of self-government. It appears to me that when the people of Ireland see the provisions—if they ever do see them, or if they trouble to notice them—they will see in them a further grievance and a fresh source of irritation, that a distinction has been made between that country and this in permanent legislation. In this country the powers of search can only be exercised on the warrant of a Justice of the Peace. It may well be that in Ireland, at present, it would not be possible to rely on a provision of that kind; but one would 674 have thought, at least, that the warrant of search should have been granted by a resident magistrate. But this Bill goes even beyond that, and the authority to issue the warrant is placed in the hands of the chief officer of the police. It cannot be that the discretion of the resident magistrate is impugned by this provision, and it seems to me the Government might have placed the power in his hands. Then the power given in Ireland to the ordinary constable appears to be extremely drastic. Clause 9 says:Any constable may demand from any person whom he has reason to believe to be in possession of, or to be using or carrying, a firearm or ammunition (except in circumstances where the possession, using, or carrying a firearm or ammunition without a firearm certificate does not constitute an offence) the production of his firearm certificate.That is the first step. The constable thinking that anyone has a firearm in his possession can demand to see his certificate. If the person fails to produce it, then the constable may require him to declare his name and address. If he refuses, or if the constable suspects him of giving a false name, then the constable may apprehend him without a warrant.
It is in Clause 16 that perhaps the most serious distinction is made between Ireland and this country. It is a distinction which brings me back to the argument that if we are to prevent the possible resort to firearms, if we are going to take away these primitive weapons—which I should have thought we might long ago have dispensed with—we must leave people with the more efficient weapon which the course of civilisation has brought into existence, that is, the right of access to the courts. In the Section dealing with Ireland we find that in Sub-section (7) the provisions as to appeals shall not apply, that is to say, that, in this permanent legislation applying to Ireland, while in Great Britain the right of appeal is given, in Ireland it is taken away. That is a point the Government would do well to consider in Committee. If they would remove that, and one or two other distinctions which have been made, I feel sure they might rely on having generally the full support of this House.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I want to ask my hon. and gallant Friend (Mayor Baird) one or two questions with regard to Clause 2. In Sub-section (2) it is stated: 675A pawnbroker shall not take in pawn a firearm or ammunition from any person, or sell a firearm or ammunition to any person, and a pawnbroker shall not be registered as a firearms dealer under this Act.And then there are provisions dealing, rightly I think, with cases where before the passing of this Bill into law, a pawnbroker has taken arms in pawn. I quite see the object of preventing a pawnbroker taking firearms in pawn, but I do not see the object of preventing him being registered as a firearms' dealer. The pawn broker is a more or less responsible person well known to the police—I do not mean in a wrong sense—but his business and his shop are there, and the police know what is going on. It seems to me a little extraordinary that he should not be allowed to be registered. The House, I am sure, does not want it in any way to put unnecessary restrictions on trade. Then I would like to ask a question with regard to Sub-sections (6) and (7) of the same Clause. Sub-section (6) says:Every person who sells a firearm or ammunition shall comply with any instructions addressed to the seller contained in the firearm certificate produced by the purchaser.Supposing I am a manufacturer in Birmingham and I have an order from Japan or China, or any other country not at war with us, for so many thousand rifles—it would be impossible for me to obtain from them instructions addressed to the purchaser by the Government, and it would be impossible for them to produce a firearms' certificate. Therefore it looks to me—I am sure it must be unintentional—as if this Bill would stop the export trade in arms. At the present moment we do not want to stop trade if we can possibly avoid it. All the energies of the Government should be devoted to encouraging trade and especially export trade. We hear sometimes a good deal about the exchanges and standardising the exchange. The only way to standardise the exchange is to sell something to foreign countries and receive something in return, and if we are able to export arms I think care should be taken that we do not interfere by this Bill with any export trade that may be carried on.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Major Baird)
The points which have been raised are mostly Committee points, which it will be impossible for me to deal with at this stage. One or two questions, 676 however, have been raised, to which a reply will be expected. With regard to the question of pawnbrokers, it is no use ignoring the fact that the object of this Bill is to restrict dealings in arms. It would be impossible to administer this Bill if the pawnbroker is allowed to deal in arms, which is not his normal business, and if he is not entitled to accept arms in pawn, the distinction would be very difficult to draw. If you really mean to restrict the use of arms, then this provision is necessary.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Do I understand that the Clause prevents the pawnbroker taking in pawn any arms or ammunition, and does it mean that he could get over that by saying, "I will purchase your arms outright," and thus evade the provisions of this Bill?
§ Major BAIRD
The meaning is, that certain people shall be authorised to deal in arms, and pawnbrokers shall not be amongst them. Circumstances would arise in connection with people against whom this Bill is directed, when it may be convenient for them to divest themselves of arms, and they will do it through a pawnbroker. If the pawnbroker says, "I will buy them," then the object of the Bill would be defeated. The whole object of this Bill is to restrict dealings in arms. If we do not have this Bill, then we shall have to fall back upon the legislation passed before the war, which in practice was found to be inadequate. There was the Gun Licence Act of 1870, under which anybody could go into a Post Office, buy a licence, and then go and buy a firearm.
The Pistols Act of 1903 in relation to a weapon having a barrel not exceeding nine inches in length prevented it being sold to people under eighteen years of age, but anybody over eighteen years of age with a gun licence could purchase any number of pistols, and a weapon with a barrel slightly longer than nine inches did not come within the Act. During the War we had powers under Regulation 40 B of the Defence of the Realm Act, which enabled us to deal with the situation, but that power comes to an end at the end of August, and unless this measure is passed we shall have to fall back upon the two Acts I have mentioned. This Bill follows generally the lines of a Bill drafted after considerable discussion with arms manufacturers in 1911, and I am sure they are the last people who are 677 desirous to lead to trouble or difficulties by any abuse of their business, and they are prepared to submit to reasonable restrictions.
Since then there has been a still further reason for bringing in this Bill, and that is in connection with the Convention signed in Paris on the 10th September, 1919. It is a convention for the control of the trade in arms and ammunition signed by the representatives of the United States of America, Belgium, Bolivia, the British Empire, China, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Greece, and so on, and it includes practically the countries of the civilised world, who have undertaken to restrict the sale of weapons as far as they can. It applies particularly to the case which the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) referred to, namely, the sale of arms in the Persian Gulf and on the Somali Coast and Arabia, and there is a whole schedule of the places to which the Signatory Powers agree not to export arms. With a view to giving effect to these decisions and the obligations which we have undertaken mutually, it is necessary that we should exercise the control that this Bill provides.
§ Earl WINTERTON
What the hon. and gallant Member has just said is rather important. May I ask how have we exercised control up to now, and have firearms been going to those countries meanwhile?
§ Major BAIRD
Up to now we have exercised control under the Defence of the Realm Act. These powers are not as complete as they should be, and this question has to be dealt with internationally. The hon. and gallant Member himself knows how disagreeable it is to be shot at by weapons supplied by your own fellow countrymen in the area of the Persian Gulf, and that is what we wish to discourage. With a view to assisting in that direction we ask the House to accept this Bill.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Am I right in assuming that it is not the intention of the Government to prohibit in certain countries the wholesale export of arms?
§ Major BAIRD
We are bound by that Convention. Section 1 of Article 6 of the Convention describes the countries affected, and, roughly, they are the whole 678 of the Continent of Africa, with the exception of Algeria, Libya and the Union of South Africa, Transcaucasia, Persia, Gwadar, the Arabian Peninsula and a maritime zone, including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. That is by no means an exhaustive list, but it describes the areas where it is quite superfluous that we should supply weapons.
§ Major BAIRD
I am not prepared to say now, but I will look it up in the Convention. That is the general purpose of the Bill which aims to give effect to the Convention. As regards the details, I trust the House will not think me discourteous if I invite hon. Members to leave the details of these matters to be thrashed out in Committee. We have been in consultation with the arms manufacturers and the Gunmakers' Association, and we have been able to meet their views to a very large extent, although not in every respect. After all, they are the people who will suffer. I do not think anybody will have any pity whatever for the man who finds it impossible to show good reasons for requiring a weapon, and if a man cannot do that, it is not desirable that he should possess one. It is not left entirely to the discretion of the police. If hon. Members will look at Sub-section (4) of Clause 1, they will find that it is provided that:(4) Any person aggrieved by a refusal of a chief officer of police to grant him a firearm certificate may appeal in accordance with rules made by the Lord Chancellor to a court of summary jurisdiction acting for the petty sessional division in which the applicant resides.Subject to alterations of details which may be properly dealt with in Committee, I invite the House to consent to the Government having this stage of the Bill now, and I can only repeat the assurance given by my right hon. Friend in moving the Second Reading, that we shall be prepared to consider most favourably any Amendments which may be brought forward.
§ Major BAIRD
A man cannot get any weapon of any sort or kind unless he is above that age, and he is a fit and proper person. No doubt, many of us may have relatives we might wish to encourage to use guns under the age of eighteen. I do not think, however, that we are entitled to alter the whole system when we know that, under proper restrictions, there really is no danger. The whole object of this Bill is to safeguard both ourselves and our friends from the misuse of weapons which can be traced to insufficient control. If the House will consent to the Government obtaining the powers we ask for under this Bill, then we feel that we shall be able to properly control this matter.
§ Captain BENN
I feel very much relieved by what the hon. and gallant Member has told us. As far as this Bill regulates the possession of arms by civilians we are in sympathy with it, but some of us take an interest in this matter from a rather wider standpoint than safeguarding those who wish to use shot-guns and start their sport at an early age. I think the hon. and gallant Member is devoting too much attention to that part instead of the more wider aspect of this subject. He says that the Government up to now have been acting under the Defence of the Realm Act, and he made the rather surprising statement that their powers come to an end on the 31st August.
§ Major BAIRD
Regulation 40B certainly does not come to an end on August 31st, and if the hon. and gallant Member had been present at the Committe upstairs he would have recollected that point.
§ Captain BENN
I recollect the Debate very well. The Home Office make regulations under 40B, and my recollection is that the powers under the Defence of the Realm Act lay down that those powers do not cease until the War ceases, and the War does not cease until the last treaty has been ratified. That may be many months or years hence. If the Under-Secretary's statement is correct, it would apply not only to 40B, but to the whole of the Act. Some powers I know are contingent. If the general 680 powers cease on 31st August, it would be a very great relief to many people in this country. We take a particular interest in the application of this Bill to the general sale and distribution of arms by private manufacturers. It raises an important general issue. We understand that in the signing of the Peace Treaty the parties concerned made an international arms agreement, and decided on a mutual abnegation of the right to sell arms in various uncivilised parts of the world. I do not know whether that arrangement is applicable. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has read out the names of some countries concerned. One country which he omitted was Abyssinia, and another was Africa generally with the exception of South Africa. That point does not matter very much, but I understand, any way, that there is this International Convention which prevents the parties thereto from selling arms to the natives. That is a very proper and right thing. Under one of the Articles of the Covenant of the League of Nations the members of the League agree that the manufacture by private enterprise of munitions and implements of war is open to grave objection, and it is provided that the Council shall advise how the evil effects attendant upon such manufacture can be prevented, due regard being had to the necessity of members who are not able to manufacture for themselves. If that means what I take it to mean it involves for each of the parties the necessity of legislation in the several countries for the suppression of the private manufacture and export of arms. We should have liked to have seen in this Bill, not merely a number of regulations, but some serious effort to implement the solemn convention of this country with other countries under the Covenant of the League.
Clause 6 of the Bill provides that no person shall have a weapon designed for the discharge of obnoxious liquid gas. That, I presume, means poison gas and things of that kind. The Clause contains the words "unless by permission of the Army Council." Is it intended to retain poison gas as a permanent part—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
That is a long way from the present Bill. The Minister could not answer that.
§ Captain BENN
The Army Council and the Air Council and the Admiralty are 681 the Departments referred to in the Bill. They are able under Clause 6 to grant people permission to have weapons. It would be interesting to know how they intend to exercise that power and what their policy is with regard to such weapons. Particularly is that important in regard to the private manufacture and distribution of arms. Clause 8 of the Bill provides that export from the United Kingdom may be prohibited by Order of a Secretary of State. The Under-Secretary made a statement the accuracy of which, with all respect, I would ask leave to question. He was asked under what power the export of arms was prohibited hitherto. The Under-Secretary replied that the prohibition was under D.O.R.A., and that that Act came to an end very shortly. If my recollection is correct, it is not under D.O.R.A. that the import and export of arms are regulated. Import is regulated under the Customs Consolidation Act, under which the Government specifically has power to control such import. It is not necessary, therefore, to have a Bill for that. The export of arms and of all goods is regulated at present, not under D.O.R.A., but by the exercise of the prerogative. Personally, I think that that is an extremely objectionable way to interfere with trade. I have repeatedly asked the Government, and have been told that the prerogative does cover interference with the export trade in arms. It seems to me that the right hon. Member for the City of London was quite right in saying that it was not necessary to have this Section to prohibit the export of arms. I repeat that we should have liked to have seen in this Bill a much more serious attempt made to make good the pledges in the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Another point I want to mention is in regard to Ireland. This Bill is another step, if only a small step, towards divorcing the administration of the law in Ireland from the popular sentiment of that country. Under the Unlawful Drilling Act of 1819, all drilling is made illegal. It has not to be proclaimed; it is simply made illegal. To become legal it has to be authorised by the Lord Lieutenant and two Justices of the county. There is there some source of local sanction; people in the district concerned are the people called upon to 682 judge whether or not the procedure is proper. Of course, the Government is not acting under that Act now in Ireland. It has greater powers. Under this Bill the power is exercisable, not by the Lord Lieutenant and two Justices, but by "a Secretary of State." It may be a point on which I am misled by the phraseology. Does that mean by any Secretary of State? Does it mean the Home Secretary, or, say, the First Lord of the Admiralty?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt)
The First Lord of the Admiralty is not a Secretary of State. If the Home Secretary be not available, it means any other Secretary of State.
§ Captain BENN
Clause 16 of the Bill, which is the application to Ireland, provides that "a reference to the Chief Secretary shall be substituted for any reference to a Secretary of State." So in place of the slender local sanction and approval which was afforded by the assent of the Lord Lieutenant and two Justices of the county under the Act of 1819, the power now passes to the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. We find also that the certificate which is granted for three years in this country is to be granted for only one year in Ireland; and that whereas at 14 a boy can have a shot-gun in this country he cannot have one until he is 16 in Ireland. What is the object of that rather irritating differentiation I do not know. Appeals from the decision in Ireland are not to be permitted, so that the first decision given, by a police officer, I think, or by a district magistrate, stands good, and there is no appeal against it. As regards shot-guns, Clause 11 applies only to Great Britain. That is a further restriction on the use of weapons in Ireland. It is quite idle to complain about this trend of legislation, but it is only fair to point out that it is a further step for arming the Government in Ireland with military force where they should seek the real weapon of Government, which is the approval of the people. It is a further step and for that reason and to that extent it is bad. The most disappointing thing about the Bill is that it does not do what it ought to do—continue the good work under Article 8 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and suppress the 683 private manufacture of all armament and stop the import and export and interchange of armaments, in which, I am sorry to say, the Government is now engaged.
§ That we consider a serious blot on the Bill.
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 254; Noes, 6.685
|Division No. 133.]||AYES.||[5.58 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Farquharson, Major A. C.||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Fell, Sir Arthur||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Fildes, Henry||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Atkey, A. R.||Finney, Samuel||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Forestier-Walker, L.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Forrest, Walter||Mallalieu, F. W.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)|
|Balfour, Sir R. (Glasgow, Partick)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Galbraith, Samuel||Martin, Captain A. E.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Matthews, David|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Moles, Thomas|
|Barrand, A. R.||Gilbert, James Daniel||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred M.|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Moreing, Captain Algernon H|
|Barrie, Hugh Thom (Lon'derry, N.)||Glanville, Harold James||Morison, Thomas Brash|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Glyn, Major Ralph||Mosley, Oswald|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Murchison, C. K.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Murray, John (Leeds, West)|
|Benn, Com. Ian H. (Greenwich)||Greig, Colonel James William||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)|
|Bennett, Thomas Jewell||Gretton, Colonel John||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Grundy, T. W.||Nicholl, Commander Sir Edward|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Blair, Major Reginald||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'1,W.D'by)||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Hanna, George Boyle||Oman, Charles William C.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||O'Neill, Major Hon. Robert W. H.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hartshorn, Vernon||Palmer, Charles Frederick (Wrekin)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Haslam, Lewis||Parker, James|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hayday, Arthur||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Britton, G. B.||Hayward, Major Evan||Peel, Lieut.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Perring, William George|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Herbert, Denis (Hertford, Watford)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hinds, John||Pratt, John William|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Prescott, Major W. H.|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Purchase, H G.|
|Cape, Thomas||Holmes, J. Stanley||Raeburn, Sir William H.|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hope, H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n, W.)||Ramsden, G. T.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Rankin, Captain James S.|
|Casey, T. W.||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Cayzer, Major Herbert Robin||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)|
|Child, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Hill||Howard, Major S. G.||Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H H. Spender||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Roberts, Sir S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Robertson, John|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Robinson, S.(Brecon and Radnor)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Jesson, C.||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Coote, William Tyrone, South)||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)|
|Cope, Major Wm.||Johnstone, Joseph||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Curzon, Commander Viscount||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)|
|Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Seager, Sir William|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kenyon, Barnet||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Kidd, James||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Dawes, Commander||Kiley, James D.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Dean, Lieut.-Commander P. T.||Lawson, John J.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Denison-Pender, John C.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Donnelly, P.||Lewis. T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Lindsay, William Arthur||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Edge, Captain William||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lorden, John William||Stewart, Gershom|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lynn, R. J.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Elliott, Lt.-Col. Sir G. (Islinoton, W.)||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.||Sugden, W. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||M'Guffin, Samuel||Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)|
|Taylor, J.||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.||Winterton, Major Earl|
|Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)||Weston, Colonel John W.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|Tickler, Thomas George||Wignall, James||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Townley, Maximilian G.||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Tryon, Major George Clement||Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H (Norwich)|
|Turton, E. R.||Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Walters, Sir John Tudor||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Morgan, Major D. Watts||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hogge, James Myles||Rose, Frank H.||Colonel Wedgwood and Lieut.-|
|Malone, Lieut.-Col. C. L. (Leyton, E.)||Swan, J. E.||Commander Kenworthy.|
Resolutions agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the Whole House," put, and negatived. [Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy.]