Motion made, and Question proposed,
A. "That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 525,000, all ranks, be maintained for the Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at Home and Abroad, excluding His Majesty's Indian Possessions, during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1921.
I beg to move, "That the number to be maintained be reduced by 15,000."
I had hoped that we should have had a statement, first of all, from the right hon. Gentleman. It would have had many advantages, and it would have had special advantages for me. It might have given me some information which would have forestalled some of the criticisms that I am about to make. That would have been an advantage to the right hon. Gentleman in relieving him of the necessity of listening to a portion of my speech. I should have had the benefit of his example, for every speech that he makes is a model for other speakers who follow him. If he had spoken, undoubtedly, he would have filled the House, and I might have hoped to have detained for my arguments an even larger audience than I have at the present time. Last, but not lest, I should to some extent have escaped the peril of his reply. I must confess that until I heard the speeches of some hon. Members I had not quite realised the enormity of my procedure in proposing to reduce this Vote. Some Members seem to feel something of the horror that must have been felt by the Jews when Uzza laid his sacriligeous hands upon the Ark, and probably they are surprised that the vengeance of the Almighty has not fallen upon him. Perhaps that omission may be made up by the right hon. Gentleman, who has the capacity to fill any office and to discharge any duty, when he comes to reply. I hope there is not going to be any suggestion made that, because we on this side of the House differ from other hon. Members about the size of the Army, we lag in any respect behind in the affection and admiration we have for it. I think it may fairly be said that one may feel just as much affection for a small army as for a large one. There are some men who like big women, and some who love little ones. I think it would be a curious thing if our ardour were measured by the cubic capacity of that upon which we bestow it.
Undoubtedly the War has brought a great change in the place which the Army holds in the affection of the people of this country. I think it would not be unfair to say that, prior to the War, the Army might have been described as the preserve of a class and the reserve of the 165 mass. It depended upon what you wanted—whether it was distinction or extinction. Those were the chief impulses which led men into it. Since that time, the life blood of the country has poured through the veins of the Army, and the graves of the Army hold too many of the hopes of this people for our generation to feel for it anything but pride. I suppose there is not a family in the land which does not share in the sad yet proud distinction that comes to those who are kin to those who have died for their country. While they remember that—and how can they ever forget?—no Secretary of State for war can ever come to this House with proposals for the care and the comfort and the security of the Army without feeling assured of the sympathy, the understanding, and the support of this House.
That, of course, is the whole point at issue. I hope we shall not be told, because we differ about the size of the Army, that we have no regard for the past of this country and no interest in its future. The Liberal party, now on these Benches not long ago was in power, and probably at no very distant date will be in power again. They have had the responsibilites of government, and will fulfil them once again, and I am quite sure that no one on these Benches would deny for one moment to the Government in power a proper provision for the security and safety of the Empire. We fully appreciate the task of the Army, the difficult and dangerous positions in which it finds itself, and the share it takes in the development of semi civilised and barbarous lands—lands whose development is essential to the wel fare of the world British administration in those parts of the world, as well military as civil, is as much appreciated on this side of the House as in any other quarter. The issue that is before the House in this Motion is not an issue that in any way rests upon a difference between hon. Members of this House in their appreciation of the task and the part of the British Army in the great responsibilities of this country. On this side of the House we do not want to make any niggardly acknowledgment of the great work that has been done by the right hon. Gentleman since the Armistice. 166 He must have listened with a great deal of pleasure during this Debate to the eulogy that was passed upon him by his late Parliamentary Secretary. It has been very well said that no man is a hero to his valet; but a man who can retain the admiration of his Parliamentary Secretary must possess capacities and qualities even beyond those discernible to the general public. All we would say is that perhaps there is just a little tendency on the part of the right hon. Gentleman, and on the part of the War Office to just a little too much complacency, on the question of doing away with the necessity for conscription. I am sure we are all glad that the necessity has gone. None of us liked it. Those who voted for it, I think, liked it no more than those who voted against it, and, while we willingly admit that the right hon. Gentleman and the War Office have had a great share and part in rendering it unnecessary, and we are prepared to give him the fullest credit for it, in the long run we think that perhaps, after all, the greatest credit rests upon the men who have volunteered. Whatever the capacity of the Secretary of State for War, and whatever the administrative ability of the War Office, that would never have succeeded if it had not been that, in the spirit of the people of this country, there are qualities that respond to the necessities of the country. It is upon those qualities that we have relied in the past, and they have proved in the present to be all that we required, and have enabled the right hon. Gentleman to assure us that the necessity for conscription has passed.
One thing we particularly welcome in these Estimates is the greater attention which has been paid to education in the Army. I am inclined to think that the Board of Education might have learned a good deal from the educational work that has gone on in the Army. Everyone who has had anything to do with military work at all, must have appreciated during the War what splendid educational methods were employed. The small classes, the individual instruction, and the co-operation between teacher and class inside the Army, furnish, I think, examples which might well be followed in civilian education. But I can fancy that, if the Minister of Education were here, he might retort, "Give me the same money to spend on the education of the civilian population and I will show you as good results." 167 I see that the Estimate provides for something like £2,560,000 to be spent on about 250,000 men, or about £10 a head. A little more than £1 a head is spent on the education of the civilian population. I can only hope, and I think the hope is shared by us all here, that the educational work in the Army will have its reaction upon the general educational work of the country. It must mean a better spirit in the Army, and that is the surest guarantee of what we all desire to see—a real democratisation there. I do not propose to examine these Estimates technically. That would be presumption on the part of one who is little more than a layman in these matters, and I leave it for experts. I will only, in a broad and brief way, draw attention to some of the things in the Estimates which seem to me to support the Motion I propose.
One of the peculiar things about Parliamentary papers, which strikes new Members, is that both covers are printed alike, and that was what led me to open my Estimates at the last page. I do not regret that, because if you examine the Estimates I think you will agree with me that the most fascinating pages in the book are those at the end, because upon those pages are entered the names of those men to whom allowances have been granted because they have won for themselves the glorious distinction of the Victoria Cross. Two or three pages of names are printed in small black type. Somewhere, one imagines, they ought to be printed in letters of gold, but they are there. Apart from the call which there is to the imagination from the perusal of those names, there is this very interesting thing about them, that the allowances made to those men, the annuities granted to them, are on the pre-War scale. In this respect the Army Estimates are no higher than they were prior to the War. Valour has not increased in value, and there is a good sound economic reason for it, because it is scarcity that sends up prices, and there has been no scarcity in bravery, for the supply has been equal to the demand right through the War. Therefore, as far as this item is concerned, it has been a cheap War. The charge in this respect is £3,250, which I suppose will have to be borne by the Budget. When one contrasts this amount with the charge of £350,000,000 for the National Debt, one realises the difference of the 168 reward that comes to those who have made their bit and those who have made their bit. In this respect the hopes that one has of getting back to a pre-War basis are not justified by these Estimates, in which economy begins and ends on the last page. I do not think it would be fair to charge the Government with inconsistency, because there can be no inconsistency unless there is a policy, and the Government have no policy.
When we turn to the figures for the War Office Staff, we find that it cost in 1914 £865,000, whilst in 1921 the total Estimate is £3,427,000, or something like five times as much. The cost of the Finance Members' Department alone is more than the whole of the War Office Staff in 1914. I have no doubt the right hon. Gentleman will be able to justify this expenditure, but if we are to test it by such results as are given to us, this expenditure hardly seems justifiable. I suppose the Finance Department is responsible for these Estimates, but they only reached our hands on Saturday morning, which is hardly sufficient time for this Debate, and the ink was not dry on the copy that came to me. Besides this, there is clear evidence that the proofs have not been properly read, as many references are missing and pages are blank. In fact, these Estimates are very much like the original edition of "Tristram Shandy," which was very plentifully interspersed with blank pages, which was supposed to add to the interest of the book. Whether these blank pages in the Estimates are intended to provide room for additional expenditure I do not know.
There is one notable economy at the War Office, and it is that the salary of the Secretary of State has been halved. We were assured the other day by the right hon. Gentleman that the work is being done better. Apparently he is doing the War Office work with one hand. I tried to find some classical parallel to the right hon. Gentleman's task. I know that he appreciates classical parallels because in the speech he made on the Vote of Credit he said that the only parallel he could find for the position of the British Empire at the present time could be found by going back to the age of Antoine. For the classical parallel I have found I have had to go back a great deal further. I had to go back to the infant Hercules of whom it was said that in his cradle he was 169 attacked by two serpents, each of which he slew with one hand. I am not sure whether the position of the War Secretary in this respect will be one which will meet with the approval of my hon. Friends around me, because he is doing the job for half the money.
Whatever colour the legging may be, the right hon. Gentleman is very nimble in getting through his duties. He is, at any rate, an exponent of the principle to which he has pledged himself, for he has relaxed the trade union regulations in his case and increased the output. However much my hon. Friends may deprecate the right hon. Gentleman's action towards Labour, when he increases production he is a very good example of his own principle. As to any real economy in this matter, one cannot be quite sure whether halving the salary does not mean doubling the staff, and that is a thing we have yet to find out. If the right hon. Gentleman had been able to give his whole time to the work, perhaps the Estimates might have been completed sooner, and perhaps they would have been more presentable when completed, because they are very slovenly. Probably no harder term could be applied to the War Office, because attention to little things are the essence of the true performance of a public duty. We find page after page left blank, and it will be serious if we find that they have to be filled up.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL signified dissent.
I will not waste time on these details—[HON. MEMBERS: Hoar, hear!"]—because they are comparatively small matters. The real point here is that Army expenditure follows policy. I understand that the right hon. Gentleman has reserved his reply in order that he may deal with the questions of policy which determine the amount we have to spend on the Army. I do not know what part he proposes to play tonight in the matter. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman will present himself to-night, as he did in the Debate on the Vote on Account, as the humble instrument of a policy decided upon by the Government, or whether we shall see him as a Minister who plays an extremely important part in deciding the policy. It is our policy in Ireland, 170 Egypt, India, Germany, Turkey and our Imperial expansion, that must determine the size of our Army and the amount of our military expenditure. We are asking for this Vote to be reduced by 15,000 men. I am willing to admit that it lies upon us to show where that reduction can be made without affecting the safety of the Kingdom, because, after all, as has been very well said by an hon. Member, we have got to take the facts as they are. However much we may condemn the policy of the Government in some respects, however much we may think it has landed us in difficulties, yet in his capacity as Secretary for War the right hon. Gentleman has to accept the results of Government policy and to provide for them.
It would not be fair on our part that we should ask for reductions that would be impossible and that might, if carried out, not only place the Army itself, but the country and the Dominions as a whole, in a position of danger and insecurity. But I think it is not difficult to show that the reduction for which we ask can be obtained without incurring any of these consequences. To ask for this reduction of 15,000 is asking for a 5 per cent. reduction. That is not an extravagant demand. It is not one which can be resisted as the demand of idealists. Put in the way I have put it, it seems a very plain, calm kind of remark. It is not a great deal in these times when we have to look at every million pounds to see what we can save. We had the Chancellor of the Exchequer here the other day almost imploring us to show him where we could save £5,000,000. This is an effort to respond to that appeal. If this reduction be granted the Chancellor will certainly get his £5,000,000 and I think a good deal more.
Let us look at the policy at home. In 1914 the Home Army consisted of 138,000 men; in 1920 it is 161,000, or 22,000 more. What are these men for? Not for Germany, because we were told by the right hen. Gentleman himself that the 1914 Army had no relation at all to Germany. The fact that Germany was down and out of it now would not, we were told, affect the strength of the Army, It is not for Germany. There is a great force in Turkey. It is not for Imperial expansion, that is provided for elsewhere. They cannot be for a reserve, these 22,000 men. We have thousands of reservists in this country already. As 171 to the Middle East, we are told that the garrison there will be reduced by something like 30,000 men. So that the Home Army can only be for home uses. One asks, therefore, what do we want in this country with 22,000 men more than were required in 1914? The Government apparently engaged in showering benefits on the people. One can hardly imagine that the result of that will be to produce such discontent as will require 22,000 extra men to subdue it. There would seem to be no need for an allowance of men for civil disorder. If such occurred, could it not be dealt with by the civic authorities? The Government have reorganised the whole of the police forces, broken it as a trade union and have attached it to themselves by a very lavish increase of pay and pensions. When D.O.R.A. was being put through the House we were asked to sanction an extension for the provision of special constables on the very ground that these special constables were to be used in place of the military.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Vote A is for the maximum number of men. Parliamentary sanction for the maximum number of men who are with the Colours in any one year must not exceed that limit. Therefore the Army is falling, and the final demobilisation, the demobilisation of the conscripts and the winding up on the 1st of April, the beginning of the new financial year is the date on which the largest number of men will be with the Colours in every part of the world. It is simply a question that we are bound to have statutory authority for the largest number of men who happen to be with us in any one year.
I gather that the figures which are down in the Estimates are figures which the right hon. Gentleman expects to have—not merely paper figures.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No, No I They are the men I shall have on April 1st. So far as we can judge from that date we shall fall continuously during the year. It is not our intention to keep a larger force in this country than we had before the War.
How far they are going to fall the right hon. Gentleman does not know? What we are asking is that the maximum figures should be put at 15,000 less than they are in the Estimates. I take it that the figures in the Estimates have some relation to the expenditure?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It will be quite impossible to have 15,000 less men on April 1st, than we are asking the House for. Whatever the decision of the Committee may be it would be impossible not to have these men. The only thing that would happen would be that the food and pay of these men would be unprovided for.
These explanations make it difficult to follow the right hon. Gentleman. The total figure down in the Estiamates is some 525,000 men, of whom 176,000 are addition numbers carried on the strength, and the others are men who are definitely located in different parts of the world. So many at home, so many in France, Germany, Egypt, and so on. I do not quite understand the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman. These are not fairy figures. These are real men, and 349,000 are the figures arrived at. The right hon. Gentleman imght himself have arrived at the figures of 15,000 less or more. We are asking him to guess again. The Estimates show definite figures and a definite cost There are so many men on the Rhine. Our Motion does not ask that any of these should be withdrawn. The same applies to Egypt and the Middle East. We do not ask that any of those shall be withdrawn.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We are now within ten days of the 1st April. On that date there will certainly be the number of men that are set out in the Estimates. We can do nothing to alter these numbers at that date. From that date these men will continue to be reduced. If the Motion of my right hon. Friend were to be carried, all that would happen would be that Parliamentary authority would be lacking to maintain and pay for 15,000 men. These 15,000 men would be where they are, and you can no more alter that than you can the weather.
As far as I can understand the argument of the right hon. Gentleman is that it is of no use the House doing anything at all, because whatever men there are there they are, and whatever the House may do does not make any difference at all. But it seems to mo that on the Estimates it is proposed to give the right hon. Gentlemen power to carry on not for the next ten days, but for the year 1920–21.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No, I really must correct that. It is quite impossible to accept that view. Vote A deals with the maximum number of men that may be employed on any given day, and the other Votes regulate the amount of money that may be spent. The amount depends on the number that may be employed.
§ 10.0 P.M.
I take it we are asked to vote a definite number of men, and if this House votes that number that will carry with it an obligation to pay these men. If the House votes for 15,000 men less, surely that must have a corresponding effect on the Estimate? The point I had tried to make is that the reduction of 15,000 men can be made without interfering with the right hon. Gentleman's arrangements for men on the Rhine or in any of the other areas for which provision has to be made. The provision for the home Army is the same as for 1914, and upon these figures as they stand, without making any deduction from the resources which the right hon. Gentleman has for discharging our responsibilities in various parts of the world—responsibilities which he admits are diminishing—and without entrenching in any way by a single man on the resources available for the Rhine, for Egypt, for Constantinople, and for the Middle East, we say he can give the House these 15,000 men off Vote A. The demand for this is not preposterous, and the answer, to my mind, is a purely technical one. If the Amendment were carried it would afford a certain amount of financial relief. It may be it would amount to £5,000,000 or £6,000,00, a small sum perhaps compared with the demands 174 that are being made, but very considerable from another point of view.
At the present time we are dealing with an Unemployment Bill for which something like £4,000,000 a year has been set aside. A question has arisen as to whether it is not possible to increase the benefits under the Bill, but there is opposition from the Treasury. If the right hon. Gentleman can see his way to effect the saving we suggest on the Army Estimate, that would solve the problem and enable the insurance benefit to be raised right throughout the country, and that would be a very great boon to many people. This House too is interested in the matter of pro-war pensions, and has passed a Resolution that men pensioned for services rendered prior to 1914 should have their pensions increased. We have been told by the Treasury that that cannot be done. Efforts have been made to find out what the cost would be, and the estimate varies from £3,000,000 to £6,000,000. Again, if our proposal to reduce the Army Estimate were accepted, while it would not hamper the right hon. Gentleman in the discharge of his responsibilities, it would enable the Treasury to provide the additional sum to raise the pensions of pre-war pensioners. If we can save money from military expenditure, and thereby alleviate the hardships of this deserving class of old servants of the State, I think it would be a very good thing, and it would certainly meet with the sympathy of a large number of Members of the House.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I would like to ask the Secretary of State for War a question in order to clear up the conversation which took place just now between him and my hon. Friend who has moved this Amendment. The point is a rather technical one. I understand the Secretary of State to say that there will be the number of men provided for in this Vote in the service on the 1st April.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
And therefore, if this reduction is passed the War Office will be put in a quite impracticable position because it cannot carry out the directions of the House between now and the 1st April
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
And there is the contingency of the men being unpaid. I do not think, however, that that can really happen. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will explain. If these men are discharged before the 1st April they will be paid up to date, and all claims they may have against the State will have to be met. It may be that the form of my hon. and gallant Friend's Amendment is not technically correct, but in substance I think the point is quite clear. I want, however, to press upon the right hon. Gentleman the urgent need for the development of education in the Army. Five years of war have produced an atrophy in education among the young fellows who are now coming up for military training, and it is clear that there is a very regrettable lack of education among those joining the Colours. The number of illiterates is unprecedented. It is larger than at any time during the last 15 or 20 years. That is a condition of things which is no doubt inevitable. The father has been away at the Front. The mother has had thrown upon her the burden of the care and custody of the family. There has been a slackening all round, owing to the absence of male teachers from the schools, and the consequence has been a great growth in the number of illiterates, and a slackening of training among the young, which is reflected in general education throughout the British Army. I know my right hon. Friend is much interested in this. I am sure he will agree also that the guardians, parents and other relatives of the young fellows joining the Army would be very glad indeed to know that their relatives are going to be specially taken care of in this most important matter of training. I should much like to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on what has been done in the Army of the Rhine in this respect. I have had sent to me a very interesting booklet dealing with the General Commercial College at Cologne, a former educational establishment belonging to the Germans. It seems to me a wholly admirable piece of work, and if it denotes a new educational spirit in the Army not only will it be good for the British Army but for British citizenship when the "men now in the ranks of the Army rejoin their civilian fellow-citizens.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
On a point of Order. We are asked, I 176 understand, to vote a number of men for the year 1920–21. We voted men and money up to the end of the present financial year, and this Vote is simply and entirely concerned with the men and their payment and comfort for the following year.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Sir E. Cornwall)
It is not for me to give a ruling upon it. The Committee has heard what the Minister has said.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
There should be no difficulty in deciding the point the hon. and gallant Gentleman has raised as a point of Order. The Estimates he holds in his hand state quite clearly that the authority we ask for applies to the year 1920–21. That means the financial year 1920–21. Having disposed of that damaging point, perhaps I may address myself to the course of this discursive and interesting and at the same time satisfactorily tepid Debate. I hardly remember having been responsible for a Department during a considerable number of years when a day of Estimates has passed so very tranquilly and so very pleasantly. The storms of last year seem to have been succeeded by halcyon weather. It has been said by the historian "Happy is the nation whose annals are blank in the pages of history." Happy is the Department whose annals are dull in the pages of the Official Report. I do not mean to suggest that this Debate, which has been so tranquil, has not be filled with solid matter and with searching and pertinent enquiries very proper to the character of the discussion, but I feel that the temper of the House, the character of the speeches, many of which I acknowledge most gratefully, and the general atmosphere deserve a considerable recognition of the fact that the War Office since last year has got a great deal nearer to firm ground and to a peaceful and satisfactory state of things than was thought possible last year. Several minor points have been mentioned. My right hon. Friend (Sir D. Maclean) raised the question of education in the Army, which was also raised by another hon. Member. We are making a great feature of the increase of education in the Army in the present Estimates. It is not only elementary education. The intention is to train the minds of the soldier, to offer to him a strong mental diet as an aid to the discharge of his 177 ordinary work and as a means of fitting him to resume his place in civil life at the end of his military service. Now that we are paying the soldier in the British Army what might very reasonably be called a trade wage, we are going to get men who will not be content with the simple standards of former times. We are bound to educate the Army if we are to keep abreast of the social status of the soldier and the aspirations which will Come from that improved social status. It is quite true that during the War the general degeneration of our domestic life has produced a great setback in the national standard of recruits coming into the Army. The percentage of illiterates has increased very largely, and there has also been a decline in the physical health of the youths joining. In the last two or three years of the War the ordinary means of education were starved and everyone had to go on short commons, and it will take a year or two of very great effort and recuperation to enable the manhood of the nation, mental, physical and moral, to recover the pre-War standard, let alone surpass it. We shall do our utmost to develop this system of education, and I will take steps, in view of the interests which is shown in this matter in the House, to lay a special report during this Session, giving in detail all the steps we are taking to spread education amongst our soldiers both at home and abroad.
Another minor topic was raised by the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Neil Maclean). He raised a question which I have frequently heard discussed here, namely, an amnesty for all military offenders in penal servitude either at the close of the War or who have been sent to penal servitude since the War. A general sweeping amnesty would have been absurd. A number of these men are in penal servitude for murder, others for gross civil offences of a most terrible character, others for military offences of a very grievous character—such as desertion to the enemy, mutiny with violence, threatening to kill superior officers, and desertion in the sense, not of a man being absent a certain time and then being apprehended after he had shown no intention of quitting the service finally, or of a man deserting from one corps and going into another, but men who laid low at different base ports, hiding from place to place and living by thieving and under 178 very disreputable circumstances month after month while their comrades were being shot down on the fighting fronts. Such are the cases, but how many of them are there? The total number was 171 men in penal servitude last year, and 22 others were sent to penal servitude since the War ended. That is a total of 193. No one can say that these figures require the introduction of a general amnesty. Obviously they are so small that they enable individual treatment to be meted out. That is what we are doing. Those 171 are only one-third of the number who were there eight or nine months ago, I have directed the most stringent revision to be made in every case, and, wherever it is possible, that release should be given. But these are 171 men, the large proportion of whom are civil offenders, who would be in an ordinary convict prison, but who, as they were in uniform when they committed the crime for which they were convicted, are all Army men.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am talking of penal servitude. There are about from 150 to 200 men who are in detention barracks, which is not a form of ordinary imprisonment, but a form of severe strenuous drill, training and exercise. Those 171 men have had their cases reviewed, and we have remitted about three-fourths of the sentences. But a man, for instance, leads a mutiny at Calais, a dangerous mutiny, which might have caused a thousand of our own men to be killed or wounded, though, thank God, it passed off without that. He is sentenced to death. The sentence is commuted to penal servitude for life. That is reduced to 12 years imprisonment. It is reviewed again and reduced to three years, of which one and a quarter have now-elapsed. It is obvious that there is no case of great hardship here. All these cases have been individually reviewed and the sentences enormously reduced, and in a very short time, two or three years, practically every man, except those who are in for the grossest civil offences, will be released. That is a much better way of dealing with it than by a sweeping amnesty such as might be given by an oriental despot who had succeeded by violence to the throne and who took pleasure in releasing the political male 179 factors with whom his predecessors had filled the gaol.
§ Mr. WATERSON
Do the 70 men charged with crime in Russia come within the scope of the cases which the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No. They come under the Admiralty which reviews them. I repeat the invitation to Members of the House who are interested in this matter that if they know any hard cases and they let us have the facts these cases shall be the subject of review. Another case mentioned has been that of the 18-year-old recruits, the recruits who joined when they were under 18 years of age. Our rule at present is that if a man is under 17 years of age, and it is said that he is over 18, we let him go. If he is not under 17, but over 17, we claim the right to keep him as long as we think it necessary. I think that is a rough-and-ready rule. Up to the present moment I have been engaged in desperately building up an Army. I have not been "in a position to refuse any reasonable offer when tendered on the part of a young man who makes a false answer on his attestation paper and says he is over 18 years of age when he is under. But recruiting is good. Sometimes it amounted to 3,000 men in a week, whereas 30,000 a year was the average pre-war recruiting. In consequence one is able to apply continuously a refining process to the Army, to give relaxations which we have not been able to give hitherto, to reopen purchase and to deal with hard cases of people who enlisted under ago; and, on the other hand, to stiffen up the physical standard in every direction and generally to improve the individual value of the numbers included under Vote A. If recruiting keeps going at the present level I hope during the course of the Session to be able to effect considerable improvements in the personnel, and I must say I should like to meet, if it were possible, the wishes of parents, anxious to withdraw a boy, who from patriotic motives had enlisted before he was the right age. Perhaps if that question is raised in three or four months, when I know better where we are, I shall be able to give an answer more satisfactorily.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Have you not yourself, in answer to that same question, said that there is no such Regulation?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am advised that the course we are pursuing is a legal course. Otherwise, I need not say, I should not have pursued it, but if there is a difference of opinion, it would be a far better course to test the matter in the Courts.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am advised that the course we are pursuing is a legal course. If the hon. Gentleman challenges that he should unfold a legal argument in support of his case, and I can then have the advantage of the advice of the Attorney-General, and no doubt supply him with the counter-arguments. I base myself on the fact that we are advised that we are thoroughly within our rights. Another point was raised by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Lieut.-Colonel Guinness). He deplored the abolition of the Machine Gun Corps, and he used a number of extremely well couched arguments to show that the Machine Gun Corps was a much better manner of organising the machine guns of the Army than the method we are adopting. That is a matter which par excellence is one in which you must allow military experts to decide. I do not for a moment say there are not many directions in which the political head of a fighting Department has not a decided knowledge of affairs, but there are in the organisation of a machine gun corps, and as to whether it is better organised with battalions or in separate corps, very big arguments on either side, and surely this is a matter on which I ought to defer to the opinion of the experts.
Is it a decision on military grounds or on grounds of economy, with a view to saving?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I do not exclude or despise what I call grounds of economy, and the position which I placed before the military authorities was one which took into consideration a certain limit of finance which we allowed ourselves for our military expenditure, and in making their arrangements they had the feeling that if they expended money on this there would be so much less money to expend on that and they had to balance one set of expenditure against another. The principal reason which decided us in this direction has been the fact that if you start all these separate corps, Machine Gun Corps and so forth, you have a number of more or less blind-alley departments in the military service; that is to say, branches of the Service which give very good employment to young officers, lieutenants and captains, and a certain number of majors and one or two colonels, but absolutely no chance to that body of officers of appointments to general officers, which must in the main proceed in relation to the knowledge of the whole military service. That was the main reason on which that decision was taken. I think there is a great deal to be said for the point of view of my hon. and gallant Friend, but, on the whole, I think the other argument prevailed. It is certainly an argument which has the united authority of those military experts on whose advice and opinion in this matter I am bound to defer. My hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Fareham (Sir J. Davidson), spoke about the Yeomanry and called attention to what he described a weak decision, to allow the Yeomanry, if they wanted, two years in which to turn round and make up their minds whether or not they will take up the new arms we require of them. I do not think it is a weak decision at all. it is of course very easy to take a strong decision if you have got the power, but under a voluntary system when you are raising a Territorial Force you have not the power to make orders which have been issued from Ministers of conscriptionist countries. You have to bring people along with you and to study local and traditional feeling, and I am doing so in trying to recruit for the Territorial Force. It seems to me if you said "either 182 you take this entirely new form of service at once or else you are disbanded" you would fail to produce the numbers of men required and these units, some of great antiquity going back one hundred and eighty and one hundred and sixty years, would be blotted out altogether, and that I should regret. On the other hand, you get the men together as a formed body, with all the esprit de corps and with the revival of all memories of the War to unite them, and you put to them the strong case for this change into a more modern form of service than cavalry. The French have reduced their cavalry from ten to four divisions, and similar reductions must be in contemplation in the mounted forces of the British Empire if we are to have the scientific Army which we require, but I think it is very sensible, and not at all weak, to take a couple of years in trying to effect an evolution like that and in trying to effect it in such a way as not to lose the personnel. Then my hon. and gallant Friend went on to quote with approbation the behaviour of the Hampshire Carabineers, who, he said, had volunteered to a man to assume the new duties of artillerymen. Having been given the option, many units have done that. If that is a condemnation of a weak policy, I do not quite know what form eulogy would take upon it. There is one more question of detail to which I must refer. We had a very interesting maiden speech from the hon. and gallant Member for St. Albans (Lieut.-Colonel Fremantle), who spoke with great fluency and knowledge upon the subject of the reduplication of the various branches of the medical service in the Army and in the Government service. I do not propose to go into that except to say that his contribution to the Debate will be carefully studied and examined by those in the War Office who are specially concerned with that subject. The only point, if I may criticise, in the speech at which it seemed to me that he pressed his argument too far was where he seemed to argue that defeat, coupled with good sanitation, was more desirable than victory attended by defective medical arrangements. That, I thought, was taking it a little too far.
I leave the minor points which have been raised in the discussion, and I come to the two or three larger issues which hon. Gentlemen have raised. First of all, 183 there is this Government question of the military organisation of the State—I use the word "military" in its largest sense—the joint General Staff of the Ministry of Defence. The Committee of Imperial Defence before the War were really nothing more than a secretariat of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister summoned to a conference, over which he himself presided, a conference which had a secretariat of its own, whatever Ministers, experts, or outsiders he might think fit, and this body, with permanent records, constituted the only instrument in the State for the sustained study of general strategical problems. No one must underrate the extraordinary good work done by the Committee of Imperial Defence before the War. We owe to the researches of that body the War Book, which was in existence in August, 1914, which has been laboriously compiled, largely by the exertions of Colonel Han-key, and which, when the moment came, enabled a certain number of perfectly good orders to be issued and decisions to be taken, almost unconsciously, by the Government of the day, as a result of which an enormous number of things happened in their proper sequence all over the country, and placed us in a tolerably safe position when this great storm broke upon us. Whatever may be the organisation of the staff of the three Departments, the Committee of Imperial Defence, as the great instrument by which the Prime Minister asserts his view and exercises his responsibility over the whole field of military policy, will certainly continue and endure. It will be a great mistake, however, to suppose that any revived or rejuvenated Committee of Defence would in any way bridge the gap or gulf. If the gulf is to be bridged between the Navy and the Army—to take the two old services—it can only be by the building up for a number of years of a breed—or brand if you like—of officers, well-trained at a common staff college, who will have acquired a common body of doctrine, which is not purely particularism in regard to the Army, Navy or Air, but which deals with the study of that very wicked thing war—if I may mention the word—as a whole, not from a departmental point of view.
§ Sir S. SCOTT
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman considers there are no naval or military officers at the present 184 moment competent to deal with this question?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Yes, Sir, I think there are. There are very exceptional men. I think the heads of the three services at the present moment sitting together constitute as near an approach as we can get to that kind of joint staff—Lord Beatty, Sir Hugh Trenchard and Sir Henry Wilson That we have already in working order, and we propose to develop it further. But I speak of a body of officers united by a common doctrine, united for a period of years, and not isolated individuals of exceptional capacity who can be brought together to unite the action of the three services. The development of such a body of officers is really a step which is far more urgent than any question of the uniting of the various Ministers under one head. Personally, although it is not a matter which I expect to see come in my time, the uniting of the three Ministries into a Ministry of Defence is, I believe, an inevitable tendency of events. No doubt much hostility will be shown here and there.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am always glad to get support from so substantial and authoritative a quarter. It seems to me that is the ultimate tendency, and that it will be adopted in every country in the world before many years are past. The mere advent of the air as a great new element in the conception and consideration of war will, I think, cause complications between the older services which will lead to a solution of that kind. That is my view of the ultimate step. The practical step, and the only one which is likely to be taken in the next few years, is the formation of this joint staff and this joint staff college with special training to enable the officers who will serve on that joint staff to be created without delay. That is a matter which I trust will be taken up. So far as the War Office are concerned, we shall certainly take it up and push it forward with the utmost energy. The proper time, however, for a Debate on a matter of 185 this kind is on the Vote for the Committee of Imperial Defence. That is the occasion which, if those; Members who are interested in this matter choose to turn their attention to it, would give them full facility during the course of the Session for a general Debate on the policy of the three services combined. It is not reasonable to address these matters entirely to the representative of one single Department, or even of two Departments. The Vote for Imperial Defence affords the opportunity, and in the past it has always been customary for the Government to accede to any demand for a discussion of that topic during the course of the Session.
§ Sir J. DAVIDSON
I gather from what the right hon. Gentleman has said that this question of a Joint Advisory Body for the three Services has been postponed until those colleges are in existence.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No. My hon. and gallant Friend has gathered with less discrimination than usual. We have at present in existence a system of Inter-Departmental Conferences between the Heads of the Fighting Departments. It is proposed, also, to revive the Committee of Imperial Defence, and I say that the next step which has to be taken is towards the creation of a Joint Imperial Staff.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
Are we to understand that step is to be taken and that these new Joint Colleges have been started?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No, certainly not. I am explaining what is the view and what is the course which the War Office will take, so far as it is proper for them to take any course, in the general organisation. The proper time to raise this matter is not on the War Office Vote. It is a topic which affects the whole of the three Services, and an answer can be given only by the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House, who are the heads of the Government and who are able to deal with matters which are above the Departmental sphere. I am trying to deal with the matter as well as I can without putting myself out of my place, or stepping outside of my authority. I now come to the situation in the Middle East. It is a very anxious situation. Still, I must admit that it is not proving as formidable in practice as it seemed in 186 prospect. At any moment that may change, but, up to the present, one has been relieved, on the whole, to find that tendencies that looked so very disastrous have not, in fact, produced situations of extreme difficulty. But the situation is extremely acute. There is the Egyptian situation. We hope that Lord Milner's Mission will have relieved the tension there to a considerable extent. There is the Palestine situation. That, of course, is affected by the French occupation of Syria and the consequent fighting with the Arabs, which not only has disturbed the French zone, but has made special precautions necessary in our own area. There is the situation in Constantinople. We were obliged last week to occupy Constantinople in a direct military sense, and, with the forces at our disposal by sea and land, we were able to effect that without more than a scuffle. Then there is the situation in Mesopotamia. There are three causes of anxiety in regard to Mesopotamia. There are the Turkish Nationalists under Mustapha Kemal, who repudiate the authority of the Government at Constantinople so far as it is convenient to them to do so. There are the Arabs who have been disturbed by the occupation of Syria, and who are inclined now, for the first time, in many ways to make common cause with the Turkish Nationalists, thus uniting two forces by whose division our policy has hitherto prospered. Lastly, there are the Bolsheviks.
The destruction of the anti-Bolshevik forces has proceeded to a very marked extent, and very soon the Bolshevik military power, whatever it is worth, will, over the whole of those great regions North of the Caucasus and beyond the Caspian, be quite unchecked by any Russian force. With the fall of the Caspian Sea—which must, of course, take place as soon as the ice in the Volga melts, and the Bolshevik flotilla can descend the river—the Bolshevik forces will be in close touch with the doubtful Republics of Azerbaijan and Georgia, and not only with them, but also with the hostile forces of Mustapha Kemal. On military grounds this junction is formidable. I am not at all certain that political reasons may not lead the Bolsheviks to a course different from that which, judging solely by the military situation, would appear to be open to them. To do thorn justice they pursue larger 187 aims than what you would call mere Imperialism. Their essential objects are a dictatorship of the proletariat, the abolition of private property and the establishment of a world-wide communism. It is probable that they would judge of the military situation not from the point of view of acquiring this or that piece of territory, but of spreading their doctrines in other lands and giving their principles the widest possible application. But although in a military sense a junction between the Turkish nationalists and the Bolshevists would seem to be possible it is not certain that it will necessarily be followed by the ordinary military consequences. Mesopotamia is affected by all these forces, the discontented Arabs, the revolting Turks and the Bolshevists who, if they do not unite, nevertheless will endeavour and are nevertheless endeavouring to spread their propaganda throughout all the countries to which they can gain access.
In these rises it is obvious that the whole position in the Middle East causes great anxiety. I hope, however, as I suggested on the Air Vote, that it may be possible to effect economies during the course of the present year by holding Mesopotamia through the agency of the Air Force rather than by a military force. It has been pointed out that by your Air Force you have not to hold long lines of communications because the distance would only be one or one-and-a-half hours' flight by aeroplane. It is essential in dealing with Mesopotamia to get the military expenditure down as soon as the present critical state of affairs passes away. You could not go on holding that-country if it entailed the spending of £20,000,000 to £30,000,000 a year. If that were so I should be the first to recommend getting quit of it under those conditions. But why should a system of statecraft be unsuccessful in Mesopotamia which has proved successful in other parts of our Empire? I am not prepared to admit that 20,000 or 30,000 white troops and 30,000 or 40,000 Indian troops will be necessary to hold every little village and post in Mesopotamia, and other methods would be devised if we are to retain that province. I have never for a moment accepted the view that whenever we have taken charge of a particular sphere of territory, we have to dominate every square mile of it. 188 That is absurd. Everyone knows what was done in West Africa. You open up block by block each area, and your influence' permeates, friendly relations are established, trade springs up, local militia are established, local troops are brought in, and there is always a little force growing and gathering, and in this way great areas are brought in by Englishmen proceeding with justice and for the benefit of the people, as well as for their own benefit. In this way great areas are brought under control with extraordinary economy so far as white men and money are concerned. This is the line in which, so far as we are concerned, we are now working in regard to Mesopotamia. We trust that in the near future it may be conducted with very great economy. However, I will make a further report to the House upon this matter later in the Session. The staff inquiries are proceeding very hopefully and satisfactorily.
The anxiety we feel about the Middle East may well be matched, and even surpassed, by the anxiety that we must feel about events in Germany. I often hear speeches made here, and in the country, and I read articles in the newspapers, which seem to depict the British military experts and generals of the Army as if they were always Jingoes seeking new opportunities for strife, and animated by a spirit of relentless revenge against all their life antagonists. No account could be more remote from the actual truth. During the whole of the time since the Armistice, all the generals with whom I have been brought into contact have, without exception, been men reluctant to embark on a policy of ruthless revenge towards the German people Or the contrary, it was a British General's protest from Cologne which first drew attention to the lamentable state of feeding amongst the civil population there. At every stage those men who were most forward in pressing on the War to the point of victory have been those who have given consistent advice—on the ground of purely British interests—in regard to the sagacious and moderate treatment of the nation which had been completely broken and shattered by our forces.
The state of affairs in Germany naturally causes us the greatest anxiety. For many years the strength of Germany was the greatest danger to Europe. For the 189 last 15 months the weakness of Germany-has been the danger to Europe I ventured to say in January that the Republican Government in Germany, the quasi-Socialist Government, deserved the support of the Allies. We ought to do our best to help them to maintain them selves against either a military coup d'état or a Bolshevik explosion. We rejoice to see they have overcome one danger in the last few days. But when we recall the evil events in Russia after the quarrel of Kerenski and Korniloff one cannot help feeling deeply anxious as to the position of a Government deprived of the greater portion of the forces of law and order through their ill-behaviour, and at the same time confronted with all the violent movement of a suffering and struggling population. It ought to be the policy of Great Britain, from a military point of view, by every means in our power, to enable a moderate German Government to maintain itself as a living entity, and under its ægis to organise the productive energies of the German people, and so enable prosperity to revive I could not deal with this question in Debate without indicating very clearly the line of purely military advice which has emanated during the whole course of this year from the General Staff in regard to our treatment of the Germans.
I am much obliged to the House for the way they have treated the Army Estimates. We are really doing a great deal at the present time when you look at the different areas—the different scenes of excitement and unrest in which we are concerned it is astonishing. Ireland, Egypt, Palestine, Constantinople, Mesopotamia, India—all these great responsibilities, which we have upon our hands, in a state of tension and disturbance which has never been witnessed in times of peace. We have to cope with all these problems, and what have we got? We have
§ only that Army, that small Army, that little British Army crushed in the laurels of great armies which have disappeared—that little British Army which we have been able to raise out of the spirit of voluntary enlistment of the currency of last year. And we are carrying on. But such a situation imposes the utmost prudence in the policy of the Government, It is not possible to have a policy of voluntary service and at the same time to carry out sustained national animosity against throe or four of the greatest Powers of the world. They are absolutely incompatible if we are to get through these difficult times without imposing upon our people the sacrifice of conscription which most probably they would resent at this stage. We must base ourselves not upon force, though a certain amount of force is needed, but upon a sagacious, shrewd, prudent and conciliatory policy in many directions, We have, of course, behind our little Army the terror of the British arms, the prestige which this country has acquired and the knowledge that if a great occasion arises there are millions of men in this country trained for war and capable of being equipped with weapons which, in a great cause, would assert the national will to defend a righteous cause. That we have; but even with that we should not get through these difficult times in every land in which we are at present concerned if British troops were not welcome, if British officers were not treated with respect, if the British name was not hold in high repute as being a name associated with fair dealing and with an earnest desire to promote the general peace and well-being of mankind.
§ Question put, "That 510,000 of all ranks be maintained for the said service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 38: Noes, 178.191
|Division No. 68.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Kiley, James D.||Swan, J. E. C.|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Lunn, William||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tootill, Robert|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Malone, Lieut.-Col. C. L. (Leyton, E.)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Cairns, John||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||O'Connor, Thomas P.||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Grundy, T. W.||Royce, William Stapleton||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Sexton, James||Mr. Hogge and Mr. G. Thorne.|
|Holmes, J. Stanley||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Greig, Colonel James William||O'Neill, Major Hon. Robert W. H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Parker, James|
|Atkey, A. R.||Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Haslam, Lewis||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Peel, Lieut.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Barnett, Major R. W.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Perring, William George|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar||Hickman, Brig.-Gen. Thomas E.||Pownail, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Beck, Sir C. (Essex, Saffron Walden)||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Prescott, Major W. H.|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Hinds, John||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rankin, Captain James S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hood, Joseph||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland||Hopkins, John W. W.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Howard, Major S. G.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hurd, Percy A.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Jameson, J. Gordon||Seager, Sir William|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Jellett, William Morgan||Seddon, J. A.|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Johnstone, Joseph||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Carter, R. A. D. (Man Withington)||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Casey, T. W.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Chadwick, R. Burton||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Stanley, Lieut-Colonel Hon. G. F.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||King, Commander Henry Douglas||Stephenson, Colonel H. K.|
|Clough, Robert||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stevens, Marshall|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Taylor, J.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lindsay, William Arthur||Thomas-Stanford, Charles|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Lloyd, George Butler||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Lonsdale, James Roiston||Turton, E. R.|
|Dean, Lieut.-Commander P. T.||Lorden, John William||Vickers, Douglas|
|Denison-Pender, John C.||Lort-Williams, J.||Waddington, R.|
|Dixon, Captain Herbert||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Wallace, J.|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Lowther, Lt.-Col. Claude (Lancaster)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Edge, Captain William||Lynn, R. J.||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Elliot, Capt. Waiter E. (Lanark)||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Waring, Major Walter|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Macmaster, Donald||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||Maddocks, Henry||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Mallalieu, F. W.||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Middlebrook, Sir William||Whitla, Sir William|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Moles, Thomas||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut-Col. J. T. C.||Williams, Lt Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Ganzonl, Captain Francis John C.||Moreing, Captain Algernon H-||Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Gardiner, James||Morrison, Hugh||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Gilmour, Lieut-Colonel John||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Glyn, Major Ralph||Murchison, C. K.||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Murray, John (Leeds, West)|
|Gould, James C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. O. L. (Exeter)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Norris Colonel Sir Henry G.||Lord E. Talbot and Capt. Guest.|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester. W.)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported to-morrow.
§ Committee report Progress: to sit again to-morrow.