§ (1) Where a proclamation of emergency has been made, and so long as the proclamation is in force, it shall be lawful for His Majesty in Council, by Order, to make regulations for securing the essentials of life to the community, and those regulations may confer or impose on a Secretary of State or other Government Department, or any other persons in His Majesty's service or acting on His Majesty's behalf, such powers and duties as His Majesty may deem necessary for the preservation of the peace, for securing and regulating the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel, light, and other necessities, for maintaining the moans of transit or locomotion, and for any other purposes essential to the public safety and the life of the community, and may make such provisions incidental to the powers aforesaid as may appear to His Majesty to be required for making the exercise of those powers effective.
§ (2) Any regulation so made shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after they are made, and shall not continue in force after the expiration of fourteen days from the time when they are so laid unless a resolution is passed by both Houses providing for the continuance thereof.
§ (3) The regulations may provide for the trial by courts of summary jurisdiction of persons guilty of offences against the regulations; so, however, that the maximum penalty which may be inflicted shall be imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term of three months, or a fine of one hundred pounds, or both such imprisonment 1782 and fine, together with the forfeiture of any goods or money in respect of which the offence has been committed.
§ (4) The regulation so made shall have-effect as if enacted in this Act, but may be added to, altered, or revoked by regulations made in like manner and subject to the like provisions as the original regulations; and regulations made under this Section shall not be deemed to be statutory rules within the meaning of Section one of the Rules Publication Act, 1893.
§ (5) The expiry or revocation of any regulations so made shall not be deemed to have affected the previous operation thereof, or the validity of any action taken thereunder, or any penalty or punishment incurred in respect of any contravention or failure to comply therewith, or any proceeding or remedy in respect of any such punishment or penalty.
The first Amendment I propose to take is the second in order standing in the name of the hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) and of other hon. Members which proposes to leave out the words "for the preservation of the peace." The next Amendment, in the name of the same hon. Member, to leave out the words "and other necessities," 1783 will follow. Then I propose to take the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Newcastle East (Major Barnes), to leave out the words "and for any other purposes." After that I propose to take the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), to add the wordsProvided that nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorise the making of any regulations abrogating any existing law or imposing any form of compulsory service.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words "for the preservation of the peace."
This, in my view, raises the most important point in this emergency measure that we have yet discussed. I would remind the Committee that when the Bill was introduced we had speeches from the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General, and the ease they all put for the passing of this Bill in so short a time was based altogether upon other purposes than those which are conveyed in these words. The Leader of the House, in introducing the Bill, used these words:—What is the nature of those powers and the emergency It is obvious that if such a contingency arose it would be necessary for the Government, in order to prevent people in this country from being starved, to take under their own control, and keep it all the food of this country. Without that power the nation might starve.A little further down the Leader of the House said:The House of Commons must realise that the time might come when if we had very cold weather there might be huge stocks of coal held up and kept up by those who owned them at extravagant prices, and only available to those who could pay extravagant prices. It is obvious, if we are to deal with a situation of that kind, we must have the power, if necessary, not merely to take possession of that coal, but to ration and distribute it amongst those of the nation who require it. It is equally obvious that we must have under our control the means of transferring these necessaries of life. We must have the power to commandeer, for example, any vehicle of any time which is necessary to transfer these essential commodities from whore they are not required to where they are most required. That is the kind of power we are asking for in this Bill."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th Oct., 1920, cols.,1400–1, Vol. 133.]I take it that, in epitome, describes the purpose of the measure which we are discussing. At any rate, it is fa[...] to say 1784 that from no responsible Minister who has yet dealt with the Bill have we had any reason other than the reason with which I understand every Member of the Committee agrees, namely, that in an emergency of that kind the Government must take steps to see that the people are fed, that there is no favour shown to any one particular class, and that the essentials of life are maintained. When we come to the second Clause of the Bill we have introduced something new and something which entitles us to ask the Government precisely what they moan. The Committee will remember that the Prime Minister himself, speaking on the Second Reading, visualised what might have happened last Saturday and Sunday had the railwaymen come out on strike. He then said:So serious was the situation that we really had to discuss the question whether we should not have a Saturday sitting of the House and take steps for a meeting of the House of Lords, because we should not have been justified in going on for a single day without having the powers which are contained here."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th Oct., 1920, col. 1452, Vol. 133.]At that moment it was actually contemplated, should the railwaymen come out on a sympathetic strike, to take certain powers, and we are entitled, before we agree to the conclusion of these words in this Clause, to know what kind of powers the Government contemplated taking on the Saturday prior to the Sunday on which the railway strike was to materialise, because it is obvious, and only fair to say, that if the Government had had this Bill in their minds for so long they must have had in their minds the kind of Regulations that they require, and if those Regulations are in any way different from those already obtained then we are entitled to the information. The Committee has to bear in mind that so far as we are aware the Government at this moment have sufficient powers to preserve the peace. There is no good purpose to be served by recalling in detail any one particular strike, but it is a fact within the cognisance of the Committee that from time to time we have had very big strikes lasting a very considerable time in which, with very few exceptions, the ordinary powers in the hands of the Executive have been quite sufficient to preserve a peaceful state of affairs throughout the country. Therefore, we want to know, and we must know, what new powers the Government seek to obtain under the cover of this 1785 phrase. If it be true, and I take it that nobody objects to the proposition, that the Government now have the means of dealing with the public peace, one begins to prospect as to what is required under the new powers now sought.
I want to ask some questions which I hope my right hon. Friend can satisfactorily answer. During the War we have been familiar with the powers of D.O.R.A., powers secured for a particular purpose Under the powers of D.O.R.A. we had some very remarkable happenings in the country, and those happenings might easily again suggest to the Government methods of dealing with them similar to those used under D.O.R.A. Supposing, for instance, we had, as we have now, a coal miners' strike and that the miners engaged in it got as far out of hand as any strikers in any previous strike. Do my right hon. Friends contemplate, for example, taking powers to prevent miners' leaders and other strike leaders from going to any particular parts of the country? I can conceive it possible that my right hon. Friend might say that it would be dangerous for my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) to go down to his constituency and address there railwaymen who might be out on strike, or that it might be dangerous for Mr. Smillie, the miners' leader, to go from Scotland, his own territory, to South Wales to address a strike meeting. That was done, of course, under D.O.R.A. Certain areas were proscribed and certain public men were not allowed to go into those areas to address meetings. Under this Clause you give the Executive further and greater powers to deal with what they call the preservation of the peace. Is that the kind of power that they mean to take? Do they mean to take the power of search, for example, as was taken under D.O.R.A., and to interfere with the correspondence and communications of men who are supposed to be engaged in shepherding or engineering a particular strike at the moment? If it be not that kind of thing that the Government have in their minds, why put in these words? If the words do not cover anything but the powers already in their hands, then why use the words? Why not take them out?
It is quite obvious that if there be a strike imminent or a strike which has actually matured, the Government have 1786 power immediately to issue the Regulations about which we have been talking. Those Regulations are bound to be Regulations to meet the situation. It is quite true that the Government may be perfectly cool in their own view of the situation and may come to cool and mature conclusions, but everybody knows that Regulations drawn up and promulgated at such a time are more likely to provoke than to allay trouble. As a matter of fact, the Government now have sufficient power to deal with any situation, and, if the Government would accept this Amendment, I am perfectly certain that it would relieve the minds of a great many of us who, while on the side of law and order in any industrial dispute, would not like to see the Executive endowed with the power of a greater interference with the personal liberty of the subject throughout the length and breadth of the land. After all, we have the experience of the past to guide us. I do not remember any strike or any situation in the country where greater powers than those already possessed by the Executive were required, and, in view of the fact that this Bill is being discussed at this precise moment, I venture to suggest that, unless my right hon. Friend can give some substantial reasons why further powers are required and at the same time state explicitly what they have in their minds in asking for these further powers, the Government would be well advised to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER SHAW
The anxiety just expressed by my hon. Friend opposite is not entirely confined to the other side of the Committee. No doubt it is true that the purpose of the Regulations is to secure the essentials of life for the community, and the Attorney-General no doubt would say that the powers for the preservation of the peace which are to be enshrined in the Regulations are powers strictly ancillary to the main purpose of securing the essentials of life for the community. If that be his answer, I cannot conceive the object of putting in the words "preservation of the peace" at all. If the words were left out, we should still have two things. We should still have the power to make Regulations for securing the essentials of life for the community, and, in addition, Regulations for securing and regulating the supply of those 1787 different services and commodities. I think that this particular phrase in the Bill is subject to a good deal of justifiable suspicion. The liberties which we possess in this country under our constitution are clear and defined liberties arising out of a long series of legal decisions. They are not, and have not been for many a day, subject to arbitrary action on the part of the Executive. No doubt the preservation of the peace is important, and liberty is important, but the task of our lawmakers and judges has been to reconcile the preservation of the peace with the maintenance of individual liberty. That task has been accomplished by ages of legal development, and, as one result of that, we have in this country the situation that the Government, and the servants of the Government, in dealing with disturbances, can use that amount of force, and no more, which is strictly necessary for the purpose in view. If that is exceeded, then the servants of the Government have to answer for their actions in the courts of law. The Executive, in times of stress, is often apt to take short views, and that, I think, is where the possible peril of this particular phrase in the Bill comes in—the real danger of upsetting that nice balance and the justice of our constitutional law.
I do not know what is the purpose of this particular phrase. I am sure that the Attorney-General will not suggest that any of us on this side, or, perhaps, on the other side, are against the Government's having any powers which are really necessary for the preservation of the peace. What we fear is that the executive, in moments of panic, may take special powers which they say are for the preservation of the peace, but which, in the long run, will have a wrecking influence on the very peace which they hope to maintain. After all, the only purpose of the power given by this phrase in the Bill is to give to the executive the right to make some action legal which would be illegal in the present state of the law, and I really think that that alone calls for some reply from the Attorney-General. It means that the executive can supplant the law in regard to the maintenance of the peace which has grown up through a long series of legal decisions. It means that they can supplant that by a temporary 1788 law inscribed in Regulations which may be born of panic and haste. I do not desire, if I can possibly help it, to press this question to a division, but I think the learned Attorney-General will recognise that, as this is a measure which is intended to be permanent, there arises here a very grave constitutional doubt. I think the Committee ought to be grateful to my hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Hogge) for having raised it, and I think they will expect a proper reply to the very relevant points which he has placed before them.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt)
Again I am afraid that the discussion has rather branched off into such a discussion as one would anticipate if the regulations, and not this Bill, were before the Committee. May I remind the Committee that, when powers are taken in a general way to make regulations such as these, it is very easy to conjure up all sorts of absurd things that might be done, all sorts of improper things that might be done. Surely, however, the Committee will realise that you cannot refuse the power to make proper regulations because that power might, in conceivable circumstances, be abused. It is true that the power asked for might be abused, but I am sure the Committee will approach this from the point of view that the Government, be it a Labour Government, or whatever Government it may be, will make a reasonable use of the powers given to it. It is true that, so far far as the preservation of the peace is concerned, we have ample powers now for the use of force; but regulations may very well be made with regard to the rationing of food, or the distribution of food, which would involve, if we were to prevent disturbance, other regulations not in any way connected with the distribution of food in itself. They might, for instance, entail the shutting of public-houses at an hour which the law did not enforce, and there are all kinds of things that one can conceive. But even if to-day I could not mention any instance of what might occur, none the less I should have said that it was a power which ought to be given. It is not putting unrestricted power into the hands of any Government. At the very worst, as we all know, a regulation could only be in force for a matter of seven or eight days before Parliament got control of it. Therefore it is 1789 not as though we were asking for some uncontrolled power. All that we are asking for is that, amongst the regulations which we ask power to make, there shall be regulations, if necessary, for the preservation of the peace—regulations which may not' be necessary for the mere distribution of food, which may not be necessary for securing equality in the distribution of food, but which may be necessary in order to preserve the peace. I hope, therefore, that these words will be allowed to remain in the Bill.
§ Major HAYWARD
I have listened with great attention to the speech of the Home Secretary in the hope that I should find some justification for the retention of these words. I must say, however, that it has done nothing to remove the great apprehension of alarm that I had in regard to them. In my judgment, these are the really dangerous words in the whole Bill, and if they were removed, so far as I am concerned, most of my objection would be removed. My objection to them is that they equip, not this Government particularly, but any future Government, with power to make any regulations for the preservation of the peace, and, if those regulations are broken, a criminal offence will be committed, so that it will be quite possible to create a criminal offence out of any action which is perfectly legal under the general law of the land. The reply which the right hon. Gentleman gives to all these questions is, indeed, the only reply that he can give. He says that we cannot contemplate what will happen in the future, or what future governments are going to do, because, naturally, he does not know. All that he does is to hope that they will be actuated by reason in their action. My eminently genial and eminently sane right hon. Friend will not always be sitting on the Government Bench, and it is not only conceivable, but it is not improbable, that circumstances might arise in the future, and governments might be in power in the future, which would use this particular power, not merely for the preservation of the peace, but in such a way as would bring about disaster, and would cause breaches of the peace far more serious than they contemplated. There are the cases indicated by my hon. Friend (Mr. Hogge), and one could go on enumerating cases that might very probably occur in any industrial dispute 1790 where an emergency existed. One can well understand that an executive might think it right to prohibit many actions, words, speeches, advice, which at present are perfectly legal. That is not at all inconceivable, and not improbable. It is not enough to tell the House of Commons that you must trust to the reasonableness of the future actions of the executive. You are asking us to equip the executive with these powers, and we ought, in doing so, to define and limit them properly. My objection to these words is that they are not properly limited and not properly defined; they are altogether too wide as they stand. May I put the further question: Are they necessary? I should like seriously to ask the representatives of the Government what action they can possibly require to take for the preservation of the peace which they have not already ample powers for taking. I should like to ask them what action or words of, say, a trade union official, which are perfectly legal now, they want under any circumstances to make criminal?
§ Major HAYWARD
It would be criminal. It is with very great trepidation that I dissent from what the right hon. and learned Gentleman says, but if a regulation is made that certain things cannot be done, and if that regulation is broken, it becomes a criminal offence, and anyone who breaks it might be subject to imprisonment with or without hard labour for three months. I ask: Is it necessary? Is there not, under the law as it stands at present, ample power to deal with everything that can conceivably be necessary for the maintenance of the peace? My right hon. Friend says that it can only be for five days at the outside. As the Bill stands, however, it will be for three weeks at the least, because the regulation operates from the time when it is laid before the House of Commons, and then for 14 days. There are the five days for calling the House together, and there are a further 14 days. There may possibly be some Amendment to that, but that is how it stands at present.
§ Major HAYWARD
The right hon. Gentleman will pardon me, but we have not yet arrived at the place where that is dealt with. It follows on in Clause 2. 1791 The regulation is to be in operation for 14 days, or until Parliament decides one way or the other. The Bill also provides that any act done under a regulation shall be perfectly valid whether the regulation is revoked or not, so that one might have this state of things—that a regulation might be made, there might be a breach of the regulation, and somebody might be committed and imprisoned under it, and then, even if Parliament comes and declares that regulation to be invalid, the man is not released, but remains in prison. In these circumstances I appeal to the Government to reconsider these words, and, if they cannot consent to oimt them, further to limit or define them, so as to give more security against the contingencies which may arise in the future.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The ingenuity which has been shown by the Government speakers in keeping off this particular Clause, and this particular phrase of the Clause, is proof to me that this is the crux of the Bill. I have not had the slightest doubt from the first that here you have the whole heart of this Bill. Indeed, I am wondering exactly what new form of violence the Government mean to perpetrate upon the people of this country. The right hon. Gentleman may laugh. I do not think the Government can be reasonable as far as this matter is concerned, and I think that the only reason why we should try and save them from the results of their own folly is that some of our people will probably be involved at some time or other. It has been stated that the Government at the present time have certain powers. Indeed, they have more power now than they had 12 months ago for dealing with any possible disturbance. I am a Member of a Standing Joint Committee. The Standing Joint Committee in this country previously were responsible, or mainly responsible, at any rate, for the control of the peace, and they were to some extent trusted. To-day they are not trusted at all, for they have practically no power, the powers that they have had having been filched from them during the last 12 or 15 months by the Home Office and by other Departments. We have gone through strikes before. I have been concerned in large strikes, and there has been no trouble, nor even a tendency to trouble. I think it is about ten years since there was any 1792 trouble worth speaking of save in a mining area. It is during a mining strike that this Bill is foisted upon the House of Commons. The right hon. Gentleman knows that there has never been any trouble or any tendency whatever towards trouble. In spite of that, and in spits of the fact that there has been a sense of responsibility among responsible men in the various parts of the country, from the very first since the Government got power there has been a tendency to distrust those very men.
Take an occasion when there is a strike. Immediately that emergency occurs the Government issue their Proclamation, They take to themselves certain Regulations. The right hon. Gentleman says we have to wait and sec what the Regulations are. They are not asking us to pass a Clause like this, involving a principle like this, without contemplating Regulations which are going to be effective when they are laid before the House. In previous strikes they have had the help of responsible leaders or workers in the various parts of the country. Does the Government think that if you control from Whitehall and issue a Proclamation and lay down certain Regulations they are going to get the co-operation of the representatives in the particular districts for something which they will do which may involve other people? In my opinion, for what our influence is worth as things stand at present, we use our influence not only to maintain the peace but to create a good spirit and a spirit of good humour whatever the conflict may be, and sometimes we have to take a very strong stand to maintain it. We have done that up to the present. If they pass a Clause like this they cannot expect men of responsibility to do what they can to maintain peace. The real power is out of their hands and it centres here in London. I said yesterday that the Government were making a science of lightning strikes, so far as this Clause is concerned, by removing the power out of the hands of the Standing Joint Committees and the Watch Committees. They reveal a distrust of the working class community who have been elected on these councils in recent months which will instinctively lead these people to refuse to accept responsibility in such a crisis. After all you can get what Regulations you like and pass what Bills you like, but the co-operation of working class 1793 men in a responsible position will be of more value than any Regulations or Bills you can have, and if there is a refusal to accept co-operation you will precipitate the very thing which you want to avoid. The right hon. Gentleman says there is nothing to quarrel about in this Bill and that our quarrel is with the Regulations. We quarrel with the Bill because they are asking for this power under this part of the Clause. We will support the omission of this part of the Clause which speaks about the preservation of the peace, for in days gone by we have maintained the peace. I support the Amendment.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
I cannot help thinking that the Government would be wise to consent to the omission of these words. The argument of the Home Secretary that it does not very much matter what limiting or defining words you insert here because Parliament will have effective control over the Regulations when they are introduced, appears when pushed to its logical conclusion to go to a very dangerous length, because any limitation would be altogether unnecessary. But what I want to point out to the Government is this. These Regulations can only be made after a Proclamation has been issued, and the conditions under which a Proclamation can be issued are those which are stated in the first Sub-section of Clause 1. I should have thought it was eminently desirable that the power of making Regulations which is conferred by this Clause should be in terms and in substance commensurate with the emergency which is described as the proper foundation for the Proclamation. It is no ground for the issue of a Proclamation under Clause 1 that there is a danger of disturbance of the peace. The Proclamation cannot be justified by that. It can only be justified if the conditions as to the supply and distribution of commodities essential to the life of the community are complied with. That is how the emergency is defined on which the Proclamation is based. If I had been concerned in drawing this Clause, I should have thought it very desirable to omit these words, because it appears to me that the whole object which they serve is met by the subsequent words of the Subsection. Suppose we leave out the words, "for the preservation of the peace." "Such powers and duties as His Majesty may deem necessary for securing and 1794 regulating the supply and distribution of food, etc., for maintaining the means of transit or locomotion, and for any other purposes essential to public safety and the life of the community." As far as I am concerned, I should not be prepared to omit those words. I think they are right and reasonable words. If those words "essential to the public safety and the life of the community" are retained, it appears to me to lose nothing in point of substance, whereas you lose a good deal in point of grace and, indeed, of logical consistency, by inserting a new category, necessarily ambiguous in its definition and possibly very vague and wide in its scope—the preservation of the peace.
The Regulations, it appears to me, and the power of making Regulations, ought to be commensurate with the need which leads to the issue of the Proclamation. If, as I quite agree, we secure the actual maintenance and proper distribution of supplies and food and means of transport and any other purposes essential to public safety, you have all that any Government really needs to deal with the exigencies of the case. I listened to the speech of the hon. Member (Mr. Lawson). I think some of his apprehensions are, perhaps, exaggerated, and some of the dangers which he fears are not likely to occur, but we are dealing with a very sensitive state of opinion. It is extremely undesirable to introduce words which may arouse and oven inflame Opinion, perhaps beyond what is reasonable or necessary, when they are not absolutely needed for the exigencies of the case. I submit to the Attorney-General as an old lawyer, though not quite so old as I am—but we are both old lawyers, more or less—that he would get all he really needs if he omitted these words, provided he retains, as I think he ought to retain, and I should be prepared to support him in retaining, the concluding general words, "any other purposes essential to the public safety and the life of the community." At the same time, he will avoid the risk of misunderstanding, I will not say of abuse—I do not think serious abuse is likely to occur-but misunderstanding and distortion of the intentions and purposes with which this legislation is passed by Parliament.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Gordon Hewart)
I need not say that any argument or suggestion which proceeds 1795 from my right hon. friend is quite certain to receive most careful and respectful attention. But I am bound to say that the criticism upon these words, to which he has now lent the great weight of his authority, is based to some extent at least upon a misapprehension. It has been laid down again and again in the courts that where powers are given by statute to the executive it must be assumed that they will be exercised reasonably. You are not to construe a statute upon the footing that the power which is given to the Government is going to be, or is likely to be, exercised in a ridiculous or unreasonable or grotesque fashion, and I have not the least doubt that my right hon. Friend would agree with that proposition. Nor do I share for a moment the more imaginative apprehensions which have sometimes been expressed and frequently indicated in the course of this Debate. But we know very well that in this House, before the power is given, and on the question whether the power shall be given, the argument proceeds on the assumption that it will be, is meant to be, and if I followed what was said in the earlier part of the Debate, is desired to be exercised in a fashion which is unreasonable.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I am suggesting that that proposition was implicit in the argument. However that may be, we are to approach this Clause, as I submit, from the point of view that the powers which are to be conferred upon the Executive will be exercised reasonably, honestly, and in good faith. That being so, how far have we got on the Bill as it now stands? The Committee has already decided, and the House has already decided by the vote upon the Second Reading, that it is not only desirable but essential in the public interest that certain machinery shall be provided in order to enable the Executive promptly and effectively to deal with what the Bill speaks of as an emergency. To that end it is provided that when the event happens a Proclamation may be issued, and when the Proclamation is issued certain Regulations may be made. We have got so far, and that particular matter is no longer, at any rate at this stage of the Bill, a subject of controversy. That being so, the Committee is not considering now 1796 what are the detailed Regulations to be made, but what are the categories within which those Regulations are to be confined. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Asquith) said, and I respectfully agree with him, that the Regulations which are to be provided for in the second Clause are to be "commensurate with the purpose which is described in the first Clause." "Commensurate with." I accept the phrase; but "commensurate with" does not moan "identical in so many words with." What is the purpose that is mentioned in the first Clause? The purpose is to deal with action committed or immediately threatened, of such a nature and on so extensive a scale as to be calculated by various modes of interference, or one of them, to deprive the community of the essentials of life. Is it unreasonable, is it fantastic, to suppose that in the course of committing the action which is to be dealt with, and in the course of the steps which are taken to meet that action, there may be some novel encroachment upon the public peace? It is not merely fair, but it is somewhat obvious to reflect that incidentally to that which is done upon the one side or the other it may be, in the necessities of the case, some special arrangement will have to be made for the preservation of the peace.
We are not saying by this Clause that Regulations under this head shall certainly be made. What it says is that in the classes of Regulations which may be made the Government is not to be debarred, is not to be excluded, from the making of Regulations under the head of the preservation of the peace. I do sincerely submit to the Committee in general and to my right hon. Friend (Mr. Asquith) in particular that it is a reasonable thing that the Executive should not in the classes of topics to which the Regulations may refer be debarred or excluded from Regulations under the head of the preservation of the peace. It would appear from the remaining part of my right hon. Friend's speech that he is prepared to go a large part of that distance with us. H e says that in the more general words towards the conclusion of this Sub-section we have a phrase which would be sufficient to cover what may be reasonably contemplated under this head. That is to sayessential to the public safety and the life of the community.1797 It may be so. But I am not sure that it is so, because I can conceive that there might be circumstances in which it would be necessary to make Regulations for the preservation of the peace, although the nature of that which was being dealt with fell short of endangering the public safety and the life of the community. My right hon. Friend is of the opinion that such Regulations for the preservation of the peace might be made under the powers given by these words relating to the public safety and the life of the community. Suppose it to be so. Suppose that my right hon. Friend is right, and that we had limited ourselves to those words. I thought indeed that he was going on to suggest—such was his line of argument—that such Regulations might even be made under the final and yet more general wordsand may make such provisions incidental to the powers aforesaid as may appear to His Majesty to be required for making the exercise of those powers effective.I say, suppose it to be so. Is it not more frank, is it not more fair, that when we do deliberately contemplate the possibility, I put it no higher than that, of making Regulations, among other things, for the preservation of the peace, the Bill should expressly and clearly say so, and that we should not for that purpose shelter ourselves under any more general phrase? I put it upon a broad ground. I recognise, we all recognise, in one of the cogent phrases which my right hon. Friend used that we are dealing with a sensitive state of public opinion. Nobody is blind to that fact, and looking at the matter calmly and dispassionately I do most seriously say that it would not be right, when the Committee is imposing limitations upon the special powers which the Government may think it necessary to exercise, that it should say to the Government, "You may regulate upon this matter, upon that matter, and upon the other matter, but we are going to prevent you, we are going to debar you, from making Regulations for the preservation of the peace."
Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
The very lucid speech of the Attorney-General has made it clear that this is but another stage in the struggle which has been going on in the latter part of this Parliament to curtail the power of the executive, and to preserve the powers of the Commons assembled hero as the representatives 1798 of the people. Whether we agree with this Clause or not, we must admit that there is a fundamental difference between what has been hitherto the practice of the law and the custom of government in this country and that which it is suggested should now be set up. We have struggled to reduce the power of the executive, the power of issuing orders in Council, and have sought to retain power in this House for deciding these and other matters of similar importance. You may have two methods of Government. You may have a method of Government by the executive, no doubt moving swiftly and expeditiously and possibly more satisfactorily than that by the common law, but, on the other hand, we Englishmen in the past have struggled to reduce the power of the executive, and we say that although there may be delays and disadvantages, it is safer for democracy that the regulations which govern our land shall be based on the common statute law, which has to pass through its various stages in this House and another place. It is deplorable that in these days the Government are seeking to remove what has been an effective part of our method of government, and which Englishmen have prided themselves upon in comparison with other countries. In other countries the executive have these greater powers, and they can ride rough-shod over the liberties of the people when emergency arises, but it is undesirable that we in these days should give up the control of Parliament over matters of vital interest to the security of our people.
No one denies the need there may be for extensive powers being granted to the executive, but let the House grant those powers to the executive when the occasion arises, and not seek permanently to revoke and reverse that which has been the custom in the past It seems to me that this is a measure not so much of defence as of defiance. In the past we have acted on the assumption that strikes and disorders were exceptional occurrences, whereas under the new atmosphere which appears to be created by this Bill it is suggested that strikes and disorders are to be a permanent part of our country, and we are making permanent legislation to deal with them. This creates a wrong atmosphere. It creates an atmosphere which will tend towards the strikes and disorders which we seek to obviate. Therefore, although the right hon. Gentleman 1799 said that we were conjuring up all sorts of imaginary and fantastic happenings, we do realise the dangers of the situation. If the House is not sitting, the executive may act for five days until the House assembles, and another seven days must elapse before an Order in Council can be revoked. Therefore, 12 days may elapse during which the executive will have free power, uncontrolled and untrammelled by this House or by anybody else. It is unnecessary and unreasonable to ask for such extensive powers, and the House ought to be very jealous in refusing to give those extra powers to the executive. The experience of the past few years has shown that the House is willing to give the executive, when the occasion arises, any powers they desire, and at the very shortest notice. It is desirable to safeguard the rights and liberties which we have built up in generations gone by by the constant struggle of the people against the executive, and it is unfortunate that we should be asked to reverse that policy and to give away that which has been won at so great a price.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HOGGE
Before we go to a Division we are entitled to more information than has been vouchsafed to us by either the Home Secretary or the Attorney-General. Yesterday an Amendment was accepted to Clause 1, leaving out the words "or other necessities," presumably because four categories had been defined; food, water, fuel and light. My right hon. Friend had no objection to taking out words which were indefinite and, therefore, likely to lead to the kind of questions which we have been putting. The present discussion deals with the words "preservation of the peace," and it raises a question of the new powers which the Executive seek to obtain. The only reply we have had is that we are raising suppositions, difficulties, and we are told that all that is being done by the insertion of these words is to take power to deal with still another category, the preservation of the peace, and to make such regulations as may be required in particular emergencies. My right hon. Friend has not replied to one argument which needs comment. We have had enormously serious industrial happenings in the past. We have had a coal strike which lasted 17 weeks when men, women 1800 and children were at great extremities of hunger and poverty as a result of that lengthened strike, and when they were in a condition of mind and temper which obviously would have prompted them to break the peace, and yet in these extreme circumstances the Executive was armed with quite sufficient powers to deal with that state of things. If I remember rightly, I do not think there was an occasion on which you had to bring in special constables. The ordinary police force, and in some cases the military, were all that were required, and the military were only required in very exceptional storm centres, in exceptional times, to maintain law and order. The Attorney-General, in reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, said that the words "essential to public safety and the life of the community" were not sufficient for the Government purposes. Why? The Government in an emergency of that sort want to maintain public safety and the life of the community. They propose to maintain the life of the community by providing for the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel and light. Therefore the only other thing that concerns us is the safety of the public. What is it my right hon. Friend has in mind"? The main argument of the Prime Minister in his speech on the Second Reading was that even at this moment things had been so critical that the House of Lords and this House might have had to be summoned to sit on Saturday. The Government must have had in mind at that time the kind of powers they wanted. If they had not, then they cannot ask us to believe that this is a mature Bill.
Is the House of Commons not entitled to know, before endowing the Government permanently with that power, what they had in their mind beyond the powers for the preservation of peace. In the circumstances one is entitled to assume that the Government do want powers beyond the powers which they are at present obtaining. Suppose you had a railway-men's strike, it is conceivable that the Government might prevent every responsible railwaymen's leader from going to a strike area and speaking to the men. The areas could be proscribed and the men prescribed, and these would be regulations for what is called the preservation of the peace. We would support 1801 the Government in maintaining the safety of the community, but we are not prepared to give special powers in matters of opinion affecting the individual liberty of the subject. My right hen. Friend has got more respect for a Committee of the House of Commons than to say simply, "You must wait and see the regulations." This is a Bill which the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend say has been contemplated by the Government for months. Therefore, they must have been thinking about it. That is not what they had in their minds, and if they want the consent of the Committee we ought to know before we come to a decision. Personally, I must go to a Division, unless my right hon. Friend gives us some idea of what they have in their minds. These regulations will always be made in a hurry, and many men engaged in industrial disputes might find themselves laid by the heels and put in prison before they had ever read the regulations or knew in what they were offending. It happened under Defence of the Realm Act over and over again.
§ Mr. HOGGE
Perhaps not. I do not want to exaggerate. Those men, at any rate, were frequently arrested for an offence the nature of which they did not know. If you are going to make regulations for the preservation of peace under this Bill, they are going to be made in a big emergency when feeling is very hot, and if, under the regulations, you got some of the well-known leaders of organised industry, instead of co-operating with the Government to avoid the continuance of the strike, laid by the heels, then you are going to promote and provoke strikes, and in view of that we shall press for a further reply from the Home Secretary as to what really is contemplated under this particular power.
§ Mr. MACMASTER
The first Clause provides for the issue of a Proclamation in conditions of emergency. The second Clause declares what should be the purpose of the Regulation. The object of the Regulations is there declared to be to secure the essentials of life to the community. That is the broad general power that is given to the Executive. It is in a subsequent portion of the same Clause that certain specific provision is 1802 made for the delegation of power to a Secretary of State or a Government Department, and in connection with the delegation of power we find these words "the preservation of peace." It seems to me that the primary object in the whole of the latter part of the second Clause is to make provision for what should be inserted in the Regulations. That would have to do with the delegated power, and entirely with the delegated power. It is when these Regulations come up for consideration by the House that all these matters may be criticised and settled. Meantime, all the Government are asking for is the power to make the Regulations in certain conditions. If they make the Regulations they must forthwith communicate them to the House. When they are communicated the House has power to consider them. All this criticism which might be urged against the Regulations in certain cases would be urged then, or if there was special objection to the delegation of powers to a Secretary of State or a Department of State that would be urged then. But conceivably, in certain circumstances, the delegation of powers might be necessary, and I do not see the danger to which my hon. Friend refers.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
If this Amendment goes to a Division I have no alternative but to support it, unless we can have some further undertaking on the part of the Home Secretary and the Attorney-General. The part with which my hon. Friend's Amendment deals is one of the most important parts of the measure under consideration. The Government recognise it. It must have been in the mind of the Prime Minister when he spoke on the Second Reading. He said:So serious was the position that we really had to discuss the question whether we should not have a Saturday sitting and take steps for a meeting of the House of Lords, because we should not have been justified in going on for a single day without having the powers which are contained here."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Monday, 25th October, 1920, Vol. 133, col. 1452.]I wonder why the Prime Minister made a statement of this kind if it was not that he wanted to place restrictions on certain sections of the citizens of this country. I believe the Bill is an anti-strike Bill, and for the purpose of limiting the powers and activities of the trade union movement of this country, and that under the 1803 powers that the Government are taking by this measure they will be able to restrict the activities of certain sections of the citizens of this country in a way that under the present law is not possible, notwithstanding the very wide powers under the present law. Unless the Bill is modified to a greater extent than we have been able to secure in the Committee stage it is just possible that the Government will be in the position to restrict persons in my position in carrying put their duty to their particular constituents. When the last ballot was being taken on the unfortunate dispute in which we are at present engaged, I was asked by members of my own organisation to go down and discuss with them the proposals that had been put forward by the mine-owners and the Government. I went down and discussed with them at numerous meetings these proposals. I gave them my own personal opinion regarding them, and advised them as to how they ought to vote. But if the Government had been armed with the powers which they now ask for, I should not have been in a position to have gone down, unless with the consent of the Government. The powers under this Bill, if applied, would have prevented me going down unless with their consent.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
What is to prevent the Government, if they know that I am going down to my constituents to advise them against a settlement on the lines suggested by the Government, from preventing me with the powers under this Bill from going down? I will give you another instance. Numerous letters have come to me during recent days on matters concerning the strike. With the powers which this Bill will confer there is nothing to prevent the Government having all my correspondence opened.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
I think it does. My association is now running a little weekly bulletin and a number of people, myself included, are asked to contribute short articles to that bulletin. There, again, the Government, with this Bill passed, could prevent the publishing of that bulletin and could prevent any of us from writing articles for the guidance of our 1804 people. These are serious things for the trade union movement. We are entitled to put these points to the Members of the Government and to get a reply upon them. I hope that before the Division is taken we shall have some further statement from the Home Secretary.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I have the greatest difficulty in seeing what there is fresh in the speeches to which I have listened, but at the same time I should very much regret it if I were thought discourteous by a single Member. I will, therefore, endeavour to make myself plainer. The last two speakers have treated this Bill as though it dealt with strikes and nothing else. Nothing is further from the truth. It is not a strike-breaking or an anti-trade union Bill. Really it is wasting the time of the Committee to answer arguments which are based on the assumption that this is an anti-trade union and a strike-breaking Bill, because it is nothing of the sort. It has been put to me, "Well, you have had this Bill in preparation for some time, and the Prime Minister said on Saturday that we would perhaps find it necessary to have a Saturday sitting to get the Bill through." That is perfectly true. We have for months considered this Bill, not in the light of any particular set of circumstances or any particular emergency, but in the light of any emergency that we thought might arise. We thought of all the sots of circumstances we could, but on Friday and Saturday, when we were considering the then position, we were not considering this Bill. It is perfectly true that we did consider what regulations it might be necessary to put before the Cabinet for their consideration, and then to put before Parliament. But I ask hon. Members opposite, what on earth was there in the position on Friday or Saturday to suggest to us that we should require any Regulations? There was nothing to suggest it, and we never even considered on Friday and Saturday Regulations with regard to the preservation of the peace, because there was nothing to suggest to us that there would be any broach of the peace. That does not prevent us, when considering the Bill in peace time, not in regard to any particular set of circumstances, from showing that such an emergency might arise. When it does arise we shall require to deal with it. We were faced on Friday and Saturday with a possible stoppage of 1805 the means of communication, which would involve the necessity, perhaps, of commandeering food and providing the means of distributing it. Those were the considerations we had before us and the Regulations were considered, but there was no question at all of a breach of the peace, and we never considered what might eventually become necessary, namely, Regulations under this particular Bill. These words may become necessary; it may be necessary to take steps. I do not think the right hon. Member who spoke last seriously suggests that, because he might go to advise his union that certain proposals of the Government should be objected to, we could prevent him from doing so. It cannot be so. No such thing has ever happened. If my right hon. Friend really desired that he and his anion should starve the community, or if my right hon. Friend really desired that he and his organisation should commit breaches of the peace and he went down to incite to it, we do not want this Bill; we would deal with him quickly enough.
§ Mr. SPENCER
If, after the statement repeatedly made by the Home Secretary that it is not intended in any way to break up legitimate strikes, he will accept an Amendment providing that no part of this measure shall apply to a strike which is carried on according to the present law, then we might have some faith in the statements which have been made; but if no such assurance is forthcoming from the Government, we shall be led to draw the only inference possible, namely, that underlying the intention of the Government is the prime intention of stopping legitimate strikes. It was stated yesterday from the Front Opposition Bench that we had a maximum of suspicion of this Bill and of its intentions. We most certainly have. We have suspicions about the power which any responsible Minister of the Crown is going to assume for the purpose of keeping peace until Parliament could meet. This Bill invests a single Minister with unlimited opportunities to use that power in whatever way he may deem necessary for the purpose of keeping the peace. That opens a wide door for the full play of a Minister's ambition or prejudice in relation to a possible strike. I am not going to suggest that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill would use it, but the fact remains that he could 1806 take those powers and could govern this country by the worst form of legislation possible, namely, government by mere Regulation. We are not only suspicious of the power to be assumed, but we are suspicious about the application of that power to different persons. I am going to propound a conundrum. Assume that we get over this coal difficulty and that at the end of two months the Government give notice of their intention to reduce the miners' wages by 2s. a day, that the miners refuse to sell their labour at that price, that a great strike follows and that during that strike there is a breach of the peace. Who is to be held responsible for the breach of the peace? Is it the Government or the coal owners who have given notice to the workmen that they will not employ them any longer unless they sell their labour at a lower price? In circumstances of that character the Government could not use the powers. But if, on the other hand, the workmen were to ask for a further 2s. advance in wages and that was not forthcoming, then the Government would use their powers against the workmen, and not against those who locked them out, and in the first instance were responsible for the breach of the peace.
§ Mr. SWAN
I regret to say that the explanation of the Home Secretary has not removed the apprehension that many of us have as to the menacing powers which are being sought. Instead of these powers for the preservation of the peace attaining the object which the right hon. Gentleman suggests, they will make obdurate employers more obdurate. The sweeping powers which would be behind the various employers when working men have reasoned grievances and present them will make those employers just as obdurate as this House is to the reasoned statements that hon. Members make time and time again. Large numbers of the community are continuously living in a state of siege, and it is because of that that trade unionism came into existence. The powers conferred by this Bill will take away the right of working men to have their own organisation. Very often men with legitimate grievances have no alternative but to take the advice of their leaders and to come out on strike. Under this Bill a Minister has power to arrest that leader, to give him three months' imprisonment, and to fine him £100. I 1807 am not suggesting that that is the intention of the Home Secretary, for I know him too well for that. The Home Secretary knows as well as any of the hon. Members who cheer him the obduracy of certain employers, and if any loophole is furnished to them they will refrain from making any concession. What does the Prime Minister suggest as the way to meet all these emergencies. He suggested a little while ago that unrest was caused by unjust conditions and inequalities, and that oppression was responsible for revolution. He said that the way to deal with that position was to remove the causes. I suggest that this Government has had abundant opportunities to remove the causes which gave rise to unrest, but instead of doing so they seek to intensify them and to add to the oppression of the people by introducing such a measure as this. I suggest such a measure is not necessary, and that you should trust the common sense of Labour and employers to deal with these inequalities. When certain employers want to make an attack upon Labour, is there any suggestion in this measure or any intention on the part of the Home Secretary to issue regulations whereby those affected are thrown out of work will be paid. You suggest the preservation of the community. I ask, which community? The intention is to provide for the community who already have more food and necessaries of life than they have the capacity to consume.
If the Government desire to deal with the causes of unrest let them tackle the question of poverty in the country. One of our Members asked a question the other day as to how many profiteers had been sent to prison for profiteering, and the reply of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade was that not one profiteer in the land had been sent to
§ prison. But it is suggested when any agitator comes along and complains of grievances that you should have power to send him to prison and to fine him op to £100. We suggest that this Amendment ought to be accepted, not indeed that it will make any great difference to the working classes but because these tremendous powers ought not to be given to the Home Secretary or any other Government Department. [HON. MEMBERS: Bolsheviks.] An hon. Member opposite says, "Bolsheviks." I say that you are the Bolsheviks, and you are responsible for the unrest and otherwise you would not introduce a Bill of this description. Carry out the policy of making this country a place fit for heroes to live in, and there will be no need for a measure of this description with all its tyrannical powers. Speaking of Bolsheviks I say hon. Members opposite are the Bolsheviks.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Sir F. Banbury)
The hon. Member should address the Chair, and not hon. Members.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out" stand part of the Clause.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 287; Noes, 50.1811
|Division No. 335.]||AYES.||[5.40 p.m|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel A. H.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Bigland, Alfred||Burn, T. H. (Belfast, St. Anne's)|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Butcher, Sir John George|
|Armitage, Robert||Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Carew, Charles Robert S.|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Blair, Reginald||Carr, W. Theodore|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Cautley, Henry S.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Borwick, Major G. O.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Brassey, Major H. L. C.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)|
|Barnett, Major R. W.||Breese, Major Charles E.||Chamberlain, M. (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Broad, Thomas Tucker||Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill|
|Barrand, A. R.||Brown, Captain D. C.||Churchman, Sir Arthur|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar||Brown, T. W. (Down, North)||Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Bruton, Sir James||Clough, Robert|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.||Coats, Sir Stuart|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Purchase, H. G.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Rae, H. Norman|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hurd, Percy A.||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Coote, William (Tyrone, South)||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Courthope, Major George L.||Jephcott, A. R.||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jesson, C.||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Reid, D. D.|
|Craik, Ht. Hon. Sir Henry||Johnstone, Joseph||Renwick, George|
|Curzon, Commander Viscount||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirk'dy)||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Rodger, A. K.|
|Davies, Sir Joseph (Chester, Crewe)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)|
|Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Dewhurst, Lieut.-Commander Harry||Lindsay, William Arthur||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Dixon, Captain Herbert||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Lloyd, George Butler||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool Exchange)|
|Donald, Thompson||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Lonsdale, James Rolston||Seager, Sir William|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Lorden, John William||Seddon, J. A.|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Lynn, R. J.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverle F. P.||Simm, M. T.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||M'Guffin, Samuel||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachle)||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Macmaster, Donald||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Forestler-Walker, L.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Macquisten, F. A.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Gardiner, James||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Mason, Robert||Taylor, J.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel.||Middlebrook, Sir William||Thomas-Stanford, Charles|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Mitchell, William Lane||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Glyn, Major Ralph||Moles, Thomas||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Tickler, Thomas George|
|Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Grant, James A.||Morden, Colonel H. Grant||Turton, E. R.|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Waddington, R.|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar||Morrison, Hugh||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Mosley, Oswald||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Gregory, Holman||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Waring, Major Walter|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Murchison, C. K.||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Whitla, Sir William|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Nall, Major Joseph||Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tyson|
|Hailwood, Augustine||Neal, Arthur||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Hanna, George Boyle||Nield, Sir Herbert||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.||Wilson, Capt. A. S. (Holderness)|
|Harris, Sir Henry Percy||O'Neill, Major Hon. Robert W. H.||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Haslam, Lewis||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Parker, James||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||Wise, Frederick|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pearce, Sir William||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Percy, Charles||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Philipps, Gen. Sir I. (Southampton)||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Hinds, John||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Hood, Joseph||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Younger, Sir George|
|Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn, W.)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Prescott, Major W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Lord E. Talbot and Captain Guest.|
|Hopkins, John W. W.||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Davies, A (Lancaster, Clitheroe)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Cairns, John||Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Cape, Thomas||Devlin, Joseph|
|Briant, Frank||Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Lunn, William||Swan, J. E.|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Newbould, Alfred- Ernest||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||O'Connor, Thomas P.||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Hayward, Major Evan||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wintringham, T.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hogge, James Myles||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Holmes, J. Stanley||Robertson, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Irving, Dan||Royce, William Stapleton||Major Mackenzie Wood and Mr. Waterson.|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. D. W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Lawson, John J.||Spencer, George A.|
§ Mr. HOGGE
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words "and other necessities."
I hope it will not be necessary to make a speech on this Amendment, because, as far as I can see, although I believe the Home Secretary thinks otherwise, it is practically the same as one that was accepted yesterday on Clause 1.
§ Mr. SHORTT
This Amendment is not consequential at all. The words "or other necessities" in the first Clause deal with the question of such a state of interference as would cause a state of emergency, and it might very well be that there might be some other small necessity the interference with which would not be sufficient to justify an emergency; but here we are concerned with the regulations dealing with the supply and distribution of matters that are necessary to life, and if there did happen to be some small matter of necessity, as well as food and fuel, that could not very well be distributed, we should have powers to deal with it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words "and for any other purposes."
The Attorney-General has been rather unfair in suggesting that I moved an Amendment to prolong the Debate. The best answer to that is that a larger number of Members went into the Lobby in support of the Amendment than in support of any other that has been moved. I move this Amendment not for the purpose of pressing it to a Division, but in order that it may make this part of the Bill perfectly intelligible. The previous parts of this Clause deal with payments and the 1812 distribution of food, fuel, etc. Can the Home Secretary indicate for what other purpose these powers might be exercised?
§ Mr. SHORTT
I really think the Debate on these words was covered by the Debate we had on the words "for the preservation of the peace," and I do not know whether my hon. and gallant Friend want me to repeat what I then said.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CHARLES EDWARDS
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert the wordsProvided that nothing in this Act shall be Construed to authorise the making of any regulations abrogating any existing law or imposing any form of compulsory service.
§ This Clause gives the Government power to make regulations which may be very wide and comprehensive, and we move this addition to limit those powers, or at least to make sure that they shall not apply to two cases, the first of which is that they shall not abrogate or supersede legislation which has been secured, and, in the second place, to make sure that they shall not provide for compulsory service. We have grown up under considerable freedom as far as service is concerned, and only during the War did we know what compulsion of this sort meant. Under the stress of war, of course, we accepted many things that under other conditions and in other times we should not have accepted. We also think that if the Government try this it will be doomed to failure from the beginning, because they would have to deal with persons who would be organised, and so 1813 would find it very difficult to compel them to do anything which they did not want to do. People belonging to any self-respecting trade union worth its name would simply laugh at this Bill or at regulations made under it. I venture to think that the people affected would be either miners, railwaymen, or transport workers, and these are highly-organised men who would simply treat with contempt any regulations of this sort to compel them to do what they did not want or intend to do.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I cannot accept the words as they stand, hut I think I can meet my hon. and right hon. Friends opposite with regard to the two fears which they have advanced. In the first place, they want, as far as I understand it, to put their fears into concrete form, to preserve their rights under the Trades Disputes Act, and to see that nothing is done to prevent the right to strike, and perhaps when I tell them what I am pro-pared to do, they may alter their opinion and may believe there is some little grain of truth, even in a Member of this Government. It may be necessary for us temporarily to vary or modify the terms, for example, of the Unemployment Insurance Act for the good of the community, and of course in a sense all emergency legislation, being irregular and something that could not be done in ordinary, normal times, is to that extent an abrogation of the law, and therefore these words are much too wide. Now, perhaps, my hon. Friends will read the succeeding Amendment on the Paper, which deals with persons taking part in strikes, namely:Provided that no such Regulation shall make it an offence for any person; or persons to take part in a strike or to incite or induce any other person or persons to take part in a strike.What I would suggest is this, that the Amendment with which we are dealing should read in this way:Provided that nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorise the making of any Regulations imposing any form of compulsory military service or industrial conscription.That would at any rate prevent any fears that there would be industrial conscription and that the Government could deal with any other than volunteer assistance. The next one I would suggest should read: 1814Provided that no such Regulation shall make it an offence for any person or persons to take part in a strike or peacefully to persuade any other "person or persons to take part in a strike,The words in the Amendment on the Paper, "to incite or induce," might be taken to cover cases where direct violence was urged, which would be contrary to the existing law. The words I have suggested entirely prevent what they are afraid of, namely, any kind of compulsory employment of men against their will, any kind of forcing men to work, and they specifically preserve to them the right to strike and the right to lead a strike.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
May I ask whether the hon. Member who moved the Amendment would consent to withdraw it, in order that the Home Secretary may move another Amendment in the words he has suggested?
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. R. YOUNG
I am sure we are very pleased to hear the statement of the Home Secretary, but, at the same time, it is essential that we should have the fullest information in relation to this matter, I want to ask the Home Secretary whether, under this Amendment, persons in His Majesty's service, such as the Post Office for instance, will be compelled to do any other kind of work than their own work as Post Office officials? I want to be certain you are not going to utilise people in His Majesty's service, who have joined for work, for instance, in the Post Office, in other directions.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I am not in a position to answer that. Clearly, one would not be entitled to take sorters out of the Post Office or clerks out of the Post Office and send them down the, pit or put thorn into shipbuilding yards. I cannot say definitely there is nothing they would be called upon to do, but it would have reasonably to be within their contract of service before they could be called upon.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
The class of work my hon. Friend has in view is the taking of postal servants, or other men who are in the service of the Crown, to do the work of men on strike, because if you had a condition of affairs like that it would be a very serious matter. It would be just one of the things that would be likely to cause trouble, and that is the reason for requiring to get as much information as possible before we finally part with this 1815 Amendment. Like my hon. Friend the Member for the Newton Division (Mr. R. Young) I am pleased that the Home Secretary, on behalf of the Government, has seen his way to modify the Bill to the extent that he has done. It goes a considerable way towards meeting us on this matter, and, in indicating the manner in which he will be prepared to deal with the following Amendment, he also goes a considerable way to meet us on another very important part of the Bill so far as the trade union movement of this country is concerned, and I was going to suggest to my hon. Friend who has moved this Amendment that he might withdraw his in favour of the one proposed by the Home Secretary. If there is any doubt still existing in our minds as to the change that is implied, we might take the opportunity of discussing it further on the Report stage.
§ Mr. CHARLES EDWARDS
I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. If necessary, we can discuss the Home Secretary s Amendment on the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment made: At the end of Subsection (1) insert the words
Provided that nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorise the making of any Regulations imposing any form of compulsory military service or industrial conscription."—[Mr. Shortt.]
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
Might I ask the hon. Member (Mr. Kiley) whether he wishes to move his Amendment as it appears on the Paper, or in the form which the Government have indicated they would wish it moved?
§ Mr. KILEY
I am quite prepared to accept the suggestion of the Minister in charge of the Bill.
Further Amendment made: At the end of Sub-section (1), after the words last inserted, add:Provided also that no such Regulation shall make it an offence for any person or persons to take part in a strike or peacefully to persuade any other person or persons to take part in a strike."—[Mr. Kiley.]
§ Captain BAGLEY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "as soon as may be" and to insert instead thereof the words "without avoidable delay."
1816 The object of my Amendment is to substitute an intelligible direction for a set of words which has literally no meaning at all. The words "as soon as may be" have made their appearance in many Bills of late, but the present occasion is a very important one, and therefore I take leave to draw attention to these words. This Bill, of course, confers enormous powers on any Ministry. Under it, a Labour Ministry with a few amateur Lenins and Trotskys in it might easily reduce the condition of this country to the condition of serfdom which exists in Russia to-day. As soon as these Regulations are made, they have all the power of an Act of Parliament, and carry penalties for non-observance. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that these Regulations should come before Parliament at the earliest possible moment. The Sub-section recognises that in one way, by providing that the Regulations after being laid before Parliament shall not continue in force for more than 14 days, unless Parliament passes a Resolution providing for their continuance. That is all right so far as the period which elapses after they have been laid before Parliament; but how long is to elapse from the time the Regulations are made, and are therefore in force, until the time they are laid before Parliaments The Bill says they shall be laid before Parliament "as soon as may be." What do those words mean? If they mean "as soon as possible" why not put that into the Bill? Let me put a homely example to the right hon. Gentleman. Supposing I were to borrow from him a ten-pound note and gave him a written solemn promise that I would pay him back as soon as may be; I would like to know at what stage in my affairs he could go to law and recover the money. "As soon as may be" means nothing at all; it might be a week or it might be a month.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I have sometimes heard it said by persons who have the misfortune not to be intimately connected with the practice of the law that mere lawyers have a habit of splitting hairs, but, upon my word, I never remember anything quite like the suggested contrast between the meaning of the words "as soon as may be" and the meaning of the words "without avoidable delay" The hon. and gallant Member painted a gloomy picture of what might happen if he borrowed from me a sum of ten pounds 1817 to be repaid "as soon as may be." I should be inclined to ask him a corresponding question. I wonder what would be likely to happen if he borrowed ten pounds to be repaid "without avoidable delay."
§ Captain BAGLEY
A delay which can be avoided can be ascertained, but the words "as soon as may be" mean precisely nothing at all.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I do not agree. The words "as soon as may be" are rather stronger than the words "without avoidable delay." The words "as soon as may be" mean without any delay at all, and, except that I object to the word "delay," I should be glad to accept the Amendment. The words "as soon as may be" are more than equivalent.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. R. YOUNG
I beg to move, in Sub section (2), to leave out the word "fourteen" and to insert instead thereof the word "five."
§ Mr. YOUNG
While we are glad to get some concession, we think we are justified in asking the Government to realise the importance of this Amendment. A great deal may be done in seven days, and, as there are certain penalties for indiscretions, shall we say, committed under the Act, it seems to me that five days when the House is sitting are quite sufficient time. I do not know whether or not my colleagues will agree to the course suggested.
§ Sir G. HEWART
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said yesterday that we were prepared to reduce this period of fourteen days, and we suggest to the "House that seven days would be reasonable. The Amendment says five days. I hope we are are not going to have any serious controversy as to a difference of two days. I would suggest that the hon. Gentleman should withdraw his Amendment, and move the insertion of the seven.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.1818
§ Amendment made: In Sub-section (2), leave out the word "fourteen," and insert instead thereof the word "seven."—[Mr. R. Young.]
§ Mr. MYERS
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to add the wordsand such Regulations shall not continue in force unless a Resolution is passed by both Houses in each succeeding period of seven days providing for the continuance thereof.We propose by this Amendment to ensure that the Regulations proposed to be put into force in the state of emergency to which the Regulations are to apply should be reviewed, when in operation, by this House every seven days. It is recognised and conceded, I believe, that these Regulations will only be put into operation in very exceptional circumstances. We claim that these Regulations will be very drastic, far-reaching, repressive and restrictive, and that they will limit the freedom of individuals in every kind and sort of way. In respect to Regulations of this character, drastic in their operation and so far-reaching, we should have an opportunity, as frequent as possible, of reviewing the circumstances under which they are to remain in operation. Having regard to these circumstances, we suggest that every seven days would be a reasonable time, when we would be able to express our opinion as to whether the Regulations should or should not be further continued.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I am bound to say that I think my hon. Friend—with whose object in moving this Amendment I entirely agree, if I may say so—has based his argument upon a slight misapprehension. What is the scheme of the Bill as now amended? For the purpose of securing effective control in this House over the contents and life of such Regulations, the scheme is this: That if Parliament is not sitting at the time when the Regulations are made, Parliament has to be summoned within the specified interval, that is, within five days, and these Regulations are, as soon as may be, to be laid before Parliament and they are to have no continuance after the expiration of seven more days unless Parliament so resolves. Hon. Members by the Amendment now proposed seek to super-add to that scheme something further, obviously with the intention of further limiting the possibility of the life of the Regulations. The 1819 Amendment proposes that these Regulations, after being authorised by a Resolution of this House, shall not continue in force unless a Resolution is passed by both Houses in each succeeding period of seven days providing for the continuance thereof. I think that upon reflection the hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment will perceive that so far from giving Parliament any further control, the effect of the Amendment is rather to limit the control of Parliament. The Resolution referred to, the Resolution required to be passed by both Houses of Parliament, might very well be a Resolution continuing the Regulations for three days, or even for a less period, or for a longer period. The matter would be in the hands of Parliament. I suggest it is quite unnecessary to provide that there should be a recurrent Resolution at intervals of seven days and neither more nor less.
§ Mr. J. H. THOMAS
One can quite understand that it is possible to read into words many meanings. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is rather saying to my hon. Friend: "As a matter of fact it is we who are very anxious to protect you, and your Amendment really makes it worse." That is the substance of the argument. But surely it is a wide stretching of the imagination to suggest, as is suggested here, that if Parliament means to review something, it is taking power out of the hands of Parliament! What can happen, supposing this Amendment is not accepted? Parliament is sitting. Parliament can, by the action of the Government, be prevented from re-considering the matter. It is quite true that a vote of censure could be moved, but everyone knows what Parliamentary procedure is. Everyone knows perfectly well that if the Government were to say, "The business is 'so and so,'" that that is always an easy method for the Government to get out of any obligation; whereas, if the words of the Amendment are accepted, there is an obligation on the part of the Government to enable Parliament to review the situation every seven days.
Surely, if there is any substance in the statements that have been made from the opposite Bench that this Bill will only become operative in various specially delicate and difficult circumstances, in a 1820 great national emergency—that is the substance of every speech made from that Bench—because we have been repeatedly told in answer to our queries: "Does the House and the country imagine that this thing will be used in trifling affairs?" our answer is that "it is only in great national emergencies." We are, I suggest, entitled to say that if that is the intention, only to use the powers of the Act in great national emergencies, that surely it is not too much that Parliament should have the opportunity of reviewing the matter at least every seven days. There is no doubt about the importance of the regulations. There is no doubt about the drastic nature of the powers. All we say is, if it is alleged that Parliament must keep control, that we believe the acceptance of these words will go a long way at least to ensure that Parliament, as distinct from the Government, shall be able to make a review every seven days.
§ Sir G. HEWART
Might I add just one word in answer to the right hon. Gentleman. I am quite sure that he also—and there is no quarrel as to the object we have in view—is under a misapprehension. If a given Parliament, when certain regulations happen to be made and laid before that Parliament, desires to limit the operation of those regulations to seven days, it can do so. It can limit the operation of those regulations to three days, and by a further resolution can make it three days more. All I am saying is that these words are imposing a limitation upon Parliament. If an emergency should unfortunately so long be continued that a renewal of these regulations from time to time became necessary, and a recurrent review were required at the end of each week, the same Parliament would conduct the review. It can do something more drastic if it likes under the Bill as it stands.
§ Mr. THOMAS
Well, let us visualize the actual operation. Parliament is, say, in session, specially called within the five days provided by the Bill. Some emergency has arisen. Regulations are drafted and submitted to the House the day that Parliament meets. They are accepted by the House without any limitation, because 1821 anyone who has been in this House any length of time knows perfectly well—they could not conceive otherwise—it is against Parliamentary experience and Government procedure to assume it, that in such a contingency as this the Government itself would say: "we want these powers for three days." Of course they would not say anything of the kind. What they would say to the House would be, "we want these powers," and they would say nothing about the period. All we ask in this Amendment is that if the matter goes on over the seven days it shall be the duty and an obligation, I repeat an obligation, on the part of the Government within the seven days, or on the seventh day, to review the circumstances as they are then. To this suggestion the answer of the right hon. and learned Gentleman is, "Oh, surely, Parliament could do that on the second or the third or fourth day." I admit that, but I am dealing with experience, and the practice of these things. We all know perfectly well that is exactly what would not happen. By the acceptance of these words it would be compulsory. Put it in another way: suppose, again, it is a great emergency such as we are told this Bill will only deal with. It is not too much to ask that if there were circumstances that would warrant the special convening of Parliament to consider and agree to regulations already drafted, that surely in seven days something might arise out of that great crisis which would warrant Parliament reviewing the situation? All we are asking is that you will protect the House of Commons itself, and compel the Government of the day, whoever they are, to take Parliament into their confidence in an emergency of this kind at least every seven days.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I may be extraordinarily stupid, but with the best will in the world I must confess I fail to find any substance in this proposal. I do not know whether my right hon. Friend was in the House when it was intimated that the Government were prepared to accept, and did accept, an Amendment which provides that no Proclamation of this kind can be in force for more than one month. Therefore, we have now the limitation of one month. The position at the beginning of the period is that if Parliament is not sitting it is to be summoned within a period of five days. The regulations are to be laid before Parliament 1822 "as soon as may be," and they can have no force or effect after the expiration of seven days from that time without a resolution of the House of Commons. Therefore, it follows that within a period at the outset of eleven days, if the emergency continues, a resolution of both Houses of Parliament will be necessary. In that resolution it would be perfectly open to both Houses of Parliament, looking at the circumstances of the time, to say, "We will by resolution approve these regulations, but we will only approve them for five days." The matter is entirely in the hands of the Houses of Parliament. Is it to be said that there might be such a change of view that even that provision would be no check, and they might want to reduce the period?
§ Mr. THOMAS
I can quite conceive of Parliament doing that, because in the interval they would have had experience of the regulations. It is all very well for Parliament to "bolt" the regulations on the arguments used, but it is another thing for Parliament, with five days' experience, to see the effect of the Resolution. I can quite conceive of the House of Commons, after five days' experience of the application of some regulations, altering its mind entirely as to the justification of the continuance of what they have already sanctioned.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I am afraid I cannot continue these conversations, but I must point out that if my right hon. Friend will look carefully at the provisions of the Bill he will see that the ingredient of experience will already be possessed by Parliament at the time of passing the first Resolution.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
Already the right hon. Gentleman has met us on the previous Amendment by reducing the period, but I am a little surprised that he is not now disposed to meet us on this point. So far as we are concerned, we believe if these Regulations, once they have been agreed to by this House, continue in operation for 14 days—which means possibly three weeks—a very serious situation may arise. I do not know whether the Attorney-General has taken into account the possibility of these Regulations being placed in the hands of those who may administer them harshly, and thus cause a considerable amount of irritation and trouble in the country. In 1823 our view, in circumstances like that, it would be fatal if the Regulations continued in operation for three weeks. We think it is the safest thing to do to have a limitation of 7 days instead of 14 days. If we found that a mistake had been made in the framing of these Regulations it could be remedied within 7 days under the terms of our Amendment, but if 14 stands it may have a very bad effect. We have to keep in mind that it is possible the Regulations might not be administered exactly in the spirit in which they are framed, and it might be necessary to review them at shorter periods than 14 days. We think they ought to be under review every 7 days, and I hope the Attorney-General will see his way to meet us on this point.
|Division No. 336.]||AYES.||[6.40 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hartshorn, Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hayward, Major Evan||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Hirst, G. H.||Spencer, George A.|
|Briant, Frank||Hogge, James Myles||Swan, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Holmes, J. Stanley||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cairns, John||Irving, Dan||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Kenyon, Barnet||Tillett, Benjamin|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Lunn, William||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Waterson, A. E.|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness and Ross)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wintringham, T.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Rendall, Athelstan||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Robertson, John||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Sexton, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)||Mr. Tyson Wilson and Mr. Neil Maclean.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Broad, Thomas Tucker||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Brown, Captain D. C.||Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Brown, T. W. (Down, North)||Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Bruton, Sir James||Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Armitage, Robert||Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.||Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Davies, Major D. (Montgomery)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burn, T. H. (Belfast, St. Anne's)||Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Butcher, Sir John George||Davies, Sir William H. (Bristol, S.)|
|Barnett, Major R. W.||Carew, Charles Robert S.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Carr, W. Theodore||Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar||Casey, T. W.||Dewhurst, Lieut.-Commander Harry|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Cautley, Henry S.||Dixon, Captain Herbert|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Dockrell, Sir Maurice|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Donald, Thompson|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Doyle, N. Grattan|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Churchman, Sir Arthur||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Clough, Robert||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)|
|Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland||Coats, Sir Stuart||Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.|
|Blair, Reginald||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Falcon, Captain Michael|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Fell, Sir Arthur|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Colvin, Brig-General Richard Beale||Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.|
|Brassey, Major H. L. C.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Ford, Patrick Johnston|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Coote, William (Tyrone, South)||Forestler-Walker, L.|
§ Mr. HAILWOOD
Supposing the House was in recess, under this Amendment these Regulations would have to come before the House of Commons every seven days, and this would mean the summoning of Parliament just simply to confirm the Regulations once every seven days, which seems to me to be quite an impracticable proposal. I would suggest that the Attorney-General might insert the words, "until Parliament might so determine by Resolution," and that would leave it open to the House of Commons to move a Resolution to determine the continuance of the Regulation.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Aves. 60: Noes, 290.1825
|Forrest, Walter||Lorden, John William||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Lort-Williams, J.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Gardiner, James||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Lynn, R. J.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverle F. P.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool Exchange)|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Seager, Sir William|
|Glanville, Harold James||Macmaster, Donald||Seddon, J. A.|
|Glyn, Major Ralph||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Macquisten, F. A.||Simm, M. T.|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Mallalieu, F. W.||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Mason, Robert||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Middlebrook, Sir William||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Hailwood, Augustine||Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Mitchell, William Lane||Stewart, Gershom|
|Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Moles, Thomas||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Sugden, W. H.|
|Hanna, George Boyle||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Morden, Colonel H. Grant||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Taylor, J.|
|Harris, Sir Henry Percy||Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash||Thomas-Stanford, Charles|
|Haslam, Lewis||Morrison, Hugh||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Murchison, C. K.||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Tickler, Thomas George|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Nall, Major Joseph||Townley, Maximillan G.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Neal, Arthur||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Turton, E. R.|
|Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Waddington, R.|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Nield, Sir Herbert||Wallace, J.|
|Hinds, John||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Hood, Joseph||O'Neill, Major Hon. Robert W. H.||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn, W.)||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.||Ward, William- Dudley (Southampton)|
|Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark||Waring, Major Walter|
|Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Parker, James||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Hopkins, John W. W.||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pearce, Sir William||Whitla, Sir William|
|Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)||Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tyson|
|Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Percy, Charles||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Pickering, Lieut.-Colonel Emil W.||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert|
|Jesson, C.||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.||Wilson, Capt. A. S. (Holderness)|
|Jodrell, Neville Paul||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Johnson, Sir Stanley||Prescott, Major W. H.||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Johnstone, Joseph||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.)|
|Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pulley, Charles Thornton||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Purchase, H. G.||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Rae, H. Norman||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Randles, Sir John S.||Wise, Frederick|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, Welt)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Reid, D. D.||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Renwick, George||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Lindsay, William Arthur||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Younger, Sir George|
|Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Lloyd, George Butler||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Rodger, A. K.||Captain Guest and Lord E. Talbot.|
|Lonsdale, James Rolston||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
I beg to move, in Sub-section (4), after the word "revoked," to insert the words, "by Resolution of the House of Commons or."
I think there is something like general agreement in this House that some additions to the powers of the Executive are necessary, on the lines, at any rate, of some of the proposals of this Bill. There is, too, general regret that it should be necessary in any way to limit our 1826 ancient liberties. Nevertheless, with the new dangers that present themselves to us at these times it seems certain that the Government must be made strong enough to cope with great cataclysms when they arise. That, at any rate, is my view, and I have tried to carry it out in the votes I have given on this Bill. There is also an almost universal feeling that we must not, in our endeavour to protect ourselves against dangers 1827 which may arise, put our ancient liberties unnecessarily at the mercy of the Executive. The great protection it seems to me is that all these powers should be fully controlled by the House of Commons as representing the whole people. We have recognised that in the Bill before us and in the provision enacting that the Regulations as quickly as possible must be brought before the House of Commons and can only continue to have the force of law if they are supported by Resolution of the House of Commons. When they have once been enacted, and enacted in all probability for thirty days—because there is very little doubt that the Executive will always strive to show that the Regulations should be enacted for the full time allowed by law—when they have been enacted for thirty days an Executive may proceed to make a use of them which was never foreseen by Parliament, which was not contemplated when Parliament authorised them, and which does not commend itself to the general feeling of the country. That is not by any means a chimerical or imaginary danger, for we may not always have in power a Government possessing the sweet reasonableness of the present Government. We may indeed have one holding very extreme views on one side or the other, and in that case, during the thirty days, there might be a great abuse of the powers entrusted to them by the House of Commons. Therefore I suggest that the House of Commons should retain always the power to revoke or to alter these Regulations. The words I propose would give to the duly elected representatives of the people the power of always controlling the exceptional powers which they put into the hands of the Executive.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I am rather surprised no one has risen from the Government Bench to give reasons why these words should or should not be accepted. May I make an appeal to right hon. Gentlemen to allow them to be put in? I cannot see any reason why the Government should object to them, and I do not see many grounds upon which strict constitutionalists in the House would prefer to have them included. After all, in theory according to the phraseology of our ancient procedure in this House, everything is done "by the duly elected representatives of 1828 the people." There can surely be no objection, therefore, to liberty being given to the House of Commons to revoke these regulations. If the Home Secretary cannot accept the words, I shall be interested to hear his reasons.
§ Mr. SHORTT
The Amendment cannot possibly be accepted as it stands. Both Houses are accepted as necessary for the original framing and confirming of the regulations, and any subsequent action must therefore be by both Houses of Parliament. If you have a Resolution of both Houses of Parliament confirming certain regulations it will be necessary that both should join in the resolution for revoking them, or in seeking to get some addition or modification in an Order in Council. If the hon. Gentleman is prepared to amend his Amendment so as to make it read "both Houses of Parliament" instead of "the House of Commons," then I will be prepared to accept it.
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
I do not see any objection to that, and I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his offer. I will ask leave to withdraw this Amendment, and then move it in another form.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
I now beg to move, in Sub-section (4), after the word "revoked," to insert the words "by Resolution of both House of Parliament or".
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
What will be the effect of this alteration? Does it mean that although the Home Secretary in the first instance may introduce resolutions which have to be confirmed by a Resolution of both Houses, there can be no alteration of the Regulations unless by a Resolution of both Houses.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Major M. WOOD
I beg to move, in Sub-section (5), after the word "revocation" ["expiry or revocation"] to insert the words "otherwise than by the failure or refusal of either House of Parliament to pass a Resolution as hereinbefore provided."
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ This Amendment raises the question of the validity of the regulations in the period between the time when they are 1829 made and the time when they receive the assent of Parliament. That time may not be more than a few days, but on the other hand it may extend to a period beyond twelve days, and it is very necessary that we should look to the position which will arise in the event of these Regulations, after having run for twelve days, being negatived by the House of Commons. As the Bill is now drafted, if a man were charged with an offence under these Regulations and sent to prison and afterwards the Regulations, or the particular one under which he was charged, failed to get the assent of the House of Commons, his conviction would still stand and the man would remain in prison. That seems to me to be a preposterous state of affairs, and I cannot think that the Government would allow a Bill to pass where such a thing could happen. Not only does that arise in the case of a man being sent to prison, but many men might be fined or have their goods forfeited under the same provisions and still there would be no remedy, even although afterwards the House of Commons and Parliament said that these Regulations should never have been made and refused to pass them. If the words which I have suggested are inserted, the Government would know that they are taking a risk and they would be very careful first of all to haves the Regulations approved by Parliament at the earliest time and secondly to see that they do not put in these Regulations or at any rate they do not act under any provisions of these Regulations unless they are quite certain that the House of Commons and the House of Lords will assent to them. If there is any doubt about any of the particular provisions, they can wait until, they have got the assent of Parliament, and the Amendment which I put forward 7 submit is a reasonable one and I hope the Government will look favourably upon it.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I cannot possibly accept these words. I think it would have been much better if the Mover had quite frankly and plainly said what it was to do, namely, that no Regulation shall be a valid force until it has been confirmed by Parliament. We think it necessary, and it might very well be that an emergency may arise in which it is essential to do things, and therefore we propose that the Regulations should be a valid 1830 force immediately they were promulgated and for a certain period. If they fail to be confirmed by Parliament they cease to operate. You have to legislate not for the peculiar case where the Government of the day might have a majority in Parliament behind them, but you must legislate on the assumption that the Regulations are of such a character that the supporters of the Government will confirm them when they come before Parliament. One effect might be that you may have a state of great emergency when Parliament was not sitting, when immediate action was essential for the good of the community, and you would be unable to take it because no Government dare act upon the Regulations if these words were put into this Bill.
§ Mr. A. SHAW
The Regulations would be perfectly useless if the hon. Member's Amendment were accepted. He has mentioned specific cases that might arise, and I venture to think that in such cases the Home Secretary would, in the case of imprisonment, advise release.
It may be that we have had our attention concentrated too strongly upon the possibility of injustice and hardship that might arise by the Regulations. But there is no desire on the part of the Amendment and those who support it to make the Regulations have no effect. Would the Home Secretary explain to us the full meaning of Sub-section (5) of Clause 2:The expiry or revocation of any Regulations so made shall not be deemed to have effected the previous operation thereof or the validity of any action taken thereunder or any penalty or punishment incurred in respect of any contravention or failure to comply therewith.I quite agree that the executive would not make regulations that they would not be able to carry through the House. But if such a state of things did occur, the effect of this Section would be to make penalties and punishments in force under those Regulations valid. But the Section does not finish there. It goes on to say:In respect of any such punishment or penalty.Perhaps the Home Secretary or the Attorney-General would relieve our minds and tell us whether persons who have suffered under these Regulations exposed to penalties and punishments, will they have rights, will they have the right of appeal? That is the position. We have 1831 been dealing with an Indemnity Bill which was passing through this House a little while ago in which we found difficulty to get any right of appeal for persons affected under that Bill. If the Attorney-General could tell us whether people under these Regulations will have open to them any right of appeal against a sentence, if he could give us that assurance it will entirely remove our case.
§ Major-General SEELY
I have supported this Bill because it gives the ultimate power to Parliament and thus safeguards the liberty of the subject. Perhaps the Home Secretary or the the Attorney-General will satisfy us as to what would be the effect in the case of a person imprisoned under the Clause when we are considering. I do not think this Amendment entirely meets the point, although it is designed to that end. There should be some words that make it certain that if this House rejects the Regulation the unfortunate sufferers who have offended against it should have at least some redress
§ Mr. SHORTT
If I may say so, I think it is highly improbable. In the case such as has been put before me by my right hon. and gallant Friend, where clearly the House disapproves the Regulations and said they ought never to have been made, that was a very different matter from the House saying that this was right for the first few days and not for any longer. Assuming the case that the Regulation ought never to have been made, it is clear, and I cannot conceive of anything else being done than the exercise of the prerogative and immediate release of a person who happens to be in prison. Technically they had broken what was the law at the moment, but, having regard to the circumstances, it is inconceivable that any Home Secretary would do otherwise than advise His Majesty to release him. The real safeguard is that immediately Parliament says these Regulations should never have been made no steps will be taken under them.
§ Mr. SHORTT
It is highly improbable that a man would be there six days. If valid and if acted upon, he would be imprisoned, and it is only because Parliament has refused to make that law that he is entitled to be released at all. I do not know what my hon. Friend means by loss.
§ Mr. HAILWOOD
Is it intended that these cases shall be heard in Courts of Summary Jurisdiction, or is it intended to set up courts-martial?
§ Mr. SHORTT
The Regulations would decide that. I cannot tell you. It is no use asking me what it is intended to do. I am dealing with the case where the Regulations cease to continue by being revoked by Parliament.
§ Major-General SEELY
I think my hon. Friend can withdraw his Amendment in the case where Parliament plainly disapproves of the Regulation, and those who have suffered under it can receive clemency.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I am not satisfied. Supposing under the operation of this Act someone was arrested and detained for the minimum number of days, I do not fix myself to a figure—supposing he was the head of a business in which many men and women employed were dependent upon him, and as a result of that arrest and detention he suffered, and other people suffered as a consequence, and Parliament then, after Debate, cancelled the Order under which that man was arrested; has the man who was detained in that way any claim to compensation for the loss due to the perfectly unjust operation of what might be panic Regulations?
§ Question put, "That the words, otherwise than by the failure or refusal of either House of Parliament to pass a Resolution as hereinbefore provided,' be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 61; Noes, 257.1835
§ Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I should like to take this opportunity of drawing the attention of the Committee to an Amendment, which was made to Clause 2 a short time ago, which alters entirely the whole scope and meaning, not only of Clause 2, but of the Bill. At the end of Sub-section (1) these words were added:Provided also that no such Regulation shall make it an offence for any person or persons to take part in a strike or peacefully to persuade any other person or persons to take part in a strike.As far as the first part is concerned, which provides that no such Regulation shall make it an offence for any person or persons to take part in a strike, I personally have no objection to it. I do not know what the feeling of the Committee was, but I think there were very few hon. Members present at that time. So far as that goes, however, I have no objection, and never have had any objection, to people striking if they think it right to do so. I have always been in favour of the liberty of the subject, and, if any person wishes to strike, I think he has a perfect right to do so. But it is quite a different thing when you go on to sayor peacefully to persuade any other person or persons to take part in a strike.We know perfectly well what "peacefully persuading" means. It means the assembly of a large body of persons, some of them connected with the strike and 1836 some not, and it enables those people, whenever they see any person who is exercising his right as a free-born British subject to go on doing work which he wishes and thinks it right to do, to knock him on the head. It is all very well to say that that is not peaceful persuasion. How are you going to prove it? I have taken part in strikes myself. I took part in the railway strike only last year. We had a large number of voluntary workers who came to feed the horses, and when they got outside the gates they were assaulted. This grew to such a pitch that one evening they came to me and said: "We must get rid of the women who are here helping us to look after the horses, because we cannot be answerable for their safety." Consequently, I got a motor omnibus and sent all the women away, and endeavoured to carry on with men. The men were assaulted. It is all very well to say: "Very well; you can go to the police." The police have no power, if they see a mob, to disperse it; and if a person is assaulted in a mob, how on earth is he to know who it was that assaulted him? Even if he sees the man who did it, he is unable to identify him, and the police cannot be in every place at every moment. Therefore, I propose, when we take the Report stage later on, to move to omit these last words, "or peacefully to persuade any other person or persons to take part in a strike."
I sincerely hope that the Labour Members will not oppose such an Amendment. It must be remembered that this Bill is not compulsory. It only enables the 1837 Government under certain circumstances to take certain steps. We will presume a strike, perhaps one in which passions become heated on both aides. As far as regards that part of the Amendment which allows people to strike, I have no objection and I do not think anyone in the House probably has any either, but I have a strong objection to perpetrating in cases of emergency one of the very worst defects in the Trades Disputes Act, namely, peaceful picketing. I was in the House when peaceful picketing was put into the Trade Disputes Act. We all know the arguments which were used and every one of them has turned out to be false. Instead of someone saying, "My dear fellow, don't do that," we all know what takes place. We all know, and none better than hon. Members opposite, what peaceful picketing means. Why did not the Home Secretary put this in his Bill if he intended to accept it? It could not have been his intention to accept such a drastic Amendment as this when the Bill was introduced. The whole House, with small exceptions, has come here today intending to support the Government through thick and thin. We now find that at the last moment, in a small House, hardly anyone knowing what was going to be done, an Amendment which takes the whole strength of the Bill away is accepted. All that remains now in the Bill is that property may be commandeered. That may be a good or a bad thing, but it is not what the House understood was going to be done with the Bill, and therefore I earnestly hope that on Report hon. Members will support me if I move to leave out the words, "or peacefully to persuade any other person or persons to take part."
§ Mr. HOGGE
I am sure the Committee will sympathise with the right hon. Baronet having had insult added to injury in so far as he had to sit silent in the Chair and accept an Amendment which he now proposes to oppose on Report. These are the little ironies that come to every one of us in this House. I wish to put a question to the Home Secretary about a condition of affairs which I do not think is completely covered and about which I should like some information. What would be the position, assuming that Parliament had been by Proclamation dissolved and we were entering upon a General Election period in which there was a long interval of time. If the emergency 1838 outlined in the Bill arose, would the Act then operate? Would anyone have power to put into force the powers you are taking in this measure? I will put a concrete case to show what I mean". Assume for a moment that on account of a series of strikes the Government went to the country, as has been suggested, A great many people have suggested recently that the Prime Minister might appeal to the country in connection with the present strike in order to get a decision in favour of the views that he holds towards the industrial crisis. Supposing the industrial forces of the country accepted that as a challenge and at once called a general strike? There you would have a case of emergency—a perfectly proper thing to do in face of a snap General Election or anything of that sort. What power is there in the Bill to meet an emergency of that kind, and if there is any power, would the Act run in those circumstances and might you not therefore have a period in time than the greatest disturbance might be expected which would not be covered at all by the provisions of the Act?
§ Mr. SWAN
I rise to move the rejection of Clause 2 because all the speeches which have been made have not removed our apprehension as to the menace which is aimed at the working classes of the country. We think it is a deliberate attack upon all our privileges, and if such powers as these had existed, I cannot conceive the depth of degradation that the mass of the working people would be in. When working men come to discuss their grievances under such powers as this Clause gives the Home Secretary, they are always faced with the possibility of being put into prison and huge fines imposed on them. What would the Labour movement think if those representing them allowed a Clause like this to go through? We suggest that these powers are to be applied to the wrong people. It can be an attack upon no other class but working men and women. If it had been intended to deal with those people who have held the nation up to ransom for the last six years by diminishing the value of their food and raising the cost of living, we could have understood the desire of the Government to prevent a blockade. We think this Clause is intended to maintain a blockade which is in continuous existence upon working men and women because of low wages and high prices In 1839 the past we have only improved our conditions socially and in every other way by effort upon effort and strike upon strike, vindicating our claims to more leisure, more bread, and better wages. Now the Bill seeks to take away the only means which organised Labour has to ventilate its grievances and vindicate its claims to a better share of the wealth which it has produced. We think that it is most intolerable that any such measure, in the light of the great promises which have been made to the country, should be brought into this House. It has been said that other countries, such as America, possess these powers. We know that powers like these were operative in Russia, and when the rank and file of the working people protested against the unjust conditions they were imprisoned and taken to Siberia. We do not want to see any emulation in Great Britain of the terrible conditions that existed under the Czar. We hope that measures will be introduced which will prevent a certain section taking away the liberties and rights of the working people either to organise or protest against these grievances.
There has been a lot of talk about responsibility and the great responsibility of the Government. I want, and I am sure all on this Bench want, to see the Government recognise its responsibilities and its obligations to the State, but here instead of recognising its obligations it looks upon those who represent organised labour and the masses of the working people as having nothing but obligations or duties without any regard to their rights. We expect to have something more than duties. This Bill does not recognise the rights which the working people have got and have been denied. The only chance we have had of ventilating our grievances has been through Trade Unions. If the working people have got to be amenable to the law, laws must be introduced and put upon the Statute Book which will be fair to all classes in the country. This is remote from any such thing. We have been fleeced by high prices and low wages. The Government has never made an attempt to arrest the encroachment upon the people by profiteers. I am sure no one knows better than the Home Secretary, with his vast experience in dealing with Joint Committees and adjudicating 1840 between workmen and employers, the menacing power which such a measure as this give to certain obdurate employers. These people, with their settled minds, and the legal advice behind them, will analyse the powers and instead of approaching the question of wages, hours and conditions with the object of removing grievances, furnished with such powers as this Bill gives, they will refuse until the workers are goaded into revolt.
I am not going to make any reflection on the Home Secretary as being desirous of putting any such vicious powers into operation. I know the commendable judgment he has exercised in dealing with disputes and he has earned the admiration of both sides, and especially of the miners of Durham, but he cannot always be Home Secretary. Whether he be or not, we consider that such powers as these are too sweeping and too drastic to be under the control of any Department or any Minister, therefore we cannot but oppose this Clause. The Prime Minister suggested that the intention of the Bill was to see that food was distributed equitably in the case of a strike Recently we had a demonstration outside this House of 15,000 unemployed. Was there any attempt to introduce these emergency powers in order that the grievances of the unemployed could be abated, and that they might get food, fuel, clothing or any of the essentials of life? We claim that the law is administered more as if the Government were custodians only of those who have more wealth than is good for them. Can it be expected under these circumstances that we will humiliate ourselves and accept all kinds of indignities without protest? There are such things as trusts and combines which do incalculable harm, and make it impossible for a large section of the community to get the necessities of life. Why have the Government been so negligent for years regarding the vicious influence of the trusts and combines upon the community? Is it the intention of the Government under Clause 2 of this Bill to deal with those people who have made enormous fortunes during the last 5 years? So menacing have these people become that although the Government had been silent, they were eventually compelled to have an inquiry as to the wealth of these people, and it was found that less that 1 per cent. of the nation had made fortunes 1841 amounting to £4,180,000,000, Have the Government grappled with these people, and put them in their proper place? Have they dealt with them in regard to the seige and blockade which they have made upon the poor? They have been allowed to laugh with impunity. A handful of the nation, 200 millionaires, were allowed to increase their already vast fortunes during the War to the amount of another £200,000,000. Did the Government grapple with these people? No! The only people that are to be affected by this Clause and its emergency powers are the working people.
This is class legislation in spite of all the eloquent speeches of the Prime Minister. The way to redress wrongs is to remove the wrongs. The unemployed people to-day are saying they want work, and the responsibility rests upon the Government to provide work for these people so that they and their families may live in comfort. In spite of all the promises and fine speeches that have been made, there is no promise or prospect that the interests of the community are to be protected in regard to the question of unemployment. There is no prospect of the grevious wrongs of the unemployed being remedied. The only policy left for us is to move the total rejection of this Clause, because we believe that it cannot add to peace, but that it will cause discontent and revolt. Arising out of the negotiations with the employers in the present dispute to-day, assuming that they are not prepared to accept the proposals which the miners' leaders have been making, and one of my friends suggests that the policy is wrong and the only way by which it is possible for us to get our claims met is by continuing the strike, what will take place? There are powers in this measure given to the Home Secretary to see that the individual who makes any such speech is put into prison. Assuming also that certain employers are seeking to effect economy and they consider that the only way is to dispense with a section of the men in their employment, while on the other hand a workman suggests that this policy is wrong, and that if the employer pursues such a policy the workers should strike. There again the Home Secretary could, under the powers of this Bill, put that man into prison and fine him £100. These powers are more drastic than those which made trade unions illegal.
1842 Can the Government expect that those who are the leaders of organised labour can allow such a Clause as this to go through without protest? It is intended, deliberately, to break the spirit of the trade unions, and make them acquiesce in such things as long hours and low-wages. It is stated that there are many people who are suffering to-day from lack of food. Will those people who are in possession of large numbers of acres of land, and who have never attempted to put that land into use in order that it might find work for the unemployed and food for the nation, be dealt with? Will those people who use their land mostly for game purposes, and invite people down to see what good shots they are, come within the ambit of this law? Will those people who have allowed their food-producing land to go out of cultivation when they might be producing the necessaries of life be tackled? We know that the Government, composed as it is, has no intention of dealing with such people.
§ Mr. SWAN
The best way to protect the community would have been to pass the Unemployment Bill which we introduced, in order that every man and woman willing to work would have the light to work, and at wages which would enable them and their families to obtain the necessaries of life. The Government turned down that Bill. We also suggested that in order that we might have an A-1 population it was advisable to provide for fatherless children. The Government turned down that proposition. When the Government turn down humane, reasonable proposals of this kind, which have been repeatedly made by the Labour party, we cannot believe that they will act in a more generous spirit under the terms of this Clause. If the working people have responsibilities they have rights also, and the least we can expect of the Government is to recognise those rights and to see that the workers have opportunities of life, and that they should not have to live under such an arbitrary and menacing Measure as this. Hence I move the rejection of the Bill.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. WIGNALL
I heartily support the rejection of this Clause. I was moved by a noble impulse in listening to the very piteous appeal made by the right hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) in connection with the sad picture he drew and the indignant protest he made against the Government for protecting the right of the worker, and also by his resolve to introduce an Amendment on the Report stage that will at least, if carried, give him a peaceful night's sleep. He is very troubled about the idea of peaceful persuasion. I would not attempt to infer that the right hon. Baronet does not know the distinction between peaceful persuasion and picketing. The sad stories he related in connection with his experience of strikes relate more to picketing than to peaceful persuasion as we understand it. Peaceful persuasion is generally conducted in the meetings and in the workshops before the strike takes place. When the strike has taken place the picketing process comes into operation. No doubt the right hon. Baronet dislikes it very much. I have been moved with a noble impulse to give my Noble Friend an opportunity to join with us and get great numbers of his colleagues to come into the Division Lobby with us to reject this Clause, which will carry with it the obnoxious and abominable suggestion of the Home Secretary to introduce a safeguard to which we have a right. With that safeguard in it we shall still oppose the Clause, so that the Noble Baronet could join issue with us, and if he objects to the proposed Amendment, here is a chance, which he does not often get to throw in his lot with us and repudiate the conciliatory efforts of the Home Secretary. I do hope that the Home Secretary will remain firm in standing by his declaration, not as a concession to us on the Labour Benches or as a favour or a bribe to shorten the discussion, but because it is a right which, as a trade union body, we possess, and that he will retain that right not with-standing the threats of the right hon. Baronet and others.
Coming to the preservation of the peace, while the discussion was in progress I was casting my mind back over the years that have passed and the very many incidents with which we have all more or less been concerned, and I have been puzzling my brains to try to recall 1844 something in the way of necessary powers which the Government do not possess for dealing with industrial disputes, and which they have not exercised through these years. I have seen meetings broken up, crowds dispersed, trade union officials arrested and sent to prison on more than one occasion for something that has been brought against them. I have seen the police in hundreds and thousands. I can remember one particular instance—I could remember a dozen—where I was so closely watched and guarded by police that I really felt that I was a man of some importance, because wherever I would go there was a policeman near by, and there were regiments of soldiers standing all along the place, guarding property, I suppose. I have seen gunboats in the river. All these things were done for the preservation of the peace. I am not finding fault, but when one goes over past history in our active life in our trade union movement, one wonders what is there left in the way of new powers that can be given to the Government that will deal with matters as they arise.
We have been informed, sometimes emphatically and at other times very persuasively by the Home Secretary and his supporters who have used strong arguments to try to convince us, that this Bill has nothing to do with the trade union movement at all. If it has nothing to do with the trade union movement then it has nothing else to do with any other movement in existence in this country. I am convinced that there is more in it than appears on the surface, and time alone will reveal what it really is. We have been told that the Government will draw up its Regulations, and they will be submitted to Parliament, which then will decide. We know all that is meant by that. We know, judging from the tone of some of the speeches which we have heard, what will happen. If the Government drew up the most drastic Regulations that were ever conceived, placing the trade unions in the most difficult position that could be imagined, and we came here as representing labour and poured out our indignation upon these Regulations, and had the House crowded with Members, although we could make out a good case that these Regulations were unnecessary and unjust, we know that the Home Secretary would tell the House that the Government, in view of the position of the country, believed 1845 that these Regulations were absolutely essential for feeding the people, and for the safety of the community and the preservation of the peace of the nation, even to the extent of sending to prison some of those who had participated in a trade union movement in the country, and do you think that the House as constituted to-day would vote against the Government and reject the Regulations? Why the whole thing is a farce.
§ Mr. WIGNALL
The S.O.S. would be sent out. The big battalions would come rushing in to the rescue of the Government, and no matter whether the Regulations were good or bad, as the Government had made them the House would endorse the action of the Government.
§ Mr. WIGNALL
Yes, faithful to the end. I do think that this Clause should be deleted, and I shall vote against it.
§ Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
I think that the Committee has grave reason to complain of the action which the Government have thought fit to take, altering entirely the Bill as the result of a manuscript Amendment which is unknown practically to the great majority of Members of this House. The Clause provides that where a Proclamation of emergency has been made it shall be lawful for His Majesty in Council to make Regulations for securing the essentials of life for the community. Therefore it is an extraordinary emergency which must have arisen, and yet the Government have thought fit to accept an Amendment providing that the Regulations for securing the essentials of life to the community shall be prohibited from preventing the peaceful picketing of our railway stations, for example, or our docks. When an emergency of that kind arises passions grow and excitement is occasioned. In the course of trade disputes in the past large crowds have assembled at railway stations and docks by way of peacefully picketing the approaches to those places. Here we have a Government Amendment providing that regulations shall not be made in times of emergency forbidding crowds to assemble, for example, outside our railway stations. 1846 That is to say, that if I or any other hon. Member should go to a railway station to secure, say, a milk supply for the children of London, for the transit of bread, or anything else, we might have to pass through large crowds of men who, from the point of view—
§ Sir W. DAVISON
I have done it frequently. I think little of crowds of men. I talked fairly and straight to them and they talked fairly and straight to me. But other people have not been so fortunate in that way as I have, and friends of mine who were engaged in the last railway strike in dealing with the horses at one of the big stations were roughly handled.
§ Mr. WATERSON
Is the hon. Member aware that the railway companies have been requested on numerous occasions to allow the men while out on strike to feed the horses and they were prepared to do it at their own expense, and I submit that the statement which has been made is an insult to the railwaymen.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
I am stating what is a fact. The point is that this Amendment did not refer to the peaceful picket-ting of stations and docks. If the Government will introduce words to show that the peaceful persuasion applies merely to the workshops or to the hall where the question of the strike is being discussed, I have nothing more to say.
Mr. T. THOMSON
Hon. Members who have spoken from the Labour Benches have stressed the point that this is an attack on Labour. I submit that it goes deeper than that, and is an attack not merely on one section of the community, but on the liberties of the whole of the people, and is an interference with rights which have been built up over a long series of years by our forefathers. It is giving more power to the Executive. Right through the last two Sessions the Government have sought to magnify the power of the Executive. They seem to forget that the period of emergency during the War, when the Executive had enormous power given to it, is now past, and that we should be getting back to normal times.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 192; Noes, 58.
|Division No. 338.]||AYES.||[8.20 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Hailwood, Augustine||O'Neill, Major Hon. Robert W. H.|
|Armitage, Robert||Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Hanna, George Boyle||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Pickering, Lieut.-Colonel Emil W.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford. Luton)||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Harris, Sir Henry Percy||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.|
|Barnett, Major R. W.||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Rae, H. Norman|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Ramsden, G. T.|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Rankin, Captain James S.|
|Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Hills, Major John Waller||Raper, A. Baldwin|
|Blair, Reginald||Hinds, John||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn. W.)||Reid, D. D.|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Renwick, George|
|Brown, T. W. (Down, North)||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Rodger, A. K.|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Jephcott, A. R.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Casey, T. W.||Jesson, C.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Seager, Sir William|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Seddon, J. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Johnstone, Joseph||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Shaw, Wlillam T. (Forfar)|
|Clough, Robert||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Simm, M. T.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Coote, William (Tyrone, South)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Courthope, Major George L.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Lloyd, George Butler||Sugden, W. H.|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Taylor, J.|
|Davies, Major D. (Montgomery)||Lorden, John William||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Lort-Williams, J.||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Vickers, Douglas|
|Dixon, Captain Herbert||Lynn, R. J.||Waddington, R.|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||M'Curdy, Rt. Hon. C. A.||Wallace, J.|
|Donald, Thompson||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Macmaster, Donald||Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Maddocks, Henry||Whitla, Sir William|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Mallalieu, F. W.||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Mason, Robert||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Forestler-Walker, L.||Middlebrook, Sir William||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.||Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Mitchell, William Lane||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Moles, Thomas||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Ganzonl, Captain Francis John C.||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Wise, Frederick|
|Gardiner, James||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash||Worsfold, Dr. T. Cato|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Grayson, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Murchison, C. K.||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar||Nall, Major Joseph|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Neal, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Colonel Gibbs and Mr. Parker.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Morgan, Major D. Watts|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Grundy, T. W.||Myers, Thomas|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Hartshorn, Vernon||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hayward, Major Evan||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cairns, John||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Robertson, John|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, G. H.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Hogge, James Myles||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Holmes, J. Stanley||Sexton, James|
|Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)||Irving, Dan||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Finney, Samuel||Kenyon, Barnet||Spencer, George A.|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Lunn, William||Swan, J. E.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)||Waterson, A. E.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Tillett, Benjamin||Wignall, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Tootill, Robert||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)||Wintringham, T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. T. Shaw and Mr. Tyson Wilson|