§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
I beg to move, at the end of the Question, to add the wordsBut humbly express our regret that, having regard to the long period which has elapsed since the signing of the Armistice, and to the fact that the country as a whole has so far had no opportunity of expressing its opinion as to the provisions of the various Peace Treaties which have been signed with your late enemies, and of the policy of your Ministers in regard to indemnities, and reparation, and the trial of war criminals, Your Majesty has not announced your intention of dissolving the present Parliament at an early date.The object of this Amendment is to direct attention to two of the fundamental provisions of the Peace Treaty—those relating to the subject of reparations and to the punishment of war criminals. So far as reparations are concerned, they formed no part of the originally proposed terms of peace, and when His Majesty's Ministers appealed to Mr. Wilson to tell them on what terms the peace might be concluded, Mr. Wilson, in his famous 14 points, was perfectly silent on that subject. It was only in response to strong outside pressure, and as the General Election approached, that the Prime Minister swallowed the gospel of reparations, and, with the enthusiasm characteristic of new converts, preached it on every possible occasion. He reminded us that Germany should be compelled to pay to the last farthing of her liability, and he used the classic phrase that he would search her pockets for the money. Next week, I believe, some German delegates will be 450 here discussing this very point, and I am going to suggest to the Prime Minister that he should put that threat into literal action. He might then, perhaps, discover some documents which would enlighten us as to Germany's real financial position.
The other subject is that of the punishment of the criminals, and I want to state at once, without, I hope, being unduly disrespectful, that my complaint and charge in regard to both these matters, so far as the Government is concerned, is that their conduct and policy since the signing of the Treaty—which in itself was far too lenient on the subject of indemnities—has been of almost unimaginable ineptitude and childlike simplicity, whilst the wily men of the Wilhelmstrasse have been fooling them to the top of their bent. Let us consider for a moment what has happened. The Armistice was signed in November, 1918, and from that day till the end of June, 1919, the Prime Minister, with the representatives of the Allies, and with 70 other plenipotentiaries representing the most remote kingdoms of the world, sat in solemn conclave day after day, and, for aught that I know, night after night, considering the terms on which peace should be signed. They took the best expert advice that they could regarding Germany's financial position, and, on the 28th June, 1919, a solemn Treaty was signed with the signatures of all those representatives and of Germany herself, embodying the result of the deliberations of all those talents for many months previously. I want to ask the Prime Minister, is he going to tell the House to-day that the Government were altogether misled during the period preceding the Peace Treaty, that the experts were all wrong, and that the German delegates were fooling them when they signed the Treaty? It may be well to remind the House of what was signed on the 28th June, 1919. I remember the right hon. Gentleman, in one of those triumphant entries into the House which were a feature of last year, coming in flushed with joy at the fact that this Treaty had at last been signed, and this, shortly, is what he said:Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and of her Allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected.There is the first assumption by Germany of the full responsibility. It is 451 under the heading of "Reparations," and means the full financial responsibility. The Treaty goes on to propose that Germany should at once hand over to Britain and the Allies 20,000,000,000 marks. That was to be paid during 1919 and 1920 and the first four months of the present year. That is what the Prime Minister made Germany agree to, and that is what we cheered him for making her agree to. It was further provided that the first charge on that money was to go to the main-tence and upkeep of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine. Where are the 20,000,000,000 marks? The Prime Minister must have expected them; he must have been satisfied that Germany could pay them; and Germany herself must have represented that she could when she signed the Treaty. Last year the Secretary of State for War admitted that all his estimates had gone wrong because he had budgeted for £48,000,000 from Germany, of which practically not a penny has been received. That was the first provision of the Treaty, and I want to know why it has not been carried out. Then, by the 21st May of this year, we were to tell Germany the extent of her liability. She had assumed the full responsibility for the whole cost of the War. Something else had to be done. She had to hand over to us, I think it was, 40,000,000,000 bonds; but not one of those bonds has been delivered. She was also liable to be called upon for another 40,000,000,000 bonds. I want to ask the Government why it is that the whole of this elaborate and sacred covenant is being thrown to the winds, why it is that they allowed it to be put into the Treaty, and why this House is now to assume that Germany cannot carry out her obligations?
The right hon. Gentleman said in Paris the other day, and I think he said it over here, that he was satisfied that Germany can pay. He must have been satisfied when this Treaty was signed. If she cannot pay, he must have evidence that we do not possess. I have sent representatives to Germany to report to me as to what they find there, and Germany is not that broken-backed beast that the Prime Minister has pictured. She is doing very well indeed. Her children are well fed and well clothed. I have heard of appeals for starving children in Vienna and elsewhere, but I have not heard of 452 any in Germany. Why on earth should we let her off the provisions of this Treaty? It has been agreed that her total liability is £1,300,000,000—not a very great sum in excess of what the War, in one way or another, has cost the British Empire; but even that figure is to be revised. Next week they are sending over here to make some counter-proposals. Where is there any finality? As far as that part of my case is concerned, I say that we have had no evidence to satisfy this House that Germany is not in a position to fulfil what I call the lenient obligations of this Peace Treaty as far as reparations are concerned. In that connection I would make this passing reference to a phrase in the Gracious Speech. His Majesty tells us thatThe War has left upon the nation liabilities which can only be met by heavy taxation.I do not subscribe to that. If Germany will fulfil the obligations of that Treaty, it will considerably lighten the burden on the shoulders of the nation. It can be done without injuring labour, because there is plenty of coal in Germany and plenty of other things that can be used here to expedite manufactures. I will not pursue the question of the best way of collecting the indemnity.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
The Peace Treaty says she can pay it in gold marks and in other ways. Let her do it in accordance with the provisions of the Peace Treaty. On the other part of my Amendment the case against the Government is so strong that I marvel that Ministers have come down here to-day to face it. The late Prime Minister declared in this House that the criminals, whoever they were, whatever their rank, should be brought to justice. The Peace Treaty contains a very startling statement. Here is the commencement of it:The Allied and Associated Powers publicly arraign William II of Hohenzollern, formerly German Emperor, for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of Treaties.That is a most solemn indictment. The 453 Prime Minister came back again and kept his little bonne bouche up his sleeve. He had many difficulties to overcome at the time, but I knew something was coming. I have had the privilege of sitting here and studying him, and it is a great education. Suddenly he said, "I have something to tell you about the trial of the Kaiser. We have arranged, or it has been arranged, that we are going to try him in London." Do not tell me that before the Prime Minister made that speech he had not satisfied himself that it could be done. Later on I asked the Attorney-General how the trial was going on. He said, "the arrangements are well advanced." I am not sure the scaffold was not ordered. Then suddenly we were told we could not have the Kaiser. I put further questions, and I was asked, "Surely you do not suggest that we should go to war with Holland." I do not, but we might send a couple of policemen over to bring him back. The British Empire, France, Italy and Japan kow-towed to Holland, expressing our deep regret that she did not see her way to pocket her scruples of national sentiment or her traditional love for granting asylum to people. We protested and the right hon. Gentleman ended up with something which this House perhaps has not remembered. In effect the Prime Minister said, "We are sorry you will not give him up, we think you ought to, but at least you ought to do one of two things or both. You ought to try him on the spot or send him to some remote place where he cannot be in close touch with Germany." Holland has not done either of these things. She has absolutely ignored and treated with contempt that courteous and mild request of His Majesty's Ministers. Then he ended up with this very mild threat of what might happen if the Kaiser did not come back. He said,The Powers urge upon the Dutch Government in the most solemn and precise manner the importance attaching to a fresh consideration of the question before her. They desire that it may clearly be understood how grave the situation might become if the Netherlands Government were not in the position to give those assurances which the safety of Europe so imperatively demands.That is where we left it. "You must not let him be so near the German frontier. You must try him on the spot or do something with him and we warn you of the grave peril which will ensue 454 if you do not do it." They treated the Note with absolute indifference. So he remains there and will remain there, I suppose for the rest of his days.
So far as the other question is concerned, the Treaty says Germany shall surrender to us the alleged war criminals whose names have been published, and in accordance with that provision I believe nearly a thousand names of war criminals have been given to Germany by the British Government, and months and months have elapsed, and Germany treats the whole thing with callous and impertinent indifference. So much so, that at last the Government knew that something must be done. We cannot get them over here because it will cause political trouble. Then we hit upon a most unique solution. I have often wondered what the late Mr. Gilbert would have given for it. It would have made his operas even more renowned than they are We said, "Here is an idea. Try your criminals yourself." Every man his own judge and his own jury! Germany said, "That is a good idea. Leave them to us." Time went on and on and on, until at last the Attorney-General said to the Government that something must be done, and so they picked out seven test cases of war crimes of the grossest inhumanity and savagery, and they said, "Now we will test your bona fides. Take these seven men and try them and let us see what sort of result we get." That was months ago. They wrote and said, "we cannot get the evidence." Then the Government said, "We will send it to you," and they compiled a volume of evidence and sent it to Leipzig last October. Not one of them has been brought to trial yet. Yet the Allied Note in which we consented to this farcical arrangement said Germany undertook immediately to institute proceedings. What is going to happen? Pressed yesterday, the Attorney-General at last said this, and it was a grave statement coming from a responsible Minister of the Crown, "Until quite recently we had no reason to suspect that Germany was not serious about these trials, but now I am not sure that we have not cause for complaint." That is a solemn and serious declaration, and it means this, and this only, that it is the bounden duty of the Government without one day's delay to say to Germany, "Fix your date now for the trial of these seven men and we will 455 send someone over to represent the British Government Perhaps the First Commissioner of Works might go over. I have heard the Attorney-General in the Courts apply for a date to be fixed for a trial. Now we will say to Germany, "Fix a date for the trial of these seven men or send them over here."
I do not want to occupy unnecessary time. We are under a Parliamentary contract to get rid of this subject by two o'clock and others want to speak, but I say this quite sincerely, that the feeling in the country is much deeper than perhaps the Prime Minister recognises. Some election pledges are soon forgotten, but not where people's homes are left injured, where empty chairs are left and where people have been maimed and wounded, and these two conditions of the Treaty, reparation to the last farthing and punishment, first of all of the Kaiser and then of the War criminals, have been burnt right into the very soul of the people. They will come up again at the General Election, which will not be so very long delayed. The Prime Minister has not denied that it is going to come this year. He has told us that the papers say so, and therefore it must be so; but we are told by the Lord Chancellor that it will not be this year. At any rate, it will not be very long, and these things will come up again.
I do not raise these matters for any theatrical effect, but because my soul and conscience tell me that it is the only way to do. If we are to stop fooling with this question we should let Germany know next week when her representatives come here that this House at least has had enough of it. If the Treaty cannot be enforced Ministers must apologise for having signed it. We will get all we can, and we will have it soon. Let there be a time-limit. Let Germany give bonds for whatever she owes us and we will find a market for them, they will very soon be valuable. Above all things, let us get the war criminals brought to trial and punished, and if Germany will not do it, let us do it. I may sound flam-buoyant or jingoistic, but if Germany does not fulfil the Treaty let us do what Germany would have done if she had won and if she was in the position we are in to-day. Let us send a representative body to Berlin to take charge of the Customs of the country and find out 456 for ourselves where we can get the money. If the Prime Minister will send me over and give me a small commission on what I get I will find some money. I will find a lot of gold and I will find some good wine. We should send there and insist upon the terms of the Treaty being fulfilled. The people had no opportunity of considering the terms of the Treaty and the methods of the Government in carrying them out, therefore, the only opportunity that is given to us is by means of an appeal to the country on the basis of my Amendment.
Colonel C. LOWTHER
I beg to second the Amendment. My hon. Friend has traversed the Amendment so comprehensively that there remains, fortunately, very little for me to say He has censured the Government in no measured terms. He spoke of their unimaginable ineptitude. Those may seem harsh words, but surely it is the extraordinary attitude of the Government that has brought such a censure upon themselves. It is their vacillating and ambiguous policy which is largely responsible for what I call the criminal delay in not coming to some settlement in regard to the amount of the indemnity. My hon. Friend took a retrospective view of the situation. Therefore, I will not go into that, but I would remind the House that the Prime Minister laid it down as a supreme axiom in his electioneering programme that Germany should pay the cost of the War up to the uttermost farthing. That was the reason why he was returned into power with an enormous Coalition majority. That was the reason why he was sent to the Conference table to plead our cause. It is not surprising that some of us grow impatient and that our constituents ask us when we are going to fulfil our pledges.
From the moment that the Prime Minister went to the Peace table sinister rumours reached this country and circulated through the Lobbies of this House, rumours to the effect that Germany was to be let off very lightly. These rumours did not come, as the Prime Minister thought at the time, from one and impeachable authority; they came from many authorities, and from many authentic French authorities, which I could give to the Prime Minister if he wished to receive them. There was no doubt about it that the international financier was again active. The Press was inundated 457 with articles and paragraphs to endeavour to prove that Germany was hopelessly and irretrievably ruined and bankrupt, and could never pay a penny. That was all exoteric. It was all very good for children. It might be very good electioneering claptrap, but it was not true. What to me is amazing is that the verdict of these pseudo financiers was accepted by the Leader of the House. He accepted it as true, but surely the Leader of the House at the time of the General Election believed in the policy of the Prime Minister, as we all did. He kept a discreet silence on some things, but considering what was the chief plank in the Prime Minister's platform he must have accepted it. They did not stump the country together, but they went about like the Zanzigs, two beings with but one single thought, to make Germany pay for the War. Directly the Prime Minister went to the Conference table, and as soon as the Leader of the House was installed in office, he seemed to turn a financial somersault. He poured ridicule upon those who thought that the Prime Minister could possibly carry out his pledges. I am not saying that the Prime Minister did not want to carry out his pledges. I believe he did. What I find fault with is that he never took this House into his confidence. We were left completely in the dark. When a poor, misguided Member like myself dared in my arrogant ignorance to put forward the argument that Germany could in time pay £10,000,000 or £15,000,000 towards the cost of the War, spread over forty or fifty years, he treated me as if I was a congenital idiot. Time and time again my hon. Friend (Mr. Bottomley) and other Members on this Bench interrogated the Leader of the House and asked him to give us a day for the discussion of this all-important subject—does not the Prime Minister think it is an important subject—but every time we were given an evasive answer. "I have nothing to add to my former evasive answer," said the Leader of the House, or "it would not be in the best interests of the country"; "It would be detrimental to the best interests of the country." We got stock phrases of that sort, which are always given when they do not want to answer. I will tell the House what was detrimental to the best interests of the country, and that was the extraordinary attitude of the Leader of the House. I am sorry he is not here. He avowed, not 458 only privately, but openly, that he was one of those who always thought from the beginning that Germany could not pay very much by way of indemnity. That was a nice thing for the Hun to read. Talk about "detrimental to the best interests of the country"! What was the effect of such a statement as that? It was obvious. The more we lavished our sympathy upon Germany the more loudly she pleaded penury and bankruptcy, and when she had finished with that cry she rubbed in revolution and Bolshevism.
I am sorry to say that the right hon. Gentleman, the ex-Prime Minister, supported the Leader of the House in that supposition. He did not go quite so far. He said at Paisley that £2,000,000,000 is quite enough to charge Germany and certainly the utmost farthing she could pay. Can the Prime Minister reconcile that statement and the Leader of the House reconcile his statement with the statement made by the German Finance Minister the other day that Germany was prepared to pay and could and would pay £7,500,000,000. The report circulated in every paper from the Conference in Paris fixed the sum of £11,500,000,000, plus 12½per cent, on German exports as the amount of the indemnity. We do not know that. Private Members know nothing. They are treated as idiots. We might as well send some phonograph here and turn it on occasionally with a set speech when we are not listening and until we get on to that Bench, which possibly may be soon, we have got no power whatever. I happened to be in Paris during the recess and had the privilege of talking to some very eminent masters of finance and also to some of the great statesmen, and one and all were amazed when they were told that the Prime Minister and 400 Members of this House were pledged up to the hilt to extract from Germany the utmost farthing that that country can pay.
The French from the very beginning have said Germany shall pay, and Germany can pay, for the War. They are resolute, fixed of purpose, adamant still to-day. While we have wavered and faltered, they have remained firm. It is for us to stand by them now. They never thought that Germany could pay very much at present. Who in his senses could think such a thing? But, look at the resources of Germany, its enormous assets, its cement, its aniline dyes, its timber, its agriculture, 459 its coal. You may say it has been denuded of some of these resources, and that we have taken the greater part of its coal. It is not true. Not one-tenth of its coalfields have been taken. It is still the greatest coal-producing country in Europe. It has enormous recuperative powers. It would be a great mistake if we do not settle an indemnity which, though it cannot pay much to-day, could be paid in 40 or 50 years if its resources are fostered. I believe that something of that sort is the intention of the Government. I would ask the Prime Minister three questions. First, is it true that there is this intention of settling the indemnity at £13,500,000,000? Second, how is it that the Government always accept the views of the pessimists and not of the optimists? And third, if they do not accept the views of the Hewins Commission or the Brussels Conference, are they going to accept the views of the Paris Conference? Do not let us forget the psychology of the Hun. He is as crafty as he is cunning, and as cunning as he is long suffering and revengeful. He is still waiting for the day. Do not let us fall into the fatal error of leaving France to battle alone, not for a vindictive, but for a just and honourable peace.
§ Mr. WISE
As I was one of the experts who went to Germany in March, 1919, I may take the opportunity of endeavouring to explain the position as it was at that date. When I came back I had the honour of addressing Members of the House of Commons in Committee Room, and as the hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. Bottomley) was not present on that occasion, I interviewed him privately, and endeavoured to explain the position of Germany at that date. No man is more anxious than I to bleed the German to-day, but it must be done in a proper way, and not to the detriment of this country. The hon. Member for South Hackney has referred to the gold position in Germany. When I was there in March, 1919, there was £94,000,000 of gold in Germany. Of that, £44,000,000 was transferred for the payment of food. At the present moment Germany has £54,000,000 in gold in the Imperial Bank in Germany. My figures in my report were supposed to be reliable. In fact, I was informed they were so useful that, although my report was printed, the 460 figures were not put in, so that certain countries should not see the figures.
§ Mr. WISE
I had not time to count the gold. The hon. Member has referred to railways. We have, I understand, a first charge on the railways of Germany. What is the good of the railways? Suppose we took over the railways and the forests of Germany, if they paid 100 per cent, dividend, you have only got marks in payment of the dividend. The great difficulty in the matter is the transference of marks into sterling, which is what we want in this country. There are only three ways in which an indemnity can be paid—by the sale of goods, by service, or by gold. I have tried to explain that gold is out of the question. The total amount of gold in the world is only £1,500,000,000 odd, so what is the good of considering gold when discussing large figures? Then there is service. I am sure none of us wants the Germans over here to work for us. Then there is kind. We can get a certain amount of raw material, such as potash, from Germany into this country—[HON. MEMBERS: "Coal!"] We do not want coal in this country. In pre-War days we exported coal to Germany. Germany sent coal to Belgium and Belgium sent coal to France. We do not want German coal here, but we do want such things as potash. That is only a small item. Therefore, the only way, as far as I can see, and as far as any person who has looked into the problem can see, is by the export of goods. Do we want this German export of goods? Are we not likely to have more unemployment if we buy these German goods? If there is one thing more than another that would be to the detriment of our unemployed it would be the purchase of these German goods. There is one other way which I might add to the list, and that is to make the Germans cut down their timber, and we and the Allies to take it from them; but that is only a small item. Hon. Members, if they look into this in a business way, will see that in many respects it may be to the detriment of this country to accept any large sum as an indemnity.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I congratulate my hon. Friend (Mr. Wise) upon the first serious contribution made to this discussion. I came 461 down here to take part in a Debate upon one of the most important questions that can possibly concern the administration of this country. It is a question on which I shall have to meet, or at least somebody will have to meet, the representatives of Germany in the course of the next few days. I was looking for some enlightenment upon matters which were difficult and dark. I thought there might have been something which had escaped not merely the Government, but financial experts behind the Government, and that at least we, would get light thrown on these dark places and would receive real help in elucidating our problems. But I never heard more inadequate speeches on so great a problem. There has boon a discussion in the French Parliament which I followed closely. It lasted some days. There were those who thought that the Paris proposals were fair and there were others who thought those proposals were unfair, but those who arraigned the Paris proposals arraigned them upon a most careful examination of the whole of the figures and by well thought out and well considered arguments which were a credit to the Assembly where they were used. But here is an arraignment of the whole policy of the Government in reference to something upon which we are going into conference, and I confess that I have never heard speeches on so important a problem which contributed less to elucidate the matter. I can understand the Seconder of the Amendment, if he will forgive me for saying so, because from what I have heard from him on the subject I do not think he has over displayed any special intimacy with financial problems. When he could not discriminate between multiplying 42 annuities reaching a figure of £13,000,000,000 and an indemnity of £13,000,000,000 it indicated a confusion of mind—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I beg the hon. Member's pardon. He does not know what he mentioned. He said that the Paris decisions were decisions to demand an indemnity of £13,000,000,000.
I said nothing of the sort, and will you allow me to say so. I asked you as Prime Minister whether the reports in the Press were true that the Paris Conference had fixed 462 the amount of the indemnity at £13,500,000,000. That is all I said.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That simply means that from whatever source the hon. Gentleman received his information he depends on the multiplication of the number of annuities which are to be paid in the course of 42 years, and he confuses that with an indemnity of £13,000,000,000, which shows a confusion of mind and makes it impossible to examine a problem of this kind. It is a totally different proposition. For instance, take the last 10 or 15 years of that indemnity. Assume that it reaches the maximum figure which we anticipate. Its present value is only about £800,000,000. The present value of that amount is a little over £800,000,000, 30 years hence; that is the value of deferred payment. It is a confusion which persists in the minds of so many people and it is brought here as a serious criticism of the proposals of the Paris Conference.
§ 1.0 P.M.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I wish the things which are known to schoolboys were inserted in the speeches of hon. Members. The Mover of the Amendment has not the same excuse, for he has some experience of financial matters. I am going to defend the proposals to which I agreed at the Paris Conference, and I propose to support them at the Conference next week or the following week. The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Amendment said that I made a statement that Germany could pay the whole cost of the War. I never said anything of the kind.
I never said that. I said that you had stated that Germany could pay—you laid it down as an axiom that she should be made to pay to the utmost of her capacity. I took care not to paraphrase. You may do it, but I do not.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I waited for the words which are now put down and inserted for the first time—"up to the limit of her capacity."
§ The PRIME MINISTER
There is a very great difference. I am perfectly pre- 463 pared to have my pledges quoted if quoted honestly. The statement I made at Bristol, where I dealt with these proposals at length, was a statement that we would make Germany pay to the limit of her capacity. That I stand by. The whole point is the limit of her capacity. I quoted it afterwards in Birmingham. It was a statement that we would make Germany pay to the limit of her capacity. I said we were advised by official advisers that she could not pay the whole cost. I said so at the election. I pointed out the reasons why they had come to that conclusion, but I also said there was another Committee which had come to the conclusion that she could pay, and I said the Allies with the help of experts will examine that proposal, and will take expert advice as to what her capacity is and upon that they will base their indemnity. That is exactly what the Allies have done. We have taken the best expert advice available to France, to Italy, to Belgium and to ourselves. They are some of the ablest men I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Upon their advice we put forward this demand. We are carrying out to the utmost extent of the power of any country the terms of the Treaty. The hon. Gentleman said "Germany was to have given you so many bonds." She has done so. The value of them depends upon the value of the German security at the present moment, but she has delivered the bonds. He said that she was to pay £1,000,000,000. Does he know what she has paid?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I do not want to quibble about words with the hon. Gentleman. I accept that correction, if he thinks it is a correction. I converted the 20,000,000,000 marks into£l,000,000,000 sterling. That is the only difference. I will accept the 20,000,000,000 marks, which 464 is the same thing in my judgment. Does he know what has been paid? He comes here to criticise and attack the Government for not carrying out the Treaty and he has not the remotest conception of what has been done to carry it out. As a matter of fact, a vast quantity of materials—raw materials, ships, property, coal—has been delivered, and at the present moment the question is what the value is. Take the ships. Ships have been delivered to this country. If you take their value at the time they were delivered, they are worth so much. If you take their value at the present time they are down to £15 or £16. The same thing applies to other property and to the coal delivered. The question in dispute is that Germans say if you take the value of that material at the time it was delivered it is more than the 20,000,000,000 marks. We say it is less. That is the dispute which is in course of being examined by the Reparation Commission. But would anyone have imagined, from what the hon. Gentleman stated, that Germany had delivered anything at all? As a matter of fact, even from our account it is a matter of hundreds of millions which have been delivered to the Allies by Germany. But not a word of that is stated in the criticism of the action of the Government! Hundreds of millions sterling have been delivered. It is purely a question of the time at which you assess the value of the material handed over, whether it is coal or ships or potash or property or what not.
That is the position with regard to what has already been done. Now I come to the other point. The hon. Gentleman did not betray the slightest appreciation of the practical difficulty of exacting an indemnity from another country and paying it in this. That is a practical difficulty You can collect any indemnity you impose, within some sort of reasonable limits, in Germany, but how are you going to transfer it here? This is the sort of loose thinking there has been upon this subject. The hon. Gentleman says, "Why do you not go there and collect the customs? Send me there to collect the customs on commission." Supposing he goes over there to collect the customs. What does he collect? He collects in marks, just as you collect here in the paper money of this country. Whether you are dealing with tobacco, or sugar, or what not, you collect in marks. Who wants them? He 465 would bring here shiploads of German paper, and he would report that there were no liquid assets to distribute. Why? Because they are not convertible. What is the good of collecting at the custom houses of Germany payment in the currency of the country? Because there is no other currency they have got. If they had other currency they would have none of these difficulties. Take railways. It is said, "Why do you not seize these?" Very well, we seize them. We appoint another—I suppose the Seconder of the Amendment—to go there. He would be in the ticket office. One of them would be an exciseman and the other a ticket collector. Just see what happens. A man goes there and says, "I want a ticket to Frankfort from Berlin." What does he pay in? He pays in marks. You collect nothing but marks, paper marks. Tell me what you could make of them if we got them all here. They are no use. Over 240 of them—how many are they?—[An HON. MKMBER: "Two hundred and thirty!"]—Two hundred and thirty of them at the present moment are necessary in order to make £l sterling, and if you begin to collect them like that you would require one shipload to pay the fare of the hon. Gentleman home, in marks. Something has been said about schoolboy finance. That really is schoolboy finance. These are the practical difficulties of paying in a currency which is no use to you.
Then the hon. Gentleman said, "Why do you not take wood pulp?" How much? You would put the mills of Newfoundland out of order, and the Anti-Waste League could not possibly run its campaign. Their election literature might not be repeated, and there are some papers which might go out of print. How much wood pulp would be brought into this country if all of it were brought from Germany? If you said to Canada, "We do not want any more stuff from you"; if you said to Newfoundland, "We do not want anything from you"; and if you said to Sweden, with whom we do business—they send us wood pulp and we send them something else—"We do not want anything more from you; we are going to trade with nobody but Germany." All of our papers, weekly and daily, are going to be printed on something which will be marked "Made in Germany." It will be stamped on the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Bottomley's) paper. Nothing but German paper! 466 Supposing we did this, how much indemnity could you pay out of that? What indemnity would you pay out of that? You really must consider this as a practical proposal, and that is what these able experts have been doing. I have not been going on any advice of my own or a close examination of my own. We are bound to act upon the advice of men who are sitting from day to day, from week to week, and from month to month, and examine these matters in view of all the practical difficulties, and this is the conclusion they have come to. If you press for impossible things you get nothing. I take the view that we have got to do the best for the country out of what is essentially a bad job, as every war is. This War has cost something beyond anything which any country could pay. The War has cost £50,000,000,000. Take the £15,000,000,000 which the Central Powers have to pay, and there remains £35,000,000,000. Does anyone think that any country in the world could pay that as an indemnity? The hon. Gentleman said, "Do unto them what they would have done unto you if they had won." Very well, take that. It is an inversion of the Golden Rule, but take it. Does anyone imagine we could have paid it? How? Has anyone considered the difficulties we had with regard to finance in America during the War? France, which was a rich country, could not do it.
Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD
Surely they would have looted England, and taken every bit of the private wealth there was in the country?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Let us say they came to England, cleared out the National Gallery, cleared out all the old furniture, and took everything else away. How much would it come to. Has the hon. Member really entered into the question of the valuation of these things? If they cleared out all the gold we have got—I forget how much that is, but it is not a prodigious quantity—if they took all that away, I doubt very much whether we could have paid one year's indemnity out of it. The hon. Member has referred to foreign investments. Our foreign investments are greater than those of Germany, but are they enough to pay for that, and that shows how much the hon. Gentleman knows, because we had to hypothecate enormous sums of our foreign investments during the War to be able to carry on at all, and we had then to borrow 467 £1,000,000,000 from America in order to go along. He does not realise the difficulties of doing it. You would have to pay it from this country in goods or services. There is no other way you can pay indemnities to any other land, so that Germany is in the same position. That is why we have introduced this element, of an export tax upon her goods. What does that mean? Everything she sends out in goods is gold. She gets something which is the equivalent of gold for it outside. You will have to make an allowance to enable her to get the raw materials and the food which are necessary for her to produce, otherwise the goods would not be forthcoming, and that is the calculation we have got to make. I do not want to enter into this controversy except in the spirit of doing my best to exact out of Germany the last farthing she is capable of paying, but I do not want to go there—and as far as I am concerned I will not go there—in the spirit of putting forward proposals which, upon the advice of the best experts we have, we know to be utterly impracticable and will only raise false hopes in the country.
That is what I have to say upon that matter. Upon other topics which have been raised, the hon. Gentleman made great play of the fact that Holland refuses to surrender the Kaiser. He thinks that if we had simply insisted they would have done so. I do not think so. At any rate, that is the conclusion come to, not only by the representatives of this country, but by those of France as well. The hon. Member admires the determination of France in contrast with the poor, feeble spirit displayed by the representatives of his own country, but France has just as strong a view upon this as ourselves, that you could not run the risk of anything in the nature of hostile action, that it was not worth it, and merely to bluff, to say, "Unless you do this, we will do that," would be undignified. Now I come to the question of the criminals. There is a great difference between a trial in another country and a trial in your own. The witnesses are not forthcoming. There is the fact that you cannot bring witnesses and confront them, and all that has to be taken into account. We make full allowance, but we shall insist. Britain has been pressing this hard, and we propose to press it right to the end against 468 those who have been guilty of atrocities. War itself is an atrocity, but this is something which is an outrage upon outrage itself. In regard to such offences as were given yesterday in the catalogue by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, there we must insist, and when the German representatives come here in a fortnight's time, we shall certainly put to them the points which were put by the learned Attorney-General yesterday and say that we must insist upon a trial for these offences.
Let me say this in conclusion. We have already indicated to Berlin that in my judgment and in the judgment of the Allies Germany is not doing all she ought to do in order to meet her obligations. I do not want, in replying to hon. Gentlemen who have gone into real extravagancies, to be put in the position of appearing to defend the action of Germany. It is impossible to do that, but if I go to the Conference, it will be my first duty to insist that Germany shall carry out the essential parts of the Treaty which I think at present she has failed to carry out. She has not taxed herself up to the limit of her capacity. She has not taxed herself up to the level of the Allies. She has not done so. Her Customs and Excise are not adequate, even in comparison with the French and British. She has to do her best to appreciate the mark by balancing her Budget. Her Budget now is a ridiculous one. Her Budget, I think, is about one-fifth of her expenditure. That is intolerable. It is not that Germany is too poor to meet these demands. We shall not be convinced that she is until she has imposed upon her people charges which we are entitled to expect. I have a suspicion—I said so before—that she is coming into court rather with ragged clothes in order to make a good case on her Judgment summons, and to reduce the monthly payments. The mark is not as ragged as it appears. It can put on a little more polish. It is not as shabby as it looks. That is my conviction at the present moment, and that is one of the points we shall certainly press upon the German Delegation when they come here, that they really must make the same efforts as any other country to balance their accounts, improve their currency, and make it more possible for them to meet their obligations. 469 But do not let us ignore, all the same, how much has been accomplished. The German Fleet has disappeared. The German Army has disappeared. The gigantic war material of Germany has been surrendered. The German Colonies have been given up. Very considerable quantities of materials have been surrendered. So far the Treaty has been enforced. It will be our duty to see that the rest is enforced to the utmost of the capacity of Germany to discharge. Upon that we will take advice, but I implore hon. Members, who think that greater things can be accomplished, to exercise a deep sense of responsibility when they examine this problem, and not to advise that which is impracticable, which no sane man with experience would ever recommend this country to embark upon. But do not forget that a deliberate failure by Germany to carry out her obligations means action by the Allies to enforce it. Before any Government takes that responsibility, the responsibility of calling upon their respective countries to enforce these obligations, to take the stern steps which are necessary to do so, Governments, Parliaments, peoples must be satisfied that the failure of Germany is not due to something which can be reasonably explained, but to a deliberate attempt on her part once more to defy a Treaty.
§ Mr. THOMAS SHAW
I am going into the Lobby with the Mover of the Amendment, should he press it to a Division, but for different reasons from those given by him. He has told us how we can perform the impossible. He would send a couple of policemen to Holland to seize the ex-Kaiser, because Holland is a little country, and, generally speaking, he has blown the trumpet. If we began a new war it would no doubt help the circulation of newspapers, and high fees would be paid for lecturing, and things of that kind, but there would be certain disadvantages about the position. Our objection to the Government's policy is not that they have not performed the impossible, but that their present position is a huge game of bluff, and the demands now made can scarcely be realised. The Prime Minister has told us quite definitely now what some people knew during the War, that you could only exact an indemnity really in goods or services, that if you took the goods you were in danger of flooding 470 your own country with the products and causing unemployment, and, if the services were not there, you could not possibly get them. We would prefer to have a clean-cut policy, not making. Germany do what Germany cannot do, but a policy built on the idea that Europe must be restored, peace must be made in Europe, and Europe must be got to work, if the best results are to be got by everybody. It would be infintely better for this country that that policy should be followed, and Germany only pay half the amount that might be dragged out of her, than to drag a greater amount out of her and keep the Continent of Europe upset.
What is the use of our talking in terms of marks when we are talking of Germany and her taxation? To calculate the taxation of Germany at the rate of 230 marks to the £ is not honest. Everybody who has been in Germany knows perfectly well that the mark in Germany itself has a totally different value from 230 to the £. Therefore, to make calculations of Germany's taxation on the basis of 230 marks to the £ is neither reasonable, just, nor honest. We are told that Germany is not suffering. The hon. Member for South Hackney has sent his emissaries forth, and they have reported to him that Germany is doing fairly well. I have seen a little of Germany myself, and may speak from personal knowledge, and anyone who says, after seeing the working people in Germany, that Germany is not suffering, is either blind or absolutely without sympathy. That is the comment I have to make on the statement of the hon. Member for Hackney. The Germans are evidently suffering from under-feeding. I am not saying they are not justly suffering, but I do say they are suffering An hon. Member says, "Serve them right." It may serve them right; I am not arguing that point. I made that perfectly clear, but we ought not to be misled by stories that the Germans are doing well. I will go further and say that the children in Germany are suffering very badly. It is perfectly true there is no comparison between the sufferings in Berlin and the sufferings in Vienna, but that the children of Berlin are suffering from under-feeding there can be absolutely no question. If any impartial inquirer goes there he will report that Germany is undoubtedly suffering. 471 We want this general election because we say that not only were the promises made at the last election bluff, but that the present programme of the Government is bluff. Who believes that for 42 years we are going to be able to levy a tax on Germany? I doubt very much whether any Member of the Government believes it; certainly no Member of our party believes that you are going to lay a tax for 42 years on any country. We are advised to do what the Germans would have done had they been the conquerers. But was it not just because we did not believe in German principles that we went to war with her, and to be advised now to lower ourselves to the level of German psychology is about the weakest thing I have ever heard said in this connection, and unworthy of Britain. Our policy on these Benches is to make the terms of peace such as, whilst extracting the maximum amount, to ensure that Europe shall be restored and the wheels of industry turned round so that every country will be better for it.
§ Mr. SHAW
Exactly, but it is because the policy of the Government is such a reversal of the statement on which it was elected that we want a General Election. [An HON. MEMBER: "There is no reversal."] No reversal of the statements made at the General Election? The Mover of the Amendment has proved conclusively that the statements made were that we were going to make Germany pay every penny, that we were going to search her pockets, that we were going to hang the Kaiser. These things you said! Have you done them? What is your policy now? Do you now talk about hanging the Kaiser, about making Germany pay every penny, about searching her pockets? You recognise now that you cannot simply do the things you said you could. Our policy here is to try to get you before the country so that you may be able to tell your story again. [An HON. MEMBER: "The same story!"] You would tell the same story? If you do, God help you! If you tell the same story that you did, and what you have failed to do then the electors can be trusted to look after you. No, you will tell a modified story. That is our position. We support this Amendment because we believe the whole policy 472 of the Government in regard to the Peace Treaties should be submitted to the electors, and because we believe the promises made have not been kept. We support it from a totally different point of view from the Mover of it, but we shall go into the Division Lobby and vote for it.
Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD
I just want to say one or two words in reference to the speech to which we have just listened from my hon. Friend above the Gangway. I quite agree with the principle of this Amendment in reference to indemnities, prosecution of the war criminals, and so on. That was agreed to and put forward as the Government policy at the last election. I am bound to confess, however, that I do not take the slightest notice of these Opposition demands either from the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Bottom-ley), or from the hon. Member above the Gangway (Mr. Shaw), for a General Election—on the ground that the Government secured its majority by promises that it has been unable to perform. I remember, as I have stated before in this House, the election of 1906, when the Conservative party were almost destroyed, when it took only a very small portion of the seats above the Gangway to contain the lot of them. For seven days immediately after that election I listened to the first speeches I ever heard in this House. They were all demands on the Government to resign—before it had even begun work—on the ground that it no longer—even in these seven days—represented the views of the people, and that it had secured its majority by fraudulent means and by promising things which it never could perform, and so on. These same demands are now made from above the Gangway by men who were supposed to have swept aside all these pettifogging, old party tactics. They are adopting exactly the same. You are one whit better than the others of other years in reference to this particular point, and when, as I hope, you will some day get a majority and will sit on the opposite side your opponents will be over here on this side, doing exactly the same thing.
The fact of the matter is you have sunk into the political party game with a most remarkable ease considering the high moral standard you were supposed to possess in relation to ordinary politics. I therefore regret that there is any reference whatever in this Resolution to the 473 question of a General Election, or as to whether the Government represents the country or not. The salient features to me are these: as you know I was a pacifist and opposed conscription. Suddenly the power that had taught its people that military domination was the only thing that counted in the progress of the race started to establish itself as the head of the world. It suddenly decided to put its principles into practice. If at that time the nations of the world and if England in particular, and Britishers in general, had not stood in the breach, Heaven knows what would have happened to civilisation as we previously understood it. We know perfectly well—though I perhaps did not express it correctly in my interruption of the Prime Minister, and I apologise if he thinks I was offensive in any way—but we know perfectly well what the situation amounted to. To discover it you have only to read Bulow or other books published by Germany before the War on the conduct of war. One of the foremost books published by a great authority in Germany was on "how to conduct war." The writer described not merely how armies shall be prepared, but how the people shall be prepared, and how the other peoples shall be fought. He goes on to describe how you should deal with your enemies; yet you potter about on matters of this sort.
If Germany had beaten us there would have been a German Army of Occupation on the Thames instead of the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine. Would they have pottered about the matter as to whether our sovereigns were worth what they were supposed to be worth? They would have occupied the country from end to end, would have imposed slavery and levied toll upon its inhabitants—and this in accordance with the documents that were prepared even before the War began. Talk about not making the enemy pay! We should have been paying, not for 42 years, but for several generations. Until means had been found to throw off the burden, we should have been slaves and bondmen of these people who you are pretending to-day are our brothers. Do not forget that the Seconder of the Amendment hit the nail on the head, that at the back of this pacifist propaganda which at the present time is going on on Labour platforms—unconsciously, for they do not know what they are doing— 474 is the financial gang who do not wish Germany to pay. These are involved to a certain extent in Germany's financial position, and it is a fine thing for them to get pacifist labour men all over the country to play their game. It is said: "Do not hurt the poor German, he is poor, and his people are starving. They are being underfed," and all this, that, and the other. Appeals of that sort can be made to Englishmen and Englishwomen, because they are always ready to try and treat a fallen foe in accordance with their games and sports, fairly. It is a moral certainty that such appeals as those, if the boot had been on the other foot, would have been utterly useless to those who would have extracted the last farthing of wealth out of us. I believe the Government are now really "toeing the line" on this subject. I know it is the custom of Governments to slide out of everything that is not easy and comfortable unless there are some thorns in the flesh prodding them on. There has not been sufficient vigour displayed in extracting from Germany what she ought to pay and in securing the trials of the criminals who actually destroyed the boats and sunk women and children after the ships had gone, who were responsible for the atrocious murder of people in that way, and should they escape punishment the War really would have been fought in vain. Should there be another war, if it is understood that men can perform atrocious deeds of that kind under the guise of the conduct of war and still be able to shuffle out of punishment, then we destroy one of the principles for which we went to war. That is why I am going to support this Amendment, and I shall do so because I can see quite plainly, with the ease and comfort of the Government Benches, they are likely to allow these Huns to slide out of every liability they have incurred unless someone prods them.
§ Mr. HOWARD GRITTEN
I wish as a short preliminary to deprecate the custom, or what appears to me to be the growing custom, of springing important subjects of Debate on this House without due notice, whereby the majority of hon. Members are precluded from giving adequate preparation to a subject on which they may feel very strongly, and which they may desire to present to the best of their ability. I was only notified of this Debate this morning, and 475 it is impossible to make one's case with any cogency at such a short notice as amounts to no notice at all. The members of a school debating society, or of the amateur Parliament of Slocum-on-the-Mud, are treated with more consideration by their officials. The Prime Minister has seen fit to belittle the speeches which have been made in support of this Amendment, but I am afraid that, so far as the intelligence of the ordinary Member is concerned, he has thrown very little light on our difficulties, and he must pardon us if some of us cannot follow him into the intricacies of his financial calculations or into the realms of la haute politique. What we plainer men want to know is the definite amount Germany is to be made to pay, and the definite time in which she has to make the payment So far as I have listened to this Debate it has proceeded on the general line of policy, or want of policy, on the subject of indemnities or reparations. The public sentiment on this subject is undoubted. It has been skilfully focussed and epitomised by the Mover and Seconder of this Amendment. But I venture to suggest that their case would be better fortified by the evidence of some concrete instances of the pressing necessity for demanding reparation from Germany. I like to come down to bedrock.
In the few minutes at my disposal, I propose merely to give one particular instance or exemplification of the general proposition, and that is afforded by the sufferings of some of my own constituents. On 16th December, 1914, the Hartlepools were bombarded by three first-class German cruisers. The earliness of that date I wish to emphasise as being germane to the general tendency of this Amendment. The complaint I make is that the sufferers have been waiting for compensation ever since that date. Except in an abbreviated form by questions which I have put in this House, the details have never been made public. I do not want to elaborate, but, suffice it to say, that the Hartlepools were suddenly bombarded by three first-class battle-cruisers from 8 a.m. to nearly 9 a.m., using broadsides, ripple-fire, and every mode of attack except landing-parties. The local battery was only manned by territorials, who in private life were business men, tradesmen, and working men. Yet they stood to their three little guns with the fortitude, the 476 endurance, and the sangfroid of regular soldiers and veteran troops. Although it was a small battery with only three guns, yet they did considerable damage to the German cruisers. They beat them off; they killed and wounded numerous Germans on the Blucher and Seidlitz, and blew away part of their armaments. They caused a fire on the Von der Tann, and that vessel was never heard of for some time afterwards. But the havoc and suffering wrought among the civilian population were almost beyond description. I went up at once. I found whole streets blown to fragments, and four hospitals overcrowded with the wounded and dying. To sum up, 130 were either killed at once or died subsequently, and 454 were wounded. And yet the first Official Report was that 22 had been killed and 50 wounded, although it is true that these numbers were increased slightly by a second report to 29 killed and 64 wounded! No doubt the Government had their reason for camouflaging the real facts. But neither time, nor place seemed to matter to Ministers and officials. The Admiralty issued a Report stating that the bombardment took place at 9.20 p.m., and the War Office said 11.35 p.m. Also it was officially stated that my constituency was in Yorkshire! I suppose Durham and Yorkshire are all one to the official mind, whose knowledge and sympathies do not extend beyond the red tape which encircles Whitehall. Some of us pressed at once and have pressed ever since for compensation to these poor sufferers. First of all the Government sent down what they called official assessors. These gentlemen delegated their duties to a firm of valuers, while they enjoyed themselves at the Grand Hotel. The compensation granted was not only inadequate, but in some cases was so insufficient as to amount to a positive insult. Ever since that time I have been receiving piteous representations from these sufferers, some of whom are reduced to the direst poverty. I have pressed the Government, both by questions and by letters, to advance something to these poor people, and all the satisfaction I have received is to be told that we must wait until Germany pays. These poor people cannot wait for an indefinite period. Some of them may be forced to the workhouse whilst they are waiting for the Government to obtain reparation from Germany. Apparently the Government has not common human sympathy. 477 It can continue to maintain Ministries and Departments, which are costly, useless, and which nobody wants and most people ridicule; but it cannot advance even small sums to some of my constituents who have had to endure bereavement, bodily injury, and grievous loss. To injury it has added the insult of red tape. First of all, claimants were told to register their names and claims with the Town Clerk. This involved much labour. But, this process being completed, they were then told: "You must register your names and claims with the Reparations Department in Cornwall House." If I may add my small word, I would urge the Government to imitate the sterner and more commendable attitude of France, to stand not on the order of their going, but to proceed at once, and, instead of fobbing us off with these indefinite
§ promises, which do not satisfy anybody, not to allow themselves to be cozened and cheated and befooled by the cunning and chicanery of the Germans. I also appeal to them to display ordinary common humanity, to realise the sufferings of their humbler fellow-countrymen and the cruel hardships that have been incurred by those hundreds of poor people whom I represent, and, at any rate, to see their way to make some payments on account.
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 40; Noes, 181.479
|Division No. 2.]||AYES.||[1.58 p.m.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayday, Arthur||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Spencer, George A.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Lunn, William||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Mills, John Edmund||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Poison, Sir Thomas||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Redmond, Captain William Archer||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor (Barnstaple)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Robertson, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Rose, Frank H.||Mr. Bottomley and Colonel Claud|
|Harbison, Thomas James S.||Royce, William Stapleton||Lowther.|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Sexton, James|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Hancock, John George|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin|
|Amery, Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Doyle, N. Grattan||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Herbert, Denis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Edge, Captain William||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Bennett, Sir Thomas Jewell||Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Hinds, John|
|Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Holmes, J. Stanley|
|Blair, Sir Reginald||Elliott, Lt.-Col. Sir G. (Islington, W.)||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Entwistle, Major C. F.||Hopkins, John W. W.|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Falcon, Captain Michael||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H.|
|Bruton, Sir James||Farquharson, Major A. C.||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel A. H.||Forrest, Walter||Jesson, C.|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Jodrell, Neville Paul|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Johnson, Sir Stanley|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Galbraith, Samuel||Johnstone, Joseph|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge)||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Cautley, Henry S.||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Keliaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert||Glyn, Major Ralph||Kenyon, Barnet|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Gould, James C.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W.||Grant, James A.||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Lorden, John William|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar||Lynn, R. J.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Greig, Colonel James William||M'Curdy, Rt. Hon. C. A.|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.|
|Cope, Major Wm.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)|
|McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||Sykes, Colonel Sir A. J. (Knutsford)|
|M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Pearce, Sir William||Taylor, J.|
|McMicking, Major Gilbert||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Pliditch, Sir Philip||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Wallace, J.|
|Mitchell, William Lane||Purchase, H. G.||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Molson, Major John Elsdale||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred M.||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.||Remer, J. R.||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Morden, Lieut.-Col. W. Grant||Renwick. George||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Morrison, Hugh||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Wise, Frederick|
|Neal, Arthur||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge amp; Hyde)|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Newton, Major Harry Kottingham||Simm, M. T.||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.||Young, Lieut.-Com E. H. (Norwich)|
|Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander||Younger, Sir George|
|Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Stevens, Marshall||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.||Stewart, Gershom||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley|
|Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark||Sturrock, J. Leng||Ward.|
|Parker, James||Sutherland, Sir William|
Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.
§ Main Question again proposed.