HC Deb 22 February 1921 vol 138 cc795-863
Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

I beg to move, "That until the end of the financial year, Government business do have precedence at every sitting."

I hope to convince the House that this Resolution is necessary. I know it may be said that with better arrangements this Resolution might have been avoided, but I shall have something to say about that later on. In my opinion, the necessity is undoubted. As the House knows, certain financial business has by Statute to be completed by the 31st of March every year. This financial business is rather more difficult to get through this year on account of the early date on which Easter falls, but in addition to that, there is a larger number of Supplementary Estimates now than is usual in an ordinary Session. The number this year is 35, which is nearly double that of a normal year before the War. I hope the House will realise that in abnormal times such as we are now going through, it is really quite impossible that the Estimates prepared for the Budget a year in advance can have anything like the accuracy which was quite possible in normal years before the War.

During the War all payments of this kind were made by the Estimates, and therefore there were no Supplementary Estimates, because they were met by Votes of Credit. As soon as the War was over, however, we went back to our old method of dealing with finance. It was not easy to arrange, and it meant a great deal of difficult work for the Treasury and the Departments; but it was done. Last year I think there were 61 Supplementary Estimates. For the present year the Chancellor of the Exchequer has used every endeavour to prevent Supplementary Estimates, and I am convinced that the Departments have done their best to avoid them. We are really passing through times so abnormal that such calculations as were quite possible before are not now possible.

I have looked into these Supplementary Estimates, and I find they are mainly due to the following causes. In the first place, there is the expenditure on account of unemployment. Secondly, expenditure on the railways, due to the coal strike and the subsequent depression in trade, which meant a great falling off in railway receipts, and this falling off has to be made good by the Exchequer. Thirdly, there is the exceptional expenditure in connection with Ireland. Fourthly, and lastly, there is the expenditure due to the rise during the summer and autumn in the cost of commodities, which has resulted in larger bonuses and higher prices for articles purchased by the Government. I think the House will admit that in the main these causes of expenditure could not have been foreseen a year ago, and I think there is nothing to be done except to introduce these Supplementary Estimates.

I know the House will desire to fully discuss them, and it is necessary that there should be time allowed for this purpose. It may be contended, with some appearance of justification, that the necessity of taking the time in this way, which I greatly regret, should have been avoided, but there was only one way in which it could have been avoided, and that was by causing the House of Commons to meet earlier than it did. At the time we fixed the date for the assembling of Parliament, I was well aware that there would be a great difficulty in getting through our financial business. Not only was I aware of this, but I called the attention of the House to it at the time, before we had finally fixed the date of assembling. Let me remind the House of what I said on the 22nd December last. I was speaking of the congestion of the business of last year, and my hon. Friend the Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham) said: You have made a bad beginning, and then I said in reply: My hon. Friend says that we have made a bad beginning, and I think he may mean by that, beginning so late. Members of the House of Commons have been subjected this year to an amount of pressure on their time and energy for which there is no example in previous Sessions and that is continued slavery. That is also true of every civil servant. It is my belief that if there is to be any reasonable prospect at all of getting through the necessary financial business by 31st March it will be the clear wish of the House that we should postpone the meeting until the date I have mentioned. That is from the point of view of giving people a reasonable rest to enable them to come back to their work with increased energy."—[OFFICIAL REPORT 22nd December, 1920, col. 1801, Vol. 136.] The House was fairly full at the time I made that statement, and I felt sure that I correctly interpreted what was the feeling of the House as a whole. Let me assure hon. Members—I do not think they need the assurance—that this late meeting of the House was not to meet, first of all, the convenience of Ministers. As a matter of fact, they are probably less affected by it than other hon. Members of the House because, in no circumstances could the recess be a holiday for them. It was, first of all, for the convenience of Members of the House of Commons itself. The House was sitting almost up to Christmas Day, and the strain put upon Members by continuous sittings and work of a heavy kind in Committee was unprecedented in the experience of this House. I am certain that, apart altogether from the convenience of Members, it really was necessary to give the longest recess possible, in order that we might come back with increased energy to face the work of the coming Session. If the strain was great upon hon. Members, it was greater upon our civil servants, and it is for them I wish to speak. When the House is sitting, a great deal of extra work is thrown on Departments, and the result is not only that civil servants are exhausted, but that they have not the time to pick up the arrears of work, and clear them away for the work that lies in front of them. It is true that the Supplementary Estimates are larger than I anticipated, but even had I known exactly the position, I do not think I should have made any change in my suggestion as to the date of the meeting of Parliament.

I have only one thing more to say. I am sure that I shall be asked to make up after Easter for the time now taken from private Members. I hope the House of Commons will not agree to that for this reason. We did it last year, and the giving of this extra time later in the Session was part of the reason for the congestion which followed in the business during the whole of the Session. I am sure it will be necessary, if we are compelled to take private Members' time now, not to extend it beyond Easter. Indeed, I think, and I hope the House will agree, that if there be time to spare for a general discussion of finance, the wishes of the House as a whole will be better met by giving opportunities for discussion of subjects which are desired by the House than by leaving those questions to the accident of the ballot. I think the House will give the Government credit for always trying to find time for the discussion of any subject which is desired by a large number of Members, and we shall continue to do that. It is a great pity we have to ask for private Members' time, but from the point of view of the public interest, nothing is more important than that we should not be overloaded this Session, as we have been in the last three years. To have regular autumn Sessions—to have the House sitting continuously—would be ruinous to the House of Commons itself, and disastrous in every way to the public service of this country. We are going to try and avoid it this Session, and I will ask the House, as far as it can, to help us in that direction by agreeing to the Resolution which I now beg to move.


The right hon. Gentleman has exhibited, in moving his Resolution, a more than usual degree of coolness in facing a difficult situation. Certainly he has attempted to make a very big draw on the toleration and goodwill of the House in asking it to forego the rights of private Members between this period and Easter. He has pointed out that Easter falls early this year and that there are more than the usual number of Estimates to be got through between now and then—two reasons surely why greater foresight should have been shown on the part of the Government and why some Parliamentary action should have been taken different from that of this, the worst of all forms of Parliamentary closures. It is incorrect to say that the Members of the House desired so long a holiday that they would come back to their work so late as not to be able to get it through and to do it properly. That is no reason for the right hon. Gentleman's Motion; it is, to my mind, a reason for the contrary. He has pointed out that the times are abnormal. So they are. But really the right hon. Gentleman in asking that private Members should muzzle themselves and leave the Government to do practically what it pleases with Parliamentary time, is ignoring the very menacing situation arising particularly from existing conditions. When the right hon. Gentleman says there might be occasion, and that there would be common agreement for calling on the Government to give specific days to definitely discuss such questions, I should like to know more particularly what he means by it. I speak for the moment in this House for a comparatively small minority. For every Labour Member who is here tries to do what he thinks is good for the country, there are seven or eight other Members to see that he does nothing at all. The Labour Members of this House, representing a very considerable body of opinion, are very much disturbed by the situation in this country, and if they desire to call for a day to discuss matters relating to the varying phases of unemployment, can we be assured we shall get that day without the common consent of the House?


Surely my right hon. Friend knows he does not need to ask that question, as I have been as ready to meet the wishes of the Labour party as of any other section, time permitting.


That qualification, "time permitting," leaves the decision entirely to the judgment of the right hon. Gentleman, and as he has argued to the House it is necessary to take the whole of the time of Parliament till Easter for the purpose of disposing of these Estimates, how can we feel reassured in face of that qualification? The right hon. Gentleman really is not attaching sufficient importance to the situation outside this House. It is not merely that the times are abnormal within it in regard to the number of the Estimates and the unusual amount of financial business which has to be considered, but there never was a situation outside this House similar to that which exists at this moment. Only a few days ago, from that Bench, the Minister for Labour informed the House that the official figures of the unemployed exceeded 1,000,000—to speak more accurately, 1,039,000 persons are officially reported as being out of work, and as the Minister very fairly admitted, there was in addition to that a very considerable number who, in no way registered themselves as unemployed. Taking the whole of the 600,000 affected by short time, taking the hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers not registered, taking the official minimum, and including in these figures the numbers of their households, we are faced with the fact that there are several millions of people in this country suffering real privation and distress through the unemployment situation. Are we to expect that the whole question can be disposed of, or that it can be even seriously and appropriately handled, by such a proposal as we understand is to come before the House in the course of a day or two to further extend the unemployment insurance?

This, I have said, is the very worst of all forms of Parliamentary closure. It puts the followers and supporters of the Government in a position of not being able to exercise the ordinary rights of private Members, or of critics, for they have to give, as it were, their word of honour to the Government that the Government shall have the whole of the time for the purpose of discussing these Estimates, and further it completely disarms the Opposition and disables it from bringing forward proposals week by week, or even day by day, to deal with the important situation outside.

There are not only the difficulties relating to unemployment; there are increasing signs of industrial trouble due on one hand to employers' threats to reduce wages and on the other hand to the apparent determination of the organised workers to resist such reductions. These industrial problems are, I allege, even more pressing than some of the internal questions, and they ought to have a definite amount of Parliamentary time allotted to them week by week between now and Easter for their consideration. Will the right hon. Gentleman, instead of giving us the qualified assurance, "if time permits," agree that if it is the general will of the House these appeals may be favourably considered, and will he give us a promise of at least one day of Parliamentary time per week in order to deal with issues which clearly will arise, as it is impossible to hope that trade will have so improved or that national conditions will have so changed as to have very seriously modified the trouble relating to unemployment as it now presents itself to our mind. It is not merely in this country is there to be increasing and recurring trouble. The Debate in this House last night on the Irish question is another proof how necessary it is to increase and not diminish the freedom of Parliamentary action of ordinary private Members. In the course of that Debate my right hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. Henderson) put a number of definite and, as we think, most important questions to the Government relating to Irish administration—relating to matters of fact as well as of policy. Not a single syllable of answer was attempted from that bench. No reply was given us, even on a Debate so important as that relating to Irish questions. We cannot therefore submit to be absolutely muzzled between this time and Easter, and in face of the outside situation we are entitled to ask that the Government will allot some definite part of Parliamentary time to deal with a situation which the right hon. Gentleman himself confesses is so abnormal as to require the special attention of private Members. I doubt whether there ever was a time in Parliamentary history when private Members were so beset and so assailed by their constituents as on these questions of unemployment and of Ireland. We cannot finish our contact with our constituents by throwing their communications into the wastepaper basket. It is clear from the size of our postbags and from the size of the meetings we address that there is a large part of the nation anxious to exact from Parliament closer attention to these questions than Parliament has yet been able to give them.

There are Members in this House who have a real fear of Parliamentary action being more and more viewed as unsuitable to meet the outside needs of the community, and I suggest that a Motion like this is as strongly in favour of a policy of outside industrial action as anything could be. What will be said by the organisations, by those involved in the payment of large sums of money week by week out of their own funds in relation to unemployment, what will be said by them when we tell them that the House of Commons has solemnly resolved to give no time, in the sense of guaranteeing any time, to enable private Members of this House to further discuss the outside unemployment situation. It will seem to them an easy thing to say, and they will say it with increasing justification, that Parliament cannot only find no remedy, but cannot even find time to discuss one, and therefore they themselves must force a remedy by ordinary industrial measures. That is a line of action I personally should deplore, but those who ad- vocate it will have the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman on their side. He has confessed that these times are abnormal, yet he comes forward with a proposal to take away from what I would call the rank and file Members of this House any shred of power to face these questions at a time when he admits there is ten times greater cause to leave them freedom to debate these questions than ever before. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider his position. The times are abnormal, and Parliament is certainly losing the respect in which Parliaments formerly stood in the minds of an enormous number of people. That is a matter of regret on the part of Members of all parties. It is only by increasing the freedom of private Members, and by giving them more and more time freely to debate in the House the serious outside industrial situation that we can hope to win back the respect for Parliament which I believe it has lost. I do not mean that the Coalition Members of the House of Commons are lowered in the estimation of the population generally as compared with other Members of Parliament. I am speaking of the instrument of Parliament. This instrument surely was forged in order to give representatives of the constituencies, of great bodies of the electors, an opportunity freely to deal with questions as they arose.

We are faced with a situation the like of which has never troubled our country before. It is admitted that this is now not merely a party question. It is a national question, and the Government have had to accept the responsibility for it. If they could say that it was not their business, that it was the private affair of the employer, the employé, or the organisations which cover both of those great interests, there would be some justification for the House of Commons closing its gates to a discussion of these themes. They cannot, however, say that. Parliament is to be asked for a very short time further to consider the slight extension of the sum of money granted to keep these miserable people alive, but we cannot be content with that. I suggest to the Leader of the House that the safer and more secure way to secure the good will of Members of this House of all parties is to bring forward the Estimates in the ordinary manner, and let the House consider them on their merits, with the knowledge that time which they may waste— if I may suspect the House of wasting any time—in regard to one matter will be lost when we come to discuss other matters. Whatever be the course that will be best for the freedom of Members and for the credit of Parliament, it clearly is most unwise, to say the very least of it, and an indiscreet Parliamentary move, to ask us, in face of the conditions existing outside, to accept a Motion which would deprive us of any free or full opportunity day by day to raise these questions, which, on the admission even of Ministers themselves, are becoming more and more menacing and more and more a danger to the country.


I beg to move, at the end of the Question, to add the words but such time as is taken from private Members up to the end of the financial year shall be restored to them between Easter and Whitsuntide. One has a great deal of sympathy with what my right hon. Friend has said as to Parliamentary opportunities for discussing the very grave questions to which he has devoted the greater part of his speech. Supposing, however, that the matter stood without any Resolution such as has been proposed, the position would be that five Tuesdays, five Wednesdays, and five Fridays, subject to the ballot, would represent the opportunities available. I do not know what would be the chances of my right hon. Friend and his colleagues in the ballot, but I would urge the importance of what has been said from this box already, and of the promise which has been given that any really urgent and important request, which commended itself to a sufficiently large number of Members of this House, in regard to the discussion of that particular topic, would, as far as possible, be granted. I should like to address myself to one or two other points which the Leader of the House made, particularly in his apologia for the finance of the Government. He said that, as far as possible, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made provision for these mistakes on the part of Departments of the Government which are called Supplementary Estimates—because a Supplementary Estimate is the result of a miscalculation. What did the Chancellor of the Exchequer say, and what provision did he make? He provided for the modest sum of £20,000,000 when he introduced his Budget. By July he had already got from this House £20,500,000. In December last he got £40,000,000 for the Army, £9,500,000 for the Civil Service, and £8,000,000 for the Navy and Air Force. There were between fifteen and twenty of these Estimates, and their total was about £57,500,000. I said then that I felt pretty sure that the total would not be short of £77,000,000, and that the Estimates to be presented at this part of the Session would, on a moderate forecast, amount to £15,000,000. In that I was more than £20,000,000 out, because the total Supplementary Estimates now included in the White Paper, together with one or two which may perhaps follow, will be very little short of £35,000,000. Adding that to the £77,000,000 already granted, we have a total of Supplementary Estimates for this financial year of some £110,000,000.

That is a position upon which we are entitled strongly to challenge the Government. What prescience or foresight can there be in that? It is impossible to ask us to believe that this vast sum could not have been foreseen. I agree that we did not know, although we ought to have known, the proportions of the great unemployment problem and what it would cost us, but I would beg hon. Members, in the discharge of their duty to their constituents and to the country, to go through these Supplementary Estimates as submitted. They are here for the purpose of going through these Supplementary Estimates and understanding them, and if they do so they will see what a vast range of gross miscalculation, financial inefficiency and reckless extravagance they disclose. My right hon. Friend says that he wants time to discuss them between now and Easter. Of course he is bound to say that. I stand by what I said at the end of the last Session, namely, that the House ought to make this Session predominantly a financial Session, and that as little legislation as possible ought to come before the House, either from the Government or from private Members. What is going to happen between now and Easter, in the time which, no doubt, my right hon. Friend will succeed in getting? These Supplementary Estimates require the most careful examination, and I would ask my right hon. Friend to tell us, when he comes to reply, what legislation he proposes to introduce between now and Easter—what Bills are to be submitted for Second reading. Their discussion will take days. There is the railway Bill—


Not before Easter.

5.0 P.M.


I would ask my right hon. Friend to tell us, when he comes to reply, what is the programme of the Government with regard to Legislation between now and Easter, so that we may have some idea of what time the Government propose to give to the discussion of these overwhelming Supplementary Estimates. In view of the immense importance of a careful examination of finance, nothing but the most urgent measures should be submitted for Second Heading between now and Easter. The decks ought to be clear as far as possible for finance and the great and important questions which will be raised in connection with it. Four separate Votes on Account will have to be taken—for the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Civil Service. Then there will be two Consolidated Fund Bills—one on account of the Railway Estimates, for which the money has to be found at some time between now and the 15th or 20th April. That Bill will have to go through all its stages. I quite agree that at that stage the matter itself cannot very well be discussed, if we are allowed ample discussion of the other administrative proposals which come before the House. That will depend upon the time that is given for Debate. If all those most important financial subjects have to be submitted in that way, what time will there be for the introduction of highly controversial Bills? I am certain that I am voicing the feeling of the House as a whole when I say that it will deeply resent any attempt on the part of the Government to guillotine or closure financial discussion between now and Easter. I agree that, if there is any gross misuse of Debate, those who indulge in it must take the consequences, but I feel certain that that will not be the case. Any attempt to force these matters through, or to debate them in the small hours of the morning, will be a gross dereliction of the duty of this House in regard to these most important questions. Then I would urge that the Votes on Account should not be for an amount which will go further than the real necessities of the case. If, for instance, the Government should ask for Votes on Account for the services to which I have referred to an amount which carries them on, say, till July, I say that that is too long. It takes away from the House the proper control which it ought to have over these great spending Departments. There ought to be no further sums taken than are sufficient to meet the urgent necessities for pay and matters of that kind in connection with the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Civil Service.

Commander BELLAIRS

You cannot get control once the policy Vote is disposed of.


The Estimates will not be laid before the 31st March. It is only when you get the Estimates laid you know what the policy is with regard to these great spending services. This House should retain control and not allow the Government to get more money than is absolutely necessary on these Votes on Account, and I hope hon. Members will watch that as carefully as they possibly can. If they want more money on account, let them come back to this House and ask for it. With regard to the question of private Member's time, nothing is more destructive of the prestige of and interest in the House of Commons than to completely obliterate the interest of private Members in its proceedings, and for them to get the idea, that they are here merely as vote-recording machines with no opportunity of expressing their opinion on current problems. That is one of the real reasons why the House of Commons is to some extent losing interest and prestige. Men go from the House of Commons and say they have little or no interest in its proceedings, that they have no chance of expressing freely and without the control of the Whips their opinions on many topics of real interest that come before the House by means of private Members' Motions on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or in private Bills.


They will get it on the Estimates.


You will be in then.


Therefore I suggest to my right hon. Friend that he ought to restore to hon. Members the time which they have lost between now and Easter and make it up to them as he did before between Easter and Whitsuntide. I think I carry a large amount of support from the general body of the House when I press that upon him. There is one other point, and it is this. I think the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer said he was about to set up the Committee on National Expenditure soon. I hope he will do it very early. The Reports from that Committee last year were of great interest and use to the House, but the worst of it was they came so late; the mischief was done; and at the approaching end of the Session, in the early days of July, when the Government pressure was at its height, hopes were raised by the Leader of the House that time would be given. As time went on we found that no such opportunity could be afforded, and the only thing was for the Press to take the matters up or for us to do what we could in the way of Question and Answer in the House of Commons. The real work of that Committee never came before the House in the way it ought. This Committee should be appointed, not at an early date, but at once, and should get to work immediately.

I do not know whether there is any use of urging this, but I do it as strongly as I can, namely, the necessity for an Estimates Committee. I think such a proposal should be accompanied by the working out of the suggestion of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Acland), who was Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee last year, and who, I am sure, the House will regret is unable to find time for the Chairmanship of that most important body this year. What he suggested was this, that instead of flinging these Estimates at the general Estimates Committee the Government ought to appoint some highly-trained official who can be easily found in the Civil Service, acquainted with what is called the run of Government Departments, with a couple of assistants. He could go through these Estimates and present to that Estimates Committee his report on them, or, failing that, it would be very much better if a report of that kind came before the House direct—anything rather than the futile, unbusinesslike, in-efficient way in which we deal with the question at the present moment. I suggested to my right hon. Friend (Mr. Bonar Law) last year that what the Government ought to do was this, while your total expenditure has gone up from a 1,200,000,000 or 1,400,000,000 Budget, and Civil Service Estimates have gone up alone from £87,500,000 pre- War to something like £550,000,000, we should, instead of having 20 days for financial discussion, have 40 days. I suppose that appeal will fall upon deaf ears. How far is my right hon. Friend going to meet us in this matter? In the Standing Orders he can give us 23 days. I suggest that the very least thing he can do is to give us these three extra days. He has promised a minimum programme of legislation. That is a definite undertaking. He ought to give the maximum opportunity for financial discussion. My right hon. Friend nods assent to that. What does it mean? What is he going to give? A pious agreement amounts to nothing. What is the practical undertaking which he can give to enable the House of Commons to discharge some part of its most important functions? My Motion really amounts to this. By Standing Order 4, "Arrangement of Public Business" under Heading (c), after Easter Government business shall take precedence during the whole of Tuesday. It really means giving Tuesday back to the private Members, because he has got Wednesday and he has got Friday. That does not seem to be an extravagant request to make, and I accordingly urge it very strongly upon him.


There is, I think, a traditional and time-honoured function of the Leader of the Opposition in this House. It is not always the same. The general duty of the Leader of the Opposition is to oppose the Government, but there are occasions, I think, when his duty is to say a ceremonial ditto to the Leader of the House. I must say it struck me, while listening to the two speeches of the two right hon. Gentlemen, both of whom lead somebody opposite, that they were dividing these functions between them. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes) began in the time-honoured way by opposing the proposal from this side of the Table, and then my right hon. Friend followed, until he moved his Amendment at the end, by saying a ceremonial ditto, because, after all, the greater part of his speech was directed to show how superlatively necessary it is for the Government to take the time they are asking. All that he said about the magnitude of finance and the necessity for its thorough investigation and discussion in the House amounted really to a confirmation of what had already fallen from the Leader of the House, that under the existing circumstances, however they may be accounted for and whoever may be to blame for them, there is no choice for the Government but to take the time of the House. I do not believe the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Miles Platting would have made the speech he did, if it had not been for the necessity imposed upon him by the leadership of his party. I do not quite know how many opposing parties there are opposite. I see the Noble Lord (Lord R. Cecil) there. The Front Opposition Bench appears to be like a penny bus, because it accommodates so many opposing parties, and it is very difficult to enumerate what they are. But, at any rate, the two right hon. Gentlemen who have already spoken may be taken for the moment at least as the two leaders of the chief Opposition. What did the right hon. Member for Miles Platting say in opposition to the Government's proposal? He made a very eloquent speech about the unrest out-of-doors, about the very deplorable amount of unemployment; he alleged that no answer was given in the Debate yesterday to charges in regard to the Government of Ireland; and altogether roughly and rapidly outlined the general condition of the country outside. What had all that to do with the taking of private Members' time? Did the right hon. Gentleman really imagine that if he could have defeated this Motion that these matters to which he referred would have had any more substantial opportunity of being ventilated in this House? Does he imagine that the ballot for private Members' Resolutions or for private Bills would have given the Labour party other opportunities for discussing unemployment, or anyone an opportunity of discussing Ireland? We all know nothing of the sort. What really would have happened would have been that some hon. Members might have had an opportunity—it might have been my right hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury)—to introduce a Bill for the better treatment of dogs. I do not wish to suggest that that is not an important matter, but it is not the matter of unemployment, and it is not the government of Ireland. Some other hon. Member might have introduced a Bill for prohibiting the importation of plumage, important but not of the first-rate importance that the right hon. Gentleman refers to. Those are the sort of questions which are brought up either by Resolution or Bill in private Member's time. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir D. Maclean) also repeated the time-honoured complaint about the destruction of private Members' time, and told us that it is the time which private Members have for perfectly free discussion, which really is the true House of Commons. I am not going to controvert that proposition. I have heard it made ever since I have been in the House, and I am sure it was made many a long year before that. It is really a conventional complaint. I have no doubt there was a time when it might perfectly sincerely have been made, and there was some reality behind it. But certainly since I have been in the House I am forced to the conclusion that such time as private Members have at their disposal, not altogether for Bills, but at all events for Resolutions, is very largely waste of the time of the House.

The really important business of the House is always, and always will be, however much we dislike it, in the future under the direction and guidance of the Government. Whenever a Bill of any real importance is introduced by a private Member, if there is really a desire on the part of the House to get it carried into law it is almost always done by being starred and made part of the Government business. I enjoyed the Resolutions which we used to debate as much as anyone, and I always agreed that the real interest or the fun of the House depended on those Tuesday evenings when we resolved ourselves, not into Committee of Supply, but into a debating society, and discussed matters of very inconsiderable importance with complete freedom and a good deal of frivolity. But really the right hon. Gentleman, in using his position to echo that old and unreal complaint that the House of Commons is going to lose credit and is going to be degraded in the eyes of the public because we are not able to have those private Members' discussions on Tuesday evenings, is really, I think, either stretching his own imagination too far or else making too large a draft on the credulity of inexperienced Members of the House. I quite recognise the necessity for this Motion. I entirely agree with what my right hon. Friend said, that it would have been very much more obnoxious to the vast majority of the House if they had been called together a week or ten days earlier. That would have been a very much greater loss to the great majority of private Members than the loss of their Tuesday evenings until the end of the financial year, and I really think the opposition which has been so far urged to it from the Front Bench opposite has been largely traditional, it has been ceremonial, and merely because it is necessary to say something from the other side of the box in opposition to what is said on this; and, however reluctant we may be to lose the gifts of the lighter side of the House, I believe the vast majority of the House will recognise the necessity for it and will cordially support the Motion.


I wish to make two points only. The first is, that I am perfectly certain that until the Government give way on the question of assisting this House in the examination of Estimates, that matter will continue to be pressed, and therefore it will be very much better for the Leader of the House to turn his great ability into the channel of seeing how it can be done instead of, I am afraid, constantly explaining to us why it cannot be done. It was a perfectly sound point when brought up by the right hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury), and it remains a sound point that the Committees of this House on Estimates are just as hopeless really to produce the best results in helping this House as the Committee of Public Accounts would be without the assistance of the Controller and Auditor-General in the matter of the accounts which come before the House. I hope the Government will consent to try to work out a method of doing that instead of opposing it. Estimates become more and more complicated, and more and more important as this country realises more and more that it is comparatively a poor country very heavily taxed, instead of being, as we were before the War, a comparatively rich country rather moderately taxed, and if there is a method of helping the House which is put forward, not as a party method at all, but by every committee which is looking into it one after another, year after year, it is a matter that the Government should treat carefully. The only other thing I want to ask, in no controversial spirit, is this: Can the Leader of the House hold out any possi- bility of giving time—not before Easter; I agree about that—for any discussion of the recent Report of the Public Accounts Committee?


I believe after Easter.


I have been in touch with the right hon. Gentleman with regard to time before Easter, and I accept from him that that is not possible. I shall not be Chairman of the new Committee, but I think they would like that on their behalf—they have not yet been set up—a claim should be pegged out at once for half days as soon after Easter as possible, and I understand that could be arranged.


indicated assent.


I understand this question really is one which principally affects the private Member. The private Member is asked to surrender his time until Easter, in order to facilitate Government business, and principally finance. Some of us on this Bench would be the last to oppose such a request of the Government, because we feel that the more adequate and full the discussions on finance the better it is for the business of the country generally. But I think we are entitled to ask whether, in the event of our compliance with that request, they will give us a practical assurance that at the end of the Session we shall not have turned upon us a flood of legislation which we shall be called upon to discuss at very short notice, because if that indeed were the case it would seem that our sacrifice at present would be of little use. It is becoming rather sad to think that the argument in support of every abnormal procedure is based upon the fact that we are living in abnormal times. We might almost say that we are living in normal times of abnormality. I believe most private Members will support the Government in their demand, but I hope they will see their way not to rush us into ill-digested legislation towards the end of the Session.


I desire to enter my protest against the House being asked to pass this Motion. One feels that for the Government to appropriate the greater part of the time between now and Easter will not give those with whom I am associated the opportunity they desire to deal with the great question of the day. I know there will be difference of opinion upon the matter, but my opinion, based upon a rather close association with the working-class movement, is that the unemployed problem transcends in public importance any other question which is before the country at the moment. If the Motion is carried, and we are denied the opportunity of drawing attention to this great question, the difficulty and trouble which prevails in the country will be intensified. I can quite understand the psychology of the House of Commons not recognising the importance of this question, but if the bulk of hon. Members were closer up with the industrial constituencies and the industrial situation which is prevailing, they would need no conversion to this aspect of the matter. The facts which have been given by the Minister of Labour are striking enough in themselves. He told us that 1,039,000 men and women were registered at the Labour Exchanges, that thousands were out of employment who were not registered, that 368,000 of these were ex-service men, and the other 600,000 people were on systematic short time. The difficulty of the situation which is involved in that plain and simple statement is tremendous. People walking the streets without a livelihood is surely one of the questions this House of Commons ought to be ready to tackle at this time.

We are going to find time, according to the King's Speech, for dealing with an Anti-Dumping Bill. I suppose that is the result of pressure from the Federation of British Industries. Included in the financial business that is to come before the House, if the Government programme is carried out, is the question of dividends for railway shareholders which were guaranteed on the basis of the 1913 net receipts. They claim that they are entitled to this amount for the last financial year. Dividends that the railways have not been able to earn have to be paid to the railway shareholders. The House of Commons will find time to discuss that. When it was mentioned a moment ago, it was met with assent and approval from various sides of the House. If we can find time to discuss the dividends of railway shareholders that the railways have not earned, the House ought to be able to find time to discuss this great question of the unemployed, and I am afraid that if this House does not find time to deal with the question there are other agencies in the country that will. That is my fear. I do not desire to see that happen; but we are entitled to sound this note of warning.

The organised Labour movement has the matter under consideration. A great conference will be held to-morrow in the City, representing the great organised Labour movement—an adjourned conference for the discussion of the question. They are inquiring what is being done and what is going to be done, and all they have been able to ascertain up to the present is that the Government is prepared to give an extra 2s. or 3s. a week to unemployed benefit. Time and time again we have declared, and we repeat, that that is no solution of the unemployed problem. A pound to-day is only worth half the amount it was worth in pre-War days, and a pound a week to a working man to-day is nothing more nor less than semi-starvation. With all these factors in mind we declare emphatically that this question is one which will not be ignored. If the House of Commons is not familiar with the ramifications of the question it ought to make itself acquainted with the position. When we can count by the million our own fellow-countrymen, men, women and children, the wage-earners of the country, walking the streets of our industrial towns without an opportunity to earn a livelihood, surely that is a grave question, national in its character and importance. I re-echo the sentiments expressed by the right hon. Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes) that the time of this House should be so allocated that those who are entitled to speak on behalf of the industrial workers shall have a proper opportunity of bringing the ramifications of this great problem of unemployment to the notice of the House and the country.


I agree with my hon. Friend (Major C. Lowther) that economy in words is as good as economy in anything, and I only rise to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury a few questions. I do hope that the Government may not have closed their minds entirely to the proposition made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean). Generally one can gather from the countenance of Members of the Government whether they are going to give way or not, but they have preserved a stony countenance up till now, and I am rather afraid that they have hardened their hearts. I was very sorry to hear what was said by the hon. and learned Member for Canterbury (Mr. R. McNeill). I am sorry that he is not in the House, because time and again I have heard him defend the rights of private Members, and I do not know why at this moment, unless he is going to pass over to the front bench, he should suddenly make up his mind that this is a conventional question, a conventional attack upon the Government. I do not think it is at all conventional. I cannot imagine anything less conventional than to try to preserve the rights of private Members. If private Members do not take every opportunity to defend their rights in this House, very soon private Members will be left with no rights at all. I should like to join with one hon. Member in saying that so far as I am aware there was no obstruction in Debate during the past year. I was in the 1910 Parliament, and certainly we had obstruction then. There was a great deal of obstruction in the 1911 Parliament onwards, but during last year there was less obstruction than I have ever seen before during the time I have been in Parliament. Therefore, the Government ought to do its utmost to meet the wishes of private Members.

I gather from this Motion that until the end of the financial year, Government business shall have precedence at every sitting. I presume that that does not cut out Motions for the Adjournment. Supposing at question time someone moves the Adjournment of the House: I take it that that question would not be ruled out? [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] I feel that the only excuse the Government has for this Motion is that no controversial business outside finance should be brought before us; but to-day at question time the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that the Revenue Bill was to be introduced almost immediately. I should like to know whether it is to be introduced and to pass its Second Reading before Easter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that it was going to a Committee upstairs on account of its extraordinary uncontroversial character; but I say that that Bill is going to be one of the most controversial Bills in the history of this House. It is a Bill carrying into effect the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and one of those recommenda- tions is that we should change the whole of the local administration of Income Tax, and take away the buffer that now exists between the Treasury and the taxpayer ill the shape of the collector of taxes. I should like to know whether before Easter we are going to have foisted upon us the First Reading of the Revenue Bill, because if we are going to have that kind of legislation, which is going to be extremely controversial, I shall certainly vote against this Motion.

The Select Committee on National Expenditure has been referred to, and I join with my right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles in asking the Government not only to appoint this Committee but, for the sake of the House, to carry out some of its past recommendations. Do let us have Estimates given in some sort of shape that Members of the House of Commons can understand them. That recommendation was made two years ago but nothing has been done, and we cannot understand the Estimates. This Committee, taking evidence two years ago, were told by the Accounting Officer of the Ministry of Munitions, I do not think the Estimates as furnished to Parliament are worth the paper they are written on from the point of view of Parliamentary control. One of the recommendations of this Parliamentary Committee was that the whole shape of the Estimates should be altered and drawn out in such a way that hon. Members should be able to understand the Estimates they are asked to debate. That has not been done, and I do not know why. I cannot see the use of appointing a Parliamentary Committee which labours week after week and month after month and year after year, and when they present their Report absolutely nothing is done. So far as I know not one single recommendation made by that Committee has been carried out up till now. Therefore, it is really a farce. If my right hon. Friend chooses to do what I suggest, he could have it done. I suppose it would be out of Order for me to mention other recommendations of the Committee. This is purely an Estimate question. If my right hon. Friend does not carry out the other recommendations of the Committee, he could carry out that recommendation and let us have the Estimates in a shape in which we can understand them. I hope he will be able to reply favourably on these points.

Commander BELLAIRS

The various sectional opposition has had a good innings, four representatives in succession having spoken. The points raised by Members of the Labour party with regard to dealing with questions of unemployment were hardly germane to this Motion. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes!"] In any case I cannot see how the taking of private Members' time is going to prevent the discussion of unemployment, because if hon. Members are successful in the Ballot they could deal with the question of unemployment either by Bills or Motions. The Government have not any option in regard to the Railway Bill. That is compulsory upon them. It is part of the agreement made long before this Government came into power, and they have to carry it out. My real object in rising is to explain an interruption I made during the speech of the right hon. Member for Peebles. He suggested that Votes on Account should only be for a short period of time, and not so far as July. The real point is that by the end of this financial year the House of Commons entirely loses control of policy, because all the policy Votes, such as Votes 1 of the Army, Navy and Air Estimates, are introduced and passed before the end of March. In the old days, I think up lo the eighties, we used frequently to carry the policy discussion on to Vote 2, and if the Opposition really want to get control of expenditure they must keep the policy Vote before the House of Commons for a longer period than the end of the old financial year. Last year we lost control of the Navy Estimates by the 23rd March, and we lost control of the Army Estimate so far as policy was concerned still earlier. So far as this Motion is concerned, I can hardly see how the Government have any option. They cannot control the fact that Easter falls at an early period and before the end of the financial year. They cannot control the fact that we have double the number of Supplementary Estimates. The right hon. Member for Peebles said that it was lack of foresight. One might as well say that it was lack of foresight for the Liberal Government not to anticipate the War, in which they have spent £7,000,000,000 of Supplementary Estimates. [HON. MEMBERS: "So it was!"] I agree, it was lack of foresight, and in these particular cases we are inheriting the legacies of that War. All these Supplementary Estimates are legacies that we have inherited from the War. In order to prevent this occurring again the House of Commons might some day or other legislate for a fixed Easter, or the Government might change the financial year. The American financial year ends, I believe, in June, and I think it is a matter for serious consideration whether it is not desirable for the country itself and certainly for Parliament to have a fixed Easter and an alteration of the present financial year.


I belong to one of those sections of this House on whom a great deal of cold water, not to say contempt, has been thrown in this Debate. I was amazed by the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury. If he were a good Catholic instead of a sound Orangeman, I would describe him as more papal than the Pope, and more governmental than the Government. He said that all this talk about the rights of private Members was merely foolishness, and futile, that really the business of the House of Commons was in the hands of the Government, and almost the sole duty of private Members was to accept gratefully anything that came from the Government table. I do not know whether anything is coming to my hon. Friend from the Government table. Nobody will be more delighted than I shall if that be the case, but I cannot understand why he should now give to England the love that he has so long given to Ulster. I will not go into speculation on that matter, especially as I believe there will be more officers than Members of the Ulster Parliament. He says, "What is the use of this discussion? It is a mere waste of time." My hon. Friend must be very little acquainted with the history of the House of Commons if he does not know that some of the greatest measures of reform passed by this House have had their origin in these futile and academic discussions.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) and other Members have alluded to the legislative programme of the Government. I think that that is taking this comic Government a little too tragically. I do not think that you will ever see any of the legislation mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, or that, if you do, any of these measures will survive a very laborious stillbirth. Therefore that is not my reason for finding fault with the Govern- ment. I do not accept the statement of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken that you have no more right to criticise this Government for want of foresight with regard to expenditure than the Liberal Government that did not foresee the expenditure of the War. The War is over two years, and that ought to have given time enough even to a Government like this to survey the financial future with a little more accuracy than they have shown. I object also because of the purposes for which some of the money asked to be voted is to be spent. There is a very large Supplementary Estimate for instance for Ireland. It brings back a feeling of astonishment which I have often had, that so clever a race as the English always seem to lose their senses when they touch anything Irish. Here you are robbing yourselves of your own time and your own liberty because you will not give the Irish people liberty to deal with their own affairs.

But I come back to my main point, the rights of private Members. There are two conceptions of the functions of the House of Commons which we find among its Members. One is that of the hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. R. McNeill), which, brought to its last extremity, would mean that the House of Commons should be a mere recording machine for registering the proposals of the Government. I utterly repudiate that view of the functions of the House of Commons. Legislation is a good thing in its way sometimes. I would be quite satisfied if this Government, as long as it stays in office, never brought forward any legislation. All of it will be bad. I believe that the right hon. Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) thinks that all legislative proposals are unnecessary or mischievous. I do not go to that extreme, but I do protest against the doctrine that this House is merely a legislative machine. That is not its greatest function and not its most useful function. Its greatest function is that it is the Grand Inquisition of the nation. If we regard as sacred the rights of a free Press, it is on the ground that, in order to preserve the purity of administration and justice and fair play, it is absolutely necessary to have everything which a Government does subjected to full criticism and brought to the full knowledge of the people of the country. And if this House of Commons is to hold to the place in the mind of the nation which, in spite of many changes, I still think it holds to a very large extent, though not to as great an extent as in former years, it must be because every British subject shall feel that in this House there will be an opportunity of remedying any grievance from which he suffers.

Compare that with the policy of this Motion. The rights of private Members for discussion are curtailed to the most infinitesimal degree. There is no opportunity for raising these poignant and ever-pressing questions which arise in a nation so large as this. I saw a Minister condemned, and I saw nearly a whole Ministry shaken, by what was called the Cass Case. A poor milliner passing through Regent Street was treated, as it appeared to the public, rather harshly and unjustly by a police constable. The Home Secretary of that day, afterwards Lord Llandaff, did not take up the case warmly. A gentleman, who is now a distinguished judge, Mr. Atherley Jones, raised the case in debate. I never saw a greater vindication of the power and effectiveness of this Imperial Parliament than when a Ministry was shaken rather than that a poor friendless woman should be deprived of her liberty. That is a function of the House of Commons which people almost forget. They ask, "What is the Government going to bring in? What is its policy about the House of Lords, and about this, that, and the other?" Much more important is it to know that in this House of Commons every man has the right to be heard and, if he is wrong, that he has a chance of being righted. These being my views, I am opposed to the proposal of the Government, and I hope that the few words which I have said on behalf of the rights of the private Member will be echoed by other Members, and that we shall have none of these extraordinary doctrines, expressed by the Member for the St. Augustine's Division, that it is for the Government to legislate and for us to obey.


I am not going to follow my hon. Friend opposite in his eloquent maintenance of the rights of private Members, but in a few sentences I do want cordially to join in the appeal which has been made by the right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) that the Government should appoint at the very earliest possible moment the Committee which this afternoon it has undertaken to appoint. In the last two or three years the Select Committee on National Expenditure has not been appointed until about Easter, and, speaking as one who served on that Committee in the last two Parliaments, I want to impress on the House the fact that a very great deal of the work of the Committee has been frustrated because of the late date at which it has been appointed. Then there was an appeal by the right hon. Member for Camborne (Mr. Acland) that, in addition, to the Select Committee on Expenditure, we should also have appointed the Committee on Estimates. I have naturally a great deal of sympathy with that proposal, and I think that it ought to be accepted. I am certain that we shall never have a scientific examination of the Estimates put forward by the Executive until we have some such machinery as that which was adumbrated by the right hon. Member for Camborne. The Government, from their own point of view, are asking the House of Commons to save time for the discussion of the Estimates of the Government. What will save the time of the Government and the House of Commons more effectually than acceding to the request which has been made for the appointment of this Committee?

The Government have made an appeal this afternoon to the House to assent to this Motion on condition—there is an implied condition—that we are not to have an Autumn Session. On that point I want to say, speaking as a very unofficial and a very private Member, that I do think that the Government are absolutely right. I want to put it to the House that assent should be given to the Motion of the Government for a reason which has not been suggested in the Debate this afternoon. After all, we have not only got to consider the position of the Legislature in this matter, but we have to consider the position of the Executive as well. I suggest that a good deal of time of the House of Commons is wasted because of the condition in which Bills are brought before the House by members of the Executive. One reason why we waste so much time in this House and in Committee is because the Executive has not got a reasonable time to think out its legislative proposals. Therefore, it is out of consideration for the permanent officials of the Government and the Executive, and, most of all, for the time of the House of Commons, that I urge acceptance of the Motion which the Government has made. But I do want to appeal to my right hon. Friend (Mr. Baldwin) to give us an assurance which was not given this afternoon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that the Government did propose to reappoint the Select Committee on National Expenditure, but he very carefully avoided a portion of the question which I put to him, as to whether, if so appointed, the Committee would be appointed at an early date in order that it may consider and report upon some of the Estimates for the current year. I hope that this will be done, and that the Committee may be appointed at a date when it will really be able to serve the interests of the House of Commons.

6.0 P.M.


I assure my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) that there is no possible chance of my going to the Treasury Bench as a result of my supporting the Government on this Motion. I also assure the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. O'Connor) that he can hardly include me among those Members whose sole object in this House is to support the Government, because I have on many occasions when I thought them wrong—as, I am sorry to say, they are very often—shown what I thought by recording my vote in the Lobby against them. The hon. Member for Wood Green is wrong in thinking that the Government have not in any way acceded to the request put forward by the Committee over which I have the honour to preside, the Select Committee on National Expenditure, as to the form of the accounts. I should not like to say off-hand how far they have followed our recommendations, but they certainly have adopted our recommendations to a considerable degree with regard to the Army Vote. I am not sure about the others. The right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) made an impassioned speech against this proposal on the ground that he could not bring forward the question of unemployment. The right hon. Gentleman had two days last week to bring forward that question. This Motion, if carried, will not deprive him of further opportunities between now and the end of March. Unless I am misinformed, there is a Supplementary Vote for the unemployed. That is one opportunity. Then, when the Vote on Account for the Civil Service comes up, there is another opportunity. There is also the Consolidated Fund Bill. That provides an opportunity of discussing practically everything. Whether or not the right hon. Gentleman would be in any better position if the Government Motion was not carried I think is very doubtful, because Fridays will be given to private Members' Bills. A very prominent member of the Radical party one day some years ago described private Members' Bills to me. He said: "All private Members' Bills are bad; the Radical Members' Bills are worse than the worst of the lot." The right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) was right to attach very great importance to the discussion of financial questions. The first function which the House of Commons has to perform now is not legislation. The most useful and necessary function is the examination of the financial proposals of the Government. They are at the root of unemployment. Hon. Members will gain the double advantage from the Motion of the Government, because they will have an opportunity of criticising the financial proposals of the Government. I was astonished to find that the right hon. Member for Peebles had decided to vote against a Motion which would give the House the opportunity he desires.


I did not indicate any such intention.


I am glad, then, that we shall be in the same Lobby supporting the Government when this goes to a Division. I believe we are discussing an Amendment, which is that after Easter a day will be given to private Members. I hope the Government will not accede to that. After Easter there will be again a large number of financial questions. There are two or three very important Bills which must be passed and go to the House of Lords. We must not forget the Budget. There is the Railway Bill and there is the Revenue Bill. I shall have great pleasure in supporting the Government on their Motion, provided that they do not give way on anything.


To those of us who are new Members of the House it is very interesting to listen to the older Members giving us lectures on constitutional procedure. In so far as we happen not to know, it is very desirable sometimes to get to know from the Members who do know. I was led to understand that when a Member was elected to this House he had certain constitutional rights guaranteed him, because he represented a portion of the population of Great Britain. In spite of the opinions expressed by some hon. Members I suggest that the constitutional history of Great Britain owes as much to the efforts of private Members as to the efforts of any of those Ministers who have drawn salaries and occupied offices under the Crown. I would also remind some hon. Members that the only protection the Member has is the allocation of Parliamentary time for the discussion of public questions. We who represent the Labour party are interested in certain problems which we suggest are the most important problems that ever affected the lives of the people we represent. A large proportion of the population to-day is suffering not merely from unemployment, but from under-employment. Wherever we go in any great industrial centre we are asked questions not as to the financial affairs or the administration of individual Departments, but what we are going to do about the unemployed, about Ireland, about matters affecting the immediate personal interests of the people we represent.

Upon finance, of course, I am not an expert. My only knowledge can be summed up in my appreciation of the fact that 19s. 11¾d. is not £1. I cannot enter into a contest with those who claim to know all about finance. We are asking that a definite amount of Parliamentary time shall be allocated, so that matters of great public importance can be raised, if necessary, owing to the changing circumstances which develop from day to day. We are to have an Amendment of the Unemployment Insurance Act. We were informed the other day that we would not have an opportunity of moving Amendments to that Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] We were informed in reply to questions that we could not increase the amounts under the Bill. They are the very Amendments in which we are interested. We do not ask for doles. The working class movement has never asked to receive money for nothing; we leave that to the gentlemen on the other side, the rich unemployed. We were anxious to move Amendments which would increase the amount of the benefit under the Bill, because we claim that 18s. a week is semi-starvation, but we were told that we dare not touch the question of finance with a 40-foot pole. We must take the Bill for granted and simply accept it. It is a case of: God bless the Boss and his relations; And keep us in our proper stations. Our is to be only ceremonial opposition. I have had very little to do with ceremony, except at my baptism, and then I had not much to say about it. We ask that the whole of the rights of the minority shall not be taken away. Hon. Members have said what we can do. They have not told us what we cannot do. We may raise matters on various Votes. What will be the result? We will get the usual explanation from the Minister in charge and then everything in the garden will be lovely. A docile majority will go into the Lobbies, and the great minority will not count. It is a very poor protection for a minority in this House merely to have the right to raise questions on the financial propositions of the Government. One would imagine that there was nothing to be discussed except finance. The right hon. Member for Peebles comes from a country where they are great experts on finance. Evidently he is one of the lineal descendants of the gentleman who used a wart on the back of his neck for a collar stud. Being obsessed with the idea of economy, he has forgotten that as a result of the experiment septic poisoning set in and the experimenter died. So far as economy goes, I have always practised it, because I never had an opportunity of being extravagant, and the people I represent have had to spend most of their time making both ends meet. I am rather suspicious that a large number of those who preach economy in this House do not want real economy, but want to hang on as long as they can to the ill-gotten gains of which they have previously been in receipt, and they think that if they can save money by keeping back necessary legislation they can do something in their own interest. We never hear of economy when we are discussing Army Estimates, Navy Estimates or Air Force Estimates. All we hear then is of a desire for more effici- ency, more machines of war, bigger battleships, more aeroplanes and the means whereby human life can be destroyed.

We Labour Members who supported the War supported it because we believed it would be a war to end war. We believed the time had arrived when the people's experience during this War would lead them to the conclusion that the destruction of human life was the most wasteful effort a nation could be engaged in. I venture to suggest that when we hear the lessons on economy that will be introduced into the Debates on the Estimates we shall not hear of economy in these matters, but we shall hear about economy in houses, in education, and in the administration of public health. These will be the political stunts that will be played, as against the real needs of the people in matters affecting their everyday life. Unemployment is more serious than ever at the present moment, and in my own union 36,000 of our members have notice to finish work next Friday and Saturday, and we are only one union. We have a million and a half unemployed men and women now, not reckoning boys and girls under 16 who are also unemployed but do not get any benefit. I will undertake to say that at the present moment there are 2,000,000 men, women, boys and girls unemployed in the United Kingdom, and they are being added to every week. We are asking for a real opportunity to discuss matters of this kind.

Then there is the question of Ireland. Every day something fresh is happening and some new outrage is taking place, and every day the constitutional rights of the citizens are being denied, and outrage and murder are taking place without protection for the common citizen. Have we not a right to claim that in these important times, when we have a great crisis, economic and political, facing the nation, we should have more time and not less for the discussion of these matters? If we have to work overtime, why should we not? We get paid whether we work or not, and the unemployed do not get paid when they do not work. They get a dole. I suggest that there is plenty of time that Parliament could devote to these matters, even if they had to increase their own working time and Members came earlier in the day. They might spend a few hours every day in discussing these matters which so vitally affect the interests of the common people. I would point out that in protecting private Members' rights we are protecting the thousands of people whom the private Members represent. We cannot tell our constituents that we cannot find time for the discussion of their grievances, that we have got to accept the time table laid down by the Government for the time being. Every other interest can be protected and recognised, but the interests of the great mass of the people can be to a large extent neglected, and we enter our emphatic protest and ask that the Government shall give a guarantee that a certain proportion of the time of the House shall be allocated to the discussion of questions which the workers of the country are mainly interested in.


I do not propose to follow the last speaker in the large number of subjects with which he has dealt, but I most strongly agree with him in one point. I do stand for the rights of private Members. I agree with all that he said, and I agree with every speaker except one, and that is my hon. Friend, the Member for Canterbury (Mr. R. McNeill), who has a contempt of private Members' activities which experience has not borne out and which the House does not share. How do we really get most time for discussing matters? I am in the same boat with the last speaker over that. I do not want the Government to shut either him or me out of the chance of discussing whatever we want to discuss, but I do put it to him that he is wrong in this matter and that under the plan of the Government the private Members will in this particular case get more opportunities of discussing questions we all want to discuss than if the private Members are given their usual time. After all, what are the main subjects? They are unemployment, Ireland, high prices, extravagance, railways, and telephones, and every one of these can be raised on one of the Estimates. That surely is a much better chance for us than the chance of getting a place in the ballot, which may not bring on a discussion of the subject we want. This applies also to the right hon. Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes), who lays great stress on the questions of Ireland and unemployment. I think all these points are better dealt with on the Estimates.

Just look at the position in which we stand. Either we have to support the Government, or the House ought to have met earlier, or we have to have a Closure Resolution in order to get the finance through in a short time. I do not think the House could have met earlier. They had a very long Session last year, and unless we have some Resolution of this sort we shall compel the Government to bring in a guillotine Motion. The House will recollect that last year, on the 8th March, the Government tabled a Motion for a strict guillotine closure of all Supplementary Estimates. My hon. Friends and I objected to that, the House supported us, and the Government gave way; and we won, I think, a great victory for the private Member, because we compelled the Government to accept the decision of an unofficial Committee of this House which was set up and which allotted the time for the Estimates; the whole thing worked admirably, and the discussion went through without the Closure. For the time being we have killed the guillotine and closure. The ruin of this House is the guillotine, and I appeal very strongly to the House not so to curtail the Government that they have to resort to the guillotine, for after all they have to get their finance through by the end of the financial year. That brings me to the real point of the question that I want to put to the Government. If we give them this Motion to-day, we must be given a promise that there is no guillotine closure for finance. I quite agree that an improper use of the right of Debate has got to be dealt with when it arises, but I do not think we can pass this Motion until we have an absolute promise that if the Government are given all the time they ask they will not subsequently introduce a guillotine resolution on finance.

I agree with all that my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) said as to the rights of private Members. He and I have worked previously together for the same objects, and I agree that we ought also to have an assurance from the Government that they do not mean this to be permanent. It ought not to be a permanent thing that private Members should be deprived of their time before Easter. Now, with the heavy amount of Supplementary Estimates and the repercussion of the War still upon us, I think it is necessary, but we ought to be assured that this is the last time, for if once you allow the Government to invade private Members' rights, those rights are gone for ever. Therefore, I venture to ask, first of all, for a promise that there will be no guillotine, and secondly, that this is only a temporary measure and will not be moved next year. I must say that although my right hon. Friend is always ready to give days for the discussion of anything in which a large body of opinion is interested, our case is twofold. First of all, he is very courteous and very liberal in the interpretation of his promises, but he might be succeeded by somebody who took a stricter view of the Government's interests, and secondly, if we have private Members' time, we are then, to a certain extent, the masters of the Government, and we can compel them to listen to things to which they do not want to listen. If, on the other hand, we have to go to them for time, they can find a hundred reasons for refusing time on a subject which they regard as inconvenient. Still, in spite of all these objections, on the whole I think the Government have chosen the wisest course, and I shall certainly support them.


With much that has fallen from my hon. and gallant Friend who has just sat down I agree. I agree that the guillotine and closure are almost the worst way of carrying on the business of this House. I say almost, because I think the one thing that is worse is an all-night sitting. I think an all-night sitting is a scandal and a disgrace, and a relic of barbarism which this House ought not to submit to under any circumstances or on any provocation. I agree also with my hon. and gallant Friend in hoping that the Government will not make this a permanent proposal to take away private Members' time. I am going to say a word about the Tuesday evenings, but I cannot quite agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) in his view that private Members' Bills—what are called Friday Bills—are always bad. I often disagree with them; indeed, I think I probably more often disagree with them than agree with them, but I think they are a valuable institution, nevertheless, and I should be very sorry to see them abolished. I think it is of great importance that people who desire some vague reform should have an opportunity of putting it into black and white and having it properly discussed in this House in real legislative form. It is very easy to frame a nebulous resolution, which means nothing or everything, and to get a rather casual assent from a majority on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening, but it is quite different to reduce that to a Bill which can be dealt with in detail. For that reason, and other reasons, I think Fridays are a valuable institution.

But I must say I do not agree with the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr J. Jones) in his view of the procedure of this House. When a Government Bill is on, and the Government have taken time for that Bill, it is quite true all the functions of this House as a great inquest of the nation are suspended, with one exception. Evidently you can only discuss the Bill. But that is not equally true of finance. There are far more opportunities for raising questions that are of interest to the House on those occasions. My right hon. Friend, with his great knowledge of these matters, pointed out the number of occasions on which the unemployment question, for instance, could be raised. He was quite right. I do not think he really exhausted the opportunities, because, in addition to the actual Vote on Account, the Consolidated Fund Bill and the Vote for Unemployment, there is also the Unemployment Insurance Bill, on the Second Reading of which, so far as I can see, a very large amount of the unemployment question can be raised. The hon. Member behind me said, "Ah, but we shall not be allowed to increase the amount under that Bill." That is quite true. But you will be able to raise the desirability of increasing it, and unless you are a member of the majority, that is all you can ever do


You can move an Amendment.


You cannot move an Amendment in Committee increasing the amount, but you can, on Second Reading, move an Amendment saying that the House is not prepared to assent to the Second Reading unless the amount is increased. Therefore, the question can be raised, and even on that point I think the hon. Member is not quite right. There are all those occasions on which this particular matter of unemployment can be raised, and the same, of course, is true of Ireland. In addition to that, there is an exceedingly valuable privilege, which at one time showed signs of being destroyed, namely, the right of moving the Adjournment under Standing Order 10. If there is really any serious crisis either with regard to unemployment or Ireland, it is open to any forty Members of this House to secure the Adjournment of the House, and get what is equivalent to a Tuesday evening on any day of the week for the discussion of that crisis. That is an immensely valuable privilege, and I never see it interfered with by the Government without profound regret, and it is the best way of raising really urgent questions which the public desires to see discussed in this House. Therefore, all those opportunities remain open for the whole subject of unemployment, and the same is equally true of Ireland.

The hon. Member made some observation about the reality of the desire for economy, which, I must say, I rather regretted to hear. I believe there is a very genuine desire for economy in this House, and I am quite sure, even if hon. Members, from original sin, are a little slack about economy, their constituents will soon correct that slackness. It is a subject, undoubtedly, exciting a great deal of interest in the country, and, therefore, I am sure, will excite a great deal of interest in this House. It is certainly not true of myself, and I do not believe for a moment that it is true of the great mass of this House, that they are prepared to pick and choose. They desire a real economy, and they desire it just as much in the fighting services as in any other part of the expenditure of the country. It is just as important, and it may be more important, because larger sums are paid in those services than in other matters, and the House will scrutinise with the utmost care any demand of the Government for expenditure in that respect. For my part, I believe very strongly that the House will have to go very far in the direction of economic reform if they are going to do anything real. I welcome the promise of the appointment of the Committee on National Expenditure, and I join very earnestly in the appeal that the appointment of that Committee should be made immediately. There is really no reason why it should not be done, and I can assure my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Treasury Bench that if there is any appearance on their part of stifling, hindering, or hampering the work of that Committee, it will produce the worst possible effect in the country, not only for their own unpopularity, which I regard with a certain amount of indifference, but also produce a very bad effect in the country on the general reputation of this House.

Therefore, I hope that will be done immediately. But I am satisfied we shall have to go much further than that if we are really going to make effective reform in economy. I doubt whether it would be in Order, even on the present rather lax occasion, to discuss the proposals for economy, and I am not going to do so. I only wish to say that I am satisfied the present system of controlling expenditure has broken down. I do not believe, personally, that any Committee on Estimates can really be effective to secure broad economy. I am sure you will have to go a great deal further than that and go to the general principle that you have got to limit the amount you have got to spend, in the first instance, and then compel the spending Departments to cut down their Estimates to that figure, at whatever cost to their own Department. Subject to that, I do not propose myself to oppose the Motion.


I am quite convinced that every lover of political institutions will pause before supporting the Government in this Motion. Political institutions are being challenged to-day by vast majorities of the working classes of this and every country, because they allege that they have failed to function so far as the working classes are concerned. I cannot conceive of anything which it is more undesirable to convey to the mind of the working classes of this country than that impression. When one considers that in relation to the tendencies of the times for a fundamental change in our political institutions, it behoves every lover of political institutions to pause before he takes any step whatever which is likely to endanger the continuity of institutions of this character. I cannot conceive of anything worse than to disturb the confidence of the people with regard to such institutions, and if we are expecting that confidence to continue to repose in the people of this country, then we have got to let them realise that this, at least, is a place where adequate opportunity will be afforded to every Member who desires to bring forward every grievance, and to be assured himself, and also the constituents, that that grievance will have due consideration, and that, in so far as it is susceptible either of modification or of improvement, it will have the sympathetic attention of the whole of this House.

The, hon. and gallant Member for Durham (Major Hills) gave us a catalogue of what he considered to be grievances that might find ready opportunity in this House for discussion. I want to bring to his mind what is a very great grievance indeed, on which, it seems to me, if this Motion is accepted, there will be but a limited opportunity of discussion. I refer to the question of workmen's compensation. That subject was not even mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member, which is an evidence at least that, so far as the vast majority of the Members of that side of the House are concerned, they are not brought into immediate touch with the effective questions of this character and magnitude. Let me draw attention to this very important question. When the War broke out the maximum compensation a man could receive was £1 a week. Since then the compensation to a man who is totally incapacitated has been increased by 75 per cent. The cost of living has risen by at least 160 or 170 per cent. Before the War, the man who met with a serious accident, and who was totally incapacitated, was in a very deplorable condition. But that is not the worst of it. While some attempt has been made to relieve the awful distress of men who have been unfortunate enough to meet with accidents of this kind, no attempt whatever has been made to meet the changed condition in relation to the widow who has lost her husband through an accident, and been left with little children. The maximum compensation before was £300, and the maximum compensation now is £300.

Problems such as these are being urgently pressed by vast majorities of the working classes of this country, and I cannot conceive anything more detrimental to an institution of this character than to limit the time of the private Member to bring these cases forward. We have had a Departmental Committee sitting, and a Report has been issued, and I am very sorry to say that, notwithstanding the fact that repeated deputations have visited the Home Secretary, we have been told by him, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, that they can find no time to bring in legislation of this character, as it is too highly controversial. I noticed in His Majesty's Gracious Speech that certain reforms were adumbrated. I venture to suggest that, in regard to most of them, with one exception, the question of workmen's compensation is more important. I know of nothing that is more important to the well-being of this country than provision for unemployment, and, secondly, I put this question of workmen's compensation. We might have raised this question and made the House acquainted with the general conditions of the case. I give credit to the other side for being animated with the desire, so long as they know the facts, to bring about a general improvement in the condition of those whose conditions we are seeking to improve, but if no opportunity is given to private Members to bring information of this kind to light before the House of Commons—information which is being gained in immediate contact with the people who are suffering—then this House of Commons is in the dark, and it passes over and does not know that things like this are in existence.

I could give stories which would harrow the feelings of this House in relation to men who have been honest, hard-working citizens, who have met with serious accidents, who have built up their home slowly and steadily until it has been a castle to them, and with the accident every stick and stone almost has had to be put into pawn to keep the wife and children existing because the incapacity for employment has been of such a long duration. By motions of this character, however, we will not be allowed to occupy the time of the House to bring up questions of this character, and this notwithstanding the fact that the Government have instituted a Committee, and that that Committee has issued its Report. I only wish that that Report, with which I do not agree altogether, could have been embodied in a Bill, so that there might be brought about an improvement in the condition of the working classes. Had it not been for these points to put forward, I should not have risen to-night. In view, however, of the fact that no provision is to be made for the Amendment of workmen's compensation, and that the Government are going to deprive us of the privilege of making known to the House what are the awful conditions under which the working classes suffer, I shall vote against the proposal of the Government.


There has been a fairly long discussion on this subject which, I think, shows that there is really no difference of opinion in the House about the necessity for this particular Motion. The state of business requires it. My hon. Friend who spoke last is under some delusion, if I may say so, for, like other of his hon. Friends, he seems to think that what we are doing is to deprive the Labour party of opportunities of endless discussion on various questions. We are doing nothing of the kind. The vote by ballot has already been taken for Bills, and the Labour party has not been successful. Therefore, what we are doing to-day will not affect them in the least so far as private Bills are concerned. If we come to the question of occasions for private Members, there are four, or possibly five, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and they have had the same chance as other Members of the House in the ballot. Therefore I think they are entirely wrong in assuming that we are depriving them of opportunities for raising special subjects which they wish to discuss. If my right hon. Friend opposite—and this is advice which perhaps is not in my own interest to give—would devote himself a little more to hunting—as some hon. Members do—opportunities for raising questions about things in which he is specially interested, he would probably be much more successful than in the method he has proposed. Let me point out that amongst the Supplementary Estimates is one dealing with unemployment. That must come on almost immediately, and I am quite sure that that will give all concerned a proper opportunity of raising questions, and a better one than they would have got in the ordinary way in private Members' time. As regards my right hon. Friend opposite (Sir D. Maclean), I think in his heart he admits the necessity for this Resolution.


Not in my heart; I admit it quite frankly.


I rather gathered that my right hon. Friend did admit the necessity for it. He made the proposal that we should give certain days after Easter. I think it is quite conclusive that subjects in which hon. Members are interested are more advanced by general discussion, in which large sections of the House are interested, than by discussions which come about by accident of the ballot. I am convinced the House would make a great mistake in adopting the suggestion of my right hon. Friend. I do not think there were any other subjects raised in the discussion, but a great deal has been said about finance. Really, our object in moving this Resolution is that the Supplementary Estimates should be properly considered. I know quite well that had we chosen we could have left the private Members' time, and had a guillotine Resolution on the Business of the House. I think, however, the House would have intensely disliked such a course. The necessity for this is that there should be adequate opportunities for discussing the matters involved in the Supplementary Estimates. As regards these latter, there is only one thing I would say in reference to the speech of my right hon. Friend. He gave the totals of these Supplementary Estimates at £110,000,000. It must not be assumed—I am sure he does not assume it, but Members of the House with less experience might—that this is increased expenditure to that amount. Of course, that is not so. The way in which we keep our accounts makes it impossible to take the savings from one Vote, and set them against the expenditure of another. The last time I had a discussion on this matter with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his experts, they were of opinion at that time that the savings were fully equal to the Supplementary Estimates. So that the House must not assume that anything like £110,000,000 is actually excess expenditure over the Budget as a whole.

I have been asked some specific questions. One is whether this Motion takes away the right to move the Adjournment. Of course not. I have been asked whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce particular Bills before Easter. We have no such intention, and we do not anticipate it will be possible to introduce any Bills before Easter, except some like the Unemployment Insurance Bill, which is absolutely necessary on account of the state of the country. If the House find time after a discussion of the Esti- mates we may do something. I do not pledge myself. We do not anticipate there will be any Bills before Easter, except those which are essential, and which we should carry at once, in the category I have mentioned.


Do you include the Railway Bill?


Oh, no. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or the Key Industries Bill?"] No; but it is really hardly necessary for me to answer these questions. Time will not permit before Easter. I have been asked about the Public Expenditure Committee. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Baldwin) said to-day that he intends to set up that Committee at once. I do not think there is more to say. I have already said that the last thing we desire to do is to have the Guillotine in the case of finance, and it is in order to avoid any possibility of that that we are introducing this Motion, for the financial business must be done, as the House knows.; and I have not the least doubt that it can be done without any question of a Guillotine Resolution.


There is a point I omitted in the remarks I made, and that was to ask my right hon. Friend whether the Government have taken into consideration the Report of the Committee of which I have the honour to be Chairman, on the question of the incidence of rates on Bills which are brought before the House. Perhaps my right hon. Friend will say whether between now and Easter the Government will have made up their minds to act upon that Report, and, if so, to what extent?


I am sorry I cannot personally answer that question. I have no doubt it has been considered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I will consult him about it if my right hon. Friend puts down a question.


It is because of the point of view taken by the Leader of the House that we are opposed to this Motion. I do not think that there ever was a time, indeed, I am certain there never was a time, in the history of the nation that it was so necessary for the House to remain master of its own time for at least a reasonable period. Take the matter of the Address, which we have just finished discussing. There is also the whole question of the restoration of the railways; the question of the decontrol of the mining industry. There is education. Take two of these subjects. The decontrol of the mining industry may come before us in a very few days. No Bill will be necessary. I take it that action can be taken by a Treasury Minute.

Captain S. WILSON

Surely that has nothing to do with private Members' time.

7.0 P.M.


We, the private Members, are asked by this Motion voluntary to place ourselves in a ring fence and to give up whatever rights we possess. As a matter of fact, the condition of the nation is such that matters may occur at the very earliest moment compelling the attention of this House and the country to them. That has been caused because Ministers are coming to this House in the same perfunctory way and spirit in which they did long before the War. They seem to imagine that nothing has changed; that they can come to this House and go away just in the same method as before the War. But that is not the case, and ought not to be. From 1906, so far as I remember, private Members were treated as though they had no Parliamentary rights. Ministers seemed to wonder why they were here. Their duty was to be quiet, to sit still, and—so to speak—to see what God would send them! Surely, however, an occasion of this kind, when unemployment is graver than ever it was known and the condition of the great key industry of the whole nation is such that to-day hundreds of thousands of people are out of employment, is not the time in which to ask us to enclose ourselves within a fence set up by the Government, and practically submit the whole of the time up to 31st March to the disposal of the Government. I do not think it is! I think we ought to have at least a reasonable period allowed to us to deal with these matters which so largely affect the life of the community, and which may involve consequences none of us can determine. That is the reason why we are asking for this. We are not doing so merely for the sake of opposition. Ministers come along and say, do so and so. As a matter of fact, in the past, when time has been taken, just as they are asking for it now, it has constantly been the case that the House has risen at six or seven or eight o'clock in the evening, and that often the whole day has been wasted. There is really no necessity for coming down so quickly and asking for the whole of private Members' time to be given. So far is I know it has never been suggested that there has ever been any waste of time, or anything like an abuse of the forms of the House; at any rate, it has never been suggested that the Labour party has been guilty of any substantial abuse of procedure. I am sure if hon. Members were permitted to retain some degree of power for the time being we should be better able as a debating centre to deal with those immense matters which we are quite sure are bound to be sprung upon us. We are told that we shall have a really good chance upon the Consolidated Fund Bill. If ever there was a statement which was of practically no value that is one. Everybody knows that when the Consolidated Fund Bill is submitted to the House the whole thing is soon over.

I have mentioned what I and many of my hon. Friends here know to be a matter of the greatest urgency, namely, the position of the coal-mining industry. It is said that we can raise the matter on the Unemployment Vote, but the very appeal made by the Leader of the House was to the effect that the whole thing should pass all its stages in one day. Surely that gives us no real opportunity of discussion. Hon. Members speak as though when a particular matter was being debated you could have a complete discussion in one half-day. That is utterly impossible. We ask that reasonable time should be allowed to Members of the House to take into consideration all those matters which are certain to arise in the immediate future. I do not intend wasting any more time except to say this, that the rights of private Members are often treated in a most disdainful way, as if they were of no importance. What are private Members here for? I suppose they are neither rich nor rare, and that Ministers wonder how they get here.

I am quite sure, however, that to-day outside the House there is a volume of opinion—I am saying this with perfect sincerity—that is sick and tired of the conventions of the Parliament, and that will not permit them to go on very much longer. I know there is an immense majority outside that will take no notice of what we are saying, and that there is a vast mass of people determined to change the conditions of our procedure. In view of the conditions that exist outside, which have never obtained before in the history of the country, we ask the Government to give some reasonable time to private Members, so that we can devote the whole attention of the House to the grave matters which may arise. If afterwards the Government apply themselves they can get their Votes and Estimates, and can balance at the end of the financial year. It is not as though time were so pressing as all that. It is merely because we have, as the Government ought to have, a desire to accommodate ourselves to the great needs that are certain to arise that we oppose the Motion.


In spite of plausible statements of the Leader of the House in regard to the powers and privileges of Members, we are still very apprehensive that this Motion will take away rights and privileges of Members which we ought to guard in a very jealous manner. We protest against the removal of these privileges because, we are apprehensive that the House is paying too much regard to the financial interests of large corporations, or that large corporations are influencing the action of the House too much, and to the detriment of the rank and file of the country outside whom we represent. Listening to the Leader of the House appealing to us to put aside those rights and privileges reminded me of the fable of the fox which got its tail cut off, and which went about advising all the rest to have their tails taken off likewise. We are not convinced that the right hon. Gentleman's policy is going to be of any assistance to us in the light of existing conditions throughout the country. There are certain problems which we believe can only be dealt with effectively if the chosen representatives of the nation are given opportunities of presenting and outlining their case on the floor of the House of Commons. This ought to be the real sounding-board of public opinion in the country. If the Motion is carried, instead of the House of Commons being recognised as a sounding-board, whereby we can ventilate all our grievances and seek to remove the great existing social sores, we shall be told by large volumes of men and women that their wrongs can no longer be redressed there, and that the only people who have the ear of the House are the financial magnates who influence and direct its policy. We shall be urged and impelled to resort to direct action, instead of legislation, and methods of persuasion by debate and reasoning.

Certain hon. Members have suggested that we have been laying too much stress, both in this discussion and in that which has taken place during the last few days, on unemployment. We are of the opinion that too much consideration cannot be given to that question until it is solved, in view of the millions of people who are affected by it. What does it mean? I think Carlyle said, that of all the things under the sun the most pitiable sight was that of a man willing to work but unable to obtain it. It is said, "You have your doles." Doles are hopelessly inadequate, and we want to avail ourselves here of every opportunity of protesting against the inequalities from which those who are out of work and their families are suffering. The injustices imposed upon them make a burning impression on the children as they grow up, and they come to feel that they have a grievance against society. The injustice is, that though we recognise that the children of the men and women who are out of employment—miners, artisans, and labourers—are in many cases richly endowed by nature with rare artistic and scientific powers, yet they are not going to have the leisure to train and develop their minds for the battle of life because of that state of unemployment. Because of unemployment, or of the Government's inability to grapple with and solve the problem, the children of the workers are very soon forced to undertake work for which they have no aptitude, with no corresponding benefit to the community. Although they commence life as the very elect of nature, they are soon reduced below the line of mediocrity, and then they are spoken of by statesmen and other people as being simply by-products, with no utility. If they had been given a chance, these children would have developed into the very elect of the country, leading the nation in art and science, and instead of going into business they might have taken a very prominent share in our National Assembly and have guided the destinies of the nation.

It is for these reasons that we protest against these privileges being taken away, and that we wish to avail ourselves of every opportunity of impressing on the Government the importance to the whole of the young generation of the unemployment problem. I remember, in the closing days of last Session, the Prime Minister made a very eloquent speech, in which he stated that we were importing over £500,000,000 worth of food, which could easily be produced within our own shores. A strange commentary upon that statement was that only two or three months ago, instead of utilising the best man power of our country upon our fertile land, the Government was so bankrupt in ideas that the only way it could deal with the urgent and important question of unemployment was by suggesting emigration, which would send the very best of our manhood and womanhood into other lands to swell the ranks of the unemployed there. I represent a Division containing thousands of acres of fertile land, with hills filled with all kinds of mineral wealth, which urgently require exploitation for industrial purposes. We need electric lights established, dynamos and transmission lines so as to give heat, light and comfort to the people, but instead of the unemployed, who are appealing for work, being put on this useful work, we pass a Bill to give them doles.

We want to take every opportunity to press upon the Government the importance of utilizing the man power at our disposal. We ought to utilize to the full our skilled men, such as engineers and electricians, in order to save our reserves instead of wasting them as we are now doing. I sat on the Transport Committee for nearly two months dealing with the Ways and Communications Bill, and we were intensely in earnest. We were told by the Prime Minister that instead of having large armies of unemployed men the Ways and Communications Bill would open up transport in the various parts of our country, and this would enable us to do the very thing the Prime Minister suggested ought to have been done in the closing days of last Session, that is to produce more of our food supply from the fertile land in this country which is now lying dormant. We could also produce from the hills all kinds of mineral wealth, things which are so much needed at the present time. We could raise the plane of human life in this way better than by giving doles and passing unemployment Bills. We want to grapple with these problems and we believe that by legislation they can be solved. We wish to fully develop the minds of the people. So long as we have great armies of unemployed men and women the minds of our children will never be developed on unemployment doles. These people are the reserves of industry, and as your system has failed to absorb them, the Government is responsible, and they should provide them not only with a dole of 18s. a week but with wages which will enable them to obtain all the necessaries of life.

We ought jealously to guard the privileges of private Members when Governments fail to respond to the great needs of the country and neglect the obligations which are imposed upon them. The Government ought to see that those who were injured in the War are adequately cared for instead of having their vitalities sucked up by poverty and negligence. In the light of the great discontent both in England and in Ireland at the present time this is not a question of levity with us. We want to see these problems grappled with earnestly, and we are not pressing this matter simply for the sake of talking. We want the financial influences outside to realise that the whole of our kith and kin are likely in the near future to be amongst the unemployed, and that is why we are protesting against this Motion. We want these questions grappled with on constitutional lines instead of having to resort to direct action which will not solve the question.

There are many questions which we want opportunities to discuss. There is the policy of the British Government in Ireland which has brought our name into reproach throughout the civilised world. On this matter we want to be able to present our case and to present a counter policy not limited by a Debate on the Motion for the adjournment, because that opportunity does not enable us to put an alternative policy forward. We who believe in the freedom of Ireland contemplate a people who will use their political machinery to bring about their social redemption and economic emancipation. We contemplate in Ireland a people who, given these powers and opportunities, will develop the resources of Ireland, develop her fertile land, and develop all that is essential to produce a flourishing and a prosperous people.


On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask if the hon. Member is in order in discussing all these subjects on this Amendment?


The hon. Member seems to be indulging in a discussion of all the different topics which he might raise if he were successful in the ballot. I think he is entitled to point out some of them, but he is not entitled to take this opportunity to discuss each of them.


My reason for mentioning these subjects is the very plausible statement made by the Leader of the House in asking us to waive our claims. We recognise that we shall be deprived of our privileges to ventilate these questions by the action of the Government, and it will prevent the bulk of hon. Members from putting forward an alternative policy. On the occasions to which the Leader of the House has referred, if we attempt to discuss an alternative policy we shall be immediately ruled out of order, and we shall be told that we are going outside the ambit and scope of the question before the House. We believe that the policy adopted by the Government in Ireland is affecting the unemployed in this country, and that is why we want to have a full and free discussion in the event of any hon. Member obtaining a chance in the ballot, so that we may in that way open out every avenue whereby it might be possible to find a solution to this problem. I shall oppose the proposition which has been put forward by the Leader of the House.


I rise to join in the protest, which has been made against this Motion and I do so because, in my judgment, after a long experience in this House, there has never been so large a demand made upon a very quiescent Parliamentary representation than that made by the Leader of the House when he asks us to accept this Motion. Parliament was only opened last Tuesday. Four or five days have elapsed, and at the end of less than a week the Leader of the House comes here and invites us to hand over every right and privilege we possess to his keeping, and into the keeping of the Government. I think that is a most outrageous demand to come either from the Government or from the Leader of the House. This is the first time in my memory when a demand of this character has been made at so early a stage in the Session.

In the King's Speech one of the great declarations was that no Session of Parliament ever called together would be engaged less in the passage of legislation. There was practically no legislation adumbrated in the King's Speech. One great reform was mentioned, and that was the reform of the House of Lords. I do not think there is any intention of carrying that matter here or of sending it to the other place. It was merely a piece of window dressing, because nobody cares what happens to the House of Lords. The Lords themselves do not want this Bill, the House of Commons does not want it, the people in the country do not want it. Why is it being introduced? Why try to reform that which cannot be reformed at a time when grave and perilous issues are before this country? In a period when there are such questions as the questions of unemployment and of Ireland and numerous other matters of vital importance to the nation, are they all to be set aside for the purpose of talking about a proposal to reform an institution which cannot be reformed? What makes this proposal so indefensible is that the Government are actually asking private Members to give up privileges they now enjoy in the one Session in which, in my memory, there is the least prospect of legislation. You may suggest as an excuse the financial urgency of the situation. If so, why did not Parliament meet a week or two earlier?

I come to the second ground of my opposition to this Resolution. I do not think in the history of this House there was ever anything so insulting as the action of the Government in only giving one day to the discussion of Irish questions on the King's Speech. I do not complain about it from a purely Irish point of view; neither do I do so from a personal point of view. I, at any rate, had my say; indeed, Mr. Speaker to-day from the Chair, in his arithmetical analysis of the time occupied by Members, in rather a subtle fashion suggested that I was the chief offender in the occupation of time. It is not because of anything I had to say that I wish to insist on the need for more discussion here of Irish questions. My complaint rather rests on the fact that English Members ought to intervene. This is not an Irish question. It does affect Ireland, of course, but mainly it is a question which affects England—its honour and good name. It affects the character of your Imperial prestige and pride, and these are matters far more for the consideration of Englishmen than of Irishmen. I was therefore anxious to have the opinion of unofficial Members of this House as to whether they sanctioned the proceedings which are being carried on in Ireland to-day, and whether they are satisfied with their good name being besmirched by the disgraceful acts and scandals committed by the Government of this country day by day. The papers are full of stories of crimes and counter-crimes; there never was such a saturnalia of crime calculated to foster hate in years to come. These were considerations which I thought might have commended themselves to the English Members, and I anticipated there might be among thorn many anxious to take part in the discussion of a question so vital to the Empire at large. But they were only permitted to have a few hours for the discussion of this subject in the Imperial Parliament, and from now until Easter the whole time of the House is to be taken up by the Government and we are to be denied the right of raising these daily events in Ireland that are creating such horror in the minds of humane men; we are to be denied the privilege of raising them except by means of question.

I never hear of proposals from the Government to steal from Members the privileges which they enjoy without regarding those proposals as a preliminary to the confiscation of further rights. What did Ministers do here during the short discussion yesterday? I never witnessed a more brazen attempt to chloroform the true facts of the situation in regard to Ireland than that which was made at that Table. The hon. and gallant Member (Captain W. Benn) who opened the Debate, with a most unimpassioned and, to my mind, far too temperate a statement of the Irish case, recited a series of crimes committd by uniformed officers of the Crown in Ireland, including the indictment uttered by a leading Judge and statements made by other Judges as to the conduct of uniformed officers of the Crown in that country. The hon. and gallant Member's statement was unquestioned and unimpeachable, it could not be denied, and one would have imagined that at the end the Chief Secretary for Ireland would have dealt with it. But from the beginning of the right hon. Gentleman's speech to the finish he never once referred to a solitary count in that indictment against either the officers of the Crown or against the Government. In my judgment, the Government are the greater malefactors, and I know of one case in which British officers wished to do a decent thing, but were prevented doing it by the indecent Government which sits on those Benches.

Only a few weeks before Parliament rose last Session the Black and Tans burned down a large portion of Cork. We demanded an inquiry into that destruction of one of the most beautiful parts of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. May I point out to Unionist Members opposite it was not merely Nationalist property that was destroyed in Cork. Out of £3,000,000 worth destroyed by Government agents, £2,500,000 belonged to Protestant and Unionist business men who had flourished and grown rich and prosperous out of the support they received from Catholics. We invited the Government to appoint a Committee to inquire into this whole matter. They would not do it. They offered to appoint a military tribunal. They did that, with General Strickland as the chairman. They told us before Parliament rose that they would give us the Report of the tribunal. The Chief Secretary, in fact, said: I hope it will be possible to give the House the result of this Report before it rises next week. Subsequently the Attorney-General declared that obviously that was the right thing to do—I mean to give the Report to the House of Commons. The invitation to let us have this Report was given on the 6th December, two months and two weeks after that the Government never even refer to it. It is common knowledge that the, Strickland Report declared that uniformed officers of the Crown—representatives of your Imperial greatness and Imperial order, went out one peaceful night after midnight, when the citizens had been hunted into their homes under Curfew, and carrying torches and petrol set fire to the property of Unionist gentlemen in the city. Yet when we ask for the Report of the Committee that inquired into those deeds there is absolute silence on that Bench, and not a single word in response to the appeal we have made. Is it any wonder that one half of Ireland is fighting the British Empire and the other half is cursing it—for that is what the Unionist shopkeepers and owners of property in Ireland are doing as the result of these things which are going on?

This Government is treating Parliament and the privileges of private Members with the most absolute contempt. Just look at the Treasury Bench. My hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) does not usually engage in picturesque photographic scenes of the House, but he said just now, "Look at their countenances." There was not a countenance on the Bench when he said it. The magnificent figure, and the cheerful features of the Minister for Transport appeared once or twice here and there flitting about—a genuine Minister of Transport. My hon. Friend said, "Look at their countenances," when there was not a single person on the Bench, with the exception of an Under-Secretary for the Treasury. Why were they not there? Why had they all fled? Why had the army of paid Members of Parliament, doubly paid Members—for I believe there are about a hundred of them who are directly or indirectly under a financial obligation to the Government—why had they all fled and why are we the victims of this conspiracy, we private Members who sit here compelled to watch our privileges being executed while the executioners leave the guillotine in the genial hands of the right hon. Gentleman who represents the Treasury. One privilege after another goes. They are all disappearing, and it is no high-flavoured statement Labour Members are making when they declare that Parliament is losing caste in the country. It is losing caste in this country. Sinn Fein in Ireland sprang from a disbelief in the capacity of this Parliament either to attend to Irish interests or to give a sympathetic ear to the claims which Ireland has made. That was their irresistible impeachment of the constitutional party—that Parliament would not hearken to the voice of Ireland, and that you refused to listen to her demands. The same thing will occur here in England. There is a good deal of that mentality in this country. There are countless men in England who believe that this Parliament is merely a symposium for profiteers, and that the Government Bench is merely a comfortable seat for Cabinet Ministers. The Labour party, when they say that the faith of the nation is being lost in Parliament, are not exaggerating in the least. The direct actionists, the men who are casting contempt upon Parliamentary institutions, who declare it to be a humbug, a fraud and a sham, are getting their justification, and getting it in this very House. I regret profoundly that, either in Ireland or in England, that mentality should have, sprung up. I believe that the whole safety of the State and the welfare of the people rests upon Parliamentary institutions. I believe that Parliamentary institutions will never disappear unless they are destroyed by the men who should be their finest and best defenders. This confiscation of Members' privileges, this refusal to do justice to the claims put forward by private Members of this House—these are the weapons that will be used against the House of Commons and similar institutions. Therefore I enter my protest against this further attempt to take away from private Members the privileges that they enjoy, and I say to the House that it is only another of the many contributions which this Government has made to the destruction of the peoples' faith in Parliament.


Although I am opposed to the decision of the Government to deprive private Members of these five days, yet, from the point of view which I hold in regard to fiscal matters, I can foresee at least one advantage from it. It was disclosed, in the statement of the Lord Privy Seal this afternoon, that the much adumbrated and, from the point of view of those who believe in it, long overdue Key Industries and Anti-Dumping Bill will not be brought in until after Easter. What is the spectacle which the business men of this country see before them? It is that of a Government which cannot rid itself of the idea, which came into Governmental minds during the War, that it is the business of the Government to interfere with trade. It is that of a Government which proposes to continue this policy of directing here and obstructing there, deflecting there and, as they may think, advancing here, the trade life of this country. For over two years it has promised a Bill which, from what we know of the Bill which has already been introduced and which was afterwards withdrawn, must vitally interfere with the commercial life of this country. On the other hand, there has been an announcement of the terms of the Reparations Treaty, and by that announcement we can see that the Government is proposing to take from Germany quantities of goods—raw materials and finished articles—so vast that the effect must be most serious and injurious to the trade life of this country. The business men of this country are looking to the Government and asking, "What is your policy? Are you going to get off our backs? Are you going to free trade, or have you a policy by which you propose to continue to control trade?" The Government now say that the Bill cannot be introduced until after Easter. From the point of view of those of us who are Free Traders, that Bill cannot be too long postponed; but, if the Government continue to postpone it, as they have done, it becomes every month an increasingly ridiculous proposition. If key industries should be protected, why has there been a delay of over two years before the Government has taken action? If the Government have not satisfied themselves as to what are key industries, how can they have satisfied themselves that key industries need to be protected? If the Government are really satisfied that too many foreign goods are being dumped into this country, and if the Government can keep their pledge of December, 1918, that their anti-dumping legislation should be limited to goods imported into this country at a price below the cost of manufacture in the country of origin, and by that means do anything to support our trade, it will be very interesting legislation when it is produced.

The greatest question at this moment for us at home, namely, the problem of unemployment, overshadows the whole of our national life. It is harassing hundreds of thousands of homes. It is a problem so great that the Government appear to be absolutely baffled. They have no policy; and yet they will not free our business men to conduct the business of the country as they used to conduct it until the Government was perpetually interfering, by licences, restrictions and tariffs, with the business that our English traders were able to conduct with all the world. If unemployment is to be relieved and the industries of this country are to be revived, the Government must stand on one side and leave it to our business men to conduct their own industries in their own way. Our English manufacturers, merchants, steamship owners, bankers, are the most competent and best trained internationally of any set of men engaged in such business in any part of the world. In this little island we built up an international trade which not only made us the envy of the world, but proved, when the War came, that we had more resources in every part of the world than any other country. There is no danger of international competition from America. American bankers do not understand international banking as we do; they will not give international credits. But our businesses cannot be restored until our business men, taking their courage in both hands, and knowing that the policy of the Government leaves them free, revert to their pre-War methods in the conduct of business and provide that employment of which our people are in such need. As long as the Government delay the announcement of their policy, they are encouraging men like the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. G. Terrell), who is almost a pathetic figure when he rises day by day, and removes his hat almost obsequiously, to ask the Leader of the House, "When is the Bill coming?" As long as protectionists of that kind are encouraged by the Government to believe that the promise of December, 1918, will be betrayed, and our free trade policy finally departed from and protection established, our manufacturers are not free to engage with the strength, virility, foresight and courage that they would display if the Government in no way interfered with the industry of this country.

Apart from the fact that anxiety and uncertainty as to the policy of the Government is causing unemployment and hampering trade, I venture to think that the terms so far disclosed of the Reparations Treaty are a greater cause of anxiety still. We needed at least a day in this House to discuss that great question, and it is clear that that day should have been given last week, in view of the conference this week. It was left, however, to be sandwiched in last Friday, limited to two hours, and moved by that able financier and business authority, the hon. Member for South Hackney. The whole thing was turned into buffoonery. The hon. Member said that if he went he would get a little good wine, and, I think he said, a little gold, and one or two odds and ends of that sort. This great question, however, involves the settlement of the peace of the world, and, until there is peace internationally and Central Europe, settles down, our business must be at a standstill and unemployment must be rife, because the whole economic and industrial life of this country rests upon the basis of our overseas trade throughout Central Europe and all the world. The Prime Minister had, indeed, an easy task to reply to such arguments as were advanced by the hon. Member for South Hackney, in favour of the notion that we will have the full amount—£10,000,000,000 or £11,000,000,000, or whatever it may be—if we wait about 1,000,000,000 years to get it, instead of seeking peace as a definite end in itself Peace is something to which we should seek to draw near, because, until we have settled the problem of Central Europe, and restored the markets for our manufactures, we must have unemployment, and that means a perpetual drain on our taxpayers. If the War is going to end merely in a grasping struggle for spoils, there will be no spoils and no plunder. If that Reparations Treaty, as we have seen it so far, should be carried out, it will not be Germany that will pay; it will be the British working man who will pay in unemployment.

8.0 P.M.

I have read that Treaty, and it horrified me. I know that the Prime Minister knows that it is ridiculous. The serious thing is that the Prime Minister is taking the line that he takes because of French pressure. Every time the French cock crows the Prime Minister denies the liberal faith for which he stands and such a settlement as will bring peace to the world. Afterwards, when the Prime Minister will have to take the course that he will take, and say, "Well, of course, we cannot go on with it; of course we only did this to carry through; it was a hand-to-mouth policy to get a settlement," the French people will be entitled to say, "We know you solid-headed Englishmen; we know your knowledge of international finance. You said that we could get this amount in reparations, and we believed you. You backed up our statesmen in demanding it, and we have been sold." Surely it was not too much to ask that we should have been given time for a full discussion of the terms of this Treaty? Turn where you will, the markets of the world are either dried up or closed against us. There is a factory in my own constituency, 75 per cent. of the output of which went to Russia before the War. I was talking to the chairman this week-end, and he said that they can see their way for another two months, but that after that they do not know what will happen. There is no market at home, there is no market abroad, there is not a market in the world, and they are on short time, using up their resources in trying to keep together the business and provide employment for their workers. Every part of the country is in such a condition of distress that, if this House wanted the authority which at present it does not possess, it would have had a full and free and fair discussion as to what can be done, so that the business men of this country might have looked to this House for the leadership which they are entitled to expect. There is no leadership; there is no policy; there is merely a deferring of this Anti-Dumping, Key Industries Bill until another day. Most particularly would I say that it is grossly unfair, in a House of over 700 Members, that, when an acutely difficult problem like that of Ireland, in the condition of savagery, misery, and murder that exists there today, is before this country, only ten speakers should be allowed to express their views upon it. Why, Sir, when I heard last night the final closing speech of the Lord Privy Seal, a brutal speech, a heartless speech, murder for murder—I do not know the name of the wag who called this Christian England, but I heard last night the old law of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and two eyes for an eye, and three teeth for a tooth if possible—we saw everything that was basest and most hopeless. It is all very well for the hon. Gentleman to laugh. I will say a word directly to the hon. Gentleman, and he will remember that what is at stake in Ireland is the reputation of this country as a country that governs by civilised means. What is the foundation of civilisation? It is justice, it is truth, it is mercy, it is love. We used these words simply and naturally when we went into the War. We went into the War to secure civilisation. We asked great sacrifices that civilisation might be preserved. Here to-day we see the very antithesis, the very negation of civilisation in Ireland.

I believed all last year the word of the Chief Secretary. When the Chief Secretary stood at that box, the loud trombone of the Ministerial orchestra, and with great noise assured us that our gallant officers were not guilty of those crimes, I believed him, and I supported the Government every time. Now what do we know? We know it is not true. There is such a volume of evidence of the crimes that have been committed in Ireland, crimes that make everyone of us ashamed, crimes of which our children will be ashamed, crimes for which our children will pay in the hate continued through generations of Irish people who will never forget some of the damnable things now done in the name of English justices. There can be no discussion when we ask why two distinguished British officers, a general and an adjutant have resigned, resigned under circumstances of the greatest suspicion, resigned as the evidence seems to show because, having dismissed men for improper conduct, for acts of indiscipline and violence, these men are returned to them because the matter has been hushed up and dealt with, after which they are asked to continue to command creatures of that sort.

The Government, by the manœuvre of 1918, deprived this House of public interest largely because they have deprived it of an Opposition. The people of this country are divided nearly equally into two parties, and you have enfranchised people in one year and disenfranchised them the next. It is to us they look. But this great machine-like system of personal government, this refusal to allow us to debate matters of principle in this House, is bringing this House into contempt. The conscience of England is not dead, and the conscience of England is rebelling against this system of government in Ireland. Whoever dreamt that in 1921 we should have heard such speeches as we heard yesterday from the Lord Privy Seal and the Chief Secretary? I appeal to the Government to remember that this Parliament is the sole instrument by which the views of the millions of this land can be expressed, that we stand between them and their silence in public affairs. They are not willing to be silent, they are not willing to be counted out. You have given them a great weapon they can use, a proper and legitimate means in this House for the expression of their views. If you deny them that opportunity, they will take a weapon of another sort. They will inevitably resort to violence, a thing which everyone who

loves this House and who cherishes ideals of constitutional government will deplore to the very utmost.

Lord EDMUND TALBOT (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be not put."

The House divided: Ayes, 241; Noes. 67.

Division No. 4.] AYES. [8.6 p.m.
Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S. Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend) Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C. Doyle, N. Grattan Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)
Adkins, Sir William Ryland De[...] Du Pre, Colonel William Baring Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Edgar, Clifford B. Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)
Ainsworth, Captain Charles Edge, Captain William Joynson-Hicks, Sir William
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.) Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George
Armitage, Robert Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon) King, Captain Henry Douglas
Bagley, Captain E. Ashton Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark) Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster
Baird, Sir John Lawrence Elveden, Viscount Larmor, Sir Joseph
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M. Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Falle, Major Sir Bertram G. Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood- Farquharson, Major A. C. Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)
Barnett, Major R. W. Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)
Barnston, Major Harry Flannery, Sir James Fortescue Lister, Sir R. Ashton
Barrand, A. R. Ford, Patrick Johnston Lloyd, George Butler
Barton, Sir William (Oldham) Forestier-Walker, L. Lonsdale, James Rolston
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Forrest, Walter Loseby, Captain C. E.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot Lowther, Lt.-Col. Claude (Lancaster)
Betterton, Henry B. France, Gerald Ashburner Lynn, R. J.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Fraser, Major Sir Keith Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West) Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)
Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland Gardiner, James M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.
Blair, Sir Reginald Gardner, Ernest McMicking, Major Gilbert
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge) Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel D. F. Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham Macquisten, F. A.
Bowles, Colonel H. F. Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Goff, Sir R. Park Manville, Edward
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A. Gould, James C. Marks, Sir George Croydon
Brassey, Major H. L. C. Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington) Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.
Breese, Major Charles E. Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.) Mitchell, William Lane
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.) Moles, Thomas
Briggs, Harold Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar Molson, Major John Elsdale
Broad, Thomas Tucker Greig, Colonel James William Morden, Lieut.-Col. W. Grant
Brown, Captain D. C. Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E. Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash
Bruton, Sir James Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Morrison, Hugh
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Hamilton, Major C. G. C. Murchison, C. K.
Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay) Hanna, George Boyle Murray, John (Leeds, West)
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R. Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin Nall, Major Joseph
Carr, W. Theodore Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Neal, Arthur
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston) Harris, Sir Henry Percy Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.) Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.) Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood) Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Chilcot, Lieut-Com. Harry W. Hills, Major John Waller Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.
Churchman, Sir Arthur Hinds, John Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark
Clough, Robert Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Palmer, Brigadier-General G L.
Coats, Sir Stuart Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central) Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Hopkins, John W. W. Pearce, Sir William
Collins, Sir G. P. (Greenock) Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Pennefather, De Fonblanque
Conway, Sir W. Martin Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford) Perkins, Walter Frank
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely) Howard, Major S. G. Perring, William George
Cope, Major Wm. Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Pollock, Sir Ernest M.
Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives) Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster) Polson, Sir Thomas
Courthope, Lieut-Col. George L. Hurd, Percy A. Prescott, Major W. H.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B. Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South) Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H. Purchase, H. G.
Curzon, Commander Viscount Inskip, Thomas Walker H. Rae, H. Norman
Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton) Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Ramsden, G. T.
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead) James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Jephcott, A. R. Reid, D. D.
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Jodrell, Neville Paul Remer, J. R.
Davies, Sir Joseph (Chester, Crewe) Johnstone, Joseph Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)
Rodger, A. K. Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston) Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.
Roundell, Colonel R. F. Steel, Major S. Strang White, Lieut-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Royden, Sir Thomas Stevens, Marshall Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)
Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill) Stewart, Gershom Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Taylor, J. Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)
Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley) Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)
Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A. Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal, Gn.)
Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South) Wilson-Fox, Henry
Scott, Leslie (Liverpool Exchange) Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill) Wise, Frederick
Seddon, J. A. Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)
Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John Tryon, Major George Clement Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock) Turton, E. R. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Shaw, William T. (Forfar) Wallace, J. Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.) Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent) Young, Lieut.Com. E. H. (Norwich)
Simm, M. T. Ward, William Dudley (Southampton) Younger, Sir George
Smithers, Sir Alfred W. Waring, Major Walter TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T. Captain Guest and Lord E. Talbot.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hancock, John George Rose, Frank H.
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.) Hartshorn, Vernon Royce, William Stapleton
Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk) Hayday, Arthur Sexton, James
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hayward, Major Evan Shaw, Thomas (Preston)
Bramsdon, Sir Thomas Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Bromfield, William Hirst, G. H. Sitch, Charles H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Spencer, George A.
Cape, Thomas Hogge, James Myles Spoor, B. G.
Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield) Holmes, J. Stanley Swan, J. E.
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe) Irving, Dan Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Devlin, Joseph John, William (Rhondda, West) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South) Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M. Waterson, A. E.
Entwistle, Major C. F. Kenyon, Barnet White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Finney, Samuel Lawson, John J. Wignall, James
Galbraith, Samuel Lunn, William Williams, John (Glamorgan, Gower)
Glanville, Harold James Lyle-Samuel, Alexander Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Morgan, Major D. Watts Wintringham, T.
Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne) Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness and Ross) Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Newbould, Alfred Ernest TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Grundy, T. W. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. Nell
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth) Redmond, Captain William Archer Maclean.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Rendall, Athelstan
Hallas, Eldred Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)

Question put accordingly, "That the words 'but such time as is taken from private Members up to the end of the financial year shall be restored to them

between Easter and Whitsuntide' be there added."

The House divided: Ayes, 68; Noes, 234.

Division No. 5.] AYES. [8.15 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D. Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth) Rose, Frank H.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Royce, William Stapleton
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.) Hallas, Eldred Sexton, James
Barton, Sir William (Oldham) Hancock, John George Shaw, Thomas (Preston)
Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk) Hartshorn, Vernon Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hayday, Arthur Sitch, Charles H.
Bramsdon, Sir Thomas Hayward, Major Evan Spencer, George A.
Bromfield, William Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes) Spoor, B. G.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hirst, G. H. Swan, J. E.
Cape, Thomas Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)
Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield) Irving, Dan Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe) John, William (Rhondda, West) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Devlin, Joseph Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Kenyon, Barnet Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South) Lawson, John J. Waterson, A. E.
Entwistle, Major C. F. Lunn, William White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Finney, Samuel Lyle-Samuel, Alexander Wignall, James
Galbraith, Samuel Morgan, Major D. Watts Williams, John (Glamorgan Gower)
Glanville, Harold James Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross) Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne) Polson, Sir Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple) Mr. Nell Maclean and Mr. Hogge.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Rendall, Athelstan
Grundy, T. W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S. Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Armitage, Robert
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C. Ainsworth, Captain Charles Bagley, Captain E. Ashton
Adkins, Sir William Ryland De[...]t Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin Baird, Sir John Lawrence
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Gardner, Ernest Morrison, Hugh
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood- Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John Murchison, C. K.
Barnett, Major R. W. Goff, Sir R. Park Murray, John (Leeds, West)
Barnston, Major Harry Gould, James C. Nall, Major Joseph
Barrand, A. R. Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington) Neal, Arthur
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.) Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)
Betterton, Henry B. Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Greig, Colonel James William Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West) Gretton, Colonel John Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John
Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon W. E. Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark
Blair, Sir Reginald Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel D. F. Hamilton, Major C. G. C. Pearce, Sir William
Bowles, Colonel H. F. Hanna, George Boyle Pennefather, De Fonblanque
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin Perring, William George
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A. Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Pollock, Sir Ernest M.
Brassey, Major H. L. C. Harris, Sir Henry Percy Prescott, Major W. H.
Breese, Major Charles E. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.) Purchase, H. G.
Briggs, Harold Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon Rae, H. Norman
Broad, Thomas Tucker Hills, Major John Waller Ramsden, G. T.
Brown, Captain D. C. Hinds, John Reid, D. D.
Bruton, Sir James Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Remer, J. R.
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Holmes, J. Stanley Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central) Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)
Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay) Hopkins, John W. W. Rodger, A. K.
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Carr, W. Theodore Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford) Royden, Sir Thomas
Cecil, Rt. Hon Evelyn (Birm., Aston) Howard, Major S. G. Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.) Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood) Hurd, Percy A. Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.
Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W. Hurst, Lieut. Colonel Gerald B. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Churchman, Sir Arthur Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H. Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Clough, Robert Inskip, Thomas Walker H. Seddon, J. A.
Coats, Sir Stuart Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Cohen, Major J. Brunel Jephcott, A. R. Shaw, William T. (Forfar)
Collins, Sir G. P. (Greenock) Jodrell, Neville Paul Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Johnstone, Joseph Simm, M. T.
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely) Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) Smithers, Sir Alfred W.
Cope, Major Wm. Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke) Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives) Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Steel, Major S. Strang
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly) Stewart, Gershom
Craig, Capt. C. C. (Antrim, South) Joynson-Hicks, Sir William Taylor, J.
Curzon, Commander Viscount Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)
Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton) King, Captain Henry Douqlas Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead) Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster) Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Larmor, Sir Joseph Tryon, Major George Clement
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale) Turton, E. R.
Davies, Sir Joseph (Chester, Crewe) Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.) Wallace, J.
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales) Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)
Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend) Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd) Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)
Doyle, N. Grattan Lister, Sir R. Ashton Waring, Major Walter
Du Pre, Colonel William Baring Lloyd, George Butler Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Edgar, Clifford B. Lonsdale, James Rolston Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.
Edge, Captain William Lowther, Lt.-Col. Claude (Lancaster) White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon) Lynn, R. J. Williams, Lt.-Com, C. (Tavistock)
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark) Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie) Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Elveden, Viscount McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern) Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)
Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M. M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W. Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram G. McMicking, Major Gilbert Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.)
Farquharson, Major A. C. Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Wilson-Fox, Henry
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Macquisten, F. A. Wise, Frederick
Flannery, Sir James Fortescue Malone, Major p. B. (Tottenham, S.) Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)
Ford, Patrick Johnston Manville, Edward Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Forestier-Walker, L. Marks, Sir George Croydon Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Forrest, Walter Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B. Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot Mitchell, William Lane Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)
France, Gerald Ashburner Moles, Thomas Younger, Sir George
Fraser, Major Sir Keith Molson, Major John Elsdale TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Morden, Lieut.-Col. W. Grant Captain Guest and Lord E. Talbot.
Gardiner, James Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash

Question put, "That until the end of the financial year, Government business do have precedence at every Sitting."

The House divided: Ayes, 231; Noes, 66.

Division No. 6.] AYES. [8.25 p.m.
Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S. Ainsworth, Captain Charles Bagley, Captain E. Ashton
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C. Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin Baird, Sir John Lawrence
Adkins, Sir William Ryland Dent Armitage, Robert Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Gardner, Ernest Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood- Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham Morrison, Hugh
Barnett, Major R. W. Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Barnston, Major Harry Goff, Sir R. Park Murchison, C. K.
Barrand, A. R. Gould, James C. Murray, John (Leeds, West)
Barton, Sir William (Oldham) Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington) Nall, Major Joseph
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.) Neal, Arthur
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Betterton, Henry B. Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Greig, Colonel James William Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West) Gretton, Colonel John Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E. Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John
Blair, Sir Reginald Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E. Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel D. F. Hall, Lieut.-Col. sir F. (Dulwich) Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry
Bowles, Colonel H, F. Hamilton, Major C. G. C. Pearce, Sir William
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hanna, George Boyle Perkins, Walter Frank
Brassey, Major H. L. C. Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin Perring, William George
Breese, Major Charles E. Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Pollock, Sir Ernest M.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Harris, Sir Henry Percy Prescott, Major W. H.
Briggs, Harold Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Broad, Thomas Tucker Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.) Purchase, H. G.
Brown, Captain D. C. Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon Rae, H. Norman
Bruton, Sir James Hills, Major John Waller Reid, D. D.
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Hinds, John Remer, J. R.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Burn, Colonel C. R. (Devon, Torquay) Holmes, J. Stanley Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Campion, Lieut-Colonel W. R. Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central) Rodger, A. K.
Carr, W. Theodore Hopkins, John W. W. Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston) Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Royden, Sir Thomas
Chadwick, Sir Robert Howard, Major S. G. Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A.(Birm., W.) Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood) Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W. Hurd, Percy A. Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Churchman, Sir Arthur Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B. Seddon, J. A.
Clough, Robert Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H. Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John
Coats, Sir Stuart Inskip, Thomas Walker H. Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Shaw, William T. (Forfar)
Cohen, Major J. Brunel James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. {N'castle-on-T.)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Jephcott, A. R. Simm, M. T.
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely) Jodrell, Neville Paul Smithers, Sir Alfred W.
Cope, Major Wm. Johnstone, Joseph Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives) Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke) Steel, Major S. Strang
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Stewart, Gershom
Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Talbot, Rt. Hon. Lord E. (Chich'st'r)
Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly) Taylor, J.
Curzon, Commander Viscount Joynson-Hicks, Sir William Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)
Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton) Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead) King, Captain Henry Douglas Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster) Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Larmor, Sir Joseph Tryon, Major George Clement
Davies, Sir Joseph (Chester, Crewe) Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale) Turton, E. R.
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.) Wallace, J.
Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend) Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales) Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)
Doyle, N. Grattan Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd) Waring, Major Walter
Du Pre, Colonel William Baring Lister, Sir R. Ashton Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Edgar, Clifford B. Lloyd, George Butler Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.
Edge, Captain William Lonsdale, James Rolston White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon) Lowther, Lt.-Col. Claude (Lancaster) Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark) Lynn, R. J. Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Elveden, Viscount Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camiachle) Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)
Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M. McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern) Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram G. M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.)
Farquharson, Major A. C. McMicking, Major Gilbert Wilson-Fox, Henry
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Wise, Frederick
Flannery, Sir James Fortescue Macquisten, F. A. Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)
Ford, Patrick Johnston Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.) Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Forestier-Walker, L. Manville, Edward Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Forrest, Walter Marks, Sir George Croydon Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B. Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)
France, Gerald Ashburner Mitchell, William Lane Younger, Sir George
Fraser, Major Sir Keith Moles, Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Molson, Major John Elsdale Mr. Dudley Ward and Colonel Sir
Gardiner, James Morden, Lieut.-Col. W. Grant R. Sanders.
Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D. Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Finney, Samuel
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Cape, Thomas Galbraith, Samuel
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.) Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield) Glanville, Harold James
Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk) Davies, A (Lancaster, Clitheroe) Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)
Bramsdon, Sir Thomas Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South) Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)
Bromfield, William Entwistle, Major C. F. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Grundy, T. W. Lunn, William Swan, J. E.
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth) Morgan, Major D. Watts Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Newbould, Alfred Ernest Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hallas, Eldred Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers
Hancock, John George Poison, Sir Thomas Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Hartshorn, Vernon Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple) Waterson, A. E.
Hayday, Arthur Rendall, Athelstan White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Hayward, Major Evan Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wignall, James
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes) Rose, Frank H. Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Hirst, G. H. Royce, William Stapleton Williams, John (Glamorgan, Gower)
Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Sexton, James Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Irving, Dan Shaw, Thomas (Preston) Wintringham, T.
John, William (Rhondda, West) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Sitch, Charles H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Kenyon, Barnet Spencer, George A. Mr. Neil Maclean and Mr. Hogge.
Lawson, John J. Spoor, B. G.

Question put, and agreed to.

It being after a Quarter-past Eight of the Clock, and leave having been given to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 10, further Proceeding was postponed, without Question put.