Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £75,010 be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1922, for the Salaries and Expenses of the House of Commons.
§ 4.0 P.M.
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN (Leader of the House)
The Vote which now comes before the Committee has excited very much comment and indeed criticism among Members of the House, and I hope I may add that very much of that comment is, I think, based upon a misapprehension of the law and of the facts. I feel therefore that it would be desirable to state at once the reasons which have induced the Government to give the House an opportunity of pronouncing upon this subject, and also, if I may be permitted, to tender some advice to the Committee thereupon. My attention was called by a letter which appeared in one of the newspapers from an hon. Friend of mine in this House to" the fact that I had made a speech on this subject on a previous occasion, and as I learned that other hon. Members have also discovered the fact, I thought it well to refresh my memory as to what I might have said. I found the task not very profitable, but, at any rate, it proved a sedative after a late Sitting and gave me a half-hour's doze. I am not ashamed of it, but lest there be criticism of my action afterwards I had better say frankly at the outset that I have changed my mind and I am not ashamed to say so. Some of the anticipations which I then expressed have not been fulfilled. Some of the 1088 fears which I entertained have not been realised or confirmed by later experience, and I hope they will not be, for the experiment is not yet at an end. When this proposal for the payment of a salary or allowance to Members of the House was first made I believed it was still possible to adhere to what for many years—for a very long period—had been the practice of this House, that the services of Members of the House should be voluntary and without cost to the country. I no longer hold that view. It is quite obvious that in the altered circumstances of the times there are in this House of Commons, and there will be in every future House of Commons, a considerable number of men who have not such private means as enable them to discharge their public duties without remuneration, and, if it be granted that to exclude those men from access to the public life of the country in the shape of membership of this House would be to impoverish this House and make our representative system less representative, and to hinder and often render nugatory the choice of the constituencies—and I do not believe that any of these propositions will be denied—then, I submit, it is better that Members of this House should receive such sum as is necessary for the discharge of their duties from a public source rather than that they should be dependent upon private sources not their own for the power to discharge the mission of their constituents and to do their duty in this House and in the public life of the country. Under these circumstances, I should regard it, in the light of present day conditions, as contrary to public policy to go back upon the decision that an allowance or salary should be paid to Members. If an allowance or salary is to be paid, then it is obvious that that allowance ought to be adequate to enable a man to discharge his duties without real privation. I do not want; and none of us want, to make membership of this House a profession which is sought for the emoluments which it brings. Those of us who are Members of the House know how very far we are from any danger of that kind at the present time. We none of us want to do that, but I do submit that a Member ought to be able to discharge the public duty which his fellow citizens have conferred upon him without serious privation or hardship.
1089 It was represented to the Government that the allowance of £400 which has been paid to Members since 1911 was, in present-day conditions, inadequate to achieve that result. I do not suppose that there was one of us who did not know that to be a fact, and who did not also feel that in the present condition of the finances of the country, and at a moment when the sacrifices asked of the taxpayers generally were so great, that it was a most difficult and a most invidious thing for us to place any further charge upon the public funds in respect of Members of this House. I think we all felt that, but the knowledge that it was an invidious thing to do and that it might lay us open to some criticism, well-conceived or ill-conceived, does not seem to me a perfect justification for doing nothing, and especially it does not seem to me an excuse for those of us, in whichever part of the House we sit—because this is no party question—who, like myself, draw Ministerial salaries, or who, like myself, have means which enabled us to sit in the House before there was any allowance paid at all. It does not seem to me that I should be discharging my public duty if I refused to consider the case of large numbers of Members who cannot satisfactorily discharge their public duties merely because I was afraid of meeting with some taunts in my constituency or in the country outside. The Government recommended the House to appoint a Select Committee to look into the extent of the grievance, and to make recommendations as to what, if anything, should be done. I wonder how many Gentlemen who have assembled here to-day to vote on this question—well, it is indiscreet to ask that, so I will put another question. I wonder how many Gentlemen who have undertaken to instruct us and the public upon the merits of this question have ever glanced at the Report of the Committee, let alone read the evidence which was submitted. May I recall what the Committee said:Your Committee are agreed that if the sum of £400 per year was necessary in 1914, and no evidence has been submitted to the contrary, such an amount is inadequate to-day. In addition, this Parliament has been in Session for more days than the average for the last 10 years. While we fully recognise the economic hardship which membership of the House of Commons may entail upon a certain number of its members, your Committee nevertheless recommend that no change be made in the amount of the present salary.1090Your Committee were impressed by the evidence submitted, and by their private information, of the difficult financial position of certain members at the present time. They are satisfied that further consideration should be given to this matter in the near future, but in view of the present position, consider it inadvisable to make any specific recommendation at this time,that is, any specific recommendation for a permanent increase in the allowance or salary of £400. There were other proposals before the Committee. There was the proposal that the sum granted, remaining at £400, should be treated as an allowance for expenses and exempted from Income Tax. That is the proposal which has given rise to the greatest amount of misconception and the widest prejudice and misunderstanding. Here is what the Committee said:Substantial arguments have been advanced that the whole £400 per year should be paid free of Income Tax; evidence has been submitted that in many cases the expenses incidental to membership of this House greatly exceed this figure.Your Committee have considered whether the annual payment of £400 per year should be regarded as a salary or as an allowance towards the expenses which a Member incurs in the discharge of his duty.The amount in 1911 was called a salary."—I pause to observe that if it had been called an allowance this question would never have arisen. The whole question has arisen because at that moment, while described by the present Prime Minister, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, as being a bare allowance to enable Members to discharge their duties, it was called a salary. That is why it is subject to Income Tax. I turn again to the Committee's Report:The amount in 1911 was called a salary. If that is held to be the true definition of the payment, your Committee considers that to place Members of the House of Commons—so far as their full Parliamentary salary is concerned—outside the ambit of the Income Tax law is inadvisable—I agree—The payment, however, could be regarded as an allowance to enable Members to meet either wholly or in part the expenses directly involved by membership of the House of Commons.The Committee, therefore, on that point make no express recommendation, but they, so to speak, put up a pointer to a solution which is the solution before the House to-day, namely, of regarding this money and voting this money as an allowance for expenses and not as a salary.
Paragraph 13. The Committee considered two other proposals. On the question whether there should be a travelling allowance, they observe:In regard to travelling expenses, your Committee noted the inequality of expenses between a Member for a London constituency and a Member whose constituency is situated at a distance from Westminster. Members of the different parties in every case agreed that the inequality should be rectified.Accordingly, the Committee recommended that a first-class pass between London and the constituency should be given to all Members. Lastly, the Committee considered the charge involved in correspondence on public business by Members, and recommended that they should be allowed to frank their correspondence. If hon. Members have the Committee's Report before them, I think they will see that I rightly represent their views.
Mr. J. W. WILSON
According to paragraph 19, the Committee considered the question of granting Members limited free postage.
If my right hon. Friend will read paragraph 20, he will see that the Committee say:There are objections to each proposal, but your Committee recommend that facilities should be provided for the free postage of Members' letters.The Government decided not to adopt that last named proposal. It is obviously capable of great abuse and abuse of which the Member might very probably be the unwilling victim. It was really in part to protect Members against improper demands by bodies in their constituencies that we rejected that proposal. We thought that the claim for travelling expenses was entirely a proper one. Admitting the principle of a salary or allowance, whichever you call it, you do not treat Members equally if you pay the same salary or make the same allowance to a man who lives within one hour of Westminster as to a man whose constituency or home may be in the Northern Kingdom. We accordingly propose to adopt it. Then we come to the question of the treatment of the sum allocated to Members—whether it should be considered as 1092 a salary or as an allowance. We were greatly influenced in this matter, and I am permitted to say so, by a representation from my hon. Friend the Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes) made officially to the Prime Minister for the consideration of the Cabinet on behalf of the Labour party, and stating that they attached great importance to it. It was obviously open to an objection which was taken in many places that exemption from Income Tax will be largest in the case of the man whose rate of Income Tax and Super-tax is high. That is quite true, and, from our point of view, that is the great objection; but it was not an objection which weighed with the Labour party in the official representation that they made to us, and, I think, for an obvious reason. It may be quite true that a man whose Income Tax and Supertax cause him to pay 10s. 6d. in the £ will get more by the exemption than the man who is dependent on his salary and very little besides; but the relief which the poor man receives may be, in proportion to his total resources, of infinitely greater consequence to him than the larger sum is to the rich man in proportion to his resources. That, I take it, is the reason why the Labour party pressed this upon the Government. Influenced mainly by the representation made on behalf of that party, the Government decided to submit this question to the House. I said from the first that we should leave the whole of this matter to the House. We shall not put on the Government Whips, and, if this first proposition goes to a Divison, my colleagues in the Cabinet and myself will take no part in the Division.
Having said that, may I put to hon. Gentlemen in the House and to the public outside, as far as my voice can reach them—and I hope it will, for this is a matter in which the dignity and, in some sense, the honour of the House itself is concerned—may I put to them the facts of the case? The allegation made against us is that it is proposed to do for the Members of this House something which is not done for the community at large, and which finds no parallel in the relations of the community at large to the Income Tax. That is the gravamen of the charge. It is wholly unfounded. What is here proposed is only a rough and ready method of arriving, on an average of the whole House, at the 1093 allowance which each individual could claim as an ordinary citizen under the ordinary law, if each of us puts in his claim and has it separately examined and assessed. At present, a Member of Parliament holds technically "an office or employment of profit," the emoluments of which are chargeable under the Rules of Schedule E of the Income Tax Act of 1918. That is a consolidating Act. The assessments upon Members of Parliament are made in the Paymaster-General's Department, and, as is the case with all other Departmental assessments, there is no legal provision for any appeal. No. 9 of the Rules applicable to Schedule E, and therefore to us in our capacity as citizens—not as Members of Parliament—provides as follows:If the holder of an office or employment of profit is necessarily obliged to incur and defray out of the emoluments thereof the expenses of travelling in the performance of the duties of the office or employment, or of keeping and maintaining a horse to enable him to perform the same, or otherwise to expend"—and to these words I would draw particular attention—or otherwise to expend money wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of such duties, there may be deducted from the emoluments to be assessed the expenses so necessarily incurred and defrayed.If, therefore, there were no arbitrary allowance, if the £400 be voted as a salary and there be no arbitrary allowance, we, under the general law, may each of us make the claim to our unhappy colleague and friend, the Paymaster-General, to the allowance to which we should be entitled as citizens generally in respect of the expense to which we are necessarily put in earning our salaries. It was found very inconvenient and very distasteful to himself that a Member of this House should have to examine the Income Tax returns of his colleagues, and it would be very difficult for civil servants, the servants of the Crown, but also the servants of this House, to adjudicate upon claims of members, not in their capacity as taxpayers generally—which they habitually do in calling us all to account—but in their corporate capacity as Members of this House, and to define what their duties were as Members of this House and what part of their expenses was wholly necessarily and exclusively incurred in the performance of those duties. Accordingly a rough average was taken of £100, as being the por- 1094 tion of the £400 which was "wholly, necessarily, and exclusively" consumed in expenses in earning the salary. That is provided for under another provision in an Act, which is not specially or solely applicable to Members of Parliament, but is of general application, namely, Section 3 of the Finance Act of 1913, which is reproduced as No. 10 of the Rules applicable to Schedule E in the consolidating Act of 1918. It reads as follows:Where the Treasury are satisfied with respect to any class of persons in receipt of any salary, fees, or emoluments payable out of the public revenue that such persons are obliged to lay out and expend money wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties in respect of which such salary, fees, or emoluments are payable, the Treasury may fix such sum as in their opinion represents a fair equivalent of the average annual amount laid out and expended as aforesaid by persons of that class, and in charging tax on the said salary, fees, or emoluments there shall be deducted from the amount thereof the sums so fixed by the Treasury.Provided that if any person would, but for the provisions of this rule, be entitled to deduct a larger amount than the sum so fixed, that sum may be deducted instead of the sum so fixed.That is the ordinary law, which is being applied to other classes besides Members of Parliament. What difference does it make to the Members of this House? It makes, undoubtedly, this difference, that an average, by the necessities of the case, will never be the exact result for each individual. It is the mean of varying cases, and, therefore, you cannot say offhand that it exactly fits any particular case. But it is a rough average, and it is as such that the £100 was taken in 1911. I have no hesitation in saying that it was inadequate then, and it is obviously much more inadequate now. I believe that if Members are left without the benefit of the Treasury Rule fixing the average for the whole, if they are left with this sum voted as a salary, and without calling any part of it expenses, they will individually be able to reclaim so much of it on the ground of proved expense that the ultimate result to the taxpayer will be the same, with a negligible difference, as it would have been if the proposal embodied in this Vote were carried into effect.
What are they entitled to deduct? Let me again illustrate our position by that of people outside this House. Take, for example, a town clerk or borough surveyor in a provincial city who attends 1095 in London in connection with a Parliamentary Bill or for interviews with Government Departments. His travelling and hotel expenses are repaid to him by his employers. They certainly are not added to his income for purposes of Income Tax, nor is tax charged upon them. The representative of a commercial firm, like one of the Sheffield steel firms, may come to London in connection with his business. He has an allowance for his expenses paid by his firm. That forms no part of his returns for Income Tax, and no Income Tax is payable upon it. The professional expenses of a medical man or solicitor—his surgery or office expenses, the cost of travelling in carrying out his professional work, and the additional cost of living away from home when he is away on professional work—are allowed as deductions in the computation of his professional income for Income Tax assessment. Those are analogous cases, and I cite them to show that what, in one form or another, it is suggested that Members should have is not exceptional treatment, but the treatment accorded to their like outside this House in respect of similar earnings and expenses. I am so convinced that the operation of the ordinary law will give Members the relief ordinarily which they would obtain under this proposal that, in the present state of public feeling and in view of the misconceptions which have gone abroad, I submit to my right hon. Friends and to those whom they represent that it is not worth their while to press to a Division this formal claim for exemption. I think, if I may respectfully say so, that they and the House would be well advised to trust to the ordinary operation of the law without exposing themselves to a charge that we are getting some special favour not granted to the taxpayer at large when, in any circumstances, we shall get no more than the ordinary taxpayer is entitled to.
I did not say so. My whole argument is to the contrary. It may assist the House to come to a decision on this question if I furnish them with advice which I have received from the Board of Inland Revenue on consideration of what would be the 1096 position in these circumstances—advice which I may say has the concurrence and approval of the Attorney-General:The Board of Inland Revenue have again had under consideration the question of the expenses admissible as a deduction in the computation of Income Tax assessments in respect of the emoluments of Members of Parliament. A deduction is, as the law now stands, admissible in respect of expenses wholly, necessarily, and exclusively incurred in performing the duties of the office, and the question at once arises in what the duties of the office consist. The Board think that, having regard to the general position which a Member of Parliament occupies in the Government of the country and to the obligations towards his constituents which he by force of custom assumes, it would be wrong to attempt to give a narrow and rigid definition to his duties. Indeed, the duties may be said to correspond broadly to the public functions which the Member actually undertakes both in connection with attendance at Westminster and in his constituency. Upon this basis an allowance would normally be admissible, for example, in respect of the additional cost of living away from home when engaged in his Parliamentary duties either at Westminster or in his constituency, cost of travelling between constituency and Westminster (if not provided by the State), miscellaneous expenses necessarily incurred, including stationery, postage, telegrams, and similar items, secretarial assistance, occasionally the rent of an office. The amount of the expenses incurred on such heads as these would naturally vary in different instances. A London Member would probably not incur expenditure on some items to the same extent as a Member for a remote constituency, and a poor Member would not incur expense on so large a scale as a wealthy Member.That, I think, states the position. That is the character of the claim which the individual Member is entitled to make, not because he is a Member, but because he is a citizen to whom the laws of his country apply. That gives the relief in substance by individual application which we proposed to arrive at by an average of the whole House. I submit that the House would be wise, in view of the misconception to which the average has given rise, to take their relief as individual citizens and make it clear to the country that we are asking nothing for ourselves in this respect.
I must say a word or two in relation to the question of travelling expenses. If anyone will read the evidence before this Committee he will see the great cost to which some of our fellow Members are subjected under present circumstances. I find one Member, whose home is in the North, who never travels during the 1097 sitting of the House between the House and his home, which is in his constituency. He was asked, "Then you never see your family?" I think the answer was to the effect that his wife was on a public committee and often came to London on business, and he saw her then. Which of us would sacrifice so much to discharge our public duty? Other Members travel habitually, and a large part of the sum which is nominally paid in salary is swallowed up in the expense of travelling between their constituencies and London. As long as you make no allowance for travelling expenses you treat Members unequally. A Member who lives in London, or whose constituency is close to London, has more value out of his £400 than a Member who sits for a Scottish, an Irish, or any distant constituency. But there are wider grounds. This House has a great educative influence on its Members, and it has a great educative influence on the country, if we try to preserve its dignity and its whole tradition, and I hope we may be able to do so. It has had a great educative influence upon Members. We have seen it again and again. It has also had in the past a great educative influence on the country. But the space which is given to our Parliamentary Debates in the newspapers is now much less than it used to be, and the education which we gain in this House in our public discussions has to be carried by us into the country and by us distributed amongst our constituencies. It is in the public interest that Members should have the freest access to their constituencies and to this House, and that they should not be fined when they wish to come from their home to this House or to go from this House to their constituency.
I have seen the suggestion made that these travelling expenses should be allowed, but on a third class scale only. I express my own opinion, but it is an opinion I hold very strongly, that of all the decisions the House could take that is the least defensible and the worst. What is the object of giving these facilities, if you give them at all? It is to enable us to discharge our public duties. I see a right hon. and respected Member in the House who gave evidence before this Committee who travelled down week after week every week-end to his constituency in Scotland in difficult and anxious times. Why? In order to stir up 1098 trouble, in order to foment revolution, in order to overthrow our institutions? No. He is not a Member of my party. We differ profoundly. He went down there as a restraining influence. He served a good public purpose by going. And you are going to tell me you will insult a Member like that by saying, "You may go down third class. You may spend your week in labour here. You may travel down at night standing in the corridor or sitting in a third class carriage. You are then to work all your Saturday and Sunday, and you are to come back on the Sunday night under similar circumstances of discomfort to discharge your public duties here again." It cannot be done. No man could stand that strain, and perhaps only we who are in the House know what the strain of public life is. I submit to the House that they would be wise to abandon any idea of a formal exemption from assessment to Income Tax and to rely upon their common rights as citizens, and I urge that as a matter of public policy it is right that travelling facilities should be given, but I hope the House will give them in such a form as will enable them to serve their purpose and make it possible for a Member to keep in such physical condition as enables him to do his duty.
§ Major Sir B. FALLE
On a point of Order. May I ask you, Sir, how you read the words, "and their homes or constituencies"? Does it mean both, or does it mean only constituencies? I have not gathered that from the right hon. Gentleman's speech.
It is not a point of Order; it is a point for me. It means both. It is as much the duty of a Member of the House to travel to the House and attend the House as it is to travel to his constituency, and therefore it is proposed to give him the right of free travel between his home and the House as well as between the House and his constituency.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I cannot myself think that what I may call the legal part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, in which he indicated how the same effect might be achieved by taking advantage of legal loopholes, was either in accordance with the best traditions or the dignity of this House. I think the proper course to have taken, as they have come to the conclusion that the first pro- 1099 posal with regard to deduction of Income Tax could not be defended under the present condition of the finances of the country, was to withdraw it. But the right hon. Gentleman relies upon my hon. Friends and colleagues on this side belonging to the Labour party to help him out of the difficulty. [HON. MEMBERS "No!"]
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
The straight thing to do is to act in accordance with what is the general sense of the House, and that is to abandon the first proposal. I want to know whether, if the Government had done that, that is the end of the matter.
The right hon. Gentleman is scarcely fair or candid. We are not asking anyone to help us out of a difficulty. On behalf of the Government, I undertook to submit these proposals for the judgment of the House, without exercising the ordinary pressure which a Government has in its power to secure a particular result. I so submit them to-day. I have, in submitting them, tendered advice to the House which I hope the House will accept. I leave it to the House to decide.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
Therefore I shall proceed to argue the question of the exemption from Income Tax. The first point I make is that there is no real relief offered to those Members of the House who need it most. Whatever exemption is to be allowed, 1100 the facts as demonstrated in the White Paper—[Interruption.] I am determined to go on in the discharge of my duty—[Interruption]—which I regard as a public one, no matter what the interruptions may be. My first point is that the proposals of the Government give no real relief to those who need it most, because the Report shows that there are no fewer than 77 Members of this House who pay no Income Tax at all. Therefore any allowance which is suggested does not help them. There are 89 Members who only pay £6 15s. Income Tax. There is, therefore, a total of 168 Members who either pay no Income Tax at all, or pay the minor sum of £6 15s. My next point is that it is against public policy for any Members of this House to adopt any means whereby they exempt themselves from the impact of taxation which falls upon the ordinary citizen of the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "That is conceded!"] The third point I make—notwithstanding the facts that my right hon. Friend has brought out, and that it does savour of an appeal to forces outside this House to make it—is that there never was a more unfortunate time for such a proposal as this to be made. The whole appeal which has come from these benches; and from many Members on either side of the House, and, indeed, from the Government itself, has been to urge upon every section of the House and every section of the public to exercise the greatest possible economy in every conceivable direction. To-day hundreds of thousands, in fact, millions of people, are unemployed, and among those millions there are hundreds of thousands of people who are not reckoned amongst those who are called manual workers, but who deserve quite as much consideration as any other section of the community. What will they think when they read the reports of to-day's proceedings, and they see that we have devoted our day mainly to a proposal of this kind, which makes no difference so far as the poorest Members of the House are concerned, but, as far as the better-to-do Members are concerned, relieves them of the payment of money which would otherwise go into the Treasury. That is the last point I want to make in regard to Income Tax.
The question of railway fares stands in a different category. There are many 1101 arguments which can be addressed to anyone who studies this question fairly. I feel the force of the evidence given by hon. Members before the Committee, and the force of remarks made in this House and outside the House in regard to this question, but even there, with all the challenges which no doubt will be made to me—
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
Very well, I will face you anywhere you like. [Interruption.] I am not going to be put on one side in the discharge of a public duty by interruptions or by threats of any kind.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask hon. Members to listen to the right hon. Gentleman. If they do not agree with him, the least they can do is to give him a fair hearing.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
With regard to this question, which, as I have said, stands on much sounder ground than the other proposal, in spite of the arguments which have been addressed to the House, I must say that, having regard to the troubled state of public finance and of private privation, I shall feel it to be my duty to go into the Lobby against it.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House said his statement could not be controverted that the public outside would just get as much advantage as any Member of this House. I do not agree with that at all. If a man outside only gets £400 a year, he cannot return the whole of the £400 as expenses. He has to pay so much for household expenses. He can only return a proportion of the £400 a year as expenses, but in the case of a Member of this House who only has his salary of £400 a year he can return the whole of that as expenses. Therefore he is getting more than a member of the public outside.
My hon. Friend misunderstood my point. I was dealing not with the position of a Member being exempted in respect of the whole £400 a year, but his claim under the ordinary law. The claim of a Member of Parliament under the ordinary law will be 1102 judged in exactly the same way as that of any other citizen.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
If we are going to be allowed to deduct this amount as expenses, I take it that the Super-tax payer will also be allowed his expenses. If that be the case, I find that the richer you are the more advantage you get under this proposal. If we are to be allowed these expenses, a man with £3,000 a year is going to save on £300 a year at 2s. a sum of £30. The man with £5,000 will save £45, and the man with £10,000 will save £75. I do not see why you should so arrange this particular allowance as expenses to benefit the richer man, and give the poorer man who has only £400 a year in this House practically nothing.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I think my right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) has for once lost his way in regard to what is always a proper practice in this House when any personal considerations enter into a Debate. The Government, whatever else may be wrong in their action in regard to this matter, have been right in leaving the decision to the free vote of the House, and it is strange that one who has so often appealed to the Government to enlarge the boundaries of freedom of Members of this House, and who has so frequently chided the Government for putting on the Whips and deciding matters within the walls of the Cabinet, should to-day so severely censure the Government for following the course which so often he has recommended. In a matter in which it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate the personal question from the question of public policy, it is better that the House should be left free to decide what it thinks to be fair and just in the circumstances of the case. Nor could I follow my right hon. Friend in his argument on the question of economy. I am in favour of economy, as my right hon. Friend always is, if you can practice economy without injustice, and it is because of the reality of the injustice, in view of the existing practice in regard to Members' allowances, that this question has arisen. Is it true or just public economy to impose personal sacrifices upon Members of the House in their private capacity because they continue to discharge public duties? The argument of economy may be pushed too far in rela- 1103 tion to the question which we have to consider to-day.
So far as I know the wishes of the Labour party in this matter, it is not that we desire to pursue the method recommended by the Committee. We do not wish for any change to be effected by the process of being relieved of an obligation which rests upon every other citizen in so far as the citizen receives a salary. I accept for my own part, as I think I can for my hon. Friends behind me, the counsel of the Leader of the House, and say that we no longer pursue any question of relief along the path of seeking remission by relief of taxation. We fell in with that method because it was the method recommended by the Committee, and I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has at such length quoted the evidence of the Committee and the recommendations in regard to this question.
A good deal of artificial indignation has been manufactured, especially outside this House in relation to this question. I doubt whether any Parliament in the world, the humblest and the youngest, would have so lowered themselves in dignity as to approach this question in the manner of approach as we have seen it manifested in the Press and at some meetings that have been held in different parts of the country. Resolutions have been passed and letters of condemnation have been sent as if this modest proposal was the end of all things, and tended seriously to undermine the stability of our Empire. This charge in regard to the allowance to Members, this monetary charge resting upon the State is surely not the last obligation which the public purse can justly be called upon to bear. It is one of the first. I think there are only one or two other Parliaments to be discovered in any part of the world in which some reasonable and adequate allowance for the discharge of these public duties is not made, and in which provision is not made for proper and suitable travelling facilities for those who have continually to use the train services of the country for the purpose of discharging their public duties. I claim that this is a public obligation, that it is a just and proper public charge. As to the amount and the particular procedure, those may well be things for difference of 1104 opinion and discussion. The right hon. Gentleman has given us instances, the most convincing and unanswerable, as to how other people engaged in public service are treated. If they serve municipalities or private firms they are treated in a far better manner than Members of this House. Those who know anything of the allowances given to, say, men who might come to London as they frequently do for days and weeks for municipal bodies and from various public bodies and as the servants of railway companies cannot complain of either the manner or the amount of the allowance given to those who serve the public in this way. The poorest Parliament in the world does better than, or at any rate, as good, relatively, as the mother of all Parliaments, which this House claims to be.
It was stated in the early part of my right hon. Friend's speech that time was when service in this House was undertaken as an honour and as a voluntary duty by men who because of their private means were in a position to discharge their duties. I do not want to go back at any length into the history of past Parliamentary service, but I submit that in so far as you can now find men ready to do this work free it does not necessarily follow for that reason that they are all the better able to do it. If you are to accept the doctrine that service in this House must be free, then that doctrine means the complete exclusion from service of men who have already, I hope, shown that they have some fitness for this service and ought not to be absolutely ruled out of work at Westminster because of the absence of private means. I doubt whether there is any need to argue that side of the case any longer. There should be in these matters some approach to equality of opportunity to serve the State, and if you accept the view that this is public and State work you ought not to be thrown back upon trade unions or private organisations of any kind for either travelling expenses or maintenance in connection with the discharge of these duties.
When the House first decided to make some allowance to Members some years ago I had the view that the figure was adequate at the time. Personally I found it quite ample, and those who were accusomed to a moderate level of living surely must have found the figure of £400 1105 sufficient to cover all personal expenses which they incurred. I say frankly for myself it seemed to be a liberal amount. There has been a considerable change in the value of money since then, and the fact that even Members of Parliament have felt the burden of increasing prices has altered the position. I suppose that there is not another servant of the State, not a labourer or cleaner or civil servant or clerk employed, say, in connection with general attendance at this House or in connection with any branch of the business which is done within these walls from the highest to the lowest who has not received some substantial addition to his allowance or salary during the period of the War or since, and on that account a case is made out for some consideration, for some relief.
I agree to the precise form suggested by the Committee was open to certain objections on grounds which have been amply demonstrated already by the right hon. Gentleman. But I put to the House this view. If we are not to regard the sum which we receive as an allowance, as an amount paid to us in the nature of expenses, and therefore as a sum which properly can be subject to Income Tax relief, and we must take the view that it is a salary, then clearly the salary is now far too low, and as soon as public finances allow of the question being reopened some attempt should be made to remove the injustice under which Members of the House are now suffering. If there be Members of the House who hold the view, in spite of what I have said, that this question has been revived or pressed upon the Government by the Labour Benches only, then I cannot help their delusion; but I am not ashamed at all of their reproach.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I am glad to hear that that view is not urged. Indeed, I was going to say that this was not a party question in the sense of party divisions, because there are many other men who are comparatively poor in other parts of the House who must depend to a great extent on public money if they are properly to discharge their public duties. I leave the subject to which I have already referred with the explicit statement that we accept the advice of the Chancellor, and will, of course, take note of the information 1106 which he gives as to how, as citizens, we may seek such relief, as every other person in the community may seek, and no doubt will seek, in face of that information. But now a word on the question of the travelling arrangements. If it be that the arrangements so far made are in the nature of an experiment and are intended to see how far some better system might be reached well and good. One can say little about them. But I hope that the arrangements at present existing will not long continue. It does inflict some personal indignity and some personal inconvenience upon Members to have to fill in a form each time a ticket is wanted, and in some cases to have to explain what it is for. The right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London is not subject apparently to this indignity. I think that he takes strong objection to the issuing of tickets to Members of this House. But I have noted that all he has to do when he passes a porter at the railway gate is to touch his watch chain, and then he passes on without challenge.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not see the relevancy of that. I receive a free pass on my own railway and on some other railways on account of my work. That is totally different from the position of a great many Members of this House, including many Members of the Labour party, who never come here.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I am glad to hear my argument reinforced so strongly by the explanation which we have just received. That is exactly our position. We claim the right to travel, without a personal charge being imposed upon ourselves when we travel, to our work. That is what I understand to be the right of the right hon. Baronet. As to the suggestion contained in one of the Motions upon the Paper that we should be limited to third class, I do not think that many of us would mind that if we are to adhere to what has been our life experience, but even then I think that this is really pushing economy too far. Have we not the right to travel in as great a condition of comfort as even, say, a railway director who is in pursuit of his daily task for the time being, or, say, a commercial traveller engaged in some of the higher branches of commercial service, or as civil servants. I am entrusted by my constituents with the discharge of what is a supreme national service. The representatives of 1107 constituencies ought not to be placed on a lower level of comfort than any one of the classes to which I have referred. But I want to find fault particularly with one condition which I understand to be attached to the use of these railway tickets, that is that no railway ticket obtained by the use of these forms can be used when the House is not sitting. Take the case of several Members like myself. Our duties require regular attendance, and apart from occasions of illness I think that I can say that I have not been absent from the House on a single day for a considerable time past. It is impossible for me and for others to visit our constituencies while the House is sitting. Are we then to be told that during the only period during which we can visit our constituencies we must pay our own railway fare while other Members have the opportunity by the mere accident of living near their constituencies of visiting them week after week? I submit to the Chancellor, who I am sure will see the reason of the case which I am putting, that these are conditions which do require some review of the arrangements with regard to the use of the facilities which are now being afforded. In order that those suggestions may be considered I beg to move, "That the Vote be reduced by the sum of £10."
§ The CHAIRMAN
A Motion to reduce the Vote might lead to some inconvenience as it would not be possible to keep two separate issues on the Income Tax and the other proposal. It would be better to move to leave out Item A1.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Once that Amendment were moved, the discussion would have to be confined to the question of Income Tax.
§ Lord R. CECIL
We understand you to rule that until the Amendment has been disposed of we shall be confined to that issue, and that when the Amendment has been disposed of we shall be confined to the other issue. If that is so, will not the effect of moving Amendments be to preclude a general discussion?
§ The CHAIRMAN
There can be no general discussion until Amendments are disposed of. If anything remains of either item then, there will be time for general discussion at the end. I must keep the 1108 issues distinct. Otherwise, Members might be placed in a dilemma.
May I make a suggestion for the convenience of the House? I gather that there is no difference of opinion in the House about the proposed exemption from Income Tax. If my right hon. Friend's proposal is carried, as it might be carried at once, we eliminate that, and we can then discuss the points on which there may be a difference of opinion.
§ Lord R. CECIL
I submit respectfully that that would be rather hampering to some Members who are in principle objecting to the whole thing. If this Amendment is carried discussion will be confined solely to the question of the relief upon railway travelling.
I think my Noble Friend is speaking under a misapprehension. There are two issues in this Vote and two issues only. The question is whether you should vote a Supplementary Vote of £10, put down in order that the House may decide on the question of the Income Tax concession. I think we are all agreed that that should not be voted, and we had better dispose of it at once. I submit that my Noble Friend loses no opportunity. It would then be open for the Committee to discuss other questions raised by the Vote.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
I submit that this proposal, even as it stands, increases the emoluments of Members of Parliament, and many of us want to take general objection to any increase of such emoluments.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Do I understand the right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) to move the Amendment suggested?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I beg to move, "That Item A (1)—(Salaries and Allowances.—Allowances for expenses at the rate of £400 per annum to Members of the House not in receipt of salaries as Ministers, as Officers of the House, or as Officers of His Majesty's Household, £10.)—be omitted from the proposed Vote."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I wish to say a few words—[HON. MEMBERS "Agreed, Agreed!"]—I do not understand why hon. Members, who were so anxious a short time ago that this Vote should be carried, now suddenly object to any 1109 discussion upon it, nor do I understand the extraordinary volte face which has just taken place. I wish to say something about the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. He likened the salaries paid to Members of Parliament to the salaries paid to town clerks and the professional emoluments of medical men. They are quite different things. It was never intended that the salaries given to Members of Parliament should be salaries on which they could live. It was never intended that work in this House should be a profession as is the work of town clerks or medical men or professional men of any sort.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It is quite evident that the hon. Member is unable to reply to my argument, and that he thinks that by loudly interrupting he will put me down. I beg to inform him—
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Membership of the House is not a profession, and nothing could be worse than to do anything which would make membership of this House a profession. The right hon. Member who spoke last told us that other Parliaments paid Members. Very likely they do. They should follow our example, or rather they should follow the example of this House as it was 10 years ago, and not pay Members at all. What has happened? The payment of Members was instituted in 1911, and it was done on account of the Osborne judgment. Members at that time received a salary from trade unions to which they belonged.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Certainly. If a body of people in a trade union think a man is a fit and proper person to be a Member of Parliament and they want to 1110 pay his expenses, why should they not do so? In the old days trade unions paid Members' expenses. After the Osborne judgment that was stopped, and this £400 a year was paid. I do not happen to be a member of a trade union, but I think I am correct in saying that in many cases now the £400 a year is returned to the trade union, and the trade union pays its Member of Parliament a salary, sometimes more than £400 a year. My recommendation would be to do what is really being done now by the trade unions. Why should the taxpayer pay a man £400 a year to give back to his trade union? It is absurd.
I would like the right hon. Baronet to tell us of any single case he knows where a Member of this House gives his salary back to his trade union. I never heard of such a case. I have known cases where the trade unions say that it is such a scandalous thing that only £400 a year should be paid for membership of the House, that they supplement it with an additional sum.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Is that not the same thing? [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I was saying that I was not a member of a trade union, but it has been stated publicly, and it has not been contradicted, that the trade unions in some cases receive the salary of the Member of Parliament, and in return gave him a larger salary. If I am wrong, I am quite willing to be corrected. That statement was made in the public Press, and up to the present, so far as I know, it has not been contradicted. Why should not that arrangement continue? It is the proper course. The right hon. Gentleman talked about the expenses which constituencies put upon Members. Why should not the constituencies take less? Why should the taxpayers be asked to pay subscriptions to the constituencies? I shall not be in order in alluding to travelling expenses, and I will leave my remarks on that subject until the question of travelling expenses comes up. I agree that one of the reasons why Members of the Labour party are so anxious to take the course they suggest is that they see an opportunity of gaining their ends in another way. That is by no manner of means a proper course. Either the proposal is right or it is wrong. If it is wrong we ought not to pass it, and if it is right it ought to be passed. The last thing that ought to be done is to secure some 1111 Inland Revenue officer who thinks he can gain them the relief in another way.
§ Captain LOSEBY
The last speaker, in my humble opinion, has merely succeeded in reinforcing the right hon. Gentleman in his original argument. He stated that the £400 a year was never regarded at any time as a salary. That was the main argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House. I foresee the possibility of something like a clamour in the public Press arising out of the remarks of the Leader of the House, and on that I wish to say something. I would argue very strongly that the original proposals made by the Government, which, I understand, will be put into effect in some other form, could be justified to the last letter, whether they involve relief from Super-tax or not. The danger is that the general public do not realise the nature of the routine duties that Members of this House are called upon to perform, or the extent of the expenses immediately arising out of those routine duties. Although the Committee may not be with me in this, I feel there is a great danger of the ordinary public thinking that the Government has run away from the clamour of the Press and are now attempting to do in another form what they would have been amply justified in doing in the first instance. It is often overlooked that the Member of Parliament of to-day is the connecting link between some 30,000 people and the centre of government, and the tendency is for his routine duties to grow. They involve heavy correspondence and there are many Members of this House who receive as many as 30 letters per day, which have to be answered. There are indeed Members who find it quite impossible to carry out their routine duties without secretarial assistance. Postage charges have to be met and the ordinary Member of this House, rich or poor, cannot escape from certain duties in the way of entertainment. There are innumerable miscellaneous expenses, and the Government would have been amply justified had they stuck to their guns and declared that this £400 was not a salary but a contribution towards expenses, and that alone, and also that in 90 per cent. of the cases it did not compensate Members for the expenses immediately arising out of their position.
If it was possible to argue that this amount of £400 was in the nature of 1112 salary, then this proposal would be a lamentable one in these days when we are compelled to impose heavy taxation on the most humble citizens. But how many Members of this House are prepared to definitely argue that £400 annually more than compensates for the expenses to which they are put in the discharge of their duties. It should be reiterated and emphasised that this allowance, at any rate, during the past year or two, has never been properly liable to Income Tax. The right hon. Gentleman in making this proposal was only putting right a matter of Income Tax collection which was wrong in the first instance. The Committee must frankly face the position that the main opposition to the Government proposals comes from certain people who are anxious to bring back again the representation by this House of the leisured classes—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"]—or of citizens with private incomes. I think that is the main feeling underlying this opposition, and it is perfectly honest. It is true that the Government of this country up to a few years ago was carried on by the leisured classes of this country, and was very well carried on. This Committee, however, must face the fact that, whatever feelings may exist in certain quarters upon that particular matter, are not shared in by the majority of the people in this country. The majority of the people, I am convinced, will not accept the position that their representation should be confined to any particular section of the community. Indeed, they wish it to be otherwise, and, whether you like it or not, you will have men representing constituencies in this House who are not possessed of private incomes.
I urge on the Committee to consider some of the humiliating features of the present position and some of the dangers arising out of it. I am inclined to think the right hon. Gentleman has not said the last word upon this matter. I believe eventually he will have to make still further concessions for the benefit of some of the poorer Members of this House. The evidence given before the Select Committee—and it was already well known to Members of the House—was to the effect that there are Members representing constituencies in this House who literally cannot exist satisfactorily at the present time. It is right that the country should know there are Members 1113 of the House, performing conscientiously the most responsible duties, who are literally unable to get their proper meals. Let it be remembered, also, that there is ever present in this House the danger of corruption in its most subtle form. Do the public really want a Member of this House, because of certain popular clamour, to be put to expense which should not legitimately be borne by him at all? Taking into account the difficulties and, as I have said, even the dangers of his position, do they want him to be so situated that he cannot afford to go into the dining room of this House? I am convinced it is only necessary to have the facts known throughout the country for the original proposals of the right hon. Gentleman to have been immediately acquiesced in. I, for one, have the greatest possible respect for my Friends opposite who had the courage to accept the odium of these proposals because they believed them to be right. In several cases, I believe, they do not stand to gain one penny by it, and they have shown great political courage. They have lost nothing by saying that they think the proposals are right and that they are prepared to support the Government and accept whatever odium may be connected with that decision. I also respectfully congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the attitude he has taken up in this matter.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Sir E. Cornwall)
I think it should be generally understood that the only question before the Committee now is the question of the Income Tax. We are not upon the general discussion.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I quite understand your ruling, Sir Edwin, but if I may be allowed, as an old Member, I wish to offer a few remarks upon the general aspect of the first part of this proposal. I am surprised that so much animosity has been introduced into the discussion. I know that my opinions are regarded by some hon. Members as somewhat peculiar and wholly reactionary, but I do not feel I am called upon, on that account, to introduce any heat into the discussion of the matter. For myself, there was no one more opposed originally to the payment of Members than I was. I may have been wrong, but I wrote, I spoke, and I voted against that proposal on what I considered to be public 1114 grounds. I presume that my colleagues who out-voted me also acted upon public grounds. I would feel myself just as failing in my duty if I refused to vote for salaries for Members of Parliament, thinking they were right, simply because they might to some extent affect myself, as if I did vote for those salaries only in my own personal interests. Surely we must be trusted, if we are worthy of our places at all, to vote in all these questions on the large public grounds. If we are not able to do that, the sooner we are swept away the better. I wish to introduce no animosity towards any of my fellow Members, but I have been moved to warm indignation by some of the comments we have had from acrimonious clerical critics and from irresponsible critics in the newspapers. I have never seen anything more insulting than some of these newspaper comments. As if the Members of this House, with enormous responsibilities, are likely to vote in the face of their constituents on a question of this sort from any private motive or any personal interest. As I say, if we admit these criticisms for one moment, we absolutely state that we are unworthy to hold our places. Our own self-respect should compel us to refuse to listen to such comment. Much as I opposed it in the past, I admit now that many of the arguments which are put forward in favour of this proposal are strong. I do not know that I would go quite so far as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, although I admit the strength of his argument. I see that the arguments are strong, and I recognise the common sense of the position that once you have established this you are not going to do away with it, and, more than that, I can see that in some form or other the allowance will have to be increased, as it is not likely that allowances for Members of Parliament here will remain lower than in any Colonial Parliament or foreign Parliament. I think we must look at this in a spirit of common sense, but when I am asked by these irresponsible critics how the House of Commons dares to vote on a question which touches the pockets of its own Members, who else is to vote upon it? Are we to go to our constituents and ask them? Never! You may increase this allowance. I hope it will not come soon, and it probably will be after my time, but, above all, let me warn the Government not to make this a question for a General Election. 1115 Nothing could be worse. It would queer the pitch for the great questions that are coming forward at a General Election, when the nation has to determine upon matters of infinite importance to the Empire. Do not queer the pitch by introducing a bagatelle of this sort, for it is a matter which may twist and turn and take you off the trail. It would be an invitation for one candidate at the Election to say, "There is a difference between the other candidate and myself, because I will not take payment and he will."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman is getting very general. The Amendment before the Committee is in regard to the allowance for Income Tax.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I wish to be as general as possible, and I said this was a proposal for some method of increasing the allowance made. Do not let it be a point at a General Election. Would there be any harm, if it were found necessary to increase the allowance, in saying that it should not take place for the existing Parliament, but only for Parliaments after this? We could go then to the nation, not to make it an issue at the General Election, but knowing that what we had decided was not for ourselves but for our successors. I venture to ask the Government never to make this a question for a General Election, but let us have the courage and self-respect that decides on the right and wrong of this and not by the scolding of our critics outside, and let us, above all, if we do decide to increase the allowance, decide it for a future Parliament and not for this Parliament.
§ Question, "That Item A (1) be omitted from the proposed Vote," put, and agreed to.
§ Original Question, as amended, proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £75,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1922, for the Salaries and Expenses of the House of Commons."
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I beg to move, "That Item A (2)—[Travelling expenses of Members by railway or steamship between London and their homes or constituencies, £75,000]—be reduced by £45,000."
The total Vote is for £75,000, and I propose to reduce it to £30,000. The 1116 object of the Amendment is to ensure that if free passes are given to Members of Parliament, those free passes should, in the first place, only entitle them to travel third class, as a great many of us do already—and quite good enough too, under existing conditions—and the second object which I have in view is to confine the free railway passes to the purpose of visiting our constituencies and not our homes. I confess I am very much tempted to follow the example of many of my hon. Friends and to move to reduce the whole of this Vote of £75,000 and eliminate all free travelling whatsoever. The present is not merely a time of great stringency of money for the public, but it is also a time when we Members receive day after day appeals of the most piteous character from old pensioners in this country and in the Royal Irish Constabulary who are almost on the verge of starvation, and from many people throughout the country who for one reason or another find the greatest difficulty in keeping themselves from starvation. Therefore, I confess that I was greatly tempted to ask my hon. Friends to agree with me on this point and to oppose this Vote altogether, but upon careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that, in the modified form in which I hope the Committee will carry it, it is not only just but practically necessary. My first reason for supporting the modified form is this. There is a most grievous inequality between one set of Members in this House and another in regard to travelling and visiting constituencies. Take the London Member. All he has got to do is to get into the Twopenny Tube and visit his constituency and get home the same evening, whereas in the case of the man whose constituency is in a remote part of Scotland or Ireland, or in the North of England, it may cost him £10 to £20 in travelling expenses alone, and there are hotel expenses and other matters, on his way and while he is there. Such Members are in a very unfair position and that is really an inequality arising solely from the fact that they are Members of Parliament.
It is quite true that Members, when they come to this House, are called upon to make very different sacrifices in some cases from what they do in others. In some cases a Member gives up a lucrative business or a large professional income, and in other cases he makes no such sacrifice, but in the case I have put the in- 1117 equality arises from the fact that he is discharging a public duty, and it is that inequality which induces me to make this proposal. Cases are brought to one's notice which prove to one that many Members of this House are practically unable to discharge their public duty and visit their constituents, simply because they cannot afford to do so. Visiting a constituency is a public and not a private duty, and it is in that way distinguished, as I think, from visiting one's home, which is a private pleasure, I hope, to all.
I would point out to my hon. Friend that the allowance is not made merely to enable a Member to go home, but to enable him to come from his home to the House of Commons.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
If the right hon. Gentleman proposes only to pay his fare from his home up to Westminster, and let him stay here the rest of the Session, that would be a very good thing for some Members, but unfortunately there are a great many Members who do not even take the trouble to come up from their homes. I would ask my right hon. Friend to consider the case of the people who do not take the trouble to come at all, and to cut off a certain part of the salaries they now get. What I urge the Committee is, that there is a public duty upon Members to visit their constituencies. They can go and test the feelings there, and then they know better how to carry on their duties here, and therefore, in view of the existing situation, in which many Members find it impossible to visit their constituencies, it seems quite fair and reasonable to say, "We will give you an allowance to enable you to perform that duty." In regard to the question of third class travelling, my right hon. Friend, I regret to say, seemed to think that those of us who travelled third class are not acting in a manner which is consonant with the dignity of Members of Parliament.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
We all know that many of us who habitually used to travel first class in former days habitually travel third class now, and I am not ashamed to say it. I think it is a duty, and probably in many cases it is a necessity. If, when we pay our own railway fare, we 1118 travel third class, what reason have we to go to the State and say, "Pay for us first class fares," which we would not pay for ourselves? An hon. Member talks about fatigue, but if there are fatigued and tired people, let them pay the difference themselves; I am talking of the average Member of the House, who is not particularly fatigued, and if he is prepared to stand the inconvenience and discomfort of third class travelling for his own purposes, I think he ought to stand that discomfort and inconvenience when carrying out his public duty. At any rate, I say that it is not fair in the present state of public finances to say to the State, "We demand that we should have first class fares for visiting our constituencies," which we would not pay for ourselves. I think that what I have suggested is a reasonable compromise.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
On a point of Order. I wish to ask you whether it is not possible to facilitate the discussion and the decision, so that we may have a straight issue on the Amendment of the right hon. Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury), who proposes to move a reduction of the Vote by £75,000. We do not want these discussions on third class fares until we have decided that question.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That is hardly a point of Order. It might be a point of convenience. Of course, in that matter I am entirely in the hands of the Committee. There would be no difficulty, so far as the Chair is concerned. At the present moment I can only put the Amendment that has been moved by the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher).
§ Mr. RONALD McNEILL
What would be the effect on the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London, supposing the present Amendment were carried? I want to know whether you are safeguarding the Amendment of my right hon. Friend. In other words, what is the proper course to be taken on this Amendment by Members who wish to support my right hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury) when he moves?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Member for the City of London (Sir 1119 F. Banbury), as every other Member, could move to omit what is left. At the present moment the Amendment is to reduce the amount by £45,000.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
Then the proper course for those who wish to get rid of the item altogether, I take it, would be to support the question now before the House, and then, if possible or necessary, to cut out the remaining portion?
May I submit, on the method of procedure, that I am really as anxious as any hon. Member that the House should have an opportunity of expressing its mind, and that that mind should be expressed to-day. It is very desirable we should come to a decision, as we have very little time, in view of the fact that other business is interposed at a quarter past eight o'clock. My hon. and learned Friend has moved a reduction in order to give the Committee an opportunity of deciding whether they will grant some travelling allowance, but less than is suggested in the Vote, namely, travelling allowance at third-class rates, and to and from their constituencies only, and not their homes. That is an issue we can settle and decide. Then other hon. Members wish to get from the Committee a decision that we will make no further contribution of any sort or kind. I submit that if we can take, in a reasonable time, a decision on the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for York, which is in favour of making a grant, but a grant on a reduced scale, we may then take a Division on the whole Vote, and if the Committee are of the same opinion as my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London, their proper course will be to reject the whole Vote. I would suggest, therefore, that we take a Division on my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment first, and those who wish to allow nothing of any sort or kind should simply vote against the whole Vote when it is put.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
My intention in moving this is that those who are against any Vote at all for travelling expenses, should vote with me, and also those who, like myself, think that if any allowance at all should be made it should be limited to £45,000. I desire to secure—and I 1120 believe you think it can be done—that all those in favour of a reduction can unite in supporting my Amendment. Then, if the further Amendment is moved to get rid of the remaining £30,000, that can be voted upon.
It is not really a point of Order, because Members who think differently are always in order in voting together. But what I am submitting is that there are two distinct propositions. There is the proposition of my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London that no further expense should be incurred at the present time. That is a clear and definite issue. Then there is the proposition of my hon. and learned Friend that further expense should be incurred, but on a less extensive scale than is provided in the Vote. It is quite true that those who hold these different views can vote together, but that can only confuse the true opinion of the Committee, and I submit they ought, therefore, to be kept separate.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
It is really for the Committee to make up their mind on which question they prefer to have discussion. It is well known that at a quarter past eight o'clock a Motion for the Adjournment comes on. So that the Committee, to-day at all events, has only up to a quarter past eight to discuss this. If the Amendment be discussed, it limits the discussion to the question of a reduced amount, as the Leader of the House said. If this Amendment be withdrawn, or put without further discussion, and the right hon. Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) moves to reduce the sum by £75,000, then discussion would be of a broader description. It is not for me to act upon that. All I can do is to put the question I have put from the Chair, but it might be convenient to the Committee to have this Amendment out of the way, and then to take the general discussion on the Amendment of the right hon. Baronet. As to that, I am entirely in the hands of the Committee.
§ Sir G. COLLINS
If the Amendment moved by the hon. and learned Member is carried, a smaller amount will be granted for travelling expenses. Will that not shut out the views of other hon. Members? [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] Because a fresh grant will be required, and no private Member can move that 1121 the amount be increased, in which case, if this Amendment be carried, will the Government interpret the spirit of the Committee aright in moving an increased sum if that be the desire of the Committee? [HON. MEMBERS:"Divide!"] I am sure the Committee will permit me to speak for a very few minutes as Chairman of the Select Committee.
§ Major HAMILTON
It is very difficult for us to vote on this proposal of my hon. and learned Friend, because his proposal includes third-class travelling fares, and I for one am in favour of first-class travelling to constituencies only, so that I go a long way with him but not the whole way. I think, therefore, he might withdraw the proposal and take the Debate on the right hon. Baronet's Amendment.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I am sure a large number of Members want a clear issue on the question of first and third class fares, and, as one who wishes to vote on that, I hope the Amendment will be put and understood in that sense.
§ Sir G. COLLINS
Before the question be put—[HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"]—may I make one or two observations on the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member (Sir J. Butcher)? The Committee which considered this matter, after much time and consideration, recommended this House to grant first-class railway facilities between London and the constituencies, and, if I understand your ruling correctly—and I think the Lord Privy Seal agreed with it—if this Amendment is carried, first-class tickets cannot be granted either between London and the constituencies or between London and the homes of Members. The question which the Committee is being asked to decide, I think, is reasonable, and I feel sure that the Committee, having come to a unanimous decision on the larger question, would best consult the permanent interests and dignity of the House of Commons if it could get some general agreement and save a Division on this point. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I appeal, therefore, to my hon. and learned Friend not to press his Amendment to a Division.
§ Major HAMILTON
I do not think we can go to a Division yet. There is a great deal to be said for the view that we should not have passes to our homes. My view is that if an hon. Member likes to have a home which is neither in London nor in his constituency, he should be prepared to pay his fare, whether first or third-class, to that home, but I think it is entirely unfair to ask hon. Members who constantly have to travel to Scotland, to stay up nearly all night, as they nearly always have to do if they really attend to their duties here, and to travel in a third-class carriage to Scotland. It would be indeed derogatory to the dignity of this House, and, in my opinion, altogether wrong. Therefore, my view is that this Amendment should be modified. I do not know whether it is possible to modify it, because it is in such a form that it is very difficult to do so, but I do think that a Member who is elected to this House is elected for a dual duty—a duty to his constituency and a duty to this House—and I say he should therefore be given facilities for travelling between his constituency and this House, and that all Members should be put on the same basis. Whether they represent Westminster or the Shetland and Orkney Islands, they should be able to attend to their duties in their constituency and here at Westminster, without having to consider the question of the travelling expenses.
I would go a step further than the Government have gone. While I would eliminate the passes to the Member's home, I would say it is most unfair not to allow Members to travel at the public expense during the Recess. Take the position of the Members of the Government themselves. Some of them who draw large salaries, possibly, would not mind; but take the unfortunate Parliamentary Secretary, unpaid, or the Junior Whip, unpaid. Those junior Members of the Government, who are bound, by the public duties which they have undertaken, to be here regularly while the House is sitting, cannot possibly go to their constituencies if at a distance, and, therefore, if they wish to retain their seats in the House, they must, during the Recess, double their efforts in their constituencies. If they have made their home in London, as they probably have, so as to discharge their duties more efficiently, it means that, during the 1123 Recess, they have to pay their expenses backward and forward between London and their constituencies, and it seems a proposal neither business-like nor sensible to put before the Committee.
The only business-like proposal which I think would get the general approval of the House is, first of all the decision the House has already arrived at, not to interfere with the £400 a year, but to leave it as it is, and, secondly, to put all Members on the same footing—that is, to give them a pass between their constituency and London, and to give it in the form, not of a voucher which you have to fill up, and vouchers only while Parliament is sitting, but in this form: That the Government should go to the railway companies and say to them, "We are amongst your biggest clients."—[An HON. MEMBER: "They have done so."]—the same as a large business house would do It would point out the thousands of pounds of traffic it was putting into the coffers of the railway company, and say, "We have so many travellers travelling," and ask for preference tickets for those travellers. That is done by business firms. Why should not we do it? Many, I understand, of the companies have offered, and are perfectly prepared, to do this. Let the President of the Board of Trade approach all the railway companies and make a bargain that every Member of the House of Commons, on election, or rather on taking the Oath and his seat, should be presented with a pass in his own name between this House and his constituency. I have used one of those pink vouchers. I took it to the booking office at Euston and handed it in, and I was presented with an ordinary first-class ticket to my constituency.
I do not say that hon. Members of this House would do anything dishonest. I do, however, think it is a mistake for this House or the Government to put the possibility, the temptation to dishonesty, into the hands of hon. Members. Many hon. Members know that in carrying out their duties to their constituents they do not always go themselves, sometimes their wives go. It would be very simple to go to the booking office and present the pink form, get a first-class ticket, and then see your wife off to your constituency. Of course, a sense of fair play, honesty, and conscience would prevent hon. Members 1124 doing this; but I think it is a very stupid arrangement. If hon. Members are going to be allowed to travel between their constituencies and London, let them travel free so long as they are Members of Parliament. Let them have an ordinary first-class season ticket between London and the constituency. Then there can be no question in the matter. There will be no question of accounts for the clerks of this House to worry over. The Government will pay the money in a lump sum after the bargain has been made. If we are to have passes, do not let us be stupid about the matter, and, again, if we are to have passes, surely Members of Parliament ought to travel first class, the same as many civil servants. The managers of my business travel first class. If Members of Parliament are going to travel at the country's expense, let us do it decently—first-class season tickets between London and the constituencies, and nothing more.
§ Mr. STANTON
On a point of Order—and I ask for the sake of the majority of Members of this House who voted in favour of the Motion before the House for free tickets and passes. May I inquire whether it will not always be open to any hon. Member who can afford it to buy his own ticket, to say that he will not use the pass? Is there anything to deter him doing that? [An HON. MEMBER: "Is there anyone doing it?"]
§ Mr. HOLMES
The suggestion made by the hon. and gallant Member opposite, that the Government should bargain with the railway companies to get reduced rates and season tickets will make the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, who opposes these travelling facilities, and other matters, to oppose them more than ever. May I point out both to him and the hon. and learned Member for York who moved the reduction to £30,000 that he is not going to save £30,000 to the State, nor is the hon. Baronet, who suggests the reduction of the whole sum, going to save £75,000 to the State? It comes out in this way: By our first Resolution this afternoon there has been an arrangement that hon. Members will have the advantage of Rule 10, Schedule E, of the Income Tax of 1918, which will enable us upon our £400 per 1125 year to take off the expenses which are wholly, exclusively, and necessarily incurred in performing our Parliamentary duties. If there are no free travelling facilities given to Members of Parliament these will be allowed to deduct their travelling expenses from their £400, and consequently on the amount they will not be liable to Income Tax or Super-tax. If, however, by a Resolution of Parliament we give free railway passes, then the £75,000 collectively will not be deductable from our £400, except in the case of Members whose other expenses exceed £400 a year, or who get an allowance for wife and children by having no other source of income at all. Except in these cases Income Tax and Super-tax will be lost to the nation. It is difficult to make an estimate, but I suggest that on Income Tax £40,000 would probably be lost to the nation, and Super-tax to a certain amount; in other words, that £15,000 out of the £25,000 would be lost, and the effect of all that is that the hon. Baronet's own Motion would not save £75,000, but £60,000.
§ Lord R. CECIL
I feel more difficulty in this matter than I have ever felt, particularly on account of the form in which it has been put, because I really do not quite know what will be the effect of any Vote given during the remainder of this Sitting until we come to the final Vote, and I am not sure we shall come to that. I understand from the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite (Major Hamilton) that he does not want to vote for this Motion on the ground on which it has been moved, though he would not mind voting for an arrangement, if I understand him. I do not know what he is going to do when the Division is called. I imagine he will vote, and send an intimation to the Government that in voting for the reduction he must not be understood to agree to all of the Motion and that his vote is given for public purposes. There are other hon. Members who take a different view from the hon. and gallant Member, who takes the particular view that he wants free first-class tickets for himself and all his family—
§ Major HAMILTON
No, no! Is the Noble Lord chaffing me? I tried to make it perfectly clear that what I wanted was one season ticket for each Member of the House between his own 1126 constituency and London, with his name on the ticket so that neither his family nor anyone else could use it.
§ Lord R. CECIL
The hon. and gallant Gentleman wants a free season ticket for himself to his constituency all the year round?
§ Lord R. CECIL
There are other hon. Members who want the power to obtain a coupon for a first class ticket to their constituency to be utilised—I do not know whether only for themselves or for other people. There are others, again, who think with the hon. and learned Member for York that it should be third class travelling. Others, again, think that you should have free passes to the homes of the Members as well as to their constituencies, whether first or third class.
I find that all these questions are very proper questions to be considered, but quite impossible to deal with in the way in which this Vote has been brought before the House by the Government. As I think they ought to have proceeded by Resolution defining their proposals definitely; then it would have been open for hon. Members to move Amendments, to explain exactly what they desired, and to obtain a clear issue upon this question, which is certainly of some importance. My position is rather different. Like my right hon. Friend opposite (Sir H. Craik) I was an opponent of the payment of Members. I thought that the effect of it would be to introduce into this House Members who would come here merely for the sake of the salary, that is to say, political adventurers. That was the fear I had. I have arrived at the conclusion that that fear was groundless. We all of us criticise every House of Commons which has ever existed since we took any part in public life. I dare say I have that frailty, as have others. I dare say I have even criticised this House. But I never should have charged this House of Commons with consisting largely, or at all, of political adventurers in that sense. Such a charge would be ridiculous. It is much more likely that this House could be criticised by reason of its being too rich as too poor. Therefore I do not approach this question with any prejudice against payment of Members.
On the contrary, I am of opinion that having gone so far that sooner or later you will have to go a good deal further. 1127 I agree with the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken. If you are going to pay Members you must pay them in such a way as will fulfil the purposes for which you give them the money. I think that is clear, and that sooner or later, in my view, you will have greatly to increase the salaries of Members, if prices remain as they are. I am not sure you will not have to go further than that. I think it is very likely that you will have to have some system of pensions and things of that kind. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I am not advocating that, but that is my view as to what may happen in the future. I can see a good many arguments in favour of it. But now we are faced in attempting—and quite rightly—to arrive at a settlement of this question with a proposal, part of which has already vanished so far as this House is concerned, though I understand my right hon. Friend, having obtained a ruling from the Inland Revenue that the same result may be obtained administratively that would have been obtained by the Resolution of this House—
I hoped I had made that matter quite clear. The effect of the fixing of an average by the Treasury Minute was different from leaving the matter to the operation of the customary law though it came under statute. It is different, but I have done no more to-day than to try to define, to give to the House, the principles of the ordinary law applicable to every citizen, and which are quite applicable to Members of Parliament. Those were supplied to me by the Inland Revenue, and for greater security they were concurred in by the Attorney-General. But that is not administrative action, and it means that each individual Member must make his own claim just like each individual citizen.
§ Lord R. CECIL
No doubt, my right hon. Friend will lay the Paper on the Table of the House, and we shall be able to see exactly what it means. I accept everything my right hon. Friend says, but I certainly understood him to say, in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes), that in view of the ruling which he read out from the Paper, the position would be the same as if you proposed to exempt the salaries of Members from Income Tax. [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide, 1128 divide!"] I do not wish to stand between the House and a Division, but I think it will be better to discuss this question on this Amendment, and have a series of Divisions in which we can register the results arrived at by our discussion. What is the position I find myself in? I find myself in strong sympathy with the view that salaries are too low, and in very strong sympathy with the view that something ought to be done to equalise the position of Members of the House who live near to London and Members who live a long way from it.
I confess that I think this solution is faulty in many respects, and I do not think it is really going to deal with the question. I feel profoundly an enormous difficulty at this stage. After all, several hon. Members have spoken about economy, and to give a vote for an increase of money upon anything I should regret very much. I feel that this is a position which it is impossible to take up in face of the country and this House. I feel that we must abide by what many of us have laid down over and over again, that if we are to economise we must not ask ourselves whether an expenditure is in itself desirable, because that is not the test. We must ask: "Is this a thing which it is possible to do without? Is it one which is really vital and essential for carrying on the business of the country?" and unless it is, I do not see how I could, without the grossest inconsistency, vote for any such expenditure. Although, with a great deal of regret, I feel bound at the present time not to accept the proposal of the Government in this respect, all I urge is that, in view of the great confusion in which we find ourselves, the better course would be to postpone the discussion, and leave it to be dealt with by a Resolution in which we can deal with the matter thoroughly.
§ Sir A. SHIRLEY BENN
I should like to state why I cannot support the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for York (Sir J. Butcher). I will not discuss the merits or demerits of his proposal, but there are a great many things that can be said for anything that would bring hon. Members in closer touch with their constituents which could only be advantage to the country. I feel, however, that we are the trustees of the people in dealing with the taxes we col- 1129 lect, and we have no right to apply any portion of those taxes to anything for ourselves without the country knowing about it. If the Government think it is good for the country that this should be done, let them state after the next Parliament is elected that they are in favour of issuing free railway passes.
§ Sir A. SHIRLEY BENN
No, but I would let the country know before a portion of the taxes are used for this purpose.
Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD
I wish to say a word or two on this subject because I take rather a more detached view than possibly any of the speakers who have so far addressed the House. I started my campaign in Stoke-on-Trent in 1905 with No. 1 on my programme, "Payment of Members," and I did so because I under-stood fairly well the struggle of democracy and labour for representation in this House. I had read the history of my country fairly well, and I knew that no matter how perfect your representation was, so long as the ultimate barrier was one of money I knew most of your legislation relating to the representation of the people would be frustrated on those lines. I knew, as the old Chartists knew when they made their Charter, that one of the first things, if we were to have representation of the poor part of the people in this House, was that there must be payment of Members. One notices in this discussion to-day that there are not ordinary parties connected with it. It is not a party discussion. Cutting right across all parties is wealth v. poverty.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On a point of Order. Is not the question before the House whether or not the reduced sum of £45,000 should be voted for travelling expenses? We have nothing whatever to do with the payment of Members, but merely travelling expenses.
If the expenses of Members are heavy, either in travelling or living away from their homes, as many of them are obliged to do, then the whole question of self-maintenance in this House as a representative of the working 1130 classes is involved. Cutting right across all parties in this House is the question of wealth v. poverty. I came into this House as one of the poorest Members of it, and I believe at that time I was getting a salary of about 35s. a week. Perhaps it will not be considered flattery if I ask hon. Members to believe that I am a fair representative of my people, but many a time in this House I have been transacting its business under circumstances in which, if my kiddies were going to have lunch at home, I could not have lunch here, and that, I say, is a positive disgrace to any country in the world. As for going backwards and forwards to my constituency, I often have letters asking me to go to this and the other function, and they are functions which naturally a decent representative ought to go to, and I have always had to ask for my railway fare.
I do not belong to the Labour party, and I am a detached unit of Labour in this House, and this is where I am going to cross swords with the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury). I can understand why he does not want me to speak along the lines I am going to speak. I have had to refuse to attend those functions in my constituency many times when I wished to go to talk over matters with them, but unless the particular party or association which invited me provided the railway fare, I had not the money, and I have had to say "No," and times out of number they have had to send my railway fare. Whatever the rest of the House may say, my view is that that is a disgraceful condition of affairs. I cannot understand the right hon. Baronet's attitude, unless he says that I am not a fit representative, and unless he thinks I should be barred from coming into this House.
This is the kind of thing that limits the choice of a constituency, and it cuts right across the social strata and divides the people that can come to this House into rich and poor. I say that is a fatal thing. There are more important things going on relating to this subject than the mere question of squandermania or the anti-waste campaign. There is a great movement in this country against constitutional government. I stand up and I say, "Demand what you like, but if you attempt to defy the law and go outside the Constitution, I am utterly opposed to you, because this representative body is 1131 the place where the nation's future should be decided." Then, wealthy men come forward and say, "Oh, yes, that is all very nice; we are delighted that you have advised your people that constitutional re-presentation in this House is the only way they should decide these matters, but we must prevent as many of you as possible from coming by making it impossible for you to live."
I say that is not playing the game, and it takes away from men like myself who advocate constitutional agitation the one weapon which we have. What does one notice? Take those who have spoken against this proposal to-day, and take the men who like myself have spoken in favour of it. There at once you can see the dividing line. It is a division of money and a division of poverty that we are deciding here to-day. There are a considerable number of friends of mine belonging to the Conservative party who do not believe that, but believe themselves to be actuated by some other feeling. Still one has to remember what is the suggestion in the society in which one moves. I move in a poor society, I move among the working classes, I get their ideas on this matter, but others move in a different class of society, among men who are using their brains and their newspapers in order to maintain the interests of the class to which they belong, men who take advantage of the depression of trade, or of the coal strike, or of any other mortal thing to maintain those interests, and who, unconsciously, become as it were impregnated with those ideas. They do not mean it, but it is a moral certainty that the general conclusion of working men outside will be that this class do not want poor men in the House of Commons. Hon. Members prate and pretend to be very sympathetic to the representation of Labour, but at the same time they will do nothing to assist the poor man to contiuue his work in the House. They will do nothing to assist him to go backwards and forwards to his constituency. At the back of this agitation against assisting a poor man to live in this House and to perform his duty to the public is a deliberate although certainly unconscious determination to keep poverty from this floor as long as possible.
§ Mr. RONALD McNEILL
I had intended to refrain from giving my own particular view on this question, because I did not 1132 want to delay the House, but the speech we have just listened to compels me to put forward what I think is a point of view which has so far not found expression in this Debate. I entirely agree that, under present circumstances, it would be impossible and wrong for this House in any general sense to vote money out of the taxpayers' pockets into their own either by way of extra remuneration or by way of relief. At the same time, I have always felt what my hon. and gallant Friend opposite has just stated with so much force, and it is a pity we cannot act on the proper principles of economy without laying ourselves open to reproaches like those to which my hon. and gallant Friend has just given expression. I am prepared to vote for this particular form or some other form of granting an addition to the remuneration of Members of this House who require it. It can be done either by way of free railway travelling or in other methods. But I am not prepared to vote any money into the pockets of Members who do not require it. I believe the taxpayers of the country would be prepared to pay the railway fares—either third class or first class—of the hon. and gallant Member in order to allow him to visit his constituency, but I do not believe that the taxpayers should be asked to give a first class ticket to the President of the Local Government Board to enable him to go to Swansea.
I know it may be suggested that everyone should be placed on the same footing. We all respect my hon. and learned Friend for telling us of his difficulties. There is nothing to be ashamed of in that. But the income of everyone is known, either through the Income Tax officials or by other means, and the principle of making a declaration of insufficient income is already accepted in the case of political pensions, because, as is well known, statesmen or politicians, who in past years have held high office, have been enabled to get a pension provided they made a declaration to the effect that their private means were insufficient to enable them to maintain a proper position. What then is the objection to an hon. Member who, bonâ fide, requires expenses for travelling or relief from taxation, or additional remuneration, to making a declaration to that effect? I do not mind what machinery is adopted for the purpose, but I do suggest that 1133 that is a perfectly right and just principle upon which to proceed. I cannot allow my hon. and gallant Friend to reproach me personally with being un-willing to grant this assistance where needed, but I do object to his suggestion that it is a case of Wealth versus Poverty. I am not myself a wealthy man, and I am not prepared to allow such a reproach to be levelled against me. I will not delay the Committee any longer. I have stated the principle on which I am prepared to act, and I repeat that I am willing to vote for the grant of this assistance to those who need it.
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
There is no Member of this House for whom I have greater respect than the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Colonel Ward), and I should be very sorry if it went out to the country that I or any of my hon. Friends had any such motives as he has imputed. I am sure none of us desire to exclude my hon. and gallant Friend or men like him from this House. If we vote against this proposal it is not for the reasons he has suggested, but because we have regard for the credit of this House and we feel that nothing would more lower its prestige than that at a time like this we should take money out of the taxpayers' pockets and put it into our own. [Interruption.] I have been waiting a good many hours for an opportunity to speak on this subject, but I am prevented making myself heard by the interruptions of hon. Members.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I cannot but think that hon. Members are under a misapprehension as to the position. The question before the Committee is one of railway fares, and any argument relating to railway fares is of course relevant. Hon. Members may oppose a reduction of the grant on the ground that it goes too far, and they may also oppose it because it does not go far enough. But when that question is disposed of, then the main vote again comes under discussion. It appears to me to make no difference whether the discussion goes on till a quarter-past eight, when two Divisions will be necessary, or whether the Amendment is disposed of now.
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
May I quote the words of Solomon, who declared that there was a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing? This is not 1134 the time for us in this House to embrace the opportunity of enriching ourselves at the expense of the taxpayers. It is a time to refrain. I would remind hon. Members that within the last few days the Treasury have issued a notice to the various Government Departments declaring that in the interests of economy it is necessary to cut down expenditure in all Departments by 20 per cent. Therefore this is not an opportune time to sanction expenditure of this nature. We as trustees of the public purse must not put money into our own pockets, particularly when unemployment is rife and we see so many people living on doles, and in every direction witness so much misery and suffering. Putting it on the lowest ground, it would be extremely unwise on our part to vote this money. I am perhaps a better democrat than some of my hon. Friends on the Labour Benches, because I believe it is not right morally, whatever may be the legal aspect, to vote ourselves increased remuneration without having first submitted the question to our constituents. Every Member of his House who addresses meetings in the country will find himself faced with the plain question, "Did you, or did you not, at a crisis like this, take money out of the taxpayers' pockets and put it into your own?" I would welcome some extra money, but I have a preference for getting it honestly, and I do not believe I should be acting honestly unless I first got the consent of my constituents. That may be too democratic a view for those who interrupt me and who evidently would prefer the more autocratic procedure of deciding such a point for themselves without consulting the people out of whose pockets the money is to come. We are trustees for the taxpayers of the country. I protest against the suggestion that because we, in the interests of the taxpayer, are opposed to putting this money into our own pockets at this particular time, that we are therefore trying to exclude men like my hon. and gallant Friend (Lieut.-Colonel J. Ward) from this House. I should have no objection whatever after the next Election if Members who were then returned were to get their travelling expenses with the consent of the people.
§ 7.0 P.M.1135
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
I understand, Sir, that at all events you are satisfied that I am keeping my remarks to the point. I am protesting, first, against the insinuation that I and my friends are actuated by unworthy motives and are trying to exclude from this House men who are not so well off as ourselves and, secondly, against our taking money out of the taxpayers' pockets and putting it, without their authority, into our own.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
After the speeches that have been made, including what I could hear of the last speech, I have been very much led to the conclusion that the proposals of the Government ought to be supported. I was very much impressed by what the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Lieut.-Colonel J. Ward) said. None of us could have listened to him without being impressed. I was also impressed by the remark of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury), namely, that politics ought not to be a profession. That used to be thought; but I am not sure it would not be wiser if it were the case. There is no use pretending that anything the politician at present gets makes it a profession for anybody. There is nothing in it. It is neither a salary nor anything else, nor would having the railway expenses paid make it so. As one who travels 50,000 miles a year, I have a considerable interest in railway expenses, and I should like to take the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) and make him travel through the night, sometimes for 12 hours and sometimes for two nights following.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
The hon. and learned Member does not do it once a week. Personally, when I travel through the day, I always travel third class, because, as a rule, the company is better. As a rule, when you are travelling first class, you either meet Government officials with war bonuses or the small remainder of war profiteers who are alive. When, however, you are travelling through the night, you must be able to get a seat; it is impossible that you can live otherwise. I believe that the true way to deal with this difficulty of Members' payments is to make politics what the hon. Baronet (Sir F. 1136 Banbury) deprecates, a profession; to diminish the number of Members of the House of Commons, and pay them proper salaries with clerks and offices. There are a good many hon. Members for whom, in my opinion, £400 a year is far too much, and it would pay the country well to give them £400 a year to stop away. Some of them are the most diligent Members in the House. I have noticed a curious thing in the country, and I have met a good many working men. I have found the idea amongst them that the suggestion of exemption from Income Tax was not sound, but that the payment of railway expenses was very largely approved of. They are much the nicest constituents to have, and very much the most considerate; it is a curious thing, and I have noticed it in my constituency. My constituency is almost entirely working class, and is composed of the most kindly and considerate constituents a man could have. Never does one of them write a letter but he encloses a stamped envelope. If I were to represent the City of London or some of the wealthy constituencies the electors would never think of doing that, and I should have to pay for the reply myself. I found, when talking with a great many of the working men, that while they thought that the Income Tax sould not be remitted they were of opinion that it was right to allow travelling expenses. They see me go up and down every week and they know that I do not live on air. [HON. MEMBERS: "Or water!"] They sympathise thoroughly and extremely with the strong efforts which I make to prevent them being compelled to live partially on water. That being the position, I think the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for York is a niggling, silly little suggestion, which one would not expect from a man of his scholastic attainments.
The true situation has been put by the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke-on-Trent. After all, we are committed to this. I admit that the people were not consulted in 1911, but if you had been going to have it then you would have needed a totally different constitutional situation. The late Sir William Arrol, when he joined this House, said if he did his business as the House of Commons did its business he would have been bankrupt in six months. The question is, are you going really to have a representative Assembly? Are you only going to 1137 have it representative of that particular class of men whose fathers were very industrious and made a lot of money and enabled them to come into this House in their tender years, or by men who have to fight their own way through the world? Are you going to have splendid patriotic representatives like the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke-on-Trent, and some of my hon. Friends on the other side, with whose politics I most heartily disagree—I do not include all of them?Are you going to have a representative Assembly, or are you not? If you are, then the least you can do is to see that hon. Members are able to arrive at the Assembly and to be present to fulfil their duties.
§ Mr. IRVING
I have listened with considerable interest to this Debate and I have come to the conclusion that the opposition to the proposal for free railway travelling is not, as the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke-on-Trent so charitably said, unconscious, but that a considerable portion of it is directly conscious opposition aimed at the retention of this House, as far as may be, as a preserve for the multi-millionaire and the landed aristocracy. It is very certain that for a long time this House was in no sense representative of the country at all. It was a class preserve for the aristocracy. Then followed the rise of the wealthy classes in this country, and the House took upon itself a new character. Between the representation which the aristocracy and the plutocracy to-day have in this House and their complete control of another place, Parliament is still subservient to class interests, and is not an Assembly which represents the people in any real sense of the term. A good deal of the speeches which have been delivered would lead one to believe that the makers of them claim to be some kind of stained glass angels, and that they would not, under any circumstances, vote money into their pockets. We had an example during the present week how the very same class of men used this House, and they are using it to-day to vote money into their own pockets for their own personal use and privilege, although it might not be in the form of salary. Take the discussion on the Railway Bill. Did we find the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) modestly declining to take part in the 1138 discussion because his personal and monetary interests were concerned? Very far from it. As a matter of fact where their monetary interests are concerned both railway shareholders and directors, and a very large company of manufacturers in various industries have, in my presence in this House, both argued and voted and intrigued to further their own interests from a monetary point of view and the interests of the class to which they belong.
How can this House be said to be representative of the people in any real sense of the term, when you think of what is the status of the great mass of the people outside this House, and recollect how few men from the ranks of the Labour class are allowed, even under present conditions, to get a place in this House to represent the people who sent them? I ask the House to vote this money because, although it is not in the direct sense a salary for services rendered, it is an addition to the emoluments which a Member of this House receives, and it cannot be said in any reasonable sense that the addition is not required and is not, in existing circumstances, a moderate one, which ought to be made notwithstanding any cry of economy. I have heard it said during the Debate that there are certain hon. Members who are willing to concede this or any other addition to such Members as make a declaration that they are in needy circumstances, and the analogy was mentioned of ex-Cabinet Minsiters who are, or have been, in receipt of pensions. The question was asked, Why need a prospective candidate for Parliament object to doing what the Cabinet Minister does? I think I can supply a farily effective answer to that. The two questions are not relative in their application. The Cabinet Minister, in the main, has done his service, and is retiring to live in comfort and ease, probably upon a worthy record of service in the past, and he has to meet no criticism from that point of view, and certainly does not suffer politically. On the other hand, hon. Members in this House are sufficiently acquainted with the dodges of political elections to know that, in every case where a Labour candidate was standing for Parliament, Liberals and Conservatives and also Coalitionists—who are a blend of both—would use the fact that he had to take a salary for his services to his 1139 political disadvantage, by comparing with him themselves as people who would not be a burden upon the community.
If these sentiments are really genuine, and the House passes this proposal, leaving it free to each individual Member to take the salary or travelling expenses if he so requires, there is no obligation upon any one of those high-minded Members who think it derogatory to their dignity or to their capacity to serve the country in this House, to take that salary or those expenses. For men to make those pleas in this House and then, because the opportunity is presented to them by the passing of legislation, to be amongst the first to claim the salary and the passes, savours of very much of humbug and hypocrisy. In no circumstances that you can imagine can you ever make this House of Commons representative of the common people until you recognise that work in this House cannot be carried on except at a fairly high level of expenditure, judged from the common average point of view, and that, if you refuse to meet that expenditure on the part of men who have not a sufficiency of wealth accumulated in other ways—and a good deal of it accumulated in ways far more derogatory to those who possess it than the taking of a salary for public service duly rendered—in that case you close the door of the House of Commons even to the small representation which Labour possesses to-day, and you make it a very much harder and longer period ere that element can grow to a sufficient extent in this House to make it truly representative of the people.
I have also heard it said that the trade unions, when they put forward candidates, ought to pay them. I fail to understand the point of view of those who, while preaching high ideals, recommend very low practices. A man comes to this House as a representative, not of a union, but of a constituency. No union, nor all the unions put together, can elect one single Member of this House of Commons. A union, like any other political organisation, like, perhaps, a company of railway directors or of bankers, may, and I have little doubt does, nominate certain representatives of their class and ask constituencies to elect them. But there are not enough individual representatives of those interests or of individual trade 1140 unions in most constituencies to do more than put forward a candidate and render considerable aid to his election. When he is elected he is the servant, in theory, at any rate, of the whole constituency. Even I, as a Labour Member, take some pride in the fact that a considerable part of my constituents, who are nominally well-to-do people, whilst disliking my politics, are not at all averse from my representing the constituency, and whenever there is any service that I can render them, they are always quite free and quite friendly in asking me to do that service for them. But if I were paid, not by the State but by the particular organisation to which I belong, could I reasonably be expected to hold as independent a position between the various conflicting interests in my constituency as I can to-day, receiving my pay from no particular body of people but from the House of Commons as a whole? The truth of that must be realised.
Furthermore, even to-day we have this fact, which is none the less regrettable because it concerns great unions than when it concerned wealthy men alone. Many a man who has spent his life in public service in a constituency, and is in every way a fit candidate to represent the constituency, is to-day being turned down because he belongs to no great union, and because other members or officials of unions which have money behind them secure the nomination of their union. Even to-day, therefore, there is a narrowing of the field from which candidates can be drawn, and wealth, even in the working-class element, counts for a great deal in the selection of a candidate—probably even more, in many instances, than capacity and proved service. I would ask the House to realise that, despite anything that has been said to the contrary, the plea made with such fervour by the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke has its reflection in the facts observable in this discussion. The main opposition to these proposals, and the opposition to them outside the House and through the Press, comes from men who, from my point of view, ought to be ashamed to give utterance to it, because it in no sense applies to themselves. The way is free for them to enter this House, and, whatever the reason may be, the effect of the opposition they are putting up is to 1141 try to raise a barrier by men who have means behind them or wealthy friends to back them. I would ask the House to abandon that attitude towards this question, and frankly to realise that the time has come when it should be recognised that payment of Members has been sufficiently long in vogue for the country to have expressed its adverse opinion had that really been in existence. The fact that it has been properly accepted in the main by public opinion outside this House warrants the proposal which is now before us. It is not the initiation of any new principle, but only a very small attempt to bring more into harmony with the needs of the situation a principle which has been accepted by the country long ago.
§ Lieut.-Colonel CROFT
It is not my intention to stand between the Committee and its decision for more than a very few minutes. As far as I understand the matter, we have been advised that we can claim on our salaries an Income Tax allowance in respect of our expenditure on railway fares, and to those hon. Gentlemen who, perhaps, have not been here during the afternoon, but have been more pleasurably entertained elsewhere, I would suggest that we ought to bear in mind, in considering this question of railway fares, that the Leader of the House has told us, as far as I can make out, that under the ordinary law we can practically get our £400 a year net. The public will realise that fact, and will realise, therefore, that Members of this House are £100 per annum better off than they were when they were elected at the General Election. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!'] I think that is not an unfair statement. This, perhaps, is one of the most vital questions that we have discussed for a very long time, and I think that one is entitled to make one's views known. According to the statement of the Leader of the House to-day, it will be possible for a Member of Parliament to get his £400 a year net, and that is an improvement of £100 a year. At the time of the General Election in 1918, the cost of living was not very much higher in this country than it is at the present moment, when the recent decreases are taken into account. The consequence is that, in view of what we have learned to-day, we are better off than we were when we were elected at the time of the General Election in 1918. 1142 The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Lieut.-Colonel Ward) made a most pathetic speech and pointed out how he had come into the House at a time when his income was £91 per year. But he was speaking of a time long before payment of Members took place. I suppose there is not a single Member who is not looking round to see how he can gather up another £100 in order to get through. Certainly, younger sons of large families are finding themselves in that position, though they may have been considered fairly well off before the War. Everyone is finding life difficult. At this hour there are thousands of people—am I exaggerating when I say there are millions of people?—who are finding it extraordinarily difficult to make both ends meet and are really suffering tremendous privation, and even though it may be that all the things we have heard to-day are true, and of course they are, I only want to ask on the main principle, are we justified, before a General Election has taken place, at this moment when we are telling the workers that industry can only survive by a cut in their wages, and after we have heard that our position is practically improved, if we choose to take advantage of it, by £100 per annum, in voting ourselves railway fares?
§ Lieut.-Colonel CROFT
I am sorry to differ from the hon. Member, for whom I have the greatest admiration, but I tell him there are thousands of people who have sufficient brains to make £50, £60, or £100 by other pursuits than Members of Parliament who would be glad of the hon. Member's job at £400 a year net. But it does not seem to me that that is the point at issue—[HON. MEMBERS: "Divide."] The other side has a right to be stated. The hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. Pennefather) was practically howled down. That is not the way to treat a question of this kind. The question is not one as between first and third class fares, or fares to our homes or to our constituencies. We have been told by the Government that the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. Do we mean that, or do we not? If we mean it, are we not prepared to make sacrifices something like those who are much worse off than ourselves? Are we not prepared to wait until the General Election has taken place and the public 1143 has had an opportunity of deciding? Are we not prepared to take our share of suffering and difficulty with the rest of the country?
§ Mr. C. WHITE
I think the Government should have accepted the Report of the Select Committee in its entirety without altering it in the least. I am not going to impute motives to any hon. Member on the other side as to why he has spoken as he has and is going to vote as he is. I have some very strong opinions sitting on that Committee, and I issued a special Report of my own. But I want to speak as to the possibility of some Members being able to come to the House and the difficulties they have to contend with. Many of those who have spoken to-day do not know at all the difficulties of the Member who has to live on his salary, and I am going to give, following on what the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke (Lieut.-Colonel Ward) has said, a concrete case, and that is my own. This is not theoretical. It is not a fairy tale. It is what actually happened. I was elected to Parliament in December, 1918. Parliament sat last year for 36 weeks. My home is in my own constituency. I travel there every week. My train fare each week is 46s. That, for 36 weeks, amounts to £82 16s. Five days a week apartments and food in London—and I do not think any hon. Members are living very much cheaper—cost me some-thing like 15s. a day. That amounts to £135. A man who is well known to the working people—and I am not a member of the Labour party, but a very uncompromising Radical—spends 7s. 6d. a week in postage throughout the year. The first year I was in Parliament my postage amounted to over £40. That amounts to £19 10s. My Income Tax is £6 15s. I do not want to be relieved of it, and if I had had an opportunity of voting I should have voted for its continuance, though I admit the Leader of the House has made out a case which I did not expect to hear from him. My telegrams come to £3 16s., which is two a week for the time the House is sitting. Even a Member like myself has to indulge sometimes in a telegram. That is a total, for 36 weeks, of £247 13s., leaving considerably under £3 a week during the whole year to keep a home in my constituency 1144 and to attend to my duties in Parliament. It may be said with truth that Parliament could well do without me. I do not often seek the limelight. I am available for Committees. Many times when Members of Parliament are getting something from a very lucrative profession in the City and are not here, I may be of some use. There is nothing allowed in this for champagne, cigars, a glass of beer, or even a newspaper, and if the House were to sit, as I think it ought, for 40 weeks in the year so that we might not have need to sit late at night or all night, my expenses would amount to much more than that.
I am not recommending relief because I am a poor man. If I am a poor man, I am a proud man, at any rate, as far as that is concerned, and the only relief I recommend, and I recommended it in Committee—and I am going to vote in, favour of the Amendment for third class tickets—is that a Member should have a free pass from Parliament to his constituency. It is true I recommended a limited amount of postage, confined to 40 letters a week. I believe a Member should have free railway facilities because he should be a real connecting link between Parliament and the constituency that he represents. It is not only an advantage to the constituency to have a Member in constant touch with it whether he lives in it or whether he is continually going there. I have served on county and local authorities in Derbyshire for nearly 30 years and there are so many Acts delegated to local and county authorities that it is a great advantage to have a live member who is able to keep in constant touch with those bodies to see how those Acts are administered. I have addressed many housing meetings and have attended them at my own expense. Small holdings, pensions—and one of the things I recommended free postage for was because of the great delays one often finds in dealing with pensions—unemployment, National Health Insurance, old age pensions, acquisition of land for ex-service men—a real live Member of Parliament can be of active assistance to his constituency in all these things. A Member of Parliament is often called upon to assist and advise in matters of this kind and even to interview local bodies in his constituency. I cannot afford to travel up and down at my own expense. From this stand- 1145 point I support the Government and only do we differ in this, that I think the ticket should be third class instead of first. I have never bought a first class ticket in my life and I am not going to ask the Government to buy something for me that I should not buy for myself. I am no sham democrat. I am prepared to carry out what I have practised the whole of my life. Here again there is a hardship inflicted on poor Members like myself. The Government intend, as I understand it, to return to Season Ticket Holders the proportion of the cost since 1st April. I cannot afford a season ticket, and I could give the reasons for that if I were asked, I have spent over £12 on my tickets and I am not to be allowed to receive that back again. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Bournemouth (Lieut.-Colonel Croft) said it was quite easy for a Member of Parliament to get another £50 or £60 a year. I agree, if he will sacrifice his honour and his principles it is quite easy. I have been tempted myself, with the little ability that I have, to, take up some position of that sort. During the sittings of that Committee many suggestions were made. "Divide!"] Many of those who are saying "divide" have never read the Report. I examined every one of the witnesses and I oppose an increase of salary and I oppose a subsistence allowance, but it is in the public interest that a Member should be in constant touch with his constituency and for that reason I support the granting of free railway facilities and I again appeal to the Government to accept the Report of the Select Committee in its entirety and thus remove the difficulties which are in the way.
§ Mr. E. HARMSWORTH
I am opposed to this measure to give Members of Parliament free railway passes, not from the point of view of whether it is right or wrong that they should have them, but from the point of view that the financial condition of the country is such that it is not right that Members of Parliament should exempt themselves from those hardships that are falling on other members of the community. There is a very large section of the population—retired persons, persons living on small fixed in-comes, pensioned people and others—who find it almost impossible even to exist. When those people read that Members of Parliament have exempted themselves 1146 from these hardships, it stands to reason that a large section of the population will be exasperated. This is a very important question, and outside this House it is one of the most important questions of the day. People will read to-morrow the proceedings in this House with the keenest interest. When we are faced with a crisis in industry and a slump in trade such as has never been known in history, I do appeal to Members of Parliament not to exempt themselves from any hardships there may be, at the present time. I was exceedingly glad that the proposal in regard to the remission of Income Tax was dropped, and I hope that hon. Members will not exempt themselves from the hardships of increased railway fares.
§ Mr. FORD
I am entitled, as representing a Northern constituency, to speak on the question of railway passes. Under normal circumstances I would have supported the paying of first-class railway fares, in order to equalise the position of those who live far from Westminster, and in that way overcome the geographical difficulty, but I agree that this is not the time to do it. I was tremendously impressed by the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Stoke (Lieut.-Colonel J. Ward), but a fallacy underlay his argument, and that was that the Division in this House between those who vote for and against these railway passes was a Division between wealth and poverty. He forgot one class of poor who are the most hardly oppressed class, and that is the men and women who live on pensions or trust funds and other means which they have saved, and who have not the advantage that the comparatively poor trade unionists have of being able to strike and get an increased wage. An hon. Member on the other side has admitted to me that that is a hardship, and it affects a large class. Many people seem to think that only numbers count; but in justice we must remember these poor people, and we are not entitled to vote any further benefit to Members of this House until the conditions of the country are better and this charge will not fall with such overwhelming weight upon these poor people.
§ Question put, "That Item A (2) be reduced by £45,000."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 104; Noes, 213.1149
|Division No. 139.]||AYES.||[7.50 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Perring, William George|
|Astor, Viscountess||Guest, Major Hon. O. (Leicester)||Prescott, Major W. H.|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Rae, H. Norman|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l, W. D'by)||Ramsden, G. T.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Harris, Sir Henry Percy||Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)|
|Bennett, Sir Thomas Jewell||Hopkins, John W. W.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bowles, Colonel H. F.||Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Houston, Robert Petterson||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Briant, Frank||Hurd, Percy A.||Sugden, W. H.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Townshend, Sir Charles V. F.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Larmor, Sir Joseph||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Lindsay, William Arthur||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Davies, Major D. (Montgomery)||McMicking, Major Gilbert||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Elliott, Lt.-Col. Sir G. (Islington, W.)||Martin, A. E.||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Elveden, Viscount||Middlebrook, Sir William||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Ferrest, Walter||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Wise, Frederick|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Morrison, Hugh||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Gilbert, James Daniel.||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Glanville, Harold James||Nicholl, Commander Sir Edward||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sir J. Butcher and Mr. Lane-Fox.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hallwood, Augustine|
|Adkins Sir William Ryland Dent||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Cope, Major William||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Hallas, Eldred|
|Amery, Leopold C. M. S.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hartshorn, Vernon|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hills, Major John-Waller|
|Astor, Viscountess||Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)||Hirst, G. H.|
|Atkey, A. R.||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Dawes, James Arthur||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Dean, Commander P. T.||Holmes, J. Stanley|
|Barrand, A. R.||Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Edge, Captain William||Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.)||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H. Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Irving, Dan|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Evans, Ernest||Jesson, C.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Farquharson, Major A. C.||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)|
|Brassey, H. L. C.||Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Britton, G. B.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Gange, E. Stanley||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George|
|Bromfield, William||Gardiner, James||Kenyon, Barnet|
|Brown, Major D. C.||Gee, Captain Robert||Kidd, James|
|Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Kiley, James Daniel|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)|
|Cairns, John||Gillis, William||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)|
|Cape, Thomas||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Gould, James C.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Lorden, John William|
|Casey, T. W.||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Lunn, William|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Grayson, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gregory, Holman||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Greig, Colonel James William||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maddocks, Henry|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Grundy, T. W.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Mallalieu, Frederick William||Remnant, Sir James||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Rendall, Athelstan||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Mason, Robert||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Mills, John Edmund||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)||Tootill, Robert|
|Mitchell, William Lane||Rodger, A. K.||Waddington, R.|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred M.||Royce, William Stapleton.||Wallace, J.|
|Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Royds, Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Morgan, Major D. Watts||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Murray, Hon. Gideon (St. Rollox)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Warren, Sir Alfred H.|
|Murray, William (Dumfries)||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Myers, Thomas||Seddon, J. A.||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|Nall, Major Joseph||Sexton, James||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Neal, Arthur||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)||Wignall, James|
|Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Shaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)||Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|O'Grady, James||Spencer, George A.||Wilson, James (Dudley)|
|Pearce, Sir William||Spoor, B. G.||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Perkins, Walter Frank||Stanton, Charles Butt||Wintringham, Thomas|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Starkey, Captain John Ralph||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray||Stewart, Gershom||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Sturrock, J. Leng||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Purchase, H. G.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Raeburn, Sir William H.||Swan, J. E.|
|Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. N.||Sykes, Colonel Sir A. J. (Knutsford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)||Taylor, J.||Mr. Arthur Henderson and Mr.Clough.|
§ Original Question, as amended, again proposed.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not propose at this late hour to move my Amendment on the Paper—to reduce the Vote by £55,000—but I intend to vote against the whole proposal. That will be, as hon. Members know, voting against any travelling expenses. The arguments have already been used, and I do not propose to say anything further.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Sir G. COLLINS
The Amendment to reduce the Vote by £45,000 has been defeated, but there is an alternative course which the Committee could adopt, if it see fit, in its wisdom, and that is to support the recommendation of the Select Committee to grant first class railway tickets between London and the constituencies, in contrast to the proposals
§ of the Government to give first class tickets between London and the constituencies and the homes as well. I beg to move a reduction—
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Sir G. COLLINS
I beg to move, that Item A (2) be reduced by £30,000.
The proposal to grant free tickets to the homes was considered and rejected by the Committee on the very grounds on which the Government urged the adoption of the first proposal this afternoon, and I would ask the House of Commons to grant first class railway tickets between London and the constituencies and to reject the Government proposals for tickets to the homes as well.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Original Question, as amended, put.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 197.1153
|Division No. 140.]||AYES.||[8.3 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Barrand, A. R.||Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Cairns, John|
|Adkins, Sir William Ryland Dent||Bethell, Sir John Henry||Cape, Thomas|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Carew, Charles Robert S.|
|Amery, Leopold C. M. S.||Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith||Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Casey, T. W.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Brassey, H. L. C.||Cautley, Henry Strother|
|Atkey, A. R.||Breese, Major Charles E.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Briant, Frank||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Britton, G. B.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.|
|Barlow, Sir Montague||Broad, Thomas Tucker||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Bromfield, William||Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Irving, Dan||Rodger, A. K.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)||Jameson, John Gordon||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Jephcott, A. R.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Jesson, C.||Seddon, J. A.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sexton, James|
|Dean, Commander P. T.||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Shaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)|
|Edge, Captain William||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.)||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kenyon, Barnet||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)||Kiley, James Daniel||Spencer, George A.|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Spoor, B. G.|
|Evans, Ernest||Lawson, John James||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Gee, Captain Robert||Lunn, William||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Swan, J. E.|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Taylor, J.|
|Gillis, William||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Magnus, Sir Philip||Tootill, Robert|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Mallalieu, Frederick William||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Mason, Robert||Wallace, J.|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Mills, John Edmund||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Grayson, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry||Mitchell, William Lane||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Gregory, Holman||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Waterson, A. E.|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Murray, William (Dumfries)||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Guest, Major Hon. O. (Leicester)||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Hallwood, Augustine||Neal, Arthur||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Wilson, James (Dudley)|
|Hallas, Eldred||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Hartshorn, Vernon||O'Grady, James||Wintringham, Thomas|
|Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Parker, James||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Pratt, John William||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. N.|
|Holmes, J. Stanley||Rendall, Athelstan||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. Arthur Henderson and Mr. Leng Sturrock.|
|Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gwynne, Rupert S.|
|Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Hall, Captain Sir Douglas Bernard|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cope, Major William||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l, W. D'by)|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Hamilton, Major C. G. C.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar (Banff)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Harmsworth, Sir R. L. (Caithness)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Harris, Sir Henry Percy|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Davies, Major D. (Montgomery)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Bennett, Sir Thomas Jewell||Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)||Hood, Joseph|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Elliott, Lt.-Col. Sir G. (Islington, W.)||Hopkins, John W. W.|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Elveden, Viscount||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Bowles, Colonel H. F.||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Houston, Robert Patterson|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Farquharson, Major A. C.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Fell, Sir Arthur||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Ford, Patrick Johnston||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Forestier-Walker, L.||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Forrest, Walter||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Jodrell, Neville Paul|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Johnson, Sir Stanley|
|Cayzer, Major Herbert Robin||Gange, E. Stanley||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Gardiner, James||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Gilbert, James Daniel||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William|
|Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill||Goff, Sir R. Park||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Gould, James C.||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Clough, Robert||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Greer, Harry||Larmor, Sir Joseph|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gretton, Colonel John||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Lindsay, William Arthur|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Lorden, John William||Perring, William George||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Lyle, C. E. Leonard||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Polson, Sir Thomas A.||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Prescott, Major W. H.||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Townshend, Sir Charles V. F.|
|McMicking, Major Gilbert||Purchase, H. G.||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Rae, H. Norman||Waddington, R.|
|Maddocks, Henry||Raeburn, Sir William H.||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Ramsden, G. T.||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Raper, A. Baldwin||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Martin, A. E.||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Middlebrook, Sir William||Remnant, Sir James||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.||Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)||Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Molson, Major John Elsdale||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claue|
|Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Morrison, Hugh||Rothschild, Lionel de||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)||Winterton, Earl|
|Mosley, Oswald||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wise, Frederick|
|Murray, Hon. Gldeon (St. Rollox)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Nall, Major Joseph||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Nicholl, Commander Sir Edward||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)||Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Seager, Sir William||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Nield, Sir Herbert||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Pearce, Sir William||Starkey, Captain John Ralph||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Steel, Major S. Strang||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Percy, Charles (Tynemouth)||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sugden, W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Perkins, Walter Frank||Sykes, Colonel Sir A. J. (Knutsford)||Sir F. Banbury and Mr. Rawlinson.|
§ Whereupon the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.