§ 1. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £465,868, 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 Cost of certain Miscellaneous War Services."
§ 2. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £100, 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 in connection with Shipping Liquidation."
§ First Resolution read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
There is a large number of these Reports of Supply. With regard to some of them, those with whom I act think that the Debate which took place in Committee sufficiently satisfied the criticism which we had to offer. Therefore, with regard to them, we do not propose to take up the time of the House in repeating our arguments, or in adding further ones to them, but we hope that the Government will be able to find time for the discussion of some other subjects of very considerable importance. Such a subject, for instance, as the question of the grant by the State in relief of the Russian famine. If we exercise Parliamentary restraint in the direction which I have 1605 suggested—indicating those items which we do not wish to discuss as they are put from the Chair—I am confident that the Government will respond by giving full and proper opportunity, which I am sure the great majority of the House desire, to raise that subject. It has been represented that such an opportunity might be afforded on the Supplementary Estimate, but it might come on late at night, perhaps after 8.15 o'clock. What we should ask is that it should be made the first Order on some day, and I can assure the Government that there would be no unnecessary debate or any desire to delay the proceedings, but only a sincere desire to bring out in this House all the arguments, for and against, on that most important question.
§ Mr. NEIL MACLEAN
I desire to support what has been said by the right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean), that not to discuss this at any great length might save time for a matter that has been, in a way, half promised by the Leader of the House, and as an argument for impressing upon the Whip of the Coalition why they should grant the time of this House for the purpose of debating the question of relief in Russia. I would like to draw his attention to the Vote before us in which we find, under two separate headings, money granted by this Government for the maintenance of Russian refugees, and for certain measures of relief in Russia. As the Government Have already conceded the principle of using British money for the purpose set out in this Vote, what was said to-day by the Leader of the House will have to be unsaid, or at least forgotten, and I hope, in view of what they have already done with regard to people who are not suffering from famine, but suffering from what probably the Government might call the after-effects of the War, that they will see their way to go a step further when they give us that day and consider favourably the granting of money for the relief of those who are suffering from famine in Russia.
§ Mr. A. SHAW
In case it might be thought that my right hon. Friend (Sir D. Maclean) voiced the desire of only one side of the House, I wish to add that many of us, if not the great majority on this side, would wish, if the course of business permits us, that such an opportunity as my hon. Friend asks for should 1606 be given. If such a prospect is held out, he will forego the discussion which otherwise he might take in order to try to facilitate business. It would be out of order, though certain Russian refugees are mentioned in this Vote, to discuss the larger question, but I do appeal to the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Colonel L. Wilson) to realise the very strong sentiment which exists in all quarters of the House that we should be allowed to vindicate our position and good name as a Christian nation in this matter, and I hope that we shall be allowed to discuss it at some early opportunity.
§ Colonel LESLIE WILSON (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
It is quite true that there are on the Paper at the present time a large number of reports of Votes, and it was anticipated that a considerable amount of time would have to be allotted for the discussion of the Report stage of these Votes. If it were possible, as my right hon. Friend suggests, for the Report stage of all these Votes to be got by 11 o'clock to-night, though without the presence of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House I cannot pledge myself definitely, I think that I am justified in saying that an opportunity could be provided in the House in order to discuss the question raised on the other side. I understand that it is not desired that a discussion should be raised on the Supplementary Estimate, which it is probable will have to be taken in the House to deal with the question of Russian relief, but I take it that if my right hon. Friend desires the matter to be taken in a separate discussion in the House, he will not also desire the Supplementary Estimate to be discussed at any length. So far as I can see, subject, of course, to the wish of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, to whom I will represent very strongly the views which have been expressed to-night, on the understanding that we can clear the Paper of the Report stage of these Votes, I will certainly, so far as I can, give an undertaking that an opportunity will be offered to the House for a discussion on the situation in Russia.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I can only intervene again with the permission of the House to make two or three observations. On the Report of the Votes which are before the House there are two points. 1607 There is one which my hon. and gallant Friend desires to raise with regard to the law costs of the Renfrew aerodrome, and there' is a Class III Vote on which my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypool (Mr. T. Griffiths) and his colleagues desire to raise the question of the Appeal Tribunal, which has been debated before and on which they desire to bring further arguments. Subject to opportunity being given to discuss these two matters I see no reason why the Paper should not be cleared of these Report stage Votes tonight, and as to the question of what other form of Parliamentary opportunity should be given for a discussion on the Russian famine I would rather discuss that with my hon. Friends of the Labour party, and other Members in other parts of the House, and communicate later to my hon. Friend with regard to it.
§ Colonel L. WILSON
I may point out that it is only five minutes to nine, and I should be very grateful if hon. Members could see their way to take Class III, Vote 3, dealing with the Pensions Appeal Tribunal to-night. I think there is sufficient opportunity to raise the question to-night. My right hon. Friend the Attorney-General is in the House, and will be very glad to reply to any criticism.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
We are quite prepared to take that Vote to-night provided we get an hour and a half to discuss it.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Second Resolution agreed to.