§ Mr. J. JONES
I beg to move, "That this House do now adjourn." I hope, Sir, you will excuse me if during the course of the discussion I may display a certain amount of ignorance, as is only natural. I do not claim to be a constitutional lawyer. I only claim to ask for my fellow citizens their constitutional rights. We have been led to understand that the common citizen has a common right. The question I asked the Home Secretary to-day was not raised because I am a believer in the policy of those who are trying to upset the Free State Government in Ireland. I have been one of their most persistent and consistent opponents ever since they adopted the policy of trying to destroy the Treaty between Ireland and Great Britain and I have run some little risk in that connection. Therefore I am not here as a champion of those who want to destroy constitutional relationships between Great Britain and Ireland, but I believe even the Devil himself ought to get justice, even if he cannot always give it. Therefore I want to raise the case in the first place of one whom I happen to know. The only crime he has committed as far as I know—and I am acting upon information, personal of course—is that for some period he was the secretary of a branch of the Irish Self-Determination League in the East End of London, and he acted when all of us who are Irishmen stood on the same ground, and under similar circumstances will stand again, but when peace was made, when the two countries entered into an Agreement signed by the representatives of both, and when afterwards that Treaty was agreed upon by a Free Vote of the people North and South, and when eventually the Parliaments of Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland were constituted we accepted the situation loyally as democrats and agreed on the principle that the majority must govern. However 1152 we might have differed upon details we agreed upon the main principle. What has happened in the meantime? A certain number of people in the South and West of Ireland have repudiated the Treaty, have differed from the understandings arrived at between the representatives of the Government of both countries and have gone in for actions which have been more injurious to Ireland than anything the British Government could do against Ireland. None of us are defending the attitude which has been taken up, but there is a certain number of people in Great Britain who, because of their past history, have evidently been on the books of the Government of this country and have made themselves unpopular and, perhaps to some extent, undesirable. Amongst them there are men and women who have washed their hands of this policy ever since the Treaty was signed. Some of these have been arrested equally with those who may have been guilty.
The point I want to raise is this. Since when has deportation become a British industry? I know aliens have been deported for offences against the State. That may be justified in international law. What I am protesting against is the deportation of our own English-born citizens to another country because of a constitution which you have arranged. The Home Secretary to-day in answer to questions said he was doing so under certain defined powers contained in Acts of Parliament. I notice that one of the Acts was passed before the Treaty was signed, which in my opinion, although I am not an expert in legal maters, makes a considerable difference. The Regulations that existed under the Defence of the Realm Act in War time are not exactly the same as after War time. They have been modified very considerably in my opinion, although of course I would not claim to have the same kind of knowledge as some right hon. Gentlemen opposite. If a British citizen feels he has no security that at midnight policemen and detectives may break into his house, escort him to the coast and take him away to any place they like, no man in this House or outside can feel secure in the expression of his political views.
We have always posed as being leaders of constitutionalism all over the world, as being the Mother of Parliaments, whose Rules have been adopted by all other Parliaments, and we have been 1153 looked upon as the champions of liberty all over the world. I am not asking you to be the champions of licence. If a man breaks the law, let him be tried where he lives. Surely the law of England is strong enough to punish an Irishman if he breaks the law. But we have a bigger argument than that. What is going to be the result of this policy of the wholesale deportation of suspected persons from Great Britain? It is to feed the Irregulars with an argument which they have been using all the time, and which they can use now with greater force than ever. The argument will be that the Free State Government of Ireland is in a regular relationship with the British Government, and while we are striving to break down the barriers between Great Britain and Ireland which existed in the past and trying to kill race prejudice, we now have an argument that the Government in Great Britain is used against the people in Great Britain of whom the Free State Government may have a suspicion.
I am not suggesting too much in asking this House to realise that citizens of this country who have been arrested, if they have committed a crime should be tried for it here. I am not defending any man who commits a crime. If a man wants to break the law, he must take the consequences of having done so. We are asking that this course of procedure shall be negatived and that we shall no longer put in force this policy, imitated from countries with which we have been at war, of sending away people because they have committed a crime. The ease to which I particularly referred in my question was that of a man who occupies a responsible position, whose whole life depends upon the position in which he now finds himself. I may be guilty also, because during the period this man was secretary of the Self-determination League in East Ham and Forest Gate was a member of the same organisation. I am not ashamed of it, and if there is any deportation to come along I will go. But I am not appealing for any mercy; I am only appealing for common justice, and common justice in this particular case, and the other case to which I can refer. The law of this country has been broken. I know that we shall have cases quoted against us, eases that occurred during the War. I have had some of 1154 those cases and I know exactly what they mean. During the War Irishmen coming to Great Britain carrying on a campaign against the interests of the British Empire, might find themselves in durance vile subject to all sorts of penalties, but I am suggesting that the Treaty was signed between Great Britain and Ireland, as a consequence of the movement that took place in Ireland, after the Defence of the Realm Act Regulations were so amended as not to give the same power as existed under the Defence of the Realm Act as originally instituted.
Now we find the two Acts have got to be quoted. When did these two Acts become correlated so as to enable you to arrest any Irishman, and those not in the true sense of the term Irish, but who were born in this country, though probably of Irish parentage, and as a consequence are English citizens? What authority exists to deport English citizens from their own country to be tried in another country, it may be under martial law, for all we know? Have we agreed that martial law shall exist for English citizens? I suggest that we have amended those portions of the Defence of the Realm Act. Therefore, in moving my Motion, I ask those responsible for the government of this country to release all those persons who have been domiciled in Great Britain. Let them be tried here for any offence which they may have committed, and let the law of England deal with them as they happen to be English citizens.
§ Mr. NEWBOLD
I beg to second the Motion.
I have a case in my own constituency—Joseph Sweeny, 378, Windmill Hill, Motherwell, who has been arrested without any charge. I was informed by wire this afternoon that he was born in Scotland. I have taken care to verify that, and find that he was born in Falkirk, so that he is not an English subject but a Scottish subject, and just as Englishmen object to this infringement of what they believe to be their constitutional rights, so do the people of Lanarkshire object also. We claim the constitutional rights of Scotsmen as we understand them, just as the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) claims the constitutional rights of Englishmen. We should have a clear definition of what these constitutional 1155 rights are, and what are their limitations, or if there are limitations to their rights or to the Royal Prerogative under which it is possible that these men have been arrested.
Mr. J. RAMSAY MacDONALD
When I put certain questions to my right hon. Friend (Mr. Bonar Law) this afternoon my object was to find upon what constitutional procedure the action of yesterday took place. Every Member of this House must feel that when such proceedings take place it is the duty of the Opposition to see that the Government justifies itself. As the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) said, we do not associate ourselves in any way with any action of a hostile character taken against the Irish Free State. That is not the question that is involved at all. The question that we raise is, What power had my right hon. Friend to do what he has done, under what Regulations, under what Statute did he act in doing what he did. Did he take the power which he ought to take to safeguard the rights and liberties of the deported men? I am not a lawyer, and cannot approach the question from a legal technical point of view, but I do care for the proper administration of the law of this country, and for the rights, not, only of citizens of -this country, but also of people who are domiciled in this country and made subject to the law of the country. This is not merely a lawyer's point. We have got to bring to bear upon those questions a broad commonsense intelligence which will do justice to all people who are our citizens or our guests. I do not know whether the learned Attorney-General is going to speak first, but we want to know straight away the Government's statement of its own case.
I am not going to assume that the men who were deported are guilty simply because the Government or the Home Secretary has deported them. It is my duty to satisfy myself that my right hon. Friend acted legally in the performance of that duty. I would like to know what pains he took to satisfy himself that whatever statements were made against them were sound evidence against them? I ask how long he took to investigate this matter? It could not have been done in 24 hours, for the domiciles of these people were scattered pretty far, north, south, 1156 east and west. What machinery did he put into operation to investigate every case, as he had no business to deport any man unless the case against that man as a separate individual was established to his satisfaction? Moreover, what steps did he take to satisfy himself that the people deported were subjects of the Free State? Did he satisfy himself that he was not handing over any subject of this country to the independent jurisdiction of a, State that enjoys the status of an independent Dominion within the Empire? The right hon. Gentleman told us this afternoon that he acted under Regulations drafted in accordance with the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act of 1920. I do not know what view is taken by my legal friends to the right and to the left of me. I take the layman's view, and I think it is the safest thing to take the layman's view to begin with.
What is the common-sense view of the Act of 1920? That Act was passed by this House at a time when the whole of Ireland was part of the sovereignty of this country. We were responsible for Cork, just as we were responsible for Belfast, and just as we were responsible for London. Ireland in 1920 was in rebellion against us we had our troops in Ireland; we had our police in Ireland. We were suppressing a rebellion that had broken out in Ireland. We drafted and passed the Restoration of Order in Ireland. Act, which applies not to the present disturbances in Ireland, but applied to the disorderly situation in Ireland when it was in rebellion against us. That was the purpose of the Act, and that is the meaning of the title of the Act. Certain Orders were issued under the Act. Regulation 14B in particular was drafted, not, for the purpose of sending people from England into Ireland, but for the purpose of deporting rebels in Ireland into England and to give them a residence here for the time being. What are the operative parts of 14B? So far as T can understand it and its application, the first paragraph applies to the case now before us, and the paragraph towards the end, which relates to arrests in Scotland and Ireland. It is purely technical, with no political substance in it. The political substance, as I understand it, is confined to the first Clause. What does it say? 14B enables the Secretary of Stateby order to require a person forthwith, or from time to time, either to remain in or 1157 to proceed to and reside in such place as may be specified in the Order.Is that what happened to the deportees of yesterday? Are they compelled by Order to remain in the place to which they are deported? Take the next words—and to comply with such directions as to reporting to the police as to movement,and so on. And then it goes onor to be interned in such place as may be specified in the Order.Has the Home Secretary specified the place in which they are to be interned in Ireland? We ought to get information on that point. As has been said, a very important thing has happened since 1920. Ireland is no longer in a state of rebellion against us. It may be in a state of rebellion, internal to Ireland itself, but the rebellion is not against us. That is not all. Ireland now has the benefit of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, which we passed last Session. What happens? Supposing these Regulations still run on common-sense lines as well as in law, what happens? If these Regulations had been put into operation in 1920, and Irishmen had been arrested here for engaging in a conspiracy to aid the rebellion in Ireland in 1920, and if they had been deported from this country under those Regulations and sent to Ireland, they would live been under the jurisdiction of the British military or of some British authority for which a Minister in this House was responsible. Therefore, if injustice had been done to the deportees in 1920, this House, which is the guardian, as it must always remain, of British liberty and the rights of individual British citizens, was at liberty to raise the question of injustice, to censure the Minister, and to pass judgment on what he had done. That is no longer the case. That is the common-sense, Constitutional and good, sound Parliamentary point of view.
The Home Secretary agreed to deportation yesterday, and the arrested people have gone. They are now in Ireland. Suppose they were shot; I do not suggest it for a moment. Suppose something happened to them which we all agreed was an act of gross injustice. Who in this House is responsible for it? No one. I cannot question my right hon. Friend. I could question the Secretary of State for the Colonies, or his representative in this House, but supposing, 1158 as a result of the answer to those questions being altogether unsatisfactory, one of my hon. Friends asked Mr. Speaker for leave to move the Adjournment of the House, what would Mr. Speaker say? Mr. Speaker would say at once that under the Irish Constitution Act this Parliament had handed all its responsibilities to the Irish Government. Quite properly Mr. Speaker would say, "Therefore I cannot allow the matter to he discussed, and I will not accept, as being in order, a Motion for Adjournment." Is not that a substantial argument? I am quite certain the very last man who would resist that argument is my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. Therefore he must see that the responsibility which he took upon himself in allowing these Regulations to be regarded as alive in the circumstances of 1923, is an enormously greater responsibility than that which he would have taken upon himself had he deported under these Regulations in 1920. Moreover, I want to get some more information about the Committee to which the right hon. Gentleman referred this afternoon when replying to a question.
Yes, the Advisory Committee. It seems to me this is very much a case of hanging a man first, and trying him afterwards. That is why my first question was what steps did the right hon. Gentleman take to see that the evidence which justified deportation was good evidence. He replied to me this afternoon on the lines that he himself had been satisfied, that his legal advisers had been satisfied, and if the men concerned still had a grievance, then this Advisory Committee had been set up to investigate any statement they might make. I want to know what is the Advisory Committee? What is its power? Who are its members, and who is the legal authority? Who is President of it? That is the first point. The second point is: Whilst they are investigating in order to give advice, what is to be the position of the deported person? Is he to be kept in gaol in Ireland, or may he come here and await the advice which the Committee is going to give? The third point is this: Supposing the Advisory Committee comes to a conclusion upon the two cases which were cited this afternoon, 1159 the one cited by the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) of a person who is a British subject, and who, as the hon. Member says, was not, as a matter of fact, in recent times involved in any political conspiracy against the Irish Free State, and the other case cited by my hon. Friend the Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala), the case of mistaken identity. [HON. MEMBERS: "The same case."] Is it the same case? Well, it does not matter. [Laughter.] It surely does not matter when it is a case of grave injustice being done. I quite honestly fell into a mistake. I understood there were two cases. It does not matter if there is only one; that is enough for me. I think one has as much right to justice as half-a-dozen. Let us take this one case. Supposing the Advisory Committee find on investigation that this case is genuine as stated by my two hon. Friends, what power has this Government to take it back? Has my right hon. Friend made an agreement with the Irish Free State that if any mistake has been made they guarantee to rectify that mistake? These are questions upon which, I make bold to say, every Member of the House of Commons who has got any respect at all for the duties of the House will insist upon getting information. It is not enough for a Minister to say, "There is a very bad state of affairs in Ireland and therefore I am going to act "—I think the right hon. Gentleman used the actual expression" according to the convenience of the Irish Government." No. Hon. Members behind me have done quite as much for established self-government in Ireland as any other hon. Members? We believe in it quite as much, we back up that government quite as much, but that is not enough to justify deportation from this country upon such Regulations as those which my right hon. Friend has quoted. I therefore hope without any further delay, and in order to enable some hon. and right hon. Members who are more entitled to address the House than I am—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"]—on a point of law, yes, but not on points of policy. I know my duty to this House. I know the duty that must be performed in this House. Whatever the substance of the rights or wrongs of the case may be, this House must satisfy itself that the administration of the Government, especially in 1160 matters like this, is sound, is sane, is safe and is in accordance not with convenience but with law.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
May I say before I proceed any further, how grateful I am for the sane and sensible way in which this case has been put before the House? The hon. Gentleman who moved the Adjournment made a speech of which nobody in the House could complain as extravagant, and the Leader of the Opposition has asked a series of questions which he is perfectly entitled to ask and to which I hope I shall be able to give an adequate answer. I have a grave responsibility in this matter, and I hope I have taken it as seriously as even the hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition could wish me to take it. want to explain to the House how the matter appears to me, not as a lawyer—the legal points will be dealt with by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General—hut as a plain, simpleminded layman whose duty it is to try to preserve the safety of this country, and to assist the Irish Free State in restoring order in that country. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Adjournment referred to the particular case which he raised this afternoon, of a man called FitzGerald. It is the same case as that referred to by the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala) earlier in the day. Those who arrested this man were perfectly aware of the existence of another man of the same name, but there is no doubt whatever that the man who was arrested is the man whom the Free State Government asked us to arrest, and if they find when they have got him over there that he is the wrong man—[Interruption]. The whole contention of the hon. Gentleman is that this man was anti-Free State, and is now pro-Free State.
§ Mr. J. JONES
No: I never said anything of the kind. I said that, in common with all other Irishmen in the South and West of Ireland and Great Britain. he was a supporter of the Trish Self-determination League, and he has since dissociated himself, since the new policy of the Irregulars began.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
This Debate so far has been conducted on very sane lines, so 1161 let us try and continue on those lines. I say that if this man is now an upholder of the Free State Government, there is no reason to suppose that the Free State Government will wish to intern him, or to keep him interned.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I want, if the House will kindly follow me, to explain exactly why I have taken the action I have in this matter. It has been brought to my notice, in the last few weeks, that there have been increasing activities on the part of an organisation acting on a military basis and organised by a man who describes himself as "Officer Commanding, Britain," not only for the purpose of assisting those who are out to overthrow the Free State Government in Ireland, but also for the purpose of persuading them, if possible, to engage in outrages in this country. I have a good deal of evidence of this, and I should like to give the House some of the evidence that I have got. I have here a letter addressed to the Officer Commanding, Britain, from the Irish Republican Army, General Headquarters, Dublin, 26th January of this year:Yours of 24/1/23 to hand. Note you have returned from Glasgow visit, and await particulars of your detailed report. When I receive your general report, I shall be in a better position to send an officer to discuss matters with you. I consider it too much of a risk for you to report here. We have been informed that Stokes guns can be purchased in England. I daresay you have done your utmost as to the possibility of securing small artillery. You realise that one of these, with sufficient shells, would finish the war here very quickly, so you should strain every nerve on this possibility.9.0 P.M.
Here is another, signed by the "Brigadier Officer Commanding, Scotland," and addressed to the "Quartermaster-General, Irish Republican Army, Dublin," dated 27th February, and I quote this in order to show the part that is being played in assisting the Republicans in Ireland:When the late Commandant-General R. O'Connor gave me the money, his instructions to me were, 'Get the stuff at any cost or by any method, but get it at once. 1162 One round is worth more now than a hundred will be in a week.' The most of the girls arrived in Dublin with the stuff within three days, and had it delivered to the Gresham. … From the time of my last interview with the late Commandant H. Roland until January, all headquarters' stuff sent over by me went to headquarters. It was delivered to the following: Miss H … y, Miss D … ly, Miss S … or, Miss O'M … in, and Mrs. D …e y. I wish to bring under your notice the very bad treatment our brigade has received. Twenty of our men took part in the fight. After the fall of the Gresham, they were ordered to hold themselves in readiness for further orders. The men had no money. I had to support them. I had to pay £12 a week for lodgings alone, costing me in all £120. You may contend I had no right to keep men in Dublin from June to August. I was expecting them to be taken out of my hands every week. They were handed from one Dublin officer to another until they were arrested, and are all now in prison.That is the 27th February. [An HON. MEMBER: "Did they get the arms from Germany, like Carson did?"] I now want to lay before the House one or two proofs that they were also contemplating offences, or trying to stimulate people to commit offences, in this country. Here is a letter from the Republican Director of Intelligence in Ireland to the Officer Commanding, Britain:It is especially necessary that you appoint some able man or woman to look alter this end of the thing in London. I want to be kept informed of all things concerning us winch may be happening in the .British Foreign Office and in James McNeill's Department. I have an idea that Art. O'Brien can fix up some person in the former place, and he might also he able to get someone in the 'High Commissioner's' Office. I am very keen on having these two offices attended to at once, even if it should mean that we have to pay for our information.That refers to Mr. Art. O'Brien, who in one of the men who have been sent over to Ireland, and who recently described himself as the Ambassador of the Irish Republican State. Here is a letter again to the Officer Commanding, Britain:We are considering carrying out active hostilities in England, owing to the advanced development of the situation here. The activities would mean a general destructive policy. Let me have your views on the possibility, judging by the resources at your disposal. (Signed) L.L.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
—it is not particularly satisfactory to deal with activities which mean a general destructive policy. Here is another letter, written to the Officer Commanding, Britain, from the Quartermaster-General, Irish Republican Army. This was a reply letter to the Officer Commanding in Britain and is dated 17th January:Grenades.—At present rate I could not promise you any. It is impassible to get an iron-foundry going here. Hence the output is very small, I am having some aluminium alloy grenades made, and having them packed with shrapnel, which, I hope, will be effective. These shall -be tested this week. If suceessful, I may be able to send you some.I have quoted these letters in order to show that not only was there an active organisation going on here in this country to attack the Free State Government in Ireland, but that efforts were also being made to persuade people to engage in a campaign of destruction in this country. Anyone who had seen these letters would naturally feel that some attention should be paid to them. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Hon. Members opposite are not responsible for the safety of the British public.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I am responsible. It is quite impossible, and would be impossible, for any sane Englishman in my position to remain passive with this information in his possession. [HON. MEMBERS: "Prosecute them!"]
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain FitzRoy)
I hope hon. Members will allow the Home Secretary to make his statement.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I want to tell the House quite frankly how I proceeded in this matter. I got into consultation with the Free State Government. I consulted my right hon. Friend the Attorney-General. I satisfied myself that it was quite lawful to proceed under Regulation 14n of the Restoration of Order in Ireland Regulations, and with the Free State Government it was decided to arrest and 1164 send over for internment there a number of persons who were known to them and to us. Every person whom they desired and was so sent over was of Irish origin, and was sent over at their request. It has been asked why were these persons not interned in this country. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes," and "Quite right!"] If hon. Members will allow I will say—[An HON. MEMBER: "Get ahead!"] will get ahead if I am allowed. In the first place, it is a question primarily for the Irish Government. Their existence, and law and order under the Free State Government are at stake. It is primarily a matter for them to deal with those who are menacing law and order in that country. Again, there is no doubt whatever in my mind that it is more agreeable to Irish sentiment for Irishmen to be dealt with by the Irish Free State Government, than by the British Government. There is still—unreasonably I admit—but still no doubt considerable prejudice against Great Britain in Ireland. That prejudice would have been used by the Irregulars in Ireland to try to get sympathy with them if these men had been interned in England—sympathy which they do not deserve. Such sympathy, too, might come from Irishmen, even the supporters of the Free State. Therefore I say I think it was perfectly reasonable and sensible to allow the Free State Government to deal with these persons
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
All these people are British citizens. I have already said I have the right—and the Attorney-General will re-inforce what I have said —under this particular Regulation. The hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition asked me a certain number of questions. He wanted to know how I had proceeded. I proceeded, as I was obliged to do, under Regulation 14B, and after consulting the competent military authority. I was also asked as to the Advisory Committee—
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The military authority described in the Regulations. In this case it was Major-General Ready, Director of Personal Services at the War Office. As to the Advisory Committee under this Regulation, I have the power and the duty, if necessary, to set up an 1165 Advisory Committee, and I propose to do so. The hon. Gentleman asks me who arc on that Committee. I am not able to give him the names, for it is only a Committee of three, but I can say this, that I have secured as Chairman of the Committee a late Lord Chief Justice (Lord. Trevethin), and it will be open for anyone to appeal to this Advisory Committee. In answer to another question put by the hon. Gentleman, he seemed to assume, as did the Mover of this Motion, that the Free State Government wore almost certain to do some injustice to these people. I do not quite understand why those who claim to be oven more ardent supporters of the Free State Government than I myself am should assume that that Government are likely to do injustice.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The hon. Gentleman said that this Regulation was passed and was intended to be used at a time when the Irish Government was against us; when Ireland was fighting against us. It was, he said, a Regulation for the Restoration of Order in Ireland. Does the hon. Gentleman say that we are not to use our powers for the restoration of order in Ireland, when the Irish Government and ourselves agree that they should be used? Surely, if it was competent to use those powers when Ireland was fighting against us, it is more important to use them now, when they have agreed with us to a Treaty, and surely we should help them under these circumstances to keep order. I think it is only right, in answer to what has been said, to say that nothing more than internment is proposed at the present time.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
If it be found necessary to take proceedings for more serious offences, the necessary warrants would have to be applied for and endorsed by a magistrate in this country before any further action is taken. The Free State Government have agreed that, before any action beyond internment is 1166 taken, that they will consult our Government and obtain the agreement of our Government to any further action.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
With regard to all the legal points which have been raised I must leave them to be answered by my right hon. Friend the Attorney-General.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
Yes, I know I am the responsible person, and I am taking the responsibility on the advice of the Law Officers of the Crown. What is more, I am also taking the responsibility on the ground of common sense, and because it is my duty to do so. It is my duty to do so not only for the protection and safety of the people of this country, but also to enable the Irish Free State to put down this terrible campaign which is going on against them. I should like before I sit down to quote the words very recently used on the 10th March by the "Freeman's Journal":Mr. Thomas Johnson (Labour), speaking on the Motion for the adoption of the Supplementary Estimates, said, if there was any indication that the attack on the State was to he effective, and if pursued sufficiently vigorously would bring the State into ineffectiveness. he thought it well to say new that the people of Saorstat Eireann, as soon as they realised that the attack upon the economic life of the country, the communications of the country, and the general material structure of the country was designed to bring about a chaotic condition of affairs and political ineptitude, the sooner would they realise that they should do now, as they were prepared to do two years ago—throw in every partical and every item of their economical, industrial, and material resources to save the State.We are going to support the Irish Government in carrying out their policy, and I appeal to the House to support: me in maintaining that I have done the only thing that was possible for a person in my position to do for the safety of the country and the welfare of our people.
§ Mr. HASTINGS
I cannot help feeling that some hon. Members in this House do not quite appreciate that there are at least some of us on these benches—and I am satisfied in my own mind that included in that number are both the Law Officers of the Crown—who feel that 1167 this act is one of the most deadful things that has been done in the history of our country. I am satisfied that both those right hon. and learned Gentlemen must be, or at least would be in their private capacity, of precisely that opinion. I do not think some hon. Members opposite can have the faintest notion of what this Regulation means, or they would not laugh as they have been doing. [An HON. MEMBER: "Rot!"] When an hon. Member on this side called out "Rot!" he behaved badly, but we expected good manners from the hon. Member opposite who has just made the same interruption. [Interruption.] I have not the slightest intention of finishing my speech until I have said what I have got to say. I am going to endeavour in quite a few words to point out to hon. Members opposite what this Regulation means, because I am satisfied that they cannot know what it means. [Interruption.] I am quite accustomed to speaking for a considerable time, and I am accustomed to speak in a place where one has courtesy or else the usher turns them out.
§ Mr. HASTINGS
This Regulation, which we are now considering, is copied in terms from the Regulation which was passed under the Defence of the Realm Act. Immediately that was passed it was put into operation, under these circumstances. A Russian, who was in this country, naturalised, was interned under this very Regulation. That immediately raised an outcry throughout, the entire country, solely on these grounds, that never before, since days almost immemorial, had any person, even a naturalised English subject, been sent into internment without trial. It was even up in the House of Lords. There was dissenting opinion as to whether, even in time of war, this Regulation was—I hope hon. Members, so far as possible, will abstain from laughing too audibly [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, go on!"
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I understand why the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) is laughing.
§ Mr. HASTINGS
It was held, after a great deal of very difficult argument, that owing to a terrible danger in which the country then was, a Regulation such as this, although it abrogated all the powers upon which English freedom was based, was reasonable and proper under those circumstances. Now there comes this, precisely the same, reintroduced; and, as I understand it, the Home Secretary says to-night that it is perfectly proper for him to arrest a British subject in this country. He even says that if it is the wrong man they have arrested, that man may be sent back to his own home under the powers of another Government; the explanation being that it is agreeable to another Government that they should have him in their custody rather than he should be in ours, and that he should be sent away for internment. The man does not know for how long; he does not know for what offence; and he does not know for what punishment. I suggest that it is not treating the House with respect to say that, providing this man is to he tried, another Government should say he is to be sent back to this country to stand his trial.
I would ask either of the Law Officers if, in the history of this country during the last 1,000 years, there ever has been a case of a British subject treated like this, except after 1914. To my mind it is too dreadful that this state of affairs should continue. Whenever we face the Government with what has been done prior to last November, they say they are not responsible for what the last Government did. To-day, they have sent over to Ireland for internment without trial, without limit of time without any knowledge of the punishment, without ally knowledge as to whether the right man has been arrested, a. British, subject. Apparently the only answer is that he is to be sent back if the foreign Government decide that they—[HON. MEMBERS: "Foreign?" and "Withdraw!"]—I can remember in this very House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"]
§ Sir JOHN BUTCHER
Does the hon. and learned Member mean to say that the Irish Free State Government is a foreign government?
§ Mr. HASTINGS
Does the hon. and learned Member for York think that interruption was either necessary or desirable? I should have thought it was 1169 apparent to anybody that the only materiality of such an observation was an independent Government. What does it mater— [HON. MEMBERS: "Dominion government." and "Under the King"] Surely, hon. Gentleman—[An HON. MEMBER: "Under the King!"] Of course, if the hon. Member wants to sing "Under the King"—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
If the hon. and learned Member will address the Chair, he will not get so much objectionable interruption.
§ Mr. HASTINGS
May I express my regret for not having addressed the Chair. Of course, one is a little apt to be taken off one's argument if there arc repeated interruptions. Unless one does turn a little bit towards another part of the House, one is always met by the observation that hon. Members cannot hear. I have expressed my regret that I have not addressed all my remarks to the Chair. May T point out to the House what is happening, because it may be there is something which we really do not know. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!" and laughter.] Of course, one cannot prevent interruptions of that sort, but haw can we know? We are told nothing at all. How do you suppose that these men who were arrested know what is going to happen to them? What power is there? If one looks at these Regulations —I do not want to stray across the ground into any legal argument, but. I am quite sure that the Attorney-General, if he will only help us in this matter, must feel the same—one reads this Regulation—it is perfecly true I may read it perhaps as a lawyer; I cannot help that—and I find in it this provision: "No person who is not the subject of a State at war with His Majesty." I am sure no hon. Members can think that is Ireland. It includes express provisions "for the consideration, by one of such Advisory Committees, of any representations he may make against the Order." I understand that the Home Secretary has not even appointed such a Committee. These poor men—one hardly likes to describe them in language one can think of—have been arrested under this Order, which gives them these rights. I understand—I can see hon. Members still courteously laughing because we say we do not know—they have been sent to Ireland, and are in Ireland now.
1170 To what Committee can they appeal? Are they to appeal to a Committee appointed in England? Are they to appeal to a Committee in Ireland? Are they to ask the Irish Government to ask the Home Secretary of this Government to appoint a Committee to which they can appeal? What rights have these men got? I frankly confess, in spite of all the ribald things and laughter we have heard, that we, on these benches, are somewhat appalled by the thought that men to-clay can he arrested, and that the Home Secretary can get up and say that if the wrong man has been arrested he can be sent back. The wrong man cannot apply for ahabeas corpus.He cannot go to an English judge, because he is not in England. He cannot, I suppose, go to an Irish judge, because the answer there will be, if he does, "You ought to have applied to this Committee of the Home Secretary." There is not a Committee. What on earth can be the feelings of these men in Ireland to-clay? How can they know to whom they can apply? How can they know what offence they have committed, and who can set them free? Really for hon. Members in this House, which I have aways been brought up to believe—
§ Mr. NEIL MACLEAN
Is the hon. Member for North Edinburgh (Mr. Ford) inside the precincts of the House? Is he within the Chamber?
§ Mr. HASTINGS
Speaking with all respect to the House, may I call your attention to the fact, Sir, that when we say we want to know these things, the same hon. Members laugh, yet when they get up they think they are entitled to know the very things that we want to know. We do not know whether they are Irish or British subjects. We cannot ask them, for they are not in this country. They cannot consult anyone in 1171 this country, and the result is that these men have been taken out of the country. I have heard hon. Members discussing in great detail whether or not, in the case of criminals escaping from this country to Ireland, there would be any power to get them back except extradition. I have heard hon. Members actually discussing the question whether, if a man committed murder in England and fled to Ireland, we could get him back without extradition. Now hon. Members are treating with ribald contempt any objection on the part of people who honestly and seriously want to know what the position is of these men who are our fellow subjects and who have been taken out of this country and sent for internment for an indefinite period. I am told that the Attorney-General is going to give us a legal view of the question, and in so far as the Home Secretary has given us the practical view, I do not think it has pleased anyone, because when he tells us he has not yet set up the Committee which I should have thought he was bound by law to do, and when he says that it. is a question for the Irish Government whether it is agreeable to them to send British subjects over to Ireland without trial, it does not appeal to me, I do not think it appeals to the majority of the House, and I am certain it will not appeal to the majority of the country.
§ Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
I do not propose to comment on the last speech, except to say that I do not think any Member in any part of the House would care to differentiate, as the hon. and learned Gentleman has done, between the private and public motives of the Law Officers of the Crown. In my belief the Home Secretary, in taking the action he has taken, has been actuated by the best motives, but I am profoundly disturbed at that action. In the speech the right hon. Gentleman delivered just now he revealed the existence of a very serious state of affairs. He read several letters to the House which, to say the least, disclosed a strongprima faciecase of offences not only in Ireland, but of offences in this country. There is no suggestion that the men who have been deported were Irish citizens only. I look upon this matter, I hope, dispassionately. What would have been clone in the case of a citizen of Australia or of South 1172 Africa? What would have been the ordinary course of justice in such a case? As regards offences of this kind very many minute Regulations chiefly for the protection of the accused person and for the good government of the State are laid down. If an offence is committed by someone whom it is desired to charge in Australia an indictment would be prepared, a sworn declaration would be made, and the accused person would have a right to inspect the indictment, to peruse the sworn declaration, and to know exactly with what he is charged. Further than that he would be taken before a public magistrate and charged openly, and he would have the right to defend himself or to employ someone to defend him. That is exactly, as I venture to think, the position which was revealed by the Home Secretary to-day.
What I am disturbed about is this, I do not pretend to understand the legal right under which the Dome Secretary acted, but I venture to think it would have been far better if, instead of invoking a Defence of the Realm Regulation of this kind with all its far-reaching consequences, these men had been subjected to the ordinary procedure of law and had been charged in the ordinary way. I have not heard any explanation why that course was not adopted. There is a much more serious aspect of the case. The Home Secretary has indicated a serious state of affairs. He has indicated serious offences against the law of this country, not only by Irish, citizens, but by citizens of this country as well. If any case of this sort was sent to the Attorney-General or the Director of Public Prosecutions, and if the facts stated were those stated in this House this evening, I believe they would order the law to be set in motion at once. I cannot understand why that course has not been taken. I am also very troubled, apart from the individual interest of these men, with regard to the future course of law in this country. I put on one side the question whether these men have acted wrongfully or not; there is a very strong ease that they have, but it is a most remarkable course to take for citizens of this country to be deported without charge, and to be handed over to another State. It may have a serious consequence from the point of view of British citizenship. The 1173 Government of this country has no control over the man once he has been handed over to another State. I hope I am not using exaggerated language, but I cannot recall any precedent of tins kind, and I look upon this with serious apprehension.
There is only one final observation I desire to make and that is as to the effect of these proceedings in Ireland. I do not pretend to understand Irish politics, and have never intervened in an Irish Debate in this House, but the only satisfactory feature that I have seen in connection with the present Irish settlement is that, so far as we can, we have now left that unhappy country to administer its own affairs—that we have stood on one side and have left the opposing sides to do the best they can in their own land. I venture to think, however, that this may be regarded in many respects as a direct intervention by the British Government once again in the affairs of Ireland. [Interruption.] I am quite sincere in my view. After all these months, when we have stood aside, and when, at any rate, no finger could be pointed at the British Government for taking one part or another in this affair, this may very well be regarded as a re-entry of the British Government into the internal affairs of Ireland. I may say in conclusion that the more I think over this mater, and the more aspects from which I regard it, I feel that a serious error of judgment has been made. I venture to think that the wiser course, in the interests of this country and of Ireland, would have been to have brought these men to trial, either in this country or in Ireland, and I view with the gravest apprehension the course that has just been taken.
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
I find myself in general agreement both with the views of the hon. Member who has just spoken and with the temper in which he addressed the House. I am not at all disposed, and I do not think that anyone who has ever had the responsibility of being Home Secretary will ever be disposed, to speak lightly or contemptuously of the effort which every Home Secretary makes, in very difficult circumstances, to decide what is the right course to take. I remember once being told by a Prime Minister that the office of Home Secretary was difficult because his constant 1174 occupation was, every day and every week, to prevent a second-class row from becoming a first-class row. Anyone who has ever served at the Home Office knows that every week matters arise about which a decision has to be arrived at. If the decision is given rightly, no one hears about it, but if there is a mistake it is only too likely to lead to a very serious situation. I think myself that a mistake may well have been made in the exercise of this discretion, but everyone must see that the material before the Home Secretary was material on which he was bound to take grave and careful action. In the same way, I am not at all disposed to doubt that the Home Secretary has had correct legal advice. In point of fact, this exact question, as a matter of law, has been decided by our own Court of Appeal. In 1921 this exact question was raised about a man who was arrested here in England for the purpose of being deported to Ireland in order that he might there be interned. That case, after first coming before the High Court, Went to the Court of Appeal, where there was a difference of opinion, but two Judges out of three thought that the action of the then Home Secretary was within the law. I agree with the Leader a the Opposition that this is not primarily a legal question at all, but it is just as well to realise that the action taken is, in fact, according to the view of our Courts, within the law.
§ Mr. J. JONES
On a point of Order. I do not wish to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but the case that some of us are raising is this: A man coming from Ireland who commits a crime in England can he deported, but the case about which I am talking is that of men who have been born and bred in England, and are still citizens of England.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I quite follow my hon. Friend, but I do not want to spend time over what I do not think is the really important question. The only observation I wanted to make on the legal aspect was that, although the decision of our Court of Appeal was that this action was within the law, they, obviously, regarded it as carrying the law to the extreme confines to which it could be, taken. I notice that Lord Justice Stratton, who was the dissenting Judge, made this observation, and I think my hon. Friend will find himself largely in agreement with it: 1175It is clear in this case the application of Regulation 14B to England means that it is possible to take any person who, like this boy, has lived five years in England, to shut him up for an indefinite time without telling him the charge-against him, without bringing him to trial, at the uncontrolled discretion of an officer of the Executive. In my view, such a result should not follow unless the clearest words are used by Parliament. In this case Parliament has not used, in my opinion, those clear words, and, therefore, I think the appeal should be allowed.The House will see, therefore, that, although the view of the majority of the Court of Appeal was that this was lawful, it was certainly carrying the law to the extreme bounds to which it could be carried, and I notice that the comments made in legal journals at the time were of this character. I will read, for example, from the "Solicitors' Journal" of the 2nd July, 1921, an observation which I think the House will see is very relevant to the present matter. It is as follows:If the Legislature had intended to give powers to arrest without trial persons in England suspected of such conduct, it would surely have said so in plain terms, instead of leaving Law Officers and Judges to read in such meaning by rather artificial modes of interpretation.Again, the same paper says:We can only repeat here that the reasoning of the Court does not seem to us in the least convincing. If Parliament had intended to give the Executive power to arrest anybody they please in England and intern him in Ireland, merely because sonic official may bonâ fidebelieve that person a danger to Irish peace, we cannot understand why the Legislature did not say so. A power which can only be read into a Statute by dexterous logic-chopping ought not to be presumed to be there.Although the law may be on the side of what has been done, it none the less does leave a very serious question of discretion and policy. I feel that the Home Secretary does not seem to me to have faced the really serious question of policy which was so plainly put before the House by the leader of the Opposition. For instance, the Home Secretary seems to think that because two Governments—two friendly Governments, both under the British Crown, the Government here at home, and the Free State Government in Ireland—agreed upon a course of action, therefore, that course of action is justified. We must for this purpose remember that these persons, whatever be 1176 the suspicions against them, and I am not minimising the suspicions, have certainly never been brought to trial. It may be that they never will be brought to trial. Internment does not mean imprisonment for punishment; it means indeterminate detention without trial; and, as I followed what the Home Secretary said just now, no arrangement or understanding exists at all as to how long these people are to remain interned without trial. I cannot help thinking that, if that be so, it is a very poor excuse to say that the Free State Government and the Government here at home have agreed that this is the best course to take.
Then there is the second point which the Leader of the Opposition put, and it really goes to the fundamentals of the matter. When these Regulations were last used, and an English Court said that what was done was within the law, there was still a common Government between the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain, so that the transfer of a man living here in London across the Irish Channel to Ireland, still left him under the control of the same central Government. It was a strong thing to do, but, at any rate, it was not moving him beyond the control and range of those who undertook the action. It is a wholly different thing to use this power, whether it is a technical and lawful power or not, to take up a man here in London, who is under one jurisdiction, and to hand him over to the authorities of, I will not say a foreign Government, but a separate and independent Government. I think the hon. Member who spoke last was quite right when he said that the position is exactly the same as if we were to arrest a man here in London on suspicion and, without trial, hand him over to the Dominion of Australia or to the Dominion of Canada. Nobody doubts the good faith of any of these Dominion Governments, but, none the less, to do anything of that kind would be, I think we will all agree, a gross betrayal of the ordinary liberties of ordinary people living in this country.
I do not question that the Home Secretary did his best to decide the course that he should take in a difficult matter, and I do not doubt that he is backed up by good legal opinion, but is it, as a matter of fact, a wise act, when we are at this stage, to use internment, and internment by a 1177 Government that is separate from ourselves, as a means with which we deal with cases of suspicion of crime? It seems to me to be a most serious proposition to lay down. I agree with all that was said by my hon. Friend just now that, if there be, as there must be, some very serious material which might properly be used in a criminal Court against some of those who were suspected, then surely the course that we ought to take is to use that material by those methods and not to adopt or to encourage the use of internment for an indefinite time against men who have never been accused, who have never been tried and who have now been passed outside our own jurisdiction and under the control of a Government other than ourselves. These are the points which arise. They are not, as the Leader of the Opposition said, lawyers' points at all, but they are points which every hon. Member is much concerned to hear discussed, because on these points turn essential questions connected with the liberty of every British citizen.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
The Home Secretary is generally very courteous in his statement and very logical in his argument, but he made some observations which I, as a Member of this House, profoundly resent, when he spoke about Gentlemen on the other side being responsible for the safety of the country, and when he said: "We are thinking of the safety of the country." I thought then, and I am going to express the thought now, that I am as much a Briton as he is, and as much responsible for the safety of the country as any Member of this House, and I resent any implication that in any sense Gentlemen on the other side are more British or more concerned for the safety of the country than we are Having raised my protest against that assumption of superiority as Britons, may I deal with the case as it presents itself to me? The right hon. Member for Spin Valley (Sir J. Simon) quoted the case of a man who had been living five years in this country. That was evidently the case of a man of Irish nationality, but the case that has been presented to-day is the case of a man of English nationality who, without charge against him, without being heard in his own defence, has been banded over to another Government. That is the case that we bring before the House, 1178 and I hope that those hon. Members who believe in the liberties of Englishmen will seriously consider this matter. Is it a safe thing to do, to admit the principle that an Englishman may be arrested and may be deported without his being able to say a word in his own defence, and without having a trial? That is the issue before the House. I want to ask the legal Gentleman who will speak for the Government, whether it he not possible under British law to prosecute in England any Englishman who by his action is endangering our relationship with any Dominion? If it be possible under the English law, by fair and open trial, to try any man who is endangering our relationship with a Dominion, why was this man not brought before a British Court and given an opportunity of stating his case There is neither principle nor justice in taking a man from his borne, without telling him the charge, and handing him over to another Government on the allegation that he may have been guilty of conspiring against the safety of that other Government.
Whatever our point of view in politics may be, surely every Briton will hold the view that it is one of the proudest things in the record of Britain that every man is supposed to have the right to be heard in his own defence. This man has not been heard in his own defence. He has been handed over to another Government, without any guarantee that he will get justice from that Government, and certainly if he be wrongly accused he will, in any ease, have suffered great disadvantage through the action of His Majesty's Government. Iii view of all the circumstances, in view of the possibility of our trying this man here for anything that he may have done, in view of the right of every Englishman to state his own case in his own defence in a public way, and in view of the danger to which citizens are exposed when on the order of any Minister a man may be deported, I hope the House will hold to the view, not that the Free State shall be attacked, but that the rights of Englishmen shall be safeguarded. There is no man on these benches but who would do everything that is humanly possible to help the Free State Government. There is no man on these benches whose desires for a peaceful Ireland are not as great as the desires of any hon. or right 1179 hon. Member opposite, but at the same time that we desire that Ireland shall be peaceful and that the Free State shall be successful, we desire that Englishmen's rights shall be safeguarded, and that the days oflettres de cachetin this country should be over.
I appeal to hon. Members not to treat this as a matter of party politics, but to look upon it from the point of view of the right of an Englishman to be heard in his own defence, to have fair play, and not to be arrested without charge. If he is arrested he should be arrested on a definite charge, and given a definite trial in his own country, and if he be guilty, let him be sentenced in his own country. It is a monstrous injustice that an Englishman should be deported to another country, without a chance of being heard in his own defence, and without a chance of knowing the charge against him.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
This Debate has assumed a very different character since the speech of the right hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon). When this Motion was asked for it was represented that some gross illegality had been committed, that the Home Secretary had gone entirely beyond his powers, and that he had been guilty, not of some small indiscretion, but of a grave illegality in sending this man to Ireland, when there was no power to intern at all. I am extremely glad that a former Home Secretary has put the matter in its true light. He pointed out, what no lawyer will deny, that there is an absolute legal right under the Act enacted by the last Parliament for the preservation of order in Ireland, and under the Regulations made in connection with that Act, for the Home Secretary to act as he has done. There is no doubt whatever that the Home Secretary's act was legal. Therefore, the only question is, of the two courses open to the Home Secretary under these Regulations, which was the wiser in a matter of discretion? Some may have one view and some another. I should have thought myself that in a matter of this sort the Home Secretary, who had all the facts at his command, was to be trusted to take the wisest course, and I think he has probably taken the wisest course. I was surprised to hear the right hon. Member for Spen Valley express his objection to the Home Secretary acting 1180 under Regulation 14B, because that is his own particular babe; that is the product of his own brain, and a very good product it is. It has been repeatedly acted upon in this country during and since the War; but I want to say a word about the very remarkable piece of special pleading of the hon. and learned Member for Walls-end (Mr. Hastings). The hon. and learned Gentleman has earned great distinction in the Courts of Law, but I confess he made a little too much of the relatively very small amount of interruption to which he was subjected to in this Debate. We are subjected to interruption on this side of the House and we do not object to these interruptions. I thought, the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech was listened to with great patience. The hon. and learned Gentleman states that Ireland is a foreign country subject to a foreign Government. That is grotesquely untrue. If it were true, he ought to have known that this Order could not possibly have been made, because the Order only permits of internment within the British Isles. I think it is unfortunate that the hon. and learned Member for Wallsend. who is so learned in other branches of the law, did not spare a little more time to look into the facts with which we are dealing, and he would then have known that to deport anyone to a foreign country would have been absolutely impossible under this Regulation. The hon. and learned Gentleman asked an extraordinary question. He said, "What is this Advisory Committee before which these deported men have the right to appear?" If he had read the Order, he would have found that there is express provision in Regulation 14s that the person who is interned or deported has a right to go before an Advisory Committee and that the Advisory Committee for the purpose of these Regulations shall be such an Advisory Committee as is appointed for the purpose of advising the Secretary of State. He would have found out that the Home Secretary has power under this Order to appoint a special Committee for the purpose of advising him regarding people interned, and that what the Home Secretary proposes to do in the case of any of the persons concerned is to ask that their case shall be so investigated.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
No. This Regulation applies to people whether they are aliens or not. This Regulation has reference to the Advisory Committee, which is to say whether these persons interned under this Order are to be allowed out or not. The hon. and learned Member for Wallsend threw some serious doubts upon the Order, but he surely ought to know that this is a subject on which there have been several legal decisions, ending up in the House of Lords, which decided that the Order was absolutely valid.
§ Mr. N. MACLEAN
Does not the passing of the Free State Act, which gave self-government to the Irish Free State, bring about an entirely different legal position?
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
The answer is no. There is no doubt that this Order, according to the House: of Lords' decision, is valid. In the case which the hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley cited in which five judges were on one side and one on the other, they decided that the deportation or internment of a person living in this country and who was sent to Ireland is also valid. The question resolves itself into a very simple one. Here we have men about whom there was definite evidence that they were conspiring to destroy law and order in Ireland.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
And no Member of this House can say that the Home Secretary had not a right to act as he did.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
The only question before the House is whether the action he took in the exercise of his discretion was wise, or whether there was some other action he might have taken. I do not know what other action he could have taken. The Irish Government have asked him to help them in the restoration of law and order in Ireland. There 1182 was this Regulation in existence, made under an Act of Parliament, definitely for the purpose of restoring order in Ireland. That Regulation was intact. The Irish Government had that Regulation before them. The Home Secretary took every precaution to see that there was a aproper case before putting that Regulation into operation, and I for one certainly think he exercised a wise discretion.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I did not hear the beginning of this Debate, nor had I the benefit of hearing this Regulation read which is alleged to have decided the action taken by the Home Secretary. I am prepared, however, to admit that he acted on legal advice and that so far as the legality of his action is concerned he may be on safe ground. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) told us that in a similar case, before the Free State was established, there was a difference of opinion among the judges and even that that case went to the extreme limit of what was allowed by the law. It is a new factor in the matter that the Free State Government has since been established and, therefore, if some sort of action went over the extreme limit in the case referred to it must have gone, to say the least, very much nearer to it in this case.
But the point I rose to make—and I only do so because I am an Irishman—is this, I suppose statesmen have to consider, not what is always legally justifiable, but what is wise and circumspect. Apart from this particular Regulation, one knows that any subject living in a country that boasts of liberty is entitled to say his freedom can only be invaded by those methods recognised by the legal jurisdiction of that country, and in England we never allow a man's liberty to be invaded without giving him an opportunity of being heard. Indeed, even a foreigner in our country has his liberty guarded to some extent, and that is the basis of our extradition law. What has happened here? Certain men subjected to the English jurisdiction, but having, according to information sent from Ireland, sentiments which are disloyal to this country and to the Irish Free State, are suddenly arrested and deported. What will be the state of feeling in Ireland to-morrow? A large percentage of those who at 1183 present are disposed to help and to forward purposes of law and order, which is the function of the Free State Government, will say, "Here is England once more sticking her finger in the pie and taking sides in our country," and I have little doubt, from my knowledge of my own countrymen, that this action will have the effect of immensely strengthening the irregular forces in Ireland.
How can it have been wise, upon mere statements of facts, not sworn to, in no way supported except by the written declaration of those who in Ireland arc opposed to the parties here arrested, for this Government, at a time when we should stand up and allow, if possible., the healing forces which have been set at work to complete their good offices, to take sides with one of the two parties in the internecine fight which is going on there? There is an internecine fight going on in Ireland, and undoubtedly there is a great deal of strength upon both sides, and the real division between the two is that those who are opposed to the Government in Ireland say: "You have been duped by England. They never intended to give you a real Free State." Now we have enabled them to say: "See, we were right. The English Government is still ready on the first invitation to come in and take sides with those who they think are more loyal or less disloyal to them." Though I am sure that the Home Secretary, in a difficult position, did the, best he could, and though I have no doubt he was well advised, I will support those who put forward this Motion, because I think that this was a singularly unwise and imprudent action to take.
§ Sir HENRY CRAIK
I have been unwilling to intervene in a discussion of this sort, but the speech which we have just heard is one to which I cannot listen in silence. We have been forced over and over again, many of us strongly against our convictions and wishes, to give to the Free State in Ireland a free band and every advantage. We were pressed to do so against our inclinations and our convictions. We did not think that it would be good for Ireland, and the present state of Ireland shows that it is not good for Ireland. But the Government which is in power has inherited a legacy left by the last Government, and finds itself com- 1184 pelled, even it may be against the convictions of many of its supporters in this House, to do all it can to support the Free State Government in the arduous work it has undertaken. It finds itself now opposed by some lawyers who can find some small niggling points against it, or by Members like the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald), for whom I can assure him, honestly, that I have great respect, who speak of the liberty of the subject. And we have also had the hon. Member for. West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood), a supporter of the Government, as one who adds his voice to the general outcry against the Government for acting, as I think they are acting, in the spirit which prompted the Coalition Government to carry out this Treaty and support the Free State Government.
They do so honestly, beyond what many of us would have done, and it seems to me an extraordinary thing that the very people who forced on this Treaty, who forced upon us the acknowledgment of the Free State, should now turn against the Government and say, "You have done wrong because at the urgent request of the Free State, which we created, and which you said would give great advantage, you have done what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) himself is compelled to say is a perfectly legal act." I accept the view of the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) on the legal question, but I do take issue with men like the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) and the Leader of the Opposition, and I say, speaking on broad grounds of justice and upon the morality which the Government are compelled to follow by the damnosu hæreditas which the Government received from its predecessors, that they were, as honourable men, bound to do all they could to help the Free State, and it seems rather hard, when they have done what the Free State Government have asked them to do, as vital to their existence, to turn upon them and to say that they should not take this action when men in our midst were carrying out a plot to try to make life in Ireland impossible and to extend the disorder and anarchy which exist in Ireland into this country.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Until this moment we have, not heard much about. our 1185 action in supporting the Free State Government. The last speaker reminded us that some of us supported the establishment of the Irish Free State. Of course we did. I think it was our policy and agitation that brought into being the Free State in Ireland. I hold that the reason for the internecine strife that is going on in Ireland to-day is that certain very distinguished right hon. and hon. Gentleman on the other side have never rested until they divided that country into two camps. We are bound to say that in defence of the policy which we have supported. From my experience in this House I am convinced that to make a gamekeeper of a poacher is a very good policy indeed. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen who ornament the Treasury Bench to-night, in the main are the people who in this country organised sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion against His Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I would not have been drawn had it not been for the last speaker. I want to make it clear that in our judgment the condition of affairs in Ireland is entirely due to the policy put sued by the present Prime Minister when he sat on the Opposition Front Bench. Hon. Members on the Government side will not accept our word that we want, just as much as they want, to mantain the present Irish Free State Government, and that we are not quarreling with the British Government for taking action against people who break the law. Unhappily for me, I have been to prison twice for breaking the law. I have not minded it very much, because I thought it was right to go there. What I feel on this occasion is that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have no right continually to put up against us a case for which there is no foundation. What we complain about is not that you are interfering with men who are conspiring to do something which they ought not to do, but about the method of your interference. I cannot understand why hon. Members opposite do not realise that they are setting a very bad precedent for the future. If it is to be possible for the British Parliament to pass an emergency Act during a period of war between Ireland 1186 and this country, and when the war is over still to put into operation that emergency Act, it is giving us very good levers for the future for dealing with people who may be troublesome to us.
I am perfectly certain when the hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition sits as Leader of the Government—as he wilt one day without any doubt—if, unhappily, a war took place and a Defence of the Realm Act was passed, and if a year or two after the war, the hon. Gentleman attempted to use that Act against any of the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who now sit opposite, they would take up exactly the same attitude as that which we are taking up to-night. That is the whole case. Hon. Members on the other side have refused to face the issue which was put to them. The two judges determined in a very extreme case that a man should be dealt with, and that was when we were at war—or rather, when the Irish nation, at least Southern and Western Ireland, were at war with this country. No one on the other side of the House has ever met the point that has been put over and over again tonight, and the point is that these conditions having passed away, and an entirely new set of conditions having been created, you are trying to apply a law which should not be applied to the new conditions. Probably the Attorney-General will attempt to meet it.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I am going to address myself to the Speaker, and not to the hon. Member. I hope that the learned Attorney-General will tell us—
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Even if it were a request by the Free State Government, I have yet to learn that the British Government has to concede every request that the Free State Government may make. I ask the learned Attorney-General, does he contend that any citizens may be deported from England to Ireland there to be tried for offences com- 1187 witted in England against the English Government. That is what it comes to. I listened attentively to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary reading those letters just now, and I was not very much impressed with them. Two of them, I think, dealt with a conspiracy to do certain things in England. They were not very definite, but they seemed to carry a sort of conviction that certain people were organised to commit offences here, not against the Irish Free State, but offences against our own Government and property in this country. What I want to know is, if I commit an offence against the law of the land and enter into an illegal conspiracy against the British Government, can I be sent to Ireland to be interned?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I am glad to hear hon. Members laugh. I hope I will live to see the day when the hon. Gentlemen who are sitting over there will be sitting on this side of the House, and I shall see how they will laugh then. At the moment I am dealing with a serious matter, and I ask the Attorney-General if it is contended that under an emergency law, you can take English citizens out of this country to be tried, not for offences against the Irish Free State, but for offences against our own Government? In that connection I wish to say that it is perfectly true that the Free State is part of the British Dominions, but it is equally true that within the confines of that part of Ireland over which it has jurisdiction, the Free State Government exercises power without any interference whatever from this House. Therefore, it is no use you rebuking us because we say it is an alien Government. We mean a Government that is not under the control of this House of Commons. Nobody has answered the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald) yet on that point. I have had experience, and I hope the House will forgive me for what I am going to say. I say it with quite definite feeling of the truth of what I am going to say in reference to the appointment of Mr. Justice Lawrence, as he was, now Lord Trevethin. I want this House to realise that this gentleman is 80 years of age. Two years ago I was before him, and I say it is monstrous to put him to try 1188 anybody at his age. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] This man is going to be Chairman of the Advisory Committee. It is bad enough in this House to give out opinions of which one side or the other does not approve, but when you get before a learned judge, and you are on trial for your liberty, you ought to be able to put your case and to be heard in an intelligent fashion. I say that when this gentleman was Lord Chief Justice, and I was before him—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I cannot allow the hon. Member to transgress the well-known rule of this House, that it is not open to any hon. Member to criticize any of his Majesty's Judges, except on a direct Motion to that effect.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member was referring to some action when he was a judge. He is entitled to give his opinions on the Chairman of this Advisory Committee, but he must not go into that gentleman's actions when he was holding a commission as one of His Majesty's judges.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Obviously, Mr. Speaker, I do not want to contest your ruling. I only want to say, and I put it to any common-sense Member of this House, is it a fair and a just thing to put a man who has retired from his position, who is 80 years age, to be the head of a Committee over such a very difficult question as will be involved in the treatment of these men? At least, I, for one, protest very strongly, from my knowledge of the gentleman, against his being appointed to any such position.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Will the Attorney-General tell us, in his reply, exactly the extent of the problem we are discusing, how many persons are involved, from what localities they are drawn, and if his Department or the Home Office took steps through the ordinary police force to keep a surveillance over the activities of these men before they took this rather melodramatic step?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)
The hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, in a speech of the tone of which none of us, I think, would complain, propounded what he 1189 said was the question which the Opposition desired to raise. The question, as he stated it, was this: What power had the Home Secretary to do what he has done, under what Statutes or Regulations was he acting That, as I apprehend it, is a question of law, and nothing else. I was proposing, as a Law Officer, to answer that question, but I am going to do it quite shortly now, because someone who is certainly, if I may say so, even better qualified to answer it, the right hon. Gentleman who combines the functions of an ex-Law Officer and an ex-Home Secretary (Sir S. Simon), has now answered it for me. The Act of Parliament under which the Home Secretary has acted is an Act to make provision for the restoration and maintenance of law and order in Ireland. It was passed on 9th August, 1920, and it provided for the making and issuing of Regulations for securing the restoration and maintenance of law and order in Ireland.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I take it, Sir, that His Majesty's Government is responsible for assisting any Dominion Government to maintain law and order. The Regulations under which the Home Secretary has acted was the other question put to me. The Regulation which the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself read, Regulation 14B, was made on 13th August, 1920, under the powers contained in the Act I have quoted. That Regulation, as the House will remember, provides—I am only reading the relevant words—Where on the recommendation of a competent military authority it appears to the Secretary of State that for securing the restoration or maintenance of order in Ireland it is expedient that the person who is suspected of acting, or having acted, or being about to act, in a manner prejudicial to the restoration and maintenance of order in Ireland an II be subjected to such obligations and restrictions as are hereinafter mentioned, the Secretary of State may, by Order, order that person to be interned in suet place as may be specified in the Order. …and the Regulation goes on to provide a little lower down that the place may he any place in the British Isles.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The Act was passed by the Houses of Parliament, and assented to by His Majesty's Government, and they are, therefore, the responsible authorities for the Act. The Regulations have, in accordance with their express terms, to be laid before Parliament before they become operative. That was done in August, 1920, and they became operative some time later.
I have answered, therefore, the question which the hon. Gentleman stated as the question he desired to raise. It is, however, worth remembering, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley reminded us, that the efficacy of the Regulation made under that Act of Parliament to permit the internment in Southern Ireland of somebody arrested in England was subject to a judicial decision by our own Court of Appeal. As is well known, in July, 1921, the Court of Appeal decided that it was legal under that power to intern in Southern Ireland somebody arrested over here.
§ Mr. J. JONES
On a point of Order. I do not want to interrupt the right: hon. and learned Gentleman, but is not that subject to the offence being committed in Ireland?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I do not know, Mr. Speaker, whether that is a point of Order, but the answer is "No." That, therefore, is the legal authority for the action which has been taken. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley propounded a different question as one which he thought ought to be considered. He said that this Regulation was legal, and that therefore the act of the Home Secretary was within the law, although he read an article from a newspaper to say that the anonymous author of that article did not agree with him. The question which he propounded was. "Is it a wise act of policy that we should have internment as a means for the suppression of crime?" That is a question of policy and not a question of law, and I propose, with the permission of the House, to say a few words about it and the arguments addressed during the Debate with regard to it.
It is said that from the point of view of policy the fact that the Treaty with Ireland was made and that the Irish Free 1191 State has been established makes all the difference, and that it is no longer politic to do what it may still be legal to effect. The Leader of the Opposition pointed out, in support of that view, that when the Act was passed and the Regulations were made Ireland was in a state of rebellion against us; that we had Ireland rebelling against us and we passed this Regulation to assist us in putting down rebellion and re-storing order; and that is no longer true now because part of Ireland is in rebellion against the Irish Free State. I admit the fact, but I completely traverse the conclusion, because when once we find that the self-governing authority in a Dominion comes to this country and says that it desires this country, in order to assist it in maintaining order in its own Dominion, to put into force certain powers, there is no reason why the responsible authority should decline to give that assistance. I would go further, and say that if it did decline it would be undertaking a very grave responsibility.
It is true that a number of hon. Members opposite have told us that the Irish Free State will suffer for this, and that it is bad in their interest to do it. That seems to be the characteristic way in which the Labour party seek to enforce self-government.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I know that that argument was put forward by the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. Jones) and was reinforced by the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) both of whom said that this is a very bad thing for the Irish Free State and will cause Irish opinion to turn against the Government there. In the opinion of His Majesty's Government, when we have given self-government to any country, we, intend that the self-governing Power shall decide these things, and it is not for us to dictate to the Free State Government what is best for them. It is for them to tell us and we act upon it. The Irish Free State Government has told us in this ease that in their opinion it was most desirable and indeed essential that we should take the action that we have taken.
1192 Assume that you have the request made, as it was made here. The Home Secretary has had these cases under consideration for no less than four weeks. He has gone carefully into each individual case. He has had a recommendation from the competent military authority. He has satisfied himself that it is right to exercise the power with which Parliament has entrusted him, and what is he then to do when the time comes, excepting to act? I submit that he would be guilty of a very grave dereliction of duty if he failed to exercise his power.
It is said—and one appreciates the subtlety, at least, of the argument—" Oh, well, a man always ought to have a fair trial, a man ought not to be arrested where he cannot be tried." In time of peace, that is perfectly true, and nobody suggests that the normal state of affairs in any British Dominion, under conditions of peace, is other than that which has been suggested. But the very essence of these Regulations is that there is not a normal condition of affairs existing in the particular part of the British Dominions with regard to which these Regulations were enacted, that is to say, Ireland. It was only, as right hon. and hon. Members have pointed out, with regard to England during the time of War that an exactly similar power was enacted, and upheld. Now, in Ireland, can anybody dispute that the condition of affairs to-day is at least as dangerous to the existence of the Government of that country as any state of affairs which existed during the worst. days of the War here? Why should riot the Irish Free State have the same powers and the same protection that we were only too anxious to claim for ourselves when we were fighting for our existence?
The hon. and learned Member for Wallsend (Mr. Hastings), in a speech which—he will forgive me for saying—I somewhat resented, began by saying that on this occasion he was satisfied—in fact, he kept on saying he was satisfied—that the Law Officers of the Crown, must both feel that this was one of the most terrible things that had been done in the history of their time; and when he saw some sign of dissent, he said, at least they would do so in their private capacity. I want to say, here and now, speaking not only for myself but for my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General, that we resent the suggestion that we would come 1193 down to the House of Commons and make a statement in this House which did not agree with our real opinion, and that, for the sake of some party advantage, we would attempt to mislead the House of Commons as to what we believe on a matter of this kind. As the Home Secretary told the House, before he took this action he did me the honour to consult me upon the action he was going to take. It met with my entire and unqualified approval. I approved it for the reasons which I am venturing to put before the House now, which are—whether they be right or whether they be wrong—at least, as I hope all my statements in the House will be, my deliberate, sincere, and honest conviction. I hope the hon. and learned Member for Wallsend will apply to himself, at any rate, the principle which I have tried to adopt, of saying to the House what he really thinks, and not what he thinks it would pay him to think. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!" and "Withdraw!"]
§ Mr. SEXTON
On a point of Order. I would like to ask your ruling, Sir, as to whether it is in order for any hon. Member of this House to impute dishonesty of expression to another hon. Member.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Hon. Members know that we always assume honesty of purpose and if a suggestion were made other than that, certainly I should intervene.
§ Mr. HASTINGS
Only one word. I should be deeply regretful if a very old friend of mine thought I had in the slightest degree impugned his motives. The only point I endeavoured to make was this, that inasmuch as the Attorney-General had, as I understood, given an opinion in law, I thought he would regret
§ the necessity for having given it, as a matter of fact. I am sure I said nothing to impugn his honesty of motive and purpose.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I have endeavoured in the time that remained to me first of all to point out why in law this action was justified and, secondly, I have tried to point out why from the point of policy it was wise. I should only like to say in conclusion that we have had a number of letters which show a very serious state of affairs; we have obtained as a result of the raid on Sunday morning another document and I will read this. It is to the Officer Commanding in Britain from the chief of the Staff in Ireland as follows:Having failed to get the articles we expected, the Chief of the Staff writes that you be instructed to have operations carried out at once. He says that days now count.When one remembers the operations that were suggested in a previous letter it is possible to realise how serious a matter that is.
§ Question put, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 152; Noes, 260.1195
|Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.||Snell, Harry|
|Hayday, Arthur||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)||Snowden, Philip|
|Hayes, John Henry (Edge Hill)||Maxton, James||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.)||Millar, J. D.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Herriotts, J.||Murnin, H.||Sullivan, J.|
|Hillary, A. E.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Hinds, John||Newbold, J. T. W.||Thorne, G. R, (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Nichol, Robert||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Hutchison, Sir R. (Kirkcaldy)||O'Grady, Captain James||Thornton, M.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Paling, W.||Tillett, Benjamin|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Trevelyan, C. P.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Phillipps, Vivian||Turner, Ben|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (Willesden, East)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Walsh. Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Potts, John S.||Warne, G. H.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Richards, R.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Jones, R. T. (Carnarvon)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Ritson, J.||Webb, Sidney|
|Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)||Roberts, C. H. (Derby)||Weir, L. M.|
|Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)||Wheatley, J.|
|Lansbury, George||Royce, William Stapleton||Whiteley, W.|
|Lawson, John James||Saklatvala, S.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Leach, W.||Salter, Dr. A.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Lee, F.||Scrymgeour, E.||Williams, T (York, Don Valley)|
|Lees-Smith, H. B. (Keighley)||Sexton, James||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield. Attercliffe)|
|Linfield, F. C.||Shakespeare, G. H.||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Lowth, T.||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Lunn, William||Shinwell, Emanuel||Wright, W.|
|M'Curdy, Rt. Hon, Charles A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|M'Entee, V. L.||Simpson, J. Hope||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|McLaren, Andrew||Sitch, Charles H.||Mr. J. Jones and Mr. T. Griffiths.|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Smith, T. (Pontefract)|
|Division No. 34.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Adams, D.||Cairns, John||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bodwellty)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Chapple, W. A.||Fairbairn, R. R.|
|Adkins, Sir William Ryland Dent||Charleton, H. C.||Falconer, J.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Clarke, Sir E. C.||Foot, Isaac|
|Attlee, C. R.||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Gosling, Harry|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Collins, Pat (Walsall)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Barnes, A.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Batey, Joseph||Darbishire, C. W.||Gray, Frank (Oxford)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Greenall, T.|
|Bonwick, A.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Groves, T.|
|Broad, F. A.||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Duffy, T. Gavan||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Buchanan, G.||Duncan, C.||Harbord, Arthur|
|Buckle, J.||Dunnico, H.||Hardie, George D.|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Ede, James Chuter||Harney, E. A.|
|Buxton, Charles (Accrington)||Edge, Captain Sir William||Harris, Percy A.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Edmonds, G.||Hastings, Patrick|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Pease, William Edwin||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Penny, Frederick George||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sparkes, H. W.|
|Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Stanley, Lord|
|Lorimer, H. D.||Peto, Basil E.||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)||Philipson, H. H.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Lumley. L. R.||Pielou. D. P.||Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Preston, Sir W. R.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Sueter, Roar-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Privett, F. J.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.|
|Manville, Edward||Rawson, Lieut.-Com. A. C.||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Margesson, H. D. R.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Remer, J. R.||Terrell, Csptain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Rentoul, G. S.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)||Reynolds, W. G. W.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Molson, Major John Eisdale||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford Hereford)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston upon-Hull)|
|Morden, Col. W. Grant||Rogerson, Capt. J. E.||Waring, Major Walter|
|Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Rothschild, Lionel do||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Morris, Harold||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Watts, Dr T. (Man., Withington)|
|Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E.||Wells, S. R.|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Russell, William (Bolton)||White, Lt. Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney||Whitla, Sir William|
|Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Nail, Major Joseph||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Winterton, Earl|
|Nesbitt, Robert C.||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.||Wise, Frederick|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Newton, Sir Percy Wilson||Sandon, Lord||Wood, Rt. Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Shepperson, E. W.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Nicholson, William G (Petersfleld)||Shipwright, Captain D.||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Nleld, Sir Herbert||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Simpson-Hinchliffe, W. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Paget, T. G.||Singleton, J. E.||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Colonel|
|Parker, Owen (Kettering)||Skelton, A. N.||Gibbs.|
Question put, and agreed to.