§ 2. "That a sum, not exceeding £17,000,000, be granted to His Majesty, on account, for defraying the Charges for Army Services which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1926, viz.:—
|Heads of Cost.||Amount required.|
|Head I.—Maintenance of Standing Army||9,000,000|
|Head II.—Territorial Army and Reserve Forces||2,000 000|
|Head III.—Educational, etc., Establishments and Working Expenses of Hospitals, Depots, etc.||2,000,000|
|Head IV.—War Office, Staff of Commands, etc.||500,000|
|Head V.—Capital Accounts||800,000|
|Head VI.—Terminal and Miscellaneous Charges, etc.||700,000|
|Head VII.—Half-pay, Retired pay, Pensions, etc.||2,000,000|
|Total to be voted||17,000,000"|
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MORRIS
I beg to move to leave out "£17,000,000," and to insert instead thereof "£16,999,900."
Remarkable as these Estimates have been in many ways, perhaps the most remarkable speech has been the complete metamorphosis of the right hon. Member for Ince (Mr. Walsh). Last year, as Secretary of State for War, the duty devolved upon him of introducing the Army Estimates. He was conscious of 170 the fact that the amount of the Estimates was a good deal higher than he thought they ought to be, and on that occasion he defended his position in these words:In putting forward the Estimates for the Army this year I would point out to the House that the general form of these Estimates had been prepared before I received the seals of office, and represent almost wholly the policy of my predecessor."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th March, 1924; col. 2613, Vol. 170.]That was an understandable position. I have no doubt the right hon. Gentleman found it necessary to reconcile his past professions with his duty at the moment in introducing the Estimates. What has happened this year? When the Secretary of State for War introduced his Estimates, standing practically where they stood last year, without any reduction or, at any rate, without any appreciable reduction, the right hon. Member for Ince congratulated him in the words:I am quite sure the whole House has listened with real interest to the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman who now has charge of the very high Department which I had the misfortune recently to vacate. With almost the whole of the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman I find myself in agreement."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th March, 1925; col 1895, Vol. 181.]The effect of high office upon the right hon. Gentleman has been to cause him to change his attitude entirely, apparently, on the question of armaments. I can only hope that the view expressed by him on this occasion does not represent the view of the majority of his party.How use doth breed a habit in a man.It is clear that he has taken his views from the office which he held, and that he is quite ready to accept suggestions from it as a cat laps milk. For my own part, I can find very little in these Estimates which affords one satisfaction. There was a good deal in the speech of the Minister that one could not but view with alarm. He said, in recommending the Estimates to the House, that we were now in a position to compare one year with another, that we had got rid of the 171 War aftermath, and that the reductions in establishment have been made. The Minister, no doubt, is at present looking forward to Estimates being introduced year by year at somewhat about the same figure as they have been introduced this year, and that the taxpayers of this country are to look forwaard to an amount of £45,000,000 a year being spent upon the Army alone. The Prime Minister, in answer to a question put by the hon. Member for South Hackney (Captain Garro-Jones) last week, said that the Government intended to pursue the policy of disarmament, and that he was glad of the opportunity of stating afresh the fact that they intended to pursue that policy. To judge from these Estimates, I do not know whether the Prime Minister has communicated that view to the Secretary of State for War.
We have listened during the past weeks to appeals made, even from hon. Members opposite, for the granting of more money for the purpose of social reform. Appeals have been made for money for widows' pensions, for the provision of pensions for men under 70 years of age, for the improvement of educational facilities, and even last week an appeal was made from hon. Members on the opposite benches for an extended grant to enable young boys and girls to have a proper start in life. Money cannot be provided for these purposes if we are to continue spending the sums we are now spending upon the Army and the other armed forces of the Crown.
The Minister spoke of these Estimates as an insurance against war. The best form of insurance against war and the best form of insurance that any country can have is moral insurance. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite laugh. They doubt that. If they examine the history of any State, they will find that the progressive, first of all, becomes moral, then it becomes intelligent, and then it becomes rich. The decaying State first of all becomes immoral, then it becomes stupid, and then it becomes poor. The best form of insurance, clearly, is a form of moral insurance. [HON. MEMBERS: "1914!"] Yes, 1914. The best insurance then was the moral insurance of this country. If you had not had moral insurance in this country in 1914 you would 172 never have raised the army of millions that you did raise for the War.
It is idle to pretend that armaments are a form of insurance against war in any country. They form in every country the policy of the Government in time of peace. There is a tragic element in the position where millions of money are spent by a country upon armaments, and then millions more are paid to statesmen and diplomatists to prevent those armaments being used, while every Government argues in favour of its own armaments, that its own armaments are harmless, and that the armaments of every other Power are highly dangerous.Earth is sickAnd Heaven is weary of the hollow wordsWhich States and Kingdoms utter when they talkOf truth and justice.If this is to be a form of insurance, against whom are we insuring and for what purpose are we 'insuring? The reason of 1914 we can understand. Is it suggested that an expeditionary force will be required in Europe such as was required in 1914? If so, against whom? There is no danger of that from any part of Europe for the next generation. It will be better for this country, and better, even, for war purposes, that the money that is now being proposed to be spent upon armaments should be saved in order to build up anew the resources of the country, physically and industrially, and that the money saved in that way should be available in a generation to come for your armament purposes if they are found to be necessary.
Of course, there are obstacles, and there are obstacles in the way of this reduction. There is the obstacle of the vested interest of the military class. I can quite understand the vehement objection put forward by those who are interested if it is suggested that a profession is to lose any prestige. I can understand the objection of a military commander if it is suggested that his unit is to be depleted. That is one of the most serious objections to a decrease in armaments at the present moment, but that should not be allowed to stand in the way of the development of the nation. Of course, there is another class of objector who, when any suggestion is made about 173 decreasing the Army, begins to prophesy that the Empire is going to the dogs. That prophecy does not alarm us very much, because we know that in a fortnight the same prophet will be saying that the Empire is going to the same dogs for a very different reason. The demand for economy at present is quite overwhelming, and one would have hoped that economy would at least have had an ally in the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the past record of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this point is not very reassuring.
There is one particular at least in which I think the right hon. Gentleman resembles Napoleon. It is said that one use Napoleon had for reading the Old Testament was to study the campaigns of Moses with the aid of a map. Judging by the writings of the right hon. Gentleman when he does open the Bible—apparently he does so only at random—he opens it in the place which registers the exploits of the sons of Anak. That is not a very reassuring record for one who has charge of the finance of the country, and one would wish that someone with a better peace record than the right hon. Gentleman had charge of the finance of the country. One cannot expect a raven to hatch a lark. If they are to spend money on armaments surely the sum of £45,000,000 which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to spend on the Army is waste of money from the point of view of armaments itself. A little time back we had the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Air complaining in this House that the Treasury would not grant him sufficient money to enable him to keep the Air Force an efficient force in comparison with the standards obtaining in other countries, and that an Air Force in any future war will be of far greater importance than the Army. That is the trend of development. If you are going to make your armed force efficient then the money should be saved upon the least important and devoted to the more important arm of the Crown. In this way the money would be saved from the Army and devoted to the purposes of the Air Force.
In these Estimates a great deal of money is being spent upon the least important sections of the Army. For instance, I see that it is proposed to 174 spent this year a sum of £1,308,400 upon the cavalry. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Hon. Members say, "Hear, hear," but what use was cavalry in the last War? The greater part of this money is going to be spent for ceremonial purposes. When the industry of the country is being handicapped, when the right hon. Gentleman, in the memorandum which he has circulated with these Estimates, shows that the physical condition of the population of this country is such that 55 per cent. of those who applied for admission to the Army were rejected as unfit, it is time that some of the money devoted to preparations for the destruction of life should be used for building up the life of the nation.
Right hon. Gentlemen opposite have a moral responsibility in this matter, that all the resources at this moment at the command of the Treasury shall be utilised for one purpose and one purpose alone—restoring the industries of the country and building up its population. How is it suggested that that can be done? By keeping up the Estimates for the Army to £45,000,000 and looking forward not to a reduction but to the maintenance of expenditure on this level. The taxpayers of this country cannot afford this handicap. The right hon. Gentleman and his Government have professed over and over again that they are in favour of world peace, and in favour of taking every step to bring peace about. So far the only thing which we know of their record in international peace is the piling up of armaments. They have rejected the Protocol, and every attempt which has been made so far to bring about an international understanding has been turned down. They have brought forward as yet no plan of their own except one of piling up armaments. We cannot have this remedy if this expenditure is allowed to be continued.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
I beg to second the Amendment.
We have been spending several hours this afternoon discussing the Singapore base in relation to the Navy Estimates, and we are now going to consider the Report Stage of the Army Estimates. I would like at this point to remark how impossible it is to consider the Estimates for one arm of the Services alone. Each 175 must be considered in connection with the other two arms. I will try not to go too far off the point, but I hope that I may be permitted, in discussing the Army Estimates, to refer at least to the Estimates for the Air and the Navy. The total Estimates which we are asked to vote this year is £120,500,000, of which the Army accounts for £44,500,000. I would ask hon. Members, to put these figures into their true perspective, to cast their minds back to the Estimates that were prepared for the year 1913–14. At that time the total Defence Estimates were £86,000,000, of which the Army accounted for £35,000,000, so that we have now an increase of 39½ per cent. That is not all, because there is £3,000,000 to be accounted for, by the Colonial Office, for the defence of Iraq and the Air Force, and there is the unknown quantity for cruisers and the unknown quantity for Singapore.
I am not going to enlarge upon that beyond saying that to my mind it is a scandal that Estimates of this character should be presented in unknown quantities and with unknown commitments. As far as one can realise, the charges will not be 39½ per cent. in excess of those for 1913–14, but will come to nearer 50 per cent. That is an enormous increase, but I admit that there are the increased cost of materials and the increased pay of the personnel to be taken into consideration. That, however, does not account for the whole difference. Circumstances to-day are widely different from what they were in 1913–14. May I for a moment be allowed to draw comparisons between the state of affairs then and that which exists to-day. At that time trade was good, and our National Debt amounted to £650,000,000; to-day our trade, unfortunately, is in a very parlous condition, as we know, but I am afraid that this House and the country do not realise in what a serious position our trade is. Our National Debt, instead of being £650,000,000, is £7,650,000,000. We are honourably discharging debts that we owe to our War pensioners; we are paying enormous sums to help our unemployed over times of difficulty; and we are undertaking enormous commitments for the housing of our people. Before the War the taxation was something like £4 10s. a head; to-day it is £17 a head. 176 The conditions are entirely different. In those days we had a turbulent and dangerous Ireland. More than that, there was the menace of Germany hanging over the whole of Europe. To-day we are in a time of profound peace, when the whole of Europe is looking for peaceful methods for settling international difficulties, when France has offered the Protocol and President Coolidge is looking towards a reduction of armaments. Yet it is this moment that the Government choose for the first time since the War to increase the cost of armaments. It cannot be too clearly understoood by this House and by the country that this is the first time since the War that the Government is making a definite attempt in the Estimates to increase the cost of armaments.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
In 1920, of course, they were enormous, but that was just after the War. The Secretary of State for War has taken credit to himself for a decrease of £500,000 in the Army Estimates, but, as my right hon. Friend the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) pointed out, if you take into account the terminal charges there is really an increase of £170,000. The Secretary for War went a step further into the accounts and pointed to the war stores, and by digging into the war stores heading he showed that there was really a decrease of £200,000 or £300,000. He is taking credit to himself for a decrease of £200,000 or £300,000. What we want is a decrease of millions in these Estimates. I am not a pacifist in the sense that some hon. Members are.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I am not a pacifist in the sense that some of my hon. Friends of the Labour party are. I give them full credit for the way in which they tackle this question, but I realise that in the imperfect world in which we exist we must have defensive forces. Admitting that, I say that the defensive force that we do have must be suited to our political needs and to our financial capacity to pay for it. We must have regard to the state of the world in which we are living and the state of our own pocket to 177 pay for our defensive force. The Secretary for War and, I think, also the First Lord said these defence forces were a necessary insurance. That is no argument, and it is no explanation for an Estimate of £44,500,000. It would be equally applicable if the Estimate were £88,000,000. Why are we asked to pay a higher premium when the combustible material has been removed out of Europe? If a war were menacing us at the present time it might be reasonable to ask for a higher premium, but in these times of peace it seems entirely unreasonable.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
The First Lord of the, Admiralty quoted Latin to show the dangers of extreme parsimony. I am not going to vie with the First Lord in quoting Latin, but I will give him an English proverb against his Latin one, and it isCut your coat according to your cloth.To that I would addSee that you get good value for your money.That is what we have to do in connection with these Estimates. I think we are all agreed as to the functions which our Army should exercise. In the first place, it must be sufficient for our needs in defence; it must be small, highly-efficient and economically run, and there must be the means and the power to dispatch it speedily wherever it is required in case of need. In that connection, I should like to ask what is going to be the effect in the future of the existence of the new force—the Air Force—upon our Army and upon the Army Estimates? We are entitled to have some clear views from the Government on this point. Are we to have in future, in connection with the Air Force, an expanding Estimate independent of the Estimates for the Army and Navy, or is the Air Force to give relief by providing defence which is at present provided by the Army? We ought to have a much clearer exposition on that point than we have so far received.
The Air Force has a personnel of 36,000, which is a considerable total compared with the personnel of the Army. I notice that a point made by the Mover of this Amendment in reference to cavalry was 178 received with some laughter on the other side of the House. I do not pretend to be an expert in these matters, but I ask myself what is the use of maintaining 12,000 cavalry. [An HON. MEMBER: "To amuse the children!"] It may amuse the children, but I am dealing with more serious matters. Some years ago the War Office got into hot water because of a famous telegram, "Mounted men not wanted." Apparently they have not forgotten the lesson of that occasion and are hanging on to the mounted men in spite of the advance which has been made in our capacity to move troops by motor transport. It seems to me the cavalry is an antiquated arm, but, as I say, I am not an expert. We should like, however, a definite pronouncement on that point from the Secretary for War. Is it intended that our Army shall include a large cavalry arm in the future? The House and the country ought to know the intentions of the Government in this matter.
I observe that the total personnel has been reduced by 900 men, but I am astonished that this reduction has been accompanied by an increase in expenditure of £54,000 on War Office and Command staffs. The two figures do not seem to tally. If we reduce our personnel slightly why should the cost of running the personnel go up? The sum is not a very large one, but is part of a very large total, and in this connection I may remind the House that before the War the staff of the War Office numbered 2,800 people. To-day it is 4,319. Was the Army efficiently run by the War Office before the War? I am sure there is not a single hon. Member who would not say that it was efficiently run before the War. Why should it not then to-day be equally efficiently run by a smaller staff To my mind, it is ridiculous to say you are anxious for economy when swollen staffs like this are kept, without any special justification. I say that, because I asked the Secretary of State for War the other night for an explanation, and he said there was a large amount of correspondence. Do we not know what an amount of correspondence the War Office goes in for, and would it not be a great deal better with 50 per cent. of that correspondence cut off? It costs no less than £15 a man of the personnel, that correspondence! I often wonder why it 179 is that soldiers are so fond of correspondence. I suppose it is that when they have no further use for their swords they stab at one another with their pens. It is all very well to say that our country is pacific. It was a sentiment that was cheered to the echo in this House the other night. We know that our intentions are pacific, but it is a curious evidence of that to the outside world if our defence expenses go up in the way they are doing. I say that there has been no justification for these Estimates. We know that our country is being bled white at the present time. We know what a state our industry is in. We see our premier industry, shipbuilding, losing to Germany, and I would ask: Is Germany any less secure to-day for having no Air Force, no submarines, and only a small Army? She is no less secure in Europe, but she has a handicap over us in the race now through not having to carry the load that we are carrying. That must be remembered. It is all very well for the Prime Minister to utter the prayer that he did utter, in which we all join, that there should be peace in industry, but how can there be peace in industry when the industry cannot earn sufficient to pay the wages that the men deserve and which the employers would like to pay them? I think it would have been a more practical move on the part of the Prime Minister had he attempted to take some of the sand of taxation out of the wheels of the machine. It is because I consider these Estimates are not commensurate either with the political needs of the moment or with our financial capacity to meet them that I heartily second the Motion for their reduction.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I regret that I cannot follow the hon. Members who have moved and seconded the Amendment. During the passage of the Estimates in this House, and much more so in the Press outside, considerable attention has been drawn to the paragraph in the Memorandum of the Secretary of State for War dealing with the unemployed and recruiting. It says:Unemployment does not, as before the War, help recruiting. The unemployed are now entitled to State benefit, which is apparently preferred in many cases to the full support and the liberal pay which Army service yields.180 Whatever the intentions of the Government are in regard to unemployment benefit, there is not the slightest doubt that there is a widespread movement in the Press to attack the unemployed man who is receiving benefit, and one of the first things that the Press did was to use this as a handle for a further attack upon the unemployed man, and in doing that I think that they have not only, consciously or unconsciously, done a wrong to the unemployed man, but, I believe, to the Army, and to the cause they have at heart. I say, frankly, for myself, if the unemployment benefit has given men any little independence, so that those who are not desirous of enlisting do not now become unwilling soldiers, then I welcome the unemployment benefit, which gives men such independence. To force men into the Army, or to build up an Army in such a, way, is not to have a voluntary Army. Those men will not be volunteers; they will be pressed men. They will be victims of a kind of surreptitious conscription, and I agree with the hon. Member for Shore-ditch (Mr. Thurtle)—I agree it is far better to have fair and open service which would apply also to the gilded youth, who has his bonus or dole which he calls an income, as well as to the poor man. I think it would be a very good thing if some of the gentlemen we see knocking about, and of whom we read sometimes, could be put in the tender arms and under the fatherly care of the average sergeant-major. It would do some of the gentlemen of independent income, and who do no work, a great deal of good. They would then be able to appreciate the conditions and the position of your Empire.
I think this paragraph is altogether misleading. I do not say it is consciously misleading, but I think it is misleading, because the one thing that is pointed out in the paragraph is that more men are needed this year, because an abnormal number of men were being demobilised. There are 7,500 men who are prematurely terminating their engagement, and that means, if you have an abnormally large number of men going out in any particular year, then you need an abnormal number of men coming in to fill the gap. What the position really then is is that the normal 181 number of recruits have come in to meet the normal position, but the right hon. Gentleman and his staff have not got exactly all they want. I want him also to inquire into this fact which has some connection with what the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway has been dealing with: I speak of the Air Service, which is now quite independent of the Army. The officers and non-commissioned officers have a certain status. It is undoubtedly a competitor with the Army, if not a rival. It has a personnel of something like 36,000 men, and that personnel is increasing. There is also the fact that you have not now got the South of Ireland to draw upon as you had in the past. The position it seems to me is quite clear. What are the real demands? With a less population to be drawn upon you have a greater demand. Therefore, I think you can hardly expect all the time, in the case of a voluntary army, to have the ever-increasing number of men that you desire in any given year.
Look at this other point. The right hon. Gentleman stated to the House the very sad fact that five out of every eight men who attempted to enlist were refused. I think, however, that that ought to be qualified by the fact that the standard of enlistment is higher now than last year. Almost every year since the close of the War the standard of enlistment has gone up. It seems to me, therefore, that an impression has been created by the paragraph to which I refer in the Memorandum which has done harm and led, unintentionally no doubt, to an attack on the unemployed men. If we on this side have to choose between the unemployed man and the Army we are going to defend the unemployed man. I trust that nothing that the War Office does, or any of the other services, issue in this line will strengthen the forces outside that are inclined to snarl at these decent men who, at any rate, have the right to be defended because of the sad circumstances under which they have been called to live.
There is another point in the Estimates and a very interesting one to me. These men seem to be fairly well fed and well clothed. I come across this fact which seems to have been overlooked by hon. Members, but which, I am sure, will be of considerable interest. It shows, whatever hon. Members may say, that there 182 has not been much waste in this Department. In the bakery department you have actually bread produced at something under 2d. per lb. You have a 4-lb. loaf which is something like 7d. When you have stated what a business place would set out in their accounts for overhead charges, etc., and after accounting for everything fairly generously, you have bread made by the Army Department to the extent of £170,000, at less than 2d. per lb., and distributed to them at 4d. less than the average loaf is sold in this country to-day. I wonder if that fact has been laid before Sir Auckland Geddes and the Food Commission. Has the Contracts Department, which supplies food to the Army, been asked to give evidence before the Food Commission? I think it could give very interesting evidence. If this ease is any indication, I venture to say that the critics of Government Departments, with all their difficulties and shortcomings, would be confounded, and it would probably be shown that even the easygoing Army does things much more efficiently than some of the business people who supply meat and food to the people of this country.
The other point I wish to raise is in connection with vocational training in the Army. Vocational training is one of the things for which I, and I think my colleagues too, have a particular affection. By virtue of our training, we love the things which are tending to make men civilians. In the past history of the Army, one of the criticisms passed upon it by civilians was that a man went into the Army, spent seven, nine, twelve or up to twenty years with it, and when he left it found that he was almost hopeless from the point of view of finding ordinary work in civilian life. The Army has hitherto been a kind of blind alley. Men who left it were often at a disadvantage, and in the labour market as it exists to-day they would suffer an extra disadvantage. Now we find the Army is making a fairly successful experiment in vocational training. No one who goes to Hounslow or Catterick and sees the soldier being trained there, partly as a soldier and partly as a civilian, being instructed in agrculture, in carpentry, in shoemaking and many other occupations, and who talks with the men, can fail to become enthusiastic about this particular 183 branch of the work of the Army. I myself saw the 20 men and their families to whom the right hon. Gentleman alluded, and I thought it worth while to come to town to see the men part of the way, at any rate, on their journey.
§ Mr. LAWSON
One had seen them at their work and learned to know most of them. This is a work which one cannot commend too much. I would like the right hon. Gentleman to tell us what is the relationship between the vocational training schemes of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Do they compare their experience? Does one learn of the other? Further, I would like to ask what is being done about the Catterick scheme? It seemed to us and to those in command there—and I think there was a good deal of reason for it—that there is a danger in regard to the training ground being expanded. I trust that any difficulty of that kind is going to be forestalled by the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues, because certainly the Army and the country cannot afford to let a scheme like this suffer. I think it should be developed. I think this experiment may even have its lessons for civilian life as well as industrial life when the experiment is completed, and so I trust that everything is going to be done to develop that scheme under which the soldiers in their last six months of service are trained to be civilians so that they will stand a decent chance in the ordinary labour market.
I want to spend a moment or two upon the points raised in regard to our position as the Labour party. That position has been explained continuously in this House. Some hon. Members have a particular outlook, but when I look at the world as it is to-day, I confess that their point of view has some attractions in it. Who is there amongst those who have lived through the experience of this generation who, in their hearts, would not fail to be attracted by the vision which some hon. Members have. On this matter the Labour party's position is quite clear in reference to armaments and disarmaments.
184 In the last Government we took definite steps to bring about what is known as the Protocol, and we tried to bring Russia into the comity of nations. That policy may have been right or it may have been wrong, but we think it was right. Everybody knows that as long as that great nation remains outside the comity of nations armaments will be determined by their attitude towards the rest of the world. We all know that the Liberal party combined with the Conservative party to turn out the Labour party, and they did not carry out the Treaty with Russia, and by doing that they committed this country to following a path which may lead some day to even the Liberal party supporting and asking for more than an Army of 160,000 soldiers. While I have considerable sympathy with anyone who criticises the Army Estimates or the Estimates of the Air Force or the Naval Estimates I do demur from the criticisms passed upon the late Prime Minister in this respect, because as far as this party is concerned we did all that visionaries and idealists and people who believe in principles could do to reduce those Estimates, and we gave proof of the faith that was in us. If to-day we are in a position in which we cannot drastically criticise the provision of 160,000 men for the Army, it is because of a combination of two parties in this House that broke the Labour Government, and this country has been compelled to take a course which almost makes it inevitable to ask for the number of soldiers which are being voted to-day.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM
We have listened, or at least I have listened, with the greatest interest to the Debates which have taken place upon the Service Estimates. There can be no doubt that they prove that all parties are anxious for peace, but, of course, there is a considerable difference in the way in which we think it is desirable to prepare for peace. There are some of us who believe that the best thing to do is to scrap our armaments entirely, and I have the greatest sympathy with some Members on the other side, who from their own experience of war are determined that no longer shall war come. But their arguments rather remind me of the story which is told of a very earnest pacifist who was determined that his children, at any rate, should not 185 be misguided enough to play with tin soldiers, and he went out of his way to find for them emblems in tin of town councillors and firemen. He presented boxes of these substitutes for militarism to his children. He went away happily to his business that day, quite confident that his boys would not turn out to be militarists. He came back to find a violent battle going on between the town councillors and the firemen. It is not armaments that make for war; it is the evil spirit that permeates nations, and so long as that spirit exists it is perfectly clear that the scrapping of armaments or even the reducing of armaments is not going to bring us peace. It is clear too from the lessons of the last war that it is the nation that is most prepared in peace for peace pursuits that can the most easily turn itself into an army when the time comes. Therefore, I am not certain that a gesture which would at once do away with our armaments would really make for the peace of the world.
When I come to consider the arguments produced by the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment, it seems to me we have reached the last stage in futility. They both confessed they knew nothing about the subject on which they were speaking. I do not believe that their arguments are going to influence the House in the very least, nor do I believe the statement made by one hon. Member that what was stopping the reduction of the Army in this country was the vested interests and the military class. The military class is the very last class that wants another war. What we are looking for now—and I rank myself as among the military class to-night—in the Army Estimates is whether the defensive preparations we are making are sound and the money which is to be voted is to be expended in the proper way Hon. Gentlemen opposite who apparently are ignorant of such matters are always telling us that the Army has ceased to exist and that the Air Force has taken its place. They may be right, but at the present moment the War Office cannot say that they are right. The last persons, therefore, to suggest a rapid decrease in the Army Estimates must be the War Office. They are responsible for the upkeep of the Army, and when I heard the right hon. Gentleman the 186 Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) the other night naively ask, "What does the Army exist for?" After the lessons of the late War my spirit sank within me, I wondered what has become of the great Liberal party. It is too ridiculous to suppose that anyone who is responsible for the maintenance of the defence of this country can scrap the Army because the Air Force may prove to be a, substitute for it.
Statesmen have decided, and I think they have decided rightly, that we ought not to be faced with a great war for some 10 or 15 years, but when an hon. Gentleman tells us that we are now in a period of profound peace, I, for one, can only say that I wish he were right. Europe is an armed camp. Europe is far more armed to-day than it was before 1914. We have to see that we have a defence force which, should the occasion arise, will be able to be expanded into a great army. Heaven forbid that such an occasion should arise, bat when I look at the present situation, and ask myself whether the War Office are doing right now, I say that, on the whole, they are. They are preparing a small striking force. They are seeing, as the Estimates show, that that striking force shall be well armed, well trained and of adequate mobility. But we are in a very dangerous state. Do not let the House think otherwise. Should we be suddenly faced with the necessity of sending abroad a division, or it might be two divisions, we should be very hard pressed to do it.
The question we have to ask ourselves to-night is whether we are spending enough money on the Army, and whether the money that is being spent is being spent in the right direction. I personally am very nervous at the present moment about the Army Reserve, but I welcome the decision of the Secretary of State to make the Territorial Army into our first-line reserve. I know that the Territorial Army, as it exists to-day, is neither strong enough nor well trained enough to start forth to war at a moment's notice, but I believe that, if the suggestions the Secretary of State has put forward in his Estimates, are carried out, and if the House approves of strengthening Army Reserve A, then we shall be prepared for any emergency that is likely to arise within the next few years. I must, however, express the hope that the Secretary 187 for War, when he is making the Territorial Army into the main part of the defence force of the country, when he is making it, as it may be, the first line of Reserve, he will do all that he can to encourage the Territorial Army. It wants money spent on it, and it wants a great interest taken in it. The Army authorities must remember that Territorial soldiers are not, and never will be, the same as Regular soldiers. I would suggest that in the future the right hon. Gentleman would be well advised to place an officer representing the Territorial Army on the Army Council. It is high time that the Territorials were given every opportunity to develop on the right lines.
I have tried, in the few words that I have addressed to the House to-night, to chow that, because on this side of the House we believe that the situation is such that we cannot do without an Army, we are not militarists in the sense in which some of our opponents on the other side appear to believe. All of us who took part in the Great War are determined that in our time, if we can possibly prevent it, there will be no more war; but we know that, so long as other countries do not respond to the gesture that we are so ready to make, this country must be prepared to stand or fall by its own resources. We believe that the Army must be kept up at least to its present strength until it is proved that the Air Force can take its place.
§ 11.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
The Amendment that was moved by the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris) proposes to reduce this Vote by £100. That is a pretty definite proposal. It is about the only definite thing that has been said on behalf of it either by the Mover or the Seconder of the Amendment. I simply cannot understand the position of the Liberal party on the question of disarmament. I can perfectly understand the position of the pacifist who would abolish all armies and all means of defence or offence and uses a theoretical and abstract argument in favour of disarmament of that character, but I deny the right of anyone to use a theoretical, abstract argument for disarmament unless he is prepared to go to that extent. The Liberal Members who are supporting 188 the Amendment believe that there is a point at which the defence of the country must stand and should not be reduced. They believe that there must be effective and efficient defence for the country. That rules out entirely the position of a theoretical argument in favour of disarmament. What you have to do, it seems to me, if you believe in efficient defence, is to show specific cases where disarmament can be safely adopted and prove your case. The only people who have a right to argue in favour of disarmament without doing that are the pacifists, who have a perfectly logical position to uphold. I am not a pacifist. I believe there is a necessity for the maintenance of efficient national defence. I disagree with the hon. and gallant Gentleman who spoke last in his enthusiasm for a regular Army. If there is to be national defence it is the right and duty of every person fit to undertake defence to be part of the defensive forces. I do not believe in conscription for the regular Army. I do not believe in a professional Army at all, but I certainly say everyone should be trained to arms if you are prepared at all to argue for the necessity of a defence of the country by any military force whatever. That seems to me to be a logical position, and I am supported in the logic of that position by my pacifist friends. I have been told over and over again by my pacifist friends that the logic of any kind of armament whatever and any kind of national defence is that every fit person should take part in the defence of his country. Otherwise the position is simply that, whilst people are prepared to talk pacifism and armament reduction, they are equally prepared to let other people do their slaughtering for them, and I am not prepared to do that. I am prepared to take the logical consequence of facing the position as it exists.
What I particularly wanted to draw attention to in connection with the details of this Vote is a matter which has to do with the multiplication of accountancy in the Army. This matter was debated a year ago, and at that time the Lawrence Report had only been, I think, about five months in existence. The Labour Front Bench then appointed a Committee to investigate matters with regard to the Army Pay Corps and the Corps of 189 Military Accountants. I should very much like to know what has happened to that Committee, what the position is at present, and whether the Government are prepared now to consider the recommendations of the Lawrence Committee Report upon this question of military accountancy. I am sure that a great amount of duplication exists, and a great amount of money is wasted, simply because of the fact that Governments in the past have been afraid to interfere with what has been described as the vested interests of at least certain sections of the military forces of this country. This is what the Lawrence Report said:It is proved to demonstration that by a proper system of accountancy economies to an extent at present unrealised could be effected.I find from the details of the Vote under discussion that the Royal Army Pay Corps has a personnel of 766 and costs £286,700, while the Corps of Military Accountants number 744, with an expenditure of £220,600, making a total expenditure of over £500,000, and a total personnel of 1,510. That works out to one accountant to, approximately, 100 of the personnel of the Army, so that on soldiers' pay, between £3 and £3 10s. per unit of personnel goes for accountancy. Last Session when the Vote was under discussion one hon. Member pointed out that this does not take into account the financial staff of the War Office or the financial staff of the out-stations of the Army, and he estimated that the soldier pays for accountancy alone £6 2s. That seems to me to be an extravagant sum to pay, and it is obviously due to the fact that duplication of work exists. That is the reason for the recommendation of the Lawrence Committee on this question.
I should like to have a reply as to what the Government are proposing to do in regard to the Lawrence Report, and also with regard to the work of the Committee that was appointed last year by the Labour Government. May I conclude with a quotation upon this particular question from the Joint Permanent Secretary of the War Office, who gave evidence before the Committee on Public Accounts, as to the reason why this duplication of work is maintained 190 in respect of accountancy in the Army. He said:The amalgamation of the two military corps would interfere with the prospects of everybody in the Service. When I come to amalgamate the 100 accountants who keep these accounts and the 200 or more paymasters who keep the cash, I shall interfere in a very serious way indeed with the professional prospects and the faith on which these men have come to the Service.Therefore I think there is something to be said for the suggestion that military vested interests do stand in the way of efficiency in at least one Department of the Army.
§ Captain A. EVANS
I wish to address myself to certain arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris), who moved the Reduction of this Vote. The argument which he employed was typical of the little England attitude for which the Wee Free section of that party is famous. Whether the House is considering Army, Navy or Air Estimate, the same argument is introduced on all occasions. It amounts to this. The Liberal party say, "What right have you to ask the taxpayers to contribute money for the Army, Air Force, or Navy unless you can tell us against whom you are arming, with whom you expect war, and the exact date on which the war is going to begin." That argument is futile. I observe that one hon. Member of that party is in favour of the abolition of capital punishment, but does he mean to say that, until that desirable state of affairs is brought about, he is prepared to demobilise the police force? I am rather amused that the Liberal party on this occasion should have chosen a Welsh lawyer to move a reduction in the Vote, and an hon. Gentleman who, I believe, is very well known as a Colonial administrator, to second it, because I believe that, if they consulted the distinguished soldier who is their junior Whip, they would have found out that it is impossible for any military adviser to foretell in the least in what circumstances the armed forces of the Crown will be called on to take part in the next war.
§ Captain EVANS
Exactly. The hon. Member for Cardigan said that you must 191 reduce the Estimates, that they do not compare favourably with those introduced in 1913, and that you must cut down or abolish your cavalry. What assurance has the hon. Member got that the cavalry is not going to be employed in the next war, or that the next war is not going to be carried on under conditions in which the late War was carried on in Palestine and Egypt, where without mounted infantry and cavalry Lord Allenby, that distinguished general, would have been totally incapable of carrying through the splendid victory of which people in this country are justly proud. What assurance have we that in the next campaign armed forces are going to be entrenched within 800 yards of each other for a period of, roughly, three years. I would like to know from hon. and gallant Gentlemen on those benches, who have had experience of these matters, whether they endorse the view of the hon. Gentleman? I suggest that they do not. The hon. Member for Orkney asked what was the need in these times of peace to introduce any Army Estimates.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I did not say that. What I asked was, "What was the need for increasing the Estimates?"
§ Captain EVANS
As the hon. Gentleman has asked me I will suggest reasons. Has he forgotten that the pay of all ranks of the Army has been substantially increased, that the cost of food in the Army is higher than it was before the War, that clothing costs three times as much as it did in 1913, and that the administrative services of the Army and the cost of the War Office are much heavier than they were in 1913? The hon. Gentleman and his Friends are only too pleased to put forward these facts as arguments in favour of social reform or other measures before the House, but, when it is a question of attacking the Army, Navy or Air Force Estimates, which they do regularly every year, irrespective of altered circumstances, they immediately forget these considerations. I do wish that we had more sincerity in the arguments of hon. Gentlemen on those benches. It was very refreshing to hear the obviously sincere statement from the late Financial Secretary to the War Office. It is a point of 192 view with which I disagree, but some of us on this side of the House respect it, but the point of view of hon. Gentlemen opposite is beyond one. How is it possible for the hon. Gentleman to go to his constituents in Wales, in Cardiganshire, and tell them how very proud he was of the services which the Welshmen rendered in the War, and what a fine record the Welsh Guards had, and omit to tell them that, he comes here and uses every influence in his power to cut down the Estimates and curtail our strong right arm. I have no doubt that, should an occasion arise when the Government would find it necessary to call on the services of the men of Wales in another war, my hon. Friend would be the first to volunteer, and I hope for his own experience that he would enter the cavalry. It would do him a lot of good.
I wish to ask the Secretary of State for War a question regarding the Reserve. He has told us on many occasions that the Territorial Army is to be regarded as the reserve Regular Army in the next war. But I am rather uncertain as to what branch of the service is going to act as the draft-finding unit of the Regular Army in the field at the moment. Before the War the Militia or the Special Reserve, as some of us knew it, were responsible in nine out of 10 cases for finding the drafts of the normal wastages of the Regular Army in the field. The third battalion of the regiment in many cases was the special reserve of the regiment, and when the first and second battalions were on active service, the third special reserve battalion not only acted as a training battalion, but as a draft-finding unit to supply the regular battalions in the field. The special reserve has been abolished. I wish to know if the depots of the regiment are to act in that capacity is future, and, if so, does he consider them adequate to fulfil the need? I rather think that, although the Territorial Army is going to enter the field of war as an army, in battalions, in brigades and in divisions, they would be unable to undertake this most important task of also finding recruits for the normal wastage of the Regular Army, and if my right hon. Friend would be kind enough to give me some information on that point I would be obliged to him.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON - EVANS
The Mover and Seconder of the Amendment complained that the Army Estimates were in excess of those of last year. I thought I had made it clear that the actual figure of reduction was about £1,000,000, or, if the terminal charges are taken off, if the decrease of terminal charges is taken into account, the actual Estimate is something like £400,000 less when both cash and the consumption of stores are taken into account. It is necessary to take in the consumption of stores; otherwise the expenditure on the Army would appear to be nearly £2,750,000 less than it is actually. So that the first point I want the House to realise is that this is not an increase in expenditure so far as the Army is concerned. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) proceeded to compare the Estimates of 1913–14 with these Estimates, and asked why it was and how it was that we notified a large increase. I will take his figures, though I do not think that they are right. He claims that there is a 39½ per cent. increase in this year's Estimates, compared with 1913–14. The surprise is that it is not more. It is only because of the greatest care and the largo cuts which have been made in the numbers of men in the Army that the Estimates have been kept down to the figure at which they are. As my hon. and, gallant Friend the Member for South Cardiff (Captain A. Evans) pointed out, the actual figure of increased cost of clothing and food is something like 70 per cent., while the pay of officers and men has increased in at least the same proportion, but instead of having the increase which might be expected of 70 per cent. we have an increase, on the hon. Member's own figures, of 39½ per cent. I wonder do the House realise the extent of the cut which has taken place in the last five years. In the last five years £27,000,000 has come off the Army Estimates. It is not an easy thing to cut down a living organisation without destroying it entirely, yet by real care in the course of the last five years the Estimates have been cut down by £27,000,000.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
The figure of 39½ per cent. which I gave referred to the total Estimates, not to the Army Estimates.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I beg the hon. Member's pardon. He did not give the percentage on the Army Estimates. There is another reduction to which I would call attention. The figures of men in the Army have been reduced as between 1913 and this year by nearly 30,000, and there has been, I have not the slightest doubt, a very drastic cut in both money and men. The hon. Member asked why we should not reduce the Army still further, seeing that there has been some increase in the Air Force. He was answered by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Barnard Castle (Lieut.-Colonel Headlam). The Air Force to-day is not a substitute for the Army. It is a great ally of the Army; it is a great addition to the striking force and the defensive power of the Army, but it is not—not yet at any rate—complete in itself, and it does not enable us to do more than take it into account and it is taken into account in the reductions already made. The hon. Member also asked why, with peace all round, we should keep the Army at its present size. If he will think about it, he will see that the Army is just as responsible as it was before the War for policing the Empire and protecting the Empire, and it has additional liabilities. It has extra responsibilities in Egpyt, in the Sudan, in Iraq and on the Rhine, and owing to the reduction in the Indian Army it has an additional liability in India. If the hon. Member considers all these things in conjunction, he should be among those who congratulate us upon having held the balance between the liabilities which we have to carry out and the means which we have for that purpose. The hon. Member further stated that notwithstanding the fact that the Army had been reduced by 900 men, yet the expenditure on the War Office and staffs had been increased. That is the sort of gibe I have heard several times in the House—that although there is economy somewhere, it is not in the staffs. The hon. Member is no doubt accustomed to expect accuracy in others. He was referring to page 183 of the Estimates.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
The item to which he was referring appears on page 183, and if the hon. Member had 195 read the footnote to that page he would have been able to answer his own question. He was complaining that the cost of the Staff had gone up something over £50,000. There is not one penny of increase, and he could have found it out by looking at the footnote on that page. What was previously charged to Head III has been charged to Head IV., and so it states. It says:Includes £58,200 for the Staffs of the Directing Ordnance Officer and Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (Provision) previously provided under Head III.Instead, therefore, of there being any increase at all, there is in fact a slight reduction. The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) considered that the Memorandum which I issued was an attack upon the unemployed. I most certainly never intended it to be an attack on the unemployed, and I do not think that, properly read, it can be said to be an attack on the unemployed. The hon. Member said that if the unemployed enlisted, they enlisted not as volunteers, but as pressed men. If he will think where that sort of statement carries him, he will see that there are a good many men who work at anything who are not volunteers, but work as pressed men. They work because economic necessities require that they should make their living, and they work as pressed men. A great majority in the world work in that sense, as pressed men, and there is no doubt that a certain number joined the Army before the war—and I have no doubt that many do now—as pressed men, because from economic necessity they have to choose between one form of work and another, and, thank goodness, many choose the Army.
I hope there has been no misunderstanding as to the number of men we have in the Army. Perhaps this paper has led to the impression that we are very disappointed with the number of recruits. AS the hon. Member pointed out, we have had rather more than what were wanted for normal wastage, but what we have not succeeded in getting was the extra 7,500 that we wanted to make good those whom we wanted to transfer prematurely to the Reserve. We have two desires. One is to build up the Reserve as quickly as possible, and for that purpose we have been letting men 196 go from the Army before they have the full term of their enlistment. We have invited them to go, and in that way we have built up our Reserve this current year by probably 4,000 or 5,000 additional men. Those men have been replaced in the ranks by recruits obtained this year. If we had been able to obtain another 3,000 men, we would have welcomed them, because we would have transferred more to the Reserve and filled up their places by recruits. Therefore, although recruiting was not up to the full number that we should have liked, the hon. Member is quite right in saying that those who would normally have gone away had had their places filled, and in addition 3,000 or 4,000 have filled abnormal vacancies created on purpose by transferring men from the ranks to Reserve. I hope that is not misleading. At any rate, the statement which I have now made is, I hope, plain enough to clear up any misunderstanding on that subject.
I must say "Thank you" for the compliments that the hon. Member paid to the Army bakers. With regard to the vocational training, we are in touch with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, and we do compare results. With regard to Catterick, the hon. Member may make his mind easy. We have no intention of reducing our work there. The school will remain there, and it is in a different part of Catterick from the new barracks, and I do not think he need have any fear that the work there will be curtailed in any way. I have a very strong feeling about our duties to the men who serve in our Army. We ought to give them every possible chance of education while they are serving with the Army. We ought to give them every chance of learning a trade while they are serving and during the last six months, and as many as possible, because we ought to do everything we can to prevent the Army being a blind alley, and to enable a man who comes out of the Army with a good character, to be a man sought after by employers, because he comes with the best possible certificate for the last few years. That is our principle, and that is what we wish developed as rapidly as possible.
The hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague) asked me about military accountancy. I do not think he could 197 have been present when I spoke in Committee. I am afraid he is again away now, and therefore I will not repeat that what I said in Committee; but if the hon. Member reads my remarks, I will refer him to what I said on the occasion. I dealt with the subject at some length in Committee, and I fully answered, in advance, the questions he asked me.
The hon. Member for South Cardiff asked me about the Territorial Army. Of course, the Territorial Army is not intended to find drafts for the Regular Army. If it has to fight, it will fight in units in regular formation, and will not be broken up for the purpose of drafts. He asks me where I am going to get the drafts for the Regular Army. I hope at the end of this financial year the Reserve will be something approaching 100,000 men, and rapidly improving. I hope the Supplementary Reserve will survive the shock it has had, and will be completed, and those numbers, with the Army as it stands, for anything but a war on the largest scale, will be sufficient for drafts, and for the early months, at any rate, of such a war. Of course, there would have to be further recruiting through the depots and regular regiments, in order to make up the casualties as the war proceeded. But I am not altogether satisfied—and I do not want the House to think I am—with the position of the Reserve for the Regular Army. That is a matter which is being most carefully considered at this moment by the Army Council, and I shall pursue that until I have, at any rate something more behind the Regular Army than it has at the present moment.
§ Mr. AMMON
I want to ask a question concerning soldiers when they leave the Service, and seek employment, preferably in the Civil Service very often, and, after being passed and accepted, there comes the question of their medical record. These men have been turned down again and again on their record from the War Office. The unions have been handicapped by the fact that the War Office always refuses to give the medical record of the men. At least, that information might be given to those who are acting on behalf of the men, because the men 198 are severely handicapped, in that there is more information on one side than the other, and men are turned down on something of which they have no knowledge. That, surely, would not be a violation of secrets, and I suggest the right hon. Gentleman might meet them in this connection, and, at any rate, allow the people who are acting on their behalf to have this information, so that they may know that everything is being done to give them a start in civil life.
§ Mr. MAXTON
My hon. Friend the Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) put the point to the Minister for War that the Army loaf was produced at 7d. against 10d. or 11d. for the loaf of no superior quality from that of the civilian population. The right hon. Gentleman accepted the observation as a bouquet thrown to him by my hon. Friend. Instead of it being that, my hon. Friend was really asking the right hon. Gentleman to bring the matter before the Food Commission. The right hon. Gentleman, while accepting the compliment, ignored the suggestion. I shall be obliged if he will take the matter into serious consideration.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON - EVANS
There is no objection to the hon. Gentleman himself bringing the matter to the notice of the Food Commission if he chooses. If he does not I do not see that it would be within my ordinary duties to do so. I have not myself examined the figures. I accepted them as put forward by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Chester-le-Street, and he has had recent experience at the War Office. In regard to the medical history sheet, I think the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon) knows the practice, which is to give it to the man's own medical adviser, if the man likes to authorise us to do so. I cannot agree to give it to a non-professional man, otherwise the man himself might suffer for the treatment he received from the medical man. The medical man must know that at present all these reports are confidential, and that there is information in the reports that is extremely valuable for the medical man; and then the patient has subsequently to be consulted. If he chooses the patient can give them to his own medical man.
§ Question put, "That '£17,000,000' stand part of the Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 81.201
|Division No. 57.]||AYES.||[11.40 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E|
|Albery, Irving James||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Fielden, E. B.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Allen, J.Sandeman (L'pool, W.Derby)||Fleming, D. P.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James||Forestier-Walker, L.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, E.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw.|
|Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gales, Percy||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gee, Captain R.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Balniel, Lord||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Morden, Colonel Walter Grant|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Goff, Sir Park||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Grace, John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Joseph|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hanbury, C.||Oakley, T.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Haslam, Henry C.||Perring, William George|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hawke, John Anthony||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pielou, D. P.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Raine, W|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Rawson, Alfred Cooper|
|Burman, J. B.||Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.||Remer, J. R.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St.Marylebone)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Holt, Captain H. P.||Rye, F. G.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Savery, S. S.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Huntingfield, Lord||Skelton, A. N.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Jacob, A. E.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cope, Major William||Jephcott, A. R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Couper, J. B.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lamb, J. Q.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Col. George R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Crookshank,Cpt. H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Loder, J. de V.||Thomson, Sir W.Mitchell-(Croydon, S.)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lougher, L.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Drewe, C.||Luce, Major-Gen.Sir Richard Harman||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lumley, L. R.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston Hull)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||MacDonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Ellis, R. G.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Elveden, Viscount||MacIntyre, Ian||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|England, Colonel A.||McLean, Major A.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Macmillan, Captain H.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Wells, S. R.|
|Wheler, Major Granville C. H.||Wise, Sir Fredric||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple||Womersley, W. J.|
|Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Ripon)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)||Colonel Gibbs and Sir Harry|
|Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)||Barnston.|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Harris, Percy A.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayes, John Henry||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Scurr, John|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Homan, C. W. J.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Clowes, S.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kelly, W. T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kennedy, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kirkwood, D.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Duncan, C.||Lansbury, George||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Dunnico, H.||Lindley, F. W.||Thurtle, E.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mackinder, W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Warne, G. H.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gillett, George M.||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Westwood, J.|
|Greenall, T.||Murnin, H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Groves, T.||Paling, W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Sir Godfrey Collins and Mr.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Morris.|
Resolutions agreed to.
Ordered, That the Resolution which upon the 12th day of this instant March was reported from the Committee of Supply, and which was then agreed to by the House, be now read:
That a number of Air Forces, not exceeding 36,000, all ranks, be maintained for the Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at Home and abroad, exclusive of those serving in India, during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1926.
§ Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide, during Twelve Months, for the Discipline and Regulation of the Army and Air Force; and that Secretary Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Mr. Bridgeman, Secretary Sir Samuel Hoare, and Captain King do prepare and bring it in.