§ Colonel Sir ARTHUR HOLBROOK
I beg to move,That, in the opinion of this House, it is detrimental alike to the progress of our trade and manufactures and to the interest of taxpayers and of wage-earners that the State should engage in industrial undertakings.We have for some time past had propaganda in this country in favour of the principle of nationalisation of industry. The advocates of this idea rely mainly upon theory, and have no practical illustrations to offer us as to the advantage of the scheme which they suggest. I remember that in February, 1923, when we were discussing the question of unemployment, Members on the opposite side were very earnest in putting forward the idea that private enterprise was the sole cause of unemployment. I venture to say that that idea was incorrect, and that the position of this country, as the first commercial power in the world for a long time, thoroughly disproves the suggestion that private enterprise has failed. Under our present system we have a reputation which I consider has created the jealousy of every Power, because we have led in the commercial world for a very long time. That has been done entirely by individual enterprise, and not in any way as suggested by any communal effort.
As a proof of my assertion, may I remind the House that before the War we were able to maintain in this country, and keep generally in a position of contentment, a population of no fewer than 45,000,000, notwithstanding the fact that four-fifths of our food supply had to be imported from abroad. The War, of course, shattered our social conditions to some extent, but it did so throughout the world, and I submit that under our present system we have made a much quicker and a strongest recovery than any other nation in the world, although during that period we have been taxed more highly than any of the foreign nations. Despite the chaos resulting from the War and our high taxation, this country has shown a great deal more resilience in the matter of trade than any of our commercial competitors. It is said by advocates of nationalisation that this country under the present system does not take into consideration the interests of the worker. That statement is quite incorrect. Look at the 1055 facts. In 1923 we spent in this country £338,000,000 on public health and welfare, as compared with £63,000,000 spent on the same services in 1911 and £23,000,000 spent on them in 1891. So, comparing 1891 with 1923, the cost of welfare services in this country has increased 15 times, and that has happened under the system which is condemned as being against the interests of the workers and the consumers.
May I also point that in this country we enjoy a greater individual freedom than is offered in any other country in the world. That is evidenced by the fact that to-day among our captains of industry 90 per cent. have risen from the bottom of the ladder. That shows that there is every opportunity for anyone who strives to reach the top of the ladder if he is industrious and makes up his mind to do it. The only check on freedom in this country is the coercion of those modern rules of trade unionism which prevent a man, who does not belong to the union, from getting any work. Every man has the right to work whether he belongs to a trade union or not. It is manifestly unfair that, because he does not belong to a trade union, a man should be deprived of employment and be unable to support his wife and family. As long as he observes the conditions laid down, and as long as he is prepared to work he has a right to employment. That is the only indication of any want of freedom in this country at the present time.
To come to the real point, it is contended by advocates of nationalisation that it would be in the interests of every man in the country if the nation acquired all the means of production, distribution and exchange. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear ! "] My Friends say, "Hear, hear !" That would be the first step in the downfall of any Empire in the world. Look at what it would mean. In the first place, if you nationalise the means of production you will have to nationalise the land. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear "] From the" Hear hears "of hon. Members I have no doubt that that would meet with approval from the other side, but if you nationalise the land, you take a ruinous step, and you interfere with the prospects of every individual in this country. The landowner is held up by advocates of nationalisation as an object 1056 of opprobrium. It is claimed that he has no right to possess land, because, it is said, "God gave the land to the people."
Hon. Members opposite who are championing the idea that the land belongs to the people forget what happened at their own Trade Union Congress a week or two ago. Their own members were then talking about confiscating the land, and one of their members, who had the courage to look at the position squarely in the face, told them that they must go slowly, and he reminded them that there were 4,500,000 co-operators in this country who are owners of land and he said, "If we are not careful we shall lose their votes, and have no chance of getting back to office." They saw the red light, and the necessity for caution. Is not a great part of the funds of trade unions, friendly societies, industrial societies, and the great co-operative societies, with their reserve of £68,000,000, invested in land? If you confiscate the land you will cut into the position of every man who has the courage to save any money. To confiscate the land would be the first step in the destroying of production. You would get no production at all.
I wonder whether hon. Members remember that two-thirds of the land has changed hands in the last 100 years. It has been bought by men who have found the money. The landowners are selling their large estates because the burden of taxation is too much for them to be able to retain the land. What is happening? The old squirearchy, who have been the mainstay of the countryside, are disappearing. If you go to some of the Yorkshire villages where large estates have been closed, you will find that the people are in great trouble because they have lost their best friends. The old landowner was the friend of everyone in the countryside. Much of the agricultural depression to-day is caused by the fact that the farmers who have been the tenants of good landlords have now in bad times no one upon whom to lean. Farmers have been acquiring their own holdings, but they were much better off as tenants than they are as their own landlords. An hon. Member who represented a Gloucestershire constituency two years ago boasted that he, his father and his grandfather, had been tenant 1057 farmers all their lives, and he said that he would not consider for a moment becoming his own landlord, because the tenant who had a good landlord was much better off.
Go to any country village and you will find that that is the case to-day. The country landowner realised what a very small percentage on his investment could be made from lands. I doubt if many of them had 5 per cent. When men came and settled in a district and wanted cottages, the landlord was quite willing to build those cottages without any consideration of the economic rent. The cottages were probably let for 1s. or 1s. 6d. a week. The new purchasers of the land are not doing that; they are looking for a fair interest on their money. There was a striking illustration of that a few years ago when Lord Brassey sold his estate at Hythe, in Kent. He was receiving only about I per cent. on the investment. When the land taxation scheme came in he could not carry on any longer with his land and he put it into the market. What happened? Within a month or six weeks the new buyers of the land raised the rent of the cottages from the ls. and 1s. 6d. previously charged to 8s. 6d. and 10s. per week. Is that going to improve the conditions of the under-dog, of whom we heard just now? Of course it is not. II you destroy the social system on which we have built our success you are undercutting the life of the nation.
I have said that farmers are better off as tenants than as their own landlords. If the nation owned all the land, would the position be improved as regards production? Would agriculture be likely to make greater efforts or to obtain greater success in food production if the farmers were servants of the nation? Of course not. The Socialist proposal is to put all land under a sort of central land board, and to set up local agricultural committees for the control of all farm lands and for directing the methods by which the land should be cultivated. I am sure that if you interfere with the present system to that extent, if you deprive the farmer of his initiative of action, you will destroy production altogether. The farmer who has cultivated his land for years knows exactly what he can get out of that land, and he is far more capable of dealing with the position than any Committee which may 1058 be set up in London. We had evidence of that in the time of the War. I was on Salisbury Plain. Gentlemen used to come down and give instructions as to how the land should be treated—gentlemen who had practically never seen more than a few acres of land in their lives before, and knew very little about it. The whole thing was a farce. If you are to carry on successfully, you must leave the work in the hands of men who understand the cultivation of the soil.
The Socialist idea as to control of the means of production would involve taking possession of all factories. If the factories were taken over, I wonder how many would be existing in four or five years' time? That is the point we have to consider. It is all very well to have theoretical ideas, but we have to come down to practical, bed-rock facts. In Russia the factories were taken over by the Soviet Government. The Russian Government was going to do without the old managers and without the men who understood the work of the factories. What happened? In a very short time those factories, instead of employing thousands of hands, were employing only hundreds, and the output was reduced to about 5 per cent. of the original output. The factories were being destroyed steadily because the machinery was put out of gear by inefficient control. Now, having discovered that national control of factories is not workable, they are putting in charge some of the old managers But these managers have not a free hand. There are being appointed as leaders in these factories representatives of the Soviet Government who have never understood the working of a factory in their lives, and the managers are controlled by them. The Russians will never succeed in that way. Had they left the factories in the hands of private people, Russia might have beer, in a very different state to-day from that in which it finds itself. The putting into practice of the theory of national ownership has been the ruin of the Russian people, and has thrown tens of thousands of people out of employment and sent them to a miserable death.
We are told that men would work very much better for the nation than for the private master. What was the evidence of that in the time of the War? The mines were taken over. Did the men work better? I remember September, 1059 1916. I was on Salisbury Plain, and we were horrified to find the South Wales miners forgetting the fact that our gallant men in the trenches were unable to fire one big shell in return for 50 big shells fired by the Germans. Knowing that their comrades were in that danger, although their leaders prayed them to remain at work and to bring out the coal, and although the owners of the mines said, "Make any terms you like as long as you go on with your work," they were led by their shop leaders and came out on strike and jeopardised the lives of their friends. No question of national patriotism affected them in a time of that sort. They did not think about patriotism. Although one sympathises, as I do, with the miners to-day, I shall never forget their callousness and want of consideration for their comrades in the trenches in that strike of September, 1916. The whole idea that a workman would work for the nation rather than for the private owner does not boar a moment's consideration, because it will never occur.
The present legislation for the control of factories gives every consideration to the welfare of the men and women employed. Every consideration is given to healthy conditions; every consideration is given to safeguarding them from injury by machinery, and the regulations as to hours and so forth are in many respects quite satisfactory. At any rate they bear very favourable comparison with the conditions of a few years ago. I have asked the House to compare the conditions here with the conditions in Russia, and I say that the working men of England enjoy better conditions under private enterprise than could ever be achieved under national control.
Another point brought forward is that houses for the accommodation of workmen should belong to the State or to the municipalities. I cannot understand why during the late Government's period of office so much objection should have been raised to occupying owners. Why should not a man who has saved money become the owner of his house? Why should he be compelled to live in a house owned by the municipality or the State? To-day in this country men are waking up to the fact that it is desirable to be the owner of one's residence. That is shown by the fact that 658,000 houses are 1060 being bought through the building societies of this country while the membership of these societies is about 850,000, apart from 500,000 depositors.
Then we have the question of small holdings. Small holdings to-day give accommodation for about 20,000 people, and I admit that many more small holdings are required, but the smallholder is much happier when he rents his holding from a private owner than he is when he rents it from a municipality. If hon. Members inquire in any town where the municipality is running a small-holdings scheme, they will find very severe regulations, a higher rent, no consideration shown to the individuals and the whole scheme under the management of a corporation which has neither a body to be kicked nor a soul to be damned. The smallholders cannot go to a corporation as they would to a private owner and ask for consideration and for variations of tenure. Private enterprise in all these respects is much more satisfactory and advantageous than any national or municipal system of control.
The next point put forward is that distribution should be in the hands of the State. That would mean that all transport, including railways, and all shops would pass into the hands of the nation. We had experience of the national control of railways during the War and in 1919-1920. although fares were raised two and a-half times and freights on goods went up four and a-half times, the nation managed to lose £41,000,000 in a year by working the railways, and in 1920-21 the loss was £46,000,000. When the Colwyn Committee was set up to arrange for the handing back of the lines to the private companies, it was found necessary to pay £60,000,000 of national funds to settle the railway claims for maintenance. That was a rather expensive experiment, and to a large extent it destroyed the comfort which we formerly enjoyed in railway travelling. If the nation is to take over the shops one can imagine what would happen. It is very interesting to speculate on the possibilities of the situation if all the grocers' shops and all the tailors' shops were run by the nation. I suppose if the tailors' shops were nationally controlled there would be a fixed pattern of garment which we would all be required to wear, whatever might be our position in life. Hon. Members 1061 opposte would no longer have the privilege of criticising their leaders for walking about wearing trousers creased in imitation of the fashions of the wicked bourgeoisie. They would all wear the standard pattern of clothing produced in the Government shops. I think the proposals for distribution by the nation falls to the ground without very much discussion.
Now we come to the question of exchange. The nationalisation of exchange would mean taking over all the banks. It is assumed by the advocates of nationalisation that all banks are owned and controlled by immensely wealthy individuals—by "bloated capitalists." The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) who, although I do not agree with his political ideas, is a great authority on banking, and whose word on that subject may be taken as one of some authority, wrote a letter recently to the "Daily Telegraph." He quoted figures showing the numbers of shareholders in the five large banks, indicating that in those five banks there are 266,000 shareholders. So far from all these shareholders being very wealthy, the average holding worked out at £210 per shareholder. It is not the "bloated capitalists" who are finding the money to run the banks but the small investors, who put their money into the banks feeling that they have some security and that their money is in the hands of safe people, who know the details of finance. How could Government officials deal with complicated and intricate questions of finance? [HON. MEMBERS: "What about the Treasury?"] I am referring to delicate questions of commercial finance. If a business man wants to carry out a deal, if he sees a chance of securing large orders or an opportunity for starting a manufactory, he can go to his bank and secure the advance of large sums of money. If the bank were controlled by the nation, because of the system of red tape which must necessarily follow on such control, it would take him weeks and perhaps months to secure an answer to such a demand, with the result that his opportunity would be lost. No Government official would dare to take the long view in such matters which a banker in present circumstances would take. A Government official would not be entrusted with the power to act.
1062 Such proposals would very likely have to come before this House before a bank could make an advance. Let me quote what is written by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea:Nationalisation may mean the transfer from control by directors who are actuated by commercial and financial principles only, to control either by politicians who would direct bank policy for political purposes, or by persons appointed by, but with no instructions from, the Government of the day. If it is to be a change to political direction, it might become corrupt and would be very dangerous.I submit that the idea of taking over the banks by the nation is commercially unsound and, in the long run, would mean the paralysis of industry and the stoppage of progress. No man would be able to carry on a large export trade if he were hampered in the fashion I have indicated. It is the fact of his bank being behind him which enables the business man to carry through large transactions and find employment for thousands. National control either of production, distribution or exchange would not only be dangerous, but disastrous. It is all very well to put forward theoretical ideas and to throw dust in the eyes of people who have not much financial or commercial knowledge, but we must come down to mother earth in the end. We must judge by such example as there is, and the outstanding example to-day is Russia. There, all the ideas of those who are advocating the nationalisation of production, distribution, and exchange were put into effect. Every man who had capital was either murdered or expelled, every factory was seized, and people in this country lost several hundred thousand pounds invested in Russian enterprises. The whole system of finance was ruined.
A few of the leaders of the Soviet Council did certainly secure all the money. We never knew what became of it, but we know that when they took possession of the affairs of Russia there was stored in that country enough food to feed that enormous population for four or five years [Laughter.] I take your own statements that have been published. Your own party have published the statement. Within 12 months after the Soviet Government took charge, in order to raise money these reserves of food were disposed of, and within 12 months the Russian people were starving. We know that, as a result of Soviet control in that 1063 country, 30,000,000 of people were either done to death, starved or perished for want of any support. Think of the number—two-thirds of the population of this country, and that under the most modern effort at national control of production, distribution and exchange. To-day they are realising that their theories, when put into practice, have failed, and they are trying to get the capitalists back. They are trying to get people who have money to trust them, but until they realise the fact that men who want to put out their money, which they have worked hard to earn, require some security which can be relied upon, they will never get the capital from any investors in any country in the world.
I want to give one or two examples of trading in our own Dominions. The Australian Commonwealth ran a line of steamers. It was started during the War by Mr. Hughes, the then Prime Minister of the Australian Commonwealth, to carry wheat from Australia to Europe. Thirty-eight passenger and cargo vessels were added to by ex-enemy vessels, and six new vessels were constructed. In 1923 difficulties arose, and, in order to avoid any political connection, these vessels were transferred to the Shipping Board. The accounts for working those ships up to 30th June, 1923, showed a total loss on operations of £2,645,000, although the value of the vessels, which were originally purchased for £12,706,000, was written down to £4,718,000. So although they depreciated the value of their ships by £8,000,000, they lost a further £2,500,000, and the total loss on the operating in that short period amounted to £10,500,000. They have now decided to sell their fleet, as the working of the Commonwealth Shipping Board will involve still more heavy losses if it is continued.
In Canada they started a Government merchant marine with a fleet of 60 vessels. The fifth annual report of this organisation was issued to 31st December, 1923, and it revealed a deficit on the year's working of 9,368,000 dollars, the total deficit for the period of the five years being 27,641,000 dollars. The figures for 1924, which were presented to the Canadian House of Commons the other day, are not yet available in this country, but they show a further deficit 1064 of 8,799,000 dollars, which brings the total deficit up to beyond 36,000,000 dollars.
We make a few efforts in this country. There is an organisation for printing taken over by the State—
§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
The total loss in the case of Canada was up to December, 1923, and in the case of Australia up to June, 1923, the last figures available. We took over in this country, during the War time, the large printing works at Harrow. These works showed a big loss year after year, and they were still continued despite recommendations made for their closing. Other printing works have since been formed, and the loss disclosed on these works has never been, to my idea, satisfactorily explained. The last return showed a profit. It is rather remarkable that that profit is shown, for private tenders are not taken, so as to compare those figures with what might be the results under private enterprise, and unless you have some figures with which to compare, it is impossible to say whether or not the work has been carried out on economic lines. A Committee of Inquiry was started in 1923, and I recently asked when the Report was coming out, and was told that it is being prepared. We have had complaints about the very exorbitant prices charged for Government documents produced in these printing works, and it is rather remarkable that the increase in the prices should have been made at about the same time as the Government transferred the work from private firms to their own works. It makes one feel that there is something which is not disclosed in the figures. In connection with the Government printing works. I would point out that the profit and loss accounts show that no consideration is given to the payment of Income Tax that a private trader would have to meet, and no consideration is given to overhead charges that a private man would have to pay. It is just the same in connection with the State management of the liquor trade in Carlisle.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is it not the case that two days ago the hon. and gallant 1065 Member asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury about these Harrow printing works, and that the reply he received was that the Financial Secretary had gone into the whole matter and was quite satisfied that the State printing works were showing a profit and were a big success?
§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
He did not say he had gone into the whole matter. He said that the printing works were showing a profit, and that is what I said, but if they allowed for Income Tax, Supertax, and all the expenses that a private trader would have to pay, where would the profit be? And it is most remarkable that the prices of all the Government documents have gone up since the Government took the work over. They have also taken over the road maps, which were carried on by private enterprise satisfactorily for a century, and they have taken over the maps and charts for the Navy. I say that it is not in the interests of the public that these matters should be taken over by the Government, because there is no check upon the expenditure. If a private individual is carrying on work and does not make a profit he has to close down his works, but he makes the loss. If the Government carry it on, and a loss is made, the taxpayers have to bear it. It does not fall upon the officials who are responsible, and I contend that this competitive trading should not be carried on by any Government Department, but should be left to private individuals.
Take one item which is in the full knowledge of hon. Members of this House—I mean the municipal tramways run by the London County Council, which is tantamount to Government control. They showed a loss last year of £680,000. Is that to the interest of the ratepayers and taxpayers? If that had been in the hands of private enterprise, they would either have had to close down or find some more economical method of working. The shareholders would not have permitted them to go on. There is another outstanding instance, and that is the Metropolitan Water Board. I remember, when those water companies were taken over by the Metropolitan Water Board, in the days when the Labour party were controlling the London County Council—[HON. MEMBERS: "When was that?"]— although the companies had for some 1066 years been paying handsome dividends, a million was lost in the first year of their working, and to-day we are paying four and five times the price for our water supply. I admit the water supply is very good.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Could the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell us in which year the London County Council was under the control of the Labour party?
§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
When the London County Council was first formed, the Labour party had a majority. It was called the Progressive party. I am sorry I gave it the wrong title. They took over, at the same time, the steamboats on the Thames. I remember quite well it was a very pleasant trip to run down the Thames, but on one year of working they made such a big loss that they had to stop the boats altogether. These are instances of public control in this country. I would also call attention to food control during War time. That food control, in my judgment, is responsible for the high price of food to-day. It taught people how to combine. It taught the great companies how to combine and keep up prices. It was not all to the profit of the nation that there was control. I remember the purchase of bacon, on which this country lost about £8,000,000, which had to be found by the taxpayers. Then the nation thought it could embark a little further in farming enterprise, and one has only to look at the Auditor-General's Report a little time ago to see the loss incurred on that farming enterprise.
I feel that the whole advocacy for national control of industries is founded on false premises. I am perfectly sure we built up the great trade of our Empire by individual enterprise. Only by individual effort can any commercial venture hope to succeed. Directly there is any national or municipal control of an industry, that industry fails economically. The expenses go up, the employes exercise control over the public representatives, and they get higher wages. I would not reduce the wages, but I would insist upon a full return of work for the wages paid. That is what we want in this country. We want to break down the idea that private enterprise is inimical to the interests of the workers. Private enterprise has built up the great comer- 1067 cial position of the British Empire, and once we give way to nationalising our industries, I say it is the first step to the downfall of the great Empire which we have built up.
I beg to second the Motion.
If I may say so, the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke (Sir A. Holbrook) is in himself an outstanding example of the merits of individualism.[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear ! "] All I hope is, that I and those who cheer that sentiment, will be as brisk at his age as he is, and will have such a distinguished record of service for the country as he has. The Resolution is drawn in terms so wide, that one might almost discuss the whole philosophy of Government. There are two great principles which have been struggling in this world ever since man kind came into it—principles of order on the one hand, and liberty on the other. Now there is the doctrine of anarchy, which makes a great appeal to everyone, for everyone to do as he likes—no Government, no policemen, no laws, no House of Commons, even no Mr. Deputy Speaker—[An HON. MEMBER: "Not even a Member for Reading."]—not even a Member for Reading, although I believe that would be a disadvantage to Reading. On the other hand, there is the man who stands, without qualification, for the principle of order, for Socialism pushed to its logical conclusion. Between those principles, ever engaged in conflict, anarchism on the one hand, and State Socialism on the other, or call it liberty and order, whichever you please, you have a great many intermediate stages,and the middle of the picture, I suppose,is occupied by the Conservatives, who believe in the existence of a State, and that the State should have the right to interfere with individuals in the communal interest. There is nothing novel about that. The greatest leader of our party, Disraeli, believed in that doctrine, acted on that doctrine, and filled the Statute Book with examples of that doctrine. We believe—I think I am correct in saying—that it is right for the State to protect the community at large against enemies without and enemies within. That is the moral justification of your army, navy, air force, police service, and general system of justice.
1068 We believe, equally, it is right that the conditions under which trading is carried on and manufacture is carried on should be regulated. In fact, we believe in the same principle that the Football Association applies to the game of football. It has a code of rules, referees and linesmen, but it does not provide that the Football Association or referees should take part in the game. Socialism, on the other hand, wants the referee to take part in the game on one side. That is where we part company. We part company where the State commences to be the trader, and we part company at that point for a great many reasons. The first reason is this: Before we make a change, we want to have some clear perception of what will replace that which we destroy. It seems to me that the crowd of split organisations linked together under the Socialist party of this country cannot give us much guidance. There are those who are members of the Labour party, and, therefore, nominally Socialists, who do not believe at all in Socialism. There are those who go to the full logical extreme of State Socialism, and would suppress entirely the liberty of the individual, as we understand it. From that doctrine, a doctrine to which I suppose the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) has contributed more than most people, we have a variety of reactions.
Before I describe those reactions, I should like to mention a personal experience which the mention of the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham brings to my mind. Many years ago I knew a lady. She was—naturally—a brilliant and an accomplished lady! Her father was an ardent Conservative. She a brilliant student at the London School of Economics. Under the influence of the right hon. Gentleman to whom I have just alluded, she became a Socialist. One day I was engaged in argument with her, and I asked her whether she really believed that everything should be run by the State. Her reply was: "Well, no, perhaps not everything." I said to her: "Then what, for example, would you exempt?" Her reply was: "Milliners' shops." Even her soul revolted from the idea of being compelled to wear a hat 1069 designed by the State. Even she revolted from that degree of millinery standardisation, of that deprivation of real liberty. That lady to-day has reacted, and is now a Conservative.
Some of those of whom I am speaking have the most divergent views. There are those who react from the tyranny of State Socialism and advocate Syndicalism. They want a system of society in which there are no heads, and in which property and the management of the whole of the industries is vested in those engaged in them. That, however, is a reaction which is to-day a little out of fashion. [An HON. MEMBER: "Co-partnership."] This is not the same as co-partnership, because it presupposes there shall be no State. That reaction came from Italy and from France. We have had another reaction, one which proceeds from the University of Oxford. It is called Guild Socialism. Guild Socialists realised that Syndicalism was hopeless, and they, therefore, wanted to have an amalgam of Syndicalism and State Socialism; but even that seems to have gone a little out of date, and has no supporters now.
But note the extraordinary position in which we find ourselves. We are facing the problem of those who denounce the existing system in favour of the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and have not this faintest idea of what they are going to put in its place. [Interruption.] It is sometimes an advantage to confine one's speech and one's interruptions to the subject matter under discussion. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear,hear ! "] I like interruptions. They are a joy of life, and they do not make it more difficult to speak. They make it easier. On the other hand, they may lessen the value of debate if they are off the point. It seems to suggest that disordered mind which is characteristic of the Socialist.
Let us try to see whether all these things, of which State trading is merely a little symptom—the modified measure of State trading we have in this country —let us see where this thing is difficult and where it tends to fail. After all, even the 12 Apostles tried to have all things in common, and they did not 1070 succeed very well. I think they had a better chance of succeeding than the members of the English Labour party. The moment, however, you pool the resources of a very large number of people, of a number of people so large that the relations of one individual to the total is an insignificant relation—the moment, I say, you get to that point the sense of responsibility commences to decline. Let me give a contrast between two systems of administration in operation in this country to-day, both under the same Act of Parliament. The National Insurance Act of 1911 established a system of health insurance and a system of unemployment insurance. The system of health insurance is managed by the Approved Societies; is, in effect, managed by small branches of those Approved Societies. In many cases the effective membership of an individual branch may be only 100 or 200 members, but all those individuals are possibly personally acquainted with one another. Each individual member is anxious not to put burdens upon his own friends and comrades. What is the word of pride you get from the ordinary member of such a society? He boasts of the wealth per head of his lodge, and boasts, in the colloquial phrase, that he possibly has never been "on the box." He rejoices, in fact, that he has never drawn benefit, but only contributed to it. That is the high moral basis you get with a small organisation, where each individual is under a full sense of responsibility.
I now come to the system of unemployment insurance where the whole of the fund is pooled, and where there are, I think. 11,500,000 of insured persons. Something over a million are drawing benefit to-day. The attitude of that million is: "Oh, it is a big fund, and my share is a small one, and the share of my friends and comrades is a small one." Such a one goes on taking out of the pool because he has not that sense of responsibility which the other man has. I am not blaming the individuals, foe not only they, but their representatives in Parliament feel much the same. There you have the difference in the sense of responsibility; a different moral sense in approaching the problem of health insurance and the problem of unemployment insurance, because, in the one case, 1071 you have a small and localised fund, and in the other a pool of funds in which the contributors feel only a small sense of responsibility. We have all had the same experience of Government Departments, possibly as members, possibly as suppliants. We all know those who work in the Civil Service—and let me here pay a tribute to the English civil servant. There is no cleaner Civil Service in the world. There is no corruption in it. It is almost impossible to dream of corrupting an English—or, shall we say?—a British civil servant. I am not looking at the matter in that aspect. I am looking at the productive efficiency, if I may use the phrase, of those who work as civil servants. It is low through no fault of the individual, because when the self-same individuals retire at a fairly advanced age, many are men of outstanding ability who are at once snapped up for service in the commercial world. [HON. MEMBERS "Oh, oh! "] Yes, and at four times the salary they have previously had, and they do four times the amount of work! It is not the fault of the individuals. It is the fault of the soul-destroying system. I quite realise, however, that in nationalised movements of the sort, as in other industries, there are principles held which are common to most of us. We believe in a constitutional system. We may believe in other things as well. If we believe in the State regulating industry and affording protection to those needing it, then, obviously you are committed to the existence of large Government Departments, and large Civil Service staffs, and you must, therefore, accept the inefficiency which their employment in that direction results in because of the advantages you get in other directions. When, however, you get to the manufacturing departments of the State, take, say, the great arsenals, the men who work there do not work as well as some of the men do in the private establishments. [An HON. MEMBER: "Have you been there? "] I have, and I saw enough to disgust me. Even in the hours of our greatest peril I saw people lounging about in a way they would never have lounged about in private works. Then, again, you find inefficiency in regard to the plant. I know many of the private firms might, with great advantage, modernise their plant, 1072 but you do not find quite the inefficiency you find in Government-managed factories.
I saw a Frenchman lay a lot of bricks. May I add this: I have not long been a Member of this House, but on one occasion when I was listening to a speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) he made a couple of statements which were slightly inaccurate. I corrected the first, and he accepted the correction. I sought to correct the second, and what he did was to read me a lecture on good manners in this House. In the short speech I have been making I have been interrupted by members of the Labour party about 10 times, as much as I have interrupted during the whole time I have been a Member of the House.
I know I enjoy it, but I am suggesting that from the point of view of debating, and not my amusement, and I am not here for my amusement, but for your benefit, it might be an advantage if we kept a little more to the subject in the interruptions. Above all, we have the problem of marketing. Nearly every service which is nationalised or municipalised, or which people have sought in the past to nationalise or municipalise, has been a service of a monopoly character, where the problem of marketing did not arise. When you come to the great industries upon which the permanent prosperity of this country must depend, the problem of marketing becomes acute. I am certain that no State Department can act with the prompt decision which is necessary if you are to be successful in marketing, in marketing your products overseas. What are the limiting conditions under which your Civil Service works? Every decision a civil servant comes to is taken with one eye on the job, and one eye on the House of Commons and the possibility of criticism in this House, the possibility that every action he takes may be searchingly inquired into, the possibility that any decision he may make, or any risk he 1073 may take, may result in a question here reflecting upon his Department. There is, therefore, a lack of freedom, merely because the House of Commons does its duty as it ought to do; and I am perfectly satisfied that in a Government Department you could not get that rapidity of decision which is necessary if we are to compete successfully for world trade.
It may be that those who desire State trading and its general extension desire to go further than State trading in this country. They may go to the extent of desiring international collectivism. There are many who do so; certainly all those who describe themselves as Communists are not Communists with regard to their own country alone, they are international Communists. If we are to go that far, we shall be up against huge problems. It is not necessarily the case that a system of Communism or Socialism means the exact equalising of incomes, but it certainly proposes the cutting down of some incomes and the raising of others—whether it would result in that is a different matter—but if you are going to internationalise you have not only got to bring in your English workers but your countless millions of Chinamen and of Indians whose annual production and whose annual income is tiny compared with the income of the Britsh workingman. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why? "] Because they produce less in the day than the British working-man produces.
It is perfectly obvious, it is common knowledge. There is only one reason why the standard of the living of the Englishman is higher than that of the Chinaman, and that is that he is more successful as a productive agent. There is no other reason. If we are to go in for international Communism, the constituents of my hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) are not going to share out merely with the constituents of the hon. Member for St. George's, Westminster (Mr. Erskine), or of the hon. Member for the City (Sir T. Bowater), they will have to do their sharing out and their equalising with the whole of the inhabitants of China and India, who have a low standard of living. If hon. Members opposite believe in internationalism, they have got to go very 1074 much further than they have gone at present, and accept results very much more unpleasant than they ever preach to the proletariat when they spend their Sundays in propaganda instead of recreating their minds, as we of the Conservative party do.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I beg to move, in line 1, to leave out from the word "House" to the word "that "in line 3, and to insert instead thereof the wordsexperience shows that it is in the interest of national economy and also in the interests of the public both as producers, consumers, and taxpayers.Hon. Members will see that my intention is to give a direct negative to the point of view that has been put by the two hon. Members who opened the Debate. I do not know whether to start with the Mover or the Seconder of the Motion, because both of them have provided opportunities to be butchered to make a Labour party holiday and I want to confine my remarks within short limits, as there are a fair number of gladiators to come into the arena. The hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke (Sir A. Holbrook) shows that he is a very regular reader of the newspapers of his own political complexion, and that he amasses most of his facts for oratorical purposes from those newspapers, without taking the trouble to check the statements and the theories propounded. The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) is a little in advance of him, because he has obviously read some of the pamphlets on this subject. When they get on to the 6d. books, then we will look forward to the contributions they make in Debate on this subject. I want to thank the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke for one statement he made. I will take care that it is conveyed to the organised workers of this country at the very earliest opportunity, because it will relieve their minds of a matter that has been causing them considerable anxiety since this Government took office. He said, "I do not object to wages being paid." We were getting just a little worried about it. Some of the speeches of his colleagues were leading us to imagine that one of the aims and objects of the party opposite and its Government was to get the workers down to nothing at all. Their conclusion is that that is the only way in which we can hope to com- 1075 pete successfully with the workers of other countries. Well, I am glad that the hon. and gallant Member does not want us to get down to nothing. Probably it would stop before it reached zero. The working classes of this country do not mean to be brought down to nothing.
In his opening remarks, I think what is called the exordium, where a certain amount of latitude is allowed, as is allowed in the peroration also—and I am not wanting to hold him down to this very strictly—he did say that this nation has built up a reputation that causes jealousy among all other nations, and it has been done entirely by private enterprise without any aid from the community. That is a pretty sweeping claim. The hon. Member for Reading does not agree with that. He would claim that perhaps the British Navy had done something to help private enterprise to build up the reputation that Great Britain has amongst the nations. Does the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke deny that the recognised institutions of the State—the Army, the Navy, the Law Courts, the police force and other institutions—have had some part in establishing Britain's reputation throughout the world? Silence seems to give on this occasion dissent. He does not seem even to agree that the community has rendered any service there. Really what we are asked to consider to-night as a definition of the Resolution tabled is not general State organisation, and not diatribes about Russia and Soviet rule. We are asked to deal with State trading, which I assume means State trading or community trading under existing Governments and Governments of the past. I believed to-night the whole theory of Socialism was to be under discussion and I was not expecting under the guidance of this particular Resolution to have to start to defend the Russian workers in the very brave and very successful struggle they have made to establish working-class freedom in their country. I am not going to follow the hon. and gallant Member in the line of argument that he has suggested. The hon. Member for Reading suggested the reason why State enterprise cannot succeed and that private enterprise will succeed is because, when the individual gets submerged in a big wide organisation his sense of responsibility has gone. [An HON. MEMBER: 1076 " Diminished !"] Considerably diminished. He drew a parallel between National Health Insurance and unemployed insurance, where because the approved societies are a comparatively small group, and the national unemployment insurance is nation-wide in its scope, the men in the national health insurance took a personal pride in the work, whereas the men in the unemployed insurance, as suggested by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, were mainly dole-robbers and swindlers [Interruption.] I think that suggestion, has been made again and again. I think I am justified in giving to that suggestion the strongest definition I can. I may be wrong, I may be super-sensitive in these matters, but that was the suggestion that struck upon my ear. I hope the Chancellor will have an opportunity in this House of proving to me that the suggestion was not that the people on the unemployed register were in the main people who were frauds [Interruption.] I merely state that that is the suggestion that drifts across to me from the Chancellor and not the suggestion of the hon. Member for Reading to-night [An HON. MEMBER: "Hitting below the belt! "] Well, if I am hitting below the belt, I am hitting people who are able to be in this House to answer me, if it he true.
But it is between a large-scale organisation and a small-scale organisation that there is said to be a difference in the sense of responsibility. The Mover's remarks did not merely condemn State enterprise. They certainly do not condemn community enterprise. They condemn practically a big proportion of our coal trade and steel trade, and banking above all. He condemns all those. With regard to the sense of irresponsibility arising from large-scale organisations in the community rather than from private enterprise, I, in my working life, have been in the service of the education authorities, and I have been in municipal authorities. I had one bitter experience in private enterprise in which I worked the longest hours with the least security, and had the most disagreeable task. I have worked in schools owned by the community and for a short period in the Post Office owned by the community, and the corporation and I have worked in gaol, so that I can say that I have a fair degree 1077 of inside knowledge. In none of these various organisations did I find among any of the persons engaged any sense of irresponsibility, or lack of regard either for human material or any other material. I have taught with a head master who was so anxious for the economy of the community, and looked most rigidly after the materials at his disposal that when asked for a supply of chalk he would serve out to his staff of intelligent certificated teachers, most of them university undergraduates, one piece at a time, and if they went back before the end of the week for a second one he would want to know what had been done with the first one. [An HON. MEMBER: "Was he a Scotsman?"] Yes, he was a Scotsman. The heads of all our great public departments in the City of Glasgow work as hard and have as much responsibility as the servants of any big private undertakings. The one big difference between public ownership and private enterprise does not lie in the size of the enterprise. You can organise your industry any size you please. Economists are not agreed as to what industries are best suited for large scale organisation or small scale organisation, and the community will have to experiment in every branch of industry as to whether large or small scale, or even the individual scale, is the most economical way of carrying on an industry. It seems to me that for public services like gas, tramways, electricity or water a fairly large town or a portion of a county is a suitable unit for organisation.
I hear that Nottingham has been hit very heavily in regard to its trade by foreign competition, and the State has been asked to do something to help the privately-owned lace industry of Nottingham. That is the state of private enterprise in Nottingham according to to-day's newspaper. Nottingham has earned large profits on its gas, electricity and water undertakings, and presumably the employes in those various works have been regularly employed at fixed hours of labour, with regular holidays, and probably they will have pensions where they retire, whereas in the case of the lace factories, those engaged in private enterprise in this trade in Nottingham come here time after time and say, "We cannot run our show." The Nottingham Corporation has never asked for a subsidy, but private enterprise 1078 insists that the State should grant to the lace trade a subsidy, or something else, in order to buttress them up.
I have in my hands a terrible lot of stuff to prove how stupid the position is which has been taken up by hon. Members opposite, and I could prove this by the theries put forward by their own statesmen. Even Disraeli went a good deal further in these matters than his successors. Disraeli saw that the Suez Canal was an important thing and private enterprise would not step in there because there was no immediate profit in it. Disraeli saw that sometimes national welfare was a thing quite apart from profit to private individuals, and consequently he went for these things in a foresighted way. It is the function of the State to prevent private enterprise from being as vicious and unscrupulous as it would be if there was not a State, a judge or a policeman on the spot to keep them in order. The hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke spoke of the amount of money spent on public health by the State.
That expenditure was necessitated because private enterprise had produced such a state of things that it tended to ill-health in the community. The difference between the outlook of the Socialists and private enterprise is not whether it should be on a large or a small scale, or whether you should employ wise or stupid managers or have an intelligent, honest board of directors or a stupid and dishonest board. These are things which are often hurled against Socialism by hon. Members opposite. I am prepared to admit to anybody that if the State chooses a board of directors to run a particular thing who are incompetent or dishonest, or selects an incompetent or dishonest manager to conduct that industry, such an enterprise is very likely to be a failure.
When making appointments of this kind in the public service we should endeavour to get a man for the job who knew something about it. Public men should be as conscientious and intelligent in the exercise of their public duty as if they were looking after their own interests. I do not believe that in private enterprise to-day, although they are 1079 compelled to look after profit and interest, that the best people in private enterprise are worrying much about the public welfare because their efforts are largely strangling national interests and the national life of the common people by their ownership of land, factories and one thing and another. The essential difference between the Socialist outlook and the outlook of hon. Gentlemen opposite is not how you are going to organise, or what sort of boarda of directors you are going to set up, or what sort of managers you are going to appoint, or what sort of wages you are going to pay, or what sort of hours are going to be worked; the essential difference is that the community shall take the responsibility of owning and directing the whole of the nation's wealth, production and distribution. Interest, rent and profit to private individuals would be cut out. In the Socialist community everyone would be expected to work for their living, and not to live on unearned increment of one kind and another.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I would point out, as has been pointed out even by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that we have already a good proportion of people in this country who are not working for profit, or rent, or interest, but for wages or salaries, and hon. Members opposite have always been prepared to speak highly of the work of those who are in the public service, whether in the Civil Service, or the Army, or the Navy. They are always prepared to talk about the high standard of honour and capacity shown by these men. We do not think it will finish there. If you can get high public service from a section of the community, you can get it from the whole. I am perfectly certain that the average member of the working classes would as soon work for his corporation, or his nation, or his county council, or his local education authority, as he would for a big profit-making concern such as J. and P. Coats, or Beardmore's, or some of these other big corporations. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or himself ! "] There is no opportunity of working for oneself in these days.
1080 That is the essential difference between hon. Gentlemen opposite and those who sit on these benches. We believe we can prove that, even under the political control of hon. Members opposite, publicly-owned State Departments have proved of great value to this community. I know that many gibe at their own Post Office—they gibe at the telephone service, they gibe at the letter service. I never cease, however, to be amazed at the perfection and efficiency of the whole Post Office service. In my whole lifetime I have never paid more than twopence for the conveyance of a letter inside the boundaries of this country, and I have never had a letter go astray. I have never had a telegram unduly delayed, and I have never had to wait more than three minutes for a telephone call—[Laughter]—although, to the big proportion of telephone operators throughout the country, I am not a personality, but merely a voice. If I have to wait three minutes, I am so used to getting quicker service that I begin to get irritated; and, judging by the tone of voice that I sometimes hear in the telephone boxes from hon. Members opposite, they have got used to it also, and so they get irritated if they are kept waiting so long.
The service of the Post Office is run by paid salaried men from top to bottom, without any individual who is engaged in the work—even the Postmaster General expecting to make personal gain by superior efficiency or superior effort. It is a perfect running machine, which gives better conditions to all the employés engaged in its service than any corresponding concern—in the carrying trade, for instance—that is run by private enterprise. The men have regularity of employment, reasonable hours, and a wage that they can rely on from week to week and from year to year. They can count on their holidays and on their old age being provided for, and we, the members of the community, get a regular service that in many respects cannot be improved upon.
The same applies to our educational service in Scotland. In Scotland the educational service is run by the community. There are only a very few private enterprisers engaged in the distribution of education, and I am prepared to contend here that the private-enterprise schools in Scotland are dearer and less 1081 efficient than are the schools under public control. Again you have the employes—teachers, janitors, clerks, and all other sections—in regular employment, all knowing that their salary is going to be there every month, that they are going to have their holidays, that their old age will be provided for, that they will be provided for in case of sickness; and there is no more efficient and self-sacrificing body of people employed by any form of private enterprise in the whole community. I know the educational service of Scotland from A to Z, and I know that every child in Scotland between the ages of five and fourteen can rely upon getting its daily supply of education. Indeed, if they miss a day there is someone coming up to the door to ask why Johnny, or Jeanie, or Mary has not had that previous day's supply of education. They can miss their supply of daily bread, which is controlled by private enterprise, but I think we can claim that in this branch of public activity we have the producer—the worker—in secure employment under reasonable conditions, and that we have the consumer—the child—getting its article conveyed to it regularly every day without fail.
Some hon. Members seem to resent my paying compliments to the Governments of their parties, but, even under the Governments of the past, for which we on these benches were not, in the main, responsible, and which were not anxious to make these State enterprises successful—for there has always been a large proportion of people who, like the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke and the hon. Member for Reading, believe that the State should not go into anything out of which a profit could be made, anything that was really intrinsically useful—I am prepared to say that, industry for industry, those that are run by the community to-day, not under Socialism, which does not enter into any one of them, but merely as State enterprises, show that men can serve the community as faithfully, as efficiently, and as well as men ever can serve a private employer working with profit as their sole dole.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
I beg to second the Amendment.
Like my hon. Friend who has moved it, I was very much struck with the lack of argument on the part of the Mover and Seconder of the Resolution. I confidently expected, when I was 1082 asked to second the Amendment, that at all events we should have something to reply to in the shape of statements that experiments in State control had been failures; but I must confess that I listened in vain for a single instance which can be verified where an experiment in State control has been proved a failure. The Mover of the Resolution instanced Russia, but even hon. Members opposite must know that the opportunity for Russia to prove itself a success has been very largely limited by the adventurers who have gone forth into Russia from the West of Europe. I was greatly struck by the statement that we rely upon theories and have no practical proposals to offer. May I give one or two instances where State control has been proved a success. The statement that I make can be verified very easily because the experiments are still in operation. In Queensland the Government own sawmills and run them in the interests of the State. They cut down the State forests, and the wood which is sawn in their mills is being used in the erection of State houses for State employes. I suggest that the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Sir A. Holbrook) might investigate that in stance of State control. In the same State there are coal mines which are supplying the State railways with State coal, making a saving to the State of 157,000 a year. I suggest that the hon. Member might investigate that. There are metallurgical works in Queensland employing 1,500 men in the works and mines. The works were derelict. They could not be managed profitably by private enterprise, but the State took them over and they are now a success and are making a profit. Not many years ago in Queensland the farmers wanted to erect sugar plant, but they had not the money. They asked the State to provide the factories, in other words, to establish the industry, and then when the farmers could afford it they would buy it from them. That happened. The State made a success of it and then let the farmers have the buildings, because that was their original promise.
I was hoping the Mover or Seconder of the Resolution would tell us some of the fairy stories about the adventures of Queensland into the realms of municipal meat, because if they had done so I was going to quote some figures, but enough for me to say, with regard to that parti- 1083 cular adventure in State control, from November, 1915 to 1922, the State of Queensland in their 66 shops sold 50,000 tons of beef and 4,000 tons of mutton. They aimed at an average profit of ¼d. per lb., and they reduced the price of meat as against private retailers by at least 2d. a lb. and made a net profit of £140,000. I make a present to hon. Members of these examples of State control in the hope that when this hardy annual again comes up for its watering they will be able to refute some of the arguments we have brought forward.
From the State papers of the Queensland Government and from an address delivered by the President within the precincts of this noble building.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
It is quite easy to get. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of listening to the Prime Minister of Western Australia, who delivered to hon. Members who desired to hear him a very illuminating address, not as to what the Primrose League people say is happening in Australia. He told us that the State of Western Australia produce in their own works agricultural machinery and implements. They make good machines and they make a profit by making them. In Western Australia, again, the Government have their own saw mills, they have their own Government brickworks and, more important still, they have a State. Shipping Service, which must not be confused with the Common wealth Line, of three ships doing an important coasting trade, and they are responsible for bringing the price of cattle down from £14 to £6 per head, by means of carrying cattle from where they are produced to where they are wanted, and they are ordering two new steamers this year.
The Seconder of the Resolution said that State enterprise was all right where it was a monopoly, but when they got to the great industries that was where State enterprise failed. I wish the hon. Member was here while I make him a small presentation, because in 1914, as some hon. Members may remember, a 1084 war commenced in Europe, and it was necessary, in order to win the war, that our soldiers should be clad with good, warm clothes. In my native city of Bradford, where we make the finest cloth in the world, was commenced the most interesting and important scheme in State control that was ever accomplished. I would recommend hon. Members to read the book, which is in the Library, called "Experiments in State Control." It is a very good and a very important book, and if hon. Members will analyse it I can guarantee that their knowledge will be greatly extended. In the preface the very clever author wrote these words:I believe that to wage war effectually involves replacing private enterprise by collective organisation.That is rather an important statement by a man—a civil servant—who went right through the whole gamut of State control during the War, and the great honour was conferred upon him of asking him to write this book. It is considered a standard work. Some of the experiments that we have made in the West Riding of Yorkshire during State control show us that what can be done successfully during a war ought to be done during peace much more successfully. [Laughter.] I cannot understand the laughter of hon. Members. May I repeat that it is equally important that if we can do these things sucessfully during war, it is equally important that we should do them successfully during peace? What were the facts? Everybody who knows anything about the War knows that Tommy never was clothed in such warm clothing as during the War. Everybody knows that Tommy never had such fine boots as during the War. We can prove that the fact of the War being waged so successfully was because of our excursions into State enterprise.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
I am trying to prove that all these things were done by the State. [HON. MEMBERS: "No! "] I ought to know. I spent four years in doing it.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
Most of these things were done by the State, aided by public-spirited business men, who came in to help the State to function as a result of their experience and knowledge. I want to combat the argument that the Socialists would have civil servants who did not understand industry directing these industries. We should try to get people who understand the industries to direct them. That is the Socialist point of view. We bought during the War millions of bales of wool, and we made millions of yards of cloth. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who did? "] We did. The Nation, the State, under State control, and State direction. [HON. MEMBERS: "Private firms.] May I make a little excursion and say what private enterprise did? When the Kitchener Army was first started, I remember the military authorities looking over the warehouses of this country in order to buy cloth with which to clothe the soldiers. Private enterprise said, "Yes. You can have it, at a price." The State decided that they were not going to be plundered by the prices that were asked. The result was that the State nationalised the wool trade. The State set private employers to work for them on commision with the result that the State was producing cloth cheaper at the end of 1918 than they were buying it when the Kitchener Army was being clothed. That is a fair example of what the State could do, and it was not a small amount that was produced.
We produced during the first three years of the War an average of nearly 12,000,000 blankets a year. We produced of khaki cloth 313,000,000 yards. We produced 276,000,000 yards of flannel and 104,000,000 pains of socks. These figures are not phantoms. These are the results of experiments in State control, which we carried out in the wool trade. Most hon. Members on this side have worked under private enterprise. I went into private enterprise when I was 10 years old, at ls. 9d. a week, in a spinning mill. If I was not there at six o'clock in the morning I was not allowed to begin work until eight, and 6d. was stopped from my wages. I lost three-quarters the first week, and it was a good job that I did not lose four, or I might have owed something. All my life has ben spent in private enterprise. I am not ashamed of that; but I do suggest seriously that private enter- 1086 prise, and the result of private enterprise, with its 1,250,000 unemployed. with no hope of providing work for the unemployed, has utterly failed.
There is nothing to offer to the unemployed under private enterprise, except the hope that some day we shall get the trade of the world again, and now a proposal is made under private enterprise to put a tax on a new industry, so that we shall have more unemployed. [An HON. MEMBER: "Put a tax on talk ! "] If it was put on talk, perhaps the hon. Member who interrupted me would escape altogether. Talk is merely an expression of various points of view. If points of view have not to be expressed there would be no opportunity for hon. Members below the Gangway on this side and opposite to convert us to the point of view of the Primrose League. The policy of the present system and of the Primrose League, as expressed in a mast illuminating pamphlet, as a cure for unemployment, is not State enterprise, but an extension of private enterprise. We must work longer, work harder, and for less wages. State enterprise, as shown by the instances which we have given, is a better example than that, and it is with the utmost pleasure that I second the Amendment.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I have never believed in these Debates, bingeing on the Motion of a private Member, that speakers from the Front Bench should take up very much time, because the time more appropriately belongs to others. The hon. and gallant Member who brought forward this Motion, I say it with all respect, opened by dealing, not with the subject of the Motion but with the larger aspects of Socialism. As has been pointed out, there is a great difference between what we understand to be State trading and Socialism. It is not unfair to say of the hon. and gallant Member that his greatest difficulty is that of defending the existing system rather than that of attacking Socialism as he has presented it. Socialism is in no way to blame for things as they are, and indeed some of us support it as a cure in the hope of altering things as they are.
In his opening observations the hon. and gallant Gentleman treated us to a glowing description of the uniform good fortune, health, wealth and happiness of 1087 the people of this country. I think that he did overlook the facts, for the truth is that it is not since the end of the War that there has been much misery and unemployment and distress and low wages. It is 20 years since Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who became the Prime Minister eventually, said that 13,000,000 of the people of this country were living upon the verge of starvation, and our troubles since the War, though they have been deepened and aggravated by the War and what has followed it, can be traced to economic laws and conditions that have been not the result of design, plan or method, but have just grown up in the ordinary way of happenings in the last two or three centuries, and in those centuries we lost the land.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman now informs the House that it is our purpose to confiscate the land. No official voice, resolution, proposal or decision of the Labour party can be brought before this Rouse declaring that we do intend to confiscate the land. It has been confiscated. The hon. and gallant Gentleman told us some pitiful stories of a large number of the wealthier squirearchy of the country, and of other landowners, who have become so poor and found ownership of land so difficult that they have had to sell it. That is true, and it is no more than the transference of the power to retain land from one set of hands to another. But if the land has been sold it has been bought, and it is in the possession of people who have as great means as, if not greater than, those who had it in the past. I regretted very much to hear what my hon. and gallant Friend said about the miners. I think that he cast an entirely undeserved aspersion upon them when he said that during the War these men in the most unpatriotic way, regardless of national interests, struck work, and declined to go on with their ordinary service.
§ Mr. CLYNES
What I have to say in answer will apply to South Wales. The real test which we are asked to consider is the patriotism of the miners. I suppose that even among miners, as among landowners, there were a few men who did not seek to serve their country, but, in 1088 the mass, the miners were the first of the men to walk out of the pits into the trenches in such large numbers that, at an early stage of the War, the first cause of our feeling the coal shortage was the absence of the miners from coal production, and compulsorily they had to be brought back from France to go into the mines again. The men who served so well in the War, and who suffer so much for their country in time of peace, are, above all others, the men who do not deserve taunts of this kind in a Debate of this sort.
Nor is the hon. and gallant Gentleman correct in his assumption that we on this side arc opposed to individual workmen owning their own houses. We are glad, indeed, if individual workmen are able to accumulate means whereby they can buy their houses and feel that sense of personal security and independence which comes from the possession of one's own home. The view that we take with regard to the activities of municipal authorities and the need for communities to build houses so as to let them at rents to those who are not able to buy them, is not inconsistent with the view that individual workmen should own their houses if they can possibly acquire them. The truth is that in all these matters there can be no fundamental industrial or economic change unless and until there is a disposition to accept change and a desire to make change successful when it, is made. To take an instance of some feeble attempt to run an enterprise by a little community of persons and to press its inevitable failure, whether in this country or in some other land, proves nothing except the failure of a little body of people to do certain things. I suppose that there is a greater number of failures standing to the name of private enterprise, to those who have taken up commercial undertakings and have tried to establish and run businesses. Many such men have been in this House and have left it. I suppose that there is a larger number of failures of that kind standing to the name of private endeavour than stands to the name of those little communities to which reference has been made.
My hon. Friend who moved the Amendment was quite right in his argument that there are people who will leave to local bodies or to the State any sort of 1089 enterprise that offers not the slightest prospect of profit. Yes, they can run parks, recreation grounds, libraries and other such non remunerative or nonprofit-making enterprises, but they must not touch anything out of which the community itself may reap some reward. We had to-day an answer to a question about a piece of land which the State owns in Regent Street, and the facts and the answer revealed the receipt of a considerable profit to the State as a result of the ownership of that land. Is it wrong that this Imperial Parliament should own a piece of Regent Street? If it be not wrong, upon what grounds can it be said that it is wrong that the community, the municipality or the State, should acquire considerable plots of land in any other part of the country? Indeed, every day is there increasing acquirement of land on the part of local authorities. I know some of the most Tory municipal bodies where now hundreds and hundreds of acres are being added to the future landed property of these municipal bodies, with a prospect, and, I believe, with a confident hope, that much of the income to be derived from the future use of that land will enormously lessen the burden of rates which weighs upon them to-day. Well we know that, because of the private ownership of land in the past and now, town development has been delayed, improvements have been made impossible, and heavy exactions have been common enough where some private interest has stood in the way.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved the Motion, and the Seconder, exhibited almost fantastic conception of what Socialism intends or proposes to do. The failure even of, say, an effort at shipping enterprise in the Dominions, does not prove anything more than that private interests and classes, and personal interests, very often combine to prevent the success of a State venture of that sort. That is a matter of common knowledge and experience. Nor could I understand the hon. and gallant Gentleman's allusion to Russia. I recall the terms in which he described the Russian people's state of wretchedness, of famine, of servility, and of suffering—piling horror upon horror as to the terrible condition in which those people were now living, because of the economic change they had produced. Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman, or some 1090 one else in this House, explain how it is that the people of Russia persist in retaining these conditions? Can anyone believe that even the Russians are so foolish as to nurse the state of famine, wretchedness, personal servility, and economic degradation from which it is said they are suffering. I refuse to believe that if the conditions were as described, the Russian people would be so foolish as to persist in retaining that state of affairs.
Finally, I think my hon. and gallant Friend made a very unwarranted reflection on the Ministry of Food which we had in this country from the earlier part of 1917 until near the end of 1919. I will briefly refer to this matter, if I may do so, leaving aside any personal consideration. The achievements of the Food Ministry prevented the famine which was at our doors in the middle of 1917, a famine which, had it been allowed to travel and to deepen, might indeed have produced an earlier and very different end to the War, from the end which it reached. Wars are no longer contests between armies in the field. Even if they were, armies have to be fed. The civilian population must keep the soldiers and sailors in an efficient state, and I suppose the soldier is the greatest individual consumer in a country in time of war. All civilians must be kept busy in order to keep the soldier fit for the discharge of his military duties. That was done at trifling cost to the country. My hon. and gallant Friend said the Food Ministry taught the business people how to organise to keep up prices. That is a very serious reflection upon the business people. It is not an argument against Socialism, but an argument for Socialism. It is a very potent argument in favour of more effective interference by the State on behalf of the people, with the object of preventing the exploitation of the people by interested parties who use association for that purpose.
The case is against those who resist change. I recall the fact that 20 years ago in this House there were only five Members who could call themselves Labour Members. In 20 years' time that number has grown to 150. In like manner, there has been a growth of opinion in the direction of a willingness to remodel our economic order. Indeed, paradoxical as it may sound, the only thing that is permanent is changed and we are almost uncon- 1091 sciously accepting and showing a willingness and even a readiness to agree to alterations which formerly were stubbornly resisted. I recall a Labour Member rising at our request some years ago, to propose a Motion in favour of pensions for widows. He was almost laughed out of court; at any rate, he was heavily beaten in the Division Lobbies. So it is the pioneer goes on with his preaching and his advocacy until his defeats are turned into victories. Viewing the change that has occurred here and in public opinion in 20 years' time, we have no doubt of the greater change that will be witnessed 20 years from now.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Burton Chadwick)
I come to speak on this subject a little unprepared. Reading the Resolution in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke (Sir A. Holbrook), and listening to the speeches which have been made since, I have been a little surprised that, of all the subjects coming under that Resolution, the one subject which, in my view, has been a distinct success for Government trading has not been mentioned. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for the Home Office came to the House prepared to meet criticism of State trading in Carlisle, but not a word on that subject has been mentioned. After having my dinner, I came into the House to find that all the subjects dealt. with concern the Department with which I have the honour to be associated, and so I have been taking a few rough notes of the speeches that have been made, and I will endeavour to say something on them. I did not, moreover, have the privilege of hearing the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend who moved the Motion. I only had the opportunity of coming in during the latter part of the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Beading (Mr. H. Williams), and I heard the whole of the speech of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). I am not surprised that, led in that way by the speeches of two gentlemen of such academic distinction, the Debate should develop into an academic discussion of Socialism, but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) in his speech just now, which might have been my speech with a few deletions, showed that there is a great deal of 1092 difference between State trading and Socialism, or, perhaps I would more correctly describe him as saying that State trading is not necessarily all that is contained in the doctrine of Socialism.
I will not attempt to develop this tremendous and interesting controversy between the views that I hold and the views that are held by hon. Members opposite on the main issue of Socialism, which has been so widely discussed. The right hon. Gentleman said, very rightly, that people sitting on the Front Bench ought not to take up too much of the time of the House, and I am cordially with him in that sentiment. He went on to say that there have been more failures in private enterprises than there have been in public enterprises. Of course, there have; there has been more enterprise in private enterprise than there has been in public enterprise. I will just refer to some of the remarks that were made by other speakers and in particular to something that was said by the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Mackinder). He complains of the criticism levelled by people who hold the opinions that I hold at those who hold the opinions that he holds on this subject, and he says quite confidently that he knows of no instance of State trading failure. Well, I do, and I believe it was referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Basingstoke.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
What I said was that the Mover and Seconder of the Motion had given us no instance of State trading failure, which is rather different.
§ Sir B. CHADWICK
Then I will give the hon. Member some very marked instances of extraordinary and disastrous failure of State trading. I will recall to his mind the result of the trading of the United States Government in shipowning. I would not dare to mention how many million of dollars have been lost every year in trading alone by the merchant fleet of America, not to take into account the depreciation in value of their property. It is the same story precisely in the case of the Canadian State ships and the Australian State ships, although the hon. Member opposite was misguided enough to talk about the State trading of some three or four steamers belonging to the Australian Government, which, he said, are trading at a profit. It is quite possible that those steamers of which he 1093 spoke are merely steamers running upon Government coastal trade, and are largely supported by the mail subsidy of the Australian Government. It is not comparable. It is not a fair example of State trading enterprise to put against the great international enterprises that are entered into by the shipowners of this country and other countries.
That is only one State effort in trading. I could mention many failures of State trading which we have not heard mentioned by speakers on this side. We need not go further than some of our tramway enterprises, of which the results have been really most serious to the ratepayers of many municipalities in this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "Where? "] London, for instance. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is not true."] I may be wrong about London, but I do know of other places in this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about Glasgow? "] I do not know anything about Glasgow, but there are places which I do know where the tramways have been disastrous to the ratepayers. I was very interested when, in the middle of some petulant remarks about private enterprise in this country, an hon. Member swelled with pride as he spoke of Bradford cloth as the finest cloth in the world, and that cloth, so far as I know, is produced entirely by private enterprise. He went on to compare —and I think this is misleading when we discuss this question of State trading and national interference with private enter prise—the war conditions with the peace conditions. He said that vast numbers were clothed comfortably and effectively during the War, and why did we not do the same thing in other branches of trade? [An HON. MEMBER "Why not? "] Another hon. Member supports him by saying, "Why not?" This, to my mind, is why not. There is no comparison between legitimate trading and the prices that we paid in emergencies, and during the War, for clothes, boots, food, and every other conceivable kind of commodity which had to be purchased in prosecution of the War.
§ Sir B. CHADWICK
As between War expenditure and legitimate trading, and expenditure in times of peace, there is no comparison. I will not say much more 1094 except to refer to some of the remarks made by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). He spoke of his experience in work under public control, a very wide experience. He spoke of the anxiety for the public purse evinced by everybody engaged in public work. He spoke of the concern of those engaged to do their duty well. He referred to the fact that he had never to wait more than three minutes for a telephone call, and he said, when questioned, that in his own district he was not a personality, but a voice. I congratulate him on that. I knew that I had to follow him, but. I was able to sit in my room downstairs, and able to tell, because his resonant voice had stopped, that it was time I was in the House. On this question he has produced nothing but negative reasons either in favour of State trading or in favour of that Socialism into which the Debate has drifted. I have given instances as to where State trading has been proved to be bad and unprofitable, and I have not yet heard in this Debate anything definite, concrete, useful, helpful, or practical in favour of what has been advanced on the other side. I do not know that I have anything more to say. I have endeavoured to answer criticisms, and I have endeavoured to support my hon. and gallant Friend in the Motion he has moved and to resist the arguments made by the other side.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
Some years ago the present. Chancellor of the Exchequer made a farewell speech at the Ministry of Munitions, and in the course of it he complimented the officials who had been working under him on their extreme efficiency, and said the way in which the Department had been handled throughout the whole of its existence almost made him a State Socialist. In the discussion this evening I have failed to hear any serious argument, backed up by facts and figures, from the opponents of State enterprise, except, perhaps, the statements made on the subject of shipping by the last speaker. With regard to his illustrations about shipping, I would like to point out that during the period when the conditions of that particular industry in the Dominions could be used as an argument against State enterprise the shipping people of this country were crying out about the terrible conditions for shipping.
1095 To-day, also, the shipping industry is in a bad way unquestionably through precisely the same economic and worldwide conditions which affected the State enterprises which have been referred to. Why not consider the question from a broader point of view than merely that of profit and loss? The failure of a public enterprise is not necessarily, from the ordinary profit and loss point of view, an argument against State enter prise or Socialism. What happens with regard to the trams, for instance? It is perfectly true that from a profit and loss point of view the trams in London do not pay, but from the standpoint of income and expenditure they do, and pay the people of London handsomely. The reason why they appear not to pay is because what would be called capital in a private firm is called debt in public enterprise. That applies to a large number of undertakings throughout the country in regard to which similar arguments are used. With regard to the question of shipping in this country, I would draw the attention of the last speaker to the Report of the Select Cornmitttee on National Expenditure in December, 1919. That Report was presented to the House in the flicking terms:After careful and lengthy inquiry your Committee is of opinion that the work of the Ministry of Shipping was performed with remarkable efficiency.The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) made a speech in this House which I will take the liberty of quoting with regard to the manufacture of munitions of war, under State enterprise, for the purpose of prosecuting the War. He said:You do not get economy by abusing Government Departments and Government officials, and by abusing those volunteers who have given their time to Government work. And I am bound to say this: they have all done well. There has been a great attack upon them.I should like to point out that that attack came all the time from people who supported private enterprise and made a very good thing indeed out of the War. Those were the people who attacked the Ministry of Munitions and the Food Ministry, and exposed their lack of 1096 patriotism in so doing. I will continue my quotation:There has been a great attack upon them, as if they had been extravagant, especially the business men, without whose assistance the War could not have been won.Then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs went on to say:Shells, machine guns, guns, rifles. The 18-pounder when the Ministry was started cost 22s. 6d. a shell. A system of costing and investigation was introduced, and national factories were set up which checked the price, and a shell for which the War Office, at the time the Ministry was formed, paid 22s. 6d. was reduced to 12s.That is an example of State enterprise.And when you had 85,000,000 shells that saved £35,000,000. There was a reduction in the prices of all other shells and there was a reduction in the Lewis guns. When we took them in hand they cost £165 and we reduced them to £35 each. There was a saving of a good many millions there and through the costing system and the checking of the national factories we set up before the end of the War there was a saving of £440,000,000.That is the evidence of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs with regard to the question of munitions, and I could of course go on quoting from that speech and many others on the same subject, with precisely the same purpose. With regard to the question of State trading in Queensland my hon. Friend who seconded the Amendment has dealt with that sufficiently, but I would like to point out that the last item shows that in Queensland the net profit on butchers' shops, hotels, and produce agencies has been £86,000. The main justification for the argument of these enterprises was that the cost of commodities was controlled, and was excessive before, and that when the State entered into the business it ran them as well as private enterprise and maintained prices at a reasonable level. That is the statement of the Commissioners for Queensland.
Something has been said about the question of telephones. It was suggested some time ago that the taking over of the telephones by the State would be disadvantageous and that the service was a thoroughly had and inefficient one. That statement never was true, and the only colour to it was that before it was taken 1097 over the whole system was allowed to deteriorate to the greatest degree in order to get the best, advantage in the transfer. If there is one illustration of the State Telephone Service which can be shown to be thoroughly efficient it is the State Telephone Service of Sweden. There, call boxes in private houses, according to a Swedish Conservative newspaper, are as plentiful as gas meters are in London. I heard the same statement made about the inefficiency of the New York telephones. But the New York telephones were not State-owned, and it suited the stunt newspapers to work up an agitation on the subject of the telephones in London and this country. Then, of course, they were not prepared to realise that in New York the State telephones are not a public service, although they were admitted by the same newspapers to be worse managed than the telephones of London.
Take the municipal enterprises of this country. Mr. William Davies, the Borough Treasurer of Preston, gave a, list of over 44 towns which had handed over in relief of rates the sum of £1,387,607 out of the profits on municipal undertakings. I refer to this matter not because I regard this question from a profit-making point of view. Personally I am a Socialist, and I believe in production for the use of the people and not for profit. I also realise as a member of a municipal authority that it is hardly a practical thing, even if it were true, that municipal enterprises are failures, to expect enterprises of a public character run by people opposed to private enterprise to be a success. This is the case in my constituency with regard to electrical undertakings, because the majority of the Council are opposed entirely to the principle of municipal enterprise, but in spite of that there is a handsome profit upon electrical production and distribution.
As a believer in production for use and not profit, I think we have to consider
§ the question of production and distribution entirely from the point of view of national advantage. How much profit do you make out of Westminster Bridge, or the tunnel underneath the Thames, and public services of that kind? You do not make any profit out of them at all, and no one would be stupid enough to consider them from the point of view as to whether a commercial profit had been made out of them. Supposing the tramways service of London was communised, and nobody was charged any fares for travelling on them. I am not saying that that would be a good or a desirable thing, but the cost would be precisely the same and the public service would be precisely the same, but you would not show a profit and loss balance sheet, and you would not have ticket collectors and jumpers as would be the case under private enterprise. You would not have to pay tolls on the highroads, because all these things are a public service and you cannot judge them from the point of view of profit or loss.
§ The only standard you can adopt is that of efficiency, and taking into account all the difficulties and the conditions of the transition period, State and public enterprise is not a failure but a success. I took the trouble to make an analysis of the financial account of all municipal enterprises of this country contained in the Municipal Year Book last year, and I found that there were only two concerns in the country where the expenditure was more than the receipts. It is perfectly true that the balance sheet in many cases showed a loss simply because the debt to the community was spread over a period of years with regard to the application of the capital account, and that is the only difference.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 187; Noes, 118.1099
|Division No. 83.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Bethell, A.||Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd, Hexham)|
|Albery, Irving James||Betterton, Henry B.||Buckingham, Sir H.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Bullock, Captain M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. v. K.||Blundell, F. N.||Burney, Lieut.Com. Charles D.|
|Ashmead Bartlett, E.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Burton, Colonel H. W.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Butler, Sir Geoffrey|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Briscoe, Richard George||Campbell, E. T.|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S.)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brooke, Brigadier General c. R. I.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Preston, William|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Holland, Sir Arthur||Radford, E. A.|
|Christie, J. A.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Raine, W.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Homan, C. W. J.||Ramsden, E.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Rawson, Alfred Cooper|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Remer, J. R.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier General G. K.||Hudson, Capt. A.U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hudson, R.S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Cope, Major William||Hume, Sir G. H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Couper, J. B.||Hunter Weston, Lt. Gen. Sir Aylmer||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Hutchison, G.A.Clark (Mldl'n& P'bl's)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Jacob, A. E.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Joynson Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Savery, S. S.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston s. M.)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Locker Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Smith, R.W. (Abord'n & Kino'dine,C.)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Loder, J. de V.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lougher, L.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Falls, Sir Charles F.||Luce, Major Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Fenby, T. D.||Lumley, L. R.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Ford, P. J.||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Forestier Walker, L.||McLean, Major A.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Forrest, W.||Macquisten, F. A.||Stott, Lieut. Colonel W. H.|
|Fremantle, Lieut. Colonel Francis E.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Gadle, Lieut. Colonel Anthony||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Stuart, Crichton, Lord C.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Makins, Brigadier General E.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Gates, Percy||Manningham Buller, Sir Mervyn||Templeton, W. P.|
|Gault, Lieut. Col. Andrew Hamilton||Margesson, Capt. D.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Gee, Captain R.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Thomson, F. c. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Merriman, F. B.||Tichfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark Lanark)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston on Hull)|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wells, S. R.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wheler, Major Granville C. H.|
|Grace, John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||White, Lieut. Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Grant, J. A.||Morrison Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Williams, Com. C.(Devon, Torquay)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Murchison, C. K.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E.)||Nail, Lieut. Colonel Sir Joseph||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Nelson, Sir Frank||Windsor Clive, Lieut. Colonel George|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Ripon)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D.T|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Henderson, Lieut. Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Perring, William George||Colonel Sir A. Holbrook and Mr.|
|Heneage, Lieut. Colonel Arthur P.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Herbert Williams.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Greenall, T.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||March, S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maxton, James|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Groves, T.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Barnes, A.||Grundy, T. W.||Montague, Frederick|
|Barr, J.||Guest, J.(York, Hemsworth)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, G. H.(Merthyr Tydvil)||Murnin, H.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hardie, George D.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hastings, Sir Patrick||Oliver, George Harold|
|Bromfield, William||Hayday, Arthur||Palln, John Henry|
|Bromley, J.||Hayes, John Henry||Paling, W.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick Lawrence, F. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, G. H.||Potts, John S.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Richardson, R. (Houghton le Spring)|
|Clowes, S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Riley, Ben|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kelly, W. T.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kennedy, T.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kirkwood, D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Dennison, R.||Lansbury, George||Scurr, John|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lawson, John James||Sexton, James|
|Gillett, George M.||Lee, F.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gosling, Harry||Lowth, T.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Mackinder, W.||Smillie, Robert|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Varley, Frank B.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Viant, S. P.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wallhead, Richard C.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Snell, Harry||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Windsor, Walter|
|Stamford, T. W.||Watts Morgan, Lt. Col. D. (Rhondda)||Wright, W.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Sutton, J. E.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Taylor, R. A.||Whiteley, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Thurtle, E.||Wignall, James||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Tinker, John Joseph||Wilkinson, Ellen C.||Warne.|
|Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.1102
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.