HC Deb 16 November 1925 vol 188 cc33-81

I beg to move— That during the remainder of the Session—

  1. (1) Government Business do have precedence;
  2. (2) At the conclusion of Government Business or of Proceedings made in pursuance of any Act of Parliament requiring any Order, Rule, or Regulation to be laid before the House of Commons, which shall be taken immediately after Government Business, Mr. Speaker shall propose the Question, That this 34 House do now adjourn, and, if that Question shall not have been agreed to, Mr. Speaker shall adjourn the House, without Question put, not later than one hour after the conclusion of Government Business, if that Business has been concluded before 10.30 p.m., but, if that Business has not been so concluded, not later than 11.30 p.m.;
  3. (3) If the day be a Friday the House, unless it otherwise resolves, shall at its rising stand adjourned until the following Monday."
The Motion which stands in my name is one which, I am afraid, has been a hardy annual on our Order Paper for a great many years. The reason that it appears to-day—this for the benefit of those who have not been Members of the House very long—arises from this fact, that when the arrangement of public business was last settled, in the year 1902, it was decided, under Sub-section (d) of No. 4 of the Standing Orders that After Whitsuntide, until Michaelmas, Government business shall have precedence. and so forth. When we looked this morning at the Blue Paper which regulates our proceedings, we saw that in addition to the business of to-day it contained, as it were, the minutes of the Debate on the last day we sat, namely, 7th August. The last business done on that day was to adjourn the House at its rising then until to-day; so that in essence and in fact this is the same Session as was in existence then; but owing to the word "Michaelms," which was put in in 1902, there is some doubt lest, if no Motion of this kind be passed, the days allocated to private Members in the earlier part of our business year, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, might be claimed. As these Sessions in the Autumn are, and always have been, held for the sole object of completing business begun in the earlier part of the year, it is obvious that it is necessary— it was so for the Labour Government last year, as it was for each Government in preceding years—to secure the whole of the time for Government business, with a view to rising at a proper time before Christmas. All Governments go through the same course of taking just about as long as they estimate will be necessary for the business which has to be passed to enable the House to rise in time for the holidays at Christmas. For the benefit of the younger Members amongst us, I would remind the House that whatever privileges attach to Members of the House in moving the Adjournment, subject to the discretion of Mr. Speaker, who is the arbiter in these matters, remain intact, as does the privilege of raising any question on the Adjourment, and of moving addresses praying for the amendment of regulations made in pursuance of authority. The only right private Members have not had which they have had in the earlier part of a Session is the right of initiating discussions on Motions selected by ballot on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. I hope that, in order to enable us to proceed with the business which has been put down, the House will accept this Motion, as it did last year, and as it has done in many previous years, after a Debate conducted within as narrow limits as possible.


It is perfectly true, as the Prime Minister has reminded us, that this Resolution has become a hardy annual, but I think that is all the more reason why it should be challenged. The right hon. Gentleman has also reminded us that there was no provision made in the Order for anything that should happen after Michaelmas, but quite obviously the intention of the House at the time was to make no provision for an Autumn Session, under the assumption that the business of the House would be done in the time contemplated by the Order. As a matter of fact, we have found that Michaelmas comes and we find our work undone, and therefore it has been our experience that an Autumn Session has been necessary for completing the work already begun. If it was that business that the Prime Minister was asking us to do in this Autumn Session, so far as I am concerned I would not resist this Resolution; but that is not the situation at all.

There are two considerations which have to be taken into account here. The first is that during the regular period of the sittings of the House the rule lays down quite clearly—whether adequately or inadequately perhaps depends upon whether you sit on one side of this House or the other—that there are certain rights for private Members on Tuesdays and Wednesdays up to a certain time, and, what is more important, it gives us an opportunity week by week in connection with Supply to raise any subject which has become important during the sittings of the House. Therefore, if this Autumn Session is a regular continuation of our business, then the Government must find an opportunity for raising some of the most important questions that have matured for discussion since last we met. We have been told that the Government are not going to continue their ordinary work, and that we are going to be given fresh work to do. We are told to-day that we are going to have a Finance Bill which is to carry out some extension of the Safeguarding of Industries Act which has now lapsed. I want to say perfectly clearly and candidly here and now, so that there need be no mistake about it, that we shall oppose that measure on every occasion and on every opportunity, and we shall not facilitate its passage through this House in any way. That being the case, the Government will have to take the time to-night in the Division Lobbies and not by the consent of the House.

My next point is, what are the Government going to do with their time, although I think an Autumn Session should be properly provided for by the Rules of the House? So far as this threatened Bill is concerned we regard it as an exceedingly important matter of principle which ought not to be discussed and settled in an Autumn Session. We also regard it as being a violation of all the pledges given to the country by the Government and a violation of the pledge given that if this Government had a majority they would not proceed to impose Protection on the country. They are now doing that. But leaving that on one side, I have here a list of subjects which I think the Prime Minister will agree is an important list of subjects which ought to be discussed.

The Locarno Pact is going to be discussed the day after to-morrow. With regard to that Pact, I should like to reinforce a question which was put earlier as to when we are to have the papers about the Dominions. Surely before Wednesday next we ought to know the opinion of the Dominions. We shall certainly have a great deal to say about that question on Wednesday in regard to this new policy relating to the settlement of international affairs without the consent and knowledge of the Dominions, and then turning round to the Dominions and saving: "If you agree, after we have signed, to come in and take over your own obli- gations, we have no objection." The House ought not to be asked to pronounce any opinion upon that matter until we have the papers and the correspondence with the Dominions fully placed before us, and until we have had time to consider them.

Then there is the question of Mosul, which has been left in a very unsatisfactory position. Are we committed to the right hon. Gentleman's speech at Geneva, or are we really in the position that, before the House has bad an opportunity of even being told about a change of the policy that has hitherto been supported by the right hon. Gentleman and his party and by us, that policy has already been changed without any information being given to us, to say nothing of it not having received our sanction? We must have an opportunity during this part of the Session to find out how the country stands with reference to the Mosul question, which also involves the question of Iraq. Are we going to continue to guarantee Iraq, and what is our position on this question with regard to the League of Nations? We cannot possibly separate for the Christmas holidays until we have had an opportunity of considering that subject.

4.0 P.M.

There is another subject. The House really must have an opportunity of discussing the unemployment problem. We want to know about those wonderful figures which are being produced every Wednesday morning. Do they or do they not indicate, not merely a lowering in unemployment figures, but an improvement in the condition of unemployment, which are two totally different things, one nut-meaning the same as the other? Is trade really better and absorbing more of our people? Really, we must have an opportunity of discussing those subjects, and, in connection with them, we must have an opportunity of considering the question of Poor Law administration. There is another question which was raised from below the Gangway on the opposite side of the House to-day, the question of dockyard policy. Surely, this House is going to have an opportunity of discussing that matter. We must know what the Government policy is— how far it is going to keep its obligations to the municipalities of Rosyth and Dunfermline—and with regard to Pembroke Dock. What is its policy with regard to the discharged workers, and so on? We would not perform our duty if we did not insist upon getting from the Government a full statement upon those very important questions.

Then there is another question. It may be a small question, but I can assure the Prime Minister that it is one of those little things that seem to touch moral interests, and on that account may loom very large. We have all been distressed about statements about Kadaver factories and so, restarted on account of a reported or misreported speech of an hon. Member of this House in New York. I do not think the matter can rest where it is, and I would beg the Prime Minister during the next day or two to apply his mind to considering whether it is not possible to make some statement that will settle this matter for good and all. I can assure him the newspaper fuss that was made about it on the other side of the Channel created something that was much deeper than mere interest. We owe it to ourselves to make our Government official position perfectly clear, and some opportunity ought to be given in order to raise that question.

There is the whole question of the administration of justice. By hook or by crook that has got to be discussed, not only the question mentioned by my right hon. Friend to-day—the action of the Public Prosecutor, which may or may not be quite accurate from the legal point of view—I do not know, I will wait and hear the statement—but something much more than that. We do not believe that the law has been equitably applied between reactionary leaders and forces and, what at any rate the people call themselves, "progressive leaders of thought." I do not share that view of theirs at all. Nevertheless, whether one agrees with them or not, it is of the most critical importance to-day that there should be general confidence in the administration of justice in this country. There is a prosecution going on to-day, and as soon as it is over it will have to be discussed, not in defence of what these gentlemen have said or have not said, but from the constitutional point of view, which surely is perfectly clear—that there should be no criminal prosecution in this country against an expression of opinion. We must ask the Government to provide opportunities for that discussion.

There is one other matter. The question of the administration of war pensions again has become the subject of a great deal of unsettlement and disappointment. There is a whole class of cases where pensions are refused, on the ground that the disability upon which the pensions were claimed has been decided not to have arisen on account of war experience. We ought to have an opportunity of discussing these things. Then it is just possible that a situation may arise—we shall certainly not ask it on our own initiative—but the circumstances may arise—when someone will have to ask for a further discussion upon the coal situation, and we ought to keep our hands free for that; and there may be some other unforeseen things. I mention those matters, because they are all big things, all pressing things, and they are matters which, if we were now meeting in February, we could bring up in the ordinary way by Resolution, or through balloting for Bills, or, above all, through Supply. Surely the Government will never expect us to sit here five or six weeks perhaps, and have no very clear understanding come to between themselves and us regarding the raising of these largo questions, which for the benefit of the House of Commons itself ought to be discussed and thoroughly thrashed out.

I am afraid it will be impossible for me to help to give the Government the Resolution this time on account of this new legislation, to which I very strongly object on principle and not merely as a matter of expediency. An Autumn Session never contemplated in the Rules of the House ought not to be used for the introduction of new business. An Autumn Session ought to be used only for the finishing of business that is begun before the Adjournment, but which, owing to the pressure of debates and so on, cannot be finished before August. We have to-day had notice that new legislation is going to be brought forward, and on that account I cannot give this Resolution my vote. But I hope, on the second group of considerations, that we shall have some satisfactory assurance, which will enable us to raise those very important questions on the Floor of the House.


The right hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the House has covered a good deal of the ground which necessarily has to be covered by anyone taking part in these discussions. I do not propose to re-cover all of it, but I would like to say, speaking for those I am representing this afternoon, that, although of course the Prime Minister has put forward a plea to which we have all become accustomed, namely, that the Government take all the time of the House in an Autumn Session, it clearly ought not to be regarded as axiomatic or as a precedent which has never been and should never be broken. On the present occasion, we have more important questions to be discussed than usually arise in the interval since the Adjournement, and further we have promised, as the leader of the Opposition has rightly pointed out, a new Finance Bill of a most acutely controversial character which certainly will be opposed from these benches to the utmost of our ability. This is not the moment to make any pronouncement of policy, but I must say that it seems to me that, if legislation which was intended to deal with large and important interests, is really to-day being used to assist minute and microscopic industries against all principles of finance, and against the pledges given by the Prime Minister, then, although the Government no doubt will adhere to their Motion, there are a number of questions of great public interest for which time must be found.

If the Prime Minister will give me his attention for one moment, I would like to suggest to him that the Government should find time for the discussion of the important question of inter-Allied debts. The position of our debts, money owing to us both from France and Italy, appears obscure; in fact, is entirely in the air. The Chancellor of the Exchequer to-day rightly pointed out that it is utterly impossible to deal with problems of this kind across the Floor of the House at Question Time, but we do want to know what to-day is the position of the French debt to us. How far was it or is it or is it not contingent on the settlement of the French debt to America? We should also like to know how it is that, while Italy owes us more money than it does the United States, a settlement has been arrived at with the United States, though, as far as we know, no bargain has even been suggested or is under consideration regarding the money that Italy owes to us. These questions should not merely be considered, but should be dealt with in a much more serious spirit than I think they have been dealt with by the British Government. The taxpayer of this country should not be asked to be for ever a kind of philanthropist to whom no good ever comes, nor should everybody else's debts be settled before ours and England be the only country whose debts are never paid. In view of the present financial position and the present state of the Budget it seems to me important that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government should have an opportunity of stating our position in this matter.

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition mentioned the question of the administration of justice. He said we want an inquiry, and some time allowed during this period of the Session. Last year the party with which I am connected moved for a Select Committee to inquire into the late Labour Government's conduct of the administration of justice. We have never had that committee. We should like to have it and any other committee, if an inquiry is going to be held. I was rather interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman's violent denunciation of what has been done by Gentlemen on that Front Bench when we contrast the position which in our memory he occupied not so long ago with the position of the Government, I will not say, on a similar matter. [Interruption.]


We must not mak9 this Motion an opportunity for going into the merits of any of these questions. It will not be in order on this occasion to do more than indicate the questions for the discussion of which time is desired.


I was endeavouring to do that when I was interrupted, and led away from the few remarks which I was trying to address to the House. The question of the dockyards, especially Pembroke, in which many of us are interested, is not a party question, and we think some opportunity should be pro vided for placing it more fully and adequately before this House than seems to have been done in the Press. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition referred to a number of other questions, and I do not wish to cover the ground again. All I would say is that, seeing that the time for which the House is going to sit before Christmas is sorely inadequate to the number of subjects to be discussed, it seems a pity, in view of the number and importance of those subjects, that the House was not called together at a somewhat earlier date, so that we might have had time in which to satisfy the desire, not merely of members of this House but of the country, that these important questions should be adequately dealt with.


I would like some information regarding the statement made by the Prime Minister that after Michaelmas the time which private Members would have would be Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Is it not stated in the Manual of Procedure that the time which private Members will have after that date is Wednesday afternoons and Fridays, which come back to the private-Members if an Autumn Session is held? This Resolution which has been put forward by the Government proposes to take up for the Government the whole of the time of the House, and to cut off from the private Members what has been in the past the time which they legitimately had, to bring up questions for discussion which either affected their constituents or might affect some particular body of opinion in the country with which they were associated. I would like to know, when the Prime Minister brings in this new legislation, whether he intends also to allow or permit the Minister of Labour to continue the introduction of what is practically new legislation, by the issue of Regulations to the Employment Exchanges in the country—Regulations which have the effect of Acts of Parliament, and cut off from receiving benefit individuals who are insured persons and who, by reason of the Insurance Acts, are entitled to receive benefit either on behalf of themselves or of their dependants? That is one thing, at least, which T submit, above all others, ought to be discussed during this Autumn Session—the methods by which the Minister of Labour is practically robbing insured persons of insurance benefit.

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope)

Mr. Speaker has already ruled that it will not be in order to go into the merits of questions which hon. Members may desire to raise. It will be in order to enumerate them, but it will not be in order to go into their merits.


I accept that, and I thought I was not going into the merits, but was making a general statement as to what T considered to be the effects of the merits of these questions.


I understood that the hon. Member made a charge of theft, which is clearly going into the merits.


I admit that it was a charge of theft or robbery, and I withdraw that charge to-day, and will substitute it on another day when the Minister is here. I would point out. that, in my opinion, the many things affecting this country, or people in this country, to-day, which are being carried out by the officials of the Ministry of Labour, ought to be discussed by this House, because I am convinced that every Member of the House who has paid any attention to the matter in his constituency during the Recess is bound, if that constituency is an industrial one. to have been visited by scores upon scores of unemployed persons complaining about their treatment, and I am convinced that, if hon. Members are endeavouring, as I assume every Member of this House is, conscientiously to represent their constituencies, they will at least have something to say regarding the treatment of those individuals. Consequently, I submit to the Prime Minister that questions affecting the administration of the exchanges by the regulations and administrative instructions which have been sent out during the past three months by the Minister ought to be made the subject of discussion in this House during the present Autumn Session. There is also the question of pensions, which was touched upon by the Leader of the Opposition.

The Locarno Pact is evidently going to have a full-dress Debate on Wednesday, when all the experts in foreign affairs will unload their wisdom and knowledge upon this House, and the rest of us will have to sit in silence and take in the lessons they give. I want to submit that, if the Locarno Pact is going to have a full day's discussion in this House, there are things happening in this country that are affecting the working people of this country more materially than they can be affected by any Locarno Pact, and those things ought to have at least one day's discussion also during the Autumn Session. There is one question that was in people's minds when Ministers who occupy the Government Benches got into their offices—the question of the inquiry that has been touched upon by an hon. Member below the Gangway. They went through the country protesting against what they considered to be the Labour Government's maladministration, or interference in the administration, of justice, and they carried a Motion for a Committee. They have been in office now for one year, and that Committee has never been set up, but we have the spectacle of the Home Secretary and the Attorney-General in this Government actually instructing, as far as we know—


The hon. Member is showing great ingenuity rather than discipline, but he really must restrain himself.


It is rather difficult to keep exactly to the chalk line on this question, but I was pointing out that, while the Government came into office with the object of setting up a Committee on a certain matter, they themselves, on the surface, are evidently more grossly interfering with the administration of justice than the individuals whom they accused before.


It is perfectly clear that the hon. Member is going into the merits of the question, and Mr. Speaker has ruled that that could not be done on this occasion. The hon. Member must confine himself to the question of taking the time of Private Members.


Surely, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I have a right to mention some of the points that ought to be discussed by this House?


The hon. Member has a perfect right to mention points that ought to be discussed, but he has not the right to discuss them.


I submit, Sir, with due respect, that I am not discussing them. I am mentioning the fact that, in the public eye at the present time, the Law Officers of the Crown are held to be responsible for certain things which have happened, and I am submitting to you, Sir, that we ought to have an opportunity of discussing these things, and that the Law Officers of the Crown and the Government itself should have an opportunity of making it clear whether the opinion of the public on what has happened is correct or not. That. I submit, is not going into the merits of the case, which I hope will be discussed and its merits gone fully into. If that be done, I am convinced that certain individuals in this House will stand in a very awkward position. I suggest, as Mr. Speaker has ruled, that the Debate must be confined to. the matters that have to be discussed, that these are questions that should be discussed—the question whether or not the Law Officers of the Crown have interfered with prosecutions in this country; the question whether or not the Minister of Labour has issued instructions and regulations to the officials of the Exchanges which are responsible for the taking away of benefits from people who are entitled to those benefits; and the question whether pensions are being taken away from dependants or from those who have served in the War. These are all questions that ought to be discussed, and this filching of time from private Members by means of this Resolution of the Government deprives them of the opportunity of raising in first-class Debate in this House questions which very materially affect their constituents. I submit that these questions ought to be brought up in the House and thoroughly discussed. Even the question of Rosyth and Pembroke, the former of which affects Scotland, are not to be discussed. The dismissals are to go on, towns are to be made bankrupt, and all the pledges which the Government made to Dunfermline are to be broken. The Prime Minister says he is very sorry, but he cannot even allow a day for discussing this very important question. I submit that that is not fair to Dunfermline, it is not fair to the Scottish Members, it is not fair to Pembroke or to the Welsh Members, and I suggest that, if the Prime Minister is going to take up this attitude with regard to questions which affect very materially many people in this country, I, for one, am not going to remain silent, but am going to object and protest and obstruct in every possible way that the Rules contained in the Manual of Procedure enable me to do.


I should like to ask the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury whether it is not possible to find a little time to discuss one other matter, namely, the transfer of pensions administration from Edinburgh to London. This is not in any sense a party matter; I believe that Scottish Members of all parties are opposed to this transfer. I cannot, of course, deal with the merits of it, but I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman and to the representative of the Ministry of Pensions, who is present, that, if it be only a little thing, as is alleged by the Minister, it may very well be postponed until after it has been discussed, while, if it be a great thing, the Government have no right to decide it without consultation with the Scottish Members. The tendency has been to regard the Scottish region as if it were an English county, and my experience is 1hat that is very much resented, and that an opportunity is desired by Scottish Members to bring the matter before the House. The Scottish Advisory Council, which was set up for the purpose of advising the Ministry, was never even consulted in this matter, and has registered its protest against it. Furthermore, I believe I am right in saying that 35 Members of Parliament, representing Scottish constituencies, have begged the Ministry to postpone action until a discussion has taken place. Therefore, I would beg the right hon. Gentleman, in his reply, to say that some time, even if it be only a few hours, will be found for the discussion of a matter which, regardless of party, is considered to be of vital interest by the Scottish constituencies.


I am anxious to press that time may be allotted for the discussion of two matters which have been mentioned. One is in regard to Rosyth and Pembroke. I was surprised to hear the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. N. Maclean) take it for granted that the Prime Minister had refused this. I am not aware that he has done so. I believe the Prime Minister led the deputation that waited upon him to believe that any decision taken by the Cabinet would be subject to review in the House, and I do not think it is likely that the Prime Minister will go back upon that statement. It is most important that the matter should be debates because it is very seriously regarded by the people of Scotland and is of very special importance to the people of Dunfermline and district. I should also like to support the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Leith in regard to the matter of pensions administration. There is growing up a feeling in Scotland that we are very much disregarded, that Scotland is represented in every country of the world, and that Scotsmen rule every country in the world except Scotland.


The hon. Member appears to be entering on a discussion on the merits of the Scottish people.


You will understand it is a very tempting subject. The people of Scotland will be not only very much grieved at these decision, but if time is not allowed for the discussion of them they will feel that they have been very unjustly treated.


I wish to join in the protests against the Government proposition to take all the time for the rest of the Session. There are several reasons why people like me should object to it. In the first place, we come back after 12 or 13 weeks of adjournment with the object of winding up the Session so that we may adjourn again a week before Christmas for another five or six weeks. I think it is time that certainly we on these benches objected to that sort or procedure altogether. We are elected, I take it everyone is elected, to do the work of the nation. If we are unable to do it within a certain time, we ought to take the extra time that is necessary to do it. Although there have been several questions put forward that ought to be discussed, there are many others. Many of us who sit here feel that the make-believe of our proceedings in this House destroys the faith of people outside in Parliamentary Government. We come here for the purpose of remedying the grievances of the common people and most of us have precious little opportunity of bringing in any proposal or any Bill, or moving any Resolution. Those who have been in the House much longer than I have know that as the days go by it gets less and less possible for the ordinary Members to initiate anything and that more and more we become just voting machines, whether it is a Labour, Liberal, or Tory Government that is in. It is very nearly time that ordinary Members took procedure in hand and determined that the bulk of the Members should have a voice in how business should be conducted and what business should be carried on. As matters are now settled, we are simply ciphers who are expected to vote. Hon. Members opposite will vote one way, we shall vote the other, and we shall then go and get our dinner or lunch or breakfast and the thing will be finished. It is a very important thing that the people of this country should be certain that this House is a place where grievances can be redressed and where it is not simply a game of make-believe of one Party against the other but that we are all here— I was going to say earning the money that is paid to us, but at any rate making good use of the time that is given us to do the necessary business of the nation.

Unless the House takes the opportunity during this Session of dealing very drasti[...] with the question of Russian relationships, not only our country, but all Europe, is in danger of drifting more and more into chaos and probably war. We are entitled to know from the Prime Minister why it was that no representative of the Foreign Office was on the platform to see the Minister from Russia off on Saturday. [Interruption."] The attitude of hon. Members opposite is typical of the frame of mind which I consider extremely dangerous. It is certain that if the representative in this country of the smallest country in the world was leaving he would not have been treated with the studied discourtesy—


The hon. Member began his speech in perfect order, but he is now falling from his standard.


I will try very hard to keep within the narrow limits which have been laid down. I think the House, certainly the Opposition, have a right to demand that before we adjourn again we shall have an opportunity of discussing the whole question of the relationships— diplomatic, commercial, social, industrial — between this country and the great country of Russia, especially in view of what happened on Saturday. You may hate their Government, but it is a great country with a big population and great potentialities in trade and commerce. The Prime Minister went to Glasgow during the Recess and did what I think is an excellent thing for a Prime Minister to do. He used his own eyes and his own judgment as to the housing conditions in part of Glasgow, but we poor people who live in the dependency of England ought to have an opportunity of discussing whether we are not entitled to an extra subsidy for housing in view of the extra subsidy of £40 for Weir houses. I do not grudge Northern Britain getting that £40, but I am certain that in Poplar and West Ham we need it even more. I just mention that so that the Prime Minister may tell us whether we shall be treated on an equal footing with Edinburgh and Glasgow. The other subject that I think ought to be dealt with is the Poor Law. We are in a state of absolute confusion in many boroughs in London and elsewhere as to what wages we may pay our employés. There has been a decision in the Law Courts and in the House of Lords, and difficulties have arisen in interpreting it because the local government auditors give one decision and one half-year and an exactly contrary one the next half-year. Unless we are going to have an opportunity of discussing these contradictory surcharges local government is going to get into a state of absolute confusion. Then there is the whole question of Poor Law administration. The Minister of Health is interfering more and more with the administration of relief to individuals. If you go to Gateshead or to the district I represent, more and more we do not know, after one decision of the Minister, what the next decision is going to be. He is usurping powers which are not conferred upon him, and unless we have time to raise these matters they will go on and the state of local administration will become more and more confused. If the question is raised he says it is not his function to see that proper relief is paid, but apparently it is his function to lay down what in his judgment is an excess.


This is quite wide of the Motion.


It is very difficult. These are questions that we are entitled to say ought to be discussed. I wanted to explain what the question actually was because I do not see how anyone can reply to me unless he knows what it is I want to have discussed.


A Minister would not be in order in attempting to reply to the hon. Member.


Surely it is in order at any rate to point out to the Government the various subjects which require discussion in order that we may defeat this Motion which gives the Government the whole time of Parliament.


Certainly. Neither the hon. Member nor the Minister replying can go into the merits of the question. The point I think can be summarised by a tag, explicatio ne transeat in argumentum.


I think we might ask you very respectfully to tell us what it means. [HON. MEMBERS: "Translate!"] The Deputy-Speaker is probably, like myself, not very good at translation. In any case I will try to keep within the limits. I will pull myself up when the Deputy-Speaker tells me. I am perfectly serious about this question of the auditors and of the interference of the Minister of Health with the administration of the Poor Law, and I think the House, and we here especially, have a real right to demand that we should have the time and therefore that this Motion should not go through. Two questions which have already been mentioned I wish to mention again. One is that of unemployment and the other the question of pensions. They are bound together and I want the House to have an opportunity of discussing the promises made to the unemployed and to the disabled men and the breaking of those promises in what I cannot help but call a very infamous manner. On Armistice Day, when everybody was out in Whitehall, there were In every workhouse in the metropolis large numbers of ex-service men. It is simply cant and humbug to go on year after year talking about ex-service men and their sacrifices, while all the time the Govern- ment are cheese-paring in their economy at the expense of these men. The House ought to insist on an opportunity being given for discussing matters of this kind, not merely for a day, but whatever days are necessary, and we ought to compel the Government to find the necessary money for dealing with these people in a decent manner.

The question of women and unemployment will be dealt with by other hon. Members. The whole business of the Minister of Health, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Labour is to penalise the poor all the time and to make economies at the expense of the necessaries of life of the poor. It is nearly time we in this House, especially on these benches, should say that, so far as we are concerned, there is no other business of any importance, but these questions. It is because I feel that, that I am opposing this proposal of the Government to take all the time of the House. This House is elected to do the work of the nation, and not to spend one-third or one-fourth of its time on holiday. If we cannot get through our business by Christmas, let us meet immediately after Christmas, so that these questions can be discussed, and the public may know what the Government really intends to do.


I hope that the Prime Minister, in his reply, will tell us whether during the coming Session it will be possible to give more time to the discussion of the present policy of the Ministry of Health. I realise that in speaking on this Motion one is taking part in a very delicate Parliamentary game in attempting to keep within the rules of Order. The point which I wish to raise, is the policy which the Ministry of Health is pressing upon certain areas in respect to the calling in of arrears of poor rate. For example, we have a position in Middlesbrough which is very difficult, and I merely give it as an instance of an area which has been very badly hit by the War. The Prime Minister will remember that a deputation of Members of Parliament representing such areas waited upon him in the summer of last year. At that time he promised that a Commission would be appointed in order to go into the matter more fully. I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether such a Commission has been appointed, and if not, whether it is proposed to appoint one, and, if so, whether time will be given during the coming Session in order that the Report of the Commission may be discussed.

Seeing that the Prime Minister proposes to take the time of private Members during the coming Session, I should like to know whether he will make that up to us by giving us some opportunity of discussing the policy of the Ministry of Health in pressing upon these particular areas for payment, considering that at the same time no relief of any kind is being given to them to meet their responsibilities. There are a large number of Members in this House, representing all parties, who are very anxious to bring to the notice of the House the very serious situation in which some of these areas are placed. Unless something can be done, those of use who represent these areas dread the coming winter.


The hon. Member is now going into the merits of the case of the distressed areas.


I do not want to enter into the merits of the case. I only want to point out that the constituents, the electors in these distressed areas, will look in the business that is to come before the House in this Session for these very urgent matters in which they are interested. While the Rating and Valuation Bill, the Tithe Bill and similar Bills are to be discussed, these people will want to know why matters that are pressing so desperately on these areas are not part of the business of the House. It is because of these reasons that I ask the Prime Minister whether in the coming Session he will realise the very urgent necessity of these areas, and allow us time for discussing them.

I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether time can be given to discuss the present policy of the Minister of Labour with regard to unemployment. The Insurance Act that we passed last year is bearing with extraordinary hardship on certain areas where the main industries, such as in the Middlesbrough area, the icon and steel industries, are absolutely down and out, and where the bottom has practically fallen out of the areas. There you have youths under 25 who are being definitely refused insurance benefit, and that is acting as a tremendous burden on families which are already far toe heavily hit because of low wages or because they are themselves on the dole. I submit to the Prime Minister that these questions are of more urgent Parliamentary importance than many of the Bills that are placed down for discussion, and that if he is taking the time of private Members, and making it impossible for us to discuss these matters on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as is usually done in the earlier part of the Session, he should give us some time to discuss them.

There is the question of women under the Insurance Act. We find that the Minister of Labour has completely reversed the policy of his predecessor in regard to women being refused benefit because they find it impossible to take domestic service. We find that many women are being turned off the Insurance Register, not only on that account, but on account of the new Insurance Act, which makes those who are living at home with their parents almost ineligible for benefit. In the list of Bills put down for discussion, we do not see sufficient possibility of these very urgent questions being discussed. I urge the Prime Minister to give us more time for the discussion of these questions. Although the questions which have been put down for discussion may, in his opinion, be of urgent importance, they are of far less human importance than some of the questions which we say should be part of our business during the coming Session.


I want to enforce the arguments that have been used as to the reason why this Motion should be rejected.


On a point of Order. Is it permissible that the discussion on this Motion should degenerate into a Consolidated Fund Debate, ranging over all the subjects under the sun that can by any possibility be thought of?


It is in order for hon. Members to put forward certain subjects and claim that such subjects should be discussed during the Session, but they must not abuse that right by proceeding to discuss the merits of those subjects. The line is not easy to draw.


The Government decide what matters should be discussed, in addition to the unfinished Measures remaining from the previous Session, but we submit that there are other matters of importance which might more easily be discussed, and with greater value to the country, than some of the subjects that have been put down by the Government. We are to debate for a whole day the question of the Locarno Pact. If that Pact is to be used as some junior members of the Government have indicated in speeches that they have made, it may very well be that that Pact will be a curse rather than the blessing which the Government suppose it to be. It would be better to discuss matters more in accord with the actual needs of the people at the present time.

In areas of South Wales a position is rapidly developing in which local authorities are actually becoming bankrupt— a position in which they are declaring their absolute inability to maintain their unemployed, either by finding work for them or by finding maintenance for them through the Poor Law. It is an exceedingly serious matter. The City of Cardiff has taken the lead in convoking a meeting of public representatives for the purpose of discussing the abnormal burdens under which these areas are staggering at the present time. If the Government cannot find time, or if they think that these matters are not worth discussion, there are ample grounds for suggesting to the Prime Minister that private Members should not be robbed of the opportunity of introducing these matters which are of vital importance to the areas they represent. This is a question which could very well be discussed in the short time that we shall sit before we rise for Christmas. It has a bearing upon the whole question of unemployment, which is the most vital subject that this House could discuss. The Government has not given any indication that unemployment is in its mind at all. All that we gather is its eagerness to cover up the growing magnitude of this problem by juggling with figures, which lead the people to understand that the problem is decreasing in volume and intensity instead of, as some of us think, increasing in intensity.

There is the question which has been referred to by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury), the relationship of this country to Russia. It is a monstrous thing that the Foreign Secretary has treated the representative of this great country in the way that he has during the past week of two. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order"!]


This has no reference to taking up the time of the House.


I am sorry that you should say that I am wasting the time of the House on a question of international importance.


I said the hon. Member's observations had no reference to taking up the time of the House. The action of the Foreign Secretary in regard to Russia is not a question relevant to the time of the House.


Surely it has something to do with the question as to whether that action should be raised in discussion in this House.


The hon. Member was not only putting the matter forward as a matter for future discussion, but was actually discussing it.

5.0 P.M.


I am going to put it forward as a matter that should be discussed. We ought to discuss the conduct of the Foreign Secretary in his abominable treatment of the representative of a great nation. He has talked about the spirit of Locarno. We want to see the spirit of Locarno extended to the representatives of those countries of whose Government he does not approve. This is a matter of prime importance and cannot be ignored or neglected. So long as it is allowed to rest in its present position the graver the danger becomes. I suggest that that is a question that we ought to discuss here upon every possible occasion, and the Prime Minister ought to give us an opportunity of discussing it. To my mind the arbitrary selection by the Government of matters to be discussed, made in the way in which it has been made, is a disgrace to the records of the House, and I think that we are right in pressing this matter to a Division.


We are told that the fool has his eyes on the end of the earth. I am going to keep my eyes at home. I would like the Prime Minister to give us an opportunity of discussing the situation that has arisen in connection with the position of some of our local authorities. I happen to be a representative of West Ham, and I am proud of the fact. Though we have been lampooned and made an example of by those who ought to know better, I hope that anyone in the same position would try to do as well as we have done. I would like to know if there are any possibilities, in this Session, of challenging the position taken up by the Minister of Health. Those of us who Have been representatives of that locality have done our best in the interests of peace to compromise, to try and bring about a settlement before coming to a deadlock, but I would like to have an opportunity in this House of asking the Law Officers of the Crown to tell us under what statutory powers the Minister of Health has threatened us that, if we did not do as he told us, he immediately was going practically to supersede a properly constituted local authority. It is not a mere matter of West Ham, it is a great constitutional issue affecting every authority in the country.

We have just as much light to ask that all the authorities who do not agree with us to do what we do, and, if we are doing too much in the way of giving relief to people coming under our auspices, we have a right to challenge other authorities who are not giving as much as they ought to give to those coming under their control. Yet we have been singled out. I ask the Prime Minister if we shall be given an opportunity of discussing this question from the standpoint of the local authorities. Many of the large towns of Great Britain are on their beam-ends financially, and if the present situation continues for another twelve months a large number of big towns and cities will have to close down, and more millions of people will be left derelict on public funds, and there will be no funds to meet the responsibilities that will have to be faced. I ask the Government, what are you going to do then? We know what you are doing in twisting the figures, and by administrative action saying that certain people are not genuinely seeking employment. Those living at home with their parents cannot receive anything out of public funds, and so you reduce the figures by administrative action and saying everything degrading us in the view of the country—


I must remind the hon. Member that in discussing matters outside the terms of the Motion he is out of order.


I am very pleased to have you remind me again that I am not in order, but these matters are more important than I am. I am not interested in Mesopotamia; I am interested in "Mess-up-at-homeia." I want to know what is the remedy for West Ham? I am not concerned with Mosul or any other place beyond the dreams of my avarice. I want to know what is to become of the class I represent and of the people for whom I stand? Is the Prime Minister going to give us an opportunity of discussing these questions with regard to the condition of the people? Thomas Carlyle has said that the condition-of-the people question is the only question that matters. We represent these people in the industrial areas of Great Britain who are almost down and out. We are asking the Prime Minister now if he will kindly condescend to allow its to have an opportunity of raising these questions in the House, because people, outside want to know what Parliament is doing. There is no use in sending Communists for trial or of using Parliament as a kind of a dead wall to prevent us from raising these matters. There is no use in sending them to gaol for preaching sedition. We have been fighting these people; we have been howled down— I do not mind that— because we have been trying to keep a proper course between the deep sea of revolution and that of reaction. Sensible men are getting tired of the way in which these matters are being treated. They will have to be discussed. So far as the Rating and Valuation Bill is concerned, we know what we are in for. In West Ham it means an increase of sixpence in the rate.


The hon. Member cannot discuss the merits of the Bill to which he refers.


I was only indicating its possibilities not its merits, because it has got none. So far as we are concerned we want these matters discussed because they concern the welfare of the people whom we represent.




On a point of Order. Is it in order for the Prime Minister to speak again since he has already taken part in this Debate?


It would be most unusual to press a point like that.


Some of us have waited here, all the afternoon in order to take part in this discussion, and I think that the Prime Minister should give us an opportunity of putting the points which we have got to put to him. There has been only one Scottish voice raised in this discussion to-day.


May I point out to the hon. Member the obvious inconsistency of requesting the Prime Minister to state his intention with regard to business and then objecting to his speaking again.


The Prime Minister has already pointed out to-day that he likes to take as many questions as possible altogether and to answer them altogether so as to avoid the waste of time. He made that statement to-day to me, and I suggest that it would save the time of this House if he would give us an opportunity of putting some questions to him with regard to public business.


Before the Prime Minister replies, may I ask a question with regard to paragraph 3 of the Resolution. As I understand, the practice of the House in meeting on Friday at 11 o'clock and adjourning at 4 will cease, and we shall revert to the old custom of meeting at 12 and adjourning at 5.


We have passed through the House early in the Session a Motion that the time for meeting on Friday should be 11 o'clock and that the House should rise at 4. That is not altered at all by this Motion. From the speeches which have been made it might be imagined that we were doing something unprecedented and something which would rob the House of a great many privileges which it possessed. As a matter of fact the only change which the Resolution will make in practice is that the taking of non-Government business on Wednesday evening at 8.15 goes. I think that the position at the moment more than justifies the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Pembroke (Major Price) when I told him that it was impossible so early in the Session as this afternoon to tell him whether or not time would be available for the discussion of Pembroke and Rosyth, and, in answering a supplementary question, that it was obviously the only answer that could be given because Pembroke and Rosyth are only one important question of many important questions which Members would desire to discuss, and it would be my object to see how far, in the short time available, it might be possible to accommodate the desires of a great number of Members.

No fewer than fourteen subjects have been mentioned as being worthy of having time found for their discussion. The Leader of the Opposition said that if this were the normal working part of a normal working Session there would, at any rate, be one Supply day a week on which such questions could be discussed. The Opposition have suggested more than a dozen subjects which would have occupied Supply for three months and shows that with the utmost will in the world it is impossible to give time, or, what matters, adequate time, for the discussion of all these subjects, and I might add here that the more time we take in discussing this Resolution to-day the less time will be available for discussing the subjects which it is so much desired should be discussed. I should, say this, however, that having had to spend the better part of my life in this House as a private Member, and a Back Bench Member at that, I will consider very carefully the various matters that have been brought up, and we will do our utmost to give whatever time we can make available, and we will do our best as far as possible to meet the wishes that have been expressed. More than that at this stage it is impossible to do, and the House would not expect me to do more.

I recognise the importance of many of these subjects, and on the question of the Locarno Pact, one of the most important questions, we had already arranged to give one of the first days of this second part of the Session. I will consider, in consultation with the other quarters of the House, the questions which they have raised. It may be that we can find time during these weeks that are coming for discussion of several of them if too long time be not demanded. At any rate we will do our best. It must be obvious that the amount of time that will be available must be conditioned very largely by the progress that is made in business. The House has a great deal of business to do. I quite appreciate the points raised by the Leader of the Opposition. I have no quarrel with him for initiating this Debate or for dividing, but I think that in my very few remarks I have made clear the position of this Government or of any Government in this matter. With the undertaking, which I have given, that we will do our utmost, I hope that the House will allow us to get on with the ordinary business as the sooner we dispose of this matter the sooner we shall be able to enter into the discussion of these other matters.


Would my right hon. Friend undertake specifically to give some opportunity for discussion of the Kadaver question? I say that, not only because of the tremendous interest in the subject in this country, but because the feeling in America is such that the matter ought to be cleared up satisfactorily. It cannot be done by question and answer.


I am sorry that I cannot answer that, because obviously, from what my right hon. Friend says, that it is a matter of great importance and one which has caused a great deal of excitement and feeling, I shall have to look into it. I confess that i have not myself followed it at all. I will look into it. I think it would be the kind of subject on which it would bo better, if it were possible, to have a statement made, because I do not feel, having just heard about this from my right hon. Friend for the first time, that it is the kind of subject that would lend itself very well to debate. But I will consider the matter. My right hon. Friend must understand that I am not giving a pledge, but am only expressing a desire to look into the matter.


There is a point that has not been raised so far. In the preceding part of the Session the conduct of the business of the House was such that there was an almost continual suspension of the Eleven o'clock Rule, with the result that the opportunities given for private Members bringing business before the House became more than ever limited. I would like the Prime Minister to give us some assurance that during this part of the Session we will have more opportunity, and that there will not be the continual suspension of the Eleven o'clock Rule. There are many questions that one wants to raise with regard to the different. Departments, and now it has become practically impossible to get an opportunity of doing so. There is another point, with regard to the Rent Restrictions Bill for Scotland, which was introduced by the Secretary for Scotland. Do the Government intend to go on with that Bill? The Prime Minister paid a visit to Scotland and there saw something of the deplorable housing conditions under which out people are living there. I suggest to him and to the Secretary for Scotland that, having seen for themselves the conditions in Scotland, an opportunity should be taken, in connection with the Bill, to make it impossible for people to get rents for those hovels which greatly aggravate the situation at the present time.

I also hope that we shall have an opportunity of discussing the Government's policy on reduction of expenditure, with special reference to the extraordinary burden imposed on the country owing to the interest on the National Debt. That is a matter to which the Government might give a good deal of attention, in looking around to find ways in which economies may be effected. I thought there would have been a protest from the opposite benches with regard to this Motion by the Prime Minister. I thought we might have had the views of the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) or some of his diehard colleagues, who might have seen in this Motion an attempt to prevent him from raising the question of the political levy. Having heard the Prime Minister's statement, that the Motion follows the ordinary custom at this time of the Session, and having the benefit of his experience, I am quite willing to believe that it was not from fear of the hon. Member for Argyllshire and his colleagues that this Motion was put on the Paper. I hope that we shall get more opportunities of using the half-hour from 11 o'clock to 11.30 for dealing with Departmental questions, and that the Secretary for Scotland will do something for the reduction of rents in Glasgow, and make it impossible for people to get rents for the hovels in which so many people are now living.


Really, the Prime Minister's reply has been deplor-able— deplorable from the point of view of securing exactly what he wants. The right hon. Gentleman says, "If you are good boys we will give you plenty of opportunities for talking about everything." Hon. Members on this side do not want an opportunity of talking about everything; we want to get something done. If the right hon. Gentleman imagines that he is going to get an easy run through this Session on those lines, he is mistaken. If he looks at the Order Paper to-morrow he will find enough Amendments to the Tithe Bill and the Rating and Valuation Bill to occupy the five weeks by themselves. We want to have an opportunity of persuading the Government to do what we believe to be right in order to improve trade and reduce unemployment. I do not believe that there is a statesman in this House who does not know that unemployment is the vital question that we have to solve. Yet we have five weeks of Parliamentary work, and not one subject to be dealt with touches on the question of unemployment in the least. We have Bills relating to criminal justice, rating and valuation, tithe— more money for the landlords— but every single Measure that the Government is bringing forward to occupy our time has no practical bearing upon the curse of this country to-day. When we get up one after another and point out the calamitous position not only of our constituents but of the whole of the country, with unemployment increasing in spite of the figures that the Government produce, with more and more unemployed thrown upon the rates without the rates being able to meet the charge, and no provision made to help the ratepayers over the difficult times, the right hon. Gentleman gets up and says, "If you will not discuss the other things, we shall have plenty of time to discuss everything."

That is playing with the Opposition. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because, if it is in the interests of the country that we should get something done for unemployment, it ought not to be done as a gift to the Opposition in return for a concession on their part. If there is anything that can be done to reduce unemployment and to improve trade, the Government should put it into operation. If Parliament has any value at all it is as a debating ground where we can state our ideas clearly and put them into the heads of the Government. If you deprive us of such opportunities you are thereby stifling Parliament and depriving it of its normal function. In other parts of the Session there are Supply days regularly once or twice a week, and there are endless opportunities to call the attention of the Government to the ways in which unemployment might be dealt with. Now, at the tail end of the Session, we have no Supply days and no possibility of putting forward a single view, but have to discuss day after day and night after night the Tithe Bill or the Rating and Valuation Bill. It is a perfect scandal. It always used to be said that the first function of a Member of Parliament was to be, not a law maker, but a critic of the Government. Criticism of the Executive is the first function of a Member of Parliament. Yet here in this Motion the Government deprive Parliament of the slightest opportunity of criticising anything they do. You can ask questions and get the sort of answers that we have been getting to-day. You can put the strongest case before the Government by speeches outside the House, but you are not allowed to make a single speech inside the House, except to-day when we try to make our speeches, with the eye of the Deputy-Speaker on us all the time.

You are turning Parliament into a farce. The Government say, "If you are good we will give you a chance of discussing the Kadaver lies." There are more important things than that. There are more important things than the stifling of freedom of speech and opinion, which the Government prosecution of the Communists has brought forward. Yes, more important even than destroying of one of the old traditions of the British people. There is the question of the starvation of the people of this country. I tell the Government and this House that that question is growing in importance and in intensity, as more and more people come to realise that unemployment is the cause of poverty not only among the unemployed, but in all ranks of labour. The competition of the unemployed with the man who has a job is what keeps his wages down, breaks his trade union and creates poverty. As this is more and more realised, we shall force the Government, slowly but certainly, to take up this question of unemployment, to put forward their schemes, and to listen to our schemes in order to sec whether, by putting our brains together, we cannot work out something for the permanent benefit of mankind.


The House will be making a very serious mistake if it gives the Government the power which is sought in this Motion. In considering whether we ought to give the Government full control of our time during the next five weeks, we have to take two things into consideration. We have to consider the nature of the Government and the use it is going to make of the time. There might be some Governments to which we might be justified in giving the full use of time, but if you take this particular Government, with its record in the past and its proposals for the future, I am certain that the great mass of the people of the country would say that we would not be justified in giving the whole of our time to them. Take the programme as outlined for these five weeks. It does not touch in any way the realities of the situation as we find them in the country. The Prime Minister a few months ago asked us to get back to realities. I would like him and his supporters to get back to realities, to the hard reality of unemployment. The Prime Minister, above all people, ought to be capable of allotting sufficient time to that great problem, for ho has professed himself extremely concerned with the tragic position of the unemployed. I remember that about two years ago he said that no Government was fit to remain in office which would not bend all its energies to the solution of this tragic problem. Yet we find now— with the right hon. Gentleman himself as Prime Minister— that the Government are not proposing to utilise one single hour of this Autumn Session for the purpose of dealing with this problem.

I thought that some proposals might be put before us in order to remedy the rank injustices which are becoming manifest as a result of the Unemployment Insurance Act passed last summer. It is common knowledge to hon. Members who represent great industrial constituencies such as I represent, that this legislation has resulted in intolerable hardships to many worthy citizens. If the Government were really alive to that fact, as they ought to be, they would, during this Autumn Session, bring in amending legislation to mitigate the hardships caused by their work of last summer. [do not know if I am permitted to illustrate the kind of hardships which are involved and from which people are suffering to-day, but, if I may, I would like to cite one case as an illustration of my point. I find that consequent upon that legislation, a disabled ex-service man with a paralysed left side, in receipt of a permanent pension of 30 per cent. from the Ministry of Pensions—

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain FitzRoy)

I do not think that would be in Order in this discussion.


I thank you, Sir, for putting mo right. I imagined that I might be trespassing upon your indulgence if I dealt with that particular illustration. We will let that matter pass. The broad fact is that there is a great mass of suffering and injustice as a result of that legislation, and if the Government were concerned with the position of the unemployed they would, to-day, in view of this fact, bring in special legislation to put these matters right. Apparently they are not prepared to do so. Reference has already been made to the question of setting apart time for a discussion on the administration of the law. It is absolutely essential that not only we in this House but the country as a whole, should have the belief that the scales of justice are being held evenly. At the present time, as a result of what has been happening in recent weeks, the people certainly have not that impression, and it would be a very good thing from the point of view of all parties in the House, if the Government were to allot time for a discussion of this question— that discussion to include a consideration of the question of whether or not the incidents which took place in Ulster in 1914 and the precedents then established have not a great deal to do with the present troubles arising in connection with the administration of justice.

There is also the question of Iraq. I gather that vital though this question is to the people of this country and to posterity, the Government do not intend to allow any time during this Session for its discussion. It is of tremendous and tragic importance to the great mass of the people that we should have an opportunity of considering whether or not we are to continue our mandate in Iraq for another 25 years and before we are committed in the slightest degree, either by definite agreements or by obligations of honour, this House should have the fullest opportunity of discussing the subject. People are now urging the country and the Government to remain in Iraq for the purpose of defending certain Christians there. I hope we shall have an opportunity of bringing to bear upon this question the full intelligence of this House before the Government is committed in any way to that policy. Having regard to past experience, I do not believe that the country wants the Government to pour out British blood and British treasure on the sandy deserts of Iraq for the sake of oil interests or even for the sake of an alleged few thousand Iraq Christians. On the question of the Locarno Pact I take a standpoint different from that of some other hon. Members who have spoken. It has been suggested that a day is perhaps rather too much time to give to this subject. I suggest that the subject is so tremendously important that a day is hardly sufficient for its discussion. I do not know what hon. Members opposite feel about this question, but in the light of my own experience in the last War and in the light of my knowledge of the feeling of the people as to the possibilities of future war, I do not think we should, without the fullest possible discussion, pledge the next generation to the chance of another war by entering into military commitments. What is more, the Government in fairness to the House ought to make such arrangements as would permit not only of a full discussion but also of a definite Vote being recorded on this issue. There are many Members, I feel sure, who would like, by means of a definite Vote, to record their opposition to the proposed Pact, and in order to get a true reflex of feeling in the House it is the duty of the Government to make such provision as will enable this to be done.

On the important question of housing the Government are preening themselves that the rate of building has increased considerably and I think they expect in the course of a year to put up something like 150,000 houses. I hope no one is going to assume from that statement that there is no acute housing problem facing the country. Our people are still herded together like cattle and it is the business of the Government, even in this short Session of five weeks, to devote some time to the consideration of this vital matter. I do not know why houses are not going up faster than is the case to-day, but if it is through lack of sufficient subsidy the Government ought to be prepared, even now, to bring forward proposals for an increased subsidy. I believe the Prime Minister himself when in Scotland did suggest that the subsidy might be increased to the extent of £50 per house in the case of steel houses, if Scotland is in a bad way in regard to overcrowding and slumdom of the East End of London is in an equally desperate condition and if there is to be a proposal for an increased subsidy, I would like the Government to bring forward such a proposal in this Session and to make it applicable not merely to Scotland, but to the whole country.

I notice that the Medical Officer of the Board of Education in his last Report remarked in very strong terms on the deterioration in the physique of school children. If one thing is more important than another in this country, it is the well-being of the children, and we ought to devote all our efforts to seeing that their physique is of the best possible standard. Had the Government the welfare of the children at heart, they would, in the time at their disposal, bring forward as an emergency measure proposals to increase the facilities for feeding school children. After all, the country is not in such a desperate financial condition that it cannot spare the few thousand pounds necessary to give these hungry children the necessary food. The question of pensions has already been re- ferred to, but it is worth while referring to it again, and I appeal to hon. Members opposite in particular for their support on this point.


On a point of Order. I understand Mr. Speaker's ruling was that Members might refer to subjects. May I ask whether it is in Order for Member after Member to refer at length to the same subjects?


I am following the hon. Member closely, and I must say his references are long references. I hope he will make rather shorter references to the different subjects.


I shall endeavour, Sir, to comply with your suggestion. I believe you will appreciate that although these subjects have already been mentioned, I am trying in my own indifferent way to deal with them from another angle. The broad point to which I wish to refer in connection with pensions is that of final awards. This has been a subject of tremendous agitation on both sides of the House and we all know of large numbers of cases of gross injustice to ex-service men which result from the final award system. We desire that the Government should try to spare at least a half-day in these five weeks for a discussion of that point— and there would be complete agreement all over the House if they did so— in order to bring in an Amendment of the Royal Warrant dealing with the question of final awards and in that way give large numbers of ex-service men some little measure of justice. My final point deals with a somewhat contentious matter. I am surprised that there is no reference in the programme of the Government to the question of the Ministry of Health making it possible that information about birth control should be obtainable at maternity centres. I believe that the feeling which exists among working-class women—


I do not think the hon. Member should make long references to these various subjects. If be mentions the fact that time should be given for a discussion of a subject it will be sufficient.


I think. Sir, you are a little severe on me in this instance. I Had only completed one sentence. I will suggest, however, that in view of the tremendous feeling which there is among women on the subject, the Government should if possible find time for a discussion of it. I hope the Government will realise that, on these benches at any rate, there is strong discontent with the arbitrary manner in which they are now seeking to allot the whole of the available time to their own particular business. I will end, as I began, by saying that if it were a Government worthy of our support and worthy of the whole time of the House. I would be the first to say, without any discussion, "By all means, let us give them the time," but the Government being such as it is, and having failed by its actions in the past and its promises for the future to merit the confidence of the country in the slightest degree, I shall oppose this proposal to the fullest possible extent.


The Prime Minister, in his reply a few minutes ago, has entirely failed to grasp the significance of the speeches that have been made from these benches. I think it will be generally admitted that Members who sit on this side are more closely in touch with the masses of the people of this country—[HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"]


You are only representing a minority.


I repeat that it is generally taken for granted that Members on this side are more in touch with the mass of the working people—[HON. MEMBERS: "NO! "]


You are a ghastly minority!


That being so, the speeches delivered here represent the feelings of apprehension that exist among the working people of this country that, after three and a-half months' holiday, this Parliament now proposes to fritter away its short Autumn Session by refusing to deal with any of the things that so vitally concern them. At Question time, the Prime Minister was asked a question in regard to the electricity proposals of the Government, and I asked a supplementary question as to whether he could give any explanation of the extraordinary delay that has arisen in producing these electricity proposals. He said that the only explanation he could give was the extraordinary complexity of the subject. It is a pity the Prime Minister and our friends opposite did not realise that a year ago, when the Labour Government was in office and was being pressed to produce the proposals that, after a year in office, the present Government has so far failed to produce.

Time ought to be given in this Session to discuss the extraordinary variety of propositions that have recently emanated from Ministers of the Crown. There is, first, the proposal that is being freely mentioned in the Press that the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to make a raid on the Road Fund. The Home Secretary, evidently not having quite enough to do in his own job, ventures to put his spoke in to help the Minister of Transport to do his job as well, and in a recent interview in the "Evening News," he put forward the suggestion that the Government should issue £20,000,000 in bonds guaranteed by the Road Fund. We ought to have some opportunity during this Session of discussing that proposal. If the Home Secretary actually means that the Government are going to deal with that question and that he has put it before the Cabinet, surely the House and the country are entitled to know, but if he is only filling in time in order to fill up a column of the "Evening News." the House and the country are entitled to know that as well.

We want also to know why the schemes for promoting the employment of people out of work appear to be at a standstill. A year ago three definite proposals were before this House repeatedly, and hon. Members opposite, who were then on this side, were constantly twitting the Labour Government and asking why the work was not actually started. We should like an opportunity of discussing, during this short Autumn Session, why it is that three out of many more proposals of that time have not yet been started. The three in question are the road proposed from Manchester to Liverpool, the road from Aldgate to the Docks, and the tunnel to connect Kent with Essex. All these proposals were urged last year when the Labour Government occupied those benches, and we should like now to discuss why it is that, nearly a year and a half later, there, are no indications of them being started yet, and it looks as if the present winter will go through without any of those schemes being commenced. I understood, from speeches that right hon. Gentlemen have been delivering in the country during the Recess, that we were also going to get some legislation to deal with the drastic toll of life and limb that is being taken on the roads. I understood that legislation was likely to be introduced to deal with the trouble of the speed limit on many of our roads, and also with the scandal of short-weight in foodstuffs and the adulteration of them, to deal with the revelations that have been put before the Royal Commission by the past President of the Incorporated Society of Inspectors of Weights and Measures in regard to the cheating and adulteration that are being practised by certain big business men in this country, and the swindling of consumers by selling goods short weight.

It seems to us, from the close touch that we have with the masses of the people of this country, that they are apprehensive of the fact that Parliament, after three and a-half months' holiday, is now going to fritter this short Session away. I know that the reply will be that there will not be time to deal with all the questions that have been mentioned from this side, but my reply to that is that these matters are admittedly urgent, that this House has no business to close down for three and a-half months, that it has no business now to deal largely with questions that do not affect the working people of this country, and that it has no business, at the end of this short Session, to close down for another seven weeks' holiday. The people of this country are rapidly losing faith in the methods of this House, and I am sorry that the Prime Minister's reply was so unsympathetic as still further to destroy their confidence that Parliament will do something to relieve them.


I want to ask the House to reject the Motion of the Prime Minister on grounds that have not yet been advanced by any speaker. In this Autumn Session we shall need some time on this side to discuss the mining question. The Prime Minister must not get it into his head that, because there is a Royal Commission sitting, the mining question need not be discussed in this House. There are several things in connection with the mining situation that demand that this House shall spend, not one day, but several days in discussing them. We have thousands of our men, with their wives and families, who are being pushed down into poverty, men who have been locked out by the employers, who have stopped the pits and locked the men out, and then the men are being refused unemployment benefit. We believe that no court of law would have refused those men unemployment benefit on any ground whatever, and, as a matter of fact, we have had this recent experience. We have a very large colliery with some 2,500 men and lads, and a member from our miners' organisation met the umpire, along with a deputation of the working people, and put all the facts of the case before the umpire, who turned them down and refused unemployment benefit. Then, after the men had been out of work for some eight or nine weeks, living on parish relief, one of the Members of this House met the umpire— and I am glad that he did; I am quite prepared to give him all the credit for his action—and the umpire immediately granted the unemployment benefit.

If the unemployment benefit was due last week, it was due at the beginning, and what is true of that colliery is true also of many more collieries in Durham County. We have coalowners there who are pushing conditions on our men that are carrying us back to 50 years ago. We are having some of the very worst conditions put on our miners in Durham at the present time that we have had for the last 50 years in mining and no one connected with the mining industry would have believed 20 years ago that we would have got so far back as we have done since the end of the War, and especially during the last few months. I know of one colliery where the owners have forced such conditions on the men that one shift of men goes to work at 4 in the morning and comes out of the pit at 11; the second shift does not go into the pit till 11.30, and comes out at 6.30, and the third shift goes into the pit at 9.30, thus destroying the whole of the social life of our colliery villages. Sometimes hon. Members upbraid the Labour party for holding Sunday meetings, but Sunday is sometimes the only time at which we can get meetings. The whole of the social life of our colliery villages is being destroyed, and unless men accept these bad conditions, we find the umpire on the side of the coalowners. Not only so, but in ever so many cases we have got the coalowners enforcing longer hours on our men, and unless they accept those hours the umpire sides with the owners and refuses to give the men unemployment benefit. The time has come when we think we ought to have a day to bring before this House the necessity of having a new umpire, an umpire who will deal fairly between masters and men, and who will not always take the side of the employers against the men. That is one of the grounds on which we believe we shall need some time during this Session for discussion.

The subsidy was given just before the House rose in August, and we have had some little experience of it since then, and have learned this, that the Prime Minister made a huge mistake in giving the subsidy unconditionally to the coalowners. We believe that he ought to have said to the coal owners: "We are prepared to give a subsidy, but only on condition that you are prepared to work all your collieries." If he had done that, we should have had all the pits working, but we have more pits idle to-day in Durham County than we had when the subsidy was given. I also want

to put this to the Prime Minister, that when we, in this House, voted the subsidy, we did not believe we were voting it to coalowners who keep their collieries closed to be paid on pits that were closed. We believed that we were voting a subsidy that would be paid only on pits that were working, but instead of that we find that the Government is paying a subsidy on pits that are closed, and, therefore, encouraging coalowners to keep them closed. It is no use the Prime Minister getting it into his mind that he can claim the whole of the time of this Autumn Session. We need some days to discuss these questions that affect our people so much, especially when we find our people being pushed down into poverty as they are to-day. Therefore, I hope the House will refuse to give the Prime Minister the Motion for which he is asking to-night.


having risen—


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 278; Noes, 121.

Division No. 357.] AYES. [6.0 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Buckingham, Sir H. Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Bullock, Captain M. Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.
Ainsworth, Major Charles Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)
Albery, Irving James Burman, J. B. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Butler, Sir Geoffrey Dean, Arthur Wellesley
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Doyle, Sir N. Grattan
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Caine, Gordon Hall Drewe, C.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Campbell, E. T. Edmondson, Major A. J.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Cassels, J. D. Elliot, Captain Walter E.
Astor, Viscountess Cautley, Sir Henry S. Elveden, Viscount.
Atholl, Duchess of Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Erskine Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)
Atkinson, C. Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Everard, W. Lindsay
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Balniel, Lord Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Christie, J. A. Finburgh, S.
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Fleming, D. P.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Clarry, Reginald George Ford, P. J.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Clayton, G. C. Forestier-Walker, Sir L.
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Cabb, Sir Cyril Forrest, W.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Cope, Major William Foster, Sir Harry S.
Berry, Sir George Couper, J. B. Foxcroft, Captain C. T.
Betterton, Henry B. Courtauld, Major J. S. Fraser, Captain Ian
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L. Frece, Sir Walter de
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim) Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Ganzoni, Sir John
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Gates, Percy
Brass, Captain W. Crook, C. W. Gee, Captain R.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Goff, Sir Park
Briggs, J. Harold Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Gower, Sir Robert
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry Grace, John
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Curzon, Captain Viscount Grant, J. A.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y) Dalkeith, Earl of Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Dalziel, Sir Davison Gretton, Colonel John
Grotrian, H. Brent Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Samuel, Samuel (W'dtworth, Putney)
Gunston, Captain D. W. McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Sandeman, A. Stewart
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Macintyre, Ian Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R.(Eastbourne) McLean, Major A. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Savery, S. S.
Hammersley, S. S. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry MacRobert, Alexander M. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Harrison, G. J. C. Malone, Major P. B. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Harvey. G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Margesson, Captain D. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Haslam, Henry C. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Smithers, Waldron
Hawke, John Anthony Meller, R. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Spender Clay, Colonel H.
Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley) Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Sprot, Sir Alexander
Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Moreing, Captain A. H. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Murchison, C. K. Storry Deans, R.
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Nall Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone) Nelson, Sir Frank Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Holland, Sir Arthur Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.) Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Holt, Captain H. P. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Templeton, W. P.
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Oakley, T. Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Hopkins, J. W. W. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Oman, Sir Charles William C. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Tinne, J. A.
Howard, Captain Hon. Donald Pease, William Edwin Tichfleld, Major the Marquess of
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.) Pennefather, Sir John Waddington, R.
Hurd, Percy A. Penny, Frederick George Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Hurst, Gerald B. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Perring, William George Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Warrender, Sir Victor
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Peto G. (Somerset, Frome) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Jacob, A. E. Philipson, Mabel Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Jephcott, A. R. Pielou, D. P. Wells, S. R.
Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William Pilcher, G. Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Pliditch, Sir Philip Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
King, Captain Henry Douglas Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Williams. Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Preston, William Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Knox, Sir Alfred Price, Major C. W. M. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Lamb, J. O. Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel Winby, Colonel L. P.
Lister Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Rawson, Alfred Cooper Windsor-Clive Lieut.-Colonel George
Little, Dr. E. Graham Rees, Sir Beddoe Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Wise, Sir Fredric
Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Reid. D. D. (County Down) Womersley, W. J.
Loder, J. de V. Remer, J. R. Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Looker. Herbert William Remnant. Sir James Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Lord, Walter Greaves Rentoul G. S. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Lowe, Sir Francis William Rice, Sir Frederick Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Lumley. L. R. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Lynn, Sir R. J. Rye, F. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
MacAndrew, Charles Glen Salmon, Major I. Commander B. Eyres Monsell and
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Colonel Gibbs.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon, Vernon
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Crawfurd, H. E. Hastings, Sir Patrick
Ammon, Charles George Dennison, R. Hayes, John Henry
Attlee, Clement Richard Duncan, C. Henderson, T. (Glasgow)
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Dunnico, H. Hirst, G. H.
Baker, Walter Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Fenby, T. D. Hore-Belisha, Leslie
Barnes, A. Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)
Barr, J. Gillett, George M. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Batey, Joseph Gosling, Harry John. William (Rhondda, West)
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Greenall, T. Jones. Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Broad, F. A. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Kelly, W. T.
Bromley, J. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Kenyon, Barnet
Cape, Thomas Groves, T. Lansbury, George
Charleton, H. C. Grundy, T. W. Lawson, John James
Clowes, S. Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Lee, F.
Cluse, W. S. Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.) Livingstone, A. M.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Lowth, T.
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Lunn, William
Compton, Joseph Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)
Cove, W. G. Hardle, George D. Mackinder, W.
MacLaren, Andrew Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Viant, S. P.
March, S. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness) Wallhead, Richard C.
Montague, Frederick Sitch, Charles H. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Slesser, Sir Henry H. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Naylor, T. E. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Westwood, J.
Oliver, George Harold Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Whiteley, W.
Paling, W. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Ponsonby, Arthur Snell, Harry Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Potts, John S. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Riley, Ben Stephen, Campbell Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland) Sutton, J. E. Windsor, Walter
Rose, Frank H. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby) Wright, W.
Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey) Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Salter, Dr. Alfred Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Scrymgeour, E. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Scurr, John Thurtle, E. Mr. T. Kennedy and Mr. Charles
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Tinker, John Joseph Edwards.
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Townend, A. E.

Question put accordingly,

"That during the remainder of the Session—

  1. (1) Government Business do have precedence;
  2. (2) At the conclusion of Government Business or of Proceedings made in purance of any Act of Parliament requiring any Order, Rule, or Regulation to be laid before the House of Commons, which shall be taken immediately after Government Business. Mr. Speaker shall propose the Question, That this House do now adjourn,

and, if that Question shall not have been agreed to, Mr. Speaker shall adjourn the House, without Question put, not later than one hour after the conclusion of Government Business, if that Business has been concluded before 10.30 p.m., but, if that Business has not been so concluded, not later than 11.30 p.m.

(3) If the day be a Friday the House, unless it otherwise resolves, shall at its rising stand adjourned until the following Monday."

The House divided: Ayes, 285; Noes, 121.

Division No. 358.] AYES. [6.12 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Caine, Gordon Hall Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Campbell, E. T. Everard, W. Lindsay
Ainsworth, Major Charles Cassels, J. D. Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Albery, Irving James Cautley, Sir Henry S. Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Finburgh, S.
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Fleming, D. p.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Ford, P. J.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Forestier-Walker, Sir L.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander, F. W. Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Forrest, W.
Astor, Viscountess Christie, J. A. Foster, Sir Harry S.
Atholl, Duchess of Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Foxcroft, Captain C. T.
Atkinson, C. Clarry, Reginald George Fraser, Captain Ian
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Clayton, G. C. Frece, Sir Walter de
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Cobb, Sir Cyril Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.
Balniel, Lord Cope, Major William Ganzoni, Sir John
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Couper, J. B. Gates, Percy
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Courtauld, Major J. S. Gee, Captain R.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Courthope. Lieut. -Col. Sir George L. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Goff, Sir Park
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Gower, Sir Robert
Berry, Sir George Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Grace, John
Betterton, Henry B. Crook, C. W. Grant, J. A.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E.)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Gretton, Colonel John
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Grotrian, H. Brent
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry Gunston, Captain D. W.
Brass, Captain W. Curzon, Captain Viscount Hall, Lieut. -Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Brassey, Sir Leonard Dalkeith, Earl of Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R.(Eastbourne)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Dalziel, Sir Davison Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)
Briggs, J. Harold Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Hammersley, S. S.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton) Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Harrison, G. J. C.
Brown, Brig.- Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y) Dean, Arthur Wellesley Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Buckingham, Sir H. Doyle, Sir N. Grattan Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Bullock, Captain M. Drewe, C. Haslam, Henry C.
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Edmondson, Major A. J. Hawke, John Anthony
Burman, J. B. Elliot, Captain Walter E. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Elveden, Viscount Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Marriott. Sir J. A. R. Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Meller, R. J. Shaw, B. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Herbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Merriman, F. B. Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone) Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Simms, Dr: John M. (Co. Down)
Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Smithers, Waldron
Holland, Sir Arthur Moreing, Captain A. H. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Holt, Captain H. P. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Spender Clay, Colonel H.
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Sprot, Sir Alexander
Hopkins, J. W. W. Murchison, C. K. Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Nelson, Sir Frank Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)
Howard, Captain Hon. Donald Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.) Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Storry Deans, R.
Hurd, Percy A. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.) Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Hurst, Gerald B. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Oakley, T. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Sugden, Sir Wilfred
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Jacob, A. E. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Tasker, Major R. Inigo
Jephcott, A. R. Pease, William Edwin Templeton, W. P.
Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William Pennefather, Sir John Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Penny, Frederick George Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
King, Captain Henry Douglas Perkins, Colonel E. K. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Perring, William George Tinne, J. A.
Knox, Sir Alfred Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Lamb, J. O. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Waddington, R.
Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Col. George R. Philipson, Mabel Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Pielou, D. P. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Little, Dr. E. Graham Pilcher, G. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Pilditch, Sir Philip Warrender, Sir Victor
Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Loder, J. de V. Preston, William Watson, Rt. Hon. w. (Carlisle)
Looker, Herbert William Price, Major C. W. M. Wells, S. R.
Lord, Walter Greaves- Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Lowe, Sir Francis William Rawson, Alfred Cooper Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Rees, Sir Beddoe Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Lumley, L. R. Reid, D. D. (County Down) Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Lunn, William Remer, J. R. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Lynn, Sir R. J. Remnant, Sir James Winby, Colonel L. P.
Mac Andrew, Charles Glen Rentoul G. S. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Rice, Sir Frederick Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) Wise, Sir Fredric
McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Womersley, W. J.
Macintyre, Ian Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
McLean, Major A. Rye, F. G. Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)
Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Salmon, Major I. Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
MacRobert, Alexander M. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Sandeman, A. Stewart Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Malone, Major P. B. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Margesson, Captain D. Savery, S. S. Captain Hacking and Major Hennessy.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Duncan, C. Hore-Belisha, Leslie
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Dunnico, H. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)
Ammon, Charles George Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Attlee, Clement Richard Fenby, T. D. John, William (Rhondda, West)
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Baker, Walter Gillett, George M. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Gosling, Harry Kelly, W. T.
Barnes, A. Greenall, T. Kenyon Barnet
Barr, J. Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Lansbury, George
Batey, Joseph Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lawson, John James
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lee, F.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Groves, T. Lowth, T.
Broad, F. A. Grundy, T. W. Lunn, William
Bromley, J. Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)
Cape, Thomas Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.) Mackinder, W.
Charieton, H. C. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) MacLaren, Andrew
Clowes, S. Hall. G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
Cluse, W. S. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) March, S.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Hardle, George D. Montague, Frederick
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Compton, Joseph Hastings, Sir Patrick Naylor, T. E.
Connolly, M. Hayes, John Henry Oliver, George Harold
Cove, W. G. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Paling, W.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Hirst, G. H. Ponsonby, Arthur
Dennison, R. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Potts, John S.
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Riley, Ben Snell, Harry Westwood, J.
Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Whiteley, W.
Ross, Frank H. Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Stephen, Campbell Williams, C. P. (Denbigh. Wrexham)
Salter, Dr. Alfred Sutton, J. E. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Scrymgeour, E. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Scurr, John Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey) Wilson, C. H. (Sheineld, Attercliffe)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Windsor, Walter
Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Thurtle, E. Wright, W.
Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tinker, John Joseph Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness) Townend, A. E.
Sitch, Charles H. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Slesser, Sir Henry H. Viant, S. P. Mr. T. Kennedy and Mr. Charles
Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Wallhead, Richard C. Edwards.
Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney

Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Committee of the whole House for To-morrow.—[Mr. It. McNeill]