HC Deb 10 February 1926 vol 191 cc1081-109

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £12,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending On the 31st day of March, 1926, for Expenditure in respect of Employment Exchange and Insurance Buildings, Great Britain (including Ministries of Labour and Health).


I think, perhaps, in view of what transpired yesterday, that it would be more convenient if on these different Votes I made a very short preliminary statement, giving hon. Members a certain amount of information. The sum for which we are asking, £12,000, is rendered necessary by the Act passed last year after the main Estimate was framed dealing with widows' and orphans' pensions. Owing to the increase of staff, we have necessarily had to provide a certain amount of extra furniture, but I am glad to say that we have been able to find accommodation for the greater part of the increased staff in existing premises. So far as the Ministry of Health in England is concerned, the 600 additional staff have been housed with the existing staff at Acton. This has been done by rather more concentration of the staff at Acton and by transferring a certain number of the staff to the Ministry of Labour Record Office at Kew. So far as the Welsh Board of Health is concerned, the existing accommodation at Cardiff has proved sufficient for the additional staff required.

With regard to the Scottish Board of Health, for which an additional staff of 76 is required, we had to make a few additional hirings. In addition to this, there are staffs at local offices of Health Insurance throughout the country, and these have been increased by about 200 members. In 75 per cent. of those local Health Offices we have been able to house the extra staff in existing premises. In the case of the remaining 25 per cent. it has been necessary to make additional hirings. In this is also included the expense incurred in moving people from Acton to Kew, and the expense of various internal movements that have taken place where extra staff has been brought in suddenly. The whole of these transactions have been carried out with a strict view to economy, and also with a view to the health of the people employed.


I desire to put a simple question relative to the details on page 8 of the Supplementary Estimates. I see that an increased sum of £12,000 is required, and it relates to "Insurance (National Health) Buildings (including the Ministry of Health)." The sum of £9,000 is required apparently for furniture. I take it that that is furniture required in connection with the expansion of the staff of the Ministry of Health, mainly in Whitehall—the staff required to carry on the work of the Widows' Pensions Act. I wish to know whether any new buildings are being acquired in order to house this staff, or whether the staff for widows' pensions is housed in the building of the Ministry of Health. As one who takes an interest in the administration of National Health Insurance and the Widows' Pensions scheme, I am anxious that the members of the staff should be brought together so that they can work in conjunction with each other. I know that the expenditure involved in this case will be recovered ultimately from the main pension fund account, and that this is only a passing transaction.


I see an increase of £2,000 for "rents, etc." Is that an annual increase? Can the hon. Member give us details as to what the rents are for?


The extra staff required for the English Ministry of Health is being housed at Acton with the existing staff. In order to do that a certain number of the people at Acton who belong to the Ministry of Labour have been shifted to Kew, where there were already a good many people employed by the Ministry of Labour. Wherever it has been possible in the case of the English Ministry of Health we are keeping the Ministry of Health's staff together for the purpose of the Health Insurance Act and the Widows' Pensions Act of last year.


Then I understand that the additional staff required for the administration of the new scheme was drawn in the main from the staff which existed in connection with the administration of the Health Insurance Act. I am pleased to learn that the two staffs are working together in the same building.


I understand that the hon. Gentleman means to ask whether the existing staff is able to deal more or less with the Widows' Pensions Act. I daresay there may be a certain overlapping, but anyhow the additional staff required is working under the same roof with the staff that is there already. The extra rents mentioned in the Estimates are due to the fact that we have not been able entirely to place the extra staff in existing premises. We had to make additional hirings. We got as cheap hirings as possible, but presumably there will have to be an annual payment of rent because there is an additional staff. I do not say that it will remain at the present figure. Possibly we may be able to get cheaper hirings in future, but there is a permanent additional staff owing to the passing of the Act of last year.


Would the hon. Gentleman say whether the charges are merely central charges or whether they cover the charges in the localities as well.


These rents refer not only to the central charges, but to the provinces also.

Captain BENN

I notice in the main Estimates, under the heading of "Furniture," that, whereas for the London district there is a considerable increase in the last year, as far as Scotland is concerned there is a reduction in the Estimates of this year compared with the Estimates of last year. When I come to "rents" I find that, while the London rents are the same as the rents of last year, the Scottish rents are reduced compared with the rents of last year. Of course, we understand that the new work for widows' and orphans' pensions involves a new staff and furniture. We desire that that furniture should be purchased in the most thrifty way. As a Scottish representative I am bound to ask whether the same measure of efficiency is being provided in the Scottish districts as appears to be necessary in districts in England.


The fact was that in the case of England and Wales we were able to find enough accommodation in existing premises, but, unfortunately, in the case of the Scottish Ministry of Health, we had not enough accommodation for the extra staff. We had to go outside and make further hirings. Part of this £2,000 includes the staff in that respect.


The hon. Gentleman has told us that there has been an additional staff of 60 in Wales, and of 76 in Scotland. I understood that when the Widows' Pensions Act was passed and when the pensions were paid, there would be a reduction in outdoor and parish relief. If that redaction takes place, could the Ministry not transfer the guardians' staff concerned so as to make up the additional staff required, instead of appointing others to the Ministry staff? The hon. Member also said that in Cardiff the Ministry already had accommodation. If that be so, why should more furniture be needed. The amount to be spent on furniture is enormous. It would furnish every working-class house in my constituency. The expenditure is £11,000 for an extra staff of 60 in Wales and of 76 in Scotland. I see that the original Estimate was £2,605, and that the revised Estimate is £11,605, or an increase of £9,000. What an Estimate! There seems to be something wrong somewhere. Either the people who made the Estimate did not know their business, or something is happening of which I would like to know more details.


Yesterday I put a series of questions to the hon. Gentleman and I regret that five of them remained without no answer. I hope that to-day I shall be more successful in that particular. I understand that the increase of staff resulting from the new Act is a total of 600. The additional sum required for furniture is £9,000, and, whilst it would ill become me to say anything about money being spent on the proper requirements of the Department, I would like to have more detailed information so that this Committee may understand the transaction and reasonable criticism may become possible. In the original Estimate a saving of £275 was claimed, as against the previous year, for the item "Furniture," a saving of £745 for the item "Removals," and a saving of £1,600 for the item "Rents." But unfortunately, as the result of this Supplementary Estimate, a large part of the savings claimed has been lost. I readily admit that, compared with the previous year, the Department has succeeded in making a saving of £35,000, which is a very creditable sum.

In addition to seeking information with regard to the furniture, I shall be much obliged if the Minister will explain whether the expenses for removals refer to the removal of official furniture, or whether part of it refers in any sense to the removal of the furniture of individual offices, as a result of the transfer or increase of work. Will he also give us a little more detailed information with regard to the item "Rents," because I am certain that his explanation was not quite clear to myself and others?


In regard to "furniture" and "rents," can the hon. Gentleman detail the amount spent in Scotland, as is done in the main Estimates? In the main Estimates, as the hon. Gentleman knows, the sum spent in each country is definitely allocated. Is it not possible to indicate in the Supplementary Estimate the amounts allocated to the various countries? I understood from the hon. Gentleman's reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn) that in Scotland more money is required because of the difficulty of getting sites. I do not know if it will be in order to point out one respect in which I think this money is being badly spent. I do not grudge the amount which we are asked to vote, but I think the Office of Works, when asked to spend this extra sum on the housing of the staff required for these purposes, ought to have gone into the whole question of buildings in this connection. This money is largely wasted because it is being used in renting premises when the Office of Works might have tried to get some permanent dwelling for the housing of all these services. The present position in connection with widows' pensions, old age pensions and unemployment insurance is that the men and women concerned have to call at various different offices. It would be much better in cities like Glasgow, to have a central building where a person could learn all about unemployment insurance, health insurance and pensions, and I suggest it would be cheaper than the present method. I am inclined to disagree with the view expressed by an hon. Member just now that this expenditure is too lavish. I have visited one of the offices in Glasgow on which some of the money has been spent, and I demur to the statement that it is lavish. I am not grumbling at the amount spent on furniture or even at the amount involved in the removals, but I ask the hon. Gentleman, instead of coming back in future to Parliament for comparatively small Supplementary Estimates of this kind, to centralise these services which are so interlocked. I ask him to consider whether it would not be economical to the Government, as well as for the greater convenience of the people concerned to do so, and whether it would not avoid a considerable waste of money, time and energy.

Commander WILLIAMS

I quite realise that we are bound to have an increase in this particular Estimate because of the Contributory Pensions Act, but I would like the hon. Gentleman to explain why furniture forms such a prominent item in all these Estimates. Is it the case that the Government are trying to substitute British furniture for what is, perhaps, inferior furniture of other kinds, in the various Departments? I believe that point was raised yesterday by an hon. Member opposite who is naturally anxious to see that the Government, if they have any money to spend, should spend it in the best possible way for the advantage of our own people. I would like to know where the bulk of the furniture comes from and if the Government by expending this money are able to help the country in any way at the present time? I am not, however, sure that it is a right policy for the Government to expend such a large amount on new furniture, and I think they ought to try to do without it as long as they can—firstly, because the taxpayer has not very much money to spare and, secondly, because if the Government create a demand for furniture by continually going into the market and buying, they tend to raise the price and thus make difficulties for the people who are occupying the houses erected under various Government housing schemes The Government ought to exercise every possible form of economy. As regards the question of removals I am not satisfied that the increase shown under this head is justified. If it were only a, question of doubling the amount due to removals, that would be something of importance, but this is much more than a 100 per cent. increase, and it seems to me that in Government Departments there is a great deal too much of the practice of simply moving people round from one place to another.


Like a game of "general post."

Commander WILLIAMS

One sees it in all places. I know that the Under-Secretary is in a difficult position. We all sympathise with him in having to deal with these questions, and many of us on this side would like to see those directly responsible for the Departments concerned showing some interest in the Estimates. I would, however, like an answer from the hon. Gentleman to my questions, namely, why are these removals so constant and are they at all necessary?


I regret I did not hear the initial explanatory statement of the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Vote. As soon as I saw his name on the annunciator I hurried to the Chamber, but I judge that his explanation was not very elaborate as he was concluding it when I came in. Therefore he will excuse me if I raise some point which he has already explained. I should like to know, with reference to the £9,000 for furniture for the staff dealing with widows' and old age pensions, if this amount was calculated on the number which the Treasury and the Minister of Health estimated would come under the scheme of widows' pensions or whether it has been estimated on the number who have actually come under that scheme. If the former basis has been adopted, then, since the figures have proved much lower than the original estimate, this sum would seem to require adjustment in the direction of being reduced. Is this £9,000 required to deal with the anticipated number of 40,000 widows' pensions or with the actual number of 20,000 widows' pensions?

I notice that all the furniture mentioned in the Estimate is for the accommodation of the staff. Have the Office of Works or the Ministry of Labour or the Ministry of Health ever considered the desirability of providing furniture for the accommodation of the pensioners and others who are required to visit these offices periodically? We know that in Employment Exchanges no regard is had for the comfort and convenience of the men who go there endeavouring to find employment. The queue outside the door of the Employment Exchange is one of our national public scandals, and it is a great shame that men, in addition to suffering the other indignities which surround the lot of the unemployed should have to stand in this way, very often in inclement weather.


I think that is a matter which would be more appropriate on a Vote dealing with the Ministry of Labour. The hon. Member has adduced his illustration he need not pursue it.


I was merely going to say that if the practice to which I refer is unfair in the case of comparatively strong and healthy young or middle-aged men or women, it would be infinitely worse if similar conditions were applied to old age pensioners and widows. Very often a widow coming under this pension scheme is a widow with young children, and if a mother has to go to one of these offices on business connected with her pension, she may be compelled to carry an infant in her arms. In our branch Post Offices and even in the big general Post Offices there is frequently not a single chair upon which a woman who is carrying an infant may rest herself while waiting to be attended by the official in charge of her case. If we can provide easy chairs and stools to the value of £9,000, a part of that expenditure should go for the benefit of the pensioners who, after all, as we are told in a footnote to the Estimate, are paying a large proportion of the cost of the furniture. I should like to know if the hon. Gentleman has given any consideration to that aspect of this expenditure?


I had better dispose in the first place of two questions which do not come within the scope of the Office of Works. The hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) asked if there could not be a centralisation of these services. That is a matter of policy which has nothing to do with the Office of Works and I cannot deal with it to-day. It is a subject for consideration by the Department concerned. Another question of policy was raised by the hon. Member for Pontypool (Mr. Griffiths) who asked if staff hitherto employed at other work could be used for this purpose. That again would be a question of policy, and I am afraid I cannot deal with it. Nearly all the questions seem to have concentrated themselves on the subject of furniture, but I would like to remind hon. Members that the reason why furniture looms so largely in proportion to the rest of the Vote is that we are spending practically nothing, or very little, on accommodation. We have been able, luckily, to find accommodation in existing premises. Supposing we had had to find new accommodation for all these people, you would have found rents amounting to, say, £20,000, and furniture would not then have bulked so largely in proportion. If hon. Members look at the number of people for whom we have had to find furniture, they will see that there is 936 additional staffing altogether, and if they take the sum allotted to furniture, £9,000, that works out at only about £10 per head. It is not merely a question of chairs. I have made a note of these things myself, and may have left some items out, but my list includes such things, as filing cabinets, chairs, tables, bookcases, blinds, linoleums, and so on.


No mention of mirrors for typists.


I said I may not have made a complete list, and I do not think that, taking that into consideration, about £10 per head is at all an extravagant figure. The hon. Member for Bridgeton asked whether any furniture was being supplied for the visitors. I think he might take it for granted that this sum of money must necessarily include a certain number of chairs for people who come on business connected with the office. It would be a strange thing indeed if, in the allocation of furniture to the staff who had to deal with a certain business, they had not also allocated furniture for the purposes of that business, which would necessarily include the visitors. I agree that it is an important point that there should be chairs for the people who come to visit these offices, and I will make a note of it and see that chairs are provided for these people, but I cannot help thinking they must be included already. A question was asked about rent, and I thought I had really explained about that. The hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) said that, instead of leasing these buildings, we ought to buy them. The Office of Works in the past has generally found that if it first leased a building and then looked about, it was very often able to find a cheap building by purchase afterwards, but if it went straight away into the market in order to buy, very likely it would have to pay a much bigger price than if it had waited a little.


Can the hon. Member give us in detail what is spent in England, Scotland, and Wales under this Supplementary Vote, in the same way as it is done in the main Estimates?


I am sure the Committee is very much obliged for the explanation given by the hon. Member in charge of the Estimates, and I feel sure he will appreciate the keenness of the Committee in inquiring into these Estimates, because the £9,000 in particular will not come out of State funds. It will ultimately be taken out of the widows' pensions fund, recoverable, as I have said already, from that fund by the Office of Works. I desire to ask if the hon. Gentleman can give us an explanation as to whether the £9,000 covers, for the time being, all the expenditure involved in connection with furnishing the offices in which the staff is being housed in connection with the administration of the widows' pensions scheme.


In furnishing these places, has the Office of Works made any inquiries as to whether there is any surplus furniture in other Government Departments? For instance, the number of persons employed at the Ministry of Pensions is decreasing year by year. These servants must have used some furniture, which is now surplus, and I should like to know whether that could not be used for new Departments or sub-Departments, such as the Widows' Pensions Department, or if not, what becomes of it? Is it sold at any time if a price can be obtained, or what becomes of it? Then there must be still a good deal of what I may call War furniture about—furniture that was used in various Departments during the War. Cannot any of that be used again? I am quite sure the Minister must recognise that in these days, when we are running on such a fine margin in the public funds, every step should be taken to secure economies even with trifles.


I have not consulted my advisers under the Gallery on that last point, because I remember that a similar question was asked of me last year, and that the answer was that we always do what we can to use surplus furniture where extra furniture is required elsewhere, but very often it is more expensive to cart furniture long distances about the country than to buy perhaps cheaper furniture on the spot. We do, however, use surplus furniture if we can. I think I can satisfy the mind of my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Davies). The sum of £9,000 is the final figure, I am informed. In regard to Scotland, I hope it will not disappoint the hon. Member for Globals, but it is not a vast sum of money that has been spent on furniture in Scotland. I understand that about £400 only has been spent there.




In reply to the hon. Member for Bridgeton, I find that chairs are provided for the visitors.


There is one question which the Under-Secretary failed to answer, and I should like him to give the Committee some idea as to who is charged from time to time with the responsibility for purchasing furniture in large or small quantities, whether it is purchased from one particular firm or from many firms, and whether, because of the quantity of furniture that must be purchased—in this case, obviously, hundreds of pounds would be spent in one town or city—any concession is given to the Government for purchasing large quantities. Is there any direct benefit given to the Government because of the large amount of money they expend? I should also like to ask the Under-Secretary if either he or his colleague has ever thought that it might be desirable for the Government to supply themselves with furniture?


That is rather a large question of policy, and I do not think it can arise on this Supplementary Estimate.


I do not want to transgress your ruling, Mr. Chairman, nor to introduce matters that would require legislation, but I think it is fair to ask what are the real conditions operating when furniture has to be purchased for various Government Departments, if there are any particular stores from which the furniture is purchased, and what, if any, direct benefits are derived. There is one other question which I do not think has been answered in the previous very courteous replies given by the Under-Secretary, and that has to do with the question of rents. When a large portion of an existing building is taken over, who arranges the rent that shall operate for either a long or a short period? Is it done by an officer from one of the Departments, and has the auditor access to the various accounts in connection with such matters? As the hon. and learned Member for the Park Division of Sheffield (Mr. Storry-Deans) said, in these days of very narrow margins, we at least ought to know that no moneys are expended that could be saved, owing to the loose purchasing of furniture or loose tenancies of buildings, and I think that any material that we may have on hand might very well be used before we enter into further commitments. If the Under-Secretary can satisfy the Committee that this furniture is purchased on the best possible terms, and that these rentals are fixed in accordance with equity, I have no doubt the Committee would be prepared to allow the Vote to go through.


I want to make a correction in connection with an answer that I gave in regard to what had been spent in Scotland under this heading. As a matter of fact, I made a mistake in saying that it was a few hundreds, and it should have been nearly a thousand pounds.

5.0 P.M.


I see the Secretary of State for Scotland present, and while the hon. Gentleman who has spoken for the Government has shown great ability, there must necessarily be a great deal that he cannot claim to know in regard to Scotland. I want to ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that this sum of nearly £1,000 that has been spent in Scotland is sufficient to make those premises up to the standard required. I visit all manner of public buildings in Scotland, from prisons to post offices, and in the course of my travels to these places I occasionally visit one which caters for his constituency in addition to my own, and it is fortunate in regard to these buildings that his constituency, although more aristocratic in temperament, only gets the same treatment as mine, which is of a poor character. Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the sum spent in Glasgow, where, I understand; he has been spending a good deal of time recently, on the offices in St. Vincent Street, is sufficient? Is he satisfied that this additional £1,000 spent in Scotland, and particularly in Glasgow, has been spent in the most advisable way? The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) raised a very important point, namely, the accommodation provided for people who are waiting in order to interview certain Government officials concerned with old age pensions and widows' pensions. I must commend the Government for having got a very good type of person to go into the question of widows' pensions, but while the applicants receive every civility from them, I am positive that this £1,000 might be spent with more advantage in providing more accommodation for them. Now that we have the advantage of the presence of one of the Scottish officers connected with health matters, I would like to know if he is satisfied. Now that he has been raised to the status of Secretary of State his obligations to Scotland have been increased. I would like to know from him if he is satisfied that this amount of –1,000 spent in Scotland on furniture represents adequate expenditure in a country now so important in the national life of this country.


I would like to ask if the Office of Works is engaged in business buying and selling furniture. I see in the Report of the Committee of Public Accounts: Receipts have in recent years been largely swollen by the disposal of stores and furniture. These receipts in the year 1923–24 amount to £877,124. Is the Office of Works this year still selling furniture; and, if so, why are they spending £9,000 on furniture and asking us for this particular Estimate? It ought to be gone into It seems to me that when an office wants furniture, they buy it; and when another office has some for disposal, they sell it. There seems to be no co-ordination. A Government that tells the world they are out to economise ought to go into this. We ought not to buy new furniture at very high prices and then sell other furniture just as good.

Commander WILLIAMS

The hon. Gentleman forgot to tell us in his reply whether this is British furniture. We know, of course, that it was British furniture he was dealing with yesterday, but because his Department provided British furniture for one Government office it does not follow that they will do it for another.


With regard to the increase of rent, how much increase of rent is being paid in the case of the Rochdale exchange? Why is it that they are still paying rent for a building altogether inadequate—so inadequate that on a recent occasion the police inspector found it necessary to smash the windows in order that people attending the exchange might not be suffocated for want of ventilation? That is the kind of building occupied by the Ministry at the present time, and for which, I believe, they are paying additional rent. I am told that in this item there is some amount of additional rent allowed for that place. It looks bad for a Government to come to the House at this time with a revised Estimate and ask for more money for rent and furniture for an exchange at Rochdale that is totally unfitted for the purpose that they occupy it for.


Perhaps I might answer that question now. The hon. Member was talking about the Ministry of Labour. This Vote applies only to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Labour is the title of the main Estimate, but the Sub-head refers only to the Ministry of Health.


I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.

This is a very important Vote and as we have not been at it for an hour yet I do not want to hurry it. All the questions which have been raised up to the present have been really important ones. The hon. Gentleman has my sympathy in having to answer all these questions, but it is his duty and we must do ours too. There is a well-known song, Where do flies go in winter-time? What I would like to know is where all the furniture has gone that was in all those buildings on the lake and along the Embankment and scattered up and down the country. If I am told it is sold, then it is pretty bad policy to sell right out, since the Government must at all times be wanting new furniture to replace old furniture and for new offices. Before we let this Estimate go we ought to have a clear statement as to what furniture the Commissioner has in hand, where it is stored and whether some of it would not be useful for this particular purpose. I know that the price you get for selling furniture is very different from the price you pay when you go to buy it. What does the Commissioner or his Department consider that they ought to do with the furniture that is redundant at present?

We have not been told on this Vote yet what the furniture consists of Ten pounds per head for each officer cannot be considered a moderate estimate when you look at the average of an ordinary office where they employ all kinds of people and where often the furniture is only a single stool. I understand that all this money is going to be spread over a large number of places. I do not think myself that it will be necessary to spend so large a sum of money. The House ought to ask that detailed estimates and specifications of what was required should be put before them. Some Committee ought then to examine them and see in detail whether they really are reasonably required. I do not know whether this sum of £9,000 that I am asked to vote is really required. I do not know whether the Commissioner has in his warehouses furniture that would suit this particular case or not. On the question of British produced furniture—and we are all in favour of supporting home industries and the British Empire—I want to know are there any articles made of Austrian oak such as roll-top desks? Is there any mahogany, Spanish mahogany or mahogany from Africa? We ought to know whether the Government are going to take the wood out of our own forests or from Australia or Canada. My information is that if we went into it thoroughly we should find a little of it at any rate came from America, but as we are real good pals of America, cousins and all that, we must not object. Yet it is not supporting home industries. I would like somebody to tell me what the wood is and where we get it from.

I would like an answer to the question put by the hon. Member for South Leeds (Mr. Charleton). How is this furniture bought? Who goes about it? Who is the particular official? Does he advertise for it? I have not seen any advertisement in the newspapers for this particular furniture. Is it quite in order to buy anywhere and everywhere A local authority would not be allowed to spend about £50 without the sanction of the Minister of Health unless there was a contract and advertisements. I do not see why a Government Department should be trusted more than a local authority. I do not think there is more purity there than in a local authority. I would like to know how this furniture is bought, and I should like to emphasise the point made by one of my hon. Friends that we might see some of these redundant factories that have been closed down manufacturing our own furniture, so that then we might be sure that we were getting what we were paying for. At present we have not the least idea whether we are getting the right thing or not. I am not sure, apart from the question of material from which the furniture is made, whether it is even made in this country. I know there is a good deal of furniture imported. Personally, I do not mind it being imported if the standards of wages and conditions are not such as to pull down our standards. I would like to know from the hon. Gentleman exactly what are the terms and conditions under which this furniture is bought, and also the country of origin of the material out of which the furniture is made. An hon. Member below me mentions Russia. If there is any wood from that country, you will probably find you are dealing with the hated Bolsheviks. I do not know what hon. Members opposite will do about that, but they cannot help themselves.

When you come to "Removals," I do not know what that means. Whom are you removing? What does it really mean? I should like an answer to that question, because it cannot be that you are removing the officials' homes, or that you are removing any of the goods and chattels from offices in one particular place to some other. But you are estimating to buy furniture, and I do not see of what these removals consist, I have looked at the Estimates brought in a year ago, and what struck me about them was what I called attention to yesterday, and I hoped the hon. Member for Ilford (Sir F. Wise) might have helped the Committee in the matter. It appears to have become the fashion now to cut down the original Estimate, and then to make quite sure you can get a Supplementary one afterwards. Last year the Estimates were, apparently, cut down, and now, of course, we have got this Supplementary one. I admit that this one is not quite on all fours with the one which we discussed yesterday, but I daresay the argument does to some extent apply. I really do not understand, and I did not understand when the hon. Gentleman introduced the Estimate, what the removals consist of, and I repeat I hope he will tell us what is really meant.

Then, as regards Rents, I should have thought that with the reduction that is bound to take place in the work of the Pensions Department, it would not be necessary to get any new buildings, and that we might have got along with the buildings we possess at present, because, quite apart from any question of economy, and in the natural order of things, the work of the War Pensions Department grows less each year, and the number of people who are employed by the Pensions Department grows smaller each year. When you come to public buildings, there are throughout the whole country, I think I can say truthfully, thousands of public buildings that are empty all day, and which could be, and ought to be, quite naturally used for purposes such as are required here. I do not think £2,000 is a big sum. But it is not the sum it is the principle. I think there is scarcely a municipal authority in the country that has not got a public building, with plenty of room for storage of documents, books and so on, that could be placed at the disposal of the Government for this particular kind of work, and I think the Commissioner of Works, whom, I suppose, the hon. Gentleman is representing, ought to consider, before taking new buildings, whether there are not other public buildings which could be utilised. These are some points in connection with this Estimate, and so that we may really get an answer, and so that the subject of this furniture and the removals may be very thoroughly explored, I beg to move the reduction.


There is one question I should like to put in regard to this very large increase in the sum for Furniture, and that is as to whether this furniture has been procured from contractors simply as the result of obtaining a price, or putting it out to tender, or whether it has been done by direct labour. Generally, of course, from the policy which we know commends itself to His Majesty's Ministers at the present time, we can assume it has been done by private contract, and, if that be so, it will probably account for a very large increase in the Estimate. But, after all, as my hon. Friend who has just been speaking has pointed out very clearly, the expenditure per head is really an enormous sum. Ten pounds for every seat which has to be occupied seems to me to be going to reckless extravagance all the way through, and, therefore, very large profits must have got into the hands of private contractors. Probably, when the balance-sheets of the various firms in the furniture trade are issued, very high dividends will be declared as a result of the policy which the Government are pursuing. If, on the other hand, the work has been done by direct labour, it may be possible that there is a bigger amount of furniture procured, and we shall know the savings which have accrued to the community by means of public enterprise. I think it is an exceedingly important matter, and I hope the Minister will reply.

I also want to take up the point raised by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) as to the necessity of having committees to go into the details of these Estimates. It is a great public scandal that there should be at this season a Supplementary Estimate of £5,205,564 presented to us. Going through the volume of last year's Estimates, we see all sorts of savings alleged to be put there in order to reduce those Estimates, and then when we come to the Supplementary Estimates we find them brought in under other heads. It is bad accountancy, bad estimating, and shows the slipshod method in which His Majesty's Ministers are administering the affairs of the nation at the present time. Accordingly, I cordially support the reduction moved by my hon. Friend.


I should like to ask the hon. Gentleman who is in charge of this Estimate whether any of the furniture is made in factories which employ only disabled ex-service men. There is one at Enham Village Centre, another the Preston Hall Industries, and Lord Roberts' Workshops. The Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Pensions a very short time ago also had training centres where furniture was, made. I should like to have an assurance that some of the furniture made in those places was purchased by the Government.


I should like to support what my hon. and gallant Friend has just said. The hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) asked a number of pertinent questions, such as the part of the world from which the wood comes. I rise to ask whether any of this funiture is made by the institutions which have been supported by public-spirited and benevolent-minded people for the employment of ex-soldiers. These institutions have available very up-to-date machinery, and I believe are quite capable of supplying all this furniture. I do not ask that ex-soldiers should be spoon-fed, or that the Government Departments should indulge in any extravagant policy, but I do ask that, other things being equal, preference should be given to the ex-soldier, and even if the Government Departments should depart in some slight degree from the rigidity of closely-cut prices, and allow a certain amount of humanity to enter into their purchases, I do not think any Member of this House would find very great fault.


Perhaps I had better deal straight away with the question raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Fairfield Division of Liverpool (Major Cohen) and my Noble Friend the Member for South Nottingham (Lord H. Cavendish-Bentinck). So far as I know, up to the present, except, possibly, in connection with a very small proportion, none of the furniture has been made by ex-service men as such. But it is an interesting suggestion, and I shall be very glad to see what can be done in all other circumstances. I promise my hon. Friends that we will look into the matter, and see what can be done. Several hon. Members asked how this furniture was ordered, and I rather gathered that the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) suggested it was given to one contractor. That is not at all the case. It is put out to tender, and there is any amount of competition to make the furniture for the Office of Works. There is a special staff in the Office of Works who deal with this, and I hope they are business men. They review the various tenders that come in having regard to the specifications of the firms involved, and we get our furniture, therefore, at as cheap a rate as possible. The hon. Member for the Don Valley and another hon. Member raised a question about the sale of furniture.

The office of Works does not sell good furniture—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—or do not sell the best. There have been sales of surplus furniture which is not good enough for His Majesty's Departments of State. As a matter of fact, there have been considerable sales lately of furniture that has been in use for the purposes of pensions work in past years and covered by this Estimate. As to the question of the purchase of the furniture, the Office of Works has purchased British furniture made in this country as far as ever possible. I am afraid I cannot say further than that, or where the timber comes from. I think I have, perhaps, covered the various questions put to me. I might say that I hope the Committee do not think that these questions are not very carefully looked into by the Office of Works, which has done everything possible in this direction. Great pressure has been brought to bear upon us by the Treasury to economise in the various Departments, and the Office of Works has gone through these Estimates with care.


It was my original intention to secure more information in regard to this Vote, but the Minister's reply has really made the position very much worse than we suspected it was. It now appears to be clear that not only is a large sum being spent on furniture in regard to which we have no detailed information whatever. I am not concerned to criticise the expenditure. What I am concerned about is the absence of information regarding the details. The Minister has just replied, and he has stated that, in addition to the many figures placed before us, there is an unknown quantity of surplus furniture which has been transferred to the Ministry for the purpose stated. All I can say is that I think such a reply is extremely unsatisfactory, and we are entitled to a more candid statement than we have received up till now. It really is extraordinary, having regard to the large number of people connected with St. Dunstans and other institutions to which work could be given, and which people are urging, to find that the Government are not themselves pursuing that policy. I do hope the Minister will see that these points are very carefully considered, and that in subsequent years we shall be supplied with clearer statements, quite definite, giving details of the whole of the transactions in the Estimates.


The answer of the Under-Secretary makes it essential that we should have further information. We are entitled to that, taking the whole of the Supplementary Estimates, and in view of the answers which the hon. Gentleman has given to hon. Members who have put questions. He told the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) that certain of this money had been spent in Scotland. When he said that, I tried to calculate in my own mind how much was spent in the North of England, and I think I am entitled to ask that? Then the Minister, in his reply, surprised me when he said that the furniture was completely new furniture. Before he answered I scarcely thought it was. If this is new furniture then we are entitled to ask where it came from? We on this side are interested to know whether it was made under trade union conditions? I should also like to know, going beyond that point, in what part of the country this furniture was made? The Under-Secretary said it was put up for competition and so decided. Could he tell us just where that furniture was made?

This new furniture upon which the £9,000 is being spent ought to have been delivered without any cost of delivery. My hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) pointed to the £1,000 for removals in the Supplementary Estimates. Before he mentioned the matter I was inclined to ask whether the £1,000 was for for the removal of this new furniture. We are entitled to know just for what was this £1,000? Was it for the removal of this new furniture? Did the Ministry order furniture and get it delivered to certain offices and then find that it cost £1,000 to remove it from one office to another office? One would have thought that the Ministry would have been able, when they gave an order for the furniture, to have said just where they wanted the furniture delivered, and that furniture ought to have been so delivered without costing a single penny. This £1,000 for removal rather puzzles me. I should like the Minister to explain it. I am bound to confess that I cannot understand it. The Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Act started at the beginning of January, and this Supplementary Estimate is only to carry us up to the end of March—three months. Yet we have this stupendous figure. My hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) suggests that a couple of thousand pounds for rents is not a large sum, and that he is not objecting to it. I am not so much used to dealing with figures as be is. £2,000 is an enormous amount of money If I had £2,000 I would think myself a Baron Rothschild. £2,000 for rents is a very big figure just for the purpose of buildings to carry on the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Act from 1st January to 31st March.

We ought to know where these buildings are situated. I thought I was putting plenty of questions to the Under-Secretary, but my colleagues here are making bullets for me to fire. I should like to know where these buildings are situated that are going to cost us £2,000. I do not want to exasperate hon. Members opposite, or to waste the time of the Committee, but I am entitled to ask these questions, and not only where the buildings are situated, but what is there to account for this huge increase of rent in three months? Who are the landlords? Where are the buildings situated? How many rooms are there in the buildings? That is an important matter, I was under the impression that the Office of Works—for I was so taught when I first came to the House of Commons—was in existence to prevent the separate Ministries, Health, Labour, &c., buying furniture for themselves. I cannot see why we should have to spend at a time like this. When the Government is pledged up to the hilt for economy! We

are spending money here and before very many weeks are over the Government will be cutting down expenditure for the sake of economy, so that the Office of Works, having control of this and other Departments, ought to have been able to have kept their eye over all the Departments using furniture. There are one or two thoughts which came into my mind, and I should be obliged to the Minister if, before we pass this Vote, he will give us the information for which we have asked.


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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 253; Noes, 132.

Division No. 9.] AYES. [5.43. p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Gunston, Captain D. W.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir. James T. Cohen, Major J. Brunel Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Ainsworth, Major Charles Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Harland, A.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Conway, Sir W. Martin Harrison, G. J. C.
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Cooper, A. Duff Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, Derby) Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Haslam, Henry C.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir. Henry Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Atkinson, C. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Henn, Sir Sydney H.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Hennessy, Major J. R. G.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar, & Wh'by)
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Cunliffe, Sir Joseph Herbert Hills, Major John Walter
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Curzon, Captain Viscount Hoare, Lt. Col. Rt. Hon. Sir. S. J. G.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Dalziel, Sir Davison Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Davidson, J. (Hertt'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Berry, Sir George Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Holland, Sir Arthur
Betterton, Henry B. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Holt, Captain H. P.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Homan, C. W. J.
Blundell, F. N. Dawson, Sir Philip Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)
Boothby, R. J. G. Dixey, A. C. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Bourns, Captain Robert Croft Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. H. Hopkins, J. W. W.
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Eden, Captain Anthony Howard, Captain Hon. Donald
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Elveden, Viscount Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney. N.)
Brass, Captain W. England, Colonel A. Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)
Brassey, Sir Leonard Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Fairfax, Captain J. G. Huntingfield, Lord
Briggs, J. Harold Falle, Sir Bertram G. Hurd, Percy A.
Briscoe, Richard George Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Illfte, Sir Edward M.
Brittain, Sir Harry Fermoy, Lord Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Fielden, E. B. Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Forrest, W. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Foster, Sir Harry S. Jephcott, A. R.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Fraser, Captain Ian Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)
Bullock, Captain M. Frece, Sir Walter de Kindersley, Major Guy M.
Burman, J. B. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. King, Captain Henry Douglas
Burton, Colonel H. W. Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Galbraith, J. F. W. Knox, Sir Alfred
Butt, Sir Alfred Ganzoni, Sir John Lamb, J. Q.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Gates, Percy Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir. Philip
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir. Evelyn (Aston) Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Loder, J. de V.
Chapman, Sir S. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Looker, Herbert William
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Goff, Sir Park Lougher, L.
Christie, J. A. Gower, Sir Robert Lumley, L. R.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Lynn, Sir R. J.
Clarry, Reginald George Greene, W. P. Crawford MacAndrew, Charles Glen
Clayton, G. C. Gretton, Colonel John Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Grotrian, H. Brent Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
MacIntyre, Ian Preston, William Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
McLean, Major A. Price, Major C. W. M. Tasker, Major R. Inlgo
Macmillan, Captain H. Radford, E. A. Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Macquisten, F. A. Reid, D. D. (County Down) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Remnant, Sir James Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Malone, Major P. B. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y) Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) Wallace, Captain D. E.
Margesson, Captain D. Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Ropner, Major L. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Merriman, F. B. Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A. Warrender, Sir Victor
Meyer, Sir Frank Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Sandeman, A. Stewart Wells, S. R.
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Sanders, Sir Robert A. Wheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H.
Moles, Thomas Sandon, Lord White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Moore, Sir Newton J. Savery, S. S. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby) Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Moreing, Captain A. H. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Shepperson, E. W. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Murchison, C. K. Skelton, A. N. Wise, Sir Fredric
Nelson, Sir Frank Smith, B. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Wolmer, Viscount
Neville, R. J. Smith-Carington, Neville W. Womersley, W. J.
Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Smithers, Waldron Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir. Herbert Spender Clay, Colonel H. Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Oakley, T. Sprot, Sir Alexander Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir. L.
Perkins, Colonel E. K. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland) Wragg, Herbert
Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Steel, Major Samuel Strang Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Storry-Deans, R.
Philipson, Mabel Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Major Cope and Lord Stanley.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hayes, John Henry Sexton, James
Ammon, Charles George Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Attlee, Clement Richard Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Baker, Walter Hirst, G. H. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Barker, Q. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Sitch, Charles H.
Barnes, A. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Barr, J. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Smillie, Robert
Batey, Joseph Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Snell, Harry
Briant, Frank Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromfield, William Kelly, W. T. Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)
Bromley, J. Kennedy, T. Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Kirkwood, D. Stamford, T. W.
Buchanan, G. Lansbury, George Stephen, Campbell
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Lawson, John James Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Charleton, H. C. Lee, F. Sutton, J. E.
Clowes, S. Lowth, T. Taylor, R. A.
Cluse, W. S. Lunn, William Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Compton, Joseph Mackinder, W. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Connolly, M. MacLaren, Andrew Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) March, S. Thurtle, E.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Maxton, James Tinker, John Joseph
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Townend, A. E.
Dennison, R. Montague, Frederick Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Viant, S. P.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Naylor, T. E. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Gibbins, Joseph Oliver, George Harold Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gillett, George M. Owen, Major G. Welsh, J. C.
Gosling, Harry Palin, John Henry Westwood, J.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wiggins, William Martin
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Potts, John S. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Purcell, A. A. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Groves, T. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Grundy, T. W. Ritson, J. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hall, Fredk. (Yorks, Normanton) Rose, Frank H. Windsor, Walter
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Wright, W.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Saklatvala, Shapurji Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hardie, George D. Salter, Dr. Alfred
Harris, Percy A. Scrymgeour, E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hayday, Arthur Scurr, John Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.

Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £11,900, be granted for the said Service."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 136; Noes, 254.

Division No. 10.] AYES [5.43. p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hayes, John Henry Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Ammon, Charles George Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Attlee, Clement Richard Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir. John
Baker, Walter Hirst, G. H. Sitch, Charles H.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Barnes, A. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Smillie, Robert
Barr, J. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Smith, Bell (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Batey, Joseph Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Snell, Harry
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Briant, Frank Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)
Bromfield, William Kelly, W. T. Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Bromley, J. Kennedy, T. Stamford, T. W.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Kirkwood, D. Stephen, Campbell
Buchanan, G. Lansbury, George Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Lawson, John James Sutton, J. E.
Charleton, H. C. Lee, F. Taylor, R. A.
Clowes, S. Lowth, T. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Cluse, W. S. Lunn, William Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Compton, Joseph Mackinder, W. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Connolly, M. MacLaren, Andrew Thurtle, E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) March, S. Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) Maxton, James Townend, A. E.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Montague, Frederick Viant, S. P.
Dennison, R. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Naylor, T. E. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Oliver, George Harold Welsh, J. C.
Gibbins, Joseph Owen, Major G. Westwood, J.
Gillett, George M. Palin, John Henry Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gosling, Harry Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wiggins William Martin
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Ponsonby, Arthur Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Potts, John S. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Purcell, A. A. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Groves, T. Ritson, J. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Grundy, T. W. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland) Windsor, Walter
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Rose, Frank H. Wright, W.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Saklatvala, Shapurji
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Salter, Dr. Alfred TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hardie, George D. Scrymgeour, E. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Harris, Percy A. Scurr, John Warne.
Hayday, Arthur Sexton, James
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Briggs, J. Harold Cohen, Major J. Brunel
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Briscoe, Richard George Colfax, Major Wm. Phillips
Ainsworth, Major Charles Brittain, Sir Harry Conway, Sir W. Martin
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Brocklebank, C. E. R. Cooper, A. Duff
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)
Alien, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)
Astor, Maj. Hon. John J. (Kent, Dover) Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Atkinson, C. Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Bullock, Captain M. Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Burman, J. B. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Burton, Colonel H. W. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)
Barnett, Major Sir R. Butler, Sir Geoffrey Cunliffe, Sir Joseph Herbert
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Butt, Sir Alfred Curzon, Captain Viscount
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Dalziel, Sir Davison
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Cautley, Sir Henry S. Davidson, J. (Hertl'd, Hemel Hempst'd)
Berry, Sir George Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.
Betterton, Henry B. Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Chapman, Sir S. Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)
Blundell, F. N. Charterls, Brigadier-General J. Dawson, Sir Philip
Boothby, R. J. G. Christie, J. A. Dixey, A. C.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft. Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Clarry, Reginald George Eden, Captain Anthony
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Clayton, G. C. Elveden, Viscount
Brass, Captain W. Cobb, Sir Cyril England, Colonel A.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. King, Captain Henry Douglas Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Ropner, Major L.
Fermoy, Lord Knox, Sir Alfred Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.
Fielden, E. B. Lamb, J. Q. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Forrest, W. Lister, Cunliffe., Rt. Hon. Sir. Philip Sandeman, A. Stewart
Foster, Sir Harry S. Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Frece, Sir Walter de Loder, J. de V. Sandon, Lord
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Looker, Herbert William Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Lougher, L. Savery, S. S.
Galbraith, J. F. W. Lumley, L. R. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Ganzoni, Sir John Lynn, Sir Robert J. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Gates, Percy MacAndrew, Charles Glen Shepperson, E. W.
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Skelton, A. N.
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Glyn, Major R. G. C. MacIntyre, Ian Smithers, Waldron
Goff, Sir Park McLean, Major A. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Gower, Sir Robert Macmillan Captain H. Spender Clay, Colonel H.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Sprot, Sir Alexander
Greene, W. P. Crawford McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Gretton, Colonel John Macquisten, F. A. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Grotrian, H. Brent Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel- Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Malone, Major P. B. Storry-Deans, R.
Gunston, Captain D. W. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Margesson, Captain D. Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Harland, A. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Tasker, Major R. Inigo
Harrison, G. J. C. Merriman, F. B. Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Meyer, Sir Frank Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Haslam, Henry C. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Moles, Thomas Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Moore, Lieut,-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Wallace, Captain D. E.
Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar, & Wh'by) Moore, Sir Newton J. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Hills, Major John Walter Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir. S. J. G. Moreing, Captain A. H. Warrender, Sir Victor
Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Murchison, C. K. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Holland, Sir Arthur Nelson, Sir Frank Wells, S. R.
Holt, Capt. H. P. Neville, R. J. Wheler, Major Granville C. H.
Homan, C. W. J. Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple
Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.) Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir. Herbert Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Hopkins, J. W. W. Oakley, T. Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Howard, Captain Hon. Donald O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Perkins, Colonel E. K. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wise, Sir Fredric
Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Wolmer, Viscount
Huntingfield, Lord Philipson, Mabel Womersley, W. J.
Hurd, Percy A. Preston, William Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Price, Major C. W. M. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Radford, E. A. Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S. Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir. L.
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Reid, D. D. (County Down) Wragg, Herbert
Jephcott, A. R. Remnant, Sir James Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sury, Ch'ts'y)
Kindersiey, Major G. M. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Major cope and Lord Stanley.

Original Question put accordingly, and agreed to.


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

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