Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £158,345, 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 sundry Public Buildings in Great Britain, not provided for on other Votes, including Historic Buildings, Ancient Monuments, and Brompton Cemetery.
This is a Supplementary Estimate for expenditure in respect of sundry public buildings in Great Britain not provided for on other Votes, and it includes expenditure, upon historic buildings, ancient monuments, and Brompton Cemetery. Perhaps I had better explain one or two of these items. The sum of £65,000 is asked for in regard to new works, alterations, additions, and purchases for works in progress and proposed works. These items have been asked for and have been rendered necessary because these particular works have progressed more rapidly, but we shall ask for a less sum proportionately in future years for these works. There is 1111 a sum of £10,000 to provide accommodation for coastguards and improvements to existing premises. As hon. Members know, the coastguard stations all round our coast were originally under the Admiralty, but they have now come under the Board of Trade, and they are being used mostly for life-saving purposes. This sum is being asked for in order that the works may be proceeded with more rapidly.
There is a sum of £2,500 for the extension of the Harrow Stationery Office Press, and this extension is required in connection with the printing of the Post Office telephone directory not only for London but for the Provinces. Unless this additional accommodation is provided, I understand that it will not be possible for the directory to be produced within the limits set down by the Post Office. In the year 1924 the telephone directory consisted of 968 pages, but last year it was 1,342 pages. In the previous year the number printed was 231,232, and last year the number printed was 355,500. That shows what an enormous extension of this work has taken place. The actual profit last year was £60,000, and we hope it is going to increase.
There are several technical questions dealt with under Sub-Head B.B., which deals with the repayment of advances under the Land Registry New Buildings Act, 1900. Under the Land Transfer Act of 1899 registration of title of sale was required. At that time the fees used to be sufficient to pay the salaries of the officials and the expenses. Then we got the Land Registry Act of 1900, which authorised the building of the new Land Registry Office. We borrowed the money for this purpose from the National Debt Commissioners, and it is repayable by annuities which are provided under this Vote. Consequently this is merely a book keeping item, and the corresponding amount has to be provided for in this Vote. There is a sum of £9,000 in this Estimate as being the amount required to deal with the fag-end of the programme of maintenance work undertaken during the winter of 1924–25 for the purpose of relieving unemployment, and most of that relief work has been done in connection with ancient monuments.
I have had several proposals from the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. Jones), but this is £9,000 in respect of unemployment relief. We had a programme of relief unemployment work for different parts of the country, and the sums I am asking for now are necessary to carry on those improvements. There is an item of £43,000 for rents, insurance, tithe rent charges, etc. Last year an award was made by the War Compensation Court to the London County Council in respect of Government occupation of the new County Hall and the new Sessions House. That award has taken place since the main Estimate was made out, and we could not say exactly what the amount of that compensation would be. We put aside £21,000 in the original Estimate, but the award was £72,000, and even that was less than the sum which was asked for by the London County Council. That transaction leaves another £43,000 to be voted on this occasion. The new County Hall was occupied by the Ministry of Food during the War, and the Sessions House was occupied by the Ministry of National Service. I think I have now gone through the principal headings, and I have explained what this Vote is for, and if any further questions are asked I will try to answer them. I should like to say that if any very technical questions are asked in regard to any particular legal matters, the Solicitor-General is here to answer them.
§ Mr. AMMON
I am sure the Committee would like to know what is meant by this expenditure on historic buildings and ancient monuments, and I would also like to know what are our commitments with regard to Brompton Cemetery. We would like to know if there is any interment contemplated in respect of the present Government. I think such a large Supplementary Estimate as this indicates extremely bad budgeting, or it looks as if it might have been deliberately done to give a false impression as to the amount of money that is going to be called for from public funds. When one looks at this expenditure, it does seem that some of it ought to have been foreseen when the original Vote was asked for. Surely it ought to have been possible to have budgeted a little nearer in connection with the acquisition of the 1113 site and erection of hospital buildings at Leeds, in regard to which the cost was under-estimated to the extent of £23,000.
Or is it that, owing to the announcement of the needs and necessities of the Government, rents have been forced up, and a considerably higher sum is now being asked for with reference to these various items. With regard to the next item, relating to accommodation for coastguards, I believe the hon. Gentleman had something to say about that, but I think we have the right to a little further information. It was the policy of the Admiralty—and recently the matter was raised on the Board of Trade Vote—to dispose of this coastguard accommodation around the country, on the ground that, since the coastguards were to be abolished, such cottages would be redundant. Have we sold these cottages and bought them back at an enhanced price, or are we restoring them after it has been intimated to the House that they were not to be used in future? There may be an adequate explanation, but on the face of it it looks something like very bad business indeed. I know it was decided that a number of these cottages should be put up for sale as far back as to years ago. We have a right to know whether any waste of money is going on in that particular direction.
With regard to the Stationery Office premises at Harrow, I gathered from the hon. Gentleman that at any rate some of the printing at this establishment has actually resulted in a profit to the Government, but, surely, the Government ought to have known, or ought to have obtained the information from the Post Office, that the size of the book was going to be increased to this very large extent, and ought not to have had to come here some time later to ask for another £2,500. It does seem as though there were an utter lack of co-ordination and proper business between the Departments in this particular. The Post Office give in their returns a good deal in advance in preparation for the printing of the Directory, and, therefore, as I understood the hon. Gentleman to say that this sum was mostly required in connection with the enlargement of the Post Office Telephone Directory, I think we ought to have had much closer budgeting at the time when 1114 the original Estimates were presented. We see from the next Vote that a part of the money was asked for, but was dropped at a later stage. I do not want to prolong the discussion on these matters, but I should like to put these questions on the items to which I have referred, again reminding the hon. Gentleman that we would like some information as to what are the historic buildings and ancient monuments referred to, and particularly what are our commitments with regard to Brompton Cemetery.
§ Sir F. WISE
There is one point that the Under-Secretary has not mentioned, namely, Sub-head. K, "Furniture." I should think my hon. Friend is tired of furniture by now, but no details are mentioned here, and if one looks at the original Estimate one finds that for the year 1925–26 the expenditure for furniture was £81,760, which is now increased by the Supplementary Vote to £87,760. I really think we should have an explanation with regard to this furniture. We have had three or four different Votes, and each Vote has shown an increase in regard to furniture. Perhaps my hon. Friend will be able to explain in more detail.
§ Captain W. BENN
I should like to refer to Sub-head CC, "Unemployment Relief Works." Reference has been made to the advantage of putting work in hand for the relief of unemployment, and this is the second of these items that we have had this afternoon, while a third and a fourth will be coming on in subsequent Estimates. I want to ask the hon. Gentleman one or two questions about this matter, not with the view of complaining of the amount, but rather of suggesting that the policy of the Government is wrong in reference to these items relating to unemployment. We know quite well that, where it is possible to put in hand or accelerate public work with a view to giving employment, it is a good thing, but the difficulty that has been found by many public authorities, in trying to find work and give men employment, has been that they could not find profitable, useful and necessary work. In each Government Department, however, it is possible to find something which must be done and which may be put in hand at once and so absorb some workers, 1115 but the policy of the Government, as far as one can understand, is the exact reverse of that. They have not only told the Unemployment Grants Committee that they must cut down the grants to local authorities, but in the various Departments they have themselves, in these Estimates, reduced very drastically the allowances for this purpose.
This Vote is a very strong case in point. On page 75 of the original Estimate it will be seen that, as against a grant of £99,000 for last year, the figure for the present year is only £16,000, and the Government are forced to come forward now and ask for an additional £9,000. I think they would have been better advised to make the item larger in the first instance, in view of the needs of people who are looking for work. Further, the £9,000 appears not to be in respect of any work put in hand this winter, when work is needed, but in respect of a remnant of some work left over from last year. In connection with this item, I suggest that the policy of the Government in all these Departments is lacking in sympathy and wisdom, and that they would have been better advised in each Department to see whether they could do what was recommended at the time of the Ministry of Reconstruction, namely, to see whether it was not possible in each Department to accelerate work and absorb men at their own jobs, and so keep them off the unemployment register.
§ Miss WILKINSON
I want again to refer to the question of furniture, because the replies which have been given to previous questions on this subject were profoundly unsatisfactory to many on this side, and, I am sure, on the other side also. I want, first of all, to make it clear that I am not criticising the amount that is being spent on furniture. My experience of the Government offices with which I have been in contact is that, with the exception of the offices reserved for the chiefs of Departments and their immediate assistants, most Government offices could do with refurnishing from top to bottom. Anything more dreary, dull and soul-killing than the average office in which the Government of the day expects its employés to work would be very hard to find, and, therefore, any amount that the Govern- 1116 ment bring in in order to provide clean, new furniture for their unfortunate employés will, I am sure, be warmly welcomed on this side of the Committee.
Where I want to criticise the hon. Gentleman is in regard to the reply given on a previous Estimate to the effect that none of this money was being spent on furniture that had been made by disabled ex-soldiers and sailors. Some of us have been connected with various Committees dealing with the employment of disabled ex-service men, and we know, as I am sure the hon. Gentleman himself knows, that the great difficulty in connection with finding employment for these men is the disposal of the product when it is made without interfering with the ordinary channels of trade. Furniture, I submit, and especially Government furniture would form a very useful outlet for the work of these men. We know that St. Dunstan's have a large factory where disabled men are employed in making furniture, and there are other agencies at work also. We regret that this matter has to be left to voluntary endeavour, and we feel that it would be much better if it were directly encouraged by the Government. We have now had Divisions on three Votes, and if one adds up the total amount one finds that we have already voted £41,000. These are only Supplementary Estimates, so that when we add this amount to the original Estimate, together with the Votes that have yet to be taken on furniture, it is going to be a very respectable sum. I submit that if the Government were facing this question of the employment of disabled ex-service men they would see that such a huge capital sum as is being spent on furniture would form a whole channel of employment and training for disabled ex-service men. I want to submit to the hon. Gentleman and to the Government that, while a considerable amount of money was spent just immediately after the War, when the wounds of these men were fresh in our memory, in seeing what channels of employment could be found for them—
§ Sir JOHN MARRIOTT
On a point Order. We are all in sympathy with what the hon. Member is saying, but shall we be entitled to discuss, on this Vote, the policy in regard to the employment of ex-service men?
§ Colonel GRETTON
On that point of Order. May I submit for your consideration, Captain FitzRoy, that the decision as to how furniture is to be provided lies with the Office of Works?
§ Miss WILKINSON
I understand that the Office of Works is the Department with which we are dealing, and I would, therefore, submit respectfully that I am in order in discussing the question of the policy of the Office of Works
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain FitzRoy)
I do not think the hon. Member is strictly in order in dealing with the question whether the furniture should be made by ex-service men. The question is simply one of how much it should cost, and whether any economy could be effected when the contracts are made. It would not be in order to pursue at any length the subject of the employment of ex-service men in making furniture. I see no objection to its being referred to quite shortly, but it must not be made the subject of a Debate.
§ Mr. SPENCER
On a point of Order. May I respectfully submit that, if it can be shown that by purchasing furniture from the ex-service men it would be obtained more cheaply, we should be able to discuss it?
§ Mr. SPENCER
I am not raising the question of policy, but, if it can be shown that the cost of the furniture, if it were purchased from the ex-service men, would be less, could not that be raised on this Vote?
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN
If it could be shown that the amount required in the Supplementary Estimate would have been less, that would be in order, but a discussion on policy would not be in order.
§ Miss WILKINSON
I certainly bow to your ruling, and thank you for your permission to raise the matter, even though it may not form the subject of a Debate. It is merely because I desire to ventilate the matter that I am raising it in this way. Following your reply on the previous point of Order, I would like to ask the hon. Gentleman if he would go into 1118 this matter of cost, and if he would consider whether it would not be possible to get this furniture much more cheaply from the organisations in question than through the ordinary channels, bearing in mind that., when I say "more cheaply," I am not only considering the matter of the actual cost, but the other savings that might be effected if the amount spent on furniture were considered in relation to the amount spent by other Departments in connection with ex-service men. Although an actual reduction in other parts of this amount, and in the other amounts that are to be added today, might not be secured, yet it is to be borne in mind that direct labour is generally cheaper, as there is no manufacturer's profit, and there is also the intangible reduction due to the finding of employment for these men; and it seems to me that, with the possibility of reductions of grants in other directions, a very considerable saving might be effected in this way. Accordingly, I submit these suggestions to the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I want to divert the Committee to B.B. of this Vote, particularly as we have the advantage of having both the Law Officers of the Crown—a very exceptional event on which the Committee is to be congratulated. As far as I can understand, there is a saving of some £43,000 on the Department of the Land Registry. So efficient has that organisation been, so well has their work been done, that they have been able to save £43,000. It looks to me as if many of the Departments would be far better run if they were taken over and controlled by the Law Officers. They show exceptional business capacity. Instead of having to come and ask for Supplementary Votes, they are able to tell us they have made a clear saving. The way the money is to be allocated, however, is rather peculiar. The statement at the end of the Report suggests that it is to be used to educe the cost of the building—to wipe out the capital cost of the original charge. At a time like this, when we are heavily taxed, it seems rather unnecessary to make this provision for future generations. The building will be there—it is well built—and I cannot help thinking this amount might be much better utilised in the direction of a reduction of taxation, if it is within the law to allow that.
1119 Might I also ask if it is correct that fees are to be reduced? As I understand it, a new scale of fees comes into operation this year and there will not be that large surplus next year. I really got up to congratulate the Law Officers on the very successful year's trading of this very useful Department. At the time of its inception it was prophesied that it would be a heavy charge on the State. It shows that land registration now is on a sound basis, that the people in charge of it are running it economically, and that it would not be a bad thing to spread these institutions all over the country, so that it would facilitate land transfer and make the exchange of property much simpler, because now it has been proved, in the light of a good many years' experience, that a Department can be run by the State on economical lines.
§ Mr. REMER
I rise to draw attention once again to the very expensive amount which appears in these continual Estimates under the head of "Furniture." It cannot be done too often. I have one question particularly to ask. Is the furniture which is supplied to these Departments made within the British Islands or otherwise? That question was asked last night, and it has not been answered within my hearing. I should like particularly to reply to the speech of the hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson). I and others have the fullest sympathy with finding employment for disabled people, but there are disabled people who are employed by the furniture manufacturers, and, to my knowledge, a great many of them are at present working short time.
§ Sir GERALD HOHLER
On a point of Order. I understand we are being asked only to grant an additional sum. Surely my hon. Friend is raising a matter of policy, which ought to be raised on the original Vote. The Government have put certain work in hand and they require more money to complete it. I submit that this question, which is apparently raised only in order to waste time—
§ Mr. LANSBURY
On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. and learned Gentleman to make an accusation against his colleagues?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. and learned Gentleman should not rise to a point of Order, and then attribute motives. I have given a ruling at considerable length on this question of furniture, and the employment of ex-service men. It must not be made the subject of debate. With regard to the question of furniture, it does not play so large a part on this Estimate as it did on the last. On the last Estimate, the additional sum required was very much larger even than the original sum. On this Estimate, it forms a very small fraction of the original sum required, and therefore does not constitute a subject on which so much debate should take place.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I intervened while the hon. Member for East Middlesbrough was speaking and told her it must not be made the subject of debate.
§ Mr. REMER
I feel very strongly that these items should be scrutinised in the closest detail. The Government have not made out their case for the large amount for which they are asking, and we are entitled to some further explanation. I cannot see my war on this occasion to support the Government. I have not voted against them on any Supplementary Estimate up to the moment. I feel bound to enter my protest against these continual large sums, which they bring forward in the only possible way, by voting against them. I am sorry to do so, but it is only by that means that we can bring home to them that we of the Conservative party really stand for a policy of the strictest economy. For that reason, I shall have no hesitation in registering my vote in the only way it is possible to do so.
§ Mr. CHARLETON
I have been considerably surprised to find that the item that relates to the erection of hospital buildings at Leeds is being persisted in. Subsequent to the main Estimates being presented, the Ministry was closing a hospital at Leeds, and all the patients and the people affected protested against it and the whole of the Members for 1121 Leeds, on both sides of the House, went, as a deputation, to ask the Minister to retain the hospital. But it was decided to close it. Yet this hospital is being persisted in at a cost of £132,000. The hospital that was closed was a free gift from a public-spirited gentleman to the nation. It was rejected by the Ministry, and, to my surprise, they are persisting in building this new hospital. I should like to ask whether consideration has been given to what has been presented by the Seclect Committee on Estimates. They say:In regard to hospital treatment, the policy of the Ministry is to rely mainly upon Ministry of Pensions hospitals. The question of utilising on the one hand military and naval hospitals and on the other ordinary civil hospitals has, we understand, been carefully considered, but, in our opinion, insufficiently.This was prior to the Estimates of last year. They go on to say that there are 36 hospitals. Further, it was brought out in evidence before the Committee that in 1921 there were 67 extra hospitals, and on 1st April, 1924, they were reduced to 36. One is entitled to assume that from 1st April to the present day we are requirng fewer hospitals than we did, and we ought to know why we are persisting in spending this £132,000.
Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
I wish to support the contention put forward by the last speaker in regard to Sub-head C.C. As the Minister said, the Committee will not censure him for the excess of £9,000 in the Supplementary Estimate, but rather for the loose estimating of the original sum, because the original Estimate was for £16,440, whereas in the previous year the sum of £99,860 had been spent. When we have regard to the fact that this was to serve as a palliative for unemployment and to accelerate work put in hand during a period of distress, and that the prospect for this year is no better, so far as unemployment is concerned, than last year, it seems extraordinary that there should have been this reduction in the amount. It would have been creditable to the Minister if he had shown a larger excess on this item because, as he told us, this work of restoring ancient monuments, which we have seen going on throughout the country, is a valuable national work, and surely at a time when unemployment is so severe it should have been the duty of a 1122 Government Department to increase rather than diminish the number of men employed in that line. The Minister has told us that this was the fag-end of the programme of 1924–25. Apparently, no new work was put in hand during this part of the year, when unemployment was so bad. Instead of diminishing the amount of work and simply clearing off the fagend of a programme, one would have thought that the Government, if it had proper sympathy, would have increased the amount of work of this character. Criticisms of relief work are made frequently on the ground that it is of an unnecessary kind, but it cannot be said with regard to work of this character. I hope that when the Minister replies, he will give us an assurance that the Government will stop the policy of curtailing this class of work, and that they will encourage work of this kind, so long as unemployment remains as bad as it is.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I propose to raise several points on items which have not been mentioned. With regard to Item "A", at the end of the account, there is the restoration of a portion of the deduction of £50,000 made from the original Estimate for works, £29,500. There is a similar Item, "C," in which the original Estimate provided for a reduction in respect of the cost of services, and now it apears that the reduction was illusory and that a sum of £23,000 is required on account of maintenance and repair of buildings. The total of these two items is £52,5,00. In connection with these items a new method has, I think, been adopted. Hitherto we have always had an account given of the items for which excess payments are required. It is now put in this way, that on the whole amount there has been some miscalculation, that the. Government have been trying to make reductions, and that there must be some extra charge made in the form of a Supplementary Estimate. The Committee has no information on the expenditure of £29,500 under Item "A," nor has it any explanation of the further £23,000 required under Item "C." This is an abuse of the practice of presenting Votes.
We have reason to complain of the course that is being taken by the Treasury in this matter. I do not suppose the Office of Works is primarily responsible for the form in which the Vote is sub- 1123 mitted. We ought to be informed on what items these excess expenditures have been incurred, and we ought not to pass, except with the utmost reluctance and only after strong protest, a Vote of this kind. I hope the Minister will be able to give some explanation as to why this has been done. I hope he has in his possession some details of how these amounts are made up. I am afraid that some of us who are anxious that the House of Commons should keep control over public expenditure, must push this matter as far as we are able. It is a very serious case.
In other items on this Vote, no doubt there has been reason for some miscalculation. The Estimates have been made up very closely. The Estimates are made out by the Department at the beginning of each calendar year, and they are printed and usually submitted to the House in March or April. We are now considering these Supplementary Estimates in February. It is reasonable that some adjustments should be necessary. Hitherto the Departments have been able, unless there have been large unexpected items which could not possibly be estimated, to make adjustments. If a Department wanted to spend more money in one direction it has usually been able to save on some other item. That is the proper course. It is trying to delude the House of Commons to put in Estimates at the commencement of the financial year, and then to adopt this new practice, of which I complain, and to say: "We have made reductions. We reduced our Estimates at the commencement of the financial year, but now we must restore some of the reductions," without giving any explanation of the items on which the Estimates have been exceeded. I desire to press this point very strongly on the attention of the Government, because it is an abuse of our recognised practice.
I hope the Minister will be able to give some explanation of the deficiency in the Appropriations-in-Aid, which amounts to £17,000. These Appropriations-in-Aid were expected to reduce the Vote, but they have failed to that extent. How has that deficiency occurred, and under what heads? It is claimed that there has been a profit of £60,000 at the Harrow printing works in connection with the 1124 printing of the Telephone Directory, instead of putting that work out to private contract. There has been an inquiry into the matter, with which I had nothing to do. I must warn the Committee against accepting the figure that is here given. In some cases Estimates of this kind are made from the experience of many years past. A report will be issued shortly which will put a somewhat different complexion upon the Estimates which are put forward and mentioned rather loosely in this House. No doubt the Government does a great deal of printing at these works and at very reasonable cost, but to say that they have made profit to that amount on any particular printing, which would justify further expenditure in machinery requires very much closer investigation than this Committee is able to give. The Government have spent £32,800 on machinery and plant and £100 on furniture, and another £2,500 is required. That may or may not be justified. The putting in of plant and machinery means that you have an asset for your money and something to show that you are doing work for the State, and I am not prepared to quarrel with that particular item. I wish, however, to press most seriously the other matters.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)
There are two items in this Vote which affect me and which have been commented upon. In regard to Item BB of £43,000, that is not an extra expenditure, but a profit. What has happened is that under the more careful administration of the Land Registry Department and the larger use that has been made of it, it has proved possible to realise on the year's working £43,145 profit. Under the Land Registry Act of 1897, which constituted the Land Registry, the Statute forbids any profit being made out of the working of the Land Registry. A profit having been made, the only way is to use that money for land registry expenditure, and the most economical way of using it, as far as we could see, was in paying off to that extent the capital expenditure which has been incurred in the Land Registry buildings. It is not possible to apply that money to the reduction of taxation, as suggested by the hon. Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) because the Act of Parliament forbids that being done. As a result of that profit, the 1125 fees have been reduced as from the 1st January this year. It is impossible to tell with exactness what the result of the working under the new Property Act will be, but a substantial reduction has been made in the cost to the public. Therefore, we hope that, in spite of that fact, the Land Registry will continue to pay its way. The money in question is the realised profit on the year ending March, 1925, and paid into the Exchequer, and it will be used, with the sanction of this Committee, in paying off the capital debt on the Land Registry buildings.
Item "F," £43,000, concerns me, in that I happened to take part in the litigation represented in that result. It is complained that we are spending a great deal too much in that regard. It so happens that the original claim was for £1,545,000 by the London County Council. I represented the Crown in connection with the claim, and, when the case had lasted for some hours, I was able to effect a settlement of the whole claim, for £73,000, a saving of £1,473,000. I do not think that was a result of which I had any cause to be ashamed. That settlement having been effected, it becomes necessary to provide the sum required to make up the amount payable to the County Council beyond that put in the original Estimate of £30,000. Therefore, a further sum of £42,000 is required. I do not think that either of these two items are items in respect of which it can be said that the Government have neglected the cause of economy, or that they have not had close regard to national expenditure. Although I entirely sympathise with the zeal for economy which my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer) displayed—I am sorry he is not in his place—I think the occasion for his display might have been more appropriately chosen. I can assure him and any other hon. Members who are anxious to promote economy and to support it by their votes, that they will have plenty of opportunities before many weeks are over of making good their desire.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has referred to profit that has been made. I find a profit of £72,000 last year, and there is also a figure of £43,145 this year. In all, there is a profit of £115,000, in two years. 1126 I think it is necessary to recall that the Land Registry was established to facilitate and cheapen the transfer of land. On the other hand, apparently what has, taken place is that the sum of £115,000 has been taken by way of indirect tax from the owners during two years by charging too high fees, an indirect tax on landowners. It is quite true, as the learned Attorncy-General said, that a reduction has taken place in fees. But may I put this question to him: What is the total amount of fees received during the year by the Registry? We might, in that case, ascertain to what extent the property-owners of this country have been indirectly taxed.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
Supplementary Estimates have only one merit. They are the only opportunity that the private Member has to consider expenditure in detail, because when we consider the main Estimates, we discuss, really, our policy of administration rather than consider the items of expenditure in the way that we are discussing them to-night I want to take some exception to the point of view urged by0 the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), to prevent any misunderstanding. He urged that there should be no reduction of this class of expenditure, on the ground that unemployment was bad, but, as in the main the classes of expenditure which we are considering to-night affect the building trade and ancillary trades, and as there is already a difficulty in obtaining in some towns at any rate, adequate labour, I think he can hardly put forward an argument that will appeal to the majority of this Committee, when he urges that this class of expenditure should not be cut down.
I want, very briefly, to reinforce—though it hardly needs it—the arguments of the hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) in regard to Items A and C. It may be, of course, that there is an explanation, that all that has happened, particularly in the case of Item A, is that certain works that have been sanctioned, it may be last year, or the year before, and which will take some years to complete, are making more rapid progress than was anticipated, and, therefore, that £29,500 of expenditure, which has got to be met anyhow, is falling in the present financial year instead of the coming financial year. If that be the 1127 case, of course, we cannot reasonably object to that item.
With regard to the other, I am not clear that it is in the same category. Item C, as I read the somewhat inadequate note that appears on the paper, looks like new expenditure. It looks as if certain Departments of State have spent rather more in reinstatement than was originally contemplated. I think we ought to be furnished with rather more definite information than we are getting, in order that we can find out whether really by voting this sum of £23,000 we are authorising the Office of Works to spend money which might be avoided, if there had been more careful economy.
While I deplore Supplementary Estimates as a whole, I do not think in the main that this particular one is open to as much criticism as some of the others, because the two items which the learned Attorney-General has just explained are items we cannot really argue about. One is merely a book transfer, and the other is a claim in respect of things which happened seven years ago. It does not infer any extravagance to-day. I think we ought to have a little more explanation in regard to the last item in A and Item C.
§ Mr. MARCH
There are one or two items I would like to put to the Minister in connection with this Vote which have not been spoken of by any Member to-day. One is that of removals. It seems to me to be a bit strange that the Office of Works is not able to estimate its requirements for removals during a year by nearly one-half. We had in the other Vote a question with regard to removals of £1,000. In connection with this Estimate, we have £4,000, and the original Estimate was £9,100. It seems to me very strange that all this discrepancy should arise in regard to removals. I want to know exactly how it occurs. It may occur because of the lack of the Office of Works and the Government generally in providing their own vehicles and their own men in doing their work by direct labour. I often see a number of pantechnicons for the Office of Works, from contractors, standing about in various places, and I think it is nearly time this was redundant, and that the Office of Works did its own removals, and also had its own vehicles more up to date.
1128 Then, in connection with Item C, I see it says, "Maintenance and repair" of certain buildings that, were used during the War. As one travels about, one sees a number of buildings still being pulled down. Take the Embankment, for instance. Only a few months ago the Office of Works were demolishing some buildings, pretty close where they are putting up some new ones now. It seems a bit difficult to know why it was that they pulled the two buildings down there, which took some considerable time—I am sure they were well constructed—and are now going on building in the same spot, putting up buildings of a similar kind. I admit they are a bit stronger, and also a bit larger, because they are putting a second floor on, where there was only one in the other buildings. But surely something could be done in the way of making them substantial, in order to enable the Ministry to carry on its work without doing as it is doing now? I am also wondering if the buildings which the Office of Works put up in the East India Dock Road, near by the Iron Bridge, for the Ministry of Labour, have any connection with this Office of Works Vote. I know that the Office of Works did the work, and it is quite possible it is in this Estimate. But when I asked a question—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is speaking of new buildings. These items refer to buildings which were occupied for War services.
§ Mr. MARCH
This work was added to the old building in East India Dock Road, for the Employment Exchange. If you saw the number of men standing about day after day, you would name it rather the Unemployment Exchange. I am certain there is no accommodation for the men who are outside; they have to go in a few at a time, in order to get to the counter. When I put down a question asking why they were doing that, considering that the Government claims such a big reduction in the number of people unemployed—
On a point of Order. Is the hon. Member really 1129 entitled to speak on this matter? Do not we only have mention of work referred to in the Sub-paragraph of Item A? That is the only work in progress mentioned on this Estimate.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There is an item for £29,500 for restoration of anticipated deductions. If none of this money is to go to this work in the East India Dock Road, then that would not be in order.
§ Mr. MARCH
I am quite, certain that the Office of Works did this work, and I do not suppose they did it without wanting some money, or someone who did it wanting some money, for it. I want to ask why it was essential to put this building up when the Government are claiming that there is such a big reduction in the number of unemployed. I was informed that, in this particular district, they were not getting the number of unemployed they had expected they would. I was wondering whether the Government were going to bring all the Poplar registration to that one place, or whether they were still going to continue sending the Poplar people to Limehouse, Stratford, Victoria Park, and Hackney to register. If the Government are going to have this one registration, then we can understand why they extended the building, but up to the moment all that we can find out is that they have been cutting the men off, even though they said there would not be the number as anticipated there would be, on the unemployed register there. During the last three months you have cut off no less than 1,500 people from benefit in the Poplar district. If you are going to cut them off to that extent, you will not want any buildings at all. It does seem to me that you have wasted a good deal of money in putting up this building alongside the other one in the East India Dock Road, unless you make better use than is being made of it at the present time.
I should like to reply to some of the questions which have been put. In the first place, my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) made rather a severe attack upon the Government in regard to what we may call the restoration sum of £29,500, and the sum of £23,000 for maintenance. I do not think he would have done so if he had been in the House yesterday when I did 1130 my best to explain what these restorations were. In the original Estimates we made—I think my hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. II. Williams) was in the House when I explained—we made a deduction. Although the House gave full assent to our full programme, we made a deduction, in this case of £50,000, at the request of the Treasury. We anticipated that possibly there would be some delays in carrying out the work. As a matter of fact, the whole of these delays did not occur, and therefore this sum of £29,000 is merely a restoration of the cut that was made.
§ Colonel GRETTON
Can the hon. Gentleman tell the Committee what particular works entailed a larger expenditure than was anticipated.
That is a question which was asked yesterday, and we had rather a long Debate about it. It is quite impossible to give details without reprinting the whole of the main Estimates. This sum is arrived at, because, in the cases where there was delay, we did not actually spend the amount we had estimated by quite a large sum. In other cases, it was exactly the opposite. This sum is spread over the whole of the main Estimates. In order to show exactly how it is made up one would have to reprint the whole of the main Estimates and to give the exact figures.
§ Colonel GRETTON
That is exactly what I heard my hon. Friend say yesterday. The Government is in reality asking for a block vote without giving any details.
I have no doubt it is possible to get the information, but I have not got it here. If the information were available, I would have to read out a long list of items in regard to which delays have not occurred, and I am sure the Committee does not want to hear that.
One hon. Member made a protest against the increase of £23,000 on "maintenance." Though not exactly on all fours with it, that is very similar to what I have just explained. We were asked by the Treasury to cut down our Estimate by £20,000, and we did so. Since then we 1131 have found it necessary to spend a good deal more. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) thinks it would be much better to overestimate than to have these Supplementary Estimates. In the second Report of the Public Accounts Committee of last year there is a paragraph approving of this very system of making cuts, and, if necessary, restoring sums that are required thereafter. Among other questions I was asked by an hon. Member something about the Brompton Cemetery. That is not included in this Vote. I was also asked about the building in the East India Dock Road. That is not included in this Vote.
With regard to monuments, I was asked what were the monuments on which unemployed labour had been used? I have a list of them here. One is Dunfermline Abbey, another Linlithgow Palace, and there are several others. On this question of unemployment relief it is true that the sum for which we are asking is for the fag-end of the programme of 1924–25. There is nothing down in the Estimate for the 1925–26 winter. Under the item for "maintenance," in which there is an increase of £23,000, the Office of Works have taken great care to do what they could to absorb as much unemployed labour as possible. Therefore, although the money is specifically down in the Vote for the 1925–26 winter, we have managed under another subhead to give a great deal of work to the unemployed.
The hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) asked a question about disabled men, and the same question was raised by the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer). In a previous answer I was not quite accurate. I said that although I had a great deal of sympathy with what was stated regarding disabled men, I did not know that disabled men were employed on making furniture for the Office of Works, but that I would look into it, and that I thought we ought to do what we could to give a certain amount of employment to disabled men. I have had time to make inquiries, and I find that the factories which employ disabled ex-service men are invited always to tender for furniture and that they have received already from the Office of Works several contracts for furniture.
§ Miss WILKINSON
Is it the custom of the Office of Works always to accept the lowest tender, or are other circumstances taken into consideration?
The hon. Member may take it as certain that, all other circumstances being equal, the ex-service men's tender will have the preference. We do not take the lowest tender necessarily, for we have to consider what sort of firm it is that tenders. All the firms which are employed in making the furniture are on the King's Roll, and, therefore, you always get the employment of some disabled men. Regarding the hospital at Leeds, my reply is that the present huts are required by the education authority of Leeds. They have been pressing us over and over again for the release of the premises, and that is the reason for the construction of a hospital at Leeds. It was the Labour Government which started this scheme and came to the decision that this hospital should be built.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
What my hon. Friend wanted to know was why the Government were erecting a building when a hospital had been given by a number of public-spirited gentlemen?
As I have said, the education authority was pressing us for the surrender of these huts.
That increase is owing to the fact that since the main Estimates were passed a part of the Air Ministry's staff has been moved from Kingsway to Gwydyr House. Also, since the main Estimates were passed some of the telephone staff have been removed.
§ Mr. SCURR
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.
Although throughout the Debate we have received perfect courtesy from the Minister in charge, who in every sense of the word does his best to give us explanations, yet I suggest that he is in a most invidious position in not being really representative of the Department concerned. This is a spending Department, which spends very large sums of money, and the Minister really respon- 1133 sible is in another place. The consequence is that we are unable to meet that Minister face to face in order to criticise his actions or make him justify his policy. We cannot expect the hon. Gentleman opposite, who has just left the Under-Secretaryship at the Home Office and undertaken the important work of the Foreign Office, to be able to follow all the details of these Estimates. I join with the hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) and the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer) in protesting at the growing practice of presenting Supplementary Estimates.
We are getting into a position in which the Executive is getting right away from the control of the House of Commons. The House of Commons, if it is to exist as an institution at all, must retain control of the sources of revenue and supply. We must be able to criticise the Executive, and to determine its policy by reason of our control over finance. But Governments simply come forward with their Estimates, which cannot be adequately discussed by this House, and we know that at the end of the number of days allotted to Supply we shall march through the Lobbies, one on this side and one on that, voting away money without having had an oportunity of discussion.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is now raising a large constitutional issue. He is in order in moving a reduction of the Vote on the ground that in the present instance there is not in the House a direct representative of the Department, and I will accept such an Amendment; but he cannot raise the larger constitutional question on a Supplementary Estimate.
§ Mr. SCURR
Surely the point is that when these Supplementary Estimates are so constantly presented to us the House of Commons is losing its control over finance. Am I not entitled, on any of the Supplementary Estimates, to raise that very important issue? If you rule against me, I will proceed with other points that I wish to raise.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is raising an alarming vista of arguments which may be produced. He is quite entitled to comment on the fact that the 1134 hon. Member in charge of the Votes does not directly represent the Department concerned.
§ Captain BENN
Would you kindly indicate what would be a suitable opportunity of raising the general question of the impropriety of Supplementary Estimates?
§ The CHAIRMAN
If any hon. Gentleman succeeded in getting a place in the ballot, he could move on going into Committee of Supply on the Civil Service Estimates.
§ Captain BENN
There are no Supplementary Estimates in existence on that occasion, and the Government would no doubt stoutly assert then that there will be no Supplementary Estimates. Therefore, that is not a suitable occasion.
§ Mr. SCURR
The hon. Gentleman in charge of the Estimates has not given any reply to the question raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) in relation to the Appropriations-in-Aid. The anticipated deficit on the original Estimate is £17,000 and when I look at the original Estimate I find that for 1924–25 admission fees to the Tower of London, the Armouries, Carnarvon Castle, etc., were estimated to produce £18,700, but for 1925–26 they were estimated to produce £30,000. That was an estimated increase in these receipts of £11,300, but here we have a statement that the deficit on the original estimate is £17,000. Are we to understand that there was no actual basis for that estimated increase in fees? I do not live far from the Tower of London and I have not heard of any great increase in public interest in the Tower which would lead to an increase of receipts, and I have not heard that the rates charged are any higher than formerly. Therefore, there seems to be here something which amounts almost to deceptive estimating—if I may use that expression. It would seem that in order to get large apparent Appropriations-in-Aid these Estimates have been presented in this way, and now when we have a deficit of £17,000 it is made to appear that the Tower of London is responsible for it. The Government have placed the First Commissioner of Works, who ought to be responsible to us 1135 for these Estimates, in another place, and for these reasons I beg to move the reduction.
§ Sir ELLIS HUME - WILLIAMS
I desire to ask a question on the well-worn subject of furniture. I observe that the heading under which the furniture item occurs is "Public Buildings, … including Historic Buildings, Ancient Monuments and Brompton Cemetery." The hon. Gentleman has detailed some of the historic buildings, most of which are ancient and beautiful ruins, and I do not think the furniture can be going there. I have never heard of anybody who wanted to furnish an ancient monument, and I am afraid that in the course of years we ourselves will furnish Brompton Cemetery—so that one would like to know for what this furniture is intended?
§ Mr. W. BAKER
I feel that the Committee will be in agreement with the Public Accounts Committee in advocating the system of restoring deductions rather than the method of over-estimating. But what we complain of here is that, in restoring deductions made from previous Estimates, the Department is not giving us sufficient information. I am glad that my hon. Friend the Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr) has called attention to the position in connection with the Tower of London, because I feel that had it not been for his speech that matter would not have been clear to the Committee. As regards the hospital at Leeds, I understand the total estimated cost is £132,000, and the cost up to date is £88,000. The amount asked for in the Supplementary Estimate is £23,000. Can The hon. Gentleman say when will the hospital be completed and whether there is any reasonable prospect that the Estimates, to be laid before the House shortly, will enable the Ministry of Pensions to finish that work? In regard to the item, "Provision of accommodation for coastguards and improvements to existing premises as required," my difficulty is that, while £10,000 is asked for in the Supplementary Estimate, we have been unable to ascertain the total sum required in the original Estimate and in the Supplementary Estimate.
Under the heading of the "Harrow Stationery Office Press," we are asked for £32,800 for extensions. I understood 1136 the hon. Gentleman to say that this was a continuation of work previously undertaken, but I have carefully hunted through the original Estimate and I am unable to find the item. In those circumstances I cannot settle in my own mind whether this work has been commenced and has progressed almost to the point of completion, or whether this is an entirely new item for which we are asked to make a first contribution of £2,500 in this Estimate. Under the heading of "Maintenance and Repair of Public Offices" we are told that the original Estimate provided for a reduction in respect of the cost of services which might not arise during the year and that the expectation was not realised. The hon. Gentleman should do the Committee the courtesy of explaining what grounds existed for that expectation and what causes led to the expectation not being realised. In the course of yesterday's Debate I asked the Minister whether his Department had substituted oil fuel for coal, and I understood him to give an emphatic denial. As I explained at the time, I was inclined to congratulate him upon the change. All I seek is to know the exact facts with regard to this matter.
§ Mr. BAKER
I may be mistaken in thinking that Section "R" appears in the Supplementary Estimate, but it certainly appeared in the original Estimate, and I thought it was carried into the present Estimate. If, however, I am mistaken, I can put this interesting point to the hon. Gentleman on another occasion.
§ Major KINDERSLEY
Under Subhead "A II" I find a note relating to an expenditure of £29,500 to the effect that this is a restoration of portion of the deduction of £50,000 from the original Estimate in respect of works which may or may not be carried out during the year, and The hon. Gentleman has told us that there have been some savings in some cases, while there has been over-spending in others, and that in the result the total of £29,500 mentioned is required. No doubt, these savings and the over-spend- 1137 ing have been in regard to particular items, and I want to know whether this £29,500 will be applied to these particular items or whether it may be used to cover up expenditure on other items. I support the remarks of The hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) as to the way in which the Estimates are presented. I do not think it is a businesslike method. You cannot say, "Here we have Items 1, 2 and 3 on which there is a saving, and there we have Items 4, 5 and 6 on which there has been over-spending," but by lumping all together, the particular items on which there has been over-expenditure are covered up, and the Committee have no opportunity of judging whether there has been faulty estimating or whether there is actual extravagance in certain items. It would be much more businesslike if the Estimate showed where savings have taken place and for what items additional expenditure is required.
I think the Committee will appreciate the criticism which has been directed against the form of these Estimates, and my hon. Friend who has just spoken and The hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) will have an opportunity of making their protest in practical form when the Division takes place. I feel we are all indebted to the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs for the very courteous way in which he has acted in a very difficult situation. I find myself in disagreement with my hon. Friend who has moved the reduction in this Vote. He has moved it on two main issues, the first being that there is bad budgeting, and the second that there is a deficit in connection with the Tower of London coupled with a deficit an Carnarvon Castle. What he says, in effect to the Government is, "How is it with all your experience and knowledge of the interest, historical and otherwise, taken in these great national institutions, you come forward with an Estimate showing a deficit of practically £18,000." With regard to the Tower of London I do not know what will be the Government's explanation. Do they suggest that there is less interest taken in the Tower of London than formerly? Do they suggest that people have lost interest in the events of the past in the Tower or the prospects of the future in the Tower? On that matter I 1138 could excuse them, but there is no excuse in the case of Carnarvon Castle. I wish my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary to address himself to this point when he has finished getting information—and I hope those who are giving him the information will be able to supply a definite explanation in regard to Carnarvon Castle, because there is great national interest involved in the question. We all know what Carnarvon Castle stands for. We all know who is the Lord High Steward of Carnarvon Castle. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The present Lord High Steward of Carnarvon Castle is the present Leader of the Liberal party.
I was referring to the portion of the Liberal party which is present. I can only address myself to those present. I can see one at this end of the bench and the other at the other end. I put this to The hon. Gentleman opposite: Did the Government, when they were framing this Estimate and calculating that the entrance fee to Carnarvon Castle is 3d. per person, calculate on that basis that there would be so many million people visiting Carnarvon Castle? Ought they not to have known perfectly well that, whatever may have been, a few years ago, the attraction of the Lord High Steward of Carnarvon Castle, there was no possible justification for assuming that that attraction was the same to-day? There never was a Government which made such a colossal blunder? Here is a Government of all the talents, with great political instincts, knowing what political values really meant, and to assume that the Lord High Steward of Carnarvon Castle would have drawn a million people at 3d. per head was a wicked miscalculation. It is sufficient to defeat the existing Government, and I can quite understand these empty Liberal benches now. I can quite understand the burning indignation of hon. Members sitting on those benches when they knew that this Vote was to be challenged.
The Right hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. Hilton Young) has got to associate himself at this time, not with the blunders of his own party, but, if he will only get up and speak, he has got to say: "Yes, 1139 we, the Liberal party, take the full responsibility for the bad budgeting of this Government." Therefore, we feel ourselves compelled to go into the Division Lobby against this Estimate and to say to the Government: If this is your deficit on Carnarvon Castle, what will happen if there is a Carmarthen Castle ever existing?
I feel it is incumbent upon me to rise at once. These two places, the Tower of London and Carnarvon Castle, have been brought into great prominence by the Right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), but, as a matter of fact. I do not think there has been any loss in Appropriations-in-Aid up to the present moment.
In regard to the Tower of London, I believe there has been a very slight falling-off, but I think it was very largely due to the Right hon. Member for Derby himself, who made Wembley so popular. The question of the Appropriations-in-Aid was raised by the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr), who said he wanted to hear where the falling-off had taken place. These Appropriations-in-Aid are made up of a large list of miscellaneous items. You have sales of guides and postcards of ancient monuments, you have admission fees to various places of public interest, you have the contributions of landlords towards the cost of repairs, and you have the contributions of owners towards the upkeep of certain interesting ancient monuments, and, as a matter of fact, we based our Estimate on what happened to be a very favourable previous year.
There was one very large item which we had to drop, and that was a sum of no less than £25,000 which was received from the War Office in respect of the occupation of Alexandra Palace. It is very difficult indeed, in the case of all these miscellaneous items, to know what exactly you are going to receive in the year. My hon. and learned friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) asked 1140 me where the furniture had gone to. I can assure him it did not go to the Brompton Cemetery or to the ancient monuments, as he rather indicated. It was a provision for the reinstatement of furniture in buildings occupied by the Ministry of Pensions hospitals, and also expenditure connected with the fitting up of Gwydyr House, to which a large part of the Air Staff has now moved. The hon. Member for East Bristol (Mr. W. Baker) asked me about the hospital at Leeds, and wanted to know when it would be finished. Well, we hope it will be finished this summer. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hitchin (Major Kindersley) wanted to know whether this restoration sum was really going to be used for new items to which the House has given no assent. That, of course, is not so. I do not know whether I have rightly interpreted his point, but he put it in this way: Was that money going to be used on new construction? That sum of money is only going to be used as a restoration for the progress of works to which this House has already given assent. It was merely a cut, owing to what we believed would be delays in the progress of the work. Those delays have not materialised, and so we are going on and asking for that extra sum of money.
§ Major KINDERSLEY
I am afraid I did not make myself quite clear. You made a saving on some items, and you overspent on, we will say, six items. Is that money going to be spent on those items or on some other item to which the House has already given its assent?
But we have not overspent, and that is the point. This House gave its assent to a certain programme. At the request of the Treasury, we went into it very carefully, and said we would make a cut of £50,000, because it was possible that, owing to delays, we should not be able to get on wish the work in certain directions. Some of those delays have not materialised, and we have been able to get on with the work. Therefore, instead of cutting to the extent of £50,000, we ask for a restoration of £29,000.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Can the hon. Gentleman tell us whether any part of the Appropriations-in-Aid is in regard to Kew Gardens?
I wish to point out to hon. Members on the Government benches—who seem to be surprised that we should want to examine these Estimates so closely—that practically the whole of the more important Conservative Press of the country is urging Members of Parliament to enforce economy upon this Government, and warning us that we have before us a Government of spendthrifts, who are badly misusing the national Exchequer, and the manner in which these Supplementary Estimates are presented to this House certainly must give rise to very considerable misgivings. I do not propose to follow my Right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) into the details of the ancient ruins which he mentioned, because a Member of Parliament sees' plenty of those, but I am more interested in the more modern expenditure included here. At a time when the Government are exercising a certain form of objectionable economy at the expense of the most badly off areas and sections of the population, we certainly ought to have more details as to why they find it necessary to bring in large additional expenditure on a number of the items now before us. It may or may not be necessary for £2,500 extra to have been spent on the Harrow stationery works, but certainly we have not had any particulars from either of the spokesmen for the Government. I was out for about two minutes while the Under-Secretary for the Foreign Office spoke, but I certainly did not gather that he gave us any particulars on that point.
I was called out for two minutes, and it must have been in those two minutes while I was gone that The hon. Gentleman spoke on that subject. I apologise. I certainly did hear him dealing with Item C, which gives us an increased expenditure of £23,000, and while I think everybody was impressed with the courteous manner in which the Minister dealt with it, we did not get the amount of information that we have always expected from The hon. Gentleman in the past. I remember when he used to rise from those benches and take the House charmingly into his confidence 1142 about apiaries and things like that, but he did not give us any exact details with regard to that sum of £23,000. I was also disappointed with the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General, not with his explanation of Item B.B, which was quite understandable, but because we did not get more particulars in regard to the £43,000 which has to be voted to cover the sum awarded by the War Compensation Court. It may be true that the total sum of £72,000 paid is a very substantial reduction on the amount claimed by the London County Council. We all know that in litigation one side goes for a maximum and one for a minimum, but I think the Committee should have information of the amount actually required for compensation and of the amount swallowed up in legal and Court fees and in paying representatives and other necessary expenses of that kind connected with litigation.
It is a very serious item of national expenditure—the tremendous amount that the Government and all Governments have to pay out on these kinds of cases—and I am hoping yet that those hon. Members opposite who have declared their intention of opposing these Estimates in the Division Lobby will do so when we give them the opportunity.
There is absolutely no reasonable way of enforcing economy upon a Government unless the House is going to insist either that they give us something like correct Budgets at the beginning of the year, or else very detailed accounts indeed of any Supplementary Estimates that they may bring forward. With the one possible exception of Item B.B., there does not seem to be one of these Estimates which people reasonably going into the expenditure of the Office of Works at the beginning of the year could not have foreseen and brought before us, and to leave them out or to spend several thousand pounds extra on one thing and another, to sell old furniture which might quite well have gone on a little longer, to buy new furniture, and to extend works without giving any precise reasons, seems to be a very casual use, to put it mildly, of the very small amount of money at the disposal of the Government. While every vital service is being cut down, while unemployment and education are being scrapped in every direction, it seems very unfortunate that the Government should 1143 have to come to this House at such a difficult time and ask for £5,205,564 in addition to the main Estimates.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I simply want to ask the question of The hon. Gentleman who is in charge of the Vote. Under the heading "CC"—Unemployment Relief Works—I notice that there is being asked £9,000, and it is pointed out that that further provision is required to meet certain expenditure on arrears of maintenance work. What I would like the hon. Gentleman to tell us with regard to this additional expenditure is, how much of it was spent in England and how much in Scotland? We have a certain arrangement made with regard to expenditure by which Scotland gets a certain proportion and I have been wondering, in view if what I know of the position of the unemployed in Scotland and maintenance work there, and the very scanty provision that the Government have been making, if we in Scotland have been getting any thing like our appropriate share. Then is another point that I want to make under Item "C"—Maintenance and Repair of Public Offices. I notice in the explanation which is given in the per that the original Estimate provided for a reduction in respect of the cost of services which might not arise during the year. I looked up the Estimate and I find that instead of it showing a decrease, while the figure in 1924–25 amounted to £455,632, the estimate for 1925–26 amounted to £549,811, an increase amounting to £94,179. I do not think I am asking for anything very exceptional in asking for a word of explanation from the Minister. I have no doubt that it is due to the fact that in regard to these explanations which are given, one is forgetting some little fact in connection with the bigger account, and I am also sure that the Minister—
I am afraid I have not got the information on the point as to what sum of money has been spent in Scotland, but I will find it out and send it to the hon. Member.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
In view of the fact that the Minister has not got this information I might perhaps be allowed to move to report Progress. Hon. Members in this House, in which the Scottish Mem- 1144 bers are in such a great minority, will see the importance of this item from the point of view of our country. We do not want to be vexatious. I think hon. Members know that the Scottish Members are always very reasonable. I am referring to Scottish Members of all parties, Scottish Tories, Scottish Liberals and Scottish Socialist Members. There is general agreement that we are quite willing to accept any reasonable explanation, but I am sure the Minister, even though he himself is representing an English constituency, will see that while he is able to get the information from the officials, there is a representative of Scotland on the front bench and perhaps he, as one of our people in the. Government representing the interests of Scotland, may be able to supply the Minister with this information. Surely on a matter of so great importance as unemployment — on a matter in which it is absolutely necessary that there should be an assurance in Scotland that we are getting a square deal and an appropriate amount spent on our country in ratio to the amount that is spent in England — the Minister is going to meet me in regard to this matter. It is all very well to say that he will get the information and let me have it at some later date, but if he gets me the information and lets me know it at some later date, then we Scottish Members in this House, anxious to secure as fair conditions for our people as possible, will be in the unfortunate position that this Vote will have passed from the House, and we shall have no way of registering our protest.
The Minister has shown us such courtesy throughout that I am quite sure he is not going to make an exception in the way he deals with an important Scottish issue, and that he will meet us in the same way. I do not think, for instance, if he is going to make some concession and we are Bong to hold this Vote over until he gets the information, that really he or the Government will lose very much in the matter. We would be quite willing to try to meet him with regard to letting it go at once if the explanation is satisfactory. Here is money being spent, and the Minister in charge is not able to give us any idea as to whether the ordinary proportions are being apportioned to the various countries. I have no doubt that some 1145 of the Welsh Members in this House will also be anxious for some information in this respect. Really, I think that the Minister, if he cannot give us that information, might give us a little fuller information on this head "CC" than has been given. I do not want to press him unduly in the matter. One recognises that it is a remanet expenditure under arrears of maintenance, but in view of the position that is likely to develop in connection with the general policy of the Government as regards unemployment and in connection with maintenance work that may be undertaken, I think it is of the utmost importance that we should have a clear appreciation of the position under a heading like this.
I know the amount is a small one, £9,000, and that it might seem to be one on which one should not lay an undue amount of stress, but I believe if this Committee is really going to get down to sound economy then it is necessary that
§ even in small amounts we should have due consideration as to whether those amounts are being well spent. If savings can be made with regard to a whole lot of smaller accounts, then those small savings, made on a large number of small accounts, may amount to more than the saving on one of the bigger accounts and consequently I am hoping that we are going to have a little more information. I am quite sure that the Minister will explain to me the evident disparity regarding the fact that there is this increase under the C.C. head. I am anxious that I should get a reply.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put"
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 253; Noes, 128.1149
|Division No. 11.]||AYES||[8.11. p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir. James T.||Colfax, Major Wm. Phillips||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Cooper, A. Duff||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Cope, Major William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Cowan Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn, N.)||Harland, A.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Apsley, Lord||Crack, Rt. Hon. Sir. Henry||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Atkinson, C.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Headiam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cunliffe, Sir Joseph Herbert||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Hills, Major John Walter|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymoutn, Drake)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir. D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Berry, Sir George||Dixey, A. C.||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Elveden, Viscount||Holt, Capt. H. P.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||England, Colonel A.||Homan, C. W. J.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Fermoy, Lord||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Fielden, E. B.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Finburgh, S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Forrest, W.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Huntingfield, Lord|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Fremantle, Lt-Col. Francis E.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.|
|Burman, J. B.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Ganzoni Sir John||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gates, Percy||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir. Evelyn (Aston)||Gee, Captain R.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir. John||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Christie, J. A.||Goff, Sir Park||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir. Philip|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Gower, Sir Robert||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Grace, John||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Locker, Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Loder, J. de V.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gretton, Colonel John||Looker, Herbert William|
|Lougher, L.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Philipson, Mabel||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Radford, E. A.||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Ramsden, E.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|MacIntyre, I.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|McLean Major A.||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Remer, J. R.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Remnant, Sir James||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Rentoul, G. S.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Wells, S. R.|
|Merriman, F. B.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||White, Lieut. Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Ropner, Major L.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Ruggles-Brise. Major E. A.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. H. (Ayr)||Rye, F. G.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Moreing, Captain A. H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sandon, Lord||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Murchison, C. K.||Savery, S. S.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Neville, R. J.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst.)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Skelton, A. N.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Oakley, T.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Smithers, Waldron||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Bowyer.|
|Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardie, George D.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayes, John Henry||Scurr, John|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Broad, F. A.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smillie, Robert|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kelly, W. T.||Snell, Harry|
|Cape, Thomas||Kennedy, T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D.||Spencer, G. A (Broxtowe)|
|Clowes, S.||Lansbury, George||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lee, F.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lunn, William||Sutton, J. E.|
|Connolly, M.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Mackinder, W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||MacLaren, Andrew||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||March, S.||Thurtle, E.|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Maxton, James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dennison, R.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Townend, A. E.|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Varley, Frank B.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, North)||Viant, S. P.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Naylor, T. E.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Oliver, George Harold||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Gillett, George M.||Owen, Major G.||Warne, G. H.|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Westwood, J.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Potts, John S.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Ritson, J.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Rose, Frank H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)||Wright, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)||Mr. Alien Parkinson and Mr. A.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £158,245, be granted for the said Service."1150
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 132; Noes, 251.1151
|Division No.12.]||AYES.||[8.20 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hayes, John Henry||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shiels, Dr, Drummond|
|Ammon, Charles George||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hirst, G. H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Barnes, A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Barr, J.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Snell, Harry|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kennedy, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kirkwood, D.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lansbury, George||Taylor, R. A.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lee, F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lowth, T.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Clowes, S.||Lunn, William||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Mackinder, W.||Thurtle, E.|
|Compton, Joseph||MacLaren, Andrew||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||March, S.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Maxton, James||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Warne, G. H.|
|Dennison, R.||Naylor, T. E.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Duncan, C.||Oliver, George Harold||Welsh, J. C.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Owen, Major G.||Westwood, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Remer, J. R.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ritson, J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Rose, Frank H.||Windsor, Walter|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Scurr, John||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James||Charles Edwards.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brass, captain W.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir. James T.||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Briggs, J. Harold||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Briscoe, Richard George||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Allen, J. Sundeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Apsley, Lord||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir. Henry|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Atkinson, C.||Bullock, Captain M.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Baldwin, At. Hon. Stanley||Burman, J. B.||Cunliffe, Sir Joseph Herbert|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Butt, Sir Alfred||Dalziel, Sir Davison|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir. Evelyn (Aston)||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Berry, Sir George||Chapman, Sir S.||Dixey, A. C.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Christie, J. A.||Elveden, Viscount|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||England, Colonel A.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Clarry, Reginald George||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Clayton, G. C.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Lamb, J. Q.||Rantoul, G. S.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Finburgh, S.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir. Philip||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Forrest, W.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Locker-Lampoon, G. (Wood Green)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Loder, J. de V.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Looker, Herbert William||Rye, F. G.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lougher, L.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Lumley, L. R.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Sandon Lord|
|Gates, Percy||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Savery, S. S.|
|Gee, Captain R.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||MacIntyre, Ian||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir. John||McLean, Major A.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Goff, Sir Park||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Macquisten, F. A.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Grace, John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Smithers, Waldron|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Margesson, Capt. D.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Merriman, F. B.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Harland, A.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Streatfelid, Captain S. R.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Murchison, C. K.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hills, Major John Walter||Nelson, Sir Frank||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir. D. (St. Marylebone)||Neville, R. J.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Wells, S. R.|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir. Herbert||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Oakley, T.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ponnefather, Sir John||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Philipson, Mabel||Womersley, W. J.|
|Huntingfield, Lord||Plicher, G.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Radford, E. A.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Ramsden, E.||Worthington, Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir. L.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper||Wragg, Herbert|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Remnant, Sir James||Major Cope and Captain Bowyer.|
Original Question put accordingly, and agreed to.
§ It being after a Quarter-past Eight of the Clock, further Proceeding was postponed, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 4.