Motion made, and Question proposed.
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £3,000,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, to provide for the purchase and importation of Coal in connection with the Stoppage in the Coal Industry.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)
This is an Estimate for purchases of coal from time to time which it has been or may be necessary for the Government to make to preserve essential services. By common consent it has been regarded as obviously undesirable to state the methods by which, and the places in which, and the times when coal is being purchased on behalf of the Government. I am sure the Committee will appreciate that that is a necessary precaution to take. If a Government engage in a commercial transaction in buying, if they are to buy in the best interests of the taxpayer, they must not only have the same facilities for purchasing as are enjoyed by those who engage in the ordinary commercial way in buying coal but, obviously, they must not disclose the source of the purchase or the time when they are going to buy or the manner in which they are going to buy. I am sure the Committee will agree that it would be eminently undesirable that I should be asked as to when and how and where any purchases of coal are to be made.
Of course, there will be the fullest investigation in regard to this matter, as there is in connection with every trading transaction in which the Government engage on a trading account. These trading accounts are submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and he 2088 passes them under review and makes his Report to the House of Commons on them. The accounts are also subject to the consideration of the Public Accounts Committee. If there are any criticisms to be made regarding the method in which the transaction has been conducted, that can be dealt with at the proper time when full information is placed before the House.
The only thing which it is necessary or right that I should say in presenting this Estimate to the Committee is that, without considering any question of the merits or demerits of this unfortunate controversy—it would be out of place, and I think out of order, to do so—it is plainly the duty of whatever Government may be in office for the time being, to ensure the carrying on during the time of crisis of the essential services of the country. For that reason, at this time, as in the case of the previous coal stoppages, it is necessary that the Government should have the power to make whatever purchases are necessary for that purpose. For that purpose we are proposing a Vote of £3,000,000. The purchases will be made exactly as they were on the previous occasion. The £3,000,000, or such amount of it as it is necessary to use, will be used as a working credit for the purchase of coal, the coal being sold to consumers and the purchase price of such coal passing back into the account.
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
Can the right hon. (Gentleman give the date of the previous occasion?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
It was in 1921. The hon. and gallant Member may remember that while other matters were discussed very fully in the House, by common consent it was considered desirable that details of the purchases should not be discussed at that time. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I have looked up the Debate, and I find that there was no discussion upon the details.
§ Mr. BARKER
Why have this Debate if you are going to give no information? You are doing it in the dark.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I do not think we need make this a matter for controversy. There are plenty of other things which are controversial.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Let me answer the hon. Member in this way. If he found himself in the place of the Government to-day, he would find himself charged with the duty of ensuring that essential services were carried on. He would find that in order to carry on those essential services, where it was necessary to supplement private purchases of coal, the Government must be in a position to take action. In accordance with the regular Parliamentary procedure of the House, if the Government are to engage in a transaction of that kind it is the duty of the Government to come to the House and present an Estimate to cover the transaction.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I have already explained to the hon. Member. If the Government are charged with the duty of buying when necessary, it is plainly—
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
It is the duty of the Government, in the interests of the taxpayer, to buy where and when they can buy to the best advantage.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask hon. Members to allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed, without these repeated interruptions.
§ Mr. BARKER
Is it in Order for the Minister to ask for £3,000,000, and tell the Committee at the beginning of his speech that he will give the Committee no information? It is a monstrous thing.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I did not understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that. Had he said it, it would not be out of Order.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The hon. Member will have the right to criticise anything which I say in due course. I want to put the matter to the Committee. All that I am taking responsibility for to-day is to engage in a commercial transaction for the buying of coal.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I think everybody will realise in every quarter of the House, whatever their views may be about the present dispute, that if coal is to be bought, it ought to be bought at the least possible cost to the taxpayer.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Anyone who has hail to buy anything will know that if you have to engage in a transaction of this kind, there is no better way of putting up the price against you than to say exactly how and where and through what channels you are going to buy. My duty is to see that such coal is bought at the cheapest possible price, and if I disclosed in what manner and in what markets coal was going to be bought, I should make that impossible. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. MACLEAN
You did not allow me to finish my sentence. What I was going to ask the right hon. Gentleman through you—[HON. MEMBERS "That is not a point of Order!"]—is this: Will he at a later stage, submit to this Committee a statement as to the places and firms from which he is purchasing coal?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I have already told the Committee that that can be done in the regular and appointed 2091 way. The whole of the trading accounts in connection with the purchases of coal will be submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor-General—
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
He was appointed by this House, for the express purpose of investigating and reporting to the House upon any such trading transaction. When they are completed, they will be submitted to this officer of the House, who will report to the House upon them—[Interruption]—and any criticism which it is desired to make upon the transactions can be made then. [Interruption.]
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
It is not the case that I have ever been unwilling to give information to the House of Commons. I am afraid I have often bored the Committee with a great deal of information, and at Question time, as also in debate, I have never been slow in supplying information asked for by hon. Members. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
On a point of Order. Is it in order for the right hon. Gentleman to be buying coal for the purposes of the nation, when members of his family are heavy shareholders in coal mines? [Interruption.]
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
In view of that rather unusual interruption, I should desire to make a short statement. It is within the knowledge of every 2092 member of this Committee that, long before the first dispute in the mining industry arose, I not only disclosed to the Prime Minister and my colleagues, but to everybody else the indirect interest I had in coal mining. I tendered my resignation. [Interruption.]
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I tendered my resignation, and it was only upon pressure, not only by the Prime Minister, but by other people in all quarters, that I consented to carry on in my present office. It is within the recollection of hon. and right hon. Members on the Front Opposition Bench that desired the Prime Minister to intimate to the Leaders of other political parties in this House what my indirect interest in this matter was, and what action I proposed to take.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I did not think I should be called upon for an explanation of that kind in reply to any criticism of any Member on any side of House. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
No point of Order can arise. This may be a matter for public criticism. The right hon. Gentleman has made his statement, but no point of Order can arise in connection with the matter.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has been permitted to make a personal explanation, shall I be permitted to say why I raised the question?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The essential services of the country must be carried on, and the Government are responsible for seeing that those services are carried on. [Interruption.]
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
It is the admitted duty of this Government, and it was recognised by our predecessors in 2093 office, that, in a period of national emergency, it must make certain that the essential services are maintained. If it is the duty of the Government to ensure that these essential services are maintained, it is plainly the duty of the Government to supplement private enterprise where necessary. In order to do that, the Government desires to have this Vote, and I say plainly that just as it is the duty of the Government to discharge that function it is equally their duty to do it in the most economical way. It would be absolutely impossible to do that if we disclosed the time and manner and means of our purchases. We should be squandering money. I only add this, that in the purchase of coal the Government has no desire whatever to interfere with the independent purchases of coal which are being made at the present time. It is the plain duty of every essential service and private industry that can carry on to place their own orders, and no sort of obstacle will be placed in their way by the Government.
Coal bought in this way will not be requisitioned. That, I think, is understood, and purchases have been made and are being made in the usual way by many companies and undertakings. This Vote is only required to supplement, not to supplant, the purchases made by individual undertakings and firms. The Government have no desire to supplant them in any way. On the contrary, we wish to encourage them to make their own purchases, and we have no desire or intention of relieving them of their duty. But it is necessary that we should be in a position to supplement the independent purchases where shortages would otherwise occur in public services or essential trades, such as food production. It is for that purpose that I ask the Committee to give the Government the means of carrying out what at this time, whatever may be our view as to the merits of the controversy, is their plain and obvious duty.
§ Mr. G. HALL
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.
I rather welcome the intervention of the right hon. Gentleman in Debates dealing with the coal industry, and especially in connection with a Vote of this kind, seeing that it was only a very short time ago that he himself took the initia- 2094 tive in a campaign for the purpose of getting British people to buy British goods. It is not now so much a question of the purchase of British goods as it is a question of buying foreign goods for the purpose of prolonging the stoppage, knowing that it is only as a result of the prolongation of the stoppage that the Government's policy of an extension of hours in the mines can succeed. There is no need for this Vote. The Government have power under the Emergency Regulations to have the coal required in this country produced in this country, and, if they put into operation that part of the Emergency Powers Act, then the necessary coal can be provided in this country instead of going to Germany for it.
I can quite understand the reluctance with which the right hon. Gentleman attempted to explain this Vote. I expected to have some information with regard to the stocks of coal available in the country at the present time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Well, it would be very interesting, and I should have thought that hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the Committee, who always pride themselves on being the business men in the House, when asked to support a Vote for the spending of £3,000,000 in the purchase of coal, would have wanted to know whether it is really required. Still, I quite understand even their reluctance to know the facts in connection with this matter, seeing that this money is to be used for a purpose which they desire, namely, prolonging the stoppage and thus forcing the miners to have a longer working day than any miners in Europe. Let us see for what this money is to be used. The right hon. Gentleman said it was to he used solely for essential services. We find from the Vote itself that it is to be used for the purpose of the maintenance of supplies to public utility, food-producing, and other essential undertakings, and to domestic consumers. I would like in know whether they have any idea how much coal this £3,000,000 will purchase. I asked the Secretary for Mines to-day whether he could give us the amount of coal imported into this country since the 1st May, from what countries it came, and the cost of the coal. The Secretary for Mines could not give me that information. He did give me the figures so far as the amount of 2095 coal that was imported is concerned, but he could not give me the actual cost, and there is a very good reason why. Coal cannot be imported into this country at anything like the price that it can be produced in this country.
First of all, it was a question of the suspension of the Seven Hours Act. The Government know now that since the introduction of the Bill to suspend that Act the miners have been more determined than ever to continue the stoppage, and, knowing this and that time is the only thing that is going to defeat the miners, they come forward with a proposal to spend £3,000,000 for the purpose of prolonging the stoppage so as to force the miners to accept an eight-hours day. Look at the notices posted at every pithead. Of course, the only exception that the Government have taken to those proposals is that Yorkshire will not carry out the 1924 agreement with regard to the distribution of the surplus. There is no exception taken to the reduction of wages throughout the country, no exception taken to the reduction of 10 per cent. in Durham and Northumberland, and no exception taken to the temporary proposals in regard to wages based upon the 1994 Agreement, but simply, in order to have a little bit of Press notoriety, the other place have held up the Eight Hours Bill for 24 hours to try to bluff the miners that the Government are not as bad as they have been painted.
It would be very interesting to see the importance that is given to this question of coal. The only interest that some people take in the question of the coal supplies of this country, other than at a time of stoppage, is to take what they can out of the industry. Coal is the very foundation of the industrial life of this country. Apart from the exportation of coal—and our exports amount only to one-fifth of the coal produced in this country—it is necessary for industry and for domestic purposes to have a supply of something like 180,000,000 tons a year, and here are the Government coming forward hoping that they will be able to continue industry by spending, in the first instance, £3,000,000, and then using the proceeds of the sale of coal for the purpose of other supplies during the continuation of the stoppage. Let us see how far these supplies are going to assist industry. The Secretary for Mines told 2096 us that during the last nine weeks, 1,000,000 tons of coal have been imported into this country. Here we have the spectacle of a country that never has any need to import coal, except during a stoppage, prepared, for the purpose of defeating the miners, to spend this money on the importation of coal. Hon. Members opposite should know that the economic, industrial and financial structure of this country depends upon our coal supplies, and they cannot look with easy concern on this country now turning from a country exporting coal to a country importing coal.
I have some figures that the Secretary for Mines gave my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Paling), and they are very illuminating. France, who in 1925 took 10,250,000 tons of coal from us, exported to this country in the first eight weeks of the stoppage 43,000 tons of coal. Germany, to whom in 1925 we exported 4,000,000 tons, have now changed from a country receiving coal from us to a country exporting coal to this country. Hundreds of thousands of miners were called to the colours between 1914 and 1918—to prevent the Germans coming over to this country to exploit the miners, and now the German miners are being used by the Government for the purpose of defeating the miners of this country and compelling them to work an eight-hour day. The Government are now prepared to purchase coal produced under conditions which will be very much better than the conditions under which coal will be produced in this country if the Eight Hours Bill is put into operation, and they are prepared to do that for the purpose of defeating the miners. The standard of life of the miners of this country will be depressed, and, as a result, the standard of life of the miners on the Continent, in turn, will suffer a similar depression. I would commend that to hon. Members opposite.
Let us deal with the question of prices. The President of the Board of Trade was not in a position to tell us where this coal is to be purchased, how it is to be purchased, and what price is to be paid for it. He and the members of the Government can depend upon it that the coal imported into this country will cost them nearly 100 per cent. more than coal can be produced in this country. Take the figures for March. We exported 4,500,000 tons of coal at a cost f.o.b. of 2097 17s. 10d. a ton. If you take the evidence given by Sir William Larke, on behalf of the National Federation of iron and Steel Manufacturers, at the Coal Commission, you will find that he said the iron and steel manufacturers in this country in September of last year were able to purchase coal at a cost of from 11s. 11d. to 13s. 6d. per ton, or slightly in excess of what had to be paid for coal in 1913.
The right hon. Gentleman referred to the need that there was to introduce a similar Vote in 1921. Let us take the experience of 1921 with regard to the purchase and the price of coal then. According to the evidence given by Dr. Charles Carpenter, on behalf of the Gas Companies' Protection Association, at the Royal Commission, during the 1912 stoppage, the South Metropolitan Gas Company had to pay an additional sum of £89,000 for the purchase of imported coal, and in 1921 they had to pay £350,000 additional for the purchase of coal. We have these illuminating figures that in 1921, when coal was at its highest price, the best Durham gas coal was purchased by this company at 30s. per ton. During the 13 weeks of the stoppage of 1921 the company imported or purchased 109,000 tons of coal. They could get Durham coal for 30s. a ton. By the time the coal that was imported was brought to their works it cost them 69s. 10d. a ton. The position is very similar during this year. Manufacturers, who are represented by hon. Members opposite, should be very concerned about it.
Take the position as far as it is explained in the "Iron and Coal Trades Review" for last week. That journal states that the imports into all the Humber ports, including Hull, to the middle of last week—that was 1st July —were about 90,000 tons. In large proportion it is German coal, but some is Belgian and some French. The prices vary. Silesian coal, free on rail at Hull, unscreened steam, is 47s. a ton, unwashed 46s. a ton, unscreened gas coal 48s.; Belgian washed nuts 47s. a ton, and slack, which is almost given away in this country and was given away before the stoppage, 38s. to 42s. a ton. The demand from the inland centres is not large, as delivered prices 2098 at works are considered rather high and beyond the capacity of any but the most favoured trades to pay.
That is the position as far as the North country is concerned. It is interesting to see what the position is in some of our large industrial centres. I am quoting again from the "Iron and Coal Trades Review."In Cardiff more cargoes of foreign coal have arrived for local industries, and further supplies have been arranged for, but most of the iron and steel, tinplate, galvanised sheets, and other works have been obliged to stop entirely or reduce their operations to limited proportions, although in a few cases work is being carried on with foreign coal. The fact that the cost of imported coal is practically double that of the usual home supplies precludes its general use.The same thing can be said of Birmingham and of Stoke. I have here a quotation relating to Stoke:Practically all the large factories are now closed down on account of the lack of suitable fuel for pottery furnaces. Supplies of Continental fuels continue to come into the district. In many cases it would appear that the foreign qualities have proved to be of very low grade, although the prices are approximately two and a-half the normal price of local qualities.The same thing can be said of Manchester. I was interested in the statement made by the hon. Member for Bolton (Mr. Hilton) during the Debate on Thursday last. He then said:We traders to-day have contracts for coal for the rest of 1926 in convention with seven different places of which I have intimate knowledge, at an average price of between 19s. 6d. and 22s. 6d. per ton. delivered. Last week we bought at 67s. a ton certain stuff which was dumped on us, and it was poor coal."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st July, 1926; col. 1445, Vol. 197.]That is the position throughout the country. Hon. Members think that the Government speculation of £3,000,000 is going to be a very satisfactory one, but, as in 1921, they will find that they have very large stocks of this unwanted coal on their hands, and the £3,000,000 that we are asked to vote to-day will be very largely lost. The right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), whose experience in 1921 was such that he has prevailed upon the Government on more than one occasion to do everything they can to prevent a continuation of this stoppage, has told us on many occasions that the stoppage of 1921 cost the country £350,000,000. Now we see that the 2099 Government, some of the Members of which were responsible for the position in 1921, have not in any way benefited by that experience. In their desire to lengthen the hours of the men employed in the mining industry they are prepared, not only to put the Eight Hours Bill on the Statute Book, but to spend a considerable amount of public money for the purpose of again defeating the miners. Of course, their consciences will not allow them to subsidise the mining industry, but they are prepared to subsidise anything or everything for the purpose of defeating the miners.
The hon. Member for the Moseley Division of Birmingham (Mr. Hannon), in a speech delivered a short time ago, estimated the cost of the stoppage, or of the loss of trade to this country as a result of the stoppage, at £8,000,000 a day. He said that if the stoppage continued for another fortnight it was going to cost the country no less than £10,000,000 a day. That is £48,000,000 a week. In the nine weeks of the stoppage this country has lost, as a result of the action of the Government, more money than would have been required to pay all the miners all the wages that they would have got for three years. There is no need to wonder that in this country at the present time there are 4,000,000 men, women and children, directly dependent upon the mining industry, who are in a position of privation and destitution, and in some instances of starvation. Industries are gradually being paralysed; hundreds of thousands of men are unemployed, many of them not directly connected with the mining industry. Our Poor Law institutions are almost breaking down. All of this trouble has been caused by the lack of vision, the bankruptcy in ideas, and the total incapacity of the Government.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I realise that this is a very important Debate, and my only excuse for intervening for a few moments is the fact that so many extraordinary statements have been made by hon. Gentlemen opposite that I think it is high time some Members on this side of the House put their own private point of view. I am as much interested in the miner, his wife and his family, as are many hon. Gentlemen who sit opposite, 2100 and, so far as knowledge of actual work is concerned, I have experienced in my own short life possibly quite as much actual work as some hon. Members opposite. [Laughter.] It is quite easy for hon. Gentlemen opposite to laugh when anyone on these Benches talks about work, but my experience of a lot of Socialists is that they talk far more about work for other people and do less than other people, and, so far as actual money and profit are concerned, I have yet to find a Socialist who, when it comes to himself, either despises profits or neglects to take them. With regard to the subject of this Debate, it has amused me to hear so many hon. Gentlemen opposite adopting the patriotic standpoint in favour of buying British goods and expressing a dislike of any contact with foreign products. Often enough Members on this side who hold Protectionist views have pleaded with hon. Gentlemen opposite to give some support to Imperial Preference and the Protection of home industries, but the invariable reply has been, "We do not care where we buy as long as we buy the cheapest goods." It is invidious and absolutely futile for hon. Members opposite, with one or two honourable exceptions, to come into this House and talk about their love of buying British goods, seeing that on every platform in the country they show their preference for foreign products every time.
I strongly support the Vote. Hon. Gentlemen opposite know quite well—they are not allowed to express themselves freely—that the present situation has arisen entirely through the stupidity and the obstinacy of the miners' leaders. [Interruption.] I am not now quoting from a Conservative journal. I do not want to give offence to anyone. I know that hon. Members opposite believe in people expressing their opinions freely. I am pointing out that this obstinacy of Mr. Cook and Mr. Herbert Smith is not a matter merely of Conservative opinion, but is admitted by the Trades Union Council. You cannot have your cake and eat it. If hon. Members opposite take up the position that the general strike was quite right and that the miners always acted properly, all I can say is that it is an extremely funny position now to have the officials of the Trades Union Council addressing meetings and conferences, at 2101 every one of which they say that the miners' leaders made a great mistake. We have been told that the miners' leaders were out of town at the critical moment, and there was great difficulty in finding where they were. It is idiotic. There appeared in an illustrious journal, with which the name of the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Bromley) is connected, an article by a gentleman—I assume it was not written by a Conservative—which says definitely that it is no good the miners' leaders talking about starvation wages; and he puts some of the wages in the mining areas at between £7 and £12 a week.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I want my hon. Friends opposite to be perfectly clear about what I am saying. I understand that the figure given on the authority I have just quoted was actually from£to £13, and I know the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness will not think that I want to mislead the Committee in this matter. I do not allege that these are correct figures. That was alleged in a responsible journal, by a responsible individual, because we may take it that the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness would allow nobody but a responsible man to write for his paper. Those figures were laid down quite clearly, and I say to hon. Gentlemen opposite that they cannot come into this Committee and say that hon. Members on this side are callous, that we do not believe in what we say, and that we are out to starve the miners and cut down their standard of life, while at the same time, they go out into the open and, in excuse for their own conduct, make statements such as that which I have just quoted. What are the facts? [Interruption.] Mere abuse is not argument, and it is time that a number of hon. Gentlemen on the other side learned the facts. The facts are that some hon. Members opposite want to go out to the working man and make it appear that they stand up for him, while, at the same time, they know that the people principally responsible for the present situation and for this Vote are the leaders of the Miners' Federation. They cannot get away from that responsibility. I wish to be perfectly definite, and I say that if 2102 responsible mine agents in the country and the real hard workers were asked to-morrow, "Will you get rid of Mr. Cook or Mr. Smith?"—[Interruption.] I do not say that they should get rid of Mr. Cook altogether; he is too valuable. If hon. Members opposite will allow me to complete my sentence, I was about to say that if responsible mine agents in this country were asked tomorrow, "Do you think, if you changed your negotiators and had some gentlemen other than Mr. Cook and Mr. Smith to represent you, that you might then arrive at some settlement with the mine-owners?" I believe they would all answer in the affirmative.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member who moved the reduction of the Vote did not make what was exactly a conciliatory speech, but he was heard without interruption, and I hope the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. Dixey) will receive the same attention.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Is it not the fact that the hon. Member who moved the reduction, addressed his remarks to the Chair and not to the Members on the other side of the Committee?
§ Mr. DIXEY
I apologise, and I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite do not think for one moment that I want to be offensive. I merely wish to emphasise my own point of view and the point of view of certain of my hon. Friends on this side, that we consider the responsibility in this matter to be with the officials of the Miners' Federation, and that is our excuse for doing something which we do not like to do. I am opposed to buying anything German or anything Russian, and I do not like to receive money either from Germany or from Russia. Some of my hon. Friends opposite are not so particular about that. I am not afraid of facing any audience in any constituency on this point. I support this Vote 2103 because I think it necessary, and because I am strongly of opinion that all sane people in this country have begun to realise that we are not to be controlled by the officials of the Miners' Federation or any such body.
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The discussion this afternoon seems likely to take us into the heart of the mining dispute, and I have no doubt the Committee welcome every opportunity of having further light thrown upon what has now become an intensely difficult and painful situation. But the Vote, before us is not going to decide the dispute or any element in it. It is not likely either to postpone or to hasten a settlement It is, indeed, simply a Vote brought down here by the President of the Board of Trade for an experiment in State trading. In this atmosphere of paradox, we have the remarkable fact that the hon. Gentleman who has just resumed his seat was making an impassioned speech in favour of State trading—in favour of Socialism on a huge scale—to deal with what I think is a unique situation, while, on the other hand, my hon. Friends above the Gangway, who in normal times would welcome State trading and would be very glad to see an extension of the municipal sale of coal, for instance, as one means of getting over the troubles of the coal industry, are opposed to a Socialistic proposal this afternoon. It really shows how confused we become when we take what is really a departmental transaction and try to translate it into a means of solving or exacerbating what is one of the most awfully tangled problems ever faced either by leaders of Labour or by employers or by Governments.
The right hon. Gentleman who moved the Vote disclaimed having any personal interest in it. I, for one, absolutely accept, as I always have accepted, his assurance in that respect. He was perfectly candid and frank when this dispute first arose as to what his interests were. None of us can free ourselves entirely from personal interests in any of these matters. In every part of the Committee we are all interested, directly or indirectly, and it would be a very sorry thing if this Chamber were composed of men who were not in touch with the actual problems of life. What is necessary in the House of Commons is that there 2104 should be a full disclosure of interests, and that those who have direct personal interests should not use their public position, whether as Ministers or Members, for their private aims. I feel sure the right hon. Gentleman has been punctilious in this matter. From such information as I have been able to obtain, he has taken no part whatever in the negotiations between the Government and the mine-owners or between the Government and the miners.
This personal question, however, has nothing whatever to do with this Vote. It is quite clear that this Vote can have no influence whatever on a settlement of the dispute. To-day, in this country, we consume about £180,000,000 worth of coal in a year for various utility, manufacturing and domestic purposes. A mere importation of £3,000,000 worth from abroad is but a fraction—a speck of dust —in the total amount necessary for the carrying on of this country. The pressure on all industries now has become most acute. There is not a single big industry which is not either closed down or is in process of closing down. Blast furnaces are cold; railway services are restricted; factories and works are being closed one by one; shipyards are idle, and the extent of unemployment at the end of July, or at the end of August if the dispute should be so far prolonged, is far beyond the imagination of even the most lurid mind. We really cannot tell where we are drifting to in the next few months, if this is not brought to an end. Therefore everybody ought to do his best to put his wisdom and his good temper into the common stock to meet our national necessity. I trust that nothing which is said on this Vote will be likely to make the problem more difficult. What has happened during the last few weeks may be regrettable, or we may have made some advance towards a settlement. For my part, I do not see that we are much nearer a settlement but, at all events, it is in the interests of everyone that this dispute should be brought to an end.
While discussions are going on and negotiations are proceeding, we run the danger, not only of our manufacturing industries being stopped but of a great many of our public utility concerns, on which the life of the community depends, being short of fuel. Our waterworks in 2105 many districts will be so short of coal, unless some supplies are obtained from abroad, that we shall have to ration water next month. Gas companies, electric light and power companies must be kept going if the community is to survive. The railways themselves must, somehow or other, be able to provide for their traffic. Up to the present, I gather that most of the coal which has come from abroad has come by private importation—by that private enterprise which the right hon. Gentleman must admire and to which I am very partial myself. Private enterprise, up to the present, has relieved seine of the prime necessities of the situation. If I may say so, where I blamed the right hon. Gentleman in connection with his statement was that he did not tell us what were the public utility concerns which he had in mind in bringing in this Vote. Surely the large gas companies and electric power companies are capable of taking care of themselves.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I spoke when the Committee was not very quiet, and perhaps the right hon. Gentleman did not hear me, but I said that this Vote was intended to supplement and not in any way to supplant. The big companies, I pointed out, were bringing in their own stocks, and I look to them to go on bringing in those stocks. It is only where undertakings which are essential have not supplies that the Government will come in to assist, and I am glad the right hon. Gentleman has emphasised the point that all big companies and undertakings who can meet their own requirements through the ordinary channels of purchase should do so.
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
It is necessary that it should be known by the municipal authorities as well as by those who control the great utility supplies, that they must depend primarily upon their own enterprise. They must not come like paupers to the Government asking for assistance. They are quite capable of managing their own affairs. The risk I see in the Vote which we are now invited to adopt, is that it may give some excuse to some authorities, some companies or some concerns to depend on what the Government will do for them rather than look after their affairs themselves. That may even apply to a good many municipal authorities. A great many of them are 2106 large consumers of coal. They are very proud of their autonomy. Do not let them get away with the impression that the Government are going to do their work for them. That is exactly the risk which is run by coming to the House of Commons and asking for a Vote of this kind without making a very clear statement as to how far it will go and how far it will not go. As for breaking the strike, it is perfectly ridiculous to think that £3,000,000 worth of coal would have the least effect one way or the other. The only thing it can do is to keep some of the public utility concerns going, and save some of our municipal and social life from destruction.
One point I wish to put to the right hon. Gentleman is this. I am not at all sure, and I am not persuaded up to the present—I have heard nothing yet that will convince me—that this is the right way of dealing with the problem. I believe the best thing to do is to say to the public utility concerns, which are not looking after their affairs, that if they fail in the functions placed upon them by Parliament, they will sacrifice their statutory powers. It is much better to tell them that if they cannot do their work then their work must be brought to an end. It is much better that they should understand that the State cannot come to their assistance; that all it can do is to keep our ports open and to see there is free handling of this fuel for the necessities of life, and when that is done, I feel sure there is quite enough independent spirit and ingenuity and enterprise among these bodies to carry on without Government assistance.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I support the reduction of this Vote, and I agree with some of the words that have fallen from the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) in pointing out that there are deplorable conditions arising from the continuance of the coal dispute. It seems a cruel thing to say, but a stoppage of the supplies of coal is the one weapon possessed by one side to this dispute. It is the only weapon they have. The question in dispute between the two sides is whether there are profits in the industry sufficient to pay a living wage to the men who do the work. An hon. Member shakes his head, but there are plenty of unbiassed observers in this country who will say that there are 2107 profits in the industry if it is properly conducted. That is the miners' case. Their side of the case is that a reasonable wage can be paid if you, on the other side, will conduct your industry along common-sense, reasonable and business-like lines. When a dispute takes place, the weapon with which the owners fight is the weapon of hunger and want, compelling the miners to accept their terms, and the weapon of the miners is refusing to supply a commodity which cannot be supplied without their labour. The Government come in, and take sides very definitely against the men and on behalf of the owners. I think there can be no question about that. The hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. Dixey) raised the question of the wages that are paid to the miners, and said the whole trouble rested on the stupidity of the President and Secretary of the Miners' Federation. I do not know whether or not the figures he quoted are justified, but I should say that the number of men, if there be any, who receive as much as £13 per week is so extremely limited as to render the statement itself ridiculous and foolish in the extreme.
The right hon. Member for West Swansea referred to the question of interests. I have heard friends of my own, on this side, refer to the President of the Board of Trade in connection with this dispute as playing the game up to the present. It was known that he had interests here, but it has been said on this side, among my own friends, in conversation, that at any rate he has refrained from taking a definite part in this matter. I am bound to say that it would have been better if he had refrained from moving this Vote, for it does not matter how we look at this question; this is an attempt to break the miners. The Government have tried all sorts of tricks. They have practically the whole of the Press against the men. There are tremendous forces brought against the men, and there is no doubt that the Government are using their influence for the purpose of attempting to keep them in the state in which they are, and to break their resistance to what I call these contemptible proposals of the owners; by every means in their power. It is a very bad business, I consider, because it is 2108 a fact, and the right hon. Gentleman has admitted it, that interests of his own will be served if these men are beaten, and he has taken action that helps to bring about that result.
I hold that there is no need whatever for the Government to go in for buying coal at all. If they had exercised the powers they possess, they could have settled this strike long ago. It all comes back to the question of the policy that has been pursued. The Government's policy, we maintain, has been a bad policy, a policy that has backed the owners as against the men, and that is why we oppose this Vote. I am surprised that hon. Members opposite take the view they do with regard to the measures proposed. I remember the time when patriotic ladies, dressed in colourful costumes, members and dames of the Primrose League or the Empire Union or something of that sort, sat at street corners stopping passers-by and attempting to get them to sign petitions or make statements or affirmations to the effect that never again, so help them God, would they buy a pennyworth of anything from Germany. That was a thing we saw done for months and years during the War, chiefly by persons connected with the Conservative party, who are now actively engaged in purchasing coal from Germany for the purpose, as my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. G. Hall) pointed out, of breaking the resistance of the miners whom they wanted in their service to fight those very Germans a few years ago. It is an illustration of the complete hollowness of what is called the patriotic motive during war, and it is further illustration of the fact that when it comes to a question of the interests of groups of powerful individuals, there is nothing in the world that can stop them from having their own way.
Many of the hon. Members opposite belong to an Order which takes for its motto, noblesse oblige. It is the universal motto of the aristocratic order, but whatever it may do inside the Order, it does not run outside, for nobless oblige does not extend over the social frontier of the Order that takes this motto unto itself. The Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil), I believe, asked a question here some time ago as to why the general strike' had been brought about and why the men were on 2109 strike. He should know, at any rate, that the men who came out on strike to help these miners did a finer thing than the Government are doing now. They backed up the motto that other gentlemen have discarded, and they said it was to their honour to do so, and it is to their honour that they were prepared to sacrifice their all in order to assist the men who are now fighting so bitterly in this struggle in the coal industry. It is to their eternal honour, and I should have thought that hon. Members opposite who pride themselves on esprit de corps, instead of doing all whey could to foster treachery and blacklegism among the workers, would have honoured the men who stood firm to their own class in such a struggle.
That is what we intend to do. We shall fight the Government upon every possible occasion, so far as this dispute is concerned. We shall fight them as long as we can to-day, and they will not get their money if we can possibly help it. Their industries shall languish, and they ought to languish. The pressure of the want of coal is the one thing that the men must rely upon if they are to win in this fight. Let the pressure be put on the owners to come to terms with their men to give them decent treatment. The bona fides of the owners in this matter can be tested already by what took place yesterday in the House of Lords. Remember what is taking place in Yorkshire—
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not in order to refer to Debates in another place, and we cannot deal with pending legislation on this Vote.
§ Mr. TINKER
On a point of Order. In the Debate in the House of Lords yesterday, Lord Daryngton made reference to the right hon. Member for Ince (Mr. Walsh), and mentioned the House of Commons. If the members of the other place can do that, I claim that Members here ought to have the same right.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not for me to criticise the Lord Chancellor for not calling a Noble Lord to order, but it is a very old Rule in this House that 2110 reference cannot be made to Debates or statements in another place with a view to answering them.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
On a point of Order. Is it not a fact that there are no rules of order in the other place?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am not acquainted, nor is it my duty to become acquainted, with the rules in another place.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I was conscious that I had infringed a little the Rules of this House. I was saying that it was almost impossible to accept the bona fides of the owners. It would appear that already arrangements have been come to as between the Government and the owners, with regard to the wages that might be paid under legislation which the Government have already passed in this House, namely, the Eight Hours Bill, and even before the seal has been set, even before His Majesty's Assent has been given, the owners are beginning to infringe the agreement which they have made. Talk about gentlemen's agreements! They cannot be kept even between the gentlemen who make them themselves, and so far as asking the miners to accept the bond of persons of this description is concerned, I say it is asking more than you have a right to ask under the circumstances. I hold that if the Government had exercised a reasonable policy, they might have settled this matter without having to come to this House and ask for this Vote for the purpose of purchasing coal. I sincerely hope the Vote will not be passed, but I know that it will be carried by the well-trained battalions behind the Government, representing, as they do, the sinister interests that permeate our industry, representing finance, representing bodies and individuals who hate men to assert their independence and who hate the resistance of the working classes, individuals who really believe in the Conservative idea of a kind of divine dispensation under which you get the establishment of a slave State with the aristocracy in complete control. If only they can do something, such as using the powers of this House, 2111 backed up by finance and economic power, to drive these men to a condition of servitude, I am convinced that they will be very glad to do it.
All that I can say is that the day will come when the role will be reversed. All that I can say is that the time will come when the powers of this House will be used definitely for the purpose of asserting the right of the working classes, the real people who count in the country, the people at the bottom of things, to a decent livelihood for the labours that they perform and the services that they render. At the present time the forms of this House are being used for the purpose of driving a million men back to poverty and economic servitude. It is a disgrace to our common humanity, a disgrace to our social order, and a reflection upon what you represent, the powers that have controlled you, the powers that control finance, wonderful powers, marvellous powers, such powers that you cannot guarantee to the men whose labour is essential to you a decent livelihood for the service that they render. In order to prevent them having that, you use these powers and forms to buy coal from anybody, friend or enemy, black or white. For the purpose of driving your own people into subjection, you give away hundreds of millions to the men whom you called your enemies and whom you called your allies a short time ago, but for your own people you have only the sword of starvation, the blight of penury in the home. I say that your civilisation is a damnable one, that allows you to use the powers you do for the purpose for which you are now using them.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. RADFORD
I did not intend to intervene in this Debate, but there are certain points which have arisen in the speech of the hon. Member for Aberdare (Mr. G. Hall) and the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) to which I feel there should be a reply. The right hon. Member for West Swansea rather questioned the wisdom of the Government intervening in the purchase of coal, as it might, possibly, undermine the independence of, and the action which should be taken by, those essential under 2112 takings, which he understands, I think, could furnish their own fuel. I think there is something to be said in favour of the Government buying, because it can make bigger contracts, spread over a period, possibly, of a few weeks, which is conducive to cheap buying, and, after all, it can get its money back from those undertakings. Then, it was said that £3,000,000 would not go very far in the purchase of coal. I take it that this amount having been purchased and sold, and the Government recouping themselves by its sale, that £3,000,000 may be turned over again and again, as often as is required. We all hope the end will not be long, but if the strike be protracted, that will, obviously, enable fresh supplies to be purchased without coming to the House again.
I gather from the hon. Member for Aberdare that he accuses the Government of being responsible for the coal stoppage, and of having taken the side of the coal-owners. I want to repudiate that in the most emphatic manner, and I will not content myself with repudiating it, but will go a little further, if the hon. Member will allow me. The Miners' Federation, in their demand that there should not be a penny off the pay, or a minute on the day, were not embarking on a fight against the coalowners or the Government, but on a fight against economic law. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but you cannot pay more out of an industry than you put into it. I have not heard any hon. Members opposite yet question the impartiality of the Coal Commission, or the accuracy of their findings. Their Report states plainly that 73 per cent. of the coal which was being produced, was being produced at a loss.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I would remind the hon. Member that this is a Vote for the purchase of coal for a certain amount. I think it is hardly desirable, if in order at all, to go into the origin of the dispute.
§ Mr. RADFORD
I am sorry I have transgressed. I will leave that side, but with regard to the purchase of coal being in any way directed against the miners, I say that is entirely untrue. The Government are not buying this coal in order to support the coalowners. They are buying it because they represent the people of this country, and it is the people of this country for whom this coal 2113 is being bought. Hon. Members opposite, and particularly the hon. Member who moved the reduction of the Vote, have pointed out the disastrous effects of this coal stoppage on the country. The hon. Member heaved statistics on statistic, fact on fact, to show how our country is being absolutely ruined by this coal stoppage, and his only solution for the stoppage was that no coal should be purchased, that we should be compelled to give in to the demands of the Miners' Federation. Is that a reasonable attitude for hon. Members to adopt?
§ Mr. RADFORD
I have already been called to order, and I hesitate to incur the just wrath of the Chairman. Therefore, I cannot reply to the hon. Member as I would wish; but it is untrue to say the miners have made no demands. They have demanded to receive the rate of pay they had been receiving, and to work the same hours. Obviously, it is impossible to go on trading on losses, and the alternative is a Government subsidy. That is what, in effect, they are demanding. I am perfectly convinced that if half-a-dozen hon. Members in this House representing mining constituencies, and themselves ex-miners—I mention no names or constituencies—but half-a-dozen men whose honesty is transparent, and whose knowledge of the coal trade is at least equal to that of those now representing the Miners' Federation—if they were the miners' leaders, they would have reached a decision fair to the miners and fair to the country.
The miners have shown beyond question—it has never been questioned—their absolute loyalty to one another. When this coal stoppage first came about there were pits and whole areas where owners could afford, and were prepared to go on paying, the rate of pay and to agree to the period of hours the miners demanded. There were other areas which were quite uneconomic on that basis. Instead, the miners in the good areas have shown their loyalty to their colleagues, who were less favourably circumstanced, by refusing to work, although no notices were posted in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Cannock Chase. The owners were prepared to go on, after the subsidy terminated at the end of April, 2114 at the rate of pay and the hours previously worked. [HON. MEMBERS: "Not now."] The miners themselves handed in their notices, loyally came out, and have shared in the privations and sufferings from that day to this. We know the miners are loyal to one another, and are prepared to bear sacrifices. Would it not be a much wiser and saner thing that the miners should agree to different minimum wages for different areas, and that those men in the areas where a high minimum wage can be paid, should set aside a certain percentage of their high earnings to augment the low earnings in the areas where only a very poor wage can be paid under economic conditions? I beg to support the Vote before the Committee.
§ Mr. J. HUDSON
In the discussion which has recently taken place in Germany as to the property of the late German royal family, there was the question of including the ownership of land, and the ownership, in certain instances, of mines and mining property, and I have no doubt that, if the truth could be found, certain of the coal which is now to be bought from Germany to break the miners' resistance has actually been secured from property out of which, directly or indirectly, that same Kaiser who was to pay will actually draw gain. It is something upon which the constituents of the hon. Member for South Salford (Mr. Radford) can reflect. Some of them are workers—I know them well in South Salford—in the Pendleton Colliery, and constituents in the neighbouring constituency of West Salford are workers there, and the Vote we are now discussing is for a purpose which may mean far more of gain to the Kaiser than it is to the constituents whom the hon. Gentleman is representing. Indeed, it is this very simple issue which to-day is coming home to more and more of our people. They are realising how, at a time of industrial difficulty like the one we are passing through, all international boundaries are forgotten by the class and by the interests which desire to keep the workers in their place. Would to Heaven the workers might realise that in war time, as they are now being taught to realise it in the suffering which you impose upon them in peace time!
I do not think at any time in my propaganda career—and I have been 2115 doing the best I could to promulgate those doctrines, so much disliked by hon. Members opposite, of pacifism, internationalism and socialism these last 20 years—I do not think there has been any time in which miners in particular have been so ready to understand and accept the doctrine, that, in the long run, their masters think not of international boundaries, and will do all they can to use even the forces of an enemy in the international field to defeat the interests of the workers at home. It is because we realise to-day that out of this money which is now to be spent—£3,000,000 in the Vote, or whatever part will be actually expended in the long run—
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)
It may be that the whole of this money will be used. If the stoppage goes on, it will be used in the interests of the country.
§ Mr. HUDSON
If necessary, the whole of it, but the White Paper suggests that only part may be spent. The White Paper suggests that you will sell the coal at such price that you may be able to recoup yourselves for the £3,000,000, or the part you expend. I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman should interrupt me on that point. If he has read the White Paper, and, indeed, the speech of the President of the Board of Trade, showed that it is the intention, as far as possible, to save spending finally this £3,000,000. That is all I was suggesting.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I accept the right hon. Gentleman's apology. The main point I wish to make I had made before the interruption. It is a point which will be very much referred to in the weeks to come, and in the years to come. Personally, I do not believe that by the bringing of this coal from abroad you are going to do anything to lighten the country's difficulties. You are rather giving the impression, particularly by the sort of incomplete information which has been given to us by the President of the Board of Trade, that in some way or other you have got a great power up your sleeve, by which you will bring the country through safely again. You will 2116 not. There never has been, in the history of our land, such a determination amongst the workers to resist the oppression which is now being sought to be imposed upon them. Whether you bring in this coal or not—very possibly because you bring in it—you deepen the determination of the miners—and the miners' wives—to resist. I was shocked over this last week-end to see many hundreds of the miners' wives in the Wigan area, and to learn from them how they are prepared to suffer any extremity rather than that their men shall continue to starve—to starve even to a great extent when the conditions of hon. Members opposite are imposed upon them. As one woman put it to me at a public meeting: "Our men had better starve in sunlight than be starved in the heavy labour of an eight-hours day which you are trying to impose upon them." You will not by the process of bringing coal from abroad break their resistance. You will rather make them feel, by the injustice of it and by the memories that they still have of all you told them in the days of the War, that you are determined to beat them now, and they will use all the power they have to resist you in your evil efforts.
Captain ARTHUR EVANS
The last speaker endeavoured to convince the Committee and the country that this was a secret plot to benefit the ex-Kaiser financially, that such plot was really the policy of the Government, that it would not benefit in any way the industries which are at present being starved for want of coal, and that the Government policy was not one which, in fact, would benefit the country. Does the hon. Gentleman really think there is anybody in the country who will believe that? Does the hon. Gentleman really think that the interest of the miners, of those people he endeavours to represent here, will be in any way served by his bringing forward arguments of that nature?
What, in effect, does the opposition of the Socialist party to this proposal really amount to? Let us assume for one moment that the Government is defeated on this issue, and that the views of hon. Members on the benches opposite are carried into effect. What would it actually mean? It would really and actually mean that in another way this would be a further attempt to blackmail 2117 the country into submission to their views. They have tried the method of the general strike. That has failed. I am very glad it did. Now, they are going if they are successful in their efforts, to stop by every means in their power any coal or fuel of any kind whatsoever being at the present time imported into the country. The logical consequence of that action would be that the whole of our industrial life, the whole of our civil and social services, would be paralysed. The Government would have to accept the terms of the miners and of the Socialist party in order to bring about a settlement, and in order to see that the necessary coal was supplied to meet requirements. Whatever sympathies we have, whatever side we take in this particular industrial dispute, no responsible Member of this House, least of all any ex-Minister from whatever party he may come, can really get up and say in this House that it is not the duty of the Government to make every endeavour they can to see that those industries which are not directly interested in this dispute—which, after all, is a purely economic one—shall be starved for lack of fuel. The figures of unemployment are very grave, and are going higher; yet hon. Members opposite come down to this House, and do everything in their power to do that which, in effect, would mean that these unemployed figures would go still higher. I do hope that no notice whatever will be taken of the futile arguments of the character used by the hon. Gentleman who preceded me.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I should like to express my amazement at the manner in which the present Government is being used for Socialistic purposes. In previous Debates they have jibbed at nationalised industry, but we are now discussing what is practically a nationalised coal service. When this Vote is disposed of we will discuss the affairs of a nationalised newspaper. The Government jib at the proposal that the municipalities should be allowed to distribute coal, and yet, I understand, there is a large section of their own party, led by the Home Secretary, who are going to resist the proposition to allow the municipalities to trade in coal as put forward in the Coal Commission's Report.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I said that a section of the Government party, led by the Home Secretary, are resisting the proposals against the municipalities being allowed to organise their own coal supply.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
No, Sir. All I was going to point out was that I thought it would be better, if instead of the Government coming forward with the present proposal, they suggested that the money should be spent in the way I have described, and I was asking the right hon. Gentleman if he was in favour of the municipalities being allowed to supply coal?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
The right hon. Gentleman takes refuge in the fact that he would be out of order, but I should like to put my questions to the Government. There are a great many ships held up in Hull and elsewhere. Some of these ships have 200 or 300 tons of coal in them, or it may be 500 or 600, and there they have been for weeks, and are unable to complete their voyage, or to get on to the high seas because of Government officials' interference. I should like to ask whether they have all been released? Are they—
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
The right hon. Gentleman is a little touchy himself about being interrupted, but he might have allowed me to finish my sentence. I was putting to the right hon. Gentleman a point which I think is very appropriate at the moment when we have to make ourselves responsible for these proposals. My first question is, will any of this coal be earmarked for the country districts, especially the remoter country districts, which have no electricity or gas? It is all very well for the farmers who have wagons to send for coal. It is all very well for those who live in large mansions and have 2119 their own lighting and heating arrangements, but what about the poorer cottagers? I should like to know whether that matter is under consideration. I should also like to know how much money has been spent already. It is, we know, not all spent; then how much has been spent? I shall not deal with the effect of this on the market. I do not propose to touch that, because I am quite certain that hon. Members will think that it is undesirable to go into details in the matter, but I should like to put this consideration before the Committee: We are told that this coal is necessary to prevent distress and all the rest of it.
Undoubtedly the country is suffering from a shortage of coal. Is any of this coal to be used for private enterprise undertakings? My right hon. Friend the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) was going to-night to put that question, and he has asked me now to put it for him as it escaped his memory. Is any of this coal to be used for manufacturing purposes, or is it all to go for social purposes? How is it going to be distributed? What steps are the Government taking to see that there is no profiteering—because I think that is very important? Will the ordinary recognised fixed charges be made, and will the Government act through the machinery of the retail coal trade? If so, will there be the ordinary recognised factor's profit or commission? It is essential to see that no extra money is charged for the coal beyond recognised charges and commissions. I think everyone will agree with that, and that it is quite sound the way I put it. I do not know that any hon. Member in any part of the House will object to that.
Manufacturers' stocks have been commandeered and manufacturing processes have been hampered by the lack of coal. Then there is the seasonal requirements for coal. What about coal for the fishermen? Our trawlers have to go to Holland for coal at great expense, and are making losses in consequence. Yet with all that is going on around us, there are no signs in London that the Government really realise that there is a coal shortage. May I stress the importance of this point to the Home Secretary? Is he satisfied that the utmost rigour is being 2120 observed in the consumption of coal, light, electricity and gas at the present time? May I draw his attention to what is known as the most brilliant social season we have had for several years? I do not want to go into details, but there is another great ball to-night—
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
If the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will take his car and go round the large hotels and restaurants in this city to-night he will find in the greater part great organised balls, which will go on till three, four, or five o'clock in the morning. He will, too, I think find that every restaurant has a cabaret, which will continue much later. He will find, I do not know how many night clubs, that will go on to all hours—will go on till the morning. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of all that? [An HON. MEMBER: "How do you know!"] I know these things because I inquire about them, and I am handing over the information to the right hon. Gentleman. Some of the clubs, I understand, are quite respectable. Still, it does not look like severe restriction in the matter of the coal supplies. We are burning coal, we are burning electricity, we are using all this up. [Interruption.] I put it to the Home Secretary that it is hypocrisy on the part of the Government to talk about this coal being a necessity when we have this waste going on, not only in London but in several of the great cities.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I was tempted away by some interruptions; but the point I am making is, I think, very much in order. It is this, That the Home Secretary has power under the Emergency Regulations to curtail this waste of coal, and when our manufacturers are hampered by lack of coal, when the train services are cut down, when the fishing industry of the country is seriously hampered, it is absurd that this ridiculous and wicked waste should be allowed to go on.
2121 What is the conclusion to be drawn? It is this. This £3,000,000 is the exact sum the Chancellor of the Exchequer reserved in his Budget for tapering off the subsidy in the case of the weaker pits. This is one more attempt to bluff the miners back to work. This is not a genuine need. I refuse to believe it is genuine while the state of affairs I have described is going on, and I refuse to believe that this Government would undertake what is really pure Socialism, this bringing in of coal from outside and selling it, unless there were a political motive behind it, and the political motive is as I have suggested. Under the circumstances, while I do not wish to deprive poor people of coal, I do not think the need is really genuine, and I shall certainly oppose this Vote.
§ Mr. PALING
I wish to support the Amendment to reduce the Vote. For many weeks questions have been asked in the House to try to gather information as to the price being paid for this imported coal. We have been able to get the amount imported, but never the price which is being paid. I had hoped that when the Minister rose to-day to explain this Vote he would give us information on that point; that if he could not give the exact price to be paid, at least he would be able to give an estimate of what he expected to pay per ton. But he moved the Vote in a very formal manner, and admitted that, so far as he was concerned, he was not going to give any information. I think this House is entitled to some information. Time after time questions have been asked about the extortionate prices being charged for coal in the country and the profiteering that is going on. The Secretary for Mines has promised repeatedly that if a case were brought to his notice he would take action, but he has not done so up to the moment.
§ Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY
I put a question to the Secretary for Mines with regard to profiteering on coal, and he took immediate action.
§ Mr. PALING
I do not know what action was taken. I believe that in some cases he has written to traders asking them not to do such things, but I do not think there has ever been a prosecution, 2122 or a threat of a prosecution; and in spite of whatever has been done Members who listen to questions in the House will know that the situation is gradually getting worse rather than better. In face of that the House is entitled to information as to the actual price at which the coal was bought and what the people who will be supplied with it will have to pay for it, but no information has been given.
In addition, I would like to know something about the quality of the coal. Throughout the country there have been complaints of the wretched quality of this coal. Only a few days ago I read in the papers about a certain urban district council which had imported about 400 tons of coal, and in a discussion in the council it was admitted that it was of such poor quality that only half of it had been sold. One member of the council actually suggested that in order to sell it they should give so much wood with each hundredweight, so that the people who bought it would be able to burn it. If we are to spend £3,000,000 on imported coal we have a right to know what sort of coal it is going to be, and whether we shall have to pay such a figure as the hon. Member for Bolton (Mr. Hilton) mentioned in his speech last week—£3 16s. per ton.
The main reason why I oppose this Bill is because I think this action of the Government will aggravate the situation in the country. Other speakers have argued that this was Socialism. I should be sorry to think that if ever a Socialist Government came into power in this country they would apply State trading in this way. One can understand the Conservative party having recourse to State trading or Socialism in circumstances like this. They always use Socialism if it is for an object of this kind—in order to break a stoppage, and to force people to go back to work when they cannot get them to go back in any other circumstances; but I should be sorry to think a Socialist Government would have recourse to buying coal abroad in order to crush down the standard of living of our miners, when we can get more coal than we want from our own pits. I am pretty certain this action will result in aggravating the already bad position in the country.
2123 The miners have been accused of having leaders who were obstinate, and it has been said it is owing to their obstinacy that we find ourselves in this lamentable plight. It is easy for hon. Members opposite to accuse us of obstinacy, and I suppose equally easy for us to accuse them of obstinacy, but that does not find a solution for the difficulty. The most pathetic thing about the business is that the Government, who are supposed to have been impartial, have come down on the side of one of the parties to the quarrel.
§ Mr. PALING
The Council of the Trades Union Congress will probably say a lot more things about the business which the hon. Member will not be so ready to quote. It suits him to quote one thing, which he has picked out from a good many others, to use against the miners, but I daresay the Trades Union Congress will tell him and his friends a lot more things which they will not be so ready to use before this business is done.
Going back to my point. All through this business the Government have not been impartial. They have shown extreme partiality in nearly every case, and have come down on the side of the mineowners. I do not say they are doing this with that avowed object at the moment, but I say that this expenditure on imported coal will aggravate a position which they did a great deal to create. I am very sorry they are doing it from that point of view and I think my party would have to oppose them from that point of view alone. An hon. Member on the opposite side referred—again, I believe, the Council of the Trades Union Congress were responsible for this statement, or, at any rate, a member of that council was—to miners getting £5 to £13 a week. Everybody on the opposite side knows that that is not true. If hon. Members want to know the truth about miners' wages they can get it not from either the mineowners or the Miners' Federation, but from the Board of Trade "Labour Gazette," or from pamphlets 2124 and leaflets printed by a Government Department, which are about as impartial, I think, as can be.
§ Mr. PALING
Yes, and what I am saying in addition is that generally speaking they are not true. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] If the hon. Member wants to get the truth about the miners' wages he need not go either to the Miners' Federation or to the mineowners for it; he can go to one of his own Government Departments. From them he will find out that the average wage of the highest paid men in the mining industry is much below this minimum which is being quoted, let alone the maximum of £13. It is quite true there may be men here and there in the mining industry getting over £5 or £6 a week, but I do not know where they are. I live in the highest paying coalfield in this country—the South Yorkshire coalfield, and the Doncaster area at that—and I want to tell hon. Members that they would have the utmost difficulty in finding men getting the minimum amount, let alone that maximum amount. If there are places in this country where men have been getting anything like the amount stated it is because they have been working under a system which the Miners' Federation condemns utterly, but which goes on in spite of all attempts of the Federation to smash it. When hon. Members are quoting figures of that kind they should keep these circumstances in mind. Even the figures of weekly wages published by the Government are based upon a full week's work, and there is hardly a coalfield in this country where they are working a full week, or where they have made a full week's work for the last four or five years. The actual wages of the men are much below the wages quoted in the figures given by the Government Department. Again, in regard to the Eight Hours Bill, I think it is deplorable, because in that direction the Government have shown partiality.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
The eight hours day has nothing to do with wages, and the coalowners are determining the wages.
§ Mr. PALING
I have only been following the example of previous speakers. All this kind of thing is simply aggravating an already terrible condition of affairs which is being contributed to by the Eight Hours Bill. I was referring to the question of impartiality. I think the Government have shown partiality from the first. They are showing it even in regard to this supplementary estimate, and in regard to the miners who have been out of work for nine weeks, and are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the Eight Hours Bill being put into operation and the adoption of a lower standard of life. We look upon the proposal put forward by the Government as another attempt to drive the miners back to work. I am sorry the Government have deemed it necessary to bring in a supplementary estimate of this description. We have been asking to-day for information. We have requested the Government to say what they are prepared to do and we have not been able to get any information. Even at this late hour it would be better if the Government would apply their brains and their powers to the finding of a solution rather than develop the trouble still further upon the lines of this supplementary estimate.
After all, this problem has to be settled, and if it is true that the mineowners and the Miners' Federation are guilty of obstinacy, surely the first party to step in between the two opposing parties should be the Government of the day, but the Government have not shown any disposition to do so. On the contrary, they have shown a disposition to come down on the side of the mineowners. We have passed an Eight Hours Bill, which is thoroughly reactionary—[An HON. MEMBER: "It is permissive!"] It is permissive to the extent that in future every pit will have to work an eight-hours day. The permission means that the coal-owners say to the miners, "If you do not come in on the eight-hours day, you will not come at all, and you will lose your benefits." The whole record of the Government in regard to this matter has been reactionary in this respect, and even now it would be better for them to devote their energies to finding a satisfactory 2126 solution rather than prolonging the agony and aggravating it by doing such things as are contained in this Supplementary Estimate. [An HON. MEMBER: "What is your solution?"] That is the business of the Government. If hon. Members desire to know my solution, it is to allow the miners to go back at the old rate of wages, and to put into operation the suggested reforms which would probably bring about a state of efficiency in the mining industry which would make it unnecessary to reduce the old rate of wages.
For the Prime Minister to have suggested that the miners should have accepted the principle of a reduction of wages before discussing the Report of the Commission is the wrong way to proceed with this matter. It is an unprecedented thing, to my mind, for anybody to say to one of the contending parties in a dispute, "Here is the Report, but before you accept it we demand that you shall sign an agreement that you will agree to a permanent reduction in wages." [An HON. MEMBER "That was never suggested."] The miners were asked to approve of a temporary reduction in wages before they were allowed to discuss the Report, and that was not in the Report. Mr. Herbert Smith said he was willing to discuss the Report, including everything in it, but the Prime Minister said, "Before you begin to discuss the Report you must agree to a reduction in wages." I think in that matter the Prime Minister showed a disposition to come down on the side of the mineowners. The Government are doing exactly the same thing by introducing this Supplementary Estimate. This Estimate is brought in to enable industries to be carried on, and at the same time in order to enable the stoppage to go on until the miners are beaten by sheer starvation. That is not a statesmanlike effort to solve the problem. If the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home Secretary desire to maintain a reputation for statesmanship, then they should find a better method of exercising their abilities than that of asking the House to agree to a proposal of this kind. It is because the Government will not exercise their ingenuity in the direction of finding a solution of this problem that I ask the House to support the reduction which I have moved.
I want to make a few remarks about the £3,000,000 which we are going to be asked to vote to defray the cost of imported coal from abroad. The remarkable thing to me about this question is that the House of Commons, which prides itself upon protecting the interests of the taxpayers, should be asked to vote £3,000,000 for foreign coal without any data being put before the House. We are not told anything as to the quantity to be purchased, its quality or the price at which it is bought, and we have heard nothing about the cost of the transport of this coal. Neither is there any data as to the source of origin of this coal. It may be coming from any coal-producing countries in the world. Probably most of it is coming from the continent of Europe, but we are not certain. Some of it may be coming from Germany and probably some from Russia. I have no doubt that the Government would not hesitate about bringing in Russian coal if they thought it would help to defeat the British miners. Hon. Members opposite have asked us what is our solution of this difficulty. It seems to be taken for granted that the coal industry is in such a mess that there is only one possible way out of the difficulty, and that is a reduction of wages and an increase of hours. That is the solution of the Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] That is the solution of the coalowners. If that is not so why have the Government carried through this House a Bill providing for an eight-hours day. It is obvious that the Government are backing up the coal-owners for all they are worth in this dispute. They have no grip of the situation at all.
The other Bill introduced by the Government is only an apology for reorganisation, and it does not contain the vital recommendations of the Coal Commission. The Government are not touching royalties, although the Commission recommended that the mining royalties should be nationalised. As a matter of fact they are leaving that question alone because the Chancellor of the Exchequer has informed the Cabinet that he would have to provide a huge sum of money, and the purchase price suggested by the Commission was £100,000,000. That is now put forward as an excuse for not carrying out this recommenda- 2128 tion. The real reason, however, is that the Government know that if they once bought out the mining royalties in Great Britain they would sooner or later be compelled to nationalise the land as well, and that would clear out the landed class who are such a burden on British industry and society. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] The landlord class and the royalty owners are two of the heaviest burdens which the working classes have to bear. During the last 100 years the royalty owners have taken out of the coal industry—
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. JONES
I was simply stating that the royalty owners have received something like £300,000,000 in hard cash from coal alone, and they are receiving now between £6,500,000 and £7,000,000 a year. There is no suggestion that there should be a levy placed on the royalty owners to pay for this imported coal instead of placing it on the taxpayers. When the President of the Board of Trade introduced this Supplementary Estimate he gave little or no explanation as to the need for it, and he deliberately and carefully avoided giving any data which is necessary to have an independent vote upon the question before the Committee. I put a point of Order to the Chairman as to whether it was a proper thing or not for a Minister of the Crown to be in control of a Government Department dealing with the supply of coal at the present time in face of the fact that his family are deriving profit from the coal industry. On Monday last we had a Debate during which we listened to the Minister of Health making a very serious charge against the West Ham Union, and the burden of his speech was that certain members of the West Ham Board of Guardians deliberately used their public position of trust on behalf of the ratepayers to advance the interests of relatives and friends by appointing them to positions under the board. That was the burden of his speech, and one would imagine, listening to him, that he was a great stalwart for public propriety in public government. If he is such a stalwart, if he is so sensitive with regard to the West Ham Board of Guardians, why is he not equally sensitive with regard to his own colleagues in his own Cabinet?
§ Mr. JONES
Certainly, I am interested, but not financially. The point I am putting before the Committee is that the Minister of the Crown is in such a position in this case. The Minister of Health condemned such practices with regard to local government, but he produced no evidence as to whether the people alleged to be so appointed were fitted for their posts or not, and he did not give any proof that they were appointed because they were relatives or friends of particular guardians. The point I wish to make is this: I understand that the President of the Board of Trade is directly interested in the coal industry in this country. He has explained to-day that he wants this Vote of £3,000,000 to get this foreign coal into the country. If I am incorrect, I shall be very pleased to be corrected, and to withdraw any statement I may make that is not correct, but I understand that the President of the Board of Trade is married to a lady who is the chief owner of one of the largest mines—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I thought the hon. Member was going to make a personal explanation in connection with something that took place earlier in the Debate.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I must remind the hon. Member that this is a Supplementary Estimate for the purchase 2130 Of coal. I do not think the point he is now raising is one that should be raised now.
§ Mr. B. SMITH
During the earlier part of the day a promise was definitely made that my hon. Friend would be allowed to make such a statement.
§ Mr. JONES
With great respect, my recollection is very definitely that I was to be permitted to make an explanation as to why I put the point of Order, for the same reason that the President of the Board of Trade was allowed to make a personal explanation in reply to that point of Order, and I fail to see how I can do that unless I am allowed to give these facts to the Committee. These collieries, which are known as the Ackton Hall Collieries, in West Yorkshire, are very large and important collieries, and it may interest the Committee to know that this is the same place to which Lord Oxford, who was then Home Secretary in a Liberal Administration, sent soldiers during the lock-out of 1893 to shoot down miners in Featherstone. It has been a most unhappy choice, from the point of view of public opinion, that the Government should have selected the President of the Board of Trade to insult the miners of Britain by asking for this Vote here to-day. Why did not the Government put up the Secretary for Mines? I suppose because he is a royalty owner himself. Why did they not put up the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade? He is only a shipowner. It might interest the Committee to know—
§ Mr. STEPHEN
On a point of Order. In discussing whether the House of Commons should vote this money or not, would not an hon. Member be in order in suggesting that the House should not vote this money if he is going to show 2131 that members of the Government have so many financial interests in connection with the matter?
§ Mr. JONES
Further, to that point, the President of the Board of Trade, in the course of his explanation, explained that he had placed all the facts with regard to his financial interests in this concern before the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, and that they had advised him not to resign, although he had very readily offered to do so. It seems to me, from his own statement, that he has now placed the onus of his own resignation on the shoulders of the entire Cabinet, and it is a question for the House to consider whether it is within the bounds of propriety, in connection with the holding of a Government position, for any Member, who has such direct personal interests, to retain that office?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member has just said that it appears to him that all responsibility has been placed on the shoulders of the Cabinet. In that case, it is certainly not in order to discuss the matter on this Vote.
§ The DEPUTY- CHAIRMAN
If the responsibility has been transplanted from the shoulders of the President of the Board of Trade to the Cabinet, then; if the hon. Member wishes to raise the question of the responsibility of the Cabinet, it must be raised on some other occasion.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
On that point of Order, may I say that it is quite clear that the responsibility for this matter rests entirely on the shoulders of the Cabinet? It is by a Cabinet decision that the Order regarding this Vote has been put down.
§ Mr. JONES
I am much obliged to the Home Secretary for that very definite and satisfactory statement, which I accept quite readily, but it still leaves open—I am not now referring to the President of the Board of Trade, but to the Government—the question whether it is good or bad policy for the Government of the day, in view of the grave 2132 crisis which has been brought about in our national affairs by this national coal stoppage, that any member of the Cabinet who is in any way concerned with the industry should have any personal connection, either legislative or administrative, with national affairs directly connected with the present coal dispute. I venture to say very respectfully that it is bad policy, because it is not a good thing from the point of view of a satisfactory settlement of this dispute, to allow 1,250,000 miners, or any large number of them, to get a suspicion into their heads that the Government, through certain of its Ministers, is using its position as the Government in charge of national affairs deliberately to load the dice against one of the two parties in this dispute. That is the gravamen of our objection to the whole situation, and I say quite definitely that it would be very good policy for the Government to reconsider their position on that point, if they are really anxious to convince the miners of Great Britain that they are holding a responsible position, as they ought to do, as an impartial body between the mineowners on the one hand and the miners on the other. While this kind of question crops up day after day, they cannot be assured of good will among the miners. That is the purpose of my remarks.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
Before I deal with the Vote itself, may I be permitted just to touch upon the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman)? I do not think he was quite correct in saying that it is ridiculous to imagine that £3,000,000 worth of coal is going to break the strike. The right hon. Gentleman is an eminent business man, and, surely, he must know that the £3,000,000 which we are now discussing is not to be used merely for the purchase of a certain quantity of coal, but that it is in be nature of a capital outlay, just as if a ship-owning company set aside £3,000,000 upon which they could get an annual turnover of probably £100,000,000. It is quite conceivable that the Government, in employing this £3,000,000, may have transactions amounting to £50,000,000 or even £100,000,000 if the stoppage lasts long enough. I say, therefore, that we are not dealing to-day merely with £3,000,000. That £3,000,000 may be turned over many 2133 times—probably many times in a week, or, if the Government can bring it about, possibly many times during one day. Consequently, I say it is not correct to make that statement in reply to our argument that the action of the Government in bringing coal from foreign countries is designed to affect the coal stoppage in the way that we have already indicated.
I was a little astonished to hear hon. Members on the other side talking so glibly about the leaders of the miners. They implied that, if the miners changed their leaders, all would be well. The Prime Minister himself, in a speech not very long ago, complained that the trade union movement of this country was not sufficiently English—that there was too much alien blood about it, and that what the trade union movement of Great Britain wanted was a little more English blood transfused into it. As a matter of fact, the two leaders of the Miners' Federation are Englishmen, but, strangely enough, neither of the two leaders of the mineowners is English; one is a Scotch-man, and the other a Welshman, and I do not know which is the worse. I hope that hon. Members will not accept the ridiculous argument that the cause of all our troubles rests with the leaders of the Miners' Federation Nothing of the kind. If I know the miners of this country, and I think I do, I am sure that if they thought for a single moment that their leaders did not represent them they would have no hesitation in dismissing them at once. I venture to say that, if the two miners' leaders named gave up their posts to-morrow, and put up for re-election the following day, they would be re-elected once again. I have no hesitation in adding, too, that the leading representatives of the Miners' Federation in this country represent undoubtedly, not only the mind of the miners, but their spirit, as effectively as any miners' representatives that I have ever known. Consequently, you cannot blame the leaders.
The spectacle that is now presented to the House is to me a remarkable and amazing one. Here is a country, the greatest coal-producing country in Europe, sending out its ships to bring foreign coal here; and the right hon. Gentleman will not, even disclose to the Committee the price of that coal. I am not a business man, but I should have thought that, while it may be improper 2134 to disclose the price that you are about to pay for an article, surely it is not out of place to give information as to the price you have already paid for an article. I think that that is the general custom in business. I have never heard the argument used that you cannot disclose the price you have already paid for a commodity. It is quite reasonable, however, to decline to disclose the price you are about to pay. I repeat, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman has not been fair to the Committee in declining to disclose the price of the coal that we have already received on this account.
I have been very interested to read the explanation given at the, foot of this Vote. I wish that members of the Government who are in business themselves admitted the same principle in their own business as they are now admitting in relation to the purchase of this coal, because they say that—For so long as the stoppage continues, the coal will be sold at a price estimated to cover the total cost.That is to say, there is going to be no profit on this transaction. I wish the coal-owners of this country would say the same thing to the miners. I venture to say that a settlement of the mining dispute would soon be obtained if the mineowners of this country agreed to the principle admitted in the words I have quoted. Strangely enough, we have another amazing spectacle. We have a Tory Government bringing forward a proposal to establish a new trailing Department. I will call it the new Tory Socialism. It is an astonishing fact in the history of Toryism that when private enterprise breaks down they jump at once to Socialism in order to help them out of the difficulty. I do not know why they adopt these principles only when they are faced with a crisis!
The question has been raised as to where this coal comes from. I think the right hon. Gentleman would have been fairer to the Committee if he hail given us an indication as to where it all comes from. There is nothing wrong, surely, in disclosing that fact. As he has not given us the details, I will venture to tell him where some of it has come from It has come from United States ports, from Hamburg, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Boulogne, Emden, Ghent, Rotterdam, Danzig and Stettin. I believe we have 2135 received more coal from Germany than from anywhere else—three ports in Germany. What a marvellous change! I remember quite well the language employed by Members on those benches, some years ago. They would never shake hands with murderers—the enemies of civilisation. We waged a great War in order to put down that militarism which right hon. Gentlemen said they detested. Now, lo and behold, we have the Government of the day delighted to shake hands with German coalowners and bringing their coal to this country, too. It is not sufficient to use the argument that coal coming from abroad is not going to be used against the coal miners. Supposing right hon. Gentlemen were coal miners themselves, what would they say if they saw the Government of the day bringing coal into this country? I am sure if the Home Secretary could put himself for a few moments in the position of the coal miner he would come to the conclusion that the Government of the day is bringing foreign coal here in order to help the coalowners in their battle against the coal miners.
I do not intend to say anything about the coal dispute, but I have been running over the arguments which have been used by the present Government in connection with that dispute and this is what we get. The right hon. Gentleman gave no justification whatever for this Vote. At any rate, if he was not willing to tell us the price of the coal he should have disclosed the terms upon which it was being sold in this country. There is a very pertinent point I want to put here. I know for a fact that some of the coal-owners also own ships. Some may also be coal factors. Would it not be an astonishing state of affairs if the Government of the day employed the ships of our own coalowners to bring foreign coal to this country and allowed them to act as coal factors when in fact they are the very people who decline to settle the coal dispute? That would be modern Toryism I presume. It is Tory mentality with a strange twist to go to foreign countries and bring coal here because they cannot settle a dispute in their own land. It will be very interesting too to know from the President of the Board of Trade or the Home Secretary, who is very well versed in these matters, to tell 2136 us whether there is any discrimination against co-operative societies in the distribution of coal. Take the case of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, who are the largest flour millers in the world. Suppose they came to the Board of Trade and asked for coal; would there be a discrimination against them merely because they are a co-operative society? I wish we could get an answer to that question.
Then I should like to ask whether Government coal is evenly distributed between all the districts of the country. I saw the other day the Bolton people were complaining that they were not getting their fair share. I understand there have been severe complaints made there, and that the total coal available in the township is not more than half cwt. per household. That is running it very low indeed. I do not think I should be doing wrong if I asked what are the stocks of coal held now by the muncipalities for gas and electricity production. The right hon. Gentleman, I feel sure, will be able to give us a little more enlightenment on the subject than the President of the Board of Trade. Furthermore, there is something very uncanny about the sum of £3,000,000. Why £3,000,000? The question has already been asked whether this is the same sum that was set aside by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the promised subsidy to carry the mining industry over a period of about three or four weeks. It would be interesting to know what there is sacrosanct about £3,000,000. Why not £5,000,000? The right hon. Gentleman, if I understood him rightly, is willing to spend even £30,000,000 if necessary.
§ Mr. DAVIES
In fact the other night he told us if necessary he would put the Emergency Regulations permanently on the Statute Book. The President of the Board of Trade has told us that later on we shall get the accounts, showing exactly what has been paid for this coal; but, surely, when we are asked to spend £ 3,000,000 on a Vote of this kind, although we may not be entitled to press for the figure of the cost of the coal for the future, we are entitled to know what are the general terms on which it is being bought, anti whether our coal-owners as ship owners have a hand at 2137 all in the business, which would be ridiculous in the extreme, though I should not be very much surprised to learn that it is so. I am astonished at the attitude of the Government. They have recently had trouble with the coalowners. The Yorkshire coalowners declined to conform to the conditions laid down by Government with regard to the terms set up at their pitheads, and to-day I am told the Government have brought them to book.
It seems to me a strange thing that this country, being a great coal-producing country, should bring coal from abroad. And the arguments used now by the Government are rather strange. Let me refresh the right hon. Gentleman's memory on the arguments which have already been used. Since the beginning of May these are the weapons that have been used by the Government to deal with this dispute. First of all they gave us Special Constables. Then they gave us the "British Gazette" as an additional weapon, and a wonderful thing it was. Then they gave us armoured cars. Then they gave us the eight-hour day, and now they give us foreign coal as their final argument. I hope the Home Secretary will now give us a better argument than any of those. I do not think the Government even now has been able to appreciate the awful tragedy that awaits this country unless this coal stoppage is brought to an end. We will oppose this Vote and we shall tell the people that the ineptitude of the Government is putting a stranglehold upon the whole of the industry of the land, and that the Government is absolutely incompetent to govern the country.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I will deal with the question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) before I deal with the speech we have just heard. The hon. and gallant Gentleman's idea seems to be that this coal ought not to be bought unless every possible effort is made to reduce the consumption of coal and light and so forth. He gave us some interesting details from his own experience of what goes on at night clubs and cabarets.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
It was not my own experience at all. I was 2138 asked how I knew, and I said it was my business to know.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman is drawing on his imagination and not his experience—
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
The right hon. Gentleman is a lawyer, and he knows quite well that when evidence is produced it need not necessarily be either imagination or personal experience.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I thought the hon. and gallant Gentleman went so far as to say some people who went to night clubs were people who could not be seen in the light of day. Surely that must be information from personal experience. But we will let that pass. Under the Emergency Regulations every possible effort has been and is being made to reduce unnecessary lighting and expenditure of coal. I am not here to say that, because there is a dispute going on between two sections of the community, the ordinary consumer is compelled to deny himself the use of coal or light. It should be used reasonably in the interests of the country as a whole, but while we are trying to rim these Regulations with fairness, though we are appealing to everyone to reduce their expenditure of coal to a minimum, I am not here to say we decline to allow anyone to use coal except for the most rigorously necessary purposes. After all, the non-combatants in this matter have certain rights. [Interruption.] I am speaking as Home Secretary. I was not concerned with any of the negotiations between the coalowners and the Miners' Federation. It is my painful duty to administer the Regulations, and it is my duty particularly to look after the interests of the general community. The hon. and gallant Gentleman gave us a rather lurid description of the way in which light and power is used in these great hotels where there are cabaret shows and dancing goes on. It is a remarkable thing, and I think it is a warning to the whole coal industry, that one of the big hotels in London, having attached to it one of the biggest restaurants, does not use one pound of coal per month. The whole of that hotel is run on oil. Heating, cooking, hot water and everything is done by oil. No coal whatever is used. That is one of the 2139 biggest hotels in London. Surely it is a very grave warning to the coal mining industry, both owners and miners, when non-combatants, as I have called them, are beginning to consider whether or not it is desirable to change over from coal, which is so troublesome—I am not apportioning any blame—to oil.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
There are a good many institutions in this country which are changing their boilers from coal to oil. There are certain railway companies that have changed and are changing their locomotives from coal to oil. As the whole world knows, during the last few years a very large number of ships have been changed over from coal burning to oil burning. I am mentioning this as a warning.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
But you can get oil without having the trouble to get it from coal. I am mentioning this rather as a serious warning to the warring factors in the coal industry, that the more they war and the longer the stoppage continues—hon. Members opposite will appreciate the fact that I have not called it anything but a stoppage— the more will efforts be made by what I have called the non-combatant parts of the community to do without coal and to change over to some other means of lighting and heating. The proposal to utilise £3,000,000 in order to purchase coal is a matter for which the Cabinet is entirely responsible.
§ Mr. HARNEY
Is the sum of £3,000,000 to be used simply for purchase, or simply as a fund with which to trade?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Perhaps the hon. and learned Member will allow me to proceed with my argument. I will deal with his point later. I am not taking any credit for the fact, but I think it was the Home Secretary who was first worried by the views which I have expressed in regard to the general community and their difficulty in obtaining coal. The matter was brought before the Cabinet, and they came to 2140 their decision. It had nothing to do with my right hon. Friend and colleague, the President of the Board of Trade. It was entirely and purely a Cabinet decision, which was taken after great care and great consideration, and it was merely handed over to the Board of Trade to make the necessary arrangements, because they were the Department which dealt with the matter in 1921 when coal was imported, and they were the natural body, in touch with the trading community of this country and of the world to take charge. The Cabinet as a whole is entirely responsible for the decision.
In reply to the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney), I would point out that this scheme is what is called a revolving credit. It. is not merely that we are going to purchase £3,000,000 worth of coal and then cease. If this stoppage in the coal industry continues, we shall go on buying and importing coal and selling it, and using the £3,000,000 over and over again so long as the coal stoppage lasts. The hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) asked me why we have fixed on a sum of £3,000,000, and why we did not ask for £5,000,000. The answer is quite plain. We fixed on £3,000,000 because we thought that would be an amount of money that. would enable us to buy as much coal as could conveniently be brought into this country by ships, and could conveniently be landed in this country, in addition to the considerable amount of coal which has been purchased and is being brought in by individual consumers. I want to emphasise that point very clearly.
The large consumer can fend for himself. We as a Government, do not take upon ourselves the responsibility of buying coal for, say, the railway companies. The railway companies are enormous consumers of coal, and they ought to have been and I have no doubt they have been forewarned as to the necessity for purchasing coal and keeping up their supplies of coal. They have bought coal and they will buy what is necessary to keep up their train services as well as they possibly can. We certainly are not going to buy coal for them. Nor are we going to buy coal for the large electrical undertakings or for the large gas undertakings. They can buy quite as well as the Govern- 2141 ment can buy coal. They can buy it as cheaply as we can buy it, and they can import it into this country as well as we can. The hon. Member for West-houghton mentioned the case of Bolton, and said that the municipality were troubled because they had not enough coal for their electric lighting arrangements. I do not exactly see where the Government could draw the line, but knowing something of Lancashire, and the conditions of life in a great town like Bolton, I think that Bolton is one of the places that could be put on the side of the line where the railway companies and the big gas consumers are, and that they should be responsible for importing such coal as the Corporation of Bolton need.
There are very large numbers of consumers for whom the Government are responsible and for whom they accept responsibility. There are the smaller municipalities, who cannot go into the foreign market to buy coal, and there are the smaller commercial undertakings, particularly, let us say, connected with the supply of manufactures and the supply of food. Then there is the domestic consumer. One hon. Member pleaded for the supply of coal to the country villages. I entirely agree. The country villager has no interest whatever in this dispute, and yet he is being crippled and almost killed for lack of coal, because of this stoppage. The country cottager is part of the obligations of the Government of the day. Then there is the small householder who wants coal—fortunately there has not been much need for coal for heating—for cooking his food.
I say to hon. Members opposite who are interested in the coal miners' case, "Do not spoil your case by saying that you will cripple and starve out the small householder and the small cottager. You may have your views in regard to the action of the coalowners, or in regard to the action of the Government, but do not spoil your case in the country by putting yourselves against the import of coal for the use of poor people in the country." The provision of coal for these purposes is an obligation which rests upon the Government. If we did not carry out the obligation, this House would be the first to blame us. Let us assume for the moment that this stoppage continues. It has been in progress now for nine weeks. Let us assume that, with 2142 the men very firm on the one hand, and the owners very firm on the other hand, this deplorable stoppage continues for another nine weeks. Let us assume that the Government made no provision for getting coal. What would happen? Questions would be put in this House. "Is the Home Secretary or is the Minister of Mines aware that in such and such part of the country there is no coal at all?" "Is the Home Secretary aware that the cottagers cannot cook their dinners because they have no coal?" What answer could I make? The House would complain, and rightly complain, of the Government—[An HON. MEMBER: "Let them burn oil!"] —if they took no steps whatever to deal with the situation.
I am asked as to the mode in which this coal is being bought, the prices, the terms, and so forth. It is a very difficult question to answer. I say, frankly, that I am not going to give the hon. Member for Westhoughton—who put the question very courteously and very fairly—the information for which he asks. I have seen some of the contracts that have been made. He gave us a list of the places from which coal is being imported into this country. He did not say, and I do not think he could say, from what places Government-purchased coal is being imported. We will assume his statements to be correct, and that coal is being imported from all the places mentioned. If I am going into the market as a large buyer of coal a buyer of coal to a greater extent than anybody else could afford to buy—it is essential that the seller of the coal, be he in Germany, America, Belgium, or elsewhere, or be he in Hamburg, Bremen, or any other port., should not know that I am going to buy. The very essence of buying as cheaply as we possibly can is to buy without its being known that it is the Government of Great Britain that is buying. I do not suppose that hon. Members opposite would think that I have sent down an agent to any of the countries mentioned, and that he has gone there and has said, "Here am I, the agent for the Government of Great Britain, and I want to buy 250,000 tons of good coal." If he did that, the price would go up instantly.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
I appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's argument, but would he tell us what he does with the 2143 coal when he gets it? Does he stop the prices from rising against the British consumer?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
First of all, we buy it, then we have to ship it, and then we shall sell it. First of all, in regard to buying the coal it is absolutely essential that nobody should know that it is the Government of Great Britain that is buying. We are buying from certain sources, and I am glad to tell the House that up to the present our purchases have been made on admirable terms. In due course, the accounts will be presented to the House. [An HON MEMBER: "Where are you buying?"] I shall not tell the hon. Member where we are buying. We are buying coal in different places. If it gets out that in one particular place we are buying coal and there is an attempt to put up the prices against us, we shall go as far away from that town as possible. We are advised by the best coal factors in London and the country. Moreover, the Department of Mines, which is admirably staffed with the greatest experts in the coal trade, are helping us in this difficult task.
I have been asked a question as to the ships that will bring over the coal. We are purchasing our tonnage in the open market. We certainly have not gone, as was suggested by the hon. Member for Westhoughton, to the coalowners of Great Britain and said, "Will you let us have ships for the purpose of bringing coal over to this country?" Nothing of the kind. Exactly in the same way that we are buying our coal as privately and secretly as possible, so we are buying tonnage as privately and secretly as possible in the open market. If the hon. Member for Westhoughton has any information, if he has the slightest suspicion of information that can show me that we are buying our tonnage from a coalowner too dearly, or at a price or even a fraction of a price more dearly than we could get it from somebody else, I ask him, as one who has worked with me in political life, although on opposite sides, to give me that information, as a Briton.
§ Mr. R. DAVIES
The question which I put to the right hon. Gentleman was this. Is this Government coal 2144 coming through the machinery of any of the coalowning companies of this country, who own ships and who in some cases are also coal factors?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The hon. Member is entitled to put his question, but it is rather difficult for me to reply. We have not gone to any of the coal-owning companies but to some of the best factors in the coal trade, who did the same thing in 1921, and we have checked and controlled them in every possible way. When these transactions are put fully before the House, the hon. Member himself will say that we have bought not only our coal but our tonnage as well on the best possible terms. Now, with regard to the disposal of the coal. We have not very much coal coming in as yet—
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I was saying that very little, if any, coal which has been bought has actually arrived. I will not say that any has yet arrived, but as soon as it does then the responsibility for distribution comes on the Government. The first thing is to dispose of it so as to prevent it getting into the hands of the big people. That is a definite undertaking which I give on the part of the Government. We will not sell to railway companies, to big electricity undertakings, gasworks, or large corporations. It is their duty to get their own coal. It is our duty to help the small people, and our coal will he put on the market at the cheapest possible price, not to make a profit on selling or a loss, but it will be sold at the lowest possible price after paying for the cost of the coal, the cost of tonnage, and distribution. We shall sell it in the smallest lots to the smallest people, and do our utmost to prevent profiteering, of any kind.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
If I can give the right hon. Gentleman a city in this country where the poor consumers are paying at the rate of £3 10s. per ton for coal which is brought into this country at 30s. a ton, will he put in some of the Government coal in order to break the price?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I shall have to consider ally question of this kind. I am not prepared at the moment to say that the Government will start a coal distributing centre in any particular city, but if the hon. Member can give the name of a town where there is gross profiteering in coal, where the small people are unable to get coal at a reasonable price, I will do my best to see that some of the coal we are importing is spared for that town at the cheapest possible price after covering the cost of the coal, tonnage and distribution. I have tried to explain to the Committee with perfect frankness the reasons for this Vote. There may be differences of opinion. It may be said that the Government have undertaken what is a Socialistic experiment, but that criticism comes with ill grace from hon. Members opposite; at least they should applaud and vote for it.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I do not want to leave the hon. Member too happy in regard to the future. It may be that this is State Socialism, which in ordinary lanes I should dislike as frankly as any anti-municipal trader, but there are certain times when theories have to be put on one side. The Government has to think of the interests of the greatest number. I was very tempted to follow some of the remarks made this afternoon, and I see the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Bromley) in his place. I should like to have said something in regard to the report which has been criticised so much, but I will not indulge in any criticism of the miners' leaders That is not necessary this afternoon. I am speaking on behalf of the nation, on behalf of tine non-combatants, on behalf of those men and women who must have coal in order to keep their homes going, and I say to this Committee that if the Government did not take the step they are taking to-day, they would fail in their duty as a Government to the majority of the nation who are not directly concerned in this unfortunate dispute in the coal trade. I ask the Committee to agree to the Vote and say that we have done right in taking this step, a step which we shall continue to take as long as the stoppage goes on in order to provide coal for the people.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I am sure the Committee is indebted to the Home Secretary for not delivering a speech, but has treated the House to a characteristic address which we have all enjoyed. If the right hon. Gentleman had had more time to think he might not have been so frank, but I am sure the Committee has benefited because of the fact that he has given us his thoughts without any attempt to gloss them over. Some of his remarks have been rather a revelation. He began by warning the coal industry of what their possible fate would be if they continued to indulge in the stoppage. I wonder what state of mentality it is which thinks the miners at the moment are indulging in any particular form of pleasure, which considers that it is a delightful thing for them to abandon their ordinary occupation, which is the only means of supplying the necessaries of.life for themselves and their families, in order that they may indulge themselves during the summer months. The miners are not indulging themselves at the moment; they are submitting to one of the greatest tortures which it is possible for a body of men to endure on behalf of what they regard as right. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that this coal is going to be given to the non-combatants. May we take that as a Government assurance that none of this coal will go for any purpose in which a coalowner is interested?
§ W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I said we had to protect the non-combatants. If a coalowner is in need of coal, if a miner is in need of coal, T am not going to say that neither of them shall he assisted.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman is not so simple-minded as to believe that the use a miner will make of the coal, and the use to which a coalowner will put it are similar. The coalowner will use the coal in order to carry on his ships, his steel works, his profit-making industries, and use them as instruments for the suppression of the miners. I am asking for an assurance from the Government that they will not allow any of this coal to be used to enable the coalowners of this country, through any of their industries. 2147 to make profits that will enable them to prolong this struggle with the object of smashing the miners.
Mr. GOODMAN ROBERTS
Will the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) tell us whether he wants the employés in all other industries out of work?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I thought I had made my statement quite clear. The large consumers of coal we are unable to help, that is the big iron and steel works, the big railway companies, electricity works. If he will look at the words in the statement, he will find that this coal is foruse in the maintenance of supplies to public utility, food-producing, and other essential undertakings and to domestic consumers.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
It is of some interest to have the assurance that it is not to be used for capitalistic purposes. The right hon. Gentleman told us that it is to be used in the interests of the country, and he drew a picture of the innocent person who lives out in a rural village, the country cottager who requires coal for the cooking of his dinner, and said that a generous Government intends to see that he does not suffer and is going to supply him with coal. He enlarged on the fact that it was the duty of the Government to come to the assistance of the poorest of the community in their hour of need. I was interested to know how they were going to pay for this coal. We have had no estimate as to what the price is to be, but I am informed that it will not be less than £3 a ton, and I am interested to learn how an agricultural labourer, out of his 25s. or 26s. a week will be able to pay £3 a ton for Tory coal when he cannot pay £2 a ton in order to give a decent standard of living to the miners. The Government has assumed responsibility for the country cottager. If it is the duty of the Government, an impartial Government, to see that the country cottager does not suffer when the miner puts up the price of his labour or refuses to let it down, then it is surely equally the duty of the Government to see that the country cottager does not suffer when the price of his dinner is put up by another section of the community. If the person who supplies his dinner puts up the price, will the Government feel it 2148 to be its duty to import food under Government auspices and prevent profiteering in the necessities of the country cottager? The Government is embarking on a policy which will sound strange to many people in the country, and which I am satisfied they have no intention of carrying out.
At any rate, we have got to this point in this country, that we no longer joke about bringing coal to Newcastle. That has been one of our national jokes for I do not know how long. It is fortunate for the right hon. Gentleman that in the day when he decides to embark on his little experiment of a temporary character, like the other Measures of the Government in Socialism, the policy of protection so much beloved by the Tory party is not in operation. You do not hear anything to-day about the rain of this country being effected by the importation of foreign goods. It is only when the importation of goods is likely to affect the profits of the owning classes of this country that we are asked to support protection. When we can import anything which is likely to be useful in the suppression of the working-classes of this country, them away with your protection. Even such a staunch supporter of it as the President of the Board of Trade is prepared to suspend it for the duration of the war in order that the free trade principles which in ordinary times threaten this country with ruin may he used to suppress miners who are putting up a noble stand against ruination to a considerable section of our community.
The right hon. Gentleman, in introducing the Supplementary Estimate which we are now discussing, treated the House to a burst of indignation at the very suggestion that because his family have financial interests in the coal trade they should be suspected, in the slightest degree, of even a corrupt thought in connection with the struggle on which we are now engaged. It is only West Ham Guardians who can he suspected of anything like that The very idea of suspecting people on the other side, no matter how deeply they may be immersed personally in the business which we are discussing, the very idea that they should be suspected of thinking corruptly or acting corruptly raises indignation in this House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, 2149 hear!"] May I assure the party opposite that they are not the only Gentlemen of England. I will undertake to find as many gentlemen among 400 inhabitants of West Ham as I find on the Tory Benches.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I will depart from that, and will not pursue any further my search for English gentlemen in the Tory party.
§ Major PRICE
Is it in order that a right hon. Member of the Opposition should insinuate a charge of corrupt practice in the case of a Minister of the Crown?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think that matter has already been disposed of, and perhaps we may now resume the discussion of the Vote.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
It is interesting to see bow sensitive hon. Members may be when it is even suggested that black sheep may be found among their class.
§ Major PRICE
The sensitiveness I displayed was in regard to whether a charge of corruption was made or not.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
We have already disposed of that, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not bring it up again.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I had no intention of pursuing the point any further. Let me take another point which has been raised to-night. Speaker after speaker on this side appealed to the party opposite to inform them in greater detail as to what was to be done with this coal or this money. That was a perfectly natural appeal to make to them in view of recent happenings in this country. When we had £300,000 sent from Russia we were told by the Home Secretary, very dramatically and with his usual eloquence, that this was foreign money being used to prolong a British strike? Are we not entitled to ask why British money should be used to prolong a British strike? Are we not entitled to ask why the Germans should be used against British workmen? It as my right hon. Friend the late Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Rhys Davies) stated, a revelation how 2150 far we have travelled in the short period of eight years. Here is the united front Here is the brotherhood of capitalists. There is no longer any attempt to cement the classes of Great Britain. There is no attempt at all to bring about that unity among the British race that would so cement us that we would be able to stand four-square to the winds of the world, as the Prime Minister appealed to us to do.
There is nothing of that kind. When our class interests are involved, then we seek our friends. The party opposite find their friends, not in the valleys of Wales, not on the coalfields of Scotland or of Yorkshire—their saviours are Germans. The Huns of 1914 are to be used to smash the men who responded to the call in 1914. Do not let us forget, when we are told that this country cannot afford to subsidise the mining industry, that we are subsidising here the people who are responsible for £7,000,000,000 of our national debt, the people who have crippled us—if they were responsible for the War, as we are told by our teachers on the other side; if they were responsible for the War, and if we were the injured innocents of the world in 1914 that we profess to be. The Germans are compelling us at the moment to pay approximately £300,000,000 a year, not to the people who won the War, hut to the people who lent us out of their profiteering proceeds from the War the money that enabled us to carry on. Well, we are up against it again. Our friends on the other side are being backed by the German capitalists. We are going to back the British workers. We are on the side of the British, and we do not grudge the German capitalists their Tory friends in the British House of Commons. Is it right for the right hon. Gentleman to say that the Government have not taken sides? Look at the Honours List. Whom do you find there? Not A. J. Cook or Herbert Smith. You find there the names of men who have made hundreds of thousands of pounds out of the mining industry and invested it in Tory papers to keep their representatives in power. They are being held up to Society as the most honoured individuals in the British community.
During the course of the Debate, speaker after speaker on the other side confronted us with the statement 2151 alleged to have come from the Trade Union Congress. I want to tell the House that the Trade Union Congress issued no such statement. They have issued no statement, and if any statement has been issued in their name it is entirely unauthorised, and the contents of it are obviously untrue. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] If there are hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the other side who are prepared to ask us to believe that miners in this country, receiving from £5 to £13 a week, are typical of their class, then I sympathise with them in their understanding of the mining industry.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Does the right hon. Gentleman say that that was not in the report of the Trades Union Congress?
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
Yes, I certainly do, because the Trade Union Congress has never issued any report. Therefore, it could not be in a report of the Trade Union Congress. My friends behind have twitted the Government on having taken sides. Why should they expect anything else? If people on my side of the House think that they can carry on the struggle, in which the people of this country are engaged at the moment, by fraternising with the enemy, then their simplicity will be exploited by the more cunning class on the other side. I appeal, therefore, through you, Captain FitzRoy, to my hon. Friends not to express any surprise at the other side taking sides in the struggle. As it develops, through the critical stage into which it has now entered, they will take more and more a part in it and more and more a bitter part in it. Our people have to be prepared not merely for the contempt that will be poured upon them through the eloquent speeches of the other class, but they have to be prepared for the starvation that will be imposed on their wives and on their children in order to maintain for a little longer the superiority—economically—of that class who to-day live by exploiting their labour.
§ Mr. BARR
We have had a most remarkable position revealed. We have a Government which, while it does not stand for full-blown Protection, is at 2152 least sympathetic to the Protectionist system. Yet we have had from the President of the Board of Trade the most absolute Free Trade arguments that I have heard for a long time. He was proud that he was seeking to purchase this coal wherever he could get it in the cheapest market possible. He was in fact adopting the old Free Trade adage, "Buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest markets." Not only so, but the Home Secretary said that if anyone could show him where there was a fraction of a price too dear he would seek to rectify it. We have a Government which prides itself on its patriotism, a Government which advises us to buy only British goods, coming forward with this Estimate for bringing in coal from abroad. We have a Government that opposes State trading coming forward with a vast scheme for the purchase of foreign coal. The scheme was commended to us by the Home Secretary on the ground that in times of national crisis it was necessary to resort to exceptional methods. I remember the adage of a great philosopher, that you should so act that you can universalise the law of your maxim. The right hon. Gentleman said that in doing this he had to consult the greatest good of the greatest number. If the Government are in favour of that principle why do they not always apply it in normal times? It is the principle for which we stand—the greatest happiness and the greatest good of the greatest number.
I look upon this scheme in conjunction with the various measures that have been taken in this crisis. Because I believe that it is part of a large scheme to defeat the miners and to depress their standard of living their hours and their wages, I oppose it. I heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer a few days ago say that there could be no great harm in bringing in the Eight Hours Bill because 18 years ago he had stood in the same place, and with the greatest satisfaction and support bad proposed an eight-hours day. I wonder that he did not go further back, to 1819, when there was a Measure brought in here for a 12-hours day, or to 1846, when there was a 10-hours day. Why go back only 18 years? Because I believe that this is a reactionary proposal I shall oppose this Estimate. The Home Secretary spoke of non-combatants. It is becoming a commonplace that in all 2153 future wars there will be no noncombatants. I believe that in the present crisis there are really no non-combatants, that men are hound to range themselves and are ranging themselves on the one side or the other. The right hon. Gentleman went on to speak about the poor country villages. He said to us, "Why spoil your own case? You will turn them into enemies. They will resent your action when they are putting their little bit of coal on the fire, or when they have no coal at all and are suffering. They will resent the action of the miners and their agitation." We are not afraid of the country villages. They know full well that the miners case is their own case. Though suffering a little, if their hearts are in the right place, they will say, "This little suffering we have here is nothing to the suffering of the miners in the coalfields."
I come from a country which, in its mining population, has had a long uphill struggle. In 1606 they were thirled to the pits teal to a bondage which one historian says was as cruel as that of the 14th century and as savage as that which obtains in the wilds of Africa. After about two centuries, in 1799, there came a great landmark in their struggle, for in that year an Act was passed that all the colliers in Britain who were held bound were from that moment to be free of their servitude. But that was only the beginning of a long struggle. Time and again their efforts were beaten back; time and again there came in Governments and the decisions of Law Courts and they were beaten back. I might give the classic illustration of Sisyphus. Laboriously they rolled the stone to the top of the bill and then someone came and made it bound down again to the bottom. Last Friday the Chancellor of the Exchequer congratulated himself that he was not sending the stone right down to the bottom, but only down to where it was 18 years ago, to that ledge of the rock, the eight-hours day. Some of us with vision can see the mineowners coming with their crowbar on a convenient occasion to send it down further still.
The miners are not standing alone by any means. These efforts have been made in the past, but it has been as true of the miners in their struggle as it has 2154 been of the Christian Church, that the more they were persecuted the more they grew. We often say, in speaking of the struggles and persecutions of the Church, that "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." I say firmly and strongly that I believe that the seed which the miners are sowing in sorrow to-day will result in a golden political harvest, and that before very long. Therefore, I say to the Government, "Go on with your Measure, and your importation of coal, and your shadowy and shallow reorganisation of the industry. You are compassing your own undoing." I have read something recently about difficulties in another quarter of the House over a shadow Cabinet. The shadow Cabinet sits on the Treasury Bench opposite. They are passing hence; they are here but for a brief day. This conspicuous action of theirs in bringing in foreign coal is one that will have the utmost effect upon the people of the country. They are themselves unloosing forces that are gathering against them and like an avalanche will hurl them from power. Then, and not till then, the common people will once more, with the miners in the van, resume their former upward march towards a higher lot and a brighter destiny.
§ Mr. SEXTON
My mind goes back to the cry, "Let us not forget," at the time of the sinking of the "Lusitania," and all the outrages committed by the Germans in that year. Think of the absurdity of the situation that now, in the best country in the world for the production of coal, we are going to our former enemies If, order to supply our own wants. The excuse is the usual excuse of the capitalistic system, that the pits cannot be worked economically. I am curious to know what is the meaning of that word to the men who use it. To me the position is something like this: We house the miners in hovels which disgrace the picturesque scenery in which they are placed. We pay them sufficient wages to keep them alive and barely alive, while they produce the coal. When they produce more coal than is demanded under the artificial law of supply and demand—there are two laws of supply and demand, the artificial and the natural—they must be locked out without any money to buy coal or boots or clothes or food. That is the economic position of the mines. In order that the profits shall still go on the mineowners 2155 say to the miners, "In the present conditions you are getting too much, and you must get less." I cannot conceive the mind of a man who will argue like that. We are always told, when there is a glut, that there is no demand to meet the supply, and that, therefore, wages must come down. We pay work-people to keep them alive so that they may fill the warehouses. Then there is no demand for the goods on the one hand, and on the other hand the people want food and clothes and boots for themselves and their children. I shall vote against this Estimate. I wish that I could do more than vote against it. If I had my own personal way with this importation of coal, there would not be an ounce handled in this country. Unfortunately, again, the so-called economic circumstances prevent me and my colleagues from carrying out that principle. I wish to God we could do it! My only word, in conclusion, is that if it could be done I would have no hesitation in taking a hand in it myself.
§ Mr. BATEY
I oppose this Vote as strongly as I can: I regard it as another effort on the part of the Government to defeat the miners, and I wonder when we are going to come to an end of these efforts on the part of the Government. Last week they rushed through the House a Bill to increase the hours of the miners. They kept us here unitl half-past four o'clock yesterday morning passing Emergency Regulations in connection with the mining dispute, and, to-day, they are making this further effort to oppress and, if possible, to defeat the miners. The Home Secretary made two statements with which I wish to deal. He gave us the impression—at least I understood from what he said—that the Government had bought coal and that some of the coal had already come into this country. Today, at Question Time, one of my colleagues asked the Secretary for Mines how much coal had been imported, and the answer was 1,012,000 tons. I asked a supplementary question as to whether that coal had been brought into the country by private companies, or whether any part of it had been brought in by the Government, and the answer of the Secretary of Mines very clearly was that none of that coal had been brought in by the Government.
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Colonel Lane Fox)
I do not want the hon. Gentleman to be misled by anything I said. This is a very good instance of how dangerous it is to give an answer off-hand and without asking for notice. I said I thought the figure given included no Government coal, but, as a matter of fact, I have ascertained since that about 4,000 tons of such coal was included in the figure mentioned.
§ Mr. BATEY
I come to the other statement of the Home Secretary with which I wish to deal. He warned Members on this side against doing anything which would prevent people living in the country from getting coal. An hon. Member below the Gangway, on the other side, intervened with the question, "Did we want to put out of work other men now working in factories?" We mean to do no such thing. We do not want to stop the country people from getting coal and we do not want to put anybody out of work who is now in work. We believe that if the Government did what they could do, neither the people in the country would suffer, nor would any person be put out of work. Regulation 14 of the Emergency Regulations gives the Government power to take possession of the collieries and work them to provide coal for the country people and for the factories. The President of the Board of Trade is in charge of this Vote. Regulation No. 14 gives that power to the President of the Board of Trade and we say that he ought to use that power and take possession of the coal mines of this country and work them instead of importing coal.
The hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. Dixey) made a statement regarding miners earning £5 to £13 a week. I said at the time that if he meant to infer that miners were earning that sum, it was a lie. I repeat now what I said then, and if the hon. Member were in his place I would ask him whether, in the mining 2157 Division which he represents, he really believes there are miners who when the lock-out took place were earning £5 to £13 a week. I have looked up the returns issued by the Mines Department for the quarter ending March of this year and for the quarter ending last December. I find that the average wage in the quarter ending March of this year was 10s. 4.79d. per day arid for the quarter ending December last year, it was 10s. 5.14d. I looked up the month of April, the last month worked by the collieries in Durham, and I find that the average wage for the County of Durham in that month was 9s. 11.28d. Take the highest of these figures which is 10s. 5.14d. and multiply it by five, which represents a fair average working week, and you find it yields a weekly wage about which hon. Members on the other side ought not to complain, and certainly one out of which they ought not to attempt to make any political capital.
When this Vote was published, I was interested in the figure of £3,000,000. I ask the Secretary for Mines why is it £3,000,000? It will be remembered that the Chancellor of the Exchequer provided in his Budget for a sum of £3,000,000. We were told first that it was intended as a sort of additional subvention to help the coal industry when the larger subvention had come to an end. Then the Prime Minister said it would be used to help in removing miners from one district to another. Then the Prime Minister changed his mind and said it would be used as a subsidy during the period of negotiations. The Prime Minister one again changed his mind, and said that £3,000,000 would be paid as a subsidy, provided the Miners' Federation accepted certain terms before 31st May. It seems to me that the £3,000,000, which was first going to be used as a subvention and then to help to move miners from one place to another, is now to be used for the importation of coal.
§ Mr. BATEY
In order to use it as they are going to use it. The Secretary for Mines cannot have forgotten the experience of 1921. In 1922 the Government had to come to the House of Commons for a Supplementary Estimate in con- 2158 nection with that stoppage of £6,734,000. The Estimate was actually £7,275,000, but the sum spent on imported coal was £6,734,000. In that case the Government made a bad bargain because the then Secretary for Mines said they had imported 1,850,000 tons, which meant that they paid £3 12s. 9d. per ton for the coal imported in 1921, and they lost on the transaction no less than £238,000. In this Estimate the Government seemed to anticipate that they would lose even more on the present transaction because the explanatory note states that this sum is intendedto cover any loss which may be incurred on the liquidation of stocks not resold when the stoppage in the industry conies to an end.Clearly, the Government are making provision for the loss, it may be, of the whole of this £3,000,000 in the importation of coal. I also remind the Secretary for Mines that when you begin the importation of coal during a stoppage, it does not necessarily cease when the stoppage comes to an end. If when the stoppage came to an end, the importation of coal would cease, perhaps there would not be much complaint to make, but in 1921 the stoppage came to an end on 4th July and yet in October of that year no less than 600,000 tons of coal was imported into this country and in December there was still an importation of coal into this country. I suggest that this is a very dangerous game. I thought that the recollection of the experience of 1921 would prevent the Government from going into it again, but so anxious are they to defeat the miners that they are rushing into it just as they did in 1921.
We ought to be told where the need for this coal arises. No one has yet given us any information on that point. We are told that about 1,000,000 tons have been imported. Is there not sufficient coal coming in now? Where is the need for any additional importation, and who is asking for it? Unless the Government can state clearly where the need is, they ought to hesitate before going forward with this Vote. The President of the Board of Trade said it was the duty of the Government to purchase this coal. It is not the duty of the Government to take any such step. In doing so they are doing the strongest thing they can do to injure the miners. Their duty is to assist in bringing the 2159 struggle to an end, but actions like this do not help a solution of the problem but merely aggravate the situation I urge on the Government to stop these continual efforts to defeat the miners and to bend their minds to the problem of getting the collieries restarted, and enabling the miners to come out of this trouble and resume work under conditions no worse at least than those which previously obtained. We regard this coal that is going to be imported as coal used for the purpose of blacklegging the miners of this country. We regard it as purely blackleg coal, and we believe that no railwayman ought to carry this coal, and that no transport worker ought to
§ touch it. We believe that any transport worker in this country who touches this coal is touching blackleg coal and is blacklegging the miners, and we believe that any railwayman in this country who carries this coal is carrying blackleg coal and is blacklegging the miners anti, injuring the miners.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
rose in his place, and claimed to more, "That the Question be now put."
Question put, "That the Question be Dow put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 237; Noes, 125.2161
|Division No. 333.]||AYES.||[7.47 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Davison, Sir W. H, (Kensington, S.)||Hume, Sir. G. H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hume Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Albery, Irving James||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Dixey, A. C.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Drewe, C.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Eden, Captain Anthony||lliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Ellis. R. G.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Atkinson, C.||Elveden, Viscount||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Balniel, Lord||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Berry, Sir George||Fermoy, Lord||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Bethel, A.||Fielden, E. B.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Finhurgh, S.||Lamb, J. O.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Forrest, W.||Lister, Cunliffe- Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Frece, Sir Walter de||Lord, Walter Greaves-|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Lumley, L. R.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Ganzoni, Sir John||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Gates, Percy||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Goff Sir Park||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cower, Sir Robert||Macintyre. Ian|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Grace, John||McLean, Major A.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Burman,.J. B.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Meller, R. J.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Harland, A.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hartington, Marquess of||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Haslam, Henry C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hawke, John Anthony||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Morrison, H. (Wilts. Salisbury)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hills, Major John wailer||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Neville, R J.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St.Marylebone)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G. (Ptrst'ld.)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Holland, Sir Arthur||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Oakley, T.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd,Hemel Hempst'd)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Davidson, Major General Sir J. H.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Philipson, Mabel||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W|
|Pielou, D. P.||Skelton, A. N.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Pilcher, G.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Smithers, Waldron||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey, and Otley)|
|Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Preston, William||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)||Wells, S. R.|
|Radford, E. A.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Raine, W.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Remer, J. R.||Styles, Captain H. Walter||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray [...]rase||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Roberts, E H. G. (Flint)||Sykes, Major Gen, Sir Frederick H.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Templeton, W. P.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Salmon, Major I.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Womersley, W. J.|
|Samuel. Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Tinne, J. A.||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Sandeman, A. Stewart||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Waddington, R.|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wallace, Captain D. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hell)||Major Cope and Captain Bowyer.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Runchciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardle, George D.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Hayes, John Henry||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Briant, Frank||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smillie, Robert|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, west)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones. T. I. Mandy (Pontypridd)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kelly, W. T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kennedy, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Compton, Joseph||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com, Hon. Joseph M.||Sullivan, J.|
|Cove, W. G.||Kenyon, Barnet||Sutton, J. E.|
|Crawford, H. E.||Kirkwood, D.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lansbury, George||Thorne. G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Davits, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawrence, Susan||Thurtle, E.|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lee, F.||Townend, A. E.|
|Dennison, R.||Lindley, F. W.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Duncan, C.||Lunn, William||Viant, S. P.|
|Dunnico, H.||MacLaren, Andrew||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||March, S.||Watson, M. (Dunfermline)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Watts Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Montague, Frederick||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Gillett, George M.||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark. Hamilton)||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson. John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Waiter|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Purcell. A. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Richardson. P. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben||Henderson.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £2,999,900 be granted for the said Service."2162
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 118; Noes, 243.2165
|Division No. 334.]||AYES.||[7.57 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bilston)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Broad, F. A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Barr, J.||Bromley, J.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Batey, Joseph||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)|
|Buchanan, G.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smillie, Robert|
|Compton, Joseph||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kennedy. T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Snell, Harry|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kenyon, Barnet||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Kirkwood, D.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dennison, R.||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Duncan, C.||Lawson, John James||Sullivan, J.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lee, F.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lindley, F. W.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lunn, William||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton), E.)|
|Gillett, George M.||Mac Laren, Andrew||Thurtle, E.|
|Gosling, Harry||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||March, S.||Townend, A. E.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Greenall, T.||Montague, Frederick||Viant, S. P.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Murrain H.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Oliver, George Harold||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Groves, T.||Palin, John Henry||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Paling, W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col D. (Rhondda)|
|Guest. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Welsh, J. C|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Westwood, J.|
|Hardle, George D.||Potts, John S.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon Vernon||Purcell, A. A.||Wilkinson. Ellen C.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson. R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Henderson. Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sexton, James||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Henderson.|
|John, William (Rhondda. West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Aciand-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Gates, Percy|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Albery, Irving James||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Goff, Sir Park|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cooper, A. Duff||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Cope, Major William||Grace, John|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Crack, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Crawford, H. E.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)|
|Atkinson, C.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Gulnness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Conliffe, Sir Herbert||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Bainiel, Lord||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hail, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Davidson, Major General Sir John H.||Harland, A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Davies, Maj. Goo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Berry, Sir George||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Bethel, A.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hoare. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Dixey, A. C.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Drewe, C.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Eden, Captain Anthony||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warwik, Nun.)|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Ellis, R. G.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Brings, J. Harold||Elveden, Viscount||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Westoms.-M)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Brooke, Brigadler-General C. R. I.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Fairfax. Captain J. G.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Bullock, Captain M.||False, Sir Bertram G.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Burman, J. B.||Fermoy, Lord||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fielden, E. B.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Finburgh, S.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Forrest, W.||Jackson. Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Cassels, J. O.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N (Ladywood)||Frece, Sir Walter de||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Charterls, Brigadier-General J.||Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Ganzoni, Sir John||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Oakley, T.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Kinloch-Cooke. Sir Clement||Pato, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Pleiou, D. P.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Plicher, G.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Loder, J. de V.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Tinne, J. A.|
|Looker, Herbert William||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton||Titchtield, Major the Marquess of|
|Lord, Walter Greaves-||Preston, William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lougher, L.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Waddington, R.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Radford. E. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Raine, W.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kinoston-on-Hull)|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Remer, J, R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Rice, Sir Frederick||Watson, Sir F. (Pudssy and Otley)|
|Macintyre, I.||Roberts. E. H. G. (Flint)||Watson, Fit. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|McLean, Major A.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wells, S. R.|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Salmon, Major I.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Marqesson, Captain D.||Sandman, A. Stewart||Williams, Corn. C. (Devon. Torquay)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Meller, R. J.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renf. ew W)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, westb'Y)||Winterton, Rt. Hon, Earl|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sheffield. Sir Berkeley||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Monsen, Eyres, Corn. Rt. Hon. B. M||Shepperson, E. W.||Weimer, Viscount|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Wornersley, W. J.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Skelton, A. N.||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalynige & Hyde)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Smithers, Waldron||Worthington-Evans. Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Yorburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Neville, R. J.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Stanley, Col, Hon. G.F.(Will'sden,E.)|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Nuttall, Ellis'||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Lord Stanley and Captain Bowyer.|
§ Original Question put.2166
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 245; Noes, 116.2169
|Division No. 335]||AYES.||[8.7 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Feiden, E. B.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Finburgh, S.|
|Albory, Irvine James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Forestler Walker, Sir L|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Chapman, Sir S.||Forrest, W.|
|Alexander, Sir Win. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Apsley, Lord||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Colfox, Major Win. Phillips||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.|
|Atkinson, C||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cooper, a Duff||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Couper, J. B.||Gates, Percy|
|Bainial, Lord||Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Barclay-Harvey. C. M.||Crawford, H. E.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Gower, Sir Rchert|
|Been, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Graco, John|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Cuntifte, Sir Herbert||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Berry, Sir George||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Bethel, A.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol. N)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Davidson,.J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton. W.)||Davies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset, Yeovll)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Harland, A.|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Dixey, A. C.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Drewe. C.||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Brockiebank, C. E. R.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Elliot, Major Waiter E.||Hogg. Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St.Maryiebone)|
|Broun Lindsay. Major H.||Ellis, R. G.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Bull, Rt. Horn Sir William James||Elveden, Viscount||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Burman, J. B.||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Campbell, E. T.||Folio, Sir Bertram G.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Fermoy, Lord||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Hume Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt. Gen. Sir Aylmer||Murchison, C. K.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Neville, R. J.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|llife, Sir Edward M.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Nuttall, Ellis||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Jacob, A. E.||Oakley, T.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Jephcott, A. R.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Templeton, W. P.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Perkins. Colonel E. K.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Plelou, D. P.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Pilcher, G.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Power, Sir John Cecil||Waddington, R.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton||Ward. Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-o on Hull)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Preston, William||Warner, Brigadler General W. W.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Price, Major C. W. M.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Loder, J. de V.||Radford, E. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Looker, Herbert William||Raine, W.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Lord, Walter Greaves-||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Laugher, L.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Luce, Mai.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Remer, J. R.||Wells, S. R.|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Rice. Sir Frederick||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hein. Angus||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter||William, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Macintyre, I.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|McLean, Major A.||Salmon, Major I.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Womersley, W. J.|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Shaw, Capt, W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Meller, R. J.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Yerhurgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Shepperson, E. W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sinclair, Major Sir A.(Calthness)|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Skelton, A. N.||TELLER, FOR THE AYES.—|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Major Cope and Captain Bowyer.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardie, George D.||Richardson. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Riley, Ben|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Ritson, J.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Hayes, John Henry||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Barr, J||Hirst, G. H.||Sceymgeour, E.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scurr, John|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sexton, James|
|Bromley, J.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Buchanan, G.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sikh, Charles H.|
|Cruse, W. S-||Junes, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Clynes, Rt Hon. John R||Kelly, W. T.||Smillie, Robert|
|Compton, Joseph||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenyon, Barnet||Snell, Harry|
|Davies. Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kirkwood, D.||Snowden. Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, George||Stamford, T. W.|
|Davison. J. E. (Smethwick)||Lawrence, Susan||Stephen, Campbell|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lawson, John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Dennison, R.||Lee, F.||Sullivan, J.|
|Duncan, C.||Lindley. F. W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Donnie, H.||Lunn, William||Taylor, R A.|
|Gardner, J. P.||MacLaren, Andrew||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Thurtle, E.|
|Gillett, George M.||March, S.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gosling, Harry||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Townend, A. E.|
|Graham, O. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Montague, Frederick||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Greenall, T.||Murnin, H.||Viant, S. P.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Oliver, George Harold||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Patin, John Henry||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Groves, T.||Paling, W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Grundy, T. W||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D, (Rhondda)|
|Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Pethick Lawrence, F. W.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Potts. John S.||Welsh, J. C|
|Westwood, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T.|
|Wilkinson, Ellen C.||Henderson.|