HC Deb 29 March 1927 vol 204 cc1215-9

In section one hundred and thirty-eight of the Army Act (which relates to penal stoppages from the ordinary pay of soldiers), at the end of the proviso there shall be added,— (d) where a soldier has made an allotment from his ordinary pay for the support of any dependant, penal deductions from his ordinary pay shall be made only from the portion of his ordinary pay not so allotted.—[Mr. Kirkwood.]

Brought up and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

I hope I shall not have to appeal to a Tory Government, to a Tory party that poses to the world as very patriotic and as always looking after the interests of the British Empire—and that includes hon. Members who are standing below the Bar—on behalf of the soldier.

If Admirals and Generals were included in this, the benches would be full of the Admirals and Generals. At the moment they are conspicuous by their absence because this only applies to the private soldier, the ordinary "Tommy Atkins." What does it mean? It means that it has been left again to us who are twitted time and time again as having regard to every country but our own. That is how We are twitted many, many, times. We always deny it, and we are always prepared to prove our contention and denial either on the Floor of the House of Commons or on the public platform in any part of Britain. To-night it has fallen to my lot again on behalf of the Labour party to prove to Britain that the best friend of the soldier in this country is again the Labour party. Time and time again we have defended the Tommy.


I would suggest that the hon. Member gets to that particular point in which he wants to help the private soldier, by a rather less circuitous route.


I think I am quite within my right. I am trying to show that this is not the first time we have defended "Tommy Atkins." We did it during the War.


Has this anything to do with questions of allotment from ordinary pay being deducted, and so on?


Surely, you should listen and wait until I have finished my sentence. The Minister of Health tonight was very wroth because this side of the House, he thought, did not allow him to finish his sentence, and now I am claiming the same indulgence as any Minister of the Crown. Remember the treatment meted out to me will be meted out to him on future occasions. [Interruption.] We here are standing tonight to save the soldier who may get into trouble—that soldier who probably is the only support of a widowed mother for whom he makes an allotment. So much is allowed for that mother and that soldier gets into trouble. What we are asking here is that the amount of deductions that are made, the fines that are put on that soldier, should not penalise that poor mother of his. We are anxious to defend soldiers' dependants from the Tory Government—this Tory Government and its supporters, particularly the female section who are always posing as the friend of the soldier. Now they will have a chance to vote for the defence of the soldier's widowed mother against the inroads of the Tory Government.

Captain KING

With all that consideration which the hon. Gentleman has given to this subject, I regret that he has not ascertained that the hon. Member for Lirnchouse (Mr. Attlee) moved the same Amendment in 1925. At that time, the allotment made by a soldier was capable of being estopped for a debt which could not be repaid in two months

or which exceeded £2. After the Debate in 1925, on the arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Limehouse, the Secretary for State carefully considered the matter and decided that 50 per cent. of the compulsory allotment made by any soldier should be inviolate, no matter what the amount of the debt was. Following the announcement of that Army Order, the hon. Member for Limehouse wrote me a letter on 8th November, 1925, in which he said: I thank you for your letter of the 6th inst. and for the Army Order enclosed. I am grateful to you for having been able to give careful consideration to the carse of the allotments of soldiers about which I made representations in the Army Debate.

The hon. Gentleman will see, therefore, that careful consideration of anyhow the male Tories was given to this subject.


I want the hon. and gallant Gentleman to understand that we do not want 50 per cent.; we want the lot.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 91; Noes, 195.

Division No. 64.] AYES. [12.15 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife. West) Hayes, John Henry Riloy, Ben
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hllisbro') Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Ritson, J.
Amnion. Charles George Hirst, G. H. Scurr, John
Barnes, A. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Barr, J. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Batey, Joseph Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Simon, Rt. Hon- Sir John
Bromfield, William John, William (Rhondda, West) Sitch, Charles H.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Siesser, Sir Henry H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey. Rotherhlthe)
Buchanan, G. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Stephen, Campbell
Cape, Thomas Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Sullivan, J.
Charleton, H. C. Kelly, W. T. Sutton, J. E.
Clowes, S. Kennedy, T. Taylor. R. A.
Compton, Joseph Kirkwood, D Thurtle, Ernest
Connolly, M. Lawrence, Susan Tinker, John Joseph
Dalton, Hugh Lawson, John James Townend, A. E.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhouqhton) Lee. F. Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel Harry Lindley, F. W. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Duncan, C. Lunn, William Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dunnico, H. Mackinder. W. Wellock, Wilfred
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) MacLaren, Andrew Westwood, J.
Fenby, T. D. Maxton, James Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gardner, J. P. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wiggins, William Martin
Glbbins, Joseph Oliver, George Harold Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Owen, Major G. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Palin, John Henry Windsor, Walter
Groves, T. Paling, W. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Grundy, T. W. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) ponsonby, Arthur Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Charles
Hardle, George D. Potts, John S. Edwards.
Hayday, Arthur Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Acland-Troyte, Lieut..Colonel Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Astor. Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Alexander, Sir Wm (Glasgow, Cent'l) Atkinson, C.
Alnsworth, Major Charles Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Balfour, George (Hampstead)
Albery, Irving James Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Bainlel, Lord
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Greene, W. P. Crawford O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon- John Pennefather, Sir John
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. p. H. Gunston, Captain D. W. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Bennett, A, J. Hall. Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Betterton, Henry B. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Phillpson. Mabel
Blundell, F. N. Harland, A. Price, Major C. W. M.
Boothby, R. J. G. Harrison, G. J. C. Radford, E. A.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Raine, W.
Brass, Captain W. Hawke, John Anthony Ramsden, E.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley) Remer, J. R.
Briscoe, Richard George Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Rice, Sir Frederick
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Richardson, sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham) Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Ropner, Major L.
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Surman, J. B. Holt, Captain H. P. Salmon, Major I.
Butt. Sir Alfred Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Sandeman, N. Stewart
Campbell, E. T. Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Carver, Major W. H. Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K. Sanderson, Sir Frank
Cayzer, Ma). Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W)
Chapman, Sir S. Huntingfield, Lord Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer IIiffe, Sir Edward M. Shepperson, E, W.
Clarry, Reginald George Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Skelton, A. N.
Clayton, G. C. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Smith.R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Jacob, A. E. Smith-Carlnaton, Neville W.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Jephcott. A. R. Smithers, Waldron
Colfox, Major William Phillips Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Cooper, A. Duff Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Sprot, Sir Alexander
Cope, Major William King, Captain Henry Douglas Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Couper, J. B. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Stanley. Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Knox, sir Alfred Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Lamb, J. Q. Storry-Deans, R.
Crookshank.Cpt. H.(Lindsay,Galnsbro) Lane Fox, col. Rt. Hon. George R. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Locker-Lampson,Com. O. (Handsw'th) Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Dawson, Sir Philip Looker, Herbert William Styles, Captain H. Walter
Duckworth, John Lougher, Lewis Sugden, Sir Wilfrld
Eden. Captain Anthony Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Templeton, W. P.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Lumley, L. R. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
England, Colonel A. MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Wallace, Captain D. E.
Everard, W. Lindsay McLean, Major A. Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Klngston-on-Hull)
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Macmillan, Captain H. Warrender, Sir Victor
Falle, Sir Bertram G McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Waterhouse. Captain Charles
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. MacRobert, Alexander M. Watts, Dr. T.
Fielden, E. B. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Wells, S. R.
Finburgh, S. Margesson. Captain D. Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Ford, Sir P. J. Mason. Lieut.-Col. Glyn K White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple.
Forrest, W. Merriman. F. B. Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Meyer, Sir Frank Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Fraser, Captain Ian Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Wise, Sir Fredric
Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Moore, Sir Newton J. Wolmer, Viscount
Ganzonl, Sir John Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Womersley, W. J.
Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Glbbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Goff, Sir Park Nelson, Sir Frank Wragg, Herbert
Gower, Sir Robert Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Grace, John Nicholson, O. (Westminster) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Nuttall, Ellis Captain Bowyer and Mr. Penny.

Schedule and Preamble agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; read the Third time, and passed.