§ The annual balance sheet and accounts of the Communications Company shall be presented to Parliament.—[Mr. Malone.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
I am moving this Clause as a very necessary precaution and as a last attempt to try and introduce some safeguards for what is essentially a public service. Once this Bill has passed through the House of Commons to-night, we shall no longer have any control over the different services—
It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I say at once that I allowed rather a lot of latitude in the discussion of the last proposed new Clause, which was one dealing, generally speaking, with control over the finance of the Communications Company, but as the hon. Member has commenced his speech by repeating a phrase which I think I have heard used a great many times in the last few days, I think I ought to say that I cannot allow arguments as to control generally, which have been used at earlier stages of this Debate, except in so far as they come strictly within the actual provisions of the new Clause.
I quite understand that point. It illustrates the extraordinary difficulty of dealing with this Bill, because so many of its provisions are outside the purview of the House of Commons. In the last two days the Chairman has had to call us to order no fewer than 65 times, and I think that shows, as it has been divided among the different parties taking part in the discussion equally, how very difficult it is 1772 to keep within the rules of order. This Clause provides that the House of Commons should have some small control over the financial operations of this new company, and it would make the Postmaster-General somewhat responsible in Parliament for the operations of the company. We do not know yet whether the company exists. We do not know whether it actually is a company or what it is. We have elicited the fact that some body, which may at some future time be called the Communications Company or the Merger Company, has actually bought premises on the Embankment, and we have heard from the Noble Lord the Assistant Postmaster-General that some negotiations, which are not very well defined, have been commenced with some body, whose name has not yet been definitely registered. It makes it very difficult to discuss the matter. We do not know how far these discussions have gone, whether they are only conversations, with whom they are taking place, or whether any written communications have taken place; but this new Clause will allow in the future for this House to watch the conduct of the business of this company. If the last proposed new Clause which I had on the Paper, and which you rightly ruled out of order, had been allowed—
—the accounts would have been published in the ordinary way, like those of the British Broadcasting Corporation. As it was not allowed, however, we must have a special Clause making provision for the accounts and the balance sheet to be presented annually to Parliament. I am not going to cover ground which has already been covered in previous discussions, but we have a right to press certain points. There are certain aspects of this question which we have raised throughout these Debates, to which we have received no replies, and I make no apology for presenting one point in which I am particularly interested. I want to stop the humbug of the fictitious cable rates, which are due to the illusion that cables and wireless cost more to Hong Kong and to distant stations than to Canada and near-by stations. I have received no 1773 reply to that point. The Financial Secretary told us in an earlier part of the Debate that the Advisory Committee would have power to deal with these matters, but they can deal only with proposed increases of rates on rates prevailing at the date of the formation of the Communications Company. They have no power to suggest that diminution of rates should be made. That is a great difference, and I want to get an answer on that point, because cable rates are too high, and based on fictitious assertions. I believe that it is still possible for the Government to take control of overseas rates, and to fix a flat rate to all parts of the Empire. The Colonial Secretary ought to be interested in seeing that this is done, and there is no reason why it should not be done, because those acquainted with the technical side of the matter know that it costs exactly the same to wireless to Hong Kong and Australia as to Canada, and other parts nearer home.
The second reason for this new Clause which I wish to put forward is an entirely new reason. It is to obviate the danger that these two companies, the Merger Company with £53,000,000 capital, and the Communications Company with £30,000,000 capital, may juggle the profits between themselves. There is nothing to prevent the Communications Company buying more apparatus from the Merger Company, in order to show a small profit on the Communications Company and to keep them within—I was going to say the statutory terms, but there are no statutory terms—to keep them within the ambiguous, undefined terms of the White Paper. They can very well spend their surplus money in buying new equipment from the Merger Company, and putting the profits into that concern. The Advisory Committee have no power to look into this question, and I would like to ask whether the Committee are to have any statutory rights at all. Does the Postmaster-General propose to bring in a small Bill to give the Advisory Committee statutory powers to deal with the accounts and other matters of administration, or are they simply to be advisory?
The hon. Gentleman is asking precisely the same question that was put in the discussion 1774 on the last new Clause, and which was answered by the Postmaster-General. Whether the answer was satisfactory has nothing to do with me, but my point is that the question was asked and answered in the Debate, and it cannot be repeated on this Clause.
I am very sorry, but if we had had a satisfactory reply, there would have been no need to press this point. The third point which I want to raise is the question of British control. It is laid down in the White Paper that British control is to be guaranteed, but we have had no reference to this in the whole course of the Debates.
Will the hon. Gentleman tell me how he proposes to do that by having the annual balance sheet and accounts presented to Parliament?
We want to know exactly who is controlling the Company, and the fullest possible particulars about the finances. If the Government are not concerned whether British control is to be maintained as one of the constituent factors of the new company, I would point out that only last Friday the Marconi Company issued a notice to their shareholders—
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman was present, but I ruled that out of Order as a matter that does not come under consideration at all, and cannot be provided for or dealt with in this Bill.
It is extremely difficult to know exactly what comes within the Bill and what does not. The White Paper says that British control has to be guaranteed, and I am trying to find out how the Government can assure the House that it is to be guaranteed. One of the two big groups concerned is already perturbed about this factor—
The hon. Member is not dealing with the Clause, which contains nothing as to who shall be the shareholders, or whether the control shall be in British hands. He must 1775 confine himself to the words in the proposed new Clause, namely, that "the annual balance sheet and accounts of the Communications Company shall be presented to Parliament."
I am keeping strictly to the new Clause. The reason I want to insert this Clause in the Bill is in order to make quite certain that every year Parliament will have an opportunity of watching how the finances of this company are controlled, and I submit that I am perfectly in order. I would have preferred to have done it by one or other of the new Clauses which have been ruled out of order, or rejected by the Committee, but at this eleventh hour I am trying to ensure some safeguard to the Empire whose services are being sold by the Government. The question of British control, therefore, is the third point about which I should like the Postmaster-General to tell us. I am perturbed about the control of the Merger Company. I believe that the Communications Company and the Merger Company ought to have been controlled by the State, but if that is not done, we ought to have put the wireless under the control of organisations and companies which have had experience in wireless business. What is happening now? I see from the White Paper that the cable companies are to have a controlling influence, and I should like the Postmaster-General, when he tells us how he is going to ensure a British control in the company, whether he is satisfied that the development of wireless technique, radio inventions and so on, are not likely to be kept back because the cable companies, which represent quite different interests, are in the majority on the new concern?
I would like to congratulate my friends on the Liberal benches on their great support throughout the Bill. The benches below the Gangway have been crowded with absent Liberals throughout the whole of the discussions, and I am sure that those who had anything to do with the old Radical party will look with pride on the fight which they have put up for national interests This new Clause is the last attempt to secure a measure of control over a financial group which will have the handling of over £83,000,000 of capital, the profits 1776 from which will be entirely dependent on the lease of the Government wireless services at a mere peppercorn rental, the full facts of which, for unstated reasons, the Government decline to put before the House of Commons.
§ Mr. W. BAKER
This new Clause is justified on the simple ground that we cannot have too much light upon the accounts of this company. I would remind the Committee that in the 1901 Act the Pacific Cable Board were compelled to present their accounts to Parliament, and it was not until last year that the Government, in introducing new legislation, took the opportunity to drop the words which made it necessary for the Board to present their accounts to the House. That was a retrograde step, and it should be recovered. I hope that, whatever else the Government may resist, they will see their way clear to accept a Clause which does nothing more than endeavour to throw the light of publicity upon the activities of this company.
On a point of Order. Although my name has been attached to this Clause, I beg to submit that it is out of order, because it refers to "the Communications Company." No terms should be used in a Bill unless they are defined in the Bill, and I cannot find a definition in the Bill. You put the Clause, so I assume that you consider it in order, but I submit that a Clause speaking of "the Communications Company" cannot be in order unless there is somewhere in the Bill a definition of "the Communications Company."
I am afraid that I must rule against the hon. Member here, because there is a Preamble to the Bill, and in the Preamble "the Communications Company" is referred to as "a company to be formed." It is defined, and that definition carries on through the Bill.
Is it competent for the Parliamentary draftsmanship to pass the scrutiny of the Chair when the definitions are to be found only in the Preamble?
I think that this particular case is one that has passed the Chair. The Bill is merely permissive to give power to deal with 1777 a body which it is intended should be formed. As it has not been formed, it cannot be more particularly defined.
Is it not a fact that that is a practice confined to private Bill legislation, and is there any precedent for a public Bill being presented with a term not defined in the Bill, but only referred to in the Preamble?
I should be surprised if it is not the case, but I cannot carry it in my mind at the moment. I am satisfied, in any event, that the hon. Member's point is not one on which it is possible to rule this Clause out of order.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
It will scarcely surprise the Committee to hear that I cannot accept the proposed new Clause. If I could, I would certainly reply to the questions so courteously put to me by the hon. Member, but if I did so I feel that you. Mr. Deputy-Chairman, would be rising in your place to call me to order, and therefore he must excuse me if I do not answer them categorically. He displayed quite candidly to the Committee in one sentence which he used, as did the hon. Member who has just spoken, what is the point of view of hon. Members opposite. They propose this new Clause because they are definitely desirous of securing some Government and Parliamentary control over both administration and finance. That, of course, is almost a direct negative of a question we decided on Second Reading, and I ask the Committee to take the view that this provision is wholly unnecessary. It is really a wholly illusory safeguard so far as throwing light on the finance is concerned. It must be remembered that this company will be a public limited liability company, and therefore subject to all the provisions of the law which apply to other limited liability companies as regards the publication of its report and balance-sheet.
When hon. Members tell me, as perhaps they will tell me, that this company partakes of the nature of a public utility company, I am compelled to remind them that because a company is a public utility company it does not necessarily follow that its accounts are presented to Parliament; on the contrary, the reverse is the case. The hon. Member has him- 1778 self said that Parliament, without a dissentient voice, without even the hon. Member's voice, decided last year that the accounts of the Pacific Cable Board should not be presented to Parliament. The accounts of the Port of London Authority have never been presented to Parliament. Then we were asked: "Why do you not make it like the British Broadcasting Corporation" But their accounts are not presented to Parliament. They reach Parliament because they are presented to me, and I, out of the goodness of my heart, submit them to Parliament; but there is no statutory obligation on the British Broadcasting Corporation to present them to Parliament. The real fact is that the necessary publicity will be secured by the publication of the report and accounts in the ordinary way, but just in case that should not be sufficient there is an extra provision in the Report, which certainly will be taken advantage of, which says that the Advisory Committee shall have power, if they are not entirely satisfied, to ask the Communications Company to submit their accounts and to give them any information which is required, and, if necessary, to submit those accounts for examination on behalf of the Advisory Committee. The position is, therefore, doubly safeguarded.
§ Mr. PALING
Have the Advisory Committee any power to deal with the position if they are not satisfied?
§ Mr. KELLY
The right hon. Gentleman speaks of the Advisory Committee having the power to call for the accounts to be presented, but he did not say to whom. Does it mean that they may call for them to be presented to themselves? If it is intended to give the Advisory Committee these powers, is it intended that the Advisory Committee shall be mentioned in the articles of association of this new corporation, company or combination, or whatever it is which is to be set up?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
May I also point out that, whereas in the Report it says that the Advisory Committee should have access to information in the hands of the Communications Company which is necessary to enable them to carry out their purpose, the Report goes on to say:Such information will, of course, be treated as strictly confidential.1779 That means to say that we are to have no hold of any sort on the company, that we have no right to ask information from the Postmaster-General. The most powerful and wealthy company in the country engaged in commerce or shipping may have a grievance against this company in respect of excessive rates or bad service, and Members of this House will have no means of obtaining redress, no right even to put a question to the Postmaster-General. That is the position in which we are leaving ourselves, and that is the betrayal of the public of this country which has been perpetrated.
§ Mr. PALING
In connection with everything that appertains to this question, the Postmaster-General comes back to the fact that there is an Advisory Committee. He says now that there is no necessity for the balance sheet to be presented to Parliament, because the Advisory Committee can call for the accounts and for this, that and the other. But what then? What can the Advisory Committee do if they disagree with the accounts and find they are not strictly what they ought to be? We are told that the Committee "may" do so and so. We want to know what power they have and now is the occasion, I submit, to put again to the Postmaster-General the questions which were put to him on the last occasion. Will he tell us what the Advisory Committee is and what it can do and what it cannot do? Is the power of the Advisory Committee limited to what is stated in that one specific mention made of them in Recommendation number 6 in the Report? I do not think the Deputy-Chairman will stop the right hon. Gentleman from answering. He need not take refuge in that. He is quite at liberty to answer. We have been told that the Advisory Committee can do this, that and the other. Will he tell us what they can do if the accounts submitted to them do not meet with their approval? What power have they to alter the methods which are being followed by the Communications Company? Can they merely advise Parliament? If they are dissatisfied and have no power to make the Communications Company do what they think ought to be done, is the only thing left for them to do to report to the Post- 1780 master-General and ask him to do something? If they do that, will he do as much as he has done with every question we have put to him, and that is, take refuge in silence and do nothing?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
I listened with care to the reply of the Postmaster-General. On closer examination I think the Committee will probably agree that this Clause raises an important point as to Parliamentary control over the financial side of the scheme, in which we retain a certain interest. The Communications Company is to be established to take over certain cables, and, also, the beam wireless undertaking is to be leased to them for 25 years. I entirely agree that we have set up here an outside and a separate organisation, but it is perfectly plain to the Committee that under the lease at least, if not indeed indirectly in other matters, we have retained a quite definite public interest, and, accordingly, it becomes very important for the Committee to see that over the interest which survives it has the appropriate financial control. Is that established in this case?
Let us relate what is proposed in this scheme with other outside undertakings. There are undertakings like the British Broadcasting Corporation, whose accounts, if I remember correctly, are separately audited. They are presented to the House of Commons—by the courtesy of the right hon. Gentleman, as he has just indicated. There are other accounts, like those of the State-management districts, which are also audited by outside firms of chartered accountants, but which are nevertheless presented to the Public Accounts Committee of this House. As I understand it, they are so presented because Parliament is interested in that scheme to the extent of an advance, as, in my view, Parliament is interested in this scheme—at least in the leasing of the beam wireless service. In those other cases, whether under the formal practice of the Exchequer and Audit Department or by voluntary act of the Department, certain of those accounts do reach the Public Accounts Committee of this House. It is true that it is a retrospective review, but when the Public. Accounts Committee make recommendations it is very difficult for the Government to ignore them for 1781 any length of time, and as a rule they are ultimately enforced.
The Postmaster-General, in resisting our application in this case, indicates that we have here the protection of an Advisory Committee. But that is by no means the complete protection which we deserve in a matter of this kind. In view of the vast interests involved, we are entitled to be put at least in the position which we occupy in respect of the State-management districts. I take it no Member of the House would suggest that, from the point of view of the finance and the commercial interest, this is not a far more important proposition. But yet this House, by specific device, is left with only the vague and rather remote intervention of this Advisory Committee, which may be made after the representations of the Government, but is not brought into strict connection with the financial operations which we here seek to control. That is the essence of this controversy and I suggest to hon. Members in all parts of the House—for this ought not to be a party matter—that we are here embarking on a very dangerous principle in regard to financial control.
What has been the tendency of recent years? I acknowledge that it has been rather contradictory in character. There is in some quarters a disposition to say that these accounts, as in the case of the State-management districts, or in some other undertakings, relate to outside organisations. We will only look at them generally, if we look at them at all, in the Public Accounts Committee. Directly and indirectly the taxpayers of Great Britain are at the moment committed to enormous obligations, and it is of vital importance that they should have a direct survey and a control, even though it be retrospective. We retain an interest in this scheme. We have no means of direct control, we have only the remote intervention of the Advisory Committee, and to leave things at that is to leave them in an altogether intolerable position.
We are all very much disappointed that the Postmaster-General should have turned down this proposed new Clause, and also disappointed as to the terms in which he did it. I should have thought we should have had his most heartfelt sympathy, and that he 1782 would have felt very keenly for our position, and would have done his best to see that if we were not to have power to interfere we should at least be allowed to have some little information. Instead of that he sought to make out that the new Clause was quite valueless, and he gave two specific reasons. In the first place, he said the accounts and balance sheet of this company would be published in the way that they are in the case of any ordinary limited liability company, which of course, he must know is no check at all. While sometimes for reasons outside the control of the company their accounts and balance sheet may get undeserved and undesired publicity, there is no guarantee at all unless we take the trouble to search through many files for them that we are ever likely to come across the balance sheet of every public company. The main object of this Clause is to serve as a kind of refresher to the memory, and we hope to the conservance of future Houses of Commons, and point out to them what has been done with the State property which we are giving away in this year 1928.
The second reason he gave to show why it was unnecessary that the accounts and balance sheet to be submitted annually to the House of Commons was that they would go to an unspecified, unset-up Advisory Committee, though even now we do not know who is going to appoint it, when it is going to be appointed or how it will act. In the past the Government have often been accused and attacked for introducing so much Government by Committees, but on previous occasions, at any rate, they have been able to prove that the Committee they propose was to be appointed by someone. I suggest to the Committee that this is a most moderate new Clause. The Bill does not give the House of Commons any power to interfere with the gentlemen to whom we are making a handsome present, and it does not give us any power over those gentlemen who, under this Bill, will enjoy very large profits and high remuneration. Surely the taxpayer ought to know every year exactly how much the Conservative Government gave away in 1928 under this Bill. I suggest that it would be a very good thing to have an annual reminder by way of the balance sheet and accounts of the very handsome 1783 present which was the bequest of the Conservative Government to this company.
The hon. Member opposite who mentioned the Port of London Authority as a case in point was mistaken, because that authority was not set up in the way which is proposed under this Bill. I have looked up the Act of 1908, and I find that the Port of London Authority was set up with a Chairman and Vice-Chairman, and its powers were provided for in the Clauses of the Bill. Moreover, the accounts of the Port of London Authority, although not presented to Parliament, have to be audited in a form approved by the Board of Trade, and certified by an auditor appointed by the Board of Trade. Therefore, we are not without a precedent in this matter. The Government prefer to go back to the days of the South Sea Bubble—
I was referring to some of the enterprises which were set up under the influence of that fever. I want to put a question to the Assistant Postmaster-General. I presume that the Advisory Committee will have power to ask for these accounts. What I want to know is, whether that Committee will reveal the accounts to anyone? Perhaps the Secretary of State for Scotland can answer that question. The Advisory Committee will be set up, and the Government representatives will be appointed by the Government. Will those representatives have power to ask for a statement of the accounts, and
§ will those accounts be submitted to the Postmaster-General? If I get an answer to that question, I shall be very grateful.
§ The ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Viscount Wolmer)
They will report to the Committee.
Then I understand that the Advisory Committee will report to the Government and the Postmaster-General the accounts of these companies?
Then what possible objection can there be to the Government laying those accounts before the House of Commons? Will the report of those accounts to the Advisory Committee be confidential? I remember that when Lord Cranborne was a Member of this House, Lord Salisbury forbade him to answer Supplementary Questions in this House. There seems to be a sort of ban in operation at the present time, and no one is allowed to answer questions except the Postmaster-General. I notice that the Financial Secretary is making researches in the corner. We know that the Advisory Committee will have power to obtain these accounts, and they will submit them to the Government, but whether they will be confidential or not we do not know. The Government will be in possession of those accounts, and the only question to be decided now is whether the Government, having these accounts in their possession, shall place them at the service of the Members of the House of Commons. Some hon. Members think those accounts should be confidential, and others think that they should he placed before the House of Commons. That is the only issue to be decided by this Motion.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 105; Noes, 223.1787
|Division No. 43.]||AYES.||[6.24 p.m.|
|Ammon, Charlet George||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.|
|Baker, Walter||Charleton, H. C.||Gillett, George M.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Cluse, W. S.||Gosling, Harry|
|Barr, J.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Connolly, M.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Cove, W. G.||Griffith, F. Kingsley|
|Bellamy, A.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Grundy, T. W.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Davies. Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Day, Harry||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Briant, Frank||Dennison, R.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Broad, F. A.||Duncan, C.||Hardle, George D.|
|Harney, E. A.||Morris, R. H.||Taylor. R. A.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Mosley, Sir Oswald||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Naylor, T. E.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Pialstow)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Paling, W.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Parkinson, John Allan (Wigan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Townend, A. E.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Potts, John S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Ritson, J.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Kelly, W. T.||Scrymgeour, E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Kennedy, T.||Scurr, John||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, J.|
|Lansbury, George||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Lawson, John James||Shinwell, E.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lee, F.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lowth, T.||Smillie, Robert||Windsor, Walter|
|Lunn, William||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Snell, Harry|
|March, S.||Strauss, E. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Montague, Frederick||Sutton, J. E.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. B. Smith.|
|Albery, Irving James||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Apsley, Lord||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Elliott, Major Walter E.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Atkinson, C.||Ellis. R. G.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Bainiel, Lord||Everard, W. Lindsay||Luce, Maj. Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||MacAndrew, Major Charies Glen|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Fenby, T. D.||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Bennett, A. J.||Fermoy, Lord||McLean, Major A.|
|Berry, Sir George||Fielden, E. B.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Bethel, A||Ford, Sir P. J.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Forrest, W.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Boothby. R. J. G.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fraser, Captain Ian||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Ganzoni, Sir John||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Goff, Sir Park||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Brown. Brig.-Gen- H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Buchan, John||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Grotrian, H. Brent||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Sallsbury)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hacking, Douglas H.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Cayzer Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hartington, Marquess of||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Haslam, Henry C.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Christie. J. A.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar, & Wh'by)||Pilcher, G.|
|Churchman. Sir Arthur C.||Hilton, Cecil||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Clayton G. C.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Preston, William|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hopkins. J. W. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ramsden, E.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Couper, J. B.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Hurd, Percy A.||Robinson. Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Croft, Brigadier-General sir H.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Cainsbro)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Sandon, Lord||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Wells, S. R.|
|Savery, S. S||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Tasker, R. Inigo.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Templeton, W. P.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Skelton, A. N.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Smithers, Waldron||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Withers, John James|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Wallace, Captain D. E.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|steel, Major Samuel Strang||Warrender, Sir Victor||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Storry-Deans, R.||Waterhouse, Captain Charies|
|Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Captain Bowyer and Mr. Penny.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next Clause on the Paper—(Majority of directors of Communications Company to be appointed by partner Governments)—impinges on the constitutional practice with regard to Dominion Governments.