Postponed Proceeding resumed on Question,
That a sum, not exceeding £100,775, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the
year ending on the 31st day of March, 1929, for the salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, and Subordinate Departments, including certain Services arising out of the War.
§ Question again proposed.
§ Mr. KELLY
When we were discussing the Board of Trade Vote at half-past seven, we were dealing with the points put forward by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. I want to deal with the rosy picture drawn by the hon. Gentleman, who reminded us, just as the President did earlier in the afternoon, that in industry to-day there are 500,000 more people employed than were engaged in industry in the days before the War. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to be a little more precise and to give the Committee some idea where these people are employed and the industries in which they are engaged, because I remember that it is only the other day that we received figures from the Minister of Labour which certainly did not indicate the rosy picture which the hon. Gentleman drew for us, Figures were then given to us covering the building trade the engineering trade, and the cotton industry, each of which has been dealt with by the President of the Board of Trade this afternoon. All these figures showed that there was a considerable amount of unemployment and under-employment in those particular industries. I venture to suggest that if those basic industries upon which we have depended for so long are in this depressed or approaching depressed condition, then the picture is not quite so rosy as the hon. Gentleman drew for us to-day. I would like the Parliamentary Secretary to tell us what it is they are doing in order to help industry to reach the position in which it will be, if not prosperous, at least approaching prosperity.
What is being done with regard to raw materials that could be raised in this country? I have in mind such raw materials as were referred to at great length by the President of the Board of Trade. Is anything being done to help our own people to raise these materials I There are the in mines of Cornwall, for instance. I know that this is not a mining Debate, but the President laid great stress upon the materials which are imported into this country, and I submit that if we can raise raw materials 935 in this country, we ought to see that those who are now unemployed and are capable of being engaged on this work, are so engaged. That result could be brought about by a development of the tin-mining industry in Cornwall. I know that some assistance would be required. I am not asking for a subsidy, but I hold that it is the duty of the Board of Trade to ascertain why there is neglect of the tin mines in Cornwall.
I return now to engineering. The Parliamentary Secretary told us that engineering was in a much better position than formerly. I ask him to let us know what is happening with regard to the textile machinery trade. That trade is not dependent wholly on cotton. Textile machinery is used to-day for the manufacture of artificial silk, and many firms have spent a great deal of time and money in order to equip themselves for this production. I had expected that the President of the Board of Trade would have dealt with this side of the question. He does not help us by jumbling together the figures of marine engineering, machine tools and textile machinery, and then telling us that the conditions are such that we can hope for a prosperous time in the near future. I hope that we shall be told something about that particular industry.
The Parliamentary Secretary spoke of shipbuilding, and told us that there was an improvement. He said that we were now engaged in the building of 49 per cent. of the world's new ships. I do not know whether he feels happy about it. I certainly think that we shall have to improve to a much greater extent before we bring shipbuilding into a position that that industry would regard as prosperous. A good deal has been done by the efforts not only of shipbuilders and the employers generally, but of the shipbuilding trade unions.
With regard to cotton, can we be given figures to indicate what prospect the Board of Trade can hold out for the future. This industry has suffered from unemployment and under-employment for many years. My right hon. Friend the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) stated yesterday that it had suffered for a much longer time than most of the industries of the country. Recently we asked that 936 an investigation by the Government, should take place, but the Government sheltered themselves behind the statement that the Manchester Chamber of Commerce was holding an inquiry. Do the Board of Trade intend to leave the matter there or are they looking into the position of the industry in order to see what can be done?
We were told by the Parliamentary Secretary that there was a considerable improvement in the figures of income of the people in many of the industries of the country. He said that where the wages were fixed by a sliding scale based on the cost-of-living figures of the Board of Trade the people were no worse off. He had 1924 in his mind. I do not know whether he feels happy in using these figures. Anyone who understands the life of working people never attempts to use them, and as a negotiator for many industries I have refused from the onset, even in the days when advances of wages were offered on that basis, to use those figures. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to tell the Committee what constitutes the cost-of-living figure, and what standard of life is realised on the basis of the Board of Trade scales. Does he accept it as a reasonable standard of life?
I say that it is an unfair and unjust way of dealing with wages. The Parliamentary Secretary need not attempt to put it on the shoulders of the Ministry of Labour. I shall deal with the Ministry of Labour at the right moment. The hon. Gentleman has no right to suggest that the position of the workpeople is a happy one because their wages have been reduced only by the amount shown in the cost-of-living index figure. That figure represents a standard of life that is not worthy of the citizens of the country. It is a basis on which I shall refuse at all times to base the standard of life of those who are engaged in industry. Then the Parliamentary Secretary told us that in other cases where the workers had not had their wages reduced by this cost-of-living scale, real wages had gone up, and that the workers were in a much better position.
Will the Parliamentary Secretary tell the House which of the industries dealt with to-day by the President of the Board of Trade pay a wage which is adequate 937 for a reasonable standard of life? Even without waiting for his reply, I am prepared to say here and now that there is no industry in this country which is paying a reasonable wage—that is a wage which is adequate for a reasonable standard of life among its workers—and it is well known that that remark applies to Government Departments as well as to industries. I hope it will not be suggested that we should accept the picture painted by the President and the Parliamentary Secretary to-day as showing that there is a prospect of a great revival at this time. Certainly, the Government Departments concerned are doing nothing to bring about that improvement which is required, and, for that reason and because of the explanations offered by the Board of Trade or rather the want of them, I move this reduction of the Vote.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
It is unfortunate that a Debate of this importance should have been interrupted by the Debate on a Private Bill, and that the interest which might otherwise have been sustained in this discussion, has, to some extent, evaporated owing to that interruption. As has been suggested by the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) it is very important that we should give close consideration to the matters which come within the purview of the Board of Trade. In the first place, one must express great sympathy with the President of the Board of Trade, who was handicapped during the latter portion of his speech by news, very serious for him, which we all deplore. I may also say that the Committee are indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for a statement with regard to the statistical position of the trade of this country which was very informative, and, which will, I believe, prove useful to a great number of trades in this country. Having said so much, one must add that there was little in the actual figures submitted by the right hon. Gentleman to justify the spirit of optimism which he displayed. The disturbing factor is that we do not seem to be regaining with anything like sufficient rapidity the position which we held before the War in our export trade.
One found it very difficult to take complete notes of all the figures of volume which the right hon. Gentleman hurled at us, but many of us will study them with 938 a great deal of interest when we have them in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As far as I could gather from the figures, there are, here and there, certain hopeful signs of improvement in the volume of production in some of our important industries, but we are still in the very serious position of having an adverse balance of trade, with regard to actual imports and exports of merchandise, which is not fully compensated for by our invisible exports, and which must seriously limit the volume of our investments overseas. Anyone who has been connected with the Board of Trade knows how very important that is with regard to the maintenance and the extension of our trade in the future. As long as we have that serious diminution of the balance available from this country, For investment overseas, so long will it be difficult for us to extend the overseas market about which the Parliamentary secretary spoke this evening. It is not my intention, however, to deal at great length with that aspect of the subject. My right hon. Friend the Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham), in what I think may fairly be described from this side as a very cogent speech, gave his view and our view with regard to the general position. I desire to say something further about one particular point which he brought to the notice of the Committee. He drew attention to the fact, which has been mentioned again and again, and which has, once more, been brought into prominence by the report of the Balfour Committee, that in this count we have a greatly increasing number of amalgamations and combinations in industries of the productive, wholesale and distributing types.
We on this side have pointed out frequently that the inevitable result of the working of the capitalist system, sooner or later, would be that those who have always been the protagonists of the competitive individualist system would be forced to see that competition was bound to fail, and that a great effort would be made in the direction of forming amalgamations in industry. We feel that while there is a great deal to be said for the securing of the economies which are possible and the increased efficiency which may be achieved by the elimination of competition, and the strengthening of trade combinations, there is also very great danger to the whole community, if 939 the Government do not keep a proper watch on these developments. If the Government do not, by administrative or other action, apply the necessary remedies the ultimate effect will be not to improve, as we on this side desire to see them improved, the avenues of employment, the general standard of life of the workers, and the position of the community in general, but will be to create special advantages for those who are enabled, by means of the ownership of capital—still owned by them although controlled in amalgamated and combined concerns—to secure far too large profits at the expense of the community. This matter is difficult to handle in Committee or Supply, because it is not possible to suggest to the representatives of the Government what legislative action ought to be taken. I think, however, we are quite in order in drawing attention to the failure of the Board of Trade, under the administration of the right hon. Gentleman, to take advantage of current discusions in Parliament upon legislation. I think we are entitled to comment upon the attitude of those at the head of the Department towards legislation which is passing through the House of Commons.
The Greene Committee made certain recommendations for the amendment of the Companies Acts. These were based almost entirely upon their evident recognition of the fact that if these great amalgamations continued, it was essential, in the interests of the community, that the greatest publicity possible should be given to the operations of those amalgamations. The Committee made certain recommendations as to what should be included in the Measure which is being fathered by the Board of Trade. It is impossible to-night for us to discuss the terms of that legislation, but I think we are entitled to protest that, in dealing with that legislation, the attitude of the Board of Trade has not been helpful. If there is anything in the case of the Greene Committee at all, if there is anything in the fact that the Balfour Committee, in dealing with the factors in commercial efficiency, thought fit to draw attention especially to the recommendations of the Greene Committee, then surely, with the same uncanny accuracy with which the Parliamentary Secretary and his chief always interpret the recommendations of 940 the safeguarding committees, they ought also to interpret the findings of the Balfour Committee and the Greene Committee and see that their policy with regard to combinations in industry is as much guided by committees of that kind as it is usually guided in regard to the imposition of safeguarding duties.
I would like to draw some attention to a point in the administration of the Board of Trade which I think has not been mentioned before to-night. Previous occasions on which I have addressed the Committee on the Board of Trade Vote have been many, and I have usually had something to say about the operations of one of the sub-Departments of the Board, and that is the work of the Food Council. I appreciate very much the self-sacrifice and devoted attention to the subject-matter which is brought to the Food Council by many of the members of that body, and I believe that the publicity achieved with regard to certain of the matters with which they have dealt has been helpful, but I also believe that the Government have not gone anything like far enough to make it possible for the work of the Food Council to be really effective. I should have liked the representative of the Department to have told us whether or not the reply of the Prime Minister in the House the other day with regard to the powers of the Food Council is to be actually implemented.
There again I am in rather a difficult position. I cannot ask if the Board of Trade is now going to introduce legislation, but I am entitled to make some inquiries as to the present position. What we understood was that a further endeavour was to be made to get information for the Food Council from certain traders, or classes of traders, who up to the present had declined to give information which the Council regarded as essential. I understand that, as a result of the statement which was made in the House by the Prime Minister, further communications were sent by the Food Council to certain traders, who were given a time limit in which to reply. I think we ought to know to-night, if possible, whether all those traders have in fact supplied, to the satisfaction of the Food Council, all the information required, and whether or not, therefore, the Government consider any further action to be 941 necessary. I hold the view very strongly, from the light of experience, that if the Food Council is to be really effective, the Board of Trade will have to take much more drastic measures than they have yet appeared likely to take.
The only other matter with which I desire to deal is in regard to the general question raised to-night by the hon. Member for North Bradford (Mr. Ramsden), who dealt with the procedure followed by the Board of Trade with regard to safeguarding inquiries. His complaint with regard to the procedure under the Safeguarding Act is made, of course, from an entirely different angle from that which we should usually adopt from this side. I observed from the answers which were given recently, and brought up to date to-day by the President of the Board of Trade, that there have actually been no fewer than 49 applications under the safeguarding procedure, of which only nine have been effective, and that, therefore, very large and important bodies of traders in this country have been in a continuous state of unsettlement as to what was going to happen in many of the commodities which were a part of their business—in many cases a very important part—and in respect of which, if they wanted to be really effective, they would have had to appear before every one of those safeguarding committees to give evidence.
It will perhaps be convenient if I put the case of the body with which I am connected. There have been, out of the 49 cases which have been submitted under the safeguarding procedure, at least 36 dealing with commodities every one of which affected the business of the co-operative movement in the country. If we had really wanted to have an effective voice with regard to the final decision of these ex parte committees appointed by the Board of Trade, it would mean that we should have had to prepare evidence, select witnesses, and appear before all those safeguarding committees. It would have been a sheer impossibility for a body of that size to be continuously engaged in the preparation and submission of evidence before committees of this kind. I am not at all sure that, from some points of view, it would not have been better to go the whole hog desired by the Parliamentary 942 Secretary and, instead of having all this pettifogging and stupid detail connected with safeguarding, have had at least a modified general tariff. I should, of course, strongly oppose a general tariff, but, from the point of view of interference and uncertainty in the general trade of the country, it would be much more convenient for the people who have to deal with a very large number of commodities. I feel that, from that point of view, the Parliamentary Secretary ought to see that the procedure is screwed up, not in the direction desired by the hon. Member for North Bradford, but in the other direction.
I observe, from an analysis of some of the cases dealt with under the Safeguarding Act, that in some of the cases the application has been turned down because the committee has decided that the industry was not one of substantial importance. I cannot understand how such an application as that ever gets beyond the hon. Member. How does an application of that kind ever get to a committee at all? Why is it published abroad that there is going to be a committee sitting and dealing with trades of that kind, which are in the event not considered by the committee to be substantial, and that the people who are engaged in a particular trade have at least to begin to canvass, to prepare evidence, and to select witnesses, only to discover that the committee decides that it is not a trade of substantial importance in accordance with the terms of the White Paper? If that be the position, surely that application ought to be turned down in the firs place by the Board of Trade. After all, I cannot feel that that would be a very difficult matter for the Board of Trade They did not hesitate to refer to a quite different body than the Safeguarding Committees the application of the iron and steel trade. In that case the applicants were far too large and far too important, in the view of the Board of Trade, for the matter to be dealt with by a Safeguarding Committee. Surely, if that be the case, it ought not to be impossible for the Parliamentary Secretary to say that trades which are not, of substantial importance ought not to have their applications referred to the Committee, and the whole of the traders in consequence put to a great deal of inconvenience and unnecessary bother. So much for matters of administration.
943 I close with a note about the reply of the Parliamentary Secretary to the speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell). In the course of a reasoned argument, my hon. Friend dealt very briefly with the question of the relation of consumption to production. It is a point to which the Board of Trade might very well in considering their general policy, give far more consideration than they have yet given to the matter. It is true that the Balfour Committee in their Report make it clear that, in some of the industries in this country, we are still below the standard of efficiency in production that can be produced in evidence from other countries; but, speaking generally, it is true to say that very largely the problems of production have been solved, and in fact where we have still a great deal of progress to make, it is pretty certain that we shall make progress as the result of the development of 10 or 20 years of real co-operative research work. So we may say that, generally speaking, the problems of production, if not already solved, are being rapidly solved. What we are not solving in this country, or in any of the great industrial countries of the world, is how to relate the consumption of what we produce to the constantly increasing powers of production. The Parliamentary Secretary replied in a rather jocular way to my hon. Friend, and said that, of course, if you at once double the purchasing power of the working-class community in this country, you would really not help yourselves very much. In fact, you would create a kind of industrial and commercial chaos, upset the balance of industry, and begin to change about the various demands which at present exist for good in the community; but the Parliamentary Secretary must know quite well that any properly thought out policy and scheme which is adopted to improve the consumption of the people in relation to the increasing powers of production, would not seek at once to double the purchasing power of the pepole. That would itself create chaos.
We ask that every possible step should be taken to see first, that the existing wage of the workers should be made, as far as possible, a real wage by the elimination of profiteering; and second, that when you consider what is produced 944 in the way of wealth in goods and services by industry, you should see that the worker gets such a share of the profits that he becomes a much more highly efficient factor in the demand for goods than he is at the present time. All the Government seem to do is to devise schemes for the relief of this and that industry, making it more and more possible for profits to be made for those who have capital in industrial production, whether in single joint stock companies, or in actual amalgamations and combinations. Where large profits are made, it is quite plain that they are used again and again for re-investment in some productive plant for higher powers of production, before the problem of how to sell the increasing amount of production has been solved. I will put my point again from the co-operative point of view. It will not be accepted by many of the industrialists in the House, and by many of those who deal with finance in industry. We believe that some return on capital is necessary in order that you may replace wasted assets, and in order that you may provide for further capital development; but, taking the long years of experience which we have had in production, although I agree that we probably produce for a rather more certain market than is the case with some other productive factories, we have proved conclusively that, even in dealing with large scale production, a return of capital employed in industry of 5 per cent. is sufficient. If you can arrange for a maximum return on capital employed in industry of 5 per cent. cumulative—
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
The hon. Member falls quickly into error. There is no share in co-operative capital which is free from income tax. All members of co-operative societies, who are themselves liable for Income Tax, are liable for it on their share capital. The point which I want to make is that over a long period of years we have proved that we can get all the capital required to cover the two primary things of replacing wasting assets and providing capital for further industrial development, by having a return limited to 5 per cent., using the whole of the rest of the balance on productive industry for increasing the purchasing power of the consumer. We believe that, under any system that 945 could be introduced into our general industry in this country in which we could really relate the powers of production to the actual consuming powers of the population, we should not only finally improve production but we should practically do away with unemployment. There is no other cure for unemployment but that. The Parliamentary Secretary knows that I have frequently dealt with the tremendous need for improving our export markets by finding new markets, and I shall never move away from that. It is absolutely vital in this country, and yet I welcome the fact, which was mentioned by the President of the Board of Trade, that to-day the home market of this country is of very vital importance. But if that be so, the purchasing power of the people is of vital importance, and it is because the purchasing power of the people is kept so little in relation to the total wealth produced by productive industry, that our home market is not such a good factor as it ought to be. It is from that point of view that I think that the Board of Trade are lacking in constructive policy, and that we have very largely decided to-night to raise this question with the Government.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
When the President of the Board of Trade was speaking, I took the greatest interest in the figures he gave, because he took 1924 as the starting point. May I call the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to the fact that there are certain figures in connection with 1924 which his right hon. Friend did not mention, and figures that constitute a strange phenomenon. In 1924 there was a huge increase in the rates of wages paid, and there was a huge decrease in the number of working people who had to go to the guardians for relief. It was an absolutely exceptional year. From 1920 to 1928 that year 1924 stands out as an exceptional year, because of the fact that wages increased and the number of working people going to the guardians declined. It will take a great deal of explanation, a great many percentages and a skilful use of figures to get over those two essential facts. This occurred in a year when there was less safeguarding of industries than in any year since the War, and a year in which many protective taxes were withdrawn. These are facts which the Parliamentary Secretary 946 should carefully consider, because they have a hearing on the state of trade in this country and may afford some basis of calculation for action to be taken in the future.
The Parliamentary Secretary has been pointing out the hundreds of thousands of workers now in so-called insured employment in excess of the number in 1924, but may I call attention to the fact that the population of the world is increasing, that the number of our potential customers is increasing in at least as great a ratio as our own population, and if all we can do is to mark time and accept as permanent conditions in which we have 1,100,000 persons permanently unemployed, then God help the country! The Parliamentary Secretary has trotted out the idea that what this country needs is production and more production. There is no greater fallacy in the world than that parrot cry. More is produced in this country now than we can dispose of. We can produce immensely larger quantities of coal than we can dispose of, and immensely larger quantities of goods. The cotton industry was the greatest exporting industry in the country and I believe still is. It is not production that is suffering. We can produce in unlimited quantities.
§ Mr. SHAW
If the hon. Gentleman will permit me, I will repeat it again quite slowly. We can produce in this country all the really basic things of life, with the possible exception of food, in over abundant quantities. The largest exporting industry in the country is the cotton trade. In the cotton trade we could produce at least 20 per cent. more than we are producing. What is the fact is that the people have not got money enough to purchase the goods we do produce.
§ Mr. SHAW
It is perfectly true that we need raw materials, but we can only pay for them by manufactured goods. It is not true to say that we lack production, because we possess both production and a capacity for producing more. What is at fault is not the fact that we cannot produce but that our system has broken down, and the world cannot dispose of the wealth that is produced. We have countless millions of capital in this country lying idle, and we have at the same time 1,100,000 unemployed who could be working with that unemployed capital. If a madman had deliberately designed the world with all the phantasmagoria of a diseased brain he could not have designed anything worse than a state of things in which we have millions of capital lying idle and millions of men unemployed. We are told that we on this side are impracticable people and that our suggestions would bring the world to ruin.
We see in this House the boasted practical men who are supposed to be so superior to the weak dreamers on this side of the House. These are the men who boast of the great things they have achieved at a time when we have 1,100,000 men idle and hundreds of millions of capital lying idle at the same time. Hon. Members opposite claim that they are practical people. The Government have a majority in this House of two to one and they are all powerful. Where are your brains? What are you doing with all your powers? Why do you allow a state of things to exist in which unemployed workmen and unemployed capital ale to be found side by side? We wait in vain for the answer. We are told that things are going to be better, although we know that people are applying to the guardians in increasing numbers and the unemployed figures do not diminish.
The 1,100,000 unemployed who appear on the books of the Employment Exchanges do not represent the total of the unemployed in this country. Only a Census would tell us that. We know that we have more than 1,000,000 unemployed, and instead of getting any relief we get elaborate rainbows painted by the President of the Board of Trade. Some 948 of the mining villages of this country disclose a state of affairs which is a disgrace to any nation, and no civilised nation would allow the people to live under the condition in which the people are living to-day in our mining villages. At a time when that state of things exists we are told things are going to be better. There is a wave of the red rag, and we are told that the Russians are going to conquer us.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the right hon. Gentleman is getting a little away from the Board of Trade Vote.
§ Mr. SHAW
I suggest that it is the business of the Government to bring the unemployed and unemployed capital together, and the people should be provided with a reasonable share of the wealth they produce. I suggest that that is their business, and that, instead of doing their business, they are attempting to paint us very rosy pictures, but not to do any of the work. We are desperately anxious that they should do the work; we are desperately anxious that the President of the Board of Trade should come down to the House and say: "Here are our schemes, and the results are to be seen now. We have reduced, say in three months, by the use of certain methods, the unemployment figures from 1,100,000 to 700,000. We have secured, by the methods we have adopted, by sane administration and wise advice to various industrial interests in the country, such a better method of working that people now are having higher wages and better conditions than before, and we claim from the House, not only a recognition of our work, but that honour should be paid to it." If they did that, we on these benches would he the first to give them honour, but all that. we got is a statement that in 1924 the percentage was 100, and in 1928 we can call it 111, and things of that kind, and we see things getting, not better, but worse.
The actual production of basic wealth in this country is not really increasing. I venture to put to the hon. Gentleman this point, that the only industries that are flourishing in this country are not those which produce the basic articles, but are luxury industries and the banks. Banking is flourishing while industry is 949 perishing. That is a question which the hon. Gentleman might consider. The banks have apparently so much money that every corner in every town has a new bank. They really cannot spend their money, and all the' time industry is perishing. What does the right hon. Gentleman come and say his Department has done in this matter? It is a thing that any man in the street can see. He does not need to ask questions; he can see the thing with his own eyes. What is the Board of Trade doing? They suggest nothing by which industry could shake itself free of its shackles, employ more people, and give better results. In the cotton trade, for instance, there are certain things that cannot be done by anyone, but there is the fact that in the boom a number of people, some of whom, as I said in a previous speech, got titles when they ought to have got sentences, came into the county and walked out, without a single moment's real work, with millions of pounds. Of course, we wicked Socialists on this side would suggest that a man should work for what he gets, but not the practical people on the other side. Where has the Board of Trade made any suggestion that would help the real workers of the country to get the wealth that they create, instead of its being the fact as it is now, that the very last way to get wealth is to produce it, and the best way to get it is either to gamble or to juggle with it?
What I am saying now applies not merely to the workers, but to the employers. The employers are finding themselves in the grip of the octopus just as the workers are, and all the time, with all these problems, we find the President of the Board of Trade, apparently, quite oblivious to the developments of modern industry, and certainly either not willing or not able to tell the House what his Department intends to do in order to improve the system. The ramifications of capital now are like the feelers of the octopus I spoke of, stretching over the world, and we find British capital employing textile workers at Lodz, in Poland, while textile workers in this country are unemployed. We find Dutch capital employed here while Dutchmen may be walking the streets unemployed.
The opposite party has preached to us the system that competition alone will 950 develop the best faculties of mankind and will bring manhood to the highest, and that if you adopt methods of cooperation you will go slack and will not be able to build up a strong country. All that has gone to the wall. It is as dead as the dodo, and it has been killed by its own great apostles. The right hon. Gentleman who is about to be transferred to a place where the seats are red—I think he will be very comfortable on them—was the greatest apostle of this great doctrine. He read very lengthy lectures to the hon. Gentleman and his chief on what ought to be done and he extolled the virtues of competition. I am afraid they took notice of his lectures. I want to call the hon. Gentleman's, attention to the fact, and I hope he will report it to his chief, that the very great apostle of competition is now engaged in doing all he can to kill it and he is engaged, not only in this country but in many countries of the world, deliberately trying to kill the golden figure that he set up, whilst asking us, as well as his own party, to worship it.
This question of the disappearance of competition and the growth of an entirely new force in industry is a matter for the very serious consideration of the Board of Trade You can call it rationalisation, co-operation, trust, whatever you like, but in essence it is the absolute giving up of the idea of competition and its replacement by a system of co-operation. That is a fact that the hon. Gentleman and his chief will have to take into consideration, whether they like it or not. It is the only thing that is likely to save many industries in this country. The idea that unlimited competition can save them ha now been given up even by its warmest advocates. We can look at this with a certain amount of equanimity. We are not unaware of the dangers of the new method of combination. We are not unaware of the tremendous power that these new methods will give to the huge organisations that are springing up all over the world. We are not unaware of the danger that exists for the workers under the growth of these tremendous institutions, but some of us, and certainly I am amongst the number, believe that this development is as inevitable as that night should follow day, and that whether we like it or not, the old ideas of commerce and industry will have to 951 die and be replaced by the new order of combination, centralisation and co-operation, and it is just in this time of change, when everything in the world shows a change directly going on from one system of industry to another, that it is necessary that the Board of Trade, above all other Departments in the State, should have its finger on the pulse of things and be able to give the House practical suggestions for dealing with the new state of things that has arisen.
I have already referred to the fact that the only industries, apparently, that are prosperous in this country are either the luxury trades or the great financial interests. What do the Government do in order to meet this condition of affairs? They certainly have given, as far as I know, no constructive help in the development of either mining or cotton or shipbuilding or engineering. Instead of devoting themselves to big things, they play with the safeguarding of buttons, and I think the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) pointed out that they actually did get as far as putting a tax on mugs of all shapes and sizes. They put a tax on a few pans that come into the country. That is what they are doing in face of a condition of affairs in which over a million people are unemployed and in which countless machines are standing idle. It is not worthy of a great nation, and in view of the great majority that the Government possess we ought to have greater statesmanship.
May I again refer to the question of production? It is no use preaching to us on this question except you can show us a way whereby increased production will lead to increased employment and greater happiness for the producers. It is no use telling us that what we need is more production when we cannot get rid of the production we now have. All the time the industries of this country, the great staple heavy producing industries, seem to be going from bad to worse. Certainly, if there be an improvement it is so small as not to be seen. While this is going on, what is the use of talking about further production? What are the great difficulties that we are told confront the cotton trade, to which trade I refer, because it is the largest of all our exporting industries? We are told that one of them is the excessive hours worked and the low wages earned by people 952 in other countries. What has the Board of Trade done in order to bring about an international agreement with regard to hours of labour in order that if these conditions, bad as they may be, may be relatively improved? It is obviously the Board of Trade and other Departments which have prevented an agreement being made throughout Europe for the purpose of arranging for a reasonable number of hours to be worked by the workers. As a matter of fact, this country is now infinitely better situated comparatively than it was before the War. Whether you turn to India, to China, or to Europe, comparatively speaking, the condition in this country is better now as regards foreign countries than it was before the War. With it all we are losing our grip.
I have always said, and I say it again, that it is not the fault of the workmen of this country, because in my opinion we have some of the best if not the best workers in the world. I know one trade fairly intimately; I have spent a lifetime in it, and I have seen people at work in that trade in many countries but I have never seen anybody yet whom I consider to be even the equal, much less the superior, of our own people in Lancashire. It is not that we cannot do the work and, if I may say so of the trade which I know best, it is not because we have not the technical skill. The ordinary Lancashire technician is right at the top of his profession; he is not half-way down the ladder, but right at the top. The ordinary Lancashire employer as far as the technicality of his firm is concerned, knows it as well as any employer in the world.
What is the reason of the condition we are in? We have said to the Government, and I say to the Board of Trade again, that it would be very wise on their part to give up the attitude which they have so long adopted, of letting things slide. The policy of laissez faire may have been good 50 years ago when we were the first industrial nation in the world and when no other nation had a machine system comparable with ours. The doctrine of letting things slide may have done then, but it will not do now. We have to bring ourselves up-to-date. We have to realise that the world is marching as well as we are. We have to realise that when people begin business now in the machine industry they do not 953 begin as they did 40 or 50 years ago, very often with our worn-out machinery; they begin with new machinery, absolutely up-to-date, and often with English technical skill to help them to develop their industries. All these things are going on and the Government cannot afford to stand still, like Micawber, and wait for something to turn up. Something will turn up when it is made to turn up, and unless we are prepared to make it turn up there is little hope for our nation.
I heard the statement of the President of the Board of Trade and, like my hon. Friend who preceded me, I regret the circumstances that account for the absence of the right hon. Gentleman. There is one thing about the House of Commons, and it is a thing to be proud of, that, however much we differ politically, we always realise that there are things that far transcend party and are much greater than any party. I regret very much that the right hon. Gentleman is not here, but my regrets would have been much less if he had been able in his speech to give us some ray of hope for the future, some constructive idea, some sentiment, some statement that would have given us some glimmer of hope for the future. Instead, he gave us a collection of figures which were absolutely unilluminated by any suggestion of any possible step to be taken; nothing but blind despair, and for the reason that this is apparently due to lack of policy on the part of the Board of Trade, I shall certainly vote for the reduction.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
I am sorry to have to inflict a second speech upon the Committee to-day, but in the rather unusual circumstances which have arisen it is necessary that I should make a further speech. I have listened with pleasure, as I always do to the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw). He has gone out of the business with which he was prominently associated. He has abandoned the rabbit business and gone into the octopus business. I am not going to speak of the growth of industry, because I spoke on that subject earlier. The right hon. Gentleman said that it is the business of the Board of Trade to bring the idle hands and the idle capital together, and to give people the money with which to buy the goods that we produce. Apply that to the industry with which 954 the right hon. Gentleman is most closely associated. Let me assume that I have the power and could bring idle hands and idle capital together. Does the hon. Member suggest that the consuming power of this country would be sufficient to consume the products of the cotton industry of Lancashire working at full time? The consuming power which he is after is outside these islands.
§ Mr. T SHAW
May I call the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to the fact that some of us know that there are other countries in the Empire; and that India is in the Empire.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
India to-day has a partial form of self-government and as a result of it, rightly or wrongly, has thrown off her political shackles and adopted a system by which there is an Import Duty of 11 per cent. on cotton goods. That may be part of the trouble, but the logical consequence of granting self-determination to a country is that the country will devise a policy which, rightly or wrongly, it thinks will suit its own economic circumstances. Free Traders below the Gangway urged that a system of self-government should be conferred upon and when she is given Home Rule, India indulges in a protective tariff against Lancashire. There is no greater fallacy than the fallacy of greater production. When we talk about increased production what do we mean? Surely we are thinking of increased efficiency of production. Every hon. Member opposite who has spoken has urged the necessity of increased efficiency—and increased efficiency is increased production per person concerned—as in that way you increase your production, lower your selling prices, widen your markets and get more employment. Hon. Members do not real se the point of the difficulty by the balance of production. Four and a half years ago lots of people in this country followed the example of their sisters in France and got shingled. It had an adverse effect on the hairpin industry It is not a great industry; but it illustrates the point that if you have a change in the direction of expenditure resulting from some complete change in fashion you upset the industry entirely.
There has been a certain amount of discussion to the effect that the trouble arises from a lack of purchasing power 955 on the part of our workers. That may be the case, but the purchasing power of industry is the result of the sales of the product of that industry, and whatever dispute there may be as to the sharing of the profits of the industry as between the capitalist and the employé it makes no difference to the actual purchasing power of any portion. If wages are increased and profits diminished your purchasing power remains unaltered. If profits rise and wages fall your purchasing power remains unaltered. Let me assume that I am the manager of a factory and that I have associated with me so many workpeople. We work for a certain number of hours and produce £100 worth of goods. We sell them, and we have £100 to spend. The actual amount of purchasing power available is £100, whether I take half and give the workpeople the other half, or whether I take £5 and give the workpeople £95. The hon. Member who represents a coal mining area says that I should not spend it. In what way could any recipient of income in this country abstain from spending it? He can only spend it on the purchase of goods.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
If the hon. Member gets all that he wants for £25, what is he going to do with the other £25? The man who only gets £1 wants 30s., which he can use very well.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member is evidently under the impression that money that is saved is not, in fact, spent. Of course, it is spent on the purchase of capital goods, and if he will address himself to the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly)—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask the hon. Member to allow the hon. Gentleman to proceed. A number of questions have been put to him which he is answering.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If an hon. Member opposite asks questions, I am entitled to give answers to them before any other hon. Member intervenes. The hon. Member seems to think that money which is invested is not spent. I am merely pointing out that it is spent on the purchase of capital goods. If he consults the hon. Member for Rochdale, who is concerned with producing goods, he will discover that these goods consist very largely of iron and steel products, and that these goods result very largely in the production of coal and, therefore, money saved does, in fact, stimulate the production of coal.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member for Rochdale asked what we were doing. I cannot argue about legislation. I would point out that whenever we propose anything the hon. Member always goes into the Lobby and votes against us. There is the rating scheme, the safeguarding of industries duties which are in operation—[Interruption]. Then there is the effect of the Merchandise Marks Act on unemployment and the effect of the existing duties. There is the effect of the Films Act which, I believe, is of some value, and there is the work which we have taken in hand in connection with standardisation and simplification. Then the hon. Member asked about shipbuilding. I pointed out that our share of the world's shipbuilding is satisfactory. The total amount of shipbuilding in the world is not sufficiently large to keep our shipbuilding yards fully employed, but that arises from world conditions and not from internal conditions in this country.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
It is no good suggesting that reparation ships transferred ten years ago are to-day having any material effect on the shipbuilding situation, having regard to the fact that there is far more idle American tonnage in the world than the total amount of German ships transferred. With regard to the cotton conditions, I would refer to the recent speech made by my right hon. Friend, and also to the very plain 957 and clear statement made by the Prime Minister in his recent speech at Manchester, to which there is nothing to add. Surely, in view of the nature of that statement, there is no point at the moment in adding anything, particularly having regard to the fact that the details are the subject of an inquiry by a very competent body, the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and until that body has reported what is desirable, it would he perfectly stupid for the Government to set up another inquiry.
The hon. Member for Hillsborough attacked the President of the Board of Trade for what he called his complete optimism. The President did not indulge in any vague or complete optimism. He gave a very well-balanced report as to the state of the various industries, and said quite clearly that there was at the moment some check in trade, and he expressed the opinion that that check would be temporary. That is not a statement of overwhelming optimism. It is a carefully considered statement that my right hon. Friend was entitled to make on the reports that he had obtained.
Then the hon. Member for Rochdale wanted to know in which industry people get additional work—[HON. MEMBERS: "Wages!"] No, he said work. If the hon. Member will go into the Library and look at the Ministry of Labour Gazette for November, 1927, he will find on page 428 enough information to keep him employed for a long time. He asked which industry pays an adequate wage, and then he proposed to reduce either my salary, or that of my chief.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
An adequate wage is wholly relative. If you could tell the citizens of 50 years ago what was the existing wage to-day in relation to the cost of living, they would be astounded at the high standard of living that our people now enjoy. What is a decent standard of living is entirely relative to the age in which you live. I hope that people will never be contented, and that 958 they will always go on seeking to raise the standard of life. If 50 years from now you told people what are the wages paid to-day, they would probably still talk about the deplorably low standard of life now enjoyed. The hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) wanted to know what was the position of the Food Council. On 17th May the Prime Minister made the very definite statement that "Unless within a reasonable period the requisite information is supplied to the Food Council," etc. He said "a reasonable period." No specific time limit was fixed, for an obvious reason. Since the matters have been in dispute with some of the traders for a considerable period, new periods have begun in relation to which information should be obtained, and therefore new statements will have to be procured. If there is any default, of course the pledge, of the Prime Minister will be carried out. I have now covered all the material points that were raised, and I hope we shall get the Vote.
§ Mr. PALING
I had hoped that the hon. Gentleman was going to deal with the question raised by the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell) in regard to coal exporting. He was asked which industries were providing increased work. Certainly the mining industry is providing so much, that only 250,000 men altogether, have been thrown out of work owing to the policy of the Government.
§ Mr. PALING
The hon. Member is in favour of the wearing of the guss by the miner in his own constituency. That is capitalist policy. I am sorry the Parliamentary Secretary did not try to assure us that the Board of Trade was doing something to arrive at an international agreement in regard to coal selling abroad. I cannot go into the question though I might have been able to do so, had the hon. Gentleman not made two speeches instead of one.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £100,675, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 122; Noes, 200.961
|Division No. 161.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Harris, Percy A.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Stall., Cannock)||Hayes, John Henry||Robinson, W. C (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Ammon, Charles George||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hirst, G. H.||Scurr, John|
|Baker, Walter||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barnes, A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Batey, Joseph||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shinwell, E.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kennedy, T.||Smillie, Robert|
|Buchanan, G.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lansbury, George||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Ctuse, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Snell, Harry|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Connolly, M.||Lee, F.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cove, W. G.||Livingstone, A. M.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lunn, William||Strauss, E. A.|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J.R.(Aberavon)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Day, Harry||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Dennison, R.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Duncan, C.||Maxton, James||Tomilnson, R. p.|
|Dunnico, H.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Townend, A. E.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Montague, Frederick||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. p.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morris, R. H.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Morrison, R. C, (Tottenham, N.)||Watson, W. M (Dunfermline)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Groves, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wright, W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Hall, G. H. (Marthyr Tydvil)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hamilton. Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Riley, Ben||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Hardle, George D.||Ritson, J.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Galbraith. J. F. W.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gates, Percy|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Chapman, Sir S.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Christie, J. A.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Cochrane. Commander Hon. A. D.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Atkinson, C.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington. N.)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Bainiel, Lord||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Gunston, captain D. W.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hacking, Douglas H.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Bennett, A. J.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Bethel, A.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hanbury, C.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Harland, A|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Davies, Or. Verndn||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Dixey, A. C.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. w.||Drewe, C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Briggs, I. Harold||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Ellis, R. G.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||England, Colonel A.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Brooke, Brigadier General C. R. I.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.( Berks, Newb'y)||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Burman, J. B.||Falls, Sir Bertram G.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Fanshawe, Captain G. 0.||Hurd, Percy A|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Fielden, E. B.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Campbell, E, T.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Can't}|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Jephcott, A. R|
|Kennedy, A. Ft. (Preston)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Templeton, W. P.|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Plicher, G.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Preston, William||Tinne, J. A.|
|Looker, Herbert William||Price, Major C. W. M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Radford, E. A.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|McLean, Major A.||Raine, Sir Walter||Vaughan-Morgan Col. K. P.|
|Macnaghton, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Ramsden, E.||Waddington, R.|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Rentoul, G. S.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wells, S. R.|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Salmon, Major I.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Samuel, A M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Sandon, Lord||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Savery, S. S.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Nutiall, Ellis||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Oakley, T.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Penny, Frederick George||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Captain Margesson and Captain Wallance.|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Tusker, R. Inlgo.|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, and, objection being taken to further Proceeding, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.