HC Deb 08 March 1928 vol 214 cc1338-85

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 153,500, all ranks, be maintained for the Service of the United Kingdom at home and abroad, excluding His Majesty's Indian possessions, during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1929.


During the War days I had the privilege and honour to serve in a unit which was entirely new in the British Army. It was a unit which dealt with the danger that was thrust upon the British troops in a fashion and manner the barbarians themselves had never introduced. It was the great and terrible devastating terror of burning poisoned oil and poisoned gas. These horrors were first inflicted on the British troops by the enemy of that period. I had the privilege and honour to be connected with the first British unit which was formed and trained in order to deal with that devastating terror. We had in our ranks men from the lowest grade of life, and we had in our commissioned ranks men from the greatest scientific centres of the British Empire. When we had perfected our guns and instruments in this country, when we had made ourselves the most efficient unit in the British Army—for that we were—and when we were conveyed overseas, and when we required trained chemists and pharmacists to improvise, make and supply the combination of materials for use in our guns and for the purpose of attack and defence, the one special difficulty that we had to encounter was that we found that we had to apply for such chemists at home. They were then traced to the different units and we found that they were being utilised sometimes as officers' servants and sometimes in the very lowest though the most essential part of the work, i.e., reveting, quartermaster stores, etc. In no case were they utilised where their professional skill was vital and essential either in respect of the wounded and the maimed or in respect of this new essential unit formed to deal with this type of warfare that had been thrust upon us by our enemies.

These matters were very carefully discussed by the chemists and the pharmacists of the country in the War days, and representations were made by the accredited bodies who had the control and guidance of these professional men and women, first to the Secretary of State for War, later to the Army Council, and thirdly to the Cabinet, to the effect that the qualifications and efficiency being wasted in work that could have been done by unskilled people of all kinds might be sifted out and applied to dispensing prescriptions for the severely wounded, and to the professional organisation of the Army which had to face a scientific warfare which, as I have said before, had never before been thrust upon any nation.

I am afraid that not much headway was made, either with the Secretary of State or the War Cabinet or even by the Cabinet itself. For some unknown reason, which we could not discover at the time, there seemed to be a distinct negation of any suggestion which came from that patriotic body, which consisted of 20,000 pharmacists, who heartily desired to support their brothers in the field in the way that would be most helpful to them and the country. As a result of a certain amount of pressure, legitimately applied in this House, it was made possible to have a conference. The conference was representative of the technical officers of the War Office, who carried the responsibility of the supervision of the unskilled dispensers used in the hospitals, and also comprised delegates from that great body of organised pharmacists. The conference sat in 1920 and carefully considered the claims and propositions which had been put forward during the War in respect to this matter. The whole of the ground was efficiently and thoroughly covered. The whole of the propositions of those skilled men who had inaugurated the movement and would have undertaken the responsibility of dispensing in the Army, the field hospitals and in the home hospitals in respect to preparation of the drugs and necessities for the fulfilment of the work, were thoroughly considered.

That council, as I have said, was held in 1920, after the War days. Nothing had been done during the War time, although representations were made in August, 1914, and were carried on systematically until the conclusion of the War, at the Armistice. Nothing was done, even after all these efforts, to utilise all this expert knowledge which was patriotically offered to the country and the defensive forces of the Crown, particularly the Army. The Navy utilised their services to the full, and in any professional capacity that was necessary. Every civilised country in Europe followed the same practice. In France, in 1914, there were 115 pharmacists in the Army, one carrying the rank of general. In Prussia, which formed a part of the German Army, 49 pharmacists were used, one holding staff rank. In Austria, 108 were utilised, all of whom were officers. In Russia, a certain number were used. In Italy, 126 were utilised, one having the rank of colonel; in Holland, with its small army, there were 22, and in Belgium 54. In every civilised country in Europe this type of trained pharmacists were utilised in the professional expert capacity for which they were best qualified to be of service to the respective armies. After the conference in 1920 definite and unanimous agreement was reached upon certain points by the representatives of War Office and pharmacists.

It was pointed out then, as now, that economy and a proper spending of the taxpayers' money was a vital consideration, and that if it could be proven to these pharmacists that that which they desired to do, namely, to be responsible for the dispensing of the prescriptions of the medical officers in the Army, under the control and discipline of the experts of their own professional body, that is, by its commissioned officers, would be uneconomical, or that it would in any way interfere with the magnificent services of the medical officers of the Army, those 20,000 chemists would say: "We will not stand in the way, nor shall it ever be said that sick soldiers are in the slightest degree prevented from rapid recovery by the utilisation of our services, nor shall it be said that the heavy taxation to be borne by the country shall be made heavier on our account."

I do not desire to take up too much time, but it is important to explain the position, because those of us who are particularly interested in this matter and who had practical war experience in regard to it have been pressing it for years. The first resolution was that there must be a commissioned officer in charge of every accredited military hospital in this country. It was argued that there should be three commissioned officers for a certain area in London. Next that there should be given full facilities for those unqualified dispensers who had been operating under medical supervision to qualify. The pharmacists were prepared to give special facilities for these men to acquire the necessary education to deal with this important work. The recommendations of that conference have never been accepted in the slightest degree by the Army Council or by the Secretary of State, although the representatives of the Army Council and the Secretary of State accepted those resolutions unanimously. To-day, instead of having three we have only two pharmacists so operating in the Army.

It was agreed by the conference that the appointment of these pharmacists would be an economical arrangement. I emphatically repeat if it could be proven that it would be cheaper to use unskilled labour in this work, and that the soldier patients would not suffer as a result of such unskilled service, and that the proposals of the pharmacists would be wasteful, then the pharmacists of this country, putting on one side their legitimate, professional right—and they have a right by charter and by Statute of this House—would, I believe, even now not be heard in the country to the extent that they are being heard to-day in complaint. The War Office at the present time are buying their necessary compounds already prepared to be taken by the patients, but if these could be made up under the control and supervision of trained pharmacists, if these drugs and ingredients could be prepared in the 12 or 13 standard compounds which are necessary in the military hospitals of this country, there would, on the market prices of these compounds, be a saving of from 50 to 70 per cent. in the cost.

There is another feature of this matter, to which I must draw attention. In passing I should like, however, to congratulate the hon. Member on his well-earned promotion, and I do so without any of the qualifications which have been used by hon. Members above the Gangway. Here is an occasion when he might commemorate his accession to office by the adjustment of the service I ask for. Again, if he suggests that economy by the utilisation of unskilled labour in the hospitals is perfectly covered and made fool-proof by the medical supervision that obtains, I want to say this, that whilst paying my full quota of respect to the medical profession, it is impossible for them to control and guide and prevent any error that may arise in the mixing and at the same time give cheapness of product which is essential by utilising unskilled labour. I have obtained from the Register of the University of Cambridge, details of the necessary qualifications for a man trained in chemistry in 1913 and later in 1927, and when I compare the curriculum of training which is given to the medical profession in respect to pharmacy with the training which is called for in the case of a certificated pharmacists, I say that it is impossible for the medical profession, whilst at the same time acting as physicians and surgeons, to give the necessary guidance and supervision to unskilled men in administering and dispensing. Either the medical or the pharmacist work suffers. It is well for the Committee to remember that whilst criminals and civilians can demand their medicine to be mixed and composed by trained chemists, whilst a lunatic is also treated in the same way, the ordinary Tommy must have his number nines prepared for him by a splendid fellow, a good soldier, but certainly not one who is trained to deal with this most important work. I am not asking anything that is unreasonable. I am only asking that what obtains in every other civilised country in Europe and in the United States Army should be permited in respect of our own Forces. I believe the Air Force would follow in the footsteps of the Army. My hon. and gallant Friend, a few moments ago in speaking of the general vote, said—I took it down for purposes of accuracy— The better article is that which lasts longer and gives better quality is always economy even if it costs more. That was his definite statement and I ask him to live up to it. We do not ask for a great deal. We do not ask what we could in fairness claim, and what obtains in other armies. We do not ask for the 2,000 pharmacists who now dispense in the French Armies, and we guarantee that these chemists shall not be allowed to deal with gas for warfare purposes. We want the Tommies in hospital to have trained chemists under the guidance of the best intelligentsia amongst their own commissioned officers to serve them. We only ask that there should be not less than one commissioned pharmacist, possibly of senior rank, supported by an officer of junior rank in each Army hospital at home and abroad with a senior commissioned pharmacist officer at the War Office; or, if that is not possible, then an officer of senior rank operating under the medical officers in each hospital at home and abroad. I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend can rely on receiving the support of the 20,000 chemists in the country and we will do our best to make the scheme as efficient as it has been in other parts of the world.


I beg to move, to reduce the Vote by 50,000 men.

This has nothing to do with the rest of the Army Estimates. We are not opposing the rest of the Estimates, because it includes money for pensions for a common soldier, and we do not want to lessen that amount. In fact, our idea in putting forward this Amendment is to leave so much more money for pensions for those who are left and to allow more money for higher rates of pay for services rendered. This proposal to reduce the Army by 50,000 men is quite in keeping with all the pronouncements of all my colleagues on these benches, from the Front Bench right to the back benches. They have all been in favour, no matter what position they take up now, of a reduction in the Army. Why are we as members of the working classes in favour of a reduction in the Army? I am not propounding the proposal of disbanding the British Army. I am only asking for a reduction. I represent thousands of people on the banks of the Clyde, who have nothing to fear but factors and rack renters, working people for whom the greatest trouble is not the Prayer Book but the rent book. The representative of the Government here to-night has been complimented on his deliverance, and I think I agree with all that my comrade the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) said on those lines. But the former pronouncements of the representative of the Government are entirely averse from the pronouncement which he makes now as an official of the Government. I have read a speech which the hon. Gentleman delivered, where he said that we should welcome every opportunity for disarmament and that, in fact, we should give a gesture of disarmament ourselves. Now is your opportunity, but you have failed. You shrank, you ran away from the position—you, a heroic Briton.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. James Hope)

I do not think I have given any indication of running away from the hon. Member.

9.0 p.m.


No, Sir, I know you would not run away from me. I ought to have been addressing you. I would ask, Sir, what does the working class in this country require an Army at all for? Do the workers of this country want to fight anybody? What enmity exists between my class and the working class on the Continent? There is absolutely none. Is there any difference between the working people on the Continent and my own fellow-countrymen? Do not the Germans, the French and the Russians all love their children just as we do? Do they hate us? It is not true and it never was true. The only people who have bickerings now or at any time are the ruling class of one country against the ruling class of another country. My class have no quarrels and, at the moment, I ask this Committee to consider what have 1,000,000 unemployed men and their dependants to defend in this country. I can understand our employers of labour, like the Beardmores, and the Weirs, and the Aberconways, who own the shipyards and the big engineering shops on the Clyde, wanting to defend their country. They have something to defend, but what about my class? They are faced with the landlords and the factors who have decided to impose a 10 per cent. increase of rent. There are the enemies of my class—those who own and control the means whereby the working class of this country live, move, and have their being. They are the enemies and not any enemy across the sea. Again, this proposal for a reduction in Vote A of 50,000 men is in keeping with the gesture which has been made by the Russians. They did not suggest total disarmament at once. They suggested that it might be accomplished in four years, and this proposal is in keeping with that suggestion. Let us have this demonstration on the part of the Government, if they are in earnest, to show the world at large that they are earnest in the wish of peace. Unless some Power makes an effort to show the other Powers that they are earnest in the wish for peace, nothing will be done. Just think of what we have listened to here to-day! It has been enough to make one's blood run cold. I sat here and listened—and I have not even gone out for any tea—to the most blood-curdling stories that it has ever been the lot of a human being to hear. These were not German Huns who were making these pronouncements, nor were they Russian Bolshevists. They were representatives of the Tory Government on the back benches opposite—noble Lords and Knights of the British Empire—and what were they talking about? About different kinds of poison gas and flaming gas and tear bombs; about dropping bombs from aeroplanes on children and blowing God's image into bundles of bloody rags as the present Chancellor of the Exchequer said during the War. Our fellow-countrymen and women will read these speeches, and how can they think that we are sane individuals or that we are bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh, when we can sit here and listen to men calmly discussing ways and means of tearing human flesh off human bones and of tearing little children from the breasts of their mothers and throwing them to the dogs, and discussing, in cold blood, the most scientific, brutal, callous and beastly methods of destroying human life. And we did so after some of those who spoke had, like myself, to-day, listened to the Chaplain pronouncing that prayer that is recited every day here at the opening of this angust assembly, founded on the fundamental of "Love one another, as I have loved you." Tell me how much love of our human kind has been put forward here to-day by the present Government. Has the love of man, has the love of woman, has the love of our own kind for one instant entered into any of their minds when they were discussing this position here to-day? Not a solitary sentence has been in conformity with that prayer that we put forward here every day. It is a mockery; it is the height of hypocrisy. If we were honourable men, if we were fearless men, as we pose before the world that we are, we, would take that prayer and throw it into the Thames and be done with the business, and we would preach hell fire and destruction to the rest of the world in favour of the British Empire, because nothing else has come from those benches to-day. It was the British Empire supposing we blow the rest of the world to smithereens. There is no man within hearing of my voice who can deny that. That is the teaching, that is the dictum, that is the guiding principle of the Tory party, which rules my beloved land at the present moment.

Therefore, I hope that my colleagues will rally behind us, go into the Division Lobby, and vote to the best of our ability against this. We know perfectly well that we will be called fanatics, of course. We do not care what you call us. We have been called all manner of names. We would rather be called those names than be them. But we are asked to be practical men, we are asked to remember that at any time in the immediate future we may be in a position to form the Government of the country, and, therefore, we should bear in mind that being so near to the power of office—[Interruption]—there is some hope that we will make a better job of it than you are making. We are told that we should remember that what we state now will be used in evidence against us when we are the Government of the country, and that we may not be able to do just as much when we are in power as we said we would. Therefore, having due regard to all those facts, we are not suggesting the entire disbandment of the British Army, but we are asking for a reduction of it. It is only the Army that I can discuss at the moment, and I have to leave aside the Navy and the Air Force, but we are satisfied that if we could have this reduction here, it would be a good beginning. Instead of us wasting all this money, we would have it for education, we would be able to see that our children were getting a better chance in life than they do get, we would be able to see that the housing conditions of the people would be better, that our hospitals would he better looked after, and that there would be more money for the general well-being of the people, instead of it being destroyed in this useless fashion.

It would have a tremendous effect in another way, because what can you expect of men who are taken into an army? What does an army mean? I remember that when I was taken before the Commander of the Forces in Scotland during the War, he told me that I would have to obey certain rules and regulations, and he said, "What do you think? You have to remember, Mr. Kirkwood, that you are no longer a civilian, that you are under my control. You are deported, you are under Army Regulations, and when you come under Army Regulations it is not yours to reason why, it is but yours to execute orders." That, is the negation of all that we stand for. That means that when you become a soldier you surrender your manhood, you cease to be a man, you are under the iron heel of an officer. It is not yours to reason why. You have no right to challenge, no right to reason; it is but yours to do and die. That has a demoralising effect on men. No man is as good as the man who is free, whether it is in peace or in war. The free man is always the best man. Therefore, I move my Amendment, and I will divide the Committee and take my colleagues into the Lobby against this Vote A.

Major-General Sir RICHARD LUCE

I do not rise to approve of the reduction of the Vote, but to raise several points with regard to the Royal Army Medical Corps, and firstly with regard to the reduction of the establishment of that Corps, which is being made in the Estimates of this year, by 22 officers and 284 men. That is out of an establishment of 4,163—a reduction, therefore, of about 6.8 per cent. It will be seen that the reduction in the rest of the establishment of the Army is only about 1,000 out of an establishment of 140,000; that is to say, about 0.7 per cent., or only one-tenth of the percentage by which the Royal Army Medical Corps is to be reduced in this year's Estimates. It is mentioned in the Estimates that this reduction is due to the closing down of certain hospitals and a recent review of the number of equipped beds maintained in military hospitals. I have no objection to a reduction of hospitals where that can be effected, or to a co-ordination of hospitals, where that can be done, between one service and another, as has been done to some extent in the last year or two. I am one of those who believe that the medical services of the Army, Navy and Air Force would be benefited by the amalgamation of those services; but the reduction of hospitals must not be the criterion of the establishment of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

If the strength of that corps were to depend solely on the number of beds, and if the duty of the medical service were merely to look after the sick of the Army in peace time, a much better system than our present one could be devised. Why should we have men of the Royal Army Medical Corps doing duty in military hospitals at all? Such work would be infinitely better done by women nurses and sisters. The duty to be done in these hospitals is the training of the male personnel for duty in war, and that duty cannot be done by women, for it is largely work in the field, although we know how much work women did in the late War close to the front. Therefore, the establishment of the Royal Army Medical Corps must not be allowed to be based on the actual beds that are required in hospitals in peace time. The proportion of men needed by the Royal Army Medical Corps, as compared with other branches of the Service, is based on the experience of many years, going right back to the beginning of last century. Time after time as wars have come there have been difficulties because, in the intervals between those wars, through undue economy the medical services have been reduced below the safety efficiency, and this has rendered them incapable of doing their work in time of war. We know the scandals that occurred in the Crimean War, and the great effort that had to be made to reorganise entirely the medical service after that war. The same occurred to a lesser extent in the South African War, and the nation determined after that War to reorganise the Royal Army Medical Corps and to make it a really efficient and satisfactory body which could carry out their duties if they were ever required again.

Their work in the last war showed what had been gained by experience in previous wars, and the Royal Army Medical Corps rose nobly to the occasion. There was practically no serious breakdown in any part which had to be worked by that Corps, although there was a partial breakdown in Mesopotamia, where the medical work fell on a branch of the Service—the Indian Medical Service—which had been starved in peace time. At the end of the War, the Royal Army Medical Corps had been proved and was not found wanting, but since then, with the cry for economy, there has been a perpetual and constant whittling down of the service. In 1923–24, there was a reduction of over 300 men; a year before a reduction of 63; and this year comes another reduction of 300 officers and men. There has been a considerably greater proportion of reduction in this Corps than in the rest of the Army. There is an idea that medical service can be improvised in war-time out of civilian medical men. That is not a fact. Anyone who had experience in the Great War realises that where you have to deal with officers and men who have not received an administrative training in medical work for war, it takes them a long time before they achieve anything like the state of efficiency that is attained by Regular officers. There are many branches in the Medical Service which are not the same in peace as in war. Military sanitation is a complete service of its own and requires a different knowledge and experience from that acquired in peace-time, and it is impossible to improvise a service of that kind in the War. If reductions in the cost of the Army are necessary, and reductions in the Medical Service are made, they ought to be in proportion to the reductions in the other services.

In Vote 10 there is a sum of £69,000 for new buildings at the various hospitals throughout the Empire—all very necessary improvements and additions to the hospitals, but it is to their upkeep that I wish to call attention. It is impossible from the Estimates to see how much of the £1,314,000, which is to be devoted to the upkeep of military buildings, is to be devoted to hospitals. Last year circumstances took me to the great hospital at Netley. One cannot go to that hospital, with its great traditions, founded as it was in that wave of military medical ardour after the Crimean War, on the most beautiful site on Southampton Water, and see it as it is now without a sense of depression and gloom, and without feeling that we are not doing our duty to our sick soldiers in peace-time. Netley is the largest military hospital we have, and it is specially devoted to the men who are invalided from overseas. They land in England from hospital ship, and the first place to which they go is Netley. They go there and find it in the condition that I saw it last year—an atmosphere of gloom, a lack of paint and lack of care, the grounds allowed to go to rack and ruin, and this in a place where everything might be for the very best that is possible. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to look into this matter of the upkeep of our hospitals. It would do a vast amount of good if he could visit them and, perhaps, before doing so, if he visited a good voluntary hospital, and compared them so that he might see the difference in atmosphere.

A year or two ago one of the greatest authorities on hospitals in this country said in my hearing—not with reference to military hospitals, but with regard to other State hospitals—that as long as a department was connected with the State bare duty might be done, but no grace would be added to that duty, and that there never could be a heart-beat in a Government Department. We do not want that to be said of our military hospitals. I do not think it was so in Wartime. During the War the nation rose up and determined that that should not be said, but since the War things have been drifting in such a way that we are not very far from that statement being true of our military hospitals—not for what has been done in the hospitals, but because of the way in which they are kept up, their gloomy condition, the lack of paint, and so on.

There is also the important point of the failure to keep up the establishment of the medical officers in the service. I know that is an extremely difficult point, and it is not at all easy to say why the service fails to attract duly qualified men at the present time. Looking at it from a fair point of view, I cannot say that the pay of the Royal Army Medical Corps is insufficient, but the fact remains that there are not enough candidates coming forward, and that the service is lacking in efficiency on that account. I think one of the chief causes is the feeling in the Service that it is a Service which is being reduced, and one which has not that sort of permanency which is necessary to keep up a feeling of esprit de corps. It is the constant reduction of strength, and therefore the increase of work which is causing a feeling of unrest among those who are already serving, and making them unwilling to get other men to join.

I have felt it my duty to warn the Secretary of State against allowing this Service to go downhill by a series of piece-meal reductions. The medical branch is not unlike the conies who were described in Proverbs as being exceedingly wise but feeble folk. The medical officers and their heads in the Army have not got that weight of power behind them to stand up for their particular share of the available Estimates, as have the other departments. It is the duty of someone to bring to the notice of the country and the Government the fact that they are not getting their fair share, and that they are likely to be reduced below a state of efficiency. They have no direct representative on the Army Council. They only share one with a very large number of other branches in the Service, and, therefore, they never make their position known in the same way as if they had one themselves. The responsibility for the maintenance of the proper establishment of the medical service must, therefore, rest on the Secretary of State for War, the Government and the country. If in years to come another war came and the medical services were found unprepared for it, or incomplete, the country would cry out for blood, as it has done on other occasions. Somebody would have to be made the scapegoat. It is not likely that it will be the present Secretary of State whose blood will be asked for. It may be a long time ahead, and, perhaps, by that time he may be sleeping under the protection of the floor of Westminster Abbey. Whoever it may be, the chances are that the scapegoat will not be the Minister of that time or any other Minister, but the heads of the Medical Departments who will have to bear the brunt for what is being done now, piecemeal, in the way of reduction of a Service which cannot exist if it is not properly supported in numbers. Those are the points that I wish to bring before the House. While one realises that in times like these there must be economies and reductions, let not those reductions be greater in a service which is so essential as the medical service than those of any other branch of the Services.


In supporting the reduction moved by the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) I would remind the House that at the opening of Parliament we were told in the King's Speech that we were at peace with the world, and that our relations with all other countries were of a friendly description, and it is strange, therefore, that we should be asking for all this money and all these men for the Army at the present time. If the economy of which we hear so much is to be anything more than words, we require to make more than a mere reduction of £500,000 on the Army Estimates. To come forward asking to be given credit for economy after having made only this slight reduction, is a begging of the whole question, especially seeing that armaments to-day, whether in guns, or gas, or of whatever description, have a far greater destructive capacity than ever before. We have listened to many speeches from those who have served in the Forces, and it is instructive to note the atmosphere which was created by the speeches of those who have been officers in the Army. I think it was the hon. and gallant Member for Montrose (Sir R. Hutchison) who asked the right hon. Gentleman to see that before cavalry regiments were turned into mechanised regiments they should be consulted, just as, he said, people in industry are consulted before alterations are made. It is evident that there is need for another inquiry to be carried out, by the hon. Gentleman's party, because we do not know that in industry the people concerned are consulted before great changes are introduced. After all we have heard, told us in cold blood, of how particular weapons can destroy life, if we are still to live up to the professions of peace so freely made, we cannot rest content to keep on voting a force of 200,000 men.

Coming to particular items in the Estimates, one would expect to find that greater consideration would be shown to the men serving in the Army in the matter of improving their pay. If this Amendment be accepted, it will set free a considerable sum of money which can be used in improving the conditions of those serving in the Forces, and will enable the Department to deal with pensions, gratuities and other emoluments, and giving to the people who have a right to them better terms than they receive at present. In spite of the talk of economy, we find the War Department, not content with all the money that it is spending in this country, still going on with a great expenditure of £685,000 on the base at Singapore. In face of that, do they really mean it when they tell us we are at peace with the world, or are they misleading us? Then there is the expenditure being incurred in Egypt at the present time, and there is expenditure in various other places where they have not even been keeping the sanitary conditions for our troops equal to those obtaining for the civil population. I must point out, too, that at the same time that we are getting rid of much of the cavalry we find we are being asked to spend a considerable sum of money on the building of new stables. I would ask, further, what justification is there for a land force of more than 200,000 men when we claim that at the moment no difficulty exists between other countries and ourselves? If the statement in the King's Speech be correct, the Government can surely accept this Amendment to reduce the land forces by 50,000 men. In that way we should show that we were in favour of doing something to ease the burdens on the people and at the same time be working in the direction of peace and disarmament.


These Votes give hon. Members an opportunity of ventilating grievances which they cannot otherwise bring before the notice of the House, and I wish to ventilate one, though I would not present this personal case were it not that I am afraid there are other cases of much the same kind. It is the case of an officer who joined the Army in 1900. He went through the South African War, had a splendid record, in 1915 was made second in command of his regiment, and on several occasions commanded the regiment in peace and War. He was twice mentioned in despatches and received the D.S.O. In 1920, he was sent to the Senior Officers School to qualify for a permanent command. Hon. Members know that officers are not sent to this school, where they cost the nation a great deal of money, unless their immediate superior officers believe them to be fit for a command. This officer obtained an excellent report from the school. Three years afterwards, in quite a casual way, he was told by the Selection Board, when an opportunity came to command the regiment, that he could not be employed, and he was put on half-pay. I understand that only one member of the Selection Board had any personal knowledge of the officer in question. There is an appeal from the Selection Board to the Army Council, but four of the prominent military men who sat on the Selection Board also sat on the Military Council, so that it is like a Court of Appeal trying its own case. A system like this is not one that conduces to the best interest of the Army with regard to senior appointments. Let hon. Members think of a man after 23 years' service being thrown upon the scrap heap without any reason being given to him as to why he has been discharged. Applications have been made to the War Office asking why this man has not been appointed to a higher position, and no satisfactory answer has been given. Probably the Secretary of State for War will say that all those who join the Army must be prepared to put up with this sort of thing. I think it is most important that young people who join the Army should be distinctly told that their careers may be broken when they are half way through without any compensation. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman who has done so much for the Army—I think the Debate to-day shows that the efforts of the Secretary of State for War have been appreciated—to look into the case of my friend in order to see whether it is possible to remove a grievance of this character which, if allowed to remain, will have a great effect upon recruiting for the higher branches of the Army in the future.

10.0 p.m.


I wish to support the Amendment. The Mover of the Amendment made a very thrilling appeal concerning this formidable force, which, according to the view of the Government, seems to be absolutely necessary. On questions of this kind, the Prime Minister seems to have adopted an attitude of contempt for the back benchers who move Amendments of this kind. I realise the difficulty of the various parties, more especially when they are anticipating holding office. I cannot understand the somewhat silent attitude of those sitting on the Front Opposition Bench in reference to the Amendment which has been submitted this evening. Undoubtedly, there are quite a number of members of the Opposition who feel that, when these Estimates are submitted to the House there should be an Amendment of some kind in order to make a definite record of the position taken up by those who are antagonistic to our military system. I take it that we are now putting forward a protest against the whole Army system. When it comes down to humane considerations, we are obliged to recognise the substance of the case which bas been submitted to the House. It would be somewhat beyond reason to suggest that Members of the House belonging to any of the parties were not prepared, theoretically, to recognise the line of argument and the strength of the appeal which has been made to the heartfelt conviction of those who think seriously about these matters. I know that the question of the practicability of taking up this line and putting it into definite operation is attended with considerable difficulty. After all, at the great Election which we are called upon to make sure, we are going to be adjudicated upon not as parties but as individuals.

We teach our boys in Sabbath schools the view that there is a great and Divine law, "Thou shalt not kill." We have such a law recorded upon our Statute Book, and it is administered in our Law Courts not only to the condemnation of any man who has been guilty of taking the life of his fellow-man, but also to the exaction of his life as the penalty to which we refer in the phrase "capital punishment." The peculiarity of the situation arises when the British Army is ordered to cross the frontier. Then we find a peculiar change comes over the situation. We have a suspension of the law, and the same type of judicial administration rebukes the man who is a conscientious objector and tells him that the law has been suspended for the present. He is told that, while previously he would have been hung for killing a man, under the new circumstances he has every expectation of getting a medal if he succeeds in killing a number of men under the new arrangement. I know there is a grim humour about the spectacle when it is presented in this way. The chaplain, in reading the passages to which the hon. Member referred, may not have been unduly impressed with its significance any more than those who listened to him. Whether that be true or not, there is the Divine Judge who is going to call each and everyone of us to give an account of our stewardship, and then we shall not be able to absolve ourselves from responsibility and culpability for backing an agency which is intended to decimate humanity. Our country has had quite a demonstration of the power of the British Army. Lord Roberts once said that we had succeeded in securing a third part of the British Empire by the power of the sword. As things are working out now I should think our capacity for managing that kind of business has reached its limit. There is every prospect of a darker day in store for us, in so far as it is frankly recognised that another nation is now ahead of us in the power that she has monetarily, and in her apparent determination even to exceed all that we have done in the way of warlike preparations. What the Secretary for War has to face to-day, even allowing for the subsiding of the trouble in China, is the trouble in Egypt. That is going to be accentuated, and even there, in the negotiations that have been reported, we find an allusion made by the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Leader of the Opposition as having adopted the same position as the present Foreign Secretary. The body of workers throughout the country who have been impelled to believe from Labour platforms that the Labour movement, politically, was identified with pacifism, will probably have their expectations seriously disappointed in that connection, even when the Labour party comes into power. There is, therefore, all the more reason for expressions of independent opinion from these Labour benches as to what ought to be the position of the party.

The conditions of our country at the present time are such as undoubtedly provide a great deal of inducement to join the Army. In the deplorable circumstances of the time young men have to say, "There is no hope for me in this country unless I join the Army. I see no way out. There is no prospect of a job." Because of these conditions the Secretary of State for War is able to give us the figures we have heard of those who have been rejected as unavailable for the Army because of their emaciated condition. I have often wondered how it is that we can manage to square our actions with the position of that industrial army which is now having to lie low. Over a million workers are appealing to the Government, "Here we are defenceless. There is little or no reserve force at home. There is nothing financial. The situation in the home circles is meagre indeed. What can your Army do for us?" The Government say, "Join the Army." They give a man a knife and a gun and equip him for the purpose of taking the life of his fellow men, in lieu of what God Almighty intended him to have in this wealthy country. Wealth is flaunted in the face of these sufferers, to whom the message is delivered that the Army is intended for home defence. Where is the home defence?

In many of the homes of the city from which I come the people are absolutely at a loss to know what to do. Am I to insult their intelligence by telling them that we have an Army for home defence? They would spit in my face if I tried. Need I tell them about the defence of the Empire by a great Navy, when at the Employment Exchanges disaster stares them in the face and there is no work for them? In a London evening paper to-night I read an article by a noted representative of the Air Force. I had the privilege of hearing the hon. Member who moved the Amendment in a graphic speech depicting the horrors of what will undoubtedly be attendant upon the next war, and it is that that I have in view. I ask where are we drifting? Whatever may be the number of thousands of men, where are we drifting with our Army and Navy and Air Force? I see a Noble Lord on the Treasury Bench. There is a sneer on his face, and I never see anything else on that same countenance. I refer to the Under-Secretary of State for India. I do not want to make any further allusion to his action, but I think it is very discourteous. I have seen it done many a time by the same Noble Lord and it ill becomes anyone to do so.

Whether our proposals may look feasible or not, of one thing I am convinced, and that is that what we need in this House is a more genuine expression of what men really feel in their own hearts, rather than the mere partisan sort of twaddle which is used in regard to Imperialism, about which we seem to be so much concerned. I am bound, as the representative of an industrial constituency, to say to the Government, "Your Army and any of the other Forces that are attendant upon the nation in that sense, are utterly futile, for the purpose of home defence, to that great industrial force that is appealing to you with agonising look, coming before you and making an appeal to you individually, and to whom you have nothing to offer." The nation that has the greatest army and can make no better response than this to its suffering people is bankrupt morally and is bound to be doomed. There is certain doom ahead of any Power on earth that dares to set up its forces and make the claims that we make here—to take control and dominate in the various parts of our great Empire. It was said by His Majesty himself that the glory of the Empire was set, in the hearts and homes of the people. I believe that to be true. The real glory of the Empire rests in the absolute sincerity of the body of the people, in their full sense of conviction that right is being done and that justice is being imparted to those who are making such appeals.

I could not conscientiously fail to give some expression of opinion in support of anyone who makes his heart express itself in the way that the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) did. It is our bounden duty to do it, and, whether it may be declared impracticable or not, you have given that answer, to those who are unemployed, that the exigencies of trade are such that you cannot do anything else for them; but you can find the money for so many hundreds of thousands of men to await the requisite call, and that call is never made unless in the interests of these vast financial powers that call for arms and for military force. The struggling masses of our people have passed through this machine of the Army. They have been trained to use language of a reasonable character before they go into the Army. [Interruption.] I notice that the hon. and gallant Gentleman recognises the strength of what I am going to say. When they do go into the Army they are impelled to swear, by all that is holy or unholy, and to make a rush at some dummy figure and drive a knife into it. [Interruption.] Yes, there are cheers from the generals; I quite understand.

You will never be able to square that as the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs said, with the reading of the Eternal Book. If there was, as we have always learned from the Christian standpoint, one supreme sacrifice, and one only, then it is blasphemy to talk of other men being thrown into bloody massacre and to bring the great divine Christ on to the field, in charge, as it were of an ambulance. That is not the position. The Prince of Everlasting Peace and Captain of our Salvation calls us to greater things—to succour the downhearted, the strugglers, those who are browbeaten and smashed up like broken earthenware, as Harold Begbie said. That is the line we must take in defence of our people. If you build on the strength of blood and sacrifice and desolation of mankind, then there is one reward that will undoubtedly be placed before you at the last: The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that target God.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

May I briefly bring the Committee back to a point on which I am sure we have unanimity on all sides, and support what was said a, little earlier this evening by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Derby (Sir R. Luce) in regard to the medical services? Whether we believe in war or in the possibility of no war, in any case we shall want the medical services to be kept effective. I wish again to support, and it is necessary to support, what has been said by my hon. and gallant Friend on two or three points which at the present moment are liable to suffer in the sweetness of peace. The reductions of peace-time are rightly made with a view to economy. and we medical Members of the House of Commons feel that we can rightly come to the House and plead for an extension of services in some directions, because we have suggested a limitation of services in other directions with a view to economy. I remember that at the time, now nine years ago, when I was making my maiden speech in the House, and several times since, we medical Members urged the absolute futility of keeping up general hospitals for both the Army and the Navy in peace-time at the same place, and, after several years have passed, the matter having been submitted to various Committees and reported upon, we have at last seen the reduction of these general hospitals one by one. It is a very difficult matter; it has to be done very cautiously and carefully, in order that there may be no permanent damage, and that there may still be the power of expansion in case of need. Therefore, I do not suggest that it should have been done more quickly; I only suggest that there is room for further economy in this direction, and it is in that sense that the medical Members of the House urge the Government to continue their work and see whether they can economise further in this direction.

While we suggest economies of that kind in certain directions, we feel more perturbed when there is economy in the machinery for expansion in case of need. Obviously, the medical services consist of two parts. There is the greater part, consisting of physicians and surgeons—the tactical part, which can, to some extent, especially in connection with the Territorial Army, be improvised in case of war. When I say it can be improvised, I mean that they can be imported from the civilian services. But there is the other part, the administrative part, the nucleus of each unit, which cannot be so imported unless it has been trained. What has happened? Take simply the one point in regard to the Territorial Army. It was suggested that the establishment of the Territorial Army must be cut down in peace time, including the medical service, and, despite representations from myself and my colleagues in the House, the number of field ambulances to a Territorial division was cut down from three to one.

That is a very serious thing. Take, for instance, my own division, with which I have been associated since its formation in 1908, in East Anglia. They had one field ambulance at a centre, namely, Norwich; another at a centre; namely, Colchester, and a third at another centre in Essex. Those have been cut down to one only in Essex. What will happen when the Territorial Army mobilises again? The good will of the medical services in the whole of the rest of East Anglia will have been lost, and it will be necessary to rely upon the good will created by the one unit just on the outskirts of London. Therefore, expansion will be difficult. If that reduction were justified at all, it was in the sense that the one unit contained three sections, and each one of those sections could, in case of mobilisation for war, be expanded to form one field ambulance, and, therefore, there would have been three for the division.

That was a very good logical reason for the reduction, but what has happened since? That field ambulance unit has been reduced from three sections to two, with the result that the ambulance establishment of the division is reduced to two sections on the outskirts of London, and it will be necessary to form three field ambulances, in case of mobilisation, to serve the three brigades of the division. The result will be that there will be great difficulty in expansion, even as regards the structure of the sections, because it will be necessary to expand these two sections into three units, since it is not possible to serve three brigades with fewer than three field ambulances. Therefore, I maintain that the reduction is excessive, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider the formation of one section of a field ambulance in one of the other parts of that division and in each of the other 13 divisions of the Territorial Army.

The personnel of the Territorial Army medical services is down by one-third of its full strength. In the Regular Army we have still the difficulty of recruiting. A list published in the "Times" shows that we have managed at last to get 15 medical officers as compared with the 60 that are required. You cannot possibly support an army in the field unless you have an adequate supply of medical officers trained for their work. I ask, again, that you should pursue this work of securing recruits for the medical service. I know the Secretary of State has the matter fully in hand and sees the difficulty in getting these men recruited. The real difficulty is not simply the question of pay, but the fact that the men now in the service are overworked abroad, and, instead of getting leave, they are constantly kept abroad beyond their time, the senior men being relied on to do comparatively junior work, because there are no junior officers in the service, and they are practically deprived of a great deal of their family life when they are getting towards the end of their service. These men do not give a good name to the service at home, and that makes it all the more difficult to get the junior men. It is a vicious circle continuing constantly. I hope the Secretary of State will pursue his movement one way or another for bringing the advantages of the service home to the junior members he wishes to attract.

The Financial Secretary said efficiency is economy, and the efficiency of the Army depends on the efficiency of its medical service. That will give greater economy as well as greater efficiency in time of war. We have heard a great deal about the mechanisation of the Army. The whole idea is tending in the direction of mechanisation, but the machine is useless without the individual brain behind to work it. In each one of these machines all depends on the human machine, and the human machine depends upon the health service. At present, we are doing exactly what has been done after every big war. We treat the medical service as if it were an ordinary technical service and cut it down pari passu with the other services until, when another war breaks out, another force has to be mobilised, and again the medical services are found to he inefficient. These services are key services to the human machine, and it is essential that we should maintain these key services at the highest pitch. I wish to add my voice in asking the Secretary of State to give greater power and greater facilities for the expansion of the medical service.


If the Amendment is forced to a Division, I shall certainly vote for it if I am the only one in the Lobby, and I have been strengthened in my opinion by the sarcastic interjections and jeering from the other side. It is necessary that we should make our position clear. I would rather stand with the minority for humanity than with the ex-service men, especially the high officers on the other side who, possibly on account of their Army associations, fear to speak other than with military, mechanised minds, and not so much with the strength of humanitarianism. It is always suggested, when anyone speaks on the side of humanity with regard to the fighting Forces, especially on their reduction, that it is a symptom of physical cowardice. I want to refute that. We are not all physical cowards. We are not all afraid of man to man contests. The military actions of to-day are not man to man contests. In the old days, it was the strength and the ingenuity of one man. I am suggesting that this House, without disarming the nation, could take the generous, manly and humanitarian step of showing to the world that we are willing at least to make a gesture for a reduction in the armed Forces.

I put it to officers and men on all sides of the House, are not the histories of the late War pitiful reading? Are not they a record of mismanagement, of crass failures and mistakes, of men hurled into a maelstrom of despair? Is it not shown that on all sides reputations fell like a forest tree in a gale? Is it not proved that men were only dealt with as pawns? Why, it is a tragedy to anyone reading it. Here is an impression of the fears of our troops marching to the Front One man said, "I heard General So-and-so say that he will take a, certain town if it costs him a hundred thousand men," and another ranker, one of the class to which I belong and try to represent, said. "Oh, he is a generous sort of a cuss, isn't he?" That sums up war to-day. Even if it is considered an expression of fear, I am going to raise my voice in this House, just the same as I do outside, against a continuation of this sort of thing.

An hon. Member opposite interjected when my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) was speaking, "Read history." Yes, go into the splendid library of this House and read history. What is the history of war? Read the fine work there on the life of Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor of Germany. What does it tell us? Wars have not been wars on peoples on any occasion since the old dynastic wars, which were caused because this King's daughter was not affianced to that King's son, have passed away. You now have capitalist wars, and the history of them, the chicanery, the deceitful diplomacy, the throwing in of troops, and the taking advantage of someone else, is something to be regretted. I will say this to the Committee; We who are in the minority to-day will grow into the majority. It is regrettable that the leaders of this nation—the elected statesmen sent to this honourable House—are prepared to carry the fight into the last corner for the old murder machines. I suggest that it would be better for us to face up to the position and vote for this Amendment to-night in order to show that, if we fail to follow the gestures at Geneva, we are willing at least to say that we are on the side of humanitarianism.

I do not think that my hon. Friends who will vote for this Amendment are desirous, in a world in arms, of leaving this nation defenceless. We are not asking to abolish the Army. I at least would not stand for that so long as humanity and the world are what they are. But someone has to take the lead, and gestures would come better from Great Britain, with all the tremendous military, naval and aggressive history that it has behind it. Because this House, largely on account of our close proximity to the last War, is so thoroughly sprinkled with ex-officers, I am afraid we shall not get clarity of vision on this question. In spite of that, let me make it clear that I, personally—and I think I can speak for my colleagues—am not gibing at those people who have seen service and who now still cling to tradition. I regret that some of the finest instincts of mankind are used and prostituted for the purpose of warfare. I have never been a soldier, and I shall not be a soldier when you fight the next war. Make no mistake about that [Interruption]. Yes, and there are some soldiers who brag very much about the last War who were very many miles from it, almost as far away from it as I was, although they were strutting about in uniforms. I admire the spirit of the soldier who is still loyal to his regimental tradition. I admire the spirit of the man who is still proud of his old corps, and does not wish it to be under-rated. That is one of the most wonderful instincts of mankind. But it is prostituted when it is forced into capitalistic murder, when it is used to turn men against men though they have no quarrel.

As one who knows many countries and who has friends in many countries, I maintain that it is not the workers of any country who fall out with the workers of another country. All that they desire to do is to work, to bring up happy children and to live the life which their Creator intended they should live. History proves that it is the mistakes of diplomats, royal jealousies, military officers wanting to try their new machines, that have caused wars. It has not been the people who have caused wars. In this House, I have faced storms of abuse from hon. Members opposite when there has been a question of an industrial dispute, and I have been in the unfortunate position of having to lead the men in such a dispute. Hon. Members opposite, high dignitaries of the Army and of the Navy, have protested and squealed about the suffering that I bring upon women and children. What does war do? Let me pay a tribute to our gallant fellows who came back. They never tell the truth about war to their own people. They will tell their family what young Lieutenant So-and-So said when he fell down in the mud in the trunch, or what the sergeant-major said when the rum did not turn up; but they will never tell the truth about the real horrors of war, because of their bighearted manliness. They suffered those horrors, but they will not harrow the feelings of their relatives by speaking of them. But they do tell some of us, because they know of our sympathy.

It may sound ridiculous, but, if I had control of the preparations for the next war, I would have conscription of wealth and humanity at once, and, instead of starting with the gallant boys of 18, and working upwards, I would start at the other end, with those of 80 years of age, and work downwards. Before I came down to the gallant financiers and the great industrialists of the world of about 50 years of age, the war would have automatically ceased, because they would find a way out of it. We could more easily do without the old folks from 80 downwards than the young men of 18 years upwards. I have taken part in the Debate because of the sneers and the sarcastic interjections of hon. Members opposite. I want to range myself on the side of those who may not be branded as having physical courage. I deny that it is a question of physical courage to be blown to pieces by high-explosive shells 10 miles away. If the people who know would tell the truth, they would say that the next war will not be a holiday outfit, like the last. They can tell the people of this country that, should we go to war with a near relation on the Continent, such is the new power of aeroplanes and destructive agencies, some of the principal cities in this country and the principal cities of belligerent countries will not be fit for human beings to live in within 14 days. We know that to be true. Let us have the courage to admit it, even though we hide it from the people of this country.

While this Amendment does not mean leaving this nation without protection or armaments of any description in the midst of a belligerent world, it does mean that if we do not at Geneva face up to facts, at least in this House let us say to the world that we are prepared to make a reduction in our military forces, and let the world see that we are honest in our intentions. That is all it means. I repeat, that if it meant any disparagement of the gallant fellows, on this side or the other, who fought in the last War and who hold sacred the traditions of their regiments, their corps, and their Army, a sentiment which I respect, I would not be so willing to support it. If it meant leaving us defenceless the same thing applies. But I suggest that hon. Members on all sides, I do not want to be hard but I must be frank, are hypocritical in their professions if they speak of humanity and Christianity—I do not care what their creeds may be—and then in this Debate calmly discuss not bricks and mortar, not the carving of a little bit of metal or timber, but human beings who are going to be carved and blown up and poisoned with all the horrors of war, with all its cruelty, its immorality, its brutality, its debasement.

Instead of treating this with hilarity and sneering when my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee expressed some of the finest sentiments of humanity, it is time hon. Members opposite faced up to some of the creeds which we preach and pretend to follow. It may be thought by some that the extension of the franchise will go on the side of retrogression, but eventually the mothers of this nation will say to statesmen of all parties and to high Army officers, "You make your capitalist wars, go and fight them; you do not get our boys!" This reduction will be a step in the direction in which we shall have to go, whether we like it or not. You tell us to settle our industrial troubles by conferences; and we are trying to do so. You have preached certain things to us and we are trying to do them in the face of the disagreement of our own followers. We are trying to avoid industrial war, and I ask military minded men opposite to be big enough to vote for this reduction and show that they are as honest in their pretensions of settling international disputes by conference as we are of settling our industrial disputes, which are not so debasing and horrible as war.


I do not propose to detain the Committee for more than a moment or to embark on the rights and wrongs of war, however one might be tempted to disagree from the scriptural exegeses of hon. Members opposite. Whether the soldier's job is right or wrong, nobody, since the days of Homer, has any doubts, once war is declared, as to the value of the doctor, who is described in the Iliad as the man who is a leech, who can carve out arrows, and apply healing presses. When I was on the Euphrates we suffered there discomforts which might or might not have been indirectly connected with circumstances on the Clyde. The soldier has three vulnerable points; his toes, his tummy and his teeth. As to his toes, he must look after them himself, and I am not proposing that a battalion of chiropodists should be included in the Army Estimates. As to his tummy, every doctor will agree that many of the intestinal complaints which we suffered in India, and Mesopotamia could have been prevented if only the teeth of the men could have been bettor looked after.

Even in peace-time, in cantonments in India, if your teeth go wrong, there is nothing to do but to have them out, and they are extracted in no very skilful manner by the first person who happens to be able to get hold of a pair of pincers in the orderly room. You cannot save your teeth if your teeth go wrong in India. Once they begin to go wrong in India they go wrong with great rapidity, and rheumatism, as well as intestinal complaints of all sorts, are undoubtedly attributable to lack of good dentistry. When I was in Mesopotamia in 1916 and 1917, I found that up to that time there had not been a solitary dentist looking after the teeth of the men. When a dentist did arrive he was a man who had given up a substantial practice in this country and offered his services. He told me in the course of a confidential and somewhat painful interview that when he arrived and said he was a dentist, he was received with a certain amount of derision by the high authorities in charge of the Army. I do not know what the state of affairs may be to-day. I can only hope that it has been very much improved since then, and I hope, when the Secretary of State for War is considering the medical aspect of the Army, he will not forget that of the three vulnerable points, the soldier can look after his feet for himself, while the central point—which I have the delicacy to refrain from mentioning a second time—is the province of the doctor, but, unless you give a man adequate teeth with which to consume the very healthy rations which you provide for Thomas Atkins, he is certain to fall a victim to rheumatism or to stomachic complaints. These lead to permanent dyspepsia and sometimes cause some of us to display a degree of irritability in Debate which I need not assure hon. Members is attributable to no other cause.


It is always interesting and sometimes amusing to observe the way in which many people will "butt in" on medical affairs. There seems to be some peculiar attraction in medical subjects, which entices Members who know very little about them to intervene in Debates upon them. We are now, I believe, discussing a proposal by the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) to reduce the Army by 50,000 men. I was rather disappointed by the hon. Member, because he made a very eloquent and earnest speech, but he destroyed for the moment a very definite opinion which I had formed about the Scottish Members. I thought, if there was one thing for which they were noted, it was their logic. The hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs knows that the Army at the present time is reduced to the minimum number necessary for the defence of this country and the Empire. He wants to reduce it by a further 50,000. Why not reduce it out of existence altogether? Had he made that proposal I could have understood him and admired him for his logical attitude, but to propose that we should reduce it by 50,000 men is neither one thing nor the other, and the hon. Member has disappointed me. We know that if we have an army at all, it must be capable of defending this country and Empire, and I am quite prepared to accept the word of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War that the Army has been cut down to the minimum, and if we are to defend ourselves at all we cannot afford to reduce the number any further.

I wish to intervene from the medical aspect of the question, and I would like to associate myself with my hon. Friend the Member for the Hartlepools (Sir W. Sugden), who has discussed the question of pharmacists in the Army. The authorities at the War Office have taken the very definite position that the soldier in the British Army can be competently looked after by dispensers who have had a certain small amount of training in the compounding and mixing of drugs, and they think the training these men get in that short time is quite sufficient for them to look after the medical needs of our soldiers. They may be right, but the Navy do not agree with them. The Navy think it is necessary to have trained pharmacists, that is, men who have gone through a certain professional training and examination, and whose experience, of course, is very much superior to that of a dispenser, but the Navy may be wrong. The National Health Insurance under the Ministry of Health insist that anyone who dispenses for a member of the civil population must be a trained pharmacist, but the Ministry of Health may be wrong. The Home Office decide that our prisoners in our gaols must have their medicines dispensed by trained pharmacists, but they may be wrong. The point is that the War Office is alone in its decision that the medicine for the soldier can be adequately dispensed by dispensers with a short training.

There was a Committee formed in 1920, consisting of members of the War Office and the Pharmaceutical Society, who came to very definite recommendations, which have not been accepted, and the position at present is that either the War Office are neglecting the health of our soldiers or, on the other hand, the Ministry of Health, the Admiralty, and the Prison Commissioners are squandering a great deal of money. They cannot both be right. If the War Office are right, we should simply scrap all our pharmacists in the Navy, prison service, and National Health Insurance organisation, and get it done by cheap dispensers. If, on the other hand, there is the possibility—very remote, I admit—that the War Office are wrong, I think perhaps they might some day be inclined to consider the advisability of coming into line with the other Services of the country and seeing that our soldiers have at least equal dispensing facilities with those of the civil population.

We had a very interesting speech from my right hon. Friend the Minister for War in introducing the Estimates, and we were very attracted by the alterations which are to take place in the force, particularly with the idea of mechanisation, and he elaborated very considerably what is to happen in the future with our artillery, tanks, cavalry, and all the rest of it, but he did not refer in any shape or form to the medical service. I make bold to state that an Army without its doctors is of no use whatever. If you went to war without a medical service, where would you be? It would not matter a rap what was the strength of your artillery or tanks or anything else; unless you had medical men to look after your sanitary service and to see that your soldiers were kept healthy before they fought, and unless you had efficient doctors to look after them when they were wounded, you would be absolutely useless. Yet what is happening? You find that your medical service year after year is going down. You have an overloaded staff of colonels and majors, and you cannot get sufficient captains and lieutenants. There is something wrong in the Service somewhere. You cannot get new material into the Army, and instead, as in the old days, of having competitive examinations and men keen to get into the Service, you have now to go to the medical schools and try to persuade men to go into the Army.

I wonder if the Secretary of State has inquired what the trouble may be? Has he done anything to see if the Service can be made more attractive to medical men? If he does nothing, after a few years there will be an efficient Army in every respect except in the Medical Service. The Medical Service is the foundation of the Army; without it nothing can be done. Unless the War Office tackle this question seriously, they are going to be in difficulties. It is no use saying, "We will trust to Providence, and in God's good time things will work out fox the best." It has to be recognized that for some reason or other the Medical Service is not popular, and it is the duty of the Secretary of State to inquire specifically into this point. I do not think there is so much difficulty about the present salary; it is extremely good. One difficulty might be that there is too much moving about from place to place, and another is that when officers retire after seven years or so, the gratuity is not high enough. The War Office has to remember that they are competing with the panel practice and with all the public medical appointments in this country. When a young medical man, soon after he has qualified, can go into public medical service and work five days a week for £700 or £750 a year as a doctor, he has no definite inducement to go into the Army. A short service in the Army with either an increased gratuity at the end of the seven years, or, preferably, with retired pay, giving the War Office a call upon him at any time, would increase the popularity of the Service. If it could be arranged that any medical man who had served in the Army should have preferential treatment in any State or municipal appointments of medical men, that would further make the Service popular. I would impress upon the Secretary of State that the Medical Service needs inquiring into, and unless the matter is inquired into seriously there will be a very efficient Army in every respect except in respect of the Medical Service.


Vote A always provides a general debate, and frequently I have to reply over a very large field. Fortunately, to-night, my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary (Mr. Cooper), in that very remarkable début which he made, has relieved me of the greater part of my burden. I need, therefore, only reply to the questions that have been raised since his admirable speech. There was one thing, however, to which he omitted to reply, and that was the question of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Colonel Howard-Bury). He reminded me that last year I said that the title of colonel commandant was going to be got rid of and that brigadier was to take its place. It is. It is not a case of jam to-morrow. As soon as the Army Annual Bill is through the title brigadier will be legalised, and then you will have proper power under the Army Act. It could not be brought in until it was dealt with in the Army Act.

Questions were raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Montrose (Sir R. Hutchison), the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Lieut.-Colonel Moore) and several other Members regarding the re-allocation of duties which had taken place as between the Master-General of Ordinance and the Quartermaster-General recently. There was a curious divergence of opinion between all those who spoke on this subject. The hon. and gallant Member for Montrose agreed with the alterations so far as peace organisation was concerned. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs not only disagreed with the arrangement in peace, but he very kindly suggested an alternative which, he said, would lead to economy. But the alternative which he suggested was a concentration of the duty relating to mechanical vehicles not under the Master-General of Ordnance but a concentration under the Quartermaster-General. So, really, I have support and assent of both hon. and gallant Gentlemen to a form of concentration, either under the Master-General of Ordnance or under the Quartermaster-General. So we have got this common ground that there should be a concentration. I will not attempt to argue the case for concentration.


You are dealing with peace-time.


I am dealing with peace only. It is agreed on all sides that there should be concentration, and it stands to reason that it is undesirable that there should be two departments conducting research and experiments into what is, after all, the same thing, because the only difference between tracked and wheel vehicles—the internal combustion engine being common to them both—is that in one case there is one form of chassis and in the other case another form of chassis. There is no real difference. The thing which is common to both is the internal combustion engine, and so we have concentrated it under one head. The hon. and gallant Member for Montrose, in the course of his argument, suggested that whatever was done in War should not be an experiment made at that moment, but should be the result of previous experience. He did not altogether turn down the suggestion that in certain events it might be desirable to have a Chief of the Administrative Staff as the opposite number of the Chief of the General Staff, but he said that if you were to have it in time of war you should have it in time of peace. I agree with the argument that you should not have in war something you have not had in peace time, and it is because we are concentrating under the Master-General of Ordnance the whole of the duties of experiment, research design and supply of the internal combustion engine that we also attach to his office the duty of looking after it in wartime. It is the logical consequence of the peace duties.


Obviously, if you are to have in war a chief administrative officer under the commander-in-chief, exactly the same principle should be practised in peace time so that you may get accustomed to it. What about the quartermaster-general and the adjutant-general services?


Let me take that argument. The argument is really quite plain, and I entirely agree with it. The peace practice should be continued in war. The hon. and gallant Member agrees that the service of the internal-combustion engine, if I may put it shortly in that way, should be concentrated in peace time under one officer, under the Master-General of Ordnance. If you are going to carry out in war-time this peace-time practice, you have got to continue it under his control in war-time. The other difficulty that oppresses everyone is this, that you do not want if you can help it to multiply the number of staff officers who are on the staff of the General Officer Commanding in war. I entirely agree that it is undesirable to do so, but what happened in the last war? During the earlier part of the War there were enormous difficulties not only in the supply of ammunition, but in the ascertainment of what ammunition was wanted. Do we not all remember the controversy about high explosive and shrapnel? Why did that arise? Because there was nobody at the front whose duty it was to determine what was required and to tell those who were supplying it from the rear. I was at the Ministry of Munitions, and I know perfectly well during that period how difficult it was to get a definite requisition for the inventions that were then coming into view. Even for the programme of shells, it was difficult to get a definite requisition, because there was nobody whose duty it was definitely to say what was wanted.

I would justify the appointment of a representative of the Master General of Ordnance on the Staff if it were only that he might be the liaison with the supplier at home. I entirely agree that the Master General of Ordnance at home, in the case of a great war, will undoubtedly develop into an organisation, not an organisation such as he has now, but a very much larger organisation, but he will be the nucleus of that larger organisation, whether it takes the form of a Ministry of Supply or a Ministry of Munitions. He will be the nucleus of the organisation round which the extended organisation will be built. He will want a representative at the front, so that from the front shall come demands for the type of supplies wanted at the front. If the war is on a national scale, if, indeed, all the extra work is thrown upon the Commander-in-Chief of concerting measures with Allies, which takes a great deal of his time, then, indeed, it would be quite proper to appoint a Chief Officer of Administration who would be the co-ordinator of the work of the three administrative staff officers, the Adjutant-General, the Quartermaster-General and the Master General of Ordnance. He would be the opposite number of the Chief of the General Staff, to relieve the Commander-in-Chief of any duties except consulting these two officers, the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Administrative Staff. That method of organisation is provided for in the plans I have already made, and which I have exposed to the House in the White Paper on the Table.


You have got the administrative officer that you speak of in every Command. Why not carry it on in peace time so as to be prepared for war and not make it then, because every war begins as a small war and gets to be a bigger war?

11.0 p.m.


It will be done the moment it becomes necessary. I am glad the hon. Member reminds me of this; the Esher Report has been quoted against this plan. It is not really against this plan, because under the Esher Report, or, rather, the continuance of the work done in consequence of the Esher work, a Chief Administrative Officer is now appointed and now acts in every Command in this country, and it is only the extension of the same theory, which is working every day in the commands in this country, that I am proposing to apply in case of war. Really the case against the alteration of the allocation of duties between these two officers is one which ought to drop. Of course these officers do not want to have their powers diminished in any way, and you will never get a man who stands up for his own branch to agree willingly unless he is strongly convinced that it is essential, and I know that he takes a lot of convincing. Members of the Army Council who have not been directly interested in supporting any particular branch of the Service have agreed to this change. We have been told that we should have another inquiry. As a matter of fact we have been having inquiries for two or three years.


May I ask whether the Master-General of Ordnance in charge of the artillerymen and the Royal Engineers is going to be the same individual, or whether the Master-General of Ordnance is going to be in the hands of the gunners?


That depends entirely on the man who is hest qualified. There is no monopoly in the hands of the gunners, and if mechanisation expands it may be possible that a Royal Engineer may be the best man for the post.


Or a cavalryman.


Yes, even a cavalryman. The best man should have the job. They are quite different duties. The Master-General of Ordnance was an adviser upon the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, but he was also the executive officer of artillery. That office will have to continue, and will not be merged. The hon. Member for West Belfast (Sir R. Lynn) raised an individual case, and if he will give me full information about that case I will look into it. I would like to point out that his remarks seemed to cast as aspersion upon the Selection Board, and I think that is rather unfair. The Selection Board have an extremely difficult task to perform. They have to consider the relative merits of a number of most deserving officers for one post, and some of them have to be turned down and passed over. They have to perform an extremely difficult task, which they do without fear or favour. Frequently the Selection Board have to choose between men they have known all their lives, with whom they were at Sandhurst or Woolwich. They have to perform a delicate duty, and they do it honestly and well.

One of my hon. Friends raised the question of the dentists. All I can say is that to-day the dentist in the Army is received, not with scoffs and scorn, but with open arms, or open mouths. There are 337, not all dentists, but dentists and their assistants, and so well are they thought of that 16 have been added to their number in the course of the year. The hon. Members for Royton (Dr. Davies) and the Hartlepools (Sir W. Sugden) again raised the question of the pharmacists. Pharmacists have a great many friends in this House. I have replied on this subject certainly once, I believe twice, and it may be three times. I am afraid that to-night I have to make the same reply as I made before. I do not know whether that will be sufficient. It is quite true that a Committee went into this matter and made some recommendations. Some of those recommendations we were able to accept and some we were unable to accept. Those that we were unable to accept were recommendations which would have involved a great deal of extra expense.


I feel sure that the Financial Secretary has reported to my right hon. Friend what I said. I showed that my proposals would result in a definite saving to the Treasury—that is, by the employment of trained pharmacists.


I understand my hon. Friend's argument, but nevertheless I have to say that his proposal would cost a great deal more in the Vote of the War Office. I was not able to be present when my hon. Friend spoke, but if he raised some new point I shall take care to read every word he said, and if I can see any possibility of a saving I will adopt his suggestions, if the pharmacists support him. But as it is now we believe that dispensing in the Army is carried out adequately and economically, so far as the needs of the Army in peace are concerned. The Royal Army Medical Corps' dispensers receive adequate training for their duties, which are, after all——


I am sorry to interrupt again. My right hon. Friend says they receive adequate training. It has been shown that dentists are necessary and medical men are necessary. They have to undergo tests by examination. Pharmacists, too, should undergo tests by some statutory or other authority before they dispense medicines in the Army.


I know my hon. Friend's views on the subject, for I have listened to him on more than one occasion. I know that what I am saying is not going to be assented to by him, and he need not feel it necessary, therefore, to stop me, for I know he does not agree. I say that in advance. Nevertheless, as he has put his side of the case, for record sake I ought to say that we think the Royal Army Medical Corps dispensers do receive, not the technical training he wants them to have, but still, adequate training for the purpose, enabling them to dispense the prescriptions of the medical officers. So far as war is concerned, the system is designed to furnish in war the personnel that is required. The enlistment of pharmacists in the reserve will be welcomed.

I want now to deal with the question of the Royal Army Medical Corps, which has been raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Derby (Sir R. Luce) and by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for St. Albans (Lieut.- Colonel Fremantle). My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Derby complained of the reduction in the Royal Army Medical Corps. On this Vote there does appear to be a reduction of 22 officers and 271 other ranks, or nearly the 300 that he mentioned. But the reduction is due to the closing of military hospitals at Cosham, Devonport and Chatham, and there is, therefore, a reduction in the number of equipped beds required, owing to a closer co-operation with the Navy, as military patients are now, in certain cases, treated at naval hospitals. That is a policy which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for St. Albans has been urging upon us for years past, and I am sure it is a right policy that, as far as possible, the hospitals of all the three Services should be at the disposal of patients of any one of them. The Committee which has been working at this question has enabled us to reduce the number of patients whom we have to look after in our hospitals, and that accounts entirely for the reduction of 22 officers and 271 other ranks. As a matter of fact, although that reduction appears in these Estimates, some of that medical personnel have gone to China, and are carried in the additional numbers for China. Nevertheless, it is a reduction which is inevitable, and one which I cannot say ought not to have been made. Then my hon. and gallant Friend complained of the administration of the hospitals——


Not the administration but the construction.


He complained of the atmosphere. He invited me to visit them. I have visited quite a number. I have visited most of the big hospitals in England, and, whenever I go abroad, I make a point of visiting hospitals; and I do not think it is quite fair to say that there is a feeling that in these hospitals they are doing merely their bare duty.


I said that the Government were doing their bare duty.


I do not know how the Government can be doing their bare duty only, if the hospitals are good and are looking after the patients properly. That, after all, is what should be done. My hon. and gallant Friend complained, I think, of the gloomy conditions in the hospitals, and the absence of paint. That, really, is not the test of a hospital; the test of a hospital is the medical service, and even the social service, which the patients receive in these hospitals, and my experience, certainly, of the Army hospitals I have visited, is that they are not gloomy, that it is not the bare duty that is being done, but a great deal more— that real, human attention is being given to men who seem to be happy in the hospitals and content with the treatment that they receive there.

My hon. and gallant Friend seemed to suggest that the medical service was treated as a Cinderella service, that cuts were made upon it out of proportion, or perhaps even in proportion, to the cuts made on the rest of the Army. But that, really, is not quite so either. In these Estimates, out of a total of £41,000,000, £2,400,000 is being devoted to the medical service. Unfortunately, it is true that we have not the number of doctors that are required for our establishment. My hon. and gallant Friend said that that was not because the pay was insufficient, but because there was a sort of feeling that the Service was going to be reduced, and that, therefore, it was not a career for a young medical student to enter. We have done our best to make the Service attractive. We have had the whole position inquired into. I have conferred with my medical advisers and with the medical societies, and I thought now, at any rate, the terms and conditions of service were agreeable to the medical profession. I thought I had the endorsement of the medical profession. The short service to which my hon. Friend referred I brought in two years ago. Men can now join for seven years, and if they then wish to retire—it is optional—they have a gratuity of £1,000. Of course the hon. Member wants more. I wish I could give the Service more. Do not let him say £1,000 is nothing It is a very useful addition to the capital of a young medical man who is about to set up in practice.

Another grievance of my hon. and gallant Friend we removed. Majors were to be entitled to £1 a day retiring pension, and it was represented to me that their sons would not join the service because their fathers were complaining that they had not had a fair deal. That, again, was altered and a pension has been given. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who made a grievance that they were not directly represented on the Army Council. Of course, every branch of the service cannot be represented on the Army Council directly when there are only four military members on the Council, but the Director-General of Medical Services has direct access to me as Secretary of State, and at any time of the day or night he can walk into my room and have direct access without having to go through any military superior.


The right hon. Gentleman told us £1 a day was too little and it has been altered. What is the amount now?


£1 a day as I said. The Amendment takes the form of a reduction of 50,000 men. The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) said he wanted a reduction of 50,000 because the Vote was 200,000.


I want to correct that. I was including 60,000 who are in India. I should have said 153,000.


He has now found out. It seemed to me odd that his impassioned speech was made in support of the proposition that 200,000, which he thought was voted by Vote A, should be reduced by 50,000 to 150,000. The fact is that the Vote is for 153,000 men. But that is really about as good an argument as has been raised in favour of the Amendment. Of course, the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) claimed that it ought to be reduced because of the Scriptural injunction "Thou shalt not kill." I wonder why that should be applied only to the British nation? Why should that not be applied to others against whom the Army would be used to defend us? After all, it would be fairer to think that the Army was there for defence against others. The hon. Member might repeat that Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," to others.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Bromley) had an argument of his own with which I propose to deal. He said that he would rather stand for humanity. I suggest that we would all rather stand for humanity. No one wants to kill. No one wants to have an army for offensive purposes. [interruption.] Oh, no! That is not why I am moving these Estimates. I am moving these Estimates in order that this country shall be in a position to defend itself against attack. A large number of other nationals may want protection as our nationals did in China. The hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness suggested that he did not want to abolish the Army. Oh, no! He only wanted to reduce it by 50,000 men.


For a reason.


In order to make a generous gesture. I am going to deal with that in a moment. Meanwhile, let us see what he wanted to do. He wanted to reduce the number by 50,000 men. Why should he be the judge of what number of men are required in the Army to defend the country?

He does not want to abolish the Army but only to reduce it. If we reduce it by 50,000 men we might as well abolish the Army as a defensive force for this country. He wanted to do it in order to make a generous gesture. Is a reduction of 50,000 a generous gesture? Apparently. I wonder whether he realises the reductions which have actually taken place in the Army. Does he realise the generous gesture that we have already made? Before the War the Regular Army was 236,000 men; to-day, including the troops in India, the Army is 207,000—some 30,000 fewer. The Army Reserve before the War was 145,000 men; to-day it is 88,000 men. The Territorial Army before the War was 268,000 men; to-day it is 141,000 men. Those, and other ancillary units, before the War, showed a total of 719,000 men; to-day the total, comparing like with like, is 472,000 men—a decrease of very nearly 250,000 men. Is not that a sufficient——


And now will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House how that may be balanced by the increase in other armaments, such as Air Force and tanks?


There is everything here. Tanks are included. The total of the Air Force is under 30,000. I do not remember the exact figure.


What is your total fighting force.


The hon. Member is not trying to reduce the present Army in comparison with fighting force; he is wishing to take away 50,000 men, and he asks us to do that as a generous gesture. There has been already a generous gesture; a generous gesture five times as large as that for which he is asking, and he asks us to add to that a supremely stupid and dangerous gesture, which would mean not only that the Army would be reduced, but that its effectiveness would be abolished.


Will the right hon. Gentleman clear up the matter in regard to Aldershot, to which I referred.


My hon. and gallant Friend was not present when my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary dealt with the matter. He will find the reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

At the present moment we have our representatives at Geneva discussing disarmament by agreement. The right hon. Gentleman's argument to-night means that we have nothing to give to the other nations in exchange. [An HON. MEMBER: "We have gone too far."] An hon. Member reinforces the right hon. Gentleman's argument by saying that we have gone too far. Therefore our arguments at Geneva as regards land armaments are utterly futile, and for that reason I am glad that this reduction has been moved, and I shall vote for it.


I do not want to re-open the Debate, but the hon. and gallant Member will remember that anything done at Geneva is to be a mutual reduction, but this Amendment is not a mutual reduction; it is a reduction of our Army, without any corresponding guarantee from anybody else.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

I only want, in a few words, to answer that statement. Under the Peace Treaty we agreed that when Germany was disarmed we would reduce our armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety. The French have reduced their materiel services enormously, and have reduced their foot services by a very great amount. In view of our mechanised Army and our Air Force, I think we should not put forward this non possumus attitude.

Question put, "That a number, not exceeding 103,500, all ranks, be maintained for the said Service."

The Committee. divided: Ayes, 20; Noes, 189.

Division No. 28.] AYES. [11.29 p.m.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Sullivan, J.
Barr, J. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Wellock, Wilfred
Batey, Joseph Kelly, W. T. wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Bromley, J. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Buchanan, G. Potts, John S.
Grundy, T. W. Saklatvala, Shapurji TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hardle, George D. Scrymgeour, E. Kirkwood and Mr. Maxtor.
Hirst, G. H. Stephen, Campbell
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Colman, N. C. D. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Conway, Sir W. Martin Goff, Sir Park
Albery, Irving James Cooper, A. Duff Gower, Sir Robert
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Cope, Major William Grotrian, H. Brent
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Couper, J. B. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.
Astor, Viscountess Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn N.) Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwick)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Crawfurd, H. E. Hammersley, S. S.
Balniel, Lord Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Hanbury, C.
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Galnsbro) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Bennett, A. J. Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Harrison, G. J. C.
Bethel, A. Dalkeith, Earl of Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Betterton, Henry B. Davies, Maj, Geo.F.(Somerset, Yeovli) Harvey, Majors. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Davies, Dr. Vernon Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Dawson, Sir Philip Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxl'd,Henley)
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Drewe, C. Henderson, Sir Vivian (Bootle)
Blundell, F. N. Eden, Captain Anthony Henn, Sir Sydney H.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Edmondson, Major A. J. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Elliot, Major Walter E. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Bowyer, Capt G. E. W. Ellis, R. G. Hilton, Cecil
Brass, Captain W. England, Colonel A. Hogg, Rt.Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.) Holt, Captain H. P.
Brittain, Sir Harry Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Fairfax, Captain J. G. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Hume. Sir G. H.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Finburgh, S. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Ford, Sir P. J. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C,(Berks;Newb'v) Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Jephcott, A. R.
Burman, J. B. Forrest, W. Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francls E. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony King, Commodore Henry Dounlas
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Gaibraith, J. F. W. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Knox, Sir Alfred Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Lamb, J, Q. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Smithers, Waidron
Little, Dr. E. Graham Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Sprot, Sir Alexander
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Stanley, Lieut. Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Phillipson, Mabel Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)
Lougher, Lewis Pilcher, G. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Lucas-Tooth, sir Hugh Vere Power, Sir John Cecil Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Preston, William Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Lumley, L. R. Price, Major C. W. M. Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Lynn, Sir R. J. Radford, E. A. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
MacAndrew, Major Charles Gien Ramsden, E. Tomlinson, R. P.
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Rees, Sir Beddoe Tinne, J. A.
Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Remer, J. R. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Maclntyre, Ian Remnant, Sir James, Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
McLean, Major A. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Wallace, Captain D. E.
MacRobert, Alexander M. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull
Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford) Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Ropner, Major L. waterhouse, Captain Charles
Malone, Major P. B. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Margesson, Captain D. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Wayland, Sir William A.
Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Rye, F. G. Wells, S. R.
Meller, R. J. Salmon, Major I. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Merriman, F. B. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Moore, Lieut,-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Moore, Sir Newton J. Sandeman, N. Stewart Witson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Moreing, Captain A. H. Sanderson, Sir Frank Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Nelson, Sir Frank Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Neville, Sir Reginald J. Savery, S. S. Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W) Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Nuttall, Ellis Shepperson, E. W.
Owen, Major G. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Pennefather, Sir John Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.) Mr. Penny and Sir Victor Warrender

Bill read a Second Time.

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