§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I beg to move, in page 6, line 12, after the word person, to insert the words "in I he United Kingdom."
This is intended to make it clear beyond a shadow of doubt that this Clause is for the purpose of preventing gold hoarding in England. It is not intended to interfere with the holding of gold in England on behalf of foreign banks or persons. That is the intention of the Clause. It is not quite clear and we are adding these words.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ Mr. THURTLE
On a point of Order. May I submit to you that there were at least half-a-dozen distinct "Noes" when you put the Question.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The "Noes" were belated. After I had collected the voices, there were some belated cries of "No."
It surely does not follow that a Member must get up to speak in order to oppose a Question. If a number of Members shout "No" we are entitled to a Division.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is quite right there, but on this occasion I think the voices shouting "No" came just too late.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I shouted continuously "No." I did it in such a fashion that all who were willing could hear. The only way you did not hear was that you were not willing to hear.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am always willing to hear relevant observations. If as soon as hon. Members realised that the Question was being put they said "No" I will give them the benefit of the doubt as to their belatedness.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 161 Noes, 62.
|Division No. 137.]||AYES.||[12.25 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Albery, Irving James||Grant, Sir J. A.||Ramsden, E.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Hacking, Douglas H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Balniel, Lord||Hammersley, S. S.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Harland, A.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Harrison, G. J. C||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bethel, A||Hartington, Marquess of||Salmon, Major I.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Haslam, Henry C.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Brass, Captain W.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sandon, Lord|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hills, Major John Waller||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hilton, Cecil||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,'C.)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R.(Prtsmth, S.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Christie, J. A.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Lamb, J. Q.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Cope, Major William||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Couper, J. B.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Macintyre, Ian||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||McLean, Major A.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Margesson, Captain D.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Meller, R. J.||Wells, S. R.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Drewe, C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M,||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Oakley, T.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Penny, Frederick George||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colone Francis E.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Pilcher, G.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Power, Sir John Cecil||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Preston, William||Captain Wallace and Sir Victor.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Price, Major C. W. M.||Warrender.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hollins, A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Buchanan, G.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sullivan, J.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Day, Harry||Kelly, W. T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kirkwood, D.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Gillett, George M.||Lindley, F. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Greenall, T.||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Maxton, James||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Murnin, H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Oliver, George Harold||Windsor, Walter|
|Hayday, Arthur||Paling, W.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Hayes.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Purcell, A. A.|
§ Sir FRANK NELSON
I would very gladly have dispensed with moving this Amendment at this late hour if I could reconcile it with my desire for enlightenment on what I conceive to be a really important point. Clause 11 lays down the drafting with a view to concentration of the gold reserve and economy in the use of gold. It empowers the Bank of England to acquire gold at a rate of 77s. 9d. per ounce standard as laid down in the Bank Charter Act of 1844. My Amendment changes the Bank Charter Act of 1844 to the Gold Standard Act of 1925; in other words, that the Bank shall be empowered only to acquire this gold at 77s. 10½d. The position at the moment, as I understand it, is that any holder of gold may take it to the Bank of England and demand payment for it at 77s. 9d., but conversely, if any trader or individual wants gold in any quantity from the Bank of England he has to pay 77s. 10½d. for it. May I put a very simple and brief hypothesis which shows the difficulty which I am in? Assume that a firm of brokers or dealers have brought gold on a Monday or Tuesday, and have reason to believe that their Indian or Egyptian market, which may be closed for a religious holiday, will come into the gold market on the following Thursday. Under this Clause the Bank of England may say "No, we want your gold now at 77s. 9d.," whereas, if they had been allowed to wait until Thursday, they might conceivably have got 3d. or 4d. an ounce more. I have nothing but support to give to any Clause which is designed to economise the concentration of the gold reserves, but if by the acquisition is meant an acquisition which gives a profit of 1½d. per ounce, primarily to the Bank of England but in actuality to the State, then it appears to me that we are concentrating our gold reserves at a profit of about 1½d. per ounce standard.
As the hon. Member says, as the Clause stands, the Bank can buy at £3 17s. 9d. and sell at £3 17s. 10½d. If the Amendment stands the broker could buy back his gold at the price for 1394 which he sold it, and thus defeat the object of the Clause. I thought I cleared up the point in my Second Reading speech. Clause 11, in line 19, provides for the very contingency which the hon. Member foreshadows. It enables the Bank to buy any holding of gold coin or bullion in excess of £10,000 compulsorily, with the important exception of gold,which is bona fide held for immediate export or which is bona fide required for industrial purposes.I went on to say that this exception is devised to leave the activities of the London bullion market entirely untouched. I think the objection is met by that.
§ Sir F. NELSON
It seems to me that the convertible gold reserves in the possession of a firm, an individual, a bank or a corporation might quite reasonably be held for industrial purposes, and have been held for some considerable number of years. It is rather a negation of what I understand as a free gold market if gold, which is genuinely held for industrial purposes, can be taken over at a profit to the State.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I am very sorry that I have to object to this Clause being passed without this Amendment. The Financial Secretary has treated the Committee very discourteously in getting up at this time of the morning and trying to explain the thing in the way that he has done. It is almost an insult to the intelligence of the Committee to expect us to pass this without some further explanation.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.