HC Deb 14 March 1929 vol 226 cc1389-421

"with a view to translating the expressed desire for permanent peace into effective action, this House urges upon His Majesty's Government to adopt a more determined and well-considered policy to secure international agreement for an all-round reduction in naval armaments."

In moving this Amendment, I should like to be allowed to add my small word of regret to those already spoken at the departure of the First Lord of the Admiralty from this Assembly, which he has so long adorned. I have been so unfortunate as, on many occasions, to fall into controversy with the right hon. Gentleman, so that I can speak at least with some authority when I say that none will miss him more than those who have attacked him most. To-day he has appeared in his familiar role. He strove to soothe our international contentions with the all-pervading charm of a bucolic peace, but I would suggest that something more substantial was expected from him on his last appearance upon this Parliamentary scene. The wounds of Europe cannot be entirely healed by soft soap, and the stage has really been reached when, as even the right hon. Member for Norwich (Sir H. Young) said, we might ask the Admiralty and the Government for some clear statement of Admiralty policy in relation to the needs and the situation of the post-War world.

The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty informed us that there was no chance of war, but he went on to say that the Navy was an insurance against war. Surely £55,000,000 a year is a rather large premium to pay against a risk which does not exist. The right hon. Gentleman went on to claim great credit for himself and for the Government for the reductions in naval expenditure which have been made since the War. In order to claim that credit, he had to go back to the Washington Conference, when he was not First Lord of the Admiralty and when the present Government was not in power. He even went back before the Washington Conference, and claimed credit for the scrapping of battleships which took place after the War, but surely nobody would seriously contend that in time of peace, after the greatest War in history, we should have maintained as great a Navy as we did during the height of that War. All these reductions were purely automatic following upon the conclusion of the War and they have no relation to the permanent policy of peace.

The right hon. Gentleman did not advance any such broad claim in relation to the period of his own Government. He contented himself with telling us what reductions would have been made if the Coolidge Conference had not broken down. He informs us to-day that the proposals there advanced by the Government would have led to a reduction of some £100,000,000 in the naval costs of this country. Unless my memory betrays me, he put the figure at only £50,000,000 in the Debate following upon the Coolidge Conference, and he then omitted to tell the House that that £50,000,000 was not to come into operation until the year 1931, and was then to be spread over a period of 12 years. The net gain on our annual Navy Estimates therefore would not amount to more than some £4,500,000 and that amount was far more than offset by the claims for a larger cruiser programme which was pressed by the right hon. Gentleman at Geneva, and which led to the breakdown of that Conference. The right hon. Gentleman stated that this country had led the way in efforts to secure naval disarmament. How is it, then, that at the Coolidge Conference America proposed for cruisers, destroyers and submarines a total tonnage limited to 510,000, while the right hon. Gentleman on the 8th July strove to raise that total limit to 874,000 tons? In the subsequent proposals which he adduced on the 28th July he only reduced that claim for such a high total limitation to 737,000 tons. The minimum requirements put in by the British Admiralty exceeded by more than 220,000 tons the total limit suggested by the Americans. In face of these facts, the right hon. Gentleman comes to the House and solemnly claims that this country has led the way in naval disarmament.

That is by no means the whole case. On what principle did the Coolidge Conference, that great effort to introduce some reality into naval matters, and to secure some disarmament, break down? It broke down under the requirement doctrine of the British Admiralty which was advanced in their communique of 8th July. In that doctrine, there is laid down the extraordinary proposition that the British Admiralty for their special purposes had certain individual requirements of their own below which they could not fall, irrespective of what other nations might do. Seventy cruisers was the requirement of the British Admiralty, and, although under pressure they reduced their total tonnage demand, that figure of 70 cruisers was never abandoned. Yet, having broken the Conference on that principle, the right hon. Gentleman informs us to-day that in the year 1940 they will not have more than 50 cruisers of under 20 years. What an extraordinary proposition! If the right hon. Gentleman had no intention of building up to within 20 cruisers of the complement for which he asked at the Geneva Conference, why did he break the Conference upon that particular issue?

Let us see where this requirement doctrine leads us. This doctrine lays down that Britain's requirements demand a fixed number of cruisers for the guarding of our trade routes, irrespective of what other nations may do. That pre sumably was the proposition that was to be advanced in the Amendment which was to be moved from the benches opposite. It talks of cruisers adequate to guard all our trade routes. That is a doctrine which the Government laid down at Geneva, and which permeates every speech from the benches opposite, and, indeed, from the Treasury Bench. What reason or logic is there in the claim that this country must have a fixed number of ships irrespective of what other nations may do? This new doctrine is quite different from that which prevailed at the successful Washington Conference. There Lord Balfour made it perfectly clear that the number of cruisers which we should require was dependent upon what other countries would do, and he even warned the French that if they built more submarines we should have to build more cruisers. At that Conference, these matters were considered in a relative way, and the fixed and immutable doctrine of British requirements was only adduced by the present Government when they went to the Coolidge Conference.

To expose the fallacy of this claim, it is only necessary, as in the case of many fallacies, to take an extreme illustration. Supposing all other navies of the world were abolished, world 70 cruisers still be the fixed requirement of the British Admiralty? Obviously, there could be no reason for maintaining 70 ships under such conditions. To deal with sporadic piracy, you would not need 70 ships carrying 8-inch and 6-inch guns. The fact that under such conditions you would not require so many ships proves conclusively that these matters must be relative; and, to have any reason in our naval policy, we must limit the number of our ships to the number of ships possessed by other countries. There is no conceivable logical ground for the adoption of the policy by which Britain maintains a certain number of ships irrespective of what other countries may do.

Let us see to what other dilemmas this policy leads us. This is a policy of private security, a policy that we, and we alone, are to maintain and to keep open the trade routes of the world, and that upon us alone as a nation devolves that immense responsibility. What then of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and all our post-War obligations? This doctrine of private security is in complete contradistinction to the whole conception of public security set up by the League of Nations. Under the Covenant of the League, it is made perfectly clear that the League of Nations contemplate the pooling of forces to deal with any aggressor; individual war is altogether ruled out, and no such responsibility can devolve upon any one nation. This conception is further strengthened by the Kellogg Pact. Yet we have the right hon. Gentleman saying that we alone claim for ourselves the right to protect our island position, and that we in no way rely upon any of these great international pacts, upon the Covenant of the League of Nations, or on any of the other new conceptions of the post-War world. If the doctrine had to be made yet clearer, we have only to turn to the words of the Home Secretary, an ever-ready help when we hope to expose the weakness of the Government's position. The Home Secretary said: Any Government which relies upon any number of pacts or treaties to ensure universal peace would not merely be hiding its head in the sand but would be criminally responsible if and when war broke out. We must be allowed to determine by ourselves and for ourselves what armaments the needs of Britain require. That is a doctrine that is laid down irrespective of pacts and the Covenant of the League of Nations, and irrespective of every obligation which we have undertaken, that we alone will judge what our own defence should be irrespective of what the strength of other navies may be. Surely, the time has come to relate Admiralty policy to our international obligations. It is not difficult to prove, as my first proposition, that this private security doctrine is a violation of these new international obligations. My second proposition is that private security is, in fact, no security at all. Not being a naval expert, I have taken the precaution of basing my argument on evidence given by the highest naval authority in this country, Lord Jellicoe. If we turn to the words he used at the Coolidge Conference, it is abundantly clear that the security which the Admiralty believes we can achieve by this doctrine of private security is, in fact, non-existent. What was the evidence which Lord Jellicoe gave? He said: On the outbreak of the Great War we possessed 114 cruisers, and, in spite of the fact that Germany had only two armoured cruisers, six light cruisers and four armed auxiliaries outside the North Sea, the losses in merchant ships duo to their activities approximated to 250,000 tons. He went on to say that some 70 ships were engaged in chasing one of these raiders, the "Emden," and 29 of them were engaged in chasing her at the same time. Here you have Lord Jellicoe saying, on the experience of the last War, that 70 ships were required to bring one raider to book. Yet now the Admiralty tells us we can keep clear the trade routes of the world against all comers by establishing 70 cruisers for our defence! Lord Jellicoe says in effect that so great is the advantage of the attacker against the defender that in the last War no less a ratio than 70 to one was required to bring an attacker to book. Under what conceivable conditions in a war of the future can we possess such a superiority as that, if we rest our defence on any principle of private security by which we keep the seas open to the rest of the world? Lord Jellicoe went on to explain that during the last War we were in a peculiarly favourable condition for keeping the seas open. Our enemy, the Germans, were confined within narrow exits, and that it was easy to prevent the egress of raiders. In envisaging another war, he said that, with the single exception of war with a Mediterranean Power, the difficulty of the British Navy in preventing the exit-of raiders from a port of any other nation would be multiplied a thousand-fold. Indeed, by no conceivable means could such an exit be prevented.

Here we are asked to maintain a Navy so large as to jeopardise world peace in order to do something which Lord Jellicoe says by no conceivable means can be done. Was ever a proposition more fantastic brought to the test of debate? These are the words of the highest naval authority in this country, and it is a complete reductio ad absurdum of the whole case for private security based on a fixed number of cruisers which is put at 70. So far we have only dealt with the cruiser side, but there were other factors in the late War. From first to last these raiders only accounted for some 500,000 tons of our shipping. The submarines of the enemy sank 7,000,000 tons. That is a far greater factor, and what hope is there of limiting submarines as long as we maintain our fixed requirements in cruisers? There is the other factor of the air, which has been mentioned tonight and with which I do not intend to deal in detail. The hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Commander Bellairs) seemed to think that it was only possible for aeroplanes to operate from an aircraft carrier, but we have the statements of some of the highest air authorities in this country. We have the statement of General Groves that no ship will be safe within a 500 mile radius of a hostile shore during the next war. The narrow seas can be completely closed by the large aerial fleets in which the Continent of Europe abounds. Of what use are our cruisers in protecting merchantmen against attacks like that? It is very doubtful, from American experience, whether they can even defend themselves. The hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone seemed to think that an aeroplane could not come below 3,000 feet if subjected to hostile gunfire. That is an extraordinary belief. I, myself, every day for many months had to do reconnaissances under hostile fire at well under 6,000 feet, for the simple reason that the engines of those days would not take us any higher.


I think the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone said 3,000 feet, not 8,000 feet.


The hon. and gallant Member said, as a matter of fact, that a machine under 8,000 feet was subject to hostile gunfire in a dangerous degree, but through the early stages of the last War men did reconnaissances every day at under 6,000 feet under concentrated gunfire, specially laid for that purpose, and although the machines were often hit it was very bad luck if one got hit oneself.

Brigadier-General CHARTERIS

Surely the hon. Member recognises that anti-aircraft artillery has improved.


I accept that from the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but if that has developed so have the, machines. If it was possible for an aeroplane—one of the weak-engined machines of 70 horse power used in the early stages of the last War—to pass through hostile gunfire easily at under 6,000 feet, surely the powerful and multiple-engined machines to-day, with far greater speed and mobility, can pass through the improved anti-aircraft fire of to-day?

The broad lesson is this: At the beginning of the last War things were done with aeroplanes which in manoeuvres before the War were declared to be impossible. Within a few weeks of the outset of the last War stations were bombed daily from a height of 200 feet.

Brigadier-General CHARTERIS

Were there no anti-aircraft watchers?


Yes, they were ready, and the guns were in position and the machines were fired upon constantly. In manoeuvres, if an aeroplane had claimed the destruction of a station in such conditions, the aeroplane would have been adjudged to have been destroyed. From the outset of the last War the air sprang continual surprises on the old-fashioned military mind and, for my part, I have every confidence that in the next war the air will spring similar surprises on the old-fashioned Naval mind. Anyhow, without pursuing this technical argument, we must come to the broad conclusion that if we abide by our claim for a fixed cruiser strength, irrespective of what other nations may do, then it is quite useless for us to go to them and ask them to limit their submarines or aeroplanes. No one will deny that on the experience of the last War these submarines are of far greater danger to ships than any cruiser raider which may escape from the port. We are not allowed under the conditions of this Vote to discuss the Services in relation. That is the ingenious method of the Government by which they avoid exposure of the extraordinary mentality which is now governing our national defences, but I may, by way of illustration, point to the fact that we are unwilling or reluctant to admit to parity in naval matters a great friendly Power which is beyond striking distance from our own shores, and yet in air matters we are willing to grant a superiority of two to one to another great friendly Power which is within striking distance of every city in this country. Then we are told that if we have the blessed number of 70 cruisers every Londoner may sleep safely in his bed at night. It is a mystical doctrine. It should really be seven times 7 to complete the element of mysticism which we have in all these naval discussions. Surely, these are not the realistic calculations of a scientific general staff. These fixed numbers and these immutable requirements seem to me like muddle-headed metaphysics.

I think it is not too difficult to prove the two main propositions that this private security doctrine violates the new international conception to which we have pledged our word, and that it is a policy which provides no real security of any kind. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman to-night what is the next move proposed by the Admiralty and the Government? They have, I am afraid, made it only too clear of late that they regard even the suggestion that they will move from their present recumbent posture with some impatience. Sir Esmé Howard was solemnly rebuked the other day for even daring to suggest that they were capable of making a move in the near future. The present Government is a deity whose dignity resides in permanent immobility. It is now irreverence for an ambassador even to suggest that it is capable of movement, let alone of action. This question, "What is the next move?" will, we hope, shortly be addressed to another Government; but while the present Government still graces the Treasury Bench it is our duty to ask it this question; and in the default of a clear reply it will further be our painful duty to explain to the electors of this country that it has no naval policy of any kind for disarmament, and consequently no policy for general disarmament or for the promotion of the peace of the world.

If that be denied by the Government, may I address to it certain questions? Are they going to leave matters where the breakdown of the Coolidge Conference or the disastrous Anglo-French Pact have left them? Are we, in the words of the American Note, going to content ourselves with stating in an even more objectionable form the principle upon which the Coolidge Conference broke down? [Interruption.] If the hon. Member has any observation to make and if he is now capable of reasoned intervention in the Debate, perhaps he will rise and make that intervention. The process of monosyllabic interruption is not one which materially assists debate. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he proposes to leave the matter where the Anglo-French Pact left it? Are we going to continue to attempt to limit the ships which are useful to America but to avoid all limitation of the ships which are useful to us? Is that to be the continued policy of the Government, or have they any other suggestions to offer?

Then, what of the question of parity? This is a question to which we must attach immense importance. Which policy now prevails, the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the policy of the First Lord of the Admiralty? They have had a long struggle in many spheres. Who has won in the last round? The right hon. Gentleman may imagine, or may claim, that there is no difference in their policy, but I would remind him of the facts. It was reported in the Press of 30th June, 1927, that the Government were prepared to accept parity with America in the strictest sense in every class of warship. I think that is the position of the First Lord of the Admiralty. The "Times" newspaper, commenting on that fact on 15th July, said: It is not parity with America that is troubling us. We have not raised any objection to that. We are accused of working for superiority and of having refused parity to the United States. This statement has been formally contradicted. That was on 15th July. On 8th August our war lord intervened. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said this: We are not able now, and I hope at no future time, to embody in a solemn international agreement any words which would bind us to the principle of mathematical parity in naval strength. There you have a direct contradiction between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the First Lord of the Admiralty, a contradiction which has never been resolved; and I venture this evening to put to the right hon. Gentleman the specific question "Do we or do we not accept the principle of parity with America in every class of warship?"

May I ask another question? What methods do we intend to pursue in any future move in naval disarmament? Are we to have the methods of the Coolidge Conference—only vague general discussions in public; the real business done in private committees mostly composed of Admirals; an atmosphere of secrecy illuminated only by ex-parte statements to the Press? Or are we to pursue the League method of a preparatory committee—all meetings of the full committee in public, with the informed opinion of the world reinforcing those who seek peace and overwhelming those who obstruct peace? Are we to have preparation in advance, on the Leagues method—the outlining of the principles on which we shall proceed and later the filling in of the details? That, after all, is the great difference between the two methods. The Coolidge Conference largely broke down because it tried to fill in the details before the principles had been developed. The League method, on the other hand, has always been to prepare in advance a skeleton treaty, to fix the ratio of naval strengths, the level from which disarmament will proceed, and, those principles having been adopted, to fill in the details of the actual relative naval strengths.

The advantage of that method over the Coolidge method was instanced in the main principle upon which the Conference broke down. The First Lord of the Admiralty contended, and I think with some force, that 10,000-ton cruisers carrying 8-inch guns should be put in a different class from cruisers of 7,500 tons carrying 6-inch guns; and on the face of it that seems to be a very legitimate contention, as I understand from those who are informed in these matters that the former class of cruisers has a 2½ to 1 superiority in effective power over the latter class. In the general discussions into which the Coolidge Conference degenerated the right hon. Gentleman was defeated, and the Americans, who had taken their stand at the preparatory committee meetings on this very principle of division into classes, overwhelmed the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman. If we had had preparation in advance, if in principle the cruiser class had been subdivided, the right hon. Gentleman might have carried his main contention in the conference. But that method was not adopted, and we had, instead, a universal muddle and vague and general discussion in which a bad atmosphere was created and which led to an ultimate breakdown. In the course of the general discussion the right hon. Gentleman was led to argue that an 8-inch gun was an aggressive weapon while a 6-inch gun was a defensive weapon. The Americans not unnaturally asked why Britain began to build all these aggressive weapons.

Throughout these discussions we have been handicapped by the fact that we always set the pace in a naval race in any new type. Long ago we had a great superiority in battleships. We then built the Dreadnought and started a new type of vessel, thus starting a new race, although previously we had a superiority. Having an overwhelming superiority in the old type of cruisers, we brought out also a new type which started a new race. The possession of a new naval toy always seemed to outweigh every consideration of strategy. I have nothing to say against admirals and the Admiralty mind. I believe them to be honest and patriotic, but I believe on some broader considerations of policy they are profoundly mistaken men. Nevertheless, they have served this country very well and faithfully. [Interruption.] The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury has not an exclusive patronage of public officials, and I think on this, as on many other occasions, he has a little over-estimated his function.

The point I desire to make is that, however great is the service done by the Admiralty, it is the duty of the Government, and the Government alone, to decide major questions of policy. These are matters which affect the peace of the world, and they should not be left to our technical advisers. It may be necessary for the Government to take what many people imagine to be some risks. For my part, I believe that there is no greater risk than the present situation. There is no greater risk than drifting on in the atmosphere of suspicion and growing distrust in which we find ourselves. I have adduced some arguments based on naval evidence from what may seem to be a military consideration of this problem. I think it is desirable to show, even from the standpoint of the Admiralty, that they are not giving us the security which they claim. But I submit that this country is sick of arguments from the military standpoint, and it is time that ordinary people, who have to pay and fight, should take some hand in the management of these great problems. It is time, above all, that the British Government had the courage to govern. Perhaps that is an idle suggestion to make to the present Government, but I trust it will be the guiding principle of the next Government.

It is really time that the Government asserted itself and related our Admiralty policy to the general foreign and international policy we are pursuing. The time has come for a great act of leadership by this country, But the First Lord of the Admiralty does not believe in giving any lead in naval matters. I wish to ask the Government whether, before they leave office, when they meet the Preparatory Commission on the 27th, of April, they propose to lay any new proposals before the League as suggestions for a new move in naval policy? I hope that before the Government leave office they will make some attempt to retrieve their record in that respect. I believe, if we brought forward any proposals of that kind, even if they seemed to be to the disadvantage of this country, America and the other Powers concerned would not take advantage of any generosity in any lead which we might give to disarmament initiated by the biggest naval Power in the world. We have to make concessions. We cannot always expect to have our own way in naval matters, and always be able to secure the limitation of ships useful to other countries and never limit those ships which are useful to ourselves. I ask the Government to give some lead in this matter, because I believe that such a lead would transform international psychology, and do something to restore this nation to the position which has been lost by the policy of this Government.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I hope the First Lord of the Admiralty will have a long and a happy life in his new sphere. I think it would be strange if in this House we did not have some respect for our opponents, and I often have admired the way in which the First Lord of the Admiralty puts things to the House. We have heard a good deal today about the desire of the Government for peace, and the First Lord of the Admiralty has told us that the Estimates which he has presented to the House are an indication of the peaceful policy of the Government and the Admiralty. The question of peace is one upon which we are able to obtain more agreement than upon any other question. As a rule, people are in favour of peace as long as peace can be maintained. The question arises: What are the Government prepared to do to secure peace, and how far are they prepared to go to secure the peace which the country is always talking about? How are the Government going to prove their desire to secure that peace which they have expressed their determination to maintain. The First Lord of the Admiralty has given us an indication of his desire for peace and the desire of the Government for peace, and we have been told as an indication of this desire that during the last few years they have secured a great reduction in our expenditure upon armaments.

Before the War we were always told that the great naval menace to this country was Germany, and during the War the people of this country were led to believe that, with the destruction of the German naval and military power, peace in the world would be ensured. After the War, the German Fleet lay at the bottom of Scapa Flow, and it would have been strange if the British Fleet had been maintained at war strength down to the present time. One would at least expect some reduction from the War standard without its being used by the First Lord as an indication of the peaceful proclivities of the present Government. The speeches that we hear in this House on naval and military topics must have destroyed the illusion of the people of this country that the War of 1914–18 had destroyed the military spirit and had brought them nearer to permanent peace.

What are we doing with regard to the action of the Admiralty in this matter of peace, about which the Government talk so much? I maintain that this country at the Geneva Conference occupied a most humiliating position, in which we cannot possibly take any pride. We are asked to believe that the fault was not ours, that our position was exceedingly moderate, and that the fault was on the part of America, who did not see our point of view. It always seems to me that the fault is not so much one between nations as nations, as between the peace desires of the people and the desires of those who are bound to the tradition of war in each nation. There are two classes in each nation. There is the great mass of the people, who eagerly and earnestly desire peace, almost at any price, who dread and fear war; and there is a section that is always preaching that the world is not a world in which peace can be maintained, and that the most you can possibly do—


Could the hon. Member mention one or two of them by name?

10.0 p.m.


I do not want to mention names. One has only to read the publications which are printed from time to time, and the statements which are made from time to time by responsible persons to the effect that you cannot escape war, and that it is no use expecting that there will be no other war. I believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer said something of that kind, and I am quite certain that, if I searched, I could find that other members of the Government have said the same thing, namely, that to ask for perpetual peace is to ask for something that is unattainable. If any of us on these benches were to talk about the possibilities of establishing permanent peace, we should be described as Utopian. If the Government do believe permanent peace to be possible of attainment, why on earth do they not attune their policy to its attainment, instead of adopting the intransigeant methods that they do at the present time? It is the experts on all sides who delude us into supposing that something can be done to maintain peace by adopting certain ratios, or categories, or parities, or expenditures, as though all these should serve to create peace. Instead of that, we should see that the experts serve the policy, and do not frame it. Policies are often based on the findings of experts, instead of the action of the experts being based on the policy of the Government. Experts will never find a formula which car be agreed upon. My hon. Friend who preceded me has given very long quotations and can speak with far more technical knowledge than I can on these matters, but I think it is fairly apparent that, when you get a group of experts sitting round a table, objectivity is lost sight of, and all that they discuss is what you shall have of this kind and what you shall lave of the other kind. I am not concerned whether I am wiped up by a six-inch gun or an eight-inch gun; the one is just as destructive as the other. What I desire is that the Government should have a policy making for the establishment of peace conditions, instead of always considering how something can be fixed up which will be easily broken and smashed.

The policy has been bad all through. For instance, the Franco-British naval pact was a fatal piece of policy, which set America by the ears more than anything else. Although we talk very nice nothings about the almost impossibility of going to war with America, to anyone who reads the articles in the Press on either side it seems that we are in much the same position now with regard to America in which we were with regard to Germany before the War. [Interruption.] What is the use of talking nonsense? [Interruption.] Senator Borah is not talking nonsense, I suppose, and some of the leading politicians in America are expressing their fear of the possibility of war between ourselves and that country. I do not see why I should be ridiculed for expressing the same point of view. This possibility is not always due to militarists, but is probably due to commercial and business policy. We were told that we should never go to war with Germany, but there were reasons why we did go to war, and, although this is rot germane to the present discussion, I will venture to predict that, if certain policies are pursued in this country with regard to certain raw materials, it will be impossible to avoid war with America. If we try to keep America out of certain raw materials, some spirits there, corresponding to those on this side who attempt to keep them out, will attempt to get them in, and, from that desire and determination to obtain something which they must have, and without which, as they say, they will perish, war will come, whether you like it or not. You may have experts sitting round tables talking about the size of guns and the weight and capacity of ships, but it may be that the next war will be determined far more in Wall Street than anywhere else.


Would the hon. Member propose to abolish Wall Street?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman could not understand my proposal properly if I made it, but, if he would like to know, while I cannot abolish Wall Street, I would attempt at any rate to abolish the causes that arouse suspicions and antagonisms in Wall Street. All we are getting in face of this question are the pettifogging arguments that come from the other side that these questions are insoluble. I do not admit that they are insoluble, and the Government ought to make some attempt to get down to the factors that really determine the tendencies in one direction or another so far as war is concerned. I mentioned a moment ago the suspicions that are aroused and the troubles that arise. President Coolidge himself on Armistice Day, 1928, said: France and England have made a tentative offer which would limit the kind of cruisers and submarines adapted to the use of the United States of America and leave without limit the kind adapted to their own use, but the United States of America, of course, refused to accept the offer. Those are the kind of things that engender antagonisms and set dangerous currents working within one nation or another, and although hon. Members may affect to despise the possibility of another war the possibility of another war is always present so long as policies are being pursued such as are being pursued in this country, and in America and France also. We went there for the Franco-British Naval Pact and for the purpose of gaining their support for our naval proposals, on the condition, I suppose, that we backed to an unlimited extent their military demands. With all respect to the French nation and the great part they have played, it is time we told France distinctly—not the people of France but some of her dangerous statesmen—that we are not prepared to be dragged at the heel of French policy into possible wars on the Continent, and that we do not propose to endanger the peace of the world by antagonising the English speaking race across the Atlantic in pursuing some foolish policy of the French on the Vistula or on the Rhine.


I never listen to the orations of the hon. Baronet the Member for Smethwick (Sir O. Mosley) without thinking of the famous lines of Pope on Addison: Gives a little Senate laws. And sits attentive to his own applause. Sensitive though the hon. Baronet is to any interruption which does not take the form of applause, I am sure even he could hardly blame Members on this side of the House if there was a murmur of a laugh or a sign of a smile when he was good enough to pay to our historic Navy the tribute that some members of it, at some time or another, have been honest and brave. When next we celebrate Trafalgar Day and put on the plinth of Nelson's monument the great words, England Expects that Every man will do his Duty. we shall have, for the satisfaction of members of the senior Service, to add "And the hon. Baronet the Member for Smethwick has admitted that occasionally it is right." Considering the obvious amount of preparation the hon. Baronet has devoted to his polished and humorous oration, it seems a little strange that he should not have taken greater pains to be correct in his facts and to attend to the logical consequences of his arguments. He said the arguments of those who support the Government, if pushed far enough, resulted in a reductio ad absurdum, for if you are going to say your requirements are absolute and not relative to any other standard, it follows that, if all the other nations in the world entirely abolish their navies, you will still have to maintain that you require 70 cruisers. Of course, it does not follow at all, because as far as I apprehend the course of events, we have never said that our requirements were absolute and not relative to the position of the other nations of the world. If there was not another battleship or cruiser belonging to another country—I speak, I hope, as a common-sense individual and not as a naval expert, not that there is any distinction between the two on this side of the House—it would still be necessary for us, for the protection of our sea routes, to have a certain number of cruisers. Why? The hon. Baronet supplied the answer himself. He said it took 70 cruisers to catch one armed raider. Of course, so long as it is possible for other countries to interfere with our commerce and our trade routes—and no other country in the world has the same exigencies as we have—by means of armed raiders, we have to have a certain number of cruisers to deal with them, and if it took so many cruisers to interfere with the "Emden," it is surely because there were not enough to stop the "Emden" getting loose in the beginning, and not enough to guard our convoys. Otherwise, the "Emden" would have encountered cruisers long before she did, and her career would have been much shorter and less terrible.

The hon. Baronet's own argument led in to a reductio ad absurdum, because he told us with a wealth of technical knowledge—I do not know how much of it is his own experience and how much he has collected from authorities—that you really cannot do anything with cruisers when all is said and done, because it is the submarine and the aeroplane that do the mischief, and these forms of armament are not to be countered by the use of cruisers. Let us push the argument to its logical conclusion. If the case is hopeless, why any cruisers at all? Let him say candidly that they are of no use whatever. It takes 70 of them to catch one armed raider. They are hopelessly at the mercy of the aeroplane and the submarine, and you might as well get rid of the whole of them. Is that what the hon. Baronet means?


If other nations also reduced their cruisers, this country would be in a far stronger position than it is to-day, because it has half the merchant tonnage of the world under its flag.


The hon. Baronet has not answered my question at all. I suggest that his argument leads to this conclusion: Since the cruiser is useless to contend with the submarine or the aeroplane and the various other modern devices, what is the good of 50 or 25 or six? If they are useless, they are useless, and he should have the courage to say that he is for a programme of the complete abolition of our cruisers.


The cruiser apparently, on naval evidence, is very largely-useless in defending modern ships against the various forms of attack, but, of course, the cruiser is net useless in aggressive action against ether navies or against seaport towns.


The cruiser is useless for the purposes of defence!


Not absolutely.


Comparatively useless for defending commerce! Up to now, I think, naval opinion has been unanimous that it has this purpose. If its purpose, according to the hon. Gentleman, is as a weapon of offence, that is precisely why we were unable to arrive at an agreement with the United States of America at the last conference. There was an attempt to arrive at parity, but as everybody knows it was upon the word "parity" that the whole thing broke down, because you cannot get a formula by which you can say that X ships of 10,000 tons armed with 8-inch guns are equivalent to Y ships of 7,500 tons armed with 6-inch guns. So long as that was so, it was obvious that the country which had the larger ships with the heavier guns, as far as offence went, was largely in a superiority. What harm is Great Britain doing with her cruisers in these circumstances? You might as well talk about parity between aeroplanes and machine guns and try to show that six aeroplanes equal seven machine guns as arrive at any formula by which you can say that so many of these larger cruisers with the larger armaments equalise so many of the smaller cruisers with the smaller armaments. It was upon that line that the Conference broke down.

The hon. Gentleman condemns Great Britain because she has adhered to the doctrine of requirements; unless it be that he is pursuing the usual policy of his party, which is, that, whatever the circumstances may be, Great Britain is always in the wrong. If Great Britain is wrong on the doctrine of requirements, is America right on the doctrine of requirements? If it is wrong for us to insist that for our purposes, having regard to our pecular situation as an island Power, having regard to the fact that we depend on food supplies from over the seas, having regard to the fact that we have to look after the security of Dominions scattered to the four ends of the earth—if it is wicked and wrong to say in those circumstances that we think we ought to have, as a starting point, so many cruisers, is it morally right and noble of the United States to lay down her requirements and say she is going to have a certain total tonnage or so many ships of 10,000 tons? I cannot see why one point of view should be more moral than the other in these controversies. As an Irish speaker upon these benches once said, the reciprocity is invariably on one side. I remember an anecdote which is told of Talleyrand—


Is it a good one?


Those who have a sense of humour will be the best judges of it. It is said that someone went to Talleyrand and pleaded very eloquently with him for the abolition of capital punishment. Talleyrand replied: "Que Messieurs les assassins commencent." No doubt it is very virtuous, and it inspires us all as a magnificent example, that the United States of America should invite the world to repudiate war as an instrument of national policy. Very well! "Que Messieurs les Americains commencent." If we because we are signatories to that Pact are bound in honour to reduce our armaments, how does the hon. Member explain why America, as the author of the Pact, is entitled to extend her armaments at the same time? There is no question of our building against the United States of America, or of her building against us. All these so-called pacifist speeches to which we have listened this afternoon are more provocative of international discord and suspicion than if we and our cousins across the Atlantic talked in plain English about our position. We look upon them and their naval policy possibly with envious eyes, that they are in a financial position to afford it, but with no suspicious eyes, because we know that just as it must be the primary interest of the British Empire to preserve peace and to get on with her business so, also, it must be the primary business of the United States to do the same thing.

As for the new conception of international policies which have arisen since the War, they seem to me to be conceptions about an Amphictyonic council, and just about as useless in practice. The people who think that just because we have an international gathering sitting at Geneva, there never can be or there never ought to be any trouble in the world again, are doing their best to put too much of a strain upon this new machine. So long as it is necessary in this society of the metropolis, as my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Epsom (Commander Southby) pointed out, to have a policeman to look after traffic and to arrest the malefactor among Englishmen, Britishers, in our own Capital City, so long will there be found in the world somebody who is a disturber of the peace. For that reason we must have a police force.

The great Palace at Geneva is not the first peace palace to be erected in the world. I seem to recollect a noble and grandiose building at The Hague, in which all sorts of covenants, pacts, and obligations were entered into. I heard of people, like the hon. Member, who talked, a few years before the great European War broke out, exactly the same sort of thing: "There can be no further trouble; there is a new conception abroad; everybody will be good in this new world, and we shall never quarrel." That was the way they talked before the War. The hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallhead) said that we declared that war could never occur again. We never said anything of the sort. A good many of us were apprehensive that it might occur. It was hon. Members opposite who said that it would not occur. The right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Runciman) was very positive, before 1914, that there was no power in the world that had more humane and pacific intentions than Germany. I believe he said that he bitterly regretted that the first dreadnought had ever been built. It was a regret which his fellow-countrymen had not in August, 1914.

These were the protestations which were made before the War. Between 1912 and 1914 Liberal Members of Parliament divided this House some nine or 10 times against their own Government on the Naval Estimates—I think my recollection is correct. On these occasions the Conservative party put its duty to the country before adherence to party and saved the Liberal Government from its friends. The Government did the right thing and got the credit as soon as war came for putting up our expenditure in armaments by £25,000,000, while the rank and file of the Liberal party got the credit for being peace-loving persons. Then as to the "informed opinion of the world"—upon which we have to arrange our naval programme. I should have thought that the informed opinion of the world upon this particular question was represented by ourselves, the United States, France, Italy and Japan. In matters of this sort we are very largely the informed opinion of the world. Why? The hon. Members opposite forget that under the Covenant of the League of Nations itself, and still more under our obligations under the Locarno Treaty, we may have at any moment to enforce the peace of the world. International law differs from real law in this, that behind all real law is force. It is true that we do not settle our differences by force in this House—at least very few of us do—but behind the judgment of a Judge are the officers of the Court, and behind them are the police force and behind them are all the King's horses and all the King's men. Behind the League of Nations: what force is there? It is the force supplied by the great Powers themselves, who are in fact parties to the suit.

How often is it that the aggressive Power is in fact not the Power which fires the first shot? How often in the history of the world has the aggressor pleaded that she acted in self defence and therefore justifiable even under the Kellogg Pact. In order to fulfil our obligations to the League of Nations, to give it some force, we must surely maintain a reasonable amount of naval force. That is where one might call the informed opinion of the world comes in; the informed opinion of the Powers which will have to shoulder the job if it has to be done, and, as usual, it will be the British Army and the British Navy who will bear the brunt of the work and the British taxpayer whose pockets will be searched in order to pay for it. Apropos of the informed opinion of the world; of those people who find it easy to utter high-sounding words and deliver themselves of high moral sentiments, those people who say that they will renounce war, I recollect the old fable of the mice holding a meeting in the stall of a cart horse. The mice by a unanimous majority passed a resolution that all the occupants of the stall shall refrain from stamping with their feet. We are the cart horses.


Where are the mice?


The mice constitute those units of the informed opinion of the world who, no doubt, we very eloquent and voluble on the subject, but who send us away to our atlases to find out precisely where they are. Everyone knows where Great Brita a is to be found; Great Britain will be found at her post if ever the League of Nations calls upon her to fulfil her obligations. Those obligations she is not ready to extend, because she does not mean to undertake more than she can fulfil. Bat one reason for having an adequate naval force is that we may be able to keep our word when the time comes. As to the United States of America, if their requirements are different from ours, as they undoubtedly are now, we know perfectly well that, whatever those requirements may be, interference with the British Empire is not one of them. We are perfectly ready to trust them. As for the future, hon. Members opposite know quite well that we on this side are just as anxious as they are to come to some agreement which may enable us to spare the taxpayer in future, and to divide some at least of the great sums now do-voted to armaments to those schemes of social reform which, though they may not be so widespread as, in the course of a few months, to conquer unemployment, may be of great service to the community, when, after the next General Election, we are enabled to go on with our programme.


I had not intended to speak. I have listened with intense interest and pleasure to the witty speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken. I want to say one sentence. The hon. and learned Member talked what he thought was common-sense. He poured scorn on all post-War efforts to abolish this thing called war, but what he left out of his account was the opinion of the people of this country. You cannot wage war without having people to fight, and I tell him that if the accursed policy that he had put forward is the policy of his party, he will find that when it comes to be put into force not one man will march in support of it.


The First Lord of the Admiralty made what might be described as a peace speech, and set out four or five reasons why the present Government ought to be regarded as a peace Government. He referred to what this Government had done at various conferences, including the Preparatory Disarmament Conference at Geneva, and even to what the Government had don in connection with the Anglo-French Naval understanding. I wish to make one or two comments, because the right hon. Gentleman ought not to be allowed to get away with the idea that this Government has been putting forward a programme that does make for naval disarmament. I would draw attention to what he said in relation to the Coolidge Conference. He said that if the plan put forward by him had been carried out it would have saved this country in ten years something like £50,000,000. I am not disputing that fact, but it is fair to point out that that particular proposal was not part of the agenda. The Coolidge Conference was not called to discuss first-class battleships, but was called essentially to discuss the cruiser problem. It is, therefore, the essence of the situation that the policy of the Government on that particular occasion should be tested in relation to cruisers.

The First Lord knows that his proposals involved an increase in tonnage of something like 200,000 and I submit that it was a blessing, both to this country and to America, that the Coolidge naval conference broke down. If it had succeeded on the terms which the First Lord proposed, we should have had, instead of disarmament, a very substantial increase in armaments on both sides of the Atlantic. Then, in the terms of the proposed Anglo-French understanding we had a free hand for ourselves with regard to small cruisers and destroyers, and we proposed to give the French a free hand in submarines under 600 tons. Incidentally, we proposed to close our eyes in future disarmament conventions to the trained reserves of the French nation. Those terms were really a retrogression on the original terms of the Coolidge naval conference and, if they had succeeded, we would have been involved in a serious programme for the increase of armaments throughout the world. This seems to be the necessary consequence of the new doctrine which the First Lord put forward at the Coolidge Conference that our naval policy must rest upon the special requirements of this country.

Does the right hon. Gentleman conceive it possible to get any kind of disarmament policy if he allows that statement of policy to be generalised and adopted by other nations. It has been conventional to argue, and I admit the truth of the argument, that we are more dependent relatively on overseas traffic for food supply than any other country in the world. But we cannot base arguments about navies merely on the question of food supply. The sea is not used exclusively to carry bread and meat. Whilst it is not pertinent for the United States to argue that they are dependent on the seas of the world for their bread, it is pertinent for them to put forward the same argument in relation to a series of other commodities. It is the first time I ever knew that naval policy should be determined in respect of one particular group of commodities. If the First Lord is going to put forward this doctrine of special requirements, he is entitled to allow every other nation to put forward the same kind of plea and then we shall be involved in a general increase in armaments.

It is true that many European nations, as regards 45 or 46 weeks in the year, are not dependent on imported food supplies but for other weeks of the year they are so dependent, and, if they begin to develop the British argument, then the First Lord is simply inviting other nations to enter upon an era of competitive armaments. Alternatively, he wants the other nations of the world to trust to the unlimited control of the British Navy with regard to traffic on the seas. 1 would like to ask the First Lord whether, before this doctrine was announced, consideration was taken of the doctrine put forward in 1919, which has become known as the doctrine of the freedom of the seas? The First Lord will remember that in 1919 we pledged ourselves to abide by the 14 points drawn up by President Wilson, the second of which has a direct bearing on the policy he announced three years ago, namely, the policy which President Wilson defined in the words: Absolute freedom of navigation on the seas outside territorial waters except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants. I know the First Lord of the Admiralty of those days repudiated that new doctrine in very decisive terms, but the present First Lord knows that there has been a very great change in British opinion and in the relations which Britain holds to the other nations of the world. We have entered, through the League of Nations, into something like a collective guarantee for land freedom. It is the most depressing part of the brilliant and witty speech we have heard from the other side that at bottom the Covenant of the League of Nations and the practical implications to be derived from the Kellogg Pact do not as yet count in the formulation of the practical policy of nations. I am glad to know that the Foreign Secretary admitted two months ago that the Government were giving this question of the freedom of the seas their serious consideration, and the First Lord knows that all responsible people in America, the people who are responsible for Government, are saying in effect that we shall never get anywhere in regard to naval disarmament until we have framed some kind of new code of maritime law.

The First Lord will never again have a chance like this that is now before him to make a speech in this House. He made a speech at the beginning of the Debate in which he betrayed what is deepest in his heart, namely, that he wants to be known as a peace First Lord. He knows that this question of the freedom of the seas is the livest possible question for Great Britain in relation to peace, and I want to ask him to say at that Box what has happened since 1919, since the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) made his flat denial of the value of this doctrine, and to say if, in relation to our commitments under the Covenant of the League of Nations and our new commitments under the Kellogg Pact, and in relation to the fact that it is practically impossible for us to continue a monopoly control of the seas of the world, we propose in April next, in something like a new doctrine for the freedom of the seas, to put forward proposals which will really have a chance of acceptance on the important question of naval disarmament.


I should like, before I say anything more, to express my personal thanks for the many kind words that have been spoken in the course of this Debate in relation to myself. I am very much touched by those references. Personally, I have been referred to as Dr. Jekyll, but publicly the hon. Member for Camberwell North (Mr. Ammon) and other hon. Members opposite have criticised me as Mr. Hyde. This Amendment on the face of it seems a very unobjectionable one from the point of view of any Opposition. It is a comparatively harmless Amendment to which a reply is unnecessary, because the Government has done, as I pointed out in my speech earlier in the day, everything that was possible in the direction of disarmament. It certainly is not assisted by the kind of speeches to which we have listened. Of all the speeches which are calculated to do mischief as between us and other countries, and in regard to the peace of the world, I cannot imagine anything very much worse than those to which we have listened. I certainly am not going to enter into a discussion with hon. Gentlemen on these points. They asked me a number of questions and sought to establish the fact that this country has been wrong on every conceivable occasion. That, of course, is nothing new to us; that is their constant attitude. If I were to enter into elaborate discussions of what happened at the Coolidge Conference, of which the hon. Gentleman gave a most garbled account, although it would be some satisfaction to me, I should merely be raising again some of the problems which divided us at that time, which are past recalling now, and I should be doing no good if I entered into an animated defence of our side of the case on that occasion, because it would necessarily involve some attack upon the others.

The reason for the breakdown of the conference was that although we agreed on equality, we could not find a formula for it. We did not blame those who disagreed with us, and we believe that they fully understood our point of view. So I am not going now into an argument on these matters, and I cannot answer the question which the hon. Gentleman the Member for Penistone (Mr. Rennie Smith) raised about the freedom of the seas. That is not a matter for me, but a matter of foreign policy, and I am not able to go beyond what the Foreign Secretary has said on that subject. I would like to say this, however, with regard to the Coolidge Conference and the attitude of hon. Gentlemen opposite about it. Their attitude was that we have mishandled it, and that we asked something unreasonable. I would remind them that not very long ago we had a long Debate in this House on that very subject, and I asked the House whether they disagreed with a single one of the proposals which we made at the Conference, and not a Member in the House got up and said that he disagreed. Therefore, to say now that it was all wrong may be very good party politics, but it is rather late in the day to say it, because the whole House admitted then that the policy we had advocated at Geneva, if it could have been adopted, would have been a tremendous step forward in the direction of disarmament, reduction and economy. We have heard this country blamed, and a lot of questions have been asked. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is the Government!"] That is just what I expected somebody would say, but seeing that the Government took a policy to Geneva which nobody on that side of the House was able to contravene or to condemn or which anybody could say was unsound, I claim it was the policy not merely of the Government but of the House and of those who could not vote against it when they had the chance.

I am very sorry that the last hours of this Debate have been vitiated by the sort of speeches to which we have listened. They cannot possibly do any good, and I venture to suggest to the party opposite that they will not do them any good in the country. Not one of the hon. Gentlemen who have criticised us for not making proposals for a further reduction of armaments has been able to tell us what any other country has done in that direction compared with our own. I ask that question as a reply to some of the questions which have been put to me. What have any of the other countries done who are not dependent for their existence on the free passage of the seas? What have they done more than we in the direction of disamament?


Where is the German Navy?


The hon. Gentleman said we ought not to base our policy on our requirements, and that if we did so, then other countries would do the same. I do not blame other countries if they do, but I do blame the hon. Gentleman for suggesting that our requirements, which are for bread and raw material for our trade, are in any way comparable to the requirements of such a country as the United States, which has within its own borders almost everything that it wants, and, possibly, with one or two exceptions, rubber and tin, is completely self-contained. To say that it is the same thing for people to be deprived of rubber and tin as it is to be deprived of bread, is to say something which nobody in this country, who remembers how near we were to starvation during the War, is going to believe for one moment. Our policy of going by requirements is not a new policy. It is one which has been followed by hon. Gentlemen opposite when they were occupying these benches in 1924. On a similar occasion to this their spokesman said: The number of cruisers available for the protection of our world-wide trade has been below requirements which depend primarily on the length of our trade routes, and the volume of our sea-borne trade, and only to a limited extent on the numbers possessed by other countries. The time, however, has now arrived when this replacement construction can no longer be delayed in view of the large numbers of light cruisers which will during the next few years reach an age at which they can no longer be relied upon as efficient units."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th March, 1924; col. 284, Vol. 171.] Therefore, the policy of requirements of this Government was adopted by hon. Gentlemen opposite in 1924. I am not quite sure whether the hon. Gentleman who moved this Motion was then a member of the Labour party, to which he is a recent recruit, but if he was I wonder he submitted tamely to the doctrine of requirements then. I have said that I do not think it necessary for me to say any more. Most of the arguments have already been answered, and I seriously deprecate entering into any kind of discussion which would spoil the effect which the Debate has had generally of being one aiming at peace and desiring the best relations between this country and the United States and all other foreign countries, and believing

that every other country desires peace as we ourselves do.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 145; Noes, 69.

Division No. 267.] AYES. [10.57 p.m.
Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles Greene, W. P. Crawford Plicher, G.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Pownall, Sir Assheton
Astor, Viscountess Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Price, Major C. W. W.
Atholl, Duchess of Grotrian, H. Brent Ramsden, E.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.) Rentoul, Sir Gervais
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Hanbury, C. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ctrts'y)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish Harland, A. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Betterton, Henry B. Harrison, G. J. C. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Bevan, S. J. Hartington, Marquess of Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Birchail, Major J. Dearman Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Blundell, F. N. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Sandeman, N. Stewart
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Henn, Sir Sydney H. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Savery, S. S.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Hilton, Cecil Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Brockiebank, C. E. R. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Smithers, Waldron
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Brown, Brig. Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Burman, J. B. Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Butt, Sir Alfred Hume, Sir G. H. Stanley, Hon. D. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Carver, Major W. H. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Streatfelid, Captain S. R.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) King, Commodore Henry Douglas Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Thomson, Sir Frederick
Christie, J. A. Looker, Herbert William Tinne, J. A.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Cope, Major Sir William Lumley, L. R. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Macmillan, Captain H. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Watts, Sir Thomas
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.) Makins, Brigadier-General E. Wells, S. R.
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Keller, R. J. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Monsell, Eyres Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Withers, John James
Ellis, R. G. Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Womersley, W. J.
Fairfax, Captain I. G. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Faile, Sir Bertram G. Neville, Sir Reginald J. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Ford, Sir P. J. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Wragg, Herbert
Forrest, W. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'd.) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Fraser, Captain Ian Nuttall, Ellis Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Ganzonl, Sir John Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Gates, Percy Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Goff, Sir Park Perring, Sir William George Captain Margesson and Captain
Gower, Sir Robert Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wallace.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Edge, Sir William Mosley, Sir Oswald
Ammon, Charles George Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Naylor, T. E.
Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bilston) Fenby, T. D. Oliver, George Harold
Batey, Joseph Gardner, J. P. Palin, John Henry
Bellamy, A. Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Benn, Wedgwood Gillett, George M. Ponsonby, Arthur
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Potts, John S.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Broad, F. A. Griffith, F. Kingsley Riley, Ben
Bromley, J. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Ritson, J.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Saklatvala, Shaour
Cape, Thomas Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Sexton, James
Charieton, H. C. Kelly, W. T. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Cluse, W. S. Kennedy, T. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Lawson, John James Shield, G. W.
Dalton, Hugh Lowth, T. Shinwell, E.
Dalton, Ruth (Bishop Auckland) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Day, Harry Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Sitch, Charles H.
Duncan, C. Morris, R. H. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Tomlinson, R. P. Windsor, Walter
Stamford, T. W. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Strauss, E. A. Viant, S. P.
Taylor, R. A. Wallhead, Richard C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Tinker, John Joseph Williams, T. (York, Don Valley) Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Whiteley.

Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Supply accordingly considered in Committee.

[Mr. JAMES HOPE in the Chair.]