§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I beg to move, in page 1, to leave out line 14.
The effect of the Amendment would be to delete from the list of names in this Clause the one which appears first. I am not moving this from any personal consideration, for I do not know anything of the merits of this gentleman for occupying this position. I have not even taken the trouble to look him up in "Who's Who." I do not know him, nor do I care who and what he is. I move the Amendment because I do not think that he is a proper person to occupy any public position of any kind whatever. During 1926, when the miners of this country were fighting a desperate battle, not for the purpose of private profit, not for the purpose of any aggrandisement, but for the purpose of preventing their miserable wages from being reduced to a still further deplorable limit, and when the miners were at the end of their tether this gentleman referred to them as enemies of the country. In a speech which he delivered to a Conservative organisation, he referred to the late War, and said that starvation was a weapon which was permissible against the Germans, who were our enemies, and that starvation was a permissible weapon against our enemies in a military sense. He went on to declare that the miners of this country were also our enemies, and that starve- 860 tion was a legitimate weapon to be used against them and their families. I do not think that there were many of those who then occupied the Government side of this House who approved of sentiments of that description. They were disgraceful, and every Member of this House would declare them to be so.
By the mere statement of those words this gentleman proved that he is not fitted to hold the position with which the Government propose to present him. I may be told by the Parliamentary Secretary that this gentleman is mainly appointed to deal with the particular financial problems with which the Public Works Loan Board have to deal. Of his merits in that direction I know nothing, but I am prepared to state that whatever his fitness might be, there are probably 50 more gentlemen who are equally fitted, and against whom this cannot be urged. I am not unaware that in governmental circles there is a kind of feeling that many of the Members of their own party are not fitted for jobs of this description. We do not hold that view, and I suggest that if this Amendment were carried, other names of gentlemen equally fitted for the job could be suggested.
§ Mr. BATEY
I rise to support this Amendment. I do not know this gentleman, I have no idea who he is, but the statement about him made to-day by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Wallhead) was made on the Second Reading on 27th June and has never been contradicted, and therefore it must be regarded as true. If that gentleman can make such statements regarding the miners of this country, those of us on this side of the House cannot agree to his being appointed to any position by this Government. The statement made by my hon. Friend and repeated to-day was made on 27th June. Since then it has been made quite clear that this gentleman has still a very bitter enmity against the miners, because on the last occasion when the Mines Bill went to the House of Lords and was discussed the Lords disagreed with this House over three important Amendments, one dealing with amalgamations, the second with the spread over of hours, and the third with the district levy. Looking at the record of the votes in the Official Report of the House of Lords one finds that on all those three important Amendments—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid I must interrupt the hon. Member. We are not now dealing with anything which has been done by the House of Lords in relation to any Bill.
§ Mr. TINKER
On that point of Order. The hon. Member is objecting to the gentleman named here, and I think he has a right to state the reason for his objection.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Under the Rules of this House debates in the House of Lords cannot be brought into discussion here.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Order! That is just what is out of order. A discussion of any votes recorded in the House of Lords would not be in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Order! I draw the hon. Member's attention to the fact that this Bill has nothing to do with the miners, and that he has no right in this House to discuss the action of the House of Lords on a different matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Order! If the hon. Member is going to insist I must tell him he is not in order and he must not do so.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Order! The hon. Member must not bring into this discussion the debates in the House of Lords or the votes of any Member of the House of Lords.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is not the point to which I am directing attention. There is no need to rise to a point of Order on that when I have already allowed the hon. 862 Member who moved the Amendment to refer to something said elsewhere than in the House of Lords.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Does not the Standing Order in reference to the House of Lords refer to speeches made in the House of Lords in the same Session of Parliament?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
May I be allowed to call attention to the Manual of Procedure, page 127, where it says:A member while speaking on a question must not … (iii) refer to any debate of the same session in the House of Lords.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The debate referred to there is a debate which has some connection with the matter before this House.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
On a point of Order. I am not contesting your Ruling as to the relevance of the reference, but this may be an important precedent, because it distinctly says, in Sub-section (iii) of Standing Order 151, page 127, that the reference which is debarred is a reference made in the same Session of Parliament.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am dealing here with a reference by the hon. Member to debates on the Mines Bill in the House of Lords.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The votes cast are equally out of order and I must insist on the hon. Member obeying my Ruling.
§ Mr. BATEY
Then I will leave it there, because I have made my statement, although you are against me so much. If we had been sitting on the other side of the House and a Conservative Government had come forward to recommend the reappointment of these men, we would have taken the opportunity of objecting to this gentleman's name, and I take that course of action with our Government. We ought not to follow the practice of reappointing men merely because they have been members of the Committee on a former occasion. In appointing men to these positions we should be sure that 863 they do not offend the Members on this side of the House, and I hope we may be more careful in reappointing members to these Committees.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
I have listened with attention to the two speeches in favour of this Amendment. I am sure that the Committee as a whole will not expect me to be in a position to accept the Amendment which has been proposed.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Before I come to the specific name which this Amendment would delete I will say a word about the Board as a whole. On a later Amendment, where it will be more applicable, I propose to show that the functions of this Clause are not really political functions, they are the functions of administering a policy which is laid down by this House. It is quite true that my hon. Friends have taken advantage of the fact—I do not say undue advantage—that we are in form appointing the Board, but in practice what we are doing is continuing, so far as these names are concerned, a Board which is already in existence. If we were proposing a Board de novo it is quite true that we should look at all the individual names in order to secure a just balance of what might be opinion, looked at from various angles, but we are dealing with a Board which is already in existence and if we selected certain names for definite exclusion we should be taking a line which is contrary to English practice and would have a repercussion upon other matters such as, I am sure, my hon. Friends would not wish to see happen. Further, we should be passing a severe vote of censure upon those individuals. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I hope my hon. Friends will not cheer that, because I think I shall be able to show, in spite of their cheers that in this particular form that would not be desirable.
Let me say this on the larger issue. In this House we are well accustomed to vigorous and violent dissension on political issues; not merely from the teeth outwards but very grave divergencies proceeding from the inner feelings of ourselves on matters that are vital to 864 the well-being of this country. Nevertheless, in spite of these differences on matters upon which policy does not arise, we sit side by side with other politicians from whom we differ in order to carry out the administration which this House has determined. In practice, we do not have in this country the system of spoils service which prevails in the United States. When a Government goes out of office in the United States all sorts of individuals go out with them, but in this country we do not adopt the spoils service. We do not adopt that system so far as the Civil Service is concerned when we are administering the policy of this House, and that is the reason why we do not introduce the political element in the personnel of these public bodies, and the members of all parties act together for a definite purpose.
My hon. Friends behind me say, "We do not dispute your view that to exclude one particular individual from this board would be a vote of censure, but we wish to pass a vote of censure upon that individual." If it were alleged and could be proved that this particular gentleman had introduced political bias and prejudice into the functions which he was called upon to perform, this House would be entitled to say that then he would become liable to censure, and his name ought to be removed from the list. My hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallhead) never alleged anything of the kind, for the very good reason that he could not do so, and there are no allegations of political bias or prejudice with regard to the functions of this gentleman in this particular officer.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The body referred to is an independent body, and this House cannot interfere with them.
§ Mr. PETHICK - LAWRENCE
No allegation that this gentleman has imported prejudice into the functions performed by this board has been made, and, when the discussion takes place on a later Amendment, I shall deal with that point. This gentleman has been a member of the board since the year 1884, and, however much you may differ with him—I know hon. Members on this side vigorously disagree with sentiments which he is alleged to have uttered on certain accasion4—you cannot pass a vote of censure upon him in this way. As Mem- 865 bers of this House, and as people used to speaking on public platforms, we are accustomed to hearing violent language sometimes. In these circumstances, I do not agree with this Amendment which would pass a vote of censure upon the action of this gentleman on the Board, when no suggestion whatever has been put forward that he has introduced political bias in the discharge of his public functions. For those reasons I ask the Committee to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
I would like to remind the Financial Secretary that my hon. Friend is not asking for a vote of censure, but for a vote of "no confidence" in this man. The Financial Secretary has stated that political considerations do not influence appointments on public boards, but we do not agree with that view. We feel strongly on this point, and we are convinced that if hon. Gentlemen opposite had been sitting on these benches and one of our Labour representatives on a public body had made a statement so denunciatory as Lord Hunsdon has done of the Labour party they would not have reappointed him. We feel that by retaining this man on this particular Board we are putting a halo around his head instead of a noose about his neck, and giving a kind of Government sanction to his actions in the past. I hope the Government will take off the Whips in the Division on this Amendment, and allow a free vote. I think the Government would be well advised to withdraw this name in anticipation.
Sir HILTON YOUNG
I should like to say a word on this Amendment, rather from the point of view of one who has had some acquaintance in the past with the working of this Board, and to this effect, that I think that this Committee would be making a mistake were it to allow now, and for the first time, political considerations to be imported into the appointments to this Board. I do not want to enter into the merits of the matters which have been raised by the Mover of the Amendment. I have no knowledge of them, and it would be a mere impertinence on my part to defend the Noble Lord's action, he being more than capable of defending himself. The main point is rather that I think we should be wise to consider such matters 866 as these to be really irrelevant. The Board, as the Financial Secretary has pointed out, has no political functions at all. We are accustomed vehemently to differ, and to express our feelings in the strongest possible words, on political issues, but Members of all parties go off, and, when there is an opportunity of performing public service on non-political bodies, we perform it, keeping out of that performance all political considerations.
This Board, as one can see by glancing down the list of names, is composed of gentlemen who are technically highly qualified to perform very difficult and technical financial functions, and I think, really, that a very substantial debt of gratitude is owed to them by this House and by the country for their services. The Financial Secretary referred humorously to the spoil system, and, of course, we understood his reference, but I expect he would agree that there is very little in the nature of spoil to be had out of work on this particular Board. I think I am right in saying that the services are performed without any remuneration at all, and that really, as I have said, the public owes a debt of gratitude to these gentlemen for the services which they perform. I do not think there has ever been the least breath of suspicion in regard to the manner in which these functions have been carried out, and I cannot but think that it would have a bad effect on the work of the Board in the future, and might be a most unfortunate limitation of the field of choice for the specially qualified people who are required for the Board, were it to become in any way the practice to review their appointments in any political light.
§ Mr. TINKER
I heard the hon. Gentleman who moved the Bill, I think last week, say that it was simply a Measure for the renewal of the names of those who had served on this Board for five years, and I think that we have a right to criticise any one of these people when they come before the House. The person in question, Lord Hunsdon, is a man whom. I cannot support this afternoon or at any other time. Although we have been told, by the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, not to bring in other matters, one cannot entirely dissociate oneself from what has happened in the 867 past, and, when we are considering anybody who holds a public position, we cannot help taking into account the whole of the circumstances that surround him. When we who were representing the miners were fighting the battle of 1926, one of our bitterest opponents was this man, who, though not fighting in the ordinary sense, went to the extent of saying that we ought to be starved back to submission. When we get the opportunity, whether in regard to public jobs or any other job, or whatever may be the position in question, we are going to take that opportunity to tell these people that the time has now come when we have a voice in the matter.
After all, the very purpose of this Bill is to carry out the work of the House of Commons, and, as Members of the House of Commons, we have to choose the right men for these positions, and, surely, if we say that any of them are unsatisfactory and that we wish to put other men in their place, no one can say that we are doing wrong. The argument that is used every time these positions come before us is that we should keep out all political prejudice, but I wonder whether, if it were a question of the appointment of anyone on this side of the House, political prejudice would be kept out then. I think that in that case everything would be taken into consideration, and that we should suffer in consequence of the political views that we hold. I ask the Front Bench on this occasion to give us a free vote. It is not a big political issue for the Government, but many of us feel so keenly on this matter that I am afraid that, if we are not given a free vote, we shall on this occasion vote against the Government. I do not want to vote against the Government, and I hope, therefore, that they will give us a free vote, on the ground that in our opinion Lord Hunsdon, on account of what he has done in regard to the industrial question, is not the man that can suit us in an appointment of this kind.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
I have a certain amount of sympathy with this Amendment, because I still remember the time when the words which are most particularly complained of were first used, and it came as a great shock to me that any man in public life should use language of that kind. At the same time, although 868 we are merely dealing here with an individual name, yet that is not all, for we are also laying down what would be a very important precedent. Objection is taken to this name, but my hon. Friends and I might also look down the list and find the name, perhaps, of some banker who had signed a certain manifesto; and, when the whole of our private objections had been satisfied, there would be no name left on the list, and it would fall to hon. Members opposite, as I have no doubt they would be glad to do, to make a new list. [Interruption.] I am not going to say how long they are going to last in their present position, but it will not be indefinitely, and when the time comes when their power is handed over to somebody else, and this question comes up again, no doubt we should find the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) coming forward with a completely new list, and wanting to remove all the existing names; and he would have a perfectly solid and satisfactory precedent for doing it. The result of that would be that any hope of getting continuity of work on committees of this kind would be lost once and for ever. As Governments changed, all these committees would be changed.
I do not think that the spoil system was a particularly happy illustration to take, because we are dealing here rather with the kind of committees where there is no question of profit. I do think, however, that we want to be able to get, on bodies like this, people appointed without any kind of inquisition into what their language may have been. I should not like to be judged as to my fitness for any body of this kind on an inquisition into everything that I have said on every possible occasion. We all, no doubt, have said things in haste in the past which were unwise, and we ought not to try to judge as to fitness fir service on public bodies by this kind of inquisition. Although this is a very strong case, in which there is as much reason as there could be in almost any case for the indignation, with which I sympathise, of hon. Members opposite, I do ask them not to press this Amendment because by doing so they will be setting on foot a kind of machinery which can be used against them, and will be used against them in the future. [Interruption.] If hon. Members believe that this 869 is an evil, as they appear to do from the interruptions that are now coming from them, let them set a better example in order that we may secure for these committees the best possible men.
§ Mr. BROAD
I am very far from being convinced by the arguments used by the Financial Secretary. Indeed, they rather confirm me in the position I have taken up of opposition to the principle which has been laid down, and Which seems to have been confirmed by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that, if once a person is appointed to this Board, he has a freehold there for the rest of his life. [HON. MEMBERS "No!"] The original Act of 1875 provides that there shall be a reappointment at the end of every five years, and it was, therefore, the intention that, when five years had elapsed, there should be a review of the people who were appointed to the Board, and that there should be no recognition of the idea that, if anyone were not reappointed, it was a vote of censure upon them. We are told that the gentleman now in question has sat there since 1884, and it seems to me that if gentlemen who are given this job are left to sit there for ever, then, instead of having an effective board, which is up-to-date in its views of the changing circumstances of our time, we should regard these boards as a collection of fossils.
As to continuity, and as to it being the spoils to the victor, in the past the spoils have always been on one side and these gentlemen without excepttion, are all people of one class, with great financial interests and experience. It is a survival of the old days when we were taught that another class above us had to have amongst themselves a monopoly of all positions of influence or power. We were taught that here and there in a generation was born some great Napoleon of finance who had to control all our financial affairs, or some great captain of industry, a Lipton or a Mond, and that they had to control all our industries, and that whether in foreign or domestic affairs, from this class alone could be found people with discretion, judgment and knowledge capable of administering our business for us, and so the working classes have been entirely excluded from any kind of representation on such boards as these. But we have to-day evidence in the great co-operative movement that 870 we need no captains of industry or Napoleons of finance from other classes. In the ranks of the workers can be found men and women just as capable of managing great affairs and large financial transactions and understanding business as these other people. That a Labour Government, elected by the democratic votes of the people, should reaffirm that old tradition, as they are doing by this recommendation, is something to which I am strongly opposed. I have never voted against the Government, though I have often been tempted to do so, but on this occasion I feel that there is a principle at stake. There is in this an acceptance of the inferiority complex.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Griffith) has besought hon. Members opposite not to pass this Amendment lest it should be a precedent which at some future date might lead me to some form of iniquity myself. Hon. Members opposite have so much of my iniquity that they really ought to be particularly careful lest they lay down any precedent of this kind. Will hon. Members opposite look at it from this point of view. Suppose they happened to appoint on this commission an hon. Gentleman who at some time in his life had made use of a stupid or wrong expression, anything you like, which probably most of us would entirely disagree with, and that on a change of Government, we moved to put someone else in his place. If hon. Members opposite appointed a man, even one of the most extreme of their members, I believe he would do his best to work in non-political ways as other members of the Board have done. It is a tradition which has gone right throughout public life and which, I believe, means more to this country than anything else. They get little thanks, no praise, and very little credit for this work, to which they give a vast amount of their time, as hon. Members do in the same way in carrying out things of this kind. Need they take up the time of the House by an Amendment of this kind? Surely they might leave these things and trust their own Front Bench. I see the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is looking very sad. The late Chancellor of the Duchy has left early in the day and bidden the others keep fighting. There will not be a Division on this. Hon. Members opposite 871 have not the least intention of dividing, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite always has knowledge that on an occasion such as this—
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
On the Amendment I will say that there is not the slightest chance of any of the people who have been speaking on behalf of it taking it to a, Division, and I regret that the time of the Committee has been wasted on an Amendment of such a kind.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the CHAIRMAN withheld his consent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
As a loyal supporter of the Government, I am going to ask the Front Bench to give us our liberty on this Amendment. I have never yet voted against the Government. I have been a Member of the House for 12 years and have done my best for my party all the while. No man can say to me that I have neglected my business. I have done my best to carry out the desires of our own people, but I cannot stand my people being talked to as this Noble Lord talked to my peoples. He left us no self-respect whatever, and then we are asked to put him again on a Board such as this. I do not want it to be said that I have voted against the Government. After what has been said by my hon. Friend, and the admission by those who are going to appoint this man that he was at the least indiscreet and at the worst more than indiscreet—he was cruel—I plead with the Government to give us our liberty.
§ Mr. LAWTHER
I rise to support the Amendment. I suggest, on the admittance of the Financial Secretary himself, that here is an individual who is supposed, according to those who are supporting him, to hold a position for which he receives nothing but good will. He has held the appointment for a number of years, and when he is due to come before this House for reappointment we are entitled to take into consideration actions which at least indicate that he is no longer a fit and proper person to be entrusted with anything in relation to the 872 proposals which are now put forward. The Financial Secretary says that so far as this individual appointment under this Bill was concerned no vote had been passed to which we could take exception. I suggest that judged by actions such as those to which we are objecting if there was any proposal coming before the the Public Works Loans Board towards giving support to miners a creature of this kind would not support it in any instance. The right hon. Gentleman on the opposite benches talked about us being vindictive. If that were a worthy example perhaps we could adopt that attitude.
I say that, if it were for no other object than to administer some of the medicine which has been administered to our people by types of this kind, then this Amendment would be justified. It is quite easy for those who have no experience of the attitude of gentlemen of this character to oppose this Amendment. Unfortunately under the rules of this House we are not allowed to describe them other than by the word "Gentlemen." But every dog has his day, and I want to assure hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side that as far as we who represent mining divisions are concerned—and I am speaking for myself on this point because I know these miners and their rising families—we should be betraying their confidence and support if we in, any way indicated our support for a proposal in favour of this individual being restored to the position which he now occupies. What surprises me most is that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the other side—for instance the hon. Gentleman the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer)—when we hear them in Committees always talk in opposition to powers being given to the Minister to do certain things and express the view that Parliament should be the arbiter. How pleased they would be this afternoon if this proposal could be pushed through by order rather than that the sins of this gentleman should be brought before the House. We often find hon. Members opposite, who are so mealy-mouthed about their so-called liberties, when given the opportunity to voice their protest, hide their light under a bushel.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
If the hon. Member will look at the Order Paper he will find 873 more Amendments on this Bill in the names of hon. Members below the Gangway than there are in the names of hon. Members in any part of the House.
§ Mr. LAWTHER
I notice that there is no Amendment in relation to this proposal. Whether there is a free vote or not on this Amendment, so far as I am concerned, I shall cast my vote with the utmost joy against the appointment of this individual.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."
The debate on this question has taken a course which was unexpected, and I think that probably I shall be meeting the convenience of Members in all parts of the House by moving to report Progress.
§ 3.0 p.m.
Commander Sir BOLTON EYRES MONSELL
If anything proves the farce of a Socialist Government it is the Motion which has just been moved from the Front Bench. I have never seen a more complete surrender of a Government or a more despicable act of cowardice on the part of a Government. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
The question before the House is that I do report Progress, and the right hon. Gentleman is in order in giving his reasons against the Motion.
§ Mr. JAMES HUDSON
On a point of Order. Would it be in order to remind the right hon. Gentleman when he uses language of this sort—
Sir B. EYRES MONSELL
Here is a list of gentlemen whose names have been put forward by the Government, recommended by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, in terms of which no one can complain on this side. Why cannot the Government see their own business through in these matters? The Government have consulted the gentlemen mentioned in this Bill. They are going to these men to try and get them out of their difficulties, and they allow their left wing to turn round upon them. The only 874 result will be that the Government will get nobody to help them in this way. [Interruption.] I hope that hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House will vote against the Motion which has been moved.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
We have just heard a very typical speech from a master of Parliamentary tactics who is trying to retrieve the defeat which he suffered earlier in the week. This is not a matter on which there are any great party differences. There are Members on his side of the House who would be very willing indeed to see this Amendment accepted by the hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary. It is said here that it is Parliament acting, not on party lines, but as a council of State. My hon. Friend very wisely, after making a gallant defence of his Department and his Bill, and after consultation with his colleagues, is asking for leave to report Progress in order that consultations may take place, a very natural thing to do in a case of this kind. He knows that there are hon. Members on these benches—I am not speaking for myself—who would not ordinarily vote against the Government, but who would on this occasion vote against them. In those circumstances, and as the Prime Minister is not here, and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is immediately responsible, is not here, my hon. Friend very rightly moves to report Progress, which is a democratic and proper thing to do. Now, we have the Chief Whip of the Conservative party, who sees snatched away from him what he thought was going to be a snap Division, in which certain hon. Members on this side might have voted against the Government, vigorously protesting against the Motion to report Progress. I do beg of my hon. Friends on this side to support the Motion to report Progress. There are only a handful of the right hon. Gentleman's followers here. We can report Progress, and show that we intend to support our own Government. We carry our point with regard to the Noble Lord whose name has been brought into this discussion. If his name is not withdrawn, he will certainly resign, after what has been said. Everybody will be satisfied, including even the right hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite, who has been able once 875 more to assert himself, after the miserable failure that he made on Wednesday night.
Sir H. YOUNG
The hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) assumes too much innocence on the part of hon. Members of this House when he assumes that we do not understand what the Motion to report Progress means on this occasion. It means, of course, the surrender of the Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "To whom?"] It means that the Government have surrendered. [HON. MEMBERS: "To their own followers."] I confess, as one who is not without experience of the relations between the Government and such boards as this, my astonishment at the action of the Government on this occasion. Let me mention, in passing, one circumstance that has come to my notice since I spoke, I hope with moderation, earlier in the debate. This has been treated as a Motion of Censure, and it has been Characterised as such by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The gentleman whom we are censuring is, I am told, at the present time an invalid, and unable to defend himself. That is a personal matter, and a matter that is insignificant in comparison with the mischief of the precedent that has been set to-day by the Government.
I made no complaint of the action of hon. Members below the Gangway opposite, who have been mastered by their feelings on this occasion into committing what we think is an indiscretion, a natural indiscretion. What we complain of is the action of the Government. There is an absolute duty on the part of the Government and of responsible Ministers on these occasions to protect those who, in spite of strong political opinions, undertake voluntary service on behalf of the State. They undertake those services on the condition that politics are to be kept out. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, they are kept out. There has been no complaint of the action of this Board. They undertake this service on that understanding, and that understanding can only be preserved by the courageous defence of their servants by the Government. The precedent that has been set to-day is one fraught with incredible mischief for the future. In future, nobody 876 will be able to accept service upon one of these voluntary boards without knowing that by so doing he binds his own political opinions, and that if he ventures, honestly and freely, even though mistakenly—
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Does the right hon. Gentleman imagine that more than one person in ten millions would have made the remark to which we have objected today? I am imparting no political opinions into the matter. I never said a single word, in moving the Amendment, against any other member of the Board, nor have I sought to find out what their political opinions are, but that to which we object cannot be allowed to pass. It was callously cruel.
Sir H. YOUNG
I am not dealing with the action of the hon. Member on this occasion. I am dealing with the action of the Minister. I am dealing with the failure of Ministers to defend a public servant.
Sir H. YOUNG
He is a public servant. A voluntary public servant is no less a public servant than a paid public servant. In consequence of the action taken to-day, when anybody is invited to serve on one of these boards he will say to himself: "If I do so, I render every political expression that I may make in public in the country liable to criticism in the House of Commons." What has been done to-day is a cowardly act on the part of Ministers, and it will do infinite harm to the free choice of those who are invited to do public service, and who render public service.
§ Mr. WISE
I want to express our appreciation that the Financial Secretary has met us so far, but our objections to this Board are not confined merely to this particular individual. There are very strong and potent reasons, not connected at all with all this stuff about political prejudices, why we object—
§ Mr. WISE
We on these benches feel that it is absolutely indefensible for a 877 Labour Government to ask this Committee to appoint as fit and proper persons to decide questions about allotments, housing, public health, libraries, and so on, a body which was appointed years ago by a Tory Government because they were Tories. The Financial Secretary has met us by appointing two excellent people to the Board, but two out of 18 is not enough.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
On a point of Order. Is not the Question we are now discussing a Motion to report Progress and not the details of the Bill?
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN: (Mr. Dunnico)
The Motion before the Committee is that I report Progress and reasons should be given for or against that Motion.
§ Mr. WISE
I am giving reasons why we should report Progress so that the Government might reconsider the whole composition of this Committee. I hope they will recognise the strong feeling on this side of the House that this absurd doctrine of continuity should not be practised by a Labour Government. If there was any jusification in the point taken by the right hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young) as to the awful effect on the public service of refusing to reappoint a body which a Tory Government appointed five years ago, the same arguments would apply against ever refusing to change the composition of local authorities. We have constantly insisted in the administration of Acts of Parliament that we must have people of our own way of thinking and in sympathy with the objects for which we stand. This body which sits in judgment on the operations of local authorities and which has turned down applications from these bodies because they thought they were already sufficiently rated or that the work for which the loan was asked—
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
It is now only a quarter past three and I do not see why 878 I should be howled down. [Interruption.] Nor do I propose to sit down. I had intended to make some criticism of the administration of the Public Works Loan Board and I am deprived of doing so by the Motion which has been moved by the Government. I do not see why I should not be allowed to speak to that Motion.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
Yes, and perhaps more vitally affected than any other—beneficially in some ways but detrimental in other ways. The hon. Member for East Leicester (Mr. Wise) said: "We object," not only to this particular gentleman, Lord Hunsdon, but to the whole board. Whom does he mean by "we" It is perfectly clear that up to a quarter of an hour ago the Government did not object to a single member of this board. What we complain of is this. I do not for a moment maintain that the administration of this board has been perfect. Indeed, I had intended to criticise it, but the Government come down to this House and present this Bill asking us to approve of the constitution of the Public Works Loan Board. They give us the names, and by so doing set their seal of approval as a Government upon the names. A very bitter personal attack was made by a certain section of the party opposite upon one member of the board. I am not blaming that section for making the attack, but what we are complaining about is that the Government—
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I am certain that the hon. Member for East Leicester even in his most sanguine moments would never claim that he spoke for the whole of the Labour party, but upon this occasion I think I can claim to speak for the whole of the Opposition. The Government had approved of this board, and it invited the House to approve of it, but because two or three Members of the Mountain below the Gangway raised objections, the Financial Secretary threw down the sponge and threw down all these public servants who up to a quarter of an hour ago he had accepted as fit and proper persons to discharge this duty. We find ourselves in an impossible position. We are not given an opportunity of criticising the board or of any further discussion 879 upon the question, and we are now invited to abandon the very public servants—they are public servants—whom the Government up to a few minutes ago had asked us to accord our full support. The Government have put themselves into an impossible position. It will be very difficult for any member of the British public to come forward and offer voluntary service upon a board of this character after the treatment that has been accorded by the Administration this afternoon.
§ Mr. REMER
I do not think there ever has been, in the whole history of this House, a more disastrous decision than that taken by the Financial Secretary of the Treasury. For many years it has been an honoured tradition of British public life that there should be complete freedom from party bias on any question of the appointment either of civil servants or of voluntary bodies such as the Public Works Loans Board. By his decision the Financial Secretary has declared that henceforth political opinion must be taken into consideration in making appointments, and that we should appoint men, not because they are the most competent for a position, but because they happen to be Socialists or Liberals or Conservatives. By this Motion to report Progress we are putting ourselves down to the level of the United States of America, where the whole civil service is changed with every change of Government. The present Government is not only the most incompetent, but it has proved this afternoon that it stands for the worst thing that can possibly exist in any party—it exists as a party of political corruption.
§ Miss WILKINSON
The cool ignoring of events in the history of their own party by hon. Gentlemen opposite who have spoken is positively refreshing. One would imagine that theirs was the party of political purity. The subject that we were discussing, before the Motion to report Progress came forward, was similar to one that we discussed some years ago, when the question was raised as to the use of the Boxer Indemnity for educational purposes in China. The Labour Government of 1924 had appointed to a Committee such an eminent educationist as Mr. Lowes Dickinson. When the Con- 880 servative Government came into power, although that committee had never sat, for political reasons Mr. Lowes Dickenson, who was a noted progressive, was taken off the committee and substituted by another member. We made exactly the same protest on this side and it really is too ridiculous for the Chief Whip of the Conservative party to get up as he has done to-day and to proceed to rate the Labour Government for doing what is obviously the sensible thing. They realise that when a mistake has been made in what is, after all, emergency legislation, the matter should be reconsidered and let us hope that as a result of that reconsideration this collection of political antiques which we were going to have on the Public Works Loans Board will be replaced by people who have some sympathy with modern ideas and who know the needs of modern life. It is too extraordinary that we should be compelled to have this collection of Madame Tussaud effigies brought along whenever there are urgent matters involving homeless people and unemployed people to be considered, and when there is a most urgent demand that something should be done. It would be amusing if it were not so serious.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The hon. Lady in her capacity as a heavy mother is also amusing—very amusing indeed. She comes down here with a number of hurriedly conceived phrases about Madame Tussaud effigies and so forth but that very phrase indicates that she knows nothing whatever about this legislation or about the composition of this Board. If she took the trouble to read the Bill before taking part in the discussion she would not coin phrases of that kind which show that her understanding of other people is merely external and that she does not possess what Warren Hastings called—[Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite remind me of a recent sentence—[Interruption.]
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
Order, order! After all, this Motion to report Progress is a Government Motion, and hon. Members are perfectly entitled to discuss it in a reasonable way. I must therefore ask hon. Members to refrain from interruptions.
§ Mr. BROWN
I think it is right, Mr. Dunnico, that attention should be drawn to the fact that not only have hon. Members opposite rights but that we have rights also. I am reminded by this discussion of a very witty saying by a well-known writer recently to the effect that many Members of the party opposite wore badges in their buttonholes as a sign that they believed in fraternity and bloodshed.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I do not quite see the connection between this, and the Motion to report Progress.
§ Mr. BROWN
I will at once bring that statement into line with the Motion. It is because of the violence of the expressions used by hon. Members opposite about this matter that the Government have moved this Motion and the Committee is entitled to object to the Government, having introduced this Bill after consultation with the Members of the Board, having invited these gentlemen to serve on the Board, allowing their decision to be changed because of the expressions used in one particular quarter of the House. I oppose the Motion. I think that the Bill should go through as it is and I believe that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will find that he has set a very undesirable precedent in connection with the proceedings of the House of Commons by moving this Motion to-day.
§ Mr. McSHANE
On a point of Order. Is it in order for the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) to stand to address this House when you yourself are already on your feet putting the Question?
§ Sir R. HORNE
I should not have intervened in this debate, especially looking at the condition of temperature which which has arisen in the House, if it were not for the great danger in which we find ourselves of committing an abuse of the Privileges of this House, which, after all, on all sides we are anxious to preserve. What is the situation in which we find ourselves?—A Motion is made to 882 report Progress—upon what grounds? I must confess that in such experience as I have had of these proceedings, extending now for nearly 12 years, I have never heard such a flimsy pretext put forward, nor have I ever known—
§ Sir R. HORNE
It is the first time I have heard it suggested that hon. Members had to sit through every part of a debate in order to be allowed to take part in a discussion. I have heard quite sufficient of the debate to be apprised of the situation. The Government are asking us to report Progress in order to get themselves out of an ignominious position. Here is a Board constituted of people who are elected, not upon any political grounds whatsoever, and an attack has been made upon one of them upon grounds which are entirely political. The Government, to begin with, assumed the proper attitude of defending the members of the Board from the attack of hon. Members in this House upon grounds which had no relevancy at all to the duties of the office which these gentlemen are occupying, but after a considerable exhibition of feeling, which cannot by any chance have influenced any reasonable judgment, but can only have affected those motives of apprehension and fear which occasionally seize upon the Front Bench of the present Government, upon such inducement as this, the Government suddenly come to the conclusion that in order to save their skins, this debate should not go any further and that Progress should be reported.
I venture to say that, in such experience as I have had of Parliament, I have never known of any such ignominious position being taken up by a Government, and I would beg my hon. Friend in charge of the debate to-day to reflect upon the honour of his Government and to begin to consider whether upon all occasions he is to give way when his knees are beginning to tremble because of certain attacks which he knows and 883 has himself proved to be entirely irrelevant, that come from his back benches. We must, upon such occasions as these, defend the position of people who give their services to the State, without any remuneration or without any desire to do anything but serve the State, and we ought to preserve the rights of such individuals to uphold their individual private opinions with regard to political matters which are agitating the country at the time.
Apart altogether from an appeal which I would make to those who launched the attack to consider for themselves how such a weapon could be turned against them, apart altogether from reminding them of that, I would beg the Government to consider whether in future they will get people to give their services on such boards as this if they are to be subject to attack on such grounds as to-day have been advanced against a very distinguished member of the board who has given vast service to the State and the expenditure of a very considerable amount of time. I do ask the Financial Secretary to reconsider the line that he has taken, and to put it to himself whether in the future the Treasury will be able to command the services of people such as it has had in the past. I am sure when he gives the matter his better judgment he will withdraw the Motion which he has proposed.
§ Major ELLIOT
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury is not fully apprised of the seriousness of the course which he has proposed. He not merely proposed this Adjournment now to get himself out of the difficulty, but obviously with a view to changing the names. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] It is fully agreed by hon. Members on his own side of the House that the object is to secure a change in these names. It is the duty of the Treasury to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
§ Major ELLIOT
This is an argument which will be of the greatest importance in a year or two to come, because it deals with the whole question of the independence of these governing boards of one kind or another in many sections of 884 economic action which we have been invited to envisage, boards which will in some way preserve economic independence of action against the immediate pressure of Parliament. That is a question of fundamental importance to the whole of the experiments which hon. Members below the Gangway wish to see this country adopt. The whole of the future of these economic experiments is not merely jeopardised, but hopelessly compromised. The difficulty of the separation of the economic administration from political influence is a subject which has been a matter of acute controversy in every country which has embarked on public control in any form. The Government now propose to surrender on this matter and to suggest the withdrawing of the name of the particular individual—it does not matter who for the moment, nor do his views matter—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The Motion before the Committee is that I do report Progress. The hon. Member's remarks may be in order if his assumptions prove correct and come before the House for confirmation, but not on this particular Motion.
§ Major ELLIOT
I will not pursue the remarks I was making on those lines. The Motion to report Progress carries with it great implications. If it is accepted on these grounds, it must be accepted with a view to what the Government subsequently intends to do.
In such circumstances, it would be necessary for us to divide against the Motion. If there is no further statement by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, it will be urgently necessary for us to divide against this Motion as a protest against the line which the Government have clearly sketched out as the line they intend to follow. I would be out of order in discussing the motives which have led the Government to their present action, but I say that the Government which asks certain individuals to form part of a Committee has a moral duty to defend them; furthermore, the suggestion that a change should take place, simply on account of a Friday afternoon's debate, is a doctrine to which we cannot subscribe.
I had as much reason to feel a grievance against the Public Works Loan Board as anybody when I was dealing, 885 as Under-Secretary of State for Scotland with an experiment, which had a great interest to hon. Members below the Gangway, in direct State housing carried out by the Housing Company set up for that purpose. I was hampered and troubled by the action of the Public Works Loan Board in refusing to advance me sufficient money. But I did not come down to the House of Commons and utter a tirade against the Public Works Loan Board, for I realised that the necessity of preserving them from the pressure of Parliament was paramount. I say without hesitation that the Committee are being asked to take a step which they will greatly regret. We are being asked to embark on a course of action against which thinking men in all parts of the Committee must raise a word of protest. The Financial Secretary owes the Committee some further words of explanation before the Motion to report Progress is finally put, and possibly carried.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the CHAIRMAN withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Mr. MORRIS
I welcome this Motion to report Progress, not for the reasons which have been put forward, or for the reasons which the Government put forward, but for the reason that this debate has shown one thing at least—the authority of the House of Commons over the Executive of the day. These names have been put down by the Executive, and put by the Government before the House of Commons for their decision. Another great constitutional point is involved, and that is the freedom of the House of Commons itself. I am very glad to see that authority reassert itself in this form, even if it is at the expense of the humiliation of the Government; and it cannot be denied that the Government have suffered great humiliation. The reason is that this is not the first time that criticism has been levelled against this list of names. The hon. Member for East Leicester (Mr. Wise) levelled criticism against it on a previous occasion, and the Government have had an opportunity to adjust the matter, but they have brought the Bill back to the Committee in exactly the same form. That in itself is flouting the House of 886 Commons, and they must thank themselves for the present position. [Interruption.]
None the less, I welcome the fact that the Executive to-day have at last recognised that the final authority rests in the House of Commons itself, and they should respect the wishes of the House of Commons. A point has been made in regard to the defence of people who are giving their services. The Government might be defeated on this question, but that would not have prevented them from defending these names. [Interruption.] I want to see reinstated in the public life of this country a free and independent House of Commons. We have seen the House of Commons packed by interests, packed by forces, and we want to see the House of Commons free and responsible to the electorate itself. I am not concerned with the dignity of the Executive one bit, but I am concerned with the free and independent authority of the House of Commons.
§ Mr. ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL
I do not propose to say anything which will engender any heat, and I am not even going to refer to what the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris) said about the freedom of the House, because that presupposes, in this particular case, that the Government are utterly out of touch with their own supporters. That is what the country has seen, and the country will take note of what has happened to-day. I wish to take quite a different line, and it is this. I am very sorry that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has run away from his duty. For some days past he has known of the attack to be made on one of these gentlemen. The Amendment was on the Paper, and he must have known of it. I have not the pleasure of knowing the Noble Lord who is now being attacked, but I have had the privilege of moving, perhaps half-a-dozen of these Bills when I sat on the Treasury Bench, and there is one thing about these proceedings which I deplore very greatly. If a man has another to work for him or to serve him who has done his work well he should stand his ground in support of that man. It is a cowardly thing for the Financial Secretary, simply out of fear that the Government might be beaten, to run away and leave this man in the lurch. That is deplorable.
§ Mr. SAMUEL
When the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Malone) is as old and as careworn as I am he will know that a false analogy is a fruitful parent of error. We find great difficulty in getting the men we require to serve on these Committees. That is the experience of every party. I have sat on the Advisory Committee of the Board of Trade—[Interruption.]—that is very rude—and I have also sat on the Advisory Committee of the Department of Overseas Trade, and we have had great trouble in getting for these Committees the right men of every party. There was great difficulty in getting suitable men for the Balfour Committee. Sir Arthur Balfour gave his time and his ability to the work of that Committee, which produced a wonderful report. If we are to penalise men like this, because of their particular political opinions we shall not be able to get their services. The Prime Minister had a great deal of trouble in getting together what is jocularly called the "Tom Cobly" Committee. The men who serve on these Committees give their time, and they are unpaid. If one of them is a man of strong political opinions, opposed to the party opposite, in six months' time hon. Members below the Gangway may be found saying as unkind things as have been said to-day. Then we shall have another cowardly act like that perpetrated by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury who, rather than face the critics of the Government, and stand by those who helped the State, ran away and hid himself in a hole with his tail between his legs.
§ Mr. W. J. BROWN
rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the CHAIRMAN withheld his assent and declined then to put that Question.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
An hon. Member below the Gangway raised a point of great importance, namely, that of preserving the freedom of the House of Commons in these matters. I think hon. Members opposite have failed to realise what is the proper position of Members of the Executive Government as Members of Parliament. It is not their duty to act as if there were mere civil servants with no voice in these matters. Members of the Executive Government, who are 888 Members of this House, have laid upon them the express duty of initiating legislation of this kind after full consideration, and when they have done that they should stick to the names they have chosen. The Government have brought forward a Bill proposing the appointment of certain gentlemen who have been selected by them.
The Amendment we are considering has been undertaken for some time and they have resisted that Amendment. Now, when hon. Members of their own party describe some of those gentlemen by the not very polite term of "effigies from Madame Tussaud's" the Government give way to them. At the dictation of a particular section of his supporters the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is apparently prepared to admit that he and his colleagues, who are members of the Executive Government, may be described as "effigies from Madame Tussaud's." That is why we object to this Motion. The Government brought forward this proposal after full consideration and with full knowledge of the services rendered by this gentleman, and now they decline to take the opinion of the House of Commons on that issue.
The Government now propose to postpone this decision until some other day. If the Government carry this Motion to report Progress, I am sure we shall regret it for one reason and one reason alone, and that is the attack which is made upon great public servants who have done so much good work. A policy of this kind will make it very difficult in the future to obtain men of position to perform these voluntary services. Of course we shall not regret this Motion from the point of view of opponents of the Government, because they have shown themselves by their own confession unfit to take the step which it is their duty to take in the way of initiating the necessary legislation for carrying on the business of the country. That is why we must resist this Amendment, and if the Government persist and carry this Motion, we shall know that it is another case made out against the policy of the present Government.
§ Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 164; Noes, 44.889
|Division No. 431.]||AYES.||[3.51 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Perry, S. F.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Herriotts, J.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hoffman, P. C.||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Ayles, Walter||Hopkin, Daniel||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Horrabin, J. F.||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Price, M. P.|
|Batey, Joseph||Isaacs, George||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Ritson, J.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Benson, G.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Kelly, W. T.||Rowson, Guy|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Kennedy, Thomas||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Kinley, J.||Sandham, E.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Knight, Holford||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Lathan, G.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Lawrence, Susan||Shield, George William|
|Burgess, F. G.||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Lawson, John James||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Leach, W.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Chater, Daniel||Lindley, Fred W.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Church, Major A. G.||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Snell, Harry|
|Cluse, W. S.||Longden, F.||Sorensen, R.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Cove, William G.||McElwee, A.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Daggar, George||MacLaren, Andrew||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Dallas, George||McShane, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dickson, T.||Markham, S. F.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Marley, J.||Walker, J.|
|Duncan, Charles||Marshall, Fred||Wallace, H. W.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Mathers, George||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Matters, L. W.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maxton, James||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Melville, Sir James||West, F. R.|
|Forgan, Dr. Robert||Messer, Fred||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Middleton, G.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Milner, Major J.||Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Gossling, A. G.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Mort, D. L.||Wise, E. F.|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Moses, J. J. H.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Hardie, George D.||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Naylor, T. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Oldfield, J. R.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. William|
|Haycock, A. W.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Whiteley.|
|Albery, Irving James||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Salmon, Major I.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Berry, Sir George||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Savery, S. S.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Scott, James|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Meller, R. J.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Pybus, Percy John||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Ramsbotham, H.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Remer, John R.|
|Gray, Milner||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Sir Frederick Thomson and Sir|
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Dunnico)
The Motion to report Progress 890 has been carried, and I must report Progress.
Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
On a point of Order. May I ask for your help, Sir? I came through the Division Lobby just now, unfortunately just behind the Tellers, and my vote consequently was not recorded. Have I a right to ask that I may be recorded as having voted in the "No" Lobby? I passed through before the Tellers came to the Table.