§ Major COLVILLE
I beg to move, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words:this House regrets that the policy of the Government with regard to conscientious ob- 918 jectors is contrary to the spirit of the policy adopted hitherto by successive Governments since the War with regard to ex-service men and constitutes a reversal of such policy.The fortune of the Ballot has given me the opportunity to raise a subject about which we on this side of the House feel very keenly. We have been dealing in this House in the past few weeks with subjects which have reference to very 919 large numbers of people. We have been dealing with questions of unemployment insurance and pensions affecting millions, but to-day the subject which I am introducing affects a relatively small number of people. None the less, it is of the very utmost importance, because it affects a great principle. We in this party consider that those men who served their country during the time of the War deserve from the State more than those men who, though perfectly fit and eligible in every way declined to do so. That is the principle for which we stand, and it is the principle which this Government, in sharp distinction to every other Government since the War, within a few weeks of coming into office, have thought fit to violate. That is the principle which has induced us to raise this question to-day in the House of Commons. I have not been long in the House of Commons, but I have formed one impression, that where bad temper and high feeling come in, common sense is apt to fly out. Yet it would be difficult to prevent strong feeling coming into this Debate, so strongly do we feel on this question. I propose to do my best, carefully and without heat, to put before the House the history and the facts of this case and allow the House to form a fair judgment upon it.
Broadly speaking, there were two classes of conscientious objectors in the Civil Service. The first class is composed of those who were unwilling to serve in the Fighting Forces but who served elsewhere. The second class is composed of those who refused to serve at all in any kind of Force or in any form whatever. The first class, those who were unwilling to shed blood, but who were willing to serve in some non-combatant service or some ambulance service, were regarded as entirely outside the picture. They were regarded as ex-service men. They were reinstated to full privileges with no disabilities whatever, and we may take them as being entirely outside the picture. They do not require to have reference made to them any more. We may not see eye to eye with their views about serving in the Fighting Forces, but we do appreciate, at any rate, that they were willing to serve in same other capacity, which they did, and that they were treated and accorded full privileges.
920 There is another class who, though fit and able, refused to serve in any part of His Majesty's Service whatsoever; that is the class with which we are concerned to-day, and that is the class which the Government have singled out for special treatment. There were about 50 of the first class, and of the second class with which I am now dealing there were in round figures about 300. Those 300 men obtained exemption from military service, and either they remained in their posts in the Civil Service on a temporary basis or were put to work elsewhere. At the end of the War, 230 of those men were re-established in their posts. Seventy of them did not get back, and were either discharged on account of unsatisfactory conduct or tendered their resignation. About 230 of them came back with full privileges except the ones which I shall mention.
The disabilities which still remain in regard to those 230 conscientious objectors were as follows. In the first place, the years of their exemption from military service when they refused to join the Army and had to be employed elsewhere, were not to count for pension or increment of salary. Secondly, in accordance with the pledge given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 20th July, 1918, they were not to be promoted over the heads of ex-service men in the Civil Service, a pledge which was honoured by every Government since the War until the present Government came into office. These terms were retained, and were retained through those years, but they have not been retained without being made the subject of an inquiry.
There was in 1922 a special Select Committee set up to examine this question. That Committee examined the question most carefully and produced a unanimous Report. Several Member of that Committee are still Members of this House. The Lord Privy Seal, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), and the hon. and gallant Member for Banff-shire (Major Wood) were Members of that Committee, and they all signed that Report. I trust that this Amendment will be pressed to a Division, and I shall watch with interest which way those three Members vote. I will now read from the unanimous Report of the Committee which dealt with this question in 1922. I think the matter is of such importance 921 that I ought to read the recommendations of the Committee. They were as follow:(1) Strictly to enforce in every Government Department the pledge given on behalf of the Government to Sir John Butcher in the House of Commons on the 9th July, 1918, and renewed in the Treasury Letter of 18th August, 1920, that 'Conscientious objectors who are employed in the Civil Service and who have refused to serve in the Army shall not be promoted over the heads of civil servants who have served or are serving in the Army.'(2) To secure that if any reduction in the numbers of the permanent staff of any Department in the Civil Service takes place at any time hereafter, such a reduction shall be made first at the expense of any conscientious objectors serving in that Department.Another recommendation of the Committee was thatAny conscientious objectors who have already been discharged, or who have resigned from the Civil Service, shall not be reinstated, and no applications for entry in the Civil Service shall be entertained from conscientious objectors who, though available for service, refused to serve in the Great War.There is no doubt as to the meaning and purport of this report, which is perfectly clear to every hon. Member of this House. Now I come to the position which has been created at the present time by the Government. On the 10th September last—I want the House to notice the date, because it was a time when the House of Commons was not sitting—a circular was issued, and that circular made three important changes in the position of conscientious objectors officially. I will read a few words from the circular.His Majesty's Government have decided that, except in the defence Departments, no person shall in future be ineligible for appointment to any post in the Civil Service by reason of the fact that when called upon under the provisions of the Military Service Acts, 1916 to 1918, he declined to serve in His Majesty's Forces on the grounds of conscientious objection.That is a direct contradiction of the terms of the report. Reference is also made to the pledge in regard to promotion of conscientious objectors over the heads of ex-service men, and on this question the circular says:I am to inform you that it has been decided that this undertaking should now be abrogated, and that the fact that a civil servant was a conscientious objector should no longer be regarded as a bar to his promotion.922 [HON MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Hon. Members opposite cheer that remark, but I feel sure that those are not the views held by the majority of the people of Great Britain. As regards increments, the circular states:As regards increment, I am to authorise you to reassess, as from the 1st August, 1929, the existing emoluments of any officers restored to full established privileges under the provisions of the Circular, 18th August, 1920, on the basis of the emoluments which such officers would now be receiving had the period of suspension counted for increment. As regards pension, I am to say that, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements of the Superannuation Acts, service during the period of suspension from establishment will be taken into account in the calculation of pension.The result is that the findings of the committee of 1922 have been directly negatived by the circular which was sent out by the Treasury in September last. Let us examine what is the effect of this change. It means that conscientious objectors may be promoted over the heads of ex-service men. The effect, so far as increment and pension are concerned, is the same as if the war had not been, except that the years since the war are not available for back pay. I am quite aware that the conscientious objectors are a small number compared with the large number of ex-service men, and it cannot be said that they constitute a grave menace to the prospects of ex-service men in regard to numbers.
The conscientious objectors number about 230 at the most. In the Civil Service we have 148,000 ex-service men of whom no less than 43,000 are disabled. Of the total numbers of the male staff in the Civil Service, no less than 48.7 per cent. are ex-service men. Therefore, it would be an exaggeration to say that the action which has been authorised by the Government with regard to conscientious objectors constitutes a very grave risk to the prospects of ex-service men, but at any rate the action of the Government breaks across a principle which we have always tried to maintain namely, that the man who has served his country deserves more consideration from the State than the man who has refused to do so.
What promise were the Government fulfilling when they sent out this circular? What mandate were they endeavouring to carry out? It has not been the practice of the present Government to 923 hide its light under a bushel. When the Coal Mines Bill was introduced it was because the miners were promised shorter hours. When they established diplomatic relations with Russia it was because certain promises were made, but I would like to ask when did the Government promise conscientious objectors that by administrative action they would be promoted over the heads of ex-service men? If the Government promised to do that at the election, why did they not carry it out with a flourish of trumpets? Why was the circular, contradicting everything that had been done in the past, sent out when the House was not sitting? This was not done in answer to any promise or in fulfilment of any pledge, and I should like the Government to say why they found it necessary to take such a step. The action of the Government has brought into very sharp contrast the position of certain ex-service men who are still in the Civil Service, if after a period of 12 years we are going to make exceptions in the case of certain people, because that will throw open the whole question of the position of certain ex-service men in the Civil Service. That is a point to be considered in the light of what is now being done.
There are 15,000 ex-service men in the Civil Service who held temporary appointments now taken on the basis of full establishment which has been granted as a result of certain inquiries, but these men, although on a full establishment basis, have never been allowed to count their temporary service towards increment or pension. Temporary service has never been allowed to be counted towards increment or pension, nor has war service been allowed to count, although that is a point which might very well be considered by the Government. Again, we have the case of the men who joined the Army without permission. There are a certain number of civil servants who left their posts without permission at the commencement of the War and joined the Army, and those men are under a penalty. Those men joined the Army out of pure patriotism without the permission of their chiefs, and they are still under a disability, as compared with civil servants who joined with permission, and who received their civil pay, less the amount of their Army pay. The 924 men who joined without permission did not receive that civil pay until certain action made it possible for them to receive it from January, 1918. I contend that the Government must reopen and examine that claim also. If they are going to take selective action, as they have done, going back over a period of years, what about these ex-service men? Which of the two classes did better service to the country during the War?
There are other cases of disability. We are told that the reason why they have not been dealt with by this Government and by previous Governments has been on account of finance. For instance, there is the question of pensions. There is the question of the ex-ranker officers, and there are questions of pensions which have been held up. My contention is that, if the Government have money available, as they evidently have, to give to this class of conscientious objectors, they must consider the re-opening and examination of all such claims as those to which I have now referred.
I am prepared to meet certain arguments on this question from certain quarters of the House. In the first place, I am expecting to hear arguments from those who claim to represent the civil servants of this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear!"] Evidently, I shall not be disappointed. I am expecting those who will speak later on this question to say that the ex-service men—the permanent ex-service servants—in the Civil Service do not mind this action being taken. I am prepared to say that that is not the unanimous feeling at all, but, even if it were, it does not absolve the Government from their duty towards these men. The soldier, according to my own knowledge, is the best-natured and most forgiving of God's creatures, and he is able to forgive a good deal, so that that argument will not hold water in the slightest degree with me or with anyone else on this side. [Interruption.] Rather does it put a heavier onus on the Government to see that fair play is given to the ex-service men in the Departments. I would say, further, to those who represent the civil servants, that, if they are not prepared to-day to indicate that they also are willing to take up and reopen the cases of ex-service men such as I have referred to, their arguments will not have 925 the same weight as they would if they were prepared to take up these questions, which have now been thrown into relief by the action of the Government.
There is another quarter from which I am expecting an answer on this question. I am expecting the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to say, "Efficiency." I put a question to-day, purposely, and I got exactly the answer that I wanted, namely, "Efficiency." It will, however, be very hard, I think, to convince this House that within this great Service, in which no fewer than 228,000 men are employed, these 200 conscientious objectors are so absolutely pre-eminent in ability, or are so essential to the service of the country, that it is necessary to promote them over the heads of ex-service men, or otherwise the country would suffer. It will be very hard to convince the House of that. The Financial Secretary will have to prove that it is necessary in the interests of efficiency in this country to make this change.
In the next place, I am expecting to hear that the Military Service Act gives these men a certain legal status as conscientious objectors. With regard to that point, I would say that all the Acts on the Statute Book would not give these men a status equal to that of the men who did serve in the Army in time of war, nor can any action that the Government may take give them an equal status in the eyes of the country in general. Is it fair to claim that these men only were the men of conscience at that time? Surely it must be realised that thousands upon thousands of men whose very souls abhorred war went to serve their country in time of war. They hated war, and yet they went voluntarily or when they were called up, and they went, not only once, but they went back again with wound stripes on their arms. They went because they thought it was their duty. I hope that the House will not be treated to any suggestion to-day that only this handful of men were the real lovers of peace. [An HON. MEMBER: "No one has suggested it."]
Twelve years have passed, and memories grow short, but I would ask hon. Members to cast their minds back to 12 years ago to-day. It was one of the most critical periods of the War, the period of the German offensive of 926 1918. At that time there were many civil servants serving in France who had been wounded before, and who went back to fight again in the firing line; and yet we have this handful of men who thought it necessary to refuse for the sake of their beliefs—I am not going to say their religious beliefs, because that would be to suggest that there were no religious men in the Army—[Interruption]. If hon. Members will cast their minds back to that time, I think they will agree with me that those who did serve deserve consideration at the hands of His Majesty's Government.
I would ask the Government, in conclusion, will they take steps to rectify the anomalous position which they have now created, in singling out conscientious objectors for special treatment 12 years after the War, by according to ex-service men full and sympathetic reconsideration of their claims, which are now thrown into strong relief by this action? If they will do this, my Amendment will have served a good purpose. If they will not, we shall know, and all the country will know, which way their sympathy lies. The actions of Governments do not pass into oblivion; they pass into history. Is it to be written that the Labour party of Great Britain—that is a proud name, and they have yet to prove themselves worthy of it—that the Labour party of Great Britain, on its first real approach to power, within a few weeks of coming into office, at a time when the House was not sitting, thought fit to break faith with the ex-service men of this country in order to further the interests of those who were found wanting in the hour of the country's need? The answer to that question must be given to-day in this House, and on this Motion. I beg to move.
§ Captain AUSTIN HUDSON
I beg to second the Amendment.
I am particularly glad to have the opportunity of seconding this Amendment, which has been moved so ably and with such great moderation by my hon. and gallant Friend, because a number of representations have been made to me on this question. I do not believe that there is any one action of the Government which has so disturbed public opinion as this one. I am sure that my hon. and gallant Friend need make no apology for bringing forward this ques- 927 tion, and, if hon. Members opposite wish for any proof of what I am saying, I would mention that the British Legion have approached me on this matter, and my own branch has asked me particularly to raise it at the earliest possible moment in the House of Commons. I have heard it mentioned that the Civil servants themselves do not mind what is being done, but I happen to read a certain magazine which is issued by the ex-service Civil servants, called the "Live Wire," in which, in the number following the issue of this notorious Circular, E. 1206, these words occur:This Circular ought to be printed in blood, as a symbol of the betrayal in principle of the men who gave their all during the War.Therefore I do say that there is a very strong body of opinion in this country which has grave misgivings as to the action of the Government in this respect. As the Mover of the Amendment has said, it is the principle rather than the actual number concerned in which we are more particularly interested in the House at the present moment. The actual number of conscientious objectors who have been promoted, as stated in answer to a question to-day, is only three. I think that I asked one of the first questions in the House in regard to this particular Circular, and, when I asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many men this would affect, he replied, using a rather extraordinary phrase, that it would have no appreciable effect on promotion. Certainly the principle remains, whether the effect is appreciable or inappreciable.
It is necessary, in order to place the case fairly before the House, just to sum up what has taken place during and since the War in regard to conscientious objectors in the Civil Service. I will not do so in any detail, because that particular part of the question has been admirably put by my hon. and gallant Friend. The first Circular issued was that of the 10th February, 1917, and there was a further one on the 11th August, 1919. The effect of both of these Circulars was that conscientious objectors became to all intents and purposes disestablished. I want the House to realise that the Government, in taking that action, said to these conscientious objectors in effect, "If you will not, at this great emergency, help the Government, 928 which is the country, the Government will not help you." That is roughly, in very plain words, what was said. To put it in another way, it meant that if these men would not undertake the unpleasant part of their obligation of citizenship, they should not later on participate in the advantages which would accrue to them from being citizens, and they certainly should not gain. That is the reason, put in very plain words, for the action which was taken under these two Circulars.
The next move was after the War, when a Circular was issued on the 18th August, 1920, under which these men were restored to establishment. I understand that, of a total of 300, 230 were thus restored as from the 1st April, 1920. But two important provisos were made. The first was that the period of suspension should not count for pension, and the second was that there would be certain restrictions on their eligibility for promotion over ex-service men. These two provisos are being over-ruled by the Circular about which we are complaining this afternoon. The next stage in the history of the conscientious objectors was the pledge given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, in July, 1918, which explicity laid it down that conscientious objectors who were employed in the Civil Service, and who refused to serve in the Army, should not be promoted over the heads of civil servants who had served or were serving in the Army. I make no excuse for repeating that pledge, because it is the essence of the matter.
Then came the Select Committee of 1922, which was presided over by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Buckingham (Captain Bowyer); and I am sure that the House will join with me in sympathising with my hon. and gallant Friend, who, owing to an injury, is unable to be present in the House. Otherwise, I know that he was particularly anxious to speak on this question, on which he is very keen. As the Mover of the Amendment has said, the recommendation made by the Select Committee was unanimous, and the Lord Privy Seal, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), and the hon. and gallant Member for Banff (Major Wood), were members of that Committee. They recommended unani- 929 mously that this pledge should be enforced, and also that, if any reduction was to be made, it should come from the conscientious objectors, and not from the ex-service men.
We now come to the present time, and the present Government. At a time when a large number of claims have been put forward on behalf of men in the Civil Service who served in the War, the Government have taken it upon themselves to issue this Circular, and to say that the conscientious objectors shall be freed from any disabilities under which they were labouring. A claim was put forward a short time ago on behalf of certain men who, having passed their Civil Service examination, then joined the Army, and, after their war service was over, entered the Civil Service. A claim was put forward that their period of service in the Army should count for pension and other rights, and what was the answer of the Government? It was, "There is a Royal Commission sitting on the Civil Service. You must put your case before them and wait for their decision." But when the conscientious objectors come before the Government and ask them for their disability to be removed, do they say, "You must wait for the Royal Commission and put your case before them?" Not at all. They can have everything they want. The conscientious objectors in this case are the pampered darlings of the Government.
Another point that interested me was a remark at Question Time by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 5th December. In reply to a supplementary question he said:The matter had to be reviewed after a time. Obviously it could not go on for ever."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th December, 1929; col. 2532, Vol. 232.]Why can it not go on for ever? Certain disabilities were put on during the War, that the period of service was not to count for pension rights. Why, when the time comes for that promise to be carried out, are we to be told that this period is, after all, to count for pension rights and that these conscientious objectors are to be free from any disability which they have? It looks from that statement as if we are to be told that this is merely the breaking of another promise made in time of war to ex-service men. At that time the Government said, "You have 930 no war service and you will have no pension rights during the War and no promotion." That was a definite pledge. Now that the War has been over for some time, that promise is swept away by means of a Circular, and the Secretary to the Treasury says, "obviously it could not go on for ever." In other words, that promise has now been made a scrap of paper. It is this kind of sweeping away of definite pledges made to the House at different periods of its history, particularly of recent years, that causes that lack of faith which people are getting in Parliament and in Governments. Again and again the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has told me there is no question of breaking a pledge. I ask him point blank, was this promise made, that if these people did not go to the war their service during that time was not to count for pension. If it was made that circular abrogated it and, therefore, the pledge has undoubtedly been broken. I cannot think why the Government felt it necessary to go out of its way to do anything in the matter at all. It was not a time, I should have thought, when they would want to stir up trouble of that kind for themselves. I look upon this as a direct betrayal of the promise made to the soldiers when they went to the War, and I hope the House will vote for the Amendment and insist on Parliament honouring its pledged word and its obligations.
§ Mr. W. J. BROWN
The course of this Debate will be watched very closely indeed by all grades in the Civil Service. They number altogether some 300,000 men and women. In the interests of the Civil Service as a whole it is desirable that the Debate should be as passionless as we can make it. I mean by that that nothing so disturbs the Civil Service as the idea that it will be dealt with in a spirit of violent attack or undiscriminating defence within the House. I should like to pay this tribute to the Mover of the Amendment, that his speech seems to me to be drawn in terms of argument rather than abuse and, although I am going to express an entirely contrary view, I hope I shall put it in the same argumentative way in which he moved his Amendment. For the purpose of the Debate we ought to assume that everyone who joined the Army did so from an overwhelming sense of duty. I think also we ought to assume 931 that those who took up the position of conscientious objectors did so from a sense of duty. Otherwise, if the bona fides of the conscientious objector are to be attacked, and people on this side attack the bona fides of the volunteer soldier, we are going to get precisely that atmosphere of passion that this Debate ought to be kept clear of. I, therefore, propose to assume that both types were entirely honest and conscientious in the decision they reached about their respective positions.
The next thing I should like to say is this. What is at stake to-day is not the merits of the position of the conscientious objector. Two thousand years have not served to determine whether the conscientious objector's position is a sound one or not. It is true that, in a world which still puts its faith in arms, the position of the conscientious objector is an unpleasant and an unpopular one but it is entirely unsafe to assume that the conscientious objector is wrong and the advocate of armed force right. That issue still has to be settled in the history of the world. If I may permit myself an observation which is not intended to be provocative, I feet that, the more force is resorted to, the more it will require to be resorted to, and all the evidence of civilisation is in that direction. The issue is not that. The issue is, shall the State as employer punish people for doing something which the State has said they have a right to do?
I am not concerned to discuss whether the decision was right or wrong, but the State decided that those men who felt a conscientious objection to the exercise of armed force might plead that conviction, and that the pleading of it, if it were judged to be honest, could produce the result of exempting them from military service. If you punish a civil servant for being a conscientious objector, what it really means is that the State as employer is punishing a man for doing what the State as State says he has a perfect right to do. That seems to me to be a thoroughly illogical and unjust situation. Parliament cannot declare that conscientious objection is a valid and right thing and then punish those of its citizens who happen to be serving in the Civil Service because they proclaim that they are conscientious objectors.
932 Reference has been made to the fact that what the Government has done is a departure from the terms of the reports of earlier committees on the subject. Let me at once concede that that is the case, but let me also suggest that the spirit of the years immediately following the War was not a judicial spirit. It was a spirit in which the passions and hates of the War period still remained at a considerable height, and reports drafted under the conditions that, prevailed immediately after the War are not likely to be judicial or fair documents. I think it is to the credit of the Civil Service Trade Union movement that it has consistently refused to lend itself to the persecution of this handful of men. I find in the report of the very committee to which the Mover of the Amendment referred, apart from the quotations he made, the following passage:The representatives of the three Civil Service organisations concerned stated that their membership contained a large percentage of ex-service men, and they expressed the opinion that the Civil Service conscientious objectors have already been sufficiently penalised and that no further action in regard to them shall be taken.I am a Civil Service Trade Union official, and I was not during the War period a conscientious objector. I make that statement to make my own position perfectly clear. But of my own organisation, which contains something like 20,000 men, the overwhelming majority of whom are ex-service men of my own class, the old assistant clerks class, something like 94 per cent. served in the Army. In other words, for practical purposes our male membership consists almost entirely of ex-service men. Those ex-service men from 1919 onwards have sharply dissented from the penalties imposed upon the conscientious objectors. I remember a meeting of the Civil Service Alliance in 1920. As soon as the ex-service men came back from the Front you found their voices becoming effective in disagreeing with what the Government had done with regard to these conscientious objectors.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman who seconded the Amendment quoted evidence of a different view from within the Civil Service and quoted a paper published by the Association of Ex-Service Civil Servants called "The Live Wire." If I may say so without offence, I should like to 933 advise Members never to take Civil Service opinion from the pages of that paper. It represents an organisation. consisting of at the outside some 6,000 members out of 150,000 ex-service men in the Civil Service. It neither represents the view of ex-service civil servants nor of anything but that handful of 6,000, irrespective of ex-service men or non-service men. The great unions of the Civil Service, like the union for which the hon. Member for Crewe (Mr. Bowen) speaks, the Union of Post Office Workers, and unions like my own, the Civil Service Clerical Association, throughout have taken the view that this was a wrong and unjust thing.
Why have we taken that view? Why have our ex-service members taken that view? First, for the reason I have given, that this is not justice but a parody of justice. Secondly, there is this other and very important reason. If to-day you penalise a man whose views on war you dislike, to-morrow you will be penalising a man whose views on politics you dislike; the day after, you will be penalising the man whose views on birth control you dislike, and the day after that you will be penalising people whose views on religion you dislike. You cannot have the public service which you expect to get in this country if people are to be penalised because the view that they take is a view which is not popular in the community at large. For these reasons ex-service men, as much as any other class, oppose the victimisation which has been imposed upon these men, and welcome the steps which have been taken by the Government to minimise that victimisation. May I say to the Financial Secretary—critical as I have sometimes been of the views and actions of the Front Bench, and will be again unless they improve—that I want to compliment the Government on the stand that they have taken on this matter. It would be an amazing situation if the highest offices of the State, like the Prime Ministership and the Chancellor of the Exchequership, should be open for men who took a very strong anti-war view While the War was on, and that the humble position of £2 or £3 a week should not be available to a postman or a clerk in the Civil Service who had expressed conscientious objection to war.
My one regret about the Front Bench on this particular issue is that they have not carried the thing to its logical con- 934 clusion, and brought back the 40 or 50 men who carried their conscientious objection to the point of going to prison rather than going to war. What the Government have done is admirable, but it is marred by failure to include those who, as conscientious objectors, seem to me to have adopted the most logical position. I agree with what the Mover of the Amendment said about certain other aspects which come up on this case, but in common fairness to our own Front Bench I must say that most of the things that the hon. Member complained about were within the control of his own Government.
§ Major COLVILLE
I stated that they had now been thrown up into very sharp relief by this selective action.
§ Mr. BROWN
Then we will have a Council of State on the back benches. If the hon. Member will persuade his Front Bench to put on the white sheet of repentance for what they did not do during their time, I will endeavour to improve the conduct of my own Front Bench, and with that happy combination we may achieve our desired object. I hope the Financial Secretary will put right the position of the men who enlisted without permission. We had a large number of men who joined up. These men were keen on joining, but they could not get permission and, finally, they put their duty to the State in front of their duty as civil servants, and enlisted. It is true that the State have allowed these men to come back, but their reinstatement is only allowed to date from January, 1918. [An. HON. MEMBER: "Under what Government?"] I suppose that would be the first Council of State, the Coalition Government. The penalty still remains. It would not cost the Government very much to put this matter right, and I am certain that this concession would be approved by all sections of the House. I ask that these men should be reinstated as from the date when they joined up, and not from the 1st January, 1918.
935 There is another category for whom I would like some sympathy. There were a number of men who, when the War broke out, had passed the Civil Service examination for entry and had also passed the medical examination for entry. If a man signed on in a Government Department and was released next day for military service, the whole of his period of absence counted for Civil Service purposes, but the man who went to the recruiting office the day before he went to the State Department forfeited the whole whole of his period of military service for Civil Service purposes. So far as I know, there is only a tiny handful of men affected, and I hope the Financial Secretary will be able to allow these men to count their full service for pension and increment purposes. I hope that the Government will not budge in the slightest degree from the position already taken with regard to the conscientious objector, and that they will extend the concession to the 40 or 50 absolutists who at present are not covered. At the same time, I hope the Government will go a little out of their way to meet the grievances of the small categories of men who deserve the best that we can give them, particularly as it would cost the State very little to remedy their grievance. I hope the Motion will be rejected and that we shall concentrate on doing justice where justice has not so far been done.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
The hon. and gallant Member who moved the Amendment in an admirable speech did, no doubt unintentionally, throw a red herring across the trail by speaking of other grievances. That was a matter which would command almost universal support, but it cannot affect the justice of the action which the Government have taken to say that there are other grievances, perhaps greater grievances, that have not been remedied. The particular action taken by the Government must be judged upon its merits. I am speaking as an ex-service man who was in France, in the front line trenches, in 1914, and did not come back with a whole skin. When I take my mind back to that time, my memories are very vivid, I remember that we had a feeling of irritation against the conscientious objectors. When one is in a nasty hole there is a kind of instinctive desire to get as many 936 people as possible into it. That feeling, however, was not confined to conscientious objectors; it extended to those who were fortunate enough to find themselves indispensable in some way or other at home, and it also extended to people who were wearing red tabs and brass hats at the base, who, although they were in the Forces, were not undergoing the same dangers that we were undergoing.
How long shall this kind of thing go on? Is there to be no amnesty of any kind? Is there to be no relief from those angry feelings which war inevitably stirs up? Are we deliberately going to try to keep these feelings alive? I believe that the people as a whole, including the ex-service men, would like to have these feelings forgotten. We have been able, in the course of time, very largely to keep down the feelings of hatred that existed between us and our enemies, even towards the commanders of submarines of the German Navy, against whom the nation felt a peculiar grievance. I do not say that those feelings do not exist to a certain extent, but time, the healer, has been softening these feelings What are we to do with our own people? It seems to me that there can be no right principle in favour of opposing the Government's action in this matter. It has been admitted by the Mover of the Amendment that the thing is on so small a scale that, as he frankly and generously admitted, it is not gravely prejudicing the chances of ex-service men. I am glad that he said that, because it clears the ground and shows that what is trying to be done by moving this Amendment is not so much to benefit the ex-service men but to continue the punishment of those who have already been punished for a considerable period by doing what they, rightly or wrongly, believed to be the right thing. Whatever our feelings may have been at the time, I do most genuinely believe that it is to-day the feeling of ex-service men that we should do our best to do away with all necessary lines of division in this country, and things that set one man against another, and to forget the things that arose during an emergency which has passed and which we hope will never come upon us again.
§ Major LEIGHTON
I rise heartily to support the Motion moved by my hon. and gallant Friend. I cannot quite understand the attitude of mind of the 937 conscientious objector. I can understand a man disliking war and I can understand men doing all that they can to prevent war, but I cannot understand men who, when the country is in danger, refuse to lift one finger to help it. From that point of view, I think that the conscientious objector in the Civil Service has already been dealt with perfectly generously. It was on the 10th February, 1917, that a Circular was issued in which it was laid down clearly what would be the position of the conscientious objector. He was re-admitted to the service, but he was not to count the time that he had been absent from the service for pension and increment. That was all the sacrifice that he made, whereas his friend, or the man who sat next to him in the office, went out and risked everything. Are they to be on a par with him? Why go back now and give him back his service? It is a very small sacrifice that he had to make.
A Committee of Inquiry went very carefully into the matter, and I do not agree with the hon. Member opposite who said that that Committee was not fit to judge, because it sat too soon after the War, and, therefore, the members of the Committee cherished feelings which should not have been brought into an inquiry of this sort. I see a member of the Committee present, and I hope that he will be able to tell us whether he had any feelings of animosity. The Committee of inquiry was unanimous. The Lord Privy Seal and the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) signed it. I am sorry the Lord Privy Seal is not present this afternoon, and I can quite understand that he has a great deal of other business to do. He has a great many things to contradict in these days, and I do not know how he views that Report to-day.
I am sorry also that the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme is not present. He is a man of independent judgment, but I think he would go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment. The history of this case has been put before the House very ably by my two hon. Friends, and there is not very much left for me to say. The Socialist party went to the country before the election and promised the ex-service men that they would do away with the seven years limit; and I suppose they got 938 a certain number of votes. They have not done so. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes, they have!"] They have done exactly the same as the last Government. I am not complaining of the action of the Minister of Pensions, who I have always found of the greatest help in any cases that I have sent to him. I am perfectly sure that, like his predecessor, he is doing all he can for the ex-service men. But will the Socialist party go to the country now and say, "We have recognised the conscientious objectors and are going to put them on a par with ex-service men"? I do not think the ex-service men would quite appreciate that attitude. They may. At any rate, I hope the ex-service men will watch with great care how hon. Members vote in the Division when it takes place.
§ Mr. BENSON
The hon. Member who has just spoken said that he was quite unable to understand the mind of the conscientious objector, and previous speakers on the other side of the House, although they may not have said so, proved conclusively by their speeches that they did not understand the mind of the conscientious objector either. I speak as one who was a conscientious objector during the War, and I only hope that hon. Members opposite are as proud of their War record as I am of mine. When hon. Members opposite suggest that there is anything to be ashamed in being a conscientious objector and that they stand upon a lower level than the ex-Service men—[Interruption.]—Let me say that I repudiate any such suggestion; and I believe I am speaking for the whole of the party on this side of the House. [Interruption.] I am not afraid of any hon. Member opposite who would try to take Chesterfield from me. I reckon that being a conscientious objector gave me 5,000 extra votes.
§ Mr. BENSON
It is. The treatment of the conscientious objectors during the War was one of the most sorry and despicable episodes of the War. Naturally, when feeling runs high and people are up against something that they cannot understand, like the mind of the conscientious objector, they hate it and you get all kinds of petty tyrannies and petty vindictiveness, but it is rather a 939 shock to find that that tyranny and vindictiveness was not limited to the man in the street but actually had its repercussions in Government service. It is more astonishing still to find that there are people 10 and 15 years after the War who are still capable of waging this mean and despicable vendetta. The seconder of the Motion gave the whole case away. He protested not merely against the advancement of conscientious objectors in Government service but against their War years ranking for pension. Clearly, it is the antipathy of hon. Members opposite to conscientious objectors not a love for the ex-Service men which animates them. These men who were penalised committed no crime. They were definitely allowed by Act of Parliament to judge this matter for themselves. They were merely following a line of conduct which was specifically laid down by Act of Parliament permitting them to do so, and I fail to understand why an action which is permitted specifically by Act of Parliament should be regarded as something for which a man should be penalised.
Moreover, every one of the conscientious objectors we are discussing at the moment was adjudged genuine by a tribunal of one kind or another. Hon. Members opposite may not be able to understand the mind of the conscientious objector but that does not alter the fact that they took a legal line, and were adjudged genuine as well. The hon. and gallant Member who moved the Motion said that the conscientious objectors refused service. That is not true. The conscientious objectors gave service. They were engaged upon work of national importance, and I want to deny as vehemently as I can the idea that the killing of men is the highest form of service you can give to the country. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or be killed."] That was not the object of the service, that was an accident of it. The question of the conscientious objector, and the question whether it is fair or not to the ex-Service men, is really a very minor matter. The Government in my opinion, and I think we shall find in the opinion of the House, is merely righting a long standing wrong.
There is something more. The Government is getting back to the fundamental 940 basis of Government policy in this country; they are getting back to the basis of a permanent non-political civil service as against a civil service which is dependent upon political favour. In other words, the Government are getting back from the "spoils" system which the party opposite tried to introduce. If you are going to start differentiating against particular kinds of opinion you dislike—and here let me say that it was opinion that was differentiated against because the action of these men was perfectly legal and the only thing that could be held against them was their opinion—it will not be long before you start making appointments of opinions you do like. [Interruption.] There is no suggestion in the Debate to-day, no evidence, that the Government have advanced these men because they were conscientious objectors. If there is any evidence let hon. Members opposite produce it and not mumble inaudibly. This attempt to differentiate against the conscientious objector is nothing more or less than an attempt to introduce the "spoils" system, which, where it does come in, rots the Civil Service. The Government and this House should take very firmly and strongly the line that we must protect the efficiency and the integrity of the Civil Service against political meddling and political corruption.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
As a member of the senior fighting service I feel it my duty to intervene in this Debate and offer a few observations on the matter now under discussion. We are now some 12 years away from the War and it is possible to view with a calmer and more judicial mind the events which took place during the War and the disabilities which have arisen out of the War. Personally I often considered during the War that where there was real sincerity it must have taken perhaps as much if not more pluck to be a conscientious objector, than to go to the front line trenches in Flanders or to the North Sea.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I said that where there was real sincerity and I still hold to that opinion. As a man makes his bed so he must lie upon it, and if a man chose in the exercise of his rights to become a conscientious objector he did so with his eyes open. When hon. Mem- 941 bers opposite say that there is a question of penalising a man when he was in the exercise of his strict rights given to him by the Government of the day I would say that the right given him by the Government was that he might exercise his conscientious scruples in not going to the War, but if he did so he did so under certain definite understandings, and it is those definite understandings which the Government is now seeking to abrogate. There is no question that the conscientious objector knew perfectly well what he was doing when he exercised this undoubted and in many cases sincere right to be a conscientious objector.
The conscientious objectors, as my hon. Friend said, fall roughly into two categories. There were those who conscientiously and on religious grounds felt that they could not undertake combatant service during the War. I pay my tribute, as every Member of this House, and certainly all ex-service men would, to the gallant work done by those who went to France, not on combatant service but on non-combatant service. I instance the Quakers' Ambulance—men who performed deeds of heroism that were only equalled and perhaps not surpassed by those who served in the firing line. But it is not those men with whom we have to deal now. They had conscientious scruples against undertaking combatant service, but they did their best for their country according to their lights. There were those also who undertook work of national importance. But we are dealing with men who did not undertake any non-combatant service. The hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown) mentioned 50 men who were definitely discharged from the Service. The House should remember that those were men who had been turned down by their own tribunals and by the central tribunal as not being genuine conscientious objectors. Therefore, it would not be fair either to the conscientious objectors or to the ex-service men to reinstate those people in the Civil Service.
§ Mr. BROCKWAY
The 40 men to whom my hon. Friend the Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown) referred were found to be genuine conscientious objectors by their tribunal, but they took the view, which I took, that if one refuses service at the Front where 942 there is danger, one should also refuse service at home where there is no danger, and they went to prison because they refused all service.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
Of course I accept the hon. Member's explanation without offering any comment on his views. But although hon. Members may wish to right the disabilities of certain classes of men, they have no right to right those disabilities to the disadvantage of other men who did join up, knowing full well what their disabilities would be—disabilities which, alas, remain to them in many cases to this day, disabilities which no circular letter issued by the Government can ever put right. Those men, who never shirked their disabilities and never asked for any special consideration because of their disabilities, have a right, in contradistinction to those who undertook, perfectly well knowing what they were doing, to become conscientious objectors, and who now seek to have it both ways and to alter the bargain made with them.
I do not want to detain the House by going over all the ground which was so ably covered by the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment, but there are one or two points that the House would do well to note. The Circular of 18th August, 1920, made a settlement of the conditions of the conscientious objectors who were restored to the Civil Service under certain disabilities. Nobody will deny that that was a fair and just settlement. But it was made quite distinctly on the condition that when they were restored to certain rights and privileges they would be subject to the implicit pledge given in this House that "Conscientious objectors who are employed in the civil Service and who have refused to serve in the Army shall not be promoted over the heads of civil servants who have served or are serving in the Army." That is a perfectly clear-cut and just settlement of the case.
The report of 1922 was unanimous; it was signed by all the members without any dissension. I was very glad to see the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) in the House just now. I hope that he will intervene and tell us what are his views on the subject as he sees it to-day, because the whole House pays tribute to him for his fearlessness of expression and the integrity of his 943 views, and we shall be interested to hear whether he still feels as he did when be signed that report. The report made a perfectly fair settlement. If there are people who take the view that the conscientious objectors have suffered sufficiently for their opinions, surely they must admit that the provisions of the Circular referred to amply remove their disability. The War is now so far away that there may be those who will say, "Let us be generous to these men; they have been sufficiently punished." I say that the ex-service men would be the very first to say, "Oh, it is a long time ago. Let them be reinstated." At the same time I am convinced that justice would demand, and ex-service men would demand, that these men, although reinstated, should not go back to positions better than those of ex-service men who served during the War.
You may right the disabilities of the conscientious objector, but you cannot right the wounds of the ex-service man who made his choice in 1914 and the ensuing years. At present, under this Circular, the conscientious objector is back in the Civil Service practically as if the War had never been. He has one small disability as compared with the ex-service man, but it is a very small disability. He is put in the same position as the established man in the Civil Service who did do his job and served in the King's Forces. Why should he be particularly favoured? What of the 15,000 ex-service men who were in the temporary class and have now been taken on the permanent establishment? They are not allowed to count their period of temporary service for pension, yet the conscientious objector is allow to count his period of suspension for pension. Where is the justice of that? However much you may wish to do the fair and kindly thing to the conscientious objector, where is the justice in this differentiating between him and the ex-service man?
The hon. Member for West Wolverhampton quoted an extract from the report in which it was stated that the witnesses for the Civil Service expressed the opinion that the Civil Service conscientious objector had already been sufficiently penalised and that no further action in regard to him should be taken. That is perfectly true. But than no fur- 944 ther action in regard to the conscientious objector has ever been taken or is contemplated to his detriment. All that we are pleading for is that while you are fair to the conscientious objector you have no right to be unfair to the ex-service man. I could not help thinking that the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) can hardly have intended what I understood him to say, namely, that dying for one's country was no form of service. I feel sure that he did not mean that.
§ Mr. BENSON
What I said was that dying for one's country was not the purpose for which a man was sent into the Army. He was sent there for the purpose of killing someone else.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
It does seem a curious way of looking at the matter. Those who went into the Army or the Navy went into it for the purpose of fighting for their country, with the certainty that a large proportion of them would die. The greatest and most glorious service that these men did for their country was to die for it. I resent the suggestion as do their relatives and the country will resent the suggestion too, that men who laid down their lives for their country were not doing a service for their country.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
What the hon. Member said was that dying was an accident. I call it a deed of heroism.
§ Mr. BENSON
I said that I was not prepared to admit that killing another man was the highest form of service to one's country.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
The hon. Member went further and said that dying was not a form of service to the country. I am within the recollection of the House.
§ Mr. BENSON
What I said was what I have already stated. When I made the remark someone interjected a remark about dying. I pointed out that men were not sent into the Army for the definite purpose of dying, but to kill. That is what I said.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
Then I am glad that the hon. Member agrees with me that the highest form of service that a man can do is to die for his country.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
Then out of his own mouth the hon. Member is judged. I believe that hon. Members, whatever their views on pacifism and militarism, service or non-service, are actuated by a desire to see justice done and a bargain honoured—are anxious to see the bond of a, Government, whether Conservative, Liberal or Socialist, duly honoured. We may want to do a kindness to men with whom we did not agree and with whom we may not agree now, but when you have an honest open bond you should honour it, without trying to alter it, whether it is seven or 70 years since the bond was made. An hon. Member on the Liberal benches said that, of course, differences of opinion had been composed, that time and circumstances altered opinions and healed breaches. We know that to be a fact; we know that time and circumstances heal breaches such as have existed and may still exist between the Liberal party and the Socialist party. But that does not mean that we should alter a written or spoken guarantee given to men whose only crime presumably, in the opinion of some hon. Members opposite, was that they served their country when their country needed them. There is no ex-service man in the country to-day and no man serving in His Majesty's Forces to-day who will not consider that the action of the Government in restoring the status of these conscientious objectors above the heads of ex-service men is a monstrous injustice, a betrayal of men to whom a pledge was given, and an insult to the memory of every man and woman who gave their lives to defend their country in the Great War.
§ Major McKENZIE WOOD
As my name has been mentioned, I feel that I must say something on this subject. I would have liked to have heard what the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has to say, because I am a little in the dark in discussing this question. In the first place I do not know the merits of the question. I understand that there was published some time ago the report of a 946 Select Committee of which I find that I was a member, although I have a very hazy recollection of it. It is nearly 10 years ago and I have nearly forgotten about it. It is now alleged that the recommendation of that Committee, which the Government of the day presumably adopted, has not been followed. If it has not been followed I should like to know the circumstances in which the Government have decided not to follow it. As I do not know what those circumstances are it is very difficult for me to express an opinion on the subject. But I would like to correct some misapprehensions that were obvious in the speeches of supporters of this Motion with regard to that Committee's report. First of all we have been told that it was an unanimous report. It was nothing of the sort. On the contrary there was the greatest difference of opinion on the matter, and the report which was eventually presented to the House was no more a unanimous report than a Bill which is—
§ Major COLVILLE
I have the report here. It is a unanimous report signed by the hon. and gallant Member himself.
§ Major WOOD
My hon. and gallant Friend is under a misapprehension. I have the report here too. He has openly stated that this was a unanimous report and that my signature is attached to it. Would he tell me on what page he finds my signature attached to it?
§ Commander SOUTHBY
There is the heading of the report on page 3. It is there mentioned that "a Select Committee has been appointed to inquire" etc., etc. The names of the Committee are on the opposite page, and there is the statement, "They have agreed to the following report." Presumably, if the hon. and gallant Gentleman did not agree he would have sent in a minority report or would have indicated his dissent from the majority report.
Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman allow me to ask him a question? It is well understood in this House that when the report of a Committee is presented bearing the names of certain members, but not containing any 947 minority report, the report is regarded as a unanimous report. If there is anything in that report to show that it was not unanimous, will the hon. and gallant Gentleman kindly refer me to the page, as I am going to speak later in the Debate?
§ Major WOOD
Certainly. I proposed to do so, if the Noble Lord had waited. There are many ways in which a Committee may make a Minority Report. It may give, as our Committee did, an account of its proceedings in which, like a Report of a Committee of this House, giving the division on every question of difference. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will look at page vii, he will see that it gives the proceedings of the Committee for every day, and on Thursday, 6th April, 1922, the Committee proceeded to consider their draft Report, which was brought up and was gone through by the Committee Clause by Clause, and Amendments were moved to it in exactly the same way as Amendments are moved to a Bill in this House. There were many divisions taken. I see that the first division was upon a paragraph saying that on the outbreak of War every citizen should be at the disposal of the country, which I, and most Members, will think quite correct. I find that an Amendment was moved to add the words, "and property," and I am very interested to find that the Lord Privy Seal and myself were the only two who voted in favour of that Amendment. Eight divisions were taken on the first day, and on the last day upon which the Report was finally approved there were two divisions; unfortunately, I appear to have been absent. Therefore, I think that in view of what I have said, I have shown that it cannot be said that this was a unanimous Report, and it cannot be said that I am responsible for every word in it.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
On page xiv it says:Question, 'That this Report, as amended, be the Report of the Committee to the House,' put, and agreed to.It was ordered to be reported together with the Minutes of Evidence, but what we on this side of the House suggest is that when the Report was discussed the hon. Member may have put forward 948 Amendments, but that the final amended Report was the Report of the Committee from which the hon. Gentleman did not dissent, and therefore he must be taken as having subscribed to it.
§ Major WOOD
I said at the beginning of my speech that there are two methods in which a committee can approach a matter of this kind and decide to give a Report, and that a minority can say they cannot accept it and make a Minority Report. We decided to vote on each paragraph as it came up, and this would be published, so that our views would be perfectly clear. We would make our protest if we disagreed with any part of the Report, and there was nothing more to be done. It is quite clear what the position was. The Report was not a unanimous Report. As I said before, it was no more unanimous than a Bill which goes through this House and has passed its Third Reading is in every paragraph and every Clause the view of every Member of the House.
Another point I would make upon this Report is that we did not decide this question so much upon its merits. When evidence was given before us we found that the whole question was prejudged, because the Treasury had already given a pledge in the most explicit terms, and it was quite impossible, in my opinion, and, apparently, in the opinion of the other members of the Committee, to get past it. It may be that we did not like it, but, whether that was so or not, it was there, and, when a pledge has been given, you have to make up your mind whether it is best to break it if you think it is bad, or to keep it if you think you will do more harm by breaking it.
Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman allow me to draw his attention to the paragraph on page XIV, to which my hon. and gallant Friend has already referred:Question, 'That the Report, as amended, be the Report of the Committee to the House,' put, and agreed to.Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether he assented to the Committee's Report?
§ Major WOOD
I have already dealt with that. I have said that it is nearly 10 years since the Committee took evidence, and I cannot remember every detail, but I have a recollection that we 949 considered what we ought to do. It was quite obvious that the Committee was not unanimous in its opinions on this question, and we had to decide whether we would have a Majority Report and a Minority Report, and we came to the conclusion that the minority would be sufficiently safeguarded by adding a report of the proceedings which showed the division of opinion on this particular question. May I point out this further? I have said that we considered we were bound by this pledge which was given, but it was not an absolute pledge, because the letter of 1920 to the Departments, which has been referred to before, contained this addendum:Departments are reminded of this pledge, which was intimated to them by Treasury Circular of 20th July, 1918, but for this purpose a senior officer who is definitely regarded as unfit for promotion need not be a bar to the promotion of a conscientious objector.There was no variation of that definite pledge given, and, as far as I know, that limitation in itself would be sufficient to cover all the cases which are the foundation of this Amendment to-day.
I have only this to say on the merits of the question. It is undoubtedly a very hard thing that civil servants should go to the War, say, for five years, and come back and find that men who have not gone there are in a better position from the mere fact that they have not gone to the front. A balance had to be struck in this matter, and I think that the decision which was taken shortly after the War was in all the circumstances perfectly fair, and it was right that some steps should be taken to try to safeguard the position of civil servants who had gone to the War. If you laid down a rule of that kind which has been followed, as far as I can gather, for about 10 years, I think we are entitled to argue now that no civil servant who went to the War can honestly claim that he is not having his interests safeguarded, or that he is under a disability now. He has had 10 years during which the Government have said that no conscientious objector would be promoted over his head, and I am certain that he has been well treated as far as that matter is concerned.
I am rather sorry that my hon. Friend opposite adopted the tone that he did. I do not think that, as a matter of fact, 950 he altogether assisted his own case. I have a great deal of sympathy with conscientious objectors, and I have a great deal of admiration for them. I believe it required, in many cases at any rate, an extraordinary amount of moral courage to be a conscientious objector during the War, and, for my part, I think we ought to see that people who had that strong moral courage to do what they did ought not to be penalised further. But when the hon. Gentleman says that men were sent into the Army in order to kill, I think he is misrepresenting the whole case, and doing harm to it. I went into the Army very early, but I did not consider that I went into the Army to kill. Indeed, I think one might very well argue that those of us who went into the Army early did so in order to prevent killing, and the earlier we went probably the better, and the less killing there would have been. I must say that it was rather to defend people than to kill others. During the whole time I was in the Army, or during the whole of the War, I can honestly say that I never had the slightest degree of animosity against anyone, even against those who were opposed to us in the War.
In the early stages of the War, at Christmas, 1914, I was in the front trenches, and took part in what was well known at the time as a truce. We went over in front of the trenches, and shook hands with many of our German enemies. A great number of people think we did something that was degrading. I will not discuss that at the moment. The fact is that we did it, and I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves there would never have been another shot fired. For a fortnight that truce went on. We were on the most friendly terms, and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary for us to start trying to shoot one another again. It was the fact that we were all in the grip of a political system which was bad, and I and others who were there at the time determined there and then never to rest as far as we could until we had seen whether we could change it. I hope that we shall do something to change it, but I believe, at the same time, that if we are going to change it we must get rid of the feeling, which, it seems to me, animates the Amendment we are discuss- 951 ing to-night. We have to forget about the War as far as we can, or forget, at any rate, about this aspect of it. I think that conscientious objectors, if they are deserving of any penalties at all, have been sufficiently penalised, and I hope that in future we shall hear as little as possible of this subject.
§ Mr. LANG
As this Debate has proceeded, I have wondered whether we are living in the days of the Naval Conference and of flourishing branches of the League of Nations Union—in a time of propaganda for peace and of belief in peace—or whether, in this Chamber at any rate, we are back again into the bitterness, the misunderstandings and the mistakes of the War period. I believe we are all grateful to the Mover and the Seconder of this Motion for the great moderation with which they have put a case, on which, doubtless, they feel very strongly. One of the difficulties of this question is that it is to such an extent possible for people on opposite sides to take such very definite views upon it. I am one of those who were not called upon to exercise a decision in the matter at all. It always seemed to me to be very peculiar that a Government which was opposed to those who had conscientious objections in this matter, and hon. Members who shared that view, should, for some reason or other, wisely or unwisely, have decided that ministers of religion should be totally excepted from the provisions of the Military Service Act. It was not merely a question of exemption. If they had been exempted, as I think they might have been, it would have been open to ministers who believed in war—and there were many of them, men who were busy recruiting at home—to have gone into the Army, and those who objected would have been able to suffer for their principles and to have given the example, which, I feel sure, ministers holding anti-war views would have been willing to give.
Rightly or wrongly, however, they were entirely excepted under the provisions of that Act, so that a very large body of people who might be expected to hold conscientious views on this subject were never called upon for any expression of those views or for any statement of where they stood. The people who felt that war 952 was wrong, and who refused to go to war, are people for whom I am bound to have the profoundest respect. As I understand the Christian religion, I believe that they were carrying out the principles of the founder of the Christian religion, and, although it is easy to speak now, very far away from the event, I believe that if I had had to make a decision, my decision must have been that of the men who said that in no circumstances could they do anything which would involve the taking of human life. Nor would I have taken the place of other people at home in order that those people might go forward to prosecute the War. I hope that, whatever judgment hon. Members may come to, at the end of this Debate, they will not imagine that those men who went the whole way, who were called absolutists, are men to be despised. They refused to take part in the prosecution of war at the front, and they also refused to take any of the other jobs at home; and, though hon. Members opposite may think those men were misguided, they had the courage to suffer for their principles.
What is the principle which is involved in the Amendment? A quotation has been made from a paper which I have never seen, but which the hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown) rather scathingly criticised, to the effect that the action of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury was a betrayal in principle of men who had given their all. The question is, for what did these men give their all? I have no doubt on that matter at all. I have the pro- foundest respect for those brave men—there can be nothing but admiration for them—who gave their all, and who went into the Army, many of them strongly objecting to war. I think that the position of the conscientious objector in khaki was incomparably the most painful position in the War. There were men who hated war, who would have preferred anything to the necessity of making war, and who were compelled by a sense of duty to go into a business against which their whole beings revolted. That was courage; that was sacrifice. It was magnificent, and nobody would begrudge a tribute of admiration to the very great men who did it. But why did they do it? What was the most successful appeal made to the hundreds of thousands of decent men who joined the Army? It was, "This is a War 953 to end war." That was the reason why tens of thousands who were never militarists went into the Army. They went to prosecute a War which they believed was going to end war, and the betrayal of that principle is not in the action of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury; it is in the raising of these animosities and in the reassertion, all these years after the War, of the militarist view. As I say, I was not called upon to make a decision myself, so that the reference which I am about to make will not be taken as being inspired by any personal desire for defence. I am indebted to the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Barr) for having drawn my attention to a Debate in the House of Lords on 6th July, 1914, on the Government of Ireland (Amendment) Bill, when the late Lord Roberts, a very famous soldier, used these words:If you penetrate deep enough into the depths of human nature you will unfailingly reach in each one of us a stratum which is impervious to discipline or any other influence from without. The strongest manifestation of this truth lies in what men call conscience—an innate sense of right and wrong which neither reason, nor man-made laws can affect.In another part of the same speech, Lord Roberts said:It was apparently in contemplation to make a demand on our soldiers at which the consciences of many revolted. It is useless at such a juncture to invoke the authority of the Constitution, to raise fine points of law, or to threaten pains and penalties. Such things matter not one jot when men's consciences are aroused. I tell your Lordships again now, as I told you in February last that, if this demand be renewed, the Army will be brought to destruction.That was a very remarkable speech, and I think hon. Members opposite should be enabled by it to realise that the question of conscience is not a matter considered merely by a few theologians or people with very advanced views on most things. If hon. Members opposite believe that the ex-service men in this country are behind them in this matter I beg to assure them that they are entirely wrong. If anybody is sick of war, and of persecution arising out of war; if anybody is sick of the hideous pretence that by pouring contempt on a few people who hold extreme views, ex-service men are being defended or benefited, it is the ex-service men themselves—as hon. Members opposite will discover.
§ Major COLVILLE
Then why did not the Government consult the country and the ex-service men of the country?
Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
I am afraid that we are getting rather wide of the mark in this Debate. The Mover of the Motion kept very closely to its terms and did not go into the question of why the War took place. He kept to the one point that an agreement was entered into, and that the Government, in September, 1929, during a Parliamentary Recess, abrogated that agreement. Many hon. Members, including I think a number of hon. Members opposite have been rather surprised to hear exactly what transpired. I happened to have been a Member of the House in 1914, when the question arose with regard to men serving in the Army. It came to a point where large numbers were required and, if men could not be obtained voluntarily, it became necessary for the maintenance of the country's prestige that we should conscript. The Prime Minister of the day, Mr. Asquith as he then was, announced that he would make one exception and that was with regard to conscientious objectors. He said that men who could prove that they had conscientious objections to serving in the War would be excluded from actual service. As far as I am concerned I felt quite disappointed at that decision, but I felt that if an agreement was made it ought to be carried out. That agreement was carried out, on those lines, in the early days of the War and regulations were made dealing with those men in the Civil Service who were not prepared to undertake what I venture to think is the first obligation of every citizen. They were called upon to suffer certain disabilities. They cannot have it both ways. In the early days of the War they said they were not prepared to take up arms and fight for their country.
Having arrived at that decision they could not very well expect any Government to relieve them of the disabilities laid upon them in consequence, and I am rather surprised to learn this afternoon that because it is now ten or twelve years 955 since the War arrangements are to be made now to wipe out, as it were, all the disabilities that were placed on these men and to say to them in effect, "We are sorry we ever made that arrangement about conscientious objectors and, although you did not carry out your obligations to the country, we will now put you in the same position as, and in some cases in a more advantageous position than, those who went to the War." I am not here to argue as to what is the opinion of the ex-service man qua ex-service man, in regard to these conscientious objectors. I represent constituents who know well my opinion on this matter. I have been closely allied with ex-service men, and I have never, during the whole of my experience, heard any ex-service man say that the time had arrived when conscientious objectors who entered the Civil Service should be put back in the same position as they would have been in, if they had carried out the duties which devolved upon them at the time of the War. The hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Lang), who spoke last, said that some of the conscientious objectors did not go to the War because they were of the opinion that it was a war to end war.
Sir F. HALL
Then surely, in those circumstances, the first duty of every conscientious objector, if he was honestly desirous of having a war to end war, should be to carry that out to its logical conclusion and say, "It is my duty to take my part in carrying out what I am desirous of seeing, namely, a war to end war." It was not anything of the sort. There was, unfortunately, a certain number who, for various reasons, did not join up, just as there was a certain number who found jobs that made them indispensable in this country; there was a certain number who were able to stretch their imaginations and their consciences to such an extent—I do not say all, but some—that they could say, "On conscientious lines, I object." I always had one opinion with regard to those people, and the opinion I held in 1914 was the same as I hold now.
956 While the Government are prepared, under this arrangement of September, 1929, to place some of these men in a better position that they were, and give them back pension rights, how about the men who, very often quietly and in a surreptitious manner, have served 10 or 12 years in the various Government branches? Where are they? They should receive fair consideration, and in no case should any of them ever be discharged for new entrants. if the Government are looking after the conscientious objectors, they should look after the ex-service men who went to the War, and came back, and have been carrying out their positions in the Civil Service. The time is past when any of those men should be discharged, and I want to see the Financial Secretary to the Treasury giving them careful consideration, and saying, "If we have come to a certain decision in regard to those who did not do their jobs, in any case we are going to see that fair rations are given to those who, after serving in the War, have been able to carry out their work in the Civil Service, and we are not going to see young fellows of 18 or 19 years of age taking jobs away from these men."
I hold no brief for the conscientious objectors. I am perfectly honest about the whole matter. I never have believed in them, and I do not now. Whatever one's convictions are, I think one should be prepared to stand up for them and say so, and I say exactly what are my principles with regard to these men. I am rather amused at my hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Banff (Major Wood), whom I have known for many years, putting a conundrum to me today, which I find it difficult to answer. The conundrum was, "When is a unanimous report not a unanimous report?" The hon. and gallant Member said that as regards the report, he forgot it, and it occurred 10 years ago. I can understand that, and I venture to say to him that, as he knows from his experience in this House, there are certain regular lines laid down. A report comes from a Committee, and if you do not agree, it is quite easy for you to put a very short addendum, saying "I do not agree." I cannot help thinking that the hon. and gallant Member did not help his case at all by saying that the report which he had signed—
§ Major WOOD
I never signed that report, and no Member here ever signed it. When we started to discuss our report, there was a Motion made that the report proposed by the Chairman be read a Second time, paragraph by paragraph, and that was agreed to. It was gone through paragraph by paragraph, and there was no signing of the report.
Sir F. HALL
I must accept the explanation of the hon. and gallant Member, but I will give him a little friendly advice, and that is that it is a well-known fact, in regard to reports of committees, that they are carefully gone through, line by line, in order that the committees may decide. I have always understood, but apparently I have been wrong, that a report, having been issued, and no dissent having been raised by any hon. Member, even though it has not been actually signed, is regarded as the report of the whole of the particular committee. I shall begin to wonder, when I see a report presented in future, whether, if there is no dissentient, it is a unanimous report or the report of a minority. I shall be interested to look at the division lists to-night to see exactly how my hon. and gallant Friend records his vote.
Sir F. HALL
We know then that he does not agree with his own report. I shall also look with interest to see how the Lord Privy Seal votes, but however he and others may vote, I shall certainly support my hon. and gallant Friend, because I have no use for a conscientious objector. I believe that the first duty of every man is the protection of his country. I hope that we may be able to carry on the duty of protection in a voluntary manner, but I say that if the time comes again when that is not possible, I hope we shall not have any question again with regard to giving advantages to conscientious objectors over those who take up arms for their country.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
I certainly have no wish to complain either of the introduction of this Motion or of the manner in which the hon. and gallant Member for North Midlothian (Major 958 Colville) made his introductory speech. I am only sorry that the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir G. Bowyer) is not able to be here, for reasons that we all deplore, because we all know the very deep interest which he takes in this question. I would like to say further to the hon. and gallant Member for North Midlothian that I realise the deep feeling which he has in the matter and that I shall not mistake his moderation for indifference. One of the features of the House of Commons is that we can discuss, on the Floor of the House, matters about which we feel passionately, and yet attribute sincerity to our opponents. Though this is a matter upon which I myself have very deep convictions, I trust that I shall not offend the susceptibilities of anyone sitting on the opposite side of the House.
First of all, with regard to the facts, as far as I understood the hon. and gallant Member for North Midlothian, he stated them quite correctly, but perhaps, as one or two hon. Members since have expressed some doubt upon the facts, I may recapitulate them. Broadly speaking, there were five different sets of people in the Civil Service. There were, first of all, those who were not at any time requisitioned to fight in the War. Those men, because their work was required in the Departments to which they belonged, never came under review at all, and they do not enter in any way into the discussion to-day. In the second place, there were those who took part, either as combatants or as non-combatants, either because they were conscripted or because they joined voluntarily, with the permission of their Departments. In the third place, there were those members of the Civil Service who, in their excess of zeal, joined the Colours without permission. Then there were those conscientious objectors who were acting in accordance with the law; and, finally, there were those conscientious objectors who in various ways came in conflict with the law. Broadly speaking, those were the five groups.
With regard to those who were conscripted or who joined voluntarily, with permission, they obtained, throughout, the excess of their Civil Service pay over their military pay, they obtained the same increments of salary which they would have obtained had they remained 959 at home, they were given equivalent promotion, and when the War was over they were restored precisely to the position that they would have had, had they continued in their Department and not served in the War. With regard to those who joined without permission, at first the view was taken that they lost their Civil Service position, but, as the hon. and gallant Member quite correctly stated, it was subsequently arranged that they should be reinstated in full, so far as the time after the 1st January, 1918, was concerned, in all the increments of pay that they would have had, had they remained in their Department, and with the promotion to which they would have been entitled. Therefore, their position to-day is that they are in precisely the same position in all respects with regard to the future as the men who joined up with permission, or the conscripted men. What they actually lost was the excess of the Civil Service pay over the military pay during the period between their joining up and 1st January, 1918.
With regard to the conscientious objectors who acted in accordance with the law, and lost their position in the Civil Service during the War, they were subsequently taken back into the Civil Service, and from the day they were taken back they were given the same position that they had when they left; that is to say, they did not count for their service the period when they were on work of national importance, and they did not obtain increments or promotion for that period. They were further limited by the rule that they could not be promoted over the heads of any ex-Service men who had served during the War. It is with regard to these men that the Government have taken the action to which reference is being made. These men have been restored to the increments and promotion which they would have obtained had the period during which they were conscientious objectors been counted as part of their service in the Civil Service. So far as the future is concerned, therefore, they are also to be put into exactly the same position as if they had remained the whole time in their Departments. That dates from 1st August, 1929, however, and they continue to suffer the reduction of their salaries and pro- 960 motion during the period between the time when they were found to be conscientious objectors and left the Departments until 1st August, 1929. With regard to the conscientious objectors who in various ways came into conflict with the law, they were not restored to their Departments when the War was over, and they are not being restored at the present time. I think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman quite correctly stated the facts, but I only recapitulate them for the further elucidation of the issue.
When we come to the interpretation of the facts, I think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and more particularly one or two Members who followed him, have somewhat departed from strict accuracy. It has been said that we have singled out the conscientious objectors to give them favourable treatment. That is not really correct. What the Government have done is to deal with all the men who had Civil Service appointments at the time of the War, and who are in the Civil Service to-day, in the same way from and after 1st August, 1929. It is then said that we are promoting 230 men over the ex-service men. The hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) said that we were putting the conscientious objectors in a more advantageous position than the ex-service men. That is really not correct. It is not true that we are putting 230 conscientious objectors over the heads of ex-service men. What we are saying is that the fact that these 230 men were conscientious objectors shall not be a bar to their promotion, if for other reasons it would take place. The actual facts are that, including the largest number of men who can possibly be included, the total number to which this actually applies at the present time is not 230, but three, and of these three, two are in the Post Office, and it is only in order not to be open to the smallest question, that I have included them at all, because they are only technically being promoted in the way in question.
Therefore, it would be an abuse of words to refer to this action which the Government have taken as penalising the ex-service men. The hon. and gallant Member for Midlothian did not claim that; he practically said that the effect upon the chances of the ex-service men is negligible. He is not troubled about 961 the actual facts so much as about the principle which underlies it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Certainly, I think that that is not only a relevant, but a highly important consideration, and I shall not conclude my speech without dealing with it. Then it was said, both on this side of the House by the hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown), and on the other side, that we were treating these men better than the men who joined up in the forces without permission. That is quite clearly incorrect.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
It was said on the other side, at any rate. We are doing nothing of the kind. The men who joined up without permission were penalised for the short time between their joining up and 1st January, 1918; but after 1st January, 1918, they obtained the same increments and promotion as if they had been in the Departments all the time. I am not expressing an opinion at the moment, but that was the decision of the Government of the day. The conscientious objectors suffered the whole period from the time when they refused to join up, right up to 1st August, 1929. Therefore, it cannot possibly be alleged that these men are being treated better than the men who joined up without permission.
§ Major COLVILLE
Is it not the case that those conscientious objectors who succeeded in remaining at their posts, instead of going into the Army, drew pay at a higher rate than many men who went into the Army without permission, and that therefore they are in a better position?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
The number who actually remained at their posts was very few. It is only a small proportion of the 230, but, as far as I understand, they were not given their normal pay. They were given alternatively their normal pay or the cost of finding a substitute, whichever was the less, and they were not given, as far as I understand, the increments which they would have got in the ordinary course. How far, when all that is taken into account, they might have been during that time as well or better off, it is difficult after this long 962 distance of time to state. I think that, in fact, they were penalised right up to 1st August, 1929.
Various other suggestions of ways in which the Government might have improved the conditions of ex-service men who are in the Civil Service, or who come under the categories to which I have referred were made. It has been suggested, for instance, that, in taking this action, the Government have gone only part of the way, and that they should have gone further still, and brought back into the Civil Service and restored to their full positions those members who had come into direct conflict with the law, and who hitherto had been kept outside. Quite apart from any view that may be taken in regard to that matter, it would be quite impracticable to take that course at the present time. These men have been out of the Civil Service now from 12 to 16 years, and it would not be possible to bring them back at the present day. Then it has been suggested that the men who joined up for the War before they were appointed to the Civil Service, ought to have their positions reviewed. The hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich, with his great care and zeal for the ex-service men, which we all appreciate, and which those who have occupied my position have endeavoured to meet, takes a view with regard to the ex-service men.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
That is a very large issue, and I do not think that this is the proper occasion on which to deal with it. Not only I, but my predecessors, have endeavoured to deal fairly with the ex-service men in all those groups which have been referred to in different parts of the House.
Now I would like to come to the principle underlying this matter. The question, it seems to me, and it seems to the Government, is whether the time has not come when the distinction that has been made all these years must come to an end. We claim that, in the interests of the Civil Service, which must count first, where you have a number of men acting in various capacities, and where you want to choose a man to put into a certain place, the prime consideration must, after all, be the man's fitness for the job. But it is said on the other side of the House 963 that you ought not to take that course. It is suggested that you still ought to put some punishment upon those men who, I think the hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich would say, failed the country in the hour of need. I should like in that connection to recall to the House two extracts from speeches made by the right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil). Speaking in this House in 1917 he used these words:When people are acting conscientiously … their conscience must not be forced, and when they obey their conscience … they must not be punished."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st November, 1917; col. 1224, Vol. 99.]In another speech he made in the same year he said:My hon. Friend said that the safety for the public is the supreme law. It is profoundly untrue. If the safety of the public is the supreme law the sinking of the 'Lusitania' was right and the bombing of towns and the killing of children would be right. The safety of the public is not the supreme law. The divine will is the supreme law, and it is because the conscientious objector is mistakingly and perversely holding to the idea that he is wrong. To the credit of the country it is required of us being conscientious men in favour of Christianity that we should respect that conviction and support them in what they do."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th January, 1917; col. 319, Vol. 95.]
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
Has the hon. Gentleman always believed what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil)?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I think that interjection is somewhat irrelevant. When I am dealing with a deeply felt conviction on the part of hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite I think it is perfectly fair to point out that one who feels deeply, whose convictions I am sure they would respect, and who was strongly opposed to conscientious objectors, nevertheless took the view that those men ought not to be punished for their conscientious objection.
When I come to my own point of view, it is this: I look back on those agonising years when the War was being fought and I see all those men who, sacrificing everything that was dear to them, went out to the War. They faced the risks of war and, more even than that, they endured 964 the whole beastliness of the trenches. When I think of the sacrifice and the heroism of those men I feel they showed a wonderful bravery. But when I look back I also see the men who, quite sincerely, from their deepest convictions, took a different view. They stood out against what was the almost universal opinion of the day; and surely it cannot be denied that they showed the very deepest courage in so doing. They faced ridicule, they faced contempt, they faced physical violence and risk to life in their own way. I do not believe that the brave men who went out to the War, risked their lives and made the great sacrifice, would, speaking as a whole, support the attitude of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who object to the recognition of the men who showed their courage and their bravery on a different plane from them.
Sir F. HALL
May I put one question? What would have happened if the whole of the country had taken up the same attitude as the conscientious objectors?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
The hon. and gallant Gentleman is attempting to put one of those posers which were put all through the War. Even if they were relevant then, I do not think they are relevant now. We cannot sum up human beings in that way. We have to take the various individualities with their various points of view. To the hon. and gallant Member the conscientious objector appears a coward, or a fool, or a knave. It may be that to some people even the views of the hon. and gallant Member himself do not appear to be the last word in wisdom, but those who do not share his view, who may think his view is misguided, and even wrong, will give him credit for the sincerity of his convictions, and I would ask him, with that courtesy which he always shows, to give credit to the sincerity of the convictions of those who take a different view. As I was saying, I do not believe the brave men who faced the War object to the course taken and the Government are confident that they are interpreting the heart of this great, tolerant nation when they decide to bury the differences of the past and to go forward to the future as a united people.
We hold the Government solely responsible for 965 resuscitating what I think all of us will agree is the unhappy question of the conscientious objector. But for the astonishing action of the Government, without previous notice to the country or to this House, and when Parliament was not sitting, in abrogating—according to the words in their own circular—the undertaking given on behalf of the Government of the day some eight years ago, this Debate would not have been necessary, and the question of the conscientious objector which I gather from the hon. Gentleman's speech he would like to see buried, would never have been resurrected. This is not an occasion for self-righteousness on either side of the House. Those of us who served in the War have no wish to represent ourselves as having been finer people than anyone else, and, equally, those who were conscientious objectors, or who speak for conscientious objectors, have no right to represent themselves in a self-righteous way. At any rate their self-righteousness was not accepted by the great majority of their fellow subjects, at the time of the War.
Therefore, I do not propose to discuss the moral qualities of conscientious objectors, though I may say in passing, and it is right that it should be said in view of statements from the opposite side, that it has been generally held in the world that it is the duty of a man to defend his own country; and the fact that Great Britain, alone of the European Powers engaged in the War, allowed exemption on conscientious grounds, does not by itself constitute any tribute to the moral qualities of those exempted. It may well be that those who, at the time, were in favour of that exemption, such as my Noble Friend the Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil), were wrong in their views, and certainly their views were not generally shared in the trenches at the time, because I happen to have been in the trenches. When, further, the hon. Member who sits behind the Minister says, as he is entitled to do, that he did not think the best thing a man could do was to die for his country, he is not expressing the universally held opinion. No doubt he has heard what is perhaps the most beautiful of the sayings of the ancient[...]:"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.""It is a sweet and honourable thing to die for one's country." There do happen 966 to be in the world a large number of people who hold that view, and whether they be right or wrong, it is not for any of us to say that the view is reprehensible.
I am well aware that most of those who objected to service in the War based their objection on their reading of certain passages in Scripture. Those of us who differ from them believe that their reading was not sufficiently extensive. For example, we might claim that a man or woman basing his or her views on the injunctions "Judge not, that ye be not judged" and "Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned," would be justified in declining to serve on a jury, and yet the law has always held that a person called upon to serve on a jury must do so, whatever his or her moral feelings. At this distance of time I do not want to go into the moral qualities of conscientious objectors. It is quite clear that we on this side of the House will never accept the point of view of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and it is equally certain they will never accept our point of view, and, after all, that is not really an issue in this Debate, although a great many hon. Members have devoted their speeches to it.
What is at issue is a much more vital matter, the pledge given by the Government to the ex-service civil servants. I greatly regret that the hon. Gentleman did not answer the two questions which were put to him from this side of the House. He was asked, first, why it was that no mention was made of this matter at the General Election. If you are going to ask the House of Commons to abrogate a pledge solemnly given on a question which has excited as much controversy as any question during the last 15 years, surely the least you can do is to mention that fact to the electors at the General Election. Numbers were given by the hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown) to whom we listened to-day, as always, with great interest, even though we may not agree with his views. He—or perhaps it was an hon. Member behind me—told us that there were no less than 148,000 ex-service men in the Civil Service, of whom 46,000 were disabled ex-service men. There is that number of ex-service men out of a total of 223,000 civil servants. With such a 967 proportion of ex-service men in the Civil Service surely it was the plain duty of any Government which was making a bid to hold office in this country to tell the public they were going to abrogate the pledge which had been given and take away from these ex-service men in the Civil Service the privilege which, at any rate in theory, they had had of not seeing conscientious objectors promoted over their heads; yet not a word was said at the General Election. At a time when we on this side of the House, and even their own supporters, complain that the Government are not carrying out their election pledges, why on earth do they want to do something for which they received no mandate at the election and which will re-open a lot of old sores?
The second question the hon. Member was asked was why it was the Government made no announcement about this change in the two months which were at their disposal from the time they became a Government until Parliament adjourned on the 25th July. They ought to have made the announcement when they could have been questioned about it in the House, and when, if necessary, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition could have moved the Adjournment of the House in order to call attention to such a grave departure from the policy of all previous Governments. To those questions we have had no answer from the hon. Gentleman. Can anyone deny that this is a breach of a pledge? I say it is a clear, definite and deliberate breach of a pledge which was given in July, 1918, by my right hon. Friend the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), who was a Member of the Government, and was replying to a Member of the House. In addition to that, the action of the Government is in direct contradistinction to the recommendations of the Select Committee in 1922. Before I come to the recommendation of the Committee, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the actual words of the Treasury Circular issued on the 10th September, because I think not all hon. Members are familiar with them. I put those words forward as an additional reason for saying that this is a clear, definite and deliberate breach of the pledge. What is the language which the Treasury itself used on the 10th Septem- 968 ber, 1929? The letter, which was signed by, I suppose, the Permanent Secretary, uses these words, which are really very significant:I am to inform you that it has been decided that this undertaking should now be abrogated.That undertaking is quoted above, as follows:As stated in paragraph 6 of the Circular referred to, an undertaking was given in June, 1918, that conscientious objectors employed in the Civil Service who refused to serve in the Army shall not be employed over the heads of civil servants who have served or who are serving in the Army.The Treasury letter goes on to say that that undertaking should now be abrogated. In view of that, can anyone opposite get up and say that there has been no breach of pledge this afternoon? They do not deny that there has been a breach. The hon. Gentleman does not deny it; he accepts, as he is bound to accept, the words of his own Treasury Circular, for which he and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are responsible, and, in coming down to the House this afternoon, he, by his silence on the matter, has had to admit that the words of the Circular are perfectly clear and that there is an undertaking which has been abrogated. Now I come to the astonishing views expressed by the hon. Member for Banff (Major Wood) on the subject of the Committee's. Report. I only refer to them, because I think, in the interests of the hon. and gallant Member himself, it is clear that the matter should not be allowed to rest where it is. I have this Report by me, and the words at the end of it are:Your committee are of opinion that the Government by issuing the Treasury letter of August, 1920, have thereby prejudiced the issue.And it goes on to say that this letter, although it fell short of conferring upon conscientious objectors any claim to legal employment, had been generally treated in the Civil Service, etc.For those reasons, your Committee recommend that the only action desirable," etc.and it then proceeds to set out the two conditions which have been constantly quoted in this Debate, and which I do not wish to weary the House by quoting again. I discover, by turning to page 14 in the Report, which the hon. Gentleman 969 himself referred to, that the Chairman put the Question:That this Report, as amended, be the Report of the Committee to the House, put, and agreed to.The hon. Gentleman never voted against that Resolution. His references to votes which he gave at an earlier stage are quite irrelevant, because the only point we are concerned with is whether or not the hon. Gentleman accepted the Report in its final form. Not only did he not vote against it, but there was no Division. It was carried, in the language of the House, nemine contradicente.
§ Major WOOD
The Noble Lord does not want to do me an injustice. I should point out that on that final day I was not present. That is a sufficient reason why I did not vote against it. If he will look at page 12 of the Report, he will find that there was a Division on those words which he mentioned, "have thereby prejudiced the issue," and there were four votes for and four against. I was against those words being put in, and they were carried and put into the Report by the casting vote of the Chairman.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman has made the matter even worse by his explanation than it appeared before. He told us now that he objected to a portion of the Report, and on the final day, when the Report was put to the Committee, he was not present. It is impossible for me to tell from the Report whether he was present or not.
§ Major WOOD
The Noble Lord said it was quite impossible for him to say whether I was there or not. He knows that each day has the names of the Members present.
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will allow me to finish my sentence, what I said was that it was impossible for me, from reading the Report, to have known whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman was present or not. I am not disputing for a moment whether he was present. Of course, I accept his word that he was absent. That, from his point of view, does not make the position any better. The fact is the Report was passed without a Division, and the hon. and gallant Member who was absent did not dissent. If he wished to dissent, having been absent from the final stage of the Committee's procedure when the 970 matter was discussed, a very clear course was open to him. He could have produced a draft report of his own. I assure the hon. and gallant Member that I am really as familiar with the procedure of those Committees as he is, and that I have taken the precaution of consulting the authorities on the subject. It is open to him to produce a draft report. When a Member does not dissent from a Report of a Select Committee, when the words which I have quoted appear in that Report, and the final Report of that Committee is carried unanimously, and when an hon. Member does not take the course I have mentioned, it has always been held that he agrees with that Report. I accept the statement the hon. and gallant Gentleman has made. It would be very unfair to him if I did not accept that statement that he did not agree with that Report, but it is very unfortunate, in view of the importance of the matter, that he did not make his disagreement much more clear at the time.
§ Major WOOD
I put my point quite clearly when I spoke before. I said that there were two methods of dealing with questions of this kind, either to proceed with the method of majority and minority reports or in the way we did, giving a full report of the proceedings showing each paragraph individual members disagreed with. We decided on the latter course. I know it would have been quite proper for me or anyone else to have produced a minority report, but we, as a committee, decided to proceed with the other method.
I am afraid the hon. and gallant Gentleman will not convince those above the Gangway. An even more interesting thing about his speech was that, while he told us he refused to be responsible for the report, he did not tell us in the course of his speech whether he agreed with the report. However, I will leave the matter there. I am sure the hon. and gallant Member's explanations will be of very considerable interest to his ex-service men supporters. I should like to ask again the question which has been asked from this side of the House constantly in this Debate by four or five of my hon. Friends who have spoken, but which has not been answered by the Minister. What justification have they for having 971 abrogated this undertaking—to use the long and tortuous words of the Treasury Circular—or, in plain English, for breaking this pledge?
The hon. Gentleman has given such an extraordinary explanation that I will devote some attention to it. The hon. Gentleman is apparently under the impression that, when you give an undertaking on behalf of a Government to a very important body of people in the service of the Crown, you are entitled, after seven or eight years' time, on the same arguments used by the hon. and gallant Member for Banff, to say that the undertaking has lapsed. I am afraid that is not the view most people would take of a solemn undertaking. The hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown) in the course of his speech, claimed that the Governments of the War period recognised the legality of the conscientious objectors. It was indeed an important feature of his speech. He said that the Government of the day recognised the legality of conscientious objectors. Surely, that is an inadequate way of describing what really did occur. What happened, was that a Bill was passed placing upon the fit male population of this country the obligation to serve in the Army and certain exemptions were made in the case of conscientious objectors. The Government of the day, acting as employers towards civil servants, stated that, if these men did not join the Army, they would be subject to certain disabilities. In so doing, the Government of the day were not doing something which was not being done by any other employers. On the contrary, they were adopting a far milder attitude to conscientious objectors in the employ of the Crown than the majority of employers adopted towards conscientious objectors in their employ. Therefore, it is quite an inadequate way of describing the situation to do it in the terms used by the hon. Member for West Wolverhampton.
What is the justification, first of all, for breaking the pledge and the undertaking and, secondly, for promoting these 972 men over the ex-service men? What is the justification—again we have no answer to this question—for doing so at a time when many of those ex-service men—the numbers of whom are so large, being, as I said, over 148,000 out of 223,000—have grievances of their own, which are sincerely held, whether they are well founded or not, and when those grievances are still unredressed? The Government were asked by my hon. Friends on this side of the House whether they proposed to consider those grievances. It is quite obvious from the hon. Gentleman's reply that they do not propose to do so. It is no sufficient answer for him to give in that connection that the late Government did not redress them, because the late Government did not gratuitously affront ex-service men in the Civil Service by taking the action the present Government have taken.
I ask the Government, before we come to a Division, whether they are prepared to re-open the grievances of ex-service civil servants. We have had some astonishing statements from the other side of the House on the views of the British Legion on this matter. The hon. Gentleman who spoke from the third bench above the Gangway told us that the ex-service men of the country did not agree with the action that was being taken by my hon. Friends in this matter. That is not so. The British Legion agree most fully with the action which we are taking and object most strongly to the action of the Government. I do not know how any hon. Member could make such a statement. He seems strangely misinformed. The hon. Member for West Wolverhampton made much the same statement. He said that the ex-service men in the Civil Service did not want this Amendment passed. How is he able to judge? On his own showing, his union only represents some 20,000 out of 223,000 in the Civil Service. How does he know that the ex-service men in the Civil Service, who number no less than 148,000, do not agree with the views of the British Legion, of which a very large number of them are members? Let me quote the views of the British Legion on the subject—
If the hon. Member does not know what are the views of the British Legion at this time, I will enlighten him.The whole question was considered by a meeting of the National Executive Council of the Legion, which Council expressed profound dissatisfaction at the Government decision, and decided to press most strongly that any conscientious objector should not be reinstated or appointed to any post in the Civil Service whilst ex-service men are unemployed.The Legion is further of the opinion that it would only be just, in view of the concession made to conscientious objectors, that ex-service men, who were taken on as temporary civil servants, and who have since made good, should be taken on the established staff, and also be allowed to count for pension and increment the period for which they were employed on a temporary basis.It is quite obvious that the British Legion, which is the body above all others, in fact it is the only body, which represents the ex-service men, does not hold the view put forward by hon. Members opposite on this question.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member cannot restrain himself, I shall have to ask him to leave the House.
The view put forward by hon. Members opposite with regard to the British Legion is not the view taken by those who sit on the Opposition side of the House nor by the great majority of ex-service men in the country. In taking up that position, hon. Members opposite cannot claim that they are carrying out the Christian principle of forgiving their enemies. The small and inglorious band of conscientious objectors almost invariably support hon. and right Gentlemen opposite, and, although the number of conscientious objectors is small, there is no organisation which has such a large proportion of conscientious objectors as the Socialist party in and out of Parliament. I hope those outside this House will remember that fact. A peculiar responsibility in this matter rests upon the Members of the Government which was in office in 1918, when the promise which has been referred to was given to ex-service men. Any candidate at the election in 1918 who had dared to tell the electors that the undertaking which was then given to ex-service men was going to be abrogated would not have retained his seat in this House.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
The Noble Lord must not look at me, because I was opposed to what the Government did then.
I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Camborne (Mr. Leif Jones), who is an old friend of mine, should have thought that I was looking at him. I was looking at the vacant place of his Leader, who has swallowed bigger principles than that.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the Noble Lord does not give way, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Camborne must not remain on his feet.
§ Mr. JONES
I repudiated that charge in the Parliament to which the Noble Lord has referred, and I defended the conscientious objectors' right to be exempt from military service, because [...] believed in his conscience. Hon. Members here apparently do not believe in the test of conscience, but I do, and, when conscience asserts itself, I think it should have its way.
The right hon. Gentleman misunderstands me. I was not charging him with swallowing his principles. I should like to take this opportunity of saying that I think he has always maintained his principles in a manner which I respect. The person I was referring to when I said he was constantly swallowing his principles was the right hon. Gentleman's leader. Surely those hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who did support the War would not like to see broken the pledge which was given to ex-service men, or action taken which will have the effect of bettering the position of conscientious objectors at the expense of those who risked their lives during the War. I cannot think that action of that kind can be palatable to those hon. Members opposite, nor in accordance with the traditions of the services which they gave during the Great 975 War, although it might be consistent with the lamentable and deplorable attitude from 1914–1918 of both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
There are one or two things which have been said in the course of this Debate to which I should like to reply as one who has come in contact with ex-service men since the War and as one who has kept in touch with them to this day. I have no hesitation in saying that a large number of ex-service men with whom I served during the War, and with whom I still keep in touch, do not take up the attitude indicated by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Lang). The British Legion has been referred to, and, whatever hon. Members opposite may say about that body, it is the one organisation that most largely represents the ex-service men in this country. If you mention any organisation in the coal industry other than the Miners' Federation you will be told that the other organisations do not count, because the Miners' Federation represents the large majority of the men working in the coal industry. In the same way, I think we are entitled to quote the British Legion as being the big organisation representing the ex-service men of this country. We have heard from the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) the views which have been put forward on this question by the British Legion, and you cannot attend any branch of that organisation throughout the country without hearing the views expressed on this subject which we have put forward. Not long ago I attended a meeting of the "Old Contemptibles," and they supported the view which has been adopted on these benches this afternoon on this subject.
§ Mr. LANG
The hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge (Major Llewellin) has referred to the British Legion. May I point out that, although my views are fully known and I support the conscientious objectors, I have been asked to become a vice-president of that Legion and some of my nomination papers were filled up exclusively by ex-service men, although my opponent was the late Financial Secretary to the War Office.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
I am sure the British Legion are very glad to have got a vice-president's subscription from the hon. Member for Oldham. Whether they get the hon. Member for Oldham to support their views in this House or not, I am certain that they will be very pleased to receive any small subscription he may give them as vice-president. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Camborne (Mr. Leif Jones) said that these people really had a conscience, and acted from conscientious motives. A man who is a Quaker is a person who has been born and bred with certain ideas about war but there were alternatives open to conscientious objectors during the War. One alternative was that of serving in the non-combatant forces, but the man who said he was too conscientious to assist in carrying wounded men from the front on a stretcher has no sympathy from me. If they had joined the non-combatant forces, that is all they would have had to do, and, if that is against any man's conscience, I do not believe in his conscience. Those men could have joined for that purpose, and then there would not have been 230 of them, because they would have joined the other 50 in the non-combatant forces and they would have served their country in a way that could not have clashed with their conscience. We are dealing with people who stretch their conscience so far that they will not go anywhere where there is any danger of being injured. I say nothing against the 50 who were too conscientious to kill, but not too conscientious to go and help in the Royal Army Medical Corps to assist their fellows who were unfortunate enough to get injured. We see very clearly that there is a distinction here. The 230 with whom we are dealing here were not men of that sort. I was rather surprised to hear the hon. and learned Member for South Nottingham (Mr. Knight) say that the pledge had lapsed, because, with his knowledge of the law of contract—
§ Mr. KNIGHT
May I explain? I meant that it had lapsed, because it wag the general sense of the community that it should lapse.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
I would put solemn pledges given in this House on the same basis as and, indeed, on a higher basis, than the contracts that firms 977 or individuals in this country make with one another. This House ought to set an example to trading firms and individuals in this country. Would the hon. and learned Member get up in any court of law and say, "This contract has lapsed because it is the general feeling of my clients that it should lapse"? That is why I was more astounded at that remark coming from him than I should have been had it come from other quarters of the House.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
It is quite conceivable that there might be circumstances in which, in the view of the parties to an agreement, it had lapsed, and it would be quite open to the parties to make that submission.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
It is quite right, according to the law of contract, that a contract should lapse when it is the view of both parties that it should lapse. Our position here is that not a single bit of evidence has been brought before us to-day by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury or by anyone else to show that the other ex-service civil servants have consented to these people being pushed up above them, as they can be under this new Treasury Minute. I wish now to pass to some remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for Banff (Major Wood). I am not going into the vexed question of whether this report was his report or not, but I should like to know how his position stands to-day, because his speech to-day contained a sentence which I could not quite understand. He said:We thought that the minority, if minority there was, was fully protected in the Report.How they could think that the minority was protected, if they did not know whether there was a minority or not, rather passes my comprehension. The hon. and gallant Member also said that he found that there was a quite explicit pledge—
§ Major WOOD
What I said was that we considered that, by the procedure we were following, any minority that there would be would be fully protected. I say so still. The report shows how we voted on each question at issue.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
The hon. and gallant Member has corrected me. I did not understand him to say that that was 978 his opinion, or the opinion of the Committee, when they decided which form the report was to take. I understand that to be his point, and I, of course, accept his word upon it. What he did go on to say was this:We found that there was a quite explicit pledge. We did not like it, but we considered that we were bound by it.Those words I took down as the hon. and gallant Member spoke them here this afternoon. Eight years ago he considered that there had been an explicit pledge, and he considered that he was bound by it. Was he going to issue a minority report? Was he going to issue any dissentient note? Is he going to vote against keeping that solemn pledge to-day? We are rather concerned to know what are the hon. and gallant Member's replies to these questions. We saw some very happy and, if I may say so, light figure-skating by the hon. and gallant Member on very thin ice. "Thin ice" is, perhaps, a permissible term in these days, when, in other parts of this great town, discussions are going on on matters concerning the high seas, but I shall be very interested to see what the attitude of the hon. and gallant Member is to-day. I am quite convinced that we have here a case in which the Government can continue to give a lead to private employers. Hitherto Governments have been pressing private employers to keep their names on the King's Roll by employing a certain number of ex-service men. That has been a very good lead, and it was adopted, I believe, by the Labour Government of 1924. The present Government are giving a very different lead in the attitude which they are taking to-day. The Government ought to maintain this high principle of sticking to those who stuck to their country during the War, and helping them along by giving employers and traders in this country a lead in that direction; and they are not carrying out that duty in issuing this Circular. I, for one, shall certainly vote for the Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend against the breaking of this pledge to ex-service men.
§ Major COLFOX
I have always supposed that there were some conscientious objectors, and we have had this afternoon a statement certainly by one hon. Member opposite that he is a conscien- 979 tious objector. I am, of course, prepared to take his word as a true statement in his case, but I believe most strongly that a very large proportion of those who during the War professed conscientious objections were really only objectors to one thing, namely, to any risk of hurt to their own skins. I do not think we are at all justified in considering all those who liked so to call themselves for the purposes of the War to be conscientious objectors. I do not think there is any doubt that the bulk of them were not. I do not blame those people for adopting the attitude that they did. It was at that time a perfectly legal and lawful thing for them to do, but in doing what they did they abdicated, if I may use that word, their position as citizens of this country.
One of the fundamental duties of citizenship is to defend, or help to defend, the country in time of war, and, by voluntarily abdicating their position as citizens, they at the same time abdicated their position as citizens in regard to the privileges of citizenship; and, since they refused to take the responsibilities, it is only reasonable to suppose that at the same time they are unworthy of the privileges of citizenship. [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman has had his say, and I must ask him to allow me to have my say. I consider it to be a very shabby thing not to accept the responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship, and I know that in saying that I am voicing the opinion of a very large number, if not the majority, of those people who did take their responsibilities seriously, and who did take their share in defending their country in time of stress.
The question has been asked whether this disability of those who refused to accept their responsibilities should last for ever. In reply I would ask whether other war disabilities do not last for ever, or, at any rate, for a lifetime; and why should not this disability, voluntarily incurred by a large number of people in order to save themselves from what, in their opinion, were worse disabilities, last for their lifetime, just 980 as do disabilities honourably incurred? It is rather interesting to notice that all the support for this class of people comes from the Socialist party in this House, and in that term I include their allies who are no less Socialists than the official Socialist party. But it is quite impossible to square conscientious objections with any theory of Socialism, because any theory of Socialism postulates that the minority must fall in with the wishes of the majority.
I wonder if any Member of the Socialist party would suggest that, if and when they are in a position and consider it right to plunder and pillage all those who have private property in this country, and to nationalise the property and wealth of the country, they will then admit the validity of conscientious objections of owners of property? I take it that they will not. If only they were consistent—and, of course, consistency is not one of their vices—they would realise that it is hopeless to try to square any form of individual opinion and conscientious objection with their theory of Socialism, which, as I have said, must involve the subordination of the individual to the wishes of the community at large. The Socialists—and, as before, I include with them their no less Socialist allies—are always found to support people who have acted, or who may act, or who might act, to the disadvantage of the country which gave them birth, and they will never support the people who have loyally suffered and borne the burden and heat of the day. It is only another instance of what one is always noticing and expecting. The Socialists and the Liberal party are always letting down those who have done anything for the good of their country, and they always, therefore, refuse to help those who have helped the country in the past.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 213; Noes, 149.917
|Division No. 238]||AYES.||[4.1 p.m.|
|Albery, Irving James||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Ferguson, Sir John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast. W.)||Fielden, E. B.||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Nicholson, O. Westminster)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W G. (Ptrsf'ld)|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Atkinson, C.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Grace, John||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Penny, Sir George|
|Balniel, Lord||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Bellairs, Commander Cariyon||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Berry, Sir George||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hammersley, S. S.||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.|
|Boyce, H. L.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Bracken, B.||Hartington, Marquess of||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxt'd, Henley)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Buchan, John||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Butler, R. A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hurd, Percy A.||Savery, S. S.|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Iveagh, Countess of||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Knox, Sir Alfred||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Liewellin, Major J. J.||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Long, Major Eric||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Dalkelth, Earl of||Lymington, Viscount||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Macquisten, F. A.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Meller, R. J.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Mond, Hon. Henry||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.M.)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Wells. Sydney R.|
|Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.||Sir Frederick Thomson and captain|
|Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton||Wallace.|
|Womersley, W. J.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Plcton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Herriotts, J.||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Potts, John S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hoffman, P. C.||Pybus, Percy John|
|Arnott, John||Hopkin, Daniel||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Horrabin, J. F.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Isa[...]cs, George||Richards, R.|
|Batey, Joseph||Johnston, Thomas||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Bellamy, Albert||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Romeril, H. G.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Kelly, W. T.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Kennedy, Thomas||Rowson, Guy|
|Benson, G.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Bowen, J. W.||Knight, Holford||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Lang, Gordon||Sanders, W. S.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Sandham, E.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Lawrence, Susan||Scurr, John|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Lawson, John James||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Leach, W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Cameron, A. G.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lees, J.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Logan, David Gilbert||Shinwell, E.|
|Chater, Daniel||Longbottom, A. W.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Longden, F.||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lowth, Thomas||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lunn, William||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Cove, William G.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Dagger, George||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Dallas, George||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Dalton, Hugh||McElwee, A.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip,|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||McEntee, V. L.||Sorensen, R.|
|Day, Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Dickson, T.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby).|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||March, S.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow).|
|Duncan, Charles||Markham, S. F.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Ede, James Chuter||Marley, J.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Marshall, Fred||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedweilty)||Mathers, George||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Matters, L. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Maxton, James||Walker, J.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Messer, Fred||Wallace, H. W.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Middleton, G.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)||Mills, J. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Montague, Frederick||Wellock, Wilfred|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||West, F. R.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morley, Ralph||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Glassey, A. E.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Gossling, A. G.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gould, F.||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wilson, C. H.(Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Wilson, J.(Oldham)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Muggeridge, H. T.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exete[...])||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Oldfield, J. R.||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Owen. H. F. (Hereford)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Paling, Wilfrid||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Palmer, E. T.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Division No. 239.]||AYES.||[7.44 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Herriotts, J.||Picton-Tubervill, Edith|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Potts, John S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hoffman, P. C.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Angell, Norman||Hollins, A.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Arnott, John||Hopkin, Daniel||Richards, R.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Horrabin, J. F.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Johnston, Thomas||Ritson, J.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich).|
|Barr, James||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Rowson, Guy|
|Benson, G.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Kelly, W. T.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Kennedy, Thomas||Sandham, E.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Scurr, John|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Kinley, J.||Sexton, James|
|Bromley, J.||Knight, Holford||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Brothers, M.||Lang, Gordon||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Shield, George William|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Lawrence, Susan||Shinwell, E.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawson, John James||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Leach, W.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lees, J.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Cove, William G.||Lindley, Fred W.||Snell, Harry|
|Daggar, George||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Dallas, George||Logan, David Gilbert||Sorensen, R.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Longbottom, A. W.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Day, Harry||Longden, F.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Dickson, T.||Lowth, Thomas||Sullivan, J.|
|Duncan, Charles||Lunn, William||Sutton, J. E.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Edmunds, J. E.||McElwee, A.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||McEntee, V. L.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||McKinlay, A.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Elmley, Viscount||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Foot, Isaac.||Mansfield, W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Forgan, Dr. Robert||March, S.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Freeman, Peter||Markham, S. F.||Viant, S. P.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham. Upton)||Marley, J.||Walkden, A. G.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Marshall, Fred||Walker, J.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Mathers, George||Wallace, H. W.|
|Gillett, George M.||Matters, L. W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Glassey, A. E.||Maxton, James||Watkins, F. C.|
|Gossling, A. G.||Melville, Sir James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Gould, F.||Messer, Fred||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Middleton, G.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Mills, J. E.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Gray, Milner||Montague, Frederick||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||West, F. R.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Morley, Ralph||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Wilson, C. H.(Sheffield, Attercliffe).|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Muff, G.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Murnin, Hugh||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Oldfield, J. R.||Wise, E. F.|
|Hardie, George D.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Wright, W. (Ruthergien)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Palmer, E. T.|
|Haycock, A. W.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hayes, John||Henry Perry, S. F.||Mr. William Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Atkinson, C.||Bird, Ernest Roy|
|Albery, Irving James||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Boyce, H. L.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Bracken, B.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Briscoe, Richard George|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Bennett, Sir Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Brown, Col. D. C. (Nith'l'd., Hexham)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Birchall, Major sir John Dearman||Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)|
|Butler, R. A.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Remer, John R.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Christie, J. A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Iveagh, Countess of||Savery, S. S.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cunilffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Dalrymple-white, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Long, Major Eric||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Duckworth, G. A. V.||Lymington, Viscount||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Train, J.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Marjorlbanks, E. C.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Meller, R. J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Fielden, E. B.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Muirhead, A. J.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W. G. (Ptrst'ld)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Gower, Sir Robert||O'Neill, Sir H.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Grace, John||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Womersley, W. J.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Peake, Capt. Osbert||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Penny, Sir George||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Pownall, Sir Assheton||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Ramsbotham, H.||Captain Wallace and Sir Victor|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Warrender.|
§ Main Question again proposed.