HC Deb 13 July 1931 vol 255 cc131-57

I beg to move, in page 17, line 8, after the word "and," to insert the words: shall, if the Minister so directs, investigate any matter affecting the operation of any other scheme, and may, and shall in a case where the Minister has directed the investigation to be held. This Amendment is intended to enable the Agricultural Marketing Reorganisation Commission to investigate what may be co-operative enterprises, or cases where various schemes are capable of being worked in common, or suchlike cases. As the Clause stands, the Commission may investigate any matter affecting the operation of a scheme prepared or in course of preparation and so on. We propose to enlarge the possibilities of the Commission's investigations by providing that it shall, if the Minister so directs, investigate any matter affecting the operation of any other scheme and make such recommendations as it thinks expedient. That is to say we want the Reorganisation Commission to be able to investigate the parallel working of two schemes and make recommendations accordingly, so that they may be able to gather experience, from the working of the different schemes in relation to questions of alliance and amalgamation. In order to discover the possibilities which exist in this respect, we propose the wider range of inquiry suggested in the Amendment.


May I ask the Minister to explain exactly what he means by "any other scheme"? Does he mean co-operative schemes, or can those words be read to extend to schemes of business companies other than co-operative societies. A large company, for instance, might have been dealing in a particular product. Does the Minister intend that the Commission should have the right to inquire into businesses carried on under those conditions?


No, that is not intended. It is confined to any other scheme.

Brigadier - General BROWN

The reason which the Minister has given for inserting these words, is the reason why I put down an Amendment relating to a point which seemed to have been overlooked. I understand that the Minister's Amendment will cover the point as to the avoidance of overlapping of schemes and in my humble judgment it was one which required covering.

Viscount WOLMER

I am not sure that the Amendment is necessary. The Sub-section which we are asked to amend at present reads as follows: Any such Commission may, and shall if the Minister so directs, investigate any matter affecting the operation of a scheme prepared or in course of preparation by it. The Minister tells us that he is now authorising the Commission also to investigate any other scheme. But the Subsection already provides that the Commission may investigate any matter affecting the operation of a scheme and surely the working of another scheme, even though the Commission did not prepare it, is a matter affecting the operation of a parallel scheme. The Minister says that his object is to enable the Commission to review the working of parallel schemes, presumably with a view to amalgamation or something of that sort, but the present wording of the Clause is much wider than the words he proposes. Any matter affecting the operation of a scheme. I cannot imagine wider words. I understand that the investigation committee would have power to say that the working of the co-operative societies, for example, very much affected the working of one of their schemes. They could say, therefore, that they desired to investigate the working of the co-operative societies and they would have all the powers conferred by the rest of the Clause to investigate the working of bodies like the co-operative societies. That is the reason why we take such strong exception to Sub-section (5) of this Clause and it is rather important to make clear exactly what these words mean. If they mean what I, as an ordinary Englishman should have thought they mean, I do not see the necessity for the Amendment at all.


The point made by the Noble Lord will, I think, be cleared up if we look at the wording of the Clause as it stands, with the addition of the words which I propose. The Clause as it stands reads. Any such Commission may. … investigate any matter affecting the operation of a scheme prepared or in course of preparation by it. That is to say, all these wide words to which the Noble Lord referred are limited to the schemes investigated by the Commission. He is well aware that from time to time, and in accordance with the provisions of the Clause, the Minister can set up a Commission ad hoc, for a particular purpose, and when it has discharged its purpose it will cease to be. The addition of these words will enable the Commission to investigate any other scheme which may have been prepared by a Commission which has gone before, and, unless the words are put in, the Commission is limited to investigating any matter affecting a scheme prepared by it.

Viscount WOLMER

But the previous scheme might have been a matter affecting that scheme.


Yes, but that previous scheme might have been a scheme which was not prepared by it. It may have been prepared by another Commission which is dead and gone, and we want it to be able to investigate material matters arising out of any scheme, whenever prepared.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I do not think we ought to leave this Amendment without realising how very wide it is. It means that the Minister will, or may, keep in action a commission all the year round to investigate any schemes that happen to come along. It is conceivable that a Scottish commission may investigate an English scheme. I think the words: any matter affecting the operation of any other scheme are very much too wide, and I suggest that in another place the right hon. Gentleman should define exactly what he means, because, reading the whole of the Clause with this new matter, it is clear that a commission may be set up with very definite limits and can then investigate any matter concerning any other scheme. Those are very wide powers indeed, and I suggest that that is not advisable.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 17, line 9, leave out the words "that matter," and insert instead thereof the words "the matter investigated."—[Dr. Addison.]


I beg to move, in page 18, line 1, to leave out Sub-section (5).

In moving an Amendment just now, seeking to delete a Clause which gave a large amount of power to the Minister, I had occasion to observe that the power which he sought to acquire for himself savoured of the Mussolini touch, but now I come to another Sub-section, and I really think that this is a veritable Mussolini Putsch. If the House will look at the Clause as a whole, it will find that it sets up an Agricultural Marketing Reorganisation Commission, charged with the duties which we have been discussing on the previous Amendment. Sub-section (4) states: Every such commission may hold such inquiries as it considers necessary or desirable for the discharge of its functions under this section. Therefore, we reach the point where the commission is not only given a very wide field of investigation, but it may hold such inquiries as it considers necessary or desirable; and then we come to the next stage, namely, Sub-section (5), which is the subject of my Amendment. This Sub-section seeks to accord to this commission extraordinary powers, powers which are usually in this country very jealously guarded and, indeed, scrupulously withheld except in very special circumstances. The powers which are to be given to this commission are nothing less than the powers of the High Court if in England or the Court of Session if in Scotland, and I think the first question which must be asked is this: Are the subjects of inquiry into which this commission is to be set up to inquire a sufficient justification for giving to the commission such very formidable powers as are set out in this Sub-section? The actual words which give the commission the powers are these: The Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921 (other than the provisions of paragraph (a) of section two thereof), shall apply to the commission as if it were a tribunal established in manner provided by that Act. The Commission which we are now discussing will therefore have the power of (a) The enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation, or otherwise; (b) The compelling the production of documents; (c) Subject to rules of court, the issuing of a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad, and further, if any person on being summoned as a witness makes default in attending or commits other faults which witnesses sometimes commit, then again the Commission will be armed with all the powers of the High Court. That is under Sub-section (1) of Section 1 of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921. It is a remarkable point that the provisions of paragraph (a) of Section (2) of the Act from which I am reading is specifically excluded, and I should be grateful to the right hon. Gentleman if he will tell me why. That paragraph reads: A tribunal to which this Act is so applied …. shall not refuse to allow the public or any portion of the public to be present at any of the proceedings of the tribunal unless in the opinion of the tribunal it is in the public interest expedient so to do for reasons connected with the subject matter of the inquiry or the nature of the evidence to be given. I am at a loss to know what will happen. In view of the exclusion of this paragraph, will the tribunal be compelled to hold its sittings in camera or compelled not to hold them in camera. It is difficult to follow what is the intention of excluding this paragraph. It may be possible for the Commission, in the course of its investigations into the schemes which it may be preparing or may have prepared, to consider, under the Amendment which we have just passed, other schemes which have not been prepared by the Commission itself. The field of investigation is thus going to be extremely wide. It will be possible for the Commission once it is armed by the Minister—it is true, with the sanction of Parliament—with powers of inquiry to pursue its inquiry into the private business of almost any trade connected directly or indirectly with agriculture. The granting of such powers by the House should be most jealously guarded. This Sub-section, and indeed the whole of this Clause, is another provision by which the Minister has frightened people about this Bill. There is no doubt that a large amount of the hostility which undoubtedly exists in the minds of agriculturists about this Bill is largely due to this kind of provision. If the Bill proves a complete failure, the right hon. Gentleman will have only himself to thank, and he will find that he would have done better to proceed without these compulsory powers and this kind of inquisitorial machinery, but to have relied rather on trying to secure the good will and cooperation of the great industry of agriculture as a whole.


I beg to second the Amendment.

9.0 p.m.

The whole of this Clause is absolutely unnecessary. I cannot see why we have a Minister of Agriculture if we are to have this Reorganisation Commission set up by Act of Parliament with such powers as are provided here. In Scotland it was proposed that the Reorganisation Commission should be the Agricultural Organisation Society. That is a body which was formed for the special purpose of encouraging co-operation in agriculture—


The hon. Member must keep to Sub-section (5).


I was trying to point out that the Clause seeks to do a certain thing, and that the power under Subsection (5), in order to do that, is so great that the whole Clause is—


The hon. Member must accept the Clause up to Sub-section (5).


If we must accept it up to Sub-section (5), there is every reason why Sub-section (5) should be deleted, for the powers that are given in the other parts of the Clause are quite adequate for any Minister to have. It is extraordinary that paragraph (a) of Section (2) of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act is not to apply to this Commission, and I should like to know why it is especially left out. It seems as if it is to be another screw on the rack to extract information from people because they will know that the public are to be there. It will mean that the public will be able to inquire into the private affairs of practically any organisation into which the Commission chooses to inquire.


There is a very good reason why Sub-section (5) should be in the Bill. The hon. Member for Central Aberdeen (Mr. R. W. Smith) is rather upside-down in the way he put his point as to the effect of the omission of paragraph (a) of Section (2) of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act. The inquiry must invariably be an inquiry into private business, and it should be held in private and not in public to carry out what has already been put in Clause 16 in regard to protecting private interests. On the other hand, while we must protect private interests from having all their private affairs disclosed to the general public, we have to see that private interests are not used to wreck the scheme. We have here a provision to enable the Commission to make a scheme, and they must find out information. It is not merely a matter that concerns the agriculturist, for there will be all other kinds of interests adverse to the interests of the producer.

If the hon. and gallant Member made a scheme, say, for milk for the British Isles, he could not do it unless he had adequate information. He might find that when he came to work it out, there were certain people definitely working to wreck the scheme, and to withhold most important information as to the volume that was produced, or the volume travelling this way and that way. He would very soon find he must have powers of this sort if he wanted to make a satisfactory scheme. The hon. and gallant Member has allowed all question of the modifications which we have introduced to slip from his mind. He has omitted to notice one or two particular restrictions on the power given in this Subsection. The Commission has to report to the Minister that it is necessary to the discharge of its functions when inquiring into a definite matter specified in its report. There is no question of a roving inquiry into all the private affairs of people engaged in agriculture. Also, the Commission must have reason to suspect that the information with respect to that matter is being or is likely to be withheld. Those are two important restrictions.

Further, the Minister must come to Parliament, and there are plenty of Members of Parliament who can be trusted to take action if it is felt the Commission is going too far. Only when all those conditions have been satisfied is the Commission to have the power which it seeks. It is most important that those who are entrusted with the task of making a thoroughly sound scheme for the industry should have the power to get all the necessary information. The choice lies between an organised industry and an unorganised industry, and if at every step one is met with the laissez faire view put forward by the hon. and gallant Member, the idea of the Manchester school that one must never interfere with any private enterprise, even though it may be against the interests of a whole industry like that of agriculture, there will be difficulty in formulating a scheme. There must be a certain power of obtaining information on which a scheme can be based.

Viscount WOLMER

I am all in favour of putting a marketing board into a position in which they can carry on their work to the greatest advantage and of having schemes drawn up on sound line", but there are limits to the methods we are entitled to employ, even with the very best objects in view. This Subsection is what in Committee we called, and rightly called, the "Star Chamber Clause." The Commission sits in secret and the Postmaster-General, with delightful naiviety, defended its sitting in secret on the ground that he was protecting private interests. What are the private interests which the Postmaster-General desires to protect? Let us visualise a case and see the sort of information which the Commission will require and will naturally desire to have. Let us suppose it is formulating a milk scheme. It would naturally desire to know how much it would cost to erect a factory to deal with the by-products, what the tinning operations would cost, what the condensing operations would cost, and the like.

The Postmaster-General and the Minister of Agriculture propose to arm the Commission with powers which would enable it to go to trade rivals of the Marketing Board to get the information. Under this Sub-section it could require United Dairies, for instance, to show the whole of their books, the whole of their costs and give it all their information. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] For this reason, that this information, this experience, this knowledge has been acquired by legitimate trading by that company, who are carrying on their work under the laws of the land and are entitled to the protection of the law. They have what are commonly known as trade secrets, which are perfectly legitimate things to have, which represent accumulated experience, knowledge acquired by experience. People who acquire such knowledge have generally had to pay for it. No doubt this information would be of great value to a milk board which desired to handle its own by-products and would be, in a sense, and perhaps in a very direct sense, competitors with United Dairies. What justification is there for requiring a body of perfectly law-abiding traders to divulge all their secrets to a body which is going to be called into being to compete with them, most likely?


Does the Noble Lord suggest that Parliament would allow that?

Viscount WOLMER

It is no good putting the widest words into your Bill and then saying that nobody would be so silly as to make use of them. As on many other occasions, I say now "Thank God we have a House of Lords." As long as the House of Lords is guided by the same influences which guide it at the present moment—


The Noble Lord ought to omit these references to another place.

Viscount WOLMER

I think I am entitled to say that as long as another place is guided as it has been guided during the last few years the guarantee in this Sub-section will have some effect, but we know perfectly well that Ministers wish to terminate the powers of another place as soon as they get a chance.


I must ask the Noble Lord to keep to the terms of the Sub-section.

Viscount WOLMER

If I have wandered beyond the bounds of order I have been seduced into doing so by the Postmaster-General, but with respect, I would like to submit that the point made by the Postmaster-General was strictly in order. The question of the Parliamentary veto by each House of Parliament is raised in this Sub-section, and I am entitled to say that that guarantee is being assailed by hon. Members opposite, who therefore are not entitled to quote that guarantee in reply to our criticisms. Our position is this, that the Reorganisation Commission is entitled, indeed is bound, to go to all pains to get the best information on which to frame schemes, so that every marketing board may be started under the best possible conditions; but where information is not willingly offered and cannot be obtained by the ordinary methods of obtaining information, the Reorganisation Commission is not entitled to put private traders on the rack in order to extract the information. The sole object of this Subsection is to obtain information which private traders are unwilling to give, and, if they are unwilling to give that information, Parliament has no right to force them, because it is information which they have acquired as a result of experience for which they have had to pay. In these circumstances, it is unjust to force them to divulge such information.


I was very much surprised at the speech made by the Postmaster-General who made it clear that private traders were going to be forced to divulge information to these Commissions. The reason I am surprised at that statement is that upon a previous Amendment I asked the Minister definitely whether these Commissions were to have power to investigate the businesses of firms, companies, and so on, and I was told specifically that their inquiries would be confined to schemes prepared by the Commission or by other commissions set up. Those two statements are contradictory. We are told now by the Postmaster-General that the inquiries under the Commissions are to be allowed to roam over private enterprises and to demand information.


That is quite incorrect. I said they were not allowed to roam, because they must deal with the definite matter specified in the report. That definite matter might deal with the amount of milk sent into a certain area, and matters of that kind, but I specially said that these bodies would not have a roving commission.


The Postmaster-General said that certain people who were opposed to a scheme might withhold information, and those words would lead one to believe that that, statement would apply to individuals. When the Minister of Agriculture replies, I hope he will make the point clear, because at the present moment there is a wide divergence of opinion between the two statements to which I have alluded.


The Postmaster-General has endeavoured to justify this Clause, but in order to realise what is intended we must consider the position of the Commissions. One could understand the hon. Member giving very drastic powers to a committee of investigation which, for example, had to consider defalcations, but these powers are supposed to be given to Commissions set up in England. Scotland, and Wales for the purpose of inspiring schemes and endeavouring to get them supported by those interested in agriculture. The House will realise that the Commissions are going to have these powers before a single scheme is put into operation, and if, when endeavouring to find out whether a scheme is desirable, any of the Commissions come across some information which they would like to have, they proceed to make a report to the Minister. The Postmaster-General suggests that an adequate restriction is contained in the phrase, "That the report would show a definite matter." The report might show many definite matters upon which the Commission might desire information.

The extraordinary thing is that, under certain circumstances, these innocent Commissions are at once transformed into a tribunal with extraordinary powers. The Act intervenes in special circumstances, and power is given to transform one and all of these Commissions into a high court in England, or court of session in Scotland with powers to enforce the attendance of witnesses, power to examine them on oath, and power to compel the production of documents, including all kinds of business books and other matters. If any person, upon being summoned, makes default in attending or refuses to produce any document, that might be construed as contempt of court, and the punishment for contempt of court is imprisonment. Fancy a farmer in my constituency being dragged before a Commission with powers of that sort. It may be a farmer who is interested in a scheme or a tradesman with whom he has been accustomed to trade, or a railway company, or a trading body, that may be required to give information to these Commissions. Any of those persons may be brought before this tribunal which can use all its powers against them. There is no warrant whatever for giving the Commission powers of that kind. Power is given in a preceding Clause to the Commission to hold such inquiries as it thinks necessary or desirable for the discharge of its functions, and that empowers them to hold inquiries.

The Minister desires to give the Commission power to obtain information which they could not otherwise obtain, and that is a distinct infringement of the right of a private trader or, it may be, a railway company who are entitled to carry on their business without the disclosure of the information which the Commission may desire to obtain. I ask the Minister of Agriculture to consider this point. If the right hon. Gentleman wishes this part of the scheme to have the good will of the community, or even the good will of traders, who might be summoned before this tribunal; if he wants to have their good will, I suggest that he should consider the withdrawal of this Clause. I think this is a sample of the despotism which the House ought to take every opportunity of crushing out of this Bill.


This matter is a matter of very great public importance, and I subscribe to the view put before the House by my hon. Friend. There are two things which we should keep prominently in mind. First, the Postmaster-General was perfectly accurate-when he said that, if you are going to have an effective inquiry, you do not want in the long run to have your inquiry quite void because the requisite information is not forthcoming and, therefore, you must have some power to get the requisite information. That is the first view, but the second view is the one that it is in the highest degree of importance that private citizens should not be subjected to these extraordinarily drastic powers which the Minister seeks to take in this Bill, and that matter might easily become a matter of prime importance. For instance, I understand that the inquiry is to be in private for the very good reason that, when the affairs of private citizens are being investigated, the utmost privacy must be provided. You link that with the tremendously drastic power of giving power to commit for contempt in secret. Although the procedure of the Sub-section is to say, "we do not give you power to commit for contempt there and then," yet the chairman may certify the offence to be an offence normally of contempt of court, and then there is to be a further inquiry by the High Court after which the delinquent will be punished by the powers usually given for contempt of court. When you are doing these things privately and secretly, to arm any Commission with any powers of this kind is surely a great innovation.

My second point is this. Sub-section (5) provides: If any such Commission reports to the Minister that it is necessary for the discharge of its functions under this section that it should inquire into a definite matter specified in the report …. So far from that being the safeguard that the Postmaster-General seems to indicate, it is vague, very menacing, and rather dangerous. It means that you can put in anything you like under the heading "a definite matter specified in the report." Under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, it is declared: Where it has been resolved.… by both Houses of Parliament that it is expedient that a tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter described in the Resolution as of urgent public importance … It was not until that provision had been satisfied that these very drastic powers were given. Compare that with Subsection (5) of this Bill and its "definite matter specified in the report." It does not say there that it must be urgent or of public importance. The second matter is equally vague and equally menacing, for the Sub-section goes on: and that it has reason to believe that information with respect to that matter is being, or is likely to be, withheld. Could anything be more vague than that? How we are to ascertain as a fact and to prove before a tribunal armed with such power that it is believed that information is likely to be withheld, I do not follow. Therefore, you have these two things, which are in very striking contrast with the language of the Act of Parliament which is sought to be invoked, namely, that the Commission shall for the discharge of its duties under this Section inquire into a definite matter and that information is withheld. When these two things are brought forward, then these powers are given. I suggest to the Minister that that is not in accord with the sense of the House. No one desires to say to the Minister that he shall not have powers to carry out his proposals effectively. If I thought any opposition must have that effect, I would regret it, but, while that matter is important to the Minister, this other matter is important not only to the Minister, but to every citizen in the country. Surely it is not an unreasonable thing to say that we want to give the Minister appropriate powers, but we think that in Sub-section (4) he has appropriate powers, because every Commission can hold such inquiries as it considers desirable for the discharge of its functions under this Section, and that the Minister might stop short of adopting in this Bill powers which are so severe that they are transforming a Commission of this kind, consisting of a chairman and four other members appointed by the Minister, into the High Court of Justice. Therefore, while I wish to make it quite clear that for my own part I desire that the Minister shall have the appropriate power, at the same time I submit that these powers in Sub-section (5) are too drastic and much too wide.


The hon. and learned Member is unduly apprehensive as to the scope and effect of this Clause. Before the powers contained in this Clause can be put into operation, there are three conditions precedent that must be satisfied. The first condition is that there should be a report to the Minister setting forth a definite matter which has to be specified in the report. That condition at once disposes of the suggestion that the House by this Clause is arming the Minister with a roving and undefined power to inquire into any matter the Minister may desire inquiry should be made into. The second condition is that the Minister must lay on the Table of the House the draft of an Order setting forth what that definite matter specified in the report is. Accordingly, you have the safeguard that the House will itself be able to see whether the definite matter specified in the report is a matter in respect of which a power of inquiry such as is contemplated by the Clause should be given. The third precedent condition is that the powers should only be invoked in the case where information is being withheld or is likely to be withheld by parties who are in the position to give that information. I submit that these three conditions are all reasonable safeguards which should go a long way to remove any feeling of un-certainty that there may be in the mind of the House regarding this matter.

The hon. and learned Member said a great deal about the tremendous powers that this Clause confers. Are the powers so very tremendous after all? The House will find the powers in the Act of 1921, Section 1, Sub-section (1), and I would like to read to the House what the powers are. First, there is the power of enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation, or otherwise. There is nothing very tremendous about that. It is the proper way to get information. Secondly, there is the power of compelling the production of documents, which is an everyday matter in courts of law. There is nothing very tremendous about that. Thirdly, subject to rules of court, there is the power of issuing a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad. My hon. and learned Friend knows from his experience of the courts that there is nothing very tremendous about that.

It really comes to this, that, in a case where information is withheld, the reorganisation commission is put in the position of a tribunal of inquiry, and is given power to get witnesses to attend and to produce documents which are relevant to a definite matter specified in the report to the Minister and specified by the Minister in his report to this House. That is a very reasonable power with which to arm the reorganisation commissions in dealing with the kind of matters with which they will have to deal. The only point of any substance that has been urged against the Clause is the fear that, if this Clause stands, the commission might have the power to exact from a recalcitrant witness information relating to some secret process—some trade secret which the witness was unwilling to disclose. That fear, however, is, I think, unfounded. Sub-section (3) of Section 1 of the Act of 1921 provides that: A witness before any such tribunal shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court or the Court of Session. I think I am on safe ground when I say that the Court of Session in Scotland, and I assume that the same is true of the High Court in England, would not require any witness to divulge in the witness-box a trade secret or a secret process unless under adequate safeguards to ensure the secrecy of the matter which was being divulged. I am quite certain that there would be no compulsion upon the witness, under the provisions of Subsection (3) of Section 1 of the Act of 1921, to make a public disclosure of some trade secret that might be essential to the character and conduct of his business. I submit that the protection given by the Act is adequate to meet any case that may arise. The hon. and learned Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) said that under this Clause the reorganisation commission would be given a power to commit for contempt of court in secret. That does not impress me in the very least, because, under the Act of 1921, the chairman of the tribunal certifies the offence to the High Court or the Court of Session, That means that, if a witness fails to answer, the chairman cannot deal with the witness at his own hands as for contempt of court, but has to refer the matter to the Judges of the High Court in England or the Court of Session in Scotland. [Interruption.] I am reading from Subsection (2) of Section 1, and the Section goes on to provide: and the court may thereupon inquire into the alleged offence and after hearing any witnesses who may be produced against or on behalf of the person charged with the offence, and after hearing any statement that may be offered in defence, punish or take steps for the punishment of that person in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the court. My hon. and learned Friend will observe, firstly, that it is not obligatory to punish. Whether there should be punishment at all would depend, not upon the view of the reorganisation commission, but upon the view of the High Court in England or the Court of Session in Scotland, as the case may be; and, secondly, that the alleged offender will be given every opportunity of stating to the High Court any reason why he should have refused to answer a question or produce a document. I think we can trust the High Courts in Scotland and in England to see that the powers conferred by a Clause of this kind are not abused, and that no witness shall be dealt with as for contempt of court except in a case where he has been properly required to answer a question and has improperly refused to do so. Accordingly, I hope that the Amendment will be negatived.


The House will be even more uneasy after the speech of the Lord Advocate than before. Hon. Members whose constituencies will be affected will note the Lord Advocate's attitude of mind, and it will make the House uneasy. How did he describe these persons? As offenders. What are we doing under this Clause of the Bill? We are setting up a tribunal. The Lord Advocate smiles, but it is not a smiling matter for those who take it seriously—


I think that my hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. I only used the expression "offender" in the case of a person who had declined to answer a question properly put.


What is this tribunal? It is not, like a court of first instance, composed of persons accustomed to judge evidence and make a report to another court; it is a commission set up for an entirely different purpose. It is set up to make schemes under this Bill with regard to agricultural marketing, and in certain cases it may actually compete with the persons who give evidence. Under this Clause it is proposed to give to this commission, which will have no legal training or status, and which, indeed, may have no legal person on it—and I should have thought that this would have outraged the legal mind of the Lord Advocate—the Clause seeks to give to this non-legal body in certain cases the power to cite as offenders before the High Court or the Court of Session persons who are brought up and asked to give evidence on certain points. I do not believe that the House would wish, if it had heard the Debate, to have this particular kind of tribunal as the tribunal under this Bill. The House does not, as my hon. and learned Friend has said, desire to take away from the Minister the power to get his schemes through or to get necessary information, but it does desire to see that no subject of the Realm is haled before a non-legal tribunal.

You have a man brought as a witness, who has committed no offence under the laws of the land, who has committed no crime except that in the opinion of the tribunal or its chairman—a non-legal gentleman—he may have offended against their desire to get certain information, which as a matter of fact he may be legitimately entitled to withhold, because it may be used against him in his business by the very body that may be making its scheme to compete with him. That that non-legal body should have the power to cite him before, in Scotland, the Court of Session, with all the expense that that involves, or in England before the High Court is, I think—I was going to use the word "shocking," and I think it is shocking that those who drafted this Bill should have thought of putting this long chain of legal possibilities into operation in pursuance of a function which as a matter of fact has nothing to do with the law courts.

One remembers the very different circumstances in which the Act of 1921 was introduced and in which it was drafted, and the kind of offences against the whole Realm that were contemplated when these tribunals of inquiry were set up under that Act, and I think that, as I said at the beginning, the Lord Advocate's speech will have increased the uneasiness, at any rate, of Members who sit for rural constituencies which are likely to be affected by this Bill. I do not think that the Minister, on reflection, can do anything but agree, after the speeches that have been made, that this tribunal is not a fit tribunal for the purpose. It is a tribunal which in certain cases may be used to hale citizens of this country before either the Court of Session in Scotland or the High Court in England, with all the expense and all the evil results which may follow from such a report by the chairman. I hope the House will cut this out of the Bill.


A great deal of heat has been engendered on this matter. The case will only arise when the Reorganisation Commission find that it is necessary for the discharge of their functions that they should acquire certain information. Their functions are to prepare a scheme and make such recommendations as they may find expedient. In other words, you have this Reorganisation Commission at work and they find that certain information is necessary in order that they may provide a scheme, not for trade competitors, not to be divulged to a competing concern at all, but simply that they have to advise the Minister as to certain ingredients which might or might not advantageously be in the scheme. So all this talk about the divulging of information to trade competitors is entirely beside the mark. The report is made to the Minister. It has to be necessary for the discharge of their functions that they should inquire into a definite matter specified in the report. We will say that a scheme is to be prepared for milk, and it is essential that those making the inquiries should have accurate information as to the amount of milk consumed. In order to obtain that information they must know the amount of milk that is distributed and the amount used by various agencies. Unless they get reliable information they cannot proceed to formulate the scheme at all.

The point we have to consider is this. Is it or is it not desirable that a private person should be in a position to hold up a great public improvement, not by refusing information to a trade competitor, but by refusing to give it in secret to the specially constituted body, which is making the inquiry and which, of course, will not give away trade secrets at all. Clearly, it is desirable that in a case of that kind, if a person is obstructive, there should be compulsory powers. The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) says it is enough to say, "We wish you to have all the information you require, but we refuse you the power without which you cannot obtain the information." He has a short memory, because in the Coal Mines Act there is a provision that the Reorganisation Commission may hold such inquiries as they consider necessary or desirable for the discharge of their duty, and in respect of any meeting of the Commission at which a quorum is present for the purpose of any such inquiry, the Tribunal of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921, shall apply to the scheme as if it were a tribunal established in manner provided by that Act. All that is necessary in that case is that there should be a quorum of the Commission present.

In this Bill they have to specify to the Minister that a certain thing is necessary for the discharge of their functions. They have to specify the definite matter. The definite matter must be one which must also contain this ingredient, that information is being withheld. Then the Minister must make an Order and lay it before this House and the other House, and it is open to either House, having seen the Order, having seen the circumstances, having seen the definite matter, having seen that the information is being withheld, to say whether or not this power should be given. Those are five precedent conditions before the power can be exercised at all. Not a single one of them was incorporated in the Coal Mines Act, and the hon. Member for Leith and the hon. and learned Gentleman beside him acclaimed it. When the hon. and gallant Gentleman moved the Amendment, someone said you could not crack a nut without the steel hammer of this power. My hon. Friend the Postmaster-General, who is a humorist, whispered to me, "Yes, but it is the only way that you can get at the kernel."


I am not at all satisfied with the Minister's statement. First of all, this is a great experiment that is being made in connection with an industry which has not been accustomed to such legislation as the coal industry has, unfortunately, had to be. In the second place, the Minister has forgotten the very important words that it is information which is being or is likely to be withheld. I have had some experience with these words in a committee on which I sat during the War, with the present Lord Chancellor and the Leader of the Opposition, with regard to persons who, there was reasonable ground to believe, were likely to be suspected of being a danger to the country. I always thought those words "likely to be" were only appropriate to war time. The House ought to be very careful in giving exceptional powers to tribunals.


If the right hon. Gentleman will be satisfied with the omission of those words, I will accept it.


That is a step in the right direction, but I am not quite sure, without consideration, how far it goes. The speech of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) was clear and most reasonable, and a helpful speech, as the Minister put it. We are not anxious to deprive the Minister of all legitimate powers, but we are anxious to see, as far as possible, the full liberty of the subject protected in the matter of legislation.


I thank the Minister for his kind reference to the Coal Mines Act, because, after all, as we have seen from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall (Sir D. Maclean) and from previous speeches, you can sell a pup to the Liberal party, or some members of it, once or twice, but there is a limit to the number of pups you can sell. When anyone so unsuspicious of the Minister as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall and the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett), and that type of Liberal protest, it really shows that they have been stirred to the depths of their souls. You have to go a very long way before you get to the bottom of their principles. It shows that on this occasion that the Minister really has overshot the mark. It appears that the words "likely to be" are to be offered on the altar of sacrifice, but "definite matter" means almost any definite thing. If a little detail of the Minister's Bill goes wrong, the Minister can say that it is a "definite matter." If a small milkman does this, that or the other, he can say that it is a definite case, and one can extend the whole position from that point of view.

10.0 p.m.

It was said just now, I think by the Lord Advocate, that you can examine witnesses abroad. It has also been said by the Minister that you can go into every matter in connection with the milk trade—all forms of information. Does that mean, in regard to condensed milk, that you can extend your inquiry to a very wide area outside Great Britain? Is it the plan of the Minister that at some future date some other Government may be able to deal with foreign competition in a definite way? I think that some Members of the Liberal party should look at it from that point of view. I can see a very effective weapon in this matter; at the same time I am strongly against this Sub-section. We know that from 1918 to 1922 Parliament suffered from the War mind. Perhaps it is because of one of the Acts of Parliament at that time that the hon. and learned Gentleman below the Gangway is so suspicious. We are giving this committee judicial powers to go into the most minute details of the life of the ordinary citizen, and therefore we are going back to the Act of 1921. I do not know whether at that time the Minister was one of the blue-eyed boys of the Coalition, or whether he had decided to part from them, but many of us regret that there were so many arbitrary Acts passed during that period. The only defence which the Government can give is their tragic failure in the Coal Mines Act. In the interests of the Measure, I ask the Minister to withdraw the whole of his Sub-section, which will arouse every honest man to a condition of absolute opposition to the Bill. Even hon. Members below the Gangway have at last come to realise that you cannot go on treating the private citizen in this arbitrary way.


May I, by leave of the House, ask the right hon. Gentleman to give a specific reply to the question which I addressed to him in moving the Amendment, namely, whether this Sub-section will enable the reorganisation commission to choose as to whether or not it shall sit in camera?


The Tribunal of Inquiry (Evidence) Act requires that, unless otherwise provided, they will sit in public. I am sure that no rules which any Minister would adopt would invite them to discuss, or expect them to discuss, private affairs in public. No Order would provide for that.




We are not in Committee.


I asked the leave of the House.


The point to which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Maldon (Colonel Ruggles-Brise) desired to call attention is of great importance. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) has examined, quite properly and thoroughly, the provisions of the Tribunals of inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921, but there is one matter which is of very great importance over and above the matters to which he called attention, and that is the point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend. As I well remember, one of the most important conditions of the exercise of the very drastic powers given by the Act of 1921 was that, except in very special circumstances, this tribunal should sit in public. As it was to sit in public, it would be subject to the checks public opinion would impose on the way it would use its powers. Indeed, the Minister actually proposes to take the powers of the Act of 1921, and, so far from allowing public opinion to act as a proper check upon the use of those powers, he says that this extraordinary tribunal, which is to exercise the powers which the hon. and learned Gentleman below the Gangway mentioned, is to sit in private.

We understand the reason, of course. The reason is said to be, no doubt quite honestly, that the information disclosed before the tribunal shall not be published at large. But if that be necessary—and, of course, it is necessary—it none the less ceases to be a reason why this tribunal should not exercise the powers, which in 1921 Parliament was prepared to give to it, upon condition that it sat with the searchlight of publicity upon it, except on the very special and few occasions that in the words of the Act it was in the public interest inexpedient that it should not sit in public. [HON. MEMBERS: "Go on."] I have stated the effect. I will read the words if hon. Members opposite really want the whole Section read. I have stated it accurately that Parlia-

ment provided that the tribunal should sit in the full gaze of public notice and notoriety unless it was in the public interest expedient not to do so for reasons connected with the subject matter of the inquiry or the nature of the evidence to be given. But, generally speaking, Parliament intended, except in very special cases, that the public should be admitted. In this case the public is never to be admitted for reasons we perfectly well understand, but it constitutes a very good reason why private persons should not be subject to the very drastic powers conferred by the Act of 1921 in wholly different conditions.

I cannot understand how hon. Members opposite lend themselves to attempts of this kind to make precedents which, undoubtedly, must be precedents increasingly if they are used for making private persons disclose their private affairs. I remember that in the Coalition Parliament, when Parliament was still imbued with the war spirit, attempts were made by all the Government Departments to expose private persons to interrogatories, and to suspicions based upon interrogatories, as to whether they were disaffected towards the Government and whether they were giving information regarding all sorts of questions. The Ministers of the Coalition Government time after time were compelled, with the assistance of the party opposite, to disown any further intention of using the drastic powers which had become familiar during the War, from 1914 to 1918. It is a retrograde movement to go back to provisions of that sort, when they are going to be used in secrecy by a tribunal that has none of the training which the people who were put upon the 1921 tribunals were always intended to possess.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 239; Noes, 155.

Division No. 391.] AYES. [10.8 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Attlee, Clement Richard Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Ayles, Walter Bennett, William (Battersea, South)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Benson, G.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Barnes, Alfred John Bowen, J. W.
Alpass, J. H. Barr, James Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.
Ammon, Charles George Batey, Joseph Broad, Francis Alfred
Arnott, John Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Bromley, J.
Brooke, W. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Potts, John S.
Brothers, M. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Quibell, D. J. K.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston) Raynes, W. R.
Buchanan, G. Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Richards, R.
Burgess, F. G. Kelly, W. T. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Cameron, A. G. Kinley, J. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Cape, Thomas Kirkwood, D. Ritson, J.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Knight, Holford Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Chater, Daniel Lang, Gordon Romeril, H. G.
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park) Rowson, Guy
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Law, Albert (Bolton) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Compton, Joseph Law, A. (Rossendale) Sanders, W. S.
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lawrence, Susan Sawyer, G. F.
Daggar, George Lawson, John James Scurr, John
Dallas, George Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Sexton, Sir James
Dalton, Hugh Leach, W. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sherwood, G. H.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lees, J. Shield, George William
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Leonard, W. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Duncan, Charles Lewis, T. (Southampton) Shillaker, J. F.
Ede, James Chuter Lloyd, C. Ellis Shinwell, E.
Edmunds, J. E. Logan, David Gilbert Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Longbottom, A. W. Simmons, C. J.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Longden, F. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Egan, W. H. Lunn, William Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)
Evans, Major Herbert (Gateshead) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Freeman, Peter MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassatlaw) Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) McElwee, A. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Gibbins, Joseph McEntee, V. L. Sorensen, R.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) MacLaren, Andrew Stamford, Thomas W.
Gill, T. H. McShane, John James Stephen, Campbell
Gillett, George M. Malone, C. L' Estrange (N'thampton) Strauss, G. R.
Glassey, A. E. Manning, E. L. Sullivan, J.
Gossling, A. G. Mansfield, W. Sutton, J. E.
Gould, F. March, S. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Marcus, M. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Markham, S. F. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Gray, Milner Marley, J. Thurtle, Ernest
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Marshall, Fred Tillett, Ben
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mathers, George Tinker, John Joseph
Groves, Thomas E. Matters, L. W. Toole, Joseph
Grundy, Thomas W. Messer, Fred Tout, W. J.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Middleton, G. Vaughan, David
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mills, J. E. Viant, S. P.
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Milner, Major J. Walker, J.
Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.) Montague, Frederick Wallace, H. W.
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Morgan Dr. H. B. Watkins, F. C.
Hardie, David (Rutherglen) Morley, Ralph Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hardie, G. D. (Springburn) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Wellock, Wilfred
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Haycock, A. W. Mort, D. L. West, F. R.
Hayday, Arthur Muggeridge, H. T. Westwood, Joseph
Hayes, John Henry Murnin, Hugh Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Naylor, T. E. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Noel Baker, P. J. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Herriotts, J. Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Palin, John Henry Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Paling, Wilfrid Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hoffman, P. C. Palmer, E. T. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Hollins, A. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Horrabin, J. F. Perry, S. F. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Isaacs, George Phillips, Dr. Marlon TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
John, William (Rhondda, West) Picton-Turbervill, Edith Mr. William Whiteley and Mr.
Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas Pole, Major D. G. Charleton.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Beaumont, M. W. Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Betterton, Sir Henry B. Boyce, Leslie
Aske, Sir Robert Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Bracken, B.
Atholl, Duchess of Birkett, W. Norman Braithwaite, Major A. N.
Atkinson, C. Blindell, James Broadbent, Colonel J.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Boothby, R. J. G. Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Balniel, Lord Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Pybus, Percy John
Butler, R. A. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Ramsbotham, H.
Butt, Sir Alfred Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Rathbone, Eleanor
Campbell, E. T. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Rawson, Sir Cooper
Carver, Major W. H. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Remer, John R.
Castle Stewart, Earl of Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Haslam, Henry C. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Ross, Ronald D.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.) Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Rothschild, J. de
Chapman, Sir S. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.
Christie, J. A. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hurd, Percy A. Salmon, Major I.
Colville, Major D. J. Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Cooper, A. Duff Inskip, Sir Thomas Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Cowan, D. M. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Savery, S. S.
Cranborne, Viscount Kindersley, Major G. M. Scott, James
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Llewellin, Major J. J Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lockwood, Captain J. H. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Long, Major Hon. Eric Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Dixey, A. C. Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Thompson, Luke
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Thomson, Sir F.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Elliot, Major Walter E. Marjoribanks, Edward Todd, Capt. A. J.
England, Colonel A. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Turton, Robert Hugh
Ferguson, Sir John Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Fielden, E. B. Morris, Rhys Hopkins Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Foot, Isaac Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wayland, Sir William A.
Ford, Sir P. J. Muirhead, A. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Nall-Cain, A. R. N. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Frece, Sir Walter de Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Galbraith, J. F. W. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Gault, Lieut. Col. A. Hamilton Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Womersley, W. J.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Peake, Capt. Osbert Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Penny, Sir George
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Gower, Sir Robert Perkins, W. R. D. Major Sir George Hennessy and
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Captain Margesson.