§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Lawson)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
This Bill has for its object the extending of the borrowing powers to £115,000,000. On the Second Reading of the Bill and on the Money Resolu tion my right hon. Friend explained that unless the Bill was passed it would not be possible to pay the unemployment benefit due on the 8th or 9th July. It is necessary that the Bill should be passed to ensure that the men and women on ordinary benefit and on extended benefit should receive payment on the 8th July. My right hon. Friend also explained on the Second Reading of the Money Resolution the policy of the Government on this matter. There is a Motion on the Order Paper for the rejection of the Bill. My right hon. Friend made it quite clear that the Government reject the proposal that the benefit should be reduced. Throughout the Debates that have taken place on the Second Reading of the Bill and on the Financial Resolution no one suggested that there should be a reduction of benefit, except, I think, one hon. and learned Member opposite in the Debate on Friday last.
Throughout the Debates I have not heard a single suggestion which would indicate that the Opposition are at all inclined to make it clear that they will enforce the submissions of the Royal Commission. In spite of the debt that is mounting up—and nobody would mini- 1220 mise that—in spite of the financial burden which is being carried, I would simply enforce what has been said by Members on this side and on the benches below the Gangway, that the people of this country are getting good value for their money in human returns. It was my duty in an international gathering recently to give some facts as to the standards of conduct and self-respect which are being maintained in this country in spite of our difficulties. While we are apt to be pessimistic, a review of the personal and social conduct of our people, a review of crime, drunkenness, vagrancy and begging, and all the things that show what the state of national life is, ought to enhearten anyone concerned as to the people of this country at this time. In spite of the difficulties, we are getting a good return for the money spent, and it would be an ill day if an Amendment such as is on the Order Paper were carried. I trust the House will give the Bill a Third Beading.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
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 declines to authorise such extensive further borrowing for the purpose of making up a continually recurring deficit in the Unemployment Fund, in view of the refusal of the Government to take any adequate steps to carry out its declared policy of making the unemployment insurance scheme solvent and self-supporting.We have listened to a remarkably short speech from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, considering the extreme gravity of the issues involved, and it is some comfort to know that the right hon. Lady the Minister of Labour is to speak later, I hope at greater length. What she does not know about borrowing is not worth knowing. I believe this is the fifth time she has appeared on the stage as leading lady in this tragedy. She must by now be quite word-perfect and have no longer any necessity to read her part. It is a lamentable reflection when one considers that there is not a repre- 1221 sentative of the Treasury on the Front Bench. We are discussing a Bill involving an increase of borrowing of £25,000,000, bringing it up to the gigantic figure of £05,000,000, and neither the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor the Financial Secretary is present. I lay the greater stress on that because I am convinced, and I think that hon. Members opposite will agree, that it is extremely difficult to get a proper perspective on this crisis without taking into account its relation to and reaction upon the national finances and the Budget. It is vitally important that these two views should be considered together.
The right hon. Lady will forgive me for saying that in neither of her recent speeches have I noticed any linking of this borrowing with the national finances, nor indeed in the Budget statement did the Chancellor make anything but the most passing reference to this gravest of all problems and its financial effects. I shall not dwell on the details of this matter. If the Budget had been a satisfactory one, if it had been balanced by anything but a hairs-breadth, if it had not been balanced on a razor's edge by various devices known to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if it had been a sound Budget, this borrowing, though reprehensible would possibly not have caused so much criticism. But the position is far otherwise. The Budget is one of the worst of modern times and the debt on the fund, amounting to £70,000,000 or £80,000,000, when the Budget was issued, and now amounting to £115,00,000, completely unbalanced it and may well result in disaster to the national finances. A very valuable analogy with the present situation in this respect is to be found in the sections of the Companies Act dealing with the relations between subsidiary and parent companies. In this case, the Unemployment Fund is subsidiary to the main national fund. The most stringent provisions have been made in the Companies Act, to compel directors of companies having holdings in subsidiaries to set forth the precise position of the subsidiaries and the provision which they are prepared to make to deal with losses, where those subsidiaries make losses. Nothing of that kind has appeared in our national finances and nothing seems likely to appear. I would, 1222 in that connection once more recall to the right hon. Lady the evidence given before the Royal Commission by the Controller of Finance and Supply Services. These words are of intense importance:Continued State borrowing on the present vast scale, without adequate provision for repayment by the fund, would quickly call in question the stability of the British financial system. The State has every year to borrow large sums for various productive purposes. This additional borrowing—for purposes other than productive—is now on a 6cale which, in substance, obliterates the effect of the Sinking Fund. Apart from the impairment of Government credit which such operations inevitably involve, these vast Treasury loans are coming to represent, in effect, State borrowing to relieve current State obligations at the expense of the future, and this is the ordinary and well-recognised sign of an unbalanced Budget.There is the writing on the wall. The right hon. Lady may go on with her junketings and her Belshazzar's feast, but the writing is there, and points to the end of her Government. That, however, is a trivial thing in comparison with the fact that it is pointing to the end of our financial stability. We know what that means to the happiness and prosperity of our race. Is the position any better since Sir Richard Hopkins gave that evidence? It is very much worse. That was in January last. The debt has increased by many millions. What did the right hon. Lady say last Friday in her forecast? She said:These figures are entirely problematical, they are not exact, they cannot in the nature of the case be exact in any sense. They are merely arithmetical. If we have a register of 2,500,000 on the average the borrowing powers will last until January, 1932. If we have a register of 2,750,000 on the average then the borrowing powers will last until November, 1931, but if the register should rise to an average of 3,000,000 then the borrowing powers for which I am asking will be exhausted by October, 1931."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th June 1931; col. 776; Vol. 254.]What a statement! What a prospect! And nothing done? It is incredible that in a great business country like England, the financial centre of the world, it should be possible for a Minister to have a prospect of that kind, without taking any definite steps immediately to do something to put the matter right. If the Government hold views which are apparently held by some of their supporters, that there is a bottomless pit from which money can be drawn, there 1223 would be some excuse, and I would not be so pungent in my criticisms. But they do not hold those views; they know better. Not long ago the Chancellor of the Exchequer declared to some of his supporters that if he gave a minimum wage of £4 a week, there would be nothing for anybody the following week. If this drain continues, some day a deputation will come to the Chancellor and say, "We desire unemployment benefit of 30s. a week," and he will tell them that if they received that, there would be no benefit whatever the following week.
The Government know the position perfectly well. They are literally sinning against the light. Two years ago things were different. The right hon. Lady said it was wrong to borrow if you knew there was no chance of paying back. Last year the Government were thoroughly alarmed and appointed a three-party committee. Then there were stout hearts and valiant soldiers who declared that the fund should be put on an insurable basis, that the drain must stop, and that something must be done to put it on a businesslike footing. I sometimes think there are angels of darkness in the Cabinet as well as angels of light. Before the three-party committee reported, there seemed to be a tendency in the Cabinet to take strong action. I cannot help thinking that some malign spirit whispered to them before they took action, "What about the voter?" Consequently, the Boyal Commission was appointed, and it seemed that even then the stout hearts had some say, because in the terms of reference they dealt specifically with some attempt to put the fund on a solvent basis. Subsequently, the Government became still further alarmed, and expedited the report.
When they had the report they were faced with two alternatives. The first was to put the report into action, and the second was to take some other steps for disentangling the insurance element from the non-insurance element and put it on an insurable basis. There was a third alternative, and that was to do nothing. That is the alternative they have adopted. The right hon. Lady-heard the whisper, "What of the voter?" and her resolution was "sicklied o'er with the pale cast" of funk. 1224 The fear of unpopularity is the curse of all modern Governments, under democracy. It must sometimes become the duty of a Government to take the long view, but that is not the popular view. In nine cases out of 10 democracy probably takes the short view. If the Government, even at the risk of great unpopularity for the moment, were to take the long view they would do far more to restore their own popularity and to retain the respect of the electorate, and it would be for the benefit of the nation. Whoever faces up to these problems is bound to lose votes for the moment, but in the long run they will probably gain more than they lose.
The other day the right hon. Member for Bewdley (Mr. S. Baldwin) told a story from Aristophanes of a man who gave doles instead of money for the Navy. I have a story even better than his, at any rate, it may give us an idea. About the same time, that is, about 2,000 years ago, there was a political slogan which was extremely potent on platforms. The slogan ran, in English, "Division of land and cancellation of debts." That was some 2,000 years ago and we have not advanced much since then. Everybody used the slogan and it became such a nuisance that, finally, all parties in the State put their heads together and made it a penal offence for any candidates to use that slogan. That may contain the germ of a lesson for the Government and modern democracy.
I ask the right hon. Lady once more whether it is not possible for the Government to take their courage in both hands in connection with this scheme. If they leave this gaping wound in the National Exchequer we shall literally bleed to death. Or may it be that the Government are secure in the knowledge, or buoyed up by the hope, that whatever they do they will, if they continue on their present path, at least ensure that those who are unemployed will look to them for the patronage and the pay which the present policy involves. The tempter may say." There are 3,000,000 unemployed, there may be 5,000,000 potential voters; let us carry on. If the worst comes to the worst and an election comes, and if the Liberal party no longer support us, having enough to do to support themselves, we shall have these votes behind us. We 1225 will let our posters go out declaring that our opponents intend to demolish this bankrupt scheme and restrict the outpouring of public money, and, disagreeable and embarrassing as is this immense figure of unemployment, at least that cloud will have its silver lining if we are returned to office." I have one word to say to the Liberal party. Here is an economic issue in which there is no formula involved. There is a straight issue before them. There is no need to think of a number, multiply it by four and then take away the Amendment you first thought of.
§ Major COLVILLE
I beg to second the Amendment.
When considering the question of unemployment insurance in this country we must remember that between 9,000,000 and 10,000,000 people are employed in insurable occupations, and everyone of those workers is compelled to be a, member of an insurance scheme, and the Minister of Labour and the Government are responsible for seeing that that insurance scheme is a, sound one. I think we are entitled to protest against the gross mishandling of the national insurance scheme. In the interests of the scheme, we believe that unemployment insurance is an integral part of our social and industrial system, and there must be insurance if that system is to achieve its object. We know that many of these people have been on the live register and that 5,000,000 have passed through for a short period during the last few years, and surely it is in the interests of those people that the fund should be kept on a sound basis.
If the Minister of Labour and the Government, instead of being Ministers were directors of an insurance company, and had allowed the affairs of the company to reach such a chaotic condition as the National Insurance Fund has reached, they would be removed from office, and why should there be any difference in the treatment of the two cases? The difference between the two cases is that the right hon. Lady not only depends on the votes of her own party to continue the present policy, but she also relies on the votes of the Liberal party. Another difference between the ease of the directors of a company and the position of the Minister is that this is a national scheme which has the whole of 1226 the reserves of the nation behind it, and therefore the Government can borrow as much as they like.
It must be perfectly obvious to every Member of the House that there is no bottomless pit from which revenue can be drawn to make up the deficiency in this fund. The whole basis of our social structure is that the money has to be found by the productive industries of the country, and every step which retards the productive capacity of those industries makes it more difficult for the scheme to function satisfactorily. The history of the Government's policy on this question is well known. They have had reports of Royal Commissions and Committees. [Interruption.] Hon. Members who are interrupting me will find it very difficult to explain their policy to the country. Royal Commissions and Committees have investigated this question, and the Government have taken no notice of their recommendations. At The present time manufacturers are being told by the Government to make their industries more efficient and to rationalise them——
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That question is not in order at this stage, and we must confine ourselves to the Bill, and the Bill only, on Third Reading.
§ Major COLVILLE
I was about to draw a comparison. If employers managed the finance of their business as the Government have handled the finances of this scheme, then the industry of the country would relapse into chaos. I feel that it is our duty to register a protest against the way the Insurance Fund is being handled by voting against borrowing for a long period and the loss of control we are now experiencing over the fund.
For 41½ years I have listened in this House to the present Government, in Opposition, talking in tragic tones of the unemployed. If we ventured to speak during those Debates, they turned on us with contempt, and asked how we could be so frivolous when thousands of our countrymen were on the verge of starvation. We were twitted with being heartless and not caring. There was nothing too bad for the Opposition to say about the late Government in regard to unemployment. They said they had all their plans ready 1227 to bring in as soon as we went out. They had 4½ years to watch our mistakes and improve on them when they came into office.
I would remind the right hon. Lady that she sat on the Blanesburgh Committee. She was very courageous at that time, and some of us hoped that when a woman was made Minister of Labour she would go on showing that courage. I must say it was very hard on a woman to be given the very worst job in the Government, and it was most unfair that she should be given it. The Government knew, as we all knew, how much she had been condemned by her party for her views over the Blanesburgh Report. What has happened since the right hon. Lady became Minister of Labour? What disappoints me is that she has not shown the courage of her convictions. She is not showing, as we hoped the first woman Minister would show, the honesty to say to the Government and the country what she felt. [Interruption.]
This is the fourth borrowing Bill that we have had. The right hon. Lady herself said she would be dishonest if she came to the House without a plan, but now we know that she has not, and never had, a plan. I would not mind if she came down in the white sheet of repentance, but she tries to put it on to us, though in her heart she must know that a time must come when this question will have to be faced, and faced courageously. I deeply regret that we cannot get a conference, and all agree about this matter. I know how difficult it is going to be when it comes to elections. We all know that the Labour party would promise any thing for a vote. We all know how difficult it is to go to men and women who are out of work and say to them that they must cut down——[Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite know well enough what they promised the electors, and it is not for them to sit in The House and jeer every time the question of unemployment comes up. They must be as disgusted with themselves as the country is with them. Back benchers know perfectly well that they say one thing in this House and another thing outside. They say that the reason why we are in this mess as regards un employment is the miserable system under 1228 which we live. What have they done to change the miserable system?
Viscountess ASTO R
That is quite true, and I will get back to it. I beg the right hon. Lady to have the courage to put the country even before her party. If she did that, she would have the best part of the country behind her. If the financial stability of the country was in jeopardy, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has himself said that the first people who would suffer would be the poorest of the poor. That is what we are thinking of. [Interruption.] Hon. Members laugh but they know perfectly well that most of them are thinking about their jobs in the House of Commons. If they voted according to their conscience, they would lose their trade union money.
If you will not allow me to go into these questions, could you not protect me, Sir, from rude interruptions? I want to ask the right hon. Lady, for the sake of the unemployed themselves, to try to urge on the Government to face up to it and make it an insurance scheme. Someone has to do it sooner or later. They have had 4i years to think about it, and they have had the best people in the whole country with them. I would vote against them every time, not because I want to rob the unemployed of anything but because we on this side know that it has to be faced, and that the longer this rake's progress goes on, the more difficult it will be to get it back. They ask us what we are going to do about it? It is not for us to say.
I know what terrible difficulties the right hon. Lady has. She is different from some Members of the House. She has spiritual convictions. She knows when she sins against the light. A great many of them do not. It is asking a great deal of the House and the country, and it is deeply disappointing to the many women outside the House who are watching our first Minister to see her, time after time, do the very things which she said in 1229 her first speech she would be dishonest if she did. What are we to think? What does she herself think? What do the people behind her think? They are thinking as all honest people will think. The right hon. Lady is putting party politics ahead of her country and, by doing that, letting down the very poorest and the most helpless, and the sooner we tell the truth and the sooner we have a, plan the sooner she will have to stop coming to the House and borrowing these enormous sums of money which in no way settle anything. It is deeply disappointing and many of us on our side, if it comes to the pinch, no matter how die-agreeable it is, hope and pray that we shall have the courage to go to the country and tell the truth, and, even if we do not get representation, it will be better to come to- the House an honest party and face it with honest hands and honest hearts than to sit there in the miserable way the whole Front Bench is doing, when in their hearts they know it is wrong.
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
This is the fourth occasion on which the Minister has come to the House and asked for a very large sum of money. When is she going to stop asking for more money? An hon. Member on this side of the House said that she will continue to ask for advances until there is a General Election. I cannot believe it. I believe that when the right hon. Lady took the job she now holds she had the conviction that she could find the solution of unemployment. When she first spoke in the House on the question, she said that it was dishonest to borrow large sums of money knowing that they could not be repaid. The country wants to know—and I ask the question in all seriousness—when is there to be an end to this borrowing? What is going to be the solution of this problem? Unemployment is not coming down; it is increasing. Trade is not getting any better. Have we to recognise that the country has to vote this money continually and without end? What is the right hon. Lady's solution of this problem? Is she doing the working men and women of this country any good under the present system i I know something of the working people, and I say definitely, that instead of improving the condition of the working class it is 1230 making it definitely worse. It is robbing the working class of this country of their self-respect, because it is giving them no incentive whatever to work. It is giving them a dole, which is rapidly becoming a pension, towards which they have not paid a penny, and for which they have not insured, and which, if they do not want to work, they know they will receive without making any contribution in respect of it. Is this the way to treat the working people of this country who voted for you? The people themselves are beginning to recognise the fact, because in the last few by-elections the very people upon whom the Government are showering this money laughed at them and refused to vote for them. To-day the country is facing a financial situation such as has never been known before. The people are not really working seriously for the reason that they have no confidence in the Government.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
I am sorry, but I feel so strongly upon this matter. I am a believer in the future of this country, and the first consideration of anybody who believes in the future of this country, is the welfare of the working people. The people of this country will do no good as long as we have a Government who are prepared to vote unlimited sums and they can get something for nothing. If you give them an incentive to work and ask them to contribute a percentage of the return they will get when they are out of work through no fault of their own, you will be doing something for the working class. To-day, by voting these large sums of money without giving them any incentive to work, you are doing these people a seriously bad turn.
§ Mr. ALBERY
It is unfortunate at any time that the House should have to vote £25,000,000 for the purpose for which we are asked to vote it to-night. It is, however, a singularly unfortunate thing to ask it at the present time when not only is this country in great financial difficulties, but when there is a financial crisis throughout the world. I want to emphasise that point, because it seems to me to be even more serious than is realised when we remember the warnings already given by a respected and 1231 well-known civil servant, and later by the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. When the hon. Gentleman who moved this Bill challenges us on this side to say what we would do if we do not vote for it, I would reply, that if we were in his place we have proposals which we would put into operation, but while he is there it is for him and his party to find other means and measures' to safeguard the financial situation.
There can be no dispute as to the present serious financial, situation, and if as a result anything should happen which should cause a depreciation in the value of the pound sterling, the hardship which would follow to the people whom hon. Members opposite represent would be far, far greater than would result from any of the remedies which it might be considered necessary to employ at the present time to prevent such a calamity. If it did occur it would cause an automatic reduction in benefit, in pensions and in wages, and nobody would suffer so much as the people whom hon. Members opposite profess to represent.
The best illustration I have heard is that quoted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) which struck me as an extremely good one. It was that capital is like a swimming pool. Hon. Members opposite seem to think as long as you take water out of the deep end the poor people at the shallow end are not going to suffer. Of course, the exact reverse is the case. [Interruption.] I see hon. Gentlemen opposite do not understand it. I was trying to make it simple for them. If you draw water out of the deep end, the end that becomes dry first will be the shallow end. If you waste the capital of this country, those who suffer first and most acutely will be the very people whom hon. Members opposite claim to represent.
One other thing I would like to ask right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench. Why are we in this position to-night? Whenever we accuse them of having done nothing to help the unemployment problem—and they have done nothing that really counts—they always reply, "Oh, we have been in the middle of a world crisis." I should like to ask them——
§ Mr. ALBERY
I was endeavouring to connect that with the fact that if we continue to borrow at this rate it can only land the country in a catastrophe, and I had hoped that I should have been in order in referring to the causes which have led to this position. The Government have not only failed to tackle the question of unemployment in this country, but have failed to do anything to tackle The results of the world crisis, which they say is responsible for our present position. Other countries are in a similar position, and everyone of them——
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The question is whether the House will vote this £25,000,000, and none of these alternatives are in order on the Third Reading.
§ Mr. ALBERY
May I ask whether I am in order in giving reasons why we should not vote this £25,000,000?
§ Mr. ALBERY
One of the reasons why I suggest that a smaller amount should be voted is that with such a Government as we have at present it is vitally necessary for the House to maintain absolute control over this expenditure, and we should give a little at a time, sufficient to keep the unemployed for a period. The Government would then be driven to take some action to alleviate the position or go to the country and ask the electors to judge as to whether they are to be allowed to continue as a Government or whether another party more fitted for the work shall take their place.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
The Parliamentary Secretary promised us that the Minister of Labour would make a statement before the Debate closed, but I have not noticed any desire on her part to do so up to the present. In order to give her a few more minutes in which to collect her thoughts before she makes her epoch-making contribution for which we have been waiting—not a lecture—let me make one or two observations. Hon. Members opposite treated the remarks of my hon. Friend about the swimming pool in a very frivolous manner. My hon. 1233 Friend was quite correct in his analogy, and it is apparent that hon. Members opposite have not taken advantage of the opportunities for swimming offered by the First Commissioner of Works. Once again let me remind the House that we object to these borrowing powers being given, for the reasons which are given in our Amendment. It cannot be too often stressed that whereas these borrowing powers are for £25,000,000, which the Parliamentary Secretary says will run out on the present basis of unemployment, at the end of the year. Our criticism is that it is bad enough that this vast sum should cover the few remaining months of the year. What is really alarming about the situation, and which ought to be brought out as strongly as possible, is that this is not the last borrowing Bill that we are to have, if the present Government is still in office. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Hon. Gentlemen agree. That shows that the position is even more serious than I feared. They acquiesce in what is obviously a deplorable condition, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, and their own financial authorities, have condemned.
It is not so much this £25,000,000 for the rest of the year that is disturbing, bad enough though that be, but the absolute certainty that there has got to be more borrowing powers before any of the recommendations of the Royal Commission can possibly be implemented. We have had an interim report, and it has been thrust overboard by the Government. They were bound to do so. One of their supporters, the hon. Member for Gateshead (Major Evans) during the recent by-election, fought his last few days' election campaign by saying that in no circumstances would he support the Government in implementing anything in that interim report, and the Government have taken his lead in that attitude. The Government do not lead; they just follow like sheep.
The interim report has been thrust overboard. At the best, the final report of the Royal Commission can hardly be expected before the autumn or early winter. If the Government then want to implement its recommendations, whatever they may be, and I do not know, any more than they do, it is obvious that a Bill cannot be drafted and legislation 1234 cannot be introduced in the time. Assuming that it can be passed into law, that would not be before well into February or March next year. At the best, there will be another gap, at the end of this borrowing period, for which further borrowing powers will be required, before the Government do any thing to fulfil their absolutely declared intention to put the Insurance Fund on a self-supporting basis. It is that which is the bad part; not only the borrowing, but the absolute certainty that the borrowing must be followed by further borrowing before anything effective is done to deal with the situation. That is why we ask, in our Amendment, that— [Interruption.] I am sorry if anything that I have said is out of order. The hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to object to the facts of the situation being brought out. I am not surprised, because i£ there is one thing which hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite try to do the whole time—and the right hon. Lady is included, among the members of the other sex—it is to try and hide the facts from the country. [Interruption.] By their interruptions they show that their consciences are uneasy. What they are trying to hide from the country is that the Government, and the right hon. Lady, who is the responsible Minister——
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
On a point of Order. May I ask how long the hon. and gallant Member is to be allowed to remain out of order?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I assure, the hon. Member that I can call the hon. and gallant Member to order without assistance.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
The Government, and the right hon. Lady in particular, are trying to hide from the country the fact that they set up the Royal Commission, that they drew up the terms of reference, and that they appointed the members. They asked the Royal Commission to make recommendations how to put the Unemployment Insurance Fund on an insurance basis, and what schemes should be adopted to deal with the people who are out of insurance. The right hon. Lady is trying to pretend and hon. Members opposite are trying to pretend that they never said anything of the sort. The right hon. Lady is running away from 1235 the terms of reference. They are there in black and white. That is why in our Amendment we decline to give these vast powers. We should be prepared to give the Government certain powers if there was any possibility of their introducing legislation, but we decline to give them these large powers in view of their refusal to take any adequate steps to carry out their declared policy of making the Unemployment Insurance Fund solvent. No amount of jeering and interruption will cloud that issue in the eyes of the country. While it is true that at the present time there are about 2,500,000 unemployed on the register and that there may have been three, four or five millions who have been in and out of insurance during the last six months or 12 months, it is obviously in the interests of every man and woman who is compelled by law to pay to the fund, that the contractual obligation into which they have entered with the State, the State should be able to pay to them when they come out of employment. If the fund becomes hopelessly insolvent, and the Government find that they cannot meet the contractual obligation into which they have entered, it means that they are making the position of the insured contributor to the fund impossible by passing legislation and doing something which they have no right to do. They are taking away something from a contract which they have forced people to enter, whether they wished to do so or not.
I am not saying that the people did not wish to enter into it, and I am not saying that unemployment insurance is a bad system, but if the House compels people to go into the fund it is the duty of the House to see that there is sufficient money behind the fund—[Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite mistake the point. If there is an insurance fund into which people are compelled to pay, the State is under a contractual obligation to pay them the benefits for which they have contracted, and to see that the fund is on a self-supporting basis. That is why the right hon. Lady asked the Royal Commission to tell her as soon as possible what to do. They have indicated some of the directions in which they think action might be taken. Of course, it is a matter of opinion. The Government have run away from the problem, but that does not absolve them from the duty 1236 of trying to do their best to keep their contract with the people whom this House has declared to be insured. Because the right hon. Lady the Minister of Labour has done nothing to deal with the problem, we say that this is not the time to give new borrowing powers to an extent which will take away from this House the possibility of dealing with this question again for five or six months.
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Miss Bondfield)
I make no complaint of the Debate which has taken place to-night, in relation to the fact that this subject has been before the House five times already in connection with this Bill. In regard to the comments of the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank), I wish to challenge his statement that we are trying to hide the facts. It is really absurd, because there is no material fact in connection with the present situation that has not been again and again placed before the House. In regard to the Amendment, it is an entire mistake to say that the interim report of the Commission contains recommendations either with regard to the basis on which the fund may be made solvent or in regard to any scheme by which those who are not properly insured may be provided for. Neither of these recommendations appear in the interim report.
§ Miss BONDFIELD
The Government has asked the Commission to consider everything and to report. The criticism of the financial position made by Members of the Opposition loses its point when it is remembered that I took over a bankrupt scheme which was then owing £38,000,000. I am not at all impressed by the criticism of the policy which the Government have pursued on account of the state of world trade, or of the professions by hon. Members opposite of financial rectitude, when I remember that the party opposite were in power for four and a-half years with an overwhelming majority and that they did nothing to put the fund on a sound basis. During the whole of that time, when the fund was insolvent, they did nothing to try to add to the income of the fund. I have at least tried to add to the income of the fund. I have tried to relieve it 1237 of that part of the unemployment payments which does not properly come within insurance, to have it borne by the Treasury and not by the contributed fund. I want to say quite definitely to the Noble Lady that she is entirely mistaken when she says that I am not honest in my convictions. In the present state of unemployment, after the years at which the unemployment figures have been what we know them to have been, I would not support a reduction of benefits.
Will the right hon. Lady say whether it is not dishonest to come and borrow again unless she had some scheme for putting the fund in a sound position? [Interruption.]
§ Miss BONDFIELD
Borrowing, when you know you have no opportunity to repay is a dishonest course. We have been driven into that dishonest course —[Interruption]—by economic circumstances. [Interruption.] I am not supporting, as has been suggested, the idea of further borrowing, because I believe that it is right or because I believe that it is a good principle. I say that in the world situation in which we find ourselves it is the only possible course, and I am convinced that this House also takes that view by the very fact that the House itself rejected the Amendment put down by the Opposition to reduce the amount of borrowing. That Amendment has been discussed and voted upon and the House has voted against it. In view of the discussions which have taken place, in view of the facts which have been placed before the House, in view of the consequences of failure to carry this Bill—which not one single Member opposite has ventured to take the responsibility for incurring—I ask the House to give the Bill a Third Heading.
§ Sir ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND
The brief speech which we have just heard from the Minister of Labour has been justification enough for this Debate and the Third Reading of the Bill. We know the difficulties which the Minister has been in and the fact that she has had to contend with her own colleagues, but when she states that she has been driven into dishonest courses, I am moved to wonder how many criminals at the Old Bailey have, before being sentenced, put forward precisely the same plea in mitigation of their offence. [Interrup 1238 tion.] The Minister also said that she had inherited a bankrupt scheme. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] That remark is always cheered on the opposite side. Hon. Members opposite never like references to the General Strike, or the coal strike—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must ask hon. Members to allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed without interruption.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
Is it in order for the right hon. Gentleman to refer to the events of 1926 on this Bill?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The right hon. Gentleman is quite in order in giving reasons why he considers it has become necessary to borrow this large sum.
§ Mr. RICHARDSON
The statement was not given in that way or I would not have risen. It was a remark to hon. Members on this side.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
There was one other remark of the Minister's to which I do not wish to refer in detail, if it is regarded by you, Mr. Speaker, as out of order to do so. She said that the Government had not got the final report of the Royal Commission yet and therefore had not had an opportunity to carry out its contents. I would reply that the Government themselves washed for an interim report on which to base some legislation. They got the interim report but we have had no legislation worth speaking of—we have had this borrowing Bill instead. To-night, I continue to voice our protest against the complete disregard of their responsibilities by the Government. [Interruption.] It is remarkable how unwilling hon. Members opposite are to listen to any criticism. The more unwilling they are, the more conscious they appear to be of the fact that they are wrong. As I say, we protest against the complete disregard of their responsibilities by the Government and the injury caused by that disregard, not only to the fund, but also to the stability of industry, to employment and to the country as a whole. The Minister said that nothing had been concealed from the country. [Laughter.] What interests some of us on this side is the 1239 laughter which occurs on the benches opposite when any mention is made of the serious industrial position of this country. One of the most serious features of the situation is that so few hon. Members opposite seem to realise what an alarming position the country is in at present. If any of them have any doubts as to the gravity of that position, they should recall the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, not so very long ago, when he spoke of the danger which existed, not only to Budget equilibrium, but to the whole industry of the country. It was a remarkable speech and there is only too much cause to fear that there is danger to the industry of the country at the moment. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is your alternative? "] These questions are always being put as to what our plans would be. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!'] Yes, "Hear, hear"——[Interruption.],
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The right hon. Gentleman must not be drawn into getting out of order by replying to interruptions.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I wanted to deal strictly with the danger to the country and with the fact that it is enhanced by the growing insolvency of this fund. The danger is there in any case, but when the Unemployment Fund is going into insolvency at a rapidly increasing rate, when the increase in the debt is greater than the whole of the Sinking Fund provided by the Budget, and when there has been an increase of 6,000 in the number of the unemployed at a time of year when employment ought to be improving, we cannot fail to realise the serious position of the country and we are entitled to more information from the Government as to when they intend to put a term to this insolvency.
It might be allowed that the present Government are in the mere grip of circumstance—and in fact, that has been pleaded—were it not for the fact that they protested their principles after the grip of circumstances had taken hold of them. If an authoritative declaration were to be sought from the Government one could look for it to no one better than the Minister of Labour, the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer. One and all have said—in the words, for example, of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—that it is the duty 1240 of the Government to face up to the problem and put the Insurance Fund on an insurance basis. It is no answer to tell us they are in the grip of circumstances if they made those statements of policy when affairs were very little better than they are to-day and when the slump, of which we have heard too much, had come upon them. The finances of the country were already disturbed when the Chancellor made that statement at the Guildhall. Listen to the Prime Minister himself. He said that the Fund had to be put back on an insurance basis. In other words, the insolvency of the Fund could not be allowed to go on at its present accelerating pace. That statement was made after the slump had begun. It was not made in happier times. It was with a knowledge of the slump that the Prime Minister made that promise, and it holds as good to-day as it did then. There is also the statement of the Minister of Labour herself:It is our considered view that a scheme of unemployment insurance should be a self-supporting scheme.That statement was made after she had had experience of the effect of the present world unemployment. It is in the light of all that that we have to judge the Government. An unbalanced Budget is a great danger, but an unbalanced Government is a much greater danger, and that is what we have at the present time. If there is danger, as there is at the moment, and if disaster may come upon this country, as quite likely it may, it will be because we have had plain statements of principle and policy made by the Government followed by a desertion of those principles, a desertion equally motived by cowardice and ineptitude.
§ Major COLFOX
I very much regret that this Third Reading has been brought on at this very late hour. [Interruption.] At any rate, it has afforded this House and the country a very good exhibition of the inferiority complex from the benches opposite. Hon. Members opposite have been carrying on in a way which clearly shows that they cannot appreciate the gravity of the situation into which the country is drifting, and has been drifting for a very long while. The whole record of the present Government in connection with 1241 the unemployment situation has been merely to procrastinate and to delay, and to find one excuse after another for not facing up to the problem and dealing with the solution. There are rumours or suggestions once more being made throughout the country that, since the present Government have found it impossible to deal with the problems un aided, they should once again make an appeal to the other parties to assist them. [Interruption.] If only these ignorant, foolish and vulgar interruptions were to cease, we might get on. [Interruption.] The complete void in the minds of hon. Members opposite is demonstrated by their loud and vulgar laughter. The suggestion is once more being made——
§ Mr. THORNE
On a point of Order. I want to know whether it is not a breach of the Rules of this House for an hon. Member to talk to Members of this House with both hands in his pockets?
§ Major COLFOX
As I have found it totally impossible to place a connected argument before the House owing to the vulgar and unmannerly interruptions of hon. Members opposite, I regret that I have been compelled to occupy rather more time than I otherwise should have done, and I must ask the forgiveness of the more reasonably mannered Members of the House for occupying more time than is necessary. [Interruption.] If only the pandemonium would cease for a moment, I should be able to put my very short remarks within a very brief compass. Perhaps now I can start. As I was saying, it is being once more suggested throughout the country that the three political parties should pool their resources in an effort to solve this unemployment problem. But the treatment which was meted out to the last three- party conference or committee——
§ Major COLFOX
In that case, of course, I am able to pass on to the next point, and I would have done so very much more rapidly in normal circumstances. My other point is to try, if I can, to get a reply from the Minister of Labour or, at any Tate, some representa- 1242 tive of the Government, to the question whether or not the Government have abandoned their declared intention of taking steps to balance the fund and to put it on a self-supporting actuarial basis, because, of course, if and when they do take steps to carry out their expressed intention in that direction, then, but only then, will it be unnecessary to continue this process of perpetual borrowing of millions, and now it is running into hundreds of millions. Therefore, I do hope—[Interruption.]—not with much confidence, because I recognise that civility on the Front Bench opposite is not their long suit, but I do hope that we may get an answer to the question whether or not they intend to proceed with their declared policy of taking steps eventually to balance the fund.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
[Interruption] I am not going to sit still under the insults that have been flung across the Floor from the other side. [Interruption.] If they can keep us here until one o'clock, then we can keep them here until 20 minutes to six o'clock in the morning, and we can adduce from this side of the House as many reasons for supporting the Government as alleged reasons we have had from the other side against the Bill now under discussion. [Interruption.] Apparently some of the officers on the other side of the House still think they are on the barrack square from the insults that they have flung across the House at us who are of the working class. Some of us who were privates in the War are now in this House, and are on equal terms with the officers. It is not right that we should sit here to-night to hear these insults flung at us and at our class from those benches.
A lot of fuss is being made about borrowing this money. I am convinced that the borrowing of it is an absolute necessity. I am convinced of it by my personal contact with those who, if this Bill does not pass through this House, will be thrown on the tender mercies of public assistance committees or left with no maintenance at all during the period of unemployment. The money we are voting to-night is an insurance in more senses than one; it is an insurance against a complete breakdown of our social and economic system, an insurance against revolution. I remember when the boys returned from the last 1243 War, that they took their rifles from them, and not only did that, but also gave them a specially high rate of un employment pay—about 29s. 6d. a week for the returned soldiers. That was an insurance against revolution at that time. The War has passed away and The heroes of 1914 and 1918 have become The dole-mongers of to-day, in the language of hon. Members opposite, the men who, in the view of the hon. Member for East Willesden (Mr. D. G. Somerville), do not want work while——
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
I never made such a statement. I said you were taking away the incentive to work.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
I am prepared to leave it to the columns of the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow to give a proper interpretation of the hon. Member's remarks. He said it was taking away their self-respect. One of the leaders of the hon. Gentleman's party is in receipt of a dole of £96 a week.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
We are getting a long way from the borrowing of £25,000,000, which is the question we are considering.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
I was merely drawing an illustration that, if £96 a week is necessary for him, then the amount paid to the unemployed with wives and children is not too much. Some of us think it is not enough. Those men and women have as much self-respect as some of those on the other side of the House who come in white shirt fronts and dress coats. [Interruption.] If some of my hon. Friends are conventional, it does
§ not alter the strength of my argument. It is the contrast felt by those of us who live in our constituencies and who meet the unemployed in our own homes week after week that makes us believe that finding this money is an absolute necessity for the social and moral well-being of this country.
§ References have been made to-night to hilarity from this side of the House. Sometimes the efforts of the hon. Members opposite are so entertaining that we cannot restrain our hilarity, but that does not mean that we, who are in daily contact with the unemployment problem, do not feel for the unemployed. As one who has himself stood in the Employment Exchange and felt the pangs of unemployment, I could not feel hilarious about unemployment, and it is because I have experienced those conditions that I urge the House to cease this quibbling about a mere £25,000,000. A mere quibble about £25,000,000 when £1,000,000 a day is going in interest on War Loan, when the hon. Gentlemen who are sneering at us are drawing their retired army pay as retired officers? I claim that my class, when they have spent their life in the industrial army, are entitled to their retiring pay like the admirals and generals opposite. I hope my hon. Friends on this side of the House are going to keep this Debate going after the insults, sneers and jeers we have received.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 216; Noes, 164.1247
|Division No. 364.]||AYES.||[12.48 a.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Broad, Francis Alfred||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)||Brockway, A. Fenner||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Bromfield, William||Dukes, C.|
|Altchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Brooke, W.||Duncan, Charles|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Brothers, M.||Ede, James Chuter|
|Alpass, J. H.||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Edmunds, J. E.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Buchanan, G.||Egan, W. H.|
|Arnott, John||Burgess, F. G.||Foot, Isaac|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Calne, Hall-, Derwent||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Ayles, Walter||Cameron, A. G.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Barr, James||Charleton, H. C.||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes. Mossley)|
|Batey, Joseph||Clarke, J. S.||Gill, T. H.|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Cluse, W. S.||Gillett, George M.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Glassey, A. E.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Compton, Joseph||Gossling, A. G.|
|Benson, G.||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Gould, F.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Daggar, George||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Dallas, George||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Dalton, Hugh||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||McGovern. J. (Glasgow, Shettieston)||Scurr, John|
|Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||McKinlay. A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||McShane, John James||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Shield, George William|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Manning, E. L.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Haycock. A. W.||Mansfield, W.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Marcus, M.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Markham, S. F.||Sinkinson, George|
|Handerson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Marshall, Fred||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Henderson, Arthur, funr, (Cardiff, S.)||Mathers, George||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhtthe)|
|Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Matters, L. W.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Maxton, James||Smith, Rennle (Penlstone)|
|Herrlotts, J.||Messer, Fred||Smith. Tom (Pontefract)|
|Hicks, Ernest George||Middleton, G.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Milner, Major J.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Montague, Frederick||Sorensen, R.|
|Hoffman, p. C.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Hollins, A.||Morley, Ralph||Stephen, Campbell|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Mort, D. L.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Muff, G.||Sullivan, J.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Muggerldge, H. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Murnin, Hugh||Taylor, R. A, (Lincoln)|
|Jones. Morgan (Caerphilly)||Naylor, T. E.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Noel Baker, P. J.||Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plaistow)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Oldfield, J. R.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Kirkwood, D.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Toole. Joseph|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Palin, John Henry||Townend, A. E.|
|Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)||Paling, Wilfrid||Vaughan, David|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Viant, S. P.|
|Law, A. (Ronendale)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Walker, J.|
|Lawson, John James||Potts, John S.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Lawther W. (Barnard Castle)||Price, M. P.||Wellock, W Hired|
|Leach. W.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Westwood, Joseph|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Raynes, W. R.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Lees, J.||Richards, R.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Leonard, W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Ritson. J.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Romerll, H. G.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Longden, F.||Rosbotham. D. S. T.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lunn, William||Rowson, Guy||Winterton, G. E.(Lelcester, Loughb'gh)|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wise, E. F.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sanders, W. S.|
|McElwee, A.||Sandham, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|McEntee, V. L.||Sawyer, G. F.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbastan)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Albery, Irving James||Christie, J. A.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Clydesdale. Marquess of||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gault, Lieut. Col. A. Hamilton|
|Astor, Viscountess||Colfox, Major William Philip||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Athoil, Duchess of||Colman, N. C. D.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Balfour. Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Colville, Major D. J.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Balniel. Lord||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Crichton-stuart. Lord C.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Cunlifle-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertlord)||Harvey, Major s. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Boyce, Leslie||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxl'd. Henley)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Buchan, John||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robart S.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Butler, R. A.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hurd. Percy A.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas|
|Campbell, E. T.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Cayzer, Maj Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Ferguson, Sir John||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Fielden, E. B||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Ross, Ronald D.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Long, Major Hon. Eric||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Lymington, Viscount||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Salmon, Major I.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Margesson, Captain H. D.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Savery, S. S.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Skelton, A. N.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Muirhead, A. J.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Nali-Caln, A. R. N.||Smithers, Waldron||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U)|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)||Somerset, Thomas||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ormsby Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Peake, Capt. Osbert||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Penny, Sir George||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Stanley, Hon. D. (Westmorland)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.|
|Remer, John R||Stuart. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Captain Sir George Bowyer and|
|Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.||Captain Austin Hudson.|
|Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
Bill read the Third time, and passed.