Motion made, and Question proposed,
That 93,650 Officers, Seamen, Boys, and Royal Marines he employed for the Sea Service, together with 550 for the Royal Marine Police, borne on the books of His Majesty's Ships, at the Royal Marine Divisions, and at Royal Air Force Establishments, for the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1932.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I want now to deal with quite a different subject, namely, the question of personnel, and particularly the question of discipline. The hon. and gallant Member for Hertford (Rear-Admiral Sueter) raised the question of the "Lucia." I do not want to follow up that question, except to say that I am absolutely in agreement with the hon. and gallant Member with regard to the captain of the submarine depot ship. Captain Halifax, whom I had the honour of knowing in my naval days, was a most gallant submarine officer in the War, and did particularly good service in the Heligoland Bight under extremely hazardous conditions. He was actually away when this regrettable incident happened, and he has been made the victim of a system which, at bottom, has certain defects. I apologise to my right hon. Friend for not having given him notice that I was going to raise this question, but I understand that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Portsmouth (Captain W. G. Hall) has told him we would raise this question. I entirely agree with what he said about the general discipline of the personnel of the Navy. The standard is very high, and we have a very fine type of men in the Service now. An hereditarily manly type of man is coming in now, especially from the West country, and the morale of the Navy is very high indeed. Nevertheless, a continual change is going on in the mentality of the men of the Fleet. They are better educated now, they have a different outlook on life, and the whole method of discipline has gradually evolved from the brutal and illiterate days of the flogging Navy, when the men were ruled by leaders like Nelson and Cochrane by the power of personality and magnetism, but they were ruled also by others by the fear of the lash and the gallows.
We have passed from that to the modern, well educated personnel of the Fleet, who can listen to reason, who know what the interests of the community are, and who can be relied upon to play the game if they are given a chance to do so. There have been, however, a number of incidents in the Fleet, going back a good many years. Before the War, we had one or two unfortunate outbreaks—gun-sights were thrown overboard, and so on. That was a sort of demonstration 1312 made by men who had a grievance and wished to draw attention to it, and had no other way of doing so. There were inquiries, and a great deal of comment in the Press and in Parliament. Then came the War, when, of course, the men reacted splendidly, and there was no case of anything like mutiny during the whole period of the campaign, under conditions of very great difficulty. Then we came back to times of peace, and there have been two or three cases—isolated cases which, nevertheless, show that there is a certain defect in the discipline code. I am speaking now as an officer who served at sea for 17 years, during all of which, except a hectic six months at the Admiralty, I was in charge of men, and I think I know something about discipline. The trouble in the Navy is that there is an old hereditary idea, which has come down to generation after generation of seamen, that it never pays to make complaints. It does not work, and it is unhealthy. When there is a general grievance, the machinery under which seamen can make complaints is not what it should be. I want to ask my right hon. Friend if he will look again into this question? The Articles of War lay the matter down very clearly, and I believe we are still ruled in the Fleet by the old wording that came down from the remodelled code of discipline introduced after the great mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Those mutinies were partly the result of unmade complaints. The men had complaints, and they had no machinery to prefer them. The following words were inserted and are still read out once a quarter on the quarter-deck of every ship:Every person subject to this Act who shall have any cause of complaint, either of the unwholesomeness of the victuals or on any other just ground, shall quietly make the same known to his superior, or captain, or commander-in-chief, and the said superior, captain, or commander-in-chief shall, as far as he is able, cause the same to be investigated and remedied, and no person subject to this Act under any pretence whatever shall attempt to make any disturbance under pains and penalties.That is the old wording, but, under the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions issued from time to time by the Board of Admiralty, there is a punishment for men who prefer what are called frivolous complaints.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Ammon)
The hon. and gallant Gentleman is mistaken. There is no such punishment now.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I am coming to that point. I have in my hand the alterations. I am referring to the original punishment, and I am going to show how it has not been altered in practice. The Parliamentary Secretary must give me a little time to develop a matter which affects the whole of the men in the Navy. There was a punishment for what were known as frivolous complaints, and, in the hands of the minority of officers who were harsh in their handling of the men, this could be used as a very serious deterrent to the men putting forward any complaints at all. It is not so much the officers in a matter of this kind. It is the ship's petty officers. Here and there are men temperamentally not quite suitable for their posts. Then we had one of these incidents, the "Royal Oak" case, which caused much concern. The regulations were altered. That trouble took place in the spring of 1928 and new regulations were promised by the then First Lord, Lord Bridgeman, and they have been published, but they are still not satisfactory. I am now quoting the actual regulations issued in March, 1929. My right hon. Friend was not responsible for them, but he has an opportunity of amending them. First of all, in regard to redressing wrongs:If any officer, petty officer, non-commissioned officer, or man thinks that he has suffered any personal oppression, injustice, or other ill-treatment, or that he has been treated unjustly in any way may after due consideration make a complaint in accordance with the following rules.That is the wording. Notice that the words there are "any personal oppression." In the "Lucia" court-martial, the master-at-arms was asked if he knew that there was something wrong. He said he did, but he said he suffered no personal injury. He was not personally affected and, therefore, he did not complain. There you have an actual case where the present regulations limit the right of men to make complaints. I consider that in this matter we should adopt the Army system. I am going to compare the difference between the Navy Regulations and those in the Army Act, Section 42, where it is stated: 1314Complaints may be made respecting any matter.Notice it says "any matter." Therefore if a master-at-arms, say the master of the "Lucia," knows that things are wrong on the lower deck because the men object to working unnecessarily on Sunday or something like that, he could under the Regulations of the Army Act, go to the first lieutenant and say, "Sir, the men are very dissatisfied, and will you look into it?" Under the Navy Regulations he is not personally affected. The master-at-arms does not paint the ship, and in strict theory is prevented from going to the first lieutenant in the way I have described. Let me say that petty officers do go to the chief officer when things are wrong. That is what happens in 99 cases out of 100, but we have to legislate for the hundredth case, the hundredth case of the "Lucia." We know that a man who was not responsible for the trouble is now broken because of this defect in the Navy Regulations. We may have other cases of this sort. There ought to be no limit on the right of making complaints. A footnote to the Army Act says:A complaint must be made by the individual himself.That is perfectly right. It then goes on to say:A soldier cannot in any way be punished for making a complaint under this Section, whether it be frivolous or not, and he ought not for making a complaint be treated in any way with harshness or suspicion.There is, of course, a saving Clause in the Army Act which is all we need in the Navy Regulations. These are the only words needed to guard against vexatious or spiteful complaints. It is an offence in the Army if an officer or soldier in making complaints where he thinks himself wronged,knowingly makes any false statement affecting the character of an officer or soldier.That is really the law of libel brought into the Army Regulations. We want some such regulations as that in the Navy Regulations and nothing else is required.
Then there are other limitations, for example, the case of the officers. Under the Regulations made by Lord Bridgeman, complaints by an officer serving in one of His Majesty's ships is to be made 1315 to the captain, in accordance with the Service custom, whereby a complainant is to snake a request orally to see the captain. Why should he not put his complaint in writing? Supposing the officer has a grievance which he feels ought to be remedied. He may be a nervous man, and his captain a man of violent temper, in which case it may be vital for him to put his complaint in writing. Why limit him? Then there is another difficulty, and now I am coming to the case of the seaman who falls in to see his divisional officer and prefers a complaint through him to the commander. Under the Regulations, the complaint is investigated, and for his assistance the captain details the divisional officer of the man or some other officer. Why should not the man have the right to choose who shall help him in preferring his complaint? Why is he limited in that way?
I come to the question of joint complaints. Two or more complaints are not allowed. Each individual must make his own complaint and must not be associated with others. I ask the First Lord of the Admiralty why these words have been put in? There are several hon. and gallant Gentlemen opposite who served with the Fleet, and they know it used to be quite a regular and proper thing for the 12 or 14 men of a whole mess to fall in to complain, for example, that the cooking was bad. It was quite right that they should. Under these words they cannot do that. Only one person may make a complaint. Two or more persons are not allowed to fall in, apparently, according to these words, in an orderly manner to make their complaint. I submit that although the wording of these Regulations makes little difference in 99 cases out of 100, in the hundredth case, where you get a man whose officer is temperamentally difficult, these Regulations give the officer immense power over any man who ventures to make a complaint. There are other Regulations which all tend to hamper and hedge round the human right of the man in the Service to be able to bring effective pressure to bear when he suffers an injustice, or what he thinks is an injustice. The wider you can make the channel through which perfectly legitimate complaints can be made by men suffering a grievance, the better for all 1316 concerned. We do not want to encourage in the Navy the man who has always got a grievance, or the sea lawyer, but there have been two or three cases recently—there was the case in the Mediterranean about 18 months ago at Nice, the "Royal Oak" case, the "Lucia" case, and one or two others which I have heard of but have not reached the public, which give cause for anxiety.
Naval discipline to-day still has about it much of the century-old traditions of the press-gang. At any rate, the spirit still remains. The Navy lives on tradition, and old customs and old ways are cherished. The old idea has come down that there is no really effective or easy remedy for the man who suffers from his immediate superior an alleged injustice. That needs to be put right. The words put into the new Regulations by the Conservative First Lord of the Admiralty are, I submit, too hampering and are not the equal in liberality towards the men as the Army rules. I beg my right hon. Friend to look into this matter sympathetically and see if some alteration cannot be made for the greater advantage of the men.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I should like to make a few observations with regard to personnel. The Committee will be only too willing to congratulate the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is able to effect economy without affecting the efficiency of the service or the efficiency of the personnel. The explanatory statement of the Estimate was very interesting reading, and I think that he and the whole Service over which he presides and of which he is the titular head are to be congratulated on that statement. There are, however, one or two points in the statement to which I should like to draw attention. The discussion of these Estimates is really based upon the question whether sufficient provision is being made for the adequate naval strength upon which the Empire and this country depend. It would not be in order for me on this Vote to discuss the providing of the material, but it is important to bear in mind that the provision of the material is dependent upon the provision of adequate personnel to work the material. I do not think that any impartial student of naval affairs at the present time can deny that up to, at and since the Naval Conference of London, 1317 the British Navy has been bled white and cut to the bone, and that no other reductions, either in material or personnel, are possible, if an adequate standard of sea power, such as is essential and vital for this country and the Empire, is to be maintained. The paragraph in the explanatory statement at the end of Page 4 shows that the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord envisages the possibility as the result of the forthcoming Disarmament Conference of further reductions in regard to the cessation of the building programmes, which means, in effect, that there must, be still further reductions in the number of officers and men serving in the Fleet.
That is a position which I believe the people of this country and the Empire in general will view with considerable misgiving. The Committee should take careful note of the statement on page 4, because we were led to believe, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) that the Naval Treaty was going to give us a bare minimum; a minimum on which it was possible for us to exist if adequate strength was to be maintained, and that that minimum applies not only to material but to personnel. If it is now going to be possible for the personnel of the Navy to be still further whittled down, as a result of the Disarmament Conference which is to take place in a few months time, then I contend that the situation is a very serious one. Indeed, we have gone below what is possible if we are adequately to man the ships of the fleet.
What is the position? The Estimates of March, 1930, indicated a reduction of the personnel of the Navy to 94,000 by 1st April, 1931, and I call the attention of the Committee to the fact, that that is the lowest figure since 1896. Vote A for 1931 shows that it is contemplated that the reduction by the 1st April will be to 93,650, a decrease of 350. A further fall is indicated in the explanatory statement, which shows that by the 31st March, 1932, the figure is expected to be 91,840. Indeed, in the explanatory statement the First Lord positively gloats over this reduction. The whole statement seems to me to be on the part of the First Lord a paean of delight that he has been able to achieve a reduction of 10,000 officers and men in the Service in 1318 four years. I wonder whether he has had any complaints as regards the question of manning in the Navy at the present time, whether it is possible to get the reliefs which are required for foreign stations without considerable difficulty; whether there have been complaints of officers and men who have returned from foreign service and who expected to be given a reasonable time in their homes in this country, but who have found that owing to the shortage in officers and men they have almost immediately to turn round and go on foreign service again. Inadequate manning of the Navy is no new thing.
I can remember a period before the War when, owing to the laxity of previous Governments in providing personnel for the Service—the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) will bear me out in this—officers who should have been able to go on leave at Christmas time when the ships were in dockyard hands, were able to get only a week or 10 days leave and were then immediately reappointed to other ships in the squadron because the shortage of officers was so great that when one ship was in the dockyard most of the watchkeeping officers serving in that ship were needed for other ships in the squadron. If you are going to go on whittling down the personnel you may well get into that position again. If personnel is short it means that the training of the men is bad, because you cannot get sufficient men away from the Fleet at sea in order to send them ashore for the training necessary to fit them for specialised rating, to their own advantage and to the advantage of the country. If it was a fact that the reduction in personnel of all other countries was commeunsurate with that of this country nobody in this House would have much cause for complaint. But what are the facts? In 1930 the United States figures for personnel were 114,500, and the Secretary of the United States Navy in making his report in December, 1930, used these words, to which I draw the special attention of the Committee:It will be necessary to build up the enlisted force as the Fleet approaches Treaty Navy strength in cruisers and carriers unless further limitation is arranged by Treaty.1319 That envisages the fact that the United States Navy contemplates, not a reduction, but a further increase. In 1914 the British Navy consisted of 146,047 officers and men; the United States Navy on the same date consisted of 67,258 officers and men. To-day the figures are really alarming. Our Navy has been reduced by 45,207 officers and men, and the United States Navy has been increased by as many as 47,242 officers and men. That is up to 1930. It is well that the Committee should realise these figures. Yet, according to his statement, the Secretary to the United States Navy envisages a further increase in the near future. As the First Lord has pointed out, we have scrapped the Third Battleship Squadron, which was our training squadron, in which boys were sent to sea in order to fit them for service with the Fleet later. While we have scrapped that training squadron under the Treaty, the United States have taken particular pains to set in motion plans for the construction of a new training squadron. They have scrapped some of their drill ship stationaires and with the money thus found they are setting on foot a new training squadron. I maintain that every time we make a reduction, on the other side of the Atlantic an increase is made.
If you take the figures of the British Navy and of the United States Navy, you find a further discrepancy which cannot be too pointedly put. The United States figures do not include 12,000 officers and men now serving in the United States Revenue service. They are skilled men-of-warsmen. They are serving in ships akin to our destroyers, in better vessels than anything we possess, type for type, and in all respects are just as efficient as men serving in the Fleet. Yet in all questions of personnel these 12,000 officers and men have been left out. It may be possible to achieve parity in material. Personally, I think the phrase "parity in material" is a will-o'-the-wisp, and there is no one who knows that better than the First Lord after his 18 months at the Admiralty. You never will get parity in material because you have not the same conditions. You cannot get down to a comparable basis. But if you are to strive for parity in material, it is much more important to strive for parity 1320 in personnel—the men who work the machine. If we are to have parity with the United States in personnel, in the same way as we are trying to have parity in material, instead of still further reducing the numbers of officers and men in the Fleet, we should have to increase the personnel by over 23,000 officers and men.
It is very easy in this country, with its enormous and unlimited resources in shipbuilding, to increase material, but if you once get behind in the race—it takes seven years to make an efficient seaman—if you once allow the numbers of your men in the Fleet to drop below the safe number, then if emergency should arise, it would be utterly impossible to improvise these men at a moment's notice. You may improvise the ships, but you cannot improvise the men to man them. If I understood him aright, the First Lord, in his opening speech, mentioned that the civil staff at the Admiralty was to be reduced by 30, and at the same time I think he indicated that, as regards officers, there was to be a reduction in the rank of lieutenant-commander of 150. Thus, at a time when economy is so necessary, it is only found possible to make a reduction of 30 in the civil staff, but when it comes to reducing the number of officers in the Fleet, nobody appears to mind in the least a reduction of 150. I think few Members of this Committee realise what it means to officers of the Fleet when so many of them are axed at a time when their private commitments are greatest and when their children are going to school. People who have been able to live in a small and quiet way in a dockyard town and to maintain some standard of comfort and happiness, find, when the axe falls, that they are left with an amount of retired pay which is often totally inadequate to support them and their families.
When the Admirals who negotiated and helped with these treaties of reduction come to the end of their time, I wonder if, in the glory and honour which they have achieved, they will remember how many fine junior officers, with good war service will, as a result of these reductions, end their days struggling to educate their families perhaps as the owners of small chicken farms or as com- 1321 mercial travellers. I think the Committee ought to realise the effect of axing 150 men who joined the Service on the understanding that if they worked and behaved themselves they had a reasonable chance of advancement. Now by the exigencies of the Service and on the ground of the necessity for economy you have taken away from these men the jobs which they contracted to carry out and you have condemned them for the rest of their lives not only to penury but to certain poverty.
I must protest against the spirit of the hon. and gallant Member's remarks. After all jobs cannot be found for all these officers and there is a surplus in that particular class, and what we have done is to try to make better conditions for them, and to give them terms of retirement which will enable them better to support their positions.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I welcome any indication that the right hon. Gentleman is endeavouring to make better the lot of these officers who deserve nothing but good from the country. May I quote what the First Lord said at Newcastle-on-Tyne not Jong ago:You find a steady decline in our naval expenditure and a steady rise in almost every other country's expenditure and you begin to ask yourself whether it is a sane policy.A very considerable part of that expenditure is on personnel and if we look at the figures, we find that there has been a rise in personnel in practically every country except this country. No country has made the sacrifices in material and personnel which have been made by this country. The Committee is, I think, agreed that our Navy is a world-wide police force. In 1929, we find that our shore-going police numbered 59,914, and cost £22,000,000 and in the same year the number of officers and men in the Navy was 99,800 and they only cost just over £60,000,000. That is pretty cheap for an international police force of that character.
I would make an appeal to the First Lord to consider further the question of marriage allowances for naval officers. I know that the matter has been debated time after time, and I have no desire to go into the details, but surely 1322 there can be no reason why the officers of the Navy should be in a position inferior not only to the officers of the Army and Air Force, but inferior to the men over whom they are set in command. It is a position which is resented, not only by the officers of the Navy, but by the men on the lower deck, who feel it unjust that they should have a marriage allowance which is denied to the officers who look after them. I would ask the First Lord if he will not give his sympathetic consideration to the question. It is not a great deal to ask. The sum of money involved is not very great, and if he will go into the matter, as I am sure he has gone into it during his time at the Admiralty, he will find that it is a genuine cause of grievance and a genuine injustice which has persisted far too long.
This point is worth noticing. A Service that has been cut to the bone by economies in personnel or in material, denied money for improvement, whose officers are always defeated by politicians in their suggestions, to the detriment of Service efficiency, is bound to suffer heavily in morale. It stands in this particular danger, that the easy going, laisser faire type of officer, who asks for nothing will be the one who will come to the top, because the temptation will always be to play for safety, and the officer who asks for nothing for the Service is always bound to be popular with the politicians. In a Service bound together by such close ties as those that bind officers and men of the Royal Navy, anything approaching disheartenment or laisser faire amongst the officers is bound to be reflected right down amongst the men on the lower deck, and thereby the happiness, efficiency, and morale of the whole Service is bound to suffer. I suggest that it is the plain duty of this Committee to preserve the British Empire from such a catastrophe.
§ Captain W. G. HALL
The first point that I would like to raise is one which was raised by myself and other hon. Members last year, and it refers to the position of a very gallant and very useful section of the Royal Navy, the engine room artificers. Everyone will agree, I think, that the men in the Navy have, during the past 50, 60 or 100 years, 1323 steadily increased in status, in comfort, and, at any rate until lately, in pay, but the engine room artificer has, since 1925, been definitely degraded so far as his status is concerned. From 1868 onwards until 1925 the engine room artificer was graded as a chief petty officer, and it was in 1925, under the late Conservative Government, that a change for the worse was made, and he now enters as a petty officer simply. It may seem to many hon. Members that there is very little in that, but I assure the Committee that to the engine room artificer it has meant a very great deal. We must remember that he comes into the Service at no cost to the nation; he is a trained mechanic before entering the service of the State, and he does not enter the Navy as a mere stripling, with no knowledge whatever; and the least, it seems to me, that the Admiralty can do is to rate him as a chief petty officer, as his forbears, and some of them now in the Navy, were rated for a period of over 60 years down to 1925.
There is another phase of this question to which I should like to call my right hon. Friend's attention. It is obvious that, owing to the change in status, you are not getting the same type of man entering as engine room artificer as you did prior to 1925. In answer to a question which I put to the First Lord a short while ago, I was told that out of about 800 recruits who applied for entry as engine room artificers between August and November, no less than 641 were rejected; a further 113 themselves withdrew when they discovered the conditions under which they would have to live, and only 46 were entered. If one discusses things, as one cannot help discussing when one sits for a naval town, with members of the Navy who are engine room artificers, one finds that they say universally that the type of man now coming in as engine room artificers is not by any means the type that previously entered. In the old days men who passed the educational and practical tests were required to get about 60 per cent. marks before they could be passed in. So different is the type now that the Admiralty have had to reduce the percentage of marks allowed for entry to 30 per cent. Moreover, men come in 1324 now with certain physical disabilities which previously would have kept them out. Therefore, I suggest that the First Lord should go into this matter afresh and see if it is not possible to give back to this very deserving body of men the status that they have enjoyed over so many years, and which is their rightful due. It will cost the nation nothing, and it will, I submit, bring back the same type of man who previously applied for entry.
The hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) gave at great length reasons why the First Lord should inquire afresh into discipline in the Navy. He quoted extracts from the new regulations which were issued in 1929 which showed, it seemed to me, that they do differ in material ways from the old regulations which were previously in force. I do not wish to labour the point so late in the evening, but in my view there is cause for inquiry into this matter. The cases of the "Lucia," the "Royal Oak," the recent case on board the "Revenge," and other incidents on board other ships, make some of us realise that all, perhaps, is not well in this direction. I have in my hand a cutting giving a report of the case of Leading Seaman Carter, who was discharged from the Navy, losing a pension of 30s. a week, for fomenting discontent on board His Majesty's Ship "Lucia." I know nothing about the man, and it may be he deserved all that came, to him, but we are told in the newspaper report, which is all I have to go by, that he had over many years had a very good character. All we do know is that the inquiry into his conduct was apparently carried on behind closed doors, and it was a secret inquiry as far as the public is concerned. He was tried by officers whose reports are treated as confidential, and it does seem to me and to other hon. Members on this side that grave miscarriages of justice can take place. Even if injustice is not occasionally done, at any rate there is a feeling on the part of the men that it is impossible for them to maintain their point of view as they would like to do and as they would if they were in the Army where things come into open court or before a court-martial which is carried on in a proper manner. Therefore, I would ask my right hon. 1325 Friend, if representations are made to him following this Debate, to go into this matter afresh and see whether a manual cannot be issued in the same way that one is issued to officers in the Army for use when cases of discipline come forward; and whether in addition, he will not inquire afresh into the regulations issued in 1929, which in material ways bear hardly on men who happen to come up against their officers in certain directions.
I want to add to the plea which has been made for the marriage allowances for officers. I asked a question in January, and was told that the Government were considering it. I hope that the Government have now come to a decision. They have made such enormous reductions in the Navy that I feel that they are perfectly able to grant the small sum involved, which is only £350,000, in order to remedy an injustice to the officers. This is the twelfth year in which I have pleaded for the officers and their wives. I am not asking for anything unusual, but only for what the officers of the Air Force and Army have. I am certain that the First Lord feels that he ought to grant it. If he could see the appalling conditions in which the wives of officers have to live, I feel certain that he would make a passionate plea for them. We who represent ports see things which, if hon. Members on the other side saw them, would lead them to give us in the House what is called "sob-stuff." These officers have no union and no body to speak for them, and that is why this House seems so ungallant in this matter. We ought to be the people to stick up for the services which cannot help themselves. It is no good telling me what other Governments have done, for they have behaved very shabbily. At one time provision for the allowance was even on the Estimates.
I could give instances of naval officers who suffer hardship. They cannot send their children to day schools, and have to send them to boarding schools. They often have to keep two homes going, while the Army officer generally has only one. Every argument that could be made has been made in the House on behalf of these officers, and I beg the right hon. Gentleman to give us real hope. The right hon. Gentleman has had 1326 to do many things that he never thought he would have to do; why should he not do just one thing more? Sometimes I think that hon. Members are a little hard on the First Lord. When we think how difficult things are for a Socialist First Lord of the Admiralty, we ought to be very grateful to him. He has made a gallant speech to-night. He has referred to the Navy as the Imperial Navy; and he has referred to the police work, the welfare work and the rescue work of the Navy. He is perfectly right, as we know who have always stood up for the Navy—not because we thought of it as a fighting force but because it is a force for peace. Later we shall hear hon. Members speaking as though the Navy were a great menace to peace—[An HON. MEMBER: "An incubus!"]. They had better thank God for the incubus. They would not be so well fed and fat as they are without it.
I realise how difficult things have been for a Socialist First Lord, but at least he has this advantage, that there is an Opposition ready to help him. And he needs it. When a Socialist Minister uses his head instead of his heart the help of the Opposition is needed to keep him in power. He knows perfectly well that outside the House his supporters fight against the Navy. We have never known a Labour man fight for the Navy. I have fought a good many elections, and have always had to fight for the Navy against Labour men. I am grateful to the First Lord, because he has made a very gallant fight, but it is a little disappointing to see that this country is not to do all that it might do under the arrangements made at Conferences. I am all for Conferences, but it is disappointing that we do not keep the Navy right up to scratch so far as we are allowed to do so under these schemes of progressive Disarmament. I do not know whether the First Lord has got an eye on the next Conference, but even there the people will not think the less of us if we show that we intend to do all that we are permitted to do.
Again I congratulate the First Lord on his work. He achieved a great thing in bringing the French and Italians together. He is almost a wizard. Now I hope that he will do one thing more, and that is adopt a new attitude towards this 1327 question of marriage allowances for officers. He saved so much on the Navy this year that I think he has a chance of whole-hearted support even from some of the hon. Members on his own side, and certainly he will have the support of those of us on this side of the House. In regard to the dockyards, I am glad that he has stabilised work, but, all the same, his party have not done all that they said they would do when they were out of office. We were given the hope—at least I was not, because I never thought they would keep their promises—that they had a national programme for employing the dockyards on the building of everything from tin whistles to ploughs. The plan was already to be set in operation. I am very glad that it has not had to be put into effect, but if there are to be any further reductions I hope the right hon. Gentleman will bear in mind some of the promises that were made by his party, because I represent a dockyard constituency where the whole life of the people is dependent on the Navy. Therefore, if there is any further diminution of naval construction work, I hope some of those plans will be put into operation and not kept pigeon-holed.
In spite of all the disarmament talk, I cannot help feeling grateful, because I know what a fight the First Lord of the Admiralty must have had, and I am glad that he has won. It will be a bad day for England when we have a Socialist First Lord of the Admiralty, who, when he gets into power, attempts to keep some of the promises made when his party was in opposition. I know to-night we are going to be treated to the most bloodthirsty speeches. Hon. Members are going to say that the way to keep peace is to disarm. Well, I wish it was the way to get peace, but I think if there were more Christians—[Interruption.] We are going to hear people talk, peace, peace, but there is no peace within. We, as a nation, cannot legislate as though we were Christians. There is nothing in the world more dangerous to this country than to hear these glib Internationals talking about the danger to the world of armaments and war. I believe one lady Member in her maiden speech spoke as though we on this side of the House stood for war and did not want peace. 1328 We are very grateful for the work which the First Lord of the Admiralty has done for the Navy, for at least he has tried to carry out the traditions set by hon. Members who sit on this side of the House.
§ Mr. ARNOTT
The other day the Noble Lady deprecated sending the sons of officers to elementary schools—
§ Viscountess ASTOR rose—
I did not say that. The hon. Member misunderstood me. I said that the children of officers had to be sent to boarding schools.
§ Mr. ARNOTT
I do not intend to enter into the question of what should be done with the Navy, or whether we should abolish it or not, but I want to emphasise what has been said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Portsmouth (Captain W. G. Hall) with regard to a body of men who, if the Navy is to survive, are of as much importance as the people of whom we have been hearing so much to-night. I refer to the men who are responsible for running the ship—the men engaged in looking after the engines. I think every officer, and anyone who knows anything about ships, will agree that nowadays the person responsible for keeping the engines in order is the most important person in the ship. If his work fails, the ship is lost. Yesterday the Secretary of State for War pointed out the folly of trying to make a soldier into a first-class engineer after one or two weeks' training, but in the Navy it seems to be imagined that an unskilled man could be trained first of all as a stoker, and that, after a few years, he is much better qualified to take charge of an engine-room than a man who has served five years at that occupation and, in addition, has had several years' experience in the Navy.
That question has been dealt with rather effectively by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Portsmouth, but he represents a dockyard constituency, and this is a matter which concerns, not only Members for dockyard constituencies, but all Members of the House. Men who have entered the Service as skilled men should be properly 1329 appreciated, and should not be placed in an inferior position to that in which they formerly were. It is a retrograde step, which should be resisted by those Members of this House who believe that a skilled man is necessary for this occupation. I hope that the First Lord will reconsider the position of these engine-room artificers. The safety and navigation of the ships depend on their skill, and if men of less skill and experience occupy these position, either the senior men will have to be responsible for their work, or the safety of everyone on board the ships will be endangered.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I look forward to hearing what the Government spokesman has to say about these engine-room artificers. It is incomprehensible to me why the status of so important a class should be lowered, as it was several years ago, and I should like to know what is the justification for reducing their status from chief petty officer to petty officer. I look forward also to hearing the reply of the Government spokesman on the question of marriage allowances, to which the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) has made reference to-night. There is every reason in the world why, if the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty is to reply, we should have a favourable answer, because he will remember that, when these marriage allowances were proposed to be introduced by the Conservative Government, he leapt to his feet and claimed the whole credit, saying that it was a case to which he was devoted, that he had appointed the committee which had recommended the granting of these marriage allowances, and that he could not for one moment tolerate that any praise should go to a Conservative Government for action in this case which he had so deeply and intimately at heart.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
He did appoint the Goodenough Committee during his period of office, and that committee, after having most exhaustively examined the question, unanimously recommended that the Government should introduce these allowances, thus putting the Navy on the same basis as the Army and the Air 1330 Force. I questioned the Financial Secretary on the matter last year, as several other Members did, and he told us that another inquiry had been instituted. I should very much like to know the result of it because, whatever form it took, I am certain it was in favour of granting marriage allowances to naval officers. So it will be a matter of interest to hear what he has to say, particularly in view of the valiant part he has played in advocating these allowances when in Opposition. I want to hear also what is the extent to which marriage allowances payable to ratings have been introduced. The pay has recently been reduced. There is a lower scale of pay than heretofore and any diminution in the amount payable in respect of wives and children must fall most seriously upon the Service. I should like to know what the extent of those reductions may be.
The Noble Lady referred to stabilisation in the dockyards and the First Lord has taken, rightly, a great deal of credit for having kept the numbers employed so high, but there is a new aspect of stabilisation to which I would draw his sympathetic attention. Very few men become established in comparison with the numbers employed. Out of 10,000 employed at Devonport, fewer than 3,000 are established. It would be perfectly easy to give security of employment to a much larger number of men. I am aware that the number has been reduced from one in eight to one in six, but yet the number is materially less than it was a year ago and I think the Admiralty could with safety reduce it still further to one in two and thus give a more permanent form of tenure, accompanied with the prospect of pensions to a larger number of men.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Central Hull has spoken of the method of redressing grievances in the Navy. I should like to say a word on what I consider to be a matter of very grave and important principle, namely, the method of redressing grievances in the dockyards. There is in operation the Whitley Council system. Under the constitution of the Whitley Councils, on every shop committee, there is supposed to be a representative of every union in the shop, but that principle is not followed. The 1331 constitution is not obeyed, and there are numbers of unions which can never have direct representation of their grievances. When I asked the First Lord about it, he gave me a very astonishing answer. He told me that no man had a right to be represented on the Whitley Council unless he belonged to a union affiliated to the Trade Union Congress. Under the law of England as it is to-day, no established civil servant can belong to a union that is affiliated to the Trade Union Congress. As I was told yesterday, 275 Civil Service unions have been given a certificate under the Act of 1927, and they are the only properly authorised unions as far as established civil servants are concerned. So you have this ridiculous position that the Whitley Council lays down that in every shop a representative of every union shall have a right to represent his grievance to his own representative on the Whitley Council and you have a law that says no established civil servant shall belong to a union that is affiliated to the Trade Union Congress, and when I drew the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the case of unions representing the men in that craft who wish to be represented on the Whitley Council, he says they cannot be so represented because they do not belong to unions affiliated to the Trade Union Congress.
There is, in particular, a union to which I have drawn his attention, called the National Union of Government Ship-joiners, Furnishers and Allied Trades. [Interruption.] Hon. Members believe in democracy when it suits them. When a number of men belong to a union authorised by the law as it now is, and they wish to belong to that union, by what democratic principle can you deny them representation, even though you disagree with their principles? So far as Devonport is concerned, this union has 184 members, out of 226 persons employed in that particular craft. The Woodworkers' Union have only seven members. Over 90 per cent. of the men of that craft belong to that other union, and they have to be represented on the Whitley Council by a woodworker. In Chatham, there happen to be no woodworkers at all, and the majority of the men belong to the other union. Whatever your political views may be, you, 1332 cannot deny the men the right to be represented in the manner in which they wish to be represented.
This union has a particular claim to recognition because it was formed as the result of the Admiralty's own action, in enjoining piecework in the dockyard. Every union accepted except the Woodworkers' Union. The consequence was that everybody left the Woodworkers' Union and preferred to do piecework. They may be right or wrong, but the Admiralty cannot turn round on men who have done exactly what they asked to be done, and say, "Because you have done this, you cannot represent your own grievances through your own men." I appeal with confidence to this Government. Although it may not suit their particular theories, let them not permit the perpetuation of an apparent and flagrant injustice.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
Hon. Members, including the Noble Lady for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) and the hon. and gallant Member for Epsom (Commander Southby), have all been very sorry for our naval officers who require marriage allowances. I can understand their sympathy and sorrow, but I wonder why their sorrow stops short at naval officers? How generous they can be when they are contemplating the difficulties of naval officers, and how stingy when contemplating the difficulties of the unemployed! The troubles of the people whom they are sympathetic about are very great. They cannot keep the home fires burning and educate their children on the poor, miserable salary of over £500 per year, which is the salary of the people over whom we are asked to weep tears.
§ Rear-Admiral SUETER
May I interrupt the hon. Gentleman? Will he tell me what naval officer gets a salary of £500 a year?
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
When these people work for six years they get a salary that a miner would not look at, of £570 per year. Not only that, I believe they get their clothes, their food, and their washing thrown in. I do not want to be hard-hearted.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
When the hon. Member speaks of that salary, is he aware that he is speaking of lieut.-commanders, a senior service, and that those below that rank do not get anything like that figure?
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
I believe the hon. Member is asking for a marriage allowance for lieutenant-commanders.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
I understand that they get a clothing allowance. If they do not get a clothing allowance I shall feel a little bit more sorry for them than I do now. When we ask for another shilling a week for the dependants of the men who are unemployed, we are told that we cannot afford it. We can only afford to give 2s. a week to keep the child of an unemployed person. I am not going to be awfully sorry for naval officers. Until we can raise the rates for the unemployed and their dependants, we shall have to think in terms of strict economy for naval officers. Lieutenant-commanders get 25 per cent. more than Members of Parliament. Why not a marriage allowance for Members of Parliament? Believe me, I am a bachelor, but I am not at all bigoted, and if there is to be a marriage allowance for Members of Parliament it may encourage me to change my mind. I am told that Admirals get retired pay—they do not call it the dole—of between £800 and £900 a year.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
Will the hon. and gallant Member tell me how much he gets? I say that Admirals are getting retired pay of between £800 and £900 a year. I have been to the fountain head and got real information.
§ Rear-Admiral SUETER rose—
§ The CHAIRMAN
We are in Committee. If the hon. and gallant Member wishes to speak he will have his opportunity later.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
I have discovered that a lieutenant-commander, retired, gets a minimum of £222 10s. per annum, or more than twice as much for doing nothing as a miner gets for going down into the pit and risking his life so many hours a day. I would like to give marriage allowances, but, first of all, if we are to have economies, if we are to cut down to the last penny, I want us to think in the terms of the unemployed and others who have fallen by the wayside, before we are generous to people who have a minimum pension of £220 a year when they are out of work and £500 when they are in work. The hon. and Noble Lady the Member for Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) tells us that she has fought for the Navy all her life. May I ask, for what navy?
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
Not the Virginian Navy? She tells us that she yields to no one in her admiration for the Navy; that she has loved it all her life, and for 24 years before she arrived here. She loves it because it is the one thing which stabilises the peace of the world. She has told us that peace will never come from dreamy long-haired internationalists; and she loves the Navy because it is the one guarantee for peace. I wonder whether the hon. Lady ever studied logic. If internationalists had their way and all the gunboats were scrapped what terrible battles we should have at sea. That is the logic of her argument. Peace is not going to come by building more and more gunboats and cruisers, but when the nations realise that there is nothing to be gained from war, that it is the craziest thing possible. We must think in terms of disarmament.
I come to the hon. and gallant Member for Epsom (Commander Southby), who said that we were bleeding the Navy white; cutting it to the very bone. We are spending £51,000,000 per year on the Navy. He talked about the United States Navy and its personnel. Is America the new enemy? Have we had a Five-Power Conference? What are we frightened about? The German Navy is at the bottom of the sea; there is no Russian Navy at all. Yet the hon. and gallant Member said that we are bleed- 1335 ing the British Navy white in spending £51,000,000 per annum on it. I wish we were spending a few million pounds less on it and a few million pounds more on things that matter. We are spending £100,000 a year on radium for cancer research, or one-eightieth part of the cost of a dreadnought. Yet there is far more danger to the nation from cancer than from the navies of other countries. £51,000,000 is to be spent on the Navy and it is "scraping to the bone." And we had a war to end war. A million boys, my pals and yours, are dead. It was to be the last war. The hon. and gallant Member for Epsom told us that the Empire will view with misgivings the reduction of Navy expenditure. If that is so, let the component parts of the Empire pay something towards the cost of the Navy. There are "a whole lot" in the Empire who are awfully patriotic—I happen to be a very patriotic Canadian—but they are patriotic on the cheap, at a cost of nothing. I apologise for having occupied so much time. To the Noble Lady the Member for Sutton I say: "I forgive you for everything that you have said, because I know that your intentions are good, and because I know that there is still hope for you." I have intervened in the Debate because I wanted to speak of things that matter. I wish we were spending millions and millions more in fighting the real enemies, which are poverty and misery and a bad social system.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
I wish to raise the question of the medical service of the Navy. Last night, on the Army Estimates, I referred to the Royal Army Medical Corps, and showed the dependence of our fighting Services in general on their medical services. The Secretary of State then said that the position was serious in the Army and Navy and Air Force. From these Estimates I do not quite understand what is the exact position. It is difficult to understand what is the number of medical officers in the Navy. It seems that the number has been reduced by 50, compared with last year. The Services Committee of the British Medical Association have looked into the question sympathetically for a long time, and have approached the different Services con- 1336 cerned. We are in a very serious position in this respect and I ask the First Lord if he is taking serious steps to deal with the situation. There is no mention, either in the White Paper or in the Estimates, of the seriousness of the position but it is possible that the right hon. Gentleman may have some explanation to offer, which does not appear on the surface. I maintain, however, that the position as regards the medical service, which is so serious in the Army, is also serious in the Navy, but in the case of the Navy it is camouflaged or hidden and nobody realises it. The health of the Navy is a vital factor in its efficiency, and is also vital in relation to civil purposes. Here we have about 100,000 of the best fellows in the country, at the best time of their lives, entrusted to the State and the State ought to look after them, and return them to civil life in a condition of perfect fitness to carry out the duties of civilian occupations. The medical service of the Navy is important from that standpoint, if from no other.
The First Lord stated briefly that the health of the Navy was good but "good" is a comparative term. I agree with him that it is good, but there is one serious matter to which I would direct attention. In diseases attaching to overseas service there was a steady decline up to 1925, but, since then, the decrease has not been continued. I believe that the position in that respect is affected by the shortage of medical officers and the failure of the Admiralty to take the matter as seriously as they might. I wish to know if it is the case that the British Social Hygiene Council has approached the Admiralty and offered its help in regard to providing educational facilities at home, and amusements and so on in ports oversea, where it is so essential that the health of the men should be safeguarded. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will inform us if the Admiralty have made use of the services of that excellent association. Further, I would remark that if research is to be carried on, in connection with the medical services of the Navy, by men holding temporary commissions, who cannot be identified with the service in the same way as permanent officers, we shall be in a precarious position in that respect.
I understand that an Inter-Departmental Committee is being set up to deal with the question of the medical service 1337 in relation to all three Services, and I would urge on the First Lord, as I urged on the Secretary of State for War, that this subject should be regarded in a broader way. Hitherto the Services have been trying to find some solution of this difficulty, but they have not up to the present, acting independently, provided a career which would attract a young medical men. I believe that the State, as a whole, would have the power to offer such a career. The State should act as agent for all the different medical services for which it is responsible and towards which it contributes. Suggestions as to fusing the medical branches of the Services have always met with disaster, because the Services are not prepared to take that course in reference to any of their constituent parts.
It would be impossible to fuse the medical services of the different Government Departments, but I believe the State could act as agents for the recruiting, exchange, and transference, and finally the pension and gratuity rights of the service. In that way they might get a career for medical officers which would enable them to see the possibility of choosing the Navy for a certain length of years, and then, at 40 or 50, standing a good chance of finding occupation in the public medical services to which the State contributes, I hope the First Lord will help the Inter-Departmental Committee, when it is set up, to arrive at a solution on very broad lines, and I am sure he will find the medical Members of this House, the British Medical Association, and the profession generally, only too anxious to help him to find a solution.
§ Mr. AMMON
I think it will be for the convenience of hon. Members if I reply now on the Debate. To deal first with the last point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for St. Albans (Lieut.-Colonel Fremantle), I can tell him right away that that has been a matter of considerable concern to the Board of Admiralty, and we have given very close attention to it quite recently. The present position is that we are about 40 below strength so far as medical officers are concerned, and we have referred the matter to an Inter-Departmental Committee with a view to ariving at a solution of the problem. I would point out that there are greater opportunities for medical officers to earn large sums of money outside, and therefore it 1338 is more difficult for them to give service to a Service like the Navy than was the case in days gone by.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
Does the hon. Member appreciate that it is not only finance, but that if he would give a wider career and prospects, he might be able to solve the problem?
§ Mr. AMMON
I am delighted, and I hope that in that respect the hon. and gallant Member speaks with some authority, because I am sure it will help us considerably in the matter under consideration. The hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) raised a question with regard to discipline in the Navy, and that was also referred to by other hon. Members. As far as the question of the "Lucia" is concerned, I do not propose to touch on that again, as my right hon. Friend the First Lord has already done so. I think, however, there is a great deal of unintentional exaggeration with regard to the position as it now is. There has been a considerable revision of the rules and regulations governing the discipline of the Navy, and we have taken steps quite recently to ensure that it is brought to the attention of every rating in the Navy that they have a perfect right to appeal right through if they want to do so and that none dare make them afraid. We have paid special attention to see that that is done, and there is no reason to think that it will not be carried out. I ought to say that the rules were revised in 1929 in order to bring them into line with the rules so far as the Army is concerned, and therefore when the Army regulations are held up to us as a pattern, I would point out that we have followed that pattern; and if the rules are given a fair trial I am sure there will not be much to find fault with. The standard of discipline and of conduct in the Navy, as my right hon. Friend has said, is very high, and the amount of attention that has been attracted by certain recent events is, after all, an indication of how rare these things are, and the high standard that obtains in the Navy.
The hon. and gallant Member for Epsom (Commander Southby) raised some questions regarding the personnel, and although I am not one to take offence. I must say that I resent the tone in which he approached that problem as 1339 if the Government were acting in a hardhearted and arbitrary manner and had regard only to the pressure brought upon them in certain quarters.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I had no intention of conveying any impression that the present Government were having pressure brought upon them from any quarter to do anything unjust.
§ Mr. AMMON
I am glad to have given the opportunity to the hon. and gallant Gentleman of making it clear that that was not what he intended, because, if he looks at the OFFICIAL REPORT, he will see that he spoke in specific terms. It was indicated last year by the First Lord that there would be a certain gradual reduction of the personnel of the Navy over a number of years. We are equally concerned that, while we have this task of running the Navy, it shall be properly manned and efficient. Such reductions as have been made have been made from regard to real economy—not economy merely to save money, but the economy that gives proper and efficient service. There has been no economy in the real efficiency of the Navy. When hon. Members refer to a marked cutting down having taken place over a number of years, they should have regard to the fact that a remarkable change in respect of the diminution of personnel has resulted from the change over from coal to oil, which has meant cutting by half, and sometimes more, the number of men formerly employed. The United States figures have been referred to, but they are not comparable. They include marine land forces and aeronautical units which are included in the Royal Air Force in this country. If some means could be found of comparing like with like, it would be seen that we have nothing to fear from the comparison.
The hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth (Captain W. G. Hall) raised the question of the engine-room artificers. I have gone into this matter very carefully, and have received a deputation on it. There has been some slight exaggeration or misunderstanding about it. These artisans, for the first three years, instead of being rated as chief petty officers, are rated as petty officers, and they go on to the position of chief petty officer after three years. That has 1340 been found, on the whole, to work much better, because by that time these young men have caught the Navy atmosphere, and they get into it better than they would have done if they had started as chief petty officers at first. I can assure hon Members that they are quite mistaken in assumnig that we are lacking recruits. There was a falling off in the earlier half of 1930, but things have picked up considerably, and we are getting sufficient men. The figures which have been quoted with regard to rejections are, after all, an indication of the high standard. The difficulty is that we cannot always get them of a sufficient educational and physical standard, but nevertheless we get sufficient.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Is it not a fact that you have lowered the standard from 60 marks to 30 marks, and that a higher status would attract a higher standard?
§ Captain W. G. HALL
Is it not a fact that, although you have a lower grade, the age is still the same? They are not entering at a younger age and are still trained men.
§ Mr. AMMON
I have said so. They come in as quite young men, and for the first three years are petty officers instead of entering right away as chief petty officers, and it has been found for the moral of the Service that this has not been a disadvantage. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that I have given close attention to this matter and could I have seen my way to meet his position without feeling that I was doing it without regard to the merits of the case I should have done it. I turn to some of the points raised by the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor). The question of reductions has already been referred to in the answer I have given to another hon. Member. Reductions are only on the lines of genuine economy, which has regard to all other factors as well as money, there is a proper and full complement of men 1341 in all departments of the Navy for the proper carrying on of the Service.
Has the hon. Gentleman received any complaints about the men who when they come back from overseas service do not get the time at home that they used to get?
§ Mr. AMMON
I have not heard that. It is quite a new point, and, if the Noble Lady will let me have any case, I will be glad to look into it. The Noble Lady raised the question of marriage allowances and on that subject the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) made his usual speech which is becoming an annual event; he is in danger of becoming quite a gramophone in regard to that subject. It is not so easy as it looks. I have not said that there is to be a fresh inquiry. I have said that the Board of Admiralty have had it under consideration. There are certain inquiries to make and certain information needed, and I am not in a position to say whether or not it will be granted, or whether it will be turned down. I do not say that the latter position is entirely out of the question.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
Can the hon. Gentleman hold out any hopes that the result of the deliberations will be made public at a fairly early date.
§ Mr. AMMON
I cannot go into anything like that. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows anything about the Board of Admiralty, he will leave it there. I was surprised that the Noble Lady—I am not quite so surprised about the hon. Member for Devonport—that she was not generous enough to admit that we had maintained the personnel of the dockyards. We have certainly endeavoured, and we shall continue to do so, to maintain that personnel. It must be remembered that the percentage of men established is much higher than it was some time ago. We have raised the proportion of established vacancies filled from one in eight to one in six which is a considerable advance.
As to the Whitley Councils, I ask the hon. Member whether it is his purpose to destroy them, because that is what his proposals tend to. The Whitley Councils include representatives of those unions which are affiliated to the Trade Union 1342 Congress, and though that arrangement, which is the result of an agreement, may give rise to anomalies, if those other bodies to which he referred were on the councils there would be withdrawals and the councils would collapse. Avenues of appeal are open to all in the naval service; there are opportunities for them, whether they belong to trade unions or not, to present memorials which will have fair and proper consideration. One other point—
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
The hon. Member asked me a question and is now passing away from the subject. He asked me whether it was my purpose to destroy the Whitley Council. I say the action of the hon. Member is destroying the Whitley Council because he is not allowing the unions to be represented in accordance with the constitution of the council. I also put to him the point that under the law of England an established civil servant may no longer belong to a union affiliated to the Trade Union Congress. He has not dealt with that point.
§ Mr. AMMON
They can belong to unions affiliated to the Congress, but not to the political Labour party—a different thing altogether. The hon. Member is putting up dummies in order to knock them down. The agreement is that the men shall be represented on the Whitley Council through associations, and it is really implicit in the constitution that they shall be associations affiliated to the Trade Union Congress. If that agreement were varied the Whitley Council would collapse. The answer I give to the hon. Member is that if we did what he wants, the Whitley Council would be dead within 24 hours. As to the retirement of officers, the case raised by the hon. Member is no doubt one of hardship for a young man who started out in the hope of following a career which he thought would appeal to him. The roots of this matter go very far back, however. In 1922 it was found that there were too many officers, and some scheme had to be put in hand to deal with the situation. We do not want to cut down the number of officers, but there are too many officers for the positions available. Accordingly, a scheme has been drawn up to deal with surplus officers, and they will have the opportunity of retiring on 1343 a special form of retired pay ranging from £225 10s. as a minimum to £360 a year as a maximum. The first scheme covers 150 officers and the retirements will be in batches. I hope we shall be able to arrange retirements voluntarily; we are trying to work the plan in that way.
§ Mr. AMMON
They will be standard rates. If the hon. and gallant Member looks at it fairly, he will see that we are trying to meet the hardships which we all deplore in a fair and generous spirit. We have no desire to make difficulties or to act in any arbitrary spirit, but we have to face the facts of the situation. We have to see that the road to promotion is not blocked, and we have endeavoured to do so in a way that will not cause soreness or hardship to those who come under the axe.
§ Mr. KINLEY
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by 90,000 men.
This is a very necessary challenge to the whole outlook of the House with regard to the question of naval armaments. I have heard only one suggestion in this Debate teat the Government ought to make any effort towards peace, that they ought to make any effort towards reducing the Navy to a point that will render warfare impossible as far as we are concerned. That was put forward along with the suggestion that other countries should do the same, that there should be international action for the abolition of navies. Until we get seriously down to that question, we are simply deluding ourselves with the belief that the present position of our Navy and the present proposals of our naval chiefs mean a step towards a better state of affairs. Is it not true to say that the correct diagnosis of the position is that we are not limiting naval armaments but are limiting the expansion of naval armaments? There was a good deal of criticism in America of the Five-Power Naval Conference by people who wish the abolition of all forms of warfare. Their criticism was that its result actually was to enable the United States of America to increase the size of its navy. 1344 No one will suggest that any agreement which allows a Power to increase its armaments can be considered to be any solution of the disarmament problem. Further, the latest reports that we have mean, again, that one of the two Powers concerned will, under the agreement suggested, be enabled to increase its own fighting power. However many agreements we may make, they will mean that one Power or another is going to increase its fighting strength; and we ourselves, in black and white, categorically reserve to ourselves, not merely the number of men that is being asked for to-day, but actually the right, in certain contingencies, to increase our naval strength. It will be utterly impossible for this country in the future, as it has been in the past, to get any nearer to disarmament, or to make any contribution to it that is worth while.
When the suggestion is put forward that total disarmament—the abolition of the whole of our naval personnel—is the one solution, it is countered, overwhelmingly, one has to admit, by the exact opposite. We are assured on all hands that the one way to make for peace in this world is to fill ourselves full with fighting weapons and fighting men. We are assured that, if only we make our Navy strong enough, there will be no fear of our ever having to use it. So also the French people in France, the Italians in Italy, the Americans in the United States, and the Japanese in Japan, are assured that, if only they provide themselves with navies large enough, there will never be any naval warfare. That is all rubbish. There is no one who believes that, or who ever did believe it—no one, at least, with any intelligence, for the whole history of the world is one long repetition of battle after battle between those very Powers which have striven with might and main to make themselves so overwhelmingly powerful as to be able to overcome all with whom they came into conflict. The bigger the navies grew, the more deadly were those battles when they came. When was there, in the history of any naval Power of to-day, any period when there was no danger of war? When was there a period in our own country when those responsible for the Navy were not eagerly and keenly searching the naval preparations and personnel of every other naval Power? Are 1345 they not doing it to-day? Are not even our former Allies constantly contrasting the comparative strengths of the British Navy and of those of the United States and France? And why? Because they know that sooner or later this Navy of ours is going to be used. It will not be used, presumably, against any but a naval Power, and therefore our present Navy, even at a time of negotiation with both these other countries, is being brought up to such a pitch that, when the time shall come, they will have no chance against us. That is the aim of everyone who shouts for a big Navy, big Army or a big Air Force. The whole idea is to be so overwhelmingly powerful that no one else shall have a fair chance, that you shall be able to ride roughshod, or impose your will upon other people who have made less preparation than you yourself have.
On those lines, no nation on earth has yet succeeded. Every nation that has attempted that has failed. Britain to-day is failing. Even those who do not hold the slightest spark of sympathy with the Amendment, those who are the biggest of the big Navy people, have to admit that they cannot stand up, as formerly they did, and demand a two-Power standard. They have been compelled by the very delevolment of other peoples to limit the personnel that they are asking for and, in that limitation, to acknowledge their inferiority as compared with the position that they boasted of formerly. We have to recognise that other nations are developing their commerce and, just as Britain in its earlier days demanded that it must have a Navy powerful enough to protect its merchantmen on the whole the seas of the world, so every other country which is now developing a commerce of its own demands the same thing with the same logic, and international trade rivalry drives inevitably and unescapably in the direction of big navies. The one involves the other and compels the other.
Are we not painfully aware that there is a distinct danger that we may find ourselves in conflict with our American cousins because they have now arrived at a stage where they can deny to us the exercise of one of our injustices, that is the one that refers to the freedom of the seas? We are not any longer in the position of telling the whole world that 1346 Britain rules the waves in peace and in war. We are slowly being forced against our will. The question is, is there any hope now that we shall be able to get this House to realise that the old way was the wrong way, that the present way is the wrong way, that you cannot disarm while arming, that you cannot hope to make any progress in that direction no matter how many conferences you may hold, no matter how many agreements you may enter into, while at the same time every Power concerned in those conferences has its own expert staff and is seeking, morning, noon and night, to make its weapon much more efficient and deadly than it ever had been before. Let us not deceive ourselves. Here is this weapon. In the past we have used it for many purposes. We have used it, for instance, in developing this Empire of ours, and the Empire would never have been ours but for that use that we made of our Navy, to deprive other people of their own countries. Deprived of our Navy, obviously that part of our development would go, and we believe that we should be a better people for it.
With regard to the 90,000 even that we are going to take away, it may be insisted that they are essential for the maintenance of Britain's position in the world. Who are they and where do they come from? They are men who belong to the class to which I belong, and who now, just as in days gone by and since the press gang was abolished, have been driven into the Service by sheer force of circumstances. They are forced into the Service through pressure of unemployment. That is what is happening to-day. [Interruption.] I am speaking now of men in my own constituency; I know they are no different from those in any other.
§ Mr. KINLEY
I know this: if you were to take the whole of the men who are serving in the Navy to-day, and offer every one his freedom together with a job to go to, you would have very few men left in the Navy to-morrow. They have been driven there; they are being driven there, and they will be driven there in future. It is mean of any nation to take advantage of the unemployment and poverty of its people to build up a 1347 strong and powerful Navy to be used against other peoples and against itself. I would like, for many reasons, to see the passing of this Amendment. Apart from anything else, I would know that those to whom I belong, the workers of Britain, would have at least one foe less to fight in any future strike. There are very many bad patches in the history of our Navy, when these men, drawn from the workers, have been sent under orders and armed, to prevent their fathers and brothers from securing better conditions on the industrial field. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. KINLEY
So far as the workers of Britain are concerned, the passing of this Amendment would free them from two dangers. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. KINLEY
One danger is the danger of this weapon of the Navy being used against the workers in their industrial conflicts in future, and the second danger is that during their unemployment, owing to their lack of the necessaries of life, the workers may be forced into a Service which, in 99 cases out of 100, they have always found unsavoury and unsatisfactory from beginning to end. No one need pretend that the Navy is a happy family of very happy men, who would not leave if they had an opportunity. No one need pretend that the Navy is satisfied. Whatever claim may be made for the Navy, I hope that no one in this House will ever claim that to find ideal conditions of men living in perfect happiness one has to go to the British Navy, because no one would believe it; certainly no one who has been in touch with those who have served and those who are serving. I ask the Committee to support the Amendment, and I hope that it will be carried. I want those who have some misgiving as to the amount of the proposed reduction, to bear in mind that this is only asking to be done at once what they are 1348 hoping may be done by a series of steps. Instead of grading the Navy down as an evil thing, as something to be abolished at the earliest possible opportunity, and instead of doing that step by step over a long period, it would be far better, more effective and more just to everyone concerned to abolish the whole thing at once, and let the nation and the Government be compelled, willy-nilly, to settle the whole of its disputes with everybody in the future not on the basis of holding the biggest guns but on the basis of reason, argument, justice and fair play.
I have to say at once that we cannot possibly accept the Amendment. I think it best to reply briefly and not at length, as did my right hon. Friend last night on the Army Vote, because my hon. Friends behind me know perfectly well that. I understand their point of view, and I think they know perfectly well that they understand my point of view. It would be useless to debate the matter at length. My hon. Friends are going into the Lobby in order to register the point of view which they have expressed to-night, and which they expressed last night. We can only proceed as quickly as we can get international agreement by pro-rata reduction. I think the Committee will give the Foreign Secretary, myself and others this credit, that we have laboured unceasingly, since the Prime Minister first gave the lead in July, 1929, to get pro-rata reduction in armaments. As long as I am at the Admiralty I shall continue to labour to that end, but I must never forget, even then, that, while I am there, I am charged with the oversight of the security of my fellow-countrymen. I cannot accept the Amendment, and, with the explanation that I have given, I hope it will suit the convenience of the House to proceed to a Division.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I have no desire to occupy the attention of the House for more than one minute, and I agree that the First Lord has adopted the right attitude with regard to the Amendment in not giving anything more than a brief reply. But one statement made by the hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Kinley) is so wrong and so unfair that someone should stand up and prove it to be wrong. 1349 The hon. Member talked about service in the Navy being unsavoury, and he would have us believe that men have joined the Navy because they were driven to it by starvation and unemployment. I challenge him to go to any dockyard and tell the men that and see what would happen. If he told the men that they were slaves, it would be hotly resented.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I suppose there is no service in which there is so much happiness and comradeship as in the Royal Navy, and that has come down ever since the Navy first began and has been a feature of the Service all through its history. I think that for any hon. Member to stand up and let it go out from this House that it is believed by hon. Members opposite that the men in the Services are not free and do not join of their own will and are not happy is a monstrous misuse of debate in this House.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
I do not apologise for detaining the House for five minutes, because for eight hours the admirals and commanders have had their fling while for half-an-hour those of us who hold a minority point of view have been trying to put our point of view. I particularly do not desire to cast a vote to-night that will be a silent vote. I feel that a tribute ought to be paid to what the present Government have done for the cause of international peace, especially the work of the First Lord of the Admiralty and of the Foreign Secretary very recently. I do not want my vote to be cast with a feeling behind it that it is a vote of hostility to the present Government. Last night a little heat was engendered into our Debate because things were not looked at in their right perspective.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
No, not by the admirals; it was the generals last night. The Government have said, and we must respect their opinion, that unilateral disarmament is going to get us nowhere. But some of us do stand for unilateral disarmament, and the only chance we 1350 have of demonstrating that fact is by going into the Lobby on an Amendment such as this. I recognise that we only represent a small minority in the country, but even a small minority has a right to be heard in this House and to go into the Division Lobby in order to give some idea of the volume of that minority in the country. I believe that unilateral disarmament is a principle being preached from countless platforms in this country and that it is receiving more support than many hon. Members realise, and I should be disloyal to my own principles if I did not take the opportunity of expressing them even at the risk of the displeasure of some of my hon. Friends.
I may be a young man in a hurry on this question of war and peace and disarmament, but there is need for hurry. The boy who was born in 1914 will be of military age next year, and my eldest boy in six years will be of military age. I may be wrong, but it is because I believe that the point of view which I hold is right that I want to make clear on the Floor of the House that point of view of disarmament by example. If some of us do not go on being pioneers of this idea we shall never get any further. It is only because a few people are prepared to take up these ideas that we can get on at all. I do not want to associate myself with any attacks on members of the fighting forces. I played my own small part in the last War and I have many comrades among those in the fighting forces. They were jolly good fellows, and there was a great feeling of comradeship and fellowship. But we object that these men under orders have sometimes to do tasks against the interests to which they belong, and only to that extent do I associate myself with any remarks that have just been made concerning the men in the fighting forces. I fought with them and lost some of my hest pals among them. It is because I have an abiding memory of many of my friends who did not come back that I am working for the same ideal for which they laid down their lives.
§ Question put, "That a number, not exceeding 3,650, be employed for the said Sea Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 11; Noes 152.1193
|Division No. 189.]||AYES.||[3.48 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gillett, George M.||Lloyd, C. Ellis|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Glassey, A. E.||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Addison, Rt Hon. Dr. Christopher||Gossling, A. G.||Longden, F.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Gould, F.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lowth, Thomas|
|Ammon, Charles George||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lunn, William|
|Arnott, John||Granville, E.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Gray, Milner||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Ayles, Walter||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||McElwee, A.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Groves, Thomas E.||McEntee, V. L.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Grundy, Thomas W.||McKinlay, A.|
|Barr, James||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hall, J. H (Whitechapel)||MacNeill-Weir. L.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Benson, G.||Hamilton. Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||McShane, John James|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hardle, George D.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Manning, E. L.|
|Bromfield, William||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||March, S.|
|Brooke, W.||Haycock, A. W.||Marley, J.|
|Brothers, M.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Marshall, Fred|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Mathers, George|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Matters, L. W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Maxton, James|
|Buchanan, G.||Herriotts, J.||Melville, Sir James|
|Burgess, F. G.||Hirst, G. H. (York W.R. Wentworth)||Messer, Fred|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Hoffman, P. C.||Millar, J. D.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hopkin, Daniel||Mills, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Montague, Frederick|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)|
|Chater, Daniel||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Clarke, J. S.||Johnston, Thomas||Muff, G.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Murnin, Hugh|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, Rt. Hon Lelf (Camborne)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Cove, William G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)|
|Daggar, George||Kelly, W. T.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Dallas, George||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Palln, John Henry.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kinley. J.||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Day, Harry||Knight, Holford||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Perry, S. F.|
|Dukes, C.||Lang, Gordon||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Duncan, Charles||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Ede. James Chuter||Lathan, G.||Phillips, Dr. Marlon|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||L[...]w, Albert (Bolton)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Elmley. Viscount||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|England, Colonel A.||Lawrence, Susan||Potts, John S.|
|Foot, Isaac.||Lawson, John James||Price, M. P.|
|Freeman, Peter||Leach, W.||Pybus, Percy John|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Lees, J.||Raynes, W. R.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Lindley, Fred W.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Ritson, J.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Townend, A. E.|
|Romeril, H. G.||Sitch, Charles H.||Vaughan, David|
|Rosbotham. D. S. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Viant, S. P.|
|Rowson, Guy||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Sanders, W. S.||Snell, Harry||Westwood, Joseph|
|Sandham, E.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||White, H. G.|
|Sawyer, G. F.||Sorensen, R.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Scott, James||Stamford, Thomas W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Stephen, Campbell||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Williams, T. (York. Don Valley)|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Strauss, G. R.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Sherwood, G. H.||Sullivan, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Shield, George William||Sutton, J. E.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester.Loughb'gh).|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Wise, E. F.|
|Shillaker, J. F.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Shinwell, E.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Simmons, C. J.||Tinker, John Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)||Toole, Joseph||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Eden, Captain Anthony||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Penny, Sir George|
|Albery, Irving James||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Ferguson, Sir John||Richardson Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Atkinson, C.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Salmon, Major I.|
|Balniel, Lord||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Beamish. Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Berry, Sir George||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Savery, S. S.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Hartington, Marquess of||Smith, R, W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Brown, Brig-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hurd, Percy A.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T,||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)|
|Butler, R. A.||Iveagh, Countess of||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Knox, Sir Alfred||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Lamb, Sir J. O.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Train, J.|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A.(Birm., W.)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Meller, R. J.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Crichton-stuart, Lord C.||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)|
|Duckworth, G. A. V.||O'Neill. Sir H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Sir Frederick Thomson.|
Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.
|Division No. 190.]||AYES.||[12.41 a.m.|
|Ayles, Walter||Lea, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Longden, F.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Maxton James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Kinley, J.||Sandham, E.||Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Brockway.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Raynes, W. R.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Remer, John R.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.|
|Arnott, John||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Romerll, H. G.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Hayday, Arthur||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hayes, John Henry||Rothschild, J. de|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Rowson, Guy|
|Benson, G.||Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sandeman, sir N. Stewart|
|Bowyer, Captain sir George E. W.||Herriotts, J.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Bracken, B.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Brooke, W.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shield, George William|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Lathan, G.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Lawrence, Susan||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Lawson, John James||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Butler, R. A.||Leach, W.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Southby, Commander A. R J.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sueter Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Clarke, J. S.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sullivan, J.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||McElwee, A.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)|
|Daggar, George||McEntee, V. L.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Dallas, George||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Manning, E. L.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Mansfield, W.||Vaughan, David|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Viant, S. P.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Marley, J.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Duckworth, G. A. V.||Marshall, Fred||Wallace, H. W.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Mathers, George||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Gill, T. H.||Noel Baker. P. J.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Glassey, A. E.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Gossling, A. G.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Palin, John Henry||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Penny, Sir George||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Granville, E.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Price, M. P.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Pybus, Percy John||Wilfrid Paling.|
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.