HC Deb 17 November 1931 vol 259 cc680-7

Can the Prime Minister make a statement in reference to Business? Will he also tell us what Business he desires to get through to-day, and whether the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Bill will be in the Vote Office to-night?


The Bill cannot be in the Vote Office until we get the Resolution. It will be in the Vote Office to-morrow morning. With regard to the question as to Business, I must apologise to the House for having had to change the Business, but I think that the House will recognise the position.

To-morrow, Wednesday, we shall take the Second Reading of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Bill, and on Thursday the remaining stages of the Bill.

On Friday, the Business will be the Second Beading of the Statute of Westminster Bill.

If there is time on any day, other Orders will be taken.

As regards the Business to-day, perhaps I might give a full answer. The Eleven o'clock Rule is being suspended to-day in order to obtain, first of all, the Motion standing in the name of the Prime Minister relating to the procedure in connection with the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Bill; that is the second Motion on the Paper with the title of "Business of the House." Secondly, it is being suspended to obtain the Committee stage of the Ways and Means Resolution which is necessary in order that the Bill may be introduced. If the procedure Motion is passed by the House, the Report stage of the Ways and Means Resolution, which is exempted Business, will be taken immediately after the Committee stage, and a Bill ordered in, printed, and made available to Members to-morrow morning. If there is time before Eleven o'clock, we shall take the Second Reading of the Educational Endowments (Scotland) Bill and the Committee stage of the Money Resolution.


Can the Prime Minister possibly simplify the title of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Bill? It is a most appalling title, and surely my right hon. Friend can do something to put it in a simple form.


I will do anything I can to assist my hon. Friend to make the christening of the Bill a little more amenable to our tongues, but hon. Members can use whatever name they like.


Surely it is not necessary to suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule with the majority that the Government have.


I should always do it in those circumstances.


Do I gather from the right hon. Gentleman's statement that we are to get the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Bill to-morrow morning and proceed to discuss it at 3.45?




Surely this is extraordinary procedure. I cannot recollect any instance of an important Measure such as this, which alters the whole fiscal basis of the country, being presented to the House in circumstances which do not allow us even one night for the consideration of its provisions and an appreciation of the full effects of it. I cannot think that either the Prime Minister or the Lord President of the Council, if they were sitting on the Opposition Front Bench, would agree for one moment to such procedure. It is not treating the House with the respect with which we expect to be treated.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the Irish Free State passed a Bill of this kind through all its stages in one day? Further, will he consider calling the Bill the Importations (Amendment) Act, which would be a simpler title?


I fully sympathise with what my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) has said, but he will realise that, in present circumstances, if this legislation is to have any effect at all, it must come into operation without delay. I hope the House will accept that explanation. The Government are fully aware of the exceptional nature of what is being asked of the House, and it will be recorded as a very exceptional procedure, and not to be treated as a precedent unless similar circumstances arise.


I agree at once as to the urgency of the case. I should not be the least bit averse to the Measure being passed speedily once we had had the opportunity of seeing it. I would not object if all the stages were taken in one day; but surely Members have a right to have a Bill for a clear 24 hours beforehand, in order that there may be opportunity to consider it and define our attitude towards it. The official Opposition may be very much quicker in the uptake than I am, but I should not feel myself competent to address myself to this Measure after having had only an hour or two in which to consider it.


May I ask whether the Bill could not be made available immediately after the Financial Resolution has been passed to-night?


Is it not a fact that we have been considering this Bill for a quarter of a century?

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Is it not a fact that already thousands of workers have been deprived of their employment and that if there is delay thousands more will suffer in the same way, and is it not the feeling of the House that we ought to get the Bill through at once?


The hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) has greater confidence in the President of the Board than I have.

Motion made, and Question put, That the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House.)"—[the Prime Minister.]

The House divided: Ayes, 411; Noes, 46.

Division No. 3.] AYES. [3.54 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Chalmers, John Rutherford Flanagan, W. H.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.Sir J.A.(Birm.,W.) Fleming, Edward Lascelles
Albery, Irving James Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Foot, Dingle (Dundee)
Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd, W) Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring) Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Fraser, Captain Ian
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh) Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Chotzner, Alfred James Fuller, Captain A. E. G.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Christie, James Archibald Galbraith, James Francis Wallace
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe Clarke, Frank Ganzoni, Sir John
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover; Clarry, Reginald George Gauit, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Clayton, Dr. George C. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Atholl, Duchess of Clydesdale, Marquess of Gledhill, Gilbert
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. B. Cobb, Sir Cyril Glossop, C. W. H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Colman, N. C. D. Gluckstein, Louis Halle
Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J. Colville, Major David John Glyn, Major Raiph G. C.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Conant, R. J. E. Goff, Sir Park
Balniel, Lord Cook, Thomas A. Goodman, Colonel Albert W.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Cooke, James D. Gower, Sir Robert
Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar Cooper, A. Duff Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Copeland, Ida Granville, Edgar
Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury) Courtauld, Major John Sewell Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas
Beaumont, R. E. B.(Portsm'th, Centr'l) Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Graves, Marjorie
Beit, Sir Alfred L. Cranborne, Viscount Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Gilmston, R. V.
Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel Crooke, J. Smedley Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.
Bernays, Robert Crookshank, Col. C. de windt (Bootle) Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Gunston, Captain D. W.
Bird Sir Robert B. (Welverh'pton W.) Cross, R. H. Guy, J. C. Morrison
Blaker, Sir Reginald Crossley, A. C. Hales, Harold K.
Blinded, James Culverwell, Cyril Tom Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Borodale, Viscount. Curry, A. C. Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)
Bossom, A. C. Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)
Boulton, W. W. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Davison, Sir William Henry Hammersley, Samuel S.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Denman, Hon. R. D. Hanbury, Cecil
Boyce, H. Leslie Denville, Alfred Hanley, Dennis A.
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E.R.) Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Dickie, John P. Harbord, Arthur
Brass, Captain Sir William Donner, P. W. Harris, Percy A.
Briant, Frank Dower, Captain A. V. G. Hartington, Marquess of
Briscoe, Richard George Duckworth, George A. V. Hartland, George A.
Broadbent, Colonel John Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Duggan, Hubert John Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)
Brown, Brig. Gen. H.C.(Berks.,Newb'y) Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.
Browne, Captain A. C. Dunglass, Lord Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.
Buchan, John Eady, George H. Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Eales, John Frederick Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Burghley, Lord Eastwood, John Francis Hepworth, Joseph
Burnett, John George Eden, Robert Anthony Herbert, George (Rotherham)
Burton, Colonel Henry Walter Edge, Sir William Hillman, Dr. George B.
Butt, Sir Alfred Edmondson, Major A. J. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Elliot, Major Walter E. Holdsworth. Herbert
Caine, G. R. Hall Elliston, Captain George Sampson Hopkinson, Austin
Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley) Elmley, Viscount Hornby, Frank
Campbell, Rear-Adml. G. (Burnley) Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Horobin, Ian M.
Campbell-Johnston. Malcolm Emrys-Evans, P. V. Horsbrugh, Florence
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Howard, Tom Forrest
Carver, Major William H. Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.
Cassels, James Dale Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Castle Stewart. Earl Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Hume, Sir George Hopwood
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Everard, W. Lindsay Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)
Hurd, Percy A. Molson, A. Harold Elsdale Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Savery, Samuel Servington
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen.Sir R.(Montr'se) Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Scone, Lord
Hutchison,William D.(Essex, Romf'd) Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Selley, Harry R.
Inskip, Sir Thomas w. H, Moreing, Adrian C. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Iveagh, Countess of Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.) Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Morris, Rhys Hopkin (Cardigan) Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Morris-Jones. Dr. J. H. (Denbign) Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)
Jesson, Major Thomas E. Muirhead, Major A. J. Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Unv., Belfast)
Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Munro, Patrick Skelton, Archibald Noel
Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan) Nall, Sir Joseph Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Nathan, Major H. L. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dinc, C.)
Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Ker, J. Campbell Newton, Sir Douglas George C. Smithers, Waldron
Kerr, Hamilton W. Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Somervell, Donald Bradley
Kirkpatrick, William M. Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Peters'fld) Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R. North, Captain Edward T. Soper, Richard
Knight, Holford Nunn, William Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Knox, Sir Alfred O'Connor, Terence James Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Oman, Sir Charles William C. Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Lambert. Rt. Hon. George Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A. Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Latham, Sir Herbert Paul palmer, Francis Noel Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)
Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.) Patrick, Colin M. Stanley, Hon. O. F.C. (Westmorland)
Leckie, J. A. Peake, Captain filbert Stevenson, James
Leech, Dr. J. w. Pearson, William G. Stones, James
Lees-Jones, John Peat, Charles U. Storey, Samuel
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Penny, Sir George Stourton, John J.
Levy, Thomas Percy, Lord Eustace Strauss, Edward A.
Lewis, Oswald Perkins, Walter R. D. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Lindsay, Noel Ker Peters, Dr. Sidney John Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick Pethetick, M. Stuart-Crichton, Lord C.
Lloyd, Geoffrey Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G.(Wd. Gr'n) Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n,Bilston) Summersby, Charles H.
Pickering, Ernest H. Sutcliffe, Harold
Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th) Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Taylor,Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)
Lockwood, John c. (Hackney, C.) Pike, Cecil F. Templeton, William P.
Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Potter, John Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Loder, Captain J. de Vere Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Lumley, Captain Lawrence R, Purbrick, R. Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Lyons, Abraham Montagu Pybus, Percy John Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Mabane, William Raikes, Hector victor Alpin Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick) Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Touche, Gordon Cosmo
McConnell, Sir Joseph Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Train, John
McCurquodale, M. S. Ramsbotham, Herswald Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Seaham) Ramsden, E. Turton, Robert Hugh
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Rankin, Robert Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Ratcliffe, Arthur Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
McEwen, J. H. F. Rathbone, Eleanor Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
McKeag, William Rea, Walter Russell Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
McKie, John Hamilton Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton Reid, David D. (County Down) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
McLean, Major Alan Reid, William Allan (Derby) Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Maclean, HI. Hn. Sir D. (Corn'll N.) Remer, John R. Watt, Captain George Steven H.
McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Rentoul, Sir Gervais S. Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Renwick, Major Gustav A. Wells, Sydney Richard
Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Weymouth, Viscount
Magnay, Thomas Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. White, Henry Graham
Maitland, Adam Robinson, John Roland Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Making, Brigadier-General Ernest Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Whyte, Jardine Bell
Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Ropner, Colonel L. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Mander, Geoffrey le M. Rosbotham, D. S. T. Wills, Wilfrid D.
Manninnham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Margesson, Capt. Henry David R. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Marjoribanks, Edward Runge, Norah Cecil Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Marsden, Commander Arthur Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy) Wise, Alfred R.
Martin, Thomas B. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Withers, Sir John James
Mason, David M. (Edinburgh. E.) Russell,Hamer Field (Sheffield,B'tslde) Womersley, Walter James
Millar, James Duncan Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Mills, Sir Frederick Rutherford, Sir John Hugo Wood, Major M. McKenzie (Banff)
Milne, Charles Salmon, Major Isidore Worthington, Dr. John V.
Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw- Salt, Edward W.
Mitchell, Harold p.(Br'tt'd & Chisw'k) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Sir Frederick Thomson and Mr. Shakespeare.
Mitcheson, G. G. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Cocks. Frederick Seymour Grenfell, David Rees. (Glamorgan)
Attlee, Clement Richard Cove, William G. Griffiths. T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Batey, Joseph Cripps, Sir Stafford Grundy, Thomas W.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebb-.v Vale) Daggar, George Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Brown, C. W. E, (Notts., Mansfield) Davies. David L. (Pontypridd) Hicks, Ernest George
Buchanan, George Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hirst, George Henry
Cape, Thomas Edwards, Charles Jenkins, Sir William
John, William Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Maxton, James Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Milner, Major James Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Kirkwood, David Owen, Major Goronwy Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Parkinson, John Allen Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Leonard, William Price, Gabriel
Logan, David Gilbert Salter, Dr. Alfred TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Lunn, William Thorne, William James Mr. Gordon Macdonald and Mr.
McEntee, Valentine L. Tinker, John Joseph Duncan Graham.
McGovern, John Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David