§ Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 7IA.
§ [Captain BOURNE in the Chair.]
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That it is expedient to provide that advances to the Road Fund made under Section thirty-six of the Finance Act, 1931, shall he made nut of moneys provided by Parliament instead of out of the Consolidated Fund."—(King's Recommendation signified.)—[Mr. Pybus.]
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Pybus)
I would like very briefly to explain the purpose of the Resolution. Prior to the present year it was the practice of successive Governments to confine expenditure out of the Road Fund in any year to an amount not exceeding the available resources of the Fund in the preceding year. This policy was departed from when power was taken by the Finance Act to enable the Treasury to make advances to the Road Fund during the current financial year up to a total of £9,000,000 to be borrowed for that purpose. The circumstances that gave rise to the excess of expenditure over the revenue of the Fund were fully explained by the right hon. Gentleman my predecessor as Minister of Transport. I think it had something to do with a "raid" and a 962 "clutching hand." The expenditure in this year on the Road Fund, in excess of the available resources of that Fund, will be met, not by borrowing, but out of money to be voted by Parliament. This method of financing expenditure is in consonance with the general financial policy of the Government as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Thursday last. Parliament will therefore be called on at a later date to provide the funds necessary to supplement the income of the Road Fund in order to finance the expenditure falling due up to March next. That briefly explains the purpose of the Resolution.
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
May I take this opportunity of congratulating the hon. Gentleman on his succession to the interesting and exacting office which I held and to wish him such happiness in his task as is consistent with the existence of a vigilant Opposition. He has explained to the Committee the purpose of this Resolution and, subject to anything that may happen hereafter and any additional information that may be required, I do not propose to advise my hon. Friends to divide against it. As recently as a few months ago, it was decided by the late Government to seek powers to borrow up to £10,000,000 for the purposes of the Road Fund and I am bound to say that I have some sympathy with the new Minister because that announcement of borrowing for road purposes was received with loud Liberal cheers. It was one of the concessions 963 of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Liberal party at that time, and it is a sad fact that a Member of the Liberal party as Minister should now be called upon to move a Motion which promptly terminates the one concession which the late Government made to the borrowing policy which the Liberal party made so prominent in a book, now probably out of print, entitled, "We can cure Unemployment." I shall not dilate further upon that subject, because it would be unkind to remind Liberal Members, in present circumstances, that such a book ever saw the light, and I only hope that they can forget it as promptly as I am endeavouring to do, for their sakes no less than our own.
I understand, therefore, that the power to borrow up to £10,000,000 is not to be acted upon and that the excess of Road Fund expenditure over Road Fund resources is to be met out of moneys to be provided by Parliament. In view of the reductions of expenditure in connection with the Road Fund decided upon by the present Government, I understand that the amount to be so provided will be in the region of £2,250,000. Again, I am sorry to mention the matter, but we were grumbled at, up hill and down dale, on the ground that we were not spending money quickly enough on roads and bridges and highways and byways and it now falls to the lot of a Member of the Liberal party to sound the note of retreat. Instead of grumbling at us that we were not spending enough, he is practically telling us that we took the advice of the Liberal party too literally and were spending too much. But I pass from that subject also, because I am anxious to be pleasant to the hon. Gentleman on the occasion of his first appearance as a Minister in Debate.
I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman can tell us anything as to the method whereby the Government will decrease the amount of road work to be done. I presume it is in order to ask that question, as the Road Fund is being reorganised. Can he tell us the classes of road and bridge work to be decreased and the method in which the local authorities are to be negotiated with, in order to bring expenditure within the new conditions and operate this Resolution? I do not know whether the Minister can tell 964 us about certain London schemes in which I, as a London Member, am interested. There is the scheme which is urgently needed for the Elephant and Castle, which has been grumbled about for many years, and I wonder whether he can tell us what are the prospects of that work being proceeded with. On traffic grounds, there is a—
I must point out that if this Resolution is carried and put in the Finance Bill, a Supplementary Estimate will be required for the Ministry of Transport, and it would seem to me that that would be the more appropriate occasion for raising details, rather than on this occasion, which is merely for the authorisation of moneys being paid out of public funds instead of being borrowed.
§ Mr. EDE
On a point of Order. I understand that this Resolution reduces the amount from £10,000,000 to £2,500,000. If therefore we pass this Resolution tonight without asking these questions, any one of us may find that our pet schemes have been slaughtered in silence, and we should at least desire that they might have a few dying groans before they expire.
The hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) is better informed than I am. All that I know is that under the Finance Act of 1931 authority was given to the Treasury to borrow, on behalf of the Road Fund, up to £10,000,000. This Resolution merely says that the moneys required to make up the deficit shall be provided by moneys provided by Parliament and not by borrowing. I have no idea as to what is contemplated. The Minister has given no information to the Committee.
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
May I, with great respect, put this point to you, Captain Bourne, that the Resolution before the Committee is a Resolution which directly arises out of the policy of the Government in connection with economy and to make provision for those changed circumstances, and, of course, the Resolution is explained in the Memorandum which was publishes on the economy policy of the Government. May I put it to you that before the Committee parts with this Resolution it should be competent for us on 965 this side to know what the Government propose to do on certain points if this Resolution is carried. That is a point of difficulty for myself and my hon. Friends, including the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills), who would not wish to part with this Resolution without knowing what the Government's intentions are if the new financial arrangements are sanctioned by the House.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
On that point of Order. May I put it to you that the Minister read out a rather general and comprehensive statement dealing with these particular points and the Road Fund generally, and that therefore the Committee should be allowed, without going into detail, generally to get information as to what the position is?
I have no desire to curtail the discussion, but I think the Committee will see my difficulty. As far as I am aware, this Resolution merely says that moneys which were previously raised by borrowing shall be raised out of moneys provided by Parliament. Obviously in that case the time to discuss the details would be when the moneys were voted. At the same time, I fully appreciate the position of hon. Members who have schemes in view, and I have no desire to stop discussion. I have no personal knowledge as to whether the total of £10,000,000 is to be raised under this Resolution or whether the economies that aye to be made will be made by borrowing, and I should be grateful for some guidance from the Minister on this point.
§ Mr. MORRISON
Before the Minister replies, may I say that I do not wish to involve the Committee in a long Debate on detail, but I want to be sure that these points can he raised? Will the Minister tell us whether it is not the case that this Resolution does arise directly out of the economy policy of the Government and is designed to meet the new financial situation?
§ Mr. PYBUS
I understood that the Resolution meant that works which had previously been carried out and charged to capital were now only going to be carried out out of revenue. That is, as far as I can see, what the Resolution meant, and I think that is what it does mean. I appreciate the tender manner in 966 which the right hon. Gentleman opposite dealt with me. I should like to give some information as to the methods by which we propose to effect these economies, but I was given to understand that if I did that, I should be out of order, in view of the fact that there will be ample opportunity for discussing each scheme in detail. I understand that the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) has a scheme very dear to his heart, and that he would like to know how we propose to deal with it. I understand that at a later date I shall have every opportunity, which I shall not shirk, of showing how we propose to deal with it.
§ Mr. MORRISON
I venture to submit that it is a matter of the gravest uncertainty as to which of these works would be met out of revenue and which out of borrowing. Nobody can say; you cannot possibly isolate the two, and I submit that before the Committee passes from this Resolution, I and my hon. Friends should be free to raise, not in lengthy detail, but on broad grounds, questions as to what is to happen to certain schemes in which we are interested in the new financial conditions to which this Resolution is directly related.
As the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate, I am equally in a difficulty as to which of the schemes are to be financed out of current revenue and which out of borrowing. In the circumstances, very brief references to the scheme may be permitted, but I will remind hon. Members that they will have a further opportunity of raising these points on another occasion when wider arguments will be permitted.
§ Mr. MORRISON
That is a fair compromise in the difficulty in which you, Captain Bourne, and the Committee are placed, although it is not unusual for the House of Commons, in my experience under the last Government, to discuss one subject several times over, and sometimes at very great length, but I am not an admirer of that procedure, and I will not aggravate the situation. I was anxious to know what is likely to happen to the Elephant and Castle scheme which has been desired for many years, and also the Vauxhall Cross scheme which, on traffic grounds, is even more urgent and important. I should be glad also 967 if the Minister could tell us what is to happen to the Chelsea Bridge scheme, and particularly to the Dartford-Purfleet tunnel scheme. This is a scheme of great difficulty which we spent some time in getting through, for which an Act of Parliament was passed, and in which I know my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) has great interest. These are the only particular schemes to which I would like to refer. Some of my hon. Friends would no doubt like to know about the Humber Bridge upon which a great deal of money has been spent in the promotion of a Bill.
I do not know whether the Minister could indicate how many workpeople are likely to be put out of employment by the reduction in the road programme of the Government. There is considerable anxiety on that subject on this side of the House, and before we part with the Resolution that ought to be referred to. There is one other subject to which I venture to make reference, because I am in real doubt as to the consequences of this Resolution. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the New Forest (Colonel Ashley) contributed a letter to "The Times" when the report of the Economy Committee was published on the question of the abolition of the Road Fund as a more or less—I say "more or less" advisedly—independent entity.
I do not think that this is a proper occasion to go into the existence of the Road Fund. I have allowed the Debate to go rather wider than I originally intended, because I realise that the Committee and I are in a difficulty as to what is involved by borrowing and revenue, and the Debate should be restricted to what schemes will be covered by borrowing and what by revenue. The discussion on merits should be postponed to a later date.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
May we have your Ruling as to whether this Resolution does in fact deal with the Road Fund as an entity? In reading the Resolution I am in doubt whether it affects the independence of the Road Fund in any sense, or deals only with moneys which are to be advanced to the Road Fund from the National Exchequer.
Under Section 36 of the Finance Act of this year, power was given to the Treasury to borrow £10,000,000 to meet the deficit of the Road Fund. This Resolution seems to me to deal solely with the money to replace that borrowing, and does not deal with the Road Fund as an entity. As I understand it, the ordinary income of the Road Fund is not affected by this Resolution, and, therefore, this is not the appropriate occasion to discuss whether or not the Road Fund should continue as a separate entity.
§ Mr. McSHANE
Further to that point of Order. I have here the White Paper, which states on page 12:It was estimated that the Road Fund would have required a loan from the Exchequer next year of £10,000,000 to enable it to meet its obligations, and under existing practice the Exchequer would have itself borrowed this £10,000,000 in order to lend it to the Road Fund. The sum required from the Exchequer will now be reduced to about £2,250,000, and this sum will not be borrowed by the Exchequer but will be provided out of a Vote of Parliament.The sum to meet the obligations is to be reduced from £10,000,000 to £2,250,000, and I submit with respect that if this Resolution is allowed to go through now unchallenged when the Vote comes on later we shall find ourselves gagged and bound and not able to raise these most material points. I therefore suggest that it would be in the best interests of the Minister himself and of this Committee if the Minister were to withdraw this Resolution to-night. It would be a most serious matter if we passed this Resolution as it stands now, because we should have no power to deal with these points later.
§ Major COLFOX
I would submit that although the sum to be borrowed is to be reduced this Resolution does not reduce it. This Resolution says merely that the money shall be provided in a different way.
I cannot accept a Motion now to report Progress. The hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. McShane) raised a point of Order, and one has also been raised by the right hon. and gallant Member for Christchurch (Colonel Ashley) and the hon. and gallant Member for South Dorset (Major Colfox). I could not possibly accept a Motion to report Progress before those points of of Order have been dealt with. It is quite true, as the hon. and gallant Member for South Dorset pointed out, that the Resolution itself neither mentions a reduction or increase, or any other sum of money, but, at the same time, in view of the issue of the White Paper by His Majesty's Government, I think it would be pedantic if we were to stick too closely to the actual letter of the Resolution. The point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Christchurch is this, I think, that this Resolution merely authorises the method by which this deficit in the Road Fund should be made up. It does not deal with the Road Fund itself, and there is nothing either in this White Paper or in the Resolution itself to lead me to suppose that the ordinary income of the Road Fund will not accrue as laid down by statute. Therefore, I have ruled that the question as to whether the Road Fund should or should not continue as a separate entity does not arise on this Resolution, which deals solely with whether money is to be borrowed or voted by Parliament in order to make up any deficit which may arise.
§ Mr. PERRY
On a point of Order. You have ruled during the Debate that particular schemes cannot be referred to in detail but may be discussed at a later stage when the Supplementary Estimates are submitted. When a Supplementary Estimate is submitted and, for illustration, the Dartford Tunnel is not included in that Estimate, will there be any opportunity in the discussion on the Estimate to discuss that?
It would appear to me that it would be an admirable reason for any Member interested in that scheme to move a reduction in the Estimate.
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
I am sorry if I went astray. I was anxious to know the point on which you reassured us, whether the passage of this Resolu- 970 tion was, in effect, a point of policy of the abolition of the Road Fund as a separate entity and of road expenditure being provided by the Treasury. You have assured Os that that does not arise, and therefore we can raise this point on the Schedule to the Economy Bill. Therefore the question before the House is whether it will give additional power to the Treasury to submit votes to Parliament to cover additional expenditure beyond the votes from the Road Fund. That being an enabling power, I do not think we can very well divide against the Motion. It does not in any way prejudice the rights of the Opposition to discuss the matter fully and to divide on the Schedule of the Economy Bill where this matter arises. If the Opposition now divides on a Resolution enabling Parliament to spend money on roads beyond the Road Fund, we should be voting in a foolish direction. [Interruption.] If my hon. Friends vote in that way, it will be their funeral and not mine. I hope the Minister will be able to give us the information for which I ask, because some of us are very anxious as to the future of some of these important schemes.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
The Conservative party, to which I belong, is the only party that can approach this question with a clear conscience, because the Labour party this spring took power to borrow in the next 12 months no less than £10,000,000 for extra road works, and they were aided by the Liberal party. The late Minister of Transport is entirely unrepentent and now says to his followers, "Vote for this, because we will spend more money on roads than we otherwise would." Therefore the Conservative party is the only party which stands now, as in the past, for economy. It has not been raised in this Debate what really happens under this Resolution, and that is of some importance. I want the Minister when he replies to make clear what is the exact difference between moneys provided by Parliament by a Vote and moneys provided out of the Consolidated Fund. One can understand the meaning of moneys provided by a Supplementary Estimate, but what is meant by this proposal?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
As I understand it this Resolution means more control by the House of Commons, and therefore it is a Resolution which ought to commend itself to hon. Members in all parts of the House. What has been going on up to now between the Treasury and the Ministry of Transport is rather a hole-and-corner operation, which is not the least improper, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer can be relied upon to look after the finances of the country. In the past, pledges of financial support to the Road Fund have been given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day without the knowledge of the House of Commons and without any vote of the House of Commons having been given to sanction it. If this Resolution means that in future no financial support will be given to the Road Fund by the Exchequer without a vote by the House of Commons, then I am in favour of it, and I think every hon. Member on this side of the House will agree with me in that contention.
You have stated, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, that hon. Members, without going into much detail, may ask certain specific questions on general policy which may be answered in this Debate. The first point I wish to raise is in regard to the White Paper issued a week or two ago. From that document we gather that the advance to which this Resolution refers will be cut down in 1932–33 from roughly £10,000,000 to £2,500,000, and that the Road Fund will have to carry all its expenditure except £2,500,000. I want to know what amount of money will be given to support the Road Fund in the present financial year? Will the sum be £1,000,000 or £2,000,000, or how many millions will the taxpayers have to find to supplement road work and bridge building? I think it is important that we should have a clear understanding on what principle the Minister of Transport is proceeding in regard to the works which the late Minister of Transport had put on order. What is happening to those proposals? How many are to be dropped, and how many are to be proceeded with? Has the 972 Minister of Transport made any arrangements in regard to these matters with the local authority or has he in any way broken faith with them? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes:"] Has he made arrangements with the local authorities, who in most cases will be quite amenable to argument and will agree to a modification of the programme? If so, on what basis has he made this agreement with them. It is obvious that, if you are only going to spend next year £2,750,000 instead of £10,000,000, and in this financial year, perhaps, only £1,500,000 instead of whatever proportion remains between now and the end of the financial year, it is most important that the money should be spent so as to give the utmost measure of employment. Therefore, as regards the report which has been recently made to the Minister of Transport, it seems to me that that report might usefully be shelved until some future time, because, if my recollection is correct, it cannot put any men to work for some three or four years, as the first two or three years, at any rate, will be occupied in buying up property and clearing sites. It will be much better, therefore, to devote this money to the Dartford Tunnel, where a large number of men can be employed, where a great deal of steelwork would be used. Rather than use it for the making of useless by-passes, let it be used for the building of bridges, where steel would be used and a large amount of indirect labour would be employed. No doubt the hon. Gentleman has thought of all these things. [Interruption.] Why not? He is an able business man. All that I want to know is on what lines he is negotiating with the local authorities. I beg him to keep faith with them, because it will be a bad precedent to compel them to break their contracts, though they may be induced by argument to see the Government's point of view in a national crisis. If the hon. Gentleman can inform us on these points, I think it will he helpful to Members of the Committee.
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I rise to oppose the results which will follow from the Motion before the Committee. As chairman of a county rates committee, I have had considerable experience with the 973 previous Minister of Transport and with his predecessor, both of whom I came to honour and admire; but the black hand of the Treasury had cast its shadow upon my right hon. Friend even before he left that office. In our county we were suffering under the shadow which it was casting. Recently an alderman of the county with which I am connected stated in public that the last Minister of Transport was as obstinate as a mule. I would not say that; I have no desire to insult that noble animal. [Interruption.] I hasten to add that, since these last weeks have appeared and gone, I have freely forgiven him for our bad opinions.
The economy which is suggested in this matter should at any rate be discriminating, and I claim that this economy is not discriminating. Roads are used nowadays by all the subjects of the Realm—not only by motor cars, but by the working man's coach, the omnibus, and even by the people who have to travel on foot: and this great feature of our modern social life is indispensable. I understand that in recent years, thanks to the efforts of the predecessors of those on the Front Bench opposite, this country has been spending approximately £60,000,000 on this subject, and I claim that, whatever opinions we may have on public services such as education, or police, or unemployment benefit, or health, or upon such luxuries as beer and tobacco and cinemas, here at any rate, where the Government are seeking to economise and cut, the nation has value for every sixpence that it spends.
I admit at once that there are degrees even in urgency, and that some schemes should be put in hand in prosperity and some in adversity. I remember the leader of the Liberal party, with his natural eloquence, which I as a fellow-countryman always admire, whether I agree with it or not, telling the Government and the ex-Minister of Transport over and over again that those were times of great difficulty but they were also times of great opportunity. If we may bring that up to date, obviously the times in which we are now living are times of greater difficulty, and obviously they are times of greater opportunity. I have on the shelf where I keep my notes—I mean my reading matter in preparation for the splendid speeches that I have not had an opportunity to deliver—and were it 974 not for my high regard for individual Members of the Liberal party, I would have brought in during the time of waiting that great book which has been referred to by my right hon. Friend, "We can cure Unemployment." The Measure now before the House will make more difficult of solving some of our present problems. In various parts of the country necessary schemes in times of adversity will provide means of solving some of our problems. It is urgent in this distressful time that this Government should seek not to cut down those which give the maximum of employment and which stimulate industry, but should rather improve upon the efforts of the last Government.
I will try to steer clear of yor Ruling, Captain Bourne, and avoid giving utterance to any of my pet schemes, but may I put forward, as an illustration and not as a pet scheme, what could be done if, for instance, instead of this cut. the money was spent, say, on a great arterial road from outside London to South Wales, and the advantage of it would be to industry and commerce if, instead of people going from Bristol to South Wales and vice versa having to travel 90 miles, a bridge across the Severn might be made, shortening that distance to 26 miles.
This Resolution clearly does not define how the money to be provided by Parliament is to be expended by the Minister, and, therefore, the desirability of the hon. Member's schemes should be submitted to him privately.
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I was afraid I was steering rather wide. I thank you, Captain Bourne, for your forbearance. We have in South Wales 200,000 surplus population, and, as one of my hon. Friends, the Member for East Rhondda (Lieut.-Colonel Watts-Morgan), said to me just now, in the administrative county of Glamorganshire alone there are 73,000 unemployed. The Government are cutting down those very schemes which at present are giving some employment. I appeal to the Front Bench for another reason. I boast of being a native of South Wales and of understanding the psychology of South Wales. In our teeming valleys they have been quiet and law-abiding partly because they felt that 975 their friends were sitting on the Front Bench opposite. They did not always think that they were doing sufficient for their interests, but there it was, a great pacifying influence. Now that is removed. They think that their enemies sit there.
I have a little difficulty in seeing how the hon. Member reconciles the views of South Wales as to the merits or demerits of the late Government with the matter which is now before the Committee.
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I was only trying to make this tremendous point. There is general depression, and with the cutting out of even a portion of the employment that now prevails, those people are getting very near the verge of revolt. I ask the Government to reinstate this £7,750,000 in order that some of it at least may flow through our depressed areas. I have no desire to keep the Committee on this my pet subject, but I wish to say that with regard to the grandiose schemes and the luxury work referred to in the Economy Report I am quite willing to agree, as a sensible person that some of the London schemes came under that category. When they included the necessary works which are now being cut out, I can only say the Committee displayed their colossal ignorance. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said over and over again concerning this very subject that wise expenditure is the best economy. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to bear that in mind particularly in these distressful times which have come upon this country largely as a result of the propaganda of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite. They are sitting there trying to remedy the very things which they have created. I ask them in these distressful times to remember Lincoln's words:We are face to face with a new situation.And we are face to face with it now. Let us think anew, act anew, and so save the State and particularly the unemployed. who are going to be hardest hit by this outrageous proposition.
§ Mr. MILLS
I regret very much that the new Minister of Transport has been placed in the position in which he finds himself. It is in the highest degree disadvantageous to a new Minister, taking 976 on a new job, that he should be saddled with the responsibility of a Motion like this, without having been given the necessary information. [Interruption.] I say that without any offence. At various times in this House I have been associated with certain Members of Parliament, including the Minister of Transport. To-day he is here as Minister of Transport making this proposition, and yesterday he was supporting the proposal that this great road communication on the East Coast right down to the South, is a necessary measure of constructive development in Essex and Kent. If we could secure his private opinion it would be wholeheartedly in favour of continuing the scheme to which I refer. I want to ask exactly what we may expect in regard to schemes which have received the sanction of Parliament and have committed the county authorities to a great deal of expenditure. Months have been spent in the promotion of private legislation. The ratepayers of Kent and Essex and in a lesser degree London and Hertfordshire have been mulcted in sums of money for the promotion of the Bill and to get it through this House and the House of Lords. They have secured general consent to its construction and now in the very hour when the actual construction is about to be started, the Minister of Transport was compelled to say, in the answer which he gave to me last week when I asked him what was the present position, that he was unable to tell me.
In those circumstances I utter the strongest possible protest. It is obvious that the committee which in their summary of recommendations made this paticular item,Road Fund. Postponement and slowing down of all schemes and lowering of the present very high standard of maintenance, £7,865,000,did it as one of the items of national economy. Their justification is the right. hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill). He balanced his Budget by sneaking £7,000,000 from that fund in 1926, and they strengthened their argument by saying that in the following year because Parliament took very little notice of his depredations he took a further £12,000,000 from it. Because he did that in his capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the May Committee cynically 977 suggest that the Road Fund should be wiped out as a fund which has been in existence—
I have already ruled that whether the Road Fund should or should not continue, does not arise on this Resolution.
§ Mr. MILLS
I will not question your Ruling, except to say that if we are cut short in our comment on the withdrawal or the cutting down of these schemes, it will not prejudice us from a reasoned and impartial demand for fuller explanation of the Supplementary Estimate. The Minister of Transport has been placed in a very awkward position. I sympathise with him. Let me repeat that the moneys paid by the county council for the land which has been acquired, the extra cost of transport to the employers, shipping agencies and conveyers, from one end of the County of Essex to the County of Kent, is one reason why this scheme should be proceeded with without delay.
§ Mr. EDE
The hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Vaughan) likened the right lion. Member for South Hackney (Mr. Herbert Morrison) to a mule. I should have thought that the present Government best deserved that description, for they certainly have no pride of ancestry or any hope of posterity. The Minister of Transport and the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education have had the clearest possible signs during the present Debate that as soon as their services are no longer required by the Conservative party they will be painlessly put out of the way by the people who now sit behind them and deride them. I sympathise with the Minister of Transport in the treatment he received from the right hon. and gallant Member for the New Forest (Colonel Ashley). I have never seen it occur before, that when a Minister of the Crown rises to make an explanation lie is refused by the hon. Member who is speaking.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
All I said was that when the Minister of Transport came to reply he would have his opportunity. There was no necessity for me to give way.
This has no relation whatever to the Resolution before the Committee. I must ask the hon. Member to keep strictly to the point; whether borrowing is to take place or not, whether the money is to be defrayed by money voted by this House, and if there is to be any reduction what effect it will have on any particular scheme. What may happen to the Minister does not arise.
§ Mr. EDE
The point I want to make is this, that this is a proposal to deal with capital works out of revenue rather than by way of loan. You have great works of national importance and you propose to finance them out of the revenue for the year. That is contrary to the whole practice of local government in this country, and the Minister is going to get into tremendous difficulties unless he is very careful. I represent a local authority which has very important relationship with the Ministry and I want to ask questions about three types of schemes and particularly how the Resolution will affect them.
I want to take a case in my own constituency where there is a road-widening scheme. It involves taking the forecourts of a large number of houses, it takes a piece off the Congregational Church—a matter that ought to be of some concern to the Liberal party. Part of the negotiations has been completed, but the whole of the bargains have not been struck. With these reduced sums of money will those schemes go forward or will the borough be left with the parts that it has acquired, giving the street a ragged front, and the part that it has not acquired still jutting out into the road, making the place look very untidy and disfigured?
The hon. Member is now transgressing my earlier Ruling, that details should not be discussed on this occasion. I must ask him to devote himself to complete schemes and not to go into details.
§ Mr. EDE
I was illustrating the kind of difficulty that will arise by the sudden shutting down of schemes. There is another type of scheme. There was a scheme sanctioned by the former Minister 979 of Transport for a by-pass road that had involved very considerable negotiations with the National Trust. The whole of the lay-out of a great piece of property will be spoiled unless the local authority can proceed with the scheme. It is the Egham by-pass road, and the great piece of property is Runnymede, on which Magna Charta was signed. I have no doubt that the Government regard that particular piece of British liberty as a thing that ought not to be commemorated, and desire to see the whole place spoiled.
There is a third type of scheme where the landowner has given the land on which a new by-pass road is to be constructed on condition that the work is to be proceeded with during the next few months. Is that kind of scheme going to be knocked out? I want to emphasise the statement that this proposal will have a deplorable effect on employment in the coming winter—and even in the Bodmin Division of Corn-wall. The hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Foot) may be very tired, but I can assure him from a visit I paid to his constituency recently—
§ Sir COOPER RAWSON
is this long speech really necessary? Surely all these points are covered by the Memorandum, which states definitely that any scheme that has been commenced and approved shall be financed by the Road Fund?
It is fortunately not part of my duty to judge the futility or otherwise of hon. Members' speeches.
§ Mr. EDE
I am sure that the hon. Member has not dorm himself the credit of reading the White Paper with intelligence. What, arrangements does the Minister propose to make when this money is withdrawn, for dealing midi the men who have been proceeding from distressed areas to the areas where schemes have been carried out on a consecutive basis for a long period of years? [Interruption.] I will not point to the Noble Lord; he is quite conspicuous enough without it. Is the Government to make any arrangements to deal with the men who have been trying to build up new homes in the South of England and other districts 980 where these schemes are being carried out—men who have transferred their families from distressed areas?
§ Mr. ALPASS
As representing a constituency in which some very important road schemes have been embarked upon, I ask the Minister to give us fuller and more precise information as to the position in which local authorities like the Bristol City Council will be placed, when the proposals outlined in the White Paper are enforced. The wording of the White Paper is extremely vague. It says:It is proposed to provide that the Minister shall not withdraw the promise of Road Fund assistance to any work on which the local authority is already committed to a 'substantial liability.'The Bristol City Council and also large numbers of my constituents, who were promised work on these schemes and some of whom have already been started to work on them are concerned to know who is going to define "substantial liability." The White Paper continues by stating that this expressionwill be defined quantitatively under terms of a prescribed percentage of the total estimated cost of the particular work.In my constituency, as in the constituencies of other hon. Members, the local authority has gone to considerable expense in connection with new roads and streets. One scheme is for a new road right through Bristol to relieve the congestion of traffic in the centre of that city. A considerable sum has been spent in making a survey for the proposed new road, negotiations have been opened with property owners and some other schemes have actually been commenced. The issue of this White Paper, involving large reductions in expenditure on road schemes of this character, has created considerable perturbation in the minds not only of the members of the city council but of the people who were expecting to get employment as a result of these schemes. Large numbers of unemployed in Bristol have found their only opportunity of doing useful work, in the operation of these schemes and I contemplate with anxiety what is going to happen to these people during next winter. In many cases these schemes have afforded them the only chance of work they have had for three or four years. I ask the Minister to inform us whether we are to be allowed to complete 981 these schemes, and whether the assistance promised by the late Minister from the Road Fund will be forthcoming and if not, to what extent, we shall be allowed to proceed with the schemes. These are extremely important points. We do not know where we stand at the moment, and it is due to this Committee and to the representatives of constituencies where road schemes are of vital importance, both as regards transport and employment, that we should have the information at the earliest possible moment.
§ Mr. HARB0RD
I cannot lightly, either by a silent vote or by a vote at all, consent to contribute to a reversal of the past policy by the cutting down of Estimates as far as the Road Fund is concerned, especially in view of the fact that two additional increases of the Petrol Tax have been imposed quite recently on those whose motor transport uses our roads. I do not grudge any sacrifices for myself, though I am but in a small way of business, and though in seven different ways under this Budget my taxes are increased, but I do say that this reversal of road policy is most distasteful to me. It is one that will be resented by the workingmen of this country. I have always believed in the provision of public work, on national schemes, rather than in Poor Law relief, or the dole. I know that, through no fault of the people, there is great distress and poverty among them. What then is the alternative to providing public work for them to do in their extreme necessity? It means that these men are to be forced to go to the guardians and thus be made paupers. This effects no saving. Should they not be put to useful work, which would be of value for the public benefit?
§ Mr. McSHANE
On an important Resolution like this there ought to be a representative of the Treasury present. We heard that complaint now and again, though not very often, when the Labour Government were in office, and there is no doubt that there ought to be a Treasury representative present now. This Resolution deals with the method that is to be adopted in future as to financing the road schemes, and the Resolution cannot be divorced at all from the effect of the Government's other schemes in relation to their economy pro- 982 posals. I want to deal with the effect of this Resolution, if it be passed—which I hope it will not, especially after the excellent speeches which we have heard against it—upon the case of those men who are at present in receipt of transitional benefit. If these road schemes are stopped or very largely held up, what will be the result? The numbers of men who at present are enabled to get a certain number of stamps on their unemployment insurance cards and so keep themselves in benefit will be considerably reduced, and there will be a largely increased number of unemployed men who will come out of transitional benefit altogether and on to the public assistance committees' books. We are to approach a winter without the work that has been provided for these men, many of them men who are not accustomed to work on the roads, and it is a shameful thing that any new method such as this should be adopted in order to prevent them doing some useful work which would add to the real economy of the country. I hope that the Committee will not allow this Resolution to go through. The whole of the discussion to-night has been most unsatisfactory from the Government point of view. Frankly, we do not know what the effect of the Resolution is going to be. We have had no real statement from the Minister, and I sympathise with him in the difficult position in which he has been placed. Apparently, someone has pushed him into that position to-night and has badly misinformed him, with the result that he has not come prepared to answer the questions which have been put to him.
§ Mr. PYBUS
I was asked on both sides of the Committee to give a general explanation of how we proposed to deal with the operation of this cut of £8,000,000. It has nothing whatever to do with the Resolution, but, as nearly the whole Debate has been diverted to the question of how we propose to effect the necessary economies, I hope the Com- 983 mittee will forgive me if I deal with this matter. Of course, it is a difficult task to be faced with the necessity of reducing a particular class of expenditure from £28,000,000 to £20,000,000 when as an engineer my own desire would be to indulge in great works of improvement. Instead of that, my first job on entering the Ministry is to find out exactly how I am going to reduce the amount of money spent by £8,000,000 in the next financial year, and inflict as little hardship and do as little damage as I can in carrying out that policy. Obviously, in making these savings, we must, whether it be cutting down a work, or refusing to finish a work, or refusing to start a work, make up our minds that at the end we have got the best bargain for the State, for the local authorities, and for the travelling public.
§ Mr. PYBUS
My predecessor won a great reputation for consulting local authorities and others, and for bringing them along with him; and, in order to get the best bargain, our first work was to get into touch with the local authorities. Already we have met the London County Council, the County Councils Association, and the Association of Municipal Corporations. We have met them, and I am happy to say that although some hon. Members took the view that they would receive our proposals with hostility my general impression is that, having appreciated the gravity of the situation, having appreciated the need for the decision—though hating it as much as anybody else —they have settled down to accept it. We are dividing the works into three classes (1) those where work has not actually been started, although grants may have been given, (2) works on which a very little money has been expended, and (3) works which have advanced so far that it is obvious they must be finished. We have asked the county councils and the other local authorities to furnish us with schedules giving full particulars of the works which they have in hand and selecting the category into which they think they should fall, and we hope to meet them again in conference in about 10 days' time and decide how far the money at our disposal will go. 984 Only then will it be possible for us to say whether any particular work can be proceeded with. I am not endeavouring to withhold any facts which can be given, but that is the position. One of my colleagues has forgotten that I am no longer his good friend on the Unemployment Grants Committee. All the unemployed who are not working on relief works in the coming winter will not be in that position on account of the Ministry of Transport. I appeal to hon. Members opposite to give us time to do this work properly. We must do the job carefully; otherwise a work that hon. Members wish should proceed may be allowed to fall by the wayside through not having been properly considered. That is all the information on general policy which I can give to the House. Further opportunities of considering this matter will arise in a few days, and by then we may have more information.
§ Mr. MATHERS
Do the consultations include consultations with those who will be affected by the decision about the road bridge across the Forth at Queens-ferry? No mention was made of Scottish authorities.
§ Mr. PYBUS
That is generally the principle on which we are working in our investigations. The hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) and one or two others are very concerned with works of great magnitude, such as the Dartford Tunnel, the Humber Bridge and the Elephant and Castle scheme. We are giving all those works of magnitude, particularly those which will create a large amount of employment, very careful consideration, but, until we have received from all the local authorities full details as to the amount of work that can be stopped, it is impossible to deal with them.
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
In view of the course which the Debate has taken and the indication of policy which the hon. Gentleman has given with the deep repercussions that it indicates and since it has become clear that the pass- 985 ing of this Resolution does indicate somewhat fundamental changes, it will be necessary to divide on it.
§ Mr. ISAACS
I wish the following points to be kept in mind in connection with the Elephant and Castle scheme, which affects my constituency. This scheme will wipe away a tremendous number of shops in this busy shopping centre, and those people are very anxious to know whether they ought to renew their leases or not, as some of the leases will shortly be expiring. Secondly, in the background are first-class dwellings for working people. They do not know if they should go out or not. If they go out and the scheme is not proceeded with, it will be a present to the landlord of first-class decontrolled property. A decision on these points should therefore be made as early as possible.
§ Mr. LAWTHER
The Minister has stated that he is meeting the County Councils Association and other bodies. I wish to raise a point in connection with the council of the county which unfortunately sent the Prime Minister to this House. The Durham County Council put forward plans and only a few months ago every Member for Durham, including the Prime Minister, welcomed the representatives of the Durham County Council who put forward their schemes fur the coming winter. We were complimented by the Ministry and told to go on with our plans and schemes, but, before we get to the coming winter, we are now told by a representative of the same Prime Minister that men are to be thrown out of work before the winter. In this Memorandum it is stated that certain new schemes must be postponed and schemes in progress slowed down or curtailed. We are entitled to ask what are the schemes which are likely to be curtailed.
During the last few months anyone could see, on that portion of the Great North Road controlled by the Durham County Council, schemes in operation which even the Prime. Minister himself urged the Durham County Council to ask the Ministry to accept. We are now told that, as far as those schemes are concerned, they are to be turned down. Not 986 only is the money not going to be forthcoming, but there is a human tragedy attached to the decision too. No Minister could ever make more inhuman suggestions than those made by the Minister of Transport to-night. For us in Durham to be told that the schemes accepted by the Ministry are to be cut down to the extent of a third or a fourth, as put forward in this Memorandum, is the most brutal, hunnish, and inhuman suggestion ever put forward. I do not know whether the Minister is in a position to give any further information or not, but, so far as those who represent the County of Durham on this side of the House are concerned, we are of the opinion that the Prime Minister has shown by his mishandling of the situation that he knows no more about the needs of his own county than the Minister of Transport.
I heard with astonishment what the Minister of Transport stated with regard to the County Councils' Association and the change which is now proposed relating to the Road Fund. I have been a member of the County Councils' Association since 1924, and I have been summoned to attend a special meeting of that association to-morrow.
§ 12 m.
A meeting of that association has been called to consider what steps shall be taken for the appointment of a committee to investigate the economy proposals of the Government with regard to local administration, and to consider an invitation from the Minister of Transport to appoint a representative on the committee to investigate the question of traffic signals. I think that is a very good suggestion. The hon. Member for Central Cardiff (Sir E. Bennett) is interested in one of the large road schemes in my constituency, in regard to which we received a telegram from the Government asking what we were doing to find employment for the men in our district. I believe it was proposed to spend as much as £400,000 on a road scheme in that district. We have already spent about £200,000. We have now, in round figures, 1,000 men at work in Glamorgan, out of the 70,000 987 whom, unfortunately, we have had idle in the administrative county. As I have already told the House, through the efforts of the late Government and the last Minister of Transport we found employment during the last 12 months for 12,212 men for eight weeks. We had in employment in July of this year nearly 3,000 men, and we are afraid that these men will now be thrown out of work if we have no guarantee. Imagine our position. We joined with the Government and spent last year, in connection with our road administration alone, £815,000, and, as I said the other evening, we are grateful to the late Government and to the House for having assisted us so materially in that direction. At the present moment we have commitments in Glamorgan amounting to £482,000, in addition to what we spent last year, and we are naturally apprehensive as to what is going to happen to our men in the forthcoming winter. Collieries, unfortunately, are going out of commission, and irregular work is becoming rampant. Cardiff also has about 7,000 men unemnloyed; I do not know what is the attitude of the hon. and gallant Member for Central Cardiff on this matter. [Interruption.] What are we in Glamorgan to do for money in the future, in face of the depression there? We could take a third or a quarter of the money projected in this Resolution, and usefully employ every penny of it in finding work for men, instead of paying them money for doing nothing.
§ Mr. MATHERS
I want to make an appeal to the Minister of Transport, arising out of the categories that he has laid down for future schemes. With regard to the Forth road bridge scheme, although this would come within the first category of schemes on which no work has already been done, I would ask the Minister to bear carefully in mind the fact that a very large number of men who are now unemployed in a badly hit area in Scotland could be employed on that scheme if it were put in operation. The scheme which is at present under examination is one for a bridge costing less than that originally projected, to cross the Forth somewhere near the same place. I appeal to the Minister not to regard the mere fact that no work has been commenced on this scheme as a justifica- 988 tion for turning it down absolutely, and to bear in mind the enormous number of men that could be employed on a scheme of this kind.
§ Mr. SIMMONS
The job of the Minister of Transport is easy, while that of his predecessor was hard. Many of us who were members of local authorities know that it was mainly due to the pressure of Labour members of them that so many claims were sanctioned by local authorities, while the Labour Government was in office. Birmingham sanctioned close upon £2,000,000 of unemployment relief work, including a great proportion for the Ministry of Transport. Many of these schemes, I take it from the Minister's statement, will have to go by the board. One interested me very intimately—a by-pass road in my division. I put this from a purely humanitarian point of view. There is a narrow road with a Church of England school coming right on to the roadway, and four times a day children of the working class are in danger of being knocked down and killed owing to traffic congestion. This curtailment of road work schemes will have a very adverse effect on the question of unemployment. Weekend after week-end in my own home I have unfolded to me the stark tragedy of men who say to me, "Cannot you get us a green card to go on a road job?" Men who are not used to heavy work come to me with blisters on their hands, men whom you are robbing of the dole and who you say do not want work, clerks and shop assistants out of work taking to pick and shovel work to show their manliness and independence and to show that they would rather work than have the dole. Why not give them a chance of continuing to show their independence and manliness? Why in this so-called national crisis are you denying to our class the right to their manhood and their independence?
This proposal that the Minister is trying to foist upon the House is going to mean that men who cannot otherwise quality for standard benefit under the Unemployment Insurance scheme will be thrown on to the Poor Law. It is the greatest insult to working men to force them into contact with the Poor Law, and that is the object of this Resolution, to deny them the chance of qualifying for 989 the unemployment benefit to which they would be entitled if they had a few weeks' employment on road work. May I not appeal to hon. Members opposite to realise that they are doing this job in the wrong way. By creating more unemployed, by throwing the unemployed upon the local authorities, they are aggravating the national crisis. Perhaps this gesture that they are making to cut down local expenditure on road works is to compensate them for the extra cost of the Poor Law as the result of the general policy of the Government. Instead of cutting down expenditure on this work of public utility and national importance, it ought to be increased. We throw back in your teeth the lie that they will not work. Those who say the unemployed do not want to work are liars. The unemployed want work. Give them a chance to work. If they are not given a chance to work, they will be driven on to the Poor Law to be pauperised. Just as the Navy have kicked, and just as it. is rumoured that the Army have kicked, so the unemployed are not going always to stand docile and tamely submit to the inhuman, stinking, rotten treatment that you are meting out to them.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I wish to add my plea to that which has been made to the Minister of Transport, but I would rather have made it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he were present. I have heard the plea, and the reply made by the Minister of Transport in reference to some of the £7,000,000, but the damage which is to be done to the unemployed is far in excess of that sum. It is not only the amount of the grant from the Road Fund or from national funds, but it is also the amount which will be paid in the ordinary and normal way by the municipalities themselves. I have sat in this House many times before this new composite Government was formed and heard the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite, many of whom appear to see nothing in the sufferings of unemployed men and women but a reason for hilarity. I am somewhat surprised at the different treatment which has been meted out after a revolt has occurred in the Navy.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I was only going to say that this is a matter which affects deeply the lives of my constituents and the constituents of many of the hon. Members opposite, and that. I cannot help feeling that, if their unemployed constituents had been present when the last speaker was on his feet, many hon. Members would have rued the action they are taking in the Committee to-night. I appeal to the Minister of Transport to reconsider the question of taking away from men and women the opportunity of earning a living. It is easy for hon. Gentlemen like the right hon. Gentleman opposite to live. His pocket is well lined, and no doubt his stomach is, too. We on this side are just as sensible to insults and sneers as hon. Members opposite.
§ Sir ROBERT HORNE
If the hon. Member is referring to me, I should like to say that I was not in any way sneering at him. I was listening, with as much intelligence as I possess to what he was saying about my constituents, and as far as I am concerned, I was not in any way interrupting him.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I could not help thinking that, the action of the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken was in keeping with the action of his colleagues when the last speaker was on his feet. If he did not mean it in the sense in which I have taken it, I am sorry that I mentioned his name al all. I was led to believe that his interruption and his action were a deliberate slur upon the men and women whom I represent in the House of Commons. I am sorry if I misunderstood him. [An HON. MEMBER: "Where is your intelligence"] Some people can sit and listen intelligently and some cannot, and I think that the hon. Gentleman who has just interrupted me is one of those who cannot. The amount of suffering that will be entailed by the economy of £7,865,000 cannot be measured. I am a member of a local authority, and I understand that consultations have taken place with certain associations representing public bodies. The corporation of which I am a member would be represented at such consultations by the Association of Municipal 991 Corporations, but so far as I know, and I speak as one in close touch with my local authority, we have had no representation from the Association of Municipal Corporations in regard to the cutting down of road grants made to us, or of those that are contemplated. Recently sanction was given to the local authority in respect of £100,000 for road work. As soon as it became known that the money for the work had been sanctioned by the Ministry of Health, I and other Parliamentary representatives in the district were visited every week-night and on Sunday mornings by many men and women, the women pleading for work for their husbands and the men asking for a job for themselves. I suppose we shall have to go to those people and say that, because of a so-called national emergency —it is a bankers' emergency and not a national emergency—there is no work for them. They can go to the workhouse, or they can go to the guardians and get Poor Law relief. When we attempt to make our appeal to Ministers, hon. Members opposite take it as a joke. I would not have spoken had it not been for the attitude of hon. Members opposite. I want to register the strongest possible protest, that men who come here representing unemployed men in their constituencies should display a levity in regard to the position of those men which they would not dare to show if they were in front of the unemployed.
I hope that instead of lessening the grant the Government will increase it so that men may have a decent opportunity of earning a living, instead of having to go to the Poor Law and be branded as paupers for the rest of their lives. Judging from the attitude of the Chancellor of the Exchequer it seems little use asking for anything from him. His heart is undoubtedly hard. He is now supported and congratulated by hon. and right hon. Members who have always criticised him. Hon. Members opposite do not require financial assistance; but we who know the position of the working classes realise their position, and we
§ plead on their behalf. With our sympathy for humanity we are compelled to register our protest against this iniquitous scheme that has been put forward in the name of national emergency.
§ Mr. COCKS
I listened with great interest to the speeches of the Minister of Transport. So far as his personal attitude is concerned, no better person could have been selected for the position he now holds. It is quite clear from the Debate that he is bound hand and foot. He can give no answer. And there is not a single Member of the Cabinet present; they are treating the House with contempt. Where is the Prime Minister? Where is the Chancellor of the Exchequer? There is a national crisis; this is an important Resolution; what is the Cabinet doing? They all run away and send here a row of office boys. The President of the Board of Education is there; what does he know about it? There is the Junior Lord of the Treasury; what does he know about it? In the interests of this House and of democratic government, as well as in the interests of private Members, I say that every Member of the Cabinet should be present. The Home Secretary was here just now: where has he gone?
So far as the hon. Member has gone I can see no connection between his speech and the Resolution before the Committee.
§ The CHAIRMAN being of opinion that the Motion was an abuse of the Rules of the House, declined to propose the Question thereupon to the Committee.
That it is expedient to provide that advances to the Road Fund made under Section thirty-six of the Finance Act, 1931, shall be made out of moneys provided by Parliament instead of out of the Consolidated Fund.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 208; Noes, 80.995
|Division No. 476.]||AYES.||[12.23 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyto, Lieut.-Colonel||Asks, Sir Robert||Balfour, George (Hampstead)|
|Albery, Irving James||Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Balfour, Captain H. H. (J. of Thanet)|
|Amery. Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Atkinson, C.||Balniel, Lord|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Penny, Sir George|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||George, Megan Lioyd (Anglesea)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gillett, George M.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Blindell, Jamas||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Pybus, Percy John|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Boyce, Lesile||Gray, Milner||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Bracken, B.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Remer, John R.|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Hammersley, S. S.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennelt|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hanbury, C.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hartington, Marquess of||Ron, Ronald D.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Haslam, Henry C.||Rothschild, J. de|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey. Farnham)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn.Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. sir H. (Darwen)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbastor)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Ayimer||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Church, Major A. G.||Jones, Liewellyn-, F.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Savery, S. S.|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Scott, James|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittoms|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Latham. H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Liewellin, Major J. J.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cooper, A. Dull||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Smithers, Waldron|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handtw'th)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Lymington, Viscount||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Mac Donald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. sir Godfrey||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Thompson, Luke|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Macquisten, F. A.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Train, J.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Dickson, T.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Duckworth. G. A. V.||Marjorlbanks, Edward||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Markham, S. F.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Meller, R. J.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||White. H. G.|
|England, Colonel A.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset. Weston-s-M.)||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Muirhead, A. J.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Nall-Cain, A. R. N.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Newman. Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Fleiden, E. B.||O'Connor, T. J.||Wood, Major McKenzie (Band)|
|Fison, F. G. Clavering||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Foot, Isaac||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Peake, Captain Osbert||Major the Marquess of Titchfield and Mr. Glassey.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Dalton, Hugh||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Arnott, John||Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Ede, James Chuter||Isaacs, George|
|Barr, James||Edmunds, J. E.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Egan, W. H.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Gibbins, Joseph||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gill, T. H.||Kinley, J.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Gossling, A. G.||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)|
|Brooke, W.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Buchanan, G.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Lawrle, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Cooks. Frederick Seymour||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Compton, Joseph||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Daggar, George||Hicks, Ernest George||Longden, F.|
|McEntee, V. L.||Romeril, H. G.||Strauss, G. R.|
|McKinlay, A.||Rowson, Guy||Tout, W. J.|
|McShane, John James||Scrymgeour, E.||Vaughan, David|
|Manning, E. L.||Scurr, John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Mathers, George||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Maxton, James||Sherwood, G. H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Messer, Fred||Shillaker, J. F.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Morley, Ralph||Simmons, C. J.||Wise, E. F.|
|Noel Baker, P. J.||Sinkinson, George||Young, Sir R. (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Phillips, Dr. Marlon||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Potts, John S.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Hayes.|
|Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Stephen, Campbell|
§ Resolution to be reported To-morrow.
§ The remaining Government Order was read, and postponed.
§ Adjourned at Twenty-nine Minutes before One o'Clock.