HC Deb 21 September 1931 vol 256 cc1357-409

"to suspend the operation of Sub-section (2) of Section one of the Gold Standard Act, 1925, and for purposes connected therewith," presented accordingly, and read the First time; and ordered to be printed. [Bill 227.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."—[Major Elliot.]


I beg to move, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words: this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Bill until provision is made for the control of prices and the maintenance of the purchasing power of the wages, the unemployed benefits, and the pensions of the working-class of this country, and the abandoning of the policy of cuts in expenditure on education, unemployment benefits, and other social services. 8.0 p.m.

It is very important, before the House allows the Government to take the steps that are contemplated in this Bill, that various assurances should be given with regard to certain sections of the community. I noticed, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was detailing the history of the steps which led to the introduction of the Bill, that he mentioned the fact that there had been much criticism of the Budget as an unbalanced Budget, and also because of the expenditure upon unemployment. Then he detailed the other steps. One of the things that struck me as I listened to him was the extraordinary way in which the Government have been driven to this position, and the disposition on the part of various people to make things in this country appear to be worse than they really are. I would ask the Financial Secretary why it was that in this series of events the estimate was given that next year the unemployed would number 750,000 more than this year. Why was that figure taken? Why has there been this worsening of confidence regarding things in this country, to the extent of saying that so many more millions would be required, because the number of unemployed would increase in 12 months by 750,000 on the average?

This Bill is only one other step in a series of steps that have been taken with the object of reducing the cost of production by worsening the conditions of the working class. If this Bill is passed obviously there will be an increase in the cost of living; there will be so many commodities that will become dearer. The Financial Secretary said that one of the main items in the household budget was rent, and that rents could not be increased because of the Rent Restrictions Acts. I should have thought that the representative of the Kelvingrove division of Glasgow would have known that a large proportion of the houses are now decontrolled, and that a greater and greater number of working class houses will have to pay increased rent.

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)

I fail to see how the hon. Member connects his Amendment with the de-control of houses.


If you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, will give me a few minutes, I will show you how I connect it. The effect of the Bill will be to increase the price of commodities. With the increase in the price of commodities there will be a general increase of prices, and those who obtain their livelihood from the letting of houses will raise the rents because they will have to pay a bigger price for commodities. Consequently I think it is of the utmost importance that steps should be taken to protect the purchasing power in the hands of the working people. The Prime Minister said that one of the things that the people of this country would understand in the crisis, and one of the things that would justify the action he had taken, was that if we went off the Gold Standard the consequences would be so terrible. To-day the decision is taken and we have gone off the Gold Standard, though in a different sense from what was contemplated previously when possibly we might have tumbled off. But we have really tumbled off now; let us make no mistake about that. We did not go off the Gold Standard until the bankers in America and France had said, "No, we are not prepared to give further credits," and the credits already given were practically exhausted.

It was a fall off the gold standard. Those were the circumstances that the Prime Minister regarded with such dread previously. One of the right hon. Gentleman's arguments was that it would be far better for the unemployed to accept the cut of 10 per cent., because they would know that Vile pound was a pound, because the pound on the Gold Standard would buy so many goods. Now we are off the Gold Standard. No one will be sure what the pound will buy in future. The unemployed man with his 15s. 3d. will not know how much that money will buy. I noticed to-day, when questions were directed to Members of the Government regarding the cut of unemployment benefit, that while there is to be some softening of the blow in the case of the teachers, the police and the Services, there is a firm determination that the unemployed are to get no relief whatever, and no lightening of their burden. I cannot understand how the Labour party in this House can acquiesce in the passage of a Bill until it has got some definite assurance as to the way in which those whom the Labour party represent are to be protected in respect of wages, unemployment benefit, and pensions, and also in respect of education and the expenditure upon social services.

I believe that things will be very much worse in future. I know it is contemplated that we will be able to work around the 18s. pound. But the present Government expected to remain on the Gold Standard. It came into being to remain on the Gold Standard. It is simply a policy of drift, drift, drift all the time, and this Bill is one other step in the policy of drift. Since I came into this House in 1922, again and again I have heard Presidents of the Board of Trade talk about the better times that were to Dome. I have heard the present, Chancellor of the Exchequer make a pitiful appeal to the Labour party, when he was a member of it, in which he said that the good time was just round the corner. We were told that if we would wait until the Autumn of last year the good time would arrive. But it did not come. So we have drifted on, and we are drifting on again.

The Government that was not able to carry out the tasks for which it was created comes forward with this Measure and says, "Now that we have a balanced Budget, now that we have an Economy Bill, it will be all right. You can go off safely now." But when the Government came into being and spoke about balancing the Budget they were horrified at the suggestion that they might still have to go off the Gold Standard. They practically gave the House an assurance that in no circumstances would they go off the Gold Standard. Now they are asking for powers, and powers to protect one section of the community, the rentier class, who are the one class that the Government are so anxious to protect. We were told that there would not be any attempt at a forced conversion of loan, no compulsion, nothing that would interfere with the investing public, nothing that would interfere with people who had securities bearing fixed interest, nothing that would cause these people the slightest discomfort. But with regard to the unemployed it was so different; they did not count. We were told that the whole world was appalled at the amount of money we were spending on the unemployed. Although we are informed that the late Labour Government were prepared to make great sacrifices and throw so many off benefit by alterations in the 26 weeks' period in the year, that was not enough; there must be an additional £12,500,000 obtained from the unemployed.

The Prime Minister said, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, and the other Members of the National Government said, "It is for your own good. It is to see that your pound will always buy you sufficient goods." Now we are asked to pay no attention to that, but to show a united front, and we are told that everything will be all right, that Britain will still lead the nations, and that we shall come through this crisis as we have come through so many other crises in the past. It is quite true that we may come through this crisis successfully. Capitalism may be able to maintain itself and ultimately to emerge from the present crisis, but it will be at the expense of the ordinary working people of this country, and it is the business of hon. Members on this side of the House to let the Government understand that we are entirely opposed to their policy and will do all we can to prevent it becoming effective and that we challenge them to ask the verdict of the country on that policy. If the Government conceived that they had some little mandate as a Government when they were maintaining the Gold Standard what mandate is there for them now when the Gold Standard has gone with the passage of this Bill? What reason is there for the Government?

I would like Members on this side to say that as far as the Labour party and the trade union movement of the country are concerned, we are prepared to use the full force of our political power and our industrial power to make it absolutely impossible for the present Government to carry on. I believe that there will be a much bigger flight from the pound than is contemplated; that things will be much worse than many people imagine; that prices will go up and that things will become very difficult indeed for the working-class. It is the duty of those who represent the working-class to begin now to visualise the difficulties which will have to be faced in the future and to try to realise what machinery will be necessary in order to protect the working-class against the hard conditions that will be forced upon them. I move this Amendment for the purpose of asking for definite assurances with regard to the purchasing power of wages, of unemployment benefit, and pensions—assurances that the conditions of working-class life will not be worsened during this crisis. I also ask for an assurance that the cuts which the Government contemplates in education, unemployment benefit and the social services will be abandoned. If the Government are in earnest in seeking national unity they should be prepared to make those concessions.

The Financial Secretary said there were three balances involved and that the third one was a well-balanced mind. There is, I suggest, a fourth. There is the balance between rich and poor and that balance has been very heavily in favour of the rich during all the handling of this crisis. All along, that balance has been held so as to protect the rich and well-to-do and has been held against the working-class and the lower middle-class. A united Opposition, determined to submit to no worsening of working-class conditions has a power which, I believe, will compel the Government to make concessions along the lines I have indicated. I appeal to Members on this side to make it as difficult as possible for this Bill to pass until we get an assurance from the Government that there is to be no worsening of working-class conditions and that the burden will he laid upon the shoulders best able to bear it, namely those of the rich and well-to-do classes of this country.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I do so for a number of reasons which I hope I shall be able to explain fully. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he hoped to have the unanimous voice of this House in support of the Government's proposals to devaluate the pound. There need have been no difficulty about the unanimity of this House, if the proposals put before us had shown that wise and judicious care which the Government might have shown for the people over whom they rule. But let there be no mistake about it. When this Bill is passed there will come—indeed, already, before its passage there has already come—upon the people of this country what is, in effect, a definite reduction of wages and salaries. Surely, a wise and beneficent Government looking out over its people throughout this country would have said: "It is true that we are giving the banks powers which are not only formidable, but are un-named and indefinite; yet we are going to make assurance doubly sure that while there is to be an increase in the cost of living the poorest of the poor in the land shall be protected."

We know only too well how wide has been the gap between the reduction of wholesale prices and the reduction of retail prices. We know how retail prices in their fall have lagged behind wholesale prices and, conversely, we know how painfully slowly the wages of the working class rise to catch up with increases in the cost of living. The War gave us an example. Even in that time when the nation was expected to be united, these differences led to clashes and conflicts of conscience on the part of the working class. Large numbers of them were only too anxious in their then patriotic zeal to help their country, as they thought, but they were put to the terrible strain of not knowing where they were going to get the money with which to carry on their homes. As a result not merely of this Measure, but of the Economy Bill, there will be in every town and village in the land increases of rates. There will be an increase of prices, and because of the increase of prices there will be, in effect, a reduction of wages and salaries. I ask the spokesmen of the Government what are they going to do to protect the people who will be affected?

I asked the Financial Secretary what assurance he could give that there would be afforded to the people of this country the protection which they require. He said, speaking in a very vague and general way, that there were wide powers to deal with catastrophic rises in prices, so that apparently, before there is any suggestion even of taking action, the Government will simply keep their eye on any catastrophic rises in prices. That is not enough for us. On the top of that increase in prices all round that is going to be so hard on the unemployed and on the aged, with their miserable pensions—men and women over 70 years of age the purchasing power of whose 10s. has already gone down—not only are they to be ignored, but there is to be taken no step whatever to help any of them.

It is not without significance that the Prime Minister, at the Despatch Box this afternoon, could say that there was to be a reduction of the cut in teachers' salaries to 10 per cent., although in effect that reduction of the cut will have been nullified probably within the next month. It is significant that the services of which he spoke were the teaching service, the police service, the branches of the military service, and so on, but no word fell from the Prime Minister's lips as to any question, under the new circumstances, of reducing the burden that is to be placed upon the unemployed. I want to ask the spokesman of the Government, if by taking this step they are definitely increasing prices and therefore increasing the burden on the people, what steps they are going to take in order to help those people. What control, what machinery, what steps of any kind whatever are to be taken in order to reassure us that the Government are not going to he merely a caretakers' Government for the bankers, but are going to he a Government that can look out on the country with the eye of solicitude that a wise and beneficent Government ought to have?

It is proposed to reduce the unemployment benefit by 10 per cent. This increase in prices on account of the proposed Measure now before the House has already added another percentage to that, and I ask therefore whether the spokesman for the Government cannot say to-night that the Government have decided not to inflict that 10 per cent. reduction on the unemployed, not to worsen the conditions under which they are living, but, because of the price increases throughout the land, that that will be the contribution of the unem- ployed to the present so-called crisis. Some of us feel very keenly upon this matter, and we have a right to ask that the Government shall take some measures arising out of this Bill and shall formulate some statement to-night which will reassure those who sent us here that the Government are taking steps to protect the miserable standard of living under which so many of those people exist at the present time.


The Amendment deals with a particular aspect of the condition of this country that has become even more accentuated within the past few days. This Bill is an emergency Bill. When this House rose on Friday there seemed to be no idea in the mind of any Member of the House that conditions were going to reach such a climax as to necessitate the introduction of a Bill of this character, but it was surely in the air, and a Prime Minister or a Member of the Cabinet with his fingers upon the pulse of what might be looked upon as a very acute situation, should at least have seen that something was likely to arise.

On Thursday night we saw on the "tape" that this country had already gone off the Gold Standard. It did not require a Bill to be introduced on the Monday to let us know that. In the New York Exchanges from 6 o'clock onward on Thursday night the pound had dropped to 18s. 6d. instead of its par value of 20s. That situation continued right on until the evening. Furthermore, rumours of all kinds were circulating throughout the House as to a critical situation having arisen. Statements were being bandied about of meetings and councils and conferences in the Prime Minister's room. On the Saturday morning the country was acquainted with the fact that the Directors of the Bank of England had been interviewing the Prime Minister, and that a cabinet meeting had adjourned to allow a consultation to take place between the Prime Minister and leading Members of the Cabinet, and that the Cabinet had reassembled after that consultation.

It was known to the Cabinet on Thursday night that a situation of extreme delicacy and urgency had arisen, and not until to-day was this House acquainted with the fact that a Bill of this kind was required in order to save the situation. Why? I was not at the conference with the Cabinet, and no one in this House at present, I am certain, knew anything of what took place at that conference, but knowing what has been advised by those bank directors to past Governments, I am convinced that their advice was that, however critical the situation might have seemed, all would be well if the Government would give proper support. But once again, as the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) told us in this House only a few months ago, the Bank of England and the City were wrong in the advice which they gave to the Government. They were wrong last Thursday night when they advised that all was likely to be well. We were off the Gold Standard then—not this morning, but from 6 o'clock last Thursday night—and this Bill is an indication once again that the Government have been driven into a state of panic by the mishandling of the whole situation by your so-called financial experts.

I can remember when we went on the Gold Standard, and many of us here took part in the discussion and in the Division in this House when the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) took us back to the Gold Standard. It is amusing how these financial experts always tell you what benefits will flow from following their advice. Their advice then was to go upon the Gold Standard. The right hon. Member for Epping told the House on the Third Reading that we had on that occasion done one of the greatest things in the history of this country by going back to the Gold Standard. The Bank Rate rose afterwards This morning when it was announced that we had gone off the Gold Standard, the Bank Rate again rose. Whether we go upon it or off it, the banker is always there to raise his rates and get the best out of both sides. It is time that this House took some control over the banks and over the financial interests of this country and ignored the advice of the so-called financial experts.


And take your advice.


I am not asking anyone to take my advice. I am merely criticising the actions that have followed upon all the advice that has been accepted by this Government as well as by other Governments. I do not set my- self up to be a financial expert. The Prime Minister and Chancellor have spoken to us to-day as though they were giving us high financial advice, and have said that it was better to go off the Gold Standard in order to save the country. That was why those gentlemen changed from this side of the House to that side. They changed a fortnight ago to save the country and to keep the Gold Standard in existence in order to preserve the financial stability of the country and to enable the sovereign to look the dollar in the face all over the world, as the right hon. Member for Epping said when he put us back on to the Gold Standard. Instead of propping it up with the Economy Bill, they have taken the shoring away from underneath and the Gold Standard has collapsed.

Now all the papers are joining in a Hallelujah Chorus that everything is allright in this country now that we have gone off the Gold Standard. Last week they were pleading with the Government to go to the country to preserve the Gold Standard and to shore it up with tariffs. With one exception, the Press were all in favour of the Gold Standard last week. I wonder sometimes why we pay so much attention to the City and so little attention to the things we can do for ourselves here. The Prime Minister told us categorically to-day, in announcing the alleviation in the cuts which the Government intended to make in certain services, that the unemployed were not to be included. The Chancellor, with that placid look upon his face, with that firmness of manner that has led him to be called the "Iron Chancellor," again showed the nature of the character that he has acquired since he crossed the Floor and surrounded himself with his present companions, also pointed out that this Bill is the only way to preserve this country, and that it must be based upon things which can give no relief to the unemployed workers. Their benefit will be cut 10 per cent. On Thursday the pound dropped to 18s. 6d. on the Wall Street exchange, and it has dropped since, so that there has been practically a 10 per cent. cut in the value of the pound since Thursday. That with the other 10 per cent. cut, means a 20 per cent. reduction in the value of the money the unemployed will get to spend.

We want to know from the Government what they intend to do to preserve the value of the few shillings which the unemployed will get, and to prevent a profiteering ramp after the style of the bankers' ramp which we have already had. We do not want any profiteering in finance, and we are determined that there shall be no profiteering by a needless increase in the prices of the food supplies of the humblest and poorest people. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury in his reply earlier said that he could not give any statement as to what the Government intended to do. He did not, however, give us any assurance that they intended to do anything. We are not asking for the regulations that they will lay down, but we want a definite pledge from the representatives of the Government that they will do something definite to prevent profiteering in the slump that is bound to take place in the value of the pound. I ask the Solicitor-General, who is evidently going to reply for the Government. I take it from his attitude that he is not. Then I ask the Noble Lord the Member for East Norfolk (Viscount Elmley) if he is going to reply for the Government. I take it that he is not. Then, as there is no one on the Front Government Bench who can reply to the Debate, I shall move, "That the House do report Progress and ask leave to sit again." It is scandalous that in a Debate of this kind, when an Amendment has been moved which seeks to preserve the interests, the rights, the comforts and the livelihood of millions of workers, there is no Government representative who is to reply.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Thomas Inskip)

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not take it amiss. My hon. and gallant Friend the Financial Secretary, who has been here all day, will be back in a very short time. I will report to him anything that is said.


This is not good enough. A situation has arisen in the country which is considered to be of such urgency that a Bill is introduced, and we are asked to put it through all its stages in one evening. I protest against the way the Government are treating their own urgent Bill, and I insist upon the Motion to report Progress being accepted.


Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy.


I am moving to report Progress.


The hon. Member cannot move to report Progress in the House.


I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adourned."


Does anyone second the Motion?


I beg to second the Motion.


I do not accept the Motion. Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy.


On a point of Order. We are in an exceedingly grave situation, according to the statements of both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and we have no Government representative present to deal with it. The Solicitor-General states that ho is only going to report what he remembers, I take it, to the Financial Secretary when the latter returns, so that he may reply to the things reported to him. I submit that that is not treating this House as it ought to be treated on a matter of this importance and urgency, and I again ask you to reconsider your Ruling and to accept my Motion for the Adjournment.


Under the Standing Orders discretion is vested in me as to whether I accept or reject such a Motion, or whether I put it forthwith without debate. As the hon. Member has stated, this is an occasion of great urgency, and he has himself given the best argument against accepting his own Motion in stating that the Bill has to pass through all its stages to-night. In view of that fact, I cannot accept the Motion.


On a point of Order. You have admitted the urgency of the situation and its critical nature, and have stated that those are the best reasons why you should not accept my Motion. May I submit to yen that they are also the strongest arguments why you ought to accept it? You must admit that there ought to be a representative of the Government sitting on that bench to listen to the statements advanced against the Bill and reply to them. That being so, I submit once again that you should reconsider your decision. Otherwise the whole situation becomes farcical—an urgent Bill is being discussed and there is no representative of the Government to reply to the discussion.


I have already given my Ruling on that point, and I see no reason to depart from it, Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy.


Then I shall continue my speech.


The hon. Member exhausted his right to speak by moving the Adjournment of the Debate and having that Motion seconded. He cannot speak twice in the Debate.


The Motion I moved was a Motion to adjourn the Debate. You did not accept it, and therefore I have not spoken upon that Motion. That has fallen dead. I am speaking now on the Amendment which is before the House.


The hon. Member seems to have forgotten that his Motion to adjourn the Debate was seconded. By permitting it to be seconded, he terminated his own speech, and he cannot now address the House again on the Amendment.


I submit that I did not make any speech on the Motion to adjourn the Debate. During my speech on the Amendment I asked the Solicitor-General whether he intended to reply, and he indicated that he did not. Then I gave way to him and he said that he was going to make a report to the Financial Secretary. Thereupon, after his interruption of my speech—not, the end of my speech—I moved the Adjournment of the Debate, and I now ask leave to go on with my points.


May I submit to you, Captain Bourne, that when a Member is speaking on so important and so serious a matter and finds that no one is present to answer the points he is putting forward, and thereupon moves to Adjourn the Debate—that because under the Rules of the House that Motion must have, a seconder the Member does not lose the right to continue his speech?


It will be within the recollection of the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) that a similar situation arose in the last Parliament. While the House was proposing to move Mr. Speaker out of the Chair on the Navy Estimates the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith) moved the Adjournment of the Debate. He was not permitted to continue his speech on that occasion, and I am bound to hold to that precedent in this case.


On a, point of Order. I am not going to question your Ruling any further, but I would like to know under which Standing Order that Ruling was given.


The hon. Member has asked me to quote the Standing Order. To the best of my recollection—and this point has come upon me somewhat suddenly—the Rule that an hon. Member cannot speak twice in the same Debate is a very old-standing Rule. The hon. Member moved a Motion which I did not accept but which had been seconded, and as he allowed it to be seconded his speech was terminated. Consequently, a speech from him now would be on the Amendment before the House. He has already spoken on that Amendment, and by moving that the Debate be now adjourned, and permitting that to be seconded, he terminated his own speech. I must therefore hold that he cannot resume his speech.


On a point of Order. You are basing your Ruling on the fact, or what you consider to be the fact, that an hon. Member cannot speak twice on the same Motion. I am submitting to you that I was speaking on the Amendment, discovered there was no one to reply, and then moved the Adjournment of the Debate. That was an entirely different matter from speaking on the Amendment which was before the House, and therefore I was not speaking or endeavouring to speak twice on the same subject.


The hon. Member has fallen into a common fallacy. A speech is delivered upon the Question before the House, until a new Question arises. Until the hon. Member's Motion was moved and seconded there was no new Question before the House. That was the Ruling given in the case I have already referred to.


I am not arguing, but it is not in the Standing Orders.


If an hon. Member is ruled out of order because of a certain Standing Order, are the other Members not entitled to know what that Standing Order is?


I have given my Ruling, which is based on a previous Ruling by one of my predecessors.


The Standing Order does not bear it out.


Some of us were not here when the previous Ruling was given in relation to that matter, and as a new Member I consider that we are entitled to know what the Standing Order is.


Hon. Members had better study the Standing Orders for themselves. Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I am sorry the speech of the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) has been cut short. I have heard him speak with great pleasure on many occasions, and I am sure he would have spoken much more eloquently than I have done. It happens, also, that I was the hon. Member who was called on the previous occasion when the right hon. Gentleman was ruled out of order on the Navy Estimates. I notice with surprise that when a protest was being made the Financial Secretary to the Treasury came in, but that he has now departed. I do not want to raise the same protest, but I think that either the Chancellor or the Financial Secretary or the Prime Minister ought to be on the Treasury Bench. Hon. Members opposite seem to treat this whole thing rather lightly. As soon as this Bill is out of the way, I would like them to go to the country on a Dissolution and see what the electors think of it. Some of them are going to get a shock.


I hope the hon. and gallant Member does not refer to those of us who are sitting here now.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I am referring to hon. Gentlemen who are treating this Bill as something to be passed through the House in 10 minutes, because the "Daily Mail" said so this morning. That was the sort of thing I read in the train coming from Yorkshire —that all these stages would be gone through in a few minutes. This is a Bill of the utmost importance. It was to prevent this Bill that the present Government was formed, and my first intention was to support the Bill, because I thought that as honourable men the Government would then get out. But now that we have the Bill itself we see from the text of it that there is no urgency whatever. It would not matter if we did not pass this Bill until next week, because there is absolutely no urgency about it. [Interruption.] I hope hon. Members opposite are not going to be impatient about this matter, because this is a Parliamentary occasion of the utmost importance.

The Government are proceeding in this matter in the wrong way; there ought to be a consultation with other Powers in regard to the Gold Standard. That is a course which should have been adopted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister, because they have a supreme responsibility in regard to such matters as those which we are now discussing. I am very sorry for the party opposite now that it has been saddled with those two incompetent Ministers. Already stocks have fallen by £90,000,000, and we have lost £25,000,000 in gold as a result of the incompetence and lack of tact on the part of the Government. One of the things which I suggest as being very essential at the present moment is that we should exercise our powers under the Bank Charter Act of 1844, and terminate the Charter of the Bank of England. This is certainly a very grave issue to put before the country. The Conservative party, at any rate, had A policy before they allowed themselves to be hoodwinked into joining this Government, and it was one which they said would prevent wages being reduced. The Government are now adopting a policy which will result not only in a reduction of wages, but will also have the effect of increasing unemployment.

9.0 p.m.

On this side of the House we are going to fight this Bill at every stage, and we shall fight every proposal which is put forward by the present Government. To proceed with these Measures, even in face of the reduced cuts which have been promised, is criminal folly, and we must fight them on this side, and fight them we will. The Government have power under the Emergency Powers Act to deal with rising prices of such articles as fuel and other necessities, and they should be prepared to act very swiftly in order to see that the people of this country are not made to suffer unnecessarily. Let the Government display a little more vision in all these matters. I am glad to see that there has been a change of tone on the part of the Press, which up to the present moment has been supporting the present Government, and I have no doubt that this will be followed by a change of tone on the part of Government spokesmen. During the last fortnight the speeches we have beard from the Treasury Bench, and more particularly from the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, have been injurious to the interests of this country: they have been alarming the people simply for party ends in order to justify their treachery to their own party, and making speeches which are treasonable.

I think we might give a great impetus to the export trade of this country by stopping the importation of unnecessary luxuries. But you must at the same time be prepared to prevent either panic rises of price or, as I believe is provided in the Bill, panic flights from the pound. You can do both. You can give an example to the country of courage, the great thing that this Government needs next to energy, and confidence, and stop running down your own country, your own people, and your own working men. [Interruption.] An hon. Member speaks of running away, but the Prime Minister, by his own resignation, which only a very high authority prevented him from carrying out, ran as fast as anyone. May I, with great humility, give one last word of advice? [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) will understand in a moment. In the next few weeks and months we shall hear many references to the May and Macmillan reports. Might I ask that a certain chap- ter of a much older Book should be referred to—the 32nd chapter of Exodus, which tells how the Children of Israel set up a golden idol, a molten image, and what happened to them. We have been worshipping gold; we have made it our god; and we are going to be punished—we are taking some of our punishment now. I hope we shall repent, and I hope that God will have mercy on us.


During the last three weeks in this House we have been told from the Government benches that we have to submit to everything that they propose, in case there should happen what has now happened. Some of us ventured to say that, however submissively and humbly we accepted their proposals, this would happen. Last Friday I ventured to suggest to the House that the three things which could be done by British capitalism in this situation were direct cuts—which were being proposed —inflation, and tariffs; and I said that far from, as the Prime Minister promised us, the acceptance of cuts allowing us to get off without the other two evils, we were much more likely to get all three of them. That was only last Friday. We have got two of them already, and, if we are to judge by a significant passage in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech, we are going to get the third very soon indeed. That is an extremely serious situation for every wage-earner in this country to face during the winter. We find now that, even when it is apparent that all these three evils will come upon the working population of this country, we are told—and the hon. and learned Member for Central Nottingham (Mr. O'Connor) carried this view to its logical conclusion—that the fiats of high finance must not be controverted, but must be obeyed in action immediately. We have heard that for weeks, of course; we have been told from the Government Front Bench that the fiats of finance must not be criticised in words from this side of the House; but the hon. and learned Member for Central Nottingham went a step further, and said that these proposals must not even meet with expressions of protest from this side of the House—that they must not only be accepted, but gladly accepted, or more terrible disaster would come upon us.

We cannot quite fall in with that view, but it is certainly remarkable that this event which is now taking place, and which for the last three weeks has been described as the most horrible catastrophe that could happen to this country, has now suddenly, at the moment of its arrival, been turned, according to the Press of this country, into a veritable economic paradise. That is most astonishing. I submit, however, that, just as the terrible, awful catastrophe was somewhat exaggerated, so the economic paradise is even more exaggerated. I think it is possible, and even probable, that, as a result of the passage of this Bill and of the inflation which must ensue, there will—granted, of course that the general world situation does not deteriorate too rapidly—be some increase in industrial activity in this country. At any rate, there will no doubt be a very considerable increase in the rate of profits made by certain industries in this country. Certain speakers from this side of the House have seemed to suggest that that is an excellent thing, that at any rate it is an asset which should be set off against the undoubted liabilities of this policy; but do they realise at whose expense those profits are to be made? They will be made wholly and solely at the expense of the wage-workers of this country, for, obviously, profit-earning capacity will be restored to sections of British industry just to the extent that this Bill reduces real wages, and it is distinctly doubtful, in the present world situation, how far inflation will benefit them even temporarily, though I should say there will be some temporary benefit to British industry.

We must, however, remember at this juncture some of the things, at any rate, that we were told about inflation up to a day ago, because some of them were true. We were told from the Government benches, until we were almost sick of hearing it, what an artificial, what an unreal benefit inflation was to industry, and that is very largely true. Certainly the industrial boom, if there be a boom, which we shall see as a result of this Bill, will be of a most unhealthy and unreal character. British capitalism may get a breathing space for itself at the expense of the workers, at the expense of an enormously increased rate of exploitation of the working class; but even that respite will be of a very artificial and insecure character. It is, as it were, taking to drugs. With this Bill, British capitalism has taken to drugs, has taken to artificial stimulants, because it could not get on without them, and it marks a historical moment that at this point this sort of method has had to be resorted to by the oldest and, it was thought, one of the strongest capitalist systems in the world. This artificial method will weigh with unparalleled and unheard of severity on the workers of this country, who are already being attacked by direct economies, and are now to be attacked by this far more potent though less direct method, and are probably to be attacked soon by the other indirect method of tariffs. By this enormous pressure on the workers, British capitalism may gain a small and uncertain breathing space, but the very fact that it has to resort to such methods as this shows the appalling condition into which it has got, and these methods will unquestionably raise an opposition and a spirit of revolt in this country which has not been seen before.

The astonishing situation which we have witnessed in this House to-day is that, at this moment of unparalleled difficulty for British capitalism, when it has shown its weakness as it has never done before, the Leader of the Labour party and of the Opposition offers his co-operation with the Government and with British capitalists. The terms were a matter of £4,000,000, which he thought should be raised in a somewhat different way in the Budget from the way in which they are raised. If hon. Members think I am exaggerating and that he asked for some other concession, I do not want to argue that point. There are no concessions which British capitalism can give at this moment. Of course, we oppose the Economy Bill, but do not let us delude ourselves or our constituents that the Economy Bill can be withdrawn by British capitalism. We have heard from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that after inflation the Economy Bill is far more necessary to him even than it was before, and that is absolutely true from his point of view. British capitalism is out to attack the working-class standard of life not at one point but at every point simultaneously. Therefore, it seems to me an appalling tragedy that the front Opposition Bench made absolutely no real opposition to the Bill at all. I trust the Amendment will be pressed to a Division, hut that will be the only opposition that these proposals meet with.

Some of the speeches of spokesmen of the Independent Labour Party opposed these proposals not on fundamental but on technical grounds. They seemed to think this was the wrong way of going about the job. The hon. Member for East Leicester (Mr. Wise), for example, took that line. There is no possible ground for opposition along those lines. The Treasury experts who advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer have found out the right way, from the point of view of British capitalism, to do their own job, and it is most unlikely that anyone from the Independent Labour Party, or anyone else, will be able to suggest a better way. These proposals, like all the other proposals of the Government, however severe they are—and they will be increasingly severe and will press increasingly into the standard of life, and into the very necessities of the workers—either have to be supported or, at any rate, not opposed, as the Front Opposition Bench does, or they have to be opposed as fundamentally, from the very root, the whole system out of which they spring has to be opposed, and their opposers have to be prepared to have an alternative policy of mobilising working class opposition to these proposals not only in this House but throughout the country, In other words, opposition to these proposals cannot be on a Parliamentary basis. There is no possibility of Parliamentary argument about them. They have to be opposed by the demobilisation of the whole powers of the working class industrially and politically.

The only contribution to that which can be made in this House is the formulation of a short, simple programme of working class demands—perfectly rational demands for shorter hours to meet the unemployment crisis, for higher wages, for refusal to allow prices to rise —demands which are utterly incompatible with the maintenance of the capitalist system for a single hour; we must be perfectly clear about that—proposals which, if they are made, those who make them must be prepared to take over government, to smash the capitalist system and to build up a new system from the very bottom. I know this may seem fantastic. It is fantastic to suppose that hon. Members on the Front Opposition Bench could ever do such a thing. I realise that to the full. But the point I am making is that, unless you are prepared to go all that way, there is no possible basis of opposition either to this Bill or to the other proposals of the Government. [interruption.] An hon. Member says the Army is in control of hon. Members opposite. Do his remarks apply equally to the Fleet? That is the fundamental point that we have reached. I ask every Member on this side of the House to think really clearly and honestly and not to shirk this issue, as they are all shirking it at the moment.


I think there is no doubt that the arguments for and against the Bill itself were exhaustively canvassed in the discussion in which the House gave leave to introduce the Bill. Leave was given without a Division almost unanimously and after having had, not merely the arguments for and against the Bill but extensive quotations from the Bill, which acquainted the House fully with the proposals that we were about to lay before it. I have listened to most of the Debate, and I have had reported to me in, detail any contributions that were made by the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) and others while I was out of the House. It does not seem to the Government that any new argument has been raised. There has been a reiteration of the demand for safeguards of one kind or another. The safeguard, as we pointed out, to the working class and to all classes in the country was the maintenance of the Gold Standard. When the Gold Standard, owing, as we think, largely to the factious opposition of the other side—the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself said it was impossible for the nation to present a united front—breaks down it is true that all classes of the country are exposed to the danger of alterations in price which comes from having departed from a fixed standard, but the fact remains that there is no reason to suppose that any extensive rise in prices will take place. The hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen), with ill-concealed glee, said he thought great rises and terrible hardships would take place, but he hoped there would be no panic. He did not seem to me to be going the best way to avoid a panic.


I did not say I hoped there would be no panic.


The hon. Member does hope that there will be panic. It is not a hope of ours. The best contribution the House can make to avoid panic is to limit the Debate, as far as it can do so, and to pass the Measure energetically and promptly.


May I seek a definite reply to a question from the Government spokesman? I listened very carefully to the Chancellor's statement when asking for leave to introduce the Bill, and I listened equally carefully to the statement of the Financial Secretary when trying to enlighten us as to the real scope of the powers contained in the Bill. I would like to have a definite answer to these perfectly simple questions. Will this Bill equip the Government with power to prohibit British nationals from buying foreign currency, except for purposes of trade or other purposes that may be approved by the Government? Will the Bill equip the British Government with powers to mobilise securities held by British nationals, either in cases where interest is paid in sterling or where the investors are paid in foreign currency, and does it give the Government power to control those securities and take them over if necessary to be used in the interests of the nation for the purpose of maintaining the exchange value of British currency?

Is there power in the Bill to enable the Treasury to call upon the profits and other resources of the Bank of England, in the event of any loss in respect of guarantee for the loans which have recently been contracted with France and the United States—I refer more particularly to the later loans, amounting to £80,000,000 of which £40,000,000 are held in France and £40,000,000 in the United States, and which I understand are guaranteed by His Majesty's Government —because of those loans having to be paid in a depreciated currency, so that the British taxpayer might recoup his loss from the Bank of England, whose mistakes have really lead to the necessity for this expenditure If we could get an assurance on those points, there are some of us who would be inclined to support the Bill.


It is four weeks ago since the Ministry of all the mediocrities was formed. Looking at them to-day, I can only say that, in view of this Bill, they appear more mediocre than they did four weeks ago. We have achieved to-night the very thing the Government were formed to prevent, and which was to be, in the words which Lord Rosebory made so famous, "the end of all things." If we went off the Gold Standard, nothing else was worth while. One opened the Tory papers this morning, to find that the big mistake is that we have waited so long to go off the Gold Standard. Now we are to see the dawn of the era of prosperity. We have moved during the past fortnight from one panic to another. The letter from the Bank of England to the Government, and the answer of the Government, are at last an emphatic declaration as to who are the real masters of this country. The Prime Minister never attempted to justify the cut in unemployment benefit on anything other than a, cost-of-living basis, on a basis of letting the working man know that I5s. 3d. is 15s. 3d., just as the Prime Minister was to know that £4,000 was £4,000. To-night the working man who is going to have his unemployment benefit cut, has no such guarantee.

Amid resounding Ministerial cheers to-day, it was announced that the Government had run away from the teachers, the police and from anybody who could bite them. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not the doctors!"] The doctors made their announcement last Friday. They gave way a couple of days too soon. What is the position to-night? The teacher's salary was to be so cut that £100 fell to £85. It is now announced that the teacher's salary is to he so cut that £100 is to become £90. I saw on the tape as I came into the House that the was worth 18s. in Paris. Therefore, on that basis, the £90 that is left to the teachers has already become £81. Under the Government's proposal, the teachers arc 4 per cent. worse off than they were with the 15 per cent. under the Gold Standard. The whole game has been given away in the "Times" city notes this morning. The writer says: The Gold Standard game can only be played according to its well-proven rules. It is as well that we should know from so high an authority that this is a game, which financiers play with pieces of paper and with the people of this and other countries. Because the game has not been played according to the rules by America and France, people of this country are to suffer a degradation in their standard of life that 14 years ago would have been regarded as absolutely impossible. If, in September, 1917, when the Paschendaele push was being made, people had gone along the lines in the morning telling the men then in the trenches that they would have to face the appalling position that faces them to-day, those people would have been shot for trying to cause disaffection among the troops and for demonstrating to them things that were palpably false. Yet we have come to see this!

Only yesterday, the real master of this country was giving his view in the "Sunday Express." In one column it was stated that I should not be here much longer; I took heart of grace from that, when I read the other prophecy by another and far greater expert, Dr. Sprague, who had been telling a writer in the "Sunday Express" yesterday that he had no fears for the value of the pound. He said: We have by no means reached the last of our resources in our efforts to maintain the value of the pound. Far from having used the last shot in the locker, very much useful ammunition has not even reached the locker.' Dr. Sprague, naturally, was not able to enlarge on what further methods would be adopted to support sterling if the necessity arose, but lie made it clear that he foresaw no difficulty in obtaining all the support necessary. The "Sunday Express" says: 'Anyway,' he concluded, with that confident smile of his, 'it won't happen this week or next.' I do not think he is Scottish. He is not a British subject. I understand that he is really the man in charge for the American banks at the Bank of England. That is the position we have now reached. I suggest that we ought not to part with this Bill until we have the assurances asked for in the Amendment. The hon. Member for Aston (Mr. Strachey) was trying to draw a lurid picture of the near future. In most revolutions, the people who talk like that are generally found on the wrong side of the barricade when the shooting begins.


Will the hon. Member tell me from his revolutionary experiences on what, he basis that statement?


On a longer life than that of the hon. Member, and upon a considerable study of the writings of his father. Four weeks ago the revolution was decreed. Already the Government are learning the truth of what Victor Hugo said on the French Revolution: What is this thing that goes less and less in the direction in which one pushes it?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Sir Robert Hamilton)

The Socialist party!


Four weeks ago, the one thing that we were supposed to have saved was the Gold Standard. To-night the one thing that it is certain we have lost is the Gold Standard, and during the next few weeks many and greater disappointments await the Government if they pursue the policy on which they were formed. I regret that the Secretary for Mines is not here, for I have a quotation from Milton with which I want to close my speech. War has made many great whom peace makes small. If after being released from the toils of war, you neglect the arts of peace, if your peace and your liberty be a state of warfare, if war he your only virtue, the summit of your praise, you will, believe me, soon find peace the most adverse to your interests. Your peace will be only a more distressing war; and that which you imagined liberty will prove the worst of slavery.


Go on.


I am prepared to go on, but I have been informed that the House desires to get the Bill to another place so that it may become law to-night; if it is the desire of Government supporters, however, that I should continue, I am always willing to oblige them. We have neglected the arts of peace. We have believed that we could subjugate and drive into slavery great

nations on the Continent and we find to-night that in attempting to subjugate and enslave others we have ourselves been subjugated and enslaved, and the only way we shall get out of the mess is for the whole of the nations of the world to realise that the victories on the battlefield have been turned into the most distressing defeat democracy has ever suffered and that we have, as a united world, to stand together in our determination to crush the fell power of money out of the position it has assumed.

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Commander Sir Bolton Eyres Monsell)

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question he now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House proceeded to a. Division—


[seated and covered]: On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I have spent nearly the whole day listening to the Debate. I have tried to get in; I was not going to delay the House for very long. Members of the House who have just come into the Chamber have been allowed to speak, while some of us have been sitting here all day and have not been called upon.


That is not a point of Order.


[seated and covered]: On a point of Order. May I ask you if it is customary to grant the Closure at Twenty Minutes to Ten o'Clock when hon. Members have put specific questions to which no reply has been given, and when the Debate only started at Eight o'Clock?


The Closure has been moved and really no point of Order arises.

The House divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 148.

Division No. 481.] AYES. [9.40 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Balfour, Captain H. H. (I.of Thanet) Boothby, R. J. G.
Albery, Irving James Balniel, Lord Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh) Bellairs, Commander Carlyon Boyce, Leslie
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Bracken, B.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Berry, Sir George Briscoe, Richard George
Astor, Viscountess Betterton, Sir Henry B. Broadbent, Colonel J.
Atholl, Duchess of Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Atkinson, C. Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C. (Berks, Newb'y)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Birkett, W. Norman Buchan, John
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Blindell, James Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Greene, W. P. Crawford Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W.G.(Ptsl'ld)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) O'Connor, T. J.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Oldfield, J. R.
Butler, R. A. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Butt, Sir Alfred Gritten, W. G. Howard Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Gunston, Captain D. W. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Campbell, E. T. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H, Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Carver, Major W. H. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Penny, Sir George
Cattle Stewart, Earl of Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Perkins, W. R. D.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth,S.) Hammersley, S. S. Peto, Sir Basil E- (Devon, Barnstaple)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Hanbury, C. Power, Sir John Cecil
Cecil, Rt, Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Pownall, Sir Assheton
Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton Harbord, A. Preston, Sir Walter Rueben
Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.Sir J.A.(Blrm.,W.) Hartington, Marquess of Purbrick, R.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbatton) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Pybus, Percy John
Chapman, Sir S. Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd,Henley) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Christle, J. A. Heneage, Lieut-Colonel Arthur P. Ramsbotham, H.
Church, Major A. G. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Rathbone, Eleanor
Clydesdale, Marquess of Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Rawson, Sir Cooper
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hore-Belisha, Leslie Remer, John R.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Colfox, Major William Philip Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Colman, N. C. D. Hurd, Percy A. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'ty)
Colville, Major D. J. Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Robinson, Sir T, (Lanes, Stretford)
Cooper, A. Duff Inskip, Sir Thomas Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Courtauld, Major J. S. Iveagh, Countess of Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G, L. Jones, Llewellyn-, F. Ross, Ronald D.
Cowan, D. M. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.
Cranborne, Viscount Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Runciman. Rt. Hon. Walter
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Russell, Alexander west (Tynemouth)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston) Salmon, Major I,
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Kindersley, Major G. M. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Culverwell, C. T, (Bristol, West) Knight, Holford Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Knox, Sir Alfred Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Lam, Sir J. Q. Savery, S. S.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (Caithness)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Skelton, A. N.
Dawson, Sir Philip Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Smith, Louis W, (Sheffield, Hallam)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Llewellin, Major J. J. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Locker- Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Smithers, Waldron
Dickson. T. Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th) Somerset, Thomas
Duckworth, G. A. V. Long, Major Hon. Eric Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Lymington, Viscount Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Eden, Captain Anthony MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Edge, Sir William Mac Donald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Elmley, Viscount Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
England, Colonel A. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.) Makins, Brigadier-General E. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Everard, W. Lindsay Mander, Geoffrey le M. Thomson, Sir F.
Falle, Sir Bertram Q. Margesson, Captain H. D. Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Ferguson, Sir John Marjoribanks, Edward Todd, Capt. A. J.
Fielden, E. B. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Train, J.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Meller, R. J. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Ford, Sir P. J. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Turton, Robert Hugh
Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Middleton, G. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Millar, J. D. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Galbraith, J. F. W. Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S. Warrender, Sir Victor
Ganzoni, Sir John Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Wells, Sydney R
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton Monsell, Eyres, Com Rt. Hon. Sir B. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Morris, Rhys Hopkins Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Gillett, George M. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Withers, Sir John James
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Glassey, A. E. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwlck) Womersley, W. J.
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Muirhead, A. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Gower, Sir Robert Nail-Cain, A. R. N. Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Nathan, Major H. L. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Gray, Milner Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Major the Marquess of Titchfield and Captain Austin Hudson.
Adamton, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Alpass, J. H. Attlee, Clement Richard
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Ammon, Charles George Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bliston)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Arnott, John Barnes, Alfred John
Barr, James Hopkin, Daniel Richards, R.
Batey, Joseph Horrabin, J. F. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Bevan, Anaurin (Ebbw Vala) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Bowen, J. W. Isaacs, George Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Brockway, A. Fanner Jenkins, Sir William Ritson, J.
Bromfield, William John, William (Rhondda, West) Rowson, Guy '
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cameron, A. G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)
Cape, Thomas Kelly, W. T. Sandham, E.
Carter, w. (St. Pancrat, S.W.) Kenworthy, Lt.-Com Hon. Joseph M. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Charleton, H. C. Kirkwood, D. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Cluse, w. S. Lang, Gordon Sherwood, G. H.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park) Shield, George William
Compton, Joseph Law, A. (Rossendale) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Daggar, George Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Simmons, C. J.
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Sinkinson, George
Dukes, C. Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Duncan, Charles Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Dunnico, H. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Ede, James Chuter Lloyd, C. Ellis Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelity) Logan, David Gilbert Strauss, G. R.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Longbottom, A. W. Sullivan, J.
Freeman, Peter Lunn, William Sutton, J. E.
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Gibbins, Joseph Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plafstow)
Gibson, H. M. (Lanes, Mossley) MacNeill-Weir, L. Thurtle, Ernest
Gill, T. H. McShane, John James Tinker, John Joseph
Gossling, A. G. Manning, E. L. Tout, W. J.
Gould, F. Mansfield, W. Townend, A. E.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mathers, George Turner, Sir Ben
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Mills, J. E. Vaughan, David
Grundy, Thomas W. Milner, Major J. Walkden, A. G.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Morley, Ralph Wellock, Wilfred
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Blrm., Ladywood)
Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.) Mort, D. L. Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Hardie, David (Rutherglen) Muggeridge, H. T. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Hardie, G. D. (Springburn) Murnin, Hugh Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Haycock, A. W. Naylor, T. E. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Hayes, John Henry Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Palin, John Henry. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Paling, Wilfrid Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Herriotts, J. Palmer, E. T. Wilson, H J. (Jarrow)
Hicks, Ernest George Pethick- Lawrence, F. W. Winterton, G. E.(Leicester,Loughb'gh)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Picton-Turbervill, Edith Wise, E. F.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Potts, John S.
Hoffman, P. C. Price, M. P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Kinky and Mr. Stephen.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 275; Noes, 112.

Division No. 482.] AYES. [9.50 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bracken, B. Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George
Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles Briscoe, Richard George Colfox, Major William Philip
Albery, Irving James Broadbent, Colonel J. Colman, N. C. D.
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Brown, Ernest (Leith) Colville, Major D. J.
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C(Berks, Newb'y) Conway, Sir W. Martin
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh) Buchan, John Cooper, A. Duff
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Courtaurd, Major J. S.
Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent,Dover) Bullock, Captain Malcolm Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.
Astor, Viscountess Burgin, Dr. E. L. Cowan, D. M.
Atholl, Duchess of Burton, Colonel H. W. Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.
Atkinson, C, Butler, R. A. Cranborne, Viscount
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Butt, Sir Alfred Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Crookshank, Capt. H. C.
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Campbell, E. T. Croom-Johnson. R. P.
Balniel, Lord Carver, Major W. H. Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Castle Stewart, Earl of Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon Cautley, Sir Henry S. Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey
Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.) Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)
Berry, Sir George Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Davies, Dr. Vernon
Betterton, Sir Henry B. Cecil. Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Chamberlain, Rt.Hn.Sir J. A.(Blrm., W.) Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Birkett, W. Norman Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Edgbaston) Dawson, Sir Philip
Blindell, James Chapman, Sir S. Denman, Hon. R. D.
Boothby, R. J. G. Christie, J. A. Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Church, Major A. G. Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Clydesdale, Marquess of Duckworth, G. A. V.
Boyce, Leslie Cobb, Sir Cyril Dudgeon, Major C. R.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Eden, Captain Anthony Kedward, R. M. (Kent. Ashford) Ramsbotham, H.
Edge, Sir William Kindersley, Major G. M. Rathbone, Eleanor
Edmondson, Major A. J. Knight, Holford Rawson, Sir Cooper
Elliot, Major Walter E. Knox, Sir Alfred Remer, John R.
Elmley, Viscount Lamb, Sir J. Q. Reynolds, Col. Sir James
England, Colonel A. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Rhys, Hon, C. A. U.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)
Everard, W. Lindsay Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Strenord)
Ferguson, Sir John Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Fielden, E. B. Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Llewelin, Major J. I. Ross, Ronald D.
Ford, Sir P. J. Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Forgan, Dr. Robert Long, Major Hon. Eric Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Salmon, Major I.
Galbraith, J. F. W. Lymington, Viscount Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Ganzoni, Sir John MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Samuel Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Savery, S. S.
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Gillett, George M. Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whitome
Gilmour, Lt. Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (Caithness)
Glassey, A. E. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Mander, Geoffrey le M. Skelton, A. N.
Gower, Sir Robert Margesson, Captain H. D. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Marjoribanks, Edward Smith-Carington, Neville w.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Smithers, Waldron
Gray, Milner Meller, R. J Somerset, Thomas
Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Greene, W. P. Crawford Millar, J. D. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Strea[...]) Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro'W.) Monsell, Evres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Gritten, W. G. Howard Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)
Gunston, Captain D. W. Morris, Rhys Hopkins Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.
Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Thomson, Sir F.
Hammersley, S. S. Muirhead, A. J. Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Hanbury, C. Nail-Cain, A. R. N. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Nathan, Major H. L. Train, J.
Harbord, A. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Hartington, Marquess of Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Turton, Robert Hugh
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Oxf'd, Henley) Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. O'Connor, T. J. Warrender, Sir Victor
Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Oldfield, J. R. Wells, Sydney R.
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Oman, Sir Charles William C. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Withers, Sir John James
Hurd, Percy A. Penny, Sir George Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Perkins, W. R. D. Womersley, W. J.
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Peters, Dr. Sidney John Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Inksip, Sir Thomas Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Iveagh, Countess of Power, Sir John Cecil Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Jones, Llewellyn-, F, Pownall, Sir Assheton
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Preston, Sir Walter Rueben. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Purbrick, R. Major the Marquess of Titchfield and Captain Austin Hudson.
Jones, Rt. Hon Lelf (Camborne) Pybus, Percy John
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Dukes, C. Hayes, John Henry
Alpass, J. H. Dunnico, H. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)
Arnott, John Ede, James Chuter Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Hicks, Ernest George
Batey, Joseph Freeman, Peter Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Gibbins, Joseph Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Bowen, J. W. Gill, T. H. Hoffman, P. C.
Brockway, A. Fenner Gossling, A. G. Hopkin, Daniel
Bromfield, William Gould, F. Horrabin, J. F.
Cameron, A. G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Cape, Thomas Grundy, Thomas W. Isaacs, George
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) John, William (Rhondda, West)
Cluse, W. S. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Compton, Joseph Hardie, David (Ruthergien) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Daggar, George Hardie, G. D. (Springburn) Kelly, W. T.
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Haycock, A. W. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Kirkwood, D. Muggeridge, H. T. Strachey, E. J. St. Lot
Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park) Murnln, Hugh Sutton, J. E.
Law, A. (Rossendale) Naylor, T. E. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Palin, John Henry Tinker, John Joseph
Leach, W. Palmer, E. T. Tout, W. J.
Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Parkinson, John Allen (Wlgan) Townend, A. E.
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Potts, John S. Turner, Sir Ben
Lloyd, C. Ellis Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Sprlng) Vaughan. David
Logan, David Gilbert Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Waikden, A. G.
Longbottom, A. W. Ritson, J. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Rowson, Guy Wellock. Wilfred
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Salter, Dr. Alfred Whiteley, Wilfrid (Blrm., ladywood)
MacNeill-Welr, L. Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
McShane, John James Sandham, E. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Manning, E. L. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Mansfield, W. Shield, George William Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Mathers, George Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Wilson, J, (Oldham)
Mills, J. E. Simmons, C. J. WInterton, G. E.(Leicester,Loughb'gh)
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Sinklnson, George Wise, E. F.
Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Mort, D. L. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES-
Mr. Kinley and Mr. Stephen.

Bill read a Second time.

Resolved, "That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee on the Bill."—[Sir B. Byres Monsell.]

Bill accordingly considered in Committee.

[Sir DENNIS HERBERT in the Chair.]

  1. CLAUSE 1.—(Suspension of right to purchase gold bullion.) 8,283 words, 3 divisions
  2. c1409
  3. CLAUSE 2.—(Short Title). 46 words