§ One allotted day shall be given to the Report stage and Third Reading of the Bill, and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion at 11 p.m. on that day.
§ On the conclusion of the Committee stage of the Bill, the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House without Question put.
§ Any day after the day on which this Order is passed on which the Bill is put down as the first Order of the Day, or on which any Financial Resolution relating thereto is put down followed by the Bill as the first Order of the Day, shall be considered an allotted day for the purposes of this Order, and the Bill or any such Resolution may be put down as aforesaid on any 1662 Thursday, notwithstanding anything in any Standing Orders of the House relating to the Business of Supply.
§ Provided that, where an allotted day is a Friday, this Order shall have effect as if for the references to the times mentioned in the first column of Table II there were respectively substituted references to the times mentioned in the second column of that Table.
|Day other than Friday.||Friday|
|7.30 p.m.||1.30 p.m.|
|9.0 p.m.||2.30 p.m.|
|10.30 p.m.||3.30 p.m.|
|11.0 p.m.||4.0 p.m.|
§ For the purpose of bringing to a conclusion any proceedings which are to be brought to a conclusion on an allotted day, and which have not previously been brought to a conclusion, the Chairman or Mr. Speaker shall, at the time appointed under this Order for the conclusion of those proceedings, put forthwith the Question on any Amendment or Motion already proposed from the Chair, and, in the case of a new Clause which has been read a second time, also the Question that the Clause be added to the Bill, and shall next proceed to put forthwith the Question on any Resolution, Amendments, new Clauses, or Schedules moved by the Government of which notice has been given (but no other Resolutions, Amendments, new Clauses, or Schedules), and any Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded and, in the case of Government Resolutions, Government Amendments, or Government new Clauses or Schedules, he shall put only the Question that the Resolution be agreed to, or that the Amendment be made, or that the Clauses or Schedules be added to the Bill, as the case may be.
§ Any Private Business which is set down for consideration at 7.30 p.m., and any Motion for Adjournment under Standing Order No. 10, on an allotted day shall, on that day, instead of being taken as provided by the Standing Orders, be taken on the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill or under this Order for that day, and any Private Business or Motion for Adjournment so taken may be proceeded with, though opposed, notwithstanding any Standing Order relating to the Sittings of the House.
§ On a day on which any proceedings are to be brought to a conclusion under this Order, proceedings for that purpose shall not be interrupted under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to the sitting of the House.
§ On a day on which any proceedings are to be brought to a conclusion under this Order no dilatory Motion with respect to proceedings on the Bill or under this Order, nor Motion that the Chairman do report 1663 progress or do leave the Chair, nor Motion to postpone a Clause or to recommit the Bill, shall be received unless moved by the Government, and the Question on such Motion, if moved by the Government, shall be put forthwith without any Debate.
§ Nothing in this Order shall—
- (a) prevent any proceedings which under this Order are to be concluded on any particular day being concluded on any other day, or necessitate any particular day or part of a particular day being given to any such proceedings if those proceedings have been otherwise disposed of; or
- (b) prevent any other business being proceeded with on any particular day, or part of a particular day, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the House, if any proceedings to be concluded under this Order on that particular day, or part of a particular day, have been disposed of.
§ This Order shall have effect notwithstanding the practice of the House relating to intervals between the stages of any Bill or of any Financial Resolution."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)
In explaining this Motion I propose to be as brief as possible, because I understand it is the desire of the House to proceed to the discussion of another Motion this afternoon. No apology is needed for bringing forward a Time-Table for the Import Duties Bill. The Bill is designed to come into operation on the first day of March, and hon. Members on looking through the Time-Table will see that by taking all available time we can only just get the Bill through by 1st March. I observe that some hon. Members have put on the Paper an Amendment to the effect that eight days instead of five should be given to the Committee stage. I suggest that the time allotted under the Time-Table will be amply sufficient for discussion of the various Clauses of the Bill. There may be one point on which I confess I would like to have extended the Time-Table, and that to give a space between the Committee stage and the Report stage. We are not able to do that because of the exigencies of the programme in front of us, but the difficulty about that will be Mitigated to some extent, because arrangements are being made by the authorities of the House for the Bill to be reprinted up to the end of the fourth day in Committee, and that portion of the Bill will be available in the Vote Office at 2 p.m. on the fifth day, that is on Wednesday the 24th. Hon. 1664 Members, therefore, will have the amended Bill in their hands half way through Wednesday's proceedings, and in time, I hope, to prepare their Amendments, if they desire to move any on Report.
The 10 per cent. duty imposed by the Bill, which becomes operative when the Bill becomes operative, is designed for two particular purposes. One is to check imports into the country with the view of redressing the adverse balance of payments, and the other is to give us further revenue. These two objects have been admitted to be desirable by the majority of the House, and the sooner they come into operation the better it will be. But there is another reason, and an extremely important one, why we should have the Bill through by 1st March. The House is aware that under the Act which is commonly known as the Bowles Act you cannot collect Customs Duties on a resolution of Ways and Means; you have to wait until the Finance Act is passed. Although it is true that in a Finance Act which was passed in 1926 there is a Section which provides that after a resolution has been passed in Committee of Ways and Means authorising a new tax, the Customs may take security for the duty under that resolution, yet in practice that has not been found a very convenient or a very expeditious method. It was tried in the case of the hydrocarbon oils duty in 1928. That was only one single article, and, although the trade was concentrated in a comparatively small number of hands, yet it was six months before the accounts could be settled up and the full amount of duty collected.
The House will readily realise that to attempt to put into operation such a provision over the whole field to be covered by this Bill would be to impose on the Customs a task quite beyond their powers. Therefore it comes to this: If we are to avoid forestalling, or to mitigate forestalling, we can do it only by getting the Bill through at the earliest possible moment. The experience that we had in October last showed us that the fear of forestalling is by no means an imaginary one. We found in the month of November last that the imports into this country of the class of goods covered by the Abnormal Importations Act were £29,000,000, as against £22,000,000 in the preceding year, and indeed they began at 1665 a very much higher rate in the earlier part of the month, when they were coming in at the rate of £35,000,000. We can judge by that experience. These imports were subsequently reduced considerably below even the normal. In December they were down to £18,000,000, and in January even lower still.
However that may be, that is an illustration of the forestalling which may be anticipated if importers and foreign exporters think that there is to be a duty imposed and that there is a chance for them to get their stock into this country before the duty becomes operative. Already in classes of goods outside the classes covered by the Abnormal Importations Act we have some significant figures which show that the 10 per cent. duty is being anticipated. Generally speaking, the House may assume that this inflow of imports will continue to the utmost extent possible, subject to such limitation as may be imposed upon them by the difficulties of finance or storage, or whatever it may be. Therefore, that is a second and very important reason why we must ask the House to give us this Time Table. There is one other reason.
I believe that the whole House is anxious that the Advisory Committee should get to work at the earliest possible moment. We cannot appoint them until the passing of the Act, and when we consider the vast amount of work which that Committee has before them, when we consider that they have to deal with the duties under the Abnormal Importations Act which expires in May, and that we have to get their views as to what course is to be taken with regard to those duties, I think it will be agreed that that again is a very powerful and conclusive argument in favour of this Time Table. I do not think there is anything else I need say. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why stop at 10.30 each night?"] The hon. Member will recollect the discussion which took place last year on the Finance Bill. If I remember aright, the Government of that day had very cogent reasons for their action, and the same reasons apply this year. I commend to the House the Time Table which is on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
As the Chancellor of the Exchequer has just told the House, we who sit here are very anxious that 1666 this discussion should be as short as possible, and that we should get on with the Motion which we have put on the Order Paper. In coming to the conclusion to use the time to-day, with the permission of the House, for the purpose of discussing our Motion, it must not be taken for granted, as the Lord President of the Council seemed to take it for granted the other day, that we are convinced that this hurry-up-and-be-quick procedure is one which we should support, or of which we should acknowledge the necessity. We do, however, acknowledge the massed battalions all round, and we know, of course, that in the end this Guillotine will go through just as the Government desire. I think, too, from the point of view of majority rule, they are entitled to do so if they wish, and if it is desirable.
I am not going to take up any time in arguing as to the rights or wrongs of the Government using the Guillotine. I have heard the arguments used under different conditions, and I have never thought that there was much use in carrying on a discussion of that kind. If business has to be got through; if a Government makes up its mind that certain business has to be done, the Opposition, of course, can take some time, as we might to-day, in trying to prove that they should not do so, but, in the end, the discussion would not affect the principle of the Bill, which we cannot now discuss. We can, as I understand, deal now only with the evil of the Government taking the time. There is only one thing that I would like to say in addition. We have no notion of impinging on the rights of other Members. An hon. and learned Member, when we asked that this arrangement should be made, thought that we were taking it upon ourselves that there should be no further discussion. That was not our object. Our object was to make it clear that we would divide on this Motion, but that we hoped that we might get time to discuss our Motion which is on the Order Paper, and, in furtherance of that, I would like to make an appeal to hon. Members who have put down Amendments to help us in getting on to the discussion in which, I am sure, they are as interested as we are, and to bear in mind that Divisions take a very long time. We shall vote when the main Question on the Guillotine Motion is put, and I hope 1667 that at an early hour we shall get on to the discussion of our Motion.
§ Sir HUGH O'NEILL
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not think that I desire in any way to delay the Motion in which he is interested, but this is really such a unique occasion in the history of the Procedure of this House, that one or two observations of a general character with regard to the Guillotine will not be out of place. This, I think, is the first time on record that a Guillotine Motion has been allowed by the Opposition to go by default and more particularly let us remember that this is a Guillotine upon what is, in effect, a Finance Bill. This is a taxing Bill. It is a Bill which proposes to tax a large section of the community, and Members who have supported Guillotines in the past have nearly always made exception with regard to a Finance Bill. I think that, apart from the Finance Bill of last year, and one previous occasion, there has never been a Guillotine Motion in connection with a Finance Bill as this undoubtedly is.
What is happening to-day shows a very great change of opinion with regard to the Guillotine as a method of Parliamentary Procedure. In the last Parliament I was a Member of the committee which was set up to investigate Parliamentary procedure, of which my hon. Friend who is now Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health was a very efficient chairman. Naturally, in the course of our proceedings, we took evidence from prominent leaders of all parties on this question of the Guillotine. My right hon. Friend who is now Leader of the House, the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) and the present Prime Minister, gave evidence, and I think it would not be unfair to say that they all admitted that the Guillotine was likely to become more or less the normal Procedure of Parliament with regard to all important and highly contentious Bills. That was particularly the view of the present Prime Minister, who went so far as to say that he thought the Guillotine ought actually to be incorporated in our Standing Orders in some form; but he made one very important proviso, with which I must say I agree, that in drawing up the compartments of the Time Table, 1668 there should be some body other than the Government of the day to settle the details—some independent body; I think, Mr. Speaker himself, if it would be fair to ask him to do it, or, it was suggested, that Members of the Chairmen's Panel might be a suitable body. I do not say whether the one or the other would be better, but I do say that, as Parliament is rapidly approaching the position when the Guillotine is to become more or less normal, then, if you have it, the details ought to be drawn up by some more or less independent and non-party body.
There is another point about the Guillotine. It always seems to me, and it happens in this particular Motion, that we are given only one day both for Report and Third Reading. I think that, generally speaking, you ought to have a fairly prolonged Report stage on a Bill which is being worked under a Time Table, because important Amendments in Committee often get entirely wiped out; they never get called. If you have a reasonable time for the Report stage, the Amendments, many of them very important ones, which are not reached or discussed in Committee, could he properly discussed on Report. There is one other point. One of the matters which, I think, impressed itself upon all of us who were Members of the Committee to which I have referred, was the evidence which was given to us by prominent Parliamentarians and outside persons to the effect that one of the dangers of Parliamentary life to-day was the undoubted decline in the prestige of Parliament in the public mind. All the leaders of all the parties agreed that that was so, and I think that there are two things especially which have lead to that decline in the estimation of Parliament. One is all-night sittings and the other is obstruction—uncontrolled obstruction.
There is no doubt that the Guillotine, the system of working by Time Table, overcomes both those things, and to that extent I do think that it is an advantage. After all, what a ridiculous thing an all-night sitting is! It tends, more than anything else, to bring Parliament into utter contempt in the country. To those who take any part in it after two or three o'clock in the morning, it is nothing but a sort of school-boy rag, and with regard to those who do not take part in it, you have the unedifying and undignified 1669 spectacle of Members of this House sprawling about half asleep on the benches. All that gets into the Press, and it does not help towards the dignity of Parliament. One of the greatest advantages of these Guillotine Motions is that they effectually and completely do away with the evil of an all-night sitting, and another thing which they entirely prevent is unnecessary obstruction.
I also think, and I believe that old Members of the House will agree, that when you get a Bill which is being discussed in this House by Member after Member from the same side of the House, when there is no Debate, no making of points and answering of points, but simply a succession of Members all on the same side getting up one after the other in order to waste time, it is not a very edifying spectacle, nor does it conduce to the greater estimation of Parliament in the public mind. As a fairly old Member of this House, I feel that to-day we are witnessing a rather interesting and important change in Parliamentary procedure, namely, the setting up of a Guillotine which is being accepted more or less without protest. It will probably become a normal part of our procedure, and I think that it will, on the whole, lead to greater efficiency and prestige for the House of Commons.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
The House is always interested in its own procedure, but I have noticed that people outside are not so interested. My experience differs from that of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Antrim (Sir H. O'Neill). I think that the prestige of Parliament is just as great as ever. We have only to have regard to the enormous number of people who have been anxious to come here during the last two or three weeks to realise the tremendous interest which is taken in the proceedings of Parliament. My view is that people are interested not in how we pass Bills in this House but in what Bills we pass. The country outside will judge this House by the Measures which we pass, and that is the point to which I wish to address myself on this Motion.
This Motion concerns a matter of great importance especially to the agricultural industry of the country. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that he is keeping an open mind on agricultural subjects. 1670 He said last night that powerful arguments might be addressed to him on the agricultural side of this question and that he might even be persuaded to yield to them. But if there is no time available we shall not be able to address those powerful arguments to the right hon. Gentleman. Under the Motion he is only giving one day to the Schedule. That is an extremely limited time and I ask him whether it would not be possible to stretch it. I do not want to prevent the Bill being passed at the earliest possible moment but I suggest that it might be possible to give a little more time to the discussion of the Schedule. It is an extremely important part of the Bill and it differs from other parts of the Bill inasmuch as it is not elastic and things which are now in the Schedule cannot be taken out, although the list can be added to. That is all the more reason why the Government should give as much time as possible to the discussion of the Schedule.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I suggested last night that it might be desirable to consider whether Sub-section (3) of Clause 1 of the Bill should not be amended so as to permit of articles being taken out of the Schedule as well as put into it, and there was, I gathered, a considerable measure of approval for that suggestion.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
I must admit that that suggestion would meet my point. I want to put the case for the agricultural industry, and if my right hon. Friend is willing to meet us in that respect I shall be glad to accept the suggestion.
Major LLOYD GEORGE
I rise to enter my protest against this procedure. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Antrim (Sir H. O'Neill) said that the Guillotine was becoming part of the normal procedure of this House. I am not going to argue the question now of whether the Guillotine may not, sometimes, be an extraordinarily good thing in regard to certain Measures, but I do not think that any Member of the House with an unprejudiced mind would say that the Measure to which this Motion is to apply, ought to be treated in this way. This is a Measure which is going to change the system under which the industry, trade and finance of this country have been carried on for the last 80 years. It proposes, indeed, to sub- 1671 stitute for the present system an entirely new system, and the future prosperity of this country and its people depends upon what we in this House do with these proposals. Yet all the time that we are to be allowed for the discussion of the proposals is five days.
To judge by the Amendments which have been handed in a large number of Members are not satisfied with the contents of this Measure. That dissatisfaction is not confined to Members on the Opposition Benches. A cursory glance through the Amendment Paper will show that there are nearly as many Amendments from supporters of the Government as from opponents of the Government, which rather shows that a good many Members on all sides are not entirely satisfied. I do not wish to take up the time of the House, but I repeat my protest against the way in which these proposals are to he rushed through—proposals which, in the opinion of one of the ablest Members of the present Cabinet, would be disastrous to the industry and economic life of this country and the prosperity of its people.
§ Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS
It is not very long ago since I bitterly opposed the setting up of a Time Table and I should certainly oppose this Motion also if reasons had not been brought forward to justify it. Two years ago or a year ago the Time Table was merely set up because the Government of that time were incapable of getting Measures through as most of its Members knew nothing whatever about those Measures. We have now a Government which is composed in a different way and which works in a different way. Anyone who has followed the proceedings of the House for the last few days must realise, however, that the position of this Government is, in one sense, weaker than that of any previous Government. Normally and usually a Government has its Opposition in front of it and a Minister knows exactly where he is, but this Government is subject to such things as that which happened last Monday. A Member of the Government was expounding his case when suddenly another Member of the Government rose to attack him. Surely in such circumstances it is essential that we should have a 1672 Motion of this kind. The great block of Members of the House who desire to see this Bill passed should give the Government special facilities for that purpose.
There is another reason for strengthening the Government in reference to this matter. Usually the Members of the Cabinet look after their own work in their own Departments, but now we have the spectacle of Members of the Cabinet taking part in these discussions when they might be carrying out the very useful instructions which were given yesterday by the Secretary of State for Scotland. He said that the Government were actively pursuing reconstruction in many fields. We all agree that that is what the Government ought to be doing, but those Members of the Cabinet who have been attending here and thinking only of finance may be neglecting Scotland and other Departments—
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I was urging that the need for the Time Table is greater now than ever before because we have these peculiar circumstances, but I shall not go into them any further. There are other difficulties which this Government have to face in getting through their business. No previous Government have been in the position of having three or four Oppositions. We have just heard an excellent speech from an hon. and gallant Gentleman who is at present leading a party composed of himself and members of his family and one other. At any time the Government may be attacked by this or that group in the House. As far as the official Opposition is concerned there are dangers even there, but I shall not go into the position of the Opposition. Evidently they are not going to take the usual line of procedure on these occasions of standing up for the rights of private Members, but I do not blame them for that because it would be too quick a change even for those hon. Members who sit on the Opposition benches. When there is an Opposition of that kind, however, and when the Government are liable to attack from other quarters I think there is justification for asking that the time to be allotted to this Measure shall be limited.
The Opposition have borne out the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that there is a real desire to 1673 get this Measure on to the Statute Book as soon as possible in order to see it in action. But we have not yet heard what the tail of the Opposition who sit opposite to me below the Gangway are going to say on this matter. We know, however, that they can be very vocal, because they have rather more energy and ability than the other part of the Opposition. [Laughter.] I do not know why hon. Members laugh. It has always seemed to me that the Socialist animal keeps its brains in its tail. The Government are justified in asking the House to pass this Measure quickly and they are justified in the present circumstances in adopting a course to which fundamentally I object. The Government have a definite and clear mandate to act quickly and in the speeches of the last few days there has been nothing to indicate that a great deal of argument is going to be piled up against the Bill. That we are not likely during the five days allotted to the Committee stage to get very much argument from the small group of opponents of the Bill opposite to me, was shown by the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). He sought to show that there was little or no abnormal importation, but almost in the same breath he contradicted himself by pointing out that among the things which affected the stability of sterling was this very matter of abnormal imports.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not see how the hon. Member relates these remarks to the Motion which is before the House.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I realise that it is difficult, on a matter which is connected very strictly with this question of using the time of the House, entirely to fit the illustration in the way 4.30 p.m. that you would wish. I would only add that I think the whole of the Debate so far has shown the necessity of a Time Table, because unless you have one, you will simply have a series of speeches which would have very little to do with the Bill.
§ Sir PERCY HARRIS
I beg to move, in line 5, to leave out the word "five," and to insert instead thereof the word "Eight."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is so sweetly reasonable that when he makes a claim for a Time Table 1674 it is very difficult to resist him, but I hope I can persuade that reasonableness to listen to arguments and to treat the House a little more generously. Last night, in his great speech on the historic occasion of the Second Reading of this Import Duties Bill, he said that what concerned the House was how to fashion the Bill in such a way that it should be effective for its purpose. I want to help him to fashion this Measure, in order that it shall promote the welfare of the country. The overwhelming majority of this House last night declared in favour of the principle of the Bill, and my hon. Friends and I, who do not accept the principles on which the Bill is based, will do nothing to obstruct or prevent the Bill becoming law, but we want to criticise it, to try to improve it and to modify the degree of injury that it will do to private individuals and to the general public and consumers.
But this is a big revolutionary Measure. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that it took three months to get the repeal of the Corn Laws through all its stages in the House of Commons. After 25 years of agitation, it is now proposed in five days—not whole days, but Parliamentary days—completely to revolutionise our fiscal and financial policy. Therefore, there is a strong case for more time. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman of the 4th June last year. Some hon. Members here may remember the happy days when they sat in Opposition. I remember his speech on that day, when he showed foresight and was something of a prophet. He realised that the powers that he was then opposing might come in useful to him, but I suppose that he very little anticipated that the opportunity would come so soon, or that he would go so much further than the Government which he then attacked. On that occasion, he moved that the Motion for a Time Table in regard to the valuation of land should be rejected, but these present proposals go much further and are much more revolutionary than were those. The Amendments to this Bill are not confined to Free Traders and hon. Members opposite; there are eight pages of Amendments, covering problems affecting the lives of the people, to be moved, not by Free Traders alone, but by Mem- 1675 bers associated with the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) and other Protectionist elements. If we are going to have a good Measure, not doing injury to our trade, we all ought to lend a hand in its construction.
Take Clause 1, which proposes to levy, for the first time, a toll of 10 per cent. on all goods coming into this country. We have fought that proposal for many years, but now, taking advantage of a national crisis and of the blizzard that has swept over the world, the Government are introducing this principle into our financial system. This is a tax. This should be in the Finance Bill of the year. It has nothing to do with the Title of the Bill, the Import Duties Bill, but is a direct tax. I am sorry that the President of the Board of Trade is not here, because he defended his position, not on the basis that this tax is protective, but almost entirely on the ground that it would help the general taxpayer and raise some £30,000,000 in revenue. A novel tax like this should be discussed fully by the House of Commons on its merits. It should be thoroughly examined, and these proposals should be amended so that the new tax does not unduly weigh on the trade and industry of the country or impose too heavy a burden on the general public and the very poor. This is a tax, not only on raw materials, but on the food and necessaries of life of the people, and you are pushing it through, not on one day, but on part of a Parliamentary day.
I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is a great Parliamentarian. Is it not stretching our Parliamentary system rather hard to take advantage of a big majority to introduce a new tax like this in less than one Parliamentary day? The right hon. Gentleman, in introducing these proposals, made special reference to the advisory committee. That committee is the keystone of the whole structure, and on its construction depends the whole building. If it fails, the whole structure falls to the ground. The right hon. Gentleman admits it. Is it not necessary, then, that we should examine that Clause, not in half an hour, but on a whole day? Is it to be merely an advisory committee to give advice to the Government at a cost of something 1676 like £50,000 a year, or is it to be a judicial committee, to hear witnesses both for and against the proposals? I understand that the right hon. Gentleman has made up his mind as to who are to be the members. They are great prizes that he has to offer. I do not know what the salaries are, but we may be sure that they will be well-paid jobs. Does it not seem reasonable that that proposal should not be rushed through in less than one Parliamentary day, with no opportunity even to discuss it on Report? It is preposterous.
Take the question of Empire preference. I have had controversy on this point for many years, but I claim to be as attached to the Empire as is the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. It is my life blood to do anything I can to consolidate or strengthen the Empire. Ought we not, therefore, to examine, in more than just a few hours, this proposal to cement the Dominions on a 10 per cent. basis? Ought it not to be a matter, not of a few hours, but of two or three days' debate? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that Australia, Canada or New Zealand will rush through proposals, like this, after the Ottawa Conference, with only a few hours' debate? Is it not an insult and a slight to the Empire to say that these proposals are not worthy of full discussion by a Committee of this House?
Then there is the introduction of a new policy of discriminating duties, or the power of retaliation. I hope that those new powers will succeed. They are a very powerful instrument, but it may be that a great instrument for good, if it is not properly designed and thought out, may be an instrument which will do much harm to our trade. Is not that worthy of a whole day's discussion? I am most anxious that hon. Members opposite should get on to the important problem of unemployment, although indirectly these proposals are of such direct concern to the employment of the country that I think they are worthy of a reasonable amount of discussion. There are points, apparently trivial, tucked away in small Clauses of the Bill, such as the question of whether the tax of 10 per cent. is to be levied on the home cost of goods, their cost in the country of origin, or whether it should be charged on what is known as the c.i.f. price, that is to say, 1677 the cost of the article plus insurance and freight. That will not be discussed at all, if the machinery of this Time Table is adhered to. If we had an opportunity, we could so amend, alter, and improve these proposals that they would not do such injury to our trade.
Then there is the question of drawbacks and home ports. The proposals were outlined in the right hon. Gentleman's final speech last night, but they require close and careful examination, and just as much by Protectionists as by Free Traders. I would even say more by Protectionists, who are anxious to make this scheme a success, because it will largely succeed or fail in so far as it does not interfere with our shipping and foreign trade. If we are not able to devise a scheme for free ports and drawbacks, a great part of our foreign trade will undoubtedly suffer from these proposals.
Finally, there is the Schedule. The right hon. Gentleman himself admits that there is a strong case for more careful examination of the Schedule. There are hundreds of articles that we wish to add to it, and there are dozens of articles that other hon. Members want to withdraw from it. Is maize to be included? Is bacon to be included? Those are two important and controversial matters affecting the whole life of the people and of the agricultural interest, and a few hours would not be badly spent in discussing such a subject. There are all sorts of problems, like that of copper and the question of fibre. As I came into the House, a supporter of the Government said to me, "Is fibre included in this Schedule? Can you do your best to get it included?" I said at once that the hon. Member's Time Table would not give me a moment to add anything, and that if fibre was not included, the whole of the brush industry of this country on its export side would be seriously injured.
The right hon. Gentleman said that a strong case was made on the point of time in order to stop forestalling, but he forgets in these fast moving times the Abnormal Importations Act, which is already in operation and which can be extended if there is any suspicion of forestalling. It would be unfortunate if, because of the fear of forestalling, we had inadequate discussion of these most 1678 revolutionary proposals. The right hon. Gentleman is so eager to rush these proposals through, that he talked about 1st January when he meant 1st March. I suggest that it would be too early to fix the 1st April, a much more suitable date, for it would give industry and commerce more reasonable time to prepare themselves for the new conditions, which we assume are to last a long time, under which the trade of this country is to carry on. It cannot make much difference to the amount of forestalling. An hon. Friend has worked out a time table which shows that if an extra couple of days are given, the right hon. Gentleman could get his Bill by the end of next week, or at latest by Monday week. It is much more reasonable that an extra two days should be given so the full limelight of criticism could be put on these proposals and that the country could feel that Parliament had thoroughly discussed and examined the proposals in detail.
I do not want to quote history; ancient history is of nought, but I would remind this great House of Commons that the very foundation of our Parliamentary system has been control by Parliament over finance. This Motion will make a most dangerous precedent, which can be abused in future, and it will weaken the authority of Parliament. The very fact that the Government have a powerful majority ready to follow them hither and thither as they wish, makes the Government more than ever the trustees of our Constitution and our Parliamentary system. Therefore, I beg the right hon. Gentleman to meet my proposals in the spirit in which they are moved, the spirit of sweet reasonableness and of a desire not to hinder but to help, and that he will show that a strong Government can be gentle and that a Government with a big majority can listen to the voice of reason.
§ Mr. MANDER
I beg to second the Amendment.
I join in the appeal which my hon. Friend has made to the right hon. Gentleman to allow us more time to discuss this extraordinarily important matter. We are going to consider in the next few weeks nothing less than a complete revolution in the whole of the economic system of this country, either for good or ill. I hope that it is for good, but I fear that it is for ill, and we ought to be cer- 1679 tain that the new scheme is watertight in every respect and commends itself to every reasonable shade of opinion in the House. I rather regret that the Government have brought forward a Guillotine Motion because there has been no sign of any obstruction. If the proceedings were left to the good sense of the House, the Government would probably get the Bill through in a reasonable time. Obstruction is impossible in a House constituted as it is at the present time. There has been no attempt even from the Front Opposition Bench, and the only section of the House which really is capable of obstructive opposition on this occasion are evidently not going to play the effective part which they are able to play.
I cannot feel very impressed with the case that the Chancellor of the Exchequer made about the 1st March. We have been working under one fiscal system for 80 years, and surely another seven days will not make much difference. If for other reasons the right hon. Gentleman felt able to be a little more elastic in this matter, he would not find that the date, 1st March, was such a very vital matter. It is well recognised that many who sit on these benches are opposed to the Measure root and branch, but we realise that it is going to pass into law and that nothing can be done to prevent its passage. We desire, therefore, to be as helpful as we can in bringing forward Amendments in order that the Measure, when it goes upon the Statute Book, may have some of the dangers which we think are likely to arise mitigated. We have put down a number of Amendments, some of which I hope that the Government will regard so sympathetically as to accept. I realise that they will undoubtedly not be able to accept some of them, but there are others of a constructive nature which I think that they will feel, if they are good enough to consider them in the spirit in which we put them down, are calculated to make the Advisory Committee work in a more effective and efficient manner than at present seems likely.
My hon. Friend referred to recent precedents. I want to carry the House back a long period and remind them of the time which was given when Parliament was abolishing the Protectionist system. I was interested in a maiden speech made by an hon. Member behind me who 1680 referred to Free Trade as already being in his mind a pleasing dream of the past. That was not the frame of mind in which the people were in the Hungry 'Forties. Then it was the memory of a nightmare, and I hope that the memory of what we are doing in these weeks will not be a nightmare to the people of the future. The case for the abolition of the Corn Laws, which we are now reinstituting, was carried on very largely by an illustrious predecessor of mine in the representation of Wolverhampton—the right hon. Charles Pelham Villiers—who in this House, from 1835 onwards, moved a Resolution, which was annually defeated, for the abolition of the Corn Laws. Then in 1846, under the Administration of Sir Robert Peel, the Bill for the abolition of the Corn Laws was brought in. This is of special interest to me, because I believe my constituency is the only one in the country that has the honour and privilege of having remained faithful for 100 years since the Reform Bill of 1832 to the principles of the policy of Free Trade.
In 1846, when the Corn Law Measure was brought forward, although it dealt with only one particular article, and was a Measure for repeal, and had therefore no constructive work to be done on it, the actual period of time taken was 10 days. The more important precedent perhaps is that of Mr. Gladstone's first and famous Budget of 1853, which really instituted Free Trade as a general system in this country. At that time with one sweep he placed on the free list 134 articles. There was practically no opposition to most of them. I have been reading this morning the Debates of that time, and in regard to 119 articles there was no objection whatever. Therefore, it was clearly not a Measure to which there was any violent opposition or obstruction. For the Budget Resolutions alone 10 days was occupied. In those days there was no Finance Bill, as such. Each particular item, whether Income Tax, Customs, or Succession Duty was dealt with in separate Bills. The mere fact that it took 10 days for the Budget Resolutions shows the great amount of time that was occupied simply in striking out and bringing to an end a system which was regarded with detestation.
Already 150 Amendments are on the Paper to this Bill, and it is stated that a large number more are to be published 1681 to-morrow morning. It seems that so many were handed in last night that it was impossible for the printing department to get them through even by working all night. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will appreciate that this indicates a widespread desire in every part of the House, not confined to any one party, to contribute their part to the framing and perfecting of this Bill. The particular items in which Members on these benches are more closely interested are the food taxes. This is a matter which interests also members of the Conservative party, because it is notorious that a great many of them gave specific pledges during the Election that they would oppose all food taxes. Hon. Members will certainly desire to see how far the proposals brought forward by the Government now will place them in any difficulties. Then there is the First Schedule. A great amount of time will be required to consider the question of putting fresh articles into that list, or possibly taking some out, although I hope that none will be taken out.
The point which will require closest consideration of all is the advisory committee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer truly said that this is the keystone of the arch, and it is important to get the committee working at the earliest moment. I agree from that point of view, but what is even more important is that the committee should have proper instructions and be clear what it is expected to do and the lines on which it is expected to do it. On that subject, a number of Amendments have been put down. I will mention a few to indicate the desires in different parts of the House on this particular question. There will be a desire to make it clear that the advisory committee, before recommending any duty, shall be satisfied that the industry is thoroughly well organised on a national basis, and that each factory shall be thoroughly efficient and up-to-date. There will be a general desire to incorporate some indication of that kind. We want, too, to try and see that the advisory committee shall, be satisfied that in any industry that receives the benefit of Protection—which hon. Members claim they are going to receive—there shall be some means of sharing the profits with the employés, either through co-partnership or profit-sharing schemes; also that facilities should be provided for joint consultations 1682 between the employers and employed in the industry, and that Protection should not be given to an industry where the standard of wages and hours of work are not observed. It has been said by many hon. Members that no increase in prices is likely, and we ought to try to incorporate in the instructions something to the effect that the advisory committee shall not recommend a duty unless they are satisfied that no increase in price is likely to arise. I am making a genuine appeal to the Chancellor to give us opportunities to discuss this Bill at greater length. We on these benches are in a rather difficult position. We are really against the whole scheme, but, seeing that it is before us, we desire to play our part, as Members of the House of Commons, in co-operating to try to make it as effective an instrument as we can, and in that spirit of co-operation I appeal to the Government to meet us as far as they can.
§ Mr. LEWIS
In considering this Amendment it seems to me that there are certain matters of general application which ought to be borne in mind. There was a good deal of sympathy in all quarters of the House with the remarks of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Antrim (Sir H. O'Neill) on the Guillotine and its workings. Possibly he rather slurred over its disadvantages, but I think most of us will agree that it is to be preferred to uncontrolled obstruction and all-night sittings. It is evident that the Guillotine will be introduced more frequently in future. The right hon. Baronet urged that the Government are not the proper people to draw up the Guillotine, and I agree with him, but under present practice the terms of the Guillotine Motion, are, in fact, drawn up by the Government of the day, and therefore I feel there is additional responsibility on hon. Members to see that a reasonable amount of time is allocated to the different parts of the Bill.
We have before us an Amendment to give more time. If any body of Members, whatever their particular view may be, who have shown themselves genuinely anxious to put forward constructive criticism and to improve a Bill ask for more time to discuss certain Sections of it, their case is worthy of serious consideration. What we have to decide this 1683 afternoon is whether the hon. Members who have put down this Amendment answer that description. All of them are unrepentant Free Traders, all of them are utterly opposed to the principle of the Bill, all of them are Members who feel so strongly on the principle of the Bill that, though they were returned to Parliament as nominal supporters of the National Government, they all voted against the Second Reading of this, one of the principal Measures of the Government; but now they come before us to say that if they are allowed another three days in Committee they can in some way turn this Bill, which one of them has said he does not accept in principle, and another that he condemns root and branch, into something which is worthy to he passed by the House. I suggest that that is a ridiculous argument to put forward. If a request for more time had come from supporters of the Government interested in the Bill, or from Members of the Opposition, many of whom have a certain sneaking interest in tariff questions, I think it would have been worthy of consideration, but as it comes from that part of the Liberal party which is so sterile that it is the only section of this House which has nothing of value or interest to put forward in the Debates on this great Measure, I suggest that the Amendment stands condemned.
§ Mr. COCKS
I feel very strongly about the introduction of the Guillotine for a finance Bill, and so I hope my leader will forgive me for intervening. As everyone knows, this House was originally an assembly whose principal function was rather the raising of revenue than the passing of legislation, and therefore the control of finance has always been regarded as of special importance by its Members. The Guillotine and the Closure, which were invented, I believe, as a result of Irish obstruction, were never applied to Finance Bills until last spring, when, for the first time, the Budget came under the Guillotine, because it had to get to the House of Lords by a certain date. I was a supporter of the Government at that time, and I voted in favour of the Government's proposals, but I did it very much against my will. I was strongly against those proposals, and voted for them simply because we had 1684 only a small majority in the House. I was "whipped" into the Lobby, and when I got into the Lobby I expressed my views on what the Government had done in very strong language, especially about the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had introduced the Guillotine. As a result of what happened then, I feel that the Guillotine is not very successful. The knowledge that the Guillotine is to fall at half-past 10 each night takes the heart out of a Debate. There were innumerable Amendments on the Paper last year, and when the Guillotine fell many of those Amendments, including very important ones, had never been discussed at all.
As the Government have brought forward a Time Table for this Measure, it is really useless to argue with them in an attempt to induce them to change it, but may I ask the Chancellor what is the idea of bringing discussion to an end at 10.30 every night? We are to consider a revolutionary Measure which is to change the fiscal policy which this country has had for the last 70 years, and there are pages and pages of Amendments to it. Why should we have a system under which some of those Amendments will not be discussed at all? Why should we not decide to allow the House to rise by general agreement at some hour? I am not in favour of all-night sittings; nobody on this side is, because of the question of getting home, and the like; but if we decide that the Debate must come to an end at 10.30 each night there may be valuable Amendments on the Paper which will not be discussed.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)
I must remind the hon. Member that the Question is whether the Committee stage should last for five or eight days; it is not a question of the hours of discussion.
§ Mr. COCKS
I am sorry, but the main point I wanted to make concerned the hours. I think it is the only concession which the Government may be inclined to give. But I have made my protest, and I do hope that the procedure on this Bill will not be made a precedent, and that, when the ordinary Finance Bill comes in it will be discussed as Finance Bills have always been discussed up to last year.
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
The Leader of the Opposition made an appeal to my 1685 hon. Friends not to delay the discussion of the Motion dealing with unemployment. We have no desire to waste the time of the House, and it is because we believe that this Import Duties Bill will prove detrimental to employment and to trade and commerce that we are asking for a longer time to discuss it. The hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis) cast, some spersions—[Interruption.] I am addressing the Deputy-Speaker. My hon. Friend cast aspersions on those who moved and seconded this Amendment for having stated that they wanted to improve the Bill. I do not think that was the language they used. What they said was that they desired to make the Bill less injurious. [Interruption.] Of course, that would improve the Bill; but their action in moving the Amendment was not sterile, as the hon. Member seemed to imagine.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the reason why only a short time could be allocated to this Measure lay in the urgency for rectifying the adverse balance of payments. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman is very anxious to find out, if he can, exactly what is this adverse balance of payments, and if I can show him, as I shall venture to do, that there is no adverse balance of payments, it will do away with his argument that it is necessary to shorten discussion on this Bill. Affecting as it does our trade and industry, it requires the most careful inquiry and debate, and it ought not to be rushed through and the country ought not to be deluded by references to the terrible emergency created by an adverse balance of payments. That view has been propagated throughout the country as if it were a reason for hurried action, and would justify the House in rushing through a revolution of our present fiscal system. If I can show that the Chancellor is wrong in his arguments, and that no such urgent necessity exists, I think we shall have made good the case for our Amendment and that we can have a longer time for the discussion of the Measure. With regard to this matter, which is evidently very dear to him and to which he attaches great importance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in answer to a question of mine the other day, deprecated the discussion of this matter by way of question and 1686 answer on the Floor of the House. Perhaps he will now be good enough to controvert what I have said, as this matter is now on the Floor of the House, and to tell me on what foundation he bases his contention that we are suffering from an adverse balance of payments. In reply to my question, he said that the position roughly was that, since our imports of goods—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member cannot discuss the entire financial situation upon this Amendment.
§ Mr. MASON
I do not intend to discuss the whole financial position. I am simply replying to the argument which was used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is entitled to bring that forward for our having five days instead of eight, I suggest that I am entitled to answer that contention of the right hon. Gentleman. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, in answer to my question, that the position is that, since our imports of goods exceeded the whole of our visible and invisible exports—[Interruption.] The hon. Member on my left is very encouraging, but he must contain himself a little, and I will be able to get on with my argument. Broadly speaking, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that since—
§ Mr. MASON
I do not propose to go into the whole question of trade. I am endeavouring to answer the argument which has been submitted. You, Sir, were not in the Chair when the right hon. Gentleman brought forward this argument this afternoon in favour of a shorter duration of time for the discussion of this Bill. I think that had you been present you would have heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer laying emphasis upon the importance of our rushing through this Bill because of our adverse balance of payments, and I appeal to you, is it not then fair, if I can demonstrate briefly —[Interruption]—I shall be as brief as possible. I have already said that I do not intend to occupy the time of the House unnecessarily. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer can advance this argument for cutting down the time to five days, and if I can demonstrate with that 1687 argument the hollowness of his case, that surely advances our contention for eight days. I say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer argued that there was a difference between our imports and our exports, including our invisible exports, that had to be made good by payments in gold, and the position had been affected by the diminution of British assets abroad. Has he really considered the fact that this is what is called a creditor country, and that it is a good thing when you have a large excess of imports over exports?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member cannot go into the merits or the demerits of the Import Duties Bill under this Motion.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member is quite entitled to point out the hollowness of the Chancellor's argument, but he must do so on the appropriate occasion, not on this Amendment.
§ Mr. MASON
I contend, while wishing to submit myself to your Ruling, that if the Chancellor advances this as an argument in all seriousness for limiting our time to five days, we are equally entitled to advance it in order to show the hollowness of the argument, and in favour of eight days. We are pleading for an extension of time. We say that this is a very serious Measure. It interests everyone in the trade and industry of this country. The Chancellor says that there is an urgent emergency and that that is why he contends that we should carry the Measure through. I ask you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, am I not in order in endeavouring to show to the right hon. Gentleman that this adverse balance does not exist? Is it not a fair thing to endeavour to show that it does not exist, that this is a creditor country and that when you have excessive imports it is a good thing? There are people, a large rentier class, who are not exporters, and when they spend their money, or surrender their bonds, that accounts for the large excess of imports over exports—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member cannot really go into the whole question of the balance of trade on this Motion.
§ Mr. MASON
I will not pursue it further. I have endeavoured to put my point to the right hon. Gentleman. I hope that this will be the last occasion on which he continually drags in the subject. I did not drag it in. I hope I have exposed it and blown it sky-high. The people in this country have been told that it is one of the principal reasons for this Measure. I can respect an honest Tariff Reformer who defends Tariff Reform. That is a perfectly reasonable thing, but to try to confuse the issue, and to humbug the people and this House into believing that we are in a state of emergency, is a very serious thing. I hope that I have made it clear, both to the right hon. Gentleman and to the Leader of the Opposition, that we are not in any sense obstructing the Motion on unemployment, with which we desire to sympathise. We say that this Measure is equally important with the Motion of hon. Gentlemen opposite, who do not agree with us in regard to its merits. There are hon. Members who believe that this is a very serious Measure, they have a number of Amendments down on the Paper and they are very anxious to make it watertight and in every sense a logical Measure. We are anxious from our point of view to make it less injurious in its effect upon the people, and it is because of that that I support this Amendment.
§ Major NATHAN
I shall confine myself strictly to the Motion. We have registered our protest by speeches from these benches and by votes in the Division Lobby. The House of Commons has decided, contrary to our views, that this is a Bill which should receive the assent of Parliament. We are confronted with that position, and we confine ourselves now to a sincere attempt to modify some of the dangers which we see in the Bill. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer will look at the Order Paper, he will find that there are already printed as many pages of Amendments from Protectionist supporters of the Government as from hon. Members of the official Opposition. We on these benches have put down a number of Amendments, but I venture to 1689 claim for them that they are directed to questions of principle. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will take it from me, speaking on my own behalf and on behalf of the hon. Members with whom I am associated on these benches, that we have no intention of being obstructive, either in the method by which we approach the discussion of these matters or in the various questions which we raise.
The Government have already taken private Members' time, in the ordinary understanding of that term, and it would be a pity if private Members, in the framing of this important Measure, which is to alter the whole of our fiscal policy for a definite period of time, were prevented from making their contributions by undue limitation upon the opportunities of debate, subject always to the condition which I have made of no obstruction, and constructive contribution. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not think me impertinent, I wish to make a suggestion. I feel that, as the Amendment is drawn, it would take the Committee stage to Monday week. While I do not see the same point in the 1st of March as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government are determined that the Bill shall be through by 1st March, we must bow to their decision, having regard to the great majority by which they are reinforced in this House. I make this suggestion to him. The general question of Protection or no Protection has been decided. As the right hon. Gentleman pointed out in his speech, and as we on these benches hold emphatically, the key of this Bill is to be found in the Clauses relating to the Advisory Committee. Yet, upon looking at the Time Table—I am sure he will correct me if I am wrong—I see that for the discussion of the Clauses relating to the Advisory Committee and the additional duties, there is only the fag-end of Thursday night, after nine o'clock and a Division, and 4½ hours on Friday. I venture to suggest that this is not adequate time in which to discuss what he himself justly admits to be a vital feature in the whole of the scheme which he has placed before the House, the provisions relating to the composition of the Committee, the nature of it, the quality 1690 in which it shall act, the instructions to be given to it, the limitations upon its action and the steps to be taken upon its recommendations. To that Committee, by the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman and the Government, are entrusted duties extending over a very wide range of great affairs, upon which depends the prosperity of this great country. I would urge him to give us rather longer time for the discussion of the provisions relating to the Advisory Committee.
The second matter to which, in my judgment, insufficient time is allotted is the Schedules, for which six and a-half hours only, in my computation, are allowed. Apart from all matters of detail—and there are many—there are three questions of principle which arise. Apart from the question of drawbacks, there are the questions of the food of the people, of feeding stuffs for animals and of raw materials. Those are the broad categories for discussion to say nothing of the details within those categories. For all these great matters, according to the Government's Motion, only six and a-half hours are to be allowed. Indeed, according to my computation, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has only allowed 31 hours from beginning to end for the discussion of the whole of this Bill of 22 Clauses and three Schedules. The suggestion on the Paper would involve an extension of that time, according to my computation, to 50 hours. I earnestly ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to extend the time until, say, Friday week, which on my calculation would give us 43½ hours. I am sure that he is anxious to deal fairly with the whole position, and to give to those who are opposed to the Measure in any of its parts a reasonable opportunity for putting their case before the House for consideration. In any case, I would ask him so to extend the time as to afford further opportunities for debate in connection with the provision relating to the Advisory Committee and to the Schedules. If the right hon. Gentleman will meet us in that way, I can assure him that, so far as we are concerned, he will have nothing to complain of, either in the way of obstruction in debate or in placing before the House Amendments without substance.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am sure that the House will wish now to come to a decision on this Amendment. I must ask the House to reject it, for the reasons which I gave in my introductory remarks, when I said that we cannot spare the three extra days which have been asked for by hon. Members below the Gangway. I should like to add that really hon. Members have it in their own power so to arrange the time which will be put at their disposal as to debate at quite adequate length the really important parts of the Bill. A vast number of Amendments has been put down. I, of course, accept the assurances of hon. Members on my right that their Amendments are put down with a single eye to assisting in improving the Bill, but I am afraid that their root-and-branch hostility to the Bill may possibly colour their idea of what is or what is not important. For my part, after a cursory examination of the list, it seems to me that no damage will be done to the public interest if some of the Amendments are not even discussed at all.
If, as I have said, hon. Members will so arrange among themselves the time that is to he devoted to the discussion,
§ and if all of them will be as concise and brief as the hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Mason) was just now, I think it will be found that they will have plenty of time to discuss everything that it is necessary to discuss. I think that the provision which will enable not only additions to the free list, but also subtractions from it, to take place after the Bill has become law, without an amending Act of Parliament, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, will give great elasticity to the Measure, and that in itself will at any rate be some mitigation of the fact that one day, and one day only, is to be given to the discussion of the Schedules.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I was alluding to a statement which I made earlier, when I think the hon. Member was not present. I then said that it would make possible both additions and subtractions.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Main Question put.
§ The House divided; Ayes, 318; Noes, 53.1693
|Division No. 63.]||AYES.||[5.36 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Dickie, John P.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Campbell, Rear-Adml, G. (Burnley)||Donner, P. W.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Doran, Edward|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Dower, Captain A. V. G.|
|Albery, Irving James||Carver, Major William H.||Drewe, Cedric|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Castle Stewart, Earl||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Duggan, Hubert John|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Chalmers, John Rutherford||Dunglass, Lord|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Ellis, Robert Geoffrey|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le Spring)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Elmley, Viscount|
|Balniel, Lord||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Chotzner, Alfred James||Emrys Evans, P. V.|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Christie, James Archibald||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Clarke, Frank||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blk'pool)|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th,C.)||Clarry, Reginald George||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Clayton Dr. George C.||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Colfox, Major William Philip||Fermoy, Lord|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Collins, Sir Godfrey||Fielden, Edward Brockiehurst|
|Blindell, James||Colville, Major David John||Ford, Sir Patrick J.|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Conant, R. J. E.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Cook, Thomas A.||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Cooke, James D.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E W.||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Craven Ellis, William||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Crooke, J. Smedley||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cross, R. H.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Crossley, A. C.||Goldie, Noel B.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Burghley, Lord||Davison, Sir William Henry||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)|
|Burnett, John George||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Despencer-Robertson., Major J. A. F.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||McKie, John Hamilton||Salt, Edward W.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||McLean, Major Alan||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Hales, Harold K.||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Scone, Lord|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Selley, Harry R.|
|Harbord, Arthur||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Hartland, George A.||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Martin, Thomas B.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Haslam, Henry (Lindsay, H'ncastie)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Meller, Richard James||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Millar, Sir James Duncan||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hillman, Dr. George B.||Milne, Charles||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Hope, Capt. Arthur O. J. (Aston)||Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw-||Soper, Richard|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Hornby, Frank||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Moreing, Adrian C.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Morrison, William Shephard||Spencer-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Munro, Patrick||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Stewart, William J.|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Stones, James|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Storey, Samuel|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Hunter-Weston. Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||North, Captain Edward T.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Peake, Captain Osbert||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Pearson, William G.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|James, Wing Com. A. W. H.||Peat, Charles U.||Taylor, Vice.Admiral E. A.(Pd'gt'n, S.)|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Penny, Sir George||Templeton, William P.|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Petherick, M.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bliston)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Potter, John||Thompson, Luke|
|Kimball, Lawrence||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.||Purbrick, R.||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Knebworth, Viscount||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Ramsey, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ramsden, E.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Rankin, Robert||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ratclife, Arthur||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Ward, Lt. Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Levy, Thomas||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Lewis, Oswald||Reid, James S. C. (Sterling)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lleweilin, Major John J.||Remer, John R.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Reynolds, Col. Sir James Philip||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th)||Robinson, John Roland||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Rosbotham, S. T.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Ross, Ronald D.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Lymington, Viscount||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Mabane, William||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Runge, Norah Cecil||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Mr. Shakespeare and Mr. Womersley.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|McEwen, J. H. F.||Salmon, Major Isidore|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Hopkinson, Austin|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Jenkins, Sir William|
|Batey, Joseph||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||John, William|
|Bernays, Robert||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield).||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Kirkwood, David|
|Buchanan, George||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Harris, Sir Percy||Lawson, John James|
|Cove, William G.||Healy, Cahir||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hicks, Ernest George||Lunn, William|
|Daggar, George||Hirst, George Henry||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Edwards, Charles||Holdsworth, Herbert||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|McGovern, John||Owen, Major Goronwy||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Parkinson, John Allen||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Mallalleu, Edward Lancelot||Price, Gabriel||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Maxton, James||Thorne, William James||Mr. Duncan Graham and Mr. Groves.|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Tinker, John Joseph|