HC Deb 19 February 1932 vol 261 cc1979-2010

The first Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Elland (Mr. Levy)—in page 3, line 16, after the word "Act," to insert the words: and those provisions of section four of the Finance Act of nineteen hundred and twenty-five, and Part I of the Second Schedule thereto not already covered by this Act."— is out of order. The second Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) is not selected—in page 3, line 16, after the second word "time," to insert the words "acting as a judicial tribunal." I call on the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green to move the third Amendment.


I beg to move, in page 3, line 17, after the word "consideration," to insert the words: at sittings held in public (unless for specific reason announced in public the Committee shall on particular occasions otherwise determine). The Committee will feel that it is desirable that the matters which will come within the purview of the Advisory Committee should be the subject of evidence given in public and of deliberations made in public so far as the exigencies of the public interest make it possible. In our opinion, the Committee will occupy the position of a judicial tribunal exercising its functions in the full public gaze and, in making that statement, I have in mind a speech made at Hull in July last by the Lord President of the Council, who made it clear that in his opinion the public would be entitled to know the basis upon which the recommendations of the Committee were founded. That cannot effectively be achieved unless the sittings are held in public and both those who make the representations and those who oppose them have an opportunity of giving their evidence and examining and cross-examining the other parties in public in accordance with the long tradition of British Courts of Justice, for indeed this is neither more nor less than a British Court of Justice. It is as a safeguard for the public interest and in order to ensure that public confidence shall run with the Committee, by knowing precisely what the Committee is doing from time to time and the evidence placed before it, that I move this Amendment to make this an open tribunal.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman says it will not be possible effectively to make public the reasons for any alteration of a duty unless the proceedings are held in public. May I draw attention to the wording of Sub-section (4) which very clearly sets out that the Treasury shall publish in such manner as they think fit any recommendation. Obviously that gives the Treasury power to state the reasons for a recommendation if they think fit. Anyone who has any experience of inquiries held in public will realise that the holding of an inquiry in public would mean a great mass of detail being brought forward which could much more easily be summarised and issued in a summary form. Moreover, a very great objection to the holding of these inquiries in public is that a great deal of confidential information will of necessity be brought forward by those in favour of, or opposed to, a change in duty. On those grounds, it would be most undesirable that the Amendment should be agreed to.

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

I think the Committee will see that this is not really a practical suggestion. The hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis) has pointed out that a good deal of information for the guidance of the Committee is likely to be of a confidential character, and, if the whole proceedings were to be held in public, information of that kind would not be forthcoming at all. There is the further reason that the Committee would really not be able to get on with its work at all if the Amendment were to be accepted, because the Committee have to take into consideration any representations that may be made to them. Anyone who is interested in the particular subject that the Committee is considering may make representations to them. They would never be able to come to a decision at all.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page 3, line 22, at the end, to insert the words: Provided that before making any recommendation the Committee shall give an opportunity to any person interested as an importer or consumer of goods included in the recommendation to be heard by them. This Amendment, which really comes after one which you, Sir, have not selected—


I thought this Amendment gave a rather wider discussion.


I am much obliged. I thought that was probably the reason. We really desire to ascertain what sort of procedure it is that is contemplated by the Committee. They are to take into consideration any representations that may be made to them. We are not at all certain as to what type of representation that means. It was vaguely suggested by the right hon. Gentleman on the Second Reading that the Government might suggest to them that they should do certain things, and we are most anxious to know whether the Committee are to act on recommendations of what I may call a political character, or whether they are merely going to act on representations made to them by traders, and, if traders are going to make representations, will any opportunity be given to those who are interested, for instance, in the import business in those commodities also to make representations? I appreciate what the right hon. Gentleman has said about the difficulties that might occur if these were regular public meetings, with all the paraphernalia of expense and waste of time. But, on the other hand, the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that, if this is to be a success—and at the moment, although we are disputing the whole basis of it, we want, if we can, to assist in making it a success if it can be a success—it is most important that the Committee should be deemed to have acted with complete fairness.

It depends entirely upon what representation the Advisory Committee is going to act as to whether people will be satisfied with what it does. If it is going to act merely upon ex parte representations of a body of traders who are interested in getting an additional duty put upon a particular article without having any opportunity of notifying other parties who are likely to be affected in order that they too may make representations, there will, I think, be good cause for comment on the decisions arrived at. Take one instance, that of the steel trade. Suppose that application is made to the Committee by the steel trade, and the tinplate manufacturers wish to put forward their case in order that it may be fully considered. They will have no knowledge, as far as the Bill at present goes, that the Committee is considering the matter at all. They will not know what sort of goods or what sort of articles it is suggested should be brought in under the steel duties, and they, as most important consumers, will have no means of knowing whether the matter which concerns them vitally is coming under the consideration of the Committee. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that, apart from any sort of formal hearing or anything, there should be some machinery—whether the words of the Amendment are proper or not does not matter—which will enable the Committee to notify and get representations from the other people, the consumers and users of goods and so on, who may be affected by a recommendation they are about to make. I feel certain that if something of that sort could be done it would vastly increase the authority and the power of the Committee which is to be set up. We think that the words which we put forward in the Amendment are wide and suitable and would not in any way embarrass the Committee. They would provide a safeguard which, I am sure, the right hon. Gentleman will realise, in the public interest, is of great importance if the doings of this Committee are to be looked upon as the doings of a really impartial body.


The Amendment seems to me to be one of the most extraordinary Amendments on the Order Paper. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman think that you ought to have an exhaustive series of references to all concerns and branches of industry all over the country before the Committee can make a recommendation. He cites the example of the steel trade and assumes that the Committee may not have intimate knowledge upon any particular industry affected by the extension of protection to the steel trade. Where will he stop? Is he going over the whole category of subsidiary industries associated with the steel trade before a recommendation can be made? It would be the height of foolishness to embarrass the administration of the Committee to put in a condition of this kind. The work of the Committee would be interminable. If they had to take into consideration every question in the particular business affected, they would have to pursue inquiries in every direction. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Would this Bill ever become operative if you had to go through a process of that kind? I think the hon. and learned Gentleman has put forward the Amendment in order to make it a little more difficult to carry this admirable Measure into effect for the benefit of the country, and I hope that the House of Commons will not accept such a foolish Amendment.


We seriously submit the Amendment and ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept it. We are definitely of the opinion that the best way of understanding this problem and the best ways and means of tackling it is that decisions should come as a result of conversations and understanding. The hon. Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon) states that in his opinion it would be the height of foolishness to include any conversations of this character. We submit that it would be the height of folly not to do so. When a particular range of commodities came under consideration the people primarily engaged in their manufacture and distribution would certainly be aware of the things which were beneficial to themselves and to the trade, and, while it is possible for a particular industry to become self-centred and not to view industry as a whole, we are definitely of opinion that it is eminently desirable that everyone, whether producer or consumer, primarily interested in any range of commodities or in a particular commodity brought under consideration should be consulted. We ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to see whether it is not possible to make such provision in the Bill.


Although I do not feel able to accept the Amend- ment upon the Paper, I do not in the least complain of the manner in which it was commended to the Committee by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps) and by the hon. Member who has just spoken. On the contrary, I think that the aims and views which they expressed are really what all of us desire, namely, that the Advisory Committee should be regarded with confidence by the general public, and that its decisions should be accepted as the decisions of a fair and impartial body. It is not merely that we want to inspire confidence. We desire that the decision of the Committee shall be a properly formed decision and that it shall have an opportunity of viewing all sides of a question, upon which there would certainly be more than one side, before coming to a decision. Therefore with the general aims put forward I am in complete agreement, but I do not see how the Amendment would carry them out. Really all that the Amendment says it that anybody who is interested in the recommendations of the Committee and wishes to make a recommendation shall come in person before it. I think that that would be to impose upon the Committee an unnecessary burden. To lay it down that anybody who has, or thinks he has, something to say of interest to himself on this subject shall have an opportunity of appearing, must necessarily take up the time of the Committee a good deal and make their work more difficult. Indeed. I think it is very difficult to lay down in an Act of Parliament restrictions or instructions upon this matter for the Committee.

We should trust the Committee to behave sensibly, as any body of people of whom I am thinking would naturally behave. I should say that if they were dealing with a great industry like the iron and steel industry, for instance, they would not think of doing it in a hole-and-corner method, concealing what they were doing, and, possibly, springing a decision upon the public, when it was well known that they had not received representations made by a number of different trades interested in the products of the industry. Indeed, that would not be consistent with the general instructions which are laid down in the Bill in Clause 3, where it says that the Committee in making their recommendations are to have regard to the interests generally of trade and in- dustry in the United Kingdom, including the trades of consumers as well as producers of goods. That makes it clear that they are to take into consideration the views of industry generally, including those who use the goods, and I should imagine that when they were considering what they should do about such an industry as iron and steel they would not only approach direct certain bodies and associations which were obviously affected, but would give public notice and would, in fact, invite representations to be made to them by a certain date, and it would be for them to select out of the representations made in writing in the first instance any which they thought sufficiently important to ask to attend and to give evidence before them. That seems to me to be the best way of meeting what is desired. It is clear that if it is intended to put all that into the Act of Parliament it would mean that the Committee would have to go through the same process whatever the industry they were dealing with, whether it was a trifling industry in which a few hundred people were concerned or one like the iron and steel industry, which had ramifications throughout the industrial field. That is the difficulty of putting hard and fast words into an Act of Parliament. I think we might safely entrust the matter to the Committee on the lines that I have suggested.


In view of the assurance which the right hon. Gentleman has given, and with an appreciation of the difficulty—I am sure that everyone will be satisfied if the Committee pursue the course which he has taken—I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn


I beg to move, in page 3, line 22, at the end, to insert the words: (4) Every such recommendation shall set out the material facts upon which the Committee have come to their decision. The object of the Amendment is to ensure that the Committee shall give reasons for any decision at which they arrive and shall state the material facts which have led them to their conclusion. We suggest that those reasons and the facts shall be published. If I read the Clause aright, it is left with the Treasury to publish or not to publish any recommendations. I think it is a dangerous thing in regard to a Committee of this sort to place them in such a position that they cannot state to the public what are the reasons which have led them to their conclusions. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept this most reasonable Amendment. This Committee of supermen are to be given enormous powers. They are to be above Parliament and independent of the Government. Their decisions will have far reaching effects and may mean success or failure to an industry or firm. They may have far reaching effects on the lives and conditions of the people of this country. They may mean prosperity or poverty to many thousands of people.

In the interests of the Committee it is important that they should be able to give reasons and that the public should know the reasons. I do not think that there is any High Court judge who would like to give a verdict without giving the reason for it. In this House we hear complaints that they give too many reasons for their decisions. They do give reasons for their decisions. That makes the position clearer and better understandable by the public than will be the case if there is to be secrecy regarding the decisions of the Committee under this Act of Parliament. To-day there is a good deal of correspondence taking place and appeals are being made to Members of Parliament from firms and trades who wish to be brought within this Act. One thing that will make matters clear and remove some of this corruption and selfishness in our public life will be the fact that those who are undertaking the inquiry will, if the Government accept our Amendment, be able to state the reasons for their decisions, and those reasons will be known to the public as a whole.

11.30 a.m.

If the Government do not accept the Amendment, and the reasons are not to be published, I would appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he should not publish the names of the Committee, and that when they meet representatives of trades they should be masked, so that no one will know who they are. I believe confidently that their lives will not be a great pleasure when we know of all the selfishness there is and what will take place. I believe they will have to be guarded against dangers that may arise in regard to their actions. The Amendment is so important that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might accept it, and see that something is done, instead of leaving it to the Treasury to say whether or not anything should be published. Let us make it clear that the reasons of the Committee shall be given and that we in the House of Commons, of all parties, shall be able to know what have been the reasons which have led them to the conclusions at which they have arrived. Everyone says that this is to be a committee of men. Why of men? Why not women? Why not housewives? The Prime Minister has declared that when these duties come along it will be the housewife who will feel the pinch. This Bill will mean an increase in the cost of living, and the housewives are the people who are first concerned. I suppose it has never been thought of by the Government that those who will be most seriously affected should be placed on the Committee. Whether the Committee is to be composed of men or women, I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to adopt our Amendment, or something similar, so that the Committee will be able to publish the reasons that have led to their decisions, and to give the material facts that have enabled them to recommend that a duty shall be made, that a duty shall be increased or, finally, that they shall make no recommendation, which is the one thing that will no doubt bring them into conflict and meet with strong opposition from many people.


This Amendment covers ground also covered by the Amendment which stands in the names of hon. Members sitting on this bench and myself in page 3, line 23, at beginning, to insert: Before making any order in pursuance of any recommendation made to them by the Committee, or determining to make no order on such recommendation.


Does the hon. and gallant Member wish to move his Amendment, or will he take the discussion on this one? The points are not quite the same, but they are somewhat similar.


With great respect, I do not think the points covered by this Amendment and the next Amendment are the same, but I am entirely in your hands.


The next Amendment raises two separate points. One is the question of publication of the recommendations, and the other is the question whether the Order should be made before or after such recommendations are published. If the hon. and gallant Member will confine his argument in his Amendment to the point whether the Order should be made before or after the recommendation is published, we might discuss the question of publication on the present Amendment.


The second Amendment raises this point, that the Bill provides a certain procedure, under which orders made upon recommendations require a confirmatory Resolution from the House of Commons. Our Amendment is directed to making the confirmatory Resolution of the House of Commons a condition precedent to the making of the order. That, I submit, is a somewhat different point from the point covered by the Amendment which has been moved.


Perhaps I have not made myself quite clear. Among other points in his composite Amendment, there is one that the reasons should be published. It may be convenient if we discuss that now.


In associating myself with what has been said by my hon. and learned Friend opposite and the hon. Member who spoke last, I will do no more than quote two sentences from a speech made in Parliament in July last by the Lord President of the Council, which seems to me to lay down in admirable terms the functions and position of this tribunal which, coupled with the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer a few moments ago, will give satisfaction to hon. Members. The Lord President said: Government action must be founded on full and impartial information, information available not only to the Government but to every citizen of the country who cares to study it showing that it is not being done in secret. Later the Lord President of the Council said: I think that the reports of such a commission should always be laid before Parliament so that its findings would be known and everyone outside the House of Commons would have full opportunity of seeing the full information on which the Government was basing its action, and would know that the information had been collected and examined as scrupulously as it would have been had a judge been summing it up before a jury. I will adopt the words of the Lord President of the Council, which put more succinctly and more admirably than I can the contentions I desire to place before the Committee.


Is not the best answer to hon. Members opposite that the Socialist Government found it necessary to conceal from the public the material facts in regard to iron and steel, and also why they were unable to do anything when they were in office.


It is not a good argument to say that because something has been done which the hon. Member does not approve that the Government should take the same course. That is a very poor argument. The real difficulty about this Clause is the word "recommendation". There are a number of precedents for reports being laid on the Table of the House. There is the Anomalies Act. The recommendation would be this, that a tax of so much should be put on an article, and while the reasons for the recommendation would, of course, be in the report we are anxious that the report itself should be published and not merely the recommendation that a particular tax should be put on a particular article. It may be that the right hon. Gentleman thought that this covers the publication of the report, that may have been the intention, but I am quite sure that it will lead to misunderstanding if there is no provision as regards the report. If it is the intention to cover the report perhaps the word might be altered on Report.


I respond gladly to the appeal made by the hon. and learned Member for Bristol East (Sir S. Cripps). For all that there is great difficulty in accepting the Amendment and I hope it will not be pressed. It is not our desire that the bald recommendation should be published, and the words of the Sub-section: The Treasury shall publish in such manner as they think fit any recommendation made to them appear to the Government to be quite sufficient. There is this further safeguard, that any contentious question will be subject to debate in the House of Commons. It will be impossible on the mere ipse dixit of the Committee for a tax to be imposed, although, of course, full weight will be given to their recommendations.


We want material to be available for the House of Commons to discuss these questions. It is difficult for private Members to get such information. The Committee will have this information.


Yes, but the hon. and learned Member will agree that an accusation might be brought against the Government of concealing facts if the report was not extremely full. It may be that the hon. and learned Member would not bring such an accusation, but there are other people who are not so reasonable and they might bring an accusation against the Government and complain that all the facts had not been given. It is extremely difficult to lay down such binding words as the material facts upon which the committee have come to their decision. The real safeguard is the Debate in the House of Commons, which can be raised upon any of these Orders, and will have to be raised if the Order is confirmed. The evidence laid before the Committee, the material facts upon which they have come to their decision, will, no doubt, be implicit to some extent in the recommendation they make, but to publish the report would not, in fact, be practicable. I do not think the Government should be asked to give any such pledge because it might be impossible to implement it. In view of the assurance of the Government not merely to give the bald recommendation but as far as possible to give all reasonable information concerning the recommendation I hope the hon. Member will withdraw the Amendment.


I hope the Amendment will not be withdrawn unless we get a more satisfactory assurance from the Government. I am an old hand, I went through the procedure of the Safeguarding Act, and I know how difficult it was to get any information. Yesterday the President of the Board of Trade lectured my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan), because he was not in the secrets of the Department and had not all the information which the President of the Board possessed when he arrived at his conclusions. Here we are dealing with thousands of articles, and there is a real danger that the Committee will be overweighted with subjects and with information on which to arrive at their conclusions. We have had a more recent experience than the Safeguarding Act; there is the Abnormal Importations Act. The President of the Board of Trade came down with bald proposals; no explanations and no reasons. He simply said that they were imposing a tax on such and such an article. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman himself knew why he had selected the articles. They were taken at random. What guarantee have we that less experienced men than the President of the Board of Trade will do any better than the right hon. Gentleman.

It is a very serious matter for this House to part with its powers over taxation. We should he very careful of the privileges and rights of this House and should keep our control over finance. We are entitled to know all the facts upon which this Committee have founded their judgment. All we have in these proposals is a guarantee that we shall have these recommendations. I suppose we ought to be thankful for small mercies. We are allowed to have the recommendations. That is something. But we are not to be allowed to know how these recommendations were arrived at. I see hon. Members opposite in small numbers. They have big ambitions. I am rather surprised that they oppose the Bill's proposals, because it may happen some day, when they want to nationalise industry, that if they follow the precedent of the Bill all they will have to do will be to come down to the House with recommendations; they will be in the majority, and we shall have to register their decrees. This is the new form of Socialism. A tribunal of five is to be set up. The five apparently are to sit in secret. They are to come to conclusions and then come to the House with their recommendations, and the House is not to have the evidence on which those conclusions were reached. The House is not even guaranteed a report to explain how the conclusions have been arrived at. Before the House hands over these immense autocratic powers to five gentlemen we should be assured that the House when it is to vote these duties, shall be seized fully with the information that enabled the tribunal to come to conclusions.


I should be very glad to accede to the request of the Financial Secretary, but we cannot do it without some assurance that the House will have before it the material necessary for Debate when matters come up on these various Orders. Unless we have some material put before us the whole matter will be in the dark. The House should recollect that we are in a very peculiar position in regard to this Government. The Government may not last a long time. We may be sure that on any matter that comes up some Member of the Cabinet will get up and give away the whole show. But it may be that at some time we shall have a Cabinet which will be a more homogeneous body than the present one, and in that case we shall not have the information. Unless we can get an assurance from the Government that the intention is that the House shall be given the relevant data—it cannot have everything—on which to come to a judgment, we shall certainly have to press the Amendment to a division.


For the Government to give any such assurance as is asked for would be going further than is reasonable. I can give an assurance that the recommendation does not simply mean that the recommendation will be given in the words of the recommendation without any further information. It would be unreasonable to ask the Advisory Committee to prepare an elaborate report on every occasion, giving all the material facts on which they have come to their conclusions. I do not think I can go so far as that. I do not regard the word "recommendation" as meaning simply the words of the recommendation that such and such a duty should be imposed. If it is sufficient for the Opposition I can give an assurance that the recommendation will be accompanied by something further.


In view of the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he will extend or elucidate the words in the Clause and give more information than we understood the Clause to provide for, I am willing to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


The next Amendment I select is that in the name of the senior Member for Stockport (Mr. Hammersley).


I beg to move, in page 3, line 36, after the word "quorum," to insert the words: which shall not be less than three. This Amendment is self-explanatory. It proposes that the Advisory Committee should sit as a quorum with not less than three members. In view of the overwhelming importance of this matter it must be clear that it would be improper for recommendations of this character, involving the livelihoods of many people and the prosperity of many trades, to be brought forward on the mere decision perhaps of one member. There must be a great deal of disquietude in the public mind if there were reasonable apprehension that one person was sufficient to form a quorum and that the recommendations could come from one individual. It is obviously necessary to determine what the quorum should be, and fewer than three persons would not satisfy the public mind.


It would be a, little unreasonable to say that the commercial community would be terrified at the autocratic and arbitrary power of two men but would be perfectly satisfied if that autocratic and arbitrary power were exercised by three men. In this matter we have to assume that the Advisory Committee will be a Committee of reasonable persons who are anxious to exercise their functions reasonably, and the security for the country and this House will not be in the number of those who have been present at a particular sitting but in the reasonableness or otherwise of the recommendation that they make. It is a little unreasonable to say that a recommendation can be reasonable only if it is made by three people, and will certainly be unreasonable if made by two people. We must allow discretion to the Committee. I ask my hon. Friend not to press the Amendment.


The Financial Secretary has missed the point. It is not a question of quantity, but of quality. Obviously the Committee will be composed of gentlemen selected for quite different reasons, in order that they can bring their particular qualities into the common pool and so form a useful judgment. We are rather astonished at our own moderation in putting the quorum at three. The demand for three at least is a very reasonable demand.


The Financial Secretary has not dealt entirely with the point. It is true to say that the recommendation of two people is perhaps just as good as that of three, but the point that is particularly raised in the Amendment, is that no definition of what constitutes a quorum is laid down, and in point of fact by what is proposed in the Clause we are making it possible for one individual by his own will and volition to make a recommendation of a character that may have far-reaching effects. I do not think that in a matter of this importance it should be possible for one person alone to come to that decision and make that recommendation. If the Financial Secretary is prepared to say that instead of having three as a quorum the quorum should not be less than two, I should be prepared to withdraw the Amendment.


Would it not be possible for my hon. Friend to withdraw the Amendment without necessarily asking that Parliament should define the quorum? The suggestion here is that the Committee should define the quorum. We really think that that would be more satisfactory. If Parliament attempts to define a quorum it will have to define a great many other things. The important thing is the recommendation of the Committee and not the procedure by which the Committee arrives at a recommendation.


I hope that the Amendment will be pressed. If we hand over these immense powers it is very important that there should be adequate numbers to make use of them. Imagine two members sitting down to decide the industrial future of, say, the iron and steel trade. It seems preposterous that there should not be some definition of a quorum in this connection. There is nothing new in the proposal. If this were to be a large Committee I could understand leaving to them the question of what would be a reasonable number for each of its sub-committees. The House of Commons in this case is establishing a precedent in financial legislation and taxation, and we ought to have some guarantee that the Committee which is to examine evidence and explore our whole industrial system should be properly manned, and that there should be at least a quorum of three.


One of the difficulties in the way of Parliament now laying down a quorum for this Committee is that I understand the number of the Committee is not going to remain the same from the outset. From what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said, I gather that the Committee may not consist of more than three members at the outset. Obviously it would be unreasonable to propose a quorum of three for a Committee of three. It would mean that no business could be transacted if one member had to be absent, even for an hour, from the proceedings. On the other hand a quorum of three might not be excessive if the Committee consisted of five or six members. Having regard to that aspect of the matter, I think that on the assurance that the point will be reasonably considered by the Government this Amendment ought not to be pressed.


In the light of what I understand to be an assurance that this matter will be carefully considered and borne in mind I beg to leave withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I beg to move in page 4, line 4, to leave out the words "or before any person authorised by them."

I wish to know exactly what is meant by these words. We take them to mean that the Committee could delegate to one of its members its functions as a Committee, or that it could delegate the same work to an individual who was not on the Committee. In our opinion the Committee's work is of such importance and the Committee is so small that none of its powers or functions should be delegated to any individual either on or off the Committee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us last night that only three members might be appointed at the beginning, and that that number might be increased later if it was thought fit to do so. He said that it was not necessary to reappoint the whole Committee at the same time; that some members might be reappointed, and others might not. The right hon. Genleman said: There is no obligation to appoint the whole number of five members as well as the chairman at the same time. In fact, I anticipate that we shall begin by appointing three members to the committee and add to it other members as it is found desirable to increase the personnel in order to deal with these questions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1932; col. 1963, Vol. 261.] Our contention is that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer only appoints three at the outset, we ought not to empower them to say that one of their number should deal with certain very important questions. Under the Clause as it is now worded it would appear that they could not only do that, but that they could, as I have said, go outside the Committee and submit certain functions of the Committee say to the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft), or to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery), or even to the President of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress. We feel that such a power ought not to be granted to the Committee; that they ought to sit as a body to deal with these questions and not delegate their powers to any individual.

12 n.


I think the hon. Member has scarcely appreciated the limitations which are contained in this part of the Clause. We are not dealing here with the general functions of the Committee or with the decision to which the Committee may be asked to come, as to whether a case has been made out for a duty or not. We are simply dealing with a case in which they require any person to furnish them with returns or other special information, and it is in that connection that the suggestion is made that the Committee should have power to delegate somebody authorised by them to obtain from witnesses the information which they require. Take the case, for instance, of information concerning costs or prices. It may well be that that information is of a technical character and that the person best qualified to get that information out of a witness is an accountant. That is the reason why it is suggested that it should be a person authorised by the Committee because it would be a waste of the time of the Committee to put them on to getting information which could be better obtained by somebody who was specially qualified for the purpose. That is all that is proposed here, and as it is confined to that class of case I think the hon. Member will see that there is no danger such as he has anticipated.


I would like to point out that the hearing of evidence is generally looked upon as a most important part of any judicial proceedings, and I have never heard it said that a judge need not trouble to hear the evidence but can get somebody else to do that and then decide the case himself. This is really a matter of taking evidence on commission, which is, of course, done in legal proceedings, but the evidence so taken is always read in court, and made available to the judge. Here it is proposed to delegate to someone else the important function of taking evidence. The question is whether you are going to insist on the Committee themselves hearing the evidence and not merely getting it, at secondhand, in the form of an accountant's report of what he thought a witness said when the witness was examined before him. It is not a question of sending an accountant to investigate somebody's books. In that case I should agree with what the right hon. Gentleman has said, but this is a completely different case. This is a case of calling a witness to give evidence before a tribunal and the tribunal is this Committee of inquiry. In matters of such importance, unless there are safeguards as regards those to whom the work is to be delegated—they should be people who understand how to take evidence—we think this is a very wide power of delegation. Under these words, the work might be delegated to some clerk, or someone who is just sent to hear the evidence, and even if the right hon. Gentleman cannot leave out these words he might reconsider whether some provision should not be inserted limiting the type of person to whom this power can be delegated.


It seems to me that there is a little difficulty in this Clause. It provides that the Committee may ask any person to furnish them with returns or other information, or to attend as a witness and give evidence. Reading the words "to give evidence" with what is sometimes called the ejusdem generis construction, I think it would be quite satisfactory. If the only kind of evidence a witness was going to give was in the nature of returns or statistics or something of that sort, I do not think that anybody would feel uneasy, but the words "to give evidence" are very wide, and their scope might include evidence, not only of facts and figures and prices, but evidence of opinions, evidence perhaps of the witness's personal experience in the working of certain things of this kind. Therefore, there is perhaps some reason for considering whether the hon. and learned Gentleman could not be met in this case either by some limitation of the words "to give evidence" or by some limitation upon the kind of witness who might properly be called.


I am obliged to my hon. and learned Friend, and I will have these words looked into, to see if it is possible to find some limitation to meet the point of view that has been put forward.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


At the risk of being wearisome, I would like to make a further attempt to get from the Government what they mean by a judicial committee. In the Second Reading Debate the Financial Secretary to the Treasury never mentioned the Committee at all, though one would have thought it was one of the vital parts of the machinery of this Measure, but yesterday we had three different statements from the Government with regard to this Committee, each, as the night wore on, getting weaker and weaker; and I should like to know if they are going to make any pronouncement now or to put any form of words in the Bill to carry out the spirit of the quotation which the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) has just read out from the Hull speech of the Lord President of the Council.

The first statement yesterday was from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who said that they would be prepared to defend the Committee when they came to the Bill, and that, of course, no Parliament could bind its successors with regard to the Committee. Then he said: With the assurance of the Government that it is their desire to make these appointments as nearly judicial as possible, I ask the Committee to pass this Resolution."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1932; col. 1864, Vol. 261.] That sounded quite satisfactory so far as it went. Then we had the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, considerably later in the evening, saying that they had great sympathy with the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green and those who supported him in requiring that this Committee should be judicial. Unfortunately, their ideals"— that is, the ideals of this rump of the Liberal party— are too exalted for this world, and we have not been able to make the Committee as judicial as they would desire."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1932; cols. 1949-50, Vol. 261.] Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer—and it is interesting that all three of the Ministers in charge of the Bill should have spoken on this subject—when it was getting on towards midnight very much whittled down what had been said. He said: They are to hold office for a period of three years …. It would, of course, be possible to appoint them for a shorter time, but we must remember that we want to give this body a certain amount of independence." — [OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1932; col. 1963, Vol. 261.] I must say that "a certain amount of independence" is rather an ominous statement. Those of us who think as the Lord President of the Council did as recently as last July want to make them a judicial body, and "a certain amount of independence" is hardly that.


I think my hon. and gallant Friend is rather misinterpreting what I said. When I was speaking about calling for a certain amount of independence, I was clearly referring to the period of their office and comparing three years with one year; I was not in the least referring to their judicial capacity.


Oh, I see. It is analogous to the independence of the other Members of the Cabinet. I frankly admit that I had not appreciated that point, and I am very glad to have the assurance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that that had nothing to do with their judicial functions. The fact remains, however, that we have had from the Front Bench a certain amount about their being a judicial body, but there is nothing in the Bill to indicate it, and we know that it is one thing for Ministers to, say things in the House of Commons and a very different thing when it comes to the words of an Act of Parliament, and I should like to know whether these assurances about the Committee functioning in a judicial manner are going to be translated into some form of words in the future. We have to remember that not only are we working under the Guillotine, and that it is practically impossible to get this question raised again except on the Motion of the Government on the Report stage, but that the other place cannot discuss it at all.

Therefore, this is really the only occasion on which this great matter of principle as to the general function of the Committee can be debated at all, and seeing what was said on behalf of the Conservative party by its Leader only eight or nine months ago—I know that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade might say that that was pre-crisis, but I do not think the pre-crisis argument has anything to do with the machinery of the Bill; in his case it obviously had a lot to do with the theory of imposing duties, but I do not see that it has anything to do with the machinery by which the duties should be imposed and the system regulated. Therefore, as the Lord President of the Council took this very generous view with regard to the judicial function of the Committee, I should like to know whether the apparently reactionary movement which has taken place since is due to the presence in the Government of Liberal and Socialist Members. Is it they who are forcing the Lord President and the Conservative Members to waive the judicial aspect of the Committee and make them into something more or less independent, but obviously in some way dependent on the Treasury and the Chancellor? I hope the Chancellor will be good enough briefly to answer that point.


I would like to remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in confirmation of what my hon. and gallant Friend has said, that when he made his speech introducing the Financial Resolutions on which the Bill is founded, he definitely referred to the judicial attitude which would be expected of this Committee. He said: This committee will be expected to give its whole time to its duties, and will be paid a salary which will be proportionate to the standing which we shall require of the members and to the sort of judicial attitude which we shall expect of them."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th February, 1932; col. 290; Vol. 261.] I do not see how you can expect any judicial attitude from this Committee if their salaries are to be put on one of the Votes of this House. It is practically essential that their salaries should be on the Consolidated Fund.


I should like to join in the appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give us some indication of the type of individual who is going to be put on this Advisory Committee. I quite realise that it would not be possible to mention names, but I hope he will be able to give us some sort of idea, and I would quote as a parallel case the occasion when the Coal Mines Bill was going through. The then President of the Board of Trade, the late Mr. William Graham, at that time was pressed very strongly from the other side to tell the House what type of man he would put on to amalgamate the coal mines—a very reasonable request—and he did give a clear indication to the House of the sort of person that he had in mind. To many people I have no doubt it would be natural to assume that the sort of person on this Committee would be a man with a very wide business experience, some representative of organised Labour, 'somebody with a very extensive experience in accountancy, perhaps a distinguished Judge, and perhaps a distinguished economist or something of that kind. Are those the types of person that the right hon. Gentleman has in mind; and, if not, will he indicate to us roughly what his intentions are?


I should very much have preferred the members of this Advisory Committee to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, but that is impossible apparently for the moment. I cannot, however, agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) that the Committee is not likely in fact to be independent. It is a matter of complete indifference what the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the President of the Board of Trade, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade may say What matters is the wording of this Clause. These gentlemen will be appointed for three years, and during that period they cannot, I understand, be dismissed, in actual practice, because they do not do what the Government like. [Interruption.] I rather doubt if they can be dismissed. You can deprive them of their remuneration, but you cannot, in fact, dismiss them under this Measure. The Government cannot move in respect of a great many things under this Bill unless they get a recommendation from the Committee. They have no power to tell the Committee what kind of recommendation they must make.

It is true that the Government, in common with any group of people, are entitled to make representations to the Committee. I have not the slightest doubt that, in practice, there will be times when the President of the Board of Trade and the Chancellor of the Exchequer will say that, in the national interest, this job should be pushed on rapidly, and that they sincerely hope that the Committee will act in such and such a way. That is perfectly reasonable, but there is no power here to give orders to the Committee or to dismiss the Committee. Therefore, it seems to me that the Committee will be, in fact, an independent body, and because it is in- dependent, if rightly chosen, it will be a judicial body. Although I would prefer the other method, I do not think that the Clause could be genuinely challenged on this point.


The whole of this Clause, as it now stands, gives rise in my mind to anxiety on two points. First of all, I have every sympathy with the view put forward by the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) as to the question of the personnel of the Committee, and as to whether they would be in the widest sense of the term persons of a judicial character. It seems to me that there is this difficulty. Obviously, people have got to be selected who are capable of carrying out these elaborate inquiries and coming to a reasonable decision upon them, but I think it is necessary to go a little further than that. It is very desirable that people should be selected who cannot be suspected of being amenable to pressure from the Government, and who are people of such standing that they will command public confidence. It is no doubt true that in the ranks of the Civil Service, in such Departments as the Board of Trade and the Treasury, selections can be made of men perfectly competent to conduct such inquiries and to come to reasonable decisions upon them, but the very fact that they are Government servants before they are appointed, and after their three years will become Government servants again, will, I think, give rise in the public mind to the suggestion that they are not entirely free from pressure and influence by the Government. Moreover, from the very nature of the work which these gentlemen have been carrying out in the past, they are not widely known to the general public. Their names may be very well known to Ministers, ex-Ministers and people of that kind, but they are not names which will in themselves command wide public confidence.

I venture to make this suggestion to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Could he possibly consider appointing, as the chairman of this body, someone of the standing of one of His Majesty's judges? For example, suppose he were to select an eminent member of the Bar, such a man as would be suitable for appointment to a judgeship. Such a man, obviously, from his capacity and training would be very suitable to be the chairman of some such body, a man known to the general public, and one not open to the suspicion that he would be amenable to Government influence in the same way as the civil servant, because, clearly, he has his career at the Bar upon which to fall back if eventually he falls foul of the Government. I do not know whether it is possible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at any rate, to consider the appointment of someone of that calibre as chairman, whatever the rest of the personnel of the Committee may be.

There is another point to which I wish to draw the attention of the Committee. I think that there are very many supporters of the Government who view with a certain amount of distaste the very wide powers set out in Sub-section (7) of this Clause—the powers to demand information and returns and to investigate the workings of a private concern. Those of us who view these two proposals with distaste recognise that it is very difficult to avoid giving some such wide powers if they are to discharge their work properly. The point I want to make is that those powers are reinforced by the power to examine persons upon oath. I think that I am right in saying that this House has always shown a reluctance to confer this power upon anybody. It is a very great power, and we should be careful upon whom we confer it, and be jealous in conferring it. While it might be held to be reasonable to confer it upon the Committee themselves, I view with anxiety the provision in the Clause as it stands that the power to examine upon oath may be delegated by the Committee to any person, and to any number of persons, whom they may think fit. I do not know in what way it would be possible to limit that power within the scope of the Clause as it stands, but I would draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to it, and suggest to him that, perhaps, I am not the only person who views that part of the Clause with grave anxiety.


I have been very much interested in the observations made by the supporters of the Government on the question of the appointment of this so-called judicial body, which is duly to make its appearance, and, in view of the concern which they are showing, I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give us an assurance that these fiscal Solomons who are to make their appearance in the near future will not be appointed until there has been a private meeting of the Protectionists in this House and on their recommendations?


First, may I say that I do not think there is the slightest possible chance of influencing His Majesty's Government in the way suggested by the hon. Member opposite. It has been suggested in the course of the Debate on this Clause that the appointment of civil servants might be open to criticism on the part of people in the country, inasmuch as they might be brought under the influence of the Government during the course of their responsible office. I do not think that there is the remotest possibility of anything of that kind taking place. I believe that the Civil Service has been above all criticism of this kind, and we have the splendid example in our administration to-day of civil servants who have carried out high and responsible duties without any consideration whatever of any influence by His Majesty's Government.

I hope very much that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will take the fullest opportunity of their services as against people who, either on business grounds or on the grounds of training in the law are capable of taking up administrative offices of that kind. I hope that those who have given evidence of such high capacity in their respective stations in the public service will be given the fullest opportunity of taking their part in carrying out the work contemplated by this Measure.


As hon. Members have been giving their opinions as to the best people to recommend tariff increases and tariffs on all kinds of foodstuffs, I want to put the case from our point of view. While hon. Members have recommended that members of the Advisory Committee should be able to approach this question in a judicial manner, may I suggest that it would be helpful to have on the Committee either a couple of miners, or a bricklayer or two. There is no doubt that the considerations of this Committee will affect very closely the homes of the working-classes. They will deal with important matters that touch the breakfast tables of our people, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not get a better judge on these matters than the wife of a collier or the wife of a bricklayer. I hope that he will bear that in mind when he is appointing the personnel of this Committee.


With regard to the point raised by an hon. Member on Sub-section (7) of this Clause, I have already undertaken to review the wording and see whether I can, by some limitation of the powers, meet the difficulties which have been voiced this morning. A wider question has been raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank), but, after listening to his entertaining remarks, I confess that I am not certain what exactly he desires me to do. He asked me to give an answer to his question. He asked me if I can devise some form of words to ensure that this will be a judicial body. I do not think that even with his ingenuity, he could by a form of words convert a non-judicial into a judicial body; but I would refer him to the observations of the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) who indicated that, although the word "judicial" does not appear in the Clause, this body will in fact be independent of the Executive, and that by the procedure that is laid down for it. We can ensure, if not its judicial quality—for that must depend on its personnel—that it shall not be subject to undue influence by any Minister or member of the Government.

12.30 p.m.

There are some who think that the independence can only be secured by putting their salaries upon the Consolidated Fund. This House is naturally slow, and rightly slow, to add to the number of those in the public service whose remuneration is paid out of the Consolidated Fund, thereby removing consideration of their work from the purview of the House. As has already been pointed out by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Financial Secretary, even that would not be a complete safeguard, for if you had a Government in office who desired to control the work of the Committee and if, as we must assume to be the case, that Government were supported by a majority in this House, the salaries could be taken off the Consolidated Fund just as they had been pre- viously been put on by Parliament. Therefore that would not be a complete safeguard. I suggest that as the members are to hold office for three years, that is to say, that they cannot be removed by the Government, it gives them the independence which is claimed by my hon. and gallant Friend. Further questions have been addressed to me as to the type of person we are thinking of appointing to this Committee. It is not very easy to define the type of person, and I am sure that if it were, it would not be wise to do so because the most important thing is to get the person with the right personal quality; and whatever advantages he may have from this training or that experience nothing could make up for the want of those personal qualities. Of course, the most important person on the Committee is the chairman, and I am not going to try to define the person one would look for for that office. I can, however, indicate the type of person we would not look for. We would not look, to begin with, for a civil servant as chairman. I do not say that a civil servant may not be a member of the Committee—he might very properly be a member—but I do not think it desirable that he should be the chairman of a body of this kind. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon) that civil servants are absolutely to be relied upon to act in a judicial manner, but it is the case, of course, that there are associations between the Civil Service and the Government, and, if a civil servant were at the head of this body, it might give rise to the idea in the mind of the public that in some way or another it was a Government Department and subject, as other Government Departments, to the influence and instructions of Ministers.

Division No. 70.] AYES. [12.37 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Braithwaite. J. G. (Hillsborough)
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury) Briscoe, Capt. Richard George
Albery, Irving James Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.) Brocklebank, C. E. R.
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.) Bernays, Robert Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Browne, Captain A. C.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.
Appiln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.) Burghley, Lord
Aske, Sir Robert William Blindell, James Burnett, John George
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Borodale, Viscount. Cadogan, Hon. Edward
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Boulton, W. W. Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)
Balniel, Lord Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Campbell, Rear-Adml. G. (Burnley)

I do not think that it would be proper to appoint as chairman a man who had been long associated in an individual capacity with the conduct of some great manufacturing or industrial business. There again, although his experience would be valuable, yet his judgment might be coloured by the fact that he had been engaged in an industry. The same thing applies of course to the representatives of trade unions. We do not want to have people on this Committee who represent particular interests, but people who have not been conspicuously associated with any particular interest and are able to preserve an attitude of impartiality. Nor do I want as chairman a distinguished economist. This is a little outside the sphere of the economist. He may give useful advice, but in this case, where he has to take evidence from other people and give his decision, we want a man who has some practical working knowledge of business, even though he may not himself be at the head of a manufacturing or distributing concern. It is not easy to find such a man, and one may have to try long before we get exactly the type we require.


I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not have to import one.


The Committee may rest assured that the selection will not be made without a very exhaustive examination of all the material available, and that when we do make the appointment it will only be made if we are confident that the individual selected is one who will be fully competent to carry out his duties and to command the public confidence.

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 234; Noes, 39

Caporn, Arthur Cecil Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.
Carver, Major William H. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Pownall, Sir Assheton
Castle Stewart. Earl Hornby, Frank Procter, Major Henry Adam
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Howard, Tom Forrest Pybus, Percy John
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Chalmers, John Rutherford Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Ramsden, E.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston) Hume, Sir George Hopwood Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Chotzner, Alfred James Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Reid, David D. (County Down)
Christie, James Archibald Hurd, Percy A. Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Clarry, Reginald George Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Reynolds, Col. Sir James Philip
Clayton Dr. George C. Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Colfox, Major William Philip Ker, J. Campbeli Robinson, John Roland
Colville, Major David John Kerr, Hamilton W. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Conant, R. J. E. Kimball, Lawrence Ropner, Colonel L.
Cook, Thomas A. Kirkpatrick, William M. Ross, Ronald D.
Cooke, James D. Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Cooper, A. Duff Knox, Sir Alfred Runge, Norah Cecil
Craven-Ellis, William Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Rutherford, Sir John Hugo
Crooke, J. Smedley Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Salmon, Major Isidore
Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle) Leckie, J. A. Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Crossley, A. C. Leech, Dr. J. W. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Lewis, Oswald Scone, Lord
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Liddall, Walter S. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lindsay, Noel Ker Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe- Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.
Dickle, John P. Llewellin, Major John J, Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Donner, P. W. Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Doran, Edward Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)
Drewe, Cedric Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Duckworth, George A. V. Mabane, William Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick) Soper, Richard
Duggan, Hubert John McLean, Major Alan Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Macmillan, Maurice Harold Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)
Ednam, Viscount Magnay, Thomas Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)
Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E. Maitland, Adam Stones, James
Eimley, Viscount Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Strickland, Captain W. F.
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
Erskine, Lord (Weston super-Mare) Margesson, Capt. Henry David R. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Erskine-Bolst. Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Marsden, Commander Arthur Sutcliffe, Harold
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Tate, Mavis Constance
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(Pd'gt'n, s.)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Meller, Richard James Templeton. William P.
Ganzonl, Sir John Millar, Sir James Duncan Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Gluckstein, Louis Halle Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Goff, Sir Park Moison, A. Hugh Elsdale Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Graves, Marjorie Moreing, Adrian C. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Greaves-Lord. Sir Walter Morris, John Patrick (Salford. N.) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Grimston, R. V. Moss, Captain H. J. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Muirhead, Major A. J. Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Gunston, Captain D. W. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Wells, Sydney Richard
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Weymouth, Viscount
Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Nicholson. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld) Whyte, Jardine Bell
Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney amp; Zetl'nd) North, Captain Edward T. Williams. Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Hammersley, Samuel S. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Hanley, Dennis A. Ormsby-Gore. Rt. Hon. William G.A. Wills, Wilfrid D.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Palmer, Francis Noel Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Hartland, George A. Pearson, William G. Womersley, Walter James
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Penny, Sir George Worthington, Dr. John V.
Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford) Perkins, Walter R. D.
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bliston) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hillman, Dr. George B. Potter, John Sir Victor Warrender and Commander Southby.
Attlee, Clement Richard Grundy, Thomas W. Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot
Batey, Joseph Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Mander, Geoffrey le M.
Briant, Frank Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Harris, Sir Percy Nathan, Major H. L.
Cove, William G. Hicks, Ernest George Parkinson, John Allen
Cripps, Sir Stafford Hirst, George Henry Price, Gabriel
Dagger, George Holdsworth, Herbert Thorne, William James
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Jenkins, Sir William Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Edwards, Charles Kirkwood, David Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Lawson, John James
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Logan, David Gilbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Groves, Thomas E. Lunn, William Mr. John and Mr. Gordon Macdonald.