HC Deb 03 April 1933 vol 276 cc1445-73

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

3.58 p.m.


I rise to oppose the Clause, which deals with the question of prices in respect of billeting, the prices being included in the Schedule at the end of the Bill. A cursory glance at the Schedule will show to all hon. Members what an extraordinarily out-of-date arrangement this really is. The Schedule starts with a statement as to the charge for lodging and attendance for a soldier where meals are furnished and the maximum price—

3.59 p.m.


The hon. Gentleman, I think, on this Clause, is entitled to argue whether soldiers are to be billeted or not. The details of payment will come more appropriately when the Schedule is reached than at this moment.


I see your point, but the Clause says: There shall be paid to the keeper of a victualling house for the accommodation. etc., according to prices laid down in the Schedule. Therefore, I submit that I am entitled to discuss the prices which are laid down, because they are specifically referred to in the Clause.


I recollect a previous Debate on the question of billeting, and it has invariably been the custom to debate it when the Schedule has been reached, because it is easier to discuss prices there than at this stage. The general principle as to whether there should be billeting at all arises here, and the details appear in the Schedule.


I accept your Ruling and will return to the point when we come to the Schedule. The question raised at the moment is whether we—


May I draw attention to the marginal note which says: Prices in respect of billeting. The terms of the Clause refer not merely to whether or not there shall be billeting, but to the prices made for billeting, and are not those the points which can be debated?


I think that in Committee where a Clause merely puts a Schedule into operation, and the Schedule itself contains the details of the proposal, it is generally regarded as more convenient to discuss the details on the Schedule when it is reached. It does not affect the rights of an hon. Member.


We are discussing the question of prices, and therefore it is open to the Committee to discuss the prices for billeting—whether prices shall be low or high; whether there shall be alterations in price or not.


In dealing with this Clause there will be no objection, I think, under the Rules of the House, to the hon. Member mentioning some point in the Schedule in order to support his argument on the main proposition in the Clause.


I think, perhaps, I had better hear the hon. Member further. With regard to the point raised by the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean), obviously the House could not make any alteration to this Clause. The Committee can reject the Clause, in which case no money is payable, but any alteration which the hon. Member desires to make should be made to the Schedule, and, therefore, it is inconvenient to discuss details at the moment.


But it does not do away with the fact that any hon. Member has the right to discuss prices?


That will come on the Schedule.


Prices are mentioned in the Schedule, and surely prices can be discussed here?


That bears out what I said, that the most convenient place to discuss details will be on the Schedule itself.


I would like to keep in order, and I gather that you are merely ruling that it would be inconvenient to discuss the question of prices at this point. I would like a Ruling as to whether at this point we are entitled as a right to discuss the schedule of prices?


The hon. Member quite appreciates that nothing can be done on this Clause to alter prices set out in the Schedule. Therefore, any alteration of detail really arises on the Schedule. If the hon. Member likes to discuss at this stage whether those prices should be altered, I think it would be in order, but he cannot amend the details of prices.


I did not suggest that.

4.6 p.m.


I think our minds are fairly clear now as to what we can discuss. The Clause is clear in that it says: There shall be paid to the keeper of a victualling house for the accommodation provided by him in pursuance of the Army Act or the Air Force Act the prices specified in the Schedule to this Act. The point I want to raise, first of all, is as to whether this procedure of billeting is a system that ought to be maintained in modern conditions. Let me refer to the Schedule to show how antediluvian this arrangement is. There is, for instance, an item in the Schedule, "Stable room." What on earth does a member of the Air Force want with stable room? I should have thought stable room would have been quite appropriate 20 to 50 years ago, but you cannot stable an aeroplane—you cannot in a stable anyhow, and certainly not in a stable as contemplated here. If it could be put in a stable, the size necessary to house it would cost more than 2s. 3d. a day. Therefore, it seems to me that the prices which are referred to in this Clause are hopelessly out-of-date, and thoroughly unworthy of a modern Act of Parliament.

May I put another point with regard to this practice of victualling? As I understand, it is within the competence of the officer commanding a particular battalion operating in a certain area to impose upon the residents of that area the necessity for housing any of his forces.


That does not arise on this occasion. This deals merely with Section 106 of the Army Act which sets out what should be paid to the keeper of a victualling house for billeting. The general question of billeting does not arise under that Section.


Do I understand that you rule that my remarks hitherto have not been applicable to Part III or Section 106, to which you have referred?


Will the hon. Member forgive me? As long as he confines his remarks to payments made to keepers of victualling houses they will be in order. He then went on to the general law of billeting, which is not covered by this Clause. That is covered by another Clause in the Army Act.


I have not yet completed my argument. I have only just started it, in point of fact. The point I was trying to make was this: I understood that, under the present procedure, it is competent for an officer commanding a force of soldiery to billet them, or to impose upon people resident in a certain area the responsibility of housing or victualling them. In the days when this kind of legislation was framed, that sort of procedure might have been very desirable, and, perhaps, even justifiable, but in modern days people have a much higher regard for their rights as private individuals. People have become much more sensitive to their elementary rights than was the case 30, 40 or 50 years ago. People are less afraid of the long arm of the law, and, therefore, to retain such a, provision in the law is calculated to arouse in the minds and hearts of the citizens a considerable measure of resentment—


The hon. Member is now trying to argue Section 108A of the Army Act, which is not affected by this Clause.


With great respect, I am looking at Sections 106 and 108. Perhaps I had better read 106. It is as follows: The keeper of a victualling house upon whom any officer, soldier, or horse is billeted shall receive such officer, soldier, or horse in his victualling house, and furnish there the accommodation following; that is to say, lodging and attendance for the officer; and lodging, attendance, and food for the soldier; and stable room and forage for the horse, in accordance with the provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act. That is precisely what I have been discussing. Sub-section (2) says: Where the keeper of a victualling house on whom any officer, soldier, or horse is billeted desires, by reason of his want of accommodation or of his victualling house being full or otherwise, to be relieved from the liability to receive such officer, soldier, or horse in his victualling house, and provides for such officer, soldier, or horse in the immediate neighbourhood such good and sufficient accommodation as he is required by this Act to provide, and as is approved by the constable isuing the billets, he shall be relieved from providing the same in his victualling house.


Does "good and sufficient accommodation" include beer?


That depends on the taste of the commanding officer and the measure of command he imposes on those upon whom he billets his forces. I have just indicated that the obligation is a dual one. Not only is a person in possession of a victualling house obliged to provide for the billeting of people imposed upon him by a commanding officer, but if his place is full, he has the further obligation of finding alternative accommodation. That is something reminiscent of modern Rent Acts. The question I am raising is the general question, namely, should a provision such as this be retained in a modern Act of Parliament? After all, it is the business of hon. Members opposite to see to it that the retention of such a Clause does not create unnecessary friction and antagonism in the minds of the people of the country. When at the whim of a commanding officer a number of people are billeted upon unwilling victuallers, it seems to me clear that you are running the risk of bringing the Army into grave disrepute.

For the purpose of illustration, I turn to the sort of conception which those who framed the Act have of the kind of compensation that is adequate for people undertaking these responsible duties. I will not discuss them. I merely recall the Committee to the Schedule, according to which breakfast has to be prepared for 7d. and dinner for 10d. Not even in Lyons' or the most fashionable restaurants of the town can you find it possible to provide a dinner for less than 10d. Then as to supper. This is where my hon. and learned Friend comes in. Supper, no doubt, provides for the commodity he has in mind. Supper is to be provided for the maximum price of 4d. I am not acquainted with the modern price of beer, but I should imagine that the amount available for 4d. would be hopelessly inadequate. Then there are such details as candles, vinegar, salt, and other commodities, as well as "the necessary utensils for dressing and eating," whatever they may be—all for 10d. a night. It stands to reason that a charge such as this for people imposed upon unwilling hosts is a ridiculously inadequate charge. There is the further imposition in regard to the housing of the horses: Stable room and 10 lbs. of oats, 12 lbs. of hay and 8 lbs. of straw a day for each horse—2s. 3d. a day. I wonder where the agricultural expert of the Government will be, and what the price of corn will be under the present Government. Then there is the vital point: Is it to be Empire corn or foreign corn? May I ask whether that point was raised at the Ottawa Conference or not? It is a matter of first class importance to the State whether the horses of our Army are fed on Imperial oats or foreign oats. There is a further obvious injustice in a small note shoved almost out of sight— An officer shall pay for his food. Why in the world should an officer of His Majesty's Army be called upon to pay for his food? There is no reference to drink. Perhaps it assumes, in view of the fact that the officer is exempt from the necessity of providing candles, vinegar, and salt, that he may be allowed to have his drink for nothing. One is driven to the inevitable conclusion that there is every reason why Clause 3 should not be allowed to stand part of the Army Act. I could go on adducing reasons for the omission of the Clause, but I think I have indicated sufficient to the Government and its representatives, especially the Minister of Agriculture, who is not here, the urgency and the grave importance of the matters to which we have called attention on this Clause.

4.16 p.m.


I support the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. M. Jones) in his opposition to the Clause. It is interesting to note that for lodging and attendance for a soldier there is an allowance of 10d. per night and for each additional soldier only 8d. In the Schedule the allowance for an officer is 3s. per night. I cannot imagine why any householder or person who has to billet an officer, non-commissioned officer or private should have to take in the same house an officer, or more than one officer, one or more privates, and perhaps a sergeant or corporal, and receive such a difference in pay. If any Member of the Government Front Bench was a proprietor of a victualling house and a representative of the Army came along, he might say: "I have three officers, three private soldiers, and one or two sergeants whom I desire to billet upon you. In fact, I intend to force them upon you unless you can prove that you have not available accommodation for them, in which case you will have to provide alternative accommodation. The payment for each officer will be 3s., for the first soldier 10d., and for each additional soldier 8d. per night."

Why should there be that difference between the billeting price paid in respect of an officer and of a private soldier? Why, too, should there be any difference in the amount paid for one private soldier and another soldier? Presumably the soldiers will sleep in the same room, and possibly in the same bed. It may be that for the convenience of the person responsible for victualling them that they would be billeted in separate rooms. Why should that person be asked to accept 10d. for one soldier and only 8d. for another soldier? The gross unfairness of this arrangement will appeal to hon. Members. They will also appreciate the unfairness of the difference in the amount paid for billeting an officer and billeting a, private soldier. What is the definition of an officer for this purpose? There are commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers, but the term officer is so loose as to leave itself open for a person owning a victualling house to demand a definition of the term "officer," and I am not sure that if he went to court he would not be able to sustain his claim for higher pay in respect of a soldier. How can the proprietor of a victualling house be expected almost to keep four soldiers for the price that he would obtain for victualling and billeting one officer? Imagine my position if an Army representative came to my house and said: "I am going to billet four soldiers on you, and shall allow you 10d. for the first and 8d. for each of the others," which would mean 2s. 10d. for the four, and he then went to my next-door neighbour and said: "I am going to billet one officer on you, and I shall give you more than I am going to give the man next door for the billeting of four soldiers." Surely, the injustice of that arrangement will be apparent to any hon. Member, and I hope they will not permit such a grossly unfair thing to pass without more discussion.

Where could any representative of the Army go into a coffee house or a restaurant and get such a dinner as is specified in the Schedule? The dinner, as specified, is priced at 10d., and it is set forth as being in accordance with breakfast under Part I of the Second Schedule of the Army Act. From that particular Section of the Army Act I find that dinner, which is to be served hot, irrespective of the convenience or otherwise of the householder, is to consist of 12 ounces of meat, previous to being dressed, six ounces of bread, eight ounces of potatoes or other vegetables. I do not know any place in London and I doubt if there is any place in any part of England where a householder could buy that quantity of food for 10d. Where could you buy 12 ounces of meat, regardless of bread and vegetables, much less pay for the cost of cooking, the wear and tear of the cooking utensils and the proportionate amount in respect of house rent, to provide such a meal for 10d.? If it were done in a controlled house the proportionate cost of the meal would be reduced, but if in a decontrolled house the cost might be anything up to if not more than double.

No provision is made in the Army Act as to the type of house in which these meals are to be cooked, or the rent that is being paid for such a house. One hon. Member suggests that a Fair Wages Clause ought to be inserted in the arrangements made with the people who are responsible for cooking the meal. Many ordinary householders upon whom soldiers may be billeted may have to employ someone to prepare the meal.


I must point out to the hon. Member that the question of billeting on the ordinary householder only arises under Section 108A, and in that case the amount paid is not covered by this Clause.


It was a mistake on my part. I mentioned the ordinary householder, but the conditions would be the same in the case of a person who is not an ordinary householder. I am not sure whether without the aid of a legal man it would be possible to determine where the ordinary householder would cease and the extraordinary householder would come in under the terms of the Bill. My main point is the difference in price which is paid in respect of the officer and the soldier. The difference is out of all proportion to what is considered to be reasonably fair by ordinary people like myself. It would be well if hon. Members acquainted themselves with the terms as to the accommodation to be provided by the proprietor of a victualling house who may be engaged in the ordinary way with the provision of food and lodgings for people other than soldiers. If a soldier happens to be billeted upon them they have to put up with the conditions laid down in Part I of the Second Schedule to the Army Act. That Schedule says that for breakfast there must be five ounces of bread, one pint of tea, with milk and sugar, and four ounces of bacon. Is it necessary to provide scales, etc., for accurately weighing and measuring the amount of food to be given to soldiers?

The Army Act does not say to what penalty, if any, the owner of a victualling house is to be subject if he or she evades anything with respect to the provision of the meals or the quantity that is to be given. The officer has to pay for his meals. One would imagine that the soldier did not pay for his meals. The soldier does pay for them, but he pays for them in quite a different way. The amount is stopped from his wages and paid on his behalf instead of being paid by him direct. There seems to be a sort of suspicion in this arrangement that the private soldier is not to be trusted to pay for his food when he is billeted on a victualling house, but that the officer can be trusted to pay for his meals. In case the soldier does not pay his bill the Army officer comes along and pays it. I presume it would be the sergeant major, but I am not familiar with the routine and therefore I do not think I had better go into that matter at all. The whole thing is unfair. In the Second Schedule, Part II it says: For the purposes of this part of this Schedule the expression" furnished with lodging' shall include the provision of a separate bed for each officer and soldier. I was wrong when I said that there was a possibility of two soldiers being billeted in one bed; they have to be furnished with separate beds. Surely, the Committee will agree that it is altogether unfair that an officer should be paid for at a rate of 3s., which is more than the rate allowed for four soldiers, and I hope they will not allow the Clause to pass. I am sorry that in the circumstances which now prevail there is no opportunity of referring this Clause back. We have no Amendment to provide that the proportion paid in the case of the billeting of an officer and the billeting of a soldier should be somewhat approximate, but I hope that in the Estimates next year we shall not have these figures but something much more reasonable. Look at the ration allowance; 12 ounces of meat, six ounces of bread and eight ounces of potatoes for dinner. They are allowed to serve other vegetables in place of potatoes. If a soldier was served up with eight ounces of spinach instead of potatoes, I think he would rather resent it. But under the Bill the victualling house-owner is quite entitled to serve up eight ounces of spinach to the soldier, not to the officer. The soldier would have a very bad time if he made a meal off spinach instead of potatoes. The whole thing it not fair, and I shall vote against it.

4.35 p.m.


It is, of course, the custom when the Army Annual Act comes before this House for its Clauses to be subject to some scrutiny, and no fault can be found with the Opposition for examining word by word its provisions. It is undoubtedly right that this House, not only in the interests of the soldier but in the interests of the State as well, should examine a Bill which provides for the maintenance and conditions of service of the soldier and the relations of the Army with the civil power. But if the Opposition are looking to this Clause for a proper opportunity to make such a scrutiny it is a little unfortunate, because the scales provided are the scale which they themselves passed through this House of Commons when they were the Government of the day. I am afraid that they have wakened up rather late in the day. They missed their opportunity about three years ago when they could have changed these scales and added to the money which is allowed for the billeting of a soldier. Unfortunately, they have a past, that is the weakness of their position.

4.37 p.m.


Sufficient has been said to show that this Clause is altogether out of date. It is obviously one of those Clauses which are carried on year after year without any consideration as to the changes which may have occurred in the circumstances of the times. The bon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) has said that we lost our opportunity to change these things three years ago. So far as we are concerned we have no concern with the past, we refuse to recognise it, we are only concerned with the present and the future. I suggest that when licensed victuallers are having such a very bad time as they are, according to the hundreds of postcards which I receive, that to keep an old-fashioned Clause like this in the Bill is wrong. Obviously, the rations set out in the Clause cannot be provided at the price, and the Government are really letting down their own good friends by such a proposal. These people have always been supporters in the main of the Conservative party, and while they are quite prepared to believe in their King, their country and their Empire, I do not see why they should be called upon to provide a soldier with a supper for the sum of 4d., and I am at a greater loss still to understand why for 7d. they should be compelled to provide a breakfast which includes a quarter of a pound of bacon, which, of itself, eats up more than half of the 7d.

The time has come when this old-fashioned method of putting in the same figures year after year should be seriously reconsidered. I have been wandering who it is that might be favoured with the billeting of soldiers upon them at the figures proposed. I have been wondering whether if a battalion of soldiers was billeted in Birmingham the Midland Hotel would be required to take one-half of the battalion at the prices laid down here? I suggest that this is not only unjust to the people who would have to provide the accommodation at these ridiculous prices, but that it gives rise to the question as to whether the whole thing is not another example of class bias and class legislaion. I presume that only a certain class of people are to be called upon to provide this accommodation at a price which everyone agrees is ridiculous. The person who will be penalised is the unfortunate licensee and, therefore, in opposing this Clause and suggesting that it requires revision we on these benches are attempting to be the friends of the licensed victualler. We are putting up a case on behalf of an unfortunate class of people, who at the moment are suffering from terrible taxation, and are unable in the main to get a living, whilst the brewer takes the profits. It is the unfortunate licensed victualler and his wife, who are slaving their hearts out in an endeavour to make a living, trying to please the public and the police, who have entered into obligations which they now find it most difficult to carry out; these are the unfortunate individuals who are to be burdened with this provision and who may be called upon at any time to provide this accommodation at the prices laid down in the Bill.

It may be said that if the Clause is rejected the effect would be that they would get nothing at all. That may be an improvement, because if no such provision is made it would look like barefaced robbery to billet soldiers without payment. It is barefaced robbery now, but that would bring the thing to a head and would call for some revision of the Clause. I have been looking at all the things they are called upon to provide. I suppose that 100 years ago someone in the War Office took a great deal of pains to draw up this table. I can see some fun occurring over the five ounces of bread, and the provision that a soldier must be served with a pint of tea for his supper. If they do not drink it something might happen. Again, I think we should call into consultation hon. Members like the hon. and gallant Member for Harrow (Major Sir I. Salmon), who are connected with the great catering business and get their opinions about this business. I think the hon. and gallant Member for. Harrow should take part in this Debate and tell us what he thinks about these suggestions and proposals; and whether he would be willing to take on this contract for a fern like J. Lyons & Co. I am afraid that the firm would turn down the whole thing, because they would not be able to make anything out of it.

We are, I contend, fully justified in objecting to this Clause, and may I remind the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green that this is the first time I have had an opportunity of debating this matter, a fact which I hope he will bear in mind on future occasions. The first time that the hon. Member for Wednesbury had an opportunity he brought this particular matter to the attention of the Committee, and I hope the hon. Member will credit me with this in the years to come. These proposals are altogether unreasonable. A Clause in the main Act lays a tremendous responsibility on the keeper of a victual- ling house. At the bidding of the officer he must do all kinds of things. The last thing that entered into the minds of those who drafted this document apparently was the payment of reasonable remuneration. As a member of a trade union who believes in people being paid a fair wage for what they do, I consider that these proposals lead to the sweating of the unfortunate individual who has to do the billeting. To be paid 8d. for the first soldier and 7d. for the other sounds more like a story about little tin soldiers walking into little tin houses.

I trust that the Clause will be rejected. I am sure that its deletion would not make matters worse than they are, but might deal to some definite alteration for the better. These regulations are out of date. The whole system ought to be reconsidered in the light of modern developments and requirements. The soldier to-day is not the soldier of yesterday. He is far better educated than his predecessor, and a far better citizen simply from the citizenship point of view, and he deserves decent accommodation when billeted. Reasonable prices should be paid to the people who look after him and his comfort.

4.47 p.m.


I was going to ask the Minister whether he would explain to the Committee exactly what is the procedure affecting the person who is called upon to supply accommodation. There should be an all-round discussion upon this matter, because what is being asked is that the ordinary citizen, the civilian, subject to the ordinary law, should suddenly become subject to military law in the sense that he has to supply accommodation and attendance for troops. That must be news to the average citizen who is not accustomed to a military area in time of peace. The requirements of the law may be fairly familiar to people in a great area like Aldershot or Catterick, but to the majority of the citizens of this country it really must be news that a gentleman in uniform can come down upon them, not necessarily because they keep a public house of any description, or even a cafe or hotel, but if he thinks the accommodation is available can come down upon them as ordinary citizens and demand accommodation, it may be even in a working-man's house.


The power to "come down" on the private citizen is not covered by this Clause, which deals solely with the keepers of inns, hotels, public houses and eating houses.


I am sorry I was not present when you gave a decision earlier on that subject, but it does not materially alter the point that I wish to make. One of the things that we should have explained to us is what is usually the standard of accommodation that is considered necessary for the officer, the private, and horses? Must it be the accommodation of an ordinary hotel or of a high-class hotel? Is the keeper of the victualling house called upon to provide approximately the same accommodation for the ordinary soldiers as for the officers, or is it only necessary, in the case of the private soldier, that he should arrange some rough-and-ready accommodation such as the soldier gets in barracks or on active service, when he sleeps in the open or perhaps in a stable? It seems to me that the keeper of a victualling house is in a very unfortunate position, because he may be so placed that he cannot find the standard of accommodation or the amount of accommodation that is demanded to meet the needs of officer, soldier and horse. I know that it says in the Army Act: Where the keeper of a victualling house … desires, by reason of his want of accommodation or of his victualling house being full or otherwise, to be relieved from the liability to receive such officer, soldier or horse in his victualling house, and provides for such officer, soldier or horse in the immediate neighbourhood such good and sufficient accommodation as he is required by this Act to provide, and as is approved by the constable issuing the billets, he shall be relieved from providing the same in his victualling house. Therefore, if the keeper of the victualbng house thinks that he cannot find the necessary accommodation, he can repudiate the officer's right to ride roughshod over his ordinary civilian rights only if he himself can find alternative accommodation in that area. It seems to me that other people in the area are not likely to be very keen on billeting troops at short notice in this way. If the keeper of the victualling house went to these other people, I can imagine that they would say, "No, it is not my obligation, it is yours. I am not going to be rushed any more than you." What is the position in the case of the owner of the victualling house, if he fails to find alternative accommodation? Perhaps his own house is partly full or full, and it may be that part of his stables is occupied. He may think that he has neither the necessary accommodation nor the necessary food nor the necessary people to attend to those who call upon him for sustenance and shelter. He calls upon someone in the neighbourhood to help him with alternative accommodation and does not get it. What is the position of such a man?

It is very rough indeed on people that at a moment's notice, willy-nilly, they should be subject to a military law. It is made quite clear in the Army Act that this is something extraordinary, designed to supply the needs of the Army by compulsion. Here we are living under this very old law, which has been in operation for a century. There was a time, of course, when the ordinary citizen could be imposed upon by any troop of horse that came along. He had to accept them without any payment at all perhaps, or if payment was made it was such as the officer in charge chose to give him. It is laid down now that keepers of victualling houses have to be paid, and there are certain conditions under which they operate, but the fact remains that these unfortunate people are subject to a law which is over and above that to which the average citizen is subject.

It may be that in the middle of the night or the early morning the officer of a troop of soldiers turns up and demands that he and his men be attended to, that they be given shelter and food, and at the prices laid down here. Suppose that the officer is not in a position to pay at once for the food, how is the unfortunate innkeeper going to manage? What the Act really does is to say to the licensee that regardless of what he thinks, whether or not he thinks he has sufficient accommodation and food, if the officer in charge decides that he is in a position to supply the accommodation and the food at the price laid down in an Act of Parliament, the innkeeper is not to be the judge, and he has to provide what is demanded or find alternative accommodation, and the probability is that anyone to whom he goes with the request to find alternative accommodation will not accept the obliga- tion. Conservatives and Liberals have protested against these provision in the past.

Here is an old-time practice, centuries old. No doubt, in past days, it was the only possible means of meeting the needs of troops on the march. But this old practice which may not, I agree, come into operation for a considerable time in some areas, allows any officer in charge of troops on the march to break in upon the inhabitants of a district at any time of the day or night to demand accommodation and it is time that this provision of the Act was overhauled and some new system of billeting arranged by the War Office. We propose to argue later that if this system is to prevail conditions and prices should be laid down which will be more reasonable than those prevailing at present. Sub-section (5) of Section 106 of the Army Act actually provides that the officer need not pay at the time: If by reason of a sudden order to march or otherwise an officer or soldier is not able to make such payment … as is above required he shall before he departs make up with such keeper of a victualling house an account of the amount due to him and sign the same and forthwith transmit the account … to the Army Council who shall cause the amount named in such account as due to be paid. What is the position of the unfortunate keeper of a victualling house under that Sub-section? In the nature of things it is not the ordinary hotel-keeper who will be called upon to meet these needs. In the ordinary course it will be in some remote place that such a case will arise. Supposing an officer and soldiers are planted upon the keeper of a lodging house in some remote place they may "eat him out of house and home," so to speak, and all that is given to him to meet his needs, perhaps for a week or so, is a "chit" signed by the officer which lie can send to the War Office. Of course, when he sends it to the War Office it will be paid immediately and without further question. All that this poor person has to do is to send the "chit" to the War Office and he will get the money by return of post. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or after the next war."] The War Office is certainly the acme of efficiency. More than once I have paid my tribute to it and I have always said that the old sterotyped notion of the War Office as a hide-bound sort of estab- lishment might have been true a century ago, or even later, but is not true to-day. At the same time, from the very nature of its business and the way in which that business has to be done, we know what is bound to happen in a case such as I have supposed. Once the victualling house keeper sends in this "chit," he will receive a long long list of questions. Letter after letter will pass and the matter will go backwards and forwards and I can imagine the unfortunate applicant being almost at the point of starvation before the "chit" is cashed by the War Office. That is the kind of position into which people will be driven by legislation of this kind.

The boarding-house keepers themselves ought to have some consideration. They ought to be consulted and they ought to be consenting parties instead of having these demands thrust upon them. Instead of being subject to the yea or nay of an officer who conies along with a party of soldiers and says: "We are going to stay here for a night or a day or several nights and several days," the boarding-house keeper ought to be a co-operating partner in the business. Some arrangement ought to be made for taking counsel with the proper people about these matters. The prices, which we shall discuss later, appear to savour of the seventeenth century but though we may not go into that matter at present, one may say that the prices themselves are an indication that the victualling house keepers occupy a negligible place in the minds of the Army authorities when the needs of the Army are to be satisfied.

I ask the Financial Secretary to explain in clear terms what this obligation means and what is the usual standard of accommodation. Does lodging and attendance for an officer mean the class of lodging and attendance which he would get at a first class London hotel? Does lodging and attendance and food for soldiers mean the ordinary barrack room service and fare? Are the soldiers waited upon by some of their own people; have they their own cook, or has the food to be cooked for them by the people of the house and are the servants subject to being rushed about day and night? I ask him also to make some reference to Subsection (2) of Section 106 of the Army Act as to alternative accommodation. If a victualling house keeper refers an officer to another person in the neighbourhood for alternative accommodation, and if that person refuses, is the victualling house keeper who is first called upon, obliged to provide accommodation, or does the officer act as an arbitrator between the two? An officer may come along to a certain house and say: "This is the place we want." The owner says: "We cannot do it but so-and-so can." Then, so-and-so replies: "You can hold the baby; I am not going to do it." What is to happen in a case of that kind? I would also like him to explain the point under Sub-section (5) as to the presentation of a chit instead of money. Does the War Office pay promptly, or is the lodging-house keeper subjected to a long drawn-out torture of innumerable letters and questions until he is almost in despair and thinking of going to the workhouse as a result of having that military force billeted upon him?

Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; Committee counted, and 40 Members being present

5.12 p.m.


You have already informed the Committee, Captain Bourne, that on this occasion a general discussion on the principle of billeting is out of order and also that any discussion on the question of prices would come better on the Schedule. In spite of that Ruling hon. Members opposite have been extremely ingenious in discussing both the general principle while some of them dealt at some length with the question of prices. I do not know whether you propose to allow any further discussion on prices until we come to the Schedule, but in any case I do not propose to deal either with the general principle or with the question of prices at this stage. I would remind the Committee that if hon. Members who propose to vote against this Clause succeeded in defeating it the only result would be that billeting would continue, as provided for in the Army Act, but no remuneration whatever would be payable to inn-keepers and others who would suffer under such billeting.

The hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Banfield) informed us with a certain amount of self-congratulation that he had no past. I am sure, having listened to his eloquent speech, that he has a great future and I sincerely hope that that future will not be affected by the consideration being present in the minds of some of his constituents, that he voted against the remuneration of inn-keepers in respect of troops billeted upon them. The hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. McEntee) asked me some questions but as he has not waited for a reply and as they were not questions of very deep interest—indeed I think they had not occurred to the hon. Member very long before the Debate—it is perhaps unnecessary for me to deal with them.

The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) is as well acquainted as I am with the reasons for this Section of the Army Act and the procedure upon which it is operated. He asked whether the War Office would pay promptly on such demands as are mentioned in Subsection (5) if presented in due and proper form. They certainly will be met as promptly as possible provided the War Office are satisfied, as in the past they have been satisfied, that these demands are properly authorised. The hon. Member also asked me to describe the class of accommodation that is insisted upon. He knows as well as I do what it is, and he knows also that it is almost impossible to describe the class of accommodation that is demanded. It depends on the style and nature of the inn or victualling house to which access is demanded. As a general rule all that is asked is such accommodation as the house can conveniently provide—clean and good accommodation both for men and officers.

The hon. Member for West Waltham-stow made a great point as to the difference between men and officers, and asked why the price was different in one case from the other. The answer to that question must be obvious to anyone. An officer is expected to have a room to himself when possible, whereas three or four men can be put into one room, and the cost, therefore, must be very much less for a man than for an officer. He also asked why it was less for a second soldier than for the first soldier. There is such a thing as a reduction on quantity, as I think the hon. Member must know.

Hon. Members opposite have almost exhausted their ingenuity in describing this Clause as though it were something new and revolutionary, unheard-of before, unknown to any previous House of Commons, which this Government have suddenly introduced. They have also suggested all sorts of problems which might arise and make the working of the Clause very difficult. The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street raised the question of the innkeeper who has no room himself and who goes elsewhere to find a room, but when he finds it they will not give it to him. Those questions might arise, but if accommodation is available, the innkeeper is expected to give it; if there is no accommodation, he cannot give it. If there is accommodation and he refuses to give it, one hon. Member asked what would be the penalties. They are all set out in Section 110 of the Act.


It will be interesting if the hon. Member will read us those penalties.


The hon. Member can procure the Act and look at it. It is set out perfectly plainly, and I cannot be expected to read out every Section of the Act, This Clause has worked well. There have been no complaints from innkeepers. Prices are arrived at in the natural way by consulting the retail prices set out from time to time in the "Labour Gazette," and I feel sure the Committee will agree that the system has worked satisfactorily, as in the past, nobody has raised any complaint. Nobody has suggested that any of their constituents have made a single complaint in this connection, and therefore I think it will be agreed that this procedure ought to continue.

5.23 p.m.


We cannot say that the hon. Member has given us anything like a convincing reply to the arguments advanced by my hon. Friends, especially by my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Banfield). The point made by the Financial Secretary was that if hon. Members on this side voted against Clause 3, the unfortunate innkeepers would have to billet the soldiers and would not receive anything for so doing. In that event I have no doubt the innkeepers would say "No pay, no billeting." The hon. Gentleman referred us to Section 110 of the Army Act, dealing with the question of offences by keepers of victualling houses, and he was asked if he would read the penalties outlined in that section. I find that Section 109 also deals with offences in relation to billeting, and it does so more fully than Section 110. Section 109 reads: If a constable commits ally of the offences following; that is to say:

  1. (1) Billets any officer, soldier, or horse on any person not liable to billets without the consent of such person; or
  2. (2) Receives, demands, or agrees for any money or reward whatsoever to excuse or relieve a person from being entered in a list as liable, or from his liability to billets, or from any part of such liability; or
  3. (3) Billets or quarters on any person or premises, without the consent of such person or the occupier of such premises, any person or horse not entitled to be billeted; or
  4. (4) Neglects or refuses after sufficient notice is given to give billets demanded for any officer, soldier, or horse entitled to be billeted;
he shall, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than forty shillings and not exceeding ten pounds. Then Section 110 goes on to say: If a keeper of a victualling house commits any of the offences following; that is to say, (1) Refuses or neglects to receive any officer, soldier, or horse billeted upon him in pursuance of this Act, or to furnish such accommodation as is required by this Act; or "—


On a point of Order. For the guidance of dm Committee, is it in accordance with the procedure of this House that an hon. Member should read out textually the whole of an Act of Parliament?


On that point of Order. Is it not in order for an hon. Member to quote a, Section of an Act in order to enforce his argument?


I have frequently heard hon. Members read Sections of Acts of Parliament, but I am not quite certain what relevance the Section just quoted has to this discussion.


The hon. Member the Financial Secretary to the War Office really threatened innkeepers or hon. Members on this side that in the event of this Clause being defeated it must mean that innkeepers would have to billet soldiers and officers without any remuneration, and when he was asked if he would read the Section dealing with penalties, he said he had no time to do it. I am doing it in the interests of the Committee and of the poor unfortunate innkeepers who might find themselves in difficulties in the event of my hon. Friend defeating the Government on this Clause. Prior to the interruption, I was reading Section 110, Subsection (2) of which states: (2) Gives or agrees to give any money or reward to a constable to excuse or relieve him from being entered in a list as liable, or from his liability to billets, or any part of such liability; or (3) Gives or agrees to give to any officer or soldier billetted upon him in pursuance of this Act any money or reward in lieu of receiving an officer, soldier, or horse, or furnishing the said accommodation; he shall on summary conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than forty shillings and not exceeding five pounds. Those are the Sections dealing with the failure of innkeepers, whom a constable deems to have sufficient room for billeting soldiers, to provide such accommodation. With my hon. Friends, I would say that this Clause and the whole scheme of billeting soldiers is obsolete and should receive the consideration of the Army Council. One has only to look at Part III. In the first place, Section 102 relieves the owner of a private house, but the accommodation in public-houses or hotels is largely in populous areas, in such cities as London, or provincial cities like Bristol or Cardiff, or cities in industrial areas, and it is intended to billet troops very largely in the country. Well, these country inns very often have no more accommodation than have private houses. It is not that we complain that the owners of small private houses should be relieved of this obligation, but we cannot see why it is that some innkeepers with small public-houses or country inns should be made liable while the owners of small private houses are not liable.

Again, a very large number of inns, public houses and hotels in the country at present are really controlled by brewers. In my own district, owing to the falling off in the drinking of beer, the tenants who formerly managed these houses have had to give way, and now 80 per cent. of the public houses in South Wales which are controlled by brewers, instead of having tenants who would be regarded as innkeepers, are managed by managers who are liable to the brewers. To me, therefore, the question is as to whether it is the manager or the brewer who would be liable to be fined in the event of this part of the Act not being carried out. Reading through the Army Act, one is bound to say that the Army Council has a preference for licensed houses. I do not know why. I am sure my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty will admit that as, far as the drinking habits of sailors are concerned, they have changed considerably since the War; and what applies to the Navy I feel sure applies to the Army in the same way, and possibly even more so. Reading through the list of the Army Act we find: The provisions of this Part of the Act with respect to victualling houses shall extend to all inns or hotels whether licensed or otherwise, and there is a whole list dealing with licensed houses where the constable, on receipt of a notice from the officer, could insist upon soldiers and officers being billeted. I cannot understand why canteens under the authority of the Secretary of State are exempt from these provisions.


I do not think the hon. Member can go into details of other Sections of the Army Act which are not affected by this Clause.


I understood that Clause 3 covers the whole question of billeting and deals with premises and places apart from private houses.


No. It only deals with the question as to how much should be paid for billeting.


Far be it from me to attempt to get at cross-purposes with you, Captain Bourne, but when my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) began the Debate, he dealt with the Schedule of prices under this Act, and at that time he was informed that he could not go into details regarding the Schedule of prices until we came to the Schedule. The only thing that he could deal with, I understood, was the question of the premises where these soldiers and officers should be billeted. I bow to your Ruling, but at the same time there are certain matters in Part III of the Act which deals with billeting to which I direct the attention of the Army Council.

The Financial Secretary referred to the fact that the accommodation of an officer must be four times that of a soldier. It is expected that an officer should have a room to himself, and we do not complain of that. As he has a room to himself, it is expected that more should be paid for the billeting of an officer than to the billeting of a soldier, but why one officer is entitled to as much air space or room space as four soldiers is beyond me. In these democratic days when soldiers are on the march there is such a feeling of comradeship between the officers and the soldiers that I would ask that officers should share the hardships of the soldiers. If that is done there is a possibility of the Army Council economising on the billeting allowance for officers. I do not ask them to put four officers into one room, but I suggest that four soldiers to a room is too high. I am tempted to

ask whether the sanitary inspector of the district through which troops are marching are consulted on the question of overcrowding before some of these places are taken over for billeting. I ask that consideration be given to that aspect of the matter by the Army Council; if it is, perhaps next year this Clause will be passed without opposition.


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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 257; Noes, 35.

Division No. 102.] AYES [5.33 p.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Cooke, Douglas Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Cooper, A. Duff Harris, Sir Percy
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Cowan, D. M. Hartland, George A,
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Cranborne, Viscount Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)
Aske, Sir Robert William Craven-Ellis, William Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover) Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.
Atholl, Duchess of Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle) Henderson, sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Croom-Johnson, R. P. Holdsworth, Herbert
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Cross, R. H. Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)
Balfour, George (Hempstead) Crossley, A. C. Hopkinson, Austin
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Horsbrugh, Florence
Balniel, Lord Davies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset,Yeovil) Hudson, Capt. A. U.M. (Hackney, N.)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Denman, Hon. R. D. Hudson, Robert Spear (Sauthport)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Hume, Sir George Hopwood
Beaumont, M. w. (Bucks., Aylesbury) Dickie, John P. Hurst, Sir Gerald B.
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.) Doran, Edward Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford)
Beit, Sir Alfred L. Drewe, Cedric James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.
Bernays, Robert Duckworth, George A. V. Joel, Dudley J. Barnato
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Duggan, Hubert John Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)
Borodale, viscount Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)
Boulton, W. W. Eden, Robert Anthony Kerr, Hamilton W.
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E. Knight, Holford
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Elliston, Captain George Sampson Knox, Sir Alfred
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Elmley, Viscount Lambert, Rt. Hon. George
Briant, Frank Emrys-Evans, P. V. Latham, Sir Herbert Paul
Broadbent, Colonel John Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Lewis, Oswald
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Lindsay, Noel Ker
Buchan, John Falle, Sir Bertram G. Llewellin, Major John J.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Lloyd, Geoffrey
Burghley, Lord Fox, Sir Gifford Loder, Captain J. de Vere
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Fremantle, Sir Francis Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander
Burnett, John George Fuller, Captain A. G. Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Butt, Sir Alfred Galbraith, James Francis Wallace MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Ganzoni, Sir John MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley) Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton McCorquodale, M. S.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Gluckstein, Louis Halle McEwen, Captain J. H. F.
Carver, Major William H. Goff, Sir Park McKie, John Hamilton
Castlereagh, Viscount Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Gower, Sir Robert McLean, Major Sir Alan
Cayzer, sir Charles (Chester, City) Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)
Gazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Graves, Marjorie Maitland, Adam
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro',W.) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Grimston, R. V. Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Gritten, W. G. Howard Meller, Richard James
Christie, James Archibald Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd
Clarke, Frank Gunston, Captain D. W. Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)
Clarry, Reginald George Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hales, Harold K. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale
Colfox, Major William Philip Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon) Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres
Conant, R. J. E. Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Ztl'nd) Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)
Cook, Thomas A, Hanbury, Cecil Moreing, Adrian C.
Morgan, Robert H. Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Reid, William Allan (Derby) Stourton, Hon. John J.
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Remer, John R. Strauss, Edward A.
Morrison, William Shephard Rentoul, Sir Gervais S. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Moss, Captain H. J. Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Muirhead, Major A. J, Ropner, Colonel L. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
Munro, Patrick Ross, Ronald D. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Nall-Cain, Hon, Ronald Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Sutcliffe, Harold
Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Runge, Norah Cecil Tate, Mavis Constance
Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Nunn, William Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Thompson, Luke
Patrick, Colin M. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Peake, Captain Osbert Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Penny, Sir George Savery, Samuel Servington Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Percy, Lord Eustace Scone, Lord Turton, Robert Hugh
Petherick, M. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Peto, sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Peto, Geoffrey K. (Wverh'pt'n, Bilst'n) Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Skelton, Archibald Noel Wayland, Sir William A.
Pike, Cecil F. Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D. Weymouth, Viscount
Potter, John Smith, R. W.(Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Whyte, Jardine Bell
Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Smith-Carington, Neville W. Williams. Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Procter, Major Henry Adam Somervell, Donald Bradley Wills, Wilfrid D.
Pybus, Percy John Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor) Womersley, Walter James
Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Sotheron- Estcourt, Captain T. E. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Southby, Commander Archibald R. J. Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton(S'v'noaks)
Ramsbotham, Herwald Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Rathbone, Eleanor Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Rea, Walter Russell Spens, William Patrick Sir Victor Warrender and Mr.
Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland) Blindell.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Maxton, James
Attlee, Clement Richard Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Price, Gabriel
Banfield, John William Hirst, George Henry Salter, Dr. Alfred
Batey, Joseph Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Tinker, John Joseph
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Cove, William G. Kirkwood, David Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Daggar, George Lawson, John James Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Leonard, William Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Edwards, Charles Logan, David Gilbert
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Lunn, William TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) McEntee, Valentine L. Mr. John and Mr. Groves.
Grundy, Thomas W. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 261; Noes, 37.

Division No. 103.] AYES [5.43 p.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Broadbent, Colonel John Cooper, A. Duff
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Brocklebank, C. E. R. Cowan, D. M.
Albery, Irving James Brown, Ernest (Leith) Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Buchan, John Cranborne, Viscount
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Craven-Ellis, William
Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Burghley, Lord Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.
Aske, Sir Robert William Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Crookshank, Col.C. de Windt (Bootle)
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Burnett, John George Croom-Johnson, R. P.
Atholl, Duchess of Butt, Sir Alfred Cross, R. H.
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Cadogan, Hon. Edward Crossley, A. C.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley) Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Caporn, Arthur Cecil Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset,Yeovil)
Balniel, Lord Carver, Major William H. Denman, Hon. R. D.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Castlereagh, Viscount Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.
Beauchamp Sir Brograve Campbell Cautley, Sir Henry S. Dickie, John P.
Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury) Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Doran, Edward
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portem'th,C.) Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Drewe, Cedric
Beit, Sir Alfred L. Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Duckworth, George A. V.
Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Edgbaston) Duggan, Hubert John
Bernays, Robert Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington,N.)
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Eden, Robert Anthony
Blindell, James Clarke, Frank Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.
Borodale, Viscount Clarry, Reginald George Elliston, Captain George Sampson
Boulton, W. W. Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Elmley, Viscount
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Colfox, Major William Philip Emrys-Evans, P. V.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Conant, R. J. E. Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Cook, Thomas A. Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blk'pool)
Briant, Frank Cooke, Douglas Essenhigh, Reginald Clare
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Ropner, Colonel L.
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick) Ross, Ronald D.
Fox, Sir Gilford MacAndrew, Capt. J, O. (Ayr) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Fremantle, Sir Francis McCorquodale, M. S. Runge, Norah Cecil
Fuller, Captain A. G. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Galbraith, James Francis Wallace McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Ganzoni, Sir John McKie, John Hamilton Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McLean, Major Sir Alan Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Gluckstein, Louis Halle McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Savery, Samuel Servington
Goff, Sir Park Maitland, Adam Scone, Lord
Goodman, Colonel Albert W Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Gower, Sir Robert Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Skelton, Archibald Noel
Gretton, Colonel Ht. Hon. John Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Meller, Richard James Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Grimston, R. V. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.) Somervell, Donald Bradley
Gunston, Captain D. W. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Hales, Harold K. Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon) Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd) Moreing, Adrian C. Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Hanbury, Cecil Morgan, Robert H. Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Spens, William Patrick
Harris, Sir Percy Morrison, William Shepherd Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)
Hartland, George A. Muirhead, Major A. J. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Munro, Patrick Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Nall-Cain, Hon. Ronald Stourton, Hon. John J.
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Strauss, Edward A.
Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Strickland, Captain W. f.
Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford) Nunn, William Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
Holdsworth, Herbert Patrick, Colin M. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Horsbrugh, Florence Peake, Captain Osbert Sutcliffe, Harold
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Penny, Sir George Tate, Mavis Constance
Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Percy, Lord Eustace Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Hume, Sir George Hopwood Perkins, Walter R. D. Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Petherick, M. Thompson, Luke
Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Thomson, sir Frederick Charles
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n,Bilston) Touche, Gordon Cosmo
James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Pike, Cecil F. Turton, Robert Hugh
Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Potter, John Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Procter, Major Henry Adam Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Kerr, Hamilton W. Pybus, Percy John Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Knight, Hollord Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Wayland, Sir William A.
Knox, Sir Alfred Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Weymouth, Viscount
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Ramsay, T. B W. (Western Isles) Whyte, Jardine Bell
Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Ramsbotham, Herwald Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Leighton, Major B. E. P. Rathbone, Eleanor Wills, Wilfrid D.
Levy, Thomas Rea, Walter Russell Womersley, Walter James
Lewis, Oswald Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Lindsay, Noel Ker Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Llewellin, Major John J, Reid, William Allan (Derby) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)
Lloyd, Geoffrey Renter, John R.
Loder, Captain J. de Vere Rentoul, Sir Gervais S. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. Sir Victor Warrender and Dr. Morris-Jones.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Grundy, Thomas w. McGovern, John
Attlee, Clement Richard Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
Banfield, John William Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Maxton, James
Batey, Joseph Hirst, George Henry Price, Gabriel
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Kirkwood, David Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Daggar, George Lawson, John James Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Leonard, William Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Edwards, Charles Logan, David Gilbert Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Lunn, William
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) McEntee, Valentine L. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Mr. John and Mr. Groves.