§ 7.13 p.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I beg to move, in page 3, line 9, at the end to insert the words:and this Act shall cease to have effect on the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-three.We move this Amendment for very obvious reasons. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) said that the Bill has been introduced for a very specific purpose. Our contention is that, unless the Government can achieve their object in nine months, no Proclamation should be renewed at the end of that time. Fears have been expressed by the Attorney-General with regard to a limiting of time, when it was proposed that at the end of three months there should be power to extend a Proclamation for a further three months. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that to limit the operation of the Bill to six months might engender certain action in the country responsible for this Bill, and might cause procrastination. That may be the case, but I do not think the argument could be extended to nine months. I think all parties in the House will be agreed that there is no necessity for an extension beyond nine months. We are satisfied that long before the expiration of nine months, either the Government will have succeeded in their object, or it will be plain that they are not likely to succeed by the methods which they are adopting in this Bill.
It is our desire that cur relations with Russia should be improved as quickly as possible, and we think that if the Government accept this Amendment, which gives them power for a period of nine months, that ought to be ample for dealing with the problem with which they are concerned at the moment. I am sure that the Attorney-General and the President of the Board of Trade, as well as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham are anxious that the present problem should 1996 be resolved as quickly as possible. If we could indicate not only to the Soviet Government, but to residents in this country and to those who have been carrying on a good deal of trade with Russia, that the Government's intention is to deal exclusively with the present humanitarian problem, I think general satisfaction would be given throughout the country. I do not think the Attorney-General can use the same arguments against the nine months period as he did against the six months period, and I repeat that, if, at the end of nine months, it is found that these men have not been fairly and squarely dealt with, and if any further action in the matter is considered to be necessary, I do not think there will be opposition from any quarter. I hope the Government will indicate to the world that they have confidence that fair play and sportsmanship will, be brought to bear at an early stage, and that the whole problem will be resolved before the end of nine months.
It is necessary to put this Amendment in a slightly different form from that in which it appears on the Paper. The Question is, "That the words:'and this Act shall cease to have effect on the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-three.'be there inserted."
§ 7.20 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The Amendment put in the way in which you, Sir John, have put it to the Committee, will lead hon. Members to appreciate that if it were accepted it would of necessity mean that no Proclamation could be effective after 31st December, 1933, the reason being, as I have already pointed out, that if the Act dies, everything done on the authority of the Act also dies. That would be likely to deprive the Government of a weapon which it should have and which should be as potent as we can make it. If it were known that the most His Majesty could do, on the advice of his Ministers, was to issue a Proclamation that covered only a period of nine months that would be less effective than if there was power to issue a Proclamation which might be effective for 12 months or even longer. If we are going to do this thing at all let us do it in the most effective fashion. May I take this opportunity of 1997 correcting an answer which I gave just now to the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne). I had overlooked the words at the end of the Government Amendment, "without prejudice to his power to revoke it at any time." Therefore, the Proclamation can be revoked without the intervention of Parliament.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Assume that the Amendment is rejected and this Measure remains on the Statute Book, is it the intention of the Government to preserve it as an Act for all time, although, once the present problem is resolved, it will not be used?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
My right hon. Friend has given a very explicit undertaking as to the purposes for which this Measure shall be used. If the Measure remains on the Statute Book it is obvious that it could not be used for any other purposes, if that undertaking is to be honoured. I imagine that in due course it would be removed from the Statute Book, but there would not be any possibility of its being used for other purposes, consistent with Parliamentary honour.
§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
The Attorney-General and the Committee ought to consider this point. This Bill concerns us and one other nation. We could not apply these powers to any other nation—at least so I understand it. This action is taken because of certain incidents in Russia. The Bill is for the purpose of dealing with that emergency. If we take the Attorney-General's view that it should remain in force without any date, the assumption is that, in regard to Russia at any rate, you must have this special kind of legislation for an undefined period. We think that if these incidents are closed, that position would not be conducive to those friendly relations which, I understand, the Government and the House of Commons desire. I think it disastrous that the Bill has been brought in at all. [HON. MEMBERS: Oh!"] I will put it another way. I think it disastrous that anything should happen to compel the Government to think and the House of Commons to assent that such legislation is necessary. I think it a bad thing to continue that legislation a moment longer than is necessary to accomplish the aim which you 1998 have in view, and it is for those reasons which the Attorney-General has not met that we press the Amendment. The period of nine months is a good long time, and I hope, and I am sure everybody hopes, that nine days will see the whole business finished.
§ 7.24 p.m.
§ Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS
There is nothing operative under the Bill unless you have a Proclamation and the Government can bring the Proclamation to an end at any time. Then there will simply be an Act on the Statute Book which is dormant, which is doing nothing, and the House of Commons can repeal that Act when it wants to do so. But that is no reason for putting in a nine months' limit. If it were proposed that, directly the Government considered the Measure to be no longer necessary for this purpose, it should come to an end, I could understand it. But I do not see why hon. Members should use this very small point to try to put a further limitation on the powers given under the Bill and I ask them whether they think it necessary to press their Amendment. I was delighted to hear that the Government are not going to accept the nine months' limitation though I hope that none of these powers will have to be used, as I am sure everyone else does.
§ 7.26 p.m.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Is it to be understood as the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) has said that this Measure lies on the Statute Book doing nothing? I think the position would be quite different. If the Measure is continued, is it to be understood that, in no circumstances, it is open to the Russian Government to arrest British subjects on their territory, even though they have occasion for doing so as they might have for all we would really know? Is it to be understood that immediately an arrest is made in Russia under a Russian law a Proclamation is to be issued and this. Measure is to be held over their beads. So far from doing nothing, it would be a very vicious and threatening weapon. it would constitute a constant threat aimed at the Soviet Government. To pick out one Government in all the world against which this is to be directed is an anomaly to which the House of Commons ought not 1999 to consent, and, in any case, we ought to seek to bring it to an end at the earliest possible moment.
§ 7.28 p.m.
§ Mr. DENMAN
I am sure that the Committee as a, whole will agree with the Government that it is undesirable to insert a precise time-limit where the prospects are so uncertain. On the other hand, there is, I am sure, a general feeling that if the Government, by means of this Measure, are as successful as we all hope and the slate is wiped clean in regard to this matter, then, unless there is something to terminate this Measure it will remain on the Statute Book and it will be open to people to point to it as something which might be enforced if any Government in this country wished to do so. The way to secure complete control and at the same time produce an automatic ending of the Measure at any time the Government wish to bring it to an end, would be to accept the Amendment but to add the words "unless renewed in the Expiring Laws Continuance Act." It could then be continued from year to year unless and until it bad achieved its purpose, when the Government could get rid of it by not including it in the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.
§ 7.29 p.m.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
As the Attorney-General knows, any Act of Parliament that is for a certain period can be carried on further, without any words to that effect being in the original Act, under the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, if the Government of the day consider it necessary. Our objection to the absence of any date is that this is a sort of stigma against the jurisprudence operative in Soviet Russia. Some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen may want that stigma to remain, but I think it is a terrible thing for the British House of Commons to continue it indefinitely. Against my own
§ judgment I am conceding that you have cause for it. I am conceding your whole case, but if your case is right and if you are taking action to deal with that case, you ought to put a limit on the time that you are to keep a big stick of this sort in your hand. You ought to consider that there may come a time—speedily we hope—when this can be dispensed with and if that hope should be disappointed you have always got the means of including the Measure in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. I am very sorry indeed that the Attorney-General cannot see his way to meet us on this point.
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
If we get over the difficulty now obtaining in Russia, and if we get full satisfaction, we on these benches think that we ought to put Russia on the same footing as other nations, and if the Government have not something else in mind, we would like to know how long this Measure is to remain on the Statute Book. Will it remain year after year, or will there be same time-limit? We have put down this Amendment in order to find out what the Government's intentions are in that connection. If they could say, "Well, in 12 months or 15 months we intend to remove it if all goes well," I do not think we should press the case much further, but we feel that we are entitled to some explanation. If things go better and our relationships with Russia become normal again, as they must do some time or other—we cannot keep out a big nation like Russia for all time—this Measure should be removed from the Statute Book, and we desire to know when that will be.
Question put, "That the words:
and this Act shall cease to have effect on the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-three,'
be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 40; Noes, 279.2003
|Division No. 126.]||AYES.||[7.32 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Hirst, George Henry|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jenkins, Sir William|
|Banfield, John William||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, Charles||Kirkwood, David|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Buchanan, George||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Leonard, William|
|Cape, Thomas||Grundy, Thomas W.||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Lunn, William|
|Cove, William S.||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Daggar, George||Hicks, Ernest George||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Maxton, James||Tinker, John Joseph||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Milner, Major James||Wallhead, Richard C.||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Price, Gabriel||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Thorne, William James||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. D Graham.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Lyons, Abraham Montagu|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Elmley, Viscount||Mac Andrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Emrys-Evane, P. V.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Alexander, Sir William||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J, R, (Seaham)|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Magnay, Thomas|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Maitland, Adam|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Forestier-Walker, Sir Leolin||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Fox, Sir Gilford||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Glossop, C. W. H.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Meller, Richard James|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Goff, Sir Park||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Beauchamp. Sir Brograve Campbell||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Milne, Charles|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.)||Gower, Sir Robert||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Greaves-Lord, Sir Waiter||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)|
|Bernays, Robert||Greene, William P. C.||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)|
|Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Griffith, F, Kingsley (Middlesbro', W).||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Grimston, R. V.||Morrison, William Shephard|
|Borodale, Viscount||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Muirhead, Major A. J.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hales, Harold K.||Munro, Patrick|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Hanbury, Cecil||Nall-Cain, Hon. Ronald|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Hanley, Dennis A.||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Harbord, Arthur||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Hartigton, Marquess of||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H. C,(Berks., Newb'y)||Hartland, George A.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Peterst'ld)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. C. T.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Nunn, William|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||O'Donovan, Dr. William James|
|Burnett, John George||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Palmer, Francis Noel|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Hepworth, Joseph||Patrick, Colin M.|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Pearson, William G.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Peat, Charles U.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Hopkinson, Austin||Penny, Sir George|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Hornby, Frank||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Horobin, Ian M.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)|
|Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.Sir J.A.(Birm.,W.)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Howard, Tom Forrest||Potter, John|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Clarke, Frank||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Pybus, Percy John|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D,||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Cooke, Douglas||Janner, Barnett||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Jennings, Roland||Rankin, Robert|
|Copeland, Ida||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Reed. Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Cowan, D. M.||Ker, J. Campbell||Remer, John R.|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Kimball, Lawrence||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Law, Sir Alfred||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Cross, R. H.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Lees-Jones, John||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Levy, Thomas||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Denville, Alfred||Liddall, Walter S.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Dickie, John P.||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Donner, P. W.||Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Drewe, Cedric||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Salt, Edward W.|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Dunglass, Lord||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Strauss, Edward A.||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-In-F.)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Smith, R. W.(Ab'rd'n) & Kinc'dine, C.)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Smithers, Waldron||Summersby, Charles H.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Somervell, Donald Bradley||Sutcliffe, Harold||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Tate, Mavis Constance||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Templeton, William P.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Soper, Richard||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L,||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Thorp, Linton Theodore||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Spans, William Patrick||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Stevenson, James||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Sir Victor Warrender and Mr.|
|Stones, James||Turton, Robert Hugh||Blindell.|
|Stourton, Hon. John J||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
Motion made, and Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Bill reported; as amended, considered.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
§ 7.44 p.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
We are now coming to the close of two days' Debate on this Bill, and the House will probably agree that the Government were wise, on second thoughts, to devote two days to the Bill, because certainly we have been able to discuss it to-day in a calmer atmosphere than yesterday. We have to remember that this Bill is not a matter of domestic legislation. It is an act of the Government directed towards a situation in the world outside. When the Government are taking action on behalf of this country in relation to other countries, it is important to put our case in such a way as will be understood and appreciated by all the world. The forum to which we address ourselves is the whole world and not this House. Therefore, I am sorry that in the speech of the Foreign Secretary yesterday in introducing this Bill he seemed to be addressing himself to Members of the House as if they were a jury. He won his jury, but a case put before the jury is not necessarily put in such a way as to appeal to the world at large. I thought that the President of the Board of Trade in winding up was a little flippant. The one Minister was forensic and the other flippant, but both of them were appealing to the House.
It is necessary that Ministers should appeal to the House and convince the House, but in our Debates to-day we have had speeches made by Conserva- 2004 tives such as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) and the Attorney-General which were a good deal more in accord with the importance of the subject, with the delicacy of foreign affairs, and with the dignity of this country. It is a pity that our external affairs are so entirely in the hands of Members of the National Government who are not, as far as I know, yet members of the Conservative party. It seems to me that the dealing of Ministers with Russia is rather a continuation of the methods of the Dominions Secretary in dealing with Ireland. In both cases we have Ministers who were not yet sufficiently well established with the bulk of their supporters as to abstain from playing to the gallery. I am sure that both these difficult matters of external policy would have been handled better by members who had been long years in the Conservative party. To-day, however, we have had—and I should like to welcome it—a recognition from the Government that there was point in the criticisms of their action. Yesterday there was an unfortunate mingling in the speeches and in the applause of two separate interests. One was the perfectly legitimate indignation of Members at the suggestion that their fellow subjects were in danger and were being maltreated in a foreign country. Mixed with that there seemed to be other, motives—a motive of hatred of another country and a motive at times of trade interests.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham did a service to the House in bringing it back to a realisation that in foreign affairs we want to have unmixed motives. He rendered a service to the House and to 2005 the country in getting that declaration from the Government which we did not get last night. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) tried to extract it from the Government, but he did not get it. He got an ambiguous answer that this Bill was mainly but not entirely for this purpose. We have been told to-day that it is to be used for one purpose and one purpose only. It is to put a weapon in the hands of the Government for one purpose, and I understand that the purpose is to obtain justice on behalf of our nationals. The purpose is not to exacerbate feeling between this country and Russia, and I understand that the Government do not intend if they can possibly avoid it to have a break with Russia. Therefore, it behoves all of us who speak in this Debate to try and avoid anything that will cause ill-feeling between the two countries. I wish that that had been borne in mind more in the course of the Debates which we have had up to now.
It is most important that where we have a case to put before the world we should put it absolutely clearly and should not try to stand in a false position. Particularly is that the case where a matter of law is involved. In the case of Ireland our position was weakened where we had a strong case by being based on false premises in regard to the rights of the two countries. In the present case a position was taken up which cannot really be defended and which probably the Government on reflection will not attempt to defend. They asserted that it is unthinkable that any of our nationals could be guilty of certain offences. You may say if you like that the laws of Russia are absurd and that the offences with which these people are charged are absurd, but you cannot say that someone with whom you are not in personal contact cannot possibly have committed a breach of the law of another country. That, I consider, was an indefensible position to take up.
I am not going to argue the legal position, for it has already been argued fully by my hon. Friend the Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps). We on this side have taken the line that the Government are not only right in taking, but are bound to take, all proper steps to see that our nationals are properly protected. If anybody had brought for- 2006 ward the suggestion that our nationals were in danger of injury to life or limb without this action being taken, we should have been the first to say that the Government must act and take every action in their power. As a matter of fact, there was a delay, but it was not quite so long as it was feared to be judging from the speech of the Foreign Secretary. It was a comparatively short time. We have elicited now that these men are to be brought to trial, and that that trial is to be an open trial. The question arises whether it is right that we should pass this Bill under those circumstances. I do not think that anyone supposes that the Government want to put the Bill into force. They want to use it as a weapon for argument, but what is their argument to be? Their argument is that they have a right to insist that there shall be a trial and a fair trial, but they cannot insist that these men shall be tried in exactly the same way as they would be in this country. If they were tried and condemned after a trial wrongly conducted, and if the punishment were excessive, the question would arise whether it was perfectly right and proper for the Government to interfere. But you cannot ask any nation to stand up in a white sheet, and say, "Your nationals are guiltless and our courts of justice are such that these people must even have the form of being acquitted before they have been brought up in the courts." That is why we oppose the Third Reading of this Bill.
We agree that there are circumstances where action must be taken. We agree that the Government must protect their own nationals, but the point is that you must be right in time; you must be right in cause and reason, and not merely convince this House but convince the whole world. I hope that as soon as possible we shall get a full accession of reason to the governors of Russia. I hope that that will be met in a spirit of reasonableness by the representative of this country. I do not say in the slightest that there is not cause for grave anxiety or for action to be taken by our Government. I am not suggesting for a moment that the Government of the Soviet is an entirely wise and sensible Government. The point that should be made is that in dealing with other Governments you should never try to bring yourself to take the kind of line of the 2007 people with whom you have to deal. The more excited they are, the more restrained should be the attitude we should adopt.
Yesterday we had a speech delivered by the Foreign Secretary such as I have never heard or read of from any Foreign Secretary. The job of a Foreign Secretary is not to stimulate indignation, righteous or otherwise. Foreign Secretaries have quite enough to do in dealing with national feelings on both sides without adding to them. If the Government get their Bill to-night, as they will, I hope that it will be strictly kept, as we are told it will be, for the purpose for which it is intended. I hope and believe that the whole matter may be adjusted very speedily between the Government of this country and the Government of Russia, and that we in this House, remembering the critical state of affairs all over the world, will be very careful not to put fire to any of the powder which is lying about the world at the present time.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) almost overwhelmed me with the unusual compliments he paid to me on my intervention earlier in to-day's proceedings, but I was a little embarrassed, because he seemed to distribute those compliments to me only for the purpose of emphasising his criticism of the speeches of my right hon. Friends. He thought the speech of the President of the Board of Trade flippant. I did not notice any flippancy. He thought the speech of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs forensic. I should have called it a very lucid exposition of the case and a most cogent argument in favour of the Bill. But it is the business of an Opposition to oppose, and I make no objection if the hon. Gentleman takes the opportunity of the Third Reading to show that it is not "roses, roses all the way" for the Government, and to indicate that he thinks other people could do their work better than they are doing it.
I agree with him that the case for the Government as it is before the House now is an even stronger and a much clearer and cleaner case than it was as it was left by the Debate yesterday. But may I add, also, that I think the position 2008 of the Opposition is far more reasonable to-day than it was as disclosed in the opening speech of the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps). I infinitely prefer the statement made by the hon. Member for Limehouse of the rights and duties of a British Government in such cases to the special pleading of the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol when he opened the discussion yesterday, or to his conclusions, which he varied every time he rose, but in none of which did he recognise as clearly as the hon. Gentleman has done the duty of the Government to protect British subjects abroad against injustice.
But I do not want to be contentious; I wish to make an appeal to the hon. Gentleman and his friends. I cannot relate the speech which he made to the action which he announced the Opposition are going to take. Yesterday there was a point, which had been left obscure, which did cause grave concern to many hon. Members sitting on both sides of the House. It was a fear lest under cover of a Bill to deal with a particular emergency, to deal with the case of British subjects in danger of their lives or of suffering injustice, the Government should be securing from the House powers which they would use for some other purpose. I have said already that I am not averse to giving the Government those powers in relation to any country if they be necessary for the purposes of successful negotiations in other matters, but that is a question to be considered on its merits and quite apart from the action which we are now taking, and thanks to the representations from different parts of the House, we have had from the Government, by the mouth of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, the most explicit undertaking that the powers sought in this Bill shall not be used for any other purpose than the purpose of securing justice for British citizens, and that if similar powers are at any time required for other purposes the House will begin the matter again de novo. That has been made perfectly clear; if you like to say so, that concession has been given. At any rate, the position is now clear and definite that this Bill exists only for a specific purpose.
I, too, hope, like the hon. Gentleman, that it may not be necessary to enforce the Bill. I hope that justice may be done 2009 without this Measure being invoked, but when we have confined it to the one purpose of securing due process of law, due administration of justice to British subjects, cannot we be unanimous in our object? The hon. Gentleman has admitted the duty of the Government to protect. I do not ask him to say, what the right hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) has already told us that he could not say, that he thinks this is the best method. We are all equally anxious that it should not be necessary to use it; we are all equally anxious to secure justice and protection for our fellow subjects. How can we best attain that end? By making the vote unanimous. The best protection for these men is to give to the Government the strongest assurance of national support. In that way we show to the Soviet Government how universal is the feeling of anxiety here about the treatment of these men. By bringing home the universality and the unanimity of the feeling, we shall take the best step in our power to make it unnecessary for our Government actually to put these powers into force.
Without reopening any of our differences, and making allowance for the fact that my standpoint is one and the standpoint of the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. Member for Limehouse is a different one, I do appeal to them, in the interests of the efficacy of the passing of the Measure, and in order that it may not be necessary to put it into force, in the interests of the effect which is to be produced upon the Soviet Government, and in the interests of national unity, to reconsider their decision to oppose the Bill, a course which will not only be misunderstood but is not unlikely to require the Bill to be put into force when, without that division of opinion, it might be that the mere passage of the Bill would be sufficient.
§ 8.8 p.m.
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
To the appeal which has been made by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) we on these benches give an immediate response. It is our intention to vote for the Third Reading of this Bill, and we would have voted for the Second Reading yesterday if the statement made by the Government this afternoon had been made by them last night. 2010 I am well aware of the fact that our abstention yesterday evening aroused considerable resentment among a large number of Members who had not heard the statement which had been made on behalf of the Liberal party earlier in the day, and who formed the opinion that we abstained because we were unwilling to arm the Government with powers which were considered necessary in the interests of British subjects in grave danger in Russia on account of some doctrinaire fiscal views of our own. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Armagh (Sir W. Allen) had some genial words to say on that subject this afternoon, and I have little doubt that there were a considerable number of Members last night who, when we sat still on these benches during the Division, would gladly have employed Ogpu methods against us and have summarily executed us without trial.
To-day the situation is entirely different, for the appeal which I made yesterday has been endorsed with great force and authority by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham, and has been fully met by the Government. It has been specifically declared that this is a Bill for dealing only with the emergency that has arisen through the arrest of British subjects in Russia, and is not to be regarded as part of the machinery of this country for dealing with trade negotiations. The powers which are being granted to the Government are tremendous powers; they are, and must be regarded as, absolutely abnormal. I am not convinced, and my hon. Friends who sit on these benches are not convinced, that this is necessarily the right way of handling the situation. Indeed, we have grave doubts whether it might not have been better handled in other ways without any such Bill and without such speeches as we have heard from the Foreign Secretary and from the President of the Board of Trade, but, as I said yesterday, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom being of opinion that this particular weapon is essential to them if they are to carry out with success the duty which devolves upon them of protecting British subjects in Russia, I do not think that any of us in the House of Commons should take the responsibility of denying them the powers which they desire and which they claim.
For that reason, and in spite of these views, we shall vote for the Third Read- 2011 ing, and I hope that possibly even at this late hour our hon. Friends on the benches opposite may not press the matter to a Division. Even if they do so, the speech made on their behalf by the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) indicates that they realise that it is the duty of this Government to intervene, and that they earnestly desires that the representations which have been made, even though they may have been made in a tone and in a manner of which they do not approve, will have successful resets. I hope there will be unanimous vote of the House, but, if there is not, at all events these Debates have shown that fundamentally there is a great consensus of opinion in this Parliament, which reflects the universal opinion of the nation outside, that we are most deeply concerned for the fate of our fellow subjects in Russia, and believe from the bottom of our hearts that the just treatment by the Russian Government of those men who are now in danger will conduce to good and friendly relations between Russia and Great Britain, while the reverse must imperil that feeling of good will between the two countries which we, at all events, most earnestly desire to maintain.
§ 8.13 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
I wish to refer for a few moments to what has been said by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) and the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel). Neither of them did justice to the views of this party, and more particularly to the views expressed by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps). I would like to quote what my hon. and learned Friend said yesterday. In almost the first words of his speech he used expressions which were repeated almost word for word by my hon. Friend the Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) this evening. He said:I want to examine the position shortly, and I hope calmly, in order to see whether it is really in the best interests not only of this country but of the accused persons themselves, that we should take the action now proposed. I am sure there is one proposition of international law upon which everybody in this House will be absolutely at one, and that is that this country has an absolute right to afford protection to its subjects, wherever they may be abroad, in any foreign country. That right, of 2012 course, carries with it the duty to see that that protection is given and also the duty, in any particular case where it may appear that its subjects are in jeopardy, to make the fullest possible inquiry in order to ascertain the whole of the facts with regard to those subjects.In almost his closing passage my hon. and learned Friend made an appeal on similar lines to the appeal made by my hon. Friend the Member for Limehouse. He said:I venture to ask the Foreign Secretary whether, in view of the danger to the men and the possibility of this matter being dealt with on a friendly basis with the British Government, he does not consider that even yet it might be possible to avoid the passage of this Bill, anyway to avoid any possibility of anything happening under it? If only the longer and more sensible view can be taken, perhaps by both parties, who at the moment have got both nations into a state of excitement and hysteria which is just the sort of state which so often has led to war in the past, surely we as a House of Commons can treat this matter not as a lot of people who are excited but as a matter for calm deliberation. We ought to try to do what is, in the circumstances, the best thing to be done from the point of view of our relationships with Russia and the protection of these men, because I feel convinced that if we continue to pile up ill-feeling in Russia by the sort of statements that there are in the White Paper and by this sort of emergency action which is being taken to treat Russia in a way in which no country has ever been treated before, and by this House of Commons, we are seriously jeopardising not only all future relations with Russia but we are seriously jeopardising the fate of men who are still in their hands, and who it is for them to deal with and not for us. If by being more reasonable, and even by making a gesture at the last moment, anything can be done in that direction I hope the right hon. Gentleman will do it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th April, 1933; cols. 1785 and 1800, Vol. 276.]What more could the hon. and learned Gentleman have said yesterday than in fact he said? It is very remarkable to note the change of atmosphere since the Foreign Secretary's speech yesterday, due to a number of reasons. It was not perhaps the matter but the manner of the Foreign Secretary's speech which excited so much feeling in the House. One or two matters have been made clear since he spoke. I do not think that he did justice to himself in not bringing to the knowledge of the House certain facts which were extracted from the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade in his closing speech last night. Those facts ought to have been 2013 brought to the notice of the House by the Foreign Secretary. It is now understood—and the Foreign Secretary understood the whole time—that there is to be an open trial, that British legal advice is to be available for our fellow-citizens in Russia, that charges have been made and have been received by the Foreign Office, although particulars have not been given in this House, and that the appropriate indictment, or the documents or whatever they are in Russia, have been served upon the accused persons, or upon some of them. Those are the facts which ought to have been brought to the notice of the House when the Foreign Secretary made his opening speech, and they should not have been left in the undecided state to say the least of it, in which the Foreign Secretary left them.
I had intended to say a word or two on some more or less minor matters, but I think, in view of the temper of the House, that that is neither necessary nor desirable. I feel that we are apt, all of us no doubt, including myself and my hon. Friends, to see the mote in our brother's eye and not the beam in our own eye, but the very distinct impression was left upon the House yesterday that nothing approaching what was done in the way of legal procedure in Russia is ever contemplated in this country. I hold no brief—far from it—for the Russian legal system. I do not profess to know a very great deal about it, but I know something about our own system which, without question, is in every way the beat in the world; yet even in this country and in countries in which we control the government, to have arrests made without Charge is not unknown. The hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Healy) told me last night that so recently as 1922 he was incarcerated for two years without any charge being made against him. It is common knowledge that we have asked questions in this House within the last month as to what the charges were against Lieut. Baillie-Stewart, and that no details were given, but only such general observations and directions as were given by the Russian Government in this case.
§ Sir J. SIMON
Surely the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not suggest that the officer to whom he has referred did not know the charges?
§ Major MILNER
I am not in a position to say, although I put a question with a view to eliciting the information, on what date the officer was informed of the precise charges against him. I can only say that yesterday the Foreign Secretary made a great point of the fact that during the period in which the correspondence included in the White Paper was carried on, five days I think in all, no particulars of the charges were delivered. In fact, there were general particulars of the kind of charge, and of the way in which the wind was blowing, and also in that correspondence the particular article of the criminal code under which the charges would be brought was mentioned.
§ The DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)
I must point out that we are now on the Third Reading, and that the. Debate is strictly limited to what is in the Bill. I think the hon. Member will agree that it is desirable that we should not proceed with these questions of detail.
§ Major MILNER
I accept your Ruling at once. The only other observation I shall offer to the House is this: An appeal has been made to us by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen, but I am afraid that they have not appreciated the position that we take up. The policy of the Government, which is apparently to be supported by the Liberal party, is the policy of the big stick. We do not believe in the policy of the big stick, and we do not believe in making that stick bigger by adding our votes to those of the National Government in this matter. That policy is becoming almost a habit on the part of the National Government. It was used, for instance, or attempted, to be used, in the Anglo-Persian dispute;., where I think gun-boats were sent to the Persian Gulf.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Eden)
No gun-boats were sent to the Persian. Gulf.
§ Major MILNER
I accept that statement. It may be that there was a suggestion that they should be sent. There was certainly something in the papers about it, but I accept the Under-Secretary's statement that no action of that sort was taken; but there, in my view and in the view, I think, of my hon. 2015 Friends on these benches, the big stick was to be used. The matter was to be referred to the Hague—
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman mean to say that to refer a question either to the League of Nations or to the International Court of Justice is an improper act comparable to the use of the big stick?
§ Major MILNER
If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to the Debates on that subject, he will find precisely what we felt about it, and what we expressed on that occasion. We may be right or wrong, but we think that that was an attempt on the part of this country to use the big stick. By the timely intervention of a representative of the League of Nations, a friendly arrangement was eventually arrived at. Certainly there was a protest by the Persian Government. They felt, as the Russian Government have felt, that we were attempting to dictate to them, or to impose upon them. I am reminded that on the Irish question we took certain action, which has not proved to be in the least satisfactory from the point of view either of Ireland or of this country, and here is a third attempt on somewhat similar lines at economic reprisals. In my view, if there is no change in the attitude of the Government, though I hope there may be, a similarly unsatisfactory result may ensue.
I 'ask myself: Is the course upon which the Government have embarked the most likely to result in advantage to our fellow citizens who are accused in Russia? I happen to have been a prisoner myself for a period of months, both in a foreign gaol and in a foreign fortress, and I think I might also say, on one occasion during that period, a foreign dungeon, or something approaching it; and, therefore, I have the very greatest sympathy both with those who are still in prison in Russia and those who have, we hope permanently, been released. I have the greatest sympathy with their relatives. I know the anxiety which my own absence, perhaps in rather different circumstances, caused to my relatives, and, therefore, I 2016 think I can claim to be a reasonably unprejudiced person in looking at the matter from the point of view of the accused persons.
We now know the charges, we know that there is to be an open trial, we know that some British legal advice is to be available, and, no doubt, Russian counsel will be available to defend the accused persons, just as in this country an accused Russian could have the advantage of British counsel. The further one goes, the more do the respective Governments become involved, and the more the prestige of the Governments and feelings of patriotism and so on become involved. It seems to me that, the further the Government carry this action, the more likely is it to make the Russian Government endeavour to justify their action in arresting these British citizens. Therefore, I cannot agree that it is an advantage to pass the Third Reading of this Bill, and certainly it will not be an advantage to proceed to carry it into effect, as I am sure we all hope will not be done. Human nature, whether Russian or British, naturally and properly resents reprisals, or threats of reprisals, and we ourselves should be the first to resent that sort of action on the part of any other country.
My hon. Friend the Member for Lime-house made an appeal, and I should like also to make an appeal. The world from end to end is in chaos to-day. Almost every country is involved in conflict of one sort or another. We profess, and the National Government profess, that this country—as may, indeed, be true—is happier and better off in many respects than almost any other country on the globe. Is it not our duty, in a matter of this sort, to set an example to the rest of the world? Surely, that example was not set by the Foreign Secretary in his speech yesterday. I suggest that our only proper course is to look at this matter as coolly as we can, and to take no action which could possibly make matters worse in any way. I would appeal to the Government not to put this Bill into operation, but to do as our fathers did with some of us in our young days, that is to say, put us on our honour, so to speak, to play the game. I suggest that that is the action that should be taken with the Russian Government, and one hopes that they would respond. If we do not adopt that attitude, we exacerbate feel- 2017 ing, we bring nationalist feelings into the question, and almost force upon those Russians, whoever they may be, who try our fellow-citizens, the obligation or the duty to justify what their Government has done.
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
Does the hon. and gallant Member suggest that the Russian Government, in order to save its face, will manufacture evidence against our fellow-subjects?
§ Major MILNER
I never said one word about manufacturing evidence. I said that, human nature being what it is, in circumstances like these, if threats are made and actions are taken, they will, in the nature of things, almost feel obliged to take a prejudiced or biased view. They would be far more likely to do so than if they were put on their honour, as some of us were as young men and children, to do the right thing. I think that, on consideration, the hon. Member and others will agree that that is possibly the case. In these circumstances, I, for one, shall oppose the Third Reading, and, if the Bill is passed, I sincerely hope the Government will find no reason to bring it into effect, but that, in view of the atmosphere in this Rouse, it may be possible to bring about a happy issue to this unfortunate question.
§ 8.32 p.m.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I was a little afraid, at one time during the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner), that the Debate was going to be taken away from that broad and, I may say, generous atmosphere in which it was launched by the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee), and the extraordinarily moving appeal of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain). I have spent practically all my working life in assisting to the best of my ability in the administration of justice. Justice should not be a matter of administration in one country to the exclusion of other countries. Those of us who really believe in justice believe that it should be a principle which should be widespread in its application; and my friends who, with me, believe that this Bill ought to be supported, support it because we think that it gives to the Government a power to try and see that those principles which we hold dear are 2018 brought into the fullest play. Nothing is further from the thoughts of any of us than the desire that international relations should be affected in the very least degree by mere threats, or by anything more than notice to the world that we choose to arm ourselves, in case of necessity, and only when driven to it, with the necessary powers to protect the lives, the reputations, and the characters of the people of our own country and our own race. We support the Bill for that and for no other reason, because we believe it is necessary to see not only that justice is done but that it should be manifestly clear that justice is being done.
There is one other aspect which appeals to me and which I should have thought would appeal to many of my friends in the Labour party. We are choosing here for the purpose of defending some of our own people an economic weapon. It is an opportunity that has been given to us to see whether by economic means we can, if necessary, persuade those with whom we disagree to come to some measure of agreement, or at least to see that we feel very deeply indeed on what is being done to these unfortunate people in Russia. I cannot help feeling that it is very much better that it should be done by economic weapons than by those real weapons of which so many of us of middle age have had such bitter experience in the past, and in respect of which there is so much general agreement nowadays that we should use every possible attempt to see that we never have recourse to arms again.
It gives me, I will not say satisfaction, because no one with any sense of responsibility can derive any satisfaction from the present circumstances in which we find ourselves, or even in the fact that it is necessary to provide the Government of the day with another weapon, but it gives me, shall I say, some sort of relief at the measures that we are compelled to pass into law for the preservation of our own people that at least they are measures which will not endanger human life on the other side or the lives of our own people here, and, if we can do that, I should have thought, if I may make an appeal to hon. Members of the Opposition, that they would see some good in the Bill from that point of view as indicating the 2019 possibility that at last we are finding some other weapons instead of having to assert our rights by recourse to arms. I hope again, if I may add my small voice to that of those who have made an appeal to the Leader of the Opposition, that we should let it be known that only if we are forced will we make use of the weapon that is provided by the Bill. I should have thought it was most eminently desirable that we should let people on the other side understand, not only the men who are undergoing trial but those who are going to try them, that the feeling of this country is strongly and determinedly united behind the action which the Government are taking.
§ 8.39 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The purpose of the Bill is to set up a prohibition of imports from Russia into this country because certain men have been arrested and are awaiting trial. No one denies the right not merely of a country but of an individual to make representations about a person who is arrested. Even if these men were criminals, I could not help feeling sympathy for them. The whole of my life is taken up with the defence of the criminal population. I spend nearly all my time when I am not in the House of Commons in and out of the law courts. The consequence is that, even if we admitted that they were wrong, I should still feel, whether it was Russia, Germany or Australia, a sympathy with the person who is unfortunate enough to be on the criminal side of any quarrel abroad. I have so many times committed wrong myself that I have often felt that I should have been there and the other men ought not to be there at all. Consequently, one occasionally has a fellow feeling for them. It is not wrong that a nation, or indeed an individual, should make representations for a person awaiting trial. Every responsible Member of Parliament has done it at one time or another. If that is good for an individual to do, it is certainly not wrong for a country to make representations to another country. On that there is common ground. That is all that anyone has said so far. Indeed, some of us are asking that representations should be made in the case of Germany. If we believe that is not wrong, surely we cannot say it is wrong in the case of Russia.
2020 What is the position that we are faced with? We are not against nations or individuals making representations, but nations have the right of arrest. No one will say that Russia alone of all the countries in the world is not to have a right of arrest. Consequently, we are in common agreement on two points: First of all, we have a right to make representations and Russia has a right to make arrests. Secondly, I think Russia has a right to make its own laws for its citizens, and no other country has a right to make laws for Russia. So long as Russia is a sovereign State she is entitled to make here own criminal courts and her own conduct of trials and, if foreigners go to Russia, as foreigners come here, they must be subject not to British law in Russia but to Russian law. I represent a fairly large foreign population in my division, everyone of whom is subject to British law and punishable by British law. I frequently have complaints that their trial is not right or just, but it is British trial and they are domiciled here. If that is the case, what is the position? The protagonists of this Measure argue: "Yes, that is all right. We believe each country has the right of arrest, and we believe each country has the right to make its laws, but in Russia it is different. They do something from some other place."
I have a regard for the legal profession. I am not one of those who say they are dishonourable men. But what are the facts that you are basing your case on? Let me sweep sentiment aside. I only heard two speeches yesterday, that of the Foreign Secretary and that of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bristol, East (Sir S. Cripps). I have seldom heard a speech in this House which made a greater plea for passion, and I have seldom heard a speech made by a lawyer which divorced itself from fact and dealt so much with both prejudice and human sentiment. Let us take the facts. What evidence have we got? Take the White Paper. The evidence there is that of an eminent Ambassador. There is no other evidence at all, and his evidence is merely evidence of interviews. There is no evidence to show that the men are either guilty or not guilty. I know that it is said that they are innocent. The Foreign Secretary said so, but what they have to do in the courts is to prove it.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is referring to the English courts, but I should be very shocked if under the English system you had to prove your innocence.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
If there is a doubt about his innocence, a man must go for trial. All we have had so far is a statement by this eminent Ambassador. We have no other evidence.
§ The DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I think that the hon. Member is now forgetting the caution he expressed at the beginning of his own speech.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I had a feeling yesterday that nobody examined the legal issue. The legal consequences should have been examined. The hon. Member who was sitting beside me a moment or two ago when the hon. and learned Member was speaking showed to what lengths what was called fair play for Russia could go. He said that he wished that we had the Russian powers. When we said that judges often treated men, in cases of passion being aroused, severely, he said: "Yes, and they had a right to do it." If the men had been arrested in France—and do not think that Britishers have not been wrongfully arrested in France and tried—or if they bad been arrested in any other country in the world, in America, this Bill would not have been introduced. The Measure is introduced not so much to secure justice for the men, because if there was a speech —and I say it in his presence—calculated to create passion and not to secure a fair trial, it was the speech of the Foreign Secretary yesterday. A speech was delivered a short time ago by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) with which I did not agree, but I could not avoid admiring its tone. You cannot divorce a Bill of this kind from the speech of the Foreign Secretary. In Russia the speech of the Foreign Secretary will be regarded as part of the Act.
Yesterday there was a constant sneer at the country in which the men were to face their trial. There was a constant stream of offensive remarks. There was nothing more calculated to interfere with those men getting a fair trial than the proceedings here yesterday. My chief objection to the Measure is that it 2022 is not calculated to operate in favour of the men but against the country in which they are to be tried. The reason behind the Measure is not to secure justice for the men, but to attack the system which is running in Russia. I do not mind people criticising the Russian system and opposing it, but I object to those men being made the innocent victims of an attack upon another system. Whatever the rights and wrongs, we have no alternative but to vote against this Measure, which in my view is a dishonest Measure. It is dishonest for the reason that you can only do this sort of thing effectually against Russia. If this sort of thing had been done against France, it would have been a declaration of war, and would have been meant as such, and if it had been done against America it would have been a declaration of war. But Russia is weak. Let us be frank about it. I admired the speech of the Leader of the Opposition. He was not doing a popular thing last night, but something which might cost him votes at the moment. Russia is not too popular. Arrest in a foreign country is not popular. None of those things is popular. It is the easiest thing in Britain to awaken feeling against the foreigner at any time. One can see it with regard to Ireland, and in regard to religion.
This Measure is popular, but it may not be right because of its popularity. In this House there are men who at the Law Courts could gain popularity by deserting their profession and appealing to prejudice, but again and again they have not done that, although it is often tempting to do it. This Measure is an appeal to prejudice and not to reason. It is an appeal against a country which is not very popular; a country which is not equipped as other countries are equipped. The Government will win to-night. There is no use in appealing to them, as they are appealing to us, and there is no use in threatening, because threats would be useless and silly. I neither threaten nor appeal. It is not the place to-night to express a proper judgment, but a few years hence, when one can look calmly back on what is being done, I am certain that those who live the longest will not be proud of the action that the Government have taken.
§ 8.57 p.m.
§ Mr. HANNON
I rise to make an appeal to the Leader of the Opposition. We had a moving appeal from the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain), supplemented in equally touching terms by the appeal of the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel). The hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) conveyed to the House the idea that there was some motive behind the Bill other than the safety and security of our fellow countrymen in Russia. Will hon. Members reflect on the attitude of this country towards Russia in our trading relations during the last 10 or 12 years? The Secretary of the Department of Overseas Trade has continuously for years past devoted himself day in and day out to the development of British trade with Russia. I am talking facts in relation to a group of companies who have given very large credits to Russia. We gave those credits under circumstances that have not been granted to any other country under the sun. It is true that our trade with Russia for the last 10 or 12 years has enabled us to keep large numbers of people in employment in this country. Does any hon. Member suggest for a moment that British firms anxious to employ their people and to carry on trade with Russia are anxious to have a quarrel with that country and to break off relations?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
In this House there is a large body of opinion, particularly since the Election, anxious to break off all trade with Russia.
§ Mr. HANNON
The hon. Member has misinterpreted a large body of feeling in this House. I have never heard any expression of feeling in this House against Russia, except where it was felt that Russia was departing from the ordinary moral obligations of Government as we understand them. There have been moments in this House and throughout the country when acts on the part of Russia have stirred profoundly the people. Throughout the whole course of this Debate—and one was grateful for the sobriety which came over the House this afternoon—there has not been one single suggestion that could be honestly interpreted as other than anxiety for the safety of our fellow countrymen in Russia. These men who have been taken into custody by the Soviet administration, some of 2024 whom have been released on bail, are men of outstanding quality in their profession and craft in this country. I should like to say in relation to the great firm affected by the arrests, the Metropolitan-Vickers Company, that no single individual in Great Britain has more zealously and continuously worked for the promotion of trade with Russia than Sir Felix Pole, the administrative head of that great firm. It is monstrous to suggest that men sent out in important capacities to maintain the reputation of that great firm in Rusia, and who have carried out series after series of contracts there without reproach for 10 or 12 years, would lend themselves in any circumstances to a conspiracy of the quality which has been charged against them.
My appeal to the Leader of the Opposition is this. We have had a, clear definition this afternoon of the precise purpose of the Bill. Its limitation has been laid down with exactitude by the President of the Board of Trade. Everyone in this House and outside will wish that the occasion will not arise when the purpose and objective of the Bill will be given effect to; but is it not far better in the interests of these men in Russia that we should have a unanimous vote of the House on the Bill? I have heard my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition make speech after speech in this House in favour of great causes. During his whole life he has been identified with benevolent purposes in a great variety of activities. Would it not be a most benevolent act on his part to-night to allow this Measure, a Measure designed for the purpose of safeguarding the life and liberty of our fellow citizens, and securing for them a full measure of justice in a foreign country, to go through unanimously. Will he not join with the rest of the House in signifying the unanimous feeling of this great Assembly that attacks upon the liberties of British subjects must always be defended under our great Constitution. The Debate is of great interest not merely to those in this Assembly but to people all over the world.
The hon. Member for Gorbals asked whether we would take this kind of action in relation to any other foreign country. He quoted the United States of America and France. It is inconceivable that anyone would be charged in either of those countries without the charge 2025 being made fully known immediately following upon the arrest of an individual.
§ Mr. HANNON
The real feeling and anxiety in this country has been that British subjects have been arrested and charged without the substance of the charge being made known.
§ Mr. HANNON
Deep-seated sentiments have been aroused and we were bound to take action of the kind contemplated in this Measure. I hope that the party opposite will on this occasion associate themselves with the full volume of public sentiment that goes out to these men in Russia, and join with us in giving this Bill a unanimous passage through the House.
§ 9.5 p.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
The Debate so far has been in accordance with the highest traditions of the House of Commons and the gravity and tolerance of the speeches shows that hon. Members on all sides of the House realise the importance of the issue. Yesterday I think, we started on a wrong basis. The Foreign Secretary dealt with the White Paper yesterday as though it did not require very much explanation. He took up the position of an advocate addressing a jury who had never heard anything of the case before, and emphasised certain points. He used his great skill to take advantage of certain facts, with the result that a rather stronger line in opposition was developed. Englishmen do not like to see anyone put upon unduly and he aroused a certain amount of antagonism by the line he took. After reading the White Paper I felt that the position in regard to the men in Russia was one of serious gravity and that this country ought to do something. But what; that is the difficulty. I do not think that this Bill is the right way of approach. We propose to prohibit the importation of Russian goods, that is, we are going to cut off our trade with 170,000,000 people. That is a serious matter for this country, and especially to us on the Labour benches.
When we were in office we brought about trade relations with Russia, although we met with stern opposition from most other people. But we secured 2026 it; and we cannot lightly allow that position to go. We think that the Government are not proceeding on the right lines. It can be taken for granted that something must be done; that we must look after our nationals. It is the proud boast of an Englishman when he goes abroad to think that in extremities he can look to the mother country for help. There is not a single Member on these benches but who feels as keenly in regard to these men in Russia as anybody else.
§ Mr. TINKER
I will tell the hon. Member what I would do; I may be wrong. If I had been in the position of Ambassador to Moscow I should have used more judgment and common sense. If he was dictated to by the Foreign Office here they will, of course, take the responsibility. Anyone reading the White Paper will agree that it is not the kind of language to use to another Government; and if it had been used in the case of America or France, or to Mussolini, I can imagine that there would have been some trouble. I should have used a little more tolerance towards Russia. I should have tried other means. Let us put ourselves in their position. If we had arrested some of their men and their Ambassador came to us and told us that we must adopt different methods we should no doubt think that our methods were right, and would not tolerate for a moment another country telling us what we should do. That is our psychology. I will give the President of the Board of Trade the credit for understanding the Russians. He has said that a long intercourse with Russians has taught him that the only way to deal with them is by telling them quite definitely what we intend to do.
It may be that I do not understand the Russian psychology in the same way as the President of the Board of Trade, but I would treat a Russian exactly as I should treat myself, and, therefore, I find that the methods we have adopted in dealing with Russia would at once raise my ire and make me more determined than ever. We believe, in the interests of these accused men, that the right position has not been taken. If, after all, they were shot and I felt that they had not had a fair trial, I would go to any length to get justice for them.
§ Mr. TINKER
I agree that there is that point of view. If something did happen to these men, and 35 Russians have been shot, well, I should stand condemned for not having taken action before. I certainly agree that that is a strong point in favour of the Government. When I read that paragraph I was shocked to think that in any country in the world such kind of things could take place. But I am afraid that our attitude may act on the Russians in such a way as to rouse them to take that action, and that it may place these men in more jeopardy than they are now. If that happens who will stand condemned? These are the reasons why we feel bound to oppose the Bill. Hon. Members opposite will at least give us credit that we are just as anxious for the safety of our nationals in other parts of the world as any hon. Member, and whatever may be the result we hope that these men will soon be released and returned to this country.
§ 9.13 p.m.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I do not intend to prolong the Debate because I said what I had to say on the matter last night, and hon. Members want to go on to the next Order on the Paper. I should not have risen but for the appeal that has been made by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) and other hon. Members. Our case has been put quite clearly by the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) and the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee). We think that this business has been mismanaged, mishandled, from the beginning. The Bill is founded on the White Paper and supported by the speech of the Foreign Secretary. It is impossible to detach one from the other. If we gave a vote to-night, even if we thought it was necessary to have these powers, or abstained from voting, such acquiescence or that action would be going back upon what we said yesterday, and either indirectly or directly supporting the speech of the Foreign Secretary and the White Paper. That is an impossibility; it is out of the question.
The Bill, of course, will go through and the Government will be armed with these powers. My own attitude on every charge that is made against anybody, I 2028 have held this view ever since I could think, is that a person is innocent until he is proved guilty. That is the law in this country. But we must remember that in many countries beside Russia, the contrary procedure is adopted. The person charged has to prove his innocence. In this case no one in authority has questioned the right of any sovereign Power to put an alien on trial. We are now all hoping that the trial will take place and that it will be a fair trial. We are hoping to have a verbatim report of it, so that everyone will be able to judge, and I am hoping devoutly that the powers under this Bill will not have to be put into operation. We cannot help feeling that economic war is as bad as any other kind of war, because it must lead on to it ultimately. We think that the condition of the world, and especially the condition of Europe today, is such that any antagonism such as this, between ourselves and a great people like the Russians, can make only for evil. Therefore, very regretfully I say that I and my friends cannot vote for the Third Reading of the Bill. We are only a few but we do act together.
We regret very much indeed that we cannot respond to the appeals of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham and the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel), but I would beg them to believe that we are extremely interested in the well-being of our friends across the sea, and equally concerned in maintaining the best kind of relations with all the other nations of the world. We believe that our friends in Russia will be safer without this kind of legislation, and safer if those who have to negotiate with the Russians will negotiate with them as equals, without any regard to the fact that their manner of life and their system of living are entirely different from ours.
If any people in this House think that this sort of judgment that is passed on Russia and Russians generally is something new, I beg them to read the Debates that took place in this House between 1876 and 1880, when this country was in very strong controversy on foreign affairs with Russia. As a boy I sat up in the Gallery and listened to Mr. Gladstone on the one side, and Mr. Gathorne-Hardy and others on the other side, and the same sort of charges of bad faith 2029 were thrown across the Table. In the end the great nations of Europe had to live together, had to settle their differences, and had to trust one another. There is a new Government in Russia to-day. It is striving to create a new and altogether different sort of life. I would like the Foreign Secretary to forget the sort of thoughts that were in his mind yesterday, the thoughts that compelled him to make the speech that he did make. I would like to see him meet the Russian Ambassador in this country and hear both of them say: "Let us find a way by which we can live together under better conditions and on better terms than have existed till now."
§ 9.20 p.m.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I have no intention of claiming the attention of the House for more than a few minutes. There is other business which we hope to be able to take up to-night. I was glad to infer from what was said by the Leader of the Opposition that in his view no further speeches from the Opposition would be needed. The right hon. Gentleman added very appositely that be was leading a consolidated and united party.
§ Sir J. SIMON
Let me express a very sincere desire that we bring this discussion to a conclusion and pass the Bill through this House in the spirit and atmosphere which is best calculated to help our fellow subjects who are in a condition of great anxiety. I accept entirely, without the slightest demur, the assurance that has been given by more than one hon. Gentleman who has criticised the Bill but thinks it his duty to vote against it, that he entertains the same sincere desire as any of us to give his help to- our fellow subjects. I am sure that that is quite true. Notwithstanding what I think have been very unreasonable comments and criticisms and imputations of motive, some of them seriously intended and of a most distressing character, I know very well that every one in the House hopes that this Bill will truly help these men. The Leader of the Opposition and his party are not able to respond to the appeal which was made to them in such moving terms by my predecessor at the Foreign Office, the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain). I do 2030 not want to draw any distinction between them, but I do say that when the Leader of the Opposition said just now that he was equally concerned with preserving good relations with Russia as with assisting these men, I doubted whether we could put things in the scale in that way. At least I cannot. If indeed, as may be the case, any word of mine deserves the reproaches of my critics, I think some of my fellow countrymen will perhaps be disposed to excuse a man who spoke because he felt deeply and felt the terrible responsibility upon his shoulders.
The first main criticism which was suggested was that I had in some way misrepresented the contents of the White Paper. I am in the recollection of the House when I say that I did nothing of the kind. No one can point to a single sentence in the OFFICIAL REPORT of yesterday which distorts or exaggerates a single phrase in that White Paper. The next criticism was that, after all, the White Paper was one-sided. It is not one-sided. It consists very largely of facts, of communiques issued by the Soviet authorities themselves and of reports of conversations which could be attacked or challenged, if they were not accurate. Then came a suggestion, for which there is not the slightest shadow of foundation, that the Government had some indirect motive—I think, in the circumstances, it would have been a very contemptible and mean motive—and that they were exploiting the anxieties of these men in order to get powers to be used for some other purpose. I leave hon. Members who entertain that view to the luxury of their own imaginations. There was not a single word in my speech which left any doubt on the matter. There was a suggestion that there was something ambiguous in the speech of the President of the Board of Trade. That suggestion I thought unjustified, but, be that as it may, on behalf of the Government he has made the matter entirely clear in the course of the Debate to-day.
This is a proposal put forward by the Government, on the advice of authorities whom it is my duty to defend and whom, I think, the House as a whole will wish to thank for their devotion, as to what may be the best way to deal with a very difficult situation. I have not heard—not even in the frank and very fair speech of the hon. Member for the Leigh 2031 Division (Mr. Tinker) or from any other quarter of the House—any practical suggestion as to what should be done as an alternative. I make one exception. Somebody suggested that we should have withdrawn our Ambassador. That is one of those phrases which easily cross the lips, but I should like to hear from any hon. Gentleman opposite how he thinks the Ambassador would get back again and whether he thinks those good relations with Russia would be really maintained 'if we were to accept his advice and create that breach, if we can find some other way? The great difficulty about withdrawing an Ambassador is that if you really wish to promote, as the Government do wish to promote, good relations with a foreign country, you must find some means and occasion on which you can restore your diplomatic representative.
This Bill gives us the powers for which we ask, and, on behalf of the Government, I thank the House. I hope with all my heart that these are powers which will not have to be used, but that matter does not lie in our hands, but in the hands of the Russian authorities. I do trust that
§ this public act of the British House of Commons, conducted in the light of day and with the knowledge of all the world, may bring home to the authorities of this great sovereign State the gravity with which we regard this situation, and our conviction, which the whole House shares, that it is our duty to do our utmost to remedy it. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished that we may, indeed, find these efforts which we are making produce the result which I am sure we all desire. An hon. Gentleman opposite said just now, very truly, that Englishmen did not like to see other people put upon. He was then referring to the position of Soviet Russia. Englishmen like still less to see other Englishmen put upon. I trust now that we may have so overwhelming a vote as will show to the Russian State and to the whole world that in this matter we are not pursuing any selfish or vindictive or incorrect course, but trying, like honest beings, to help Englishmen who are in peril.
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 291; Noes, 41.2033
|Division No. 127.]||AYES||[9.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Elmley, Viscount|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Cassels, James Dale||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Alexander, Sir William||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W)||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Apsley, Lord||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Fleming, Edward Lascelles|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Clarke, Frank||Ford, Sir Patrick J.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Clayton, Dr. George C.||Fox, Sir Gifford|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Fremantle, Sir Francis|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Fuller, Captain A. G.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Colman, N. C. D.||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gillett, Sir George Master man|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Conant, R. J. E.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Cooke, Douglas||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Copeland, Ida||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Bernays, Robert||Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Goff, Sir Park|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Craven-Ellis, William||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Bird, Sir Robert B.(Wolverh'pton W.)||Crooke, J. Smedley||Granville, Edgar|
|Blindell, James||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Boulton, W. W.||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Greene, William P. C.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cross, R. H.||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Grimston, R. V.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.|
|Briant, Frank||Denville, Alfred||Gunston, Captain D. w.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Dickie, John P.||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Donner, P. W.||Hales, Harold K.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Drewe, Cedric||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Duckworth, George A. V.||Hanbury, Cecil|
|Burghley, Lord||Duggan, Hubert John||Hanley, Dennis A.|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Dunglass, Lord||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Burnett, John George||Eastwood, John Francis||Harbord, Arthur|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Eden, Robert Anthony||Harris, Sir Percy|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Hartland, George A.|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Meller, Richard James||Salt, Edward W.|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Milne, Charles||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Mitcheson, G. G.||Selley, Harry R.|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Hopkinson, Austin||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Hornby, Frank||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Moreing, Adrian C.||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)|
|Howard, Tom Forrest||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H (Denbigh)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Morrison, William Shepherd||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Moss, Captain H. J.||Smithers, Waldron|
|James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Janner, Barnett||Munro, Patrick||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Nathan, Major H. L.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Soper, Richard|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Nunn, William||Spens, William Patrick|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Kimball, Lawrence||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.||Stevenson, James|
|Knebworth, Viscount||Palmer, Francis Noel||Stones, James|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Pearson, William G.||Storey, Samuel|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Peat, Charles U.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Penny, Sir George||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Percy, Lord Eustace||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Leckie, J. A.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Lees-Jones, John||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Levy, Thomas||Potter, John||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Templeton, William P.|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Pybus, Percy John||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G.(Wd. Gr'n)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess Of|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th)||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Rankin, Robert||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Rea, Walter Russell||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Macdonald Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||White, Henry Graham|
|McKeag, William||Remer, John R.||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. sir Ian||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Magnay, Thomas||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Maitland, Adam||Rothschild, James A. de||Wood, sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Runge, Norah Cecil||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Marsden, Commander Arthur||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Captain Austin Hudson and Major|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Maxton, James|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Milner, Major James|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hicks, Ernest George||Price, Gabriel|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hirst, George Henry||Thorne, William James|
|Buchanan, George||Jenkins, Sir William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Wellhead, Richard C.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Kirkwood, David||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Cove, William G.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Daggar, George||Leonard, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William|
|Edwards, Charles||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||McGovern, John||Mr. John and Mr. D. Graham.|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.|