§ 3.23 p.m.
§ Mr. LUNN
I beg to move, to leave out the Clause.
If this Clause is passed it will undoubtedly aim a serious blow at the usefulness of the Police Federation. In my opinion it is the intention of the Government to sabotage everything of a democratic character in the control of the Metropolitan Police Force. In the Memorandum to the Bill as introduced on Second Reading, it is stated that certain officers in the Police Force shall cease to be members of the Police Federation. These officers have been and are members of the federation to-day. Some of them may have been active members in the federation and may have done good work. I should have thought that if there was any need for a steadying influence in the 1180 federation these would be the men who would be likely to have that steadying influence. If the Clause is passed they will not be able in future, with all their experience, to take any further part in the work of the federation. The Memorandum also states that constables who go to the Police College shall never be members of the Police Federation. I do not understand at all why that should be. The proposal seems to me to be to set up a separate class in the Metropolitan Police Force. I cannot understand the Government taking such a course. I cannot imagine that it will be for the efficiency of the force that young men who have perhaps a little more education and have had better opportunities than have been given to others and will have to do the same duties as other men in the Police Force, should not be allowed to join and work with their colleagues in the federation. It seems to me as though the Government are establishing a body of snobs within the force, in giving this exemption to the young men who are to be brought into the force in the near future.
One thing that has surprised some of us is why there should be this attack on the Police Federation. The federation is not a trade union. I wish it were. It was set up as a result of the work of a remarkable committee which issued a report that was accepted by Parliament. I refer to the Desborough Committee. For many years the federation has worked admirably. It has been praised by various Home Secretaries and chiefs of police for its efforts and for its helpfulness in improving the efficiency of the force. The results of its deliberations are published. Any Member of the House can see in the "Police Review" or in the "Police Chronicle" the federation's reports and the resolutions that are passed. I understand that these documents are supplied to the Home Secretary and to the Commissioner of Police at Scotland Yard. I should have thought that the experience of the men who are taking part in the work of the federation, and the result of their deliberations, would have been a great help to the Commissioner, who has not had the experience of police work possessed by many of the men who take part in the work of the federation. It seems that the members of the federation are to be re- 1181 stricted and hampered in their work in future.
The only reasons we have had given for the Government's action were two cases that were mentioned by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department on the Second Reading of the Bill. He quibbled a good deal before he gave those cases. He wriggled and did not seem to wish to give the cases at all. In the end he gave them. I have never heard a more flimsy case than that given by the Under-Secretary on that occasion. Let me give the two cases quoted by the Under-Secretary. The first one was his objection to the Police Federation, because they had expressed opinions regarding the representation of the police on some organisation to which they contributed largely. I always thought that those who paid the piper might call the tune, or have some say in choosing the tune. In this case, the members of the Metropolitan Police Force contribute large sums and they considered that they were entitled to more representation. I should not have thought that was a reason for this attack on the Police Federation. The second point was that they had appealed to the Home Secretary that the second cut in their wages should not be implemented. I suppose policemen are human, like most of us, and they would not welcome reductions in their wages. They said that the cut Would affect their standards of living. Men who are in receipt of wages of less than £4 a week think that if they are to have a reduction of 8s. 6d. a week there is good argument in saying that it will reduce their standard of living. Most men who are in receipt of a stationary wage, or their wives, have it measured out to a large extent every week, and if they are taking steps to educate their family, as many policemen do, they would not have much margin over what was their wage before the cuts came about. Yet the passing of a resolution urging the Home Secretary that the second cut should not be imposed upon them, was the only other cause given by the Under-Secretary for this attack on the Police Federation, thereby creating disquietude in the federation. We do not believe that this Clause if passed into law will create more harmony in the Police Force. We are sure that it is damaging the confidence of the men and that it will not 1182 make for efficiency in the force in the future.
§ 3.34 p.m.
§ Sir PERCY HARRIS
We discussed this matter in committee, and I must confess that I thought the Home Secretary put up a very weak case in defence of this new policy. It is a new policy of the Government. It is a request that the House of Commons should change a policy to which it deliberately came. The hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) is right in saying that the Police Federation is not a trade union. The federation was a counterblast to having a trade union in the force. It arose largely out of the discontent in the service that culminated in the police strike. So great was the discontent and unrest that a Royal Commission was set up, under the distinguished chairmanship of Lord Desborough, to inquire into the whole problem of discipline within the service and they deliberately advised the creation of the federation. The federation, rightly or wrongly, is Parliament's own creation. It is machinery to meet the demand that sections of the force should belong to a trade union. It is not entirely a novelty. There are similar organisations in local government. Under the London County Council they have a staff organisation which, on the whole, in the light of experience, has proved most efficient in the prevention of irritation and disputes, and is composed of those members of the staff who desire to belong to it.
This Clause arises out of the memorandum proposing certain changes in organisation, which points out that:Under the Police Act, 1919, all officers below the rank of Superintendent are automatically members of the federation, and, in every force, there is a branch board for inspectors, as well as one for Serjeants and one for constables.Parliament deliberately decided that members of the police force should join the federation in order to prevent irritation, trouble and friction, but the memorandum goes on to say:It is neither necessary nor consistent with the position which the college-trained officers are intended to occupy in the force that they should form part of an organisation set up because the normal channels of ventilating grievances and making representations were not regarded as adequate.1183 I think that is an unfortunate way of starting the new college. I am in favour of the college; I think it is necessary to provide us with an efficient and up-to-date police force. Composed of capable and qualified officers, but you are going to give the unfortunate impression that this staff college is quite apart and distinct from the police force as a whole. You will discredit it from the beginning with the rank and file of the force. From the point of view of smooth working it is more in accordance with common sense that the most able, competent and efficient officers should be in the federation as a steadying influence. If you are going to leave out the senior ranks you are saying to the rank and file: "You are something apart from your officers." That is contrary to the spirit of conservatism which has always said, and rightly, that there are not these sectional divisions. It is a very unfortunate departure and I suggest that if there is going to be exclusion let it be confined to the very top ranks. Do not let it be, as this Clause proposes, that the senior officers above the rank of sergeant are left out. You will handicap this new and good experiment for improving the efficiency of the officers and providing them with adequate training, by taking them completely out of this organisation, which is not a trade union organisation, set up by Parliament. You will suggest that the interests of one section are different from the interests of another That is the very last thing Parliament wants to do.
It is our proud boast that the Metropolitan Police Force is the finest force in the world. People come from all parts of Europe, America and the world to study this highly efficient and disciplined force, which is not a military but a civilian force. I am afraid you will create a different atmosphere and that there will be in the police now two separate sections, one in the federation, the ordinary man, one not in the federation, the extraordinary man. That is a most unfortunate thing. I suppose it is too much to ask the Home Secretary to take out the whole Clause, but at any rate I hope he will give us some assurance that it will be modified in another place. I should like to have modified it here, but it is very difficult to find words which will pass the Chair and which will adequately modify the Clause so as to 1184 make satisfactory provision for the whole of the Police Force to be members of the federation set up by the House of Commons.
§ 3.41 p.m.
§ Mr. BANFIELD
I support the deletion of this Clause. When we considered this matter upstairs there was a general expression of opinion as to the lack of wisdom in attempting to divide one set of officers from the other. I find that not only in the Metropolitan Police but in the county and borough constabularies in the country there is a tremendous feeling of misgiving among all sections of the police, as well as among the general public, regarding this Bill. The generally expressed opinion seems to be, What is behind all this? There is a feeling that, innocent as the Bill may appear to be on the surface, and in spite of the very mild-mannered way in which the Home Secretary put the case for the Bill, in some way or other an attempt is being made to alter the whole constitution of the Police Force. The ordinary man in the street is hardly able to realise, in spite of the excellent speeches of the Home Secretary and the Under-Secretary of State, why there is any necessity for the Bill at all. He can understand the necessity for a Bill to institute a police college, and he can understand the arguments that may be used to make the force more efficient and more educated, but the ordinary man realises that in this Clause 3 you are making provision for a difierent set of police officers, brought in differently and given a certain type of training.
One feels that the influence of the example of the training of the Air Force hangs over this Bill. One feels that in a very great measure a pattern seems to have been taken from the formation and recruiting of the Air Force and applied to the Police Force, and in spite of all the arguments that have been put up, the vast majority of people are still unable to understand why, in a force which has commended itself to the extent that people from all parts of the world come to London to study it, there should be this change. The ordinary members of the public, who, after all, have a very deep affection on the whole for the members of the force, are still unable to understand why this thing should be brought about. I know that the Home Secretary does not like us to state what 1185 I am going to state, but I shall state definitely what thousands of people are already thinking, that this is a definite and real attempt to militarise the Police Force. The Home Secretary will probably deny, as he has denied all along, that that is the aim and object, but in view of the institution of an outside body of men, not trained in the ordinary way, given this special kind of education, brought in over the heads of people who have served years and years, I suggest that there is a definitely different policy, and that its only effect in the long run is that the Police Force may be able to be used in some other way than that of a civil force.
However much this may be denied, one has to look ahead and to visualise, if one can, what will be the difference in the Police Force after this Bill is passed and these regulations are put into force. The difference is that you will have a separate class of head officials, apart from their fellows, who are not to be members of the Police Federation. The federation was definitely formed to supply what was felt, I think, by all parties in the House and in the country to be a very definite want, for the purpose of finding a vehicle whereby complaints and grievances of the members of the Police Force could be dealt with in a proper and well-regulated way. Are we to take it that this federation, having served its purpose, is now to be quietly smothered because there has been a feeling in high quarters that it is not altogether the proper thing to have what we may call a shop union in existence in the Police Force? I suggest that this is an attempt to smother the Police Federation, and I know that it may be denied that there is any such intention, but there is no getting past the fact that obviously the federation, by this Bill, is to be definitely discouraged. It is told quietly that it is not to do certain things, that it is not to have so many meetings, that it is not to pass so many recommendations. It is simply to be, if it does meet at all, one of those bodies that might possibly discuss the question of officers' uniforms and whether there should be certain lighter clothes in the summer time than in the winter time. In other words, so far as effectiveness is concerned, it appears not only to me, but to the police up and down the country, 1186 that the federation itself is definitely to come to an end.
It would be a tremendous mistake, in my view, if it were to be assumed that this Bill in the long run is to apply only to the Metropolitan Police. There is a very real fear in the hearts of those in the country that the same kind of thing, in some indirect way, may be attempted in the big boroughs and towns and in the county constabularies, and the general feeling is that this is definitely a step in the wrong direction. Upstairs I pointed out to the Home Secretary that, in my experience as the general secretary of a trade union, I had found that for practical purposes it was always wise to get everyone engaged in a particular industry, from the top to the bottom, to meet together in one organisation to thrash things out and to present their various points of view. The Government are making a fundamental mistake. They say on the one hand that they will leave in the federation people who will obviously have a different point of view from that of the chief officials, and yet they are unwilling to allow the chief officials to go to federation meetings and put to the other ranks of the force the head office and administration point of view. It would be far better, unless you wish to smother the federation, to let these people mix with other ranks and so remove any possibility of the creation of a distinct class separate and apart from the others, and encourage that comradeship and fellowship which is so necessary if the Police Force is to go on as well in future as it has done in the past. We hope that this Amendment will be carried and the Clause left out. Indeed, I should like to see the Bill rejected altogether. It is a mistake, and the Government would be well advised to let well alone.
All the outside evidence proves that for efficiency the Metropolitan Police Force stands unrivalled among the police forces of the world. If anyone had come to the House only four or five months ago and suggested that the Metropolitan Police Force was inefficient, I can imagine the howls of indignation which would have gone up from all quarters of the House. Now the Home Secretary, in supporting the Bill, puts up an argument that he wants greater efficiency, and suggests that he is not getting the efficiency that he desires at the present time. A great 1187 many Members would not be prepared to accept the Home Secretary's statement as to the inefficiency of the Police Force without far greater evidence than has been produced. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) suggested that there might be some modification of the Clause, but we believe that the best thing would be to reject the Clause and the Bill as a whole. We agree that there is a case for a Police College, because the more education we can give to the police the better it will be for the community and the force, but we suggest that this Bill is going about the matter in the wrong way. It raises class distinctions and makes it appear to many people that those who so deplore the class war are the very people who are introducing it by this Bill.
§ 3.55 p.m.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)
If we are to believe some of the speeches to which we have just listened, the Government and I desire to destroy the Police Federation. Let me assure the House that if I had a desire to do that I should have done it quite frankly. The easiest way would have been to take powers to abolish it. I have not done so; the Police Federation remains and can still exercise their powers of representation on subjects which are of interest to them in the proper manner and through the proper channels. That power remains with them, and therefore it is pure humbug to try and say in this House, and to make the men outside believe, that there is an intention on the part of the Government to destroy that power of representation. Those of us who have had to study this problem know how in the past the House set up this federation to meet a difficult problem. We know also that the House, in setting it up, clearly drew a line and excluded certain officers from the federation. On this occasion the line is only being drawn in a slightly different place. In the past the superintendents were not included. In this new scheme we are admittedly setting up a college with the definite purpose of having a class of police officer who will have it as part of his training and his duty to make himself closely conversant with all the needs of the rank and file of the force.
1188 Let me say, in reply to those who think that the work of the federation will* be less necessary in the future than in the past, that we trust that that will be so. Indeed, it would be foolish to attempt to adopt a reorganisation of the force as we have been doing if it were not so. It is for the very reason that we think that these causes of complaint and the difficulties which have arisen in the past will be removed that we are taking the step to have a proper training college for the officers in the force. If we were not making this change now, we should have an absurd position in which we should exclude certain sections of those at the college from the Police Federation and others would not be excluded. It is far better that there should be an esprit de corps among those in the college on the one side, and an esprit de corps among those outside the college on the other. I do not believe that there should necessarily be any material difference of opinion between those two sections. So far as the opinions of the rank and file in the federation may at any time differ from the opinions or the actions of those who are outside the federation, they have their method of representation, and they will have in the future as much as in the past that possibility of putting their case to the authorities and of having it properly investigated. It is obvious to the House that we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ 3.59 p.m.
§ Mr. COCKS
The Home Secretary has stated that it is humbug for us to believe that the object of the Government is to destroy the Police Federation. After listening to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, I can only say that he is a past master in that art for I have rarely listened to a more humbugging speech in this House. I was not surprised to hear him say that he could not accept the Amendment. I knew perfectly well that he could not. This Clause is essential to the Bill and to the design of the Government behind the Bill. It is essential to the design of the Government to militarise, or rather Hitlerise, the Police Force of this country and to render the Police Federation absolutely useless at the bidding of a self-advertising autocrat, a militarist, who, unfortunately, is now in command of the Police Force, whose bidding the Home Secretary obeys and 1189 who is doing his utmost to destroy the morale of the finest Police Force in the world. Everyone, not only in this House but throughout the country, admits that the London Police Force is the admiration of the world, and has been so up to this time. It is, however, essentially a civil force like its fellow-bodies in the Provinces. I am only sorry that the Metropolitan Police Force is not under a public authority democratically elected, such as the London County Council, as are the police in the Provinces. Unfortunately it is not, and for that reason we have to be very careful to consider these encroachments which are now being made upon the character of the force. There is no doubt that this is a civil force, and because it is a civil force it possesses a federation through which it can express its views to those in authority above.
No one could have read the Commissioner's report issued a few months ago without seeing throughout the whole of that report a feeling of animosity and hatred of the federation on the part of the Commissioner, who has the outlook and the mentality of those people who lost the War for Germany and would have lost it for England if the German generals had not been as incompetent and stupid themselves. The object of the Government is to destroy the federation and, as the right hon. Gentleman has just admitted, to divide the Police Force into two classes—an officer class, and a class of men who are under them and who simply have to obey their orders and do their dirty work. At the present moment the Police Federation includes everybody, I believe, in the Police Force beneath the rank of superintendent. That is to say it includes chief inspectors, sub-divisional inspectors, inspectors, sergeants and constables, but under the new system advocated by the Government, and embodied in this Bill, chief inspectors and sub-divisional inspectors are no longer to be allowed to belong to this body. Moreover, the new ranks proposed, station inspectors and junior station inspectors, are not to be allowed to come in. Those are the gentlemen who, I believe, it is proposed shall come from Eton—I do not know whether Harrow is excluded—and from certain of our universities and public schools who are not to be allowed to soil their hands by belonging to a federation to which their juniors in the Police Force are to 1190 belong for the time. Not only that, but I understand that in order to get this new class of people into the Police Force the Commissioner intends to adopt the system by which boys leaving secondary schools at 17 or 18 can get jobs in the police stations somewhere or other until they get old enough to join the Police Force and go through the staff college.
Under this scheme the only people allowed to join the federation are the constables—I suppose the long-service constables and also the new 10-year constables—sergeants and inspectors. The line is drawn there. I suppose it is to include those who hold the present rank of inspector, but I rather suspect that in the future the right hon. Gentleman proposes some modification of the plan under which they shall not be allowed in either. The federation is being deprived of the authority which comes from the fact that senior officers in the Police Force belong to it. Constables, sergeants and a certain number of inspectors only are to be allowed in the federation. All these new and higher grades are not to be allowed to join. Surely that means that the federation will lose its prestige, and the representations it makes, therefore, will be treated with contempt by the Home Office and the Commissioner—a similar sort of contempt to that I feel for him.
There is another point. Everyone knows that in the Police Federation, as in trade unions, the able and energetic men come to the front. They become leaders of the federation, and are able to put their views to the authorities in an able way. Therefore, they are just the men who are likely to get promotion. They are just the men fitted for promotion, and directly they get it they will have to leave the federation, which will be deprived of its leaders and its spokesmen. That is a very old story which runs through all English history. Whenever democracy throws up a leader, the governing class try to detach that leaders from the workers. We have recent examples of that. Just as the Dominions Secretary has been seduced by the dining-out habit, and just as the Prime Minister has been seduced by the smiles of society hostesses, and the insincere flattery of the same people, so the able men in the Police Force will be taken away from the men by being promoted to higher ranks. Therefore, so far as London is concerned, the federation will gradually dwindle 1191 away and die. The Home Secretary said that he was not going to commit murder. It is not to be direct murder. The federation is not to be killed now; the right hon. Gentleman prefers the method of slow starvation.
The Home Secretary has admitted that the Police Force is to be divided into two classes—the so-called officer class and the rank and file. At the present moment, because they are in this federation, and because they are generally drawn from working-class people, they are one body. They are in the federation working and discussings things together. You are going to deprive them of that spirit. The Home Secretary says that in future the officers will know the men quite well, and be able to mix with them as before, not, however, in the federation meetings, but on the field of recreation, I suppose, on the rifle ranges and in the revolver pits which are being set up, goodness knows for what reason—the rifle and revolver ranges where the new Hitler force which the Government are setting up are to be trained to shoot down the workers of this country. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman got that idea the other day from his friend Herr Rosenberg, whom he treated so courteously, or perhaps he got it at the Police Conference which was held last year in Rome at the invitation of Signor Mussolini. We see in this the methods of Berlin and Rome.
The Home Secretary in Committee made a most remarkable statement. It was pointed out to him that not only is our present Police Force drawn from the ranks of the workers, the people, but they live among them. Their homes are in working-class streets. They know the people around them. They are not recruited as some special kind of class like the continental police. One of the French philosophers, M. Chateaubriand, said that the nature of the police is essentially inimical to freedom. That is so where you have a militarised police force as you have abroad. Our police live among the people, and know their ways of life. When this was pointed out to the Home Secretary in Committee, he made this remarkable statement, which seems to require further explanation:As I visualise it, there is going to be a far greater personal touch and a far greater personal knowledge of all the circumstances of the men, of their homes, of the houses in 1192 which they live. Hon. Members opposite are largely interested in the question of housing, and one of the great weaknesses, in my view, as regards the welfare of the Police Force, has been the fact that at the present time there is no class of men able to go about as these police officers will be able to do."—[OFFICIAL REPORT (Standing Committee C.) 30th May, 1933. Col. 14.]What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by that statement At the present moment a policeman off duty can visit another policeman, take off his helmet, loosen his belt and have a cup of tea or other light refreshment. But now the right hon. Gentleman, apparently, visualises another class of policeman altogether, drawn from another class, going round visiting the homes of the police, inquiring into their methods of life, the character of their homes, looking at the bookshelves and seeing what sort of books they read, and finding out what their political opinions are. The Home Secretary was right when he said he did not propose to set up an officer class. He is setting up a class of spies. They will be known as Trenchard's or Gilmour's spies—
§ Mr. COCKS
If you had been, Sir, perhaps you would have called the Home Secretary to order. Because we dislike this Hitlerite atmosphere brought into our Police Force, because we want to preserve the traditions of the Police Force as in the past, we oppose this Clause, as we oppose the whole Bill, and we intend, when we get into power, to do our best to reverse any decision come to by this House this afternoon.
§ 4.14 p.m.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I would like to add my voice to the plea for the abolition of this Clause, and all the more because I am, to a very large extent, in sympathy with the proposal for a Police College. The House may wonder how it affects a university representative. It does very closely, if I may say so, because, as I see it, one of the main objects of these proposals, so far as they concern the 1193 Police College, is to make it possible to get a better educated type of man into the force by making the conditions more suitable to such men. But while I believe that that will be a real gain to the force, and while I think the Opposition are quite mistaken in decrying, as they continually do, the advantages of higher education—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The Leader of the Opposition, on the Second Reading of this Bill, spoke very definitely on the subject. He said:Will someone also tell us what a particular thing it is in a university training which enables them to deal with crime more efficiently than other people."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd May, 1933; col. 962, Vol. 278.]
§ Miss RATHBONE
I was aware at the moment that I was diverting a little, but I did so because of the interruption. While I welcome this Bill so far as it provides what is, to my mind, a really necessary means of bringing into the Police Force men of superior education who are not attracted by a method of recruitment which requires them to spend long years in routine work and drudgery, I have all along foreseen that there were real grounds for the apprehensions of the opponents of the Measure. Those grounds centre round this point—that they believe the object is not merely to get better educated men into the force, but to drive a sword or an axe through the force and separate it into two sections. The words of the Home Secretary in defending the Clause this afternoon really give some ground for that apprehension. He said: "We want to see an esprit de corps in the college and an esprit de corps in the rest of the Police Force." In other words, there are to be two bodies and two spirits, separated. This particular Clause, which shuts out the superior grades from the Police Federation, is another indication of a tendency which was only too plain in that remark of the right hon. Gentleman.
The question I want to ask the House is this: Is not the Bill really attempting to secure its end in a way that is likely to cause, quite unnecessarily, the maximum of suspicion and hostility, more especially this particular Clause? Why it is infra dig,because I suppose that is is the idea, for higher officers of the Police Force to belong to the same federation as the lower ranks? If you 1194 want real inter-communion and cooperation between the different grades, if you want the kind of spirit and sympathy and understanding that ought to prevail between the lower and the upper grades of the force, is there anything wrong in the upper grades adopting the more democratic methods that are expressed m the Police Federation? As was said by several speakers on the Second Beading, in 99 per cent. of their actual work the police are dealing with the lower ranks of the people, in their intimate lives, and therefore knowledge and understanding of the lower ranks are inevitably required. Will you get that better if you not only try to get, as I believe we ought to try to get, the best minds and the quickest minds, and in order to get the best and the quickest minds absolve them from going through a long and wearisome period of drudgery, if at the same time you make it clear that you want to create two separate classes? If they have come from the working class you want them is break the links they formed in the days when they were in the ranks.
We are told that the Police College is to be recruited not only from university men brought in by examination and interview, but that the same methods of examination and interview are to be applied to the men who have got their experience and proved their efficiency in the ranks. I should like to see more security that a large part of the higher ranks will be drawn from the lower ranks, because even though the others may have better trained minds it will be very difficult for them to make up for the lack of knowledge of the ways and thoughts and mode of speech of the men they have to work with. The two objects to be sought are to secure the best trained minds and yet minds that still have the common touch, minds that speak the language of the people and are understanded of the people. If you want to combine those two things then, though you may have to have your Police College, you ought to bear in mind the training they will get in the Police College in contact with recruits most of whom have got their education in the public schools and universities. There is a danger that they will loose their common touch, lose the kind of expertise which they gained in their own lives when working in the police ranks and living in their working-class homes. It is far better to try to com- 1195 bine both things—to let them have their superior education in the Police College, but able to keep in touch with their friends.
Another thing we have to recognise is that there is a very real and strongly-grounded apprehension, which is taking stronger hold every year upon the minds of the working people, that there may, some day, come a revolution in this country which will not necessarily be instigated and incited from below. We have got into the habit of thinking that revolutions always surge up from below, but the experience in the North of Ireland before the War, and since then in Italy and in Germany and in other countries in Europe, has shown that revolutions are not always initiated from below. Sometimes they are initiated by classes who fear to lose the privilege of their class and think that they will strike first. The idea is that if the democracy seek to push reforms too far then they, the upper class, will step in and pervert the Constitution in order to secure their own privileges. That fear is a very real and insistent and spreading fear among people to-day. It is beginning to make the people doubt the value of democracy.
I can hear around me whispers of "Rubbish" and "Nonsense." If it is rubbish and nonsense why do things which give countenance to that idea, why give grounds of suspicion by introducing into what is, in many respects, a good and reasonable and perhaps necessary Bill, provisions which indicate that you really do want to cut off the top ranks of the Police Force and make them feel that they are superior people belonging to an upper grade in society? Does not that lend some colour and suspicion to the idea that you really do want to see that the forces of law and order are in the hands of the propertied classes, and that the men who are at the top and ruling the forces of law and order shall think in the ways of the propertied classes? You do not want them to belong to a vulgar thing like the Police Federation and to talk in the commonplace language of the ordinary constable; you want to make them feel that that would be a little below their dignity. By all means let them have their own esprit de corps,but it must be a different esprit de corps from that of the common constable. If this small 1196 Clause to create a single grade who are not to belong to the Police Federation shows the way the current is flowing, I do not wonder the Opposition feels that it intensifies the suspicion with which they regard what is, in certain respects, a perfectly good Bill.
§ 4.24 p.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I am rather surprised that a Clause of this description should be brought in by the Home Secretary. We are now at the turning point when people of the higher ranks in the police service are to be taken away from the communal life of the people, from the ordinary intercourse of daily contact, and segregated in a special class and I ask hon. Members to contemplate where that is leading us. If community life in the Police Force means anything at all it means that the force of character and the prestige of an individual leave an impression upon the particular section of persons of whom he is in charge. We are now proposing to create two classes inside the force, one of a supervisory or administrative character and the other in which those who belong to it will do the routine work in the streets. The professorial class, the academic policemen, will be studying in college while the practical policeman will be out in the streets. We are going to set up professional policemen to tell us how to do things, and these trained men of the higher class are to be kept away from the practical men. It is most essential that we should have competent men to look after the management of the streets and the classes in the streets, and to do that they must have a common understanding with the people, man to man.
I hate to think that, possibly, this line of demarcation is to be introduced into the Police Force, and that by any innuendo from any Member of this House it should go out to the public that a military system or a new caste is to be introduced. Policemen learn their business in the streets and not in colleges. I have seen some of the professional men who have been made head constables. After six months on the streets they had been made inspectors; but in their case their fathers or uncles or brothers or mothers had been in a position to "give them a kick along." They got their sergeant's stripes very quickly. There must be comradeship in the Police Force, that par- 1197 ticular link which binds them solidly as a body, because in a society like the present, where anything may happen, it is not a good thing to have divisions in the Police Force. From the point of view of the public safety and from the point of view of the Constitution a contented Police Force, either in the Metropolis or anywhere else, is absolutely essential.
It is because I feel that to be the case that I think the Home Secretary is entering on dangerous ground. The ostracism of an officer who has been brought up with his men and has won the confidence of his men will be an appalling thing. In an emergency it is essential that the members of the force should have confidence in those who lead them and be able to back them. In a discontented force we should not, in an emergency, get that comradeship, that unity and that integrity which are so essential. Fancy an officer class being set up in England of all nations! That may be all right for other States which view these things from a more military point of view, but I do not think that the people of England require to see the drastic changes that are proposed in this Bill. We have no right to modernise our State on this basis. Our people are more enlightened. I am fully convinced that our public schools, elementary schools and secondary schools provide—
§ Mr. LOGAN
I am merely pointing out that this segregation will have a marked effect. The Clause will set up a school and as a result there will be a special class which will govern the police in the future. I am not speaking because of what I see before me, but because I can foresee the future, and I want to register my protest emphatically against what the Home Secretary is doing. I am convinced that neither Lord Trenchard nor the Home Secretary is fully alive to the meaning of the present situation. I would like to see more backbone in the Home Secretary, and more initiative.
§ Mr. LOGAN
With all respect to you, Mr. Speaker, when a Minister brings in a Bill it is quite relevant to speak of 1198 his backbone, especially when, to judge from the Measure before us, he appears to lack that backbone that should be so essential in police administration. I refer to that particular part of his anatomy because I feel that the Minister ought to have more of it. He would show more of it if he deleted this Clause from the Bill.
§ 4.33 p.m.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
do not suppose that any word that I can say at this late hour will have any influence upon the Home Secretary, but I want to say, quite sincerely, that I think he is making a very great mistake in putting forward this Bill. He is adding to the gravity of his mistake by the inclusion of this Clause. It is a dangerous move. If at the head of the Metropolitan Police Force there were a civilian, instead of a man of military character, we should not have this Bill before us. I do not believe that a civilian head of the Police Force would have dreamed of a Bill like this.
Some time ago I had the pleasure of listening to a talk between two police constables, one presumably a London constable and the other brought over from Paris. The talk was one of a series from Broadcasting House and the men were discussing the conditions of their occupation. I was very much struck with the difference in their point of view. They were representative men, selected by their comrades to put that point of view. The question was asked: "What is your attitude towards the people with whom you come into contact? How do you regard them?" The reply of the London constable was: "We regard the people of London as our friends, and we are there for the purpose of assisting them." The point of view of the Parisian policeman was that he was in perpetual conflict with the population of Paris. There was no conciliating of different points of view. The point of view of the London constable was a very admirable one, that is well worthy of being fostered and maintained. I am afraid that the establishment of a special officer class under the terms of this Bill will tend to make that point of view disappear, although not at first.
It is evident that there is going to be a different kind of discipline of a more militaristic character than is the case at 1199 the present time. Officers of a military type need different qualifications and characteristics from men who are part of a civilian force such as the police. I should have thought that the Police Federation would have been an admirable body in which to bring together the various grades making up the civilian force. The new force will meet as officers and men, and no consultation will take place between the officers and the men. The men will not be encouraged to tender advice to their superiors. In the federation, I take it, men at the present time come together in a more or less informal manner, and the officer tends to drop his specific character during the time when he is present as a member of the branch of his federation. He can obviously get into closer contact with the men than would be the case as between the privates of the regiment and a lieutenant or captain.
What is the characteristic required? The psychology of the crowd can be studied best by contact with the crowd, and men who are in contact with the crowd understand that psychology. The private soldier is not required to understand the psychology of the crowd, but a policeman must understand it if he is to be successful. A man who is to be trained from a military point of view will, I am quite sure, ultimately lose the touch that is needed most in the Police Force. Reference has been made to fears that have been expressed that this is a move in the direction of creating a force that can be used with more precision and with greater certainty in case there is trouble in future—in case the middle class feel that their privileges are attacked. That point of view has been admirably put by the hon. Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone). More than 50 years ago, Karl Marx, with a touch of genius, said that the middle class would become revolutionary, and would force a revolution when it was faced with submergence into a class below it. That is what has happened in Germany and in Italy. The middle class feared submergence and forced a revolution in Germany, with Hitler at the head. What we all see and must deplore is the government of Germany by a set of unspeakable thugs. We do not want that here, and we do not want any approach to it. If any word 1200 of mine could influence the right hon. Gentleman, I would urge him to withdraw this Clause. It is not for the good of the police. There is a fear in the Police Force that the principle of it will be extended.
My constituency has a turbulent history. Over 100 years ago men were shot in the streets of Merthyr Tydvil and bloodshed has taken place there more than once. It has a long history of strife and struggle. With all the strife and struggle that has taken place in the last 16 years in the coalfields of South Wales, and while there has been conflict in the areas of Glamorgan, a county controlled by a militarist police chief, in the borough of Merthyr Tydvil we have never had a. cracked window pane. There has been no conflict of any kind whatever. During the worst period of the strike of 1926, the Police Force in Merthyr Tydvil was below strength and the chief constable was urged to bring in additional men from outside, or even to accept the aid of the military, for fear of trouble, but the police felt so sure that the tact of a wise chief constable, who had been trained by a man as wise as himself—Chief Constable Wilson, of Cardiff—would maintain order. Those two men maintained order without the slightest trouble because they understood the people with whom they were dealing, and, instead of creating difficulties, as the militarist invariably does, they avoided it, while the surrounding areas had trouble of a particularly disagreeable kind. That is one of the features that ought to be encouraged. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to take this Clause back while there is time and to rely upon the common sense of the civilian who is in constant touch with civilian crowds and knows how to deal with their various moods. If he does so, it will redound to his credit and honour, and to the credit of the force of which he is in control.
§ 4.42 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
The House is entitled to have a fuller reply from the Government than we have already had. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that up to now he has been the only spokesman upon this matter. His own defence of the Clause was hardly adequate to the condition of affairs at the present moment. A change is proposed in the Police Federation. As I 1201 understand the position at the moment, a certain number of higher officers are entitled to be members of the federation. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has this afternoon provided any reason for the change that is proposed 2 It is for him to prove to the House that the situation that has prevailed since the federation was formed has militated against the well-being of the Police Force. He has not yet proved that the fact that superior officers are associated with the lower officers and the men in one federation has in any way militated against the well-being of the force. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman here and now to give us any evidence which will lead this House to the conclusion that it is bad, that it has proved bad in practice, for superior officers to be associated with the men in a federation. It is not for us, I submit, to prove the necessity for no change; it is for the right hon. Gentleman to prove the necessity for any change. It is he who has initiated the change, not we, and therefore, he must take the House into his confidence and show what his case is for the change.
We have had evidence of a very limited character. We have not had it from the Home Secretary himself; we had it from the Under-Secretary some time ago. I hope I am not doing the Under-Secertary an injustice—I do not want to do so in the slightest degree— but he took the House into his confidence and said that there had been certain evidence, shall I say, of indiscipline and so on; and so tremendously conscious was the Under-Secretary of the heinousness of the offence that we almost had to drag it out of him. He said," I would not like to say this for all the world unless the Leader of the Opposition compels me to say it." What were the dreadful secrets which he revealed to the country? There were two. One was in relation to the administration of the Police Orphanage. He told us that a resolution was carried on the 14th August, 1931, at a meeting of the federation. The House must bear in mind, for it is important, and it is fair to the men to do so, that this orphanage is not an orphanage in relation to which the men as such have no voice, or ought to have no voice. I am told that the men themselves contribute directly £14,000 a year towards the maintenance 1202 of this institution. Having made this substantial contribution to the orphanage, they came to the conclusion that certain proposals in relation to its future governance were proposals which gave offence to them as contributors, and they carried a resolution, which the Under-Secretary read to the House. I confess that, having read it over and over again, I see nothing very dreadful in it, and certainly I see no reason why the right hon. Gentleman should have made such a mystery of it. Let me read it again. After a statement of the resolution, it says:Can it, therefore, be wondered at that the members of the service consider the whole business to be a travesty of justice and fair dealing and hold strongly to the view, in spite of the denial given by the Commissioner, that it is a direct attack upon branch board representation? A report of some of the remarks made at the general court will help to convince the Commissioner of this.Putting it at its worst, importing into these words the most dreadful meaning that it is possible to import, what, after all, do they amount to? Do they provide a case for changing the organisation of the Police Federation? Suppose that that were bad; grant, if you like, that there is something in that statement that is irregular; that does not afford a case for reorganising the federation; it does not afford a reason for drawing a line of demarcation between superior officers and inferior officers; it merely provides, as far as I can see, a reason for offering a censure on the men, even supposing it to be a ground for that. Let me put the other side of the case. Surely, people who contribute £14,000 a year out of their own savings are entitled to a word as to how this institution, which they support, shall be conducted. Anyhow, do not let us have the Under-Secretary suggesting that to ask for a legitimate share in the governance of an institution of this sort is in any way to question the right of the Home Office to expect these men to be properly disciplined.
What was the other case? The other case was the publication of a notice at the Cannon Row Police Station in relation to the salary cuts. After all, I do not suppose that, when the Cabinet imposed upon themselves a cut at the time of the financial crisis, it was at all popular among them. Who among us hails with joy the application of a cut in his salary? Will those who feel enthusiasm about a 1203 cut in their salaries at any time please put up their hands? Where is the man who is really enthusiastic when he feels that he is going to have less salary in the future? And yet, because these men exercise their legitimate right and protest, not against the first cut, but against the second cut, that again is put forward as a ground for alleging insubordination. Even supposing for the sake of argument that that is insubordination, it is no argument in favour of changing the organisation of the federation. I submit that no case has been made for dividing this federation into two.
The hon. Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone) quite rightly directed attention to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman himself. He said that we must have an esprit de corps among the officers on the one side, and an esprit de corps among the men on the other. We are to have a dividing line; between the two there is to be a great gulf fixed. That is what the right hon. Gentleman said. Really, it is a dreadful thing, in my judgment, to bring in this new and clear line of differentiation between the officer class above a certain grade and the others. The officers are to be certain grades above the salt; the rest are to be below the salt. There are to be the sheep and the goats, to use another simile. They will be like Jews and Samaritans; they will have nothing to do with one another. How are these men to make representations? Is the situation to be reduced to one in which the men must always be formulating their charges or their complaints in writing? There are many complaints that, if they are only mentioned to a superior officer by word of mouth, can be disposed of like lightning, but if men are to be reduced eternally to setting down their complaints in writing, really there will be something lost to the federation, and there will be something lost to the force which the force cannot very well afford to do without. I beg the Home Secretary or the Under-Secretary to take us a little further into their confidence. We are entitled to know more fully what is the real reason for this change.
When the federation came into being, it came into being, as I understood it, to meet a felt want at the time, to provide the men with an instrument whereby they might defend themselves, if you like, 1204 whereby they might defend their rights— to provide them with a vehicle by which they might convey their hopes, suspicions and desires to higher quarters. We know that there was a grave disturbance when the federation was formed, and the federation was formed to deal with it— to relieve the pressure. Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to say that there is no discontent now. that there is no pressure now? Is not the case for the federation just as strong to-day as it was in 1919? I have no interest in it, but I venture to hazard a guess that the case for the federation to-day is just as strong as, if not stronger than, it was 11 or 12 years ago. The right hon. Gentleman may think that now, 12 years later, he may be able to remove this instrument which Parliament created. What will he put in its place? Is he going to tell the men that they have no need for a federation any longer? This thing cannot stop in London; it will spread all over the country. Every one of us, therefore, is involved in this business to-day, and that is why we attach so much importance to it. London cannot be isolated in this matter. Every watch committee up and down the land will be invited sooner or later to follow this example. We are entitled, therefore, to know, in the interests of our own localities, what the Government are proposing to set up instead of this federation. The right hon. Gentleman knows very well that, if he strikes this blow at the federation to-day, he is striking off one of the most effective instruments that the police have ever had for demonstrating their united voice and their united votes.
§ 4.58 p.m.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
May we ask the Home Secretary or the Under-Secretary to give us a little more information on this matter? I do not want to take part in the discussion on this Motion to leave out Clause 3, and am very reluctant to do so, but, surely, we are entitled to something more than the very limited explanation which was given by the right hon. Gentleman. Since this question has been before the House, not a single reason has been given why the federation should be dealt with in this manner, except what the Under-Secretary gave us at the close of the Second Reading Debate, and I do not think there is any 1205 difference of opinion among Members of the House that that explanation was in fact no explanation. The right hon. Gentleman and his advisers are forgetting that the federation was established to provide a means by which police officers could communicate their discontent, or any request that they had to make, to the Commissioner and the authorities in general. They did this on those two occasions, and I cannot for the life of me believe that those two occasions are sufficient to justify dealing with the federation in the manner now proposed, and grading it into two halves.
As I understood the right hon. Gentleman when he introduced the Bill, and as I understood the White Paper, the force is to be divided. I shall have something to say about that proposal later in the evening, and I will not go into it at any length now, but I understood that the reason for dividing the force, and introducing this, so to speak, dual membership of the force, was in order to deal with more serious crime. There was no proposal that the new men were not to mix with the others, or that any danger would arise because of such mixing. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us that he wants these men now out of the federation in order that crime may be more effectively detected? Does he think that the corruption that has existed at the top will be got rid of by dividing the force in this way? Does he assume that the fact that the heads were members of the federation made them more open to corruption than otherwise? The thing to me is absurd. We are entitled to ask the right hon. Gentleman, or the Under-Secretary, to take the House further into his confidence and to tell us what is the effective reason that has led them to want to break up the federation. It was established in a time of difficulty and crisis, and people believed, when it was established, that it was a permanent means, similar to what exists in industry, to enable the men to get into communication with the authorities whenever there were any grievances to be discussed. Now it is to be destroyed. You will have a different relationship between the chief officials and the men, and it is a perfectly reasonable request that we should be told what is the reason for what is proposed in this Clause.
§ 5.3 p.m.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I should hesitate not to respond to the right hon. Gentleman's appeal, but I have, indeed, little to add to what I have already said. It is clear that the Clause makes one simple alteration. It does not, as has been repeatedly asserted, abolish the federation. Hon. Members in all parts of the House must be clearly able to realise that in the past there were certain circumstances which the rank and file of the Police Force desired to have an opportunity of bringing to the notice of those in authority. That opportunity remains to-day as much as in the past. It is not interfered with. The actual responsibility of those senior officers who now are going to be placed in a fundamentally different position because of their training in the Police College — [Interruption.] Is it not true to say that hon. Members opposite do not oppose the setting up of a Police College in which those who are responsible for the leadership of the police shall have an opportunity of learning their job?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us in what way that disqualifies them from carrying on membership of the federation? If they are better trained, surely their better training should be at the disposal of their comrades, helping them, in discussion and so on, to understand the business better.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
It was never the intention that the officers should be in the federation. The federation was established because there were some in the rank and file who felt that they had not an opportunity of representing to the authorities the feelings of the rank and file. The officers, of course, have had opportunities of representing their point of view, and anyone who says they have not does not know how this thing works to-day. It is clear that those who have responsible authority over the police are responsible directly to the Commissioner and to those in authority, and they have the fullest opportunity of putting their point of view to the Commissioner every day of their lives.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I do not know what the hon. Gentleman means by "common grievance," but inspectors, sergeants and constables have now, and will have in the future, their opportunity of putting any grievance, whether a sectional or a common grievance. Superior officers have access to those in authority now. This only draws the dividing line at a slightly different point from where it was in the past. It does not interfere with the proper operation of the federation. It is not my desire to exacerbate this discussion by commenting on any past lapses in the method of administration. I am looking to the future; This reconstruction is brought about by the fact that for over 100 years nothing has been done to put the proper organisation of the Metropolitan Police Force upon a sound basis, and it is because of the necessity of so doing that we are asking that there shall be this slight difference, which does not touch the interests of the rank and file and which will, in my judgment, add to the efficiency of the force.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I said, when intro ducing the Bill, that it dealt with the Metropolitan Police Force and that it arose out of circumstances peculiar to the Metropolitan Police Force. It has and can have nothing whatever to do with any other force than the Metropolitan Force. 5.8 p.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
The right hon. Gentleman., in his very illuminating reply, has studiously avoided stating the reason for drawing this line of demarcation at a different point from what it has been drawn hitherto. It is not good enough to say that the thing has been done this way for 100 years and that it is time to have a change. The right hon. Gentleman might just as well say the thing has always existed, and, therefore, you should not have a change. It is only a sort of inverted Toryism that he is putting forward. He is not giving a reason in the least. What is the nature of the change that he desires? Is it that he 1208 desires to have a separate officer caste altogether 2 Is it that he objects altogether that people of one service, but of different rank, should act together? Does he want to divide the force? The force has existed for a large number of years, and there has never been a violent dividing line at this point. The right hon. Gentleman has not attempted to relate any of the defects of the force to the fact that the men and officers met in one federation. He has never put forward the suggestion that there is a lack of respect on the part of the rank and file for their officers. There is no suggestion that they do not obey orders.
I have never seen a series of arguments put forward with so little relationship to the proposals. In not a, single instance has the right hon. Gentleman attempted to relate his remedy to any alleged defect. We have heard that you must have highly-skilled people to catch the highly-skilled criminals of the day. Will the fact that you are going to draw a bigger gulf between the rank and file and the officers help to catch these superior criminals I Does anyone imagine that the way to catch criminals is to have an organisation in which you separate the officer from the man as much as possible? I imagine the point is that you have a man so drilled that, when an officer gives him an order, be jumps to it. The sole idea of having a great gulf between officers and men in the Army was that years ago the man in the ranks was supposed to be totally uneducated and not to think for himself, and you had to make a gulf between him and the officer so that the officer should be a man like a god whose will was law, and that whatever he said the man did.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
That is what we should like to know from the Home Secretary. I am trying to visualise a new force of men, all standing strictly to attention and catching criminals when the officer tells them to do so, because that is the scheme in the right hon. Gentleman's mind. As a matter of fact, that idea has been given up in all kinds of military forces to-day. The whole idea of a military force is to have thinking people who act for themselves, and to have as close contact as you can between officers and men.
1209 The. right hon. Gentleman wants to put the clock hack and to draw a dividing line. He emphasises it by saying, "These people shall be in different associations altogether, and you must have it, because we are going to educate one lot and send them to a police college." I do not know where he is getting these ideas from, the Air Force or the Army or what. Why does he not go to the Secretary of State for War and suggest that, as soon as an officer in the Guards passes the Staff College, he shall belong to a different class, because they must be kept apart? He knows that that kind of reason is utterly and entirely futile. He had to give some sort of reason, and he said the first thing that came into his head. He is trying to change the character of this force altogether. He does not want a force which is generally in touch and in sympathy with the public. He wants to have a separate cadre of officers drawn from one class who will do the will of what he hopes will be the Tory Home Secretary of the day, and he hopes to break down any sympathy that other members of the force might have with the general public by subordinating them, so that they shall obey (orders strictly, and that is the reason that stands out right through this case for the federation, the college and the temporaries and everything else. It is the desire to change the character of the force in the Metropolis from a force that acts with the people and in sympathy with the people, and believes in the liberty of the people, to a force in the hands of the Home Secretary or the Government to use exactly as they please. It is not the danger from the higher type of criminals of which the right hon. Gentleman is thinking, but of the possibility of danger from the working class, and he wants a force to use against them.
§ 5.16 p.m.
§ Mr. McENTEE
The last speech of the Home Secretary shows definitely that he is hiding something and is not giving, and does not intend to give, the real reasons why the change in the federation is being made. The Home Secretary has the mind of a Hitler but not the courage of a Hitler. He desires to bring about a state of things in this country—and there is no question of secrecy about it —which he and his class have sought to maintain for a great number of years. 1210 He and the Government of which he is a Member see a change coming which they fear, and they have appointed the present Commissioner, Lord Trenchard, for a specific purpose. There is no question about it. Prom the very day of the appointment of Lord Trenchard hostility was observed, and it could not fail to be observed, between himself and the men whom he commanded. That hostility was apparent in his every action and on many occasions he went out of his way to insult those whom he commanded.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I really must ask that an attack upon an official responsible to me and not able to answer in this House should not be made in this House.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Sir Dennis Herbert)
Apart from that, I think that the speech of the hon. Member is hardly directed to the particular Amendment which we are now discussing.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I put this to the right hon. Gentleman, and to you too, that he did not hesitate to make an attack upon men who could not reply to him.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
There is some difference between speaking of a body of men and of an individual.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I think the matter can easily be disposed of in the way I hinted to the hon. Member, that his speech did not appear to be on the Amendment before the House.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
The White Paper upon which this Bill is based dealt with the federation. The Commissioner dealt with the federation and gave reasons why such proposals as are in the Bill should be brought forward, and surely we are entitled to discuss that matter when dealing with a Clause which is based upon the White Paper?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I think that there are two answers to that point. The first one is that there can be discussion on the White Paper without a personal attack upon a particular individual who is not here, and the other is that 1211 we are not discussing now the whole of the White Paper. The hon. Member must really confine or relate his remarks, whether they refer to a particular individual or not, to the Amendment before the House.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
The point raised by the right hon. Gentleman is a very important one, and I should like it clarified' by you Mr. Deputy-Speaker. The Bill is based upon the report of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolitan area, Lord Trenchard. We ought to know whether the right hon. Gentleman is correct in his contention that we cannot deal with the report from that officer and refer to him by name, when, in fact, everything we are doing to-day is based upon the proposals made by that gentleman?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
There are different ways of doing the same thing. It has always been the practice and custom in this House that personal attacks upon officials of State, who are not able to reply, should be avoided.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
This point is very important. We must mention Lord Trenchard in connection with it because we are criticising his report. No one wishes to say that Lord Trenchard is dishonourable or anything of that sort, but we are entitled to say that we profoundly disagree with his point of view, and surely that is not out of order.
§ Mr. McENTEE
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to tell us what he objects to? My criticism was that the report dealing with the federation was issued over the name of Lord Trenchard and that therefore we were entitled to discuss the report and mention Lord Trenchard by name. The report as far as it deals with the federation, leads me to believe that in his references to the federation, Lord Trenchard is definitely hostile to the men he commands. The right hon. Gentleman himself gave proof of that contention when for a time he endeavoured to avoid mentioning the reasons for the breaking-up of the federation, and was afterwards induced to mention two really 1212 trivial resolutions for passing which the federation was responsible. They are taken as the pretext for smashing up the federation, and surely I am entitled to say if things of comparatively little importance are magnified by Lord Trenchard and by the right hon. Gentleman into reasons for smashing the federation which has existed for many years, that that is a definite proof of hostility by the Commissioner Lord Trenchard towards the whole of the men he commands. As the right hon. Gentleman will not give any reason, I have to seek it. Here is a federation which, after an incident in the police history of the Metropolis, was set up with the sanction, and, in fact, at the determination of the Government. They determined that the police should not in future be governed in the same way as they had been in the past, and they refused permission to continue the form of organisation which had existed up to that time and imposed the federation upon the Police Force.
The right hon. Gentleman has told us to-day that it is 100 years since there was any alteration in the law relating to the police, and that therefore it is essential that some alteration should now be made. That fact that the federation was imposed upon the police by the friends of the right hon. Gentleman—the Government of that time—was surely an important change, and now, after experience of the federation, they want to change again. I ask myself: Why? I get a reply, which satisfies me, at any rate, to the effect that the federation was a militant body in the interests of the police, including the officers, and now, because it has been effective and militant, the right hon. Gentleman and his friends introduce Lord Trenchard as an instrument to break it. That is how I view the whole thing, and I consider that I am entitled to say it. The right hon. Gentleman objects because anyone dares to attack his friend, Lord Trenchard. I say what I consider to be the truth about Lord Trenchard in regard to the federation, which he is now with the help of the right hon. Gentleman and the Government, endeavouring to break.
A question was put by one of my right hon. Friends on the Front Opposition Bench which I should have liked to have seen answered, but which was avoided. 1213 What is to happen to those members of the force who will not in future be allowed to join the federation? What is to happen to them if they have a common grievance. The right hon. Gentleman confessed a sort of ignorance and did not understand what was meant by a common grievance. To talk in that way is sheer nonsense. He knows that there can be, and that there are to-day, many common grievances among the officer classes in the Police Force. They will not be permitted to join the federation in future, and will therefore have no common means by which to express their common grievances. He says that they are always in touch with the Commissioner and can see him at any time. I believe that if they go to him as individuals they will receive the same kind of treatment which the ordinary working man receives when, as an individual, he interviews his employer in regard to a grievance. Working men found that as individuals they had no power and were compelled by the circumstances of their every-day working life to form an organisation of some kind, and the police organised in exactly the same way. They formed an organisation which the Government of the day broke up, and the federation was set up in its place, and now the Government want to break the federation, and the reason is that it is not sufficiently pliable for them and dares to express an opinion about the conditions of service of the police. There will not be the contentment in the Police Force which one would like to see. The right hon. Gentleman will not get the service—he does not deserve to get it—which he has received in the past. Although the Government will get their Bill, I hope that they will live sufficiently long—and I do not expect them to live very long— to regret the action which they are taking to-day.
§ 5.29 p.m.
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
I have been brought to my feet by the statement of the Home Secretary that we ought not to criticise the report of the Commissioner in terms of a personal nature. Our difficulty is that inadequate as the report of the Commissioner has been, the replies of the Home Secretary are even more inadequate. If we were discussing the policy of the Home Secretary, we could direct our attention to what the Home 1214 Secretary has said, but he has not said anything. He has not any policy. It has been characteristic of the Home Office for many years that the Home Secretary never has a policy. The policy is always made by the chief officials in the Home Office. There is no Department of the Government where the civilian authority has less control over policy than in the Home Office. On this occasion, as is the universal practice of the Conservatice party, they have put in charge of the Home Office the least positive and the most guileful of their representatives. They selected a Minister with the most urbane and most docile appearance, in order to act as a suitable decoy to secure from the House of Commons powers which another Home Secretary would not be able to obtain. Often the most sinister proposals are put before the House by the least sinister Minister, and I congratulate the Government on having selected on this further occasion the right person to put these views forward.
I have taken advantage on several occasions in the last few months to speak to provincial policemen about the reorganisation of the Metropolitan Police. Some of us who have had the advantage of local government experience are sometimes brought into communication with the police in circumstances more favourable than the rest of the population, and we take advantage of those opportunities to find out the views of the police. Every time that I have discussed this matter with the police they told me that they cannot understand what is in the Home Secretary's mind. I have told them that they do not know the Home Secretary; otherwise, they would not wonder about that. They have said to me that they did not see how the segregation of this new officer class from the rank and file in the Police Federation is going to assist the police in its special duty of catching criminals. The very last thing we want in the Police Force dealing with so individual a matter as crime is inflexibility. We want a Police Force of the most flexible kind and we want co-operation carried to the utmost extent. The rigid standardisation which is characteristic of military organisation is the very last type of organisation that you want in the pursuit of the criminal. I should have thought that if the purpose of the reorganisation is to catch criminals, you 1215 would try to have a type of Police Force just as individualistic and as adaptable as the criminal classes themselves. Instead of that, you are trying to impose upon the criminal class a type of organisation hopelessly rigid—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must remind the hon. Member of the nature of the Clause that we are discussing.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I was pointing out the consequences which I think flow from that segregation. Surely, we are entitled to argue that the segregation of the officer class will unfit the Police Force for the performance of its special duty of catching criminals. I thought that that point was particularly relevant, and I was addressing myself to it. If it is a fact that this reorganisation is devised in order to make the Police Force more efficient, then we are bound to conclude that that efficiency is not the type of efficiency that will catch criminals. No one has yet suggested that this type of organisation is the best, because it makes it easier to catch criminals. The Home Secretary may have said it in passing— he has said many things in passing—but he has not proved it; in fact, he has not proved anything. He has sheltered himself by saying: "I do not want to say anything that will inflame feelings in the Police Force."
This House is asked to give powers under this Bill for the changing of the constitution of a Police Force which has been in existence for 100 years, and we are entitled to have more adequate explanation than we have received up to now. It is obvious why these powers are being sought. It used to be said that the civilian police should remain civilian in character and organisation, because in that way they kept in touch with the temper of the civilian population and gave as little provocation as possible. There is a great deal to be said for that point of view. I have had many experiences where a young and inex- 1216 perienced policeman, out of touch with the crowd who were demonstrating, has said something or done something of a most provocative character and in two or three minutes the whole crowd has been inflamed. On the other hand, I have seen old constables of much greater experience, who knew the temper of the crowd, and to a large extent sympathised with the object of the demonstration, behaving with discretion, with kindness, and with that comradeship which they are always ready to display in order to avoid any provocation.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must remind the hon. Member that he is going far beyond the Clause under discussion. He must confine himself to the Clause.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I understand that the Clause is designed to separate the officer class from the other members of the Police Force in respect of the federation, and I am desiring to point out that this separation, this gulf, must mean that the officers in future will not share the point of view of the rank and file of the Police Force, that when demonstrations take place and the officer in charge of the police at the demonstration gives an order he will act without any intimate knowledge of the point of view of the rank and file constable, and consequently the order is likely to be psychologically bad. That is the point that I am trying to make. The secret is that neither the Home Secretary nor the Commissioner is organising the police in order to avoid trouble but on the basis of the certainty that there is going to be trouble. They are not organising the civilian police to keep civilian peace, but on the assumption that civilian disturbances are inevitable, and that consequently you must have a type of Police Force out of sympathy with the demonstrators, in order that they may be more amenable to the orders of the Home Office and less amenable to the temper of the crowd.
The suggestion has been made on more than one occasion that the civilian police are polluted by the general psychology of the mass of the population and that unless that contamination can be arrested the civilian police may not perhaps be reliable in great civil disturbances, and that consequently you must have inside the Police Force an officer class entirely out of sympathy 1217 with civilian population in order that they may carry out the orders of the Government. That is the secret of the change which the House is being asked to carry out. That is the reason why no longer are you to have the officer and the rank and file of the Police Force sitting together discussing their common grievances and having that sense of kinship and comradeship together which is so essential. You cannot afford it because you are passing into the phase of civil disturbance and into the phase of warfare between the forces of the State and the civilian population.
You are not able to satisfy the civilian population by remedial measures and sane legislation and you are provoking the civilian into demonstration therefore you must have the janissaries of the State who can be relied upon to carry out the orders of the Government. It is entirely a Fascist development. It is to make the Police Force more amenable to the orders of the Carlton Club and Downing Street, if there is a disturbance. The fact that the House has not forced the Home Secretary to disclose what is really behind this Measure more than it has done, shows that the House in its psychology is prepared for this alteration in the Police Force. I am not quarelling with the Home Secretary or the Commissioner. I know that they want to do this and that they need to do it, but do let us recognise the reality of what they are doing and the reason why they are doing it. They want to militarise the upper hierachy of the Police Force because they cannot trust the Police Force. It is to the great credit of the Police Force that they cannot be trusted to carry out the orders that they will be asked to carry out.
I hope that when the Home Secretary addresses the House in future he will do us the honour to give a little more attention to the Bill and to give us adequate information, and not to shelter behind the cowardly statement that he does not want to do anything that will cause bad feeling. It is his duty to bring information before the House, irrespective of the feeling that may be created. It is his duty to produce evidence, but he cannot produce it because there is no evidence in support of his case. He cannot say why he wants this change, because he knows the country would not have it if he said why he wants it. Therefore, he 1218 comes to the House of Commons in this miserable, lame way seeking to alter a Police Force which has up to now been the pride of the civilised world but which will from now fall from its high position.
§ 5.43 p.m.
§ Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
The Home Secretary has retired from the battle front and is in the flank somewhere. He has disappointed us because we have asked for information that he and he alone ought to give to the House. It is no use the Home Secretary sheltering behind the statement that this House ought not to discuss the personality responsible for this Bill.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must remind the hon. Member that the person responsible for this Bill is the Minister in charge.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
I shall offer no offence to the Home Secretary or to Lord Trenchard, but we are discussing a matter arising out of a White Paper presented by an official of the Metropolitan Police, the Commissioner, and we have asked the Home Secretary to release the Commissioner from the subject of debate and to come forward with candour and frankness and tell the House why this very drastic change is being undertaken. This is the position as I see it; we have the Police Federation, set up 14 or 15 years ago by this House, and applied to the whole country, the Metropolitan and the Provincial Forces. Now the Home Secretary comes forward and says that the Police Federation is to be allowed to exist and operate, and that its work will be done as heretofore in all parts of the country except the Metropolitan area, but no proper reason has been given for taking the Metropolitan area away from the full advantage which was conferred by this House on the Police Forces when the Police Federation was formed. I have risen for the special purpose of putting this question to the Home Secretary, and I hope the House will support me in my demand. It is the business of hon. Members opposite, just as much as it is the business of hon. Members on this side of the House, to get full information on this matter. It is not enough for the trio of Ministers opposite to be silent when information is asked from them.
1219 The Home Secretary did not do himself justice, or the office he holds, when he gave us the very innocent explanation that the Police Federation is functioning, that it is doing its work, that the rank and file are in consultation with their superiors and that everything is all right. Is that true? I am not blaming the Home Secretary because he has only lately appeared on the scene; he apparently is the innocent decoy to be put forward. The trouble about which we complain was in existence before he became Home Secretary. He says that there is only a slight change, that certain people who were allowed to join the Police Federation will no longer be allowed to join because the force will not be recruited in the same way. Is it true to say that the Police Federation is now functioning as intended? Will the Home Secretary tell us whether the federation is functioning now? Are their meetings allowed? Are the men in the Metropolitan Police Force allowed to meet and discuss their grievances? Are the men and the officers allowed to come together? Is it true that for the last 12 months no meetings of the men have been allowed? I ask for a specific reply to that question. I am told that the Police Federation has not been allowed to operate for the last 12 months; that no meetings of the men have been allowed to take place. I am also informed that only committee men are allowed to meet.
What is the use of the Home Secretary telling us that the federation is carrying on its functions as intended? The reason for this is that someone high up in the Home Office or the Metropolitan Police Force believes that he has a better plan for the administration of the police force. If there is a better plan for the detection of crime and the punishment of the criminal let the House be told of it. I want an answer to these questions, and I think the House should demand an answer; is the federation allowed to operate? Are the men allowed to hold meetings? Is it intended that they shall hold meetings in the future? Is it true that the men have been forbidden to hold meetings and that only committee meetings have been held in the last 12 months? I hope that the Home Secretary, or the 1220 Under-Secretary of State or the Solicitor-General, one of the three, will take the House into their confidence and give us a straight answer.
§ 5.50 p.m.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
The hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell) has made a very serious statement; and in my view a correct statement. We ought not to allow a division to take place without an answer from the Government upon the points which have been put to them. I happen to know a little about the Police Federation because I once had the honour of addressing a meeting of the Police Federation. It does not fall to the lot of every Member of Parliament to be thus invited; and I am under the impression that this Clause is designed to prevent people like me being asked to speak there again. In view of what the Home Secretary has said I think we ought to know now whether the Police Federation is allowed to meet at all, and also how many meetings have been held during the last 12 months? We should also like to know whether any meetings of the federation have been held apart from the one in the Albert Hall, and that in the Free Trade Hall in Manchester later in the year. These were the only two public meetings, I think, held during the last 12 months. The right hon. Gentleman does not like these meetings of the policemen, nor does he like the officers and the men meeting together in the federation; he does not, in fact, like the men meeting at all.
That is a most important point and, therefore, I will put it again. I can see that I am moving the right hon. Gentleman just a little. Apparently it takes the eloquence of a Welshman, no I mean two Welshmen—[HON. MEMBERS: "Three, four, five !"]—to move the right hon. Gentleman. Is it a fact that the Home Office, through Scotland Yard, is now practically preventing the Police Federation from functioning at all? And, if it is not allowed to function, may we know the reason why? If the Police Federation is allowed to function, will the officers and men under the law as it now stands be allowed to continue to mingle together until after the passing of this Bill through all its stages? I do not know when it will become an Act of Parliament, it has to go to another place yet, but let me 1221 ask these two specific questions. Has the Home Office already decided that the federation shall not function, but, if it is allowed to function at all, do the officers and men mingle together as hitherto, or has the Home Office already decided that this Bill is an Act of Parliament before it has passed through all its stages? Will the right hon. Gentleman answer these questions which have been put with great courtesy as possible?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I have already told the House that we are not abolishing the Police Federation; that it will continue; and I stand by that. In so far as the federation meetings are concerned they are going on at the present time as usual, they have not been interfered with. Reference has been made to public demonstrations. There is one meeting of the full federation of the whole country, it represents the whole country, which I attended myself; but if it is a question of having Albert Hall demonstrations then in my judgment as a matter of the proper discipline in the force it is not desirable. That does not infringe any of the rights which Parliament gave under the Act to the federation; it does not touch them. All I have to say is that the federation will be allowed to operate, is operating, and can operate. The only thing which may come in question is having great demonstrations at the Albert Hall or things of that kind. They are not necessary, nor do they help to the proper organisation of the force, and as far as I am responsible I will not agree to them.
§ Mr. D. GRENFELL
Is it intended in the future that there shall be any ban on the meetings of the men in the division?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The actual number of meetings which have been held in the past have been excessive, that is quite clear. But there will be no limitation of an unnecessary character, nor will there be a denial of their being able to put their point of view, that I wish to make quite clear. But, as I have told the House, there have been over 400, nearly 500, meetings held in London, which is a gross abuse of the powers given to the federation, and shows that there Is something fundamentally wrong in the system. We are altering the system, we believe that the necessity for them no 1222 longer exists, and in the circumstances we propose to reduce the number.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
May I ask the Home Secretary, arising out of his reply, whether we are to understand that the number of times the men themselves may meet either in their areas or collectively is a matter which the right hon. Gentleman considers he has the right to decide, and he only? Whether in future mass meetings of the men will only be permitted when the right hon. Gentleman himself considers it necessary? Does the right hon. Gentleman think in these circumstances that he can honestly say that he is not altering the whole principle upon which the Police Federation was founded —namely, as a means by which the men could meet together and voice their grievances? Is it not the fact that he is abolishing it for good and all?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must remind hon. Members that we are now at the Report stage, and hon. Members are not allowed to speak more than once.
§ 5.57 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I listened to the reply of the Home Secretary, and I find it almost difficult to believe that in 1933 we should have had an answer of the kind he has given. What does it mean? It means that as Parliament has given him the right to become the employer of the Police Force in the London area, he is now, as their employer, proposing to grant them the right to hold meetings provided that these meetings are as he wants them to be. These men have had 400 meetings, and the right hon. Gentleman comes here and, instead of finding out the reason why they have had 400 meetings, says that they are to be less in the future. Policemen are not different from the rest of the community, and if they have held 400 meetings they must have a reason. Instead of the right hon. Gentleman finding out the reason why the men should have held this number of meetings, and finding a cure for their grievances, which would obviate the necessity for 400 meetings, he says, "No, we will not readjust the grievances, we will suppress the right to hold meetings."
1223 That is his case here. He has not said that the men have a legitimate grievance. All that he said was that they have had too many meetings. If he does not want them to have meetings why does he not readjust their grievances? That is the reasonable way. Now he says: "Oh, but they must not have demonstrations; they must not meet at the Albert Hall. They can have a meeting provided that they hold a small meeting and no one knows about it." The police are not to call public attention to their grievances. Policemen surely have a right to meet in public, in as large a hall as they can get, in order to direct public attention to the particular grievances from which they are suffering. It has been the custom throughout the ages that every section of the community had a right to bring pressure to bear on Parliament, so as to get grievances altered from time to time. The only method a policeman can adopt is to have recourse to educating public opinion. Now the Home Secretary benevolently says: "They may have some meetings, but the number must be limited by me, and the occasion on which they hold them must be limited by me." The right of public demonstration is not to exist in future.
I confess that in these days, when Cabinet Ministers and almost everyone in public life are denouncing Hitlerism in Germany, we are dangerously approaching it here. The Prime Minister is still nominally the head of this Government. I am wondering how far he is the head of the Government. I remember the time when he stood for a much more radical outlook than that for which he stands now. I remember him coming to my constituency in 1917 or 1918, and demanding the right for soldiers and sailors to form workmen's councils. I remember that he became very indignant because the soldiers and sailors had not the right to voice their grievances and to approach Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament. Now we see the same Prime Minister as the head of a Government which refuses to these policemen, not what he demanded for sailors and soldiers, but merely an ordinary elementary right, the right to group meetings in their divisions, the right to confer with one another as to their wrongs, the right to hold a demonstration in order to impress public opinion.
1224 If the Home Secretary does the just thing by these men, if he gives them the rights that Parliament would like them to have, he has nothing to fear from meetings, large or small. The reason why he is prohibiting both the large and the small meeting is that he is making attacks on the policeman's standard of life. He is withdrawing from them rights and liberties which they formerly had. He fears public discussion, and he seeks by this method to use powers of repression. It is a step back to the dark days, to the time when Liberals, to their credit, had to make a stand for the expression of opinion by the people. The same efforts were made at that time to curtail the expression of public opinion. I cannot see why the Police Forces of this country should not have their meetings. If the Home Secretary thinks that they are meeting too often, let him grant some of the things for which they are agitating. When policemen meet so often it must be because they have legitimate grievances. The Home Secretary knows that if he found out their grievances and adjusted them, the police would not hold a large number of meetings.
I am not surprised at the Home Secretary. Anyone who knows his past outlook in Scotland, knows that when once he makes up his mind he will never alter it one inch; argument or reason will not move him. Everyone who knew the administration of his office in Scotland knew that, once he said "No," he had one great capacity, and that was to keep on saying "No." Unlike the Prime Minister he had that one saving grace. The Prime Minister changes from "no" to "yes" and "yes" to "no," and then sometimes he is between the two, like Mahommet's coffin midway between earth and heaven. But the Home Secretary keeps on saying "No." It is his one quality. A popular phrase is, "He is a 'yes' man." But the Home Secretary is a "no" man.
§ 6.7 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
There is one point which the House would like to have cleared before coming to a conclusion on this matter. There is a question with regard to the Police Federation which is troubling the minds of a large number of people who have knowledge of what has been happening. It is not so much a matter of the large public meetings in 1225 the Albert Hall or in a hall of that description, but the question is this: Is it true that in the divisions the Police Federation have not had an opportunity of meeting their men in private, in a meeting of their own where the men themselves have been present? I understand that the committees have met, but I am informed, and have every reason to believe it is true, that the men in the divisions who are in the federation have not had an opportunity of discussing their grievances there. While this Clause is under discussion we ought to be told whether that is correct, whether the men have been stopped from holding meet-
§ ings of that description, and whether it is intended in future to prevent them from holding meetings of that description.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
On a point of Order. A very serious allegation has been made. Is it not possible to have a reply from the Home Secretary or the Solicitor-General?
§ Question put, "That the words pro- posed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 245; Noes, 53.1227
|Division No. 241.]||AYES||[6.10 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. p. G.||Cross, R. H.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Albery, Irving James||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Joel, Dudley J. 8arnato|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Applln, Lleut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Davies, Ma].Geo. F. (Somerset,Yeovil)||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Davison, Sir William Henry||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Astor,Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kimball, Lawrence|
|Balllle, Sir Adrian W. M.||Denville, Alfred||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Dickie, John P.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Balniel, Lord||Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbert||Leckle, J. A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Donner, p. W.||Lees-Jones, John|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Doran, Edward||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Drewe, Cedric||Levy, Thomas|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Ayiesbury)||Duckworth, George A. V,||Lewis, Oswald|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.)||Duggan, Hubert John||Llddall, Walter S.|
|Bonn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Dunglass, Lord||Lloyd, Geoffrey|
|Bird, Sir Robert B.(Wolverh'pton W.)||Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Locker-Lampson,Rt. Hn. G. (Wd.Gr'n)|
|Borodale, Viscount||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.J|
|Bossom, A. C.||Elmley, Viscount||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Mabane, William|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||MacAndrew, Capt. J, O. (Ayr)|
|Bracken, Brendan||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Bralthwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Fleming, Edward Lascelles||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton|
|Brown, Col. D.C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Fox, Sir Gifford||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Brown,Brig.-Gen.H.C(Berks.,Newb'y)||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Maltland, Adam|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Ganzonl, Sir John||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Burnett, John George||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Glllet, Sir George Masterman||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Carver, Major William H.||Goff, Sir Park||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Cayzer, Ma). Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Grigg, Sir Edward||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, s.)||Grimston, R. V.||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Clarke, Frank||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hales, Harold K.||Morrison, William Shepherd|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hanley, Dennis A.||Mulrhead, Major A. J.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hartington, Marquess of||Munro, Patrick|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Harvey, George (Lambeth,Kenningt'n)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Nunn, William|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||O'Connor, Terence James|
|Cooke, Douglas||Herbert, capt. 8. (Abbey Division)||O'Donovan, Dr. William James|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Copeland, Ida||Horsbrugh, Florence||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Howard, Tom Forrest||Petherick, M.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Plckford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Potter, John|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Hurst, Sir Gerald 8.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Procter, Major Henry Adam||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Pybus, Percy John||Sinclair, Col.T. (Queen's Unv.,Belfast)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.||Slater, John||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Smith, R. W.(Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Rankin, Robert||Somervell, Donald Bradley||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Reld, David D, (County Down)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Reld, William Allan (Derby)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Remer, John R.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Robinson, John Roland||Stanley, Hon. O. F. Q. (Westmorland)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Ropner, Colonel I—||Steel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertfd)|
|Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Ross, Ronald D,||Storey, Samuel||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Stourton, Hon. John J.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Strauss, Edward A.||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Runge, Norah Cecil||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Russell,Hamer Field (Sheffield,B'tslde)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.||Womersley, Walter James|
|Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Band)|
|Salmon, Sir Isldore||Tate, Mavis Constance||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Sandeman, Sir A. N, Stewart||Titchfleld. Major the Marquess of||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)||Sir George Penny and Mr.|
|Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)||Blindell.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||McGovern, John|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro',W.)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Banfield, John William||Groves, Thomas E.||Maxton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Grundy. Thomas W.||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Bernays, Robert||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Bevan, Aneurln (Ebbw Vale)||Hamilton, Sir R.w.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Harris, Sir Percy||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Buchanan, George||Hirst, George Henry||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Cape, Thomas||Janner, Barnett||Thorne, William James|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jenkins, Sir William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, William G.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, Charles||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Logan, David Gilbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.-|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lunn, William||Mr. John and Mr. C. Macdonald.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||McEntee, Valentine L.|