§ 10.40 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I beg to move, "That this House do now adjourn."
I move this Motion by virtue of the fact that this afternoon I was granted leave to do so, and I want at the outset to call attention to the ground on which leave was given, namely:The refusal to-day of the Prime Minister to grant any facilities whatever for the unemployed hunger marchers to voice their 1059 grievance, either to himself, the Cabinet, or the House.Those are the terms on which we secured leave to move the Adjournment to-night. In moving the Motion, I want to put before the House one or two considerations why I think the House of Commons ought to agree with us in it. I hope I shall not be out of order or far-fetched if I compare this hunger march with previous marches that have taken place. I remember that, when the last one took place, various people were loud in their advice to the marchers that, when they came to London, they ought to conduct themselves in a manly, peaceful and constitutional fashion. I remember that on that occasion they were told by Members from all parts that, if they would adopt a quiet, constitutional and ordinary civil way of demonstrating their rights, they would neither find the House of Commons, the Cabinet nor the Government, either individually or collectively, unresponsive.
On this occasion the hunger marchers have come here in an orderly way, quietly and decently; they have come here without any display of force, and without aggravating any person or any section of the community. In an honest, simple way they have marched these miles. The men and the women are of the ordinary types of working-class population. Now they have come, and they have made three requests. One is that this House should hear them at the Bar; the second is that the Cabinet, and the third that the Prime Minister, should see them. Those are constitutional, quiet, decent requests.
I want, if I can, to meet some of the objections that I have heard voiced. First of all, let me say that the Prime Minister thought fit to send a letter recently, and he quoted it to-day, making certain statements as to why he could not meet those marchers. One of the reasons that I almost feel he descends to is that he says that those marchers are the victims of Communist agitators. That may well be the case. But I remember an election that he fought, I remember the famous "Red Letter" election, when on every Tory platform throughout the country he was pictured as being a Communist dupe, when from every platform and from every place he was told that he was doing Moscow's work. I have yet to learn that 1060 it is in conformity with the dignity of the Prime Minister not to reason a case but to descend to personal abuse. It does not matter whether they are Communist, Labour, Liberal or Tory dupes, the case is to be met not by abuse but by reason. These are ordinary, decent men. Communists are there and Labour people are there, but the great overwhelming majority belong to the ordinary section of the community who are dissatisfied with and indignant at the shocking conditions. They come here to plead their poverty and to plead for decency in their social treatment. Is there anyone who will say they have not conducted themselves with credit to all concerned. The Prime Minister meets them with a sneer and a scoff and almost with abuse. We can remember when in 1918 he could not get a platform in the country and he was called pro-German by the same people who are now backing him. He was abused with every filthy phrase that could be used in the hope of discrediting him, and he uses the Communist phrase with no relation to Communism in order to discredit those decent men the sooner. I often think there is little to be gained by ordinary, decent, civil standards of life. This straightforward, open method is met by the same, and even a more brutal rebuff than if they had been using any kind of dirty or mean method to arrive here.
There are three requests. One is that there should come to the Bar of the House of Commons three ordinary men who have had long periods of unemployment, three ordinary human beings with little to commend them in the way of language, dress or style should come here and state their case in their own way. There are some Members who agree with us on some points but think this is carrying it too far. I would agree that a request for every single deputation to be heard at the Bar would soon reduce this House to almost a farce, but this House of Commons has certain rights. They may not have been used for many years, but nevertheless they are rights, and this House of Commons has the right to grant them. It is for this House to say when the circumstances arise in which this right should be re-invoked. What greater issue is there in this country than that of the flesh, blood and human material of the unemployed? The House is now considering a Bill that affects every one 1061 of these men in the most intimate detail of their lives; what fitter circumstance could there be than the passing of this Measure which affects the poverty of millions of our fellow-subjects? The right is jealously guarded, so that it shall not be given too easily, but it is meant to be used on occasion, and never, in my view, has a better case for its use arisen than that of the unemployed and their treatment.
It has been said that every section of this House is capable of putting its views. I will not deny that, but the fact is that, whether you like it or like it not, hon. Members of the Labour party have put their views, some of them with great capacity, on this Bill. Hon. Members of the Liberal party have put their views. I have been unemployed, but it was 10 or 12 years ago, and I cannot speak now as the present unemployed would speak. Twelve years of comfort make me different in some way. I try to keep my sense of reality, but I want someone to come who is unemployed now, someone fresh, someone whom the reality is hitting at the moment as nothing else can hit him. While hon. Members have done their work, and done it with skill, I hope I shall not be taken to depreciate them in any way when I say that they are not men fresh from the Employment Exchange, fresh from the means test, fresh from watching their children grow on two shillings a week. My brother-in-law at home has children; they meet me, but I can never tell as they can what their two shillings means. They know it. Why should they not come to the Bar and picture to you and me something that is not fancy, but the reality of a child's growth and its life?
That is what they ask, but they also ask that the Cabinet shall meet them. I remember a great man, and I hope that I am not disparaging the present occupant of his office. That man has his critics, but he occupied that post with great ability in the days before I was politically active. I refer to the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd-George). I remember him in the days when he controlled the Cabinet. In those days the Cabinet met deputations of working people who were threatened with trade disputes, and negotiated with them. That was never 1062 from weakness on his part, but every time he did it, instead of being weaker, he was stronger, because he could meet them and face them like a man. Now we ask that the Prime Minister should meet them. I remember that the Prime Minister said, when he held the position of Prime Minister under the Labour Government, that while unemployment was partly a job for the Minister of Labour, it was so widespread in its treatment and its scope and everything about it, that it was the Government's job and that the Prime Minister was responsible for it. It affected every Department. It was affected by schemes of work.
Therefore, we come to the humble request granted by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Burghs, not once but many times. These men come and say, "We, the workless, if we cannot get there, and if we cannot meet the 20 men, surely we can meet the Prime Minister of this country?" They ask, "Has not the Prime Minister the time to see us? Has he not some of his time to spare?" I hope that I am not disparaging foreign affairs, but when these simple men have seen that the Prime Minister has gone here and there, they say, "Why cannot he give us a little of his time as well as viewing foreign nations? Why cannot he give us just an hour to talk things over?" Some among these poor men are young and in the bloom of youth, and others of them took part in another march. They marched when the Prime Minister of this country welcomed them and they went to fight in other lands. To-day these men, rightly or wrongly, whether misguided or correct, I care not, have taken part in another march, a human march.
I say that the Prime Minister, with his record, praised as it has been by many of those poor people instead of lowering the dignity of his office or in any way belittling the great post which he now holds, would have raised his prestige higher than has yet been known if he said to those poverty-stricken people, "You are not brewers, you are not rich, you are not bankers, you are nothing. You are poor men. I will meet you. I will discuss with you." He would have raised himself, and above all, his office, to a grandeur hitherto unknown.
§ 10.59 p.m.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I desire to associate myself with the Motion. I am rather in the position of being ashamed of the attitude of the Prime Minister towards these unemployed men who have come here for the redress of their grievances and to appeal to the Prime Minister to be heard. An appeal was made to the Prime Minister to see those men, and then we had an appeal to the Cabinet to meet them. We were compelled to ask that a deputation should be received at the Bar in order that they should state their grievances there. The Prime Minister in his letter says that it is well known that these men are Communists explointing the unemployed for Communist purposes, or words to that effect. It can be said of every Member of Parliament in this House that he exploits bazaars, he exploits various football clubs, he exploits boxing matches, he exploits churches, he exploits almost every single angle in his Division in order to turn to his advantage votes during the election. The Prime Minister states that these men are being led by Communists. I want to say, in reply, that we had 396 men who left Glasgow and I have never seen since I entered the Labour movement, when I was 17 years of age, such a tremendous demonstration in that city of people who cheered the men. The men walked for 10 miles with 7,000 or 8,000 people walking beside them for the 10 miles, to wish them God speed on their journey.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
For 10 miles the people walked along with the men. Of the four men in the front rank one was a representative of the Amalgamated Engineering Union, sent by his branch as a delegate to the Congress; the second was a member of the Glasgow Town Council, and a member of the party to which I belong; the third was the organiser of the unemployed workers; and the fourth was myself. Among the 396 men there were Communists, Labour party supporters, members of the Independent Labour party, trade unionists, men who belonged to no political party in this country—[An HON. MEMBER: "Samuelites."] I do not think they were Samuelites. They might have been supporters of the National Government, 1064 because they were told it was a non-party Government.
They left Glasgow in order to come here to the seat of Government to make representations to the Government concerning injustices that they feel and under which they exist. It is surely a legitimate line of activity for men to come to the seat of Government to make known their grievances. The only difference between rich and poor men is that rich men travel by rail and poor men travel by road. [HON. MEMBERS: "Buses!"] It is a poor joke to use with regard to men who have walked on route marches 520 miles to say that they have taken omnibuses. They took omnibuses for eight miles on a day when they were marching 28 miles over Shap. They took omnibuses for eight miles and marched for 20 miles. It would have been absolutely criminal to have taken them the whole of those 28 miles by road. [Interruption.] You are well fed and over-wined.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
Rich men travel in first-class style, stay at first-class hotels, and make their way to Westminster to Cabinet Ministers and to the Government where they make their wishes known in regard to tariffs, or other concessions, or something off the Income Tax. These poor men come here in order to point out to the Government that their children are being done to death by scales which are insufficient to meet the needs of their children. They desired to see the Prime Minister, and he refused to meet them. On the last occasion when hunger marchers came to this city I went out of my way to present a petition to allow them to appear at the Bar of the House. I was turned down. On that occasion there was a tremendous amount of trouble in London. We who are associated with this march have attempted to explore every constitutional channel available. These men have come here and have attempted to see the Prime Minister. Why is it that he refuses to see them? Is he afraid to meet common working men and women who in the past have given support and allegiance to him? There are men in this march from Glasgow who were with me in 1918 when the Prime Minister 1065 came to Glasgow to address a civil liberty conference.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I was citing this instance to show that these are people who in the past have backed the Prime Minister, and are not Communists. Civil liberties are at stake now. At that time many of these people had faith in the Prime Minister.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I only want to advance the case that constitutional channels have been explored and that these men are now being turned down in their approach through constitutional channels. The Prime Minister has always advised them to take this line of advance. He has always said to them "Have faith in constitutionalism within the limits of British democracy; there is the same opportunity for the crossing sweeper as for the man of wealth and leisure to manifest his point of view." These working men and women who have come to London to see the Prime Minister have been slandered by the Press and by the Prime Minister, and when they desire to interview him to put their grievances before him he shelters himself behind the phrase of the people being communistically led. I suggest that that is not the reason at all. If there was a personal touch, if these men and women who are living in misery and poverty could feel that a personal interest was being taken in their sufferings by the head of the State, and that consideration is being given to their grievances, then at least they would feel some comfort and security in the knowledge that they have manifested their grievance to those who are running the affairs of the State.
I remember on one occasion, when a deputation talked of coming to London, that the late Mr. Bonar Law said, "I will go down to Glasgow and meet the unemployed there." He did meet the unemployed there; he heard their grievances, he made a note of them, and promised consideration of the points that they put to him. I suggest to the Prime Minister that he ought to remember that he himself, in the past, has urged men 1066 to go along that constitutional approach. I am bound to say here that even though this is in my estimation a National Government, I would much rather that a Conservative Prime Minister out and out were being approached by the hunger marchers on this occasion. I believe that a Conservative Prime Minister would have less hesitation in meeting the unemployed than a man who had formerly been a Socialist and had turned Conservative, because the Conservative Prime Minister would be confident that he had the backing of his supporters and members of the Government. There is always inclined to be a fear in the mind of a man who has belonged to another party that he must outdo the Conservatives in their attitude towards working men and women with whom he has been associated in the past.
I am going to make an appeal not only to the Prime Minister but to those who are associated with him as members of the Government. I say to them, What are you afraid of? Why are you afraid to meet men who are hunger-marchers? I have marched with them. I have eaten with them. I have slept with them in public halls, in churches, in schools and in workhouses. I know that no person has ever associated with a finer body of men than those who have come from Scotland to air their grievances here. Surely at this time of day you are not seriously urging that because some men may be Communists they have no right of political approach to you at all? If you are the Prime Minister of a National Government that is supposed to know no party, then men, whether Communists, Labourists, Conservatives, Liberals, or men of no party, are all entitled to come to you and make their representations.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I feel that my case is so just, that I am anxious not to do anything that is out of order. I simply content myself now by appealing to the Prime Minister and the Government to give reconsideration to the question of this approach to them. I say to the Prime Minister personally, "Do not take up the attitude that because you have refused to meet these marchers you must persist in a refusal to meet them. I ask you to reconsider your attitude, to be big enough and generous enough and humane 1067 enough to say to these men that they have a right to state their personal experiences and suffering and injustice to you."
Although we are elected Members of this House and know a tremendous amount about the personal suffering that is going on in the country, we cannot speak from intimate knowledge of the details, because we are not undergoing the suffering which these men are undergoing at the moment. The working men and women who are here could put their point of view more directly. They could put the matter in a new light, and probably give you knowledge which you do not possess up to the moment. I appeal to you, even at this late hour, to be big enough to extend to these men the right to be heard. I ask you to hear their grievances and allow them to go back to the country with the promise that you will give reconsideration to the points laid before you.
§ 11.16 p.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
When the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) this afternoon asked the leave of the House to introduce this Motion, my hon. Friends and I on these benches rose in his support. I do not think that the question at issue this evening is a question as to whether it was wise for these men to march, or a question of whether they are led by this set of men or that. The fact remains that you have here in London a body of men who have marched from various districts and who by admission of independent witnesses of every kind have behaved with perfect order. We have the testimony, too, of entirely independent witnesses that these men are fair representatives of the great mass of the unemployed of this country, that is to say, of people who are experiencing unmerited suffering. I think you have to look at what is behind these men. I do not think that the Prime Minister would doubt, if he had had the time to attend Debates in the House on the Unemployment Bill, that the realisation of the injustices from which these men and women are suffering at the present time is now appreciated very widely in all parts of the House, and that the feeling is tremendous in the country. There is also an ever-increasing volume of opinion that the unemployment problem should be grappled with. Here we have an appeal 1068 that men should be heard at the Bar. You may argue or not about precedents for that. They also demand to be heard by the Prime Minister. There is plenty of precedent for that. I can see no reason whatever why they should not be received by the Prime Minister. I think there is no reason why they should not be received by the Cabinet. After all, one Cabinet Minister says that the Government have mastered unemployment. If that is so, the unemployed ought to know how it is being done. If it is not so, perhaps they would disabuse the minds of the Members of the Government of such an illusion. Unemployment is not mastered to-day. It is the biggest question still that this country has to face. The Lord President of the Council said that the Government would fall that could not deal with unemployment. He said that his own Government would fall if it could not deal with unemployment. The great mass of unemployment, the long-term unemployment, the problem of the distressed areas—all this has not been dealt with, and is not being dealt with and there is no doubt whatever that the iron is entering into the souls of many of our fellow-citizens. Therefore, we support this protest.
§ 11.20 p.m.
§ Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
I make no apology for intervening in this Debate. I think the majority of backbenchers who support the Government are glad that it has occurred in order that we can make the position clear as regards that great body of unemployed men whom we represent in the country who are not victims of this tragic farce which we are discussing to-night, also in fairness to the back bench Members who comprise the great majority of the present House of Commons and who represent their unemployed without having to resort to the support of such tactics as we have seen in the hunger march. No people can claim a monopoly of sorrow for or sympathy with the unemployed, as apparently would be the possession of the hon. Members above me here and above the Gangway. There is not a single Member of the House of Commons, I am sure, who has not got at heart the desire to help the unemployed in his particular way, whether or not we differ as to the methods, but our chief object differs from the object of the hon. Mem- 1069 bers who support this hunger march. Our chief object is to get men back into permanent and honest work, and did we feel that the march which is advocated, and the appearance of the hunger marchers at the Bar or before the Cabinet were in any way going to help the unemployed, I do not believe there would be a single hon. Member in the present House who would not support it, but let us look the facts in the face. Not a single man who is unemployed at the present time will be put back into work, or will be helped really and substantially by any such move as the hon. Members suggest. How many of these hunger marchers whom the hon. Member for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (Mr. Buchanan) desires to come before the Bar of the House really know anything concrete about the Measure to condemn which they carry banners? I looked at the hunger marchers' banners and saw "Scrap the Unemployment Bill," "Wipe it away." How many members of the hunger march whom the hon. Members want to see here know what Part I and Part II of the Bill mean?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The hon. and gallant Member asks a question, and there is a simple answer. I should say that on the average they know as much as, if not more than, the average Member of this House who is voting for the Bill.
§ Captain BALFOUR
The hon. Member for Gorbals is judging the standard of those who comprise the hunger march by his own standard, not by the standard of hon. Members of the Opposition above the Gangway, one of whom, the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones), I heard making a speech yesterday and talking of the insurance principles in Part II of the Bill. When you get that sort of thing, I suggest that the House would better judge the standard of knowledge rather as that of the hon. Member for Silvertown, who was speaking for the Opposition, than the very particular knowledge of the hon. Member for Gorbals, which we all acknowledge. The policy which those who would come to the Bar of the House of Commons or to the Cabinet advocate would reduce those very men and their dependants to a far worse state than they are in at present.
§ Captain BALFOUR
The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) says that I have not listened, but we had a little bit between 1929 and 1931, and we do not want a continuation of that particular policy which was so ardently supported, and now the hon. Member for Bridgeton is resorting to the old tactics, which he is so particular that other Members should not pursue, of interrupting the sequence of an argument.
§ Mr. MAXTON
My hon. and gallant Friend must not make that charge against me. There is no man in this House who is more consistently interrupted than I am and who more courteously gives way.
§ Captain BALFOUR
There is no man who is more consistently interrupted and who gives way more, but who nevertheless courteously more claims his rights to continue his line of argument, and therefore objects naturally to consistent interruptions. The hon. Member for Bridgeton with his much greater Parliamentary experience than mine or many other Members, would, I should have thought, at least take his medicine. He may not like it, but he is jolly well going to take it. The very policy which these people advocate would reduce these men to a state of desperation which we who support the Government are not going to allow if we can possibly help it. The capture of the capitalist citadel, which the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps) and his colleagues advocate in their book, and which is advocated by those who would come to the Bar of the House of Commons, is a foolish doctrine, and it would be a waste of time of the Government to hear it when they are making valuable efforts in other directions. The trouble really is that if hon. Members had their way there would be no capitalist citadel to capture. It would be gone before they could make their attempt. The only advertisement that has really been given is to the tragedy of the unemployed and the Communist party.
The united front, as far as I understand, now consists of those who stood up this afternoon and supported this Motion. They consisted of those hon. Members who are always sincere and consistent, the hon. Member for Bridgeton, the hon. Member for Gorbals and the others; and now the hon. Members of the Labour party and their new allies the 1071 Liberals who stood up with them. I do not blame the Liberal party. But I blame the leader of the Liberal group, the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel). That group is like a row of ninepins. When one gets up they all get up; when one sits down, they all sit down. What I deplored was the support for this Motion of the right hon. Member for Darwen, an ex-Home Secretary, who was His Majesty's principal Secretary of State, responsible not so long ago for law and order in this country. I deplored his getting up and supporting something which could do no earthly good to any unemployed man, and is only an incitement to mutiny and to civil disorder by the worst section of the populace of the Metropolis. We all know what happened last year when the comparatively few and tragic set of hunger marchers came to London. There were regrettable disturbances, caused not so much by the hunger marchers as by the camp-followers and the hangers-on. The right hon. Gentleman when he stood up this afternoon advocated the hearing at the Bar—[HON. MEMBERS: "No"]—advocated this Debate and therefore, presumably advocated that the Government should accede to the request that the hunger marchers should come to the Bar. If the Liberal party support the Motion for the Debate and then say they do not want the marchers to come to the Bar, the complexities of the Liberal party are beyond even our comprehension. It is their advocacy that encourages quite definitely these men who are in London, tragically here at the present time, in their hopes that they can get some redress and some amelioration of their present lot.
I would submit two things to the House: first that it is an insult to a great number of Members of the present House of Commons, or, alternatively, it is an admission of incompetency by the hon. Members who are sponsoring this move. There is not one of us here who would not see in his constituency, at the request of the local unemployed men, representatives of the unemployed movement and hear their particular grievances. What is the need of coming to London? But if any unemployed in our divisions wanted to see us, and did not wish to talk to us in our constituencies, they could come to us in Parliament. They 1072 would have a perfectly constitutional right to come here, as we all in this House would admit, to see us in the normal course of events. But I do say that if 12 people from my constituency, or the constituency of any other hon. Member came to see us, we should not expect the Prime Minister also to receive them or that they should have the right to come to the Bar of the House of Commons. It is perfectly reasonable for us as Members of Parliament to hear representations from our constituents and then make representations, as we have a perfect right to do to the various Members of the Government.
This move is not only an insult to us, but a reflection on the hon. Members above the Gangway and those who support them, as an admission that they are unable to represent effectually their own unemployed, that they feel incapable of representing the unemployed in their own Divisions. Let it go out from this House that they feel incapable of representing to the Government the distress of their own people. The hon. Member for Gorbals says they are incapable. If they were proper representatives of the unemployed they would follow the course, first, of hearing the representations of their own unemployed and, secondly, of supporting a policy which would get those unemployed back into permanent work. It is fortunate that every one in the present House of Commons is not either so foolish or so gullible, or, if not foolish or gullible, so weak as to copy the weaknesses which the hon. Members show who are sponsoring this Motion to-night. I, personally, and I believe, the vast majority of the back benchers here heartily support the Government's determination to succour the unemployed in the best way—that is getting them back to work by the best means possible, and by the Unemployment Bill; and we should not listen to minority representations that can do no great good but only harm to that vast body whom we are here to help, and are determined to help.
§ 11.34 p.m.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
I feel that every hon. Member who listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) and the speeches which followed must feel that it is right that the House of Commons should discuss this topic; and, when the hon. Members 1073 below me this afternoon, in a perfectly orderly and courteous manner, asked the leave of the House to bring forward this matter, and when you, Mr. Speaker, ruled that it came within the Rule that it was a matter of urgent and public importance, I felt strongly that it would not be right for the House of Commons to refuse even an opportunity for allowing the claim to be heard. No one can say that the grievances of these men, who have walked to this city from many parts of this Island, are trivial or imaginary. The whole world is suffering from a grave depression; all classes in this country suffer from it. The well-to-do suffer from a diminution of income and from an increase of taxation; others see their savings gradually disappear. But no one suffers anything in comparison with those hundreds of thousands of men and women who have to live, month in, month out, and some of them year in, year out, on 15s. 3d. a week—with 8s. for a wife and 2s. for a child.
There are 500,000 people, so the monthly figures published by the Labour Department tell us, who have been out of work for a whole year without a single week of wage earning. In other countries, or in this country in other times, these conditions would have given rise to serious disorders, destruction of property and rioting by way of protest. Our fellow citizens have maintained a perfectly orderly, constitutional attitude. These men, who have been brought from all over the country, have been guilty of no disorder; those who have given them hospitality pay the highest tribute to their behaviour. What should they do, other than what they have done, if they want to draw the attention of the nation to their plight, to stir this nation out of what is really a shameful complacency, and to protest against the utterly inadequate measures that have so far been taken? Are we to say to them, "If you are disorderly, we cannot listen to you; it would be to encourage disorder. If you are orderly, we need not listen to you"? It is precisely because I have twice held the high office of Home Secretary that I feel it incumbent upon me to take the course which I have taken. It has been my duty, when occasion required, to take responsibility for repressing disorder. Elsewhere, when I was High Commissioner in a mandated territory, I had a far more dangerous 1074 situation to face, and I did not flinch from taking whatever repressive measures were necessary at the time—and should do so again in this country or wherever it might be, in similar circumstances. If there is disorder, it is the business of Ministers to suppress it; if it is threatened, to prevent it. Where there is no disorder, it is incumbent upon them to show a spirit of friendship and of good will. It is a profound error to think that the duty of a Home Secretary, or of any Minister, or any Government, or any Parliament, is merely repressive. It is our task, whenever opportunity calls for it, or when it is besought, to show, as I say, a spirit of friendship and of co-operation.
These men have walked from the far ends of this country—hundreds of miles, no light undertaking—from Glasgow, from South Wales. I think it would have been right for the Prime Minister, or for some Minister, to have received their spokesmen and to have heard their complaints. It would have been a kindly and a gracious act. I do not support the proposal that they should be received here at the Bar of this House. That is an old Parliamentary procedure which has fallen into desuetude, and which it is not advisable to revive. It is not an effective procedure, and, if a precedent were set up in one case, it would be difficult to refuse it in others. But I do feel, and feel strongly, that they should be received, seeing that on this occasion there was neither disorder nor threat of disorder. It is said that they are Communists, and that therefore they ought to be ignored. Let us not attach so much importance to labels, but see the realities behind the name. There is not here, and everyone knows it, any deliberate plan or attempt to overturn society. This march is nothing more than a protest, a bitter cry. They say to us: "Hear us; see us; help us." It is that and nothing more. If any one of us had been living for a year or two in the conditions of these people, on that income, with so little hope for the future, I am not sure that we should have been as patient as they.
It is said that these men are not representative of the whole body of the unemployed. Perhaps not, but there is no one else to represent them; there is no other organisation that speaks urgently in their name. So I say that this House of 1075 Commons should not turn a deaf ear to them, and certainly not refuse to allow a discussion to take place on the propriety of their spokesmen being received. This is the House of Commons; it is the common people's own House; that is its origin, its function, its purpose, its strength, its greatness; and it would be a bad day for Britain if the working people of this country, or any section of them, were to have reason to regard this as a class assembly, alien from them, aloof from them, indifferent to their sufferings. A wise governing body will at least listen. These men have come, many hundreds of them, tired, footsore, here to the capital of the country, to the seat of Government. Let them not go back feeling that every door is barred against them, every window shuttered, and, what is worse, every heart closed against them. Government and Parliament would be wise to wish them well and to show that we are anxious to help them.
§ 11.43 p.m.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)
If this Debate had been caused by the Government showing any ground for an attack being made upon it because it was not interested in unemployment, because it did not understand the terrible strain on heart and body that had driven many of these working men into hunger marches and so on, then some of the speeches that have been delivered, like the last one, might have been justified. There is no Member of the Labour party in this House who is under any illusion as to why the Government was unable to see representatives of this last march. They know perfectly well that there is no division of opinion regarding unemployment, no desire but to face strenuously the problem in all its complicated context and to find solutions for it. They know perfectly well that when the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) referred to sneers, that is not true; and they know also, because they themselves have already taken action of a precisely similar character, the issues that a Government has to face when presented with an appeal at once almost overwhelmingly human and also absolutely impossible—that when the Government decides that it cannot, however strong its wishes may be, receive deputations, it is not that its decision has 1076 been arrived at without any reference to the merits of the claims of the men who would have been included in the deputation. When the Government of 1929 was asked to receive such a deputation the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) proved to the House that it could not be done.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The right hon. Gentleman has referred to me. Will he enlighten the House a little more on the incident to which he has referred?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Hon. Members who are interested will find it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The right hon. Gentleman was Chancellor of the Exchequer. There was a hunger march in London, and a request was made to the Government of which he was a Member (1) that a deputation should be allowed to address the House at the Bar, (2) that the Cabinet should receive a deputation, (3) that the Prime Minister should receive a deputation. The right hon. Gentleman, on behalf of the Government, resisted that appeal made in the form of a question to him, and requests made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) and others. Every Government that has been in office since these marches were resorted to has received these requests and has refused them, and not only that but requests of a similar nature made to the Trades Union Congress have been refused. The Trades Union Congress has been asked ever since 1928 to receive deputations from this political body that is behind the organisation of these marches. The Trades Union Congress refused in 1928, in 1930, 1931 and 1932, and last year at Brighton, after the General Purposes Committee of the Congress had interviewed two delegates, they recommended that Congress should not receive the marchers, and Congress decided not to receive them. Regarding 1077 this present march, certain trades councils on the way asked for guidance. What was the attitude of organised Labour? What was the attitude of the Trades Union movement? That guidance, at any rate in one case, was given:There is no indication that this march has the support of unions affiliated to the Congress, and, as you are aware, the Congress itself has repeatedly refused to hear deputations from this body which have visited the Congress more than once during the session. In these circumstances, the General Council do not recommend that support be given by your trades council.What is the explanation? It is perfectly simple. These marches have been organised by a body notorious for the attempts that it has made to spread unconstitutional agitation and propaganda in this country. It has done its best to disrupt organised Labour and has taken every possible opportunity to destroy the constitutional political movement in this country. It has taken and has used these marches as one of the methods of its equipment.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
So much for organised Labour; what about Governments? In 1929 the Government of my right hon. Friend—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
—refused this application, and had the support of the right hon. Member for Epping. Then there was a change in Government. There was another hunger march; they asked that a deputation of 20 marchers should be received by the Minister of Labour, Miss Margaret Bondfield, with the help of the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood), the right hon. Member the Secretary of State for the Dominions, Sir Oswald Mosley, and the Leader of the Opposition. Consultations took place, the whole party was consulted, and the combined decision of Ministers and party was communicated in the following letter:I am directed by the Prime Minister to refer to your letter of the 28th April, and to inform you that he and his colleagues are unable to accede to your request that they should receive a deputation.Hon. and right hon. Members opposite know perfectly well that there was a very 1078 good reason for that decision. They went further in those days and were a little more accommodating. The deputation asked to be received by the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health. It actually went to the Ministry of Health and was refused. It locked itself in a room in order to demonstrate its wishes by semi-constitutional methods. What is the use of the right hon. Gentleman taking umbrage and making fine distinctions because we have refused to receive them. I put this question without any offence: Are hon. Members sincere in trying to find some way out of this unemployment problem? If so, do they believe that, by getting the National Unemployed Workers Movement to organise marches from John o' Groats to Lands End, concentrating upon a point, placing a great strain upon those overburdened people responsible for the maintenance of public order, and bringing the marchers up with more or less hidden threats that if they were not received there would be trouble—it would take a very great and minute examination to find the difference between what I have said and what was said in 1929—do they really mean to tell this House that, by getting these marchers up here, by getting three or four or five of them to stand at that Bar to pour out their hearts to us—because that is what would happen—the time of this House, from any practical point of view, will be used with any effect? Have we had no Bill before us dealing with unemployment? Are we, as the right hon. Gentleman opposite, very oddly from him in relation to his past association with us, said, a mere handful of complacent Ministers on social affairs? It may be that we in our supineness, we in our comforts, for we have them—what the hon. Member said is perfectly true; he said that he was unemployed; so was I—but I want to say to those Members of this House who never have been unemployed, that they have no idea of the wound and scar of unemployment in a man's soul and how absolutely impossible it is for him during the rest of his life to forget it.
When people talk about constitutional rights I wish they would talk about them with some accuracy. If anyone who cares to come here either in the way the hon. Member described as arriving in a first-class carriage or after having slept in public halls or elsewhere thinks that he 1079 has a constitutional right to demand to see me and take up my time, whether I like it or not, then I say that he has nothing of the kind. If the individual is multiplied fifty-fold, if I am requested to see a deputation of 30 people elected by a congress of action plus 20 people representing the marchers, making a total of 50, and they think that they have a constitutional right to compel me to see them, then I say that they are much mistaken; they have no such right. If there is anything approaching a constitutional right in this matter it is the right which Mr. Bonar Law's constituents got from him by his own free will. When people from his own constituency who were suffering from unemployment wished to come to London to see him, he said, "No, I will come up and see you"; and he did so, and also, I understand, electors from a neighbouring constituency at the same time. Four or five weeks ago I had a request to see a deputation, not from my own constituency, but from a constituency adjoining, and, like Mr. Bonar Law, I said that I was going up to my own constituency and that while I was there I did not mind. Mr. Bonar Law was asked by a national gathering to receive a deputation. He said, "No." Therefore, in both cases I am following in the footsteps of Mr. Bonar Law. There is another side of the case. I think that it is merely trifling with the distress caused by unemployment to induce people to come marching to London implying by the invitation that they can force the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the House of Commons to see them. It is crazy. I would far rather say, "I am sorry, unemployment is baffling me; I have done my best, and I cannot find a solution." I would rather go up to them and, if they say, "Let us march to London," say, "No, that is not going to help."
A different type of mind, a different mentality, a different enthusiasm is required to meet these problems and to solve them. With all these fundamental objections, no Prime Minister and no Government ought to give countenance to these proceedings and these methods, inspired and controlled by subversive political forces and made all the more tragic because the bulk of the men and women in the march are not consciously associated with such things. That is the trouble. It is a nice and an easy job for 1080 the hon. Member to describe the men who have come, and to some extent I agree with him, but that is not the reality. What these marches are meant to subserve is the stirring up of hatred, trouble and difficulties. Whatever and wherever I have been and whatever I have said I have never uttered a word or done anything to condone that sort of thing. There the Front Bench opposite has taken its stand, there my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council, took his stand, and in taking our stand there once again I am convinced that we do a far better service to the mass of the unemployed in this country than if we had chosen to receive these deputations.
§ 12.7 a.m.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I am glad, Mr. Speaker, that we have had this opportunity of debating an important question, at least we can thank you for making it possible to divide the House on this issue. If I may say so without offence, I think a very large proportion of the Prime Minister's speech was irrelevant and contained a delving into the past which would not have been permitted to my hon. Friend the Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern). In the later stages he outlined his political philosophy as against mine and as against that of these men, a topic on which I should very readily enter into debate with him at another time. That is a point of view which puts him where he is and puts me here; but it is not the subject that we have brought before the House to-night. The subject before us is the right of these men to be heard. The very fact that their political outlook is different from that of the Prime Minister is a very strong reason why he should hear them. If it was the same as his, there would be no need for them to come to him or for him to go to them. If it was the same outlook as that of the Trades Union Congress there would be no need to offer to go there. It is because they have a different point of view that the need arises.
I am sorry that the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Thanet (Captain Balfour) has left the House. His speech and the speech of the Prime Minister condemned a statement of views which they have not had an opportunity of studying. That seems to me to be a 1081 very severe criticism of the way they take their public duties. These men prepared for months a carefully-reasoned case, a series of proposals for dealing with their situation, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman never saw that case. Nor has the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister ever seen that case. He merely says, "These men are extremists, and therefore we will not listen to their case." That is an indication of the Prime Minister's great "democratic principles." He says that these men are in London to provoke disorder. I aided these men right from the start. I took a responsible place on the council that organised the march. I did that because I would rather see these men marching and agitating, keeping manhood and virility in them, than see them have the spirit crushed out of them and become mere creeping, crawling creatures. Whatever the right hon. Gentleman decides to do, I will help that movement, and continue to help it to be a fighting, virile movement of men, rather than the crushed creatures that the Unemployment Bill would make them. I will keep them men of independence; I will keep them men with the spirit of fight in them.
Suppose that the Prime Minister refuses to hear them. When the right hon. Gentleman says that they are attempting to create disorder, I want him to look round about him on his own side of the House. On the right of him sits the Lord President of the Council, who in 1926 was Prime Minister of this country. Below the Gangway is the right hon. Gentleman who was Chancellor of the Exchequer in those days. To the left of him until a minute ago was the Secretary of State for the Dominions, one of the leaders of the Trades Union Congress on the eve of the 1926 general strike. These men were not merely threatening disorder; they had disorder planned. The present Prime Minister was the spokesman in this House. We debated the question of the general strike in this House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) and the right hon. Gentleman the Lord President of the Council, then Prime Minister, were ready to discuss with these rebels who were creating or threatening to create disorder, and were threatening to bring the whole life of the nation to a standstill. The right hon. Gentlemen kept in contact with them to the eleventh hour of 1082 the last day, and only broke off discussions with them when the first blow had been struck in the "war."
The Prime Minister makes play about the question of what are constitutional rights. I am not going to bother about constitutional rights. I am going to bother about democratic principles; and the basis of democracy is meeting the people and discussing with them. The basis of autocracy is, "Do not listen to reason; crush the voice of the other fellow." That is autocracy. That is what the Prime Minister announced from that Box to-night. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I say yes. The right hon. Gentleman says, "The voice of these unemployed marchers is a voice we do not like." [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Yes, yes; that is what he says. He says, "We will not listen to it." That is autocracy. Democracy says, "That man has a view that is antagonistic to mine. I will meet him and argue with him, and persuade him that his view is wrong and that my view is right." To-day, we have got from the democratic Prime Minister, the man thrown up by the people, the man who probably more than any other person on that side of the House has come from the bottom—
§ Mr. MAXTON
The Noble Lord will not claim that he has been thrown up from such great depths to such lofty heights as the Prime Minister.
Marquess of TITCHFIELD
No, not to such lofty heights, certainly. At the same time, in my humble way, I have been thrown up.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I award the Noble Lord full marks for his interruption. I admit he has made his point. He has been thrown up. I am sure he will accept my assurance that it is not through any personal dislike to him that I say it, but if I have my will he will be thrown out by the people. But here is the Prime Minister whom the people of this country have thrown up in the 1083 course of the last quarter of a century, on the basis that he was a great democrat, and he says to us, "I am not going to reason any more. Reason, argument, discussion?—yes, while I was getting there, while I was in opposition, while I was an agitator at the street corner. But now—" I wonder does he know that the men who came down with me to Downing Street to-day are men who have fought in physical combat to preserve for him the right of free speech? I wonder does he know that there were men with me to-day who took the last pence out of their pockets to make his political leadership possible in this country? He says now, "I am in 10, Downing Street. You are unemployed; you are extremists. I am sitting here—" [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Yes, he said to-night, "You are extremists. You represent the extreme political view." That was the only reason which the right hon. Gentleman gave at that Despatch Box to-night, for not receiving these men—that and the fact that others had refused to do so. He said, in effect: "You hold extreme views. Therefore, I will not
§ listen to you." I say that it is not right, that it is not decent, and I do not believe that in the long run it is in the best interests of this nation. Why should the Prime Minister of any Government that has been in this country since the War, stand on any lofty pedestal and say to anybody: "You cannot tell us how to cure unemployment. We know it all?" Nobody in this House can turn round and say that, because the failure of the best of us, even to make a mark on the unemployment problem, is so obvious, in the sight of all men, that we ought to walk very humbly and be prepared to listen to any voice which makes any suggestion for dealing with that problem. I know that the things that I have to say will fall on deaf ears so far as the majority of this House are concerned, but I hope that there is a sufficient minority who, realising the opportunity presented to us to preserve the rights of democracy in this country, will go into the Lobby in support of this Motion.
§ Question put, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 52; Noes, 270.1085
|Division No. 137.]||AYES.||[12.22 a.m.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Groves, Thomas E.||Milner, Major James|
|Banfield, John William||Grundy, Thomas W.||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paling, Wilfred|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Harris, Sir Percy||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cape, Thomas||Janner, Barnett||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jenkins, Sir William||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||John, William||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Curry, A. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Rothschild, James A. de|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Kirkwood, David||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Dobble, William||Lawson, John James||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Edwards, Charles||Leonard, William||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Logan, David Gilbert||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lunn, William||White, Henry Graham|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Wilmot, John|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Maxton, James.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. McGovern and Mr. Buchanan.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Burnett, John George|
|Albery, Irving James||Blindell, James||Cadogan, Hon. Edward|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Bossom, A. C.||Caine, G. R. Hali-|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Boulton, W. W.||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)|
|Apsley, Lord||Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Carver, Major William H.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Boyce, H. Leslie||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Brass, Captain Sir William||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanst)||Broadbent, Colonel John||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Balniel, Lord||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Clayton, Sir Christopher|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd, Hexham)||Coifox, Major William Philip|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Browne, Captain A. C.||Colman, N. C. D.|
|Bateman, A. L.||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Craven-Ellis, William|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Crooke, J. Smedley|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Burghley, Lord||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecciesall)|
|Cross, R. H.||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Robinson, John Roland|
|Crossley, A. C.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Leckie, J. A.||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Cuiverwell, Cyril Tom||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Donner, P. W.||Llewellin, Major John J.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Doran, Edward||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Drewe, Cedric||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Llverp'l)|
|Edge, Sir William||Loftus, Plerce C.||Salmon, Sir Isldore|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Salt, Edward W.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Mabane, William||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blk'pool)||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||McCorquodale, M. S.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetiaw)||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McKle, John Hamilton||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelies||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)|
|Flint, Abraham John||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Magnay, Thomas||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Maitland, Adam||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Soper, Richard|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Martin, Thomas B.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Goldie, Noel B.||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Spens, William Patrick|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mills, Sir Frederick (Layton, E.)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fyide)|
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Stevenson, James|
|Graves, Marjorie||Milne, Charles||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Greene, William P. C.||Mitcheson, G. G.||Stones, James|
|Grigg, Sir Edward||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Storey, Samuel|
|Grimston, R. V.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Morgan, Robert H.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Morrls-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Munro, Patrick||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Harbord, Arthur||North, Edward T.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Tltchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Train, John|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Patrick, Colin M.||Tree, Ronald|
|Heligers, Captain F. F. A.||Peat, Charles U.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Penny, Sir George||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Percy, Lord Eustace||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bllst'n)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Walisend)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Hornby, Frank||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Radford, E. A.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Jennings, Roland||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Womersley, Walter James|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Rankin, Robert||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Lieut.-Colonel Sir Lambert Ward and Major George Davies.|
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed
§ Adjourned at Twenty-eight minutes before One o'Clock.