Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,501,100, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1934, for a Contribution towards the Cost of the Department of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, including a Grant-in-Aid, and a Grant-in-Aid of the defence of India.
§ 4.21 p.m.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Sir Samuel Hoare)
This Vote deals with very complicated questions that have for half a century imposed an immense amount of work upon Whitehall and Delhi and that have excited suspicions and recriminations that ought long ago to have been allayed. The questions that are covered are not only controversial, but they are very intricate, and, this being so, I think I had better give the Committee as clear a picture as I can of the main features of the problem. They will bear with me, I feel sure, if I deal at some length with these questions. As I say, they are very intricate, and, unless the Committee fully understand them, they will fail to follow the effects of the award of the tribunal.
Two principal issues emerge from the mountains of detailed controversy that have been piled up behind this question. The first is the issue of the so-called capitation grant, and the second is the issue of the Imperial contribution to India. I will take these two issues in order and begin with the capitation grant. The capitation grant is the 1678 amount paid by India to the Imperial Treasury, for what are called the home effective charges in respect to British troops serving in India. India, it will be remembered, pays the entire cost of its own military defence, including the maintenance of all units, British and Indian, serving in India. The figure of this expenditure is about £35,000,000 a year, as compared with a total Budget expenditure of £92,000,000. But the cost of the maintenance of the Indian garrison does not complete the Indian obligation. India pays the full cost of the British units, and obviously account must be taken not only of their maintenance in India, but of the proportionate cost due from India for their subsistence, training, and equipment in Great Britain. These are known as the home effective charges, and in recent years they have been paid at a rate of about £1,500,000 a year. The first question to be decided is whether the payment of £1,500,000 a year is a fair payment or not. The second main issue cannot be dissociated from the first. Should or should not an Imperial contribution be made towards the cost of Indian defence, owing to the advantages which Great Britain obtains from the existence of the Army in India? The claim has been made that these advantages are so considerable as to wipe out, and more than wipe out, the Indian obligation to pay for the home effective charges.
The Committee are now, I hope, in possession of the two main questions in controversy. Let me give them in a few sentences the history that led up to the appointment of the tribunal to settle them. For 40 years or more there has been an interminable controversy as to the fairness of the capitation figures. Some of the best brains in Whitehall and Delhi have devoted their rival ingenuity to calculations as to what exact percentage of recruiting and training expenses ought to be charged to the British and Indian Treasuries. An almost metaphysical battle of words has been joined on these complicated and sometimes imponderable issues. As long ago as 1896 Lord Welby's Commission on the finances of India attempted to solve the question, another committee under Lord Justice Romer in 1907 made a similar attempt, while since the War, when new complications were added to the controversy, there has been a continuous and con- 1679 certed demand from Whitehall to get the question finally settled. I am glad to see my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) in his place. I feel sure that he has come down to support whole-heartedly this Vote, but I think I shall be right in saying that he himself, whether as Secretary of State for War, whether as Secretary of State for Air, or whether as Chancellor of the Exchequer, took constant interest in, and was throughout his long period of Ministerial responsibility strongly in favour of, an arbitral decision.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I shall be very glad if the right hon. Gentleman will refresh my memory on that point. I have always been opposed to the reopening of this question, from the Exchequer point of view.
§ Sir S. HOARE
My right hon. Friend, of course, will correct me if I am misstating his position, but surely—it is a fact of public knowledge—it was when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer that the decision was taken and that the offer was made to the Government of India to refer these questions to a tribunal for decision.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No. The case then was exactly the reverse of what has now taken place. The War Office claimed that India was not paying a sufficient charge, and, a prima facie case being established to the satisfaction of that Cabinet, the matter was referred to Lord Cave, who gave his opinion thereupon.
§ Sir S. HOARE
I hope my right hon. Friend will refresh his memory. I think, if he does so, he will find that there were two questions at issue. There was the question at issue connected with the sea transport charges for the Army. That was certainly referred to Lord Cave's arbitration, but there was the wider question of the capitation grant and, connected with that, the wider question of the Imperial contribution. I feel certain that if my right hon. Friend will refresh his memory, he will find that it was when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer that the decision was taken, with his full approval, to refer, not the issue of the sea transport question—an issue that had been referred already to Lord Cave—but the two broader issues of the capitation grant and the Imperial contribution. Perhaps he will deal at greater length with 1680 that question when he comes to address the Committee later on. I was certainly under the impression that, so strongly was my right hon. Friend in favour of this action, the tribunal would actually have been set up before the Government of which he and I were Members went out of office, but for the unfortunate state of affairs which resulted in hon. Gentlemen opposite coming into office in our place.
Then came a period of the Socialist administration. There again, so far as I can judge from the papers, there was a unanimous desire in both the Service Departments and the Treasury, and in the Government as a whole, to get these difficult issues settled by an arbitral body. I understand—and I hope I shall be corrected if I am misstating the position—that the tribunal would actually have been set up had it not been for the fact that the Statutory Commission presided over by the Foreign Secretary was on the point of reporting, and it was felt that the Government before taking action had better wait to see how far the report of that commission reacted upon the issues of the capitation grant and the Imperial contribution. I come now to the ground for which I am most responsible, namely, the time when I went to the India Office during the first National Government. There I found this general demand from Whitehall and the general acceptance in India of the contention that this question had much better be settled by an impartial arbitral body, and I immediately took what action I thought necessary to set up as strong and as impartial a body as I could possibly find anywhere in this country or in the Empire.
I hope that the Committee will agree that the Government were not unsuccessful in setting up a very strong tribunal. The chairman of it was one of the most distinguished Empire and constitutional lawyers in the Empire, Sir Robert Garran, formerly Attorney-General of Australia. The British representatives were two of our most highly respected Law Lords, Lord Dunedin and Lord Tomlin, and the Indian representatives were two of the best known and highly respected Indian judges, namely, the Chief Justices of Lahore and Allahabad. The tribunal went with great care into the two main issues and the details surrounding them. I tell the Committee without any breach of confidence that the British and Indian cases were exhaustively argued by some of the ablest 1681 barristers in Great Britain. It is all the more satisfactory to note that the tribunal was unanimous—that is to say, the Australian chairman, the two British judges and the two Indian judges—upon the two main issues. As to the capitation grant, they unanimously agreed upon a business-like formula that has been accepted by the Service Departments in London and by the Government in India. This formula, put shortly, means that the War Office will in future receive somewhat less than they received in the past from India, and that the Air Ministry will receive somewhat more, and that the gain and loss, generally speaking, will balance. In view of the unanimity of the tribunal and the general acceptance of this part of the award, I do not think I need delay over the complicated details. Hon. Members will find them set out very clearly in paragraphs 25 to 64 of the report of the tribunal.
The Committee will, however, wish to hear more about the first part of the award, namely, the part dealing with the Imperial contribution. The tribunal was required to examine India's claim that a contribution should be made from Imperial revenues towards the military expenditure from Indian revenues, and to report the basis upon which any contribution should be assessed. The tribunal came unanimously to the conclusion that India's claim to a contribution must be accepted. As to the basis on which any contribution should be assessed, there was a difference of opinion between the two Indian members of the tribunal and the rest. The majority, that is to say, Sir Robert Garran, Lord Dunedin and Lord Tomlin, came to the view, to quote their own words, thatthe grounds in respect of which a contribution should be made are the following two only:The two Indian members of the tribunal, Sir Shadi Lal and Sir Shah Sulaiman, while
- (1) That the Army in India is a force, ready in an emergency to take the field at once, which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire, which is specially available for immediate use in the East, and which has on occasion been so used.
- (2) That India is a training ground for active service such as does not exist elsewhere in the Empire."concurring with the two grounds stated above, think that certain further grounds should be added which in their opinion would 1682 very much broaden the basis of the contribution.The Committee will therefore see that there was unanimity in the tribunal as to India's claim for a contribution, but a difference of opinion as to the factors to be taken into account in the assessment. When, therefore, it came to recommending an actual amount, the tribunal refrained from any specific expression of opinion.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Will my right hon. Friend explain, because this is very important? This £1,500,000 is not the award of the tribunal. It is the action taken by His Majesty's Government after having read the report of the tribunal.
§ Sir S. HOARE
If my right hon. Friend had allowed me to finish my statement, he would have seen that that is a part of the question to which I am now coming, and before I sit down I think he will see that have made the position as clear as I can. It devolved in fact, as my right hon. Friend has presumed, upon the British and Indian Governments to enter into a discussion as to the amount, the amount not having been laid down by the tribunal. Here, obviously, there was a wide field for difference of opinion. On the one one hand there was the Indian claim made upon a variety of contentions. I will give the Committee two or three instances illustrating India's point of view—that contributions should be based upon a fixed percentage of India's total expenditure on defence, say, one-half, or about £18,000,000 per annum, a figure suggested by some members at the first Indian Round Table Conference; or, alternatively, some lower percentage; or, again, the extra cost of maintaining the British troops in India over the cost of maintaining a corresponding number of Indian troops, a figure estimated at £10,000,000; or, again, the existing defence expenditure of India relating to the cost of British troops, say £16,000,000, or, alternatively, a percentage; or, lastly, the excess of Indian defence expenditure over a certain percentage of Indian assessable revenue. These are illustrations of the points of view expressed by certain sections of Indian opinion.
I come now to the case put forward from certain sections of British opinion. There was the view represented before the tribunal on behalf of the War Office 1683 and the Air Ministry that, so far from any contribution being due to India, the amounts already paid by India were inadequate. In between these rival claims emerged the unanimous view of the tribunal that account must be taken, first, of the actual help that India has been able to give in the past in Imperial emergencies and is likely to give in future; and, second, of the practical value of India as a training ground for British troops. In assessing these claims, it should be remembered that an expert inquiry into the problem of Indian defence in 1931 had come to the conclusion that military forces in India are maintained on a basis no greater than is required for the defence of India and the maintenance of internal security, and that they are adequate for this purpose but cannot be reduced.
Accepting this conclusion—and the Government does accept it—there is no reason to doubt that the Government of India will be willing and able to assist the home Government in the future as in the past. The effectiveness of the help given by India in the past—in the Great War for instance, India contributed over a million men—cannot be questioned, but the help must be subject to conditions that have always prevailed as to the ability of India to spare help on any given occasion. It will be seen from this general description that in both the Indian and the British case there are several imponderable facts. The British Government, therefore, came to the view that it was impossible to draw up an exact balance-sheet setting out item by item the figures of an Imperial contribution. They took rather the main factors into account, namely, the great value to Great Britain of an army ready in any emergency to take the field at once and of India's habitaual readiness to help in times of emergency; and the value of India as a training ground not only for the regimental units of the British Army, but for the whole of our military machine.
Taking these facts into account, the Government decided that in their view a contribution of £1,500,000, including what is called the sea transport subsidy, was a fair sum. I hope I have said enough to justify this Vote. I claim that a very strong tribunal has made an award founded, as the members of the 1684 tribunal themselves say, on justice and not on generosity, on merit and not on politics, and on the axiom that defence is not a luxury but a necessary protection, particularly for India, and has to be paid for; and I claim that it is an award that, in their words, is a fair, just and equitable settlement. I claim, further, that the sum of £1,500,000 conforms both in the spirit and the letter with this award. I greatly hope that whilst the award, in the nature of things, does not give full satisfaction to either party, its substantial justice will end a long and unfortunate controversy, and will dissipate suspicions and recriminations which have been rife for the last 50 years.
§ 4.46 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
I am sure the Committee have noted with pleasure the return of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State and are pleased to see him in good health once more. We are further indebted to him for the explanation he has given of this Supplementary Estimate, but there is one matter to which he did not refer, though to me it seems a very important one. The whole of the sum which we are now asked to pass is in respect of military expenditure, but we are at present discussing a Civil Vote, "India Office and Services," and I think I ought to ask your ruling on this point, Sir Dennis. Presumably military expenditure ought to be borne upon the War Office Vote, and I think I am right in saying that the £130,000 in the amount now asked for has in the past been so borne. I desire to ask how far it is competent for the Government to put military expenditure under a Civil Vote.
§ The CHAIRMAN
To the best of my knowledge and belief it has always been the practice for Indian military expenditure to be dealt with under the India Vote. The particular item to which the hon. and gallant Member refers was in the nature of a contribution, as I understand it, in respect of War Office expenditure to the Indian Government, and that is why it appears as a payment by the War Office, but that is quite a different matter from a contribution which will come under Indian expenditure.
§ Major MILNER
May I deal with the item of £130,000 a year? As I understand it, that is a contribution which for many years past has been made by the British Government to the Indian Government in part payment—one half, I think—of the transport charges of troops from this country to India. Hitherto, that has been borne on the War Office Vote. It is now sought to place that particular item, with the additional sum of £1,500,000, on the India Vote, and I call attention to the fact that this Vote is headed "India Office and Services." I think I am right in saying that hitherto it has been headed only "India Office," the words "and Services" being added presumably to seek to cover this particular point. In my submission it is not in order, without the permission of this House, for the Government to put a matter of military expenditure on a civil Vote.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Member is mistaken. The arrangement of these accounts is a matter for the Executive Government and not for the House at all.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I understood you to say a few minutes ago that you rather held that this was in accordance with past practice. May I submit that this £1,500,000 is now being paid as a result of an arbitration held some time ago. This £1,500,000 now falls to be found by Britain because, as I understand it, the tribunal deemed the services provided for by the £1,500,000 to be in respect of Imperial Defence and not specifically Indian Defence. The point which my hon. and gallant Friend puts to you is whether, since this is in respect of Imperial Defence and not specifically Indian Defence, it ought not to be on the War Office Vote rather than on the India Vote.
§ Mr. MOLSON
Is it not a fact that the arrangement of the Estimates depends upon what Minister is responsible for the expenditure of the money, and that the expenditure on Indian defence comes under the Secretary of State for India and not under the War Office?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The arrangement of the form in which the Estimates are presented to the House is entirely a matter for the Government, and not for this House.
§ Major MILNER
I accept your Ruling, Sir Dennis, but I think this is a matter which calls for extremely strong comment. Hitherto the sum of £130,000 has come under the War Office Vote and has been paid by the War Office. In the future that sum is to come under the India Office, and to that extent the expenditure of this country on imperial military matters will be reduced; and similarly in regard to the sum of £1,500,000. If, as in my submission would have been the proper course, that sum had been borne on the War Office Vote that Vote would have been by so much increased, and the step now taken by the Government leads to the whole position being disguised, so to speak, and to a contribution being made to military expenditure by the Government of this country which is not going to be shown on the War Office Vote. I quite agree that this is not going to involve an increase in armaments to the extent of £1,500,000, but it will present a false position to the country and the world as to the amount being found by this country for Imperial military expenditure. I know that my party feel strongly that this is an expenditure which ought to be borne on the War Office Vote and not brought in by a subterfuge on an India Office Vote headed "India Office and Services," the words "and Services" being apparently inserted to cover the precise point I am putting before the Committee.
I would draw attention, further, to the note on page 16 of the Supplementary Estimate to the effect that the expenditure will not be accounted for in detail to the Comptroller and Auditor-General. I would ask my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how it is going to be accounted for, and by whom, and what information will be put before Parliament year by year regarding this expenditure, because I take it there is no question that this sum of £1,500,000 will be a recurring item year by year, that we have now decided—I do not know whether for all time, but certainly for the present year—to make this contribution from Imperial revenues towards military expenditure in India.
On the general question of the Estimate, while we have had a somewhat long and, so far as it goes, clear statement from the right hon. Gentleman he really has not told us precisely how the 1687 sum of £1,500,000 has been arrived at. He spoke about imponderable things, and so on, but surely there must have been something in the minds of the India Office and the War Office in arriving at this sum. The tribunal were unanimous in the decision or the recommendation that a contribution should be made from Imperial revenues to this military expenditure of India. It is true that they added that it was in respect of certain limited matters only. The right hon. Gentleman quoted from the Committee certain formulae which had been submitted to that tribunal by the India Office, but he did not indicate which, if any, of the formulae had been adopted or on what basis this sum had been arrived at. It seems to me it has been arrived at purely at large, on a sort of rule of thumb arrangement between the War Office and the India Office.
I do not know how far authorities in India were consulted. We are not given information on which we can judge whether the sum is too large or too small. It may be that some of us think it too small, but, whilst I am not dogmatic on the point, I am inclined to think that, on a fair construction of the whole of the facts in the tribunal's report, it is probably too small. However, we are not given information on which to judge, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be more precise and indicate to us the basis on which the sum was arrived at. Or was it merely a bargain come to between the War Office and the India Office under which one or the other has given way? The sum bears no relation to any of the much larger sums mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman or appearing in the tribunal's report, and we shall be glad of information in a more precise form than has hitherto been vouch-safed to us. I would like to ask in particular if and to what extent the training of recruits has been borne in mind by the Government. The report of the tribunal puts the matter in this form:The question at issue is: who shall pay the cost of the recruit's training. The answer, we think, is: the country in which he gives his service; and, if he serves in both, then both countries on a 'time' basis. We think that the whole of his normal service—with the Colours and in the Reserve—should be counted for this purpose.To what extent has that recommendation be borne in mind and what portion 1688 of the £1,500,000 is attributable to the training of recruits? The Committee are surely entitled to some information on that point. Then, something was said by the right hon. Gentleman regarding the contribution of £130,000, which he referred to as the sea transport contribution, a contribution made by the British Government for a good many years in respect of the transport charges of soldiers proceeding from this country to serve in India. One would have thought that that sum of £130,000 would have been included in the Estimate in addition to the round sum of £1,500,000. It seems curious that the arrangement or agreement should be for a round sum of £1,500,000, and that that sum should be held to include the sea transport contribution of £130,000. It is understood that we have to make a contribution of £1,500,000. As one versed in the law, I approach the matter in an endeavour to obtain satisfaction for my client, and I naturally desire to have all the items in. I should be glad to know—I am sure that the Committee would also welcome the information—how it comes about that the sum of £130,000 is apparently included in the agreed total contribution of £1,500,000.
The only other question I desire to put to the right hon. Gentleman is as to whether the Committee are to understand that this contribution is now more or less fixed by agreement for all time, or whether it is subject to reconsideration year by year. The right hon. Gentleman pointed out that the question of the claim made by India to a contribution from Imperial revenues towards her expenditure had been a source of constant trouble for the past 40 years. The Government are to be congratulated that at long last they have come to some sort of conclusion in regard to it. It is impossible for us to decide whether this is to be considered a satisfactory settlement, since we have only the information vouch-safed in the statement which is before the Committee and in the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman. The tribunal to which representations were made unanimously held that it was right and just that a contribution should be made from Imperial revenues, and it is obvious that during the whole of the 40 years India has not received the contribution which has now been held to be fair and just. I presume that the Government 1689 will say that that is now a matter of history, but it is a fact which ought to be borne in mind by the Committee in discussing the question. I wish to ask how far this settlement is a final one.
§ 5.3 p.m.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £130,000.
I cannot feel that there is any very great validity in the complaint of the hon. and gallant Gentleman that this new charge of £1,500,000 a year is to be included on the Army Vote, and the explanation he gave of his grievance certainly made the worst possible out of it. What is the object of the hon. and gallant Gentleman? He would like to add £1,500,000 to the accounting of the Army audits, so that he and his friends can point to the terrible increase of military expenditure and to the bloated armaments which are rolling up at a time when all the world is seeking for disarmament, knowing all the time that, whatever way you look at it, it is merely a matter of bookkeeping.
§ Major MILNER
On the contrary. I pointed out that it did not matter on which Vote this sum was put, because it would not result in an increase of armaments. I made that perfectly clear, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) is quite wrong in his interpretation.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Nothing could be more misleading than to increase the nominal total of the Army Estimates by this £1,500,000 a year. The Government are justified in being candid with the public, but it is perfectly clear, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman admits, that it in no way involves an increase of armaments of any kind. I am very glad to see my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India in his place. I trust that he has not unduly strained the permission of his medical adviser by coming here. I very much regret if, in the course of my remarks, I should be involved in controversy with him, and he should not be in the very best of health. My right hon. Friend sometime ago accused me of hitting the Government and hitting its Members. I can assure him that that is a complete delusion, especially in his case. It is not the sinner that I hit but the sin. That rule is general in his case, on this as upon other matters.
1690 The right hon. Gentleman had no right to try to claim me as a supporter of his policy in this matter. I notice that His Majesty's Government are inclined to claim my protection from time to time. Even the Prime Minister seemed to go out of his way to drag me in when I was sitting most inoffensively in this corner. I cannot accord to my right hon. Friend the protection that he desires in this matter. We have been associated for many years, and he must know perfectly well—though I am not entitled to make any relevation in regard to those days any more than he is to refer to my opinions of those days—that he has heard me on many occasions and in different places express consistently, over many years, the view that the balance of charge between India and the War Office was unfairly adjusted against this country. That has been the view that I have consistently held for a great many years. To suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or any Chancellor of the Exchequer in the last 25 years, would have been responsible for putting down a vote of £1,500,000 for a new grant-in-aid for India in perpetuity—and to do so in these hard times of crushing taxation and grinding economy—is altogether at variance with the known facts and with the ordinary processes of human reason. The right hon. Gentleman must stand on his own feet in this matter.
I make no complaint of the particular form of the tribunal, though I am certainly not saying that it was a wise thing to set up this tribunal. We are not concerned with the tribunal—or only very indirectly. It is not an award as the right hon. Gentleman says; it is a report. It is not an award of a judicial tribunal by which we are bound; it is a report of a body of gentlemen, a committee of very able gentlemen, to the Government, and on their report the Government have decided to take £1,500,000 per year out of the pockets of the taxpayer and to present it to the Government of India. I am certain that that would never have been allowed and would never have been agreed to by any of the Governments which have held office in the last 25 or 30 pears. We had discussions following upon the Welby Commission and the Romer Commission. There were long discussions between Lord Haldane and Lord Morley, which I perfectly remember, in which the matter was threshed out in 1691 great detail by men whose Liberalism and whose desire to deal equitably with India were undoubted. They arrived at what they considered to be a fair working arrangement.
During the recent Conservative Administration the late Sir Laming Worthington Evans, who was then Secretary of State for War, felt very acutely the injustice to which the British taxpayer was subjected by the cost of maintaining the service of the Indian Army, and he pressed very strongly upon the Government of that day that there should be an inquiry into one specific point, the question of sea transport charges. That was agreed to, the matter being raised on the initiative of the War Office. That fact shows that the Government of the day felt, as I know that they did, that there was a prima facie case for the diminution of the burden on the British taxpayer in respect of Indian Army costs. So far from the right hon. Gentleman quoting that as a means of trying to bring me to his rescue, and to cast my aegis over his manoeuvres, if it proves anything, it proves the reverse of what he set out to show.
I want to make it clear that Parliament is free to decide in this matter. The Committee have an absolutely free hand. We are not dealing with a judicial award, but with a proposal put forward by a Minister of the Crown, on the responsibility of our own Government at home, to add to the public burden. This is a matter in which the Committee ought to take some interest. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is distributing his surplus very early this year. I hope that it is a very large and ample surplus, but it is quite remarkable when we consider the conditions under which this Government were appointed, and the tremendous insistence upon ruthless economy at the time, that there should be so much money about, and that £1,500,000 can be pulled out and brought forward on an afternoon like this, not as an amount only for the year, but as a continuing service for all time. The figure may not be quite accurate, but I think that the capital value of that sum will represent pretty nearly £40,000,000. That is what we are asked to do, and we ought certainly to look into it very carefully. I am very glad that the hon. and gallant Gentleman 1692 opposite has taken interest in it. Public money ought not to be splashed about in this manner without very grave, just and searching examination by this Committee of the House of Commons.
I have read the able report of this able committee—or tribunal if you like to call it, but it is no more a tribunal than any other committee similarly appointed to make recommendations—to the Government about this question. It seems to me that the committee were very hard put to it, to find any reason for an increased contribution from Great Britain with respect to the British Army in India. On pages 8 and 9 of the report they give an account of their search for some reason, and apparently they looked at a great many promising resting places for their argument, but, upon consideration, they found that one after another would not bear the weight of any conclusion. It is not until we get to page 15 that they have at last found a foothold for this new imposition upon the British taxpayer. I hope that the Committee will look at page 15. When tribunals give decisions and do not give reasons, it is very difficult for anyone to form an opinion. But, when a tribunal or committee gives its reasons, even ordinary laymen can form their own views on them. Just let us look at the two reasons which are given on page 15. My right hon. Friend read them, but they are very important, and, if the Committee will bear with me, I will read them again. They are:I do not say that there is nothing in these two statements, but there is not very much, and to a large extent they are not true. Take the first—that the Army in India is a force ready in an emergency to take the field at once, which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire. That is only true in the sense that the British troops in India are up to full war strength, whereas in this country it is necessary to call out the reserves in order to mobilise our battalions and other units. Apart from that, it is not true to say that the troops in India are more readily 1693 available or are ready in an emergency to take the field at once, because, if you consider the time it takes to prepare transport, the probably much quicker location of masses of shipping in this country, and the need for furnishing special equipment in India for the various contingencies that might arise, you would not find in many cases that they would be ready any sooner, or even, possibly, so soon. Certainly they were not ready so soon in the great instance that we had in the Great War, when our Expeditionary Force had been fighting for, I think, two months before these excellent troops from India could be brought on to the scene. This first of the two reasons, therefore, on which £1,500,000 of British money is to be expended, is really capable of considerable canvassing and modification in regard to its validity.
- "(1) That the Army in India is a force, ready in emergency to take the field at once, which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire, which is specially available for immediate use in the East, and which has on occasion been so used.
- (2) That India is a training ground for active service which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire."
As regards the second reason—that India is a training ground for active service which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire—again I do not wish to underrate the manly and gallant life of our troops on these vast plains of India, but I doubt whether you can say that experience in frontier wars is any special guide in, shall I say, the great struggles of the Continent of Europe. I remember often hearing the late Sir Charles Dilke argue to the contrary, and point out how, in the war of 1870, it was considered that the French suffered by having such a large proportion of Colonial generals who had been advanced from small fightings in their Colonial possessions to high positions in the Army, instead of having men at the summit who had based their views on broad scientific study of the greatest operations of war. And the Germans, let me point out, had no India, they had none of this advantage of training their troops on a great training ground such as India. Their Army was entirely a home-trained army, trained in Europe; and I have yet to learn that they did not give a very good account of themselves in the Great War. Certainly, judged by the most awful and unanswerable test, they killed between two and three men for every one of themselves who was killed, and that without any of the advantages detailed in the second reason for which we are invited to spend £1,500,000 a year for all time.
These are fairly flimsy pretexts, found after such a very long search by this 1694 very able Committee, considering the burden which is to be placed upon us. At any rate, whatever you may think of these reasons, there is nothing new in them; there is nothing in these two proposals which has not been perfectly obvious and well known and recognised as common ground for the last 30 years in all the endless discussions between the India Office, calling itself India—"she"—and the War Office; in all those endless discussions these facts have been perfectly well known. Why should they now be given such extraordinary prominence at the present time? That is the question that we have to investigate. Before I attempt to do so, I would like to say that against these two reasons which are given on page 15 there are other considerations which might well be studied if you are going to survey the whole relationship of the British Army in India to the Exchequer and the English taxpayer. If you are going to do that, there are other considerations which far outweigh the two set forth here. I will mention two of them to the Committee now, neither of which is referred to at all in the report. I am astonished that the representatives of the War Office did not bring them to the notice of the Committee, if in fact they did not.
To begin with, the first great consideration which must be set forth is the enormous effort and sacrifice imposed upon the British nation in maintaining an army of 60,000 men permanently under the conditions of life and service in India for generation after generation. That is holding out the dumb-bell at arm's length; it is a tremendous strain. A seven years' slice is taken out of the lives of these young men. You call it short service, but by every standard in Europe it is a very long service. Seven years are taken out of their lives, some five of which are passed under all the fierceness of the Asiatic sun, they are exposed to the trying effects of the Indian climate, and they are exposed to the temptations which naturally follow to young soldiers in that country. As we well know, the statistics of venereal disease and the general effects upon our young men sent out to serve in the Army in India are by no means negligible. I do not wish to put it too high; I make great acknowledgment of the efforts 1695 which have been made to improve the hygiene and conditions of the troops; but to suppose that you are not subjecting a body of 60,000 of your men, the flower of your youthful working-class manhood, to a long strain, and taking from them five or six years of the time during which they might be fitting themselves into the industrial field, to suppose that you are not taking from these men's lives something which is extremely important and which they may never get back again, is altogether to underrate the character of the effort which Britain makes to maintain an army in India.
It is our duty to make this effort, because, if we did not do so, if we did not maintain this Army in India, India would fall immediately into anarchy and civil war, and, after a brief period of turbulence and disorder, the probabilities are that history would see another conqueror, either from across the seas or through the mountains. [Interruption.] I will not pursue the topic further, except to submit to the Committee that this great strain and effort made by Great Britain for so many generations to preserve the peace, order and security of India should count at least as an equal, and I consider as an overriding, consideration to match against this second item that India is a training ground and that they get good practice at manoeuvres out there.
Let us look at the next consideration. We could, of course, have a very much cheaper military arrangement if we had only ourselves to consider. I remember often hearing Sir Charles Dilke explain the great advantages that would accrue to our military system if we divided the Army, making India pay the whole cost of a long-service Army for India, while we ourselves had a short-service Army here, with, we will say, two years with the Colours and 10 in the Reserve. Such an Army would rapidly build up a very large, flexible, homogeneous force at no greater, and probably at a less, cost than we are now put to by having to adopt the system of seven years with the Army and five with the Reserve. It is a great mistake to suppose that our Army arrangements are not gravely complicated and burdened, as anyone who has studied the matter knows them to be, by the need of rendering this great service 1696 to India; and I think that this second counter-consideration ought to have been placed against, and might well be placed against, the reason of the Committee that we have some troops there ready in an emergency. I say that there is not much validity in either of these reasons, that there is nothing new in either, and that undoubtedly far stronger points can be raised on the other side.
Then there is the reservation on the last page, by Lord Dunedin and Lord Tomlin, on the question of sea transport. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that this is a matter well worthy of our attention. Here are these two great legal authorities, dealing, not with any of those imponderabilia which played such a large part in every sphere in which the committee worked; they are dealing with a question on which they are absolutely competent to express an opinion, namely, whether there is a case in equity and in contract for the continuance of the £130,000 subsidy in aid of sea transport. They both come to this conclusion:We, therefore, though reluctantly.… are driven to the conclusion that there is no ground for the subsidy….But that does not affect the Government at all. In this mood of generosity which has swept across them, and for which usually we search in vain, they have not hesitated to act against the opinion of these two eminent legal authorities dealing with a matter on which they are perfectly competent to pronounce. In order to bring matters to an issue, therefore, I propose, if it can be fitted in with any other Motion—I am not sure whether there is a Motion from the other side to reduce the Vote—to move to reduce the Vote by £130,000, in order to point out that the policy of the Government in this respect at any rate should be brought into line with the definite rulings of these two eminent Law Lords, who are themselves so friendly to the aspirations of India in other respects. If I get an opportunity, I shall also vote against the grant of £1,500,000 as a whole.
To return to the question that I mentioned a moment ago, why His Majesty's Government decided to convey this new grant-in-aid to India, or rather to the British Government in India, at this particular time, no doubt we shall be told that it has nothing to do with the White Paper Constitution and nothing to do With the grave financial expense and con- 1697 fusion in which the attempt to extend the pleasures of democratic electioneering to the Indian masses is likely to involve the Indian Government. Those who wish to deceive themselves will believe that it has nothing to do with it. I am told that the right hon. Gentleman even referred to the possibility of money from this source in one of his answers before the Committee, but I have not the reference, and, if that is not so, I will stand corrected. We shall be told it had nothing to do with it, just as we were told that the retrocession of the Bangalore Cantonment had nothing to do with the desire to make Mysore into a federal system, or that the new arrangements made about the Nizam's sovereignity over the Berars had nothing to do with any desire to include that great Indian State in Federation. It seems to me, and I believe it to be true—I regret to say it—that this extra payment of £1,500,000 which is being engineered and might slip through the House without the public attention being drawn to it is part of that elaborate crochet work which my right hon. Friend, I am sorry to say, has too often mistaken for statesmanship. Let the Committee contrast this strange liberality with the attitude of the Government and the Treasury when the question is discussed of the difference between two and three shillings in the children's allowance. Then a very different mood prevails. Then the Government are adamant. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer is the emblem of financial austerity.
Something has happened in regard to the Indian matter which puts it in a different category, and I will tell the Committee what in my opinion has happened. When a Cabinet Minister gets into a difficulty with a policy on which the Cabinet is bent and to which it is largely committed and they do not see their way clearly through it, the money has to be found and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to face the burden.Not once or twice in our rough island storythe line of least resistance has been found through the pocket of the taxpayer. Do not let the Committee delude itself with the idea that this sop—for it is no more—is or will be accepted as a settlement. India, that national entity which you are endeavouring to call into being and the nucleus of the British 1698 bureaucracy will not accept it. You have only to see the proposals which the India Office put forward. Our Secretary of State hopefully put forward five or six proposals which would have added enormously to our charges. He put them forward as matters which should be considered so that, when it came to splitting the difference, there would be a very good chance of their getting a large slice of the money of the British taxpayer. Of course, what you are doink now will be brought forward by the Indian Home Rule Government as soon as it is constituted. They will say: "You have admitted the injustice. What about the arrears of all these years?" They will press not only for the different concessions which the Secretary of State and the India Office have put before the Committee. They will take these as a starting point and will press forward much larger demands, and that will be the first phase of the new Government when it is created. This is only the first heavy drop of the thunder shower. It is only the first of the deprivations and repudiations to which we are to be subjected if the policy to which my right hon. Friend is committed is carried out. If you have so much money as all this, if you are in such a giving mood, if you are resolved to persist in the policy of giving federal home rule to India, you should have kept this £1,500,000 a year carefully as a means of guaranteeing the pensions of the British officials who have so faithfully served you and served their country and whose anxiety you might so easily thereby have allayed.
§ 5.37 p.m.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I have listened with the greatest interest to the right hon. Gentleman's speech. As one who is a great admirer of him as a student of military policy, I should like to have heard him elaborate more the interesting theories that he put forward on the subject of the training of troops. I think there is much to be said for the view which he attributed, rightly no doubt, to Sir Charles Dilke, though I seem to remember certain passages in his own writings, both in regard to India and to the River War in the Sudan, which to some extent conflict with the views of Sir Charles Dilke. The right hon. Gentleman, as is usual when the House or the Committee has the advantage of being addressed by him, has put forward what 1699 superficially, at any rate, appears to be a most powerful case, yet I believe there is a complete answer to all that he said. I will not attempt to make it in full. That is for the Government. The first question which arises on which the Committee is entitled to have the fullest discussion is the question whether or not the tribunal should ever have been set up and whether it was a proper instrument for deciding this question.
The right hon. Gentleman has told us, confirming what was said by the Secretary of State, that this is a very old question. It goes back to years long before the War. He truly told us that he himself had in 1920 raised the question of the capitation grant. It was during the period of the now historical Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a great ornament and I was a humble Under-Secretary—the Coalition Government of 1918. I believe it would not be possible without getting special sanction to quote any decision which the Cabinet readied, but, as I was not a Member of the Cabinet but merely an Under-Secretary whose business it was to carry out Cabinet policy, I can tell the Committee that the Cabinet agreed in February, 1929, to the setting up of this tribunal the report of which is under consideration to-day. If the right hon. Gentleman is to convince the Committee of the strength of his case, he has to give reasons why, having agreed to the tribunal being set up, he disagrees with the acceptance of the award given by it.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It has not made any award. I made it clear that the £1,500,000 is the direct proposal of the Government.
§ Earl WINTERTON
The right hon. Gentleman is quite right. May I put it this way. He will have to give reasons why he disagrees with the Report. He does not deny that they made a report. It is true that the actual implementing of the decision to set up the arbitral board was not reached until after the 1924 Government had ceased to hold office, but it is, nevertheless, the case that the principle was accepted by the previous Government, and the right hon. Gentleman rather slurred over that portion of his speech. He would not deny that he agreed to the general question of the charges that fall either upon the Indian 1700 or the British taxpayer as the case may be being submitted to arbitration. There can be no question about it because the facts are on record. That question, at any rate, seems to be disposed of as far as the right hon. Gentleman is concerned. He went on to talk about the composition of the tribunal. I was not clear what his views were. He might, of course, argue that they were not suited to arbitrate on this matter, though he would know that men of the type who formed this tribunal have always been asked to arbitrate on questions of even greater importance than this. They were Sir Robert Randolph Garran, a very distinguished legal authority, Lord Dunedin and Lord Tomlin, two men whose names are household words in this country and who have high judicial capacity, and two very distinguished Indians both of whom have held high judicial office in India, Sir Shadi Lal and Sir Shah Muhammad Sulaiman. So I do not think that any member of the Committee ought to object to the composition of the tribunal. What made a definite impression on my mind was that the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to criticise the recommendations that the Committee had reached from the standpoint of a very acute student of military affairs. There I do not profess to be in a position to enter the lists with him. He may be quite correct, but, as he asked us to look at the pages of the Report, let me also refer him to a passage:A majority of us accept the view placed before us by counsel for the War Office of the general division of responsibility between India and the Empire on the basis of protection against the minor and the major danger. But none of us thinks that this disposes of a question of contribution.That is very definite. They go on as the right hon. Gentleman said to give their two grounds. Number one isthat the Army in India is a force ready in an emergency to take the field at once, which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire, which is specially available for immediate use in the East and which has on occasions been so used.In the contention that he put forward he seemed to suggest that it was not true to say that this was a force ready in an emergency to take the field at once which does not exist elsewhere in the Empire. I am afraid I must say I think he is wrong, because he and I would be in entire agreement with most of my hon. Friends that we deplore 1701 that there is not in this country a force immediately ready in an emergency. The right hon. Gentleman quoted the case of 1914. I must not go into that matter at length, or you, Sir Dennis, would check me. Whereas we had in 1914 a most efficient small military instrument for an expeditionary force which had a preponderating influence on the War, can any one say that we have such a force to-day? It is notorious that we have not. You cannot compare the pre-War expeditionary force and the British Army as it exists in this country to-day. There is no comparison between the two. The relative value of the Indian Army is much greater to-day than it was in 1914.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Surely, my Noble Friend might use his argument in the sense that this £1,500,000 might be used to improve our Forces in this country?
§ Earl WINTERTON
Certainly that is a perfectly fair interruption, but I should be called to order if I pursued it. I should be prepared to support the right hon. Gentleman or any right hon. Gentleman in demanding a larger sum for the British Army, but that is another question altogether. At any rate, he must admit that you cannot draw a comparison between 1914 and to-day. I admit that the Indian expeditionary force in 1914, as anyone of us who saw it at the front would agree, was not wholly suited to the purpose for which it was used and which was not the purpose for which it was intended. I should be surprised to find that the lessons of the War had been entirely lost and that if it were necessary to send an expeditionary force from India, composed partly of British and partly of Indian troops, that force would not be far more effective to-day than the force which was sent before. I cannot admit the contention put forward by the right hon. Gentleman that it is correct to say that the finding of this very distinguished tribunal was a wrong one. I think it was a perfectly accurate one.
I do not want to enter into controversy with the right hon. Gentleman, but I was rather sorry that he spoke in the way he did upon the effect of India on the health of the troops and the spread of venereal disease. It really does not seem to have very much bearing on the case. The health of the Army in India is astonishingly good; the improvement is beyond all belief. It is not very helpful to suggest that going to India has this effect 1702 upon men. I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would have been the last to say anything of this kind, in view of the delightful book of reminiscences which he wrote about his own personal Indian experiences. I should say that most young men, whether in the ranks or holding commissions in the Army in India look upon their stay in India as one of the most enjoyable experiences in life, and not from the point of view of which the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think.
When people talk about the conditions of India, they must have regard to the Indian side of the question, and the Committee should remember that, after all, taking one thing with another, the contribution which India has always made in men and in money for the general defence of the Empire, is infinitely greater than that of any part of the Empire, except Great Britain. Taking their contribution towards the Navy, the troops which they have sent overseas, and the assistance given by the Indian people, taking the thing as a whole, you will find that what I have just enunciated is absolutely true. Moreover, in many respects they have been treated more harshly than otherwise. They have been made to pay for defence while some of the wealthier Crown Colonies, and, indeed Crown Colonies in general, have never been asked to do so. In the old days it is an historical fact that when British troops were kept in Canada and in other Dominions the Dominions were not asked for any contribution. Therefore let us approach the matter fairly, and remember that India in this connection is rather a special case.
The last question which I want to ask is whether or not the decision which the Government reached as to the amount of money to be paid, is a just one? I hope I have disposed of the idea that it is wrong to set up the tribunal, anyhow as far as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping is concerned. Is it right, in view of the report which the tribunal gave, to make the contribution which is being proposed to the Committee this afternoon? The right hon. Gentleman mentioned that the figures had been put forward by the India Office: "A fixed percentage of India's total expenditure on defence, say one-half, about £18,000 per annum. The extra cost of maintaining a correspond- 1703 ing number of Indian troops, estimated at £10,000,000," and other figures like that. He seemed to be rather scornful of that having been done. Of course, it was the duty of the India Office to represent the views of the Government of India in this matter. Had he been Secretary of State for India he would have taken exactly the same course as the right hon. Gentleman. It was his duty to do so. He has to represent the point of view of the Government of India.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Surely, it is not the duty of the Secretary of State, the circumstances being what they are, to put forward a demand for an additional payment of £18,000,000 to India?
§ Earl WINTERTON
It is the duty of the Secretary of State before the tribunal to represent the views of the Government of India. The right hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. He and his friends outside this House are always talking about abdication and surrender, and when the India Office put forward a thing on behalf of India which is not surrender, he takes exception. He cannot have it both ways.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I am afraid that I did not catch the right hon. Gentleman's remark, but I have no doubt that it was a very interesting one. My point, therefore, is not whether or not the Secretary of State for India was right in putting forward those figures. The fact is those figures were put forward, and the Government have adopted a very much lower figure. I hope that those who are going to support the right hon. Gentleman will answer this point. If you accept it as right that a tribunal should be set up and you do not accept their report of the lower figure, what figure would the right hon. Gentleman support?
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
As one of those who are going to support the right hon. Gentleman, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) if he accepts, or thinks that it would be right, to accept the decision of the Simon Commission?
§ Earl WINTERTON
I might discuss all sorts of questions with the hon. and gallant Gentleman. Does he think it right to carry out a raging, tearing propaganda 1704 throughout the country? But those concerns do not arise on this Vote, though I should be pleased to discuss them with the hon. and gallant Member on a more appropriate occasion which will probably arise in the Autumn. I am sure that the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows the rules of the House and would not wish to draw me into conflict with the Chair in regard to the Simon Report, which cannot arise on this Estimate.
§ Sir H. CROFT
The Noble Lord was asking if we were bound in this House to accept anything a tribunal put before us. I merely ask him, what about the Simon Commission?
§ Earl WINTERTON
I was not putting the hon. and gallant Gentleman in quite the same category as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping because he has no responsibility, direct or indirect, for setting up the tribunal. I was referring at the moment to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that the Government, and the Secretary of State in particular, had brought the question forward at the present time because it had some sort of connection with the constitutional changes in India. I think that it is a very far-fetched suggestion, in view of history, and the fact that this matter has been under consideration almost for a generation, and that the right hon. Gentleman himself has taken great interest in times past in the question, although he has not always accepted the view put forward by the Government, and in view of the fact that the tribunal was set up in 1929 before any question of the Round Table Conference arose.
§ Earl WINTERTON
This tribunal. In fact, taking all these things into consideration, I must say that it is a farfetched conclusion to say that they brought forward this matter at the particular moment because of some constitutional changes going on. It is for the Government to answer, but for the Committee to form conclusions on the suggetion which the right hon. Gentleman has made. I hope that they will agree with my view. I submit that it has nothing whatever to do with the White Paper or with the question before the Government. I hope they will further agree that this is on the whole a very 1705 fair and reasonable settlement of an age-old question, which has caused a good deal of ill-feeling at different times between two Governments, and that it does not place an intolerable burden upon the British taxpayer as the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think.
§ 5.56 p.m.
§ Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX
I hope that the Committee will listen to a few words from one who served in India for many years, who has also been on the other side of the Afghan frontier and in Russia, and who, therefore, may be thought to know something of this subject. It is true, as the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winter-ton), has said, that this has been an age-long controversy. In the subordinate position which I held in India and in serving the War Office at home, I only heard from time to time that this question was being discussed between the India Office and the War Office. The first actual statement or the subject which I happened to see was when reading and toiling through the evidence of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State before the Joint Select Committee. I think it was after Sir Malcolm Hailey's statement of the financial situation as regards the White Paper had been put before the Joint Select Committee, and the Secretary of State was trying to give some crumb of comfort regarding the rather difficult financial situation in which India would be. I have not looked it up, but I remember that he said, "There is just a hope—I will not put it at more than a hope—that the tribunal which is now sitting may afford the taxpayer in India some measure of relief." Undoubtedly the Secretary of State did not then know how much money was going to be given by the British taxpayers in this country for the relief of the taxpayers in India, or, as I contend, for oiling the wheels by which the White Paper policy will be introduced into India. He could not tell then, but he knew perfectly well when he said that the recommendations of the tribunal, because the date of the report of the tribunal was 4th January, 1933, though it was not printed until December, 12 months later. No doubt at the time the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State was discussing this matter he was urging on the Government to make a generous contri- 1706 bution towards India's need, or towards the implementing of this new system of democracy in the East.
I agree with the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham that it is perfectly true there is nothing to be said against the fact that this tribunal was set up, though as a soldier, it seems to me rather extraordinary that you should have five legal gentlemen to decide on a question which, in its essence, is purely military. I am told that very eminent counsel on both sides argued the question in front of this legal tribunal, and no doubt the Secretary of State and the India Office put up their best case. But the question is purely military in its essence. I should like to ask whether India is not indebted to Great Britain for the large number of men maintained continually in India, like a dumb-bell held at arm's length, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) said on our organisation at home? I remember that Sir Charles Dilke was in favour of a scheme of short service of 10 years in the Army, two years with the Colours, and eight years with the Reserve at home, which would have given us a large Reserve at very small cost to meet our commitments in Europe and in the West. The whole of that scheme had to be scrapped owing to the necessity of finding the troops for India. India cannot pay for the transport of frequent drafts under any real system of short service.
Our Army in India has a three-fold task to perform. In the first place, it has to defend the North-West Frontier of India against a major attack, say, by a European Power. Secondly, it has to be prepared to defeat a minor attack by any of the tribes on the North-West Frontier of India, and, thirdly, and most important of all, it has to maintain internal order all through India. Lord Kitchener foresaw the danger of a Russian advance through Afghanistan and he regrouped the Indian army so that it would be immediately available to repel a Russian advance from the North-West Frontier. Since those times, we have had the revolution in Russia and the whole problem as regards Russia has completely changed. There is not the same danger from Russia in the military sense, as in the old days. A single propagandist passing through the Hindu Kush could do 1707 far greater harm than a large invading army. Astute people like the present rulers in Russia would never think of sending a million men through the passes of the Hindu Kush.
Although the danger of a Russian attack on the North-West Frontier has been removed, we have to face increased danger internally in India where the Bolshevik enemy, if it attacks us, will operate by undermining public confidence in India. Therefore, more British troops are required to maintain internal order in India. On the other hand, a tribal rising on the frontier can be met by India's present resources, the British Army allied to the Indian troops at present there. They do not require reinforcement from this country. In the great rising in 1897 in Tirah, there were no reinforcements sent from this country to any large extent.
Certain processes have been going on in India lately which have increased the need of British troops in that country. It is ridiculous for anyone who knows that enormous country to think that the small handful of British troops there, 58,000, can really control by force, a population of 353,000,000. They never did. We have always held India by prestige. Certain features of the policy of the Government of India and of our own Government during the last few years have tended to lower our prestige, and for that reason British troops are far more necessary in India now than they were five or six years ago. As a soldier I look upon it as absolutely impossible to imagine that any large proportion of our troops in India could be sent to China or Hong Kong or anywhere else in the East where they might be required. If the Committee of Imperial Defence looked into that question they would find that our troops are tied down to India. Communal riots have enormously increased since the promise of democratic reform in India, and in communal riots British troops are essential to put down the rioting, if possible, without bloodshed.
It is part of the new policy in India to go in for what we call Indianisation. A certain number of units have been in process of Indianisation for several years. That process is depriving those units gradually of British officers and re- 1708 placing them by Indian officers. We know now that a whole division has been handed over to this process of Indianisation. The process of Indianisation is decreasing, as it goes on, the fighting value of those units. If you hand over a whole division of the Indian Army to Indianisation, you will reduce the fighting value of the Indian Army for many years by a whole Indian division. There is, therefore, all the more reason why India should draw troops from this country in order to help her to maintain order and to preserve her strength on the Frontier.
There are many ways in this country in which we could use the £1,500,000 which is proposed in this Vote. Take our own Army. Have we had proper manoeuvres year after year? What about the Territorial Army? Is it not discouraging when one attends territorial dinners to learn how difficult it for the handful of officers to get recruits, and also to learn how the Territorial Army is being starved by the Government? Yet, in a fit of open-handedness, the Government are handing over £1,500,000 in perpetuity to India. I hope that the Committee will take into consideration some of the points raised by the right hon. Member for Epping and that they will think twice before they tie down this country to contribute £1,500,000 annually to India in the way proposed.
§ 6.6 p.m.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
I should not presume to address the Committee if I had not wished to bring forward one particular point and to ask a question, which was touched upon at the end of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. It was not referred to by the Noble Lord. The point that I wish to make is this: Why are we discussing this Vote on a Supplementary Estimate now? The Secretary of State told us that directly he went to the India Office he determined to set up this committee or tribunal to try to find a solution for what had been in controversy for 40 years. If this question has been awaiting settlement for 40 years, and if the whole question of the settlement of the future of India is about to emerge, when we are allowed to see the Government of India Bill which is about to be introduced, why is it not an appropriate part of that Bill to settle the future contribution from this country 1709 to the defence of India? That question requires an answer.
I should like to put a further question. The sum of £1,500,000 is not recommended in the report. It is a sum that has been arrived at, quite fortuitously so far as we can tell, by the Government. We have not been informed what was the basis of their decision. One thing only is perfectly clear, and that is that this sum will not satisfy Indian aspirations and Indian demands. On page 15 of the report, in the demand put forward by the India Office, representing the views of India, as to what they ought to have as a contribution towards defence, the figure varies from £10,000,000 to £18,000,000—a very different figure from £1,500,000. Therefore, are we not really providing a bone of contention by voting something which clearly will not satisfy India, and putting it forward within a few months of the time when this House will be asked to go into the whole question of India's future? Why is this particular item put forward to-day?
If I had no other grounds for believing that I can support the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) in the stand that he has taken it would be the ground that, clearly, whether £1,500,000 or some other sum is the appropriate amount that ought to be contributed, over and above what this country already contributes and has contributed for many years to the defence of India, it is not to-day that that proposal ought to be put before the House; it ought to be part of the settlement of the whole of this question which we understand is to be put before Parliament as a result of the three Round Table Conferences and of the recommendations of the committee which has been sitting for so many months on the subject.
§ 6.10 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I do not propose to enter into the controversy between the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) and the Government. I content myself by saying that I am sorry that on an occasion like this, opportunity should have been taken to examine, as it were, in a very broad way, the general policy of the Government in relation to India. I want to take strong exception to what is being conveyed through the medium of this Vote. As a result of the finding of the committee or tribunal the question has been examined 1710 between the War Office and the India Office as to what would be an appropriate amount to allow in relation to Imperial defence. The decision arrived at has been that £1,500,000 is an appropriate sum. It is very difficult to know upon what basis that sum has been arrived at, and I should have been very glad if the Secretary of State had taken us more into his confidence on that point. We do know something of the general principles on which the decision was arrived at, but exactly why, we are not informed.
Why has this sum of £1,500,000 been fixed? Because the committee or tribunal came to the conclusion that there is a certain amount of money which can properly be called money spent on Imperial defence. This sum of £1,500,000, therefore, is expended upon Imperial defence. It has nothing to do with India. It has something to do with Army expenses but nothing to do with the expenses of the India Office. I take the strongest exception to putting a Vote of £1,500,000 on to the Vote of the India Office, when in point of fact it properly belongs, according to the decision of the tribunal itself, to Imperial defence.
The right hon. Member for Epping twitted my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) with a desire to get the £1,500,000 put on the Army Vote so that we might go to the country and say that the Army expenses were £1,500,000 more. That may be good from the right hon. Gentleman's point of view, but my hon. and gallant Friend was quite honest about it. He admitted that if this sum of £1,500,000 was put on the Army Vote it would not represent any more armaments. It would, however, give an exact picture of the amount of money expended upon Imperial defence in respect of the Army. That is our point. It ought not to be put upon a Civil Vote. It ought to be put upon a Defence Vote. We object very strongly to this sum of £1,500,000 being taken, as it were, out of sight and removed from the Defence Vote Services, and put, quite wrongly, upon the India Office Vote. Some of us have been appointed to sit on the Public Accounts Committee and when the time comes we shall examine this particular point with meticulous care and may have something to say about the propriety or otherwise of the procedure adopted by the Government in this matter.
§ 6.16 p.m.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I associate myself with my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) in the protest he has made against this Supplementary Estimate. I do not believe that any any other Government we have ever had would have made itself responsible for this proposal in this form. I listened with great interest to the speech of the right hon. Member for Horsham (Earl Winter-ton) in defence of the Vote, but there was one question to which he never addressed himself throughout the whole of his remarks, and that was whether we are in a position to afford this extra expenditure, an expenditure not merely for one year but for ever. This amount of money represents the interest which the British Government would have to pay for a loan of between £40,000,000 and £50,000,000. It is a big item of expenditure, and when the right hon. Member for Horsham was reciting the ancient history of this matter, he entirely omitted to deal with the great financial stringency which we have been facing in all departments of our national life since 1931. At a time when we have had to cut down the vital defence services of the country below the danger point, at a time when many hon. Members feel that the allowances to the unemployed and to other social services are inadequate, what justification have the Government for putting this huge burden on the British taxpayer before these other national vital interests have been met, and in a form to which no other previous Chancellor of the Exchequer has agreed?
I am astonished at the attitude of the Labour party on this matter. They do not appear to realise that this £1,500,000 is to be for ever withdrawn from the use of the British taxpayer, from our own defence services, and our social services, and from the hundred and one purposes for which the money is so urgently required to-day. I suggest that the first question to which the Government ought to address themselves is whether we are in a position to afford this very large sum. I would remind hon. Members that there is absolutely nothing new at all in the contentions which have been put forward in the Committee to-day. These arguments have been advanced for the last 40 years, and have been rejected by every Chancellor of the Exchequer during the last 40 years. Every Chancellor of the Exchequer has weighed these considera- 1712 tions, and they have been turned down and rejected by every previous guardian of the nation's finances; and for us to admit that they are valid now, at a time when this country is suffering so much from a shortage of money, is, to my mind, to go back entirely on the decision of all previous Governments and all previous Chancellors of the Exchquer who have considered the matter.
You admit that for 40 years at least we have been exacting £1,500,000 too much from the people of India. It will inevitably bring a claim on this country for arrears. When a previous Government attempted to come to a financial adjustment with Mr. de Valera he sent in an account dated from a period which occurred shortly after the Norman Conquest. We are going to have the same thing on a small scale in regard to India; and I hope that no hon. Member imagines that we are going to get any sort of settlement by this Vote. The right hon. Member for Horsham spoke of a settlement. What sort of a settlement is this? The report of the committee is really only a chairman's report; every member of the tribunal has a dissenting minute. The Indian members of the tribunal have repudiated responsibility for the sort of settlement which the Government are now proposing, and the India Office, voicing Indian public opinion, have also repudiated completely the sort of settlement which is proposed in this Vote. Therefore, there is no settlement. You merely admit that for 40 years you have been taking £1,500,000 too much out of the people of India. That is not going to do our prestige in India any good. That is not going to improve the feelings between India and this country. It must inevitably lay the foundation for further claims against the taxpayers of Great Britain.
These considerations, of course, would not count very heavily if I thought that the claim was just, but I oppose the Vote because I think the claim is unjust. If you consider what England has done for India and what India has done for England, then India is enormously and incalculably in our debt, and not the least of the great services we have rendered India is to maintain, at a great strain on this country, an army there which is absolutely essential for the preservation of law and order. I think that in demanding that the people of India should pay the cost of that army, we are only doing 1713 what is fair and just both to the people of India as well as to the people of England. For these reasons I deplore the decision of the Government to mortgage the financial resources of this country to a capital amount of between £40,000,000 and £50,000,000, in perpetuity, at a time when we cannot possibly afford such an expenditure and in a manner which is not going to bring us a word of thanks from the political agitators in India. You are going to have this flung back at you, just as you will have the White Paper flung back at you. You are not going to win any friends by this concession; you are merely going to impose a burden on the taxpayers of this country which is going to stand in the way of social services and national defence, and in the way of every cause which at the present moment is being starved for lack of money. If my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping goes to a Division I shall, for these reasons, support him in the Lobby.
§ 6.24 p.m.
§ Sir JOHN WARDLAW-MILNE
I was delighted to hear the right hon. Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) say so clearly that the considerations which he has been putting before the Committee for the last few minutes will not weigh with him at all against the one cardinal question as to what is the justice of the case. It was vitally important that he should have made that statement, because it is easy to raise prejudices and ask whether we can afford this or that; it is easy to say that capitalised this charge represents an enormous outlay for the country. That argument can be used in the case of every expenditure which this House is asked to consider. There is not a single Vote which we pass that cannot be capitalised and magnified into an enormous charge—it may be correct in some cases—upon the people of this country for all time. It is true that this is a burden on the taxpayer; every Vote we pass is a burden on the taxpayer. The argument has really very little to do with the question. It is not a question of whether we have to pay out of the pockets of the taxpayer or at the expense of other services; that argument carries us nowhere. The real point is, what is the justice of the case? Are we right in making a contribution to the cost of the British Army in India, or are we wrong? Are we entitled to refuse to make such a contribution? If we are not entitled to 1714 refuse, if it is a just claim, then there is no point in raising questions of prejudice about the burden on the taxpayer, and all the rest of it. I say that there is no other matter for consideration except the bare question of the justice of the case.
I am not very much interested in the suggestion that if we give this money now we shall immediately be asked for payment for all the years—40 or 50 or 100 years—that we have not paid. I doubt very much whether whatever happened in the case of the Irish Free State has any bearing on this question. There may be something to be said for the contention that we should have paid before; it is possible that an argument on those lines can be raised, but to say that we will not consider the question because we ought to have paid before, and that we do not want the person to whom we owe money to know that we owe the money, is very much like saying that as the person to whom we owe money has forgotten, we will take good care not to remind him. That is an argument which, to my mind, should not appeal to an Assembly of this kind. Dealing only with the question as to whether we are right in refusing to make any contribution, I know nothing beyond the report of the tribunal itself. I know that this has been a matter of controversy for many years, but of the rights and wrongs of the controversy I know nothing except what I see in the report. Here we have a report by very eminent legal authorities which gives a very definite answer to the question. I invite the attention of hon. Members to a paragraph in the report which says:We think that the answer to the question, whether a contribution should be made from Imperial revenues towards military expenditure from Indian revenue is: Yes, but in respect of certain limited matters only.There we have a very definite answer, and I would suggest also that it is not right to say that this is a military question. Surely, the question of paying a contribution is not a military but a legal matter. This is a very definite answer from a tribunal which every Member of the Committee has joined in agreeing is eminently suitable to give us an authoritative reply. Their reply is that a contribution should be made. There is then only the question as to what that contribution should be. A great deal of play has been made by the right hon. Mem- 1715 ber for Epping (Mr. Churchill) and others with the fact that the tribunal laid down no figures. That is true. But it laid down the basis on which this contribution should be made, leaving the actual figures as a matter for the British Government, or possibly they had in view some arrangement between the two Governments concerned. The grounds on which a contribution should be made are also set out in paragraph 22, namely, that the Army in India is a force ready to take the field at once, and, secondly, that India is a training ground for active service.
Although we know nothing, and the Secretary of State did not give us any basis on which he had built up this figure of £1,500,000, still I can look at it in this way: The total expenditure of India as set out here is something like £36,000,000. The contribution which we are asked to agree to is, therefore, roughly about 4 per cent. of the total expenditure, or 8 per cent. of the expenditure on the British Army alone. The whole question therefore is, do we agree with the recommendation that a contribution of some sort should be made, are we willing to accept the tribunal's decision on that point, or are we not? if we are willing there is only one other question, what is to be the amount of the contribution? Is 4 per cent. of the total military expenditure or 8 per cent. of the British military expenditure too much or is it too little?
It is extremely difficult for anyone who has not followed this controversy, which has gone on for years, to give an opinion on that point. I do not feel qualified to do so. But I feel bound, very unwillingly—just as unwillingly as any Member of this Committee could possibly feel when it means an expenditure of public money—to accept the advice of this tribunal that a contribution should be made and that it is our duty to make it, and if I accept that advice I am faced with the question of the amount. I wish that the Secretary of State could have given us a little more information as to how the figure of £1,500,000 was reached. In the absence of that information it does not at first sight seem to me that 4 per cent. of the total expenditure of India is a very large amount for us to pay. It is impossible to go further than to say that as the matter stands, accepting this 1716 recommendation, I am prepared to accept the 4 per cent. but I would have liked to have known how the figure was reached, whether the Government of India had agreed to it and was satisfied with it, and generally on what the figure was based.
§ 6.35 p.m.
§ Mr. J. JONES
There is a saying that, "Fools step in where angels fear to tread." I hope that I am neither a fool nor an angel. All of those who have been taking an active part in agitating for a continuation of British rule in India will be very proud to read some of the speeches delivered here to-day. It will be balm of Gilead to them to know that some people in this country are afraid to make a contribution towards the maintenance of the British Army in India. So far as I am concerned—I am speaking for no one but myself—I say that we are not maintaining an Army in India for the good of India, but are maintaining it in order to preserve the integrity of the British Empire. Let us be frank about it. Empire means domination, and if we mean to maintain supremacy in the affairs of the world we must have a strong Army, a powerful Navy and all the other concomitants. The majority of our soldiers in India are there to preserve the integrity of the British Empire. I was sorry to hear one of our ex-Ministers, one who has loomed very large in the public eye, practically suggest that our recruits, the young men who defend the Empire, cannot be trusted in India very far. He says that they are led astray and lose all their Christian virtues when they mix with Hindus and Moslems.
A good deal has been said about the £1,500,000 that this proposal will cost. Shall we be told by the other side what we get out of India, what tribute the people of India are paying for the privilege of living under British rule, what control the people of India have over their own lives and welfare, or what political liberty they have? All this money that we are paying out is not money to protect India against some foreign Power that may be involved against us on some future occasion. What we are doing is paying an insurance policy to maintain our supremacy in India. I am not interested in the amount of money. I am interested in the principle. In so far as 1717 the Government are promising to do something to give the Indian people more control over their own affairs, to give them a bigger slice of self-government, I am willing as one man to give them as much liberty as possible, consistent, of course, as others would say, with the supremacy of us, who are so clever as against the Indians. They are a younger people than we are in the sense of democratic control. They have been in existence thousands of years only, compared with our hundreds. They, of course, are a young people compared with us in the matter of democratic rule.
But democracy is now out-of-date Some of those on the opposite side of the Committee have been denouncing democracy in this country. So long as they have a majority they are democrats, but as soon as they begin to lose power they become autocrats and want to maintain the supremacy of the so-called governing classes. That is what they are doing in India. The Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) tried to bring tears to our eyes when he talked about the cuts. He was one of the thickest supporters of the cuts in this House when they were brought forward. He goes to the other end of the earth to cut a workman's wages but never to cut a landlord's rents. All the time and every time he stands up for the privilege of his class. I only wish the working classes were half as conscious of their interest as right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have been in these events. So far as we are concerned we can say what we like and do what we like, because we cannot do much. So far as India is concerned we say that this is only conscience money, which the Government of this country are offering to India in an effort to get a kind of compromise settlement in the dispute between India and England. It will not satisfy the people of India. The better organised they become and the more they understand the situation, the more dissatisfied they will be with the present condition of things.
Consequently, in spite of all the experts who have spoken, I, as an ordinary onlooker, am pleased to see this family quarrel this afternoon, and, being an Irishman, I wanted to butt in. Noble Lords, right hon. and hon. Gentlemen talk about India. All the time the only 1718 thing they never mentioned was the condition of the people of India. All they thought about was the economic position of England, our financial position and our position from a military point of view. The condition of the people of India did not matter. I say frankly that the thing that really matters in India as well as in England is the condition of the people, and until hon. Members get down to that they will solve none of our problems. This is merely an attempt to throw oil on the troubled waters. Of this £1,500,000 not one brass farthing, not a jingle on a tombstone, will go to the workers of India. We are told it is £40,000,000 capitalised. The working people of India will not get a penny-piece of it. It will all go to the satraps, the Ahabs and the nabobs. Expressing an individual opinion I say that the Government can get on with the job. It is their funeral, and not ours.
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ Mr. MOLSON
The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken made it a reproach against those who have spoken earlier that they did not deal with the economic condition of the masses of the people of India. The reason previous speakers have abstained from dealing with that particular matter is not that they have not the interest of the Indian masses very much at heart, but that the question does not arise on this particular Vote. The speech of the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) dealt first of all with the question whether this country is able to afford the payment proposed in this Vote, and, secondly—I agree with the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne) that this was the really vital part of his speech—that it was not fair that this country should be called upon to make this contribution towards the cost of the Indian Army. The Noble Lord's opinion is entitled to the greatest respect, but upon this point the tribunal of five very distinguished lawyers was quite unanimous in declaring that there was a moral and justifiable claim on the part of India for a contribution to be made by this country. That being so, at whatever inconvenience to ourselves it is our duty to pay our debts.
The general gist of the speeches from the Opposition to-day, especially the speech of the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), was a suggestion 1719 that the whole question of a contribution towards the cost of Indian defence has only been raised by the National Government for the express purpose of enabling India to afford the luxury of a Constitution on the lines of the White Paper. I was surprised that that line should be taken by those speakers, who are frequently referring this House to the Simon Report and appear to regard the Simon Report as almost verbally inspired. If I may weary the Committee for two or three minutes I would like to prove that the Simon Commission itself was clearly of opinion, without expressing any final conclusion on the matter, that some contribution from this country was morally due to India. In their reference to the creation of an Army in India, which was to be under the control of the British Government, all that India was to do was to pay a fixed contribution towards it. At page 173 of the second volume of the report the Simon Commission say:The North-West frontier is not only the frontier of India: it is an international frontier of the first importance from the military point of view of the whole Empire. On India's frontier alone is the Empire open to any serious threat of attack by land, and it must be remembered that such attack might be delivered not on account of any quarrel with India, but because a dispute between the Empire and a foreign Power had arisen in quite a different part of the world.They point out that the defence of the Indian frontier is not merely a local problem of India but one which affects the question of the defence of the Empire as a whole. They refer to the fact that the whole question of capitation payments was under consideration at that time, that is 1928–1929, and one would suppose that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping would have been aware that the matter had then been raised. They say:However it may be decided, both as regards the principle of liability and the actual amount it is only one of the considerations which, as it seems to us, enter into the more general issue.They proceed to give some arguments which could properly be put forward on the other side, as showing to what extent India has benefited from the support given by this country, just as they had shown how this country benefits by the existence of an army in India. In their final recommendations, in proposing that 1720 the defence of India should be undertaken by the Imperial Government and that India should pay a contribution towards it they say:And of course it would involve an equitable adjustment of the burden of finance, which we do not attempt to prejudge, but which would perhaps most naturally take the form of an agreement to provide from Indian revenues an annual total sum, subject to revision at intervals, and with the opportunity of sharing in economies.The words "the opportunity of sharing in economies" prove conclusively that the contemplation of the Simon Report was that at any rate some part of the cost of the defence of India should be borne by the Imperial Revenues. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping frequently quoted the Simon Report against the Government and when I heard him speak upon this subject and make no reference to that vital recommendation in the Report I was reminded of the way in which the right hon. Gentleman always treats the Report. He treats it very much as little Jack Horner, who sat in the corner treated the pie. He selects plums and pulls them out whenever they happen to suit his argument and I think it was not irrelevant in this afternoon's Debate to draw attention to the fact that so far as this question is concerned the recommendations of the tribunal are in accordance with the proposals of the Simon Commission.
The right hon. Gentleman said that this was not a tribunal but a committee. Well it was set up by the Government who called it a tribunal and I am not going to quarrel about words. It was, if the right hon. Gentleman likes to call it so, a committee, but it was a committee of very distinguished men who approached the matter from a judicial point of view. The hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) said that the Simon Commission's recommendations were not accepted and asked why should the recommendations of this tribunal be accepted? I suggest respectfully that there can be no parallel between the two. The Simon Commission was asked to deal with political issues and to put forward proposals for this House to consider. In the case of the tribunal the matter was investigated, if not strictly from a legal point of view, at any rate with an attempt to arrive at what was fair and equitable as between 1721 the two countries, having taken duly into account the claims put forward by the two countries through their representatives—the learned counsel who appeared before the tribunal.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping has, I understand, actually moved a reduction on this Vote of £130,000 which is the sum in respect of sea transport. He referred to the opinion of Lord Dunedin and Lord Tomlin as a "ruling." That is the word which he used, perhaps unwittingly, because I noticed particularly what he said. But even if he only meant to say that it was an expression of opinion and not a ruling, at any rate it is remarkable that he should attach so much importance to the recommendations of those two learned law Lords when they were in a minority, yet when they agreed with the other three members of the tribunal in saying that there was a moral claim for a payment from this country to India, the right hon. Gentleman suggests that we should not accept their opinion. The reproach has also been made that the sum of £1,500,000 was not actually laid down by the tribunal, and the hon. Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) made the criticism that no explanation had been given of how that figure was reached. I submit that it is possible for a tribunal, without arriving at an exact mathematical figure to lay down considerations to be taken into account, and a technical matter of this kind must obviously be a subject for negotiation between the India Office and the War Office.
One point which I do not think has been brought out in this debate is the distinction drawn between the two elements in the case put before the tribunal. There were certain matters like capitation allowance and sea transport, in which it was possible for the tribunal to arrive at an exact conclusion upon a certain sum of money, and to tell exactly what was, in justice, the amount payable. It is upon one of those issues, that of the sea transport, that the proposal has been made to reduce this Vote. The other part of the case which was referred to the tribunal was the broad matter of equity, the general contribution to India taking into account the respects in which this country benefits by the existence of an army in India, and what the extent of the payment ought to 1722 be. Having regard to the unanimous decision of the tribunal that some payment is due to India in that matter, I hope and believe that the Government will have taken a generous view of our liability. I was surprised that the right hon. Gentleman in protesting against the generous interpretation which the Government put upon the debt of honour which this country owes to India in this matter, should have quoted the case of the children's allowances. I am glad to know that he reads the newspapers because if my memory serves me rightly, he has not attended any of the Debates in this House upon the Unemployment Bill. He rather reminds me of a long departed and more eminent statesman who only once referred to the conditions of the working classes in this country and that was when he sought to justify the continuance of slavery in other countries.
I feel it remarkable that those who so frequently claim that there should be no transfer of responsibility to the shoulders of the Indian people, and who on these occasions indulge in perorations about the trusteeship which we owe to India, should now be unwilling to allow an independent impartial tribunal to decide what payment we should make to those for whom we are trustees in respect of the cost of the British Army which is maintained in India.
§ 6.55 p.m.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I do not propose to delay the Committee long, because I feel that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State who has come down to the House specially to-day in connection with this matter, has already been subjected to a considerable strain, and we all appreciate the fact that he has come here to give us his advice on this question. Without following the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Molson) into a long dissertation on the difference between the report of the Simon Commission and the report of the tribunal, I would remind him that, in the references which he has quoted, the Simon Commission had regard to the fact that we were staying in India as the ruling race responsible for government at the centre and no comparison can be made between the position to-day and the conditions under which the Simon Commission was reported. The whole issue can be summed up in this way. This Government was returned by an overwhelming majority 1723 with an unmistakable mandate, demanding the most rigorous economy and claiming from all citizens extraordinary sacrifices—not sacrifices confined to one class, but sacrifices which went through the whole community. Now the Government ask us to accept a decision that the taxpayers of this country, just at a time when we are considering giving up the responsibility of government in India for all time, should pay £1,500,000 towards the expenses of the defence of India, although it was always pleaded, when we had full control and when we were not giving any form of government to that country, that those expenses were borne by the Indian people themselves. That is the issue and I submit that it is unfortunate that this very remarkable decision should be come to, just at a time when the whole Indian question is in the melting pot. It would have been better to have waited until the Select Committee had reported, and the ultimate legislation on which the Government decides was before this House, before proposing to hang this millstone round the necks of the people of this country.
§ 6.57 p.m.
§ Mr. PALING
The right hon. Gentleman has already been asked how this figure was reached. I should like to ask him further, is there any possibility, if this £1,500,000 is granted, of any retrospective claim being made in respect of it? Inquiry into this question has been going on for nearly 40 years, and this is the first time that any decision has been arrived at. Have the Government any reason to suppose that this payment will be satisfactory to the Indian people? If there is no claim for retrospective payments, are they satisfied that there will be no future claim for payments over and above this sum? I am in some difficulty as to how I shall vote on this question. I do not like to add £1,500,000 to our expenditure, particularly for such a purpose. It may be that, because the army in India does serve purposes other than purely Indian purposes, some payment towards the expense is due from us. There is another consideration which has not been mentioned. The army in India performs another service. The army has been maintained in India mainly for the protection of the interests of the bondholders. It may be that we are entitled to pay something from that 1724 point of view, but, as I say, I do not like adding this sum to our expenditure for military purposes at this juncture. That is my case against the Government.
Frankly, however, I cannot fall in very closely with the critics of the Government. I have been surprised this afternoon. One would imagine, from what was said by some of the speakers, that they were the champions of expenditure on social services in this country. Their main argument against this expenditure is that if we spend £1,500,000 on the Indian Army in this way, it will not be possible to give back the cuts to the persons who have undergone them and to the social services. The specific case of the 3s. for the children was mentioned. I am interested in that remark, coming from hon. Members opposite—the late Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer). I wonder what they would have done in that direction, and what they are going to do in the future? I shall watch their votes with great interest and shall hope, when this question comes up in the future, that we shall have the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) and the hon. Member for Aldershot in the Lobby with us, and also raising their voices in the House on behalf of the oppressed working people and in favour of increased expenditure on social services. After hearing both cases. I am almost in the position of saying, "A plague on both your houses."
§ 7.2 p.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I rise to make two points on what fell from the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft). Some of his remarks were not quite in accordance with the facts, particularly his argument in regard to the Statutory Commission. When the Statutory Commission were making their inquiries, it was brought to their notice that there was a long-standing controversy. They considered the evidence. They did not go into details, because the matter was under arbitration, but they found that it actually was a matter in which they could consider the rights between the parties financially, and they had nothing to do with any conclusion at which they might ultimately arrive on the constitutional question. The only other thing I wish to say is that I have always regarded the hon. Member for Bournemouth as the high priest 1725 of Imperial sentiment. Nevertheless, I understood him to say that whenever this self-government is given to a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, we should then divest ourselves of the obligations of defence. I am surprised at the hon. and gallant Member advising that course.
§ 7.4 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir WALTER SMILES
I wish to speak only for a minute or two on one aspect of this case. I have heard this matter debated by a great many Indians during the last 14 or 15 years, and for all I know it may have been debated before that. The average Indian politician feels very keenly on this matter. What we are doing to-day is to assess the value of the British soldier and the British Army in India. It is very difficult to assess that value. A policeman may at one time be merely a good-looking man in blue, and at another time he may be the means of saving your life. It is very difficult to assess the value in millions of pounds of the British Army during the last Afghan War. I am, however, anxious to get the matter settled and out of the way, and I consider the present an opportune moment to do so.
I am one of those people who have very grave fears of what may happen in India when responsibility is relinquished at the centre. I have voted against the Government on various occasions, but on this occasion I propose to vote with the Government. I consider that this is a reasonable proposal to carry out, and that in many ways £1,500,000 will be cheap. It will certainly be cheap if the Indians are satisfied. As regards the arrears of payment, I cannot visualise any future Government considering them. The British Army in the past has been of more value to India than the British Army will be in the future—at any rate, I hope it has, if the Indians are to be capable of governing themselves. I have heard it said to-day that the Army in India is readier for war than the Army at home. I hope that we do not have a repetition on any future occasion of the medical arrangements of the Indian Army in Mesopotamia. It was not the Indians who were responsible for those arrangements; it was the British medical service which let the Indian Army down on that occasion. With that in my mind, and also the value of the Indian Army to us in the War when they fought for us 1726 in Tanganyika, on the Suez Canal and in Mesopotamia. I look upon this sum as a debt of gratitude to the Indian Army, and have much pleasure in supporting the Government to-day.
§ 7.6 p.m.
§ Sir S. HOARE
I am very much obliged to my two hon. Friends, the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) and the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft), for their friendly personal allusions to myself. I appreciate in particular the observation of the right hon. Member for Epping that he disapproved of the sin though he was friendly to the sinner. I was glad to hear him make that observation, because it shows that, however much one may differ politically from one's hon. Friends, one's personal relations remain very much the same.
I own that at the end of this Debate I am somewhat disappointed. I had hoped, as I said at the beginning, that once in the long history of Indian discussions we were to have the right hon. Member for Epping on our side. On the contrary, he and his friends have shown great ingenuity, energy and eloquence in developing what appears to be a very formidable case against us. Indeed, as I listened to some of the speeches this afternoon, I was reminded—if I may be pardoned for using the illustration—of a very well-known bass song in the Italian opera, "The Barber of Seville." Those hon. Members who are in the habit of going to the opera will remember how the monk in the Barber of Seville develops in a bass song the growth of a small rumour, some insignificant fact, into a great indictment that shakes credit and undermines character. I thought to-day, as I listened to some of these speeches, how very closely akin to the development in that song was the development of the case which I heard made against me to-day.
A tribunal makes an award; it makes an award at a very sinister moment, just when an iniquitous, weak-kneed Government is considering a constitution for India, and is touching that accursed thing the Indian Federation. As a result of that award, the Secretary of State for India comes down with a proposal to this Committee to devote £1,500,000 of the tax-payers' hard-gained money to the 1727 support of Indian finances. At this moment it is also worth noting that Indian finances, like the finances of most of the great countries of the world, are in a difficult situation. It is worth noting that the gift of £1,500,000 will be extremely useful to the revenues of India in this emergency, and that it will be extremely useful to the revenues of India if and when the Federal Government comes into existence. In view of these sinister facts, is this not evidence of another plot of the Government to go behind their public declarations and to hoodwink the Committee into a Vote which while ostensibly for the purpose of carrying out the decision of the Defence Tribunal, is really a cryptic way in which to assist the Indian Federation? What a formidable case that may appear to be upon the surface: these people are going to waste the taxpayers' money.Not once or twice in our rough island story,as my right hon. Friend reminded us, has the line of least resistance been found through the taxpayers' pocket. My right hon. Friend was Chancellor of the Exchequer for a good many years, and can speak with greater authority upon the verity of that quotation than I can hope to speak. This iniquitous Government are subjugating Imperial interests to Indian political clamour. Here is another example—again I quote my right hon. Friend's purple passage—ofthe crochet work which the Secretary of State for India mistakes for statesmanship.I have never attempted to be a great statesman; indeed, I have always agreed with that very wise observation of the late Mr. Bonar Law, "If I am a great statesman, all great statesmen are frauds." I content myself with a much humbler role.
I have tried, since I have been at the India Office, to face the facts of a series of very difficult situations. I have attempted to face those facts without any foolish feeling that my opinion might be infallible, and I may have made a whole series of mistakes. One of those facts which I have attempted to face is the fact connected with this Tribunal and with its award. My Noble Friend the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) was perfectly right when he emphasised 1728 the depth of Indian opinion upon this question of financial expenditure. Rightly or wrongly, Indian opinion has for many years past felt deeply upon this issue. Indians have seen that out of the Indian Budget, some £90,000,000, a sum of about £36,000,000 sterling is allotted for defence. They find, unlike the Dominions and the Crown Colonies, that they are spending this large sum; they have thought that they were spending too much on defence, and they have thought also that the military defence of India was excessive.
As to that second suggestion, I claim that if hon. Members take the trouble they can read a whole series of public statements made by me to show that the expenditure on defence in India is not excessive. India, on the ground of history and of geography, is particularly vulnerable, and no charge can be substantiated that the money spent on Indian defence is excessive or that we keep in India a garrison larger than is necessary for defending the frontiers of India and maintaining India's internal security. But having said that, there is the fact, which nobody can deny, that there are few political questions that have so disturbed Indian opinion as the questions connected with expenditure upon military defence. That is a fact that cannot be ignored, and because of that fact I welcomed the opportunity to refer the big issue of the Imperial contribution to what I believed to be, manifestly, an impartial body. As long as I had to answer for India here, as long as any British Minister had to answer for India here, India would continue to think that our views were biased, and on that account it seemed to me that there was everything to be gained by accepting a proposal that had been agreed to by the two previous Governments, a proposal in which my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping concurred on his own personal responsibility, namely, that these questions should be referred to an impartial tribunal.
When I heard some of the criticisms that were made of the tribunal's report, I wondered very much whether those criticism's would have equally been made against the tribunal if it had reported the other way. After all, we cannot have it both ways; if we were all agreed that much the best way to settle the con- 1729 troversy was to refer it to an impartial body, we cannot agree that the decision arrived at is a decision that ought not to be accepted. Let me reassure the critics of the report this evening that the various contentions, particularly those urged by my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping, that this or that aspect of the problem ought to have been taken into account by the tribunal—the heavy burden, for instance, that it imposes on our man-power and so on—every one of those contentions was argued in great detail before the tribunal, every one of them was argued with the help of the best legal opinion in London, and the Committee, taking all those facts into account—the War Office claim and the Air Ministry claim—came to the view that a contribution of some kind was just.
§ Sir S. HOARE
Of some kind. I now come to the amount of the contribution. The hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) and subsequently the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling) asked me to give some indication as to how we had arrived at the figure of £1,500,000. It is interesting to note that those two hon. Members seemed to take somewhat different views as to what the figure should be. If I understood rightly the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds, he was doubtful as to whether the figure was not too small. The hon. Member for Wentworth, on the other hand, was doubtful as to whether it was not too big. That is the kind of difficulty that faced the tribunal and also faced the Government. When I am asked what was the basis of the figure recommended to the Committee, I will say quite candidly how it was that we arrived at £1,500,000. We took into account the occasions in the past when India had been of material assistance to Great Britain and to the Empire in times of national and Imperial emergency. I have here a list of those occasions, spread over the last 50 or 60 years, culminating in the immense assistance that India gave to us in the Great War—when I suppose it would be fair to say that, without the assistance of India, both in men and money, the result of the War, if it had not been different, at any rate might well have been considerably postponed—and ending in the period of 1730 Chinese crisis in 1927, when India sent a mixed brigade to Shanghai. These facts we took into account.
As to the future, of course, one can only make surmises, but we see no reason to justify the suspicions that have been expressed this evening, namely, that India in the future will not be able to give us the same kind of assistance that India has given us in the past. Secondly, we took into account the value to the British Army of India as a training ground. There again it is very difficult to assess that value in pounds, shillings, and pence, but the Government here came definitely to the view that it did involve a substantial value to the British Army. You may say that these are rather general bases for the actual figures.
§ Sir S. HOARE
The right hon. Member for Epping evidently thinks that, but I am equally sure that if he goes into greater detail, he will find that they are in practice the only effective bases upon which you can go.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I can quite see that, but why do they afford grounds for a figure of £1,500,000? Why not £1,000,000 or £3,000,000? How can these matters be brought to such a mathematical computation?
§ Sir S. HOARE
That is the difficulty. They must be brought to a mathematical computation if the contribution is to be given. The Departments here chiefly concerned—including, of course, the Treasury—and the Government of India, after long discussion and after interchanging views on the one side and on the other, have come to the view that, setting the debit side against the credit and the credit side against the debit, £1,500,000 was a fair figure; and I think I am justified in saying that the course of the Debate has rather tended to show that it is a just figure. Some hon. Members who have taken part in the Debate holding the view that it ought to be greater and some that it ought to be less, I am inclined to think that that rather justifies the figure at which the Government have arrived.
Then my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping attacked the item connected with sea transport. Indeed, he has gone so far as to move a reduction of the Vote which would cover the 1731 £130,000 involved in this charge. He asked why it was that we did not accept the view of the two British Law Lords, namely, Lord Dunedin and Lord Tomlin. I can give him the answer in a single sentence. We came to the view that the fair course to take in dealing with an award of this kind, where there was no unanimity, was to take the Majority Report of the Committee, and with that in mind we took the Majority Report of the Committee in the case of the definition of the bases of contribution—that is to say, the two British members and the Australian member against the minority of the two Indian members. I put it to the Committee that it would not be fair to take the Majority Report in one case and not to take it in the other case, when it so happens that the two Indian Judges are a part of the majority.
Lastly, let me deal with what I believe to be the real gravamen of the criticism of my right hon. and hon. Friends this evening. The suspicion, like King Charles' head, is always before their eyes that, although we may be talking about the award of the military defence tribunal, we are really using devious methods to bring about Indian federation. My right hon. Friend elaborated his criticism, and it was repeated by others of my hon. Friends. I hoped I said enough at the beginning of this Debate to show that there is no foundation whatever for this suspicion. This Government did not create the arbitral body. The arbitral body was accepted by my right hon. Friend's Government in February, 1929, when my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping was Chancellor of the Exchequer; it was accepted again by the Socialist Government; and if it had not been, as I said, for the General Election and the subsequent publication of the Report of the Statutory Commission, this tribunal would have been appointed, and should have been appointed, years ago. There is no foundation whatever for suggesting that either the setting up of this tribunal, its award, or the Government's acceptance of the award has anything whatever to do with federation or with the Government's White Paper proposals.
I hope I have now said enough to bring the Committee back to the real subject of our discussion. I hope I have said enough to show to the Committee that 1732 there is everything to be gained by getting this thorny and controversial question settled once and for all. I would say to the hon. Member for Wentworth, who asked me a question upon this point, that there is no question whatever of making this award retrospective. This award is for the future, and assuming that the considerations upon which it is based remain the same, namely, that India remains available for giving Great Britain and the British Empire help in times of national emergency, and, secondly, that India remains available as a great training ground for the British Army, this award, I hope, will be adopted, and I hope it will bring to an end a controversy instinct with suspicion and bitterness that has too long compromised the relations between India and this country.
§ Sir B. PETO
Can my right hon. Friend answer one question which I put to him? Can he state why, if this question has been open for 40 years, it cannot wait for a few months more until we have the whole of the Government's policy with regard to India?
§ Sir S. HOARE
For the very simple sreason, I should say, that the tribunal, when once it was appointed, was master of its own procedure, and could obviously make its report when and how it thought fit.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
Why is the right hon. Gentleman's Department answerable to this House for what is, after all, an item of Imperial defence?
§ Sir S. HOARE
This is in accordance, as I think the hon. Member will find if he looks further into the matter, with the habitual procedure in Parliament, namely, that in questions of this kind in which a Dominion, or Colony or Dependency is involved, the Department that is responsible for the administration of the Dominion, Colony or Dependency asks for the Vote.
§ Sir S. HOARE
The answer really is, first of all, that the Secretary of State 1733 for India, being responsible for Indian administration, is responsible to this House for the expenditure of the money. The second answer is of a different kind, namely, that from the point of view of bringing the whole question to the notice of the House, this is the most effective way to do it. Suppose we had put it into the War Office Vote, I think that no hon. Members could have identified the items of expenditure. They would have been spread over the whole of the War Office Vote, and if we did not disclose the amount it would have been extremely difficult to discover what the amount was.
§ Sir S. HOARE
I am informed it could not be covered by a single sub-head. It would cover a whole variety of details which it would be almost impossible to identify. I claim that on account both of precedent and convenience this is the best way to do it.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,371,100, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 34; Noes, 289.1735
|Division No. 143.]
|Davison, Sir William Henry
|Perkins, Walter R. D.
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.
|Everard, W. Lindsay
|Rawson, Sir Cooper
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)
|Fuller, Captain A. G.
|Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John
|Hartington, Marquess of
|Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)
|Broadbent, Colonel John
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.
|Wayland, Sir William A.
|Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger
|Knox, Sir Alfred
|Wise, Alfred R.
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer
|Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
|Croft, Brigadier.-General Sir H.
|Marsden, Commander Arthur
|Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)
|TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
|Mr. Donner and Mr. Raikes.
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)
|Conant, R. J. E.
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)
|Cook, Thomas A.
|Goldie, Noel B.
|Anstruther-Grey, W. J.
|Cooper, A. Duff
|Gower, Sir Robert
|Aske, Sir Robert William
|Cove, William G.
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
|Attlee, Clement Richard
|Cripps, Sir Stafford
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.
|Crooke, J. Smedley
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter
|Banfield, John William
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.
|Griffths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
|Barrie, Sir Charles Couper
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard
|Grigg, Sir Edward
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom
|Grimston, R. V.
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.
|Groves, Thomas E.
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman
|Denman, Hon. R. D.
|Gunston, Captain D. W.
|Guy, J. C. Morrison
|Boulton, W. W.
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.
|Duckworth, George A. V.
|Hamilton, Sir R.W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)
|Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel
|Hanley, Dennis A.
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)
|Duggan, Hubert John
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
|Brass, Captain Sir William
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.
|Hartland, George A.
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)
|Eady, George H.
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)
|Eastwood, John Francis
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)
|Browne, Captain A. C.
|Eden, Robert Anthony
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.
|Edge, Sir William
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie
|Edmondson, Major A. J.
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)
|Burnett, John George
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter
|Butler, Richard Austen
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.
|Carver, Major William H.
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester. City)
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A. (Birm., W.)
|Fleming, Edward Lasceiles
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)
|Hurd, Sir Percy
|Christie, James Archibald
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.
|Clarry, Reginald George
|Fox, Sir Gifford
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)
|Clayton, Sir Christopher
|Fremantle, Sir Francis
|James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton
|Jenkins, Sir William
|Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.
|Somervell, Sir Donald
|kerr, Lieut.-Col Charles (Montrose)
|Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
|Kerr, Hamilton W.
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
|Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton
|Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid
|Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George
|Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
|Law, Sir Alfred
|O'Connor, Terence James
|Spencer, Captain Richard A.
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.
|Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
|Leckie, J. A.
|Palmer, Francis Noel
|Spens, William Patrick
|Leech, Dr. J. W.
|Parkinson, John Allen
|Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.
|Patrick, Colin M.
|Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
|Peake, Captain Osbert
|Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)
|Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)
|Pearson, William G.
|Lindsay, Noel Ker
|Peat, Charles U.
|Llewellin, Major John J.
|Percy, Lord Eustace
|Stourton, Hon. John J.
|Strauss, Edward A.
|Pickering, Ernest H.
|Strickland, Captain W. F.
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)
|Pybus, Sir Percy John
|Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere
|Radford, E. A.
|Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
|Loftus, Pierce C.
|Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
|Summersby, Charles H
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
|Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
|MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. C. G. (Partick)
|Rea, Walter Russell
|Thompson, Sir Luke
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
|Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
|Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
|Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
|Thorne, William James
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
|Reid, William Allan (Derby)
|Tinker, John Joseph
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetiaw)
|Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U
|Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
|Rickards, George William
|McEntee, Valentine L.
|Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
|Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
|McKie, John Hamilton
|Robinson, John Roland
|Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
|McLean, Major Sir Alan
|Repner, Colonel L.
|Turton, Robert Hugh
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
|Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
|Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
|Macmillan, Maurice Harold
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
|Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
|Runge, Norah Cecil
|Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
|Mainwaring, William Henry
|Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
|Wardlaw-Mline, Sir John S.
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.
|Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
|Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
|Salmon, Sir Isldore
|Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
|Martin, Thomas B.
|Salt, Edward W.
|Wells, Sydney Richard
|Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
|Salter, Dr. Alfred
|White, Henry Graham
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
|Whyte, Jardine Bell
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
|Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
|Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
|Savery, Samuel Servington
|Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
|Milner, Major James
|Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
|Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale
|Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
|Wills, Wilfrid D.
|Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres
|Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.
|Wilson. Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
|Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)
|Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
|Morgan, Robert H.
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
|Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
|Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)
|Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)
|Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
|Skelton, Archibald Noel
|Worthington, Dr. John V.
|Morrison, William Shepherd
|Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
|Moss, Captain H. J.
|Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
|TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
|Mr. Blindell and Mr. Womersley.
Question put, and agreed to.