§ 7.44 p.m.
§ Wing-Commander JAMES
I beg to move, to leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:in view of the fact that any future military operations that this country may be obliged to undertake will depend upon naval and aerial communications and cooperation, this House is of opinion that steps should be taken to ensure the training of His Majesty's Army for combined operations with the other Services.The "Times," commenting on the ballot, the luck of which has given me the right to propose this Amendment, complained that private Members did not seem to know what they wanted to discuss. To that charge I plead not guilty, because the subject of the coordination of the Services is one in which I have for many years taken an interest, and at one time a professional interest. In 1916, in 1917 and 1918, on several occasions, I was employed in France on special duties concerned with co-operation, and for the last three months of the War I was occupying the position of G.S.O.I. on the staff of Sir Ivor Maxse, the Inspector-General of Training, as Royal Air Force representative, for the sole purpose of assisting in the coordination of combined training. I only mention this to justify if possible my somewhat feeble attempt to bring before the House the tremendous importance of this subject.
665 May I preface the argument which I am about to submit by some general points. Firstly, when I had the choice of the Estimates of the three Services on which to raise this subject I chose the Army, not in any critical spirit, not suggesting thereby that the Army was more backward in co-operation with the other arms than the other arms were in co-operation with the Army. I selected the Army in preference to what would be, for me, the rather more obvious service, the Air Force, solely because I believed there were many more people in this House with experience of the Army who would be willing and able to discuss this subject against an Army background rather than from the Air Service point of view. It is, in fact, immaterial on to which Service this discussion is actually fastened.
Secondly, I shall not make more than the scantiest possible reference to the Navy and combined naval training, although the Motion deals with co-operation as affecting all three Services. My reason for this is the adequate though not always accepted one that I know absolutely nothing about the Navy. But I am certain that naval co-operation with the other arms is just as important as co-operation between the Army and the Air Force, and I am assured that the proposals which I am later going to put forward are equally applicable to the Navy and to the other Services. I welcome the statement made by the First Lord of the Admiralty on Monday last and his most generous and valuable reference to co-operation. It was the most helpful reference to co-ordination in Service training that has ever been made in this House by a First Lord.
Thirdly, even if it were in order to do so I should not be tempted to bring forward the question of a Ministry of Defence. For one reason, I believe that at the present time and for many years to come the creation of a Ministry of Defence would be not merely to put the cart before the horse, but to put the cart before three different horses. Fourthly, I hope that nothing that I say will be taken as an attack upon, or even a hostile criticism of, the Committee of Imperial Defence or, above all, its extremely able secretary. I would rather put the matter in this way—that although I believe that the situation in respect of co-operation training is unsatisfactory as 666 it is, it would have been infinitely worse but for the valuable work of the Committee of Imperial Defence. My fifth preliminary point is the rather obvious one that this is entirely a non-party subject, because economy and efficiency are the common interests of all parties.
What is the position of unitary training in co-operation as between the Army and the Air Force to-day? It is in my submission—and on this I found my whole case—that it is extremely unsatisfactory. May I give a few illustrations in support of that contention? Anybody can test these points for themselves. Ask any senior officer in almost any regiment, battalion or battery what is the state of co-operation training in his own unit and he will tell you in most cases that there is in that unit not one officer or noncommissioned officer who has had any special training in co-operation. The greater part of Territorial training is today being carried out without relationship to aerial co-operation. I have many times in the last few years been approached personally by Territorial officers who have asked: "How can we get an aeroplane at our annual training?" In some cases, I am told, officers have produced their own private aeroplanes in order to secure this vital cooperation training.
I agree that on paper the scheme looks fairly good but in practice it tends to be brushed aside, not deliberately, but for this reason, that the Air Force and the Army and, to a lesser extent, the Navy, are to-day looking inwards and not outwards. The accumulated experience of the Great War is rapidly being lost. On this point I feel an almost personal interest because during the winter of 1917–1918 the squadron which I was then commanding was made into a training squadron for attached senior officers to teach the other arms something of what we could do and could not do to assist them. It is a coincidence I was commanding that squadron assisted by my hon. Friend the Member for Tavistock (Mr. Patrick) who is to second this Motion. We learned then how senior officers like battery commanders, battalion commanders and even brigade commanders who had been through years of war, were still not merely profoundly ignorant of, but with a totally wrong impression of, what the aeroplane could do and could not do to 667 help them. I submit that the situation to-day is even worse than it was then. As the war-experienced generation passes away in the units the situation will deteriorate unless something definite is done about it. May I briefly refer to naval and air co-operation training? As I say I know nothing about it directly but I am assured that between these two arms co-operation training to-day is on a fairly satisfactory basis. Whereas a few years ago it was very unsatisfactory, to-day it is working extremely well and to the satisfaction of both sides. The only caveat I would enter here is this—that it is very doubtful whether the scheme which is working so smoothly in peace-time would work equally well under the stress of war.
The general scheme for army and air co-operation training stands upon two legs. The first is the mutual secondment and mutual attachment of officers and the second is the work of Army co-operation squadrons. As to the first this scheme has become more or less a dead letter. I ventured to prod the Undersecretary of State for Air last week regarding his side of that question, and I now venture to prod the Financial Secretary to the War Office regarding his side of it. As to the other leg of the training scheme, the Army co-operation squadrons are doing invaluable work and are extremely efficient, so much so that in my submission, the efficiency of this training where it is available, tends to obscure the general lack of co-operation training. Because individual Army co-operation squadrons show most excellent understanding and co-ordination with the troops immediately around them we are led, in pointing to the splendid results achieved here and there, to forget the absence of any results elsewhere. Again it must be remembered that hitherto it has been possible in these squadrons to have the higher ranks filled by officers who have had experience, both in co-operation training and co-operation work during the War. That generation, however, is passing on to higher employment and when you get a new generation of what I may call for this purpose hard-boiled Air Force officers, brought up at Cranwell coming in to command these squadrons, I cannot see how in the present state of co-operation training that efficiency can be maintained except on paper.
668 Having inadequately surveyed the problem as I see it, I submit that we must, in seeking the real explanation of the present state of affairs, look higher and see whence comes the direction of the training, whence comes the training policy—because those who direct training in times of peace are those who will direct operations in times of war. I hope I shall be in order therefore in referring briefly to the training of the staff who in turn train the individuals. It may in this connection be that a dictum of my former chief Sir Ivor Maxse is still running in my mind:Teach the teachers what to teach before they teach the Tommies.You have to see how the staff itself is being taught its job in order to see that it is capable of teaching other people their jobs. The staff outlook on both sides is, I submit, at the present time wrong. The mental attitude both of the Army and the Air Force and also I think of the Navy, tends to envisage and to train for a war conducted by their own arm alone. That applies particularly to the Air Force. The rising generation has subconsciously been influenced to a tremendous extent by the most unfortunate and misguided propaganda of a certain section of the air Press. They have been told, "You are the arm of the future; in the next war you are going to run the show all by yourselves; grasp all you can get." They are growing up with a wrong mentality. In the result there is a failure on both sides to appreciate the potentialities of co-operation and co-operation training.
In order to see how this unfortunate state of affairs has arisen I ask the House to look at the lamentable history of inter-Service rivalry since the War. By 1916 it had become clear that the divided Air Service could not last. It was leading to duplication and waste and many other things. On 1st April, 1918, one Service was created, and rightly created. This, is where the trouble arose. That decision to create one Air Service was not loyally accepted by certain people. It is no use now going back to blame anybody. The people concerned are almost all out of the Service now but they poisoned the post-War atmosphere in relation to the building up of the Air Force. Lord Trenchard, to whom the country owes a debt which history alone will be able to estimate, when he built up the 669 post-War Air Force had to build with one hand while he defended his service with the other. To many the Air Force was regarded not as a valuable ally but as a cuckoo in the nest. This unfortunate state of affairs tended to colour the post-War policy and outlook of all the Services. In order to justify the new arm claims were made by it and especially on behalf of it, that were ill-advised, premature and could not be justified.
Particularly offensive and harmful was the arrogant attitude adopted by a not inconsiderable section of the air Press. It is a most remarkable thing, and one that we all have experience of in this House, that when people can convince themselves that their own interest and public policy coincide, they become most violent protagonists. Naturally the older Services resented these claims and were forced to resist them, and then, at a later stage, there came in that devastating word "substitution." On that one word "substitution" is based, I believe, the greater part of the trouble in co-operation in training to-day. The crux of the situation is that there is no machinery suitable for effecting a real compromise, a reasonable transition, or a reasonable degree of co-operation. A mandate has to be given either to the air or to the ground. The Iraq decision in 1922 was a case in point. It was perfectly correct in principle to make Iraq an Air Ministry responsibility, but it went too far, because there was no compromise possible, and it led to the most ridiculous sub rosa developments. It led to the Air Force building up, almost unofficially, its own ground forces, like armoured cars, machine guns, motor launches, and so on, instead of relying on the other Service. In his speech to-day the Financial Secretary said that if you have a naval base, you must have troops to protect it. I agree with that every time, but does he apply that also to an air base? I certainly should, but it is not being done to-day—a case of watertight compartments again. It was the failure to co-ordinate only two Services that led to the ghastly failure at Gallipoli. To-day we are failing under the easier conditions of peace, to co-ordinate the training of three Forces.
In putting forward these hackneyed observations, I am obviously making no claim whatever to originality. They have 670 been the subject of Committees and Debates for years past. There was the Weir-Mond Committee of 1922, there was the Salisbury Committee of 1923, there was the House of Lords Debate in June, 1926, and there was the House of Commons Debate in 1928. All these Committees and Debates have been inconclusive. They have all urged further co-ordination and co-operation, and they have all failed to make any practical suggestion that was acceptable to the Government. I submit that there are two specific reasons why they were all inconclusive. In the first place, it was always assumed that time would effect a cure, that time was tending to smooth over the difficulties and make co-operation better; and the second assumption was that time would act hand in hand with the work of the Committee of Imperial Defence. Both those expectations have been disappointed. I submit that they have both been disproved by the facts as they are to-day.
I was reading yesterday the speech of Lord Balfour made in the House of Lords in June, 1926. No man knew more than he about the Committee of Imperial Defence. It was his own creation, more than 30 years ago. In reading that speech yesterday afternoon, it was almost pitiable to note that great man's implicit confidence in the cure that would be effected by the Committee of Imperial Defence. Because all these Committees and every discussion hitherto have had these two wrong basic assumptions, they have never really got to the root of the matter, and I submit that the time is now ripe for further re-consideration. One new factor is operating to-day that should make any re-consideration by the Government of the problem of co-ordination and co-operation simpler, and that is that to-day, I think, everywhere, in politics and in the Services, the position of the Air Force as a separate and independent arm is accepted, so that the Air Force representatives advising the Government in a discussion would not be, as they always have been before, on the defensive.
I will, if I may, inflict two quotations on the House. I think Lord Thomson said a very wise thing in the House of Lords on the 16th June, 1926, when he said, referring to the three Services, that there was overlapping in function rather than in administration. On paper, in administration 671 things look comparatively good; it is only in functioning that they are found to be so inefficient. The second quotation is recommendation "F" of the Salisbury Report of 1922, but I am afraid I should be out of order in reading it, since it relates to the creation of a Ministry of Defence, so, although I am tempted, I will not risk your displeasure, Sir.
Having very scantily and inadequately surveyed the causes of the position as I see it to-day, I would like to call attention to this point: I have suggested that the training of the units is vitiated by the training of the staffs. Whence are these staffs derived? Why are they in the position that they are in to-day? The three Services originally derive their staff officers through their cadet training establishments—Woolwich and Sandhurst for the Army, Dartmouth for the Navy, and Cranwell for the Air Force. There are two points there, I think, worth mentioning. The first is to remind the House that the Navy catch them frightfully young; they are only 13½, and they are moulded to their own Service traditions from that day. I doubt if that later makes co-operation easier. The Cranwell cadet has been going into the Service now since 1921. He is a new factor. He has been brought up in a fresh tradition of a magnificent Service, and he goes into the Service with a tremendous idea of the importance of that arm. Again I doubt whether, under the present staff direction, it will make co-operation in training easier.
Later the officers of each Service who are going ultimately to direct operations go to their respective staff colleges, but I was surprised to realise how small the number in the staff colleges is. The Army, at both Camberley and Quetta, have 86 at Andover the Air Force Staff College has 22; and at Greenwich the Naval Staff College has 19. There are only 127 in the whole Service, all the arms, under training, and that raises this question: Are there to-day one or three theories of war, or one or three strategies of Imperial defence. He would be a bold man indeed who would dare to assert today that there was one Imperial strategy or war strategy being taught. Later, it is true, five per year per arm get into direct touch at the Imperial Defence College, but that is a drop in the 672 ocean. If you had to train for war in the immediate future the number of people available, who had been through the Imperial Defence College, would be negligible compared with the number required.
I have indulged in a great deal of purely destructive criticism, but I venture to put forward three points of, I hope, constructive policy in order to free myself from the charge of being purely destructive. I assume no authority, and I put these points forward with no finality. I submit that we shall never get effective co-operation in training between the Services until we have combined staff training of all three arms, with one staff college for all three arms. I do not suggest that the whole curriculum should be identical. A large part, I believe, would toe identical, but the rest would, at least, be parallel, not, as at present, definitely divergent. I am assured by many people whose opinion I value, with experience of all three arms, that this would not present any insuperable difficulties. For example, every year, or rather on every course, two Air Force officers are now sent to the Army Staff College at Camberlay, and within a fortnight or so they are perfectly able to take their place in the syndicates to which they are attached, and to carry on with the work. After all, staff training, like every other training, is mainly—I speak with humility in the presence of the eminent general who has just entered the Chamber—only common sense based on a certain amount of specialised knowledge. There is a great deal of hocus-pocus in any curriculum making. Every schoolmaster knows that, and the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones), were he here, would admit it.
After you have got, as I am sure you must have, combined staff training, and even before, you could start having regular interchange in staff and then later in command. In war you have either to have this interchange or to have chaos; there is no alternative. It is accepted in operation—and therefore why not in training?—that the arm with the major responsibility for the conduct of the war takes charge. At present that is ignored, and each side is totally separate. Were combined staff training in operation to-day, you would be able radically to modify that very grave defect in our Imperial defence—this matter of 673 spheres of influence, which, cutting the Army out of the whole areas and leaving the Air Force literally in the air, causes each arm to function without relation to the other arm. That could be modified. This is a long-term policy and one result ultimately would be to reduce that competition for jobs at the top which must inevitably influence any senior officer who is faced with the problem of giving away something to the other arm.
Lastly, among the lower regimental officer ranks there should be a regular interchange, with a fixed minimum laid down so that the scheme could not be torpedoed by the hostility of any local commanding officer. The primary object of my suggestion is efficiency, but it would also result in some measure of economy. It would not result in any spectacular economies—I do not think that is possible—but it would progressively tend towards efficiency and hence towards economy. May I give an illustration of the duplication which the absence of co-operation is apt to produce. Take the case of Egypt. What I am about to say can be checked by anybody who looks it up in the Army List. In Egypt there is a lieut.-General and 33 staff officers commanding approximately 10,000 troops. Alongside them, and like them, each with their own intelligence service, are an air vice-marshal and 58 staff officers to command six squadrons and some details. Surely that is madness and absurd. Economies could be made if the intelligence service alone were combined to study the same problems on the same grounds at the same time.
It is not the fault of the Services that this state of affairs has been allowed to develop. The fault really is that the political direction of the Services has not kept pace with their development. The scheme that was evolved more than 30 years ago for co-ordination is not up to modern requirements. The troubles which I have stated—I hope without exaggeration—will not cure themselves. They will only be cured if the Government tackle them. The Government are in a lucky position if they decide to tackle them, because they have three chiefs of the Services who enjoy in a remarkable degree the confidence not merely of their own arms but of the other arms. That is a factor that might not occur for many years, if ever again. The responsibility rests with the Prime 674 Minister as Chairman of the Imperial Defence Committee. I suggest that the task before the Government, luckily for them, is not so much to adjudicate between rival claims—conflicting claims in many cases—as to see that the Army becomes air-minded and the Air Force becomes ground-minded, because, if they can achieve those desiderata, I believe the rest will follow.
§ 8.18 p.m.
§ Mr. PATRICK
I beg to second the Amendment.
I think that an Amendment drawn in rather wider terms would have appealed to many hon. Members, but reference to such a project as a Ministry of Defence would be out of order on this occasion, and I hope I shall not offend in that respect. Even the Amendment as it is drafted will, I hope, commend itself to many hon. Members and perhaps to the Government also. There is no need for me to enter into the technical defence of the Amendment after what my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Wing-Commander James) has said, but I should like to put one or two general considerations before the House. The Financial Secretary to the War Office in his singularly brilliant speech pointed out that this country needed what he called an all-purposes Army. With that we shall all be agreed, and still more shall we agree with him when he says that in the last resort it is not the machine or the gun that counts, but the men behind the machine and the gun. At the same time, it remains true that mechanisation is working the same changes, even greater changes, in the technique of war, as it is working in our whole economic and industrial system and perhaps in our social structure as well. If we are unlucky enough to see a war break out between two great industrialised Powers, whether or not we are concerned in it, we shall see something very different from anything that has gone before. I believe it will not merely be a question of gas bombs dropped on women and children in great cities and other rather more spectacular horrors which are pictured in the Press, but that we shall see very radical changes in the conduct of war between the combatants themselves.
Already I think the process of mechanisation has gone a long way 675 further than the general public realises. The year 1914 does not seem a very long time ago to many of us, and it is to me always odd to recall that in that year my regiment was equipped with two machine guns only, and one of them was almost contiuously out of action. In fact, in the whole of my division at that time, outside the rifle, sword and lance, we had only a dozen 13–pounder guns. To-day every unit seems to bristle with automatic weapons. The right hon. Member for North Cornwall Sir F. Acland) seems to have worked it out and to have arrived at a total of 42 per unit. The Financial Secretary said that the tank is a formidable weapon, but no one can say whether it will prevail over the offensive measures devised against it, or vice versa. Still, it is a considerable factor in the tactics, if not the strategy of to-day. What always seems to me of more importance than anything else, though less sensational, are the potentialities of short-wave wireless communication applied to air observation and communication between the air and the ground. I think it is reasonable to suppose that if it develops much further it will give commanders in future a power of control over their troops and an amount of tactical information and power of communication with each other of which their predecessors never dreamed. I do not think it is too fantastic to suggest that a commander's power of personal direction and control over initiative in the course of battle, which has been getting steadily less for a century or more, may be returning in another form because of wireless.
I do not want to deal with the progress of mechanisation, which I am not qualified to do, but the point I want to stress is that with that progress the words "land warfare" no longer imply merely warfare on the actual surface of the ground. In 1914 the armament of most of our ramshackle aeroplanes consisted of a pistol in the pocket of the observer, supposing he always carried it; and the same was true of the German aeroplanes. Now, however, low-flying aeroplanes probably directed by wireless from the ground, will with their enormous fire power and their bombs, surely be a definite factor in the fighting on the ground itself. Already aircraft are recognised as essential for artillery and other observation. As an instance 676 of modern development, I might remind the House that there is flying to-day the auto-gyro which has the power of remaining virtually stationery in the air and of landing in an insignificant space. The potetialities of that type of machine are very great, and I am glad to know that the War Office and the Air Ministry are taking an interest in it.
I think it is true to say that the dividing line between the air and the ground is becoming less and less distinct. Of course an air force will continue to have its own distinctive functions, such as long-range reconnaisanee or the bombing of distant targets, but at the same time it will have to take an increasingly large share in the work on the ground. It is not so much that the Air Force is encroaching on the sphere which was formerly entirely the Army's as the fact that the line of distinction between their two functions is becoming more and more blurred. If that is so, it is obvious that we must do everything possible to ensure the closest possible co-operation between our Army and our Air Force. The question arises: Is our present system the one best calculated to achieve that object, or does it rather tend, as my hon. and gallant Friend suggested, to what one might call "separatism"? Have we, in fact, failed to adapt our system in time to provide for the changes which have already taken place and will certainly take place in the future?
Those are highly technical questions, and it is rather incongruous that someone like myself, who has been very much a civilian for 14 years, should express opinions upon it, and I should not venture to do so but for the fact that I happen to have some small practical experience of the question during the War and twice since have had it brought vividly to my attention. During the War there was conspicuously little knowledge on the part of the Army as to what the Air Force could or could not do to help them, and the ignorance was mutual, because the same thing was true of the Air Force. I have no doubt that things are better in that respect since the War, but there cannot be too much mutual understanding and co-operation between those two arms of the Service.
I mentioned that I had come across the problem on two occasions since the War. The first occasion was in Egypt, where 677 I happened to spend a number of years not long ago. At the time of which I am speaking it was plain to the most uninstructed civilian that the problem of the defence of Egypt from external attack and of the defence of Palestine were one and the same thing and inseparable, and it was also quite clear—Japan was not a factor at that time—that if an attack was made on either of those two countries from without it must come from one of two directions—either by sea from the Mediterranean or by land from the direction of Asia Minor and Palestine. But the organisation of our defence forces seemed to me at the time to show no recognition of this somewhat elementary truth. The Army in Egypt was responsible for the defence of Egypt, as it still is, while in the case of Palestine, which of course is part of the same problem, responsibility lay with the Air Force.
My hon. and gallant Friend who moved the Amendment has already pointed out that both the Army and the Air Force contain large staffs independent of each other, and I must say that an outsider would find it very hard to discern any very close touch between them. As to the Navy, which of course had a joint responsibility for defending Egypt if the attack came from the sea, they had their headquarters away in Malta, and for practical purposes were not represented at all. A civilian could be pardoned for asking himself at the time whether that was the best possible arrangement, the most economical and efficient one in time of peace, and best calculated to ensure the co-operation which would be essential in an emergency. If he asked himself that question he could give himself only one answer, and that would be "No." If those doubts were justified five or 10 years ago, how much more are they justified now, and how much more will they be justified in the future when mechanisation is further advanced?
The second occasion on which the same problem came before my notice was last autumn, during a visit I paid to the North-West Frontier of India. There, as everyone knows, both the Army and the Air Force are in a state of continual readiness for action, and very frequently take part in minor operations. One of those operations was just coming to an end when I reached Peshawar, an operation on an unusually large scale. A visitor like myself could hardly, I think, 678 fail to receive two impressions. One was that both the Army and the Air Force, in their respective spheres, were extraordinarily and highly efficient, but the other impression was what I can best describe as an extraordinary scepticism on the part of both as to the value of the role played by the other. It was virtually suggested by officers of each of the two arms that they could manage very well without the other one. I am not suggesting for a moment that there was anything in the nature of personal friction between them, a refusal to cooperate, or anything of that kind when it came to the point. That was not the case; but the psychological atmosphere I have endeavoured to suggest certainly did exist and does exist, and to a civilian it seems a most unfortunate thing.
It is perfectly obvious that in the smallest local operation the Army would be seriously handicapped without air observation, and equally obvious that the Air Force, though it can and does undertake very valuable preventive action at very small cost in money or in life, and though it could, if necessary, initiate on its own operations on a very large scale, would probably be powerless to bring such operations to a successful conclusion without the co-operation of the Army. It is perfectly plain to an ordinary person that the Army cannot do without the Air Force, and that the Air Force cannot do without the Army. Of course, the question whether the Army or the Air Force should enjoy ultimate responsibility for the defence of that frontier is one that has been argued at great length for many years, but, whatever decision may be taken, that seems to me a point of much less importance than that there should be very close co-operation between the two.
These two cases seem to be evidence that a closer understanding between the two arms, to put it no higher, is a very desirable and essential thing. If I might generalise for a moment it seems to me that what has happened is that mechanisation has, as it must, brought specialisation, and that specialisation, as it is always inclined to do, has brought about a certain narrowness of outlook, a tendency to concentrate on the trees and to forget about the wood. If that be so, it is really high time that we took some action about it, and it is 679 for that reason that I support very strongly the suggestion put forward by my hon. and gallant Friend who moved the Amendment. Joint staff training such as is advocated, which would not cut across those traditions which the Financial Secretary quoted with very great effect in his references to Woolwich and Sandhurst, would, in fact, achieve better mutual understanding, working, so to speak, from the top downwards. And I will add a further suggestion for the consideration of the Government which, I believe, would have the same effect working from the opposite direction, that is, from the bottom upwards. I realise that there may be administrative difficulties in the way, but I suggest that it should be laid down as a principle that as a matter of routine every young officer in the Army should, early in his service, be attached for a substantial period, say not less than six months, to an Air Force squadron; and in precisely the same way every young officer in the Air Force should be attached early to an appropriate unit in the Army for a like period. As I have said, I realise that there may be administrative difficulties, but they cannot be insuperable. A simple measure of that kind might very likely achieve more effective results than many a more spectacular measure might.
§ 8.35 p.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I congratulate the hon. and gallant Member who moved this Amendment, and his Secondersss, for their very interesting speeches upon a very important subject. Even perhaps such a mere amateur as myself may say one or two words without appearing too presumptuous. Whatever view we may take of the possibilities of war, or of peace and disarmament, we have to consider the effectiveness of whatever position we take up for defence, and the question of co-ordination of staff training is of the utmost importance. I only want to make one rather short point which will perhaps illustrate the matter. In the course of the discussion to-day an hon. and gallant Member suggested that the use of the cavalry was to clear the way for attacks. I thought that was rather heterodox, although it may be perfectly correct.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I quite accept the correction, but the heresy remains. I do not think that nowadays we can effectively reconnoitre with cavalry in a world where there are large numbers of machine guns. The point remains. I do not think there is a very clear conception in the different branches of the Service of the function of those services. Let us take the wording of this Amendment. It suggests that the function of the Navy and of the Air Force is communications and co-operation for military operations. That may be so. On the other hand it may be that the function of the Army and the Navy is merely to facilitate air operations. It is quite possible and indeed probable that in each of the various Services you may have a totally different doctrine being taught. When I was temporarily in the Army, we were told that the general doctrine of fighting and the object of bringing up guns, munitions and everything else, was, from the infantryman's point of view to get one infantryman with a bayonet up against another infantryman with a bayonet. One of the greatest objectives was to bring man to man with a piece of steel.
When you look at it like that it seems rather crude. From the cavalry point of view, the man with the bayonet was only there to enable the cavalry to go through. For a very long time the cavalry were waiting to go through. I do not know what would have happened if they had done so. The doctrine remained, and it is quite possible that it still survives. The Army will think of the Air Force as a means for enabling the cavalry to go through; I should doubt whether that is true to-day. In the same way, the Navy perhaps think of the Air Force as mainly a scouting force in order to allow the Navy to get through to its objective. It may be as a matter of fact that the principal function of the Navy is to enable the Air Force to get through. I merely throw out those suggestions as to the kind of thing which may happen if you do not get co-ordination of the training of the officers of various forces, so that they understand the capabilities of those forces.
I thought that the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Patrick) was right to suggest that you cannot really get co-operation by some sort of little link at the top. Very few officers are being trained 681 specially for staff work, and when they have gone through that training they are sent off somewhere where they will have no opportunity, or only a very scanty one, of making use of what they have learned. That is all in the old tradition, according to which if a man understands motors he has to look after the mules. It is quite time that that was stopped. The hon. Member may be wrong as to the possibility of having only one staff college, but I think he was right in suggesting that whatever you do in these matters you must see that officers of all the Services have real and practical opportunities of understanding the points of view of others.
The matter is important also when one discusses disarmament and security problems. On every discussion of armaments and disarmament the experts in the various Services have not really understood the position of the others, and you have what occurred at the Disarmament Conference: everybody is willing to scrap the other Services. Again, I think the hon. Member was quite right in saying that there is a danger, but I do not agree that it is due, as the Financial Secretary suggested, to increasing specialisation. The narrowing of the possibilities was there before, and I do not know whether it is just because of mechanisation. I should think that the mechanisation of the Services would tend to bring them together, and that the separation of ideas would tend to be less than when there was a greater separation of the Army and Navy. I am glad that there is a chance of ventilating this question.
§ 8.43 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON
We ought to congratulate both the Mover and Seconder on having brought forward this subject and for the ingenious manner in which they have drafted their Amendment. If we cannot go as far as we should like on the Amendment, we can go quite a long way. I congratulate them also upon trying to do something which is new. They must know already that in this country if you advocate anything which is new you are up against a very great difficulty, especially when you are trying to shift three of the most powerful Government offices that exist. That is the first point. We have also had an exhibition of an almost revolutionary 682 change; we have heard the Leader of the Opposition make a speech of sound common sense within 10 minutes. That is a most astounding thing and indeed is very shocking. I hope, however, that it will be repeated not only from that bench but from the benches of the Government.
I maintain that to get any further with the ideal which is in this Amendment it is necessary to start at the top. There must be a political sense of unity between the three Services which can go lower down, and actually to the unit. Year after year I have pleaded from my place in this House for closer co-operation between the Services, and I have always said that the first thing to do was to be able to debate at one time the expense to which we were put for our defence Services. We have never been allowed to do that. The Lord President promised, or tried to promise, that we should be able to do it this year, but, although I know his endeavours were sincere, he was soundly defeated by his Whips. He did say that co-ordination should take place by virtue of an investigation, I think, of the three Services through the Committee of Imperial Defence. On this particular question the other day Lord Londonderry gave a very detailed description of what actually occurred in the distribution of money to the various Services—a most involved, technical and detailed description; but yet the Lord President only the other day said that the idea of the Committee of Imperial Defence investigating this question was a very excellent one, and he would see it tried out. It is very difficult to know what really occurs—whether this is a new idea which the Lord President said would happen in the future, or whether Lord Londonderry has been drawing on his imagination. I cannot get at the bottom of it.
From the technical point of view of co-ordination, we have to remember that it is only more or less recently that a general was not also in command of the Fleet. It sounds very absurd in these days that a general should take command of the Fleet, but it is not so foolish as one might think. I am one of those who believe that generals are born, and not made, and that when you have been for a very long time a regimental officer you are quite incapable of being an efficient general. Every original idea has been 683 taken out of your head, and you cannot think of anything new that the other general does not also know. A famous wit once said of generals that the only reason why a general ever wins a war is that he has a general against him; and there is a lot of sound truth in that. I think it might well be that interchange between the Services might introduce such surprising tactics as would anyhow deceive the enemy; but that is never indulged in in modern warfare.
I have come to the conclusion that in this life you never get altogether what you want, and that, consequently, it is always best to ask for much more than is ever possible. Therefore, to-night I plead for one Service, and one Service only—in other words, for the total disappearance of the Army, Navy and Air Force, and for some new service altogether. Really, that is not so absurd as it sounds. After all, in the various Services, we find the Navy operating many times on land as soldiers; we find the Air Force running a fleet of vessels, even around our shores here; we find the Army operating inland water transport; we find the Air Force operating tanks, and generally behaving as soldiers. All these things in the old days used to be separated definitely as belonging to one Service or another. In the old days there were an Army and a Navy, but now that the Air has come in there is a merging between all the Services which is really bringing the whole thing into one.
Taking the Army, it may be said that the private soldier in the tank corps and the private soldier in the cavalry are the same, but they are not at all the same. The one is a mechanic, and the other a groom. There is an enormous difference in mentality and in every way between them, and they are not in any way interchangeable, any more than would be an actual sailor and an actual soldier. I believe that the day is coming—probably it will not be in our time—when we shall have, in order to get real economy in defence, to have only one Service. Already we notice a regrettable drift towards earmarking aircraft to one Service and not to the whole. We have the Army Co-operation Squadrons earmarked for the Army, and we have the Fleet Air Arm earmarked for the Navy, besides our Royal Air Force. I think it is admitted that you can never win a 684 war unless you win in the air first. I do not say that aircraft will ever win a war, but you can never win one unless you win in the air first, and I do not see in the present arrangement any organisation whereby every aircraft that you possess nationally would be put into the first clash. It would be pathetic, I think, if all aircraft earmarked for the Navy during an attack on London quietly sat down by the Fleet, which, from the point of view of the defence of London, might be a lot of seaweed, for it could not do any good until the first clash in the air was over. Consequently I plead now for this consideration of one Service. Mark Twain once made a claim about a certain lake, that the water was so clear you could see a sixpence at a depth of 50 feet, and, when people contradicted him, he slowly gave away his ground until finally he said, "Well, anyhow, you could see a £5 note floating on the top." I do not give away my point as much as that, but I believe that one Service as a whole would solve a lot of our difficulties. It would do away with duplication of staff, would make for immense economy, and would introduce what really would be Imperial defence, without the name which apparently is such a difficult thing for political minds to swallow.
§ 8.52 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD
We find it so natural to discuss questions of co-operation between the various Services that I think we lose sight of the difficulties that there used to be, not very long ago, in getting co-operation even within the ranks of one Service itself. The Hartington Commission, some 40 years ago, made a suggestion that there should be one Chief of the Staff in the Army. That did not meet with approval. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's remark upon that proposal was this:We have no room for general military policy, because we have no designs against our neighbours.There could hardly be more fallacious reasoning than the idea that clear thinking makes for offensiveness, and muddled thinking makes for peace. On the contrary, we have drifted into far more wars by muddled thinking than we have ever started by thinking clearly. I should like to treat this question, though it may sound platitudinous to say so, in the light of actual war itself, because, however much we may regret the possibility 685 of war, and however little we may desire it, all these Service questions have to be tested in the light of war itself. Many schemes of organisation may appear all right in time of peace, and may work all right in time of peace, but they will not stand the test of war itself, and particularly of that very difficult period when one passes from a state of peace to a state of war—that time at which, as Sir William Robertson truly said, chickens come home remoselessly to roost.
The question of co-operation between the Services seems to me to fall into three categories; and, if I mention those categories, I assure you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, it is not for the purpose of trying to steal a march and widen the scope of the discussion, but in order to show why I think the Mover of the Amendment was so wise in choosing his ground. You can strive for better co-operation between the Services in the realm of administration and Parliamentary responsibility; you can strive for it in the realm of training, plans and operations; and you can strive for it by seeing how you can co-ordinate the requirements of the Services, treated as one block, with their civilian counterpart—that type of work which is being done so extensively and admirably by the Committee of Imperial Defence.
It seemed to me that the Mover of the Amendment was quite right in fixing on the question of co-operation in the realm of training, and perhaps I might add plans and operations, because you cannot divorce training from plans and operations. It seems to me that it is in that sphere of co-operation that the next most suitable step that we ought to take really lies. Those people who want to start grandiose schemes of coordinating administrative services have to remember that we saw increasingly, as the last War went on, administrative functions constantly off-loaded and put outside the realm of the Service Departments altogether. On what one might call the general staff side, there was a contrary movement until one finally got perhaps to the biggest direction of the War, which was Marshal Foch as Generalissimo on the Western Front, where you had direction concentrated in the hands of one man assisted by a comparatively small staff.
686 I feel that you cannot really consider training simply as training. You cannot consider it merely by itself. You must consider it in relation to the structure into which the trained product is ultimately to fit, and a good deal of trouble in the realm of training and education in civilian life is because one is apt to think of training and education Tather as a thing by itself and not consider sufficiently closely the structure in which the product is ultimately to operate. We have made, in the course of the past few years, a great deal of advance in the realm of Service co-operation. I do not want anyone to think that I am oblivious of that or am in any way trying to decry the efforts which have been made, I believe very successfully. There is the Chiefs of the Staff Committee, there is the expanded and extended Committee of Imperial Defence, and we have done a very great deal towards the co-operation of training between the actual officers and the units of the various Services themselves. I myself have had perhaps painful experience of that. I remember being extremely sick when co-operating with the sister Service on board a destroyer, and I should like to pay a tribute to the manners of the sister Service on that occasion. When I was, no doubt, looking my worst, they involved my side of the ship in the density of a smoke screen. I only mention that personal incident to show that I myself have had some experience in that form of co-operation.
I do not want in any way to try to suggest that we ought to make at once a variety of sweeping changes. I do not think that is the best way to proceed. But there is one respect in particular in which I think the time is now ripe for a move forward. We have the Chiefs of the Staff Committee. They form what the Salisbury Committee called a super-chief of the staff in commission. How long it will be before we evolve a man who can efficiently be a super-chief of the staff in his own person I do not profess to forecast, but, although those three people are considering the training, the plans and the operation of the Army in a corporate capacity, they cannot help still remaining three people drawn from the three separate Services, and exactly the same is the case with their immediate subordinates who also, no doubt, meet together to consider the 687 same questions that their immediate superiors are considering.
I think the next step should be the creation of a small combined staff as such, not simply a meeting ground for a few people drawn from the respective Services, but actually a small staff functioning continually and thinking continually as a combined staff. It may not seem a very great difference to many people from what is actually going on at present, but I believe in essence there is a really big and important difference, because at the moment there is no getting away from the fact that we have co-operation between the three Services. Co-operation is better than nothing, but to my mind there are distinct limits to it. Co-operation very often works satisfactorily in peace, but it does not work equally satisfactorily in war, where you are faced with events of great rapidity, and where, above everything, you are bound to he faced with events which have been very largely, if not entirely, unforeseen. Lord Kitchener, in his memorandum on the Defence of Australia before the War, wrote this passage:If plans and essential preparations have been deferred till an emergency arises, it will be found too late to act, because the strain of passing from peace to war will entirely absorb the energies of all engaged even when every possible contingency has been foreseen.That is a very pregnant statement. It is paradoxical to say that the one thing that can be foreseen about any future war is that something unforeseen will occur, and it is the difficulty of dealing with those unforeseen circumstances which has led, perhaps, to many of the greatest mistakes and greatest disasters in war.
May I give one instance which is one of the most interesting and one of some minor personal interest to myself. Very early in the last war Lord Kitchener suddenly realised that London was threatened by air attack and that there was no provision for London's defence. He, accordingly, asked the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), who was then First Lord of the Admiralty, if he would undertake the air defence of London. To this the First Lord agreed. He very quickly saw that what he had to do was to establish an offensive air base, 688 not in this country but on the shores of the Continent. He proceeded to do it in the region of Dunkirk. He then found—students of military history know this process so well—that the air base had to be defended. The defence of the air base at Dunkirk became involved very quickly with a movement advocated by General Joffre for trying to create a force on the shores of the Continent with a view to striking South at the communications of the German Army. Accordingly a yeomanry regiment and marines were sent to Dunkirk. It ended up with this almost unprecedented situation, that a British mounted regiment came into action 50 miles inland under the orders of the Admiralty by what the First Lord called a unmistakable sequence of events connecting up with the air defence of London. I was very interested indeed when my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wallasey (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon) talked about Generals commanding fleets and vice versa. If he can find anything more tangled up than that in military history, I shall be glad if he will tell me about it.
Then one had that instance, which is perhaps rather threadbare, of the Dardanelles. I am not going to discuss whether that was a good or a bad plan, but it seems to me that the real reason why it failed was not necessarily because it was a bad plan, but because the timing of the operation was wrong. It seemed to one rather like a motor car engine which runs but the timing is wrong, and the timing was wrong because one had to rely on co-operation and not on central direction. That brings out one of the dangers to which co-operation is liable in war. In peace time we are always training, and we are nearly always training to meet difficulties which we had to meet in the last War. What we have really to attempt is to train to meet the difficulties which we think we are likely to meet in the next war, and particularly to meet unforeseen difficulties. It is clear that if you cannot foresee a thing in detail you cannot train in detail how to meet it.
What I desire to see as the nearest possible thing to that, is the setting up of some staff, some organisation within whose orbit anything unforeseen connected with the services will naturally fall. That is why I favour the creation of a small definitely combined staff, named and trained and thinking as such rather 689 than relying on continued co-operation as between members of the different services. If you had a staff like that, anything which was unforeseen, like the difficulty about the old defences of London, or anything about that which may come to pass in the next war, would naturally fall within the orbit of this particular staff. It is much easier, quicker, and much more effective for a staff of that description to disperse the tasks for meeting unforeseen contingencies to the respective services, rather than to rely on the respective services to come together and co-ordinate with perfect timing for the meeting.
We have in existence now, and have had for some years, the Imperial Defence College, a very valuable institution. It is extremely encouraging to this kind of service co-operation to read in the Estimates of the various services the explanatory note of the three Estimates with regard to that case. They do not follow quite identically. One has the service identity so strong. It is a case of "I must put the language a little different from the way the Navy or Air Force put it." But there is a great unity of thought. I think that, as long as the Imperial Defence College merely remains, so to speak, a college of service co-operation, its real value will be limited. One has to try, by having the combined staff which I have tried to outline—it need not be a big one—to create a particular structure into which the real trained product of the Imperial Defence College ought to fit for the purpose of wider training and plans, and for the purpose of wider operations. Mr. Burke said in this House:I have no faith in any scheme of war in which the execution is divorced from the plan.That is a very wise saying. I have no faith in any scheme of war in which the education or the training is divorced from the method of execution. It is because I believe that a small combined staff such as I have outlined will be, and ought to be, the natural collorary to the educational establishment performed by the Imperial Defence College, that I wish to make the advocacy of that combined staff my contribution to this discussion to-night.
§ 9.9 p.m.
§ Commander MARSDEN
I certainly welcome the Amendment which was so ably moved by the right hon. and gallant 690 Member for Wellingborough (Wing-Commander James), and to, my mind what he intended was so very clear that I have been rather led away by the subsequent arguments, feeling that hon. Members have been taking the matter away from what was intended. I regard this Amendment in this way: In all forms of co-operation there are two points of view. One is the general direction and general order that such and such an operation, and such and such an enterprise may take place. That, generally speaking, will not be decided by professional soldiers and sailors. Their advice may be disregarded as it was disregarded frequently in the last War. Those decisions will be taken by the political party in power.
I welcome this Amendment as I understood that it was for the closer co-ordination and co-operation of the officers who would actually work out the details of every operation. My hon. Friend nod his head. Out of all the bad points of the last War, there was one good point which I could hold up as an example, a position between the two Services which was known, anticipated and planned for a long time, and that was the transport of the original Expeditionary Force, an evolution which was carried out with great speed, efficiency and secrecy, so much so that in the Grand Fleet we did not have any knowledge until late in September that an Expeditionary Force had even landed in France. The first indication I had of its landing was hearing of the death of General Grierson over the wireless. I thought, "If he has died in France that is where the fighting is."
Working on those lines we again carried through the transport in a wonderful manner; so much so that between Dover and the Continental ports, throughout the whole of the War, with all those millions of soldiers, sailors, airmen, generals, Ministers, and people of every description carried under Admiralty direction, not one solitary life was lost. That was a great feat. That was cooperation and co-ordination between the two Services, and that was the right way to work. But, as my right hon. Friend said, at that time the great cry was efficiency. Economy did not matter. In fact, the more money you could spend the bigger man they thought you were. That was all right. But now efficiency is necessary.
691 If details are necessary I can produce the most minute details. When a transport takes soldiers overseas, the soldiers have to shave with cold water. I do not know whether they like it. But if sailors come on board, hot water has to be provided. Yet if sailors are on board and they leave the transport the hot water arrangement put in for their benefit has to be taken out before the soldiers come on board. Throughout the cabins and various places where the men lived, and even in the lavatories, there are different names used by the sailors. All the ship has to be gone through and new labels put on everything. If the House wants details, I will provide the details. I think that even in these things some closer co-operation certainly might make for economy. This House is unanimous about the need for closer co-operation.
I am not in a position to speak from the military side. I speak admittedly for the Navy, and if I were to bring in the Air, I fear that it would put me out of order. It does not matter what dimensions we work in. The hon. and gallant Member for Wallasey (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon) has visions of the time when there will be one Service. That may be, but I leave that to him and H. G. Wells between them. I do not think that it is going to be in our time. But while we have wars or rumours of war, let us see to that any expedition we have to undertake may be better carried out than some of those in the past. I know that our enemies frequently gnashed their teeth because their carefully-calculated plans were upset by our rather rule-of-thumb methods. But they were only upset by the heroic deeds of our soldiers and sailors after teriffic bloodshed. To get efficiency on these points is to bring about economy in money and in human life. Anything I can say in support of this Amendment which will ensure, that in future operations co-operation and co-ordination will be carried out better than in the past, I am glad to say.
§ 9.15 p.m.
§ Mr. DUFF COOPER
The hon. Member for North Battersea (Commander Mars-den) has expressed the hope that any operation in which we may be engaged in the future may be carried out with greater co-operation and greater efficiency than in the past. Like other hon. and 692 gallant Members who took part in such operations he has found a great deal to criticise. While echoing his view and repeating his wish, I should like to add to it the hope—remembering that other nations have had the same kind of complaints to make of their Services—that all future operations will be as victorious as ours have been in the past. No one will quarrel with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Wing-Commander James) for bringing forward his Motion. I think he has done a public service in enabling it to be discussed tonight. It was a difficult Motion for him to draft and I am sure that it has been a difficult Motion for hon. Members to discuss, and also a difficult Motion upon which Mr. Deputy-Speaker could give his Ruling as to whether hon. Members were in order or not. It has, however, enabled hon. Members to say a great deal of general interest and to put forward suggestions which were well worth hearing and certainly needed to be discussed.
I have been put in a very difficult position in regard to answering. Hon. Members have been able to go from one Service to another. They could speak one moment about the Navy and if they saw you, Sir, becoming restless in your Chair, they could rapidly go back to the Army. Then they could turn to the Air Force, and before they could be called to order they could say something again about the Army. It is impossible for me to offer an adequate reply to the discussion. It is impossible for any Minister speaking for one Service only to reply to a Debate the whole point of which has been an insistence upon the necessity of the three Services combining together, and pointing out the deficiency or the efficiency of one Service or another. I can assure hon. Members that although this matter has not occupied nearly as much attention as perhaps it should have done, owing to the rules of order, it has not been absent from the minds of those who are responsible for the direction and the policy of the three Departments. We are doing all that we can to promote cooperation between the Services, but I am prepared to admit that it is possible for us to do more, and I hope that we shall do more.
I am sure that the chiefs of staff of the three great Services are working together 693 very harmoniously. As the House is aware, we have a system whereby two members representing each Service attend the annual course at the staff colleges of the other Services. For instance, two members of the Army go to the Naval Staff College, two members of the Navy go to the Army Staff College, and two members of the Air Force go to the Army and Naval Staff Colleges, and so on. It may be said that that is inadequate but, at any rate, it is a beginning, and it shows that we are conscious of the need of greater co-operation. Then there is the Royal Air Force School of Army Cooperation at Old Sarum, which is attended by both Air Force officers and Army officers. This year we have a plan for extensive operations which are to take place in the summer on the coast of Yorkshire. It will be a combined operation on a large scale in which a skeleton Division of the Army will operate, together with the Home Fleet and four or five squadrons of the Royal Air Force. That shows that we are conscious of the need of what has been pressed upon us this evening.
The hon. and gallant Member for Wellingborough and the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Patrick), whose speech I was unable to hear, referred to their War experiences in this matter. I am prepared to agree with them that during the War there was in the minds of some officers in the Army a great lack of appreciation of the need and the importance of the Air arm, but I do not think that that feeling exists any longer. One hon. and gallant Member suggested that those who took part in the War and learned those lessons are gradually disappearing and that a new generation may be growing up which believes in the one arm. On the contrary, I think that the old generation of officers who believe in one arm only is passing away. Those who were middle aged when the War broke out in 1914 did regard aeroplanes as rather dangerous toys which would never take a real part in warfare. There was that school of thought among the older officers and I have no doubt that the hon. and gallant Member for Wellingborough and the hon. Member for Tavistock both came up against that type of elderly officer, who thought that the Air Force was something that was butting in and rather spoiling the War. 694 That sort of thing does not exist to-day. There is throughout the Army a tremendous appreciation of the importance of the Air Force and a great desire to co-operate with it and to do everything to understand it.
I was unfortunate in not hearing the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Wallasey (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon). He makes short speeches and I think he is a model for this House in saying more than almost any other Member in less time. He brought forward this evening a suggestion which the hon. and gallant Member for North Battersea thought might be left to him and Mr. H. G. Wells. At any rate, he thought that it was a matter which demanded the attention of a first-rate brain.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON
I suppose the Financial Secretary is right in making fun of me for having made the suggestion, but I cannot help reminding him that I took a deputation to the War Office and offered to lend them aeroplanes for their manoeuvres and I was sent away, being told that aeroplanes were no good for war.
§ Mr. COOPER
I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that I had not the slightest intention of making fun of him. I think his suggestion is an extremely interesting one. It has gone through my mind and I have discussed it in private again and again. Whether it is practicable or not is another question. Certainly it is a question which cannot be thrashed out on the Floor of the House, and it is one upon which it is impossible for me as Financial Secretary to offer an opinion. I recognise the importance and value of the suggestion. I can believe that in the past he may have had the unfortunate experience to which he has referred, but things have changed, and I am sure that any such offer would not be met in that way if he came to the War Office to-day.
The hon. and gallant Member for Wells (Major Muirhead) made an extremely interesting suggestion as to the appointment of a small combined staff to coordinate the activities of the three Services. That is a suggestion which deserves the publicity which I hope it will get. Obviously, it would do a great deal towards solving difficulties and perhaps assisting in the endeavour to promote in- 695 creased co-operation, which we all desire. But whether it would solve the problems which the hon. and gallant Member for North Battersea came up against when transporting soldiers at sea, or whether it could arrange that hot water should be provided for soldiers as well as sailors—as a representative of the junior Service I was horrified to hear the revelation that was made on this subject by the hon. and gallant Member—I cannot say. At any rate it is a question which is worth hearing, and I do not think that the House will criticise me if I do not make a longer reply to the speeches that have been made. It is impossible for me to deal with them adequately; it would be impossible for the Minister of any one Department to deal with them adequately. I am certain that my hon. and gallant Friend will not want to press this Amendment to a Division, because, if ever there was an Amendment with which the House was in general agreement, it is that the matter needs further investigation.
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ 9.26 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Colonel APPLIN
I am reminded of the words of Juvenal: "Post festum venire miserum est." In other words, I have been waiting a great many hours to take part in this Debate. I wish to bring a serious subject before the House, and I do not intend to take more than 10 minutes, unless it takes me an extra minute to mount my charger, draw my sword and annihilate the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) in regard to the cavalry question.
I have searched in vain through the Army Estimates and the Paper issued with them for anything with regard to our Expeditionary Force. As the strength of an Army, a Navy or an Air Force must depend entirely on what its use is to be, and that use can only be decided by the Government, I should like to ask the Financial Secretary to tell us where this Expeditionary Force, which should carry out the Treaty of Locarno if ordered by the Government, appears in the Estimates. I do not see more than one division which could he mobilised and sent overseas. Indeed, the Estimates show 696 that the regiments are so arranged that one battalion is at home and one is in India. In fact, there are fewer battalions at home than there are in India. There appears, therefore, to be no Expeditionary Force shown in the Estimates, and it is a matter of vital importance to this country to know whether we can carry out our Treaty; whether we have an Expeditionary Force or not.
The second point which I wish to bring forward is one of vital importance to any Army, such as ours, which is reduced to the lowest possible strength, to carry out what may be called purely garrison duty. That is the question of machine guns. When the War broke out there were two machine guns to each battalion. The crews were entirely untrained for modern war; they know how to fire their guns and that was about all. In spite of the advice of those who had studied machine guns before the War, it was thought that it would be improper to employ machine guns except with the regiments. In or soon after the first year of the War we decided that we must have machine guns co-ordinated and trained into one practical policy, and the result was the formation of the great machine-gun training centre at Grant-ham and of the Machine Gun Corps, of which His Majesty the King was Colonel-in-Chief. That corps is only remembered now by a statue, which I believe has caused a certain amount of offence to my hon. Friends below me; it is a statue of David, the youth with the sling who slew the giant, and under it are written the words:Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.Those words might be remembered by the War Office, because they are the absolute essence of the truth. During the War I had the honour to command 280 machine guns at the Battle of Messines. I opened fire over the heads of the infantry; the guns were ordered not to take up the barrage until my guns had ceased. The papers announced afterwards that the trenches had been found full of German dead, all shot through the head and chest by bullets. No bullets had been fired except by machine guns. I do not want to go into that matter now, but I wish to ask whether we cannot double, treble, or quadruple our force of machine guns by organising and training that Machine-Gun Corps on one 697 principle, so that they can be used as they were in the Great War and made efficient in the use of that most powerful weapon.
One word with regard to the cavalry and the necessity for retaining it. I am sure that my hon. Friend cannot support his argument that horses are useless in war because he has seen them blown to pieces by guns. As far as I know, men are blown to pieces by guns, but we do not say that they are useless. Tanks are blown to pieces with the people inside them, but we do not say that tanks are useless. We should never have entered into Jerusalem or destroyed the Turkish Army in Palestine if it had not been for the cavalry. Thousands of Germans used to hold up their hands to a mere handful of cavalry. It is, of course, well known that we cannot break through barbed wire, as the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) said, but when the enemy are defeated and retiring you cannot complete your victory without cavalry.
§ Mr. TINKER
We could have blown Jerusalem up long before it was taken if we had desired. Because it would then have been destroyed altogether, and it was an old city, we did not attempt to do so.
§ Lieut.-Colonel APPLIN
I do not mean for a moment that we took Jerusalem with cavalry. The great cavalry general, in fact, honoured the city by dismounting and going in on foot. I was speaking of the actions in the open that led up to the taking of Jerusalem. I can give another instance from Mesopotamia: my own Tegiment, an Indian cavalry regiment, on one occasion practically saved the day by dismounting, manning trenches and holding up the whole Turkish Army at the battle of Eamadic. The colonel of the regiment was killed in the battle fighting on foot. Cavalry are as necessary to-day as they have ever been; the men and the horses are always necessary in war if they are properly used. One further matter. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman and all those hon. Members sitting below him desire above everything else to do away with all these mechanical means of causing death. We are to do away with the aeroplane—
§ Lieut.-Colonel APPLIN
That is the general policy now, to do away with areoplanes; to have a small Air Force-possibly in the hands of the League of Nations; to disarm the nations of the world and do away with lethal weapons. When that comes about, we will dominate the plains of Europe with a few thousand horsemen armed with swords. I ask the Financial Secretary to consider these two points, the question of the Expeditionary Force and the restoration of the machine gun corps. He himself spoke of the esprit de corps of this branch of the Service. I dine in a little restaurant in the City where no less than 400 old machine gunners and their officers meet together, and drink to the health of the old corps.
§ 9.36 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I do not propose to detain the House very long. I had intended to move a Motion in respect of the Army vocational training centres, which I think hon. Members will agree are institutions which should be encouraged as they are doing remarkably good work. The idea of the Army vocational training centre is to see that the individual who has come to the end of his period of service in the Army is given an opportunity of learning a trade so that he may be fitted for ordinary civilian life when he leaves the Array. Already three centres have been instituted where a time-serving soldier can take such a course to fit himself for civilian work. If there is one thing that is important it is to see that the man who is serving in the Army shall have an opportunity of fitting himself for civilian life so that even in these difficult times he can take his place amongst his fellow men in performing such ordinary employment as is available, and doing it without being ousted by the additional experience and capacity of other members of the population. It is of the utmost importance that men should be encouraged to take advantage of the vocational training centre. Civilian methods are adopted in these centres. The man is taken as far as he can be away from army routine and is given an opportunity of being trained in civilian arts and crafts in an atmosphere which enables him to lose to some extent such sense of difference as may exist, if he 699 were suddenly thrown on the ordinary labour market after having served in the Army.
When a student comes to the centre he is given a month or two of preliminary training and then the opportunity of doing something practical. He is controlled and guided by instructors who are in the main, I believe almost entirely, civilian instructors. He is taught, if he desires to become a builder, to erect buildings himself. In the course of his training he is given opportunities of doing the whole of the work, examining it from its commencement, through the estimating stage, choosing the materials, and ultimately producing the completed article himself. An employment bureau is also established in order that he may later on find opportunities for obtaining employment when he has left the centre. The one centre, Aldershot, which I have had the privilege of visiting and which much impressed me indicated that the men were happy and were progressing very rapidly in the work that was being taught them, and were becoming very efficient indeed. My purpose in putting my Motion down was to make the House acquainted, in the first instance, with the fact that a considerable amount of interest is being taken by the men in this work, and that when they leave these centres they are efficient in the various duties they are trained to perform. But I want, more particularly, to ask whether it is not possible for a larger number of men to be given an opportunity of taking advantage of these courses. I rather gather that the institutions which exist already are not full the whole of the year, and I am not surprised because, although the men are anxious to avail themselves of the opportunity of being trained in this manner, there are difficulties in the way which I should like to see removed, and removed as rapidly as possible.
In reply to a question which I put to the Financial Secretary I was informed that the fees for students in these Army vocational centres fluctuated according to rank; and were, for a lance-corporal and private 5s. a week, for a lance-sergeant and corporals 6s. a week, for a staff sergeant and sergeant 7s. a week, for a warrant officer, 2nd class, 8s. 6d., and for a warrant officer, 1st class, 10s. a week. 700 In my view these fees are too high. The bulk of these trainees come from the infantry, and the minimum rate of pay in the lower ranks of the Army are, for a private 3s. a day, a lance-corporal 3s. 9d. a day, and a corporal 4s. 9d. a day. I believe that the rates for cavalry and artillery are much about the same. It must be clear that the most that an infantryman can draw is one guinea per week, and out of this he has to pay for his washing, for cleaning materials, for hair cutting, barrack damage charges and sports subscriptions. An addition of 6s. for vocational training hits the man heavily indeed, and in the case of a married man who is off the strength—and I believe there are large numbers of them who stand in need of a job when they leave the Service as much as anyone—it is quite impossible for them to consider the question of taking up this course. When the cuts in pay were made there was no cut in the fees charged. I am not suggesting that no fees should be charged. I believe that a small fee is in itself an inducement for the men who are really anxious to do so to take advantage of these opportunities and that it prevents others who might want to go in for the purpose of slacking. But in my view it should be a reasonable fee which will reasonably enable the person who wants to take advantage of the training to do so.
In regard to the extension of the period to some extent beyond the term of service in the Army, could we be assured that opportunities would be given for a longer period than six months to enable a person to remain on? I do not mean cutting off this portion when he should be following his ordinary Army training but in addition to the Army training period one to enable a man to learn a trade for a further period. Then there is the question of tools. When a man leaves the Army vocational training centre he leaves having paid the amount of money charged and has no tools with which to seek employment. I do not think it would be a tremendous expense if an allowance were made so as to enable the men to have those tools. When they go straight into the ranks of labour their prospect of employment are naturally reduced, without them. The married men in my view find it almost impossible to avail themselves of the opportunities afforded to the single 701 men particularly if they live outside the barracks. Could not some further concession be made in their case? I understand that according to regulations a man who is a tradesman in the Army is not given an opportunity to go to an Army vocational training centre, but undoubtedly while there are some trades pursued in the ordinary course of Army training which will be useful to an individual when he leaves the Army for the purpose of obtaining ordinary civilian employment, there are a number which come within the meaning of the term "trades" for this purpose which would not suit a man in ordinary civilian life.
Take the case of a clerk in the Army. He may have no commercial experience at all, and it is essential before he is thrown into the ordinary market that he should be put upon a footing which is at least equal as far as possible to the footing of an ordinary clerk in civilian life. I do not think the amount that would be involved in making these improvements would be a very heavy one. At the present time some 2,340 men are trained in the centres at costs of about £10 per head, taking into consideration the returns for any of the products of the centres. I do not think any Member of the House regards the fitting of an individual to follow a civilian pursuit by means of these centres at the rate of £10 per head as excessive. The expenditure of a few more pounds in the manner I have suggested would assist many more men to find employment when they leave the Army and feel happier in their civilian state. I appeal to the Financial Secretary to assist the men who are in the Army, the time serving men, to make themselves fitted for civilian occupations by granting these points.
§ 9.50 p.m.
§ Brigadier-General SPEARS
So many nice things have been said about the speech of the Financial Secretary that there is almost nothing left to say. I would merely say that he has more than equalled his previous achievements, and that is very high praise indeed. This Debate is the opportunity for the House of Commons to take stock on behalf of the nation of a Service the efficiency of which is a matter of vital interest to the community as a whole. It is something in the nature of a general meeting 702 of a company. At such a meeting the general manager gives an account of the policy that has been followed by the company, and the shareholders do not expect to be told any secrets but they expect to be told the general principles upon which the business is being conducted. This has been done superlatively well by the Financial Secretary. But here is the difficulty, and he himself has felt it. We are shareholders in two other businesses as well, the Navy and the Air Force. Each one of us holds in a manner of speaking a proxy for thousands of shareholders in these businesses.
By a most unfortunate fact of Parliamentary procedure we are not able to discuss these co-equal and interdependent interests together. Nevertheless in our own minds we cannot help considering them together, and I for one say to myself, just as if I were a shareholder in three factories working in close co-operation, "Is this one justified? What part does it play in the combine?" To-day when I came down to this House I put to myself the question: What is the part played by our Army? Though small, it costs a lot. What is it worth? My hon. Friend answered that question and answered it very well indeed. He explained that the purpose of the Army is to defend the naval bases, its purpose is to defend this country and the Empire. It may be called upon to carry out operations in Europe under our different treaty obligations. It may also be called upon to defend these islands by throwing out a defensive line far afield on the Continent of Europe as happened in the last War.
That was clearly laid down by the hon. Gentleman as the policy of the Government. It has the advantage of being a very broad policy indeed. As I listened to the number of things which this very small Army has to do, I could not help feeling that this poor little Army of ours is expected to be a kind of quick-change artist and I wondered to myself whether it was equipped for its multifarious tasks. It seemed to me that it is just a little too easy to lay down so broad a policy and I suspect that in fact what it amounts to is that there is no policy at all. It is no policy to call upon an army to fulfil a r61e for which it is not equipped, and I do not think it is right to allow the 703 country to think that the army can fulfil all the rôles which have been described. My hon. Friend had a very good simile about a car. He talked of an individual buying a car that was not perfect in any one respect but was a compromise, because it had to fulfil a good many purposes. I think the car to which he likened the Army is one that would have to climb and swim and fly.
We were told what the functions of the Army were but we were not told what part the Army is to play in the general scheme of defence. It seems to me that the all-important question is, what is the relation of the Army to the other two Services in the general scheme of defence? I know it is very difficult for my hon. Friend to take up that subject because it involves the other Services. Still I think means might be found, indeed they must be found, of explaining the relative parts which each Service is to play in relation to the others. It is very important too that we should know the relative importance of one Service in relation to the other two. One thing seems to be quite clear and it is that as far as a European war is concerned we have not got to-day as effective an instrument as we had in 1914. It is neither so large, nor so well-equipped, comparatively, nor could it be mobilised so quickly.
Personally, I think that from the point of view of peace in Europe that is disastrous. It means that we are unable to enforce our will for peace. It means that we are unable to contribute our part in maintaining order in Europe. It means that we are unable to carry out our obligations. I, myself, have no doubt whatever that we shall reap the harvest of our weakness by having eventually to take part in another race of armaments which we had hoped so much to avoid. Having failed to play our part in providing adequate police, we will have to find in the end large protective forces of our own. My hon. Friend made an amusing point about some military critic of the War Office who had talked of the greater containing the less, and he pointed out the dangers of soldiers venturing into the realm of Euclid. I take it that whoever made the statement meant that if you had a force capable of dealing with a great emergency or a great problem it would also be capable of dealing with lesser problems, and I feel that the critic 704 was right. It seems to me that if you have an Army that can deal with a major need, it can also fulfil the multifarious minor duties which an army is called upon to perform.
I have often asked myself how are we to picture to ourselves the Army of the future. I am beginning to feel a little anxious about the fact that we do not seem able to get away from the picture of the last War. I have not seen an imaginative effort such as I believe exists in other countries to envisage what may happen if unfortunately we should have war. Is the Army to be a kind of moving air-base, a kind of corral or armoured zareba from which air forces will attack the enemy; or is it to be a kind of super-landing force, employing the might of the Navy to be in a position to attack and land at given points in enemy territory; or is our Army to be prepared to assault the immensely strong modern fortifications of European countries? I do not know. I have not the faintest idea, but I think it would be extremely interesting if we could have given to us some idea of what the conception of this new army is to be.
What I do know is that there is a suspicion in the country that too much reliance is being placed on the infantry. It is still the infantryman who is relied upon. He is weighted down with weapons, he is heavier than ever, but unfortunately, he is more and more vulnerable. I must say that that is the one point of criticism which I would wish to make in connection with the speech of my hon. Friend. His speech reinforced my fears in that respect, and made me feel that, as far as the powers that be are concerned, it is still a case of relying on the infantryman. When you have a very small force such as ours, you ought to concentrate upon saving and sparing the most valuable element you have, and that is the human element. When you have a partly mechanised force, such as we have, it seems to me you have to be particularly careful to work out what the role of the infantry is going to be. You have tanks, and you have infantry. How are the infantry going to keep up with the tanks? Are your fast-moving mechanical devices going to sacrifice their mobility by waiting for the infantry? That surely is all wrong.
On the other hand, if they go off, taking full advantage of their mobility, 705 then your infantry is very vulnerable indeed, and some means of protecting it must be found. I am speaking without the book, but I would very much like to know if the problem has been thought out and if means have been devised for making the infantry advance rapidly behind the mechanised force. There is one thing of which I am certain, and that is that men have no chance against machines. When there was that awful railway accident on the Continent a couple of months ago, and a steel train caught up with a wooden train and killed practically everybody in that train, I thought to myself that that was a very good example of what would happen when a well-equipped army fought an ill-equipped army.
I am no fanatic concerning mechanisation, but we have been experimenting for 10 years past, and surely the day must come when we must make up our minds. We cannot go on experimenting for ever, otherwise the day is bound to come when we shall be caught napping, and we know what happens when a lady puts off choosing a husband for too long. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is that?"] As I say, I am not a fanatic about mechanisation, and I remember very well that in 1917, when the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg line and we followed after them, not a single mechanised unit, not a single mechanically drawn gun, was able to follow the enemy. It is true that machinery has improved vastly since then, but if we cannot rely on machines entirely, then have we got the horse supplies that we need? In spite of what my hon. Friend beside me says, we have either to have one thing or the other; either we must have a plentiful supply of horses for an expanding army, or we must be sure that we have the machines to take their place.
If, as I believe, the new war must be really a machine-fought war, what steps have we taken for the mechanical expension that we are bound to have, and, above all, what have we done to provide ourselves with the specialists that are wanted to work these machines? It seems to me that we ought to have a system of short courses, whereby men can be trained—for instance, machine-gunners—in sufficient numbers to man the guns which we should need in an expanded army, and I hope that my hon. Friend will not mind telling me what the 706 War Office propose to do in view of expanding the Army and providing it with the specialists which will be needed in case the force is expanded?
Lastly, I beg the hon. Gentleman to consider whether at last we shall not be able to have a standard organisation for the whole of our Army, in India, in the Colonies, and at home. It is surely absurd that at this time of day there should be different establishments in India and at home, and surely it is true that the force that is capable of dealing with a European Army is equally capable of dealing with any sort of trouble on the fringes or borders of our Empire. As far as equipment is concerned, there are no conditions which we are likely to meet anywhere which would not have to be met in Europe. My hon. Friend talked of the difficulties that the Japanese tanks had found, I understand, at Shanghai. Either we have the machines that can deal with conditions like the mud of Flanders or we have not, but if we have the mechanical equipment to deal with all the conditions that we can meet in Europe, then we have the equipment which will enable us to meet any difficulty that we may encounter elsewhere. We know that we cannot afford very much, but we want to have a very efficient Army. It may be small, but let it be respected, and let it be an absolute model of its kind. I believe that that is the aim and object of my right hon. Friend and that in his able hands we are very likely to achieve that desire.
§ 10.12 p.m.
Lieut.-Colonel CHARLES MacANDREW
I would like to add my congratulations to those which have been showered on my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office for his splendid speech this afternoon. The first point that I think worth attention is a Territorial Army Reserve. The Financial Secretary spoke about the Royal Defence Corps, which is to take in men both of the Regulars and of the Territorial Army. But what happens to us with the Territorials? When a man comes to the end of his time, we lose him, and I feel that for a very small expenditure of perhaps 3d. a day, spread over five years, we could have that man, not at camp, but he could attend drills during the five years when his time is up, and it would be an enormous advantage. I would not 707 suggest that every Territorial would be available for a reserve of that kind, but is would be an enormous advantage to have certain selected men kept on our strength for training in that way and for them in their turn to train other people. It would not cost very much money. A Yeomanry trooper costs £30 a year, and for another £30 you could get six years' work from these men when they come to the end of their time.
Those of us who have the honour of commanding Territorial regiments have been asked lately our views on sending our young officers to Sandhurst and Woolwich in what is normally the holiday time there. I think that is a good idea, but it would be a great mistake to send young officers to Sandhurst or Woolwich until they had done two or three trainings with their unit. If they went when they were going to pass from the second lieutenant to lieutenant, there could be an examination as a way of weeding out those who are apt to get into the Territorials and are difficult to get rid of. This is an excellent idea, but we do not want to send young officers at the beginning of their career.
The third point I should like to make is with regard to attached officers. In my own unit, we have officers attached from year to year, and my experience is that if we could have field officers or captains, they are much more useful than young officers whom we have had sometimes; not that they were not splendid fellows, but when you get a senior officer attached to a Yeomanry regiment you are able to put him on any job, and the fact that he is of a certain age enables him to command the respect that a young man cannot do. I think it would be possible to link up a Yeomanry regiment with a Regular regiment as a sort of sister regiment from which we could get our permanent staff instructors, and possibly our adjutants. That would have an enormous advantage because if we have a Regular soldier attached to us who is inefficient, we do not like to send him back because he would go back with a bad mark, whereas if we could have a sister regiment, we could draw from that, and we could more easily return people who were mot filling the bill. I know that Regular units go abroad, but that difficulty could probably be overcome. To 708 combine a Yeomanry regiment with a Regular cavalry regiment would be an advantage by enabling the Regular personnel to come and see how we live and behave, and from the point of view of the Yeomanry it would be an advantage by enabling it to have good men attached to it.
I would like to put in a word in support my what my Noble Friend the Member for Newark (Marquis of Titchfield), who commands the Notts Yeomanry, said in regard to the marriage allowance to Territorials under 26 years of age. I know that in the Regular Army they do not get their marriage allowance until they are over 26, but I feel that it is rather different in the case of the Territorials. Generally speaking, one finds that the man who is successful civilly is able to afford to be married at a young age, and if he is a successful civilian, he will be a successful soldier. It is a pity to allow a good young man to leave the Territorials because of that extra small amount they would get as a marriage allowance. I do not see why the Territorials should be linked to the Regulars in this question. Their work is different. I hope this matter will be given serious consideration. I was glad to hear the Financial Secretary refer to the Territorial Army as the cheapest army in the world. I have been in it since it was begun, and I feel that the country gets really good value for the money spent on it. I hope the Financial Secretary will keep in mind that probably £l spent on the Territorials gives about £5 worth of value.
§ 10.19 p.m.
§ Mr. COOPER
We have had an interesting and wide discussion on the many matters connected with the Army, and I propose to endeavour shortly to reply to some of the speeches that have been made. They have without exception been helpful speeches and have been made by Members who are obviously interested in the Army and want to help it. If I cannot give satisfactory replies, it will not be because I do not appreciate the points of view from which the various speeches have been made. I will deal first, with some of the questions that have been raised on the subject of the Territorial Army, including the speech of the hon. and gallant Member who has just sat down. There are many suggestions 709 that can be made for helping that Army. All are good and all have merit, but they all have the same objection: they all cost money. I can assure hon. Members that during the year that lies before us we shall be considering in what way we can best help the Territorial Army and in what way we can best spend the money that we hope will be available in future with which to help them.
The hon. and gallant Member also supported the plea of the Noble Lord the Member for Newark (Marquess of Titchfield) for marriage allowances for married Territorials when in camp. That is a suggestion which appeals very much to me, and it has only that objection against it which I have mentioned. There is, of course, the objection which the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken foresaw, that if it were applied to the Territorials there is always a danger—or the possibility—of a similar demand being made for the men of the regular Army, which would enormously increase the expenditure. I do not think the analogy is entirely correct, and I feel that one might be able, possibly, to resist that plea, but at the same time there is that danger and that objection in view of the enormous increase in expenditure which it would necessitate. With regard to one of his other suggestions, the formation of a reserve for the Territorial Army, that also will receive due consideration. The question is whether the expenditure would be worth while, whether we could not encourage recruiting for the Territorial Army and help men of the Territorial Army by spending that amount of money in some other way.
The hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge (Major Llewellin) suggested that we should increase the travelling allowances to Territorial officers. That matter is under consideration at the present time, and I hope that some decision may be arrived at which will suit the views which he expressed. With regard to permanent staff instructors, there is a very natural desire on the part of Territorial units to keep their staff instructors, whom they have got to know, to like and to understand, for as long as possible, but, after all, these permanent staff instructors come from the Regular-Army and are supposed to keep the Territorials up to the mark and in touch with the Regular Army, and if they remain too 710 long with a Territorial unit they themselves get out of touch with the Regular Army and cease to fulfil the purpose for which they were designed. The hon. and gallant Member objected to half the profits from the letting of drill halls going to the Territorial Association and half only to the unit.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
Part of the money goes to the War Office and part to the Territorial Association, and none to the unit.
§ Mr. COOPER
The part that goes to the War Office is spent for the benefit of the Territorial Army. It may not be spent in the way that the unit itself or the particular association concerned would wish it to be spent, but it is devoted to the benefit of the Territorial Army. His other suggestion, with regard to proficiency pay, will be taken into consideration with these other suggestions which have been put forward. I would assure all hon. Members who have spoken on behalf of the Territorial Army that we are anxious to do something to help it, to encourage recruiting for it, and it is simply a question with the Army Council as to what money is available and how it can best be spent.
The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) and the right hon. Member for North-West Cornwall (Sir F. Acland) criticised the increasing expenditure and asked the reasons for it. The line taken by the right hon. Member for North-West Cornwall was that in his day we had a better and a bigger Army and paid less money for it. The right hon. Member, like some other Members of his section of his party, are apt to live rather in the past. Twenty-five years ago, the period of which he was talking, it was possible to get a bigger army and to pay less for it. I do not suppose that the right hon. Gentleman ever indulges in a glass of beer. If he did, he would be aware that in the days of which he was speaking we paid much less for a much bigger glass of much better beer. The same argument applies to the British Army. We have a smaller Army than we then had, and we pay more for it, because prices have gone up in all directions—prices of labour and of clothes. The price of clothes has gone up during the past year, and so have the prices of certain commodities such as bacon and oats. We have to anticipate. We have to estimate 711 what we are going to spend this year. I am not telling you what we spent last year. The general estimate is a probable rise in some prices for which we have to make allowance.
The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street can be reassured with regard to the abolition of the factory at Pimlico; that has had nothing whatever to do with our increased expenditure. On the contrary, the result has been far better from an economic point of view than I ever dared to expect when I announced the abolition of that factory. It is estimated that from the time of abolishing it we have saved something like £40,000. With regard to the increase in remounts, there also prices have gone up. In the Vote is included £5,000 that we are allowing this year for light-horse breeding. A misunderstanding arose between the right hon. Member for North Cornwall and an hon. Member below the Gangway as to the relationship of the Royal Defence Corps and the schemes of Mr. Haldane, as he was then. What the corps is analogous to is the National Reserve, and not the Special Reserve. It is almost the same as the National Reserve which Mr. Haldane designed.
§ Mr. COOPER
It is, of course, a body that will only be used in emergency, that is, in war time, and it had the approval of the great Liberal party in the days of its prime. The right hon. Gentleman also criticised rather bitterly our taking a £500 Vote this year for new barracks in China, and to committing ourselves to a very large Vote of over £1,000,000. He did not like that at all. It might have been thought that it was an innovation, but it was introduced 14 years ago, and it was discussed and approved by the House. It has not been slipped through without my knowledge. On the contrary, it was submitted to the Estimates Committee that deals with those matters, with the Secretary of State with the whole of the Army Council present, when we went through every Vote. So far from there being anything underhand about this Vote, the position is exactly opposite. We want it to be known that it is intended, in the future, perhaps, to spend this large sum of money upon barracks in China. 712 The House is not committed, nor are the War Office, the country or anybody, to the spending of one penny more than £500. We are taking it, as the right hon. Gentleman said, more or less as a token Vote this year, in order to make inquiries, and to meet any necessary expenditure in making inquiries, and in looking about; not in laying the foundations in a technical sense, in regard to barracks that may be necessary later. Next year should we ask the House to Vote more money, the House will be at liberty to turn it down.
With regard to the rearrangement of duties in the War Office, that is a very large matter, and there again the right hon. Gentleman is going back to the complaints of many years ago. It was defended by my late right hon. Friend Sir Laming Worthington-Evans in 1927 and 1928, and I am not prepared at this late hour to defend again, or to explain to the House, the redistribution of duties between the Quartermaster-General and the Master-General of the Ordnance.
The hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) asked a specific question about a case which he had brought to my notice. I have to give him the answer that, when a man writes 14 years after he has left your employment and asks whether you still owe him any money, I do not think it is an unreasonable answer to say that you have every reason to suppose that you do not, that anyhow the records are no longer in existence, and that, having no proof either way, you would not feel justified in paying out the taxpayers' money on a claim of that kind. It is to be regretted, and I am as sorry for the people who made that mistake as the hon. Member himself is, but, if you wait for 14 years before putting forward your claim, you cannot expect that it will be treated in the same way as it would have been if it had been put forward at the right and proper time.
With regard to the hon. Member's remarks about cavalry, I should like to assure him, as an infantryman myself, as he was, that he is not on good ground. I have had occasion during the past year to study military affairs both in my public and in my private life, and the more I study them the more impressed I become by the importance of cavalry in modern warfare. I will not go into the details now, but it might interest the hon. Member to know that the very 713 last work upon which Lord Haig was engaged, within a month of his death, was the writing of a memorandum for the use of the War Office insisting upon the importance of retaining the cavalry, and explaining the matter in the greatest detail, with illustrations drawn from all the wars in which he had taken part. To my mind it is a most interesting document.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Aston (Captain A. Hope) is still a heretic in regard to Woolwich and Sandhurst, and would like to abolish both. He instanced, as an example of how well an officer can do without having been at either, my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Altrinchan (Sir E. Grigg). But we are not all Members for Altrincham. Although he, with his exceptional qualities, was able to prove to be a first-rate officer in a very short time without the instruction which either of these institutions provides, it does not follow that other people can do the same. I am sure that for very many young men the training that they get, after leaving school at the age at which they do, and going straight into one of these colleges, is far better than being attached, as my hon. and gallant Friend suggests, to their units for a similar period. What may answer in one case does not necessarily answer in another case. I would only refer again to my original statement that I am all in favour of variety of training, and of applying different methods to different individuals.
On the question of promotion, a committee has been sitting for some time under the chairmanship of the late Under-Secretary of State, Lord Stanhope. That committee has arrived at its conclusions, but its report has not yet been printed or circulated. I hope that it will contribute largely towards the solution of a very difficult problem. The hon. Member for St. Albans (Sir F. Fremantle) asked me about the Warren Fisher Report on the Royal Army Medical Corps. He is well acquainted with the details of that report, and I hope it will be adopted and will go as far as he believes it will, towards solving that particular difficulty. As he informed the House—and he knows as much about it as I do—it is now being held up for consideration by the Government of India. I hope it will not take very much longer, and I sincerely hope, as does 714 everyone at the War Office, that the difficulties which have arisen in regard to the Indian position will not prove insuperable and that the report will be adopted and will help us very considerably in future.
§ Sir F. FREMANTLE
Is the hon. Gentleman working in that respect with the heads of the Admiralty and the Air Force, as the report dealt with the three Services on the same lines?
§ Mr. COOPER
Certainly it dealt with the three Services, but at present it is merely from the point of view of the Army in India that it is being held up. The three Services at home are all equally anxious that it should be adopted. With regard to vocational training, I was asked whether we cannot get more men to the centres. I am very-anxious that we should. The difficulty is that many men are unwilling to pay the fee, perhaps not realising how great the advantage is, but, as the number is going up, though I should like to see it going up more, we do not consider the situation unsatisfactory. There is the difficulty also that the units from which the men come are very often unwilling or unable to spare them. The hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling) asked for how long a period they go. They go for six months—the last six months of their service in the Army. The men who want to undertake the training are men who have made themselves valuable to their units, and sometimes there is real difficulty about allowing them to go. The hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) assumed that the figures I gave of men obtaining employment meant that the 15 per cent. failed to obtain employment. That is not quite a correct assumption. The 15 per cent. are those we get out of touch with. We do not know what becomes of them, but it is to be hoped that a certain proportion of them also obtain employment.
The hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Janner) asked about those employed as tradesmen in the Army who are not eligible for these centres. He referred particularly to clerks and said that, having been used as clerks in the Army, they would be no use for civil life, or that it would be difficult for them to get employment, but I do not think there is as much difficulty as he imagines. The hon. Member for Wentworth asked what 715 were the trades for which we train men. There are here three pages of the list of trades. It includes nearly everything, but it does not include clerks, because they are not tradesmen in the ordinary sense of the word. I do not quite see how we could meet the particular difficulty to which the hon. Member for Whitechapel referred.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carlisle (Brigadier-General Spears) asked me many searching questions to some of which I endeavoured to reply in my original speech. He still believes, though I tried to demonstrate the opposite, that an army which is fitted to fight the best European powers on the stricken battlefield must also be the best possible instrument for dealing with a savage tribe in an outlandish district, but I differ from him. I think we have to prepare differently for different contingencies. That is the main problem that lies before us in all our preparations. We cannot go on experimenting for ever, says my hon. and gallant Friend. But we must go on experimenting. We never intend to stop experimenting. We must always be trying new things. We must always be open to change, and looking for change, and testing new inventions. We are never going to commit ourselves once and for all to some definite plan or scheme. I have endeavoured to reply to a great many interesting speeches and extremely pertinent questions. If I have not replied to them all, I can only apologise, but I should like to say that I am sure that from the point of view of the War Office it has been a very satisfactory, interesting and helpful Debate and I hope now that the House will agree, Sir, to your leaving the Chair.
§ 10.40 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I thought that the Financial Secretary would have said a word or two about the plight of reservists. When almost everybody in this country sustained a cut of 10 per cent the reservists had to face a cut of 25 per cent. That cut was unduly large. Whatever may be said about the restoration of the cut in regard to any section of the Army, I at least expected that those who 716 had had to submit to such an altogether unfair cut would have had it restored. I should like the Financial Secretary to say whether there is a reasonable chance of the restoration of the reservists cut. With regard to soldiers discharged from the Army on grounds of health, those with whom I come in contact feel that they have been discharged without good and sufficient grounds. If one takes up a case with the War Office, they say that they have satisfied themselves as to the reason. Far be it from me to criticise the War Office on their wisdom or unwisdom in regard to the matter, but the men feel a grievance over their discharge. There ought to be some form of impartial tribunal to which the men could appeal so as to have their case properly judged. When it comes to a question of pension the man has no redress against the decision of the War Office. In every other walk of life there is some sort of appeal. I am not suggesting that a legal procedure should be adopted, but that there should be some sort of tribunal to which a discharged man could reasonably appeal.
I also wish to ask whether it might not be made possible, where a man gets married "on the strength," to make some extra allowance. Soldiers are like persons in ordinary life. They get married when possibly other people think that they should not do so, but certain circumstances often compel them to marry. Often for the sake of a child they get married. The soldier does not suffer, as his wages are not arrestable, but the woman and child have to be kept. It would be better for everyone concerned if a more equitable arrangement could be made than that which has been applicable for many years. I represent a constituency in which a large proportion of men, for good or ill, join the Army, and they constantly bring their cases to my notice. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to remember that, though he is running the machine of the Department, the ordinary private soldier has a soul.
§ Question put, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 176; Noes, 38.589
|Division No. 165.]||AYES.||[3.35 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Barclay-Harvey, C. M.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)|
|Albery, Irving James||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Belt, Sir Alfred L.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Bernays, Robert|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Balniel, Lord||Bilndell, James|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Pearson, William G.|
|Borodale, Viscount||Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Petherick, M.|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Hammersley, Samuel S.||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Brats, Captain Sir William||Hanbury, Cecil||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Hartington, Marquess of||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsf'd)||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Reid. James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Remer, John R.|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Hornby, Frank||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Horsbrugh, Florence||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Hurd, Sir Percy||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Blrm, W.)||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Choriton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Christie, James Archibald||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Clarke, Frank||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Phillp A. G. D.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Savery, Samuel Servlngton|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Knight, Holford||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Law Sir Alfred||Shute, Colonel J. J.|
|Cooke, Douglat||Leckie, J. A.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Cooper, A. Dull||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Copeland, Ida||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Levy, Thomas||Smithers, Waldron|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Lewis, Oswald||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Locker-Lampion, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galntb'ro)||Loftus, Pierce C.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Stevenson, James|
|Dickie, John P.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Doran, Edward||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||McKie, John Hamilton||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Duggan, Hubert John||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Magnay, Thomas||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Maitland, Adam||Tree, Ronald|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Making, Brigadier-General Ernest||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Eimley, Viscount||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Manningham-Butter, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Ersklne-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Martin, Thomas B.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Mitcheson, G. G.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Moreing, Adrian C.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Morrison, William Shepherd||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Fuller, Captain A. O.||Most, Captain H. J.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd. N.)||North, Edward T.||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nunn, William|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro, W.)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Grigg, Sir Edward||Patrick, Colin M.||Mr. Womersley and Major George|
|Grimston, R. V.||Peake, Captain Osbert||Davies.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Cape, Thomas||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Dobbie, William|
|Batey, Joseph||Cove, William G.||Edwards, Charles|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Daggar, George||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)|
|Buchanan, George||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hicks, Ernest George||McGovern, John||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Maxton, James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Lawson, John James||Owen, Major Goronwy||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Leonard, William||Paling, Wilfred||Wilmot, John|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Lunn, William||Smith, Tom (Normanton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Thorne, William James||Mr. D. Graham and Mr. Groves.|
Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.
|Division No. 166.]||AYES.||[10.45 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Peat, Charles U.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Goff, Sir Park||Penny, Sir George|
|Albery, Irving James||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Petherick, M.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd. N.)||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Graves, Marjorle||Padford, E. A.|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro'. W.)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles.)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hanbury, Cecil||Remer, John R.|
|Bateman, A. L.||Hanley, Dennis A.||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th. C.)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Bernays, Robert||Head lam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Blindell, James||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Borodale, Viscount||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Bracken, Brendan||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sandeman, Sir A. H. Stewart|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Sellay, Harry R.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Brockiebank, C. E. R.||Janner, Barnett||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Ker, J. Campbell||Somervell, Sir Donalo|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Soper, Richard|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Llewellin, Major John J.||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Loftus, Pierce C.||Spens, William Patrick|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Stevenson, James|
|Cook, Thomas A.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Copeland, Ida||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||McKie, John Hamilton||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Crossley, A. C.||Manningham-Butter, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Dickie, John P.||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Mitcheson, G. G.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Moreing, Adrian C.||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Flelden, Edward Brocklehurst||Moss, Captain H. J.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelies||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Munro, Patrick||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Womersley, Walter James|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Palmer, Francis Noel|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Patrick, Colin M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||Peake, Captain Osbert||Captain Sir George Bowyer and|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Pearson, William G.||Dr. Morris-Jones.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grundy, Thomas W.||Paling, Wilfred|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Buchanan, George||Kirkwood, David||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Cove, William G.||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Lunn, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Wilmot, John|
|Dobbie, William||McGovern, John|
|Edwards, Charles||Maxton, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Milner, Major James||Mr. D. Graham and Mr. Groves.|
§ Supply accordingly considered in Committee.719
§ [Sir DENNIS HERBERT in the Chair]