HC Deb 30 October 1934 vol 293 cc36-43

May I just say "Thank you" to my colleagues for their reception on my return to the House, and at the same time express the hope that the Prime Minister has come back quite recovered in health and strength. The question I have to put to him is whether he is in a position to tell us the Government's proposals as to the course of business during the week. I would like to ask him whether it is not possible to give more time to the consideration of the Incitement to Disaffection Bill, seeing the great public interest in the Measure and the number of Members who wish to take part in the discussion on both the Report stage and the Third Reading. The Prime Minister himself has told us that this is a very important and first-class Measure. May I also ask whether the Government will make arrangements during the remainder of this Session for an early Debate on the question of the private traffic in arms which, too, as he is aware, has been occupying public attention very considerably.


If I may, I will also extend my felicitations to the right hon. Gentleman on his return and thank him, at the same time, for the sympathy which he has extended towards me. With regard to the business of the House, there is no change in the business announced before the Recess for to-day and to-morrow. This will be:

Tuesday: Incitement to Disaffection Bill, Report stage. Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, Second Reading. That, as the House knows, is only a formal stage.

Wednesday: Incitement to Disaffection Bill, conclusion of the Report stage, and Third Reading.

The variation in the announced business is in that for Thursday, which is: Consideration of a Motion which is to be tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) relating to the simultaneous publication here and in India of the Report of the Joint Select Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform.

Afterwards a Motion to transfer the Betting and Lotteries Bill [Lords] from Standing Committee D to a Committee of the Whole House will be considered; also a Motion for the appointment of additional Judges to fill vacancies in the King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. If there be time, the remaining stages of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill and other Orders on the Paper will be taken.

The business for Friday will be announced later.

With regard to the question which the right hon. Gentleman asked about the time for the Report and Third Reading of the Incitement to Disaffection Bill, I am informed that before the Recess this Bill came through Committee after a very thorough examination, and that, in order to meet the desires of the Opposition parties, it was then suspended, and the understanding was that it should go through very early on the resumption of the House. The Bill occupied a long time in Standing Committee, and Amendments were made to facilitate its progress and to remove obstacles to its consideration and acceptance. I am informed that there has been ample time for Members to table Amendments to the Bill for consideration on Report. We must therefore get on with this Bill if we are to finish the Session and the work that has to be done before the Session winds up. With regard to the Motion on the private manufacture of arms, I expected that the right hon. Gentleman would put that question. I am perfectly prepared to give time for a Debate on that subject if he will be good enough to set the usual machinery in operation to arrange the date.


I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for giving us a day for a Debate on the question of arms, but I would like to press him on the question of the Incitement to Disaffection Bill. The right hon. Gentleman, I expect, is aware that only one day's Debate has taken place on the Floor of the House. All the 16 days' discussions have been upstairs, and to give us only three days in the House for what is a highly controversial and extremely important Bill seems altogether too short. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that a Bill of this character usually comes from upstairs in pretty full time for the Report stage and Third Reading, and I seriously ask him to reconsider the matter and to give us one more day for the consideration of the Amendments. I repeat that there has been only one day's discussion on the Floor of the House, and I do not think it is reasonable to say that three days is enough. I am informed that, so far as my friends were concerned, there was no understanding at all or agreement to curtail discussion. I do press the right hon. Gentleman on this matter. It may seem ungracious after what the Government have promised in regard to the distressed areas and the other question, but this is a question of overwhelming importance.


When the decision of the Government regarding the time for this Bill was made before the Recess there was no indication at all of any objection being taken. It was recognised that, though the Bill was quite an important one, so many changes by way of meeting opposition objections had been made in Committee that it was a very reasonable thing to ask the House when we came back to let it go through in two days. [HON. MEMBERS: "No"] That was the view that was taken by my colleagues. Looking at the Debates, I think it was a very reasonable view. I do not quite agree with the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman that this is an unusual Bill. As a matter of fact, if he looks up Bills of this size coming down from Committee—


It is not the size of the Bill.


In the case of a Bill of this size and with the limited number of points in it, a day and a half or something like that on Report, with the Third Reading following, will enable everything to be said about the Bill if the House bends its mind to it.


I want to ask the Prime Minister how long he proposes to keep the House sitting to-night in the event of the suspension of the Rule. I support fully what the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has said, and say on behalf of myself and my friends that we never suggested, directly or indirectly, that a limited period of time would satisfy us on the conclusion of this Measure. If the Prime Minister has followed the proceedings in the Standing Committee, he ought to be aware that the whole nature of the opposition there was such as would not make the concluding stages simple and easy. So far as concessions were made, there were no substantial concessions in the policy of the Measure. If the suspension of the Eleven o'Clock Rule be carried, how far does the Prime Minister propose to make the House sit on the first day after the Recess?


I venture to hope that my hon. Friend will co-operate with me by expediting the business and taking a reasonable advantage of the time allotted. We would be very glad, if reasonable progress were made, to suspend the consideration of the Bill until to-morrow; and to go on with the other business.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to take note of the statement made by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton)? It is a fact, that in all the reports of the Committee proceedings on the Bill it was made quite clear that there was no attempt or desire for a spirit of compromise. As a matter of fact, there was a spirit of hostility right to the end. It was so prevalent that the Government had to send a Whip upstairs in order to keep supporters of the Government there. May I also call attention to the fact once more, as the Leader of the Opposition has done, that this is such an extraordinary Bill for good or for ill, whether reasonable or not, that it has aroused a great mass of opinion in the country, and there are on the Paper a large number of Clauses and new Amendments. May I, therefore, ask the right hon. Gentleman if he cannot pursue the spirit of good will which has been expressed this afternoon, and give a further day for the consideration of the Bill?


The announcement was made before the Adjournment quite clearly that the business on resumption would be, on Tuesday, the Report stage, and on Wednesday, 31st October, the Report stage and

Third Reading, and to that no protest was offered.


The right hon. Gentleman is, perhaps, taking a little advantage of the fact that no protest was made at that moment, but I think that he also ought to take into account the fact that there is, as he knows full well—his postbag will tell him—very considerable opposition to the Bill, and people outside and inside the House consider that it is one of the most important pieces of legislation which has been brought before this House for some time. I do again appeal to him to give extended time for its consideration. It is all very well to say that he does not want to sit late, but we shall be obliged to sit late if we want to debate the long series of Amendments we wish to move. I again ask him to reconsider the matter.


If we sit till the early hours of the morning, then, having regard to the Amendments on the Order Paper and the manner in which they have been discussed, will the Prime Minister at that time be prepared to reconsider the question?


Yes, but we shall require substantial progress.


It is somewhat unusual for the Suspension Motion to be moved on the first day after the Summer Adjournment. Can the Prime Minister assure the House, in view of rumours which have appeared in the Press, that we are not to be asked to sit during the few days of this Session every night with the Rule suspended in order to push forward certain Bills which are not very popular in the country?

Motion made, and Question put, That the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House)."—[The Prime Minister.]

The House divided: Ayes, 336; Noes, 68.

Division No. 364.] AYES [4.8 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Boulton, W. W.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Balfour, George (Hampstead) Bower, Commander Robert Tatton
Albery, Irving James Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.) Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.) Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Brass, Captain Sir William
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.) Briscoe, Capt. Richard George
Applin Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Broadbent, Colonel John
Assheton, Ralph Bernays, Robert Brocklebank, C. E. R.
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe Blindell, James Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent. Dover) Borodale, Viscount Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks., Newb'y)
Atholl, Duchess of Bossom, A. C. Browne, Captain A. C.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Graves, Marjorie Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Burghley, Lord Grigg, Sir Edward Mayhew, Lieut.-Colnel John
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Grimston, R. V. Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)
Burnett, John George Gritten, W. G. Howard Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Burton, Colonel Henry Walter Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Mitcheson, G. G.
Butler, Richard Austen Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Gunston, Captain D. W. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale
Caine, G. R. Hall. Guy, J. C. Morrison Monsell, Rt. Hugh Elsdale
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)
Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Hales, Harold K. Moreing, Adrlan C.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Morgan, Robert H.
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Hammersley, Samuel S. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denblgh)
Carver, Major William H. Hanley, Dennis A. Morrison, William Shepherd
Castlereagh, Viscount Harbord, Arthur Moss, Captain H. J.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Hartland, George A. Mulrhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kennlngt'n) Munro, Patrick
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Birm., W) Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Nail, Sir Joseph
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsfofd) Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Hepworth, Joseph Nunn, William
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.
Clayton, Sir Christopher Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Orr Ewing, I. L.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Patrick, Colin M.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Peake, Osbert
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge) Pearson, William G.
Colfox, Major William Philip Hore-Belisha, Leslie Peat, Charles U.
Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey Hornby, Frank Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Colman, N. C. D. Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S. Petherick, M.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Horobin, Ian M. Peto, Geoffrey K.(W' verh'pt'n, Bllston)
Conant, R. J. E. Horsbrugh, Florence Pike, Cecil F.
Cook, Thomas A. Howard, Tom Forrest Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G H.
Cooke, Douglas Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Power, Sir John Cecil
Cooper, A. Duff Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Pownall, Sir Aseheton
Copeland, Ida Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Procter, Major Henry Adam
Courtauld, Major John Sewell Hume, Sir George Hopwood Pybus, Sir John
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Radford, E. A.
Craven-Ellis, William Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romt'd) Ramsay Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Crooke, J. Smedley Iveagh, Countess of Ramsbotham, Harwald
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'rO) Jennings, Roland Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Cross, R. H. Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan) Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Culverwell, Cyril Tom Jonas, Lewis (Swansea, West) Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham.
Dalkelth, Earl of Kerr, Hamilton W. Reid, David D. (County Down)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Davison, Sir William Henry Kirkpatrick, William M. Ramer, John R.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Knight, Holford Renwick, Major Gustav A.
Denville, Alfred Knox, Sir Alfred Rhys. Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Dickie, John P. Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Rickards, George William
Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbert Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Robinson, John Roland
Doran, Edward Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Ropner, Colonel L.
Drewe, Cedric Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.) Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C. Leckie, J. A. Ross, Ronald D.
Duckworth, George A. V. Leech, Dr. J. W. Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Lees-Jones, John Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Duggan, Hubert John Leighton, Major B. E. P. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Dunglass, Lord Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Eady, George H. Levy, Thomas Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tslde)
Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony Lewis, Oswald Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Edmondson, Major Sir James Liddell Walter S. Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock) Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe Salmon, Sir Isidore
Elliston, Captain George Sampson Lieweilln, Major John J. Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Elmley, Viscount Lloyd, Geoffrey Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Locker-Lampoon, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th) Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard
Entwistle, Cyril Fullard Loftus, Pierce C. Savery, Samuel Servington
Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Salley, Harry R.
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Everard, W. Lindsay Lyons, Abraham Montagu Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Fermoy, Lord Mebane, William Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.
Fox, Sir Glfford MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick) Shute, Colonel J. J.
Fremantle, Sir Francis MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Fuller, Captain A. G. McConnell, Sir Joseph Skelton, Archibald Noel
Galbraith, James Francis Wallace MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Gibson, Charles Granville Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col, Rt. Hon. Sir John McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Smith, Sir J. Walker. (Barrow-in-F.)
Gledhill, Glibert McKeag, William Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Glossop, C. W. H. McKie, John Hamilton Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dine, C)
Gluckstein, Louis Halle Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton Smithers, Sir Waldron
Goff, Sir Park McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Somervell, Sir Donald
Goldie, Noel B. Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Magnay, Thomas Soper, Richard
Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Maitland, Adam Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Granville, Edgar Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Spens, William Patrick
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland) Touche, Gordon Cosmo Whyte, Jardine Bell
Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Train, John Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.) Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Storey Samuel Turton, Robert Hugh Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Stourton, Hon. John J. Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey) Wills, Wilfrid D.
Strauss, Edward A. Wallace, John (Dunfermline) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Strickland, Captain W. F. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hall) Wise, Alfred R.
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend) Womersley, Sir Walter
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Sutcliffe, Harold Warrender, Sir Victor A. G. Worthington, Dr. John V.
Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.) Watt, Captain George Steven H. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby) Wayland, Sir William A.
Thomas, James P L. (Hereford) Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Thomas, Major L B. (King's Norton) Weymouth, Viscount Sir Frederick Thomson and
Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.) Whiteside, Borras Noel H. Sir George Penny.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding) Maxton, James
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Milner, Major James
Attlee, Clement Richard Grundy, Thomas W. Nathan, Major H. L.
Banfield, John William Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Paling, Wilfred
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Ztl'nd) Parkinson, John Alien
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Healy, Cahir Rea, Walter Russell
Buchanan, George Hicks, Ernest George Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)
Cape, Thomas Holdsworth, Herbert Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Janner, Barnett Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)
Cove, William G. John, William Thorne, William James
Dagger, George Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Davies, Stephen Owen Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) West, F. R.
Dobbie, William Kirkwood, David White, Henry Graham
Edwards, Charles Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Lawson, John James Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Leonard, William Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Logan, David Gilbert Wilmot, John
Gardner, Benjamin Walter L[...]n, William Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McEntee, Valentine L. Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)
George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) McGovern, John
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Mallalleu, Edward Lancelot Mr. G. Macdonald and Mr. Groves.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)