HC Deb 20 December 1935 vol 307 cc2176-246

Question again proposed, "That the words '4th February stand part of the Question.

11.57 a.m.


I have really almost completed what I wish to submit to the House, but I will sun up very briefly in these few sentences. The Motion as it stands on the Paper is in the same form as has been used on many other occasions, and it indicates the date to which we should normally adjourn. So far there is general consent. However, it contains a provision which enables an earlier meeting of the House if some emergency made that necessary, and I would point out that it is a provision which is not a mere flourish or empty form of words, but one which has been found in our practice to operate, and which in the course of the last Parliament was actually used for securing an earlier meeting of the House.

I would point out, finally, that if we were to adopt the alternative method now suggested because of anxieties which we all feel, and were to fix irrevocably an earlier date of meeting, we should have to meet here, and the officials of the House, everybody here and everybody connected with every Government Department, and those responsible for different sections of the Opposition, would all have to make their plans in order to get here and start business on 21st January. Let us all hope that no such situation will arise. I most earnestly press upon the House that the best contribution we can make to-day to that hope is to show, at any rate, that we have sufficient confidence in the fair working of the rules and practice of the House not to justify this Amendment. There are matters to be raised on the Adjournment, and I have no doubt that hon. Members are anxious to get on. As far as the Government are concerned, subject, of course, to the views of others, we are perfectly agreeable that this particular suggestion should now be decided at once. I hope that on reflection, and after the discussion during the first half-hour, hon. Gentlemen in all parts of the House will be prepared to accept the Motion for the Adjournment without persisting in the Amendment, in order that the general discussion may no longer be delayed.

12 n.


I desire to support the Amendment. The reasons given by the Home Secretary leave me entirely unconvinced. It is not a question of when the Government think the House of Commons should meet, but when the House of Commons itself thinks it should meet. I have not in mind so much the mining crisis as the foreign situation. I am sure that from the point of view of the Government the last thing they desire is to see the House of Commons for a very long time to come, and if it had not been by a great stroke of luck that

we were sitting here at the present time we should never have destroyed those infamous Paris proposals which the Government had to abandon in such a humiliating way yesterday. In spite of what has happened, I am afraid that the confidence I had in the Government a fortnight ago and in their policy has been shaken. I am afraid that I must follow that up. I fought my Election on the support of the foreign policy of the Government, because I believed that the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and others meant what they said, and so did nearly every supporter of the Government. What happened a fortnight ago came as a profound shock to the whole country. I was a supporter of the foreign policy of the Government up to that time, but, like many others, my confidence has now been shaken, and I think that it is the desire of the House to keep a grip on the Government as much as possible not only in the mining situation, but in the foreign situation, too. We do not know how things will develop in the matter of sanctions during the next few months. It would be a very hazardous thing, in view of our experience of the last fortnight, to give the Government as long as 4th February to deal with the foreign situation. For that reason I strongly support the Amendment.

As one who represents a number of miners in this House, mostly those who work in Hilton Main on Cannock Chase coalfields, I, too, think that if we are to give justice and fair consideration to their perfectly reasonable demands, which they ought to have, we must be here to back them up. As the General Election I said to my miners that they would have no more keen and urgent supporter in the House of Commons than myself, as keen as any Labour Member, and I am supporting this Amendment in order to take the first opportunity of showing by my action and by my vote that I mean what I then said.

Question put, "That the words '4th February' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 103; Noes, 81.

Division No. 20.] AYES. [12.4 p.m.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Boothby, R. J. G. Brocklebank, C. E. R.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Bossom, A. C. Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)
Blindell, J. Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Bull, B. B.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Heligers, Captain F. F. A. Procter, Major H. A.
Cartland, J. R. H. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Ramsbotham, H.
Cary, R. A. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Rayner, Major R. H.
Channon, H. Jarvis, Sir J. J. Reid, D. D. (Down)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Keeling, E. H. Remer, J. R.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Kerr, J. G. (Scottish Universities) Ropner, Colonel L.
Chorlton, A. E. L. Kirkpatrick, W. M. Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Clarry, R. G. Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
Cochrane, Comdr. Hon. A. D. Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.) Scott, Lord William
Caiman, N. C. D. Leckie, J. A. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Lloyd, G. W. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs) Loftus, P. C. Stourton, Hon. J. J.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Crowder, J. F. E. Lyons, A. M. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Denville, Alfred Magnay, T. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Eckersley, P. T. Mayhew. Lt.-Col. J. Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Turton, R. H.
Elliston, G. S. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Wakefield, W. W.
Emmott, C. E. G. C. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Wallace, Captain Euan
Freemantle, Sir F. E. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Gluckstein, L. H. Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Goodman, Col. A. W. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Waterhouse Captain C.
Graham Captain A. C. (Wirral) O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Orr-Ewing, I. L. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Gridley, Sir A. B. Percy, Rt. Hon. Lord E.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H. Peters, Dr. S. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hannah, I. C. Plugge, L. F. Sir George Penny and Commander
Hannon, P. J. H. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Southby.
Harvey, G. Porritt, R. W.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.)
Ammon, C. G. Hardie, G. D. Ritson, J.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Batey, J. Holdsworth, H. Rowson, G.
Bellenger, F. Holland, A. Sanders, W. S.
Benson, G. Jagger, J. Silverman, S. S.
Broad, F. A. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Simpson, F. B.
Brooke, W. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Smith, T. (Normanton)
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Sorensen, R. W.
Burke, W. A. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Stephen, C.
Cape, T. Kelly, W. T. Stewart, W. J. (H-ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Charleton, H. C. Kirby, B. V. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Chater, D. Lawson, J. J. Thorne, W.
Cluse, W. S. Lee, F. Tinker, J. J.
Cocks, F. S. Leslie, J. R. Viant, S. P.
Daggar, G. Logan, D. G. Walker, J.
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Lunn, W. Watkins, F. C.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Macdonald, G. (Ince) White, H. Graham
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) McGhee, H. G. Wilkinson, Ellen
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Mander, G. le M. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Marklew, E. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Gallacher, W. Messer, F. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Gardner, B. W. Paling, W. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Parkinson, J. A. Woods, G. S (Finsbury)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Potts, J.
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Price, M. P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Groves, T. E. Quibell, J. D. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.

Question, "That this House do now adjourn," put, and agreed to.

  1. COAL INDUSTRY (MINERS' WAGES). 13,112 words
  2. cc2212-37
  3. BACON INDUSTRY. 10,001 words
  4. cc2237-46