HC Deb 13 March 1935 vol 299 cc405-35

The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper:

In page 25, line 7, leave out paragraph (c).—[Colonel Wedgwood.]

In line 19, leave out paragraph (i).—[Mr. Cocks.]

In line 23, leave out paragraph (ii).—[Colonel Wedgwood.]


Before I call upon the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) to move his first Amendment, may I suggest to the Committee that it will be convenient to discuss at the same time the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks), and also the other Amendment following in the name of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman? I think we might take one discussion on these three Amendments, and the Questions can be put separately if need be.

3.48 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 25, line 7, to leave out paragraph (c).

I certainly think that it would be much simpler to discuss all these questions on this Amendment. Of course, the questions raised are slightly different. We are discussing what shall be discussed in the Federal Legislature, and paragraph (c) prohibits the discussion and the asking of questions on any subject which affects the Indian States. Whether it is discussion or the asking of questions that is prohibited seems to be immaterial, though a stronger case can be made out for prohibiting discussion than for prohibiting the asking of questions. The paragraph goes on to say lower down: unless the Governor-General in his discretion is satisfied that the matter affects Federal interests or affects a British subject. We were hoping to add there "or British Indian subject." The point in each case is exactly the same, and it crops up again in paragraph (d, i), which refers to the discussion of any matter affecting relations between the Governor-General and a native Prince. In all these cases the question is whether the Indian Assembly, which represents in a way, however curiously, the whole of India, is to be allowed to criticise or to ask questions about anything which occurs in the Indian States? The Indian States are represented in that assembly, over-represented according to their numbers, and yet that assembly is handicapped by not being allowed to raise any question of ill-treatment of any Indian in the Indian States. The Committee realise that in these Indian States you have absolute rule by the rulers. In half a dozen cases they have some sort of representative institutions with no responsibility and no power, but in the vast majority you have the direct autocratic rule of the Princes, with complete control over the lives, property and liberty of all their subjects, control even greater than was that of the German Princes over their subjects in the eighteenth century. Hitherto, if there has been any gross abuse of their power or any gross insult to humanity, it has been possible for the Governor-General to intervene and to change the crowned head, or, by means of the Resident in that State, to humanise practice and put an end to the worst abuses. The worst trouble comes from the inhabitants of the State being unable to pay rent to their Princes for feudal lands. Troubles will be cropping up almost daily in some of these native States.

If this paragraph goes through it will be impossible in the Indian Assembly to raise any question about what is going on. It will be impossible to discuss the rent strike, or the putting down of the rent strike, or the gaoling of any person in that State, or, as I read it, the imprisonment or deprivation of a British Indian subject who may have been in the State or may have property in it. There are many cases—I will not go into them; There is the case of the agitators Mohammed Ali and Shankat, of subjects of Indian States having their property taken away by the India rajah. That was political, but in most of these cases it is not political, but a case of "so and so is unduly rich, let us get some of his money back by various means." Is there to be no redress before the Federal Assembly for natives in the territories who are treated unjustly, for the British Indian who may be trading with that State, and no redress in fact for even a British subject in the State unless the Governor-General sanctions the inquiry or discussion?

It seems to me that we are sacrificing too much in order to get the Princes into this Federation. This is a concession to them. The people who object to questions being asked in the Assembly about the treatment of the native States are the Indian Princes themselves, obviously. We are washing our hands like Pilate of anything that may happen inside those native States. There will still be the control by the Governor-General as in the past, but the Assembly itself must not raise the matter. We can raise the subject here in Parliament, but in the Assembly they cannot. It is true that it was not possible in the old Assembly to raise these issues, and that in the Assembly which is now sitting no such question can be raised or answered, but in the new Assembly, where the States are represented, it would be the very negation of the idea of self-government to exclude from the purview of the Assembly representing that Federation every possibility of remedying injustice in the native States, while in British India itself not only can any British Indian raise a question and criticise the administration but every representative of the Princes in the Federation can likewise criticise the conduct of affairs in British India. Anything so one-sided was never conceived before, but it is one of the further sacrifices we have to make, and I ask the Committee before they sanction this Clause to realise what a price of liberty England and India are paying in order to bring the Princes into a Federation which no one wants, not even the Princes.

3.56 p.m.


Is it desired that each point should be raised separately and that the Secretary of State for India should reply to each point, or should there be a general discussion on all these Amendments, allowing the Secretary of State to wind-up at the end?


I think that the most convenient course would be to have the three Amendments discussed together. They all deal with what questions may or may not be discussed and possibly they may have a bearing on one another, and, if the Government and the Committee agree, it would probably be convenient to have the whole discussion on them, and then I could put the questions separately, if desired.


I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name—


No, the hon. Member misunderstands me. There is now before us the Amendment moved by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman which I have put to the Committee, and on that Amendment it will be possible to discuss the subject matter of the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks), and also the subject of the other Amendment of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. I will ask the hon. Member for Broxtowe later on to move his Amendment formally.


I understand. I wish to raise the point which is embodied in the Amendment which I shall subsequently move. We attach considerable importance to the Amendment, and I will state the reasons. It will be remembered that we have already decided that foreign affairs should be a reserved subject and should be in charge of a counsellor, and under Clause 21 a counsellor has the right to attend the meetings of either Chamber and to take part in the discussions but not to vote. I would point out that such a legislature is not a weak and irresponsible assembly, but, as the Under-Secretary used the phrase last night, it is to be a strong central body. It is to consist of the principalities and powers of India. There will sit there the representatives of the Princes, and from British India, the great bankers, the great industrialists, the great lawyers, and the great landlords—all with a stake in the country. It will be an extremely conservative assembly. A Parliament consisting of the squires of England in the eighteenth century would, by comparison, be a Bolshevist assembly.

Therefore, as I say, there is no danger of irresponsible discussions taking place. It seems to me that a body representing India should have the right to discuss the relations of India with other Powers of the world, and in particular Asiatic Powers. As I have put before this Committee previously, and as everybody knows, there is the prospect of a great menace in India in another Power seeking to assume the leadership of the East against the West. Surely our idea is that India in future should present a barrier against a force of that description and that there should arise in India a strong national feeling to be able to say, in the words of the famous French Marshal, "They shall not pass." That feeling of nationality should be developed, and it is right that they should be allowed reasonable discussion as to the relations of their country with such a nation, for example, as Japan. It is absurd that these people, who will be greatly affected by any troubles in the future, should be gagged, and that that particular discussion should be barred, so that they will have no chance of educating themselves or getting information from the counsellor on such points.

Then look at the position of the counsellor. There is to be a counsellor in charge of these external questions. He is allowed to go into and speak in the Chamber on any subject—on child marriage, temple entry, land legislation and finance. He can speak on any subject about which he knows nothing, or may know nothing, but the very subject on which he is an expert, foreign relations, he is not allowed to say a word without the consent of the Governor-General in his discretion, which means without the consent of the Secretary of State for India. He can butt in on every possible topic, but on the very subject in which he is a specialist he is not allowed to say anything. It may be said that awkward questions might be asked. They are sometimes asked in this Chamber, but Ministers are very skilful in evading awkward questions, and I have no doubt that in India there will be a counterpart of our able, efficient Foreign Secretary in evading awkward issues. It is always open to the counsellor to say, "The answer to that question is against the public interest." As I say, there are many questions which ought to be asked, and many discussions which should arise dealing with the relationship of India with other Asiatic Powers and countries and influences which, it is very desirable, they should be allowed to discuss. I would appeal to the Secretary of State in this matter. I said something about it yesterday, when I asked him to listen sometimes to the voice of reason on this side of the Committee. I sometimes think that when he feels inclined to yield the Secretary of State suddenly pulls himself together and says to himself, "Dan-ton—no weakness." If he thinks of doing that this afternoon, I would remind him that those words of Danton were spoken on the way to the guillotine.

4.5 p.m.


I would like to ask the Secretary of State why we do not find in the Bill that method of dealing with the particular difficulty raised by the amendment which was suggested in the report of the Joint Select Committee? It is rather the other side of the problem, and I do not know whether I shall be in order in raising it, but the Joint Select Committee suggested that there should be a committee similar to that which relates to Scotland in this House, and consists of all the Members representing Scottish constituencies with 10 or 15 other Members, and that any matter referring only to British India should be referred to that committee, so that the Princes should not be allowed to take part in a discussion upon it. We find no provision of that sort in the Bill as presented to us. The result of the present arrangement is surely very curious and anomalous. I do not want to repeat the arguments used by previous speakers, but take this instance. Let us suppose that there is an insurrection in a native State, and it is necessary to send British Indian troops, paid for by British Indian taxpayers, to uphold the ruler if his subjects do not appreciate the benefits of his rule. Yet the representatives of British India in the Legislature will not be allowed so much as to ask a question relating to the origin of the disaffection in that State.

That, surely, is a curious case of a Federal Assembly which follows at once the principle of representation without taxation and taxation without representation. The Princes can take part in questions of taxation upon British India, although they will not have to pay part of that taxation, but where taxation falls upon British India in helping the paramount power to interfere with affairs in a native State, then the representatives of British India have no power of criticising the expenditure for which they are taxed. It is surely a very curious anomaly and, so far as one side of it is concerned—the ability of the representatives of Indian States to interfere in British Indian affairs—one would have supposed it might be met by the very proposal to which the Joint Select Committee gave its approval in their report, namely, to refer matters affecting British India solely to a special committee. I think that this whole question is as good an instance as we could have of the anomaly created by the Government dealing with a country 6,000 miles away.

Suppose such a situation arose in this country, and it was suggested that troops should be sent from Scotland to put down an insurrection in a part of this country, and we were not allowed in the British House of Commons even to ask a question about it or discuss it. Think of the outcry that would arise from all sides of the House, and not least from the Liberal benches. All the canons of democratic government would be at once appealed to. Yet because many Members of the House are sincerely and genuinely desirous to promote this Bill, and to put nothing in its way, because they believe it is a step towards self-government for India, we have heard hardly a word about it, and the Liberal Members appear to give their hearty support to the proposal as it stands in the Bill. I suggest that it is very gravely unsatisfactory that those subjects of the Indian States who are in a sense subjects of Great Britain have no right to appeal to the paramount power although—


The hon. Lady has been so unfortunate on previous occasions that I have been very unwilling to interrupt her, but perhaps I may call her attention to the fact that the Amendment to which her remarks appear to be addressed, namely, to leave out paragraph (c) is one which prohibits the discussion of, or the asking of questions on, any matter connected with any Indian State … unless the Governor-General in his discretion is satisfied that the matter affects Federal interests or affects a British subject. I just mention that because I must endeavour to keep the discussion a little more narrowly in order than, I am afraid, I have done.


I will not deal with the subject any further. I have said all I wish to say, and I am sorry if I have transgressed the Rules of Order, but it is very difficult to observe them in these matters where there are so many Clauses in the Bill which, so to speak, are interdependent. With regard to paragraph (c), to which you have called my attention, might it not be that the Governor-General would hardly hold that a matter affected federal interests if it merely affected subjects of Indian States, and British India—


I must ask the hon. Lady not to discuss anything which has to do with the relations between an Indian Prince and his subjects. That does not come in here at all.


I beg your pardon, Sir Dennis. I thought that as the Amendment was to leave out the words prohibiting the discussion of, or the asking of questions on, any matter connected with any Indian State questions about subjects of the Indian States might be such a matter; but, of course, I obey your Ruling, and will say no more, though I think the Committee must all feel the curious anomaly that does arise when, to use the vivid phrase of the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), the Princes are allowed to sprawl over the whole Legislature as it affects British India, and representatives of British India may not, in return, so much as ask a question about what is going on in a State although what is going on there may involve them in additional expenditure in order that they may intervene in the affairs of the State.

4.14 p.m.


The remarks of the hon. Lady, I think, were not very closely related, because she chose the example of federal troops—to use a convenient description—being used to restore order in Indian States, which might involve the Federation in certain additional expenditure, and clearly would affect Federal interests. It seems to me a case where the Governor-General in his discretion would be compelled to permit discussion as to why the troops were used for that purpose. It seems a most unfortunate example to select.


I think it is a very important point to clear up, and I wish the Secretary of State would give us his verdict, because the other day we were told that intervention in affairs of the Indian States was purely a matter between the paramount power and the States, and did not affect the Federal Government at all, and it came out yesterday that it did affect—


The hon. Lady is again taking the opportunity of dealing with the one thing which I most definitely ruled out of order.


I was dealing with the specific case raised by the hon. Lady where federal troops went into a State to restore order. Clearly there you get a case which affects British India, and, therefore, comes within the qualification contained in the second half of paragraph (c). It is difficult to visualise the Governor-General in those circumstances, when something might come along which might later on affect the budget, saying to them: "You must not discuss it." The point which the hon. Member has raised is satisfactorily covered by the discretion as it stands. What disturbs me is that the right hon. Gentleman opposite should move this Amendment at all. It seems to me that his occupation in writing the history of parliamentarians has led him to forget some of the principles of Parliamentary procedure. Our principle here is very clearly established. We cannot interrogate Ministers on matters with which they are not concerned. It would clearly be out of order to hand in a question to the Secretary of State for the Dominions asking why the Canadian Government has done something or another to a particular Canadian subject of His Majesty, a person not in any way domiciled in this country.


I agree that that would be impossible, but this is a question of the use of British troops in a State in order to prevent some trouble there. Surely, the person to whom a question on that subject should be addressed would be the Minister for War.


I am afraid that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman was not present when I endeavoured to explain that point, arising out of the speech of the hon. Lady the Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone). If you use troops, then a British federal interest is affected, and there the Governor-General in his discretion could give permission for that to be a subject of interrogation, and that I should think any sensible Governor-General would do. Therefore, the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman, like the point raised by the hon. Lady, is not a pertinent one. You cannot address questions to a Minister in respect of something for which he is not responsible to the Assembly, and for which the Assembly is not responsible. That is fundamental. Mr. Speaker frequently calls us to order if even in a supplementary question we address a question to a Minister on something which is outside his purview. It may be true that there are councillors in the Assembly who in another capacity are dealing with these matters. For instance, I understand that the Secretary of State for India is interested in the Lawn Tennis Association, but we could not ask him questions here about that. It is conceivable, if it were permissible under our Constitution that he might hold some other offices of profit under the Crown, but we might be entirely debarred from asking questions about them, unless we altered the Constitution. He might have a great variety of outside interests, paid or unpaid, if our Constitution permitted it, but that would not allow us to ask questions about what I would call outside interests. It seems to me fundamental that we should not be allowed to ask Ministers fishing questions about things for which in the Assembly they have no responsibility and for which the Assembly itself has no responsibility. It would degrade the whole purpose of Parliament if it were allowed to concern itself with things outside its purview.

4.20 p.m.

The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Sir Samuel Hoare)

Before we deal with the points raised in the two Amendments, let us disabuse ourselves of certain ideas which have nothing to do with either of them. First of all, let me say that, although I do not resent it, I object to the suggestion of the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) that we, like Pilate, are disinteresting ourselves in the affairs of anybody in India. He will forgive me for saying that that was an unworthy and unjustifiable observation. We are just as interested in the Indian States as he is. We are just as interested in the populations of those States as he is, and it is altogether unjustifiable to say that we are behaving like Pilate, and are indifferent to interests that are just as much in our minds and hearts as they are in his.

In the second place, let us disabuse our minds of the illusion that the Parliament we are discussing is a unitary Parliament, like this Parliament. It is not. It is a federal Parliament. There is all the difference in the world, as I have said more than once in these debates, between a unitary legislature dealing with the whole field of government and a federal legislature dealing with a definitely delimited field of duties. The answer to the right hon. Gentleman is that law and order neither so far as British India is concerned nor so far as the India of the States is concerned is a federal subject. It is a provincial subject so far as British India is concerned and it is a State subject so far as the India of the Indian States is concerned. That being so, there can be no justification whatever for questions such as he suggests being put in the Federal Assembly. It would be outside the purview of the Federal Assembly. It would, as my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) said, be outside the responsibility of any federal Minister. There can, therefore, be no justification for accepting an Amendment of this kind.

There is, as the Committee is aware, a proviso that the Governor-General can allow a discussion when the discussion is within the orbit of the federal field, and when he thinks that it does not go outside that federal field, and I am certain that the Governor-General would allow a discussion of that kind. For instance, such cases as have been mentioned, cases of the treatment of a British Indian citizen in the States, that is the kind of question that undoubtedly would be discussed. Further than that there would be no justification, quite apart from the question whether the Indian States are better or worse administered than the British-India Provinces. Let me say once again that these general condemnations of the Indian States are quite unjustified. The fact that the polity of the Indian States is different from the polity of the British-Indian Provinces in no way implies that it is worse on that account. Some of the States are admirably administered. Outside the cases I have mentioned there would be no justification upon the lines of this Bill—which is the only wise line for a federal constitution—for the kind of interference in the affairs of the Indian States that the right hon. Gentleman suggests in his Amendment.

Let me come to the second proposition, that concerned with the discussion of foreign affairs. Foreign affairs are reserved to the Governor-General. Being reserved, it is essential if the reserved powers are not to be compromised that the Governor-General should have full powers as to their discussion and as to the kind of questions that can be discussed. In actual practice there is and always has been in the system of the Government of India a safeguard of this kind, in which a discussion of foreign affairs only takes place with the previous sanction of the Governor-General. In actual practice that has been found to be a salutary safeguard. It has been found that in the orbit of the activities of the Assembly where discussion has been safe and legitimate such discussions have been allowed. In the case of a federal constitution, in which quite definitely foreign affairs becomes a reserved department, there is a necessity for a safeguard of this kind. Here again I cannot conceive any sensible Governor-General shutting down discussion where the discussion is not going to compromise important Indian and Imperial interests, but I do think that if the Governor-General is to have real responsibility in the reserved department of foreign affairs he must have a safeguarding power of this kind.

That is the one argument and the overwhelming argument against the acceptance of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks). Having said that, I am not in the least suggesting that there would be an unbridgeable gulf between the two sides of the Government. I am contemplating a Federal Government in which both sides, those responsible for the reserved departments and those responsible for the transferred departments, are going to work in active and constant co-operation. Therefore, the kind of case suggested by the Amendment of the hon. Member for Broxtowe is most unlikely to arise. None the less if it does arise, I think that quite definitely the Governor-General ought to have these powers. I regret that once again I have to say "no" to the hon. Member for Broxtowe. I say it with great regret, but in a case of this kind it is essential, because it is an essential part of the scheme. Without a power of this kind the Governor-General's responsibility might be seriously compromised.

4.28 p.m.


It is clear that the right hon. Gentleman is not going to show what has been described as weakness but that he is going to stand by his guns. I am sorry that he has given the answer that he has. We have taken this line consistently not only here but in the Joint Select Committee. We consider that the people of British India should have a much larger share in discussing foreign affairs, the foreign relations of India with other countries than is left to them under the operation of this Clause. As I understand it, the right hon. Gentleman lays great stress upon the hope—I trust the hope will be well-founded—that no Governor-General will be unreasonable in the exercise of these powers. We can all join in that expression of hope, but we must re-member that all men are not of the same calibre. Some are more timorous than others, and it might well be that one Governor-General might be a sort of person who in order quite honestly to avoid trouble might think that the easiest way was to prevent any discussion arising. He might say: "If I allow this thing to be discussed in the Assembly there will be no end of a row, and the best way to avoid that is by preventing discussion." That might seem for the moment to be a source of strength, but in the end it might be a source of weakness. We have been hoping that some day, and we hope soon, the people of India will necessarily be given full power and be free to discuss foreign affairs with the same degree of freedom as Canada, Australia, South Africa or any of the other Dominions. Surely it is not a bad thing to allow them to have a discussion and to become familiarised with questions of foreign affairs. That would be all to the good. There is nothing like the school of experience for developing sureness of touch. The next point to which I desire to refer is concerned with Sub-sections (2) and (3).


The hon. Member cannot refer to sub-paragraph (3). The Amendments now before the Committee are to leave out paragraph (c), and to leave out paragraphs (d, i) and (d, ii).


I did not hear you refer to paragraph (d, ii). The second Amendment is to insert the words "British Indian" and I thought the third Amendment was to leave out paragraph (i).


The thing is quite clear, and I am sorry that the right hon. and gallant Member is under any misapprehension. The three Amendments in question are; first, Clause 38, page 25, line 7, to leave out paragraph (c); second, Clause 38, page 25, line 19, to leave out paragraph (i); and, third, Clause 38, page 25, line 23, to leave out paragraph (ii).


I desire to refer to paragraph (ii), the exclusion of discussion on reserved areas. It is agreed that under this proposal the Governor-General will be formally in charge of these excluded areas, but what happens in these areas must indirectly be of interest to other parts of India. The observations I have made in relation to foreign affairs apply also to excluded areas. It may be that an excluded area may become fit for absorption into a province, or may be created into a new province, and surely it is worth while that they should get to know what is happening in these areas so that when they become responsible for them they may have a clear knowledge as to the condition of affairs. I want to urge with ever increasing strength that these limitations constantly placed upon the activities of the Indian people are not only disappointing but may tend to embitter feelings in relation to the measure of self-government which is presented to them by this Bill. I am sorry that the Government are adhering to these proposals and give us no hope of any relenting in the smallest degree.

4.34 p.m.


I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State is not knowingly handing over the natives in the native areas to a worse fate than that which they enjoy at the present time. There is no doubt that the question of the treatment of native States remains as exactly as it was. Is that so?


It is to a certain extent, but not altogether so from another point of view. The position is different from this angle, namely, that the Indian States will have conceded certain powers to the Federal Executive and Legislature. To that extent there will be a change.


That is to the good.


I will not express an opinion one way or the other, but to that extent there is a change. As far as paramountcy is concerned, except in so far as concession of powers to the Federation is concerned, paramountcy will remain as it is now. It will therefore be just as possible in the future for the paramount power to intervene in the case of some gross abuse as it is to-day.


I do not intend to press the Amendment, but I should like to get from the Secretary of State a further guarantee about the definition of British subjects. He has said that it will still be possible to secure justice for a British Indian subject, for a native, who has been treated unjustly, that he will still have the same rights as he has now. Any injury to a national of British India is reserved. If he refers to a previous speech, he will find that he distinctly said that injury to a British

Indian subject in the Native States could be inquired into provided the Governor-General approved. Do the words "British subject" in this Clause mean a British Indian subject or only an Englishman?


It means both.


In that case, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.39 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 25, line 19, to leave out paragraph (i).

I regret that the Amendment has not been accepted. I cannot see why if the sphere of action in foreign affairs is reserved a discussion on foreign affairs should also be reserved. It would be a salutory thing if discussion could take place, and I hope that the Governor-General will use his discretion in this matter fairly freely. I want to ask one question. I hope that this Clause does not cover the question of commercial treaties which are conducted through the foreign department. I hope that a discussion on commercial treaties will be allowed.


It will certainly not hamper those discussions.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 256; Noes, 39.

Division No. 97.] AYES. [4.40 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y) Conant, R. J. E.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Browne, Captain A. C. Cook, Thomas A.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Bullock, Captain Malcolm Cooke, Douglas
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Cooper, A. Duff
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.) Burnett, John George Courtauld, Major John Sewell
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Butler, Richard Austen Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Cadogan, Hon. Edward Cranborne, Viscount
Apsley, Lord Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Critchley, Brig-General A. C.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Caporn, Arthur Cecil Crooke, J. Smedley
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Carver, Major William H. Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Castlereagh, Vitcount Cross, R. H.
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Crossley, A. C.
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Gazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.
Bernays, Robert Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W) Dawson, Sir Philip
Bossom, A. C. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Denman, Hon. R. D.
Boulton, W. W. Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Denville, Alfred
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Christle, James Archibald Donner, P. W.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Duckworth, George A. V.
Brass, Captain Sir William Cobb, Sir Cyril Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Duggan, Hubert John
Broadbent, Colonel John Colfox, Major William Philip Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Colman, N. C. D. Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey
Elliston, Captain George Sampson Lewis, Oswald Rickards, George William
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Liddall, Walter S. Ropner, Colonel L.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe- Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir Edward
Everard, W. Lindsay Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Loder, Captain J. de Vere Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Loftus, Pierce C. Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Fraser, Captain Sir Ian Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Fremantle, Sir Francis Mabane, William Salmon, Sir Isidore
Fuller, Captain A. G. MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Salt, Edward W.
Galbraith, James Francis Wallace MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Ganzoni, Sir John McCorquodale, M. S. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Goff, Sir Park McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Savery, Samuel Servington
Gower, Sir Robert McKeag, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas McKie, John Hamilton Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Graves, Marjorie McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Greene, William P. C. Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Smith Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dine, C.)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Smithers, Sir Waldron
Grimston, R. V. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Somerset, Thomas
Gunston, Captain D. W. Marsden, Commander Arthur Somervell, Sir Donald
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Martin, Thomas B. Somerville. Annesley A. (Windsor)
Hanbury, Cecil Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Hartington, Marquess of Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes) Meller, Sir Richard James Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.) Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsf'd) Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Stevenson, James
Heneage, Lieut. Colonel Arthur p. Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Stones, James
Herbert, Major J. A. (Menmouth) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Storey, Samuel
Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Strauss, Edward A.
Holdsworth, Herbert Moss, Captain H. J. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Hornby, Frank Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Horsbrugh, Florence Munro, Patrick Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Howard, Tom Forrest Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Summersby, Charles H.
Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Sutcliffe, Harold
Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld) Tate, Mavis Constance
Hume, Sir George Hopwood Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)
Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Orr Ewing, I. L. Thomas. Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Owen. Major Goronwy Thompson, Sir Luke
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Patrick. Colin M Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Pearson, William G. Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Peat, Charles U. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Penny, Sir George Turton, Robert Hugh
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Percy, Lord Eustace Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Petherick, M. Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Ker, J. Campbell Pickthorn, K. W. M. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Kerr, Hamilton W. Procter, Major Henry Adam Watt, Major George Steven H.
Kimball, Lawrence Pybus, Sir John Wayland, Sir William A.
Kirkpatrick, William M. Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
Knox, Sir Alfred Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Wells, Sydney Richard
Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Ramsden, Sir Eugene Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon. S.)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Rea, Walter Russell Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Law, Sir Alfred Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Womersley, Sir Walter
Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.) Reid, David D. (County Down) Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Leech, Dr. J. W. Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Leighton, Major B. E. P. Raid, William Allan (Derby) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Renwick, Major Gustav A. Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
and Mr. Blindell.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Grundy, Thomas W. Parkinson, John Allen
Banfield, John William Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Rathbone, Eleanor
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Jenkins, Sir William Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cape, Thomas Kirkwood, David Thorne, William James
Cleary, J. J. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Tinker, John Joseph
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Leonard, William West, F. R.
Daggar, George Logan. David Gilbert Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) McEntee, Valentine L. Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Gardner, Benjamin Walter McGovern, John Wilmot, John
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Maxton, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding) Milner, Major James Mr. Groves and Mr. Paling.

Amendment made: In page 25, line 20, leave out "affecting" and insert "connected with."—[Sir S. Hoare.]

4.50 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 25, line 25, after "on," to insert: any matter connected with the tribal areas or. This is to bring the tribal areas within the field of subjects in which the safeguard in connection with discussion is necessary. I do not think I need argue the case for including the tribal areas. Obviously if there is to be a safeguard of this kind covering the field of foreign affairs, owing to the risks inherent in irresponsible discussions, that argument is of greater weight on the very inflamable subject of the tribal areas.

Amendment agreed to.

4.51 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 25, line 30, to leave out "Province" and to insert: Governor's Province or Chief Commissioner's Province. This Amendment is necessary in our judgment because by virtue of Clause 46 (3) "Province" in this Clause would appear to mean only a Governor's Province. On the other hand under the provisions of Part IV of the Bill many of the functions of the Governor-General in regard to a Chief Commissioner's Province are to be exercised in his discretion. It would seem more logical, therefore, to prohibit discussion in respect to the exercise of these particular functions. Inasmuch as that is the case in the Governor's Province it should be so in respect of similar matters in the Chief Commissioner's Province.


I am afraid that if we were to add the words "Chief Commissioner's Province" to this Subsection the object of the Sub-section would not be achieved. The object of the words in the Bill is to check the Federal Legislature from discussing questions of internal administrations, in the affairs of a Governor's Province. When the Governor-General intercedes in his discretion and takes any action in a Province it will be very dangerous to allow the Federal Legislature to pursue discussions on the internal affairs of that Province, put outside the purview of the Federal Legislature. Under Clause 84, which we shall be discussing later, it is possible for a Provincial Legislature to pursue a discussion upon questions of this sort involved by the action of the Governor acting as the agent of the Governor-General in his discretion, within the Province itself.

In the same way there is no wish to check completely discussion in this realm in regard to a Chief Commissioner's Province, but these Provinces come under the Federal Government. Since there is no wish completely to ban discussion in either case it would be wrong to insert the words of the Amendment here, because that would deprive the Sub-section of most of its meaning and check any sort of discussion of these matters, which is not the object of the Bill before us. It is a somewhat complicated question, but the effect of the Amendment would be to make it more confused than it is now.


I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.54 p.m.

Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

I beg to move, in page 25, line 30, at the end, to insert: (iv) discussion of any matters relating to the defence of India or the administration of the Army. If it be necessary in paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of Sub-section (1) to provide safeguards, those safeguards should be provided on the most vital matter of all in this Bill, the Army. A most undesirable and probably dangerous publicity might be given otherwise to the movements of troops and fortifications, and the Governor-General might be gravely embarrassed in the exercise of his duty under Clause 11. There should be no question of tampering in any way with the freedom of the Governor-General in moving the British Army as he likes. The loyalty of the British Indian Army depends entirely on the prestige of the British Army. Provided that you have a strong Viceroy and a good, loyal Army, whatever Constitution you give to India would work fairly well, but it is absolutely vital that the safeguard in this case should not only be a safeguard on paper in the Bill. It is quite apparent what will be the attitude of the Legislative Assembly to the spending of money on Army administration of any sort. It is necessary only to read to-days news in the "Times," where it is stated: By 79 votes to 48 the Indian Legislative Assembly to-day carried a motion to refuse supplies for the Army Department by reducing the estimate to one rupee. That, of course, has happened before, and it will continue to happen. It may be that even when the Indians become responsible legislators, they will still do the same thing, because they will know that the Viceroy will certify it. We must remember that the safety of the whole population, Indian and British, depends on the Army. Secret mobilisation plans, not in the hands of the Governor-General but very often in the hands of Indian heads of departments, information about posts, telegraphs, transport, railways and munitions, might all be given away. That would be a most undesirable thing. You have only to read the speech of the Commander-in-Chief last July to see for what the Army is used. Forty thousand of the Army were used to keep peace among a few gentlemen who were always fighting among themselves. The services of the Army are absolutely vital. Without it India would be back in the position that the Joint Select Committee so well described: that it was in when the strong hand of the Moghul Emperors was withdrawn, a state of chaos and anarchy.

Therefore, it is absolutely vital that the British Army should be free and unhampered in every way, and that secret orders and communications regarding mobilisation, both internally and externally, should be able, if necessary, to be barred in discussion. In this country under these conditions a Minister says that it is not in the public interest to give the information. All I want is that the Viceroy should be able to give power to his Ministers to answer in that way. Section 108 puts defence and ecclesiastical affairs as subjects for which Bills cannot be introduced in the Assembly if the Viceroy disapproves. That is not enough. It is all very well for ecclesiastical affairs, but the Army depends on administration and cannot move unless it has all sorts of services at its disposal. Unless the plans for defence are carefully made beforehand it will be impossible for them to be effective. I only want to ensure that the Viceroy will have the power, if necessary, to bar discussion. There must be no risk of any loss of efficiency. The Viceroy should have the power to stop the discussion of any methods involving public safety.

5.2 p.m.

Brigadier- General Sir ALFRED KNOX

I cannot help thinking it is an oversight that the question of Army affairs has been omitted. Surely if the discussion of any foreign affairs is prohibited Army affairs are still more important. My hon. Friend who moved this Amendment pointed out that in a certain newspaper there is a telegram from Delhi that says that in the discussion yesterday of Army affairs it was carried by 78 votes to 49 that the whole Army Estimates should be reduced to 1 rupee. That was passed in an Assembly which included at present, owing to the past common sense of the House of Commons, over 40 officials and nominated members. You are opposing to set up a federal Assembly consisting of 375 members, with not a single nominated official. You can judge of the value of discussions in the present Assembly; how much less value will they have in the new Assembly. I hope that the Secretary of State will agree to this Amendment. He has not in a single case given way to any one of our Amendments, though he showed a softening of the heart to the official Opposition last night. I cannot help thinking it is a deliberate oversight to have left out the Army in drafting this Clause.

5.4 p.m.


I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Newbury (Brigadier-General Brown) when he says that it is essential that the administration of the Army should be free and unhampered. So long as it is a reserved department the Governor-General's responsibility should be clear and his powers complete. I agree entirely with that view, and I hold that under the provisions of the Bill we have safeguarded the position. The money for the Army is not voted. The Governor-General has full responsibility for the administration of the Army. Moreover, he has full powers to intervene in any other department if he finds that directly or indirectly his responsibility for the Army is being compromised. So far as I can see, the position is watertight. The question raised by this Amendment is not the question to which I have just made this passing allusion but the smaller issue: should there be any check upon debates on Army affairs in the Federal Legislature? Let the Committee, keeping in mind the general position, namely, that the responsibility and powers of the Governor-General are complete, devote themselves to this issue and this issue alone: is it wise or is it not wise to check the debate of our Indian affairs in the Federal Legislature?

In answering that question, let the Committee remember the fact I stated the other night, that all Indians both in British India and in Indian India are intensely interested in Army affairs. They provide practically the whole sum of money for Indian defence, and it has been the settled policy of the present Government and of preceding Governments to give Indians a greater and greater part in the responsibility for the defence of India. Let the Committee, then, remember that fact, first of all, in answering this question about debates. Secondly, let them remember that ever since the Government of India Act opportunities for debate on Army affairs have been freely offered to the Assembly. So far as I am aware, no check has been placed on these debates at all. The fact that the day before yesterday, in a fit of irresponsibility, the Assembly passed a vote against the Indian budget—knowing that its vote made no difference whatever to the Indian budget; knowing, also that in the past it has passed similar votes and that these votes, again, have made no difference to the Indian budget—surely shows that we have in the past allowed full opportunities for debate and that we are now allowing full opportunities for debate. Indeed, past history goes to show that no regrettable results have come about after these debates.

The present Commander-in-Chief rather welcomes them. The Army as a whole welcomes these debates. It gives them an opportunity of putting their case to the Assembly even though the Assembly may not agree with them, and the Army have not at all taken the view of recent years that it is a mistake to let members in the Indian Assembly, knowing nothing about what is going on in the administration, talk about it. It has been the settled policy of the heads of the Army in India for several years past to bring Indians so far as they can into the field of knowledge of these affairs and to try to obtain their sympathy and support for the Army in India. I am inclined to think that this sympathy and support is much more likely to be forthcoming, even if we may from time to time have setbacks, such as we have had, may be, in the last few days, if we do allow these opportunities for discussion and welcome the chance of interesting Indians themselves in their own defence. That has been the settled policy of every Government now since 1919.

My own view is that it would be unwise to withdraw the powers that now exist, particularly in view of the fact that we are setting up in this Bill a Federal Legislature in which the Indian Princes, if they accede to the Federation, will be taking an effective part. As every Member of the Committee knows, if there be one question more than another that interests Indian India and the representatives of Indian India, it is defence questions. I cannot conceive a Federal Assembly in India in which discussions of this kind should not be allowed. For these reasons, my advice to the Committee is not to abrogate the facilities that have existed without any serious danger since 1919, but to accept the position as it is in the Bill, realising, as I said at the beginning of my speech, that the fact that there are discussions in no way derogates from the clear responsibility of the Governor-General for the reserved department of defence or from his powers to see that this reserved department and his responsibilities are in no way compromised.


Is it not a fact that under (1, a) of this Clause the Governor-General has full power to make rules of procedure limiting the matters for discussion? I assume that is on any other subject in regard to which he has special responsibilities.


That is so, so far as I may judge. The fact, however, that we mention certain cases where we contemplate this previous sanction being given does imply that we have these cases in mind and are not contemplating withdrawing from the Federal Assembly facilities that now exist.

5.12 p.m.


In amplification of what my right hon. Friend said is it not a fact that a very large proportion of the Indian army is recruited from Indian native States—for instance, Garhwal, the Phulkian States and Kashmir? I think that would be a very great influence and the Indian Princes would welcome the opportunity of looking after their people. They will be vitally interested in the welfare of their subjects serving in the Indian army.


If such a question as has been mentioned by my hon. Friend were discussed in the Federal Legislature would it not be inconsistent with a vote we have just given? Paragraph (c) forbids discussion in the Legislature of any matter relating to the States.

5.13 p.m.


I only wish to ask one question following the question of my right hon. Friend behind me. It may be very desirable in general terms to continue the present practice as regards army discussions in the Indian Legislature. I quite understand that for that reason that matter has not been included in the Sub-section under (d). At the same time I think we can all realise that there may very well be matters, not at this moment but at certain times, which ought not to be discussed in the Assembly; questions that it would be undesirable to ask. The only question I want to ask is whether there is anything in Paragraph (a) which precludes the Viceroy, if such intervention should be found necessary, from making regulations definitely excluding a matter from discussion.


Is the point not covered in Sub-section (2) of Clause 40, which provides that where the Viceroy is going to exercise his responsibility for peace and tranquillity he may give directions that the Bill should not be proceeded with, and discussion not take place?

5.15 p.m.


The position, I think, is really quite safe. The Governor-General under Clause 12 can instruct Ministers not to give information. There is no doubt about that at all. If a private member started an embarrassing discussion, apart from the question of whether the Governor-General could stop it or not, the defence counsellor who, of course, is an official of the Governor-General, could refuse to give any information. He could, as my hon. and gallant Friend suggested, return the answer which is sometimes given here, to the effect that it is not in the public interest to give information of the kind for which he is asked. Being solely responsible to the Governor-General nobody can say that he is compelled to give the information. This would not involve the Governor-General's intervention at all, and it is apart from the earlier Sub-section which, I think, could be used in the ultimate resort. I submit therefore that the position is quite safe.

5.17 p.m.


When one looks at the reports of recent debates in the Assembly in India one is bound to regard the future under the new Constitution as very bleak indeed if no words are to be inserted in this Measure to prevent irresponsible debates on the Army. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that the Governor-General can instruct Ministers to give no information, but that is not going to stop an endless series of debates and it will not make for the good government of India to have continuous debates on questions of military policy and military movements. Such debates involve great danger. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman in order to protect his own machinery would be anxious to take steps to prevent such discussions on vital military subjects. He pointed out that, in the past, there had been debates on these questions, but there was a very different situation then, because the hand of the Government was still controlling the nation, the British partnership was still complete and whatever irresponsible speeches were made in the Assembly the caravan went marching on. In future there will be a Government supposed to be representative of the people and you may have endless criticism and difficulty. I am only wondering whether the right hon. Gentleman will not even yet reconsider the position and provide at least some safeguard to check perpetual bickering and agitation in regard to these questions which may lead to grave difficulties and dangers in India.

5.19 p.m.


The hon. and gallant Member does not seem to realise the nature of the Assembly which is to discuss these matters. There are to be 229 representatives of their Highnesses the Princes. They are not irresponsible.


They will not be there.


Then there are to be 156 multi-millionaires of whom we have been told from British India in the Council. There are to be 250 representatives of British India, many of them wealthy men, in the Assembly. Is a body of that sort likely to have irresponsible debates on questions vitally affecting the defence of India—their own defence? Does the hon. and gallant Member suggest that these men of wealth, these representatives of the fighting races in India whose whole power and prestige depends on the proper defence of India are not to be allowed to have a voice in a matter so closely affecting their own interests? They are the people who will rally to the defence of India, and will see to it that those defences shall not be weakened in any way. I am surprised at the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft). He is really insulting the representatives of the Princes. He wants to gag the Princes and to prevent them discussing the defence of India for which their subjects will be very largely responsible. In this matter, I strongly support the Government.

Amendment negatived.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

5.21 p.m.


I wish to ask a question on Sub-section (1, d) (iii) which precludes, save with the consent of the Governor-General, any discussion of or question on any action taken in his discretion by the Governor-General in relation to the affairs of a Province. Might it not happen that action taken by the Governor-General in relation to a particular Province would involve a matter of principle affecting not only that Province but other Provinces as well? In such a case are we to understand that this provision would prevent a discussion on that principle being raised in the central Assembly without the consent of the Governor-General? I feel that this paragraph is a little too sweeping. We have already indicated our general attitude on the Clause. We intend to vote against it standing part of the Bill but I would first like to have an explanation of the point I have raised.

5.22 p.m.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Donald Somervell)

I think it is clear that the words in the paragraph about which the hon. Member asks refer to what is contemplated in Sub-section (3) of Clause 125, that is to say a case in which the Governor-General under his powers and in his discretion has issued orders to the Governor of a Province in respect of some matters which have arisen in that Province. I did not understand the hon. Member to suggest that it should be the right of the Federal Assembly to discuss any controversy or any matter concerning the action of the Governor-General in relation to a particular Province. I understood his question to be: Might not such action on some occasion raise a general question of principle? If so, obviously there is nothing in this paragraph to prevent any general question of principle, provided it is within the federal sphere, being discussed but it would have to be raised as a question of principle and not in relation to some action taken concerning the affairs of a Province. I think the hon. Member will agree that it ought not to be possible to raise the question in that form, but as I say if there is a general question of principle involved, obviously it can be raised. In such a discussion it might be in order to make a passing reference—as so often happens in our own proceedings here—to the fact that certain action had been taken, but we adhere to the view that action taken in the Provinces would not be a proper subject matter for discussion in the Federal Assembly.

5.24 p.m.


I am obliged to the Solicitor-General for his explanation, but there is yet one point which I would like made clear. Supposing the Governor-General interferes in the affairs of a Province and his action gives rise to a question of first-rate importance as a provincial matter. The Solicitor-General says that it could be raised as a matter of principle, but I submit that under this provision it could only be raised with the consent of the Governor-General who is one of the parties to the action in question. There ought to be opportunity to raise a matter of that sort, which is of common interest to all the Provinces even though it directly concerns only one particular Province, without having to obtain the consent of the Governor-General.

5.25 p.m.


I cannot think of any case in which that difficulty would arise. The important point is that we should not allow in the Federal Assembly discussions about affairs which are really provincial affairs. I think we are all agreed as to that. I will look into what the hon. Member has said and see if

there is anything in his point but I do not think there is.


We do not intend to discuss the various questions which have been raised on this Clause, since the Secretary of State has not found himself able to meet us on a single one of our points.

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 235; Noes, 78.

Division No. 98.] AYES. [5.26 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Lloyd, Geoffrey
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Loder, Captain J. de Vere
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Elliston, Captain George Sampson Loftus, Pierce C.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. p. G. Emrys-Evans, P. V. Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander
Albery, Irving James Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Mabane, William
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Foot, Dingle (Dundee) MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Apsley, Lord Fraser, Captain Sir Ian MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Fremantle, Sir Francis McEwen, Captain J. H. F.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Galbraith, James Francis Wallace McKeag, William
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Ganzoni, Sir John McKie, John Hamilton
Bernays, Robert Gillett, Sir George Masterman Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)
Blindell, James Glossop, C. W. H. Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest
Bossom, A. C. Goff, Sir Park Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.
Boulton, W. W. Gower, Sir Robert Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Graves, Marjorie Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Brass, Captain Sir William Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Grimston, R. V. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Brocklesank, C. E. R. Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Milne, Charles
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Gunston, Captain D. W. Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k)
Buchan, John Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Maison, A. Hugh Elsdale
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd) Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Moore. Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)
Burnett, John George Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Butler, Richard Austen Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties)
Butt, Sir Alfred Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Moss, Captain H. J.
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsf'd) Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.
Campbell. Vice-admiral G. (Burnley) Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Munro, Patrick
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Holdsworth, Herbert Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Hornby, Frank Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Horsbrugh, Florence Orr Ewing, I. L.
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Howard, Tom Forrest Owen, Major Goronwy
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Blrm., W) Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Patrick, Colin M.
Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Pearson, William G.
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Hume, Sir George Hopwood Peat, Charles U.
Christle, James Archibald Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Percy, Lord Eustace
Clarry, Reginald George Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Petherick, M.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)
Colfox, Major William Philip Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Procter, Major Henry Adam
Conant, R. J. E. Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Pybus, Sir John
Cook, Thomas A. Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Cooke, Douglas Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Ramsay, T B. W. (Western Isles)
Cooper, A. Duff Ker, J. Campbell Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Courthope, Colonel Sir George L. Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Rea, Walter Russell
Cranborne, Viscount Kerr, Hamilton W. Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Crooke, J. Smedley Kirkpatrick, William M. Reid, David D. (County Down)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Knight, Holford Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Crossley, A. C. Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Renwick, Major Gustav A.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Leech, Dr. J. W. Rickards, George William
Denville, Alfred Leighton, Major B. E. P. Ropner, Colonel L.
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Lewis, Oswald Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Duggan, Hubert John Liddall, Walter S. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir Edward
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Lindsay, Noel Ker Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Eales, John Frederick Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe- Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony Llewellin, Major John J. Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
Rutherford, John (Edmonton) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde) Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland) Wallace, Sir John (Dunfermline)
Salt, Edward W. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H, (Darwen) Stevenson, James Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney). Stones, James Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Savery, Samuel Servington Storey, Samuel Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Selley, Harry R. Stourton, Hon. John J. Watt, Major George Steven H.
Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Strauss, Edward A. Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar) Strickland, Captain W. F. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F. Wills, Wilfrid D.
Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dine, C.) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Smithers, Sir Waldron Summersby, Charles H. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Somervell, Sir Donald Sutcliffe, Harold Womersley, Sir Walter
Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor) Tate, Mavis Constance Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E. Thompson, Sir Luke
Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L. Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Spencer, Captain Richard A. Train, John Sir George Penny and Major
Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L. George Davies.
Spens, William Patrick Turton, Robert Hugh
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Everard, W. Lindsay Marsden, Commander Arthur
Alexander, Sir William Fuller, Captain A. G. Maxton, James
Attlee, Clement Richard Gardner, Benjamin Walter Milner, Major James
Banfield, John William Greene, William P. C. Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)
Bracken, Brendan Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Parkinson, John Allen
Broadbent, Colonel John Grentell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Rathbone, Eleanor
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Remer, John R.
Buchanan, George Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cape, Thomas Grundy, Thomas W. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Carver, Major William H. Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Hartington, Marquess of Somerset, Thomas
Cleary, J. J. Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Jenkins, Sir William Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones. Morgan (Caerphilly) Tinker, John Joseph
Courtauld, Major John Sewell Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Kimball, Lawrence Wayland, Sir William A.
Cripps, Sir Stafford Kirkwood, David Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Critchley, Brig.-General A. C. Knox, Sir Alfred Wells, Sydney Richard
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George West, F. R.
Daggar, George Lawson, John James Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Leonard, William Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Davison, Sir William Henry Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Dawson, Sir Philip Logan, David Gilbert Wilmot, John
Donner, P. W. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. McEntee, Valentine L. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Bik'pool) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Mr. Groves and Mr. Paling.

Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.