HC Deb 22 March 1935 vol 299 cc1493-7

There are one or two Amendments to this Clause on the Paper, and there was an understanding, I think, that, if moved, they should be put before the Committee in a few words without discussion, the discussion being

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 128; Noes, 25.

Division No. 119.] AYES. [11.35 a.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, w.) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Rhys. Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Ropner, Colonel L.
Aske, Sir Robert William Horsbrugh, Florence Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hume, Sir George Hopwood Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Barrle, Sir Charles Coupar Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney).
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.) Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Ker, J. Campbell Savery, Samuel Servington
Bilndell, James Kerr, Hamilton W. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Boulton, W. W. Kimball, Lawrence Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Leech, Dr. J. W. Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dine. C.)
Broadbent, Colonel John Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Smithers, Sir Waldron
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Lewis, Oswald Somervell, Sir Donald
Browne, Captain A. C. Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Buchan, John Loftus, Pierce C. Soper, Richard
Butler, Richard Austen MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Cadogan, Hon. Edward MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Clayton, Sir Christopher McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
Cobb, Sir Cyril McLean, Major Sir Alan Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Conant, R. J. E. Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Cooper, A. Duff Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Copeland, Ida Marsden, Commander Arthur Sutcliffe, Harold
Courthope, Colonel Sir George L. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Sandys, Edwin Duncan
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.) Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Crooke, J. Smedley Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Crossley, A. C. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Watt, Major George Steven H.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Munro, Patrick Wayland, Sir William A.
Denman, Hon. H. D. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Denville, Alfred Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Wells, Sidney Richard
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid White, Henry Graham
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Patrick, Colin M. Wills, Willrid D.
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Peake, Osbert Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Fremantle, Sir Francis Percy, Lord Eustace Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fuller, Captain A. G. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Ganzoni, Sir John Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Blist'n) Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Pownall, Sir Assheton Worthington, Dr. John V.
Goldie, Noel B. Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Grimston, R. V. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ramsbotham, Herwald Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
Hanbury, Cecil Rea, Walter Russell and Sir Walter Womersley.
Attlee, Clement Richard Grenfell, David Bees (Glamorgan) Parkinson, John Allen
Banfield, John William Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Smith, Tom (Norman ton)
Bevan, Aneurin (E0bbw Vale) Jenkins, Sir William Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour John, William Tinker, John Joseph
Daggar, George Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Lawson, John James Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lunn, William Williams, Thomas (York. Don Valley)
Dobbie, William Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Gardner, Benjamin Walter Mainwaring, William Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Paling and Mr. Groves.

considered to have taken place on the first Amendment.

11.40 a.m.


I beg to move, in page 36, line 40, after "section," to insert: or with respect to the operations of persons preparing or attempting to take any action likely to hamper or paralyse the exercise of the executive authority.

Clause 57 specifies certain crimes of violence, and Clause 58 secures secrecy for sources of information relating to those crimes. The object of the Amendment is to secure secrecy also for information as to any proposed campaign for civil disobedience and strikes, and I shall be grateful if we may have some observations on this Amendment from the Secretary of State.

11.42 a.m.


My hon. Friend's Amendment would greatly extend the scope of this Clause. The object of the Clause itself is to deal with crimes of violence—speaking generally, with crimes which might lead to a dangerous terrorist outbreak. The Joint Select Committee thought there was justification for making exceptions of such cases and for ensuring special precautions with reference to keeping the sources of secret intelligence absolutely uncompromised. The Joint Select Committee drew a distinction between these crimes of violence and the more ordinary kinds of crime, and they had particularly in mind the danger to an informer in cases of this kind if by chance his name was in any way compromised. They felt that in other cases there was not the same risk. In other cases, such as the cases contemplated, I think, by my hon. Friend, it is probable that the informer would come actually as a witness into court, whereas in a case of terrorism it is very likely that he would not come into court at all, and in any case it would be quite exceptional for the agent's name to be given any sort of publicity. There is really no end to the extension that you would have to make if the Amendment were carried, and the result would be that you would undermine the whole basis of ministerial responsibility. The Joint Select Committee was particularly anxious to avoid that—to keep the ministers responsible over as wide a field as possible, and only to detract from that responsibility in the exceptional cases of terrorist conspiracies which might be likely to lead to an outbreak that would overthrow the Government. That being so, I hope very much the Committee will follow the advice of the Joint Select Committee add not extend these special powers over so wide a field as that suggested by my hon Friend.

Amendment negatived.

11.44 a.m.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Donald Somervell)

I beg to move, in page 36, line 40, to leave out from "given" to the end of the Clause, and to add: (a) by any member of any police force in the Province to another member of that force except in accordance with directions of the Inspector-General of Police or Commissioner of Police, as the case may be, or to any other person except in accordance with directions of the Governor in his discretion; or (b) by any other person in the service of the Crown in the Province to any person except in accordance with directions of the Governor in his discretion. This is really little more than a drafting Amendment. This Clause, as the Committee knows, gives the Governor power to make rules for dealing with sources of information in respect to certain matters which are not disclosed. The Clause as drafted only covers the case where information came in the first instance to an officer of police. In fact, information of this kind very often comes, in the first instance, to a district magistrate or a subordinate official other than a police officer. It is obviously the intention of the clause that that information which comes to an official other than a police officer should be subject to the same rules of procedure. That is effected by the amendment which is now proposed. It also makes two other alterations which are merely verbal and I will not trouble the Committee by saying anything about them.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 36, line 44, at the end, to add: Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the transmission of any report or information to the Governor-General or to the Central Intelligence Bureau.


I do not think that this Amendment is necessary, for this information could be transmitted to the Governor-General without any such provision. I think that it is better to leave the wording as it is and to rely on the chain of responsibility between the Governor and the Governor-General to see that this information goes to the Governor-General.


My name is attached to the Amendment, and, in view of what my hon. Friend has said, I am prepared to withdraw it.


Does the hon. Member for Middleton and Prestwich (Sir N. Stewart Sandeman) desire to withdraw the amendment?


Yes, Sir.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.