§ 9.49 p.m.
§ Sir R. CRADDOCK
I beg to move, in page 89, line l6, to leave out Sub-section (2).
It seems to me and to most people with whom I have discussed the matter that these arrangements whereby sums are to be remitted or repaid to a State which has paid them for specific military guarantees are not satisfactory, although they are probably an inducement to the States to come into the Federation. The reason why I lay stress on this question is because these sums were paid in recognition of the fact that the Crown—or the East India Company when these treaties were originally made—in consideration of these payments protected the Prince with whom the treaty was made, both against external attack and against rebellion in his State. It was necessary in those days in order to fulfil that obligation to maintain a force on the spot because in hot weather or in the rains it might not be possible to get troops anywhere near where they were required. Therefore localities were marked out in which certain forces were kept in order to guarantee the continued independence and protection of States. It is now suggested that all these payments should be remitted, although as a matter of fact the obligation still continues with the Crown. It still has to protect the Princes from external attack or internal disorder, only it does so in another way, because ever since the Kitchener scheme 898 came into force in India these scattered garrisons, not only at various points in the States but in British India, were all removed and the forces were concentrated in the stations in India which were deemed suitable for them. That process has been going on for a long time, and it seems absurd that the Princes should be repaid these payments which are made on account of arrangements for which the Crown is still responsible. The Crown is not being relieved of its obligations, and those obligations might cost quite as much in these days, if not more, than it used to cost when there were small local garrisons located within a certain distance of or actually in the country concerned.
I should like to hear from the Government the exact grounds upon which these repayments are to be made, or what other method is to be adopted to compensate the Princes for this so-called removal of protection. These may at the time when they were made, have been specific military guarantees, for reasons of climate and lines of communication, and so on, but those guarantees continue unabated, and we always find when there is any disturbance that it is the Army which is sent in to restore order and protect the Prince. That has been understood for years and has been the ordinary course, and a great many cases of it have occurred quite recently. I think there is very little justification for remitting these payments which the Princes have hitherto been making, and it is to be remembered that the political expenses of India have been met very largely from the tribute and other payments of the States. Now, with the Federation coming, the tributes are to be remitted. If they are in some cases rather heavy, as is the case in some States, there might be a case for reduction, but the idea of completely remitting these tributes—you may call them by another name if you like—at a time when British India is being called upon to spend more money in connection with political expenditure seems to me to be entirely wrong. In particular I think this method of remitting money paid for certain guarantees which, though not exactly in the same form as they were when the provision was originally made, yet represent the same guarantees translated into more modern terms, requires most careful examination. In order to ascertain 899 what the Government have to say on this point, I move the omission of this Subsection.
§ 9.57 p.m.
Duchess of ATHOLL
I beg to second the Amendment.
I hope the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will not think I am misrepresenting the report of the committee over which he presided if I say that that committee indicated that there was a weaker case for payment being made for ceded territories than for remission of the tributes of the Princes, which was the first recommendation of the committee. They tell us that while at the Round Table Conference there had beenpractically unanimity in favour of the ultimate remission of tributes, opinion as regards the treatment of ceded territories was divided.They go on to tell us that the question of the valuation of the ceded territories was difficult, because it was a, long time since some of them had been ceded to the Government of India. They say:If conditions had remained constant during the last hundred years, the task of recommending a financial adjustment in lieu of the cessions would not have presented any particular difficulty; but conditions have entirely changed in the interval.They explain that the revenues of some territories have greatly increased, and they say that the cost of administering
the territories has also greatly increased, thatSuch items as education, medical relief, and public works, which found no place in the budgets of our earlier administrations, now require more money than taxation can supply.They make it clear that there was no surplus revenue derived from these territories out of which payments could be made, and they say that the surplus was negligible compared with the net value of the States at the time when they had been ceded.
They go on to say that the States would have been perfectly willing to take back the territories which they had originally ceded, but the Committee say:We are given to understand that retrocession is not within the bounds of practical politics,and that their Terms of Reference did not allow them to consider it. When we remember the very strong protest that 900 as been made by the inhabitants of Bangalore and Tangasseri against the proposed cession of those territories to certain Indian States, we can understand that it is not considered practical politics to hand these ceded territories back to the States concerned. The Committee were therefore limited to considering payments for the ceded territories, and they go on to say:To impose a method of valuation which deprives the States of all claim to financial compensation, and at the same time to refuse the alternative of retrocession, is unlikely to satisfy the Darbars or encourage them to enter Federation, and it is imperative that any recommendations which we make should be based on some principle which the States can be persuaded to accept as equitable.Therefore they recommend that the valuation of the ceded territories should be their net value at the date of cession. In other words, they are to be valued at a sum compared to which the surplus of revenue in those territories is to-day negligible. It is only fair to say, however, that privileges sacrificed by the Princes will be deducted from the payments to be made. It is clear from the extracts which I have read from the report of the Committee that they did not consider that there was any great question of principle involved. It was merely a case of receiving directions from the home Government to make financial adjustments in respect of the ceded territories. Nor was the question a widespread one, involving a large number of Staes. As a matter of fact, only four States will benefit by the proposed terms, but three of them at least are very important States from the point of view of this Bill, because three of these States will contribute no less than 7,500,000 of population to the 40,000,000 or so of population necessary to secure the 50 per cent. which is the first criterion for the setting up of Federation. These three States will further be entitled to eight out of the 52 States seats in the Upper Federal Chamber, which will form the second condition precedent to Federation. Obviously, therefore, from the point of view of the Government, it is of importance to secure the adherence of these States.
I am sorry to have to enter on a discussion of a delicate question, but I cannot forget that at an earlier stage in our Debates the Chancellor of the Duchy, 901 when this subject was under consideration in Committee, protested against the use of the word "bribery" in this connection. I was not present on that occasion, but if I had been I should have read to the Committee the quotations from my right hon. Friend's report that I am now about to give. Perhaps hon. Members have already noticed that I read a passage in which the Committee stated not to impose a method of valuation which deprives the States of all claim to financial compensation, and at the same time to refuse the alternative of retrocession, is unlikely to satisfy the Durbars or encourage them to enter Federation. That, I think, shows what was in the minds of the Committee in making this recommendation. On an earlier page they said that they wereexclusively confined to preparing the way to Federation.On a later page in their report, towards the end, they say:We desire to say emphatically at the outset that nothing we have proposed has any relevance to the position of States, if there should he any such, which elect to stand out of Federation. We were constituted a Committee to deal with particular aspects of federal finance, and … we were not empowered to make recommendations for the settlement of financial questions outstanding between British India and the States on any other basis than Federation.Therefore, I cannot understand how it can possibly be held that these proposed payments are not financial inducements —in other words, bribes. But I do not wish to stress that word; it is an unpleasant one. I think, however, we must all agree on the fairness of the words "financial inducements." The first comment I have to make is that such a method of procedure is very unfair to the States concerned. It is natural for us all to wish to receive payment for something which before we have given without payment, and it may well he that the Rulers of the States concerned feel themselves in a very difficult position between their natural desire to accept these payments on the one hand, and apprehension that entering the Federation should mean surrender of some rights of their States, should mean the surrender of something which they may feel to be in the permanent interest of their States. To offer inducements of this kind does seem to me to be likely to put many Rulers in a diffi- 902 cult position. My second comment is that it means putting an additional burden of taxation on people, the vast majority of whom are extremely poor, and already heavily burdened with taxation partly owing to the increased cost of administration in India in the last 14 years, people suffering from low agricultural prices, and people on a very low standard of living.
Finally, I say that this method of procedure is something which is quite inconsistent with the traditions which we regard to-day as typical of our country. Two hundred years ago a great constitutional change was carried through between England and Scotland by this very method of offering money. It is a well-known historical fact, but no one is proud of it to-day. One hundred years ago there was a similar transaction, I understand, with regard to the union with Ireland, and no one is proud of that.
Duchess of ATHOLL
Not at all. I think that it is a union which, though carried through by very discreditable means, has proved of great benefit. I use that illustration only to show how our standards have risen since then. I have no doubt whatever that during the last 100 years or more our ideas of what is right have risen enormously. A 100 years ago no one thought anything of bribery in elections. We know what elections then cost Members of this House. One of the things of which we are all proud is that bribery has been eliminated, due to the persistent effort and progressive legislation of Parliament. To-day I should have said that bribery in any action by government was something that could not be contemplated, but here we find that it is not out of the picture as regards these great constitutional changes which we are making in India. I deeply regret that the proposal for the future government of that great sub-continent should include a procedure which I regard as utterly unworthy of this country.
§ 10.10 p.m.
§ Sir A. KNOX
I wish very briefly to support the Amendment. The Noble Lady finally settled on the words "financial inducements." I should like to re- 903 mind the Committee of the scene when the Joint Select Committee was taking evidence. The right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) was giving evidence. There was some mention made of these contributions, and one of the Indian delegates—I think the Prime Minister of Bikaner—intervened and said, "What shall we do if we do not go into the Federation? We shall not get this money.".
§ Sir A. KNOX
I am quoting them as far as I can remember. If the right hon. Gentleman has got the words, he will no doubt correct me. The general sense was, "What shall we do if we do not go into the Federation? We shall not get this money." The Noble Lady spoke of the financial inducement for Scotland joining England. I remember reading of the financial inducement to Ireland. I think I read that there was only one honest man who voted for the Union. Surely things ought to have changed from what they were 130 or 140 years ago. We shall want something definite from the Secretary of State to tell us why these adjustments are being made. The hon. Member for the English Universities (Sir R. Craddock) explained very clearly that the military obligation is still to exist. Why should we give up these contributions which are supposed to be for military intervention? We still have to intervene if there is any disorder. We shall still have to maintain order in the whole of the sub-continent. I would like to remind the Committee that a few months ago we decided on a perpetual tribute of £1,500,000 from this country towards the military expenditure in India. This is to be provided by the overburdened taxpayer of Great Britain, and the Indians in the British India Provinces who are suffering, owing to a low standard of living and a high rate of taxation, have to make up this tribute which we are now discussing. I hope the Secretary of State will explain very clearly why these contributions are being given to the States.
§ 10.14 p.m.
§ Sir B. PETO
I want to add one thing to what the hon. and gallant Member has said. Under all these proposals it is still intended that the general protection of the whole sub-continent of India, which includes these States, will still be in the hands of the British Army left there to protect India. It is not only a question, as has been put before the House, of the necessity for expense to be incurred in the protection of the Indian States or ceded territory, but there is the wider question of the protection of the whole sub-continent. Therefore, it seems to me that if this Sub-section is not omitted the arrangements which have already been made under the existing Government of India for payment to be made to the Indian States should be remitted in respect of the ceded territories, when the whole protection of India, States included, remains exactly as it was. As my hon. and gallant Friend reminded us, this country is paying £1,500,000 in addition to what it paid before towards the maintenance of British troops in India. That being the major consideration, we should like to hear from the Government, in answer to this Amendment, what has taken place under these proposals for an altered form of Government in India to alter the major position, which is that the States, as well as British India, have the protection of the British Army.
That being so, I can see no reason for these financial adjustments by the passage of this Bill. Rather I think, if there is any balance to be adjusted, that it would be a balance on the other side, because when we were more closely connected with India and gained some advantage from that connection, undoubtedly there might be held to be something, which could not be represented by any figure, which made it to the general interest of this country to protect India. We are handing over the Government of India under this new Federation, giving the States the opportunity of entering it, and still leaving the protection by this country over India. Therefore, I think that if there be any financial adjustment to be made in any way, it ought to be on the other side and not on the side of remission.
§ 10.17 p.m.
§ Mr. ANNESLEY SOMERVILLE
I do not quite understand how the military 905 guarantees mentioned here can be waived. Surely on the question of maintaining law and order in a State, supposing there is confusion or disorder with which the Ruler cannot cope, the obligation still remains on the Governor-General to send troops into the State in order to maintain law and order. One can understand that a Government is naturally sensitive at references to the payments of money and to cessions of territory, as in the case of Bangalore at this particular time, but one cannot help asking how it is that these matters are coming to a head just at this moment. It is proved by this question coming up for settlement at this moment, that the States are not particularly anxious to come into the Federation. They are not showing any particular alacrity in doing so. One continually hears from supporters of this Measure that the States intend to make the best bargain that they can. It is not very promising for the future Federation that it should be founded in such an atmosphere.
§ 10.19 p.m.
§ Mr. DAVIDSON
At the outset of my reply to this short Debate, I would like to quote a passage in my report which the Noble Lady did not quote:Our inquiries establish beyond all doubt that tributes and cessions of territory have, for the most part, a common origin, and that as often as not it was entirely a matter of chance whether a State paid tribute or ceded territory instead.Nobody, I think, has disagreed with the proposals of the Round Table Conference and of the Joint Select Committee and the Clauses in the Bill which provide for the principle of the revision of cash contributions made by the States because they are anti-federal, as we discovered when we investigated the matter in India. As a matter of principle you cannot differentiate between ceded territories which had the same object as cash contributions, and in equity to those States who have ceded territories instead of paying cash contributions it was only fair that the contribution, whenever it was made and in whatever form, should be assessed equally.
Duchess of ATHOLL
Objection was taken to all these payments, certainly on the Second Reading, by some of us.
§ Mr. DAVIDSON
I accept the Noble Lady's assurance on that point, but I am arguing on the logic of the situation and on a comparison between the two, that is, so far as the origin of tributes on the one hand and ceded territories on the other hand are concerned. But there is another aspect of the question which I would commend to the House. If they have read the second chapter of the Report which deals with ceded territories they will have noticed that the proposals for compensation to the States affect only five States in principle and only four in fact, because Hyderabad, for reasons which I will touch upon later, has not wished for compensation. With each of these five States we had a treaty which was bilateral, and the guarantees which were given were specific guarantees. I hope the House does not believe that it can be suggested that the States should be given compensation and also maintain their rights to the specific guarantee as well. It is quite untrue to say that the States are not giving up something when they agree to accept compensation for their ceded territories in lieu of the specific guarantees. That is obvious from the ease of Hyderabad. When the alternative was put to Hyderabad whether it would prefer to be compensated for the ceded territories in return for giving up the specific military guarantees it said "No, we prefer to keep the troops." As the House will see if they look at Chapter 2 of the Report which has come to bear my name, the annual compensatory credits are not assessed in the case of Hyderabad.
It is no good our thinking of ceded territories as though they affect the whole of the Indian States. They affect only five. Those five have hitherto been bound by treaty on their side so far as the ceded territories are concerned, and we have been bound on our side under specific military guarantees, and it is impossible in equity to contemplate the giving up by the one party of its rights unless we on the other hand play our part. I do not think it is always fair, although perhaps quite legitimate, to give partial quotations, but I can give an 907 assurance on the part of myself and every other Member of the Committee that when we examined all these questions we did it with the sole purpose of doing fairness to all parties, including British India, as we say in our report, and we felt there was no possible course in fairness to the States except to make the recommendations we did, which are now included in the Clause. I am afraid that we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ 10.25 p.m.
§ Mr. BAILEY
The financial payments which are being made to the Princes are a very serious matter. I have hoped against hope that the Minister would be able to give a more satisfactory answer to the question "What are the Princes giving up?" Is it suggested that the wonderful new government that you are setting up will be in any way inferior in the ceded States to the arrangements which now exist? That is no more than a mere theoretical argument, and I seriously ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he thinks that, when the Federation has taken over the whole of the responsibility for the ceded States, the Princes who had those States will be in any worse position than they were before. If a Prince refused to come into the Federation, he might say "I do not want your arrangements for keeping law and order under the Federation," but when he has come in, when, as it were, he has placed the whole of his State at the mercy of the Federal system, it is very strange if he says, "I am not very concerned about the ceded area." It is attributing low motives to the Princes. Is it suggested that they will accept a financial payment in order to lower the military safety of those areas? I cannot think that they have so little regard for the welfare of the portions of territory that they have ceded.
If one of the Princes thought that the ceded areas would be better off if the specific guarantees were kept up, would he look for a payment for himself? I do not like to think so meanly of the Princes; would a Prince agree that a lower payment should be accepted for the ceded area? I cannot believe it of the Princes, and although I could believe it of the Government the Princes are altogether above that sort of thing. I am glad that the Government are applauding 908 a rectitude that they may not always themselves possess.
When we examine this—I do not know what words to use, because Ministers are apt to be a little thin-skinned when we come down to the basic facts of this somewhat unsavoury Federation—when all is said and done you want to get four Princes into the Federation, so you are paying them something to come in. Is not that the real position, and does not everybody in the House know that that is so? When has a single arrangement been made which operated against any Prince coming in? The other day we heard of two Princes who were going to get off their taxation for coming in. We never hear of Princes missing a benefit; benefits are always showered upon Princes who do come in. One would like to know what all these financial benefits are to cost the people of India. This is no doubt only a small case, but one which will be gratefully accepted in the course of time. Although it is a small case it strikes at the root of the Bill.
If the Princes have to be induced to come into your Federation by gifts of money, you have set no limits to your offer. I suppose it will depend upon what they ask. Why not state a maximum? No maximum is stated. Whatever the Princes may ask for coming into the Federation, that the Princes will get. It is a lamentable waste of the funds of the people of India who have to toil and work in order to provide for the keeping of these Princes many of whom have quite sufficient. I appeal to hon. Members of the Opposition with whom I do not always agree—I find myself very seldom in agreement with them—but I hope that they will feel on this occasion what is owing to the toilers of India, and that we should not allow the Government to pilfer away the pennies of the Indian masses in order to persuade some Prince, who otherwise might be a little sensitive about his power to continue his own State and to carry on as he wishes. If the pennies of the masses of the people of India are to be used for this purpose, our opposition to it ought to command the sympathy of those who sit on the benches opposite.
I sympathise with the Chancellor of the Duchy, who is making the best of a bad job, and who, honest man as he is, must feel very keenly the position into which he has been forced in having to defend the Bill. I do not want to pro- 909 tract his agony or expose his conscience; I expect his own self-condemnation is far more fierce than any with which we can lash him; but I ask the Government, even at this late hour, for the sake of British rectitude, to make these, I will not call them bribes, but financial arrangements between friends, as few and far between as they can. Unless we get some rather more satisfactory explanation of why this particular sweetener is to remain in the Act, I shall have the greatest pleasure in going into the Lobby with my Noble Friend.
§ 10.32 p.m.
§ Lord E. PERCY
It cannot be expected even with the courtesy of the Front Government Bench, that the sort of mis-statements that have been made in the course of this discussion should go entirely unanswered if the Debate continues. The hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Bailey) said in the first part of his remarks that he supposed that the specific guarantees given in return for the cession of territory were specific guarantees for the protection of the territory. He will find, when he begins to read something about the subject on which he has tried to talk, that that has nothing whatever to do with the matter. He then went off into disquisitions on his own incorruptibility, and on the low morals of His Majesty's Government. Listening to the discussion, I have realised that some people are never so happy as when they are accusing their fellow Englishmen, or Scotsmen, of corruption. I have always entertained some doubts about the charges made by the Murrays and others in Scotland about the behaviour of the Campbells, and particularly of John, Duke of Argyll, but I will only say to the Noble Lady the Member for West Perth (Duchess of Athol') that, if the charges levelled against John, Duke of Argyll in those days rest on no better foundation than the charges that she has levelled against His Majesty's Government, then indeed the foundation of those historical charges is a very slender one.
Let us consider what in fact we are talking about. My hon. Friend the Member for the English Universities (Sir R. Craddock), who is not here at the moment, gave a long disquisition which had very little relation to the subject of the Amendment. My hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) 910 made some remarks which were surprisingly in error, and my hon. Friend the Member for Gorton, not knowing much about the subject, guilelessly agreed. They say, "But surely the Princes who come into the Federation 'are now going to be secure and will continue as they are now, and therefore why should not they pay exactly what they are paying now? Why should they get 'any compensation?" A very strong point. That State which comes into the Federation will receive precisely the same protection from the Federation. Why then should certain types, chosen quite haphazardly from purely historical influences, pay in addition certain tributes or cede certain privileges in return for nothing but the generalised protection which every State has got, even if it has neither made cash contributions nor ceded any territory. That is precisely the point. That is why, let me tell my Noble Friend the Member for Perth and Kinross, my hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster's Committee were commissioned to confine themselves to States which acceded to the Federation. The State which remains in the Federation in personal relation with the Crown, solely relying upon its old treaties, may justifiably be kept to its old bargain, but when it elects to come into a corporate sovereign entity in which all members are to be, I do not deny that there may be anomalies.
§ Lord E. PERCY
Many no doubt, but we are all trying to reduce the anomalies to the smallest possible compass. When those States come into the Federation, is it fair or reasonable or justifiable by any principle of government or of honour to these our allies for years and centuries past—is it consistent with any of those principles that we should say to them "It is true that you are going to get no benefit, if you give up your specific guarantee, from the Federation other than that which all other States get, and yet we intend to hold you without giving you a concession of territory and the making of cash contributions without compensation. That is the problem we have been considering. I do not say that the solution of that problem has been wholly satisfactory. I do not say that there may not to many questions as to the amount of compensation to be payable which are not determined by this Bill. 911 There may be many questions to be considered, but it is the principle we are considering. The only arguments urged against it are not arguments of detail as to whether we are paid or not, or whether we are getting the worst of the bargain, but imputations of corruption and bribery—low motives—from a lot of supreme sea-green incorruptibles sitting on those benches. Really one might listen to accusations of that kind if they came from one's friends who had devoted real attention to this subject and had come to the conclusion that these arrangements were fundamentally wrong, but when they are supported only by fragmentary misquotations and by arguments which show a complete ignorance of every consideration and every historical fact which has gone to make these problems then, indeed, one can only wish that some of one's hon. Friends could disagree in policy with the Members of their party without imputing to their fellow Members motives which one gentleman does not impute to another outside this House.
§ 10.41 p.m.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I do not want to stand between the House and the Division Lobby, but I must say that I always feel very youthful in the presence of my Noble Friend. He reminds me very much of the days when I had to go before my tutors for being a little late. The feelings of humility that I had in those days I am sure that my hon. Friends must have felt this evening under the rebuke of the Noble Lord. He referred to the fact that it was not consistent with our honour to have gone on with this scheme without making these various arrangements with regard to ceded territories, troops, etc. There are many of us when we remember the most solemn pledge that was given to the Princes of India, the unconditional pledge which was given to the people of India by Queen Victoria, which has been honoured by every King-Emperor, who feel that it is not consistent with our honour in any way to have endeavoured to persuade the Princes to enter Federation. We feel that very strongly and we are entitled to feel it.
In supporting the Amendment of my hon. Friend I am not hostile to the Princes. I have very friendly feelings for them. I believe that they may yet save their country from the disaster which 912 confronts it at the present time by refusing to join what I believe is now generally called the Princes' suicide club, at Delhi. I hope that they will think it best not to enter even at this late hour. When Ministers and their Noble apologists stand up in this House and endeavour to persuade us that there is no influence in the matter of cession of territories and so on in this Clause they are playing a little too much upon the imagination of the House. It is true, surely, that these arrangements in regard to territory on one side and troops on the other, arrived at not many long years ago, have nothing to do with the subject matter before us.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I suggest that it would be perfectly honourable if these arrangements were to stand for all time outside this particular scheme into which you are using every sort of argument to try and persuade the Princes to come, knowing full well that once the Princes have entered this system their Princely rights and dignities will no longer be inviolate. You know that perfectly well. You may say that times change, but if ever there was a solemn pledge it was the pledge that we undertook to our noble allies to see that they were for ever protected. Does the Noble Lord for one moment imagine that in a few years time any Prince who enters this Federation is not going to find that the whole of his population will be infected by this democratic virus and that they will be submerged with this system all around them? I would remind the House that by this proposal you will make the defence of India more expensive. All through the picture the British taxpayer has ultimately had to foot the bill. Only last year an additional expenditure of £1,500,000 was put on the people of this country for the transport of troops to India. The House scarcely noticed it. What a noise would have been made if that additional expenditure had been put upon us in any other connection.
I submit that the defence of the Indian native States will be as great in the days to come to this country. Is it not the fact that by a strange coincidence British troops had to intervene in the native States of the two Princes who were responsible for the Federation 913 proposals. When trouble arises it is always communal trouble, and it is always British troops who have to intervene. I make no charge against anyone but I wish that the Measure could have gone through without anything which could look like an inducement to the Princes of India. The right hon. Gentleman would have been on much stronger ground in putting forward his claim if he could have said that the Princes came in without any sort of pressure, that never did the Viceroy endeavour to persuade them to enter the scheme, and if Mr. Akbar Hadari had never said that the Princes were pressed relentlessly from start to finish to enter the Federation. If there had been nothing of that character everyone will agree that it would have been much better for the future success of the scheme.
§ 10.48 p.m.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I have a certain sympathy with the Amendment, but I am in some difficulty when it is supported by such extraordinary arguments and by a complete absence of a knowledge of the facts. The hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Bailey) had not the slightest idea what a ceded territory meant, and I am equally at a loss to understand the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft). He makes the most extraordinary shuttlecock movements backwards and forwards. At one moment he says that it will be a terrible thing if the territories of the Princes are invaded by democracy; and in the next sentence he says that they are selling their people for half a lac of rupees. The right hon. Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) made a good case except in one particular. After all the States have been brought into much the same relation as regards protection with the paramount power, and, in fact, the special arrangements which were made at certain times with ceded territories have not for many years given these States more protection than is given to the other States. Under the new Constitution we shall still be under practically the same obligations for supporting the Princes in their possessions as was the case before the Bill was introduced and has been the case for many years. In these circumstances, it seems rather a gratuitous surrender.
I do not suggest that you can defend any of these arrangements on the grounds 914 of logic. We are dealing with things which have grown out of the past, but the fact remains that we have certain obligations which have grown up over a long period of years. I am not going to suggest for a moment that the Princes have been bribed. But I suggest that the Princes have driven a good bargain. They are perfectly entitled to drive a good bargain when asked to come into the Federation, but it is for us to decide whether they should get that bargain or not. I am inclined to think that we have given them too much. With all respect to the right hon. Gentleman's Committee, I think the tendency has been to give too much to the Princes. For that reason—though not in the least for the reasons given by those who have proposed the Amendment—I shall be glad to support it.
§ 10.51 p.m.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
For once I find myself in agreement with the hon. Member opposite. I do not think that the shadow of the hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Bailey) will be unduly diminished by the lecture delivered by the Noble Lord. The Noble Lord was flying in the face of the parable of the labourer in the vineyard. Let us look at the logic of the Noble Lord. He would say that the other Princes who will come in will get the same protection as these people; therefore these people should have some payment for giving up these specific military guarantees. Are these five States going to be worse off under the Federation, after they have given up their specific military guarantees, than they are now? Are they going to be worse off, and are they going to be in a position of greater insecurity? If they are, the scheme of the Federation is rather challenged and Clause 12 (I, a) ceases to have any significance. Is that what the Noble Lord means—that Clause 12 (I, a) is not a, certain guarantee to any State which accedes to the Federation? If that paragraph means anything, it does mean that every State which accedes is guaranteed. Then why should you give to these States more than they are now getting?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Now we have the admission. Why give less? In other words under Federation the guarantee is to be less.
§ Lord E. PERCY
No. These specific States are to get less because their specific guarantees are to be withdrawn.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Let us examine this. I have got the guarantee of reasonable safety from the Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police—not because there is a policeman outside my front door, but because I share the guarantee with everybody else. I assume that the police of London will give me an effective guarantees for the preservation of law and order in the suburb of London where I live. The Noble Lord tells us that the withdrawal of specific guarantees and their replacement by the special obligations of the Governor-General is going to mean something less to these States [Interruption.] Well, it is one way or the other. The Noble Lord can have it which way he likes—and whichever way he has it he is in difficulties. If he is wise, he will not choose either way. Let us assume that the general guarantee is equal to the specific guarantee. It ought to be. We have no right to pass this Bill unless it is. The other States who are going to get something they have not got now should pay for it; that is logic and equality of treatment. The Noble Lord laughs because he cannot think of any other answer. He likes to lecture this House at times and it is good to give him a dose of his own medicine for once.
What is the position if the guarantee is to be diminished If it is to be diminished, then the assumptions on which this Bill is based are no longer valid. If, on the other hand, the security is equal, why should we pay people for nothing? [Interruption.] When I rose it was ten minutes to 11 o'clock. A Division would have taken ten minutes and another Amendment could not be.
§ moved to-night. I am not obstructing any business. I never speak at great length in these Debates, though I speak frequently. It is a very good example to follow. Territories were ceded in return for what? For protection. Are they going to get the protection under Clause 12 (1, a) of the Bill? The Secretary of State is not going to say "No" to that, because any answer that is given to that question lands the person who gives it in difficulties at once. No answer is a satisfactory answer from the point of view of defence to the particular matter under discussion. If the protection is effective we have fulfilled our guarantees. If we guarantee effective protection to these people and give it we fulfil every guarantee.
§ I am glad we have had this discussion, because it shows us exactly where we are. It shows that Clause 12 (1, a) is not that effective instrument for the specific purpose. Every citizen is guaranteed, so far as it is humanly possible, security of his life and property, and you cannot ask more than that. That is a complete general guarantee of protection, unless you want a specific guarantee of a policeman outside your front door all the day long, and that, I presume, is the specific guarantee proposed here.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I had no intention of taking part in the discussion until I heard the Noble Lord. His case seemed so terribly weak that I have occupied seven minutes of time instead of letting the House go to a Division.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'there' in line 19, stand part of the Bill.".
§ The House divided Ayes, 174; Noes, 56.917
|Division No. 219.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Burghley, Lord||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)|
|Albery, Irving James||Butler, Richard Austen||Croom-Johnson, R. P.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Butt, Sir Alfred||Culverwell, Cyril Tom|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.|
|Assheton, Ralph||Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Castlereagh, Viscount||Dickie, John P.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Cayzer, Sir Charles(Chester, City)||Dower, Captain A. V. G.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Bower, Commander Robert Tatton||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W)||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Colman, N. C. D.||Evans, David Owen(Cardigan)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Conant, R. J. E.||Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Cook, Thomas A.||Fleming, Edward Lascelles|
|Buchan, Hepburn, P. G. T.||Copeland, Ida||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)|
|Fox, Sir Gilford||MacAndrew, Major J. O. (Ayr)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Ron Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Rothschild, James A. de|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||McKie, John Hamilton||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir Edward|
|Golf, Sir Park||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Goldie, Noel B.||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Graves, Marjorie||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M||Savery, Servington|
|Grenfell, E.C.(City of London)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Shute, Colonel Sir John|
|Grimston, R.V.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Gunston, Captain D.W.||Mills, Major J.D.(New Forest)||Smith, Sir J. Walker-(Barrow-in-F.)|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane(Streatham)||Smith, Sir Robert(Ab'd'n K'dine, C.)|
|Hamilton, Sir R.W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Molson, A.Hugh Eisdale||Somervell, SirDonald|
|Harris, Sir Percy||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.(Denbigh)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T.E.|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Morrison, G.A.(Scottish Univer'ties)||Southby, Commander Archibald R.J.|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.||Spens, William Patrick|
|Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division)||Orr Ewing, I.L.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Owen, Major Goronwy||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Patrick, Colin M.||Stones, James|
|Hornby, Frank||Peake, Osbert||Storey, Samuel|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Peat, Charles U.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Hudson, Robert Spear(Southport)||Petherick, M.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bliston)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Pickering, Ernest H.||Thomas, James P. L.(Hereford)|
|James, Wing Com, A. W. H.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Jasson, Major Thomas E.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Tufnell, Lieut-Commander R. L.|
|Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles(Montrosn)||Radford, E. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L.(Hull)|
|Law, Richard K.(Hull, S. W.)||Ramsay T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Leekie, J. A.||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Watt, Major George Steven H.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rankin, Robert||White, Henry Graham|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Rea, Walter Russell||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Llewellln, Major John J.||Reed, Arthur C.(Exeter)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lockwood, John C.(Hackney, C.)||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mabane, William||Robinson, John Roland||Sir George Penny and Sir Walter Womersley.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Erkine-Bolst, Capt. C. C.(Blk'pool)||Mellor, Sir J. S. P.|
|Adams, D.M.(Poplar, South)||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Milner, Major James|
|Astbury, Lieut,-com. Frederick Wolfe||Gardner, Benjamin Walter||Peto, Sir Basil E.(Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Remer, John R.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Greene, William P. C.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv.,Belfast)|
|Balfour, George(Hampstead)||Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Banfield, John William||Groves, Thomas E.||Somervllie, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Batey, Joseph||Grundy, Thomas W.||Strauss, G.R.(Lambeth, North)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Hepworth, Joseph||Taylor, C.S. (Eastbourne)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks.,Newb'y)||John, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cleary, J. J.||Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Waylend, Sir William A.|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Knox, Sir Alfred||Williams, David(Swansea, East)|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Lawson, John James||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Logan, David Gilbert||Wilmot, John|
|Daggar, George||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Davies, David L.(Pontypridd)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Dobbie, William||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. Emmott and Mr. Raikes.|
|Edwards, Charles||Mainwaring, William Henry|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ It being after of the clock, and ojection being taken to further Processing, further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.
§ Bill, as amended, to be further considered To-morrow.