Motion made, and Question proposed,
That an additional number, not exceeding 3,500 Officers, Seamen, Boys and Royal Marines, be employed for the Sea Service, borne on the books of His Majesty's Ships, at the Royal Marine Divisions and at Royal Air Force Establishments for the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1936, beyond the number already provided in the Navy Estimates for the year.
§ 10.16 p.m.
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Lord Stanley)
The time has now come to leave the wide open spaces of a general debate on foreign affairs for what my right hon. Friend has called the narrow confinement of a Supplementary Estimate. We have had a very full debate, in which some hon. and right hon. Members have presented the views of their parties, others represented the views of a small group and others represented the views of nobody but themselves. As a result of having had this general debate we feel that the confinement to a detailed Supplementary Estimate is not very irksome and we are ready to get down to the financial details which follow upon our foreign policy. Nor do I think that the 174 Debate on the details need be of a very protracted nature, because the expenditure—
I think the Noble Lord is anticipating the Main Supplementary Estimate. We are on Vote A, which is strictly limited to the number of men.
I thought that in the preliminary remarks I might explain to the Committee the reason why we want this extra number of men.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
On a point of Order. We are starting this Naval Debate at a very late hour, and I agree with the Noble Lord that we do not want to make it unnecessarily protracted. Therefore, I wonder whether in the circumstances you would allow us to have a general discussion upon the whole of the items in the Supplementary Estimates in order that the representative of the Admiralty may reply upon the whole of the discussion, and then the votes can be taken.
If that is the general wish of the Committee I should be perfectly willing to agree to that course, but it must be understood that if there is a general discussion on Vote A there must not be repetition when I put the Financial Supplementary Estimate.
I thank you for the permission that you have given, and I thank the right hon. Gentleman opposite for the assistance he has given to me, because the arguments for this increase in numbers and for the additional expenditure which arises on the subsequent Estimate are exactly the same.
As I was saying, there need be no prolonged discussion because many of the contents of the Supplementary Estimate have been foreshadowed by official pronouncements and others have been the subject of intelligent anticipation. If hon. Members will turn to the Paper they will find the Estimate set out in some detail, and perhaps it will be more convenient if I base my 175 explanation of them on the explanatory memorandum. The expenditure falls under four heads. The first head calls for no comment at all. It merely carries out the decision of the Government to restore the remainder of the cuts in pay, at a cost to the Navy Vote of £354,500. This will, I am sure, meet with the approval of the Committee. It proves, if any proof is necessary, the successful work done by the National Government in the last Parliament. The fourth item does not need much explanation. It refers to an expenditure of £100,000 on normal services, and is due mainly to a greater punctuality in executing orders than had been anticipated. Anyone who knows anything about Estimates knows that there are bound to be variations in a Vote of this size, and when the total of the Navy Estimates is £60.000,000 hon. Members will agree that the margin of error has not been very great.
Now I come to the first item of real importance, the additional destroyer flotilla. In December I informed the House that we intended to ask for the money to discharge this item, and, therefore, the Committee may perhaps like a short explanation as to the reason for the change in policy. In accordance with Admiralty policy of a steady replacement of over-age tonnage the original naval construction programme for 1935 contained a provision for one flotilla of destroyers which was intended to be a repeat order of the 1934 type—namely, destroyers of 1,350 tons. The Admiralty, however, viewed with concern the building of large destroyers by foreign nations and have had under review the desirability of building corresponding vessels for ourselves. The position today is that France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States have all got destroyers ranging from 1,600 tons to over 2,000 tons, the latter of which arc approaching the Cruiser Category.
In view of these figures, it was decided that the 1935 programme should be amended to enable a start to be made in building destroyers of a larger type. It was then decided to limit the number of the new destroyers to seven, which would have made the cost exactly the same, the cost of the seven larger destroyers being the same as the cost of nine of the smaller type. That decision was taken too late for the Estimates 176 which were presented to Parliament in the Autumn. It was therefore intended to announce this amended programme later in the year, but when, in the Autumn it was decided that the rate of destroyer construction was to be expedited, the designs of the new large type were not ready, and it was thought that the most effective way of hastening the 1935 programme was to place a repeat order for the nine vessels of the same class as in the 1934 programme which had been originally provided.
In this Supplementary Estimate we are now asking for the money to build, in addition, seven vessels of the larger type. These destroyers will be known as the "Tribal" class. Usually no information is given with regard to the size and displacement of vessels until the keel is actually laid, but this is an exceptional case, and I see no reason why the Committee should not know that their displacement is to be 1.850 tons. This, as the Committee know, is in strict conformity with the terms of the London Naval Treaty. It is not the present intention to build any large number of these larger destroyers, and the number will be kept strictly within the terms of that treaty.
We then come to the second item, which is one of the greatest interest to the Committee and the country at the present moment. We are not concerned now with the reasons for the altered disposition of the Fleet. That was discussed during the general Debate, and I think the reasons were given at some length by my Noble Friend who wound up the discussion. We are now discussing the cost which has to be met on account of the altered disposition of the Fleet and various contingent measures. These changes entailed, first of all, a very considerable burden on our existing drafting arrangements, and we are tonight seeking authority to increase the number of Vote A by 3,500 men. This includes 350 officers. The men are being obtained in the main by the voluntary continuance in the service of men who would otherwise have been discharged on completion of engagements, by the entry of men who have recently left on discharge with a pension or on completion of engagements, by men from the Royal Naval Reserve and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and by the recruitment of a certain number of Maltese 177 and Somalis. These men have been engaged for periods varying from one to five years, and it was not felt to be justified that they should be asked to abandon their civil careers without a guarantee of at least one year's naval employment. It is, however, no disadvantage to us that some of these entries may remain in the Fleet after the emergency passes. After the beginning of the financial year 1936, they will be included in the normal provision for the Fleet, resulting in the postponement of the entry of a corresponding number of recruits. It also gives the Fleet advantage of having a higher proportion of highly-trained ratings and of placing the strain of expanding numbers more gradually on the training establishments.
The present position of the Fleet in the Mediterranean has also necessitated a limited number of auxiliary vessels for local defence duties. We have, therefore, purchased 20 trawlers and commissioned them as ships of the Royal Navy. The new trawlers will serve as replacement for older trawlers, now under strength, and two trawlers of the normal 1935 building programme have accordingly been cancelled. These trawlers, I should like to assure the Committee, represent no ultimate increase of naval expenditure but merely anticipate a programme which would otherwise have been spread over a number of years. The Committee will be able to see for themselves that other measures have been taken, within the scope of this Estimate, to ensure the adequate defence of the Fleet in the Mediterranean. It will also be seen that reference is made in the explanatory memorandum to the purchase of six motor torpedo boats. These are of the description, colloquially known as mosquito craft which were of considerable use during the War. It was felt that, if we were to be abreast of modern developments in these fast motor boats, some of the new type should be procured for experimental purposes. Accordingly, a trial order has been placed for six of these motor torpedo boats.
There are, I think, only two other points to which I need call the attention of the Committee. The first is the revised statement dealing with the programme of shipbuilding which will be found on page 11. It will be seen that there has been a very considerable increase in the 178 Cost of this programme. This is in view of the additions to the 1935 new construction programme which I have just recapitulated, earlier placings of orders for the 1935 destroyers, and the slight acceleration of existing programmes. I should like to make it clear to the Committee that this entails no addition to the total sum to be spent on this programme which has already been approved by the House. It simply means that a larger proportion of the payment falls due during the current year and it will also affect the Estimates for 1936, but it will make no difference at all to the ultimate cost and the amount which the taxpayer has to find.
Lastly, having in view the necessity of making good the deficiencies both in personnel and material, early steps had to be taken to secure land and start on the necessary building, so that we should get the full advantage from any innovation which we may make in the Estimates to be presented this year. As will be seen from the list of new works to be found on page 8 a considerable number of new works has been started that had not been anticipated when the original Estimates were presented. Most important is the start that has been made of an anti-air-craft gunnery training establishment at Portsmouth. That had been carried on before in conjunction with the ordinary gunnery establishment, but it was felt that the time had arrived when it ought to have an establishment of its own where a longer and more concentrated training could be given. It also excludes an extension at Alexandria in Dumbartonshire to the Royal Naval Torpedo Works, which is a necessary extension also of existing training establishment. That, I think, deals with all the salient points of the Supplementary Estimates.
In conclusion I would only say again that only a comparatively small portion of the total asked for represents expenditure which serves exclusively the special needs of the moment. The major part of it is in anticipation of future programmes and does not represent an actual increase in the total amount which would in any case have to be spent on the Navy in the near future. As regards that part of the money for which we ask in this Estimate, which depends on the action which His Majesty's Government have taken during the past year, I feel that the Committee is in agreement that that 179 action was right, that the movement of the Fleet was justified. If that be so we ought to take, and will rightly take, every precaution to look after our lives and property in the shape of our ships and of our personnel. If the Committee feel that that action was right, then the Estimates which we are now presenting should, as a logical conclusion, be passed without a Division.
§ 10.38 p.m.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by 100 men.
We are indebted to the Noble Lord for two things: first, for his quiet and calm exposition of his Supplementary Estimate; and, second, for so kindly and tacitly admitting at the conclusion of his speech that in fact there is very little in this Supplementary Estimate which is attached to the special measures and dispositions in regard to the Italo-Abyssinian dispute, and that most of the expenditure is, indeed, and in fact an expansion of naval expenditure and provision. The Noble Lord shakes his head. but I was careful to note what he said on that point, because, if he had not said it, I was going to put him a series of questions as to, how certain items in this Estimate came to be there, if they were really to be included in that large sum at the foot of page 2 of the Explanatory Memorandum, which puts the special measures down to the sum of £4,392,000.
The reason I did not give details is that obviously it would be wrong to make public the precautions which we have taken in the Mediterranean, and which do account for the great majority of the expenditure in this Vote.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
If that is the revised position of the Noble Lord I am afraid I shall have to put these specific questions which I had prepared. Having regard to the paucity of the answers made to my right hon. Friend on this bench in the previous Debate, and having regard to the nature of this Estimate, we are entitled to say that the Noble Lord should tell us exactly from what date the special measures in the Mediterranean were necessary. Of course, I do not ask for confidential information as to the dispositions of the Fleet, I do not at all suggest we want information on that, 180 but I want to know from what date the actual provision of this special expenditure came to be incurred. I have a recollection that on 17th December the Prime Minister referred to the movements in the Mediterranean as being part of the normal cruising operations of the Fleet. That being so, is 17th December the date on which the special expenditure in the Mediterranean began to be necessary? If we could not get that answer out of either the Foreign Secretary or the Under-Secretary, at least we ought to expect it from the Minister responsible for this Estimate. I shall be prepared to sit down if the Noble Lord will give the information. It might save some debate. He is not prepared to do it at the moment, I gather, but will do it later. But we are not going to let the Government get away from this point —when the special measures became necessary and the amount of expenditure due to the special measures.
That leads me to deal with the financial aspect of the whole thing. If we look at the summary in the White Paper we see that in consequence of these Supplementary Estimates the gross total required for naval provision in the financial year up to 31st March, 1936, is no less than £67,915,000. There are appropriations-in-aid of about £3,000,000, which bring the total down to £64,900,000—in round figures £65,000.000. That is the largest expenditure on naval provision at any time in the last 14 years. My right hon. Friend, on the many occasions on which he has addressed the House in the last few months on the policy of collective security, was entitled, I think, to point to the dualism of the policy of the National Government. The Government are trying to make the best of both worlds. They want a very large addition to naval expenditure, this figure representing an increase of more than £14,000,000 compared with 1931, but on the other hand they are not prepared to give us in return the exercise of effective League sanctions against the aggressor. And yet they come here to-night for an additional £5,000,000 as though it were necessary for them to take action on behalf of the League. We cannot get any effective action out of this Government on behalf of the League, but they still ask for this huge increase in naval expenditure. On that ground we are entitled to challenge the policy of the 181 Government, and to move a reduction of the Vote in order to call attention to the dualism of the Government.
Now a word or two about the general effect upon the finances. It is very interesting and satisfactory that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be present at this Debate. We all have a great deal of sympathy with him in his financial worries on this matter. It does not require any party colour to be sympathetic, because he must have a very difficult situation to face. We are asked to spend £65,000,000 on. the Navy. We are to spend, I gather, over £30,000,000 on the Air Force. I have not the exact figure. We are to spend rather more than the usual amount on the Army and, by the time the Supplementary Estimates are through this year, this country will have been asked to provide for the three fighting Services very little short of £140,000,000. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will correct me if I am wrong.
I would point out to some hon. Members on the other side who were hilarious just now that no person cam. look upon this situation in the light of the financial position of the country without being seriously perturbed. Look at it how you will, we are being asked to approve in anticipation an expansion of the armaments programme costing more and more money. We are, in other words, leading an armaments race from to-night. This is the first big Vote you take, and you are doing it at a time when the country owes on its National Debt £8,000,000,000. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. G. Hall) built up a similar case when speaking on the Naval Estimates, last March I think it was.
We are opening up this armaments race in a vastly different position from that in which we were opening the armaments race in 1907–08. We are starting with Income Tax not at one shilling in the £ but at 4s. 6d., and with total taxation coming to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from Customs and Excise Duties not of 70,000,000 as in 1909, but of £304,000,000. Here is a position in which you do not have a Government owing not a penny to any foreign Government, but with a Government owing over. £900,000,000 to the United States. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the great supporter of orthodox finance, is making 182 no move to pay America, but cleverly, not repudiating the debt, he leaves it for his successor to meet.
I cannot help thinking that the argument which the right hon. Gentleman is presenting would be more suitable to a Debate upon the subject of Defence. We are debating Supplementary Estimates and the Debate on them is necessarily rather restrictive.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I should always be unhappy to depart at any great length from your Ruling, Captain Bourne, but the Noble Lord submitted to us a White Paper on which he is not only asking for £5,000,000 to-night, but on which he drew attention to the fact that the Estimates would cost £65,000,000, and making the announcement he said that this was, in effect, an anticipation of expenditure. Surely we are entitled to call attention to what are the logical results of that which he has put before us. If we are to judge the financial situation by the standards of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, you are beginning to-night a rake's progress to national bankruptcy as certain as you are here.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
The hon. Gentleman can very well talk, but he would be among the Members who would refuse us £3,000,000 in order to provide milk for school children.
§ Sir R. ROSS
I think that the right hon. Gentleman makes a mistake. Milk for school children is not an affair which is considered over here at all. It is considered there on his benches. It is an old taunt. Why the right hon. Gentleman should attack me I do not know. Perhaps he feels that he has hit himself, and so has to say something nasty.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
When a little extra money is needed for social provision, the hon. Member and his Friends will not be found in the Lobby in support of it. Surely we are entitled to call attention to what is likely to be the financial result on the country as a whole of the expenditure outlined here? We are asked to vote this instalment of expansion, and yet there has been not a single word 183 yet from the Government as to any reasonable co-ordination of the defence Services.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I bow to your Ruling, but I shall make careful note to raise it on a subsequent occasion. In spite of the last words of the Noble Lord, an analysis of this White Paper shows clearly that it is, as he rather innocently let out in his first remark, an anticipation of a wide expansion programme. Let us take Vote A. He is asking us to approve an extension of the personnel of the Fleet by something like 3,500. He would ask us to believe that that is in the main necessary in order to keep on certain men who want. to stay on, and to help in the special measures that have been taken. But that does not square with the statements that were made on behalf of the Admiralty during the course of the debates on the main Estimates last year. Do not forget that these 3,500 men are a superimposed addition on an addition of 2,000 that took place last March. There were hon. Members supporting the Government who thought that an addition of 2,000 did not go far enough. They said that it was not enough. Let us see what the Civil Lord of the Admiralty at the time said:This increase will make the mobility of the Fleet perfectly satisfactory. Further, what in described as the present concentration n Home waters is in no way due to the fact that we cannot man the ships anywhere else."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th March, 1935; col. 721, Vol. 299.]So that the Vote of 2,000 additional men last March was to anticipate the immediate manning of the Fleet both at home and abroad. On what ground, therefore, is there a suggestion to-night that we require to expand the Fleet by another 3,500 men because of the special disposition of the Fleet in the Mediterranean? If the Noble Lord were able to demonstrate that the whole or a substantial part of this expenditure were due to special measures, he would have a different case to put to my hon. Friends on these benches. Up to the present we can find no such proof in that direction. If it is expansion, the Noble Lord surely ought to consult the Board of Admiralty again and be frank with the Committee and say that it is expansion, and even 184 the mirth of the Noble Lord the "Minister for Thought" will not prevent my asking the Government to be quite frank in that respect.
Now I come to the question of the request to the Committee to provide the initial expenditure for the new flotilla of destroyers. The Noble Lord in this case has anticipated to some extent the question I was going to ask. He admits that this is quite a change of policy. I want to ask him, however, whether the actual projection of the building of these seven new destroyers of the larger type is in fact also going to be a permanent enlargement of the aggregate tonnage. He said, quite rightly, that we had pursued a policy of a steady replacement programme. Up to the present we have never had any announcement to show that that replacement programme would be outside the provisions of the London Naval Treaty, where we provided for a maximum provision of 150,000 tons in the destroyer category. The replacement of one flotilla of destroyers and one leader every year during the course of a cycle of 13 years, the Treaty life of a destroyer, would have given at the end of the 13 years a continuous process of ships that would all be either under age or of normal age. It was necessary for us, in order to come into line with the London Naval Treaty, gradually to drop below the total tonnage of destroyers which we had in use in 1930, many of which, of course, were actually over age.
Do I understand that this announcement of the new flotilla of seven destroyers, in addition to the flotilla of nine destroyers ordered last Autumn, means that you are departing from that steady replacement policy and that in fact you are really announcing to-night that you are going to build to a figure larger than the aggregate allowed under the London Naval Treaty? That is a specific question, to which I should like an answer. My reading of the situation is that there is going to be a permanent expansion of the number. The Noble Lord says he is going to build a flotilla of seven destroyers, that they are going to be of a new and larger type to compete with certain classes building abroad, and that they are going to be of 1,850 tons instead of the average of 1,350 to 1,375 tons. Are these seven destroyers going to be the complete flotilla, or are you going to add another destroyer of the line 185 and a leader as well? You have not told us that, and we should like to know, because if ultimately you are going to have one, two, or three flotillas of this type, it is a type that will be very expensive.
The other thing I think I might ask is, What is to be the armament of these ships? If they are going to be as large as that, are they going to be armed with 4.7 guns, or with 5.5 guns, or what size? We have heard a great deal of talk about the provision by other countries of this destroyer type of ships, which are far more like small cruisers. I have no special complaint to make that you should, if possible, be on a par of efficiency with other types of destroyer building if you will say what the danger is that is to be met, but certainly we are entitled to full and complete information on what we are being asked to provide to-night.
I rather think, however, that we are being asked for a permanent expansion, and that entitles me to say this: In the main the need for going above the normal number of destroyers is the actual provision of submarine attack against us. I think one of the most crass blunders the Government have committed was to whitewash Hitler's breaking of the Versailles Treaty and to give them the power to build up to 45 per cent. of the London Naval Treaty tonnage in submarines, and on their own initiation, if they said the circumstances warranted it, to be able to go actually up to equal tonnage with ourselves. I remember reading, after that, about the immediate reaction on the Naval Affairs Committee of the French Chamber. They immediately expanded their naval commitments, and immediately provided additional ships; and you have facing you to-day a widening additional development of naval building of this character, against which you will, apparently, be forced to provide. The suffering taxpayer is to be asked to pay the piper for the grave and stupid blunders of the Government in this regard. I see some smiles yonder, but I met, while travelling in Europe last summer, representatives of a great many countries, and I found that they all, without exception, were of the view that this was a notable example of perfidious Albion.
§ Sir R. ROSS
On a point of Order. May I ask your guidance, Captain 186 Bourne, as to whether, when it comes to our turn, we also shall be permitted to discuss the ethics of the Naval Agreement with Germany, on a Supplementary Estimate?
The right hon. Gentleman was speaking pretty far from the Supplementary Estimate. He must keep to the figures that are before the Committee.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
If the Admiralty come down here and ask us to provide an additional flotilla of destroyers, absolutely new and additional, surely we are entitled to ask what those destroyers are wanted for?
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
Surely we are entitled to say what has created the circumstances against which the Government now find it necessary to build destroyers; and in that respect I say that our entering into that agreement unilaterally, and going back on our pledges to France, has led to the trouble which now exists, and leaves us almost without a friend in naval affairs on the Continent of Europe to-day.
I turn to one or two details in the Estimate. In paragraph (2) of the explanatory memorandum we are told that the Estimate is in the main for special measures in respect of the action with regard to Italy and Abyssinia. Does the Noble Lord say that Item B of Vote 8, which shows an increase of £670,000 for metals, is a special measure in that connection; or is it actual expansion I think he might tell us. In Section III of Vote 8, there is an actual increase of £700,000 for propelling machinery. Will the Noble Lord say whether that increase is in order to meet special conditions in the Mediterranean? Of course, that is an actual, definite speeding up of the Fleet of an expanded Navy, announced and pushed in the middle of the Government's calling another Naval Conference to discuss disarmament. Well might a writer have said, when that conference was called, that a scroll should have been put over the door:Abandon hope of Disarmament all ye who enter here.Item C of this Section—Hulls of Ships, etc—shows an increase of £200,000, and 187 in contract work alone, taking credit for £5,000 of appropriations-in-aid, there is an increase of £1,397,000. Does the Noble Lord say that that is in respect of special measures in the Mediterranean? I would agree with him at once in regard to Vote 9. We accept that as being specially connected with the special measures. I can well understand, for instance, that, with the economies of previous years, you were probably short of stores of the kind that are described. I should raise no objection in those circumstances to that Vote, because those are actual requirements which might well be needed to expand when we are having to make special arrangements, but apart from that there is no case at all.
I should like to ask a question about motor torpedo boats. What is the item in the Estimate for these boats? I find in section III of contract work a line that speaks of the purchase of ships, but I can find no other reference to them. I should like to know whether this £329,000 is the actual provision for these six motor torpedo boats? Are they the exact type of motor coastal boats that we have provided in the past? Why this change of name to torpedo boats? Are they of the type that we hear stories about on the Continent, with very high speed and naturally discharging torpedoes? If so, are they to take any part of the work formerly done by torpedo flotillas? Is it intended to expand beyond the six mentioned? What is their armament tonnage and cost? We have had a very poor explanation. We should get that information before we come to a decision.
There is an item in Vote 9, dealing with freight, for an increase of £185,000. We have heard a good deal about, roil tonight. There has been a good deal of carrying to and fro of oil in the last few months. Some of the charges for freight, I have no doubt, are concerned with oil. We have had information recently of things that are going on in the case of the running of oil tankers by the Admiralty which, if true, is not at all desirable. We have, for example, information as to the running of an oil tanker—I think the name is the "Delphinia"—from America to Gibraltar with 6,000 tons of oil—her net register is 4,600 tons—crossing the Atlantic, in this stormy weather, being 188 forced to throw overboard 700 tons to prevent the ship foundering, reaching Gibraltar still with an overload, a plate strained and forced finally to go into dry dock at Cardiff for overhaul and repair. If this story is true, men's lives are being risked in Admiralty service where they never ought to be by the very kind of overloading about which we have been complaining in regard to the merchant service.
We are told that this is going on while the Admiralty have much newer oil tankers available. I am told that you have a much newer tanker now doing regular, continuous service between America and the Far East let out on freight to someone else. We are entitled to an explanation of these facts and to ask whether the sort of conditions which we are informed arose in the case of the "Delphinia" are going to be prevented from arising in the case of the other ships. From the points that we have put to the Government it will be seen that this Vote really is the beginning of an attempt to get a great expansion in naval provisions. During the election, when the Prime Minister was seeking to stampede the country into great new armaments expenditure without giving details as to how they were going to expend it or against whom they were going to arm, I held the view and still hold it, that, so far from the British Navy being weak, being insecure, being unable to fulfil its commitments, the British Navy is the strongest and most powerful—
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I am very glad to hear that criticism from a. special Conservative supporter of the National Government. I say that it is the largest, most efficient and the most powerful Navy in the world, and if you are really relying upon the statements made by the Foreign Secretary from that bench to-day upon developing the policy of collective security, there is not the slightest need, in concert with the other countries in the League prepared to accept their responsibility in collective security, for a wide and deep expansion of naval armaments at the present time. If you can show that you have actually consulted with the other nations, and that there have been conferences with them showing exactly what naval forces are available, and there 189 is still a gap to be made up, then any concerned with the implementation of the Covenant of the League will be prepared to consider the circumstances. But up to this moment we have not had a single line in that connection, and until we get that information we must go on voting against the expansion of naval armaments.
§ 11.13 p.m.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I must say that I thought the right hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) a little unreasonable in the attitude which he took up of general opposition to all naval expenditure mentioned in this Vote, whether it be emergency expenditure or expenditure preparatory to the large expansion programmes which await us in the near future. After all, the Fleet is in the Mediterranean under conditions of very great strain and anxiety. Deep anxiety should be in all our hearts for our sailors and ships, which month after month are remaining there under conditions certainly approximate to those which prevail during a period of strained relations. No one has more urged the use of those forces in this quarter than the body opposite. Only to-day we have heard their strenuous appeals to the Government to proceed upon a course of sanctions in respect of a military commodity, oil, which from other quarters we have learned might precipitate, even at a moment's notice, the bloody explosion of war. That is the position which he invites us to take up and one into which we may be drawn by the workings of the consultations which will be taking place at Geneva. Yet there are sailors and officers and ships in this position, and when a Vote it put down in order to pay for the necessary emergency expenditure—for that is part of the Vote—in order to bring from a state of lamentable peace-time relaxation the Fleet into the thorough conditions of immediate preparedness in which I have every reason to believe it now is, the right hon. Member for Hillsborough who has been First Lord of the Admiralty, gets up and employs a whole catalogue of the old stale arguments which we have heard any time in the last 25 years when the Opposition has had to oppose Navy Estimates. That is a very deplorable exhibition, but from the point of view of those who support the Government I derive much encouragement from it, 190 because if that is going to be the attitude which the official Opposition is going to adopt in all the critical and anxious years that lie before this Parliament; if there is to be blind, unreasoning opposition to naval expenditure or armament expension, not only for the emergency but in connection with the long programme that will lie before us, I can hardly conceive an issue on which they are going to suffer more condign punishment at the hands of the country.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I admire the right hon. Gentleman's dialectical skill, but his statement is a travesty of my argument, which was put in order to get from the Government a reason for these proposals. Moreover, I pointed out that there are items in Vote 9 for bringing the Fleet up to its proper requirements for its work in the Mediterranean, to which we have no objection.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It must be a great relief to the Committee to learn that the right hon. Gentleman's thaumeturgical harangue was no more than a few discriminating inquiries designed to place the Committee in full possession of the details. I am glad that he has seen the red light which I exhibited to him, and I trust that he will keep himself to more discriminating tone and less to the violence which characterised his speech.
There is a great deal that can be said on this subject, not from the angle from which he has spoken. This expenditure was badly necessary to put the Fleet in a proper position of preparedness, and one was hardly prepared to believe that such measures would be necessary. It certainly appears disquieting that such extraordinary measures were necessary. I am very glad that they have been taken and now that they have been taken and the Fleet is in complete readiness, we can talk about it with some composure. I have heard it said in regard to a number of our large vessels that they were not ready for immediate service when the emergency arose in the Mediterranean. Now, they are, no doubt, ready but, when the Great War broke out, if a large number of our important units had been absent from their places on the general mobilisation, we might not have been here debating these matters so quietly at the present time. The class of criticism which might much more justly 191 be brought to bear upon the Government is, why was it that there were all these serious gaps? If we could go into details we might see how serious and numerous the gaps were. The criticism that the gaps should not be repaired, that the deficiencies should not be made good, at the earliest possible moment and that the Fleet should remain in a condition of danger, is a criticism which I am sure the Committee will unhesitatingly repulse.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I certainly derived that impression from listening to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and I can quite see the anxiety of the hon. Member to free himself from the indiscretions of his right hon. Friend, a former First Lord of the Admiralty. He knows perfectly well how disastrous such an attitude would be in our forthcoming Debates. Undoubtedly, the party opposite have to make up their minds where they stand about the maintenance of the reasonable defences of this country. I take it as a good augury that in this the preliminary skirmish, in the first challenge we have made, they have already hoisted the white flag. The right hon. Gentleman had the audacity, I had almost said the effrontery, to refer to the London Naval Treaty, to which we shall have to refer often during our debates. No treaty ever mutilated the British Navy in a more cruel and unwarrantable manner than the London. Treaty, for which he was directly responsible. If to-day our destroyer flotillas are far below proper strength in numbers, in modernity, size, calibre of guns, it is largely due to the restrictions imposed at that time. If to-day our cruisers are armed with guns extremely inadequate for their work it is due to the agreement made by the London Treaty, and now the right hon. Gentleman comes along and preaches to us of the London Treaty as something sacrosanct, something to be admired': whereas there is no one concerned with the wellbeing of the Navy who does not long for the day when we shall he free from the shameful and foolish shackles into which we were then ensnared.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Member has had a pretty good show for a party which consists of one, and he must not mistake for approbation what is only clue to chivalry.
I must remind the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. Gallacher) that he cannot speak unless the right hon. Gentleman gives way.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The right hon. Gentleman opposite appeared concerned, greatly shocked, because a flotilla of seven destroyers was apparently being prepared, set upon the slips, somewhat before the normal time and greatly concerned as to whether it would make an addition to our flotilla forces. There was one part of his speech with which I agreed. It is to be regretted that the Anglo-German Naval Agreement authorised Germany in circumstances, which at any time she was to be the judge, to create a submarine force equal to our whole submarine force. But I must remind the right hon. Gentleman that when the Germans had a much smaller tonnage of submarines than they have now or will be entitled to have under the Treaty—and may have in a very few years—they made a most severe submarine attack upon our commerce in the spring of 1915, causing the very deepest anxiety and very heavy losses.
How was that attack defeated? It was defeated by the fact that we had 220 destroyers. How many have we now? Not half, hardly a third; and now, when this tardy, this modest, this super-modest, this shrinking, timid, tentative proposal, this beginning, this snowdrop—a few little tender shoots that have come forward—when that is brought forward, he holds up his hands -n holy horror. Let me say that if era this country has fewer destroyers than it had in bygone days, when it is exposed to the same kind of attack, that indeed will be a case in which the Opposition may claim their retribution upon the Government and in which they will be joined by a great number of Members in all parts of the House.
§ 11.28 p.m.
§ Mr. AMMON
Tie House will have listened to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) with a good deal of interest, and I am sure the Government will think of the right hon. Gentleman when they 193 start forming their opinions regarding the Minister for Defence. But the right hon. Gentleman in no way dealt with the points raised by my right hon. Friend. He rather sought to play a part in a pantomime, and he in no way added to the knowledge of the House in its discussions on this matter. In the first place, it is as well to remember—although I have not the exact words here, I have some remembrances—that the present First Lord of the Admiralty stated that during the time the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping was Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Navy was cramped by monetary considerations. I would also like to ask the right hon. Gentleman how many destroyers he built during the time he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He did more than anybody else to limit the supply of destroyers.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Gentleman is speaking of a situation which existed ten years ago, when the ships of the Navy were half the age they are now, and when no question of rearmament was disturbing Europe at all. The situation was entirely different. Nothing could give me more pleasure than to justify every restriction I made upon what I considered to be unnecessary demands for expenditure. Obviously, I cannot do so in an interruption.
§ Mr. AMMON
The right hon. Gentleman showed himself not quite so adept as usual in that interruption. As a matter of fact, he did let them down, and now he is trying to pass it on. The London Naval Conference took place 12 months after the right hon. Gentleman was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is certainly something of which my right hon. Friend may be proud. After all, it must be remembered that a gentleman who now occupies a very honoured position on the Government Benches was leader at the London Naval Conference. What my right hon. Friend asked was, having regard to all the discussion that has taken place in this House about this nation and other nations honouring their word, whether or not this would be done in defiance and outside the agreement already arrived at in the London Treaty without any other decision or agreement being arrived at. That is an entirely different aspect of the matter. It is different from the conclusion into which the right hon. Gentleman endeavoured to mis- 194 lead us. My right hon. Friend is not attempting, as the right hon. Gentleman said, to argue against the necessary making good of actual deficiencies in the way of the repair of the Navy. What he did say was that under cover of this Supplementary Estimate there is an endeavour to start already a policy of expansion which the House has not yet had a full opportunity of discussing. That is a different thing altogether but the right hon. Gentleman with his usual glibness has endeavoured to lead the Committee off the track of the discussion on this Vote in order, no doubt, that his own claims may be considered as and when an opportunity arises. I have heard him say that it was unusual for him not to be on the Government Front Bench—presumably, one may add, whatever party was in Opposition. The right hon. Gentleman has simply been putting up dummies in order to knock them down again. The Government have still to answer the questions of my right hon. Friend. From what date did the emergency arise when the special dispositions in the Mediterranean were called for? Does the number of destroyers now proposed exceed the global tonnage laid down by the London Naval Treaty? Is the proposed new flotilla in excess of the number arrived at under the Treaty and is this to be carried out before we have had any opportunity of arriving at a decision or the Naval Conference has arrived at any decision on the matter?
§ 11.32 p.m.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I have listened with great interest to this Debate, and it seems to me that we have to make up our minds on one preliminary, and that' is whether we are going to take as the chief issue in this Estimate the provision of money for the special measures taken in the Mediterranean, or whether we are to take as the chief issue the provision of £3,500 out of 4,850,000 for the additional destroyer squadron. Frankly, I was a little bewildered by the coruscating wit of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping. At one stage he spoke of this as a preliminary skirmish in the great armaments Debate which we are to have and in another part of his speech he drew what I cannot help feeling was a truer picture of the subject, when he referred to the state of tension in the Mediterranean and the need of 195 support from this House in the carrying out of our obligations.
The right hon. Gentleman the late First Lord who made such a powerful speech, put several questions the answers to which we shall await with interest. He covered a considerable amount of ground which I do not intend to traverse. He discussed the financial predicament of a Chancellor of the Exchequer in an armament race, the co-ordination of the defence services and our American debt and, coming rather closer to the subject of our Debate, he discussed the forthcoming rearmament proposals of the Government. We all admire the ingenuity, courage and fertility of imagination which enabled him to discuss the proposals of the Government and methods of financing them, while, I have no doubt, he remained in as much ignorance as the rest of us of the details of the Government's proposals. I would prefer to leave the discussion of these great issues until the production of the Government's White Paper. Then, I think, we shall be equipped to enter on it with full knowledge. My vote to-night will not be cast in relation at all to that £3,500 Estimate for destroyers, and I do not regard my vote as a commitment in any way to the Government's proposals for rearmament. It seems to me, however, that we have urged upon the Government a policy of strong support of the League in the Italo-Abyssinian dispute and that the Estimate which is being presented to the Committee to-night is the bill for that policy.
The right hon. Gentleman asked what we have got for it in return. More than one detached, impartial foreign statesman has declared that but for the presence of the British Fleet in the Mediterranean it would have been impossible for the League to take the stand it has taken in this dispute. That, I think, is the answer to the right hon. Gentleman's question. Because the Fleet has been there, because it has been equipped for the purpose which the House desires, and which I and my hon. Friends desire it to fulfil, I must be prepared to face up to the bill and vote for this Estimate. When the time comes to discuss the large question of the Government's rearmament proposals, we shall have to consider all those matters which the ex-First Lord so powerfully urged. 196 I was interested to hear him say, because I so much agree with the view that he took, that if indeed the Government assure us, when they table these proposals, that they have been discussed with other nations who are our fellow-members of the League, or that they will be, and that they are a necessary part of an essential contribution that we have to make, roughly commensurate with our resources and responsibilities, to the system of collective security, then I agree with him that that will be a powerful influence in determining our attitude towards the rearmament proposals.
Although I am not entirely satisfied with the speeches that have been made from the Government Bench in the foreign affairs Debate earlier to-day, I await next week's test of action which the Government will have to take at Geneva, but, meanwhile, I recognise that the Bill which is presented to-night is a Bill for the carrying oat of a policy which the House his imposed on the Government, and I shall therefore cast my vote for it.
§ 11.39 p.m.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
The Fleet has been in Eastern Mediterranean waters for several months under conditions which practically amount to war conditions, and I think that hon. Members on all sides realise that that is a great strain on the officers and men. My Noble Friend probably realises, as hon. Members who have friends and relations in the Fleet do, that the strain is beginning to tell. Nobody knows how long this situation will go on; we hope it may be over soon, but it may be several months before we can withdraw the hulk of the Fleet. I would, therefore, ask my Noble Friend whether he is giving consideration to two aspects of the situation. The first is the question of reliefs. Could the Noble Lord devise some means by which ships of the Home Fleet, not only battleships but cruisers and torpedo boat destroyers, could relieve the ships of the Mediterranean Fleet on specified dates of which the officers and men could have due notice? In this connection I may say that there has been lately a little unnecessary secrecy over the movements of the Fleet. Nobody here wants to know the tactical or strategical dispositions of the Fleet but every country in the world, including Italy, has known 197 for weeks and months past of every British ship that has been in the Mediterranean, and I think that in the interests of the officers and men and their wives and families a little more information might be given to the British public about the movements of their own Fleet. We have reached the fantastic position now that we are the only people in the whole world who are not allowed to know where our ships are and I make an appeal to the Noble Lord to give consideration to this matter.
One last point. I think arrangements will have to be made for, and even some money spent upon, recreation grounds and similar facilities for the men, particularly of the Fleet. If they are to remain in Alexandria for several months to come then money must be spent and we ought not to grudge it to make conditions more endurable than they have been. It was not to deal with any of the wider aspects of policy but simply to raise these questions which vitally affect the welfare of the officers and men that I have intervened.
§ 11.42 p.m.
I can assure my hon. Friend the Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby) that the question of relief is under careful consideration. Wherever we can arrange for these men, who really ought to be doing home service now, to come home we do so, and shall continue to do so. As regards recreation, we have started a large club in Alexandria which, I understand, is working very well. As to providing entertainment and recreation for the men of the Fleet I assure the Committee that money will not be allowed to stand in the way. I am grateful to the right hon. and gallant Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair) for his speech and for his support. The major part of the Estimate deals simply with emergency expenditure in the Mediterranean, but when one saw the general agreement on all sides of the House with the speeches in the earlier Debate on foreign affairs I thought it was unnecessary to stress the object. I felt that everybody, if they agreed with our policy, would agree with the measures we have taken to carry it out, and I thought it was improper to give details of the expenditure, and that the best thing I could do was to be candid about those items of expenditure not immediately related to 198 the emergency period in the Mediterranean.
We on this side of the Committee can agree with the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) in looking forward with some confidence to future debates when we see that on this narrow issue the right hon. Member who is to be one of the chief opponents of putting our defences into a satisfactory condition again has had to resort to so many contradictions and so much wandering away from the points at issue. All through his speech he tried to make out that in this Estimate we were anticipating a large future programme, and pointed to what I have said to stress that point of view, but—I am sure unintentionally—he took a wrong view of what I did say. The gist of my speech was that in this Estimate we were anticipating payments on existing commitments. I never said we were anticipating large future programmes. The only anticipation of future building in this Estimate is the seven destroyers, the trawlers and the torpedo motor boats. Two or three of his questions I can answer at once. First, he complained that the increase in Vote A is not due to the emergency but to a proposed general increase in the Fleet in future. I can tell him that when we were preparing our Vote A programme, in the beginning of last year, we had no idea that this emergency was likely to come. The increase for which we are asking to-day is due entirely, or practically entirely, to the emergency in the Mediterranean.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
The Noble Lord will agree that the statement was definitely made by the Civil Lord last March that the increase of 2,000 men enabled him to man ships at home and abroad. What extra ships have you had to man?
That was in normal conditions. I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman did not listen to what I said about destroyers. When I told him about the destroyers I said that the aggregate tonnage was being kept within the position of the London Naval Treaty. The information as to the armaments of the destroyers will be made public when the keels are laid down.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
The Noble Lord has not answered my question. We are perfectly well aware that within the total replacement tonnage available under the 199 Naval Treaty you are not exceeding the replacement tonnage laid down for this year. What we are putting is that the First Lord has said that it is advisable to have a steady building programme, and not to build up to-day, but in a cycle of 13 years to accomplish the total of the Naval Treaty of London, 150,000 tons aggregate. I am asking: "Is your putting this flotilla into this year an indication that you are going to announce an increase in the global tonnage of 150,000 in the destroyer category, as laid down in the Naval Treaty? [HON. MEMBERS: "Wait and see!"] Please answer "Yes," or "No."
I refuse to say "Yes" or "No." The right hon. Gentleman must wait for the full discussion of this year's Estimates, for the building programme for 1936. He seems to forget that we are discussing only the Supplementary Estimates; we must also wait and see the conclusions of the Naval Conference which is sitting at the present time.
The next question was with regard to an oil tanker. I am very glad to say that from information, which I had before he spoke—I am afraid it is too late an hour for me to get the full information—the right hon. Gentleman will be very much relieved to know that his information has been grossly exaggerated. I do not think there are the difficulties with this oil tanker that the right hon. Gentleman made out, but I will certainly make inquiries. The right hon. Gentleman gave the Committee the impression that while this tanker was battling against the waves we were using our best and newest tankers for commercial purposes; but there is only one freighter on charter in the whole of the Fleet.
§ The right hon. Gentleman stressed the fact that the Estimates for 1935, in the aggregate, and the Supplementary Estimates, make the largest provision that has been made for the Navy for 14 years. I think the Committee will agree that it is quite time that there should have been something done. When the right hon. Gentleman says that this is the largest expenditure for 14 years, it is true. During those 14 years we have shown to the world an example in disarmament which the rest of the world has not accepted. The Government do not intend to continue the policy of unilateral disarmament, and as it showed at the General Election the country is in complete agreement with them on that point. When we compare these Estimates with the Navy Estimates for 1930, I can only say that in these Estimates we are trying to make up some of the worst of the deficiencies for which the right hon. Gentleman is responsible. If we are to be challenged as to the necessity for the attitude we have taken in the Mediterranean, if we are to be challenged as to the necessity for increasing our expenditure on the Navy in the future, everyone on this side of the House will go into the Lobby in no apologetic spirit.
§ Mr. PERKINS
Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether any steps have been taken in the design of these new destroyers to safeguard them against air attack?
That an additional number, not exceeding 3,400, be en ployed for the said Service.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 95; Noes, 286.203
|Division No. 54.]||AYES.||[11.54 p.m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Burke, W. A.||Gardner, B. W.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Cape, T.||Garro-Jones, G. M.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Charleton, H. C.||Green, W. H. (Deptford)|
|Ammon, C. G.||Chater, D.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Cove, W. G.||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)|
|Banfleld, J. W.||Daggar, G.||Handie, G. D.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)|
|Batey, J.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)|
|Bellenger, F.||Day, H.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)|
|Benson, G.||Dobbie, W.||Hicks, E. G.|
|Bevan, A.||Ede, J. C.||Holland, A.|
|Broad, F. A.||Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Hopkin, D|
|Bromfield, W.||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Jagger, J.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Frankel, D.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)|
|Buchanan, G.||Gallacher, W.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Muff, G.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Kirby, B. V.||Oliver, G. H.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Lawson, J. J.||Paling, W.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Leonard, W.||Parker, H. J H.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Logan, D. G.||Pethick- Lawrence, F. W.||Stephen, C.|
|Lunn, W.||Potts, J.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|McEntee, V. La T.||Pritt, D. N.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|McGovern, J.||Riley, B.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Maclean, N.||Ritson, J.||Tinker, J. J.|
|MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Mainwaring. W. H.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Marklew, E.||Rowson, G.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Marshall, F.||Salter, Dr. A.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Messer, F,||Sexton, T. M.|
|Milner, Major J.||Short, A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES —|
|Montague, F.||Silverman, S. S.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.)||Simpson, F. B.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Croft, Brig. -Gen. Sir H. Page||Harris, Sir P. A.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Crooke, J. S.||Harvey, G.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)|
|Albery, I. J.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Cross, R. H.||Heneage, Lieut. -Colonel A. P.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Crowder, J F. E.||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Cruddas, Col. B.||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.||Holmes, J. S.|
|Apsley, Lord||Davies, C, (Montgomery)||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)||Hopkinson, A.|
|Assheton, R.||De Chair, S. S.||Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.|
|Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Dodd, J. S.||Hulbert, N. J.|
|Ballour, G. (Hampstead)||Donner, P. W.||Hunter, T.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Dorman-Smith, Major R. H.||Jackson, Sir H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Dugdale, Major T. L.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Duggan, H. J.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Duncan, J. A. L.||Jones, L. (Swansea, W.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Dunglass, Lord||Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Dunne, P. R. R.||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)|
|Beit, Sir A. L.||Eastwood, J. F.||Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Eckcrsley, P. T.||Kimball, L.|
|Birchall, Sir J. D.||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Kirkpatrick, W. M.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Blindell, Sir J.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Latham, Sir P.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Ellis, Sir G.||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Borodale, Viscount||Elliston, G. S,||Leckie, J. A.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Emery, J. F.||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Leigh, Sir J.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Errington, E.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W.||Erskine Hill, A. G.||Levy, T.|
|Boyd- Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Lewis, O.|
|Bracken, B.||Everard, W. L.||Liddall, W. S.|
|Bralthwaite, Major A. N.||Findlay, Sir E.||Lindsay, K. M.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Fleming, E. L.||Liewellin, Lieut. -Col. J. J.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Foot, D. M.||Locker- Lampson, Comdr. O. S.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)||Fraser, Capt. Sir I.||Loftus, P. C.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Lumley, Capt. L. R.|
|Bull, B. B.||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)|
|Burghley, Lord||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Mac Andrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Gibson, C. G.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.)|
|Butler, R. A.||Gledhill, G.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Gluckstein, L. H.||McEwen, Capt. H. J.F|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||McKie, J. H.|
|Cary. R. A.||Goldie, N. B.||Maclay, Hon. J. P.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Goodman, Col. A. W||Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||Maitland, A.|
|Cazaiet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.||Manningham-Buller, Sir M,|
|Channon, H.||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.|
|Choriton, A. E. L.||Grimston, R. V.||Maxwell, S. A.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.|
|Clarke, F. E.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Drake)||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Guest, MaJ. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll,N.W.)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Colfox, Major W. P.||Guinness, T. L. E. B.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)|
|Colman, N. C. D,||Gunston, Capt. D, W.||Moreing, A. C.|
|Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J.||Guy, J. C. M.||Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)|
|Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Hamilton, Sir G. C.||Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff(W'st'r S.G'gs)||Hanbury, Sir C.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hannah, I. C.||Nail, Sir J.|
|Courlhope, Col. Sir G. L.||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.|
|Craven-Ellis, W.||Harbord, A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)||Sutclific, H.|
|Palmer, G. E. H.||Salmon, Sir I.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Patrick, C. M.||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Peat, C. U.||Sandys, E. D.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Penny, Sir G.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Percy, Rt. Hon. Lord E.||Scott, Lord William||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Seely, Sir H. M.||Touche, G. C.|
|Petherick, M.||Shakespeare, G. H.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.|
|Pilkington, R.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.|
|Plugge, L. F.||Shepperson, Sir E. W.||Turton, R. H.|
|Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Power, Sir J, C.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.||Ward, Lieut. -col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Pownall, Sir A. Assheton||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|Radford, E. A.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st),||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Raikes, H. V. A. M.||Smiles, Lieut-Colonel Sir W. D.||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.||Smith, L. W. (Hallam)||Wedderburn. H. J. S.|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||White, H. Graham|
|Rankin, R.||Somerset, T.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Somervelli, sir D. B. (Crewe)||Williams. H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Rayner, Major R. H.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut. -Colonel G.|
|Remer, J. R.||Spender-Clay, Lt.-CI. Rt. Hn. H. H.||Wise, A. R.|
|Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'I'd)||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Ropner, Colonel L.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||Wragg, H.|
|Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)||Storey, S.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Strauss, E. A. (South wark, N.)|
|Rothschild, J. A. de||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Rowlands, G.||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Mr. James Stuart and Dr. Morris-|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)||Jones.|
|Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)||Sueter, Rear- Admiral Sir M. F.|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £4,850,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1936, for expenditure beyond the sum already provided in the grants for Navy Services for the year, including expenditure consequent upon the special measures taken in connection with the Italo-Abyssinian dispute.