HC Deb 25 February 1936 vol 309 cc371-409

5. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,611,000, 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 Air Services for the year, including expenditure consequent upon the special measures taken in connection with the Italo-Abyssinian dispute.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

8.43 p.m.


A considerable time was spent yesterday in debating this Supplementary Estimate for men and it is not proposed to repeat what has already been said. I will content myself by moving that the number in the Resolution be reduced by 100.

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Sir Dennis Herbert)

The hon. Gentleman is not taking the right course. He cannot move an Amendment of that kind now. The Question has been put "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution", and the only thing he can do is to vote against it.


I beg to move, to leave out "£4,850,000"and to insert instead thereof "£4,849,900."

I take this opportunity of asking the Parliamentary Secretary to reply to some of the definite questions which were raised during the Debate of yesterday evening. In particular, perhaps, he will acquaint the House of where in the Estimates we are to find particulars relating to the purchase of the motor torpedo boats referred to as mosquito craft and also the trawlers.

8.46 p.m.


I wish to draw the attention of the Minister to the fact that under these Estimates the Admiralty is purchasing 20 more trawlers. I have the honour to represent one of the largest fishing ports, and I have some relevant observations to make on the policy of the Admiralty in purchasing these vessels. Ever since the War the fishing fleet, especially the steam trawling fishing fleet, has deteriorated in almost every port in Great Britain. In particular, in the constituency which I represent these vessels have become worse and worse from the seaworthy point of view. The relevance of this to the Vote before us is this. If the Admiralty is going to fulfil its requirements for auxiliary vessels by purchasing steam trawlers now in the fleet, they are, in effect, taking the cream of quality till those that are left will become worse in quality and in seaworthy efficiency in comparison. If the Admiralty want to get 20 more trawlers, they ought not to buy them from the existing fishing fleet, but build them. In that way they would not reduce the quality of the fishing fleet and would give employment in a quarter where it is badly needed. If the Admiralty were to find it necessary to recruit as many patrol vessels as they required in 1914, they would receive a severe shock when they examined the quality of the fishing fleet round these islands.

Since I have been returned to the House I have drawn the attention of the President of the Board of Trade and of the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to the appalling conditions which obtain in those fleets. Day after day I have been put off by suggestions that the Sea Fish Commission is about to report. In December it is going to report in January, in January it is going to report in February, and when I ask the Minister at the end of this month, I am sure he will tell us that very prospective report will come out in March or April. If it is so important for the Minister to equip the Fleet with 20 auxiliary trawlers, it is important to see that the principle on which he does it is an efficient one. What will be the use of having 20 vessels if an emergency develops and he wanted 500 or more and found he could not get them by going into every port in Great Britain?


I am not sure whether this is in order on this Vote. This is a Supplementary Estimate which I am not sure applies to the matter which the hon. Member is raising.


I am given to understand that 20 steam trawlers have been purchased under the Vote. It appears in Vote 8, Section III, K, "Purchase of ships, vessels, etc., £329,000." I think that this is an ideal opportunity to discuss—


As I read this Supplementary Estimate, it all has to do with services consequent on special measures taken in connection with the Italo-Abyssinian dispute. The point which the hon. Member is raising can, I think, only come on the original Estimate.


Last night we were told by the Noble Lord that the Admiralty had purchased 20 trawlers and had also purchased some motor torpedo vessels, not for the Italo-Abyssinian dispute, but for some new force the Admiralty were operating in the Navy.


May I call attention to the second paragraph of the Explanatory Memorandum, which contains the words: and covering authority for the purchase of six motor torpedo boats and twenty trawlers.


If that be so, the hon. Member will be in order.


They were bought arising out of the emergency. They are referred to in the Explanatory Memorandum and also in Vote 8.


Whether or not they were bought for the emergency or for more general purposes, they were bought, and my remarks are equally relevant to either case. I want to take advantage of this opportunity to ask the Minister to collaborate with the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in giving serious attention to the state of the fishing fleet. It is made worse to the extent that he is purchasing 20 of the best vessels. If this policy is continued, he will purchase a further 20, and so on. To a certain extent, admittedly, these trawlers will be replaced by good class vessels, but to a greater extent they will be replaced by vessels of an inferior character. Therefore, by purchasing the best vessels from the fleet the Admiralty is damaging the standard of the steam trawling fleet round the islands. That is a serious matter. The condition of some of these ships is really appalling. I know a little about steam trawlers; I have frequently sailed in them and taken part in their work, and I have spent days and weeks examining the condition of ships in my constituency of Aberdeen.

I ask the Minister to give his attention to it from this point of view. The kind of vessels he will need in the Fleet are first-class up-to-date steam trawlers properly equipped with the necessary apparatus and with crews who are capable of using sextants and charts and who are skilled navigators of a higher type than the average in the fishing fleet. Something ought to be done in peace time to improve the standards of equipment of these vessels. We are constantly hearing of the importance of the Navy, and I do not wish to say anything contrary to it. I admit that it is important, but it seems to me a strange contrast that emergency and urgency characterise the Front Bench when they are seeking to defend the country, but there is no atmosphere of urgency when we are trying to improve the conditions under which these men obtain their daily bread. We are asked to put off our requirements almost indefinitely, and I shall be quite content if, by this small contribution, I have awakened the Admiralty to the great importance—I mean this in all seriousness —of attending to the quality of the fishing fleet and persuading the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to do all they can to improve it. I was not prepared for this subject to come on to-night, and I shall have much longer and more detailed observations, documented chapter and verse, when the particular Votes are under discussion, but I could not allow the representative of the Admiralty to leave here to-night without bringing this matter to his notice.

8.56 p.m.


I wish to put two simple questions to the Noble Lord, one of which I asked him last night but to which, unfortunately, I did not receive an answer that was as to the capability of the seven new destroyers to defend themselves against air attack. I well remember in the last Election the Prime Minister telling the electors that it was necessary to rebuild the Fleet, to spend a large sum of money, because the Fleet was not capable of defending itself against attacks from the air. During the last week I have observed in a certain daily paper several possibly rather wild statements to the effect that our, Fleet in the Mediterranean was in danger from air attack, and I wish to ask whether there is any truth whatever in those statements, and if the seven new destroyers will be capable of defending themselves against air attack. I also wish to ask whether the Admiralty have made any experiments during the last three or four years with regard to air attacks on naval ships; whether they have experimented as the Americans have; whether they have built ships with sloping decks and tried the effects of bombs on those sloping decks.

I wish to know whether the Admiralty are really alive to the danger of air attack on naval ships. I want re-assuring on that matter. Under Vote 4 I see the item "Grant to Air Votes." The Admiralty appear to be granting to the Air Ministry a sum of nearly £2,000,000—an increase of £120,000—and I assume, I hope I am wrong, that this is in respect of aircraft carriers. That would mean, in other words, that the Admiralty are paying the Air Ministry approximately £2,000,000 in order to run their aircraft carriers for them. I wish to ask the Noble Lord whether he is satisfied that everything is happy in that direction; whether the relations between the Admiralty and the Air Ministry are perfectly harmonious; whether the two Services are working together; because, unfortunately, I have heard many rumours to the contrary, and I should welcome a denial from my Noble Friend.

8.59 p.m.


I should like an explanation about the increase in the wages of men in navy yards abroad, which comes under Vote 8. It amounts to some £262,000. May we be told whether it refers to Malta, to Hong Kong, to Burmuda or Simons Town, and whether we have increased the staffs employed there? Probably I should not have asked this question had I not noticed in item A an increase of £10,000 for salaries and allowances. I take that to be for the restoration of the "cut" which was wrongly made in 1931. A little lower down, at F, there is an item "Wages etc. of men." It is curious that the items should be divided up in that way, and I hope the Noble Lord will give us an explanation of them. With regard to the items from A to K on page 7, including the fuelling of the Fleet, are they due to increased prices paid for these materials—timber, metal, electrical apparatus and so forth, or due to the use of increased quantities of these materials? I am wondering whether those who supply these materials have taken the opportunity to increase prices by reason of the existing conditions. That observation would also apply to Vote 8, Section III—the items there are considerable in amount. There is one other item, the Royal Naval Torpedo Works at Rosyth. Are those works being extended, and does this mean that the extension mentioned is the limit to which the Admiralty are going there or is it the intention to increase the establishment still further?

9.1 p.m.


I do not think I should have intervened had not the question of trawlers been raised, and I have only one question to put to the Minister, concerning the men engaged in fishing on trawlers. From 200 to 250 men will have lost their jobs as fishermen on the trawlers which the Admiralty have appropriated, and bearing in mind that no provision is made for them in the matter of unemployment benefit I should like to know whether the Admiralty have considered the question of granting any compensation to the crews of those vessels and whether there is any provision for such compensation in the Estimates? If the hon. Member for Grimsby (Sir W. Womersley) had been in the House I am sure he would have been the first to raise this question, in the interests of the fishermen, to whom the country owes so much. They are a class of people with whom I am proud to be associated as a resident of that town, the largest fishing port in the whole world.

9.3 p.m.


The hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Perkins) can hardly expect me to follow him into the two problems which he raised—the future of the Fleet Air Arm and the question of the power of the Navy to resist attacks from the air, though I should be prepared to answer those questions fully at a more opportune moment. With regard to the special fittings for the new destroyers, I am afraid I am not in a position to give any more details than I gave to the Committee yesterday. The hon. Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon) asked me about the purchase of the motor torpedo boats. The purchase price is to be found in Section III under the beading "A—Propelling, etc. machinery," and "C—Hulls of ships, etc.," but it would be contrary to the usual practice to give at this moment the definite price paid. It does not come under K. The sum of £329,000 under K is, as the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Garro-Jones) said, for the purchase of trawlers.

I congratulate the hon. Member upon his ingenuity in raising the particular matter on this Vote. I not only congratulate him, but sympathise with and share his interest in the trawling industry. He represents North Aberdeen, but I represent a place which I consider an equally important fishing port, Fleetwood. I can assure him that it is a customary practice of the Admiralty to lay down trawlers for themselves. This, as he rightly said, is a question of emergency. As I said in my speech last night, we had to get vessels of this kind at short notice for local use. We did not have time to build them, arid therefore we had to buy them. It was only because of the emergency that we had to adopt that practice. Our normal custom would be to build them; in fact, in this year's Estimates we did make provision for building two of them.


What I wanted to secure from the Noble Lord was an assurance that he would get into contact with the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister of Agriculture, and acquaint himself with the condition of the fishing fleet according to the most recent information, as being an extremely relevant factor in the defence of the country, quite apart from the interest, with which I am more urgently charged,

as to the conditions under which the crews of these vessels work.


That point is rather going beyond the scope of this discussion.


I am perfectly prepared to look into the question of the trawler industry from the point of view taken by the hon. Member. In answer to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Marklew) I am sure the hon. Member will remember that in answer to several questions just before Christmas I made it clear that it was impossible to give compensation to the men who unfortunately lost their employment through these purchases. There was no precedent for it, and it was impossible to find grounds on which to do it in this instance. Any compensation would have to come from the owners. We did the best we could for them by offering them employment.

The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) asked one or two questions dealing with the personnel under Vote 8, Section 1. The increase in the cost is partly due to the restoration of the pay cuts and partly due to the considerable number of extra men which we have had to take in, both at home and abroad, to carry out the necessary emergency work. In regard to Section II of the same Vote, he asked whether that was a very large increase due to increased prices or not. It is due to additional stores, replacing in the depots at home stores taken to the Mediterranean on account of the existing emergency. The hon. Member's last question was wtih regard to the extension of the Royal Naval Torpedo Factory required under Vote 10. That, as I told the House, is a new establishment set up at Alexandria, Dumbarton. I think I have now answered all the question.

Question put, "That £4,850,000' stand part of the Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 226;Noes, 101.

Division No. 58.] AYES. [9.9 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Balfour, Capt. H. H.(Isle of Thanet) Bracken, B.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Brass, Sir W.
Albery, I. J. Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsrn'h) Briscoe, Capt. R. G
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Bernays, R. H. Brocklebank, C. E. R.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Birchall, Sir J. D. Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Blindell. Sir J. Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Newbury)
Apsley, Lord Borodale, Viscount. Bull, B. B.
Aske, Sir R. W. Bossom, A, C. Burghley, Lord
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E) Boulton, W. W. Butler, R. A.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Bower, Comdr. R. T. Campbell, Sir E. T.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Cartland, J. R. H.
Cary, R. A. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Holmes, J. S. Remer, J. R.
Channon, H. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Hopkinson, A. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Christie, J. A. Horsbrugh, Florence Ropner, Colonel L,
Clarry, Sir R. G. Howitt, Dr. A. B. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)
Clydesdale, Marquess of Hume, Sir G. H. Ross Taylor. W. (Woodbridge)
Cobb, Sir C. S. Hunter, T. Rowlands. G.
Colfox, Major W. P. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Ruggles-Brise. Colonel Sir E. A.
Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Jackson, Sir H. Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n) Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff(W'st'r S.G'gs) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Salmon, Sir I.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh.W.) Jones, L. (Swansea, W.) Salt, E. W.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
Crooke, J. S. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Sandys, E. D.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Kimball, L. Scott, Lord William
Cross, R. H. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Seely, Sir H. M.
Crossley, A. C. Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.) Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Cruddas, Col. B. Leech, Dr. J. W. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Culverwell, C. T. Lees-Jones, J. Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Davles, C. (Montgomery) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Davies, Major G. F.(Yeovil) Levy, T. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st).
De Chair, S. S. Lewis, O. Smith, L. W. (Hallam)
Denville, Alfred Lindsay, K. M. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Dorman-Smith, Major R. H, Little, Sir E Graham- Somervell. Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Dower, Capt. A. V. G. Liewellin, Lieut. -Col. J. J. Somerville. D. G. (Willesden, E.)
Duggan, H. J. Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V. Spender-Clay, Lt.-CI. Rt. Hn. H. H.
Duncan, J. A. L Loftus, P. C. Spens, W. P.
Dunglass, Lord Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Eckersley, P. T. MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G. Stewart, J Henderson (Fife, E.)
Edmondson, Major Sir J. McCorquodale, M. S. Storey, S.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. MacDonald, Rt- Hon M. (Ross) Stourton, Hon. J. J.
Ellis, Sir G. McKie, J. H. Strauss. E A. (Southwark, N.)
Elmley, Viscount Maclay, Hon. J. p. Strauss, H. A. (Norwich)
Emery, J. F. Maitland, A. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Errington, E. Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Ersklne Hill, A. G. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sutcilffe, H.
Evans, D.O (Cardigan) Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M. Tate, Mavis C.
Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Taylor, C S. (Eastbourne)
Everard, W. L. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Findlay. Sir E. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Fleming, E. L. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Tufnell, Lieut. -Com. R. L.
Fraser, Capt. Sir I. Mitcheson, Sir G. G. Turton, R. H.
Fyfe, D. P. M. Morgan, R. H. Wakefield. W. W.
Ganzonl, Sir J. Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.) Wallace, Captain Euan
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Unlv's.) Ward, Lieut.-col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Gledhill, G. Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester) Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Goodman, Col. A. W. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Wardlaw-Mlinc, Sir J. S.
Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Munro, P. M. Warrender. Sir V.
Greene, W. p. C. (Worcester) O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Wedderburn H. J. S
Gridley, Sir A. B. Orr-Ewing, I. L. White, H. Graham
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Palmer, G. E. H. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Grimston, R. V. Penny, Sir G. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Guinness, T. L. E. B. Perkins, W. R. D. Willoughbv de Eresby, Lord
Gunston, Capt. D. W. Petherick, M. Wilson, Lt. -Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Guy, J. C. M. Pilkington, R. Windsor-dive Lieut. -Colonel G.
Hamilton, Sir G. C. Procter, Major H. A. Wise, A. R.
Hanbury, Sir C. Radford. E. A. Wragg, H
Hannah, I. C. Raikes, H. V. A. M. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Harbord, A. Ramsbotham, H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES —
Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Ramsden, Sir E. Commander Southby and Captain
Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Waterhouse
Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Adams, D. (Consett) Cluse. W. S. Grenfell, D. R.
Adamson, W. M. Cocks, F. S. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Cove, W. G. Groves. T. E.
Ammon, C. G. Daggar, G. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Hardie, G. D.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Hayday, A.
Banfield, J. W. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Henderson. A. (Kingswinford)
Batey, J. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Henderson. T. (Tradeston)
Bellenger, F. Day, H. Hollins, A.
Benson, G. Ede, J. C. Hopkin, D.
Bevan, A. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwelity) Jagger, J.
Bromfield, W. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Jenkins, A (Pontypool)
Brooke, W. Frankel, D. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neatn)
Buchanan, G. Gardner, B. W. John, W.
Burke, W. A. Garro-Jones, G. M. Jones, A. C. (Shipley)
Chater, D. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Kelly, W. T Muff, G. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T Oliver, G. H. Stewart, W. J. (H'gh'n-le-Sp'ng)
Kirby, B. V. Paling, W. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Lawson, J. J. Parker, H. J. H. Taylor, R, J. (Morpeth)
Leach, W. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Thorne, W.
Lee, F. Potts, J. Thurtle, E.
Leslie, J. R. Richards, R. (Wrexham) Tinker, J. J.
Logan, D. G. Riley, B. Viant, S. P.
Lunn, W. Ritson, J. Watkins. F. C.
Macdonald, G.(luce) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.) Westwood, J.
McEntee, V. La T Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
McGovern, J Rowson, G. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Maclean, N Salter, Dr. A. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
MacMillan, M. (Western lsles) Sexton, T. M. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Mainwaring, W. H Shinwell, E. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Marklew, E Short, A.
Maxton, J Sliverman, S. S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Montague, F Smith, E. (Stoke) Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)

Third Resolution read a Second time.

9.17 p.m.


I beg to move, to leave out "£1,350,000,"and to insert instead thereof "£1,349,000."

Last night, when the Secretary of State for War introduced this Vote, he was very brief, and I rather thought he was off-hand. He told us that some £300,000 or more was accounted for by the restoration of cuts, and with that we quite agree, but he also gave us to understand that that expenditure was offset by a gift of some £400,000, or, at any rate, that the Army was to have its share of the gift of £400,000 from the Sultan of Johore. He said that the rest was for emergencies. This Supplementary Estimate is for £1,350,000, and actually £1,500,000 is provided for emergencies. I remember that, when the last Estimates showed an increase of nearly £4,000,000, the House was startled by it, but it shows where we have got to in our frame of mind on these matters when the Minister who introduces a Supplementary Estimate and asks for £1,500,000 extra for emergency purposes can treat it in what I thought was a rather offhand manner. We have got into a state of mind when this is not considered to be a very serious item.

I am afraid that that is rather the state of mind that is developing in reference to armaments. We are going to spend, it is said, some £200,000,000 or £300,000,000, so what does £1,500,000 matter, particularly as Supplementary Estimates for £6,000,000 or £7,000,000 have preceded this one? The worst of it was that the right hon. Gentleman did not attempt to give us the slightest idea of what this extra call is for. It is simply described broadly as "special measures." What are those special measures? I submit that the House of Commons is entitled to know what it is voting money for. We are not at war. This is merely for some vague purpose in a time of peace. Our case generally—I would not attempt to deal with it on the Report stage—our case against these Supplementary Estimates has been put by other speakers. It is that this money has been spent, not in co-operation with the nations who are part of the League of Nations, but in a way that would delight the heart of the most outstanding, I might say the most brass-faced Imperialist in the House; but even then there has been absolutely no explanation of the items that go to make up these costs and of the way in which the money has been spent. There is, for instance, an increase in Vote 6—Quartering and Movements—of over £400,000, including an increase in respect of conveyance by sea of £315,000. Where has the conveyance been to? I think we are entitled to know how that money has been spent.


Does not the hon. Gentleman read the "Daily Herald"?


The hon. Member appears to regard this as a laughing matter—


I apologise if the hon. Gentleman thinks it rude, but I simply asked him, does he read his daily paper?


I suppose that if we can get the information from a daily paper we can get much more accurate and official information from the right hon. Gentleman. What the hon. Member has said justifies me in asking for solid reasons for this expenditure. On Vote 6 there is an increase of £277,000. I ask the House to notice this fact as an instance of the rate at which we are going. There is an increase of £170,000 for mechanical transport. The original Estimate for mechanical transport was only £189,000. The Supplementary Estimate is, therefore, almost doubling the amount that it was thought would be needed in the annual Estimates. I think the House is entitled to some explanation why there is such an extraordinary leap in the expenditure in respect of that item. On Vote 9 there is an increase of £368,000 for warlike stores. When the Estimates were discussed I think the increase was something like £1,500,000, and there was a great deal of questioning about it at the time. What the War Office said in answer to our questions was that surplus stores had been diminished, and therefore they needed new stocks. Now we are asked to increase the original Estimates by £440,000, against which certain sums have to be set off. I am aware that the warlike stores do not consist only of ammunition and guns. They include machine guns and stores, mechanically propelled vehicles other than those of the R.A.S.C. armoured cars, tanks and other vehicles.

I understood that we were ready in the ordinary way to meet emergencies. If this money is wanted for this emergency, we are entitled to know on what it has been spent. A feeling is growing very much on this side, and I think in the country, that we are not so much voting Supplementary Estimates for the purposes of this emergency, as that the War Office is getting a bit in advance, what one might call anticipatory expenditure. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the War Office has been ordering on a larger scale than usual, and whether he can give us a guarantee that those who supply these tanks and tractors are not taking advantage of this so-called emergency. This is not a matter that should only concern people on this side. It should concern business men and Members in every part of the House, and all the more so be- cause the War Office, more than any other Service, has at its disposal great factories, plant and technical skill to an almost greater extent than any private company, and the War Office can set a standard to the other Services that would be very useful, and that might almost become a measuring rod for the other Services. This is not merely the gospel of the Socialists. At Woolwich and at other places the War Office has a great socialised undertaking for the supply of raw materials that is second to none.

I want business men to try to make themselves familiar with this organisation. I remember some years ago that private companies were paying an annual sum to Woolwich for the purpose of getting the benefit of its laboratory investigations and in various other ways. I do not think it will be challenged that the War Office on its ordnance side has made very original discoveries which have sometimes been used by great firms outside. It is well known that cordite was subject to a disease, with which it was very difficult to deal. I think it was the cause of explosions from time to time. I understand that Woolwich can photograph that particular explosive through any depth for the purpose of locating disease, and I understand they have even located diseases in steel. I think I have noticed in the War Office a tendency to treat with scant courtesy those fine organisations which are the possession of the State. I do not like, for instance, the way the Army Clothing Department was thrown off. I know that the lease was up aril all the rest of it, but that was an indication of the light way in which they treat the very fine socialised organisations in the possession of the War Office. They can, if they will, do more, through the proper use of Woolwich and their various factories, to arrest profit-making and to stop the proposed gallop of the hard-faced men than any other section of the Government.

I hope the Minister will give us some information how this money has been spent. I hope he is going to answer my question whether there is any increase of cost for the tanks and all the materials that they have needed as expressed in the Vote, whether they are going to give full faith and confidence to their own organisations, and whether they are going to expand the great ordnance factories in order to produce as much as possible of their own war material. The most effective limits that can be put on profit making can be put on it by the War Office through the full use of its own undertakings and its own ordnance factories.

9.41 p.m.


There are one or two questions I would like to ask. On Vote 3 there is an item for the wages of civilians employed at hospitals. I wonder why there is this increase of £30,000. I hope we may have some explanation where that is happening and whether it is because extra people are being taken on, or what is the reason for the increase? I can hardly imagine that this is to make up for the cuts that were imposed in 1931. On Vote 6, Subhead M, what is the reason for the increase in wages of civilians in the Royal Army Service Corps establishment? Is that at home or abroad? Can we have an explanation as to this item of £36,000? On Vote 7, Clothing and the Clothing Allowance, I should like to know if this is due to an increase in the price now that you are putting this work out to contract rather than doing it yourself, as you did for so many years in the past? We need to watch very closely what these clothing contractors are doing, and I hope we shall have an explanation of this increase of £41,000. There is an increase of £53,000 on Vote 8 for general stores. On Vote 40, Works Construction and Maintenance Services, there is an item referred to as Additional Item, Works Services in connection with Special Measures. I believe "special measures." mean the difficulties with regard to the Italo-Abyssinian matter. We have there an increase of £188,600. If this has regard to that particular happening, I would ask for an explanation of it. On Vote 11 there has been an increase in the number of people employed, but we find a decrease in the amount paid for national health and unemployment contributions in respect of soldiers. There has not been a decrease in the Army. There has been an increase in the contributions to health insurance, which was kept very dark during the progress of the General Election. I cannot understand why we are told that there is a decrease of no less than £40,000 in respect of the insurance of soldiers. This Supplementary Estimate causes one to reflect whether or not everything is being done in this particular Department of State to keep the expenditure within reasonable limits.

9.45 p.m.


There appears to be an obscure point on page 7 of the Supplementary Estimate. It says: The Estimate also provides for increased expenditure resulting from the decision to accelerate the progress of the Singapore Defence Scheme in the light of the generous gift made by His Highness the Sultan and the State of Johore. Is the whole of the gift which the Army shares of apparently £400,000 to be appropriated to that particular purpose; it is all intended to be applied to the Singapore defences? If that be so, it is perhaps a little unfortunate that only £47,000 of the cost of the defences appears in this Estimate, whereas the whole of the gift of £400,000 is appropriated in aid of this Estimate. Am I right in saying that the whole of the cost is appropriated to this purpose, and, if so, is it not the case that in future we shall find the difference of £353,000 will have to be met on some future Estimate?

9.47 p.m.

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Sir Victor Warrender)

I rather got the impression from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) when he drew attention to the Supplementary Estimate, that he thought that my right hon. Friend last night had treated the House in rather an off-hand manner, and insinuated that we had something to hide, and that we were anxious not to have our Supplementary Estimate discussed before the House. I assure him that that is far from the truth. I am certain that my right hon. Friend had no intention to be off-hand in any sense of the word, and he is still to-day, as he always has been, only too willing to give all the information that it is within his power to give to the House. The inquiries of the hon. Gentleman really come down to three heads. He wanted to know to what the large increase in our expenditure this year was due. I thought that I might be asked to explain a good many points of detail to-night, but I did not think that I should be asked to explain for what the entire sum of money is needed. One might almost imagine from the questions put to me, that the hon. Gentleman opposite had forgotten that we have for some months past now been faced with a very serious emergency in the Mediterranean.

The large excess on Vote 5 under the Sub-head which he quoted for conveyance of troops has been expended in certain ways, which frankly I am not in a position to discuss here to-night. But it is common knowledge that, in order to safeguard our own interests and the lives of those who depend upon us overseas, we have had to make certain movements, and in these days you cannot move any body of troops, either large or small, without incurring very considerable expenditure. The hon. Gentleman asked me whither these troops had been sent. He knows already, broadly speaking, where they have been sent, and I must ask him not to press me to give him any more detailed information than that which is already in his possession. He drew attention to an item called mechanical transport under Vote 6. Like most of the increases on all these Votes, this item is entirely due to the emergency measures which we have had to take. Here again we have had to renew or to replace certain Royal Army Service Corps vehicles which have had to be put into service in order to meet our requirements as a result of this emergency.

As regards Vote 9, where the increase is very much larger, it will be made clear to him, if I put it before him in this way. He seemed to be confusing the expenditure under this head with an entirely different expenditure which appeared in the Estimates for this year. The House will remember that in the Estimates which were laid before the House this year, sums of money were taken to implement a programme of defence which was originally put before the House in the form of a White Paper. A very large sum indeed was taken under Vote 9 in order to provide deficiences and replacements in warlike stores. That programme having been approved by Parliament, and the money having been allocated, we have, during this year, been carrying out that programme, and we have been providing reserves and necessary supplies where we were authorised to do it when our Estimates were before the House this year. At that time none of us had any knowledge of the emergency which was to fall upon us in so short a time, and purposely the War Office have kept entirely separate the expenditure upon the increased stores required as a result of this emergency from that required for the prosecution and carrying on of the programme authorised under the original Estimates. To have done anything else would have been very bad business.

If we had taken from the money voted to us on that occasion in order to pay for the extra stores required for the emergency, we should merely have been using one set of emergency requirements in order to pay for another set of emergency requirements, and, of. course, postponing one of them. That is the explanation of why we are to-day asking for another £400,000 odd over and above the additional £2.000,000—the hon. Gentleman rather under-estimated the figure—which we took in the original Estimate. The two things are entirely separate and apart. Much the most important point to which the hon. Gentleman refer red in his speech was when he asked as what steps the Government are taking, or the War Office in particular are taking, to see that we are not made to pay through the nose for the stores and replacements for which we have to make provision as a result of this emergency. The hon. Gentleman was good enough yesterday to give me a little advance information as to what he was going to ask this evening, and I therefore took the precaution to-day of arming myself with the information. The hon. Gentleman has himself occupied the junior ministerial position which I hold to-day, and, in fact, I am constantly reminded of the fact by a photographic reproduction of the genial countenance of the hon. Gentleman which hangs over the mantelpiece in my Office at the War Office.

Even if hon. Members are not aware of the organisation of tie Army Contracts Department, the hon. Gentleman certainly is, and he will know—in fact he admitted it in his speech almost this evening—that the Army Contracts Department is a very live department indeed and works in an exceedingly efficient manner. In that department we do take very great care to safeguard the interests of the taxpayer. The methods by which we carry on that duty are far too complex for me to explain to-night, but perhaps it will satisfy the hon. Member and be a surprise to the House if I give some figures which I have been able to extract to-day to show that this position is not only being very closely watched but that we can truthfully say that there is no excessive profit-making on the part of the trade at the present time, and that we are getting not only good value for our money but probably better value for our money than any ordinary or private company would get if they were buying the same kind of stores as we are buying.

The chief principle on which we work in the Contracts Department is the competitive tender basis. It sometimes happens that there is no competition. The article that we require may sometimes be supplied by only one particular manufacturer. It is in that particular class of case that one might expect to find more chance of excessive profit-making and opportunities for squeezing the Contracts Department. One of the most expensive class of stores which we have to buy and which is least open to competition is that of mechanical vehicles. There are many types of mechanical vehicles which are not generally manufactured and which are probably designed by one particular firm. If I can give the hon. Member figures in regard to this matter I think he will admit that they are a very fair example of the kind of way that the system is working. I am not in a position at this stage to give names or actual figures, but I have had some figures extracted from some of the largest orders which we have placed before and since the emergency, and I find that although in some cases there has been an increase, that increase has been insignificant, a matter of a £1 or £2 on large sums, and there have been in some cases substantial decreases in price since the emergency period. I am assured that where an increase of price has taken place the difference is amply covered by modifications of design and smaller orders. It is interesting to note not only that that is true but that during this period the tendency has been for the prices of many materials to rise. That is another consideration which must be taken into account.

Our means of checking prices are far too complex for me to explain now, hut, as the hon. Member said, we have a useful check in certain classes of articles we buy, and that is the Royal Ordnance Factory. There we have experience of what it actually costs to make a good many of the stores that we have to buy, and I agree with the hon. Member that the organisation in those factories to-day is on the very highest plane. It is a revelation to go there, as I have gone more than once since I have been in my present office, and to see at work the system of accounting and costing and the extraordinary efficiency of the manner in which the factories arc run. I can assure the hon. Member that we are fully aware of the valuable work that is being done there, and we make use of that experience at every turn. The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) asked me so many questions and at such a speed that I found it exceedingly difficult to keep pace with him.


I did it to save time.


I appreciate that, but it made it a little difficult for me. The first question was in regard to the increase on Vote 3, wages of civilians in hospitals. The fact is that the military personnel we have had working in the hospitals has been sent abroad and has been temporarily replaced by civilians. The next item to which he referred was on Vote 6, on which he mentioned that the wages of civilians at Royal Army Service Corps establishments had increased by £36,000. I think I am right in saying that that is partly a question of the restoration of pay as a result of the restoration of the cuts. As regards clothing, on Vote 7, that increase is due to the necessary issue of additional clothing arising out of the emergency. On Vote 8, general stores, that again is a question of our having to buy extra stored for our troops, arising out of the emergency. On Vote 10 also the increase arose from the same reason. Here is where I got a lap or two behind the hon. Member. I did not quite understand what he referred to on Vote 11, but I think I am right in saying that the figures there are due to the fact that we overestimated in the original Estimate.


The point I put there was a decrease of 40,000 in the matter of National Health and Unemployment Insurance contributions.


I think it was an over-estimate of contributions and the falling off in unemployment. I think that finishes the questions put by the hon. Member for Rochdale.


All but one, but I will forgive the hon. Baronet.


My hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Mabane) asked me about the item for Singapore. He is right in his assumption. It is merely a matter of convenience that we have appropriated the whole of our share in this Supplementary Estimate. The figure of £47,000 represents the maximum that we shall be able to spend in the current financial year. The remainder will be shown in the Estimates for next year and the following year. We shall use the money to accelerate the programme for the defences at Singapore. I hope that in

my reply I have satisfied the curiosity of hon. Members and that they will now give us the Vote.

Motion made, and Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 231; Noes, 104.

Division No. 59.] AYES. [10.4 p.m.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Crossley, A. C. Jackson, Sir H.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Cruddas, Col. B. Jones, Sir C. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Culverwell, C. T. Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Albery, I. J. De Chair, S. S. Jones, L. (Swansea, W.)
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Denville, Alfred Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Dower, Capt. A. V. G. Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Dugdale, Major T. L. Kimball, L.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Duggan, H. J. Lamb, Sir J. Q
Aske, Sir R. W. Duncan, J. A. L. Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Dunglass, Lord Leech, Dr. J. W.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Eckersley, P. T. Lees Jones, J.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Edmondson, Major Sir J. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Levy, T.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Ellis, Sir G. Lewis, O.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Elmley, Viscount Lindsay, K. M.
Beit, Sir A. L. Emery, J. F. Little, Sir E. Graham-
Bernays, R. H. Emrys- Evans, P. V. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.
Birchall, Sir J. D. Errington, E. Lloyd, G. W.
Blindell, Sir J. Erskine Hill, A. G. Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V.
Borodale, Viscount Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Loftus, P. C.
Bossom, A. C. Everard, W. L. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)
Boulton, w. w. Flndlay, Sir E. MacAndrew, Lt -Col. Sir C. G.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Fleming, E. L. McCorquodale, M. S.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Fraser, Capt. Sir I. MacDonald. Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)
Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A, B. Fyfe, D. P. M, McKie, J. H.
Bracken, B. Ganzoni, sir J. Maclay, Hon. J. P.
Brass, Sir W. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Maitland, A.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Gledhill, G. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Goodman, Col. A. W. Manningham-Buller, Sir M.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.
Bull, B. B. Gridley, Sir A. B. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Burghley, Lord Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Grlmston, R. V. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Butler, R. A. Guinness, T. L. E. B. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Gunston, Capt. D. W. Moreing, A. C
Cartland, J. R. H. Guy, J. C. M. Morgan, B. H.
Gary, R. A. Hamilton, Sir G. C. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hanbury, Sir C. Morrison, W. S. (Cirancest. r)
Channon, H. Hannah, I. C. Muirhead, Lt. Col. A. J.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Munro, P. M.
Christie, J. A. Harbord, A. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Clarry, Sir R. G. Harris, Sir P. A. Palmer, G E. H.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Harvey, G. Penny, Sir G.
Cobb, Sir C, S. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Perkins, W. R. D.
Colfox, Major W. P. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Petherick, M.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Pilkington, R.
Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Procter, Major H. A.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Holmes, J. S. Radford, E. A.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff(Wst'r S.G'gs) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Hopkinson, A. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Courtauld, Major J, S. Horsbrugh, Florence Ramsbotham, H.
Crooke, J. S. Howitt, Dr. A. B. Ramsden, Sir E.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Hume, Sir G. H Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hunter, T. Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Cross, R. H. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Remer, J. R. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st), Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.
Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Smith, L. W. (Hallam) Turton, R. H.
Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Wakefield, W. W.
Ropner, Colonel L. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe) Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry) Southby, Comdr. A. R. J. Wallace, Captain Euan
Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge) Spender-Clay, Lt.-CI. Rt. Kn. H. H. Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Rowlands, G. Spens, W. P. Wardlaw- Milne, Sir J. S.
Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde) Warrender, Sir V.
Russell, A. West (Tynemouth) Storey, S. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Stourton, Hon. J. J. Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Salmon, Sir I. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.) Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Salt, E. W. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich) Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney) Strickland, Captain W. F. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Sandys, E. D. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Windsor-Clive, Lieut. -Colonel G.
Scott, Lord William Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F. Wise, A. R.
Seely, Sir H. M. Sutcliffe, H. Wragg, H.
Shaw, Major p. S. (Wavertree) Tate, Mavis C. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Shepperson, Sir E. W. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Simon, Ri. Hon. Sir J. A. Thomson, Sir J. D. W. Lieut-Colonel Sir A. Lambert
Ward and Major George Davies.
Adams, D. (Consett) Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Potts, J.
Adamson, W. M. Hollins, A. Pritt, D. N.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Hopkin, D. Richards, R. (Wrexham)
Ammon, C. G. Jagger, J. Riley, B.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Ritson, J.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)
Banfield, J. W. John, W. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Batey, J. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Rowson, G.
Bellenger, F. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Salter, Dr. A.
Benson, G. Kelly, W. T. Sexton, T. M.
Bovan, A. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Shinwell, E.
Bromfield, W. Kirby, B. V. Short, A.
Brooke, W. Lawson, J. J. Silverman, S. S
Buchanan, G. Leach, W. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Burke, W. A. Lee, F. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Chater, D. Leslie, J. R. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Cluse, W. S. Logan, D. G. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cocks, F. S. Lunn, W. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Daggar, G. Macdonald, G. (Ince) Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Davies. D. L. (Pontypridd) McEntee, V. La T. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) McGovern, J. Thorne, W.
Davles, S. O. (Merthyr) Maclean, N. Thurtle, E.
Day, H. Mainwaring, W. H. Tinker, J. J.
Ede, J. C. Marklew, E. Viant, S. P.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedweilty) Maxton, J. Walker, J.
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Messer, F. Watkins, F. C.
Frankel, D. Milner, Major J. Westwood, J.
Gardner, B. W. Montague, F, Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Garro-Jones, G. M. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Green, W. H. (Deptforo) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wilson, C. H. (Attercilffe)
Grenfell, D. R. Muff, G. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Naylor, T. E. Young, sir R. (Newton)
Groves, T. E. Oliver, G. H.
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Paling, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hardle, G. D. Parker, H. J. H. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.

Fifth Resolution read a Second time.

10.14 p.m.


I beg to move, to leave out "£1,611,000,"and to insert instead thereof "£1,610,900."

I would like to refer to a point that I, raised yesterday evening, to which the Under-Secretary of State did not give any reply because of the fact that we were considering these Supplementary Estimates more closely upon the Report stage. I pointed out that the explanatory note to the Estimate is of a misleading character. The main purpose of the Estimate is: To make financial provision for the special measures taken in connection with the Italo-Abyssinian dispute. When we take the gross expenditure, leaving out of account the appropriations in aid and the amount of savings on certain Votes, we can almost split the total expenditure asked for in this Vote, and the Under-Secretary himself signs a statement to the effect that the gross additional expenditure upon the Royal Air Force expansion is actually about £1,000,000. So that it is not true that the main purpose of the Estimate is to make financial provision for special measures taken in connection with the Italo-Abyssinian dispute. We have heard in the Debates on these Estimates a, great deal about emergency and a justification for the demand for money because of the situation which has arisen in the Mediterranean. That plea cannot be put forward to anything like the same extent or with anything like the same justification in reference, to these Supplementary Air Estimates. One million pounds out of £2,700,000 represents the expenditure upon Air Force expansion, and I am moving the Amendment as a protest against a practice which is entirely contrary to the traditions of Parliament.

This is a Supplementary Vote based upon an anticipation that in the main Estimates provision will be made for a large-scale increase in Air defences. It is also a part of. the Supplementary Vote of July last, and the position of the Labour party is that before money is asked for from this House we ought to have an opportunity of knowing specifically for what it is asked, and not be put off with a general statement that there is, or has been, an emergency or that we have allowed our Air defences in the past to get to such a low ebb, as a moral gesture to the rest of the world, which the world has not accepted, and that therefore we must re-arm. That is not a correct statement of the position to-day or of the history of the Royal Air Force. The Under-Secretary will know from his own recollections as well as from his knowledge of Air Force matters, which is very great and intimate, that the policy of successive Governments has been one of continuity, and when the main Estimates are presented later on we shall still consider a continuity of the same policy.

In 1918 the Air Staff was instructed to prepare a scheme for the establishment of a highly efficient but small Air Forec in this country. The old wooden aeroplanes which had done duty during the War had been scrapped, and the Air Staff was instructed to prepare for the establishment of a peace-time Air Force. That plan was ready by the Armistice, but it was scrapped by the Government of the time in favour of the Trenchard Memorandum. That Memorandum, instead of agreeing to 154 squadrons, which was the plan of the Air Staff, reduced the number to 24½ squadrons, two of which were to be used for the purposes of home defence. What was the reason for that change of policy? It was stated very definitely in this House. It was that there was no need to anticipate a major war in Europe for ten years. Consequently, as a measure of economy and efficiency, there was no need to waste money upon large numbers of machines which would rapidly become obsolete. Then there was the Geddes Committee which, although the Air Force of this country in 1921 was about 28 squadrons, proposed a reduction of eight and a-half squadrons, leaving only three squadrons for home defence. Again, that was in conformity with the policy of efficiency and economy.

But the present Prime Minister, who was Prime Minister in 1922, got the wind up, if I may use a common expression, and the phrase was born, which has been used considerably in recent months, that it was necessary for the Air Force of this country to be at least equal to the Air Force of any country within striking distance. The result of that was a proposal to increase the home defence of this country to 52 squadrons by the end of 1928. That was never done, and the Under-Secretary knows why. Successive Governments carried out a policy of continuity. Even to-day we have not reached the proposals that were made in 1922 for increasing the home defences of this country, and that is clue entirely to the fact that it was definitely considered by the Ministry and by the Governments of the time that if we concentrated upon a. high degree of efficiency—we could go on experimenting, because there was no prospect of a war—we could save money and in the end we could Kaye, as indeed we have to-day, the finest Air Force in the world so far as efficiency is concerned. That is a far different thing from leading the people of this country, to imagine that, so far as air matters are concerned at any rate, our disarmament was carried out for the purpose of leading the rest of the nations of the world into the paths of peace. Nothing of the. kind.

I do not intend to take up the position on behalf of the Labour party or myself' that there is necessarily no case for an expansion of the Air Force. That is not the point of the reduction of the Vote I am moving to-night. The point is that if there is a necessity for expanding the Air Force—that is to say, we have passed the 10 years period during which there would be no likelihood of a major war in Europe and the new policy has come into existence—we ought to know what that necessity is in specific terms. That is the purpose of the reduction of the Vote which I am moving.

10.25 p.m.

Captain H. BALFOUR

I do not propose to follow the hon. Gentleman, and no doubt his point will be dealt with by the Minister. I wish to deal with a question under Vote 3 concerning orders for aeroplanes and equipment in respect of contracts which have already been placed. I do not think the warning can be too clear from this House that all these contracts are strictly and severely on a costing basis. We from this House ought to let the public know that fact. We represent the public in this House and it does not matter whether the public are foolish or are wise in these matters. We have all foolish constituents as well as wise constituents, and it is our duty to represent the foolish as well as the wise. It is our duty to let the public know that in respect of these contracts great profits can not be anticipated. In regard to these contracts and other contracts that are yet to come, we have seen a completely artificial state of affairs growing up outside this House. With a complete lack of discrimination between sound and unsound concerns, the public have been tumbling over each other to buy shares, irrespective of the earning powers of the companies. Very often in this boom we have seen, borne on the backs of sound concerns, companies which, from their inception are never going to earn a penny of profit, and are doomed to fail in a few years and lose the money of those who invest in them.

I give the House a specific instance. I have given considerable study to this question and I imagine that, when the results of the contracts which we are now discussing and also future contracts become known to the public, a cry will go out, not about a ramp in aircraft profits, but about the severe losses that are going to fall on the investing public. I was speaking to a leading aircraft constructor the other day. I cannot mention his name but he is a man of prominence in the industry. A few weeks ago he valued his position at £1,250,000. At that time, because he had contracts which we are discussing to-night, the Stock Exchange valued his position at £1,500,000. He told me that he was worried because £250,000 was being added in the public estimation to what he knew his position was worth. Since that time the figure has been pushed right up to £2,000,000. Nobody is more disturbed than the leaders of industry who have no control themselves over the rise in prices. Nobody is more concerned than they are at the effects which these contracts are having on the public. I know from my conversations with them that they welcome in their own interest as well as in the national interest price control such as applies to these contracts. I do not ask hon. Members above the Gangway to recognise the national interest because every day at Question Time we have the inference by them that manufacturers are making enormous profits, whereas the Stock Exchange prices have no relation at all to the earning powers of the companies or the profits made.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman is making a very big claim for the aircraft manufacturers. We do not wish to put them all in the same boat, but will he deal with the question of the placing of shares, out of which some aircraft manufacturers have made vast fortunes; and does not that moderate his claim that they are acting solely in the national interest?


I would be out of order in doing so, and Mr. Speaker, would, no doubt, pull me up very soon. What I will say is that there have been financial manoeuvres which cannot be countenanced by any Member of the House. The average leader in industry, in aircraft or any other concern, only wishes in his own interests to make a reasonable profit. No one is more disturbed than the leaders of industry at the present trend of prices which they know to be very largely unjustified. I think that every day we have had questions from the opposite side above the Gangway to the Prime Minister and the Under-Secretary as to these enormous profits. They are not being made by manufacturers, but only by share dealers; and these questions are a direct encouragement to small investors to have a gamble and speculation, which they can ill afford. The questions from the Socialist party are a direct encourage- ment to these little men to lose their money. The Prime Minister has said that Parliament is not responsible for speculators. While stopping profiteering on these contracts which is to be done the Government and the House have a duty to their constituents to perform. should not pass this Estimate without a clear warning from all well-meaning and good-intentioned people who wish to see the expansion scheme carried out, that it will be fairly and reasonably carried out with fair and reasonable profits for services rendered, and not exorbitant profits. We should not let this Estimate pass without giving that warning to our foolish as well as to our wise constituents.

10.32 p.m.


The hon. Member has made a false statement, perhaps unintentionally. If he will look over the Order Paper for the last few weeks, he will see that the Questions which have been addressed from this side of the House to the Prime Minister have had one object only, namely, to elicit from the Government at the earliest possible moment some idea of the steps the Government are going to take to check the profits of manufacturers of aircraft in order that the public may have guidance as to the actual value of their shares. The hon. Member is entirely incorrect in his statement and has spoken with his customary extravagance, which always characterises him in his references to Members on these benches. It is true we have directed attention to excessive profits, for they are being made in the share market at the present time in anticipation of large orders for aircraft manufacturers. The share market is working on the expectation that if large contracts are to be placed, large profits will be made. The responsibility for that expectation rests on the Government, who refuse to inform the House what checks are to be placed on costs of production. If the hon. Gentleman wants to protect the foolish members of his constituency, whom he so admirably represents in the House, he should join with us in asking the Government to make a public announcement of those safeguards so that his poor lambs may not be shorn.

10.35 p.m.


I only rise to ask one question, and I will not at this late hour enter into the little Debate on aircraft profits which has been introduced into our proceedings, except to say that in my own constituency there is a very large aeroplane works and that I think it is most desirable that the public should know that large profits will not be made, and that the men in the works who may ask for increased wages should know it. I have every confidence that the present Government will learn the lessons of the Government which was under the Premiership of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), and I hope none of those scandals will be repeated in our rearmament programme. I should like the Under-Secretary to explain why the Vote for aeroplanes and spares—Vote 3A—should show a reduction when we are going in for an expansionist policy. We should expect that Vote to be expanding instead of showing a reduction, but no doubt there is a very good explanation, and we shall be grateful if he will give it to the House.

10.37 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I should like to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Air a question connected with the command of the Air Force over the Territorial Anti-Aircraft Artillery. While the Air Forces makes certain attachments to the Anti-Aircraft Artillery of the Regular Army during practice camps they do not make attachments in the case of the Anti-Aircraft Artillery of the Territorial Army. Seeing that the defence of this country has been handed over to the Anti-Aircraft Artillery of the Territorial Army, could not the Under Secretary see his way to making attachments from the regular Air Force to the practice camps of the Territorials? This would have the effect not only of increasing the knowledge which the Air Force officers should have before they take command of the activities of the Territorial Artillery, but also would have the effect of increasing the liaison between the officers of the Air Force and the officers of the Territorial Army.


It seems to me that that is a matter which ought to be raised on the main Estimates.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

With great respect, I submit that the point I am raising comes under Vote I, which is an increased Vote for the pay and allowances of the Air Force. If the command of the Territorial Anti-Aircraft Artillery is vested in the Air Force, I submit that it is a suitable subject to raise on this Vote.


I do not think it is. A question of policy of that sort ought to be raised on the main Vote.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Of course, I. bow to your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, but I think you are aware that there has been a change over, and that the Air Force is invested with the higher command of the Territorial Anti-Aircraft Artillery. While the actual technical details of the Territorial Anti-Aircraft Artillery come under the Army Votes the actual command is vested in the Air Force, and there has been an increase recently, owing to this change over, and the Territorial Anti-Aircraft taking charge of the anti-aircraft defences of this country.


I do not think it is a subject to be raised on this Vote.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

With all respect, I have made my point, and I will not continue the subject.

10.39 p.m.


I think the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Thanet (Captain Balfour) would be met if the Air Ministry itself engaged in the manufacture of aeroplanes instead of contenting itself with the research side of the work. Why in view of the increase in the establishment, is there a decrease, as there was in the case of the War Department, in the amount paid for health insurance contributions under the National Health Insurance scheme? It is queer, with an increase of staff, that there should be a decreased amount, particularly as the contribution for Health Insurance and pensions has been increased from 1st January. On Vote 4, in regard to works, buildings and land, there is an increase of £128,000 in the services originally provided for, and I ask for some explanation of that increase.

There is an increase also in regard to Orfordness. I am not raising the question of expenditure at this moment, but I would like to know whether it is still the practice to drop bombs from aeroplanes there, and whether better provision could not be made for giving notice to the lighthouse keepers and their families when aeroplanes are about to engage in this practice. There have been instances of people being so near on the occasion of a practice that it was remarkable that they got away with their lives, because the officers did not give notice or give a signal that they intended to engage upon that practice. Other points which I have in mind I reserve for another time, but I would like an answer to the points which I have raised.

10.43 p.m.


I want to ask the Under-Secretary if he will tell us in his reply whether, under the item on page 5, "VARIOUS STATIONS, Miscellaneous Air Defence Works," is included anything in the nature of what one might call passive defence measures. We are on the eve of a great expansion in the Royal Air Force, and it is fortunate that there is an opportunity to raise the question on the Supplementary Estimate. There has been a regrettable tendency for some time past to consider that the attacking aeroplane is a military invention to which there exists no counter-measure. That is a defeatist attitude which we cannot afford to adopt. At different times in history formidable machines of war have been invented, and in every case the wit of man has been able to—


All this should be raised on the main Estimate.


I submit that this does come under the item to which I refer. I will be very brief. I merely wish to ask—


I do not find that it comes under this head.

10.45 p.m.


I would comment very briefly on one or two remarks made by the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Thanet (Captain Balfour) who made, as he usually does, an interesting contribution to the Debate, but seemed to be treading on rather thin ice. When he started to draw distinctions between the wise and the foolish people in his constituency, I was reminded of the old saying of Mark Twain: Ain't we got all the fools in town on our side? and ain't that a big enough majority in any town? He was on equally dangerous ground when he made exorbitant claims on behalf of aircraft manufacturers. I do not propose to level charges, but I propose to rebut any claim that they are going into this fight with clean hands. The financial columns of the newspapers during the last few months have been full of accounts of the extravagant profits made by aircraft manufacturers, not necessarily as manufacturers, but in their perhaps more remunerative capacity as financiers. They may be functioning as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but the public pocket suffers in any case. I hope that before those claims are repeated the hon. and gallant Member will inform himself more exactly of the history of the last few months.

It is vitally important that we should gravely warn the Under-Secretary of State for Air, who has a very important responsibility to face, that we shall want to be satisfied, particularly in this realm of aircraft manufacture. Within the last few days questions have been repeatedly addressed from these benches to the Prime Minister and others as to what measures are to be taken to prevent exorbitant profits, but we have received no satisfaction. All that the Prime Minister has been able to say has been that there will be a costings clause in contracts, and the hon. Member for Thanet urged that that should be the case, as if a costings clause in itself would be any adequate safeguard. We know that costs are very variable. They include the costs of the inefficient manufacturer, of the efficient manufacturer, of the middleman, and of subsidiary companies supplying raw materials.

I noticed that the Financial Secretary to the War Office when his Estimates were before the House a few minutes ago, stated, as a great example of the efficiency of the War Office, that they had succeeded in maintaining the costs of mechanical vehicles at within £2 or £3 of what they were before this emergency arose. He stated that the method of checking the manufacturers' prices is multifold. I hope we are not going to be asked, in the coming important debates, to rely on these vague assurances. There is genuine public anxiety. We have not a Minister on the Front Bench to deal with this matter. I do not imply any disrespect to the hon. Baronet, but we know that he is a good stone-wailer. Stone-walling, however, will be of no use in the important debates that are before us; we shall want to know precisely what measures are being taken to prevent exorbitant profits in manufacture. There is no question that it is an enormous ramp at the present time. When I was dining the other evening—[HoN. MEMBERS "Oh!"]— even Labour Members occasionally dine—I was passed a note written on the back of the menu by a gentleman whose name would be known, I believe, to every Member of this House. He wrote: Do not do anything about excessive profits in armaments until I have sold my aircraft shares. He meant that, of course, as a joke, but everyone knows that the programme of the Government is being utilised by financiers. Whatever aircraft manufacturers are doing now, they have in the past made astonishing and exorbitant profits, and the time is ripe for us to know what measures are being taken. I do not expect the hon. Baronet to come armed with this information, but if I, for one, and, I believe, a great many Members, when these Supplementary Estimates are passed, are asked to pass others without the fullest information, we shall want to obstruct those Estimates to the fullest possible extent. We know very well that from the element of defence alone it is even more important that the manufacture of aircraft should be efficient. The air strategist of to-day asks, first, about the performance of a machine, and secondly, what is its production in man-hours. It is far more important in the Air Service than in the Navy or the Army because, for reasons of obsolescence and rapid wear—and in time of war enemy action would multiply the depletion of the Air Force ten or twentyfold—it is vital that the most extensive and elaborate measures should be taken for efficient production of aircraft. But I am not going to do more than give a preliminary warning to the hon. Member of the task that is in front of him.

10.53 p.m.


I would like to remind the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly), who suggested that the Air Ministry should build aeroplanes themselves, of the sad tale of Farnborough. As far as I have been able to ascertain not one satisfactory result has come out of Farnborough. I want to ask the Under-Secretary two questions arming out of Vote 3. First, with regard to the profit which may be made from aeroplanes and spares, is it not a fact that in every contract placed by the Ministry there is a costings scheme in operation now? Is it also not a fact that the Prime Minister has pledged himself to improve on that costings scheme if it proves itself inadequate? The second question is this—and I know I shall be out of order—would it not be possible for some scheme of excess profits duty to be introduced?

10.55 p.m.

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Philip Sassoon)

I do not think that at this time of the night the House will wish me to embark on any detailed answer to the very interesting Debate that we have had. The hon. Member for Aberdeen North (Mr. GarroJones), said I was a stonewaller, but in the next breath he threatened me with the most violent obstruction in the forthcoming Debates, so I think we had perhaps better leave this rather thorny subject until those Debates develop. In the meantime I am sure that the House can be absolutely assured that the Air Ministry is leaving no stone unturned to see that in this connection the interests of the taxpayer arc fully and adequately safeguarded. The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) has asked me about the situation at Orfordness. I will certainly look into the matter. I was extremely surprised to hear that bombing had taken place without warning. Perhaps the hon. Member will give me details of the particular cases to which he has referred. I was asked another question in connection with Vote 3 arid the item of Aeroplanes and Spares. The decrease is merely due to fluctuations in progress payments, and does not imply any hitch in carrying out the programme.

The hon. Member for Islington (Mr. Montague) gave me the impression that he thought I had intended to deceive him last night in the figures of the Estimate. I had no wish to do so and, if I had, it would have been impossible, because the figures are in the Estimates for all to see. I said that the gross figure asked for in this Estimate, not in connection with the emergency, was £1,000,000, but that figure is, of course, reduced by savings which have accrued on other Votes, amounting to about £200,000, as well as the new Appropriations-in-Aid, which also amount to approximately £200,000, and include the gift of the Sultan and State of Johore. The actual net figure required in the Estimate is only £604,000. The bulk of this gross additional expenditure is under the heading of Works. Special efforts to accelerate the provision of accommodation and land for aerodromes, which are essential preliminaries to the formation of new units, have been so successful that services which were not expected to mature for payment during this financial year have actually been pressed forward to completion. The money that is asked for in this Estimate because of this acceleration will, of course, be saved in the Estimates to come.

The fact that this scheme has been pressed on in this way is satisfactory evidence of the desire of the Government to press forward measures to carry out the approved plans. Then there is the balance of expenditure which comes under other Sub-heads, £33,000 for Clothing and:258,000 for General Stores, and the new Appropriations-in-Aid of £205,000 which have also become available towards meeting this extra expenditure. The only one that requires special mention is the £100,000 from the Sultan and the State of Johore. That money is going to be devoted primarily to the construction of accommodation for a volunteer Air Force unit at Singapore to be formed under the auspices of the Straits Settlements Government.

The hon. Member went into an interesting history of what he called the continuity of Air policy during the past few years. He said that the expansion that was now in progress was not necessarily one to which his party objected, but that he wished to know the reasons for the expansion. I think that it was made clear at the last General Election that the majority of the people of this country were determined that our Air Force should not be weaker than that of any air force within striking distance of this country for two reasons firstly, that we ourselves should be safe, and, secondly, that we should be able to fulfil the obligations which we have undertaken under the Covenant of the League.


The question of whether an increase in expenditure is required does not come into the argument at all. I said that we were not neces- sarily opposed to some increase provided that it could be justified. My point was that it was bad Parliamentary practice to ask this House to spend money in anticipation of a larger Vote without the opportunity, by means of a White Paper or

some other Government statement, of knowing specifically how it was to be spent.

Question put, "that £1,611,000' stand part of the Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 237; Noes, 112.

Division No. 60.] AYES. [11.2 p m.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Elmiey, Viscount McKle, J. H.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Emery, J. F. Maclay, Hon. J. P.
Agnew, Lieut. -Comdr. P. G. Emrys-Evans, P. V. Magnay, T.
Albery, I. J. Entwistle, C. F. Maitland, A.
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Errington, E. Makins, Brig. -Gen. E.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Erskine Hill, A. G. Manningham-Buller, Sir M.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Everard, W. L. Mason, Lt.-Col, Hon. G. K. M.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Flndlay, Sir E. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Aske, Sir R. W. Fleming, E. L. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Fraser, Capt. Sir I. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Fyfe, D. P. M. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Ganzonl, Sir J. Moreing, A. C.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Morgan, R. H.
Barclay- Harvey, C. M. Gledhill, G. Morris-Jones. Dr. J. H.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Goodman, Col. A. W. Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)
Belt, Sir A. L. Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.
Bernays, R. H. Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Munro, P. M.
Birchall, Sir J. D. Gridley, Sir A. B. Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Blindell, Sir J. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Borodale, Viscount Grimston. R. V. Palmer, G. E. H.
Bossom, A. C. Guest, Maj. Hon. O (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.) Penny, Sir G.
Boulton, W. W. Guinness, T. L. E. B. Perkins, W. R. D.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Gunston, Capt. D. W. Petherick, M.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Guy, J. C. M. Pilkington, R.
Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B. Hamilton, Sir G. C. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Bracken, B. Hanbury, Sir C. Procter, Major H. A.
Brass, Sir W. Hannah, I. C. Radford, E. A.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Harbord, A. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Harris, Sir P. A. Ramsbotham, H.
Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Harvey, G. Ramsden, Sir E.
Bull, B. B. Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Burghley, Lord Heneage, Lieut-Colonel A. P. Rayner, Major R. H.
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Butler, R. A. Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Remer, J. R
Cartland, J. R. H. Holmes, J. S. Rlckards, G W. (Skipton)
Gary, R. A. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Roberts, W. (Cumberland. N.)
Cazalet, Theima (Islington, E.) Hopkinson, A. Ropner, Colonel L.
Channon, H. Horsbrugh, Florence Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Howitt, Dr. A. B. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Christie, J. A. Hume, Sir G. H Rowlands, G.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hunter, T. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Cobb, Sir C. S. Jackson, Sir H. Russell, R. J. (Eddlsbury)
Colfox, Major W. P. Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Salmon, Sir I.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Jones, L. (Swansea, W.) Salt, E. W.
Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R. Sandys, E. D.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Kimball, L. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Scott, Lord William
Crooke, J. S. Latham, Sir P. Seely, Sir H. M.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Leech, Dr. J. W. Shakespeare G. H.
Groom-Johnson, R. P. Lees- Jones, J. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Cross, R. H. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Cruddas, Col. B. Levy, T. Shepperson, sir E. W.
Culverwell, C. T. Lewis, O. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st),
Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J C. C. Lindsay. K. M. Smith, L. W. (Hallam)
Davies. Major G. F. (Yeovil) Little, Sir E. Graham- Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
De Chair, S. S. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J J. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Dugdale, Major T. L. Lloyd, G. W. Southby, Comdr. A. R J.
Duggan, H. J. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Spears, Brig -Gen. E. L.
Duncan, J. A. L. Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V. Spens, W. P.
Dunglass, Lord Loftus, P. C. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Eckersley, P. T. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Storey, S.
Edmondson, Major Sir J. MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G. Stourton, Hon. J. J.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. McCorquodale, M. S. Strauss, E. S. (Southwark, N.)
Ellis, Sir G. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Elliston, G. S. McEwen, Capt. H. J. F. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h) Wakefield, W. W. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F. Walker-Smith, Sir J. Windsor-Clive, Lieut. -Colonel G.
Sutcliffe, H. Wallace, Captain Euan Wise, A. R.
Tate, Mavis C. Ward, Irene (Wallsend) Womereley, Sir W. J.
Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne) Warrender, Sir V. Wragg, H.
Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Walerhouse, Captain C. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Thomson, Sir J. D. W. Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Tufnell, Lieut. Com. R. L. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—.
Turton, R. H. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.) Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert
Ward and Mr. James Stuart
Adams, D. (Consett) Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Parker, H. J. H.
Adamson, W. M. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Hollins, A. Potts, J.
Ammon, C. G. Hopkin, D. Price, M. P.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Jagger, J. Pritt, D. N.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Richards, R. (Wrexham)
Banfield, J. W. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Riley, B.
Batey, J. John, W. Ritson, J.
Bellenger, F. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)
Benson, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Bevan, A. Kelly, W. T. Rowson, G.
Bromfield, W. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Salter, Dr. A.
Brooke, W. Kirby, B. V. Sexton, T. M.
Buchanan, G. Lathan, G. Short, A.
Burke, W. A. Lawson, J. J. Silverman, S. S.
Cluse, W. S. Leach, W. Simpson, F. B.
Cocks, F. S. Lee, F. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Compton, J. Leonard, W. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Daggar, G. Leslie, J. R. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Dalton, H. Logan, D. G. Sorensen, R. W.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Lunn, W. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) McEntee, V. La T. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) McGovern, J. Thurtie, E.
Day, H. Maclean, N. Tinker, J. J.
Ede, J. C. MacMillan, M. (Western Isles) Viant, S. P.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Mainwaring, W. H. Walkden, A. G.
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Marklew, E. Walker, J.
Frankel, D. Maxton, J. Watkins, F. C.
Gardner, B. W. Messer, F. Westwood, J.
Garro-Jones, G. M. M liner, Major J. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Montague, F. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Grenfell, D. R. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Groves, T. E. Muff, G. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Hall, J. H. (Whltechapel) Naylor, T. E. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Hardie, G. D. Oliver, G. H.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Paling, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.

Question put, and agreed to.