§ 8.10 p.m.
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
I beg to move, to leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:this House notes with anxiety the progressive reductions in the numbers annually recruited for the Territorial Army, and is of opinion that the Government should take all necessary steps to stimulate recruiting and to bring the personnel and equipment of the Territorial Army, and especially of those units comprising the London air defences, up to strength.I believe it is not irrelevant for the House to recall that the creator of the Territorial Army was Lord Haldane, and that it was Lord Haldane also who wrote the words of the years just before the war 2410 to the effect that Germany would be so strong by land and sea that she could swagger down the high street of the world making her will prevail at every turn. I believe it is also not irrelevant for us to remember that the Territorial Army at that time consisted of 270,000 men, whereas the present Territorial Army has only 121,000 men. The duties remain the same, with one exception. The Territorial Army is the second line of defence to the Navy, and that can be a very important affair if the Navy happens to be engaged in the Eastern Mediterranean on League of Nations business. In addition to its usual duties, however, the Territorial Army is almost wholly responsible for anti-aircraft defences, so far as they are conducted from the ground, that is, by shooting from the ground, or by illumination of the sky, and if I may say so, the second is by far the more important, because the whole efficacy of the defending air force depends on the sky being adequately illuminated.
The House was, I think, profoundly grateful last summer to the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), when he said, in countering a statement of the Prime Minister's that bombers always got through, that in his experience every invention had always been met with a, counter-invention. In addition to reminding the House of those two quotations, I want to tell a brief story of an Air-Marshall in France in the last war who had to address a very hostile audience of officers of a division which was being severely harassed by air bombing. He listened to their complaints, and at the end of them he turned to them and said, "Gentlemen, all my available aeroplanes are now dropping bombs upon the enemy, and if they are squealing more than we are squealing, then we are winning the war." The point I want to make is that although the foreign manufacturing districts may be more vulnerable than our own, the heart of this great Empire, this great city, with its arteries centring upon it, is most vulnerable of all, and I hope I shall carry the House with me when I say that it should not be through any lack of either expenditure or efficiency that the air defences of this country should not be brought up to full strength. We cannot possibly afford to admit the assumption that the bomber always gets through and to rely merely upon the methods of that air marshal, right no 2411 doubt as they were at that time, the methods of retaliation and an implicit trust in our own people to endure longer and more firmly than any other people.
There is one difference which I would emphasise between the soldier of the main Territorial Army and the anti-aircraft Territorial soldier. It is possible that the man in the main Territorial Army might he recruited, as he was in the last War, and trained for his duty after war breaks out. The anti-aircraft Territorial soldier must be fully trained, equipped and recruited before war breaks out or, if that be not possible, before mobilisation. The corollary to that is that nothing less is really satisfactory for our Territorial Army than that the force should be fully recruited up to war strength and permanently maintained at war strength during peace time. There are many advantages in the Territorials for this service. They have, on the whole, a longer service. They become highly proficient in what is, after all, a highly specialised arm of our defence. It is no part of this Motion to inquire whether or not we should wholly depend for our air defences upon Territorials, but if they can be recruited there are no more efficient troops. The present situation is lamentable. There are at the moment 5,386 men recruited for the London air defences. The establishment given in these Estimates is 17,002. I believe that that is the peace-time establishment and that it is probably considerably lower than what is considered necessary in war time. The House can deduce from those figures that not more than one gun in three and not more than one searchlight in three can be manned at the present time. I have drawn attention to this subject because I hope that Londoners, having, as they have, a pride in their great city, and knowing these facts, might well take upon themselves a greater share in the obligations of its defence.
I come now to possible remedies. I want to appeal to the Government, I want to make an appeal to employers, and I want to say a word with great respect to organised labour. My appeal to the Government has mainly been forestalled. Hon. Members will often find themselves put at a disadvantage by finding all their best arguments forestalled and far better expressed by other hon. and right hon. Members of vintage 2412 character. I daresay that many of us have felt discouraged in that way, until we have realised that repetition is a necessity and that the nail must be hit many times firmly on the head before it is really struck home. I believe that that is true even of this Debate, for a grateful House will have heard the Secretary of State strike the nail at least half way home. I am glad that it is my duty to-day, not so much to ask, as to thank him for what has been granted, and I do so with gratitude.
I want to attract the hon. Gentleman who will reply to a statement which I have drawn up after consultation with many officers and others engaged in recruiting as to their opinion on recruiting. They say that, even with increased emoluments to the men, employers and shop foremen will not give facilities to their junior hands for second holiday or for a holiday during the best holiday month in the year, that is, August, which is the perquisite of the senior hands. If a man is married, he wants to give him wife a week's holiday at least. He is probably struck off the pay roll of his firm. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State mentioned Lord Rothermere as a fine example of an employer who was encouraging his men to be recruited for the Territorial Army. I can give one or two examples—and they are not by any means the only ones that could be given—of employers who have set a fine example for many years. I will venture to name two employers and one district which have done well by the Territorial Army. John Barkers have done well and so have the South Metropolitan Gas Company, while the Bedford employers are the best of any district in the country. It is important that men should not lose a week's pay. The concession that has been given may do a good deal, but the second holiday is not entirely got over by that concession. I want to quote an opinion which I have drawn up after talking with many people from the employer's point of view. This is a precis of what is probably the view of the average employer who considers a Territorial Army with neither favour nor disfavour when faced with an officer asking him to encourage recruiting:I am not opposed to the Territorial Army. All you say may be true. Naturally, you are interested in it because it is your job, but my firm is not in the least interested in it. Why should it be? You 2413 can hardly expect my firm to shoulder additional cost by giving its employés pay while in camp when other firms in the same business do not do so. My firm has no objection to its employés joining the Territorial Army if they wish to do so. My firm will not oppose you in your endeavours to persuade the men to join, in fact, we will give you any reasonable facilities you require to speak to the men, but we do not feel ourselves called upon to take any further steps in the matter than those. My directors feel that all this necessity for voluntary service does not really exist, in spite of all you tell me. If it did exist, as you allege, we have no doubt the Government would tell us and the country so. That would put an entirely different complexion on the whole matter. But the Prime Minister, so far as we are aware, has never given us any such indication, and you must forgive us if we regard the Territorial Army as the hobby of the enthusiast rather than as a national necessity.I think a great deal has been done towards meeting that pronouncement by the, Secretary of State. Reading the Apocrypha recently I came across this sentence which seemed to me to be appropriate in regard to the suggestion about the Prime Minister:Add not more trouble to a heart that is vexed.I would have regarded that as a guide and left it, where it was had not this verse occurred about four verses later:Be at peace with men. Nevertheless have but one counsellor of a thousand.I could not help feeling that it would be a good thing if the Prime Minister were to say once that he regarded the Territorial Army as a vital factor in national defence, because the country at large does really regard him as just that one counsellor in a thousand to which it is looking for guidance at the present moment, and this is an important point on which he can give guidance. I throw out that suggestion, which I hope may possibly reach him. I believe there is one other thing the Government might do. There is the possibility of instituting or re-instituting something analagous to the King's Roll to give an honourable distinction to firms which treat the Territorial Army well, and I pat that up to them as a suggestion.
Before I sit down I want to say one word to organised labour, and I hope I shall carry them with me. Many men in the Territorial Army feel at a disadvantage with their workmates. It may 2414 be that the union expresses disapproval—
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
I am very glad to hear it. More often the shop foreman expresses active opposition, and that can be proved in many cases. Sometimes municipal authorities oppose the local Territorial battalions. In my old constituency of Oldham there was the best Territorial battalion in the whole country. I am not frightened of saying that, because it has won the "Daily Telegraph" Cup for the last two years. At the last prize giving the local authority, which has a Labour majority, did not even send a representative to the prize giving. It is non co-operating. I accept, and I believe the House accepts, the hypothesis of hon. Members opposite that disarmament under the League of Nations is far the best thing, but that if you cannot get disarmament this country should try to make the League of Nations work. Will they not accept with me the corollary to that hypothesis, which is surely that in a world where there are great nations outside the League of Nations, who might fight, the League of Nations is hopelessly placed in coming to the succour of a country which cannot in the first instance defend itself? I hope that during this Debate one of their speakers will make it quite plain that they look with disfavour and disapprobation upon any attitude of non-cooperation or of obstruction in the matter of recruiting. I hope I have not said anything too provocative or challenging. I was in the Territorial Army myself many years ago.
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
My main object in bringing this subject forward—perhaps in view of the concessions it was largely unnecessary—was that the country might know something of the truth about the state of the Territorial Army to-day, especially that London might know how it lies more or less defenceless before its enemies, and in the hope that we might get greater co-operation on the part of all sections in the country, who, after all, have the same common striving after a greater civilisation to defend. When I was in the Territorial Army I was in 2415 one of the Yeomanry regiments, which had not been "converted" with any of the more hideous devices of modern warfare, and I am proud to have been so, because anyone who has served in the Territorial Army will wish it all prosperity and all success.
§ 8.33 p.m.
§ Colonel PONSONBY
I beg to second the Amendment.
In craving the indulgence of the House on making my first speech I may say that I am glad to address the House on this subject because for many years I have been interested in the Territorial Force and am at the present moment in possession of, perhaps, the rather doubtful honour of being the oldest serving officer in the House, anyhow in the matter of age. If in the few remarks I wish to make I am a little retrospective and a little critical, I ask the House to remember that I am making this contribution as a serving officer, and also as a member of a Territorial Association, which for many years has been one of my chief interests. I am also speaking, perhaps, for what my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment would call the main Territorial Army. He has dealt very largely with the position of the air defences of London. I am going to say a little about the main question, especially of recruiting. When I look back at my own experience, especially from 1920 onwards, I can only say that it is a miracle that any Territorial Army is in existence at all. All the circumstances and all the sentiments of the time were against it. It is only the characteristic tendency in this country to gratuitous public service that accounts for the existence of the Territorial Army. What also accounts for it may be termed patriotism or the club spirit, or possibly one factor which is rather forgotten, which is that there are still people in this country who are interested, perhaps for hereditary reasons, in the science of war. That applies enormously to some of the people in the Territorial Army. I would emphasise that they take a great interest in the scientific side of military affairs.
The Secretary of State for War mentioned many of the hindrances which have been put in the way of the Territorial Force by various Governments 2416 since the end of the War. There was the taking away of the bounty, the reduction of the establishment, and, of course, the suspension in 1922 of the annual camp. All those actions were perfectly understandable. The Prime Minister said on Monday:The Services were held by finance as in a vice. They … could not make preparations involving expenditure. They could only live from hand to mouth."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 91h March, 1936; col. [1832, Vol. 309.]If that applied to the Regular Army, Navy and Air Forces, it applied a hundred times more to the Territorial Army. I can imagine the officials in the War Office sitting with the Sword of Damocles of finance hanging over their heads, but I suggest that it was due not only to finance but to the spirit which inspired all Governments in those days, namely, the idea that for 10 years there would be no need for armed forces—and certainly no need for the Territorial Army.
The hon. Member who moved this Amendment referred to the fact that the Government had gone a long way to meet the objections that had been raised. Certainly the restoration of the bounty and the improvement in payments of grants for travelling allowances and so on, and especially the marriage allowance, have removed a great many objections. I would refer to the question of officers' travelling expenses, to which no reference was made, and I hope that the Minister who will reply to the Debate will give me an answer on the point. It may not be generally known that if an officer leaves his ordinary civil employment in London to go to his battery in Sussex, he cannot claim travelling expenses until he reaches the borders of Sussex, whereas an officer who lives 40 or 50 miles away in Sussex can get travelling expenses to his battery if he is travelling on duty. That may seem a small matter, but it inquires to be looked into.
The right hon. Gentleman mentioned Income Tax, and I hoped that he was proposing to make a concession but he went away from it. The principle seems wrong that if an officer goes to camp or goes to courses to learn his job, his pay should be subject to Income Tax. I am told that there are all sorts of difficulties about this matter, but officers in the 2417 Territorial Army are only civilians, and it seems quite wrong that the small pay received, which only goes to meet their expenses, should be subject to Income Tax as if it were an emolument which they have earned in the course of their business. Hon. Members will recall that officers and other ranks are entitled to exemption from Jury service. That is about the only exemption that the Government make. I suggest that it might be possible to make a similar gesture in regard to the payment of Income Tax in the circumstances I have described.
I will mention another small point in connection with money, and then I will leave the question altogether. Any one who has had command of a Territorial unit knows what a number of small payments are held up because there is no authority for them, or because they do riot come within the Territorial Regulations. If it be possible for the Government to stretch a point in this matter, I suggest that commanding officers be given some small sum each year to spend at their own discretion. That would settle a number of grievances, and would save an enormous amount of unnecessary correspondence. That also may seem a small matter, but it is the pin-pricks of savings which have made, or contributed towards, the big hole in the recruiting returns.
Now I will turn to housing conditions, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred in connection with the barracks of the Regular soldier. I am certain that he is aware, as are Members of this House who have to do with the Territorial Army, that many of the places in which the Territorial Army are asked to learn their job are absolute disgraces. It is a difficult matter, because it means increased grants to Territorial associations; nevertheless it is very important. I know of a case in which a battery is trying to learn its work in army huts which are cold and badly lighted. I could give many more instances. I had a case myself a long time ago in which for seven years I fought, and the Territorial association fought, for an improved drill hall. I only bring this case forward because it points a moral. After seven years of fighting we at last got a good drill hall in a prominent position. I would suggest that, if new drill halls are found to be necessary, as they certainly 2418 will be, at any rate in some parts of London, they should, if possible, be put in prominent places. A good building has a wonderful publicity effect, and would be of considerable assistance, as it was in my case, not only in getting a few recruits, but in getting the unit immediately up to strength.
I have dealt with the financial side and with the housing side; I want now to raise quite a different question in connection with mobilisation. The Territorial recruit is of an inquiring nature, and he wants to know what he is in for on mobilisation. I will not at this moment go into the question of what he is going to do—whether he is going to form part of a cadre or whether he is going to be a key man and get out of it altogether; but a question that is being asked by recruits and potential recruits is, "What will happen to my job on mobilisation? "I hope the Government will be able to give some sort of assurance on that point. To meet the case of a man who gives up his civilian job, or sacrifices his business, on signing for service in the Territorial Army in the event of mobilisation, I would ask the Government, if it is possible, to consider whether some form of insurance could not be effected for those who sign on before mobilisation, so that their job or their business might be compensated for if they lost it by being sent to foreign parts.
I want next to touch on two questions with regard to efficiency and training. If men join the Territorial Army, they look forward to putting up a good show and being efficient, and there is a sentence in the White Paper, which was quoted the other day by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), which had a very strong bearing on this point. It reads:It is not possible simultaneously to recondition the Territorial Army, but a beginning will be made at once in the task of improving its present inadequate equipment and training.There is one aspect of this question which I should like to bring to the notice of the Government. We all realise that it is impossible to give the Territorial Army full new equipment, but, if the Territorial Army has nothing but old equipment, it does create an inferiority complex. I would suggest that, if it is possible, when, say, any new machine gun or field gun is issued to the Regular Army, a sample, at any rate, should be given 2419 to every unit of the Territorial Army, so that they can train their personnel, and anyhow can see this new equipment. Then I feel that this suggestion, which is quite understandable, of an inferiority complex, would be removed. As regards training, I am afraid that Territorial officers and men may have felt rather insulted by the expression in the White Paper:Improving its present inadequate equipment and training.I am now referring to the training. As I have been engaged in this business, as I have already mentioned, for the last 25 years, and especially during the last 15 years, I should like to say at once that from my experience I am absolutely convinced that the training during the last six or seven years has shown a degree of efficiency at least 50 per cent. above what it formerly was, and I would at once say that that is very largely due to the assistance and sympathy of those officers and non-commisisoned officers of the Regular Army who have assisted us in our training. But we have still some way to go.
In conclusion, I would only say, as regards the position of the Territorial Army, that we want our status fully recognised. I am certain that Regular officers, right up to the senior officers, all understand the position, but there is a great past of what we might call tolerance to wipe out, and I think it would be of the greatest help if a Territorial serving officer could be attached to the War Office in some capacity, or, if that be not possible, that there should be a panel of serving Territorial officers who would assist in the councils of the War Office, perhaps more actively than the Advisory Council which is there at the moment. I feel that serving Territorial officers, knowing the spirit and feeling that permeates the Territorial Army, could be of great assistance to the Government.
I should like to endorse what the Mover of this Amendment says about an appeal to employers by the Prime Minister. I believe it would have an enormous influence, and, if that were done, and if some of these matters, which may appear to be small but which are really large, were tackled, I do not believe there would be any difficulty about filling up the small matter of 40,000 men required to complete the 2420 establishment of the Territorial Army. It is hardly necessary for me to say that if this were done the feeling would go through Europe at once that the Territorial Army in England was up to-strength and ready, and that feeling would, I am sure, put another nail in the coffin of war.
§ 8.55 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
I am sure the House will wish me to pay a tribute to the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just addressed it for the first time. I feel that he has exercised a very wise discretion in selecting for his first speech a subject of which he obviously has very wide knowledge and experience. I was greatly pleased to hear him say that the Territorials of 1935 were at least 50 per cent. better than they were in the days when I used to think they were pretty good. It is a very reassuring and cheering thought and I very much hope that he is right in that respect. I had not intended speaking in this part of the Debate and I have only risen, firstly because I think a tribute ought to be paid to the Secretary of State. He spoke of differences of opinion between him and Lord Rothermere. I imagine there are very few subjects that the right hon. Gentleman and I would look at in the same light, but I am bound to say he has risen a good deal in my estimation. He showed a most progressive outlook in quite a number of directions. In particular, I was pleased to hear the concessions that he announced in regard to the Territorial Force. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment asked as to the attitude of Members of this party towards that force. I can assure him that we in the present party, as in both the Labour Governments, have at all times supported it. We do not stand for unilateral disarmament and we certainly do stand for what forces may be necessary within the framework of the system of collective security, and possibly even some slight expansion, in one or two respects of that principle.
The second reason why I desired to speak is that the right hon. Gentleman said he would welcome any suggestion from any part of the House. I should like to address myself to one or two points in connection with the Territorial Force. I. do not think it will be gainsaid that for years after the War little or no attention was paid to it and, if a sacrifice had, 2421 to be made, it was the Territorials who had to make it every time. There certainly was a feeling in my day, and I believe is to-day, that being in the Territorial Force is rather playing at soldiering, instead of which, considered seriously, it is a very serious matter indeed. I cannot help feeling that Regular officers in the past—I hope they are better to-day and in some respects I think they are—tended rather to adopt an air of superiority and to look down on the Force. That is much to be regretted. If the right hon. Gentleman has any influence to improve matters in that respect, I hope he will exert it. A striking incident that I recollect illustrates the attitude that was apparent in some quarters. On 10th August, 1914, when my own unit marched out of barracks, there was a crowd outside and someone shouted out, "Look at them. They are a lot of bloody comics." That was the spirit in many quarters in pre-war days, and I am not sure that it has passed away today. We really were not in need of very much training. We were in a position to move off anywhere if we had had the appropriate equipment—in my opinion to move overseas.
There is another question in regard to the Territorials. In many parts of the country they still occupy very old, dilapidated buildings. There are some barracks at Leeds to which I have referred in similar Debates to this, but without result. The building is 100 years old. It was first a private residence and then a girls' school, and for over 30 years it has been a barracks and the headquarters of three or four small units, who all pig in together in the same building and frequently use the same rooms for their various purposes, for the most part no doubt on different nights; but the barracks are dull and dirty and wholly unsuitable in every sense for the purpose. You cannot expect men to take any pleasure in going for one or two evenings a week to train or meet their fellows in the unit in buildings such as that. In my opinion it would be an economy in the long run if a match was put to the building and a new one erected.
If, unfortunately, we had a war, I wonder what would happen to the Territorials. I gather that the present system is that they are to be sent out as reinforcements to Regular units. [Interruption.] I shall be corrected if I 2422 am wrong about that. I hope I am. While I appreciate that it is impossible always to keep Territorial units together, I certainly do not care for the idea of sending out oddments to Regular units. Some better system than that ought to be devised. Are we going to have a new Army set up in case we are unfortunate enough to have another war? In the Great War officers of the new Army who. had only a few months service were sent to France and elsewhere and superseded Territorial officers who had ten times the service and 20 times the experience that the new Army officers had. The Territorials ought to ask and have an assurance on that point. It was frequently the case, as I know in my own experience, that Territorial officers of long experience had to train new Army officers and those same officers superseded the Territorial officers who had had the duty of training them—a most outrageous state of affairs.
One suggestion that I would make is that a Territorial might be appointed Director-General, or at least Deputy Director-General, of the Territorial Force. It would be necessary to pick a man of the right type from those who have served in the Territorial Force. I should like to see one of that type chosen. Such a man would give great satisfaction. If he stood up for the Territorial Force and saw that it had fair play, I feel sure. that it would be a great inducement to. many to join that Force. I hope that these few suggestions will receive consideration by the Secretary of State for War.
§ 9.6 p.m.
A few days ago the Goverment announced that they would. give every encouragement to the recruiting and efficiency of the Territorial Army. The most heartening speech which the Secretary of State for War made to-day shows that they mean it, and that they regard the Territorial Army not only as important, but as a vital factor in their defence scheme. No one, surely, could regard the Territorial Force as an aggressive force. They are a most peace-loving collection of individuals, but they have a very fine conception of a citizen's duty. At great sacrifice of their spare time and leisure, they try to make themselves capable of defending their country, if need be. Yet it is fair to say that during the last few years they have been made to feel that the country as a whole did 2423 not particularly care whether they were efficient or up to establishment. I do not for a moment suggest that the Secretary of State for War and his colleagues or their predecessors in office have been unsympathetic or unconcerned in the matter. We all recognise the difficuitles which have faced them, but the War Office and high military authorities have been sympathetic and ready to help in any way they could.
The attitude of the Regular towards the Territorial has changed very considerably in the last few years. He now regards him as a true comrade in arms. The Territorial has appreciated these things, and has been encouraged by them, but it is not military encouragement of which I am thinking. We are discussing the citizen army, and a potential Territorial soldier is surely far more likely to be impressed and influenced by the attitude of the general public, of his employer and of his friends. He expects the soldier to say that the country needs more soldiers, the sailor to say that it needs more sailors, and the scoutmaster to say that it needs more scouts. Has any Member of the Government not connected with the Service Departments told the country that service in the Territorials is a very high form of citizenship and that the country generally needs such services? Has he suggested that it merits public appreciation and recognition just as much as any other form of service? I think my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment rather bears out my point that that has not been done. We are now anxious, and rightly anxious, to bring the Territorial Army up to strength. It is true that they have a long way to go, but I would suggest that in their task they need not be unduly worried by the shortage of numbers which exists at present. What steps, in recent years, have they taken to remedy this shortage? Now they are going a long way towards carrying out the hopes and wishes of the Territorials. I know that much remains to be done in connection with erection of drill halls and in other ways. Have they carried on any organized publicity, among employers for instance? It has not reached me. By writing for it, I did obtain a pamphlet which gave some facts and figures about the Territorial 2424 Army, but I do not think it would have persuaded anyone to join. The Secretary of State has now announced some most important and welcome improvements in regard to pay, allowances, and conditions. I should like to congratulate him on the concessions he has been able to make. They will give pleasure and satisfaction and very practical encouragement throughout the Territorial Army.
It is not only a financial question. Surely, private service also comes into it. We are all proud of the great leisure that we enjoy in this country, and in return the country gets a wonderful amount of voluntary service. There is nothing like it in any other part of the world. An appeal which is justified by reason and by logic is not often made in vain. The "Daily Mail" has been focusing the attention of the Press on the importance of the Territorial Army. The Press generally have always supported the principle of the Territorial Army, and I have no doubt that newspapers of all shades of opinion will continue to do so if the need is pointed out to them. Some employers give one or even two weeks' holiday. Some have been giving it for some time. It is not possible for all firms to do it. Some are in favour of their employés joining the Territorial Army, but enthusiasm in some cases is short-circuited by the head of a department or a foreman who has different views on the subject. But many employers certainly do take an active personal interest in the Territorial services of their employés, and obviously their approbation is very welcome. If an employer really does help in this matter, he is rendering a valuable service, and I agree entirely with an hon. Friend opposite that he deserves recognition. For instance, many firms and many employés are proud to use the emblem and cipher granted to them on joining the King's Roll Scheme. The majority of employers, I am afraid, up to now have not. taken any steps to encourage their employes to join the Territorials. I think it is chiefly because the matter has not been brought to their notice. A week or two ago an employer with whom I am associated said, "We would like to help you, but we do not know anything about you. Why do you not send someone along to explain things to us? We promise to 2425 arrange a meeting, and to help in every way we can."
It may well be that the best recruiting agent will be found among the non-commissioned officers and men who, like the happy warrior, can speak from an experience which they do not regret, of the many good friendships they have made and the spirit of comradeship which one finds at its best in the regiment, and does not find anywhere else in the same form. But these great efforts to attract recruits to the Territorial Force would be successful if they had the moral support of the Government. In the South of England, at any rate, it has been increasingly difficult to get recruits for the infantry. The present generation are more attracted by the technical side, the guns, tanks, antiaircraft service and engineers. That is very intelligible, but I think infantry training might be made more interesting than it is. The recruit should feel that he was being trained for the next war, if there is to be one, rather than for the last war. Deficiencies in the most up-to-date arms and equipment must be met in the Regular Army before the needs of the Territorial Force can be satisfied, but it might be possible to give instruction to the Territorials in the weapons they might have to use, even if the weapons do not belong to them and have to be borrowed.
In camp the Territorial has a great deal to learn in a fortnight. He can see the regulars at work, and I know that it has been the practice for some time now for regulars and the Territorial Army, not only the infantry but other branches, to train together. One day in each fortnight would be well spent in showing the Territorial something of the artillery, the tanks, anti-aircraft guns, the trench mortar, and how these various weapons work. He could be told something of the role and the objective of the various component parts of an Army. How many hours has a Territorial infantry man to spend lying flat on the grass opposite a man with a flag, who he is told represents a machine gun, or army corps of the enemy? What does he know about the Division except that he and his friends are expected to take it on themselves? No wonder that sometimes he looks rather discouraged. It might interest 2426 him to know something more about the other cogs in the wheel. The Government are now taking the most practical and helpful measures to attract recruits to the Territorial Army, but I think they could do a great deal more without incurring large expenditure, and I suggest that in their efforts they will be greatly assisted by the co-operation, upon which we know they can count, of the Opposition.
§ 9.19 p.m.
§ Mr. MANDER
I want to give expression to some views which I know are held by a number of Territorial officers, who have been much discouraged by the lack of interest which has been taken in them during the last few years. I think a tribute should be paid to the self-sacrifice and unselfishness of large numbers of officers and men who for years past have given their time and energy, money and holidays in the most disinterested way simply for the service of their country. Everyone would desire to pay this much-needed tribute to them, and I think they will be encouraged by the statement made by the Secretary of State for War, because of the number of points upon which he is going to make things much easier for them in the future by the concessions he has announced. It is a deplorable thing that the magnificent prestige built up by many of these regiments in the War, should be sinking to a low point. I know there are many who feel that the moment has come when something definite ought to be done. There have been certain key years in the history of the home defence forces. 1859 was one, and 1899, the beginning of the South African War, was another, and then there was 1907, when Lord Haldane initiated the Territorial Force of this country.
In view of the way events are now shaping themselves there is a great deal to be said for the idea that the Prime Minister or some other prominent member of the Government should try to get a move on with regard to the prestige and recruiting of the Territorial Army. The great thing is to make them feel that they are wanted very much indeed, that they are a vital part of the forces of this country, that they are not in the second but in the first line. The question of equipment has been dealt with and it is an important one. It is not very attractive to be treated as children, and to have to train with things which are not up-to- 2427 date obviously is not a good thing. It is clear that, anti-aircraft work is of vital importance to the defence of the country. It cannot be done by old and retired people; it wants young and strong men. This work will not become less onerous, because if we are going to have visits from foreign aeroplanes dropping thousands of soldiers in parachutes, as may well happen, the task of the Territorial Army is going to be a serious one.
But the main point is the exact purpose for which the Territorial Army is going to be used in future. I think it is going to be very difficult in the future history of this country to get a united people to go in for the same kind of all against all national war as in the case of the War in 1914. On the other hand, if you are able to convince the people of this country that they are being asked to join in a collective effort to maintain the peace and order of the whole world, including ourselves, they will respond, and be glad to make all the sacrifices they can make for such an end. The Secretary of State has put it in moving words to-day, and if the same appeal could be made for recruits I believe it would have great effect. I know there are some who, trained in an older school, do not feel that appeal. The national appeal is stronger to them, but the younger generation, I believe, will be much more influenced by the solemn words used by my right hon. Friend when he put it so admirably in his speech.
I believe it is thought that a good deal more might be done by giving encouragement to officers in the Territorial Army to take staff courses, and that some who have gone through such courses are not used in the most effective way. There are officers who, apart from the ordinary duties of the Territorial Army, are willing to give up their week-ends and holidays and attend such courses. There is a staff course run by London University which lasts for two years and is held on two evenings per week. The Secretary of State may consider making the cost of that, which is £25, if not a free grant, at least something which is much less. For the expenditure of a. small sum of money you can do a great deal in encouraging knowledge of staff work among officers of the Territorial Army. In Canada and the United States a great deal more is 2428 done on these lines than is done in this country. I suggest also that opportunity should be given to Territorial officers to spend three or four days at the Regular Army manoeuvres, and in that way to get valuable experience and information.
I was glad that the Secretary of State made an appeal to employers to grant facilities. I hope the appeal will be accepted widely and generously, but I think the Government will have to bear in mind this difficulty. It is often found that the man who is keen and active as a Territorial officer is also an active man in his business, and you may get a man in an important position commanding his regiment who may be much more important from the national point of view, for example, in control of munitions. It will be necessary to consider each case from that point of view on its merits, and not repeat the condition of affairs which existed at the beginning of the last War when people who had gone away had to be fetched back, and there was considerable disorganisation. Can the Secretary of State give us any information regarding the work done by the Territorial Army Advisory Council? A lot of interest is taken by officers in its work. How often has it met; are the members of it not too old; are they attacking specific problems; and is it possible to indicate the nature of some of the problems they may be dealing with at present? I should like to thank the Secretary of State for the valuable information that he has given us to-day, and I hope that he will study the many suggestions made during the Debate and in due course be able to make further concessions.
§ 9.30 p.m.
§ Lord WILLOUGHBY de ERESBY
As a serving officer in the Territorial Army I am certain that everyone associated with it must be extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for bringing forward this Amendment and enabling the House to consider the serious plight of the Territorial Army i o-day. My right hon. Friend quoted figures showing that the Territorial Army is seriously below strength and, what is more alarming, is shrinking year by year. It is some 40,000 below peace-time establishment. What makes the position worse still is that, while the Territorial Army is numerically weak, it is expected to undertake 2429 new duties and heavy responsibilities. The liability of the Territorial Army is now not only to act as the first line of defence for our own country, but it is also expected to be available for service oversea and to be able to relieve foreign garrisons. There has never been a time since the War, and recent events in Europe and Debates in this House have emphasised it, when the Army should have that backing which it has had in the past and on which it relies to-day—the backing of an efficient and strong Territorial Army. Everyone connected with the Territorial Army realises that far too large a proportion of its weapons is often imaginary or obsolete. My right hon. Friend said that a large portion of them was represented by flags and wrappings. I hope these are to be replaced by something more practical and serviceable in the near future.
I do not think that the encouragement which one might expect is always given to the Territorial regiments to make themselves efficient. In the case of my own regiment we are extremely fortunate in having the services of some very efficient signallers from the Post Office in Leicester. My Colonel was extremely anxious to make the regiment technically more efficient, and he proposed to purchase at considerable expense to himself a wireless set for these men to operate. A great deal of red tape had to be surmounted before he could obtain permission to do so. When ultimately permission was obtained he was told that on no account was he to use it on a general service wagon because it might scratch the paint or do harm to the wagon. That is small encouragement to officers who by private effort and enterprise seek to make their regiments more efficient.
I would also ask my right hon. Friend to consider the point which was raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Sevenoaks (Colonel Ponsonby). I apologise for hitting the nail on the head again, but we have been told that this is the way to get things done. I would ask my right hon. Friend to consider whether it would not be possible to have some representation of the Territorial Army in the War Office. I believe I am right when I say that the Territorial Army is the only technical branch of the Army which has no such representation to-day, and I cannot help 2430 feeling that if a liaison officer with special knowledge of the habits and requirements of the Territorial Army were appointed, much of the friction which at present exists between the Territorial Army and the War Office would be avoided. There would also be better co-operation between the Regular Army and the Territorial Army.
I would like to give the House two illustrations to show how I think this appointment would be of benefit to all concerned. This year my own regiment is being sent to a brigade camp at a place where rumour has it—if the rumour is unfounded, I apologise for making the statement—that the main characteristics of the district are the amount of barbed wire and bogs, a district which is wholly unsuitable for the movement of cavalry. Rumour also has it that the nearest cinema is a 2s. 6d. bus drive from the camp. I am sure the Financial Secretary will appreciate that this has not acted as a very great stimulant to recruiting this year, nor will it be a very great stimulant for next year. I feel that if a liaison officer were appointed somewhat on the lines I tried to indicate, he would be able to show the desirability of sending yeomanry regiments to places where there exists adequate recreation for their leisure hours and where, as cavalry regiments, they can train to the greatest advantage.
There is another example I would like to give. It has been advocated that men in the Territorial Army should attend special technical courses; but if those courses are attended and pay is received, then pay is not forthcoming during the annual training. I think anyone who has served in the Territorial Army will agree that this is an impossible arrangement. I feel that if there were a liaison officer he would be able to show that it is desirable that there should be these special courses and that the only possible way to run them would be to have them in conjunction with the annual camp, so that men and officers could attend them during the afternoons. I have mentioned two examples, but I think hon. Members may be able to give many others in support of my suggestion. These examples are small in themselves, but when taken together they constitute a 2431 fairly substantial grievance; and I think a great deal could be done which would be of benefit to the Territorial Army if it were allowed representation in the War Office.
Before leaving the question of efficiency there is one other point I would like to mention. I would ask my right hon. Friend whether, in cases where we are able to recruit over and above our requirements, we should not be allowed to do so. It may sound rather paradoxical at this moment to mention such a thing, but in my own regiment we are up to strength. From personal experience I know that in the yeomanry, with the small troops which we have the following situation sometimes arises. When the time comes to attend camp, there are one or two who cannot go because of sickness, or because they cannot get away from their jobs. On arriving at camp there may be one or two on the sick list. Another man does not come on parade because of night guard. Then on field operations probably one man has to be detailed off to hold the horse of the visiting general. Perhaps two have to be sent off as runners with messages. All in all, by the time the visiting general arrives to inspect the disposition of the troops and asks, in appropriate military language, "What is that man doing there standing by himself?" it has to be explained that that man is a light automatic section. I would ask my right hon. Friend whether, when we can recruit over and above our strength, we ought not to be given a chance to do so.
I would like now to say a few words about recruitment, which is, I think, one of the most serious problems which has to be tackled in the Territorial Army at the present time. I know that certain concessions have been made in the past with a view to encouraging recruiting and I know that some very considerable concessions have been made to-day by my right hon. Friend. Indeed, much of the thunder has been taken out of many of our speeches by his concessions, and we are all extremely grateful to him for what he has done. I think the restoration of the £5 grant for proficiency will be a very real benefit and assistance. Another concession which was very welcome was the lowering of the age at which grants may be drawn for a marriage allowance. Far be it from me 2432 to advocate the policy put forward by various dictators in Europe to-day to ensure a sufficient military strength in years to come, but I do feel that a man who is stout-hearted enough and public-spirited enough to join the Territorial Army is just the man we should encourage to marry early, for he seems most likely to provide the best stock for the future.
There is one concession which I would have wished to hear my right hon. Friend was prepared to give. I feel there ought to be some alteration in the law concerning the Territorial soldier who is unemployed. Often an unemployed Territorial soldier will not go to camp because if he does so he loses his unemployment benefit. I would ask whether my right hon. Friend could not see his way to give another concession at some time on these lines. Although the concessions that have been made are very welcome, I would ask my right hon. Friend whether he could not do something to raise the whole status of the Territorial Army in the eyes of the country. To get recruits to-day it is not enough simply to tell the Territorial soldier what a jolly good fellow he is and to the employer that you look to him for loyal co-operation; nor is it possible to satisfy the public by telling it that the whole question is receiving careful consideration. I feel that something vigorous must be done and that some action or scheme is necessary with a view to putting the Territorial soldier in a privileged position. I suggest to the House that the Territorial soldier deserves to be placed in such a privileged position. He undertakes his responsibilities entirely voluntarily, and more often than not he sacrifices the whole of his annual holiday so as to attend camp. All his drill in the intervals between camps has to be done in his spare time in the evenings. For these reasons alone he places himself on a definitely higher plane of citizenship than the ordinary person. The same thing applies to the employer. It is impossible to run the Territorial Army without the willing co-operation of the employers. The employer who encourages his men to join the Territorial Army is a national benefactor and should be regarded as such. I have heard many schemes suggested whereby the Territorial Army could be put in a privileged position. There is one scheme which I would mention in passing, and that is 2433 that for every four years cycle of service of the Territorial soldier he should get his old age pension one year earlier. As regards the employers, in order to encourage them, they should be allowed to place the wages of the men in their employ who serve in the Territorial Army against their profits which are assessed for Income Tax purposes.
The Territorial officers should be allowed some rebate, at least, on the pay they receive from the Territorial Army. At the present time we pay Income Tax on the pay we get during the camp, but I think that practically every officer spends more on his troop than the actual amount he receives in pay. I have not figures at my disposal to show how much these or any other schemes would cost, but I ask my right hon. Friend not to turn them down simply as the flippant suggestion of a mere back bencher but to receive them in the spirit in which they are made, and that is the spirit of one who wishes to see the Territorial Army receive the treatment it deserves and also wishes that the country should have the Army that it deserves.
§ 9.47 p.m.
§ Mr. STOURTON
All those who are interested in the Territorial Army will be grateful for the concessions which the Secretary of State has been able to make. The increase of the bounty to £5 will act as a brisk stimulus to recruiting, while the marriage allowance to men below the age of 26 will also help in the same direction. By increasing the messing allowance for officers my right hon. Friend is the first Minister for War for many a long day who has appreciated the fact that Territorial officers are not necessarily super-tax payers. For far too long the Territorial Army has been the Cinderella of the defence forces, and succesive Governments have competed with one another in starving it in every direction.
If I might do so with becoming modesty, I would like to make a few simple suggestions which may help in improving the training and efficiency of Territorials. I would call attention, first, to the grave deficiency in drill halls and miniature ranges. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Colonel Ponsonby) has already made some allusion to the question of drill halls. Speaking from personal experi- 2434 ence I do not hesitate to say that the lack of sufficient drill halls is nothing less than a scandal. In my own humble command in a country area in Norfolk I have only one drill hall, which was erected after much strife two years ago on about the worse site that could be selected, in an inaccessible position and on damp ground. In the small town where I have my company headquarters there is no drill hall at all. That is a state of affairs which ought to be remedied without further delay. With regard to miniature ranges I would suggest that it should be laid down that all ranges should be enclosed and provided with electric light. At the present time there are very few of this kind, but many open ranges, which means that they cannot be used in the winter because of the cold and because they are not electrically lit for night firing.
When one takes these facts into consideration, what surprises me is not that the Territorial Army to-day is 40,000 below establishment, but that there is any Territorial Force at all recruited on a voluntary basis. I would point out that drill halls, apart from being used as training centres, are most useful from the point of view of securing recruits. Between the training seasons they are used by the men for social purposes, and on such occasions many of their friends are attracted and numerous recruits are thus obtained. Another complaint that I would make concerns the niggardly travelling allowances made to Territorial officers. One or two hon. Members have already mentioned this subject, but it cannot do any harm to go over the ground again. Many officers live, perhaps, 100 or 150 miles from their training centre, and they can only obtain travelling allowance for a comparatively short part of the distance that they cover. Recently warrants for officers travelling on duty have been issued at third class instead, as formerly, at the first class rate. That is rather a pettifogging economy. Again, the mileage allowance for cars has been cut down. I do not think I am wrong in saying that an officer using his car to-day does not recover more than 25 per cent. of the cost incurred. We are, I am afraid, a long way from realising the aspiration which my right hon. Friend expressed when he said that he hoped the time had now arrived when officers would not be out of pocket for the services they rendered to the Territorial 2435 Army. Those who suffer most from the reduction in the car allowance are Territorial adjutants, who have to travel as much as 2,000 or 3,000 miles a month, and are consequently heavily out of pocket.
Another subject to which I would draw attention is the physical standard demanded of recruits. I have been making inquiries at the War Office, and have received some information which is rather disquieting. The percentage of rejections on medical grounds in 1913 was 26.6 per cent., but last year it had increased to 32.8 per cent., and in view of the fact that the physical standards have been slightly modified during that period an alarming state of affairs is revealed. The chest measurement has been slightly reduced as one example of the concessions which have been made in regard to physical standards. Since pre-War days the cost of our social services has increased by no less than tenfold, to £500,000,000. Personally, I am not one of those who grudges that increase, and indeed I do not suppose that a single Member here grudges it, but I think we are entitled to expect value for our money. I cannot say that we have had it, when we find that, after spending these vast sums, the percentage of rejections is steadily increasing. I respectfully suggest that my right hon. Friend might well consult with the Minister of Health on this question. Once again, thanking the Minister for what he has done, I conclude by hoping that this is only the beginning of better things to come.
§ 9.58 p.m.
§ Mr. KIMBALL
I desire to support the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford (Mr. Crossley). I propose to deal only with three points concerning the Territorial Army. I speak as a Territorial and as a member of my county Territorial association. The Amendment deals with recruiting and there is one paragraph in the White Paper which has not been referred to yet, but which is of real importance in relation to the recruiting question. That is paragraph 33 which reads:The Territorial Army, though generally regarded as the second line in our military forces, actually provides the first line in anti-aircraft and coast defence at home. It is recruited on the basis that it will be ready to serve wherever it may be needed, 2436 and if the Regular Army should require support abroad, the Territorial Army will be called upon to give that support, serving not as drafts but in its own units and formations. It therefore holds an important place, in our defence organisation, and it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to do all that is possible to encourage its recruiting and increase its efficiency.That is important both as setting out the responsibilities of the Territorial Army and answering a number of questions which have been raised with regard to the use of the Territorial Army if it were mobilised. It answers questions which have troubled Territorials, both officers and men, as to whether, if they were mobilised for service, they would be used as members of their own units or sent as drafts to the Regular Army.
A great many suggestions have been made to my right hon. Friend this afternoon. He said he did not rule out suggestions, even if they were revolutionary, and there are two which I would put to him. He said that the Territorial Army had not received the encouragement which it ought to have received. Is it not possible that it is not a question of encouragement, but of the fact that the Territorial Army has not been understood or the reasons why men join it appreciated? I suggest that their motives are mixed. They are partly motives of patriotism, partly the motive of interest in the work, and partly because it is a hobby for gain. In any case it is not a game and it is not a permanent full-time profession. Therefore, I think that the Territorial Army wants recognition and not reward and, if that fact is appreciated by the War Office, I believe the difficulty of recruiting will be partially solved.
Something has been said about the conditions of service. The concessions which have been announced on the bounty and the marriage allowance go a long way to meet the points raised. The question of drill halls and equipment has also been raised. I do not wish to waste time in going into that, but, on the question of the appointment of Territorial Army advisers to assist the Director-General, I would ask my right hon. Friend to remember two replies which he gave me recently. I asked him on 13th February about the appointment of a Territorial Army officer to assist the Director-General and advise him from the Territorial Army point of view. His answer was that an 2437 advisory committee had already been set up for the purpose of keeping the War Office in touch with the Territorial Army and, in those circumstances, he said it would be well to defer further consideration of my suggestion. I then asked for the name of that committee and how often it had met. My right hon. Friend answered that question on 25th February. I have, of course, no quarrel with the membership of the committee but I think it important to note that it only met four times during the past year. I suggest the time has come for my right hon. Friend to reconsider the suggestion of the appointment of a Territorial Army officer, because a committee which only met four times in the past year cannot give the Director-General as much information and advice from the Territorial Army point of view as he ought to have or as would be of advantage to the Territorial Army.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Colonel Ponsonby) referred to a matter which I should like to emphasise. That is the question of the Territorial who has been mobilised and, having engaged in war service, is then demobilised and finds that he has lost his civilian job. That is one of the things which acts as a deterrent on recruiting to-day. A great many men do not join the Territorial Army because their fathers or elder brothers, who were among the first to join up in the last War, found when they returned that their civilian employment was gone. That difficulty might be met by a system of insurance. The Government is insured against a great many risks and I would ask my right hon. Friend whether it is not possible to evolve a scheme of insurance for these men. The cost could be borne on the Army Vote and the Territorial would be guranteed that, on his return to civilian life, he would not be any worse off, owing to loss of employment, than he had been before. If the answer is that the risk is too great for the Government to undertake then I say it is too great a risk to ask the individual to undertake.
Lastly, the Noble Lord the Member for Rutland (Lord Willoughby de Eresby) suggested, and I agree with him, that the Territorial should be given a privileged position in civilian life. Another suggestion which I would like to make is that men of the Territorial Army might 2438 be granted exemption from paying National Health Insurance contributions. It could be done in this way. A man's cards have to be stamped only once in six months. If the employer sent those cards to the local adjutant of the Territorial unit to which the man belonged, and if the man was an efficient Territorial and had attended his camps, the adjutant could frank the cards and return them to the employer, who in due course would send them through to the Ministry of Health. It may be said that this would involve excessive cost. At the present rate of contribution I think it would come to £4 6s. 8d. per man, but there would be a definite, tangible benefit to the man and to his employer. The man would get the benefit of his National Health Insurance and Old Age Pension and medical services without paying for them, and the employer would have in his employment a number of men for whom he had not to pay weekly contributions under National Health Insurance.
I put that forward as a suggestion, and I hope that when the Financial Secretary replies, I may receive an answer to it. If the objection is that it would not apply to all members of the Territorial Army, I would say that the vast majority of them are subject to National Health Insurance, and those who are not would certainly be payers of Income Tax. Officers and other ranks who do not pay National Health Insurance contributions might receive an allowance on their Schedule E Income Tax, graded in proportion to the number of years which they have served. If that were done, I think you would be giving the Territorials a definite advantage and putting them in a privileged position which would make the joining of the Terrtorial Army a popular measure and aid employers in allowing their men to join up.
I think that if some such definite action were taken to show that the Territorial Army is recognised, recruiting would improve, and they would be worthy of the responsibilities laid upon them, as stated in the White Paper. If further concessions and recognition can be given them, if, in other words, the Territorial Army in future is to receive a fair deal and encouragement, I think the recruiting difficulty will be solved and we shall have again, as we have had in the past, the best and cheapest civilian army and second line of defence, but as it is to- 2439 day, owing to a lack of that encouragement, we are not getting that. I think the right hon. Gentleman used the right words in his speech, and I ask that further steps should be taken to give that encouragement which we have not had in the past few years.
§ 10.9 p.m.
§ Colonel BALDWIN-WEBB
I think the Secretary of State ought to be thanked on behalf of the Territorial Army for the very generous treatment he has given to that Army to-day. I am sure the House and the country will appreciate his attitude very much and that the result of these concessions will be to bring up the strength very considerably. We also thank him for the very helpful way in which he has presented his Estimates. I should like to mention a matter which would be of little cost, but which might help recruiting enormously. I think a National Service Roll might be established of those employers who are prepared to recognise or to give facilities to those men who are willing to join the Territorial Army. Many men refrain from joining at present because they do not know the attitude of their employers, and if such a Roll could be established and kept, I feel sure that the men would know that, by joining up, they would not risk anything on the part of their employers. That should not cost very much, but it would be a great help, and I urge upon the Secretary of State to consider seriously something on these lines.
The Territorial Army is one of the best investments the country has, because it gets through a vast amount of voluntary work for very little cost. Unless it is supported and kept up to strength, we might have to face a problem whereby we may have to defend our country by other means, but if we can continue to use the Territorial Army, it will be for the general interest and cheaper and far better all round. Therefore, I hope the country will respond to the concessions which have been made and that the strength of the Territorial Army will be brought up.
I think it is generally realised that in the Midlands and the North men join the Territorial Army more easily than in the South and that recruiting is better. I am, therefore, sorry to see the proposal to do away with the North Midland 2440 division, and I would like my right hon. Friend to consider retaining that division as it is.
It is proposed in that area to form anti-aircraft defence units, and these should be formed in addition to retaining the old North Midland division. I had the honour to visit a unit in the South only a week or two ago, and I realised how very hard it is get recruits. I, therefore, suggest that we might retain all those units that we can in the North if we want to carry on our recruiting successfully. Once more, I wish to thank my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War for his speech.
§ 10.12 p.m.
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
Everyone who is interested in the state of the Territorial Army must feel that this has been a day of great encouragement, and I know the Secretary of State will forgive me if I refer, even before giving him any thanks, to the attitude of the various Oppositions in this House which have been so considerate of the obligations of the Territorial soldiers and which have shown that, as far as this House at least is concerned, the Territorial Army is lifted above all consideration of party politics. That was clearly demonstrated in more than one speech, and not as a politician, but as one who many years ago joined the citizen army of this country and has always been associated with it since, I want to thank hon. Members of the party above the Gangway and behind me for the very generous tributes which they have paid, showing that there is no party division on this question, as I believe, at all. If there is any, it is a very minute group.
I want to ask the House to consider, not the various details which have been so interestingly presented, but whether we should not seriously consider the fact that our foreign policy at present has no relation to our military power. That is a point which I desire to stress. We are all aware that owing to the thought of the times the Territorial Army, like the other Forces of the Crown, has suffered very grieviously from an intense campaign of propaganda in the country against the idea of any armed forces at all, and the same forces who have so ruthlessly opposed any recruiting for the forces of the Crown, are those who have 2441 been urging the strongest possible action against Italy and Japan. It is not for me to explain how you can advance the policy of disarmament and discouragement of the various Forces with general militancy in foreign affairs.
I am concerned, however, to warn the House that while we have been taking a very strong line in foreign policy, and have, indeed, at moments been somewhere near to war events, our skeleton military machinery has not been in such a position that it could really be put in motion. At the time of the Great War, as the House will recall with pride, we had a small Regular Army, but a very effective one at that, which undoubtedly saved the Channel ports. In addition, we had a considerable Army Reserve of seasoned troops immediately available to fill gaps; we had a Special Reserve, that is, the old Militia, although no one realises that it was the same force under a different name, of 60,000 or 70,000 men; and over and above that we had the Territorial Army with a strength of something like 340,000. In our present position we find a very different state of affairs. The. Regular Army is not only down on its establishment rather seriously, but we have since the Great War disbanded 21 battalions of infantry and also some regiments of cavalry, even before others were mechanised. We have a smaller Reserve, he Militia has been completely disbanded, and the Territorial Army, the only remaining force that we have now behind the Regular Army, has a strength of only 128,000 men, which is 52,000 below establishment.
We have less than half the Territorial Army that we had at the time of the War. This is due, as has been frankly confessed from the Front Government Bench and other quarters of the House, to the fact that we have, year after year, starved the Territorial Army; we have deprived it of its paltry bonuses, bounties and training allowances; it has been railed at by certain portions of the country, and discouraged by certain branches of the churches. In consequence, it has lost a considerable measure of its vitality, and, because of its lack of strength, it cannot be as efficient as it ought to be. Now that we have heard on all hands such tributes to the. work of the officers and men of the Territorial Army, I hope that the proposal of the Mover of the Amendment will be listened 2442 to and that we may have not only the Prime Minister, but leaders of all parties in this difficult time, appealing to employers of labour to do everything in their power to release their men and let them go to camp. I hope that we shall establish the principle once and for all that no man who does that great service to the country shall suffer in any way.
§ Mr. E. J. WILLIAMS
Does not the hon. and gallant Gentleman think it would be advisable to appeal to employers to employ those who were engaged in the last War?
§ Sir H. CROFT
I am afraid that it would not be in order to discuss that now, but hon. Members will know how warmly I approve of that sentiment and how I have done everything in my power to persuade employers to do that. I do not think there has been any general disposition among employers not to employ those who were engaged in the late War if they are fitted for the work. We are now at a time of great national emergency, and I do not think we can help it by going into what happened in the past. I think the Government would not go far wrong and would have the country behind them if they were to declare here and now that should such a terrible event as another war take place they would insist that at the conclusion of it every man should receive his employment back in the firm that he left to fight for the country.
§ Sir H. CROFT
But there was never any ruling of the Government that it had got to be done. I desire to offer a warning on another subject. We have heard a great deal from every quarter of the House of the great need for mechanisation in every department, and I am going to urge, before we pass from the subject of the Territorials, that that is not the whole of the question. Although it is vital to have modern scientific appliances in order to pave the way to victory, you can never win a war unless you have trained infantry soldiers. In the last resort the trained and disciplined soldier is the man who has to mop up, to consolidate, and to subdue the infantry soldiers of the enemy. I am in no way belittling the need for every mechanical device to make the task 2443 of the infantry soldier easy, but I can well remember the first lesson of the tanks. It was found that the tanks would go on and the enemy infantry merely disappear into cellars and ditches, and then up they would come and shoot the remaining forces coming along. You may take your infantry soldiers as near as possible to their objective by tanks, or take them by air, as I think will be largely the case in the days to come, but you must in the end have men trained for the fulfilment of the sole military objective, which is to disarm the enemy, and you are never going to do that with chauffeurs, mechanicians or others not trained for this decisive military purpose.
Reading the papers one finds that some people imagined that tanks and aeroplanes would subdue the Abyssinian army and completely defeat it in about a fortnight, but in spite of the fact that the Abyssinians had no anti-aircraft protection and no anti-tank equipment it was three corps of infantry who finally took the great position which the Italians have now reached and are consolidating. We should take lessons from events as they come. The other great Powers of the world, all of them, believe in a mighty man-power behind their mechanical devices. In the last year Germany has raised her conscript Army to over 500,000 men, and I think it is generally admitted that she has some 3,000,000 men behind who are fairly trained; and I have even seen her unemployed marching to their work with shovels at the slope, as efficiently trained as any civilian soldiers that we have ever seen. Italy has 1,250,000 men actually mobilised at the present moment. France, by her two years' service system, has greatly increased her number of effectives. So also with Russia—and here, no doubt, I shall have the attention of some of my hon. Friends above the Gangway. Soviet Russia had an army of 800,000 men, which has been increased by half-a-million, and as we heard the other day from the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) Soviet Russia also has a colossal reserve. The House may take it as an absolute fact that Soviet Russia has by far the largest peace-time army in the world, and a larger number of reserves, who have been through some form of military training, than any country in the history of the world. These 2444 are facts which we have to recognise. Against all that we have an increase in our own Army of four battalions, which is 4,000 men.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I do not think any increase of the Territorial establishment is mentioned in the White Paper. The whole of the infantry increases in the White Paper indicate only four additional battalions. That being the case, we have to face the fact that the Territorial Army has a total actual strength at this moment of 130,000 men. Of that number, there are only 99,000 Territorial infantry soldiers. One cannot, even as a private Member, state the actual facts on this occasion, but they are too serious lightly to be passed by. All our lips are to a certain extent sealed. [Interruption.] Yes, they are. I know that things are getting safer every day, but we have been near a terrible danger, and we must do all that we can to stimulate this sole defensive force that we have. We have no right to allow our people to offer their lives, unless we see that they are properly equipped with the greatest power that we can give them to defend their lives if, unhappily, they are drawn into war.
I should have liked to comment on one or two suggestions that were made. I notice that hon. Gentleman were inclined to laugh at the idea of transporting troops by air. We have only the Territorial Army in this country behind the Regular Army which, as everybody knows, is very much attentuated. Suppose that Ruritania—it is not advisable to talk about any particular foreign danger—were to bring 1,000 aeroplanes here, each with 20 infantry soldiers, and, after landing a total of 20,000 infantry soldiers, those machines returned to their base and came back with another 20,000 on the same day. Have we any force in this country that could possibly deal with those 40,000 men, or possibly, 120,000 in six days? Hon. Gentlemen may say that I am talking nonsense, but I can only reply that I am saying this with great sincerity. During the War we dare not let the whole of our military machine be used because we were afraid of an invasion of this country. If that invasion was possible by sea, in which case their communications were going to be cut, why is it not possible by air?
2445 I remember sending, in 1917, a Memorandum to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff urging that we should consider this precise idea of building 1,000 aeroplanes and landing 20,000 fighting men behind the German guns while our artillery men were assaulting the German position. I believe that that would have been an even greater surprise than the tanks. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen are laughing, but let me tell them that within six years of the conclusion of the War quite a large number of troops were being brought from Egypt to Palestine at almost a moment's notice.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I apologise, Sir, but I always find that these Debates lead me to endeavour to cut and thrust. The moral I was trying to point is on the supposition that there were a sudden air invasion of this country to land troops. the Government may say: "There is no power in the world with 1,000 carriers of 25 men each," but our information has been very incorrect these last few years. It is not more difficult to build 1,000 machines with which to land in this country troops to oppose whom you would only have your Territorial Force than it was secretly to build, say, 1,000 or 1,500 fighting planes in a certain country not very far away in the last few years, without the Government knowing anything about it. I am sorry if I have looked a little ahead—I am not so reactionary as some of my hon. Friends —but I feel that, when we are considering the future of the Territorial Army, our only force behind our attenuated Regular Army, we have to visualise any possibility that there may be of invasion, and we have to see that our country is once more safe, as for centuries it has been.
Unless we do everything in our power by good will and by effort to bring the Territorial Army at the earliest possible moment up to strength, we are failing in our duty in the most elementary precaution. I should like to remind hon. Gentlemen that some of them—not all I think—may say, "We do not want a Territorial Army, because we believe in collective security." We are always talking about collective security in connec- 2446 tion with the Territorial Army and the Regular Army, but surely collective security means that all of us have forces which collectively are going to act together, and it really is a sham, if you believe in that policy, to exclude this country from taking any part in that collective policy which you are enjoining upon every other country in the world.
§ Sir H. CROFT
That we are entitled to know. No country in the world that is going to take any sort of part in this collective effort can produce such niggardly forces as we are capable of producing at the present moment through our Territorial Army and our Regular Army. I am quite convinced that, if you are sincere in your collective belief, you have to contemplate the possibility that you may have to put armed soldiers into the field alongside some small country in the future, and if you exclude that from your purview, and say that the Territorial Army or the Regular Army shall never take part in any such collective effort, you will not be regarded as sincere in your intentions by those 45 small territories which may take part in such an effort. As one with some considerable experience of the Territorial Army, I thank the right hon. Gentleman from the bottom of my heart, and I know that every serving soldier in the Territorial Army will be equally grateful, because the right hon. Gentleman has provided exactly those remedies which I believe are most earnestly required by the whole of the members of that force.
§ 10.34 p.m.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir WILLIAM ALLEN
I have listened with great pleasure to the Debate to-night, and I want to say that, from my experience in France and Belgium of the British Territorial units, no finer force can be found in the British Army. Wherever we met them they were very sympathetic, helpful and useful units. I seem to have heard a few years ago the cry of "Your King and your country need you." From the speeches I have heard to-night with reference to the Territorial forces in England, it would appear as though the cry has been, "Your King and your country no longer want you, because you have been neglected." 2447 If you want to revive any of the forces of the United Kingdom may I call the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the old militia battalions of Northern Ireland? All you have to do is to sound the alarm there and you will get as many men as you want. They will come voluntarily. You will have no need of conscription. We had some of the finest regiments in the War. The right hon. Gentleman has asked for suggestions and I suggest that if you really want men to make up the deficiencies in your forces. You have disbanded some of the regular battalions of Northern Ireland. If you want men you could resuscitate them. There is a good deal of complaint about your forces not being up to strength. A poor woman came to me and said her husband had died. The doctor who attended him said that undoubtedly death was due to war service. How frequently we hear of the Ministry saying to these poor people, "Not attributable to war service." How they know is a mystery to me. I only mention that as one reason for the deficiency in recruiting. They are fearful lest the same thing should happen again. Now that you are crying for recruits, you should give them the assurance that they will be well treated if they enlist.
§ 10.39 p.m.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Sir Victor Warrender)
I should like to say how exceedingly grateful I am to my hon. Friends who have moved and seconded the Amendment for drawing attention to a subject upon which the general public is not nearly so well informed as it should be, having regard to the importance which we at the War Office attach to it. Few people outside Army circles and those closely associated with the Territorial Army fully realise what a very responsible role this force will be called upon to play in the event of war. A great many people are entirely unaware that the whole of the anti-aircraft defence of this great city, as far as it concerns the ground, will lie upon the shoulders of the Territorial units and our coast defence too is a responsibility placed upon the same shoulders. Furthermore, if and when our Regular Army has to proceed overseas on active service, it will be the task of the Territorial Army to support that force not with drafts, as one hon. Member was anxious about to-night, but 2448 with their own entities and as an entirely separate force.
In view of this general and regrettable ignorance, I sincerely hope that the Debate this evening, following upon my right hon. Friend's introductory speech, will bring home to the nation, and particularly to the young men, the realities of the situation. Before I deal with the various points raised in the Debate I should like to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford (Mr. Crossley) on his very admirable speech this evening. My hon. Friend indulges in an unusual but very attractive hobby of tying fishing flies, a difficult art. To-night my hon. Friend has tied a particularly neat pattern and cast it over my right hon. Friend and myself, and I can assure him that he will find us very willing to rise to his fly. We hope he will have similar success in other pools beyond this House. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Colonel Ponsonby) is a distinguished officer in the Territorial Army and therefore speaks with authority on the subject that is before the House to-night. May I also congratulate him on his excellent maiden speech, and I hope the success that he has achieved will encourage him to take further part in the debates in future.
The Debate has covered a great deal of ground, many points have been raised, and a great many suggestions have been made, so I hope that it will not be thought that I underrate the importance of them if I do not reply to them all. It would be impossible for me to do so within the compass of a reasonable speech. On the contrary, we do more than realise the importance of these matters and the extent to which we shall have to rely upon the Territorial Army in the event of a great national emergency. We desire to seek the co-operation not only of Members of this House, but of employers and all sections of the community outside in our determination to bring this force up to strength and to that high standard of efficiency which is the tradition of the British Army. The hon. Member who originated this Amendment referred to the position of the anti-aircraft units. It is true that one of our most urgent requirements is to gel these units, which have already been formed, up to 2449 strength. The defence of our civil population and property against hostile aircraft must necessarily occupy a foremost position in our defence system. I feel sure, after the speeches which have been made to-night, that men who live in and around London, the most valuable and perhaps one of the most vulnerable aerial targets in the world, will not be slow to realise their responsibilities and will come forward and offer their services.
In this connection there is one matter on which I should like to give the House some information. Hon. Members will see from the Memorandum that in the coming autumn we propose to convert certain units in the North Midlands for anti-aircraft defence. It has now been decided that the division to be disbanded to supply these units shall be the 46th Division. This division has been selected mainly because of its geographical situation, but I should like to stress the point that this decision does not mean that all the units of the 46th Division will become anti-aircraft units. At the moment I am not in a position to specify which actual units will be selected for this duty. I fully appreciate that this decision will be a sad blow to those who are at present, and have been in the past, closely connected with the 46th Division, and I can assure them that it is with deep regret that the decision has been reached. No Territorial Army division has a finer fighting record than the 46th; in fact, the division has the distinction of having captured more prisoners in one day on the Western Front than any other, and no division has a higher reputation for its efficiency in peace. I feel sure that the country and the Army Council can rely on the loyalty of all units in this division which will be selected for this duty to carry out their new role in accordance with the splendid traditions of the division.
I hope that service in these anti-aircraft units will not be regarded as of secondary importance. It is very natural that a man should feel that he would rather join a unit part of whose task will be, in the event of war, to proceed overseas to reinforce the Field Force, than one which is definitely detailed for home defence. But, let it not be forgotten that success in future wars will depend as much upon the ability of the nation to 2450 withstand attack from the air as upon the valour of its armies in the field, and to suppose that service in these anti-aircraft units will be anything in the nature of what is called a "cushy job" is entirely to ignore the possible and probable development of modern warfare. Most emphatically I say that we in the War Office regard these anti-aircraft units as of primary importance, and it must be remembered that, should we unfortunately find ourselves embroiled in any European war, these anti-aircraft units may be the very first to come into action. They will, therefore, be expected to attain the very highest state of efficiency. Unlike other units they will have no interval in which to get ready for active service, and, moreover, should the anti-aircraft units of the field force require support and reinforcement it is to the Territorial Army units that we shall have to look to train and provide personnel for those reinforcements.
I do not propose to-night to go in great detail into the many suggestions which have been made from all sides of the House, but I can assure hon. Members that all these suggestions will be very carefully considered by the Department, and that we are not only open to suggestions but are only too glad to receive any assistance we can which will help us to create interest in the Territorial Army and to improve the recruiting position. The attitude of employers has been referred to. A great many employers are at the moment exceedingly helpful to us. To them we are most grateful. Others, I am afraid, are not so good, but I sincerely believe and hope that the publicity which has been given to this subject to-night will bring those who have been a little slack in this direction hitherto to a different point of view, and I look forward to a greater degree of co-operation. I certainly hope that all employers will read the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Dover (Major Astor). If they follow out the precepts which he enunciated this evening I am quite sure that we shall see a change in this direction.
The hon. Member who seconded the Amendment had a whole heap of suggestions to make, as was only natural from one who takes a great interest in a Territorial unit. He raised the ques- 2451 tion of Income Tax on the pay of Territorial officers and wondered whether something could not be done to give them a rebate. The reason why Territorial officers pay Income Tax on their pay is that the pay is pay. Just as we have to pay Income Tax on our salaries as Members of Parliament and Ministers, who are paid the miserable pittances they are paid, so it is in the natural sequence of events that Territorial officers should pay Income Tax on their pay. He referred to the question of drill halls. I am afraid that I am only too well aware of the state of some of these drill halls. We are taking a certain amount of money in these Estimates to put that right, and it will be seen from a study of the White Paper that large sums are to be devoted in the future to this purpose. We are conscious of the position and hope to see an improvement. He referred also to equipment for the Territorial Army. There is no extra money being taken in these Estimates for increased equipment for the Territorial Army, but again a study of the White Paper will show that when the Supplementary Estimates come along to provide for the expense of the defence programme comparatively large sums will be devoted annually to the re-equipment and training of the Territorial Army.
One hon. Member asked whether something could not be done to improve the status of the Territorial Army. I hope that some of the things I have said to-night will create in the minds of the public an increased realisation of the importance of the Territorial Army. In the eyes of the Army Council the Territorial Army holds an important position. Although the suggestion that there should be a Deputy Director-General of the Territorial Army at the War Office in the person of a Territorial officer has not been put into practice, we have, as hon. Members interested in the subject know, recently brought into being the Advisory Council, which consists of young men who are full of initiative, who take a great interest in the question and who may be counted upon constantly to represent the interests of all sections of the Territorial Army to the Army Council. If, however, we find that this does not work satisfactorily we are prepared to try a further experiment, and perhaps, as the hon. and 2452 gallant Gentleman suggested, to have a Deputy Director. One of the difficulties would be that a Deputy Director would have to be a person prepared to do whole-time work, and as hon. Members know, most of those interested in the Territorial Army are not prepared to devote the whole of their time to it.
§ Mr. KIMBALL
I apologise for interrupting, but as I raised the point to which the hon. Baronet is referring, I would like to ask him why the Advisory Council has met only four times since it was appointed, and whether this is as good as would be a full-time Deputy Director of the Territorial Army?
§ Sir V. WARRENDER
I cannot say off-hand why the Advisory Council has met only four times, but one must not judge its efficiency by the number of times it meets. I have no reason to suppose that the interests of the Territorial Army have suffered because there have been only four meetings of the Council. Perhaps I might add, since it is not generally known, that the Territorial Army occupies a great deal of the time of one of the Ministers at the War Office. The Noble Lord the Under-Secretary of State has as his special charge to look after the Territorial Army, and, in fact, the Territorial Army has a Minister almost entirely to itself. The Noble Lord devotes almost the whole of his time to the interest of the Territorial Army, so that if the Territorial Army has no deputy director-general, it has at any rate what is considered the next best thing, a Minister practically to itself.
I would like to say a word or two about the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for South-East. Leeds (Major Milner). His was a particularly helpful speech and I welcome his attitude towards the Territorial Army. If his speech represents the general spirit throughout his party and throughout those who send his party to this House, I feel we have friends there, and I certainly hope that the spirit which he enunciated to-night and the example which he gave will be followed by his colleagues and by those who support them in the country.
There are many points to which I could refer. Many of the suggestions that have been made involve financial considerations. All I can say is that we must be grateful for that which we have. The concessions—although I think that is not 2453 the right word since it implies bonuses given by an unwilling Minister—the bonuses which have been granted will in a full year cost over £400,000, so that hon. Members will see that we have been able to provide a good deal of finance. If we are able to do more in the future in this direction, we shall be only too pleased. In conclusion, I would like to say that we do realise the great debt which we owe to this unique voluntary force, whose members devote a large amount of time to their training. We sincerely hope that, combined with the efforts of hon. Members in this House and of employers' and employés' organisations, we shall be able, as a result of the publicity which has been given this year, to create sufficient additional interest to attract to the Colours or to the Territorial Army the men whom we require. Our whole security and the whole of our defence force must in the end depend upon the sufficiency and efficiency of the personnel. My right hon. Friend has given a clear indication to-day that he is prepared to play his part in looking after the interests of the Territorial Army, and I have no doubt that the country will not only follow his example but respond to
§ his appeal for support. I hope the House will now agree that Mr. Speaker should be allowed to leave the Chair.
§ Mr. G. GRIFFITHS
I should like to put one question to the Secretary of State for War. The Territorials are going to camp this year. Will he give us an assurance that when they go to camp he will dismiss Colonel Margarine altogether from the camps?
Lieut.-Colonel SANDEMAN ALLEN
There is one point to which I should like to draw attention. I think that the time has arrived when the Territorial Army regulations should be recast. The present regulations are almost as difficult to understand as many of the Bills that come before the House. It is time that the whole of the present regulations were destroyed and re-written, and I hope that the Minister will pay attention to that. I will not attempt to-night to bring up the other points that I had in mind.
§ Question put, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 1082455
|Division No. 95.]
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'burgh, W.)
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
|Albery, I. J.
|Courtauld, Major. J. S.
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)
|Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W.
|Courthope, Col. Sir G. L.
|Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)
|Craddock, Sir R. H.
|Goodman, Col. A. W.
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)
|Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.
|Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)
|Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page
|Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.
|Aske, Sir R. W.
|Crooke, J. S.
|Grigg, Sir E. W. M.
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.
|Grimston, R. V.
|Astor, Major Hon. J. J. (Dover)
|Cross, R. H.
|Gritten, W. G. Howard
|Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)
|Crossley, A. C.
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Drake)
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.
|Crowder. J. F. E.
|Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor)
|Balfour, G. (Hampstead)
|Cruddas, Col. B.
|Guinness, T. L. E. B.
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.
|Culverwell, C. T.
|Gunston, Capt. D. W.
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.
|Davies, C. (Montgomery)
|Hannon, Sir P. J. H.
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)
|Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)
|Harris, Sir P. A.
|Beit, Sir A. L.
|Donner, P. W.
|Hartington, Marquess of
|Birchall, Sir J. D.
|Dorman-Smith, Major R. H.
|Blindell, Sir J.
|Dower, Capt. A. V. G.
|Heligers, Captain F. F. A.
|Bossom, A. C.
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.
|Boulton, W. W.
|Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)
|Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.
|Dugdale, Major T. L.
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon)
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W.
|Duggan. H. J.
|Boyce, H. Leslie
|Holmes, J. S.
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.
|Dunne, P. R. R.
|Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.
|Eckersley, P. T.
|Bull, B. B.
|Edge, Sir W.
|Howitt, Dr. A. B.
|Cartland, J. R. H.
|Edmondson, Major Sir J.
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)
|Carver, Major W. H.
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
|Hume, Sir G. H.
|Cary, R. A.
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.
|Jackson, Sir H.
|Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)
|Entwistle, C. F.
|James, Wing-Commander A. W.
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)
|Jarvis, Sir J. J.
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.
|Everard, W. L.
|Keeling, E. H.
|Colfox, Major W. P.
|Flides, Sir H.
|Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
|Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J.
|Fleming, E. L.
|Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)
|Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk N.)
|Foot, D. M.
|Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff(W'st'r S. G'gs)
|Furness, S. N.
|Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.
|Patrick, C. M.
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
|Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)
|Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
|Leckie, J. A.
|Peat, C. U.
|Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
|Leech, Dr. J. W.
|Penny, Sir G.
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
|Percy, Rt. Hon. Lord E.
|Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)
|Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.
|Perkins, W. R. D.
|Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
|Lloyd, G. W.
|Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
|Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V.
|Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
|Loftus, P. C.
|Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
|Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
|Procter, Major H. A.
|Lumley, Capt. L. R.
|Raikes, H. V. A. M.
|Stourton, Hon. J. J.
|MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.
|Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
|Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
|McCorquodale, M. S.
|Strickland, Captain W. F.
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)
|Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
|McKie, J. H.
|Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
|Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
|Rayner, Major R. H.
|Thomson, Sir. J. D. W.
|Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.
|Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
|Touche, G. C.
|Mander, G. le M.
|Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
|Tree, A. R. L. F.
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H, D. R.
|Remer, J. R.
|Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.
|Markham, S. F.
|Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
|Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.
|Maxwell, S. A.
|Roberts. W. (Cumberland, N.)
|Wakefield, W. W.
|Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
|Ropner, Colonel L.
|Wallace, Captain Euan
|Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
|Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)
|Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
|Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)
|Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
|Warrender, Sir V.
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
|Rothschild, J. A. de
|Wells, S. R.
|Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.
|Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
|Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
|Morris, J. P. (Salford N.)
|Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
|Williams. H. G. (Croydon, S.)
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.
|Salmon, Sir I.
|Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
|Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)
|Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
|Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.
|Sanderson, Sir F. B.
|Womersley, Sir W. J.
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
|Seely, Sir H. M.
|TELLERS FOR THE AYES. —
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.
|Shakespeare, G. H.
|Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.
|Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
|and Mr. James Stuart.
|Palmer, G. E. H.
|Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
|Adams, D. (Consett)
|Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)
|Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
|Price, M. P.
|Adamson, W. M.
|Pritt, D. N.
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)
|Quibell, J. D.
|Ammon, C. G.
|Richards, R. (Wrexham)
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.
|Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)
|Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
|Banfield, J. W.
|Barnes, A. J.
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.
|Salter, Dr. A.
|Jones, A. C. (Shipley)
|Sexton, T. M.
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
|Kelly, W. T.
|Simpson, F. B.
|Broad, F. A.
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.
|Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)
|Kirby, B. V.
|Smith, E. (Stoke)
|Cocks, F. S.
|Smith, T. (Normanton)
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford
|Lawson, J. J.
|Sorensen, R. W.
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)
|Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)
|Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
|Leslie, J. R.
|Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
|Macdonald, G. (Ince)
|Dunn, E. (Rather Valley)
|McEntee, V. La T.
|Tinker, J. J.
|Ede, J. C.
|McGhee, H. G.
|Viant, S. P.
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)
|Walkden A G.
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.
|MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)
|Watkins, F. C.
|Gardner, B. W.
|Garro-Jones, G. M.
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)
|Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.
|Milner, Major J.
|Williams, T. (Don Valley)
|Grenfell, D. R.
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H (Ha'kn'y, S.)
|Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)
|Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
|Groves, T. E.
|Naylor, T. E.
|Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
|Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)
|Oliver, G. H.
|Young, Sir R. (Newton)
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
|Hardie, G. D.
|Parker, H. J. H.
|TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
|Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
|Pethick, Lawrence, F. W.
|Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Charleton.
Question, "That the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.
§ Supply accordingly considered in Committee.
§ [Major LLOYD GEORGE in the Chair.]