HC Deb 03 June 1937 vol 324 cc1249-77

7.25 p.m.

Mr. Lewis

I beg to move, in page 6, line 18, at the end, to insert: such numerical strength amounting to not less than 60 members. The effect of this Amendment, if carried, would be that before a Leader of the Opposition could qualify for the special salary from the State proposed in this Bill he would have to show not merely that he was the leader of the largest single party in this House opposed to the Government but that that party consisted of not less than, approximately, one-tenth of the Members of this House. In legislation of this kind we should, as far as possible, provide for all contingencies, and I should like hon. Members to consider what happened in 1931. At that time the then Prime Minister appealed to the leaders of the other parties to join with him in forming a National Government supported by all parties. The majority of the Members of his own party did not see their way to supporting that proposal, but if they had done so, if the Labour party as then constituted had remained in support of the Government, and had been joined by the Conservative and Liberal parties as represented in that House, the Opposition would then have consisted only of a few independent Members and, I suppose, the three or four Members from the Clyde who follow the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). Under the Bill as at present drafted the hon. Member for Bridgeton would then have become entitled to a salary as Leader of the Opposition.

The Attorney-General told us a few moments ago that in his view the real justification for the payment of a salary to the Leader of the Opposition was that he was to be regarded as a potential Prime Minister. Does anyone suggest that in the circumstances I have outlined, circumstances which nearly arose in 1931, the hon. Member for Bridgeton could fairly have been described as a potential Prime Minister? Therefore, it seems to me the argument which the Attorney-General said was his principal argument falls to the ground. I know that he also said that in his view difficult cases would be better dealt with when they arose. I ask the House to consider what would happen if, in circumstances such as I have described, it were said, "Oh, this is a difficult case, it was never intended that the leader of only a small group should be treated as Leader of the Opposition for the purposes of this salary, and therefore we will take the salary away from him." Such a course could not be pursued, and therefore it seems to me that this safeguard, to which the Attorney-General apparently gave some weight, would not assist him in such a case. It is impossible for anybody to foretell the probable course of party strife in this country in the future, whether we shall have, as we have had in the past, two very large parties with small groups on the fringes of them, three large parties, or a number of moderate-sized parties. The principal argument used by the Attorney-General just now to justify this proposal turned on the idea that the Leader of the Opposition really was the leader of the only alternative Government, the leader of a party which, by numerical strength, was obviously more important than any other party or group of parties.

The figure which I have suggested cannot, I submit, be considered unreason- able. It is less than one-tenth of the membership of the House. If a man desires to be regarded as the leader of the alternative Government, he should be able to count on the support of at least one-tenth of our membership. I am not particularly wedded to the figure, however; I put it, I thought, rather low. I would be willing to accept some other figure if the Government agreed to accept the principle. We should not fail to recognise the difficulty which may occur of there being no large party in Opposition at any given moment, and we should take precautions now to deal with such a situation.

7.32 p.m.

Mr. Crowder

I beg to second the Amendment.

It is unfair to ask the community to pay a salary of £2,000 to a Leader of the Opposition unless he commands the support of a certain proportion of the membership. I understand that in 1931 there were 59 Labour Members and three Members of the Independent Labour party, which totalled 62. To enable the Leader of the Opposition to have the salary, the Independent Labour party would have had to agree, I presume, or some of the Liberals, to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) being their leader. It would stop a good deal of log-rolling arrangements among parties if we were to lay down, once and for all, that no salary should be paid to the Leader of the Opposition unless at least 6o Members were prepared to support him. It is only fair to the community to ask for such a provision, when the majority of the country are not in the least supporting the Leader of the Opposition.

7.34 p.m.

The Attorney-General

I ask the House to reject the Amendment. I thought that the hon. Member for Finchley (Mr. Crowder) provided an almost overwhelming argument against it. He took the case of the 1931 Parliament, in which there were 59 Members of the Opposition. That Opposition was allowed full power as an Opposition, and if any Opposition Leader were entitled to such a provision as this it was the Leader of that Opposition, or of an Opposition in circumstances similar to those of that time. The fewer the men the greater is the share of honour. It may also be said that the smaller the party the greater are the duties that fall upon the Leader of the Opposition. It is clearly wrong to exclude from this provision the leader of the 59 Members of the Labour party who performed those duties during the 1931 Parliament.

There were, as the hon. Member for Finchley pointed out, three Members of the Independent Labour party in that Parliament. I am not sure whether the hon. Member brought up the number of the Labour party to over 6o for the purposes of this Bill by including them, or not, but I doubt whether, if they were here, they would welcome the suggestion that they were, at any material time, led by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). If there is any doubt about the Amendment, we have only to imagine somebody saying to three independent Members: "If you come into our party the leader gets £2,000, but if you go out, it will cease." Rather than avoid log-rolling I should think that that kind of position would encourage it—although I am not suggesting that logrolling would take place in any circumstances, or that anybody is capable of doing it in this House. In some cases its possibilities might be explored. If we are trying to anticipate log-rolling I should have thought that that was the kind of position you would not wish to bring about, because it would be a most unfortunate state of affairs.

Mr. Lewis

Would not exactly the sameposition arise under the Bill as printed, if two parties in Opposition happened to be exactly the same size?

The Attorney-General

That is, of course, a possibiltiy which I must investigate. It might raise difficulty, but it is not the possibility which is being dealt with by the Amendment. I am dealing with the case which this Amendment is intended to cover. While appreciating the point made by my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment I cannot think, particularly having regard to our history, that the Amendment would be the right way to tackle the difficulty. It might land us in a further rather objectionable position. I hope that my hon. Friends may, upon consideration, see their way not to press the Amendment.

7.39 p.m.

Mr. Petherick

There is rather more in this Amendment than the Attorney-General seemed to think. He based his arguments on the fact that in the 1931–35 Parliament there were only 59 Members in the Opposition. I suggest to the Attorney-General that such a tornado does not happen very often, and is extremely unlikely to happen again. The argument in favour of the Amendment is that the two-party system under which we are at present living is unlikely to continue. It is possible that parties on both sides of the House may be very much more split up than they are now. We have not proportional representation, although one is always being urged to bring it about. Suppose that we were to bring in such a system, we should obviously have, as there is upon the Continent, what the French an Emiettement de Partis, a whole lot of small parties jostling for positions. You would run the risk of having parties consisting of fewer than 60 Members each.

Suppose you had in Opposition under that system five different parties, each consisting of 40 or 50 Members; probably one party would be taken as the official Opposition, although they might exceed in numbers only by two or three Members the next biggest party. It would be very difficult to claim that the Leader of an Opposition of that kind would be in the peculiar and unique position which we have been told is the reason—a perfectly proper reason—for giving the Leader of the Opposition £2,000 a year. No harm can be done by accepting the Amendment, as we should be making provision for the breakdown of what we describe as the two-party system. There is no danger in accepting the Amendment, and it might do some good.

7.42 p.m.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill will reject the Amendment, in spite of the arguments which have been used in its support. There is an old saying and a true one about never crossing your bridges until you come to them. It seems.that all that the promoters of the Amendment have done is to indulge in speculation. One could go on all night speculating and making all manner of combinations of things that might arise in the future in this House. The only point which I see arising out of the Amendment is that which has been dealt with by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and it seemed, to use a vulgarism, to stand out a mile. It is that if the official Opposition at any time were to be reduced to something in the region of 60 Members, the duties of the official leader would be heavier, instead of lighter, than they would be if their numbers approximated to the strength upon the Government side.

Tributes have been paid, not only by members of the Government but by people in every rank of life, to the enormous amount of work which fell upon the Leader of the Opposition in the last Parliament. The only case we can deal with is the one which we know. To indulge in a series of speculations as to what may happen in the future, and whether the Government will consist of a number of small groups loosely welded together and the Opposition consist of a number of groups, and whether by-elections will alter the relationship of parties, leads us nowhere. I hope that the Government will stick to the Bill as it is.

Amendment negatived.

7.44 p.m.

Mr. Garro Jones

I beg to move, in page 6, line 41, to leave out from "Commons," to the end of the Clause, and to insert: the question shall be referred by the Speaker of the House of Commons to the Committee of Privileges, who shall decide upon the question which is the party in opposition to His Majesty's Government having the greatest numerical strength in the House of Commons, and, the Committee of Privileges having so decided, the Members of that party in the House of Commons and no others shall decide by election who shall be the Leader of the Opposition, and the salary shall be paid to that person accordingly. This Amendment seeks not to proceed with the proposal to place upon the shoulders of Mr. Speaker the task of deciding who is the Leader of the Opposition. In asking hon. Members to place that task in part upon the Committee of Privileges and in part upon Members of the largest party in the House, I am conscious that I am proposing an innovation which comes within the delicate sphere of the Committee of Privileges. We know of Privilege in regard to the rights of private Members and the rights of this House as a whole, but never, so far as I know, have the rights of parties been made the subject of claims on the ground of Privilege. Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind the fact that the Parliamentary alignment known as the party system does not extend very far back into our Parliamentary history. I venture to think that, if the party system had extended back into those years when the foundations of our laws and customs of Parliamentary Privilege were being laid, these decisions as to the rights of parties would have been laid upon the Committee of Privileges rather than upon the shoulders of Mr. Speaker.

The Clause as it stands proposes to impose a double duty upon Mr. Speaker. It lays upon him first the duty of deciding which is the largest party in Opposition in the House; and, having satisfied himself upon that point, we are proposing then to give him the duty of deciding who is the Leader in the House of that party. The impartiality of the Speaker is not for a moment in question in my Amendment, but I wish to emphasise that the Speaker will only be called upon to act in circumstances of doubt. Where there is no doubt and no contention, no duty will be laid upon the Speaker at all. Therefore, his decision, when it is given, must be antagonistic to the feelings of a large number of Members of the House.

I would like the House to keep in mind a certain situation which may arise under the Sub-section as it stands. A new Parliament may be returned, when we shall find ourselves without the advantage of a Speaker in the Chair and without the advantage of a Leader of the Opposition. Is it not possible in those circumstances that parties will be induced to take into consideration the decision which the Speaker might make as to who is to be the Leader of the Opposition, in deciding to whom they should give their support for the office of Speaker? I am very sorry to see that the Minister of Health does not take this matter with the seriousness that it warrants. It is really incumbent upon the House, when it is legislating, to legislate with foresight and with consideration of the various circumstances which may arise in the future. We are not legislating in this Clause for an ordinary situation; we are legislating for circumstances of doubt which may well arise; and, although it may appear that the precautions which I am now seeking to take are not necessary to-day, it is very likely and probable that in the course of the next century or so they may be. I was reading only the other day the debate on the Royal Marriages Bill in the House of Lords; I believe it was in 1770; and then a body of Peers was so concerned because provision was not being made for the marriage of the King himself that 25 of them insisted upon its going on record that within the next one or two centuries the House of Lords would have cause to regret that it had not dealt with that possible contingency. Therefore, I think we ought to try to frame this legislation, which may play a very vital part in the relationships between parties in years to come, with proper foresight and consideration.

I repeat that, if neither the Speaker nor the Leader of the Opposition is elected at any given time, it may well be that one party or the other, being a candidate for choice as the larger party in Opposition, may be influenced in their consideration of whom they shall support as the Speaker by anticipations of what view he may take as to which shall be the largest party and who shall be the Leader of that party in the House. We shall, therefore, find that the party which is disappointed will feel aggrieved. I think the whole House will agree that it is not only necessary that the Speaker should be impartial, as he always is in his principal task of presiding over our deliberations, but that it should be recognised by the House as a whole that he is impartial; and I say that it will be antagonistic to that feeling in the House if there are ever to be found 80, 90, or 120 Members, it may be, who feel that they have been deprived of the position of the official Opposition.

My Amendment divides the task of ascertaining who is the Leader of the Opposition into two parts. The first part requires a decision to he arrived at as to which is the largest party in Opposition, and I am seeking to lay that task upon the shoulders of the Committee of Privileges. The second part of the task will be to set up the actual Leader of that party, and in my submission the only people competent to decide who shall be the Leader of that party in the House of Commons are the members of that party in the House of Commons. A situation may well arise, under the present system of electing leaders which obtains in a party which I will not name, in which there may be some embarrassment, because it is not only Members of the House of Commons who elect the Leader of that party, but candidates and representatives of constituency organisations and Members of the other House. Therefore, if we are going to leave that task in the hands of the Speaker, he will be required to take cognisance, not only of the wishes of Members in one party in the House, but of a whole set of other people over whom he has no jurisdiction and of whose actions he cannot, so far as I can understand, be cognisant. Therefore, I submit that there is some reason at any rate to give serious consideration to the proposal I am making. In recommending it to the Government, I do not seek to press it unduly; I only ask that they should give it the consideration which it ought to receive; and if, on reflection, they find that there are some considerations which have not previously occurred to them, I hope they will take what action in another place they think the circumstances warrant.

7.54 p.m.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

I beg to second the Amendment.

I do so because I sincerely share my hon. Friend's great uneasiness with regard to the wording of this Clause. I would point out that the Clause only deals with the question of doubts arising as to who should be regarded as the Leader of the Opposition, and that doubts on such a question can only arise from very serious causes indeed. Generally speaking there can be no difficulty, and there has been no difficulty, in deciding who is the Leader of the biggest party in Opposition in the House. Therefore, if the Clause provides for a state of doubt, I think it is unfair and is not the duty of the House to place the onus on the shoulders of the Speaker under what must be very difficult conditions indeed. The Attorney-General, who has been very genial and generous during the discussion of this Bill—almost as genial as the Ali Baba of olden days when he received from the other 40 his share of the spoils —stated quite generously that the official Opposition, and only the official Opposition, would appoint their own Leader. But the Attorney-General did not, and perhaps he will, enlarge upon what are the causes of doubts arising in the House on the question of such leadership. Doubts can arise possibly because there may be two or three parties in opposition to the Government with approximately even, or nearly even, memberships, each making a definite claim to the right to be termed the party in Opposition. There may even be a split in the big party with regard to the leadership of that party. Fortunately, looking to the future, I can well believe that, at least in the party to which I belong, those splits will not occur; we have been very successful in transferring that type of material on to the opposite benches during the past two or three years. But there may be, as some Members have already visualised, parties in the future that may be split very decidedly within their own ranks on the question of who should be the leader of the party.

I think that the phrasing of the Clause shows uneasiness, and that you yourself, Mr. Speaker, must now, after listening to my hon. Friend and myself, be very uneasy in your own mind as to the outcome of this piece of legislation. Therefore, I would merely ask that, should the Amendment not meet with the approval of the Government, or should it in one way or another technically or legally be not practicable as we desire it to be, the Attorney-General should reconsider the whole question and try to come to some arrangement that will not leave us, as regards the leadership of the Opposition, dependent upon the Speaker, and will not place the onus on the shoulders of one man. In view of the traditions of this House, and of the legislation that has been passed by this House, I think that such a problem should not be insurmountable, either for the Government or for the chief parties in the House.

7.59 p.m.

Sir K. Wood

I would like to assure the Mover of this Amendment that the Government have, of course, given consideration to his proposal. If hon. Members will look at the Clause and consider the circumstances in which it is likely to come into operation, I think it will be agreed that the possibility in practice of any difficulty of this kind arising is likely to be very remote. The reason why such a Clause has to be inserted, and provision made for such a contingency, is that the salary of the Leader of the Opposition will come on the Consolidated Fund, and, of course, some provision has to be made in the event of a difficulty arising. But I hardly think, myself, that any difficulty of this kind is likely to arise, or that Whoever has to decide the matter is going to be very much overburdened by it, because it is only if any doubt exists as to which is or was at any material time the party in Opposition having the greatest numerical strength—I should not think that a difficult matter to decide—or who is or was at any material time the Leader in the House of such a party.

The Sub-section is simply put in to provide for a contingency having regard to the matter I have mentioned so far as the Consolidated Fund is concerned. When you have to settle a matter of this kind, Mr. Speaker would be an eminently proper person. When you consider the alternative that the hon. Member has put forward, I certainly do not think he has chosen a very convenient body. Having regard to the composition of the Committee of Privileges, it would lead to an almost ludicrous result. It might very well be said, in fact, that both these matters would be decided by the majority party, which would certainly be open to considerable objection, and if the decision was not very gratifying or acceptable, all sorts of charges and suggestions would be made. Mr. Speaker, who has consented to carry out the duty if it is put upon him, is really the person to decide this. He is associated with these matters in the day to day working of the House, and he would be more satisfactory to the House as a whole. I admire the hon. Member's persistence—he has been opposed to this proposal from the beginning, and this is his last shot—but I hope in the circumstances, and in view of the explanation that I have given, he will not press the matter further.

8.3 p.m.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The right hon. Gentleman has used the term "party." At this moment we know what the term means. Speaking of the House of Commons as it exists at present, we know which is the party with the largest membership, but imagine an Election in which there is returned a party which has a majority, and therefore becomes the Government, and perhaps half a dozen other parties of almost equal strength. Assume that two of those parties join together in order to become a majority of the parties in opposition. Does the term "party" convey the meaning of a combination of parties of that kind, or are we using the term "party" in a singular sense? That is the kind of contingency that my hon. Friend has in mind. I am definitely opposed to proportional representation. I believe that it is one of the contributory factors to the destruction of democracy on the Continent, in that no party has ever been able to form a Government without air kinds of bargaining, which causes a suspicion of political corruption. After all we may have a change in that direction in this country. If some future Government adopts proportional representation, we shall have a large number of new parties of the kind with which we are familiar on the Continent and the Speaker of the House may be given the unenviable task of deciding which of half a dozen parties is the largest. In view of that, I think there is a good deal to be said for making provision of this kind to settle the question, if it should arise, in the best way possible.

8.7 p.m.

Mr. Bellenger

I do not think any one has any doubt as to who is the best authority to settle the matter contemplated in this Clause. Obviously it must he Mr. Speaker. The Committee of Privileges is not an ideal authority for deciding a question of this nature. Mr. Speaker has to decide very controversial questions on occasion and it is hardly ever that his decisions are challenged by any one, which is an illustration of the impartial and correct way in which he works. He not only acts on his own initiative but he is admirably advised on many of the constitutional and legal questions that arise. I was sorry to hear my hon. Friend base his argument for legislating for centuries ahead on what happened in another place two centuries ago. I should have thought that that would be the last authority to which he would go for progressive views to legislate for the years to Come. There was a dispute on one occasion as to which party should occupy this Front Bench when the Liberal party, which I do not see at the moment, was almost the same size as the party to which I belong. Mr. Speaker settled the question as to who was to be the official Opposition and, if he is ever called upon to settle such a question again the whole House would accept his decision.

8.10 p.m.

Mr. V. Adams

While I admire the farseeing Statesmanship of the hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Garro Jones), who wishes to legislate for a hypothesis which may arise 100 years hence, I am at a loss to understand the full purport of his Amendment. I have been trying to imagine a situation that might arise at the beginning of a new Parliament, and the set of circumstances that the hon. Member seems to have in mind. As far as I am aware, at the beginning of a new Parliament there is no Committee of Privileges in existence at all, and the first thing that a new Parliament has to do is to elect a Speaker. Then, longo intervallo, comes the election of the Committee of Privileges, with which the Government side has a substantial amount to do. They have also a good deal to do with the election of the Speaker; and they will also be able to some extent, not exactly to dictate, but to guide and direct the personnel of the Committee of Privileges. All this time the House of Commons is going to be left without a Leader of the Opposition. That is not in my judgment the way in which to conduct our democratic proceedings in the most efficient way.

Mr. Garro Jones

The difficulty that the hon. Member envisages in the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition will be the same whether it is left in the hands of the Speaker or of the Committee of Privileges, because the Leader of the Opposition is no more necessary to secure the election of the Speaker than to secure the election of the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. Adams

The point that I am making is that the House of Commons is going to be deprived for a long period of a Leader of the Opposition. We are all agreed that the Leader of the Opposition has extremely difficult and onerous duties to perform. I do not think the House could begin to function at the inception of a new Parliament without a recognised leader of His Majesty's Opposition. I cannot understand why the task of deciding which is the most numerous party in Opposition should present any difficulty to any one. Surely it can be left with perfect safety in the hands of the Speaker. The hon. Member who proposed the Amendment seemed to fearsome-thing which is quite inconceivable, that a Speaker might be elected to the Chair who saw double or suffered from a blind spot.

8.14 p.m.

Mr. Kelly

The hon. Member has spoken of the delay that there would be if a committee had to consider the matter, but need a committee take longer to decide it than Mr. Speaker himself?

Mr. Adams

Have you ever served on a Committee?

Mr. Kelly

Yes, I have served on committees but, if a matter of this kind is going to be so difficult that the committee would have to meet as frequently as some committees in this House meet, Mr. Speaker is going to have the same difficulty in having all these matters placed before him and requiring time to consider them. You are placing on the Speaker a burden that ought not to be placed on him. The hon. Member referred to the beginning of a new Parliament, but that is not the only occasion on which this difficulty might arise. I can imagine a Parliament starting out with such a number in a particular party that there would be no doubt as to it being the largest in numerical strength, but something might happen during the early days that might cause a difference in its numbers. That would mean a change, and, I suppose, a dropping of the salary too. It is wrong to throw this responsibilty on to Mr. Speaker, and I hope that the Amendment will be carried, even if an alteration has to be made later, and that some other committee is thought better for the purpose than the Committee of Privileges. It is far better that somebody other than Mr. Speaker should be called upon to deal with the matter, and that he should not have the responsibility. I do not like the Bill at all, and I have tried to refrain from joining in the discussions. I hope that it will be made a better Measure than it is at present.

8.16 p.m.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

It is painful to have to differ from one sitting so near to me as the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly), but his speech took my mind back to the time, some years ago, when I sat on the other side of the House and had the honour conferred upon me of being appointed a member of a committee which was to rationalise the proceedings of the House of Commons. It was a speedy task, and the Labour Government were determined in their belief that the sooner the procedure of Parliament was rationalised, the sooner they would be able to get through the work expeditiously. But it took us four months to appoint a chairman. That was due to the very simple fact that there were an equal number of members of the Conservative party and the Labour party, and, I think, two members of the Liberal party. When the two members of the Liberal party were not present the voting was equal, and on the occasions when they were present one voted one way and the other voted the other way—quite a frequent occurrence for them. The Committee met and dissolved because they were unable to appoint their chairman, until it ultimately dawned upon the Conservative and Labour members of the Committee that the game which the two Liberal colleagues were playing was to try to secure the chairmanship for themselves. I can conceive something similar happening if this question has ever to be referred to the Committee of Privileges. I agree with my hon. Friend to the extent that no method that anybody might devise would be entirely satisfactory. If it were not for Mr. Speaker or the Committee of Privileges, the only alternative that I would recommend—I am not going to hand in a manuscript Amendment—would be that we should revert to the ancient and honourable practice of casting lots. That would seem to be as satisfactory as any method, but in the circumstances I think that to allow Mr. Speaker to decide seems to be a satisfactory and expeditious way in which to settle it. If we were to have a Division on this matter I should feel compelled to vote in favour of Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Garro Jones

Before I decide whether to press the Amendment or not, I shall be glad if the right hon. Gentleman will answer one question. Has Mr. Speaker himself been consulted whether this somewhat invidious task would be acceptable to him?

Sir K. Wood

Yes, he has, and he has consented, if the House approves.

Mr. Garro Jones

In these circumstances, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

8.21 p.m.

Sir K. Wood

I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

I would like briefly to commend the Bill to the House. It is an interesting and important Bill from the constitutional and historical point of view. It can be said that for the first time in any Statute we shall have the Cabinet recognised and Cabinet Ministers defined, and for the first time in any Act of Parliament, as, I hope, it will be shortly, we shall have the recognition of the Leader of the Opposition. It will be only the second time in any Act of Parliament in which there is recognition of the Prime Minister. It can be said that well known conventions, which are certainly well established in this House and throughout the country, are now being turned into written law. I hope and believe that the increase which we are making in the salary of the Prime Minister will generally be approved by the country. No man carries heavier burdens and greater responsibilities, and it is interesting to observe that the office of Prime Minister is also definitely linked up, in an association of practically too years with that of the office of the First Lord of the Treasury.

I also commend the Bill to the House because it removes anomalies in the status and remuneration of Ministers, which, as every Member of the House who reads history knows, have long been a matter of difficulty for Prime Ministers. The Bill establishes a principle, which I do not think is likely to be changed, at any rate, for a long time by any Parliament, that members of the Cabinet shall receive the same remuneration. I believe that this is in the interests of good government, and, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) said on the introduction of the Bill, it is right that members of the Cabinet responsible for primary policy should receive the same salaries. I assert that the country will generally approve, and will believe that it is right and fitting to the position and dignity of ex-Prime Ministers, that provision should be made for pensions. A man has invariably served the State for many years. He has reached the highest position in the land, and I hope the House to-night will approve of this provision which is being made for our eminent public servants.

I will say a few words on the position of the Leader of the Opposition and of the provision in the Bill which provides for his remuneration. This particular provision has been carried by a very large majority of representatives of all parties. The Leadership of the Opposition is a full-time job and certainly involves considerable expense in many ways. Having regard to the part I have taken in Opposition, perhaps I share the regret that is felt in some quarters that we shall not be able to move a reduction of the salary of the Leader of the Opposition. Although this provision is being made for him, I believe that he will be no less independent, but in fact more so. I do not think that it will in any way impair his freedom as Leader of the Opposition. I hope and believe that it will make for still greater efficiency in our Parliamentary system.

Finally, this can be said as far as the main provisions of the Bill ate concerned, that many of our difficulties and complexities in regard to the arrangements in which Ministers are distributed between the two Houses have been swept away, and for that reason the Bill will make for better Parliamentary Government. Proposals of this kind have been long canvassed, and many Governments have regarded them as desirable. It is true that the proposals in the Bill may provoke criticism on the part of a certain number of small-minded people, who may criticise the increases of salaries to Ministers and the provision of a salary for the Leader of the Opposition, but I am glad to think that we have a Government strong enough to bring in a Bill of this kind. I am sure that as a Government we can stand criticism of that kind. I hope, too, that the Labour Opposition will equally be able to stand any criticism that may be made in regard to the provision of a salary for the Leader of the Opposition. I commend the Bill to the House as one which will still further maintain and improve our great democratic system and also, which is equally important, improve the efficiency and working of our great Parliamentary machine.

8.28 p.m.

Mr. Pritt

Although this is an important Measure I hope that I shall be forgiven if I do not address the House very long upon it. It has been very fully discussed on all sides, and the Amendments have not been numerous. I think I can claim personal credit for the only Amendment that is there. I will not enter into an argument on the controversial observation of the right hon. Gentleman that this Bill shows the strength of the Government. If their supporters for once are found supporting them as a whole, then it is a sign of great strength, and if their supporters attack them so that they have to abandon the main principle of the Budget, that, too, is great strength. What it is to have a Press! While we have always opposed, and do oppose, the Bill, we have always recognised that there is a great deal in it which it is right and proper to enact. To get rid of anomalies and inequalities and to simplify some of our old machinery is a very good thing, but why we still retain the amazing anomaly of our Law Officers' salaries is a matter that I can only attribute to the strength of a trade union.

Our principle attitude to the Measure is that this is not the time to increase the total sum of money paid to a body of Ministers. Many of us would like to see it severely reduced, while others would not. I should like to see it severely reduced. I should not like simplification to stop in very high quarters, even if we could ever persuade it to begin. If without increasing the total amount there could have been an assortment of the money in order to level up these inequalities we should have found ourselves supporting the Bill. The hon. Member for Windsor (Mr. A. Somerville), who does not like to think that he represents Maidenhead, as well, twitted us with having first accepted the pool and then added £2,000 to the pool for ourselves. We never accepted the pool. We never had a pool to accept. We have fought the Bill throughout because it always involved a substantial increase of the total amount. We said that the Government ought to take the total sums spent, re-allocate them and not exceed them, and that if we wanted to give £2,000 to somebody, then there ought to have been a reassortment of the sum total in order to enable that to be done.

Let me say a few words in reply to certain statements of the Minister of Health. He welcomes the salary of £10,000 a year for the Prime Minister because he holds a great, important and onerous office. I object—some people do not—very strongly to the proposition that because a man has a higher and more onerous position he should have more money. You might as well say that he should compulsorily have less hair. It is this sort of thing that is ruining the country, and it will be disastrous until we put it straight, I mean the idea that position and power must be accompanied by money. It is bad enough that money must be accompanied by position and power.

Sir K. Wood

Does not that principle appertain to the Bar?

Mr. Pritt

The Bar is a very bad place in a great many ways, but it does not, with two distinguished exceptions, draw its money from public funds. We do not say that because Sir X. Y. is a very distinguished lawyer we should take another £5,000 of public money and put it into his pocket. I am reminded that when you get to a position of real dignity at the courts, that if you have had large earnings before, they are at once divided twice, thrice or four times, in order to bring the remuneration down to a proper level. I think that if the Prime Minister succeeded in living on £500 a year he would be a much greater and finer Prime Minister than living on £10,000 a year.

Captain Strickland

Would the hon. and learned Member apply that principle to the trade organiser and say that he should only receive the same amount of wages as the men he represents?

Mr. Pritt

I am not arguing or discussing the question of complete equality. I have not suggested that the Prime Minister should have the same amount of money as the people he represents. We have had it stated by a very eminent scientist that one-half the people that any Member of this House represents do not get enough to eat. I do not want anybody to be in that position, even the Prime Minister or even the Conservative Government. On the other hand, in regard to the provision that there should be a pension for the Prime Minister, I say that as long as pensions are not scattered about with too lavish a hand, as they have been in some European countries, there is everything to be said for a pension. I do not want to see people drawing such vast salaries, but I want to see people able to go into public life with the assurance that if they attain high office they need not, when they are old, be in a position of financial hardship.

On the question of the salary of the Leader of the Opposition, unlike many other hon. Members I have never felt much misgiving. No doubt it is an anomalous position, but there are good anomalies and bad anomalies, and as far as this is an anomaly I think it is a good one. It is an important office, and it is utterly impossible for any party to be properly led except by a person who gives the whole of his time to the position. Therefore, that in itself will certainly give me no opportunity for voting against the Bill as a whole on the Third Reading.

8.37 p.m.

Sir Archibald Sinclair

I do not wish to detain the House for a long time either. I listened to the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Pritt), at one moment with lively anticipation of possible benefits to come in the future. He said how wrong it was, what a bad principle it was, to pay people more because they happen to carry great responsibilities. I hope that at some future date, if I should happen to find myself in trouble and needing a little help, I shall be able to get it from the hon. and learned Gentleman at a low figure. Subsequently he explained that this applied not to private individuals but only to people who drew money from the State. I hope that this also will be noticed by the Treasury Bench, who will know if they require a good Treasury counsel where they can get him for a very small fee.

I agree with the hon. and learned Member that there are some good things in the Bill. We want to get rid of anomalies and inequalities, and if the Bill had been based on the principle of equalising salaries without increasing the total charge, I should have given it my strong support. I would have gone further, as I have already explained in previous speeches. I should have been prepared to go a long way towards carrying out the full recommendations of the two Select Committees of this House which sat in 1920 and 1930. My objection to this Bill is that it goes very much beyond the recommendations of those committees. Instead of giving the Prime Minister £7,000 a year, as proposed by the Select Committee of 1930, it gives him £10,000; £2,000 if he becomes the Leader of the Opposition, and £2,000 a year when he retires from public life. That is one example. It gives a salary to the Leader of the Opposition which was never recommended by any Committee of this House, and to which I object.

The Bill goes very far beyond the recommendations of the Select Committee at a time when there is a call for the most rigid economy in public administration. On that ground the Bill must be opposed. I shall vote against it with my withers unwrung by the taunts of the Minister of Health about small-minded people who feel it their duty to oppose the Measure. On the other hand, I shall be interested to see whether the courage which he says is to be displayed by his own supporters and the Opposition, and the claim he indicated he had for the support of the Opposition, will be met. At any rate, he said this shows what a strong Government we have. We may be a little intimidated by Signor Mussolini, we may wobble a little in our foreign policy, we may not be able to give the firm support we promised to the League of Nations, we may introduce a tax which is the particular feature of our Budget one week and withdraw it three weeks later, but, at any rate, we are such a strong Government that we have managed to support this Measure for the equalisation of Ministers' salaries. I congratulate the Government on the courage, the persistency and the tenacity they have shown in forcing the Bill through the House. For my part I shall maintain my opposition.

8.41 p.m.

Mr. Petherick

I congratulate the right hon. Member on his amiable and pontifical speech. It must be a great consolation to the Members of the Liberal party who sit huddled together on those benches for protection and warmth, to be able to vote, it may not be with very much conviction, against something. It has been our comfortable experience in the past that they have been sitting on the fence for so long a time that it must have become a most painful experience.

Sir A. Sinclair

Will the hon. Member mention one?

Mr. Petherick

I remember one occasion in the last Parliament—[Interruption]— I may be old-fashioned but I have a long memory—when we had three Divisions at the end of the Debate. In one Division hon. Members voted against the Government, in the next for the Government, and in the next they abstained altogether. I have no instance during the present Parliament, but I have no doubt hon. Members will provide many before we have finished. I have supported the Bill all through in spite of the fact that I do not think i1 is perfect, and that some Amendments should have been accepted. The main recommendation of the Bill is that it makes it easier for a Prime Minister in the future in selecting his Cabinet to disregard differences in salaries; in other words, to equalise the salaries so that there maybe no difficulties, or heartburnings, or doubt as to whether he should promote certain Ministers to certain posts because questions of salary were involved. The only question that has arisen is whether we should equalise these salaries up or down.

Before the War the salaries of Cabinet Ministers were fixed at £5,000 a year. Income Tax at that time was 1s. in the £, and £5,000 represented about £4,750. At the present time if you deduct Income Tax and Surtax, and also take into account the difference in the cost of living, this £5,000 which a Cabinet Minister is supposed to receive is £2,370. One could make out a strong case that a salary with a purchasing power of £2,370 is not enough to enable a Cabinet Minister to keep up his great position with dignity. The hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt) rather objected to that view. He said that he would like to see the Prime Minister get 500 and live on that; he did not see why some people should get more than others. The reason why they get more than others is precisely the same reason why a 17-hand horse needs more oats than a small Shetland pony. People who occupy great positions should be enabled to keep up those positions by receiving more money.

Mr. Mathers

Does the hon. Member suggest that a Prime Minister needs more food than an ordinary Member of Parliament?

Mr. Petherick

That depends upon the size of the Prime Minister. The hon. Member took me a little too seriously. I had always given him credit for a little more sense of humour than that. I merely gave it as an analogy.

There is a minor point about which I would like to say a few words, and it has reference to Clause 3. On the Committee stage on the Bill it was pointed out that the machinery of this Clause is not perfect. Without referring to what we would have proposed if we had been allowed to do so, I think I am entitled to say that, as the Bill stands, the machinery of Clause 3 is not as complete as it should be. I hope it will not be thought that I am taking an over-legalistic view, for my only desire is that when the Bill goes to another place, it should be correct and complete. On the Committee stage, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Spens) raised the point as to who is actually responsible for inviting a Minister to join the Cabinet. Clause 3 does not say who that person shall be. Under Clause 3, when a Minister mentioned in Part 11 of the First Schedule—for instance, the Lord Privy Seal, who receives £3,000 a year—is invited by the Prime Minister to join the Cabinet, he automatically receives £5,000 a year out of public funds, and the only evidence of that is that it is announced in the "London Gazette." The Clause, however, does not say who is to put that notice into the "London Gazette." When the point was raised, the Attorney-General gave a reply which was not very satisfactory, because he merely said that the "London Gazette" is taken as evidence in cases of promotions in the Army and the Air Force, and that bankruptcy notices are put in it. There have been many cases in Bills which have been passed by this Parliament and by the last Parliament, in which a duty was placed upon Ministers or local authorities to publish a notice in the "London Gazette," but in every case it was made a statutory duty upon the Ministers or local authorities.

In this case, we are by implication empowering the Prime Minister to spend a further £2,000 out of public funds. Nobody would deny the right of the Prime Minister—a right which exists already—to invite certain Ministers to join his Cabinet. As I understand it, the constitutional procedure at present is that His Majesty invites a certain person to become Prime Minister and that that person submits a list of persons whom His Majesty appoints as Ministers, a certain number of them being Members of the Cabinet. I do not know whether it is necessary by custom—certainly it is not necessary statutorily—to get His Majesty's approval of the Cabinet per se. His Majesty appoints the Ministers, but by constitutional practice since the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Cabinet is a sort of cabal or club, or whatever one likes to call it, of Ministers.

In this Bill we are making a very interesting constitutional departure. For the first time, we are acknowledging the existence of a Cabinet, which most people knew existed before, and for the second time we are acknowledging the existence of a Prime Minister. As we are giving the Prime Minister power to spend an extra £2,000 out of public funds in certain cases, it seems to me that machinery should be provided in the Bill by which the public should be told, and by which it should be made legal for him to do it. If the Bill goes through as it is, the Prime Minister will continue to have the right, which he has at present, to invite whom he likes from His Majesty's Ministers to join the Cabinet, but he will also have the additional right of spending £2,000, either in one case or in several cases, out of public funds, and there will be no machinery which confers that power upon him. I hope the Government will consider this matter. My only object, and I am sure the only object of hon. Members who have previously spoken on this matter, is to try to make the Bill as perfect as possible, and I hope that the rather halting sentences in which I have tried to put this difficult constitutional point will receive consideration. I hope the Bill will be given its Third Reading by a big majority, because I believe it will tend towards the very much smoother working of our ancient Constitution.

8.54 p.m.

Mr. Davidson

I welcome very much this opportunity of opposing the Bill. It may be due to my confusion of mind or my lack of knowledge of Parliamentary procedure, but I find it rather strange that there is now opposition To a Bill upon which during the preceding stages there was such unanimity and collaboration, and that the chief critics of the Bill—such as the hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick)—are now giving it their ardent blessing. I am reminded of the old surprise parties that we used to have in Glasgow. Invitations were sent out to various individuals and each person invited brought tea, sugar or some other luxury, but at the end of the surprise party we always found that those who had organised it benefited to a great extent by having the bulk of the goods and luxuries that remained with them after the guests had left. I also feel that it was very appropriate that the Minister of Health should have moved the Third Reading of the Bill, because I think it will be agreed that no other Minister should be more conversant with the needs of the human body as far as nourishment is concerned.

My only objection is that the Minister of Health started at the wrong end of the ladder. I never believed that the Ministers who occupy the Front Bench opposite were in dire distress, or were undignified, as was suggested by the last speaker, or that they could be described as destitute or impoverished. It was surprising to me that the Minister in introducing this Bill should have a call to the Opposition—a call that was referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair). The Minister stated that the Government were strong enough to meet any criticism of the Bill and he hoped that the Opposition were also able to meet any criticism with regard to the salary to be received by the Leader of the Opposition. I sincerely trust that my hon. Friends will not take this as the first sign of collaboration between the Government and the Opposition on this question, but that we shall retain our freedom as an Opposition to decide who will be our Leader, despite any attractive offers coming from the benches opposite. The hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) seemed much concerned about the dignity of Cabinet Ministers. I desire to congratulate him on the stand he has taken against the Bill. It, at least, indicates to me that despite continual shuffling in the Government, he has no hope of early promotion.

Mr. Petherick

The hon. Member can say anything he likes about me. The only point on which I wish to correct him is his statement that I am opposed to the Bill. I am not opposed to the Bill. I have tried to improve it in certain aspects, but I have been entirely in favour of it all the way through and have said so.

Mr. Davidson

Perhaps I misunderstood the words of the hon. Member. If he has been a supporter of the Bill and has merely been trying to improve it, may I suggest that the methods which he has adopted and the words which he has used should be studied carefully by him for future guidance? As I say, he was concerned about the dignity of Ministers. I venture to make the suggestion to hon. and right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench opposite that if they test the country in the near future, they will find that many of the Ministers who are to receive these increases have already lost their dignity as far as the citizens of the country are concerned. These increases of salary are being handed out to Ministers who have been sacked from one job and put into another in the Government, because of their incompetency and their failure to understand the opinion of the people. These increases are being given to individuals who have been dismissed from the Foreign Office and sent into the Home Office, who have walked out of this House, as the Press said, with bowed heads and tears in their eyes, and have strutted back again to receive further honours and increased salaries from a grateful Government for their past failures.

It seems incomprehensible to me as a young Member of the House, coming from an area where the people have retained their dignity in the midst of the most terrible poverty to be found in this country. I represent a constituency in the second city of the Empire, and last week I received replies from Ministers indicating that Poor Law relief and poverty are increasing there under the Ministerial rule of those who are to receive these increases of salary. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity of protesting before the House and the country against giving increases to Members and against giving them to Ministers who, in my opinion, have consistently failed to operate or regulate the affairs of the country in accordance with the mind of the people and have brought to those whom I represent nothing but increased poverty and misery.

9.0 p.m.

Earl Winterton

We have had a very interesting Debate, conducted in a very friendly and pleasant atmosphere. I suppose that cynics outside the House would say that as the Bill concerns possible accretions of finance, to those who sit on both sides of the House, it is not surprising that that should be so, but at any rate those have been characteristics of the Debate. The hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt) stated the case fairly from his point of view when he said that he was prepared to support a Bill which got rid of inequalities and anomalies in Ministerial salaries but that he would like to see the general level of Ministerial salaries lowered or rather that he would like to see a pool for Ministerial salaries which should not be exceeded and within which these anomalies should be rectified. The hon. and learned Member was, as I say, entitled to put that point of view, but it has already been answered on more than one occasion in the course of these Debates and I do not propose to answer it again.

I think a point that was made by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Opposition had a very practical bearing on another argument of the hon. and learned Member. The hon. and learned Member said that he objected to money going with place and power, but when it was pointed out to him, in an interruption from this side, that apparently the hon. and learned Member's

Division No. 205.] AYES. [9.5 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Cranborne, Viscount Grimston, R. V.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. p. G. Crooke, J. S. Guy, J. C. M.
Albery, Sir Irving Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Hannah, I. C.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hannon, Sir P. J. H.
Aske, Sir R. W. Cross, R. H. Harbord, A.
Astor, Hon. W. w. (Fulham, E.) Crossley, A. C. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-
Balfour, Cap). H. H. (Isle of Thanet) De Chair, S. S. Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.)
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Denville, Alfred Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)
Birchall, Sir J. D. Dixon, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey)
Blaker, Sir R. Donner, P. W. Higgs, W. F.
Bossom, A. C. Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Dugdale, Captain T. L. Hunter, T.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Eastwood, J. F. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Eckersley, P. T. James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.
Burghley, Lord Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
Burgin, Rt. Hon. E, L. Ellis, Sir G. Keeling, E. H.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Elliston, Capt. G. S. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
Carver, Major W. H. Emery, J. F. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)
Cary, R. A. Emmott, C. E. G. C. Kimball, L.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Entwistle, Sir C. F. Latham, Sir P.
Channon, H. Errington, E. Lees-Jones, J.
Chorlton, A. E. L. Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Clarke, Lt.-Col R. S. (E. Grinstead) Everard, W. L. Levy, T.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Fildes, Sir H. Lewis, O.
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Findlay, Sir E. Little, Sir E. Graham-
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Fremantle, Sir F. E. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Fyfe, D. P. M. Lloyd, G. W.
Cox, H. B. T. Gridley, Sir A. B. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)

argument did not extend to money earned at the Bar, the hon. and learned Member said he was speaking of money earned from the State. I should have thought that that represented the exact opposite, of the general political viewpoint held by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite above the Gangway. However, he was, I think, effectively answered by the Leader of the Liberal Opposition.

My hon. Friend the Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) returned to a point on which he spoke in the course of the Committee stage. It would not be in order for me to deal, at this stage, with my hon. Friend's Amendment. All I can say is that as I read the Clause in question it appears to provide absolute safeguards for the protection of the conditions which my hon. Friend wishes to have protected. There can. of course, be no undertaking on the pan of the Government that any alteration will be made in another place, but I think he can be assured that there is sufficient legal knowledge and acumen among those who will have to consider this Bill in another place, to deal with the point which he has in mind if it is necessary to do so. I think those are all the points that have been raised in the Debate and I hope that the House will now give the Bill a Third Reading.

Question put, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

The House divided: Aves, 156; Noes, 112.

MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G. Rankin, Sir R. Storey, S.
Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Maitland, A. Rawson, Sir Cooper Strickland, Captain W. F.
Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Rayner, Major R. H. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. 0. R. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down) Sutcliffe, H.
Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Titchfield, Marquess of
Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Remer, J. R. Tree, A. R. L. F.
Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham) Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Turton, R. H.
Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Ropner, Colonel L. Wakefield, W. W.
Mills, Major J. D. (Now Forest) Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge) Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Morgan, R. H. Rowlands, G. Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Munro, P. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Salmon, Sir I. Watt, G. S. H.
Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Samuel, M. R. A. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Sanderson, Sir F. B. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Orr-Ewing, I. L. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Palmer, G. E. H. Simmonds, O. E. Wise, A. R.
Peake, O. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Petherick, M. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Somervell. Sir D. B. (Crewe) Wright, Squadron-Leader J. A. C.
Plugge, Capt. L. F. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Procter, Major H. A. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'ld) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Raikes, H. V. A. M. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.) Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
and Mr. Furness.
Adams, D. (Consett) Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Ridley, G.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Harris, Sir P. A. Riley, B.
Adamson, W. M. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Ritson, J.
Amnion, C. G. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Rowson, G.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Hills, A. (Pontefract) Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Holdsworth, H. Seely, Sir H. M.
Banfield, J. W. Hollins, A. Sexton, T. M.
Bellenger, F. J. Hopkin, D. Shinwell, E.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Short, A.
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Silkin, L.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Simpson, F. B.
Buchanan, G. Kelly, W. T. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Burke, W. A. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Cape, T. Kirby, B. V. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Charleton, H. C. Knex, Major-General Sir A. W. F. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Cooks, F. S. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cove, W. G. Lawson, J. J. Sorensen, R. W.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Leonard, W. Stephen, C.
Daggar, G. Leslie, J. R. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Dalton, H. McEntee, V. La T. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) McGhee, H. G. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) McGovern, J. Thurtle, E.
Dobbie, W. Marshall, F. Tinker, J. J.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Maxton, J. Viant, S. P.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Messer, F. Walker, J.
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Milner, Major J. Watkins, F. C.
Fool, D. M. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Watson, W. McL,.
Frankel, D. Muff, G. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Gallacher, W. Naylor, T. E. Welsh, J. C.
Gardner, B. W. Oliver, G. H. Westwood, J.
Garro Jones, G. M Paling, W. White, H. Graham
Gibson, R. (Greenock) Parker, J. Whiteley, W.
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Parkinson, J. A. Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Potts, J. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Grenfell, D. R. Price, M. P. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Pritt, D. N.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Richards, R. (Wrexham) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Groves and Mr. Mathers.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.