HC Deb 16 November 1937 vol 329 cc307-15

Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 69.

[Sir DENNIS HERBERT in the chair.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to secure that precautions shall he taken with a view to the protection of persons and property from injury or damage in the event of hostile attack from the air, it is expedient to provide for the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of such sums as may be necessary to defray

  1. (a) any expenses incurred by the Secretary of State in the general superintendence and direction of measures taken under the 308 said Act, or in providing such services and training such persons and acquiring such equipment, appliances, and other material as he considers it necessary to furnish for the purpose of affording such protection as aforesaid; and
  2. (b) the cost of grants to local authorities in respect of expenditure approved by the Secretary of State incurred ho them whether before or after the passing of the said Act, not exceeding in the case of any authority a percentage of the approved expenditure of the authority not less than sixty per cent. nor more than seventy-five per cent. determined by reference to scales graduated according to the proportion which the weighted population hears to the estimated population:
Provided that, if the approved expenditure of a local authority for any year exceeds the grant to the authority calculated as aforesaid by an amount in excess of the produce of a rate in England of one penny or in Scotland of four-fifths of a penny in the pound, the grant payable in respect of so much of the approved expenditure as would cause the levying of a rate in excess of one penny or four-fifths of a penny in the pound, as the case may be, may be a percentage thereof determined by reference to the scales aforesaid but not in any case less than seventy-five per cent. nor more than eighty-five per cent. For the purposes of this Resolution the expressions 'weighted population' and 'estimated population' mean respectively the weighted population and the estimated population of the county, county borough, City of London, metropolitan borough, or large burgh, as the case may be, or, in relation to the council of a county district or small burgh, of the county in which the district or small burgh is situated, as determined at the date of the commencement of the said Act for the purpose of the apportionment of the General Exchequer Contribution under the Local Government Act, 1929."—[King's Recommendation signified.]—[Sir S. Hoare.]

7.43 p.m.

Mr. H. Morrison

May I ask, Sir Dennis, whether you intend to call the Amendment on the Order Paper in my name—In line 25, at the end, to insert: Provided also that no grant shall be made to a local authority under the foregoing paragraph (b) except upon the condition that the expenditure of the local authority, apart from the amount of such grant, does not exceed the produce of a rate in England of two pence or in Scotland of one and three-fifths of a penny in the pound"?

The Chairman

The right hon. Gentleman wishes to move the Amendment on the Order Paper in his name. I was in some little doubt as to whether in this case I ought to exercise the discretion of the Chair and not call the Amendment; but I have decided to do so on this occasion and to take the opportunity of saying now what my reasons would have been for non-selection if I had declined to select it. The Committee knows that there have been complaints from time to time about a Money Resolution being drawn so tightly that they would restrict the freedom of the Committee in Debate on the Bill, and therefore, I think one has to look at Amendments of this kind to see how far they have this effect. This is not so restrictive as some Amendments might be, but the Committee will realise that an Amendment of this kind could quite well be proposed on the Committee stage of the Bill without being brought up as an Amendment on a Money Resolution. I want the Committee to bear in mind that in the case of more restrictive Amendments than this to Money Resolutions, hon. Members may run the risk of such Amendments not being selected.

Mr. Wedgwood Benn

On a point of Order. Is it not a fact that the whole complaint of the House of Commons has been about restrictive Resolutions moved by the Government and not restrictive Amendments moved by the Opposition? The restriction complained of by the Select Committee was a restriction imposed by the Government on the House of Commons, whereas this is a restriction which is sought to be imposed by the Opposition on the Government—a totally different thing.

The Chairman

Except possibly for the last sentence, I agree entirely with what the right hon. Gentleman has said. It depends on the point of view from which you look at it. It might be that if an Amendment of this kind were carried, the minority of the Committee might consider that an undue restriction had been placed upon them by the majority.

7.47 P.m.

Mr. H. Morrison

I beg to move, in line 25, at the end, to insert: Provided also that no grant shall be made to a local authority under the foregoing paragraph (b) except upon the condition that the expenditure of the local authority, apart from the amount of such grant, does not exceed the produce of a rate in England of two pence or in Scotland of one and three-fifths of a penny in the pound. May I say that as we are usually in the minority we always feel that we are unduly restricted? This Financial Resolution is the first of the new Order to be moved, since the Select Committee reported, and since statements were made on the matter by the Prime Minister and by Mr. Speaker, and I am bound to say that it is just about as bad as I have ever seen. The outlook is not bright for the Opposition. We are making the most of it, and we are much obliged to you, Sir Dennis, for your consideration.

7.48 p.m.

Mr. Lansbury

I understand that it was arranged that this discussion should close about half-past seven o'clock and I do not feel inclined to attempt to prolong it. But before the Resolution is passed, I would like to say something which I have been prevented from saying before—not through anybody's fault, of course, except my own. It is that I regard it as a most terrible and awful thing that Parliament should be called upon to pass this Money Resolution. I do not believe that the people outside have the least conception of what the House has done just now, or of what this Committee is going to do in relation to this Money Resolution. I think the fact that we have reached a position in human affairs in which every so-called civilised Government in the world is taking the same steps that we are taking, really means international suicide, and I could not allow this Resolution to go without—[Interruption.] It may well be, that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who have made up their minds feel that it is rather indecent for other people to express their views.

I am only saying that I think it is one of the most awful things that has happened in the history of any country in the world, that we should be engaged in the business in which we are engaged to-night. I shall take another opportunity to elaborate my protest but I want, to-night, to say that I think that for civilised nations all over the world to have come to this position, is sheer blasphemy both against God and against humanity.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 149; Noes, 305.

Division No. 15.] AYES. [7.50 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Groves, T. E. Noel-Baker, P. J.
Adams, D. (Consett) Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) Oliver, G. H.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Owen, Major G.
Ammon, C. G. Hardie, Agnes Paling, W.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Harris, Sir P. A. Parker, J.
Bonfield, J. W. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Barnes, A. J. Hayday, A. Price, M. P.
Barr, J. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Ouibell, D. J. K.
Batey, J. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Richards, R. (Wrexham)
Ballenger, F. J. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Ridley, G.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Hicks, E. C. Riley, B.
Benson, G. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Ritson, J.
Bevan, A. Holdsworth, H. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.)
Broad. F. A. Hollins, A. Roberts, W. (Cumberland. N.)
Bromfield, W. Hopkin, D. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Brown. C. (Mansfield) Jagger, J. Rothschild, J. A. de
rown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)
Burke, W. A. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Salter, Sir J. Arthur (Oxford U.)
Cape, T. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Sanders, W. S.
Charletan, H. C. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Sexton, T. M.
Choler, D. Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth) Shinweil, E.
Close, W. S. Kelly, W. T. Short, A.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Silkin, L.
Cove, W. G. Kirby, B. V. Silverman, S. S.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Dalton, H. Lathan, G. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Lawson, J. J. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Leach, W. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Day, H. Lee, F. Sorensen, R. W.
Dobbie, W. Leonard, W. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Leslie, J. R. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Ede, J. C. Logan, D. G. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Lunn, W. Thorne, W.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Thurtle, E.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) McEntee, V. La T. Tinker, J. J.
Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) McGhee, H. G. Viant, S. P.
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. McGovern, J. Walkden, A. G.
Foot, D. M. MacLaren, A. Watkins, F. C.
Frankel, D. Maclean, N. Watson, W. McL.
Galtacher, W. MacNeill, Weir, L. Welsh, J. C.
Gardner, B. W. Mainwaring, W. H. Westwood, J.
Garro Jones, G. M. Mander, G. le M. White, H. Graham
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Marklew, E. Wilkinson, Ellen
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Marshall, F. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Gibbing, J. Mathers, G. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Gibson, R. (Greenock) Messer, F. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Milner, Major J. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Montague, F.
Grenfell, D. R. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Adamson.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Muff, G.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Assheton, R. Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanel)
Albery, Sir Irving Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Barrie, Sir C. C.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S. Atholl, Duchess of Beamieh, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Beauchamp, Sir B. C.
Aske, Sir R. W. Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury)
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Ganzoni, Sir J. Maxwell, Hon. S. A.
Beechman, N. A. Gibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otely) Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Beit. Sir A. L. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)
Bennett, Sir E. N. Gledhill, G. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Bernays, R. H. Gluckstein, L. H. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E)
Birchall, Sir J. D. Goldie, N. B. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Bird, Sir R. B. Gower, Sir R. V. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)
Blair, Sir R. Graham Captain A. C. (Wirral) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Blaker, Sir R. Grant-Ferris, R. Mitcheson, Sir G. G.
Boothby, R. J. G. Granville, E. L. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel Sir T. C. R.
Boulton, W. W. Grattan-Doyle. Sir N. Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Greena, W. P. C. (Worcester) Morris-Jones, Sir Henry
Boyce, H. Leslie Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Munro, P.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Gridley, Sir A. B. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.
Brass, Sir W. Grigg, Sir E. W. M. Nicholson, G. (Farnham)
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Grimston, R. V. O'Connor, Sir Terence J.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake) O'Nill,Rt.Hen. Sir Hugh
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Guest, Hon. I.(Brecon and Radnor) Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Browns, A. C. (Belfast, W.) Guest, Mal. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Palmer, G. E. H.
Bull, B. B. Guinness, T. L. E. B. Patrick, C. M.
Bullock, Capt. M. Gunston, Capt. D. W. Peaks, O.
Butcher. H. W. Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H. Peat, C. U.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Hannah, I. C. Perkins, W. R. D.
Cartland, J. R. H. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Petherick, M.
Carver, Major W. H. Harbond, A. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Cary, R. A. Harvey, Sir G. Pilkington, R.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Plugge, Capt. L. F.
Cayzor, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.) Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Caralet, Thelma (Irlinton, E.) Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Porritt, R. W.
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Asshetor
Channon, H. Hepburn P. G. T. Buchan- Procter, Major H. A.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hepworth, J. Purbrick, R.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Radford, E. A.
Christie, J. A. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Clarke, F. E. (Dartford) Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey) Ramsbotham, H.
Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead) Higgs W. F. Ramsdan, Sir E.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Hoare Rt. Hon. Sir S. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Clydssdale, Marquess of Holmes, J. S. Rayner, Maior R. H.
Colman. N. C. D. Hope Captain Hon. A. O. J. Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Hopkinson, A. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Howitt, Dr. A. B. Reid, J. S. C (Hillhead)
Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Hulbert, N. J.
Cooper. Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh. W.) Hume, Sir G.H. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Craven-Ellis, W. Hunter, T. Ropner. Colonel L.
Croft, Brig.Gen. Sir H. Page Hurd, Sir P. A. Ross. Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Crooke, J. S. James, Wing-Commander A W. H. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Crookshank. Capt. H. F. C. Jarvis, Sir J. J. Rowlands G.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Joel, D. J. B. Royds, Admiral P. M. R.
Cross, R. H. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
Crossley, A. C. Keeling, E. H.
Crowder, J. F. E. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Cruddas, Col. B. Kerr. J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Russell. Sir Alexander
Davidson, Viscountess Kimball, L. Russell. S. H. M. (Darwen)
Davies, C. (Montgomery) Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F. Salmon, Sir I.
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Lamb, Sir J. Q. Salt, E. W.
Davison, Sir W. H. Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. Samuel, M. R. A.
De Chair, S. S. Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak) Sandeman, Sir N. S.
De la Bère. R. Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.) Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lees-Jones, J. Sandys, E. D.
Leigh, Sir J. Savery, Sir Servington
Denville, Alfred Leighton, Major B. E. P. Scott, Lord William
Dodd, J. S. Levy, T. Selley, H. R.
Donner, P. W. Lewis, O. Shakespeare, G. H.
Derman-Smith, Major Sir R. H. Liddall, W. S. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Drewe, C. Lipson, D. L. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewabury) Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Lloyd, G. W. Simmonds, O. E.
Duggan, H. J. Loftus, P. C. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Dunaan, J. A. L. Lovat-Fraser. J. A. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Dunglass, Lord Lyons, A. M. Smith, L. W. (Hallam)
Eastwood, J. F. MacAndrew. Colonel Sir C. G. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Edmondson, Major Sir J. McCorquodale, M. S. Somerset, T.
Ellis, Sir G. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Somervell, Sir D. B (Crewe)
Emmott, C. E. G. C. Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Emrys-Evans, P. V. McEwen. Capt. J. H. F. Spans. W. P.
Entwistle, Sir C. F. McKie, J. H Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Errington, E. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Erskine-Hill, A. G. Macquisten. F. A. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark. N.)
Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Magnay, T; Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Everard. W. L. Maitland, A. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Filder, Sir H. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Findlay, Sir E. Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Sutcliffe, H.
Fleming. E. L. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Tatker, Sir R. I.
Fox, Sir G. W. G. Markham, S. F. Tats, Mavis C.
Fremantle, Sir F. E. Marsden, Commander A. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.) Ward, Irene M. B. (Walisend) Wise, A. R.
Thomas, J. P. L. Waterhouse, Captain G. Withers, Sir J. J.
Titchfield, Marquess of Walt, Major G. S. Harvie Womersley, Sir W. J.
Touche, G. C. Wedderburn, H. J. S. Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Train, Sir J. Wells, S. R. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Tree, A. R. L. F. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham) Wragg, H.
Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R. Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Torten, R. H. Williams, C. (Torquay) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Wakefield, W. W. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Walker-Smith, Sir J. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G. Lieut.-Colonel Kerr and Captain
Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull) Winterten, Rt. Hon. Earl Dugdale.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported upon Thursday.