HC Deb 25 July 1939 vol 350 cc1359-400

As amended, considered.

CLAUSE 1.—(The House of Commons Members Fund.)

8.8 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 7, to leave out from the first "to," to "persons," in line 8.

I have put down, for the convenience of the House, the changes which will have to be made in order to carry out in proper Parliamentary form the view which, I think, was generally favoured in Committee extending the possible beneficiaries under this scheme to orphan children. Although the actual words inserted in Committee were rather wider, I think it was generally appreciated that it would be best, if we were going to extend the scheme to children at all, to limit it to orphan children. This and the two following Amendments produce that result. There is one further point. There should be some limit on the age of children. It seems to me that probably the House would think the right limit to adopt is that adopted for a great many purposes—the age of 16. That proposal will be found a little lower on the Order Paper.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made:

In page 1, line 9, after "Commons," insert: or to their widows or in respect of their orphan children.

In line 15, after "to," insert "or in respect of."

In line 17, leave out "and the," and insert "or orphan."

In line 19, at the end, insert "or in respect of."—[Sir J. Simon.]

8.11 p.m.

Commander Bower

I beg to move, in page 2, line 8, at the end, to insert: Provided that no such deduction shall be made from the salary of any Member of the House of Commons who is in receipt of a pension paid from public funds of an amount large enough to disqualify him from the receipt of benefit from the House of Commons Members Fund. This Amendment is for the purpose of providing that no Member of this House who is already in possession of a pension large enough to prevent him from receiving any benefit under this Fund shall pay any contribution. There are a large number of Members in receipt of pensions from public funds, for instance Army, Navy and Air Force, and they now find themselves in the position that, whatever might happen, if they lose every penny they possess in the world, the fact that they possess a pension would disqualify them from receiving any benefit. Consequently they are now expected, unless this Amendment is carried, to pay an annual contribution of £12 towards a fund from which they could never in any circumstances receive any benefit at all. The pensions which such Members receive are in the nature of deferred pay. Many of us spend long years in the service of our country for what is certainly not very generous remuneration, and that remuneration is rather less generous than it would be were it not for the fact that at the end of the service we receive a pension. We have seen Members of the Opposition for the first time accept the principle of a means test in this Bill, and this Amendment is also designed to help them to avoid the accusation of receiving charity, and from their speeches in the past we have always understood that they consider it a very undesirable thing that anyone should receive charity. It seems to me that for any Member to receive a pension from this Fund from contributions made by Members who could not possibly derive benefit themselves is nothing more or less than charity.

8.14 p.m.

Lieut.-Commander Agnew

1beg to second the Amendment.

If the House does not insert this Amendment, there will be created a special class of person who must always be a payer-in and can never be a beneficiary in any circumstances. The time may arrive when either our private income may be less through some fall in our investments or we may be debarred from the power to go on earning our living.

Mr. McCorquodale

Is it not the case that these pensions cover the wives, widows, or children after the death of the recipients of the pensions?

Lieut.-Commander Agnew

There is an appropriate scale of retired pay or pension laid down for the retired or pensionable officer, and there is also an appropriate scale laid down for his widow or orphans on his decease.

Mr. Fleming

But not in all cases.

Lieut.-Commander Agnew

It is not, of course, on so large a scale as the pension. The point that I want to make is that so long as the organisation of the State goes on, presumably there will be a Parliamentary salary paid, and there will also be pensions paid to those who have the right to enjoy them because of the service they have previously rendered to the State. Therefore, the submission is a true one that the Fund, unless this Amendment is accepted, would be receiving income from, I agree, a limited number of persons who could not under any reasonable circumstances themselves be beneficiaries of the Fund.

8.17 p.m.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

I think there is some force in the arguments broughť forward by my two hon. and gallant Friends who have preceded me. If this pension scheme is to mean anything, it is designed to try and found a scheme which will operate fairly as between Member and Member. I dislike this scheme, because I believe that the more you go into it, the more you find that it creates anomalies and works unfairly as between one Member and another. We have extended the benefit to children. Had we not done so, there are Members of this House, of whom I am one, who under no circumstances would be able to benefit from the Fund. I do not think that is any reason why one should not contribute to a mutual fund among Members of the House, but let us make it clear that the Fund that we are setting up is proved by the contentions brought forward to-night to be really a charitable fund, and it is because it is a charitable fund that I object to it. I do not think that charity should come in. I do not think that Members of his House want to benefit by forced contributions given by other Members to a Fund from which they themselves can never benefit. It is true that in the case of any Service Member of this House who is in receipt of a certain pension, which is deferred pay—and let it be clearly understood that a service pension is the savings of the service man—it is extraordinarily hard that he should have to contribute, however willing he may be, to a pension fund from which, if he has no wife and no children, he can never himself benefit.

I merely rise to point out that this is exactly where you get when you try to institute a Fund which is not really fair as between Member and Member. There is no Member on this side of the House who does not desire to help any fellow Member who, through no fault of his own, falls on evil times, and there is no desire to prevent any Member on either side of the House receiving a pension from the Fund if it is possible for him to qualify, but it should be made clear that while we are passing this Bill, we are creating anomaly after anomaly, of which this anomaly that has been pointed out by my hon. and gallant Friends is one.

8.20 p.m.

Mr. Markham

This Amendment would by no means remove all the anomalies under this head. In fact, it might go so far as to create a new series of anomalies, because if a Member is allowed to option out under this Amendment because he is in receipt of a pension from public funds, surely you should extend the same principle to other Members to option out, because they have bought themselves annuities or have made some other provision for their old age.

Lieut.-Commander Agnew

I do not think the hon. Member correctly describes it as optioning out. Under the Amendment he would be debarred.

Mr. Markham

Before he could be debarred, he would first of all have to go to somebody and beg to be debarred. He would have to show that he was in receipt of a pension from public funds.

Lieut.-Commander Agnew

It would merely be a question of one Government Department—in this case the Department of the Paymaster-General—informing the appropriate Government Department which administers this fund that the Member was debarred from being a beneficiary.

Mr. Markham

I accept the hon. and gallant Member's explanation, but it does not alter the fact that the Amendment creates an anomaly, because if there was a small section of Members in receipt of an income that they could count upon to debar them, in common justice you ought to allow other Members who have made provision for their old age also to be debarred. You do, therefore, create an ever-extending series of anomalies. Hon. Members opposite who could count upon trade union pensions could also beg to be debarred, and the result would be that by these means you would kill this Bill. If that is the avowed intention of the movers of the Amendment, let me say to them that I would rather they fought this Bill openly and honestly, and killed it, than that they should attempt to strangle it by this roundabout way. The Amendment states that if a Member is in receipt of a pension paid from public funds, he may be debarred from contributing, but it does not debar a Mem-

Division No. 281.] AYES. [8.24 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Fleming, E. L. Moreing, A. C.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant B. Morris-Jones, Sir Henry
Barrie, Sir C. C. Granville E. L. Perkins, W. R. D.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsnt'h) Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Petherick, M.
Beechman, N, A. Hambro, A. V. Procter, Major H. A.
Blair, Sir R. Hannah, I. C. Radford. E. A.
Bracken, B. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Bullock, Capt. M. Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Schuster, Sir G. E.
Butcher, H. W. Hepworth, J. Snadden, W. McN.
Cartland, J. R. H. Higgs, W. F. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Christie, J. A. Holdsworlh, H. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Horsbrugh, Florence Tasker, Sir R. I.
Cooke, J. O. (Hammersmith, S.) Hunloke, H. P. Turton, R. H.
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page James, Wing-Commander A. W. H. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Crossley, A. C. Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth) Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Crowder, J. F. E. Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Waterhouse. Captain C.
Culverwell, C. T. Kimball, L. Wells, Sir Sydney
Dodd, J. S. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buekingham)
Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G. Lambert, Rt. Hen. G. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Lavy, T. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Duncan, J. A. L. Lewis, O. Wise, A. R.
Emery, J. F. Medlicott, F. York, C.
Errington, E. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Erskine-Hill, A. G. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Commander Bower and Commander Agnew.
Fildes, Sir H. Mitchell, H. (Branford and Chiswick)
Adams, D. (Consett) Cape, T. Ellis, Sir G.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Charleton, H. C. Entwistle, Sir C. F.
Adamson,, Jennie L. (Dartford) Chater, D. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)
Adamson, W. M. Cluse, W. S. Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Cooks, F. S. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.
Aske, Sir R. W. Collindridge, F. Frankel, D.
Banfield, J. W. Colvitle, Rt. Hon. John Fyfe, D. P. M.
Barnes, A. J. Courthope, Col. RI. Hon. Sir G. L. Gardner, B. W,
Barr, J. Cove, W. G. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Batty, J. Crooke, Sir J. Smedley George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)
Benn, RI. Hon. W. W. Daggar, G. Gibson, R. (Greenock)
Benson G. Gallon, H. Graham, D. M (Hamilton)
Bernays, R. H. Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Green, W. H. (Deptford)
Bevan, A. Davies, C. (Montgomery) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.
Bossom, A. G. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Grenfell, D. R.
Boyce, H. Leslie Day, H. Griffith, F. Kingslay (M'ddl'sbro, W.)
Brobner, R. A. De Chair, S. S. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)
Broad, F. A. De la Bè, R. Grovel, T. E.
Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Denman, Hon. R. D. Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.
Bromfield, W. Denville, Alfred Hall, G. H. (Abardare.)
Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.) Dobbie, W. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Ede, J. C. Harbord, Sir A.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Edge, Sir W. Hardie, Agnes
Burke, W. A. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwelty) Harris, Sir P. A.
Burton, Col. H. W. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Harvey, T. E. (Enr. Univ's.)

ber's wife or children from receiving the benefit if they themselves do not come under a pension scheme from public funds, and there are such schemes, in the Colonial Service, for instance, which do not extend to the widows or children or members of the Service. Therefore, you would create a new series of anomalies, and I think that those who have moved the Amendment would have been well advised, instead of moving an Amendment to render the Bill stillborn, if they had given practical thought to the matter and produced an Amendment that was worth while.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 71; Noes, 195.

Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Mathers, G. Silkin, L.
Hayday, A. Maxton, J. Silverman, S. S.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Messer, F. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Milner, Major J. Simpson, F. B.
Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Montague, F. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Hill), A. (Pontefraet) Morgan, J. (York, W.R., Doncaster) Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Horabin, T. L Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, (Stourbridge) Smith, T. (Normanton)
Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald
Hunter, T. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Sorensen, R. W.
Jagger, J. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Stephen, C.
Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Nathan, Colonel H. L. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
John, W. Naylor, T. E. Sutcliffe, H.
Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Keeling, E. H. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Thorno, W.
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Noel-Baker, P. J. Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
Kirby, B. V. Oliver, G. H. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Kirkwood, D. Paling, W. Thurtle, E.
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Parker, J. Tinker, J. J.
Lathan, G. Parkinson, J. A. Titchfield, Marquess of
Lawson, J. J. Pearson, A. Tomlinson, G.
Lie, F. Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W. Viant, S. P.
Lees-Jones, J, Poole, C. C. Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Leonard, W. Pownall, Lt-Col. Sir Assheton Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Leslie, J. Ft. Pritt, O. N. Watkins, F. C.
Liddall, W. S. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Watson, W. McL.
Little, Sir E. Graham- Richards, R. (Wrexham) Welsh, J. C.
Little, J. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Westwood, J.
Locker-Lampson, Comdr. 0. S. Riley, B. White, H. Graham
Logan, O. G. Ritson, J. Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Macdonald, G. (Ince) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
McEntee, V. La T. Robinson, W. A, (St. Helens) Williams, Sir H, G. (Croydon, S.)
McGhee, H. G. Ropner, Colonel L. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Maclean, N. Rothschild, J. A. de Wilmet, John
MacMillan, M. (Western lsles) Rowlands, G. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Magnay, T. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Mainwaring, W. H. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Maitland, Sir Adam Salt, E. W. Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Mander, G. le M, Samuel, M. R. A. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Seely, Sir H. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Markham, S. F. Sexton, T. M. Sir Francis Fremantle and Mr. McCorquodale.
Marshall, F. Shinwell. E.

CLAUSE 3.—(Supplementary provisions.)

8.32 p.m.

Sir A. Southby

I beg to move, in page 3, line 38, after "Fund," to insert: "provided such person is or has been a Member of the House of Commons."

I cannot help thinking that if this Fund is to come into existence it should be a Fund which belongs to us as a corporate body in the House of Commons. We hear, with what truth one does not know, accusations that contributions are made to party funds for various purposes. If this Fund is to be what it ought to be, it should be kept completely clear of any accusation that anyone has contributed to it for any purpose of personal gain or advancement. The only contributions should be those made by Members of this House so that they or their widows or orphan children may benefit from the Fund. Therefore, I think it is essential that we should alter the Clause, which gives power to the trustees to accept any property "devised or bequeathed from any person." The proper people to contribute to the Fund should be Members of this House who have shared its corporate life and know the circumstances of. their fellow Members. I cannot believe that it is right or proper that some wealthy individual from outside should make a big contribution to this Fund possibly—I do not say necessarily so—with the feeling that ultimately some recognition of the gift might be made to him. That would be putting Members of this House in a very wrong and an invidious position. It would be belittling the dignity of this House for us to go cap in hand to some rich person, to whatever party he belongs, in order to obtain money with which to help our brethren who have fallen on evil times. I do not wish to do anything more than to try to make this Bill, which I admit that I dislike, a better and more workable Bill, and to free it from any possibility that there can ever be a scandal about the contributions made to the Fund, which would be disastrous not only for the Fund but for this House of Commons as a corporate body.

Sir J. Simon

On a point of Order. Might I ask you, Sir Dennis, whether my hon. and gallant Friend would be prepared to withdraw this Amendment in order to move it a little later in the Clause? If we now have the Question put from the Chair to insert the proposed words in proposed place it will be too late to put the words in in the form which the House would perhaps prefer. It seems to me that if the proposal of my hon. and gallant Friend commends itself to the House the proper form would be this: The trustees may accept any property given, devised or bequeathed to the Fund by any person who is or has been a Member of the House of Commons. If my hon. and gallant Friend would be prepared to move it in that form, then we could have a discussion and the Amendment could be put into the Clause rather more neatly.

Sir A. Southby

With the permission of the House and with your permission, Sir Dennis, I would like to accede to the suggestion made by right hon. Friend and to move the Amendment in that form. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Sir A. Southby

I beg to move, in page 3, line 38, to leave out "by any person."

8.36 p.m.

Mr. Erskine Hill

I beg to second the Amendment.

I do so because I think it would be beneath the dignity of this House to accept gifts from outside from anybody, whoever it was. I do not think we should be dependent upon the generosity of anybody. This Fund will not be a State Fund, which I have advocated, and it would cease to be a real House of Commons Fund unless it were limited to the compulsory contributions of present Members and the voluntary contributions of Members or past Members.

8.38 p.m.

Sir J. Simon

It is already evident that a number of Members would like to see this change made in the Bill. Perhaps I might be allowed to say that I would welcome it myself because it would emphasise that this is a domestic matter in which all Members belong to the fraternity whether they are recipients or contributors. It would be essentially a House of Commons affair involving nobody except Members of the House of Commons and not calling for any contribution from public funds outside. It would be very much better kept as one of our internal possessions.

8.39 p.m.

Mr. Lees-Smith

In all of our discussions about the Bill it has been taken for granted that contributions would come from Members of the House of Commons. The hon. and gallant Member is proposing to fill a real gap in the Bill in regard to not admitting contributions from outside. The view is that this House is a corporate body and that the method of creating the Fund was an expression of our corporate spirit. For that reason I should very much prefer the Bill in the form which the hon. and gallant Member proposes.

Sir Francis Fremantle

I agree that this is an improvement in the Bill and I support it.

Mr. Markham

I invite an explanation from the promoter of the Amendment or from the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to how the Amendment would operate in the event of somebody not a Member leaving a legacy to the Fund. I understand that the trustees would have no power to accept the legacy. [Hon. Members: "Hear, hear."] If that is the case, and if the House understands the intention of this Amendment, I am quite happy.

Mr. Lewis

As one of those who have strenuously opposed the Bill in all its stages I beg to say that in my view the Amendment much improves the Bill, but I shall be surprised to find it accepted.

Mr. Magnay

Are we sure that we are doing the right thing? Did a gift like Chequers take any dignity away from the Prime Minister? If the opinion of the House is that it is derogatory to our dignity that the Fund should receive donations from kindly-disposed persons who may contribute to it by legacy or by other means, I will agree with the Amendment.

Sir A. Southby

Surely the hon. Member remembers that the gift of Chequers was from an ex-Member.

8.42 p.m.

Mr. Petherick

In view of the feeling of the House on this Amendment it may be unnecessary for me to intervene at all, but I would like to say that I welcome the Amendment for the reason that hon. Gentlemen opposite have, quite rightly, resented certain suggestions put from this side of the House that the Bill savours of charity. I do not agree with this point of view. I do not believe it is charity and I never have done so. My objections are upon entirely different grounds. The Bill sets up a mutual benefit Fund. Many of us have opposed it on other grounds, but I cordially support the Amendment because it will remove any taint of charity which might otherwise have remained in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 3, line 38, after "Fund," insert:

"by any person who is or has been a Member of the House of Commons."—[Sir A. Southby.]

FIRST SCHEDULE.—(Limitations on payments out of the Fund.)

8.44 p.m.

Sir A. Southby

I beg to move, in page 5, line 15, at the end, to insert: Provided that the trustees may in special circumstances make payments notwithstanding that the requirements of this paragraph are not complied with. A similar provision in paragraph 4 of the Schedule is put in to give some measure of discretion to the trustees. It was argued during the Committee stage that it would be better, in the case of paragraph 2, that the trustees should be tightly bound by the provisions of the Measure, but nevertheless circumstances might arise in which we should wish some measure of latitude to the trustees to meet particular cases which cannot be foreseen while the Bill is before the House. During the Committee stage my hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Edinburgh (Mr. Erskine Hill) mentioned the case of an individual who had made a deed of settlement upon his wife, from whom he was afterwards separated. Although he was not touching one penny of the income given to his wife, if that individual fell upon evil times he would, under the strict interpretation of paragraph 2 of the Schedule, be debarred from any benefit from this pensions scheme. I do not believe that that is the desire of the House. I believe that the desire of the House is that under this pension scheme any Member who is really in need of financial assistance shall get it, and that there shall be no quibble about the particular circumstances of his financial embarrassment provided that he can show the trustees, who presumably will be old comrades of his in the House, that he has no means and that his circumstances are such that he should receive assistance.

If that be so, I think that some latitude must be given to the trustees. In such a case as that which was mentioned by my hon. and learned Friend, the ex-Member should undoubtedly receive benefit from the Fund to which he contributed while he was a Member of the House. It would be not only hard, but definitely unjust, if he could not get it, and I feel that, however much we may differ from one another about the merits of the Bill, we desire to produce justice in its working. Therefore I think it is essential that we should insert the same provision with regard to paragraph 2 as has already been inserted by the promoters of the Bill with regard to paragraph 4. There is nothing controversial about this proposal; it arises from a desire that Members shall benefit from the Bill.

8.47 p.m.

Mr. Erskine Hill

I beg to second the Amendment.

I do so with great pleasure, because I think it is a constructive Amendment which will help the Bill. I raised this point in Committee, and I hope the House will agree that this is a better Amendment than the one which I then moved. I cannot see how any Member of the House who wants the Bill to work in the most sensible way for the benefit of those who need it most could object to the insertion of this proviso. The House will see that the general rule remains the same. There must be a limit, as a matter of rule, in the way that the Schedule says, but any Member who can show special circumstances of hardship will be able to get the benefit of the Fund. I can see the Fund growing and reaching a position in which it will be able to afford to be a little more generous. In these circumstances I think we ought to trust the trustees, whom we appoint to administer the Fund, to decide where special circumstances have arisen,

8.48 p.m.

Sir J. Simon

I must say to my two hon. Friends that, whatever may be the arguments in favour of their proposal, I am very much afraid that to add these words at the end of paragraph 2 would not produce the desired result. We have already passed the first paragraph, which deals with periodical payments made to a Member of this House, but the paragraph to which my hon. Friends have put down this Amendment is not that paragraph, but paragraph 2, and paragraph 2 deals with periodical payments made to a widow. It cannot be the intention of my hon. Friends that we should insist upon the strict test in the case of the ex-Member referred to in paragraph 1, which we have already passed, and that we should introduce this modification in paragraph 2. I think there must be some mistake about the matter.

If I might express my view to my colleagues in the House, I must say I think it is very doubtful whether we ought to do this. A certain amount of latitude is left to the trustees, and, if hon. Members will turn back to the first page of the Bill, they will see that under Sub-section (2) of Clause 1 the trustees may cause to be made out of the Fund such periodical or other payments as are mentioned afterwards. The only payments that are limited in point of size or by reason of income are periodical payments, and the "other payments," which would include, I suppose, a special grant or something of that kind, are not limited. There is already, therefore, that amount of latitude in the hands of the trustees. I rather doubt whether it would be right to lay down a limit such as is proposed in the First Schedule and then proceed to say that the trustees need not be narrowly governed by that limit. For one thing, it would not be really fair to the trustees. They are going to have a very invidious task, anyhow. No doubt they will do it very well, but I think it is essential that we should recognise that the trustees themselves are entitled to have limits laid down, and those limits are laid down in the First Schedule. As I have already pointed out, if we do not make any qualification in the case of an ex-Member, the effect would be to allow a greater latitude in the case of the widow, and I really do not see any reason why we should allow more latitude in the one case than in the other.

My own advice to the House would be that we should not make this very partial change, but should rely upon the fact that the trustees are able to make what are called "other payments" as distinguished from the periodical pay- ments which they would make according to the terms of the Schedule. There is one exception which my hon. and gallant Friend, quite correctly mentioned, namely, in paragraph 4. One can imagine a case where, when a General Election had been declared on a particular date, some Member of the House who was retiring and in poor circumstances might only have been a Member for, let us say, nine years and 10 months, and one can imagine that in such a case the trustees, would say that, for the benefit at any rate of his widow, that period ought to be treated as 10 years. That is a case which is provided for. I respectfully suggest to hon. Members that it would not be a good thing to add to the number of latitudes, for we have only a limited fund to deal with, and we can trust the trustees.

8.54 p.m.

Sir A. Southby

It will be within the memory of the House that we had only a very short time in which to put these Amendments down. We were told only on Monday that the Bill might be taken to-day, and, therefore, the Amendments had to be put down very hurriedly. It was my intention that the Amendment should apply both to paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 of the Schedule. I do not know whether it would be in order for me now to move a manuscript Amendment applying both to paragraph 1 and to paragraph 2. My right hon. Friend is quite right in what he says. It is not intended that this should apply only to the widow, but that it should apply also to the ex-Member who had fallen on evil times and had tied up his money, quite honestly, being thereby debarred from benefit. I do not know whether there is any way in which it could be made applicable to both paragraphs, but that was our intention.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Dennis Herbert)

I rather gather that the hon. and gallant Member's suggestion was that we should go back to paragraph 1. I do not think we can do that, but I have no objection, if the House permits, to his withdrawing the Amendment now before the House and then moving another Amendment in a different form—that is to say, in this form but with some words at the end to apply it both to paragraph 1 and paragraph 2.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Would it not be better if this Amendment were com- pletely withdrawn and another Amendment moved, to insert a new paragraph 6?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. and gallant Member and his friends must settle that for themselves. The Chair cannot be expected to settle their Amendments for them.

Sir A. Southby

Would it be in order to alter the Amendment to provide that the trustees shall make payments "notwithstanding the requirements of this or the preceding paragraph" or would it be better to alter it to make it apply to "paragraphs 1 and 2"?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I should not regard either as being out of order.

Sir A. Southby

If the House will permit, I would alter the Amendment to require that the requirements of the preceding two paragraphs need not necessarily be complied with.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. and gallant Member cannot alter the Amendment. He must get leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Sir J. Simon

Perhaps the most convenient form would be to provide "that the trustees may in special circumstances make payments notwithstanding that the requirements of this or the preceding paragraph are not complied with."

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

8.59 p.m.

Sir A. Southby

I beg to move, in page 5, line 15, at the end, to insert: Provided that the trustees may in special circumstances make payments notwithstanding that the requirements of this or the preceding paragraph are not complied with.

Mr. Erskine Hill

I beg to second the Amendment.

9 p.m.

Mr. McCorquodale

As one who has been a supporter of the Bill since its introduction, I must say that when I first read the Amendment I was inclined to support it but I had not noticed the point which the Chancellor has made about periodical or other payments. That seems to me to give a considerable amount of latitude to the trustees. Paragraph 5 of this Schedule says: For the purposes of this Schedule the income of any person shall be ascertained in such manner and on such principles as the trustees may determine. I should have thought that that would have completely covered the case that my hon. and gallant Friend raises. If the supposed income of a possible beneficiary is actually not his income but has been tied up in some way, surely the trustees will have complete freedom, to take that into account. After we have put in this Schedule and laid down various scales under which the trustees shall operate, it will be rather absurd to say to the trustees, "Here are the rules, but you may disregard them if you wish." We have said that on paragraph 4, for a special reason. It would be going too far to say that in regard to the whole of the Schedule. In view of the fact that the points raised are covered by these other provisions, I hope my hon. and gallant Friend will not press this Amendment.

9.2 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward

I cannot help thinking, in spite of the excellence of the Amendment drafted by the Chancellor, that the House would be wise to think very carefully before accepting it. This Fund, at any rate for the first few years, is not likely to be in a very affluent condition. The annual income will be about £7,000 a year, and most of us know already of certain Members who cannot serve in this House much longer. It would be a pity if we drew on this Fund in advance, so that when definite, heart-breaking cases came along there would not be enough funds. By increasing the latitude which the trustees already have in dealing with the funds at their disposal, we should be in danger of creating the position that when such cases come along there will be no funds.

9.3 p.m.

Mr. Lewis

I cannot say that the Amendment appeals to me in any of the many forms in which it has appeared. It seems to make nonsense of paragraphs 1 and 2 of the First Schedule. I could understand the Bill having been drafted without those paragraphs, but if they are put in it can only be in order to limit the discretion of the trustees. I would strongly urge my right hon. Friend to resist the Amendment, on the ground that otherwise these paragraphs will serve no. purpose.

9.4 p.m.

Mr. G. Nicholson

I support this Amendment because of my own ex- perience as a trustee of a certain charity. Surely we can rely on the trustees not to fritter away all the revenue of the Fund in a futile manner, and I hope that the House will accept the Amendment.

9.6 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

As one who supports this Bill, and who has so far sat through the night without talking, I hope that the House will forgive me if I say a word or two on this Amendment. It is extremely hard for the House to appreciate exactly what a manuscript Amendment implies, and naturally one's instinct is to oppose it for that reason. If the Amendment is to give the trustees unlimited powers, I deagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. G. Nicholson). I have also been a trustee and I liked to have a good many guiding rules to help me as to what I should and what I should not do. If you put these things in black and white, it is much easier than saying, "Here are the rules, but if necessary you can discard then." I do not think that is right, especially when you are dealing with a matter of such great importance as pensions for Members of the House of Commons. We should lay down as many rules as possible based on the principles of equity and justice. It is for these reasons that I am against this Amend-

Division No. 282.] AYES. [9.10 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Fleming, E. L. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Goldie, N. B. Moreins, A. C.
Agnew, Lteut.-Comdr. P. G. Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R. Morris-Jones, Sir Henry
Allan, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Granville, E. L. Nicholson, G. (Farnham)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Gridley, Sir A. B. Perkins, W. R. D.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. Hambro, A. V. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Hannah, I. C. Ramsbotham, Rt. Hon. H.
Blair, Sir Ft. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A, Ropner, Colonel L.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Boyce, H. Leslie Hepworth, J. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Brass, Sir W. Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Strickland, Captain W. F.
Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.) Higgs, W. F. Tasker, Sir R. t.
Butcher, H. W. Heldsworth, H. Tate, Mavis C.
Cartland, J. R. H. Horsbrugh, Florence Turton, R. H.
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth) Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Cook, Sir T. R, A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F. Wayland, Sir W. A.
Croft, Brig.-Gan. Sir H. Page Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. Wells, Sir Sydney
Cross, R. H. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Crossley, A. C. Levy, T. Wise, A. R.
Crowder, J F. E. Lucas, Major Sir J. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Culverwell, C. T. McEwen, Capt. J. H. F. Commander Sir Archibald South by and Mr. Ersklne-Hlll.
Dodd, J. S. Medlicott, F.
Duncan, J. A. L. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Adams, D.(Consett) Anderson,F. (Whitehaven) Barrie, Sir.C.C
Adams, D. M. (Poplar,S) Aske, Sir. R. W. Batty, J.
Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford) Ban fieId,.J.W, Bellenger, F. J
Adamssn, W. M. Barnes, A,J Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.
Allen. Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Barr, J. Benson, G.

ment. Under the Amendment, trustees could disregard a claim based on mental infirmity, or on the ground that a person was incapable of earning his living. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] That shows the sort of difficulty in which we are placed. We really do not know what is the position.

9.8 p.m

Sir A, Sourthby

The Amendment applies only to paragraphs 1 and 2 of the First Schedule. Paragraphs 3 will not be affected by the extra powers which the Amendment seeks to give to the trustees.

Lieut.-Colonely Heneage

Then that brings us down to the question of the amount that may be faced with the fact that some of a few people, and others might want to give small sums spread over a great many. Do not let us make it too hard for them, but let us give them the greatest possible chance of agreeing. It is much easier for trustees to agree if they are tied down in black and white as to what they can and what they cannot do.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 68; Noes, 201.

Bernays, R. H. Harris, Sir P. A. Pearson, A.
Bevan, A. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Petheriek, M.
Bossom, A. C. Haslam, Sir J. (Bollon) Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Brabner, R. A. Hayday, A. Pooie, C. C.
Broad, F. A. Henderson, A. (Kingwinford) Pritt, D. N.
Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Procter, Major H. A.
Bromfield, W. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Radford, E. A.
Brawn, C. (Mansfield) Heneage, Lieut-Colonel A. P. Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ'i.)
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Hill., A. (Pontefract) Reed, A. C. (Exuter)
Buchanan, G. Horabin, T. L. Rithards, R. (Wrexham)
Bullock, Capt. M. Jagger, J. Riokards, G. W. (Skipton)
Burke, W. A. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Riley, B.
Burton, Col. H. W. Jenkins, Sir W. (Heath) Ritaon, J.
Capt, T. John, W. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Cary, R. A. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Charleton, H. C. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Rothschild, J. A. de
Chater, D. Kirby, B. V. Rowlands, G.
Cluse, W. S. Kirkwood, D. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Cocks, F. S. Lansbury, Rt; Hon. G. Salt, E. W.
Collindridge, F. Lathan, G. Samuel, M. R. A.
Courthope, Col. Rt, Hon. Sir G. L. Lawson, J. J. Sexton, T. M.
Cove, W. G. Lee, F. Shinwell, E.
Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Lees-Jones, J. Silkin, L.
Daggar, G. Leonard, W. Silverman, S. S.
Dillon, H. Leslie, J. R. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) levy, T. Simpson, F. B.
Davies, C. (Montgomery) Lewis, O. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Liddall, W. S. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Day, H. Little, Sir E. Graham- Smith, T. (Normanton)
De Chair, S. S. Little, J. Sorensen, R. W.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Stephen, C
Denville, Alfred Logan, D. G. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Dobbie, W. McCorquodale, M. S. Sutcliffe, H.
Dugdale, Captain T. L. Macdonald, G. (Ince) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Ede, J. C. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Edge, Sir W. McEntee, V. La T. Thurtle, E.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) McGhee, H. G. Tinker, J. J.
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Maclean, N. Tomlinson, G.
Emery, J. F. MacMillan, M. (Western Isles) Viant, S. P.
Entwistle, Sir G. F. Magnay, T. Walkden, A. G.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Mainwaring, W. H. Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Maltland, Sir Adam Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Mander, G. le M. Ward, Lieut.-Co!. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Foot, D. M. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Warrender, Sir V.
Frankel, D. Markham, S. F. Watkins, F. C.
Fyfe, D. P. M. Marshall, F. Watson, W. McL.
Gardner, B. W. Mathers, G. Welsh, J. C.
Ceorge, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Maxton, J. Westwood, J.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Messer, F. White, H. Graham
Gibson, R. (G reenock) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Gower, Sir R. V. Milner, Major J. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Montague, F. Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Green, W. H. (Deplford) Morgan, J. (York, W.R., Doncaster) Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's) Wilmot, John
Grenfell, D. R. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Nathan, Colanel H. L. Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel G.
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Naylor, T. E. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Groves, T. E. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Noel-Baker, P. J. Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Oliver, G. H. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Paling, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Harbord, Sir A. Parker, J. Sir Assheton Pownall and Sir Francia Fremantle.
Hardia, Agnes Parkinson, J. A.

9.20 p.m.

Sir J. Simon

I beg to move, in page 5, line 20, at the end, to insert: 4. No payment shall be made in respect of any child of a past Member of the House of Commons whilst either of the child's parents is living, or after the child has attained the age of sixteen years, and the annual amount of any periodical payment made in respect of an orphan child of a past Member, or of his orphan children taken together if more than one, shall not exceed seventy-five pounds.

Colonel Sandeman Allen

I should like to thank my right hon. Friend for bring- ing forward this Amendment. I mentioned the matter in the Committee stage.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 21, leave out from "unless," to "was," in line 22, and insert:

" the person by virtue of whose membership of the House of Commons the payment is to be made."—[Sir J. Simon.]

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

9.21 p.m.

Sir Henry Morris-Jones

Before this Bill receives its Third Reading I should like to ask the indulgence of the House for a few minutes, although I may possibly be using arguments that have been repeated ad lib in connection with the Bill. As one of those who originally went as a deputation to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in favour of a scheme of pensions for Members of Parliament, I feel that I cannot vote against the Third Reading without giving a few words of explanation. I have no qualms of conscience whatever in regard to this matter. I have had a fairly long political life and I shall never have recorded a vote in this House about which I have been so happy in my mind as I shall be when I record a vote against the Third Reading of this Bill. Why do I vote against a Bill with the principle of which I was at one time in agreement. It has been stated on more than one occasion that this is the wrong time to introduce this Bill, and I think the Prime Minister said in reply that on that argument there is no reason why it should be introduced at any time. I do not agree with that view. There are many objects, good in themselves, which should be introduced at the proper time; many objects of importance to the State in more than one direction the introduction of which we could justify much better than we can justify the introduction of this Measure at the present time.

I take it that the genesis of this Bill is the increase in the Parliamentary salary to £600 a year two years ago. Some of us have a lurking suspicion that some arrangement was made at that time in connection with our hon. Friends of the party opposite that there would be a certain sequel in the form of this pensions Bill. From that point of view one has a certain amount of sympathy with some of my right hon. Friends who are giving a great deal of time to this Bill and making big sacrifices in connection with it. I refer particularly to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has shown unexampled tact and patience. I know that at the present time he ought to be in another place and that his company is being missed. There is a feeling, and I think there is substantial ground for it, that this Bill is a sequal to the increase of our salaries to £600 a year. The point I want to make is that there are many on this side of the House who regard £600 a year at the present time as not too large a salary for the work we do for the State. Parliamentary life is becoming more and more a whole-time occupation. There are in this House many hon. Members who are making very great sacrifices for it. Why not be absolutely honest to the House and to the electorate and say that £600 a year is hardly sufficient to cover the ordinary expenses of Members of Parliament, and if so by what right do you make a deduction from it of £12 a year for this Fund? I should be prepared, when the time came, to support a proper system of State pensions for Members of Parliament, a regularised system, and I do not think that we should need to apologise to the electorate for a system of that character. We do very important work. I think we ought to be plain and honest with the electorate, and if we have earned a pension we ought to have it subsidised on a contributory basis and a proper basis of accountancy and audit. This is neither one nor the other. It is a system whereby the overwhelming majority of Members of this House have to contribute to a certain small number. It has been introduced at the end of a Parliament of four years' duration and when there are possibilities of great changes after the next General Election.

We do not know what the next Parliament is going to be, but I think we may assume that there will be a large number of new Members coming to this House. Those new Members will have based their ambitions for Parliamentary life on the basis of a salary which may reasonably be expected to pay their expenses, and they will be immediately mulcted in the sum of £12 a year in order to maintain Members whom they have never seen and some of whom they have never heard of in entirely new circumstances in an entirely new Parliament. I do suggest that we have no right at this stage of this Parliament to introduce a Bill of this kind. I know that the Government have given a free vote to the House on this matťer, but naturally I assume that they have a benevolent neutrality in regard to the whole Bill. One cannot blame the Government for that once they have taken it up, but I ask them to take note of the fact that in the Division Lobby the majority of the Government supporters in this House are against the Bill.

That being so, we are in a sense making a present to the Opposition. I have no antipathy to the Opposition as such. Many of them are very great friends of mine, but I do not know why in the political life of this country on the basis of the ordinary Parliamentary system we should go out of our way to make a present to the Opposition. I want to know whether the Government supporters at the next election are going to get one word of thanks from the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. Not only are we not going to get one word of thanks for passing this Bill, but we shall be opposed at the next General Election. I was trained for some years in an office which regards support for the Government as almost sacrosanct. No one who has been imbued with that tradition for some years takes it upon himself to vote against a Bill which has the support of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day, unless he has some feeling of misgiving and perturbation and some kind of restlessness with regard to its introduction. The Press of the country has seized upon the fact that Parliament at a time when it should be engaged in problems of immense magnitude and of immense moment to the population of this country is spending hours of time in a problem which is entirely of a domestic character concerning our own lives. I do not think this is a time to introduce a Measure of that sort and I should not like the Third Reading to go without my protest. I think this is a bad Bill in itself. There are great drawbacks to it and some injustices in it. Not only is the Bill intrinsically bad, but we are introducing it at a time when we have neither the right nor the mandate to do so.

9.3.1 p.m.

Mr. Petherick

This Bill has already been fairly exhaustively discussed; therefore I do not wish to discuss any of the merits or demerits of it in detail. In fact, I will say nothing about that side at all. I will try to offer to the House one or two main considerations at the risk perhaps of repeating what has been said before. I will try to put them in a slightly different form and endeavour to refine one or two of the issues. Personally I object to this Bill on three main grounds: first, because of its timing; secondly, because of its sponsorship; thirdly, on purely constitutional grounds. The last point is by far the most important and therefore I propose to leave it to the last. I will take the question of timing first. My hon. Friend the Member for Denbigh (Sir H. Morris-Jones) adverted to the fact that time had been given to this Bill at a period of international crisis. It is undoubtedly true that we are passing through very grave times at present. The Government is striving with every nerve to maintain peace. We as Parliament are devoting hours every week both inside and outside the House to prosecuting an immense rearmament programme, which undoubtedly casts a very heavy burden on the country.

We are now asked in the middle of all these preoccupations to give up valuable time to a consideration of our own internal affairs in this House—whether we are or are not to set up a fund to see that those who fall by the way in the future are not allowed to starve. We are giving up this time simply and solely to secure the position of ourselves. I believe that at this time we should not give up those very valuable hours. Some of those hours, hon. Members may claim, were spent last Thursday. Owing to an arrangement between the Patronage Secretary and the pseudo-Patronage Secretary opposite, the discussion of the Finance Bill was allowed to stop at 7.30, and I do not think there are many hon. Members who will deny that the consideration of the Third Reading of the Finance Bill is incomparably more important than this Measure for our own internal security. Later we spent many hours during the course of last Wednesday night and Thursday morning in consideration of the Committee stage.

There are hon. Members who would say that surely we who are opposing the Bill were making things worse by keeping the House sitting all that night. But surely the answer is a perfectly simple one. We who oppose the Bill are just as entitled to remain here criticising it, as those who are in favour of the Bill are entitled to waste the valuable time of the House in its consideration. We retort that we were only wasting Government light, a good deal of fairly adequate oratory, a number of pearls of wit, and our own energies in taking the action which we then took. After all, it was perfectly open to hon. Members who disapproved of our action to go home; there was nothing to keep them here except that they wanted the Bill to go through. Surely we are just as entitled to oppose the Bill as are hon. Members who take up the time of the House in trying to get it through. Nevertheless, the main issue on the timing of the Bill to my mind is that we should not take up so much time in the present international situation, in discussing purely our own affairs.

My next objection to the Bill is its sponsorship. The putative father of this infant is a Conservative Member of Parliament. I am not at all sure that it did not have two putative fathers, and, therefore, it is hardly surprising that they have produced a monster. The hon. Member who was responsible for this Measure last February was unable to get through a Motion on his own volition and, therefore, like a prudent father preparing for the christening, he looked round for a number of powerful fairies on the Front Bench and on the Front Opposition Bench who would be present at the christening and do what they could to see that the child reached an age of puberty; and he got a number of fairy friends and witches to support his child. The result was that the Bill was taken up by the Government with the full support of the serried phalanx of hon. Members opposite and the support of Liberal Members.

The course of a Government, whatever the Government might be, is rarely easy even when they have a big majority behind them. They are put in by the electors on broad issues, and probably narrow issues as well, and are kept there by the votes of their own supporters. I suppose that probably no two hon. Members who support the Government would agree in all the details on any given issue, but there is, nevertheless, a general consensus of opinion on the part of the supporters of a Government to support their Government whenever they possibly can. Owing to the wisdom of our forbears, the party system was set up and it Works very well, but while it continues it seems to me absolutely essential that any Government, whatever it may be, must rely largely on the support of its own friends in the House of Commons for the Measures which it proposes to pass. In any vital issue it seems to me that if the Government supporters are not satisfied with the Measure and the Government cannot succeed in persuading them to support it, the course for the Government is to resign.

I said "vital issue," because I do not look upon this as a vital issue. It is a small issue but it is certainly one in which it is very hard to prove any reason in tactics, or strategy or indeed in sense, for the Government to go against their own supporters, and I think it is a great mistake on the part of the Government to risk undermining, even on such a small issue as this, the loyalty of their own friends, as most of them who have been opposing this Bill have most strongly supported the Government in all the big issues of the day. Only a few weeks ago when this Bill was first projected 200 hon. Members who support the Government signed a resolution hoping that the Bill would not be proceeded with. In regard to the all-night sitting last week, that was not in the least intended to be against the Opposition. The discussion did not follow ordinary party grounds at all. Many of the richest hon. Members on this side were voting in favour of the Bill, and many of the poorest were voting against the Bill; it transcended party issues altogether.

Apart from the merits or demerits of the Bill, the action we took in prolonging the Committee stage unduly the other night was almost entirely due not only to an opposition to the Bill in to to and to parts of it in detail, but was intended as a demonstration of the Tory proletariat on the back benches, who felt that their loyalty was being somewhat stretched and that the Government would have been wiser to have relied on the support of its friends rather than to curry favour, shall I say, with others who do not usually support them. I think it was Lord Dalling and Bulwer in the last century who said: You will never be trusted if yon do more to gain an enemy than to serve a friend. There are other reasons why some of us are opposing the Bill. Some of us are opposing it because we think that each party should look after and attend to its own casualties, and some because they know full well that when hon. Members in the past have fallen on evil times a very generous House of Commons has subscribed to see that they do not suffer unduly. There are many other cogent objections to the Bill.

My final point is the constitutional issue, and it is the most important of all. Hon. Members of all parties in this House are returned to pursue certain general lines of policy in support of the party to which they belong. But they are not returned only to do that; they are not intended to be simply robots. I think they should have a certain independence of action and thought, very frequently of speech, and occasionally of vote. It may be a restrained independence, but it seems to me that anything which detracts from cogency of criticism or the determination of any individual Member not to regard his own future, not always to be considering how he can secure his own position, but that he must be all the time considering how he can do his best for his country—it seems to me that disregard of independence of thought, word or action would completely undermine the vitality, independence, and a great part of the value of Parliament. Some years ago, the Conservative Central Office produced a deplorable leaflet—I say it now because it was many years ago—which was entitled "From the cradle to the grave." It would be wholly bad and a great disservice to the nation if hon. Members returned to this House were to look upon it as a form of professional career, giving safety for the future and complete security from the ballot box to the tomb.

We have the two great institutions of the Civil Service and Parliament. The former, quite rightly, carries out its administrative functions under any Government, whatever may be the political complexion of that Government. It is entirely secure in tenure, as it should be, and its future is secured by pensions. The House of Commons is a legislative and critical body. It depends for its force on a changing, varied and very virile personnel coming together from all sections of the community. I believe it would be a very sad day for our Constitution if we did anything which tended to turn the House of Commons into a second-line Civil Service. I believe that anything that we might do which tended to induce any hon. Member to consider his own position all the time, to consider his own future, whether in the Govern- ment or outside it—anything which might encourage him to hedge or toady or to try to be over-conciliatory to the electorate in order to keep his seat and thus secure a future for himself when perhaps he had fallen on evil times—is most strongly to be condemned. For those reasons, I propose to go into the Lobby against the Bill.

9.48 p.m.

Captain Hatnbro

I do not think any hon. Member would accuse me of having taken up the time of the House unnecessarily. I sat through the Debates on this Bill all through the night, until eight o'clock in the morning. I should like briefly to register my protest against the Chancellor of the Exchequer for bringing in this Bill at this time. I believe it is an ill-timed and ill-advised Bill.

Sir J. Simon

I did not bring in the Bill.

Captain Hambro

I appreciate that my right hon. Friend did not bring in the Bill, but it was the way in which he handled it, so energetically, that enabled the Bill to have the popularity which it has at the present time. I was down in my constituency last week-end. I heard no criticism that we are voting ourselves pensions and not increasing old age pensions; nor did I hear the criticism that we are using public money in order to give ourselves pensions. What I heard was criticism of the fact that, in the times in which we are now living, we have spent time which is most precious to the country in voting ourselves pensions. Hon. Members must remember that we have now taken up in hours what would practically be four days of Parliamentary time. [HON MEMBERS: "No."] If hon. Members will add up the hours, they will see that it is something like that.

I submit to hon. Members opposite that they would have been able, quite legitimately, to gain a very fine political point if they had said, on the introduction of this Bill in the first place, that time was so important that they thought it ought to be given to the country rather than to ourselves. They did not say that, but on the first opportunity, when the Prime Minister asked for four days to be taken from Supply, they raised their voices in horror and said that was something which had never been done in the history of this country. I submit that they would have gained very legitimate political kudos if in the first place they had done as I have said. Every hon. Member must realise that if it had not been for the three speeches which the Prime Minister has made on this matter, the Bill would never have seen daylight. Although the Prime Minister said that this Bill was entirely his own idea and that any hon. Member who supported him could vote as he thought fit, some of my hon. Friends, in the course of the Debates, have hinted that those of us who are against the Bill are doing something disloyal to the Prime Minister. My hon. Friend the Member for Bolton (Sir J. Haslam) was one of them. In the Second Reading Debate, he inferred that some of us on this side of the House would be disloyal to the Prime Minister if we objected to or voted againt the Bill.

Sir John Haslam

May I interrupt my hon. and gallant Friend to say that the Official Report will tell what I said? I said nothing of the sort.

Captain Hambro

If I do not find that in the Official Report, I will apologise humbly to my hon. Friend, but he did infer that we were doing something which the Prime Minister would not like. I was a Member of the House when payment of Members was first instituted, and at that time I voted against the payment of Members, although I may say that, owing to changes that have occurred, I should not vote against the payment of Members now. I believe that when the £400 was raised to £600, it was the right time to deal with pensions as far as the House is concerned. There is one thing I would point out to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is not often in the history of Parliament that 112 supporters of the Government go into the Lobby against the Government when a Bill of this sort is going through the House. I am afraid that my hon. Friend the Member for East Lewisham (Sir A. Pownall), who after all is the prime mover of this Bill—I hope he will not mind my saying this—will be sorry that he ever started this in the House of Commons.

9.53 p.m.

Sir Assheton Pownall

As my name has been mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North Dorset (Captain Hambro) and also by my hon. Friend the Member for Penryn and Fal-mouth (Mr. Petherick) as being one of the parents of the Bill, perhaps I may say a few words with regard to its ancestry. After all, parents ought to know something about ancestry. The Bill arose, as will be seen from the Select Committee's Report, from a Question which I happened to put down soon after the increase in salaries from £400 to £600 took place some two years ago. It seemed then that there might be a margin in the budgets of hon. Members, which there had not been before in a good many cases, from which some small provision might be made to meet cases of hardship. I quite agree with the remarks of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North Dorset about the payment of Members. I regard this Bill as being a corollary to the payment of Members, and one that follows almost automatically once we attract to the House those who have not the financial background of the Members who came here 30 or 40 years ago.

My hon. Friend the Member for Denbigh (Sir H. Morris-Jones) suggested that there had been something in the nature of negotiations with regard to this matter two years ago. I never heard any such suggestion until now, and as the person on whose question the Warren Fisher Committee was set up, I am quite sure that there were no such negotiations. As regards the period of parentage, the Warren Fisher Committee reported in December, 1937, a year and a half ago; and therefore, the period of incubation or gestation with regard to this particular Measure—I am speaking as the putative parent—has been quite a long one, and hon. Members cannot complain that it has been rushed. The obvious reason for its being put through now is that we want to get it into force before this Parliament comes to an end in case there should be instances of hardship in connection with those who are now Members of the House.

I am not going to speak on the merits or demerits of the Bill itself. I spoke on the Resolution in February, and on the Second Reading, and I think, from my point of view, I have covered the ground. But I want to say a few words of appreciation of my two right hon. Friends whose names are on the Bill. I wish to thank my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister who, with more preoccupations, one might almost say, than any other Prime Minister within living memory, has found time to take the interest which he has taken in this Measure. He devoted several hours to attending the discussions on the Bill, he spoke twice upon it and he made himself master of its provisions. I think the House as a whole, apart from party politics, owes a debt of gratitude to the Prime Minister for having, in a time of great anxiety, taken such an interest in this Bill. I also wish to thank my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Epsom (Sir A. Southby), who has not seen eye to eye with me on this matter, paid him a generous and graceful tribute on Thursday morning last at the end of the Committee stage, as also did my hon. Friend the Member for Denbigh (Sir H. Morris-Jones) who, incidentally, went with me a year ago to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a deputation in favour of this, but has since modified his opinion.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

I think I should be allowed to correct my hon. Friend. I went on a deputation to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in favour of a system of pensions for Members of Parliament, but not this Bill.

Sir A. Pownall

I accept the correction. The Bill did not exist at that time and obviously my hon. Friend could not have been in favour of it. This only shows how the Bill has divided parties in this House and even families because we had the case of an hon. Lady who voted against her own brother. I do wish to join my two hon. Friends whom I have mentioned in thanking my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the active part he is taking with regard to the Bill. I think opponents and friends of the Bill alike were much struck by the grasp of its provisions which my right hon. Friend showed and also his patience all through the hours of our discussion on Thursday morning. May I say, in conclusion, that I sincerely hope that, in the years to come, this very small Measure will prove of service to those, to whatever party they may belong, who fall on hard times after rendering many years of service to the State by membership of this House.

9.59 P.m.

Brigadier-General Sir Henry Croft

I regretted having had to give a silent vote on the Second Reading of this Bill, and I would like to take this opportunity of expressing certain views upon it. No criticism can be laid against either the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer for having taken part in the Debates on the Bill. I think they would have been lacking in courage if they had not done so. Having listened to all the arguments I agree that the present is not a time when such a Measure should be brought before Parliament. I think most of the points which have been debated are rather small compared with the big principle involved. I am one of those unfortunate people who, in two years time, will become eligible for a pension, although at present I think it hardly likely that I shall claim it. But I have seen so many cases among friends and indeed relations in recent years, of people who have lost everything they possessed in the world, that I realise that it is not unlikely that any of us, however favoured we may be at this moment, may find ourselves in the same position. We have to face that fact.

The reason why I oppose the Bill can be put very shortly, and it will, I think, be understanded of the Opposition. Suppose I became eligible for this pension in a few years time. Hon. Members of the Opposition probably regard me as standing for much that they dislike and indeed almost detest. They would say '' If that particular fellow-Member of ours gets his way all our hopes, and all our great party principles will be shattered." I frankly confess that I consider it undesirable that any hon. Member should be forced, year by year, to contribute to a Fund which might go to someone who was diametrically opposed to him and with whose policy he disagreed. Conversely, I frankly admit that I am in the House of Commons and have given up my life for a principle—in opposing Measures for which hon. Members of the Opposition stand. I hope I have many good friends among them, but I feel that if their principles were carried into effect it would mean the complete ruin and destruction of my country. I, therefore, also feel it undesirable that I should be compelled, year after year, willy-nilly, to contribute to a fund which will sustain men who are standing for certain principles which I think are absolutely destructive of the good of my native land. I hope hon. Members above the Gangway will realise that there is nothing personal in what I say. I should be lacking in courage if I did not frankly state that opinion. Hon. Members above the Gangway claim that they have something like 10,000,000 votes in the country, and I think about 12,500,000 votes were given for Conservative supporters of the National Government. Will anybody tell me that our services are so valued by our respective parties that the people who have sent us here are not prepared to contribute ½d. a year in order to see that the representatives of their political parties are not let destitute—or is it to be said that there is a lack of imagination on the part of political organisers? The principle to which I object is that of compelling hon. Members to contribute to a Fund which will be used hereafter in sustaining political causes to which they are opposed. That is really what it comes to indirectly. It is a principle to which I object. Surely it is not beyond the wit of the men in the various parties in the State to provide a Fund to sustain those who have represented them in Parliament, in their old age, or to support their widows if they die destitute.

The House will forgive me if I have said anything which hurts the opinions of any hon. Member here. This is a domestic affair and it is one's duty to say frankly what one feels but I venture to think that if in the future we here are to become a merry family, that principles do not divide us and that Members of all parties contribute to a common Fund to help each other—people will begin to say that this is a sham fight. Politics, as far as I am concerned, is not a sham fight. I am here to sustain certain great ideals. Hon. Gentlemen have their ideals, which they sustain with equal sincerity. I think it intolerable that a Bill should be brought in compelling any Member to contribute to maintain those who are fundamentally opposed to the principles which he upholds.

10.5 p.m.

Sir J. Simon

Before the Bill reaches its Third Reading I think I should interpose in order to put on record, at the final stage, what is the relationship of the Government to the Bill. This is not a matter on which the Government take a view. Indeed, looking through the Division lists, I have noticed that on two principal occasions, the occasion when a Division was taken on the Resolution, and again when a Division was taken on the Second Reading of the Bill itself, I think I am right in saying that 15 Members of the administration voted one way, and 15 the other. There is no Government view about the matter at all. I must insist upon this because it has been my fate to interpose a good many times, not in the least in order to force my views on anyone but because for practical purposes, if a Bill is going to be carried and discussed in an orderly fashion, it is necessary for someone to be ready to give the necessary explanations and offer necessary suggestions. That is all that I have tried to do.

The only other thing that I wanted to say on the general position is this. The Prime Minister, as he told us at the time, brought the Bill forward, not because he was the head of the Government but because he was the Leader of the House of Commons. There had been proposed to the House last February a Motion by a private Member which invited the House of Commons to say whether it generally approved the Report of the Departmental Committee, and whether it would be in favour of the initiation of legislation to carry out proposals of that sort provided they did not involve any charge on the taxpayer. On that occasion also it was made perfectly clear that everyone, including Government supporters, would be entitled to exercise their own judgment and there was no question of anyone seeking to give an official lead. There could not be a freer vote than that—a vote on a private Motion moved by a private Member in the course of which various views were stated. The Motion was carried by two to one, and thereupon the Prime Minister thought it his duty, as Leader of the House, to give the House itself an opportunity of implementing that decision. Consequently, a Bill was presented. I put my name on it, together with that of the Prime Minister, because I knew that I might have to take some responsibility on minor matters.

We all have in memory the Prime Minister's speech. It was not one calling upon all who trusted him to agree with him on this point. He was most careful to say—he has been most scrupulous throughout to insist that there should be no question here of disloyalty, that there could be no reproach to anyone, and that this was essentially a matter on which every Member of the House of Commons should form his own judgment. I know that it has been a matter of distress to some of my friends that, exercising that liberty, which they were bound to exercise, they found themselves on this point opposed to the Prime Minister. No one could regret it more sincerely than they do, but that is, after all, what we have to do on a controversial occasion when two views are very possible and when we resolve that we will try to decide the matter without the assistance of Government leadership, or party Whips, or anything of the kind. It makes no sort of difference to the permanent relations which exist between Members on this side of the House and their Leader.

That being so, I want to make one other observation to clear up the position, because otherwise I do not feel that in this respect a great Government Department or I myself have been treated very fairly. Generous things have been said about me, for which I am grateful, but it is not fair that it should be represented anywhere outside the House that this is a Treasury matter. It has nothing in the world to do with the Treasury. I have been doing this for the Prime Minister because I have been doing a certain amount of miscellaneous work for him in the House and for no other reason whatever. I hope it will be made plain, both by supporters and opponents of the Bill, that it is not a Treasury matter. In order that I may prove what I say by visual exhibition and demonstration, I have brought here and have sitting beside me the Financial Secretary. He and I differ on this subject completely. He has lost no occasion of voting in the opposite Lobby to me and I have lost no occasion of voting in the opposite Lobby to him. We have all expressed our views. I can see myself that there are quite serious arguments which have been advanced by some who oppose the Bill. It is not by any means a self-evident proposition but a matter which has to be thought over very carefully, but, weighing those arguments on one side and the other, a matter about which, I hope, hereafter the House of Commons will have no reason to reproach itself. It is inspired by a feeling that we are really engaged in a common task.

I know how strongly the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) feels on many matters on which I may agree with him, but I still think that, while we are here in this controversial assembly engaged in fighting one another, there is an underlying sympathy existing between us because we are all members of this historic assembly. I shall rest all the more content feeling that, by our co-operative effort, the House of Commons has decided to try to make a domestic arrangement which may bring a little aid to those of our number who find themselves fallen upon evil days. I feel sure that, now that the battle is over, we shall always wish to look at it in that spirit, that we shall make the truth about the Bill known outside, and that it will not be made the subject of groundless misrepresentation. I am sure that, whether supporters or opponents, if we act together it will do a great deal to prevent a great injustice both to those who have taken a prominent part in putting it forward and to the House of Commons as a whole.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Wises

I must apologise for appearing rather late to speak in the proceedings on this Bill, but the only reason I desire to do so is that I was unfortunately away during the Committee stage of the Bill, and as I hold rather strong views about it, I should be reluctant to let it pass without at least raising my voice to justify, as briefly as I can, the views which I hold. There was one sentence, and one only, in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for East Lewisham (Sir A. Pownall) with which I agreed, and that is that hon. Members opposite ought to be deeply grateful to the Prime Minister for the part that he has played in bringing this Bill before the House. I hope they will allow their gratitude in the coming months to obscure the violence of the attacks which they are continually making upon him. Gratitude, after all, is a great and generous emotion, and I hope they will exercise it to the full.

The Prime Minister's intervention was of very considerable importance in this matter, and though my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has done his best to make it clear that there was no coercion and no endeavour to dragoon Members into voting for the Bill, and, in his own words, nothing could be more free for discussion than a private Member's Motion proposed by a private Member, yet the fact remains that the number of private Members' Motions in whose favour we have a speech from the Prime Minister is very few indeed, and that fact, by itself, marks it out as a very extraordinary Measure. Although there was a large majority, to which the hon. Member for East Lewisham referred, which carried his Motion, it was almost entirely due to the personal influence of the Prime Minister that such a large number of people who disliked the idea of the Bill were so reluctant to put themselves into opposition to the leader of their side of the House that they did in fact vote for it.

Mr. McCorquodale

Can the hon. Member cite the case of any one Member who dislikes the Bill and yet votes for it because the Prime Minister votes for it? I do not believe there is one.

Mr. Wises

I would remind my hon. Friend who has intervened with such heat and indignation that if he would care to study the number of Government supporters who, when they had had time to think and to allow the words of the Prime Minister to sink into their minds, voted against the Second Reading of the Bill, he would find that the votes were two to one on the Government side, and I think that another clear indication is that the number of abstentions was very much greater than the number of those who actually voted in the Lobby. There is one other point with which I wish to deal, and that is the fitness of producing this Bill at this time. The other day hon. Members opposite, to whom an irreverent colleague of mine referred as "Our Dumb Friends' League" on this matter, allowed to pass through this House, practically without protest, a constitutional malpractice of a surprising kind, namely, the removal from them of four Supply days, obtained for them by the defeat of the King by Parliament about 300 years ago, and those four days were not merely their constitutional right, but their constitutional duty to defend in order to attack the Government. They allowed that to go through almost with- out protest, because of congested business; congested with what? Congested with a Members' pension Bill. Hon. Members opposite should think of their constitutional position as the defenders of the rights of the Opposition.

Finally, I want to point out to all hon. Members that the pensioning of those on either side who are so unfortunate as to lose their all is not purely a matter for this House of Commons. There are duties which lie on bodies outside. Hon. Members opposite do not belong to a party which is so poor that it cannot look after its own. I gather that the total sum required to pension those who are expected to receive these pensions is between £3,000 and £4,000 a year, one-tenth of the contribution of the Trade Union Congress to the Labour party funds. Why introduce a Measure which, apart from being a compulsory one, does inflict one particularly grave injustice which the House insisted upon maintaining, and that is that people are compelled to contribute to it who can never in the nature of things possibly benefit by it. To my mind that is a major injustice. I hope we shall divide on the Third Reading of the Bill, and I shall find myself with a very clear conscience in the opposition lobby.

10.22 p.m.

Sir A. Southby

I owe an apology both to you, Mr. Speaker, and hon. Members of this House in that I thought you called me just now and that hon. Members were uttering the traditional cry "'Vide,' vide" when, in fact, they were referring to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester (Mr. Wise). It is only fair in those circumstances that my remarks, which I had intended should be brief when I first rose, should be even briefer now. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the Private Member's Motion which was brought forward by the hon. and gallant Member for Lewisham (Sir A. Pownall) was adopted by the Prime Minister and a Bill then introduced, but I should like to draw attention to the fact that less than half the Members of the House voted on the day on which the Private Member's Motion was discussed. It should be put on record that this Measure has been brought in when less than half the total Members of the House had expressed their desire that there should be some form of pension. We are now parting with a Bill which, whatever we like to call it, is a pension Bill. My complaint about it is not that it is making pensions for Members possible but that it is doing in the wrong way something which I believe ought to be done. I do not object to pensions for Members, although I do not believe the present time is opportune for getting those pensions in the proper way, and that is from the State.

The Bill now makes pensions possible for widows and for orphans. That was in nobody's mind when the Motion was introduced, and it was in nobody's mind when the Second Reading of this Measure took place. I pointed out then that I do not believe that the funds available for this pensions scheme will suffice for ex-Members of this House who are in difficulties. I am quite sure that they will not suffice for ex-Members of this House and for widows and for orphans. My complaint about the Bill is that it is coercing Members of this House to make contributions to a scheme which, when it has been set up, will not carry out what 1 think it is the wish of everybody on both sides of the House to do, and that is to meet the case of a Member of this honourable House who has fallen on evil times.

Because I believe that that is what will happen, the House should realise now, on Third Reading, that inevitably this scheme will one day have to be taken over by the State. One day it will have

Division No. 283.] AYES. [10.27 p.m.
Adams, D. (Consett) Charleton, H. C. Foot, D. M.
Adams, D. M, (Poplar, S.) Chater, D. Fyfe, D. P. M.
Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford) Cluse, W. S. Gardner, B. W
Adamson, W. M. Cooks, F. S. Garro Jones, C. M.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Colllndridge, F. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Ammon, C. G. Courthepe, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)
Anderson F. (Whltehaven) Cove, W, G. Gibson R. (Greenock)
Aske, Sir R. W. Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.
Banfield, J. W. Daggar, G. Graham, O. M. (Hamilton)
Barnes, A. J. Dalton, H. Granville, E. L.
Barr, J. Davidson, J. J. (Maryhlll) Green, W. H. (Deptford)
Bartlett, C. V. O. Davles, C. (Montgomery) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.
Batty, J. Davits, R. J. (Westhoughton) Grenfelt, O. R.
Bellenger,, F. J, navies, S. O. (Marthyr) Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbre, W.)
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Dt Chair, S. S. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)
Benson, G. Denvllle, Alfred Greves, T. E.
Bernays, R. H. Dobbie, W. Gout, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)
Bevan, A. Dugdale, Captain T. L. Hall, G. H. (Aberdars)
Bossom, A. C. Eckersley P. T. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
Brabner, Ft. A. Ede, J. C. Harbord, Sir A.
Broad, F. A. Edge, Sir W. Hardie, Agnes
Bromfield, W Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Harris, Sir P. A.
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Ellisten, Cast. G. S. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)
Buchanan, G. Emery, J. F. Hayday, A.
Burke, W. A. Entwistle, Sir C. F. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Burton, Col. H. W. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Cape, T. Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
Cary, R. A. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Heritage, Llanl.-Colonel A. P.

to become a State obligation to pay pensions to Members who have fallen on evil times, and I believe that to be right, but do not let us deceive ourselves, when we set up this scheme, that it can ever really meet the case of the Members of this House who have fallen into difficulties. I do not believe that hon. Members on the opposite side of the House, who have exercised their undoubted right to remain silent during the Debate, like the scheme any better than I do, but I think that they—I do not say this in any offensive way—consider that half a loaf is better than no bread and that it is better to do it like this than not to do it at all.

I do not think it is fair to suggest that those of us who do not like this Measure and who have discussed it point by point have been wasting the time of the House. Because of the points that have been brought forward, the Bill, bad as it is, is better than it was when it was introduced and upon its Second Reading. The Bill, nevertheless, smacks too much of a charitable fund. I dislike it. I do not think it is compatible with the dignity of this honourable House. Something has to be done to meet the case of the Member who falls on evil times, but I wish it were not being done in this way.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 191; Noes, 103.

Hills, A. (Pontefract) Messer, F. Simpson, F. B.
Horabin, T. L. Milner, Major J. Smith, Ben (Rotharhithe)
Jagger, J. Montague, F. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Morgan, J. (York, W.R., Doncaster) Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Morriion, G. A. (Soottlih Univ's.) Smith, T. (Normanton)
John, W. Morrison, Rt, Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Sorensen, R. W.
Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Nathan, Colonel H. L. Stephen, C.
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Nayior, T. E. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-sp'ng)
Kirby, B. V. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Sutcliffe, H.
Kirkwood, D. Noel-Baker, P. J. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Oliver, G. H. Thurtle, E.
Lathan, G. Paling, W. Tinker, J. J.
Lawson, J.J. Parker, J. Titchfield, Marquese of
lee,f Parkinson, J. A. Tomlinson, G.
Lees-Jones, J. Pearson, A. Vlant, S. P.
Leonard, W. Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W. Walkden, A. G.
Laslie, J. R. Poole, C. C. Wallaee, Capt. Rt. Han. Euan
Ltddall, W. S. Price, M. P. Watkins, F. C.
Little, Sir E. Graham. Pritt, D. N. Watson, W. MaL.
Little, J. Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.) Welsh, J. C.
Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Westwood, J.
Logan, D. G. Richards, R. (Wrexham) White, H. Graham
McCorquodale, M. S. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Macdonald, G. (Ince) Riley, B. Wilkinson, Ellen
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Ritson, J. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
McEntee, V. La T. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, S.)
McGhee, H. G. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Maclean, N. Rowlands, G. Windsor, W. (Hull, G.)
MacMillan, M. (Western lsles) Russell, R. J. (Edditbury) Womersley, Sir W. i.
Magnay, T. Salt, E. W. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Mainwaring, W. H. Samuel, M, R. A. Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Maitland, Sir Adam Sexton, T. HI. Young, Sir R, (Newton)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Shinwell, E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Marshall, F. Silkin, L. Sir Assheton Pownall and Sir Francis Fremantle.
Mathers, G. Silverman, S. S.
Maxton, J. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Findlay, Sir E. Meller, Sir R. J. (Mileham)
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Fleming, E, L. Mellor, Sir i. S. P. (Tamworth)
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Goldie, N. B. Mills, Major J. O. (New Forest)
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)
Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Morris-Jones, Sir Henry
Balfour, Capt. H. H. dale of Thanet) Gridley, Sir A. B. O'Connor, Sir Terenoe J.
Balniel, Lord Hambro, A. V. Petherick, M.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Hannah, I. C. Procter, Major H. A,
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Radiord. E. A.
Beaumont, Hon. Ft. E. B. (Portsm'h) Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Ramsbotham, Rt. Hon. H.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Rathbone, J. Ft. (Bodmin)
Bracken, B. Hepworth, J. Ropner, Colonel L.
Brockjebank, Sir Edmund Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.) Higgs, W. F. Scott, Lord William
Bullock, Capt. M. Holdsworth, H, Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Butcher, H. W. Hopkinson, A. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Cartland, J R. H. Horsbrugh, Florence Tasker, Sir R. I.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Howitt, Dr. A. B. Tate, Mavis C.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Hunloke, H. P. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Hutehinson, G. C. Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. James, Wing-Commander A. W. H. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth) Ward, Irene M. S. (Walltend)
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Warrender, Sir V.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Kellett, Major E. O. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Crowd.r, J. F. E. Knoz, Major-General Sir A. W. F. Wells, Sir Sydney
Culverwell, C. T. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Davidson, Viscountess Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. Windsor-dive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Denman, Hon. R, D Leighton, Major B. E. P. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G. Levy, T, Wise, A. R.
Duekworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Lipson, D. L. York, C.
Duncan, J. A. L. Loftus, P. C. Young, A. S. L. (Partiek)
Eastwood, J. F. Lucas, Major Sir J. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Edmondson, Major Sir 4. Maedonald. Capt. P. (Isle ! Wight) Mr. Raikes and Mr. Hely-Hutchinson.
Entmott, C. E. G. C. MoEwen, Capl. J. H. F.
Erskine-Hill, A. G. McKie, J. H.
Everard, Sir William Lindsay Medlicott, F.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.