§ Again considered in Committee.
§ [Colonel CLIFTON BROWN in the Chair.]
Postponed Proceeding resumed on Question:
That a sum, not exceeding £ 122,923, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1940, for the salaries and expenses of the Department of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies.
§ Question again proposed.
§ 8.35 p.m.
§ Mr. Bracken
It is something more than a curious coincidence that the affairs of Jarrow should have been interpolated into this Debate, because I am afraid there are quite a number of Jarrows in the British Empire. It is remarkable that on the one day in the year that we have to discuss the affairs of the Crown Colonies we should have 518 to give up precious time to a matter which concerns home affairs. I agree that Jarrow is very important, but it is rather a pity that on this one day arrangements are not made for us to have a continuous Debate. We have had a remarkable Debate. , A Colonial administrator with such a record as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) has criticised this Blue Book and the Secretary of State's complacent attitude towards Colonial affairs. Many excellent speeches have been made on the other side of the Committee which have also denounced the Secretary of State's complacent attitude. I thought the Secretary of State's speech well worthy of this curious Blue Paper. It was complacent and it was flocculent. It reminded me in some ways of a maiden aunt trying to explain the facts of life to her more sophisticated nephews.
I do not share the Secretary of State's apparent delight in the Blue Paper. This year's issue— I think it is the third issue — has all the chattiness of a parish magazine. It is full of worthy sentiments and abounds in trivialities. Above all, it is devoid of any sense of proportion. The Secretary of State bemoans the fact that he has so little space, and then he proceeds to stud the space that he has with trivialities. Only 11 lines are allotted to the vital subject of merchant shipping in the Colonial Empire, and in a long speech to-day he never mentioned shipping. Everybody knows the importance of shipping to the British Empire. Greater space is given to the generosity of the British Council in aiding an English school in Cyprus, a contribution towards the purchase of land for the Bishop's School at Amman, and a gift of money to buy a playground and other amenities for St. Luke's School at Haifa. Items such as this should surely be on the Colonial Office Estimates. Surely it is very bad accounting for the British Council, an unofficial body, to obtain large sums of money from the Government and then to expend part of those subsidies on behalf of the Colonial Office.
To return to this uneven Blue Book, why should only 11 lines be given to shipping? Why should the report magnify the tips and grants of the British Council and minimise important matters like shipping? I have been reading a clear and 519 very detailed account of the affairs of the Colonial Empire in "An Economic Survey of the Colonial Empire," issued in 1938 by His Majesty's Stationery Office. Believe me, it is a much better book than the document I hold in my hand. This book contains 630 pages, and it tells a sad tale about Empire affairs, and particularly about shipping. I would advise every hon. Member to read this book. Here are a few facts about shipping which I have selected from the book. In 1936, the last year for which figures are available, the number of British sailing vessels that entered Mombasa was 12; the number of foreign sailing vessels amounted to no less than 210. Two hundred and twenty-two British steamers entered Mombasa, with a total tonnage of 896,394, as against 283 foreign steamers, with a total tonnage of 1,215,251. Take the last figures available showing the number of British vessels of over 75 tons which arrived at the various ports of the Straits Settlements. They numbered 4,155, and had a total tonnage of 9,500,000. The total number of foreign ships was 5,487, and they had a total tonnage of 13,305,000. I will not weary the Committee with further statistics. It is crystal clear that the merchant shipping situation in the British Empire could hardly be more deplorable. Surely the Secretary of State would have been much better occupied in giving more space to the grave state of Empire shipping rather than to the subsidised philanthropy of the British Council. There is something very wrong with the Secretary of State's sense of proportion.
On page 4 the Blue Book refers to Makerere College in Uganda; and it was referred to again in the Secretary of State's speech. In the Blue Book, on page 9, he announces the appointment of the late Master of Marlborough to be principal of that college. On page 31, a whole page is given over the college and to the appointment of the principal. On two other pages we have Makerere College again. Makerere is a most hopeful experiment, but why should it crowd out other important matters? The Secretary of State's grasp on trivialities is very firm. Consider his remarks about the Gold Coast. It is notorious that the situation has given a great deal of concern to people who are interested in that Colony. You would expect the Secretary of State to give a proper review of the affairs of 520 the Gold Coast. He gives very little space to its affairs. He imparts the following valuable information to us:The new art course at Achimota College has had a very good beginning.That is indeed an epoch-making matter. He goes on:Satisfactory progress has been made with the building of the new Government technical school.Then he says:The people of Ashanti have given a silver bell to His Majesty's ship ' AshantiI wish the people of the Gold Coast would hire a man with a bell to run after the Secretary of State and remind him of the plight of the Colony and of the necessity for him to develop a sense of proportion. The Secretary of State's report reminds me of the chatter of a self-conscious Lady Bountiful. He is a sort of adult "Alice in Wonderland" babbling about the globe. I wish the Secretary of State were present— [An HON. MEMBER: "The Minister of Health is here."] Yes, I prefer him to be here, because he has a more acute and convertible mind. But on page 4, the Secretary of State makes some contact with the realities of his office. He says:In some parts of our Colonial Empire it may be said that, in spite of the peaceful conditions which have resulted from British rule, the populations still live under primitive conditions and suffer seriously from preventible disease.He goes on to say:Even such economic basis as exists for the improvement of conditions has been affected by the low prices of the principal Colonial commodities.Very sensible words; but if these sentences mean anything they mean that these people are suffering from preventible diseases because of the lack of efficient economic and trading arrangements. He should long since have informed himself of the staggering fact that the following Colonies— I mention only a few as examples— have no trade representatives abroad and no overseas trade representatives in their territory. I am putting a strain on the credulity of the Committee when I say that that is the case in Somaliland, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Swaziland, Mauritius, Aden and Fiji. There are the British Solomon Islands. Someone may say, "Where are the British Solomon Islands? We have never heard of them." 521 They contain nearly 100,000 people. There are Gambia, the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone. There are no trade representatives of Great Britain in these important Colonial territories, and they have no trade representatives abroad. There is Hong Kong, and although the Canadian and Siamese Governments have trade commissioners in this important Colony, we do not condescend to send trade representatives. I must make an exception in the case of the Seychelles. On page 296 of this report it is stated that the Clerk to the Governor acts as Colonial Imperial Trade Correspondent in that Colony. The Clerk to the Governor also has to act as Clerk to the Council, and in his spare time he has to look after Imperial trade in Seychelles. He certainly deserves praise, because he is very much underpaid. This overworked Poobah only receives £ 340 per year, and he has more to do than Sir Horace Wilson, and he is even more of an office boy.
Let me go on with the list. There are British Honduras, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Tonga, and the New Hebrides. There are no trade representatives of Great Britain in those territories and no trade representatives overseas. I now come to the most astonishing place of all— Nigeria. The population of Nigeria is nearly 20,000,000, which is nearly twice the population of Canada, three times the population of Australia and 15 times the population of New Zealand. The population of Nigeria is greater than the total population of all the Dominions put together. Here is what the compilers of the Colonial Office Survey say in their intelligent chapter on the economic life of the Colonial Empire:Nigeria has no trade representative overseas, nor are there any overseas representatives in Nigeria.There are nearly 20,000,000 people, and it is a territory with immense potentialities. We have no trade representative there, and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State will appoint no trade representative in London. Need the Secretary of State wonder why the per capita purchasing power of the population of the Colonial Empire is so pitifully low? How can it at the present time be expanded if those Colonies have no trade representatives abroad? Any sensible man knows that if one wants new 522 markets one has to create them. Ask our superior Ministers. I am not referring to the Minister of Health, because he is a learned man and is not used to indulging in platitudes and lectures to the members of the general public. But many of his superior colleagues, as you notice from reading the newspapers and listening to them in this House, are constantly lecturing or criticising British industrialists for their backward marketing methods. They say that these methods are antiquated and must be improved. But they as rulers of 60,000,000 people will not provide a marketing organisation of an adequate kind.
Is it any wonder that many of our overseas possessions are defaced by suppurating slums, dreadful poverty, and by disease, which could be prevented if economic conditions were improved? The Secretary of State may say that he is doing something to improve economic conditions. I have been looking through the report, and I observe, on page 47, that he says that during the year 1938 his much-vaunted Colonial Agricultural Advisory Council was in action. Splendid! It actually met five times during that year. That is a great contribution to the progress and prosperity of the Colonial Empire. The Secretary of State, in order to combat the serious position in the Colonies, set up a Colonial Marketing Board towards the end of 1937. It is doing a little mild educational and research work. I will read an extract from this report. It says:A series of lantern slides and lectures descriptive of all Colonial products of interest to the grocery trade have been prepared.I will read that again, if I may, as being the Secretary of State's supreme contribution to the development of the British Empire:A series of lantern slides and lectures descriptive of all Colonial products of interest to the grocery trade have been prepared.Lantern slides for grocers are a poor substitute for proper selling organisations.
§ Mr. Bracken
In listening to this Debate to-day I was very much struck by a remark by my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham who said, and quite rightly, that, faced by the demand of dictators for sharing out the Colonies, 523 it is vital to us to face up to our responsibilities in the Colonial Empire. He declared in effect that it may be said to us "Why act as a dog in the manger? You are doing so little for the Colonies that you had better hand them over to nations who are willing to make a real effort to develop their economic resources." Can anyone really say that we are fulfilling that trust? See how well we have fulfilled it to-day. At no time to-day have there been more than 100 Members present in this House. A few hours every year are given over to the consideration of Colonial affairs, few attend our Debates and we forget all about the Colonial Empire for 12 months. In my judgment, we shall achieve nothing good until Parliament has some real opportunity of knowing what is happening in those far-flung Colonies of ours. The only information that we get about them is news of revolts due to bad labour conditions or other economic troubles.
It may be asked, how are we to keep in touch with those Colonies? Parliament should set up a committee on the lines of the Scottish Grand Committee, which will meet every week, or perhaps twice a week, if necessary, to give careful and consistent consideration to the affairs of our Colonial Empire. It may be objected that it will take up a good deal of the time of the Colonial Secretary, and I agree that it will. He will have even less time to pen pious platitudes or to emit the irrelevant generalisations about the Colonial Empire which came from him to-day. Such a committee would have the same bracing effect on him as Parliamentary Committees have on other Ministers. I am sure that the Secretary of State for the Dominions will agree with me that nothing can be more pleasurable than to meet a bracing committee once or twice a week. At the present moment the Colonial Secretary has enormous and unused powers, and he has no incitement to produce results, and there is no close or continuous supervision by this House.
I beg of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to remember that he is the administrator of a great Colonial Empire. He directs the affairs of a population far in excess of that of Great Britain— a population afflicted by the most dire distresses. Neither he nor his able officials have any practical experience of economic and trading affairs. He should send to every 524 Colony properly equipped economic and trading experts, and he should set up a forceful marketing organisation for the Colonies in the great centres of world trade. The best equipped men will be ready to serve or advise him. For they know, as we ought to know, that in a world ridden by race hatreds and insane trade restrictions, opportunties for extending trade in old markets are much clouded.
Before our eyes is the untilled field of the great British Colonial Empire. If we, by energetic and intelligent efforts, can steadily increase the standard of living of its inhabitants, we shall have fulfilled a most neglected part of our trust. If we create prosperity in our undeveloped Colonial Empire, we shall participate in that prosperity, and that is one of the reasons why I am so anxious that the House should identify itself regularly with the affairs of the Empire. By doing so we shall bring new hope to the 60,000,000 inhabitants of that Empire and to many of our own skilled but precariously employed workers. The opportunity is before us, and we must take it at once. The difficulties are great, but they are much less than those which faced our adventurous forefathers who had to tackle them with few advantages save their own strong willing hands. Surely we, endowed with the resources of science, with great accumulations of wealth and much wider resources of population, and with what would have seemed to our forefathers to be marvellous methods of transport and finance, should try to rescue our heritage from a creeping paralysis, caused by faithlessness, sloth, complacency and neglect.
§ 8.55 p.m.
§ Colonel Wedgwood
After the worst and most troublous year that the Colonial Empire has known in my life time, we have the sort of speech to which we have listened to-day from the Colonial Secretary, and we have this precious Blue Book. It was said of somebody that his speech consisted of two parts— the truisms were trite, and what was not trite was not true. I must say that that is applicable to what we have been faced with to-day as a report of the working in very bad times of a very great Empire. This Blue Book is the compilation of the office cat. It has been put together by permanent officials as an insult to this House. I turn to a paragraph on page 87, which says: 525Between the 15th February and the 15th April 1,229 illegal Jewish immigrants entered in three ships.Why those dates? The whole paragraph, and it takes up one-third of the report on Palestine, is taken straight from an answer to a question which was put by me a month ago. They have simply gone through the Parliamentary papers, cut passages out, stuck them together, and embodied them in a report which has no sort of coherence. I agree with every criticism that has been made or the right hon. Gentleman's speech and the report in this most critical Debate. If there is one thing which is more vital to the Colonies at the present time than anything else, it is the land question, and in the whole of the report you find not one word about that. The land question is at the root of most of the economic difficulties throughout the Colonial Empire; and the question is dealt with differently and without any co-ordination or guidance in each one of our Colonies. Still, we are told by the right hon. Gentleman that he has a goal towards which all the permanent officials are constantly directing their attention. There is no direction anywhere!
We were told in his speech that the administration of our Colonial Empire is a magnificent example of the way in which democracy can control affairs. That is the sort of sop that is thrown out to the House of Commons to accompany the defeat of the House of Commons on Palestine. The permanent officials, the bureaucracy, have for 19 years struggled against the House of Commons, and they have beaten us. So we have this delightful speech, written for the Secretary of State in order to soothe our injured feelings, to tell us that we are admirably conducting in this House the democratic control of the British Empire. Was there ever such humbug? On every question that has been taken up in this House recently we have been defeated by the permanent officials, and we have no possible means of bringing them to book. Again and again we have notifications that Parliament had better not meddle with what is the work of the experts. This Blue Book is the work of the experts.
The permanent officials are not primarily to blame. Twenty years ago the permanent officials of the Colonial Office and all over our Colonial Empire had 526 what I might call the liberal temperament. They looked at all these problems from the liberal point of view. I am not talking of the Liberal party point of view but the liberal vision. They were brought up in a good school. Latterly, we have seen this class of permanent official banished completely. I cannot point now to a single Governor in the British Empire who has what I would call the old-fashioned Colonial Office view. We have these people suppressing strikes, infected with the authoritarian gospel of Germany and Italy. It is a creeping disease which is affecting the ends of the Empire before it comes to overthrow us here.
The democratic control by this House of Colonial administration has never been lower, more feeble, more neglected and despised by officials than it is at the present time. We see the result of it all through the Colonies. We have the working classes, the natives, the gangsters, all making trouble, believing that the British Empire has come to an end, and that they have only to be enough of a nuisance to get their way with the present Government. British control to them has come to mean not control by the British democracy but the control of a narrow-minded bureaucracy who do not sympathise with democracy.
Take another question that is all important to the Colonial Empire at the present time and which is not mentioned in this Blue Book— security. How secure are the people in the Colonies that they are not to be handed back to Germany? The first thing we need in order to get commercial development is security, the knowledge that you are safe and that if you put your money into a country you will not have it confiscated by Hitler. All over Africa to-day there is this malaise going on. They do not know whether it would not be better to help kick the British out and so earn the support of the Germans. Such anxiety is felt not only in Palestine, in Kenya and Tanganyika, but in Nigeria and the Gold 0Cast as well. t1 is not merely a question of German appeasement. The Government have not made up their minds whether they are going to hand over Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia to the Rhodesian Government, to clear out British control and to hand over to the white settlers. The people in Bechuanaland, Swaziland and Basutoland do not know where they 527 are. They do not know whether they are going to be handed over to a rule they hate, or whether they are to stay in the British Empire. There is not a word to-day from the Colonial Office to say whether the Government have made up their minds, or whether they are going to sacrifice the Colonial Empire to their precious doctrine of universal surrender.
There is another matter which everyone interested in Colonial politics has always before his mind, and that is the question of direct or indirect rule. I wonder what the goal, or the pole star as it has been called, of the Colonial Office is about direct or indirect rule in our Colonial Empire. I and all my friends on these benches wish for direct rule as a natural step towards responsible government. Indirect rule is the bolstering up of landlord and aristocrat domination in these countries. Their own chiefs have become landlords. Expropriation takes place as it took place long ago in this country. The chief is becoming the owner of the land, just as the land of the Highlands became the property of the clan chiefs. Whether we are aiming towards indirect or direct rule, who can tell from the speech we have heard or from the book that has been thrown at us as a guide to how the Colonial Empire is being developed?
There is not a word in this book and there has never been a word from the Front Bench to show that they have any conception of how France governs her colonies; there is not a word of comparison between French Colonial policy and English Colonial policy. We had better get out of our heads that we are the divine rulers of lower races. It is not enough to say that our hearts are in the right place and that the officials of the Colonial Office are all imbued with the divine mission of governing in the interests of the native. We might make a comparison and then we should not be so conceited. I do not know whether the Commission which went to the West Indies ever considered how it was that the French West Indies are prosperous and happy and the British West Indies are starving and in a state of riot. It would be beneath the notice of the Colonial Office to consider how foreign countries look after the natives. I do not ask the British Government to follow the colonial practice of the French or the 528 Belgians, but at least they might know what they are doing in order to be able to do a little better. There is one other thing which is absolutely left out of this valuable document.
§ Colonel Wedgwood
I put "valuable" in inverted commas. You will not find one word in this compilation on an important question which has cropped up in this Debate and which comes up on every Debate on Colonial affairs, and that is absolute justice and uniformity of treatment between different races in the different Colonies. Since the Colonial Office changed its character and became authoritarian we have had all sorts of new legislation devised to deal with particular colours and particular evils. It began in Kenya by dividing the sheep from the goats, those who could buy land and those who could not. It went to Palestine, those who may buy land and those who may not. Then it went to every one of the Colonies where a new constitution was being considered, the sheep were placed on the right hand of justice and the goats on the left hand of expediency. The great British principle of uniformity of treatment and equal justice for all men is being discarded by the bureaucracy, and if this House dares to say anything on the subject it is told by its schoolmasters that it is meddling with something which democracy had better leave alone. The year that has gone by has been the most damaging year to our prestige, to our traditions; riots and disorder have been more frequent than any year I have known in my political history, so far as the Colonial Empire is concerned. And we are faced with this pious Sunday afternoon sermon and this compilation as an explanation why our Colonial Empire has been so shockingly governed.
§ 9.9 p.m.
§ Colonel Ponsonby
I want to emphasise the suggestion that has been made that some form of Parliamentary Committee composed of members of all parties and of members of the other House should investigate from time to time the problems which confront us in our Colonial Empire. I am certain that many questions which are asked in this House would not be asked, and that many speeches which are made by hon. Members who do not know the country about which 529 they are speaking would not be made, if it was possible from time to time to have meetings with the Colonial Secretary, his officials and the representatives of the Colonies who come home from time to time from our oversea settlements. I am certain that the hon. Member for Ely (Mr. de Rothschild) would not have made the speech he did if he had had an interview with the Governor of Cyprus who has just lately come home. I think that the suggestion put forward by the hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) and the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) should be considered, and that it may be possible to have some form of committee. It would be helpful to the Colonial Secretary, to the Colonial Office and to the Colonial Empire. After all we are all members as it were of a great company and we want to help the company, and I am sure that we could give it much more help by private discussions than we can by party talk across the Floor of the House.
I want to say a few words on the question of development, and particularly to stress the reference which was made by the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling) as to the time it takes to get anything done. The hon. Member put his finger on the spot. We are really dealing, especially in Africa, with people who are at a stage of civilisation which corresponds roughly to the time when the Phoenicians visited Britain somewhere about 2,000 years ago, and yet hon. Members are rather inclined to say that we must hurry on, we must educate them quickly, and treat them as though they were living in Wales, or Yorkshire, or Somersetshire. At the same time there is no excuse for our not continuing the development of these countries in every way possible. We have a trust to discharge, and it is a very difficult trust, made even more difficult by the economic reasons which have been already referred to. How are we going to persuade an African native to grow more crops in order to get a certain price if when the time arrives world prices have fallen. How can the African native in his little world understand what is going on in the great world outside, and yet the question of prices is at the bottom of all the trouble. I had a letter to-day which said:Sugar production is the life blood of the people of Mauritius. Reduce the price of sugar 530 and curtail its export and the whole community will feel it.The same applies all round. We cannot control world prices, and it is necessary to continue development. If we do that and grow more crops for export, then it is absolutely essential that we should have proper marketing arrangements. I was rather sorry to find in the annual report only a short reference to the Colonial Empire Marketing Board. I quite understand that the report on this has not yet been published, although I see no reason why it should not have been published, for after all, six months of this year have passed. The report makes no real reference to what is being done and in connection with marketing, I want to emphasise what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for North Paddington (Mr. Bracken), that it is most important to find markets not only in this country but abroad. I have recently had evidence which shows that very little is being done to find markets abroad for our Empire products. If we ask the people in the Colonies to grow crops, we ought to find markets for them. But however well we organise, we have to be careful, for there is always a possibility of weakness in the administrative machinery. The advancement of these countries depends not on officialdom, but on the individual official in the Colonies, with patience, humour, an interest in his work, and an affection for the untutored people in his care. In reading the report, I wondered whether sufficient latitude is allowed to those who are ruling in the Colonies overseas. I was horrified to see in page 6 the following paragraph:The increased work of the Colonial Office is reflected in the number of communications which are being received and sent. They amounted to 389,000 in 1938, or 30 per cent more than in 1934.I have travelled a good deal in the Empire, and one of the chief criticisms I have heard is that the people on the spot are not allowed to take sufficient decisions and that everything has to be referred to London. If that be the case, obviously it hampers the local officials and really nullifies the power which they should have. I see that on page 7 of the report the Colonial Secretary states:I inherited from my predecessors the tradition of trusting the men on the spot.I call upon my right hon. Friend to implement that statement, and to do so as much as possible in future. I was glad 531 to see in the report of the Bledisloe Commission that, in speaking about a possible amalgamation of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, they also lay particular stress on more responsibility being given to Provincial Commissioners. I should like to make a few suggestions about the administrative machine. I am certain that the Colonial Office ought to be sectionalised. I was glad that the Bledisloe Commission said exactly the same thing. They stated in their report:It is suggested as a matter for consideration whether the strength of the establishments now employed in Africa, and the importance of the issues of policy which now present themselves, do not afford strong reasons for constituting a separate branch of the Colonial Service, confined to employment in Africa.I would apply that statement to the Mediterranean, the East, and the West Indies. As regards the Colonial Office itself, I cannot help feeling that it is like a wheel that is getting larger and larger, having more spokes all directed to the hub, which is the Colonial Secretary. I am not sure that there is not too much work for the present organisation and the present Colonial Secretary, or any Colonial Secretary. How is it possible for the Colonial Secretary, who during the last year has had all the troubles in the West Indies and Palestine, to give day-to-day decisions on all points which arise? I rather feel that the corridors of the Colonial Office are paved with decisions deferred and with compromises. What we want in ruling our Colonies is decision and firm action. Last year, I suggested the possibility of a Royal Commission to look into the whole organisation of the Colonies. I suggest now, as a preliminary, that the three gentlemen whom the Colonial Secretary mentioned might sit round a table and give the Colonial Secretary some very practical advice. I am referring to Lord Hailey the chairman or a member of the Bledisloe Commission, and the chairman or a member of the West Indies Committee. I should like to hear what those gentlemen would be able to say to the Colonial Secretary in camera. I submit that the present machine requires to be looked into, and I hope that something of that sort will be done. This evening there have been all sorts of criticisms but I think that possibly some sort of reorganisation, or at any rate examination, of the machinery, coupled with the idea of 532 a standing inter-Parliamentary committee, might be valuable to the Colonial Office, and I hope my right hon. Friend will consider these suggestions.
§ 9.23 p.m.
§ Mr. Riley
I have read the report, which seems to give the Colonial Secretary a good deal of satisfaction, and I want to speak not so much about what it contains as what it does not contain. It seems to me to present a general, but meagre, picture of what has happened in many Colonies during the past year. The report is supposed to review the changes and developments in the Colonies during the period from April of last year to March of this year. With regard to that part of the Colonial Empire where there are 2,500,000 of the 3,000,000 subjects who are referred to in the report as having been troublesome during the last 12 months, Jamaica is dismissed with half a page and the West Indies with about five pages. That is the worst aspect of the review contained in the report. It gives a sort of general picture of certain general aspects common to all the Colonies, but there has been no appreciation of the need for telling us what has been done particularly in connection with those Colonies where the disturbances have taken place. In view of the fact that during the 12 months in question, in Jamaica alone there were no less than 46 people killed in the troubles, 429 injured, and more than 1,000 arrested and imprisoned, one would have thought that more than half a page in the report would have been devoted to those very striking events. I cannot help feeling that there has been an attempt to gloss over that state of things. The report reminds us of the seriousness of those developments and gives some indication of definite steps which are being taken to meet the causes out of which those events took place.
I want to ask the Committee to switch over to the West Indies, and I want to confine my remarks exclusively to that part of the Colonial Empire, for one reason, because the West Indies are in the unique position that they are populated by a British population which in some cases has been under British rule and British tuition for 300 years, and in others 200 and 250 years, and though they are still very far from being in the position of self-governing Colonies, they are Europeanised, and, compared with other Colonial populations, large sections of 533 them have a high degree of culture. What are the three outstanding problems which face the Imperial Parliament with regard to the situation in the West Indian Islands? They are common everywhere, but they are outstanding there. The first is the condition of labour, the second is the economic development of the islands, and the means whereby a higher standard of living may be built up by economic development, and the third the desirability of meeting a very insistent demand, which cannot be choked down, for some extension of self-government and the full equality of the Jamaican people with British subjects in this country. Unfortunately, in the report nothing is said about what the Government have in view, and I want to ask the Secretary of State not to slide away from the question. What is the thought-out policy of the Government with regard to establishing a stable basis for labour conditions so as to avoid the discontent and disturbances which have taken place in the last two or three years?
The report refers to the fact that labour advisers have been appointed and are operating in certain of the Colonies. That is all right so far as it goes, but, as one who has been there in the last four or five months and has made very careful inquiry, I am convinced that the mere appointment of a labour adviser is not going to meet the needs of the situation. It is only another small step and, if it is not followed up with an adequate scheme of Labour Departments for islands like Jamaica and Trinidad, it will not achieve any substantial improvement at all. That is the common opinion in all Labour circles in the West Indies. It is not a case of blacks, as in Nigeria or Tanganyika. Thirty or 40 per cent. of the population of Jamaica is highly educated and has a culture equal or superior to that of similar people in this country. Are the Government visualising the establishment of a full Labour Department, linked up with health and unemployment insurance and old age pensions? I should like some indication of what is in the mind of the Government. Unless there is going to be a clearly thought out long-term policy, the Government are not on the right road to meeting these problems.
In regard to my second point, measures designed to raise the standard of life and improve amenities, the 534 Minister has said, in answering a question of mine, that he does not see his way to establish old age pensions because of lack of means. The way out of that difficulty is twofold. In the first place, the Imperial Parliament has to face the question whether it is content to take the view that at no time are our West Indian subjects to be entitled to a social standard equivalent to that in this country. Do they take the view that the working classes of Jamaica or Trinidad are not to have the protection of social legislation and the advantage of better social services on a more or less equal scale with their fellow subjects here? That is a question to which the Minister might give his attention.
If he says the means are not there, I would remind him that loans could be advanced. Beyond that, there is the question of the Government's intentions with regard to the economic improvement of the West Indian colonies so as to give the mass of the people there a better standard of living than they enjoy to-day. Anyone who has viewed the West Indian scene at close quarters cannot fail to be impressed by the fact that the future prosperity of these West Indian Colonies, with the exception perhaps of Trinidad, and, it may be, of British Guiana, lies in a persistent and enlightened development of their natural agricultural resources. There are no industrial undertakings which can be developed to a large size, and the economy of the Colonies is, for the most part, based upon their natural resources and upon agriculture. So, I urge on the Secretary of State that there should be no further delay. The Government must realise, after the disturbances of 1937 and of last May and June, which occurred not only in Jamaica and British Guiana, but swept through the whole of the West Indian islands, that they must settle down to a definite, consistent and large policy of land settlement and development.
§ Sir Walter Smiles
Would the hon. Member agree that the standard of agriculture in Jamaica is among the worst in the world?
§ Mr. Riley
I would not pose as an agricultural expert, and I would not say that it is the worst in the world. There are neglected lands it is true, but it would be pertinent to retort to the hon. Gentleman, by asking who is responsible for 535 that neglect? Is the responsibility on the large planters who, for generations, have used the land in Jamaica for their own benefit and denied the mass of Jamaicans the right to independent plots of land on which to live? All I am urging is that it is our responsibility as an Imperial Parliament to see that the standard of living of the people in these islands is raised. We have to devise means to that end. It is for the Colonial Office to bend its energies to that task and to use all its powers to carry through widespread schemes for the extension of land settlement, the encouragement of education and the development of those products for which the West Indian Colonies are particularly well adapted. That is the outstanding need with which every visitor to the West Indies is impressed. The Secretary of State said that since last June, some 3,000 families had been settled on lands in Jamaica alone. A previous speaker referred to delays and to the slow rate at which reform proceeded in the Colonies. I have been asking the Secretary of State for several weeks past what has happened in Jamaica since June 1938 with regard to unemployment. In March of this year there were 15,000 registered unemployed in Kingston alone. One can get information about these matters only with the greatest difficulty and although the right hon. Gentleman said to-day that he had figures indicating that 3,000 families had been settled, and I think 12,000 acres of land acquired—
§ Mr. Riley
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that in the first week of March this year I was in Kingston? I spent a morning at the Land Commissioner's office inquiring about what was being done. There were maps hanging on the wall showing the areas of land to be acquired, but when I asked how much had already been acquired, the reply was, "None." I would also remind the right hon. Gentleman that the disturbances took place in June. I suggest that there must be greater speed in these matters if anything substantial is to be achieved. It is not only a question of improving labour conditions and dealing with the land problem. Those questions are fundamental in the task of raising the standard of life of people who are accustomed to agriculture, but who have been excluded from the land in years past, many 536 of them being compelled to go over to Central America and get work there. But there is also the important question of what is to be done to meet the rising demand for the extension of self-government and of the franchise. These people, remember, have been under our control for nearly 300 years. We have to consider the claim of our Jamaican fellow-subjects, whatever their colour, to an equal opportunity of rising to the highest position in their native country.
Such a right does not exist to-day, and I wish to give one or two examples of what seems to me to be a growing scandal. Jamaica has a population of 1,150,000, and its people have had generations of association with our own country. Such are the facts to-day that out of a population of 1,152,000 there are only 62,000 electors on the Parliamentary register; only 5 per cent. of that population have the right to vote, to have a voice in the councils of the island. The proportion of electors to population in British Guiana is, I think, 2.8 per cent., and in British Honduras 3.52 per cent. In our own country the proportion of electors to the population is about 56 per cent. The reason is the qualifications required. In this country there is no sort of qualification whatever, but in Jamaica there has to be a property qualification for anyone to vote. I think it is £ 2 in direct taxes for a woman to have the right to vote. But the difficulty of admission to representative government is far worse than that. In Jamaica you have to have, in order to be a member of the Legislative Council, a minimum income of £ 150 a year. That does not sound much here, but it debars practically the whole population of Jamaica from sitting in the Legislative Council.
It is these anomalies to which I want the Minister to pay some serious attention. The right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) referred earlier to the difference between the treatment of native subjects in French Colonies and in British Colonies. How extraordinary it is. Nothing could be more striking than the position in the West Indies, and the West Indians are perfectly well aware of it. For instance, lying betwen the Leeward and the Windward Islands are the two important French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Whereas there is not 537 one of our West Indian Colonies where these subjects of ours, who have been for generations members of the British Commonwealth, have full self-government, and 5 per cent. only of them can qualify for voting, in the two French islands that lie between the Windward and Leeward Islands they have manhood suffrage, no qualifications whatever, full self-government, with a black man as the Governor of Martinique and two black deputies sent from Martinique to the French Chamber to represent the colonists there.
§ Mr. Riley
I think the hon. Member will find that the number of elected representatives in Jamaica is 14, and if my memory is correct, they are not all coloured people, but over and above the 14 elected members there are 15 who are appointed by the Government and can, therefore, outvote the others. Finally, may I put this to the right hon. Gentleman, because it is an issue which is coming to the front? For the first time in Colonial history, in the West Indies this year a great new Jamaican political party has come into being— it was formed, as a matter of fact, last September— called the People's National Party. It is the first time this has happened in Jamaican history, and this party will fight elections in the future, and it will demand equality as between black and white, without distinction.
One may say without any kind of sinister meaning that while there are these differences between the privileges of white and coloured people, there is a great assimilation between them in many ways. There is no race problem there worth mentioning. Black and white children go to the same schools, white and coloured teachers teach in the same schools, in the hospitals there are white people and black people, and in social life black and white people mix together, but for some reason our Colonial Office has a fetish that it must prevent the coloured people, however able they are, from rising to the highest positions in the State. That rankles in the minds of the Jamaican people. There are Jamaicans of great education and culture who are capable of governing, and why should they not have the right to govern the land in which they were born and in which their ancestors also were born? I submit that these are the things, 538 not the things glossed over in the report that has been presented to us, that want tackling in our Colonial territories, and that by tackling them the right hon. Gentleman will make a real contribution to better conditions in our Colonial Empire.
§ 9.51 p.m.
§ Mr. Hamilton Kerr
I believe it was one of the favourite maxims of the great Disraeli that you catch more flies with a teaspoonful of honey than with a gallon of gall. I shall therefore preface the very brief remarks which I propose to make this evening by complimenting the Secretary of State on his speech this afternoon. It is said that Demosthenes achieved the perfection of his oratorical art by running uphill before breakfast every morning with some pebbles in his mouth. With this idea in his mind I suppose my right hon. Friend has chosen Hampstead Hill for his residence, and no doubt practises this somewhat unusual but nevertheless efficacious method for improving his oratory. Having complimented him, in I hope suitable terms, may I string one small, and I trust not too wounding an arrow to my bow. He referred, in the course of his remarks, to Africa as a Continent which, if a wrong decision were taken now, might become a Continent of unhappiness in the future. I want for three or four minutes to refer to the situation on the Gold Coast.
In September, 1938, the Cocoa Commission submitted its report. It is now June, 1939, and as far as I know His Majesty's Government are still awaiting the comments of the Advisory Committee set up by the Gold Coast Government to examine their propositions. I know that there must be a very understandable tendency to put off matters as long as possible. As far as I know the situation is not critical. There have been no inflammatory speeches and no riots on a large scale, but I believe there is discontent still under the surface and much shaking of heads in the native villages. I admit that my right hon. Friend inherited a veritable Pandora box of troubles from his predecessor. The Colonial Office, in the autumn of 1937, implied that they supported the buying pool agreement which various firms proposed to bring into effect at that date. Whether rightly or wrongly, those agreements produced the most violent reaction on the Gold Coast. I do not want to weary the Committee, but I have one or two quotations from a statement to the 539 Commission by Sir Afori Atta, a chief distinguished by his intelligence and knowledge of Gold Coast conditions. He said:We believe that the objects in the formation of the pool are to control the price of our stocks and to eliminate the little broker, so that European capitalists may have free and unrestricted access to the real exploitation of the cocoa fields.I do not know whether these comments are justified or are not justified, but we have to take into account that this fear of exploitation is a real psychological factor on the Gold Coast. I believe it is quite useless to wait for public opinion on the Gold Coast to form itself. After all, the Ashanti farmer, in his reed and mud hut, does not realise that it is the demand from the United States and from Great Britain that really makes his prosperity or his poverty. I believe, therefore, it is up to the Government to take a lead.
If the Government have no alternative plan of their own, might they not actively consider the plan put forward by the Commission? I believe this plan, whose aim is to group the native producers in an association presided over by a statutory board, would remove from them this fear of exploitation by the big European firms. Obviously before any plan like this comes into effect there must be a certain amount of preparation. I believe the first step in this preparation should be a survey of the cocoa resources. So far as I know there is no accurate estimate on the Gold Coast at the present moment of the area under cocoa cultivation, of the dates of the planting of the trees, of areas coming into bearing, or even of the decrease in production. I believe it is a fact that, should the Government wish at any moment to enter into an international plan for the restriction of cocoa, they would not know the assets in the possession of the Gold Coast. Now about six years ago the rubber producers of the world decided upon a restriction plan. The Malay States knew exactly the acreage under rubber, the Dutch interests did not know their exact acreage, and therefore the Malay interests got much the best of the bargain.
Secondly, it seems to me that we should start a campaign for agricultural education on the Gold Coast. With a primitive people the appeal must always be to the eye. Would it not be possible to pro- 540 duce text-books with pictures and a minimum of script telling the natives how to develop their cocoa plantations to the best advantage? Likewise, they are entirely ignorant of the factors which govern the marketing of cocoa. Would it not be possible to have a travelling cinema van to visit native centres and show them how the cocoa is marketed, how it is carried down to the coast, how it is taken on lighters through the surf to the waiting ships, how it is disposed of by the brokers in London, and, finally, how it is consumed in the homes of the housewives of Kansas or Birmingham, and how the demand for cocoa makes for the prosperity or poverty of the Gold Coast? I think the native believes that the price he receives across the counter for his cocoa bean is arbitrarily decided by the broker. He does not realise that it is decided by the world markets.
Finally, could not the question of debt be tackled? In Eastern countries debt hangs round the shoulders of the agriculturist like the old man of the sea in the story of Sinbad the Sailor. I believe that on the Gold Coast the producer thinks nothing of paying 50 per cent. on borrowed money. It seems to me that the only way to overcome this difficulty is to encourage thrift and saving among the cocoa producers. I believe that the overseas branch of Barclays Bank has been very successful on those lines in Palestine. They started with a fund of £ 100,000, which was used to lend to Arab farmers. That capital has rapidly increased and is serving a most useful purpose.
I must sit down, because my time has run its span. I would only say in conclusion that I believe that what the Secretary of State said was true, and that Africa will present us with the great problem of the future. It may be that within the next century the movement for self-government which has run through Asia in this century will travel to Africa, and it may be that in the year 2,000 the drums of Africa will be spelling out a new message, the message of self-government for the black people. If that day comes I believe we shall look forward to the future with greater confidence, and to the past with a clearer conscience, if we feel quite certain that we have in our policy been the trustees of the true interests of the black people.
§ 10.1 p.m.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I should like to raise one or two points which have not been specifically touched upon yet in the Debate. First I should like to record my regret that one of the greatest and most expensive pests in Africa has not received in the report the attention which I must claim for it. Only small mention is made of the tsetse fly. It is true that certain steps are recorded as having been taken to deal with the diseases affecting human beings spread by that fly, yet hardly sufficient attention has been paid to the other aspect of the evil work of that fly. My right hon. Friend mentioned the tragedy of populations which have been driven from certain districts in Africa by the presence of that fly. The very fact that he mentioned its evil activities urges me to ask him whether something more cannot be done to clear, particularly Northern Rhodesia, or at least to stop the spread of the fly. It is not so much the effect of disease on human beings as the impossibility of the tribesmen keeping beasts on the land or of the European farmer opening up land for grazing and other forms of farming; the serious difficulty is that the whole system for improving the social structure and services of the native people is upset by the absolute impossibility of encouraging them, so long as the fly exists in their areas, to develop their form of agriculture on more modern and more scientific lines.
The shifting form of agricultural cultivation must continue until we can cause the native to believe that we have for him a practical alternative, and I do not believe that anyone can find a practical alternative unless we can clear those areas from fly. The danger of the spread of the fly is an ever-growing one with the increasing use of the motor car and the lorry for transport in that part of Africa. In the last few months a new road has been opened, going down to Mongu through a very bad fly belt, and the indications are that unless extreme precautions are taken the fly will spread along that new road. I urge my right hon. Friend to consider whether more money and greater effort— and it needs both to a very large degree— could not wisely be expended on tsetse fly control.
Let me turn to an even more important issue, and that is the question of the stabilisation of native labour, where big industrial units exist. Again I speak of 542 Northern Rhodesia and the copper belt in particular. Nothing is more striking than the contrast between the terms of employment in Northern Rhodesia and in the Belgian Congo. In the Belgian Congo, where longer-term contracts are in operation, every possible encouragement is given to settling the native with his wife within the mine compound, where the native village is reproduced on an improved basis, and where a certain amount of privacy and family life is allowed. That is a very direct contrast with the somewhat barrack-like, though good, conditions in our own compounds. As regards the economic industrial effect of long-term contracts the advantages are all in favour of the Belgian system.
But there are far greater problems than that. I believe that it has been the policy of the Government in the past rather to disapprove of having a man employed in the mine longer than is necessary because of the fear of large scale detribalisation. I wonder whether we are not rather exaggerating the dangers of this so-called detribalisation. As far as I could see as the result of a short visit to an industrial centre in the Belgian Congo which I was enabled to pay last year thanks to the courtesy of the Belgian Government, there is very little danger of real detribalisation as the result of long periods of industrial or urban employment. I admit that this is primarily a problem for the industrialist to solve, but certainly it seems to me to be one where the Government can give encouragement to the industrialist to change his policy if, in the opinion of the Government, it would be wise so to do. Is that not one of the points of long-term policy which is worthy of the closest possible consideration on the part of my right hon. Friend and his Department? It is almost impossible to conceive of the present system being allowed to continue and develop without control, involving as it does the free offering of labour at the mine, a most wasteful process, involving long journeys by the natives from many different parts of the territory and indeed from other territories, and on arrival possibly finding no work available. The natives is then so to speak "farmed out" in the mining compound and given a subsistence ration on the chance that he may be able to pick up a job later on. Nothing could be more unhealthy for the native or for the situation in the compound itself.
543 But all these are minor matters compared with the fundamental question of non-stabilisation or stabilisation of labour. On that issue everybody knows that the impact of this tremendous industrial development in Northern Rhodesia came very suddenly. It is no secret that the local government of the territory was not prepared for it, and the problems raised by this type of industrialisation are new to us in our colonial experience. Is it not time that there was set up among the local administrative officers a special group charged with the special attention to such problems as do arise in those places? The provincial commissioners and the district commissioners whose duty it is to care for the natives in the copper belts draw the same pay as those in other parts of the territory. In that area the European miner who is up to his job can earn more in a year than the total pay of a provincial commissioner and almost double if not three times the pay of a district commissioner. That position is most unhealthy and officials who are detailed for the very special duties in the copper belt area should have special pay. Nothing is more important than that the local representatives of the Government should be able to maintain friendly contact with those in the industry in the locality. May I also refer to the suggestions which have been made during the Debate for some form of committee or standing committee to deal with problems of colonial administration. I am not one of those who would support a suggestion for a standing committee of Parliament to consider these problems if such a committee stood alone. I believe that we can find some valuable suggestions in assistance of that proposal in the methods adopted by the Belgian Parliament as regards part of the administration of the Belgian Congo in connection with which the Colonial Council in Belgium has great power. In that case the Minister responsible has to explain to the Belgian Parliament why he differs, should he do so, from the Colonial Council in any decisions at which he may arrive. That system is well worth our examination. I would agree with hon. and right hon. Members who have stressed the necessity of this House taking its responsibilities in respect of colonial administration more seriously, and I urge upon my right hon. Friend the necessity for urgent examination of 544 all means by which our responsibilities in this connection may be best carried out, for he may feel assured that there are many hon. Members in all quarters of the House who are ready to devote considerable time to assisting him in the study of the problem as to how we can make a success of colonial administration.
§ 10.11 p.m.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I think every hon. Member will agree that we have had a most interesting and valuable Debate, ranging over almost every Continent and almost every department of human nature. I want to confine myself to some of the main ideas which have emerged from the Debate, to main ideas on which I believe there has been very wide agreement in many quarters of the House, and on which I hope the Secretary of State may feel able in the early future to take action and thereby to make this Debate memorable in the history of Colonial administration. Every hon. Member who has spoken has said that our vast Colonial Empire is at the present time at a very interesting and important stage in its development. Lord Hailey in his African survey said:The present is possibly the most formative and therefore the most critical period of African history.He stated that the whole future of our Colonial Empire was being settled at the present time. If we take the wrong line we shall make for ourselves a continent of unhappiness and trouble, not only in Africa but elsewhere, for everywhere, as in Africa, industrialisation and education are changing the lives of the people at an unprecedented rate. Lord Bryce once said of the negroes in the United States of America that after emancipation they had made as great progress in 50 years as the peoples of Europe had made in 300 years.
That is going on in the primitive countries to-day, and we must expect that in the next 30 years, within the lifetime of the Secretary of State, the picture will be very different indeed from what it is now. How will it be different? What shall we have done? Shall we or shall we not have built up the great company of free and happy and progressive people we all want to see? We shall not have done it if we remain as complacent and optimistic as the Secretary of State was to-day.
We all agree with the right hon. Gentleman that much admirable work has been done and that he has taken some valuable 545 steps forward in recent months. We all agree that many good men are giving their lives to the service of the native peoples throughout the Empire and that there is much of which we can be proud. But we must not forget that there are many black spots. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling) in thinking that while something has been done it is utterly insignificant in comparison with what remains to be done. The story of the six houses in St. Helena has a great significance. The Secretary of State is too easily satisfied with minor steps which leave the main problems untouched. We need a reorganisation of our Colonial administration and a re-orientation of our Colonial policy. We need to make the same great Government effort and put forth the same Government drive and the same expenditure of capital and brains which the Dutch made a generation ago in their East Indies, and if we do we shall get the same results.
The first step to that end has been stressed by various hon. Members during the Debate to-day, and it is that we must have what we have not now, a conscious purpose and objective in the Colonial policy which we pursue. In the study of administration in Nigeria which I believe is used as a text book for the guidance of officials there, Miss Margery Perham says that one of the special merits of the Nigerian system has been the definition of policy and a statement of the principles to be pursued. She said that those definitions had brought significance into the dull routine of administrative officers and unified the purpose for which they were all working together there. Lord Hailey said in this survey, that, taking the Empire as a whole, we had a central direction and major lines of policy, and that such central direction was especially valuable in the present formative stage. I agree with the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) that we need to look much wider than our individual Colonies as separate units. In almost every chapter of the Hailey survey those who wrote it insisted that Africa must be treated as a whole because its problems were continental and transcended the artificial boundaries and frontiers which Europeans had made. That is true very largely of the Empire as a whole.
May I try to emphasise to the Secretary of State some of the principles which have been expressed in the Committee this afternoon and which we hope will guide 546 him when he is laying down principles by which the objective and purpose of our policy must be formed? First among them, without doubt, I put equality of rights and equality before the law of all the subjects of the King. There shall be no colour bar, whether it be social, economic or political in any realm of the Colonial Empire; and the conscious purpose of our policy in those areas shall be the self-government of those peoples, long before the year 2000 of which the hon. Member spoke. Above all, we must at this stage make them feel that they can rely upon British justice in every way. I am afraid that they cannot do that in some parts of the Empire at the present time. There are some parts where the development of trade unionism is of the utmost importance, in the interests of the community as a whole, and not only of its working part.
My hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) spoke this afternoon of prosecutions and convictions of men in Barbados and elsewhere for trade union activity. He spoke of the case of Grant. I recall also the case of Uriah Butter who was imprisoned for trade union activity and was subsequently released, after he had succeeded in appealing to the Privy Council. There was Wallace-Johnson of the Gold Coast, who was convicted and imprisoned, and who was given leave to appeal to the Privy Council, but who cannot raise the £ 60 required to print the records of the earlier trial because the Colonial governor of the Gold Coast will not pay that money. That is, in fact, a denial of justice to Wallace-Johnson, and the frustration of an order made by the highest court which the King maintains.
Mr. M. MacDonald
I think I owe it to the House to say that I understand arrangements have been made which will enable the proceedings to be printed, and will, therefore, enable the appeal to proceed.
§ Sir Stafford Cripps
May I point out that those arrangements have not been made by the Colonial Office? Fortunately the Privy Council, in this particular case, dispensed with the necessity for printing, and allowed the documents to be typed; but the typing has still to be paid for, and the money has still to be found.
I do not want to take away the hon. Member's time, but the hon. and learned Gentleman knows that I 547 was interested in certain moves in regard to getting leave to have the documents in typescript instead of in print.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I hope that, even if a temporary and ad hoc arrangement has been made in this case, the Secretary of State will go further and make some permanent arrangement by which all such cases can be heard by the Privy Council. I only raise this case as an illustration, but it is an important matter which involves the fundamental principle of equality of rights for all those who live within the Colonial Empire.
I come now to the second principle in the definition of our Colonial purpose. It is that the interests of the natives shall be supreme. I had hoped that my hon. Friend the Member for East Rhondda (Mr. Mainwaring) would have been able to speak about the very slow progress of the union of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I only mention it in passing, but it seems to me to involve in a peculiarly important degree the principle of the supremacy of the interests of the native, and I hope that, before the Secretary of State agrees upon anything with Mr. Huggins, he will ensure that the House shall have an opportunity of debating the Bledisloe Report and the question of amalgamation. In this matter of the supremacy of the interests of the natives, I think that the question of economic exploitation is of supreme importance. The Secretary of State said that, if there had been exploitation in the past, he hoped that to-day it was over. Of course, we all agree that the doctrines of economic Imperialism are utterly discredited. No one now believes that a nation can grow rich at the expense of its subject peoples in Colonies and abroad. But, unfortunately, individuals can, and do.
My hon. Friend quoted the wages in Tanganyika— a mandated territory— of from 5s. to 10s. per month of 30 days. That is not an isolated exception; I have here an extract from a report made by a committee of 30 eminent persons for the Aborigines Protection Society, in which it is stated that, in the four great African Colonies, wage rates of from 5s. to 15s. a month are the regular rule for the vast majority of people, and that most families in those countries have cash incomes of probably less than £ 3, and certainly less than £ 5, per year. They say that such wages are morally indefensible, and that 548 is true; but they are much worse— they are very wasteful. The report goes on to say that wages of that kind cannot possibly form a basis for any sound industrial economy. The Secretary of State, on page 16 of his survey, told us the story, to which reference has been made, of the experiment in feeding labourers properly at Kampala Railway Station, and his report says that the results showed that the extra output paid for the extra diet several times over. Could there be a more striking example of the utter waste of the present system? The 30 eminent persons of whom I have spoken say that the low wages which have so attracted European development in Africa are often a cloak for inefficiency in the labourers and a premium on inefficiency on the part of employers. That is fundamentally true.
It is true of emigration in Africa. I wish I had time to quote the report of those Colonial officials on the terrible results of emigration in the territory of Nyasaland, in which they say that unless the emigration of labour recruited abroad is stopped, the social life of the country-will be destroyed, every kind of moral enormity will result, and a great part of the land will go derelict. The Secretary of State should regard it as, perhaps, the first of all his duties to try to tackle these conditions: to improve these labour conditions and these wages. I hope he will push further the work of his new Labour Departments and see that the right men are put into them, and I hope he will support the work of the International Labour Office, begun 10 or 12 years ago by Dr. Nansen. In that field there is much that he can do which will bear fruit. But, fundamentally, he will not be able to improve these conditions or deal with the real problem unless he is prepared to sink more capital in the Colonial Empire, for the training and education of the natives to live a better life. Nothing truer was ever said in this House than was said by the hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) today: that you must put something into these territories if you want to get out of them what you ought to have. The work of the Jews in Palestine should be our model. But the Secretary of State is trying to do the opposite thing— what my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley called "running the Empire on the cheap."
The Secretary of State spoke of the Hailey Survey. We are very grateful for 549 it; but it should have been done years ago by the Government themselves. It is a scandal that we should have to depend on money from an American foundation for this work in our Colonial Empire. Social research and education should not be limited— as the Secretary of State considers it should— by what each individual colony can afford, with perhaps a little help, mostly by way of loan, from the Colonial Development Fund. That is a fundamental error, which is utterly wasteful. It will keep the native people at their present low standard of living, and leave us with a vast Imperial estate which is undeveloped, to the great loss of the inhabitants and of the world, for which we are trustees. I would like to take the illustration of health. I remember years ago when I was an undergraduate in America being told of of the devastations of hookworm in the Southern States. A doctor told me of the work he had done to cure and prevent it. In Africa, over 90 per cent. of the population are infected by some kind of worm disease. Frequently, as many as six kinds have been found in the same individual. These diseases can be cured. It is only a question of money and of knowledge.
When the Secretary of State says we are spending £ 100,000 a year on research and agricultural education, I am bound to say that it leaves me very cold. For 50,000,000 people and millions of square miles of territory, £ 100,000 a year, and that mostly by way of loan, is utterly inadequate. I hope that the Secretary of State will increase that. I hope he will also take up the suggestion of the hon. Member for Altrincham with regard to refugees, and particularly with regard to doctors. The French at the present time are making an extraordinarily successful experiment in training African doctors and nurses in their institution at Dakar. Supposing we were to take into our Colonial Empire these German doctors, who would gladly go for a pittance a year to any job that would give them a useful avenue of occupation in their misery at the present time, and let them train these native doctors and nurses who are required, I believe that for a trifling expenditure we could in a few short years absolutely revolutionise the health conditions in our Colonial Empire to the immense economic benefit of the Empire as a whole. Major Orde-Brown said that 550the native labourer in East Africa is often a perambulating museum of disease. How, then, can he be expected to do good work?I should have liked to illustrate the same theme with regard to agricultural education. The hon. Member who spoke last but one about the report of the Marketing of Cocoa in the Gold Coast and Nigeria brought out the very interesting point that, while some plan to deal with the immediate problem is urgently required— and I agree with him— if the Government will not have the Commission's plan, they must make another of their own, and make it very soon. I hope that the Secretary of State will tell us they are going to do it. He brought out the interesting point that even more important than the immediate plan is some real education for the 300,000 cocoa farmers of the Gold Coast and of Nigeria. Wherever you go in the Empire you will find that there is an immense loss at the present time, and that disasters occur if the standard of living is lower than it ought to be because the native peoples are not being given the simple agricultural education which they need, and by which they would benefit, and which would prove an immensely valuable investment. I believe that a development of that kind is our moral duty, but it is in our Imperial and material interests. as well.
I come, finally, to the point which has emerged most clearly from this Debate, namely, the necessity for some great development of Parliamentary control over Colonial administration. The hon. Member for Abingdon said that we should be ready now, if necessary, to reorganise the whole machinery of our Colonial system, and I hope that the Secretary of State is going to tell us that he will very seriously consider whether he cannot give Parliament a far better chance to share his responsibilities and to discharge its own. To-day's Debate has shown how utterly grotesque the present system is. Members in all quarters of the Committee have shown that there have been dozens of burning issues which they have not been able to raise. The hon. Member for East Rhondda, who was a member of the Bledisloe Commission, has not been able to deal with the immensely important matters with which that Commission had to deal. The Secretary of State said that the electorate ought to be conscious of its duty in this regard, and that he 551 thought we were more conscious of our responsibilities than we used to be. He also spoke of the benefit of the system of Parliamentary Questions. It is beneficial, but what can you do by Parliamentary Questions in matters of major policy? You really cannot touch them.
The truth is that, as Miss Perham said about Nigeria, if irresponsibility is the danger of all bureaucracies, the Colonial service is in an especially vulnerable position. The only way in which the officials in the wilds of Africa and elsewhere are guided is by the discussions that we have here. I think that publicity is the very life blood of good government. Sir Donald Cameron said of Tanganyika that it had been a great advantage thatfrom the date of its foundation the administration had been open to the full glare of public opinion, which must be and does act as a stimulus and corrective.It is because of the publicity which it involves that we should like to extend the mandate system to our Colonial Empire. The advantage of it has been proved in the most unlikely places. As Mr. George Steer has shown in a recent book, its value has been proved in the Union of South Africa and in German South-West Africa. The ruthless publicity of Geneva is the strongest of safeguards and guarantees.
If the Government are not willing to make the declaration that we should like them to do, let them say that we will accept for ourselves and our Colonial Empire the main principles on which the mandate system is based. Short of that there are certain things that we can and ought to do. Let our Colonial reports be in the Tanganyika form, based on the Mandate Commission's questionnaire. We could then send the reports to Geneva, not for public debate but for the information of those who deal with the mandate system. Above all, we should back up the proposal of Lord Hailey with regard to a Parliamentary committee. Such a committee, as he says, could act as the Mandates Commission acts. It could have reports, it could interview officials from the Colonial Office and from the territories themselves, and on the basis of its reports it could report to the House of Commons. The objections raised against that plan have no validity. It is said, where are you to stop if you 552 are to have a foreign affairs committee, too? A foreign affairs committee is utterly different from a matter which involves day-to-day administration. I hope that in this matter the Secretary of State will listen to what has been said, that he will act on the will of the House and set up this Parliamentary committee. If he does that, he will have given one more proof that democracy rule works, and our Debate to-day will not have been in vain.
§ 10.38 p.m.
Mr. M. MacDonald
Almost all the speeches to-day have been couched in a highly critical tone. I have felt somewhat like the celebrated Light Brigade. Hon. Members will recollect of the Light Brigade that:Cannon to right of them,Cannon to left of them,Cannon in front of them.Volley'd and thunder'd.
I make no complaint on that score. Indeed, I think it is good and proper that the critical faculty of this Committee and of hon. Members should be exercised on the question of Colonial administration. I agree entirely that the situation in the Colonial Empire is nothing to be complacent about. I have been charged in speech after speech with unpleasant complacency, but I do not think that the charge is justified. It is quite true that in my speech I ventured to put on record some of the general lines of progress which have been made in the past 12 months and some of our general objectives; but what did I say also in that speech? I said:There is no room for complacency about our achievements. Far from it. We have still a very long way to go, if we are to attain our objectives.There is complete unanimity in the House about that description of the general situation. Even if that be true, it is no reason why we should concentrate on painting an entirely black picture of Colonial administration. The hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling), who opened the Debate for the Opposition said that he could paint a bright picture if he wanted to, but he refused to do that. Indeed he said that he was deliberately going to paint the other side of the picture, and I think some other hon. Members have rather tended to do the same. I do not complain, it may be the right thing 553 to do in one of these rare Colonial Office Debates, but all 1 would is that, granted the great force of many of the criticisms which have been levelled by hon. Members, I cannot believe that we have had a properly balanced picture of the goods and the bads in our Colonial Empire presented to the Committee this afternoon.
A great many individual points have been raised and I am sure the Committee will appreciate that I cannot deal with all of them in the comparatively short space of time that is left, but let me deal with some of them. Let me, for instance, say something on the question with which the hon. Member for Went-worth opened his onslaught. He spoke about the rate of wages in Africa and quoted figures for this place and for that place. I have not time to deal with all the examples he gave, but let me take an absolutely typical case to which the hon. Member attached great importance — the wages in Tanganyika. He said that unskilled labourers were being paid from 5s. to 10s. a month for their labour. I hope what I am going to say will not be misunderstood. I am not necessarily defending that rate of wages, but do let the Committee get a proper perspective on these matters. These wages, when quoted casually and without qualification, lead the public of this country automatically to compare them with wages in this country, and the result does not really give a correct picture of the position because the conditions in East Africa and the conditions in this country are completely and totally different.
Take the case of the unskilled man in Tanganyika who is getting a wage of between 5s. and 10s. a month. What are his obligations compared with the obligations of a wage earner in this country? In the first place, he leaves his dependants behind him on tribal land. They are looked after there; they are no charge upon him whatever. In the second place, at his place of work he has free housing, he has not to pay one cent for rent. In the third place, normally he has not to pay even a penny a day for food because he gets his rations free, and the fact is that the only expenditure he has out of his wage, which is admittedly a small wage, is the taxation which he has to pay to the Government, which in Tanganyika averages 10s. per year. When these facts are presented completely one does at least get a rather 554 different picture than the one which is left in the mind by the criticism of the hon. Member for Wentworth.
I do not say for a moment that the position is satisfactory. I agree that the labour conditions in many of the Colonies could be improved and will be improved as trade and industry improve, and it is for that reason that in the case of Tanganyika, for example, we are taking action which may help to improve the situation. It is because of this sort of state of affairs that last year we appointed a labour inspector for the Territory. It is because of that sort of state of affairs that since the labour inspector was appointed, we have given him six assistant labour inspectors. We are creating there an effective Labour Department for the inspection of conditions and to advise the Governor on improvements which might be introduced. In addition, it is because of that sort of state of affairs that we have drafted, and shall shortly introduce in Tanganyika, minimum wage legislation.
Let me take now the case that was raised by the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones). He turned his attention to Kenya, and spoke about the Order in Council which has recently been passed regarding what are called the White Highlands. He said that at this moment large groups of natives are being "torn out of the soil" where they have lived for so long. The principle of removing natives from the Highlands to other lands was approved long ago by the House, and I am not going to reopen the discussion on the principle; nor, I think, would the hon. Member wish to do so at this stage. He was criticising the administration of the law which has now been introduced. I say that his description of large groups of natives at this moment being torn out of the soil is absolutely inaccurate. What is happening?
Mr. Creech Jones
I can produce evidence of what is happening. I have a whole series of orders of eviction of groups of natives, in some cases there being many hundreds in the group; and they are now under notice to remove from their land.
Let me describe the machinery that has been established in order to protect the interests of these natives. In the first place, all the natives 555 — including the ones to whom the hon. Member has just referred— are to stay on their present land in the Highlands until suitable and equivalent alternative accommodation or compensation has been found. Secondly, as long as they do stay on the land, they continue in the enjoyment of every one of the rights which they have been enjoying for many years past. Their rights have not in practice been extinguished. Thirdly, if these natives are not satisfied with the alternative land which is offered to them, they have the right of appeal against the offer which is being made to them. No doubt, if the natives to whom the hon. Member has referred are dissatisfied, they will exercise their right of appeal. That appeal in their case has to be examined by two authorities. In the first place, it has to be examined by the Native Lands Trust Committee. That Committee is composed of five individuals; the chairman is the Chief Native Commissioner, and two out of the other four members are the individuals who are nominated unofficial members of the Legislative Council who are put on the Council especially to represent native interests. At the present time, one of them is a missionary and the other is the late Chief Native Commissioner. I say that is a perfectly properly constituted tribunal for considering these matters. In addition the Governor himself has to be satisfied that the offer of alternative land is equitable, and unless the Native Lands Trust Committee and the Governor are both satisfied as to the terms of the transfer, the natives do not leave the European Highlands.
I am afraid I shall have to content myself with sending communications to a number of Members who have raised points on which I think in many cases the information that they have received was inaccurate. But let me deal with one of the major questions which have run through the whole of the speeches. I quite agree that, although we are making progress in the establishment of social services, our progress has been almost insignificant compared with what we should like to see it and what we hope it will one day reach. The whole problem is where we are going to get the money to finance new developments. Hon. Members have been very critical, but not many of them have come forward with 556 suggestions as to where the money is to come from. The hon. Member for Went-worth made a positive suggestion which would only result in our having even less money than we have to-day, because the well-being of many of these Colonies depends on their export crops. The revenue which the Governments enjoy depends very largely on the success of producers in selling their export crops to markets overseas. When we went to the Ottawa Conference we designed a complicated system of Imperial preferences which has been of enormous practical benefit in getting new markets and expanding present markets for those invaluable export crops. If I understood the hon. Member correctly, one of his proposals was that the Ottawa preferences should be abolished.
Some hon. Members have, however, suggested means of getting more money for our efforts in the Colonial Empire. The hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) made, as always, a constructive and extremely interesting speech. Perhaps I might answer a specific question that he put as to the number of refugees from Central Europe who had gone into Kenya in recent months. The figure is some 200 in the last six months. Of course, that does not satisfy him. His whole proposal was that, if we are going to be able to finance these social services, for which we ourselves have created a demand among the indigenous people, we have to put into the Colonies something which is not there to-day. He asked us to look at the example of Palestine and accept numbers of refugees, who, in the first place, according to his suggestion, would establish themselves on subsistence agricultural settlements, and in the second place might bring capital and start industries. That is exactly the sort of thing we should like to do, and we have certain commissions of inquiry as to the possibility of that in a number of colonies. One is very unpopular if one breathes the word British Guiana in this assembly, but we have from the Commission of Inquiry which went there a report which, rightly or wrongly, says exactly the sort of thing the hon. Gentleman has in mind as a possibility in that Colony. They have suggested— and we have accepted the suggestion— the idea of an experimental agricultural settlement in the first place and, secondly, an immediate investigation into the possibilities of in- 557 dustrial development. As far as Africa is concerned, with which the hon. Gentleman is particularly interested, we have a commission of inquiry making a similar examination of the possibilities in Northern Rhodesia. That commission is visiting Nyasaland with a view to examining the possibilities there, when it has finished its work in Northern Rhodesia. We have had recommendations from the Governor of Tanganyika which we have already sent on to the Refugee Committee. I am not going to say that I agree with the hon. Gentleman as to the extent of the practical possibilities of his suggestion. I will only say that as far as the possibilities do turn out to be practical, we intend to pursue them in the British colonies which I have mentioned.
Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen have this afternoon shown themselves to be greatly concerned about the general state of affairs in the Colonial Empire. They have said that Parliament should have more say in the conduct of Colonial affairs, that Parliament should take a bigger part in these matters. Some hon. Members have been in favour of more debates on Colonial affairs in this public forum, on the Floor of the House itself. Others have been in favour of the establishment of some special committee of Parliament which would assist the Secretary of State in his responsibility. One hon. Member thought that we ought to follow the example of the Belgian Committee. May I point out that the first person in this Debate— and I take no credit for it because it is the obvious point to make— to mention the special responsibility of Parliament and the representatives of the people for Colonial administration was myself. I did so deliberately in order to provoke exactly the kind of discussion which we have had and I do promise the House that I will give further consideration to the suggestions which have been made.
We have really got two questions to consider. In the first place, have we
§ the right machine for running the Colonial Empire? In the second place, has that machine got enough oil and petrol to make it work full speed ahead? [An HON. MEMBER: "It has plenty of gas!"] I would only say that these questions have been exercising our attention in the Colonial Office for some time past. I am not going into details; but for instance the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) said that it was beneath the dignity of the Colonial Office to study French methods and what the French were doing in their Colonies. May I tell him that he is entirely wrong. Some time ago I sent one of my advisers to Paris to make contact with the French Colonial Office and examine French methods of administration and as a result of that visit, I have a report in the Colonial Office now, pointing out the French ways of doing things which differ from the ways to which we have been accustomed. In our consideration in the Colonial Office, my advisers have certainly not found it beneath their dignity to examine French methods and other foreign methods as well.
That is the sort of thing which at the present time it is better that we should keep under our hand. I started this Debate by saying that Parliament could be extremely helpful to the Government, in helping to make and to guide policy. I think this Debate has been an illustration of the truth of that remark; it is a point on which there is agreement between us and every part of the Committee.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £ 122,823, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 117; Noes, 188.559
|Division No. 161.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Burke, W. A.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Bellenger, F. J.||Cape, T.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Charleton, H. C.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Benson, G.||Cocks, F. S.|
|Ammon, C. G.||Broad, F. A.||Collindridge, F.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Bromfield, W.||Cove, W. G.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford|
|Barnes, A. J.||Buchanan, G.||Daggar, G.|
|Dalton, H.||Lathan, G.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Lawson, J. J.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Leach, W.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Lee, F.||Simpson, F. B.|
|Ede, J. C.||Leonard, W.||Sloan, A.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Leslie, J. R.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||McEntee, V. La T.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Frankel, D.||McGhee, H. G.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Gallacher, W.||McGovern, J.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Gardner, B. W.||MacLaren, A.||Stephen, C.|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Maclean, N.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Marshall, F.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Messer, F.||Thurtle, E.|
|Groves, T. E.||Milner, Major J.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Montague, F.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Morgan, J. (York, W.R., Doncaster)||Viant, S. P.|
|Harris, Sir P. A.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Muff, G.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Hayday, A.||Noel-Baker, P. J.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.|
|Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Oliver, G. H.||Westwood, J.|
|Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Owen, Major G.||White, H. Graham|
|Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Parkinson, J. A.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Hopkin, D.||Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hen. F. W.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Jagger, J.||Price, M. P.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Pritt, a. N.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Quibell, D. J. K.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Richards, R. (Wrexham)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Kirby, B. V.||Riley, B.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Ritson, J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES, —|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)||Mr. Mathers and Mr. Adamson.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J||Dodd, J. S||Keeling, E. H.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Donner, P. W.||Kellett, Major E. O.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Dugdale, Captain T. L.||Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Duncan, J. A. L.||Lamb, Sir J. O.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Dunglass, Lord||Latham, Sir P.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Eastwood, J. F.||Lees-Jones, J.|
|Assheton, R.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Liddall, W. S.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (isle of Thanet)||Ellis, Sir G.||Lipson, D. L.|
|Barrie, Sir C. C.||Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Lyons, A. M.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Emmott, C. E. G. C.||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Errington, E.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Erskine-Hilt, A. G.||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S)||McKie, J. H.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Magnay, T.|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Furness, S. N.||Markham, S. F.|
|Brown, Brig-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Maxwell, Hon, S. A.|
|Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Medlicott, F.|
|Bull, B. B.||Gledhill, G.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Gluckstein, L. H.||Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L.||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Morris-Jones, Sir Henry|
|Butcher, H. W.||Gower, Sir R. V.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.|
|Carver, Major W: H.||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Munro, P.|
|Cary, R. A.||Grigg, Sir E. W. M.||Nall, Sir J.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Grimston, R. V.||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.|
|Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.)||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Guinness, T. L. E. B.||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Channon, H.||Hammersley, S. S.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Palmer, G. E. H.|
|Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Hely-Hutchinson, M. R.||Patrick, C. M.|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.)||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Colville, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, Lt.-Col. J. A. (Monmouth)||Procter. Major H. A.|
|Conant, Captain R. J. E.||Higgs, W. F.||Radford, E. A.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Holdsworth, H.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.|
|Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.||Holmes, J. S.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Cox, H. B. Trevor||Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)|
|Croft. Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack, N.)||Remer, J. R.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Hunter, T.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)|
|Cross, R. H.||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Crossley, A. C.||James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Ross, Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry)|
|Cruddas, Col. B.||Jennings, R.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Rowlands, G.|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Jones, L. (Swansea W.)||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.|
|Russell, Sir Alexander||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull|
|Salmon, Sir I.||Storey, S.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Salt, E. W.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Samuel, M. R. A.||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Schuster, Sir G. E.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Shepperson, Sir E. W.||Sutcliffe, H.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. O.||Tasker, Sir R. L.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel C.|
|Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Smithers, Sir W||Thomas, J. P. L.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Snadden, W. McN.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P.||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|Somerset, T.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Spears, Brigadier-General E L.||Wakefield, W. W.||Captain Waterhouse and Lieut.-|
|Spans. W. P.||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan||Colonel Kerr.|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ Mr. John Morgan rose—
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, and objection being taken to further Proceeding, the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.562
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.
That this House do now adjourn." — [Lieut.-Colonel Kerr.]
§ Adjourned accordingly at Ten Minutes after Eleven o'clock