§ Mr. Attlee
May I ask the Prime Minister two questions on business? The first is how far he hopes to go to-night if the Motion for the suspension of the Eleven o'Clock Rule is carried. The second is what arrangements he proposes to make for the remaining stages of the Military Training Bill?
§ The Prime Minister
We propose to take to-night the Second Reading of the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces Bill and the Committee stage of the Money Resolution. We hope to make good progress with the Civil Defence Bill in Committee. We also propose to take the Report stage of the Military Training [Money] Resolution, which is exempted business, and the Motion to refer the Building Societies (No. 2) Bill to a Standing Committee. We decided to send this Bill upstairs because of the congested state of business on the Floor of the House.
With regard to the second question, in the opinion of the Government it is of the utmost importance that the Military Training Bill and the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces Bill should leave this House by Thursday, 18th May, with a view to their receiving the Royal Assent before the Whitsun Recess. To ensure this it will be necesary to ask the House to pass a Time-table Motion for the Committee stage and the remaining stages of both those Bills. The Time-table Motion will be handed in to-night and it will be taken as the first Order to-morrow. After the Resolution has been disposed of, we shall consider the Civil Defence Bill. I should mention, for the information of the House, that in view of the urgency of the Military Training Bill, we propose to take Private Members' time on Friday of this week.
I should like to say, in addition to that statement, that I dislike very much having to ask the House to pass a Time-table Motion, but in the opinion of the Government it is really essential that those two Bills should become law at the earliest possible moment, and not later than the 298 date which I have mentioned. If it were found possible to come to some voluntary agreement that would ensure that result, in the way that such agreements have been reached before in this House, I should be very glad indeed to adopt that procedure in place of the Time-table.
§ Mr. Attlee
May we hope that some Minister will be able to explain the Money Resolution of the Military Training Bill, because there was considerable difficulty in the Committee last night when no one seemed to understand its scope? With regard to the proposal for a Time-table, there is no desire to obstruct, but the Bill does touch the life of the citizen at very many points inevitably, and it needs very careful discussion. May I further ask the Prime Minister how many days it is intended to allot to the Bill and whether, as a matter of fact, it is so urgent that it must go through before Whitsun? In a matter like this it is extremely undesirable that the necessary Debate should be curtailed when it is a matter affecting the liberty of the subject.
§ The Prime Minister
With regard to the first question, the Secretary of State for War will be in charge of the Report stage of the Money Resolution this evening, and I am sure that he will do his utmost to answer any question that may be put to him in that connection. In regard to the second question, of course I quite agree that this Bill does raise a number of very important points, but I think that makes it all the more desirable that the Debate should be concentrated on those points, and that we should not spend time, as often happens without deliberate intention, on points which are of less importance. That is why I think that an arrangement, whether voluntary or whether by means of a Time-table, will conduce to the better understanding and the better discussion of the Bill. In regard to the number of days, the best plan will be for me to send the draft Timetable to the right hon. Gentleman and to the leaders of other parties in the usual way. Then the Time-table can be discussed.
§ Mr. Attlee
The Prime Minister will realise that on previous occasions when this arrangement has been applied it has often been found in the course of the Debate that unexpected points of great importance arose which did not get sufficient 299 discussion during the Committee stage, and I hope, therefore, that there will be ample time for the Report stage as well as for the Committee stage.
§ Sir P. Harris
While recognising the urgency from the point of view of the Government of getting the Bill on the Statute Book as soon as possible, may I ask the Prime Minister whether he does not recognise how advisable it is that a Bill of this character, which makes such a fundamental change in our traditions, should have full and adequate discussion? Would it not be more desirable, though I do not like to suggest it, either to curtail the Whitsun holidays or even sit on Saturday, rather than that there should be a feeling in the country that there is danger of curtailment of discussion of a matter that affects so much the intimate personal lives of so many of its citizens?
§ The Prime Minister
I do not think it is necessary to assume that it is proposed unduly to curtail the discussion. We shall be able to see, when we have considered the Amendments and the time at our disposal, how the time can be distributed in the best way, and I think it will be found that there will be sufficient time.
§ Mr. Maxton
May I take it from the Prime Minister's statement that allowance is being made for a reasonable amount of time in which to discuss the Time-table to-morrow?
§ Mr. Silverman
At what stage, if any, of the discussions on the Military Training Bill will it be possible for the House to consider the question of the pay and allowances proposed for the conscripts, and to make any suggestions that the House may desire to make with regard to any alteration or amendment of the Government's proposals?
§ Mr. Silverman
I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware of the Ruling given by the Chair last night—a Ruling with which, of course, we all must agree—that on the Financial Resolution it was impossible to discuss these matters. Quite clearly it was impossible 300 to discuss them on the Second Reading, and I anticipate, although I am not sure, that it may be impossible on the Financial Resolution to discuss them in Committee or on Report. Unless, therefore, the matter is further considered, it looks as if the Military Training Bill may leave this House without the House having had at any time an opportunity of considering a matter with which Members in all parts of the House are very greatly concerned, namely, the pay and allowances of those affected by the Bill.
§ The Prime Minister
I understand that the question of pay and allowances does not come within the scope of the Bill, It is the subject of a Royal Warrant, and cannot be discussed on the Bill, but of course it can be discussed on the Supplementary Estimate which will afterwards be brought in.
§ Mr. Attlee
Will the Prime Minister consider the possibility of placing on the Paper a Motion whereby this matter can be discussed while we are discussing the Bill, because obviously it is extremely undesirable that we should discuss the Bill without the opportunity of the Government stating their case on the matter and hearing the opinion of the House?
§ The Prime Minister
I should not like, on the spur of the moment, to give the assurance asked for by the Leader of the Opposition, but I recognise his difficulty, and will consider whether there is any way in which it can be met. I hope, however, that he will not press me for an assurance at this stage.
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider, as an alternative, issuing a White Paper stating in detail exactly how these Militiamen are to be treated financially?
§ The Prime Minister indicated assent.
§ Mr. Silverman
On a point of Order. I should like, Mr. Speaker, to ask your guidance. The Prime Minister said that 301 an opportunity would arise for discussion of these matters on the Supplementary Estimate. Am I right in supposing that any Amendment to the Supplementary Estimate Amendment to the Supplementary Estimate which would have the effect of increasing the charge on the public funds would be out of Order?
§ Mr. Speaker
When the Supplementary Estimate comes before the House, it will come before it in Committee, and I Shall not be able to rule upon it then.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
May I ask the Prime Minister to consider the possibility of bringing the matter before the House in Committee in such a way as to enable the House to increase the payments if it so desires?
§ The Prime Minister
I cannot add anything to what I have already said, but I will look into the matter.
§ Mr. Thorne
I understand you to say, Mr. Speaker, that this question will be before the Committee and you will not be able to rule upon it; but is it not a fact that the Chairman of the Committee will rule according to the Standing Orders?
§ Mr. Silverman
May I ask the Prime Minister, in view of the statement he has already made, whether he has considered the possibility that, if the matter is left until a Supplementary Estimate is introduced in Committee, it may not be
§ possible under the Rules of Order for hon. Members of this House to propose any Amendment to that Supplementary Estimate which would have the effect of increasing the charge upon public funds; and, if that be so, and he still leaves the matter until that stage, will not the effect of the whole proceeding be that the House will have been deprived in substance of any opportunity of proposing any Amendment to the Government's proposals?
§ Miss Wilkinson
As private Members, can we ask for your protection, Mr. Speaker, in this matter? We had a great deal of trouble last night trying to find some way out of the difficulty, and surely private Members must be protected in their right to say what payment these men shall get?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am always prepared to protect private Members, or any Member of the House, but I cannot do so in any way that is contrary to the Rules of the House.
Motion made, and Question put,
That the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House)."—[The Prime Minister.]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 274; Noes, 136.305
|Division No. 101.]||AYES.||[3.59 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Cox, H. B. Trevor|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Bull, B. B.||Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Bullock, Capt. M.||Crooke, Sir J. Smedley|
|Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Sc'h Univ's)||Burghley, Lord||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L.||Crossley, A. C.|
|Apsley, Lord||Burton, Col. H. W.||Crowder, J. F. E.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A.||Culverwell, C. T.|
|Assheton, R.||Caine, G. R. Hall-||Davison, Sir W. H.|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Cartland, J. R. H.||De Chair, S. S.|
|Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)||Cary, R. A.||De la Bère. R.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Castlereagh, Visoount||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Denville, Alfred|
|Carrie, Sir C. C.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Channon, H.||Dixon, Capt. Rt. Hon. H.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Dodd, J. S.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Donner, P. W.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N.||Chorlton, A. E. L.||Dorman-Smith, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir R. H.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Christie, J. A.||Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Dugdale, Captain T. L.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Colfox, Major W. P.||Duggan, H. J.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Colville, Rt. Hon. John||Duncan, J. A. L.|
|Brass, Sir W.||Conant, Captain R. J. E.||Dunglass, Lord|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Eastwood, J. F.|
|Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Edmondson, Major Sir J.|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Ellis, Sir G.|
|Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)|
|Emery, J. F.||Lloyd, G. W.||Salt, E. W.|
|Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Looker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.||Salter, Sir J. Arthur (Oxford U.)|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Loftus, P. C.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.|
|Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Sandys, E. D.|
|Errington, E.||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.||Scott, Lord William|
|Erskine-Hill, A. G.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Selley, H. R.|
|Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Shakespeare, G. H.|
|Fleming, E. L.||McKie, J. H.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Macnamara, Lieut.-Colonel J. R. J.||Shepperson, Sir E. W.|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Magnay, T.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.|
|Fyfe, D. P. M.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st)|
|Gibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otley)||Manningham-Buller, Sir M.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Gluckstein, L. H.||Markham, S. F.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Goldie, N. B.||Marsden, Commander A.||Snadden, W. McN.|
|Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Somerset, T.|
|Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Medlicott, F.||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Gridley, Sir A. B.||Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.|
|Grimston, R. V.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Spens, W. P.|
|Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor)||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|Guinness, T. L. E. B.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Storey, S.|
|Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.||Moreing, A. C.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Hambro, A. V.||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Morris-Jones, Sir Henry||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-(N'thw'h)|
|Hannah, I. C.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Harbord, A.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Munro, P.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Nicholson, G. (Farnham)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|Hely-Hutchinson, M. R.||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hepworth, J.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Touche, G. C.|
|Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.)||Palmer, G. E. H.||Train, Sir J.|
|Herbert, Lt.-Col. J. A. (Monmouth)||Patrick, C. M.||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.|
|Higgs, W. F.||Peake, O.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S.||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Turton, R. H.|
|Holdsworth, H.||Petherick, M.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Holmes, J. S.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Pilkington, R.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Hunter, T.||Procter, Major H. A.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Purbrick, R.||Watt, Lt.-Col. G. S. Harvie|
|James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Radford, E. A.||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Jarvis, Sir J. J.||Rankin, Sir R.||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.)||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Keeling, E. H.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Reid, J. S. C. (Hillhead)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Wise, A. R.|
|Kimball, L.||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Wood, Hon. C. I. C.|
|Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Rosbotham, Sir T.||Wragg, H.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.||Ross, Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry)||York, C.|
|Lancaster, Captain C. G.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Rowlands, G.|
|Levy, T.||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lewis, O.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.||Captain Waterhouse and Mr. Furness.|
|Lindsay, K. M.||Russell, Sir Alexander|
|Lipson, D. L.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Chater, D.||Gardner, B. W.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Cluse, W. S.||Garro Jones, G. M.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Cocks, F. S.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Collindridge, F.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)|
|Adamson, W. M.||Cove, W. G.||Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)|
|Ammon, C. G.||Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Green, W. H. (Deptford)|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Daggar, G.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Grenfell, D. R.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.>|
|Barnes, A. J.||Day, H.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)|
|Barr, J.||Dobbie, W.||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)|
|Bellenger, F. J.||Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Groves, T. E.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Ede, J. C.||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)|
|Benson, G.||Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)|
|Bromfield, W.||Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Hardie, Agnes|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Harris, Sir P. A.|
|Burke, W. A.||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Hayday, A.|
|Cape, T.||Gallacher, W.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)|
|Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Montague, F.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Morgan, J. (York, W.R., Doncaster)||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Hicks, E. G.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)|
|Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Nathan, Colonel H. L.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Hopkin, D.||Naylor, T. E.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Noel-Baker, P. J.||Stephen, C.|
|Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Paling, W.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Parker, J.||Stokes, R. R.|
|Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Parkinson, J. A.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Pearson, A.||Thorne, W.|
|Kirby, B. V.||Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Thurtle, E.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Price, M. P.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Pritt, D. N.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Lathan, G.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Viant, S. P.|
|Lawson, J. J.||Richards, R. (Wrexham)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Leash, W.||Ridley, G||Walker, J.|
|Leonard, W.||Riley, B.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Logan, D. G.||Ritson, J.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.|
|Lunn, W.||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)||Westwood, J.|
|McEntee V. La T.||Rothschild, J. A. de||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|McGhee, H. G.||Seely, Sir H. M.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|MacLaren, A.||Sexton, T. M.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)||Shinwell, E.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Mander, G. le M.||Silkin, L.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Marshall, F.||Silverman, S. S.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Maxton, J.||Simpson, F. B.|
|Milner, Major J.||Sloan, A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Mathers and Mr. Whiteley.|
Question put, and agreed to.