HC Deb 16 October 1940 vol 365 cc707-38

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,000,000,000, be granted to His Majesty, towards defraying the expenses which may be incurred during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1941, for general Navy, Army and Air Services and for the Ministry of Supply in so far as specific provision is not made therefor by Parliament, for securing the public safety, the defence of the realm, the maintenance of public order and the efficient prosecution of the war for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community and generally for all expenses, beyond those provided for in the ordinary Grants of Parliament, arising out of the existence of a state of war.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)

It was on 9th July that I moved a Supplementary Vote of Credit for £1,000,000,000, and I informed the Committee at the time that I had chosen that figure because I felt that it was the largest sum that I could reasonably ask the Committee to grant at one time, and because I considered that it was right that in the autumn, when, according to our calculations, that grant would be approaching exhaustion, Parliament should again have the full facts and figures before being asked to sanction a further grant. The time is coming when the Vote granted in the summer will be exhausted, and I ask for further Supply. I am again asking for £1,000,000,000. Before I explain the basis on which I ask for this sum, I think it would be well to give an account of how the grant of last July has been spent. I told the Committee then that our average rate of expenditure from the Vote of Credit for the four weeks preceding the Vote, namely, up to 6th July, was at the rate of some £55,000,000 a week, or £7,500,000 a day. I added that, of this £7,500,000, some £6,500,000 was accounted for by expenditure on the Navy, Army and Air Force, the Ministry of Supply, and the Ministry of Aircraft Production. The remaining £1,000,000 was on expenditure on other war services, such as the outlays of the Ministries of Shipping, Food and Home Security and the cost of such services as evacuation and emergency hospitals. I will give figures now of our average expenditure for the four weeks ended last Saturday. Our total expenditure from the Vote of Credit for those four weeks has averaged over £64,000,000 a week, giving a daily rate of over £9,000,000. Our daily expenditure has, therefore, increased since July by £1,500,000 a day. As regards the division between the Fighting Services and the other Services connected with the war, the position is that the daily rate of expenditure of the Fighting Services is now some £7,500,000 a day, whilst the other Services are costing some £1,500,000. In July I reminded the Committee that in March our expenditure on the Fighting Services was at the rate of £4,000,000 a day, and I think that the fact that we have nearly doubled the rate of expenditure in so short a time, and that it has gone up since July, is encouraging evidence of the progress of our war effort.

Turning now to the future, I hope, even if this is an unusual sentiment from a Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the rate of expenditure will be even further expanded. At any rate, I wish to make it clear that, in proposing a Vote of £1,000,000,000, I am not asking for a sum sufficient, according to the Estimates which we have, for the rest of the financial year but only for a further Vote on Account. The Vote granted last July should last into November, and, even if expenditure continues at no more than the present rate of some £64,000,000 a week, the further £1,000,000,000 will not carry us beyond the early days of March. When March comes we shall be able to judge the out-turn of expenditure for the year and to know what further sums are required for financing the war to the end of the financial year.

This is not the occasion to discuss how such vast sums should he raised, but perhaps I might be allowed to make one or two observations on that aspect of the matter. This Vote of Credit is not a new estimate of additional expenditure but simply a Vote on Account of expenditure which was foreseen and included in the Estimate which accompanied my Budget in July. The Committee will also remember that on more than one occasion I emphasised the undesirability of too frequent changes in taxation, more particularly when it is a question of adding new burdens to the heavy ones which are already being borne. The interval which has elapsed since the impositions of July is very short, especially when it is remembered that that Budget added taxes estimated to produce in a full year £234,000,000, following increases amounting to £295,000,000 in September, 1939, and April, 1940. These increases, imposed within the space of 10 months, thus would amount to £529,000,000 without including anything for Excess Profits Tax. On 15th August, on the occasion of the Third Reading of the Finance (No. 2) Bill, I intimated that in times like these it was impossible for me to make a fixed time table, but I added that I fully realised the uncertainty and inconvenience of interim Budgets and that I would have regard to such factors and to our general position, financial and economic, in the months between then and April. At present I do not feel that I can usefully add to that statement of the position.

I also pointed out on that occasion the vital importance of securing the maximum response to the Government loans, because on the success of that response must depend not only the timing of further taxation demands but also to a large degree the financing of our war expenditure and the restriction of civilian consumption, which I described as our surest defence against the evils of inflation. I am glad to be able to say that the response has shown an improvement in recent weeks, which, of course, must serve as an encouragement to Sir Robert Kindersley, and to all of us, to redouble our efforts to secure that each member of the community is really saving to the maximum extent compatible with his personal circumstances. It is in this way that every one of us can contribute effectively to the war effort and to the continued avoidance of inflation.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence (Edinburgh, East)

The most incredible thing about this Vote of Credit is that, instead of creating great excitement and possible dissension, the Debate we are likely to have on it will be almost academic. That is because the sum for which the Chancellor is asking is not stupendous although the consequences of raising it will have ramifications in all sorts of ways. It is due to two facts. In the first place, the House of Commons will be so unanimous in regard to it that the passage of the Vote is a foregone conclusion. In the second place, great and vital as are the considerations involved by this Vote, the other considerations which are really at the back of our minds all the time are still greater and still more profound in their significance. It would be possible to discuss a large number of questions on this Vote, but I am not going to do so to-day. The country will desire to know that the money is being well spent, and the Chancellor reflected a large measure of public opinion when he almost congratulated himself on the rapid rise of expenditure in the past and forecast a considerable rise in future. Of course, that must be conditioned by the stern conviction that the expenditure is being closely analysed and surveyed to make quite sure that not one penny of it is being thrown away. I see in his place opposite the hon. Gentleman who presides over an important committee dealing with expenditure. At the proper time the findings of that committee will no doubt be brought under review, but all the time their wise and pointed findings are being carefully scrutinised and in many cases given effect to by the Government. I do not think this is a proper time to enlarge on that aspect of the question.

The other question to which the Chancellor addressed some remarks was the absolute and vital need for the savings of the community being at the largest possible figure. Persons who are unacquainted with finance are often in complete difficulty to understand how these vast sums, so much larger than any peace-time expenditure, can possibly be found by the public of the country. They fail in many cases to realise that every penny which the Government spend becomes a receipt in the pockets of those people to whom the Government pay it, and, therefore, so far as the actual money is concerned, whether it be paper, notes, cheques, credits or whatever it may be, it merely circulates. The important thing, of course, is the economic facts which lie behind it, and the fact that there is a limited quantity of supplies and essential materials and the rest of it is of vital concern and is really the primary matter to which the Government and the people of the country have to direct their attention. Mr. Keynes was one of the first to point out—a fact which he was not the first to see, but he was the first to give it prominence—that if the war was to be prosecuted with sufficient vigour and to a successful issue there must be an enormous diversion from spending on individual requirements to the spending of the State. The need for that is still apparent. In fact, it is vital, and though Mr. Keynes in my opinion correctly points out that there are no actual signs of inflation at the moment, that does not in the least minimise the importance of the argument which he addressed to the nation in the earlier stages of the war.

I do not suppose the Chancellor will bring in any further interim Budgets, although some people have erroneously supposed so, before he brings in his main Budget in the spring of next year. I beg him, when he does bring in that Budget, to remember the questions that were put to him in the House and the country when he brought in his interim Budget. The country is facing problems of stupendous significance. The whole liberties of this people, which we have held for hundreds, almost thousands, of years, are at stake; and without any desire to minimise the importance of money as property and the rest of it, I say that, compared with the liberties of this country and the future civilisation of the world, it takes a comparatively minor place. Let the Chancellor when the time comes be bold. I believe that he will he supported not merely by those who have nothing to lose, and, therefore, think that the more taxation there is the better, but by those who have a great deal to lose but who recognise that it may be well lost in the interest of the liberty and the freedom of the world.

Sir Percy Harris (Bethnal Green, South-West)

We have had put before us probably the vastest sum of money to be found by any community or that any Parliament or country has had to face. The right hon. Gentleman put his figures before us as if he were addressing a P.S.A. and as though it were the most casual thing to ask for these vast additional sums. He put the figures before us without any covering, without any embroidery or without any explanations, but perhaps they are more impressive in consequence. I could not help thinking how some of his great predecessors, with eloquence and imagination, would have made these figures a reality to the national consciousness. I do not think the people realise, certainly the House of Commons does not realise—that is shown by the empty Benches and the comparative indifference of the Committee—the vast sums which the nation has to find. It is the nation which, one way or another, will have to find them.

I think the occasion would warrant the right hon. Gentleman taking the nation more into his confidence. My feeling is that we must face the facts that inflation is actually in action. Prices of almost every commodity are rising except those which the Government regulate like bread and the other articles controlled by the Ministry of Food. I do not believe that the nation is conscious of the vast sums which have to be raised and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to justify his appointment he must take his position more seriously and not brush aside the Vote which we are now about to pass, as a mere incident in Parilamentary life which requires no comment. The right hon. Gentleman speaking as Chancellor of the Exchequer almost boasted of the large sums which have to be raised. Of course we recognise that the nation is prepared to give its last penny to secure its liberties and to gain the victory but the right hon. Gentleman should have given some more assurance to Parliament, that he is satisfied that there is no waste, that there is efficient control and that every penny is being usefully spent.

I notice that my hon. Friend the Chairman of the Select Committee on National Expenditure is here. That committee does its best to scrutinise and investigate expenditure after that expenditure has been made, but the real responsibility cannot be shifted from the shoulders of the right hon. Gentleman to any committee, however efficient and however diligent. On previous occasions I have expressed a doubt, which I reiterate, about whether the ordinary machinery of the Treasury is efficient to discharge its vast duties in relation to the great spending Departments, particularly Departments like the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Aircraft Production. The Treasury works on a peace-time basis, with the same out- look, the same mentality, the same rather cumbersome machinery. It is a diligent guardian of practice and precedent in investigating the appointment of an additional clerk here, or the scale of salaries to be paid there, in some particular Department, but something very much larger is required now—a larger outlook and a larger review. I know that the right hon. Gentleman has fortified himself by the appointment of a small committee of very able economists and financiers. I have no doubt they are behind him constantly in dealing with questions of large policy but they cannot take over responsibility for the daily routine of criticising and supervising the scale of expenditure.

I suggest to the Committee and the right hon. Gentleman that it would be worth while to examine, in the light of this vast expenditure, whether the system of control through the Treasury is efficient for its purpose. I repeat that the right hon. Gentleman must take a larger outlook of his responsibilities and stir up the national conscience to a realisation of the vastness of the expenditure—not only that which is before us now, but that which is likely to arise in the future. He has pointed out that this Vote by no means represents the limit of the liability which is likely to be put on the nation. He said that the expenditure of £9,000,000 a day is likely to be increased before long. The hulk of the people are still unconscious of their burden. True, London has been going through an appalling ordeal during the last five weeks but when you go to the provinces and the provincial towns, where wages are more plentiful and money is freely circulating, you find little sign that the ordinary man realises the vast expenditure which sooner or later we shall have to face.

I say to the right hon. Gentleman that if it should be necessary to put on even further burdens, the country will be prepared to shoulder them. Let him put forward his scheme, not in a few months time but as soon as possible. If necessary, let him be prepared to introduce another interim Budget. Vast as our taxation is in relation to the scale of the expenditure, it is not large enough—as I think the right hon. Gentleman will be the first to recognise—to meet our liabilities. If he is to justify the great position which he holds at the time of national crisis, not merely as Chancellor of the Exchequer but as a Member of the War Cabinet, he must make the nation realise the vastness of our expenditure and the terrific scale of the financial liability of the State.

Sir Irving Albery (Gravesend)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the present was not the time to discuss how this money is to be raised, and I understand that, through the usual channels, it has been arranged that certain other matters should be debated to-day. I do, however, wish to make one point in connection with this Vote. The financial conditions of to-day are altogether exceptional and I do not know that we have any precedents to which we can look for guidance or which we can strictly follow, under conditions as they exist in this war. The burden at present is, in many respects, very uneven. Attempts have been made to even it but it is a difficult problem. The finance of the war must be a very important part of our war effort and the suggestion which I make to the Committee and to the right hon. Gentleman is that, in the present exceptional circumstances, we should have a full financial Debate in the House of Commons prior to the time when the right hon. Gentleman will have prepared or will have done most of the preparation of his next Budget. The right hon. Gentleman would then have an opportunity of hearing from hon. Members any suggestions which they may have to make, their statements on the difficulties which exist and, generally speaking, the views of the House of Commons with reference to the next Budget. As a rule, Debate takes place only after the Budget has been introduced, when it is too late to make any alterations of importance. I cannot help thinking that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would obtain much guidance from a Debate in this House if it took place on some suitable occasion sufficiently long before the time when he completes the preparation of the Budget.

Mr. Tinker (Leigh)

For once I find myself in agreement with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in that he has come forward without any apology to ask for this vast sum. We on this side have pressed constantly for better pay and conditions for our soldiers, sailors and airmen, and if we get our way in that respect, as we are doing to some slight extent, that means increased expenditure. After all, the war effort means everything for this country. If we fail in it, every thing goes by the board and the mere question of money, or of what will be entailed afterwards, does not affect me at all. The main thing with which I am concerned is that every effort should be made, whatever the consequences, to bring this war to a successful issue. I disagree altogether with the right hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) in his statement about somebody having to bear the burden afterwards and the people not taking any notice of it. The people are taking notice of what Parliament is doing. They want to see Parliament putting everything into the effort to bring the war to a successful issue. It is not a matter of pounds or of pence to them. They want to see every opportunity that may present itself utilised to bring about victory, and they want to see that nothing is wasted.

I want to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question in regard to our war savings effort. Can he tell me, this afternoon, the present income of the country in terms of production? After all, there must be some calculation he has in mind of the amount of savings, and there must be some figure which he contemplates. If we are to stop inflation, money must be returned from the public by loans, by gifts, or by some other way, and if it is to be left in the hands of the public to decide what they shall do, the Chancellor must have some idea of the amount he can expect. If he has no idea of that the total amount of savings which he can obtain is a myth. However, I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to be prepared to give the House of Commons some statement on the subject to let us see whether the public are responding as it was expected they would respond. Otherwise, how can we tell?

The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer says there has been a fair response; but a fair response out of what? We ought to have some guidance in this direction, and I think the House of Commons is entitled to have it at some time or another. The Chancellor of the Exchequer should take us into his confidence and tell us where we stand. If he is satisfied that the money he requires is available, then he must go ahead. We must see to it that we do whatever we can to ease the conditions of the people by giving them payments to carry on the war effort. I ask the Chancellor to remember that we shall be asking for an increase for another section of the public, the old age pensioners. When we come forward with that request, it will be a request for further expenditure, and I hope the few millions needed in that direction will not be cavilled at by the House. I want to see the House of Commons do everything it can in every direction, in payments for the Services, payments for the social services and in payments to the people of this country. If it does that, then this will be a total war with a total effort behind it. When the people realise that Parliament is doing that, we shall have their support 100 per cent. When the war is over—and I believe we shall be successful in winning it—whatever the cost has been it will have been worth doing. Everything in the nation should be thrown in to meet the cost, and there will be no grumbling when the time comes.

Mr. Benson (Chesterfield)

First I should like to support very heartily the suggestion which was made by the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir I. Albery) that before our next Budget we should have a general and untrammelled debate on finance. If that had taken place before the last Budget, I suggest that we should have had a very much better one. The right hon. Gentleman's first Budget had an extraordinarily had Press and an extraordinarily bad reception in this House. There was no one satisfied, except the right hon. Gentleman himself, and he was in a minority of one. If we can have that Debate, I am quite sure it will give the Chancellor some intimation of the determination of this House, not only that we shall have the war effort put upon a proper footing, but that our financial effort shall also be put on a sound and proper footing, which up to now has certainly not been the case.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his opening speech, told us that we were spending on our war effort approximately twice as much as in March. That is a very interesting figure, but what would be much more interesting would be to know how much we have to discount that increasing war effort measured by increases in prices and increases in expenditure which have taken place since then. It is no use saying we are spending twice as much now, suggesting that we are making twice the effort, if prices have risen in the meantime. I believe that prices of materials have risen very steeply since March, and that means, to some extent, that the implication that we are making twice the war effort since March is discounted. I do not know whether the Chancellor can give us any indication of how much costs have risen above the normal index prices; but they must have risen very considerably. I know that the right hon. Gentleman said that Mr. Keynes has frequently stated that so far there are no indications of inflation.

Sir K. Wood

I said "recently stated."

Mr. Benson

I am not prepared to dispute with Mr. Keynes matters of which he is a master, but the fact remains that there has been tin enormous increase in prices, which could, I believe, have been stabilised at the beginning of the war had the Government been prepared to make the effort. After all, Germany has a fixed-price system and has prevented prices running away, and if she can do it, so can we. I believe in a rigid fixation of prices, even if it necessitates subsidising various imports, rather than allowing prices to raise wages to follow prices and then Government expenditure to follow wages. There may be no sign of inflation now, but we all know the cause of inflation—it is the dumping of artificial money into our financial and industrial system.

The statement which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made to-day shows that his estimated gap of three months ago is entirely out of date. There is going to be a much larger deficit than that which he estimated in his second Budget last year, and if this gap between income and expenditure is to increase, then, whatever may be the case at the moment, we shall certainly have inflation, which means increases in prices and increases in expenditure without any corresponding increase in our war effort. I do hope that when the Chancellor comes to his next Finance Bill and Budget we shall have our whole financial basis put on a far sounder footing than has been the case in the past.

Sir Stanley Reed (Aylesbury)

I wish to intervene in this Debate only for two or three minutes to put two points to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If I may say so without impertinence, I listened, as I always listen, with profound respect to the remarks made by the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker). Neither this House nor the country will spare any expenditure necessary for the efficient prosecution of the war and for the maintenance of our social services. May I say that I see no irreconcilable difference of opinion between what he said and the remark which fell from the right hon. baronet the member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris)? The success of our war effort will be very largely determined by the measure of rigid economy which is exercised in distributing the vast cost. I say, with profound respect for the work done by the Select Committee on Public Expenditure, over which my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne) presides, that these are very largly postmortem inquiries. Surely the matter of real importance at a time like this is not to learn why the patient died, but to keep him in good health and prevent his dying.

What we want to know is how to prevent waste and extravagance before the expenditure takes place. That is the work of the Treasury and cannot be devolved upon any committee, however devotedly it gives its time to a postmortem examination of expenditure. We need pre-expenditure examination, because it will help to save us in this emergency, rather than an examination to find out, much too late for any effective purpose, how money has gone astray.

One of the most disquieting features of the time is the rapid increase in retail sales. I did not intend to intervene in this Debate, and therefore I have not brought the figures with me, but any hon. Member can see from the last returns of the Board of Trade how rapidly the volume of retail sales has expanded, particularly in August, when they reached a very high figure indeed. I am making all allowance for the fact that a very large amount of this expenditure is what I may call, pre-Purchase Tax expenditure. Without question, therefore, the right hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green is absolutely correct in saying that a vast number of people in the country do not realise, and show no sign of realising, the duty that lies upon them of practising economy to the nth degree, if we are to finance the war to a successful conclusion without inflation, which would hit all, and especially those least able to bear it. I therefore ask my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to enlighten this House as far as possible, and, at some later date, as to the significance of this sinister rise in the volume of retail sales.

There are two other points that I would like to emphasise. This House has set its face like flint against profiteering, yet there is a very large amount of salary profiteering. Many officials are drawing salaries on a far higher scale than ever before, while thousands who receive substantial pensions are now drawing substantial salaries in addition. I asked the predecessor of my right hon. Friend, and I now ask my right hon. Friend himself to bring all these excess salaries within the scope of the Excess Profits Tax and treat them accordingly.

Professor Keynes' plan for deferred wages, which aroused so much attention at the time, seemed to me to break down on a point which was put before this House on many occasions by hon. Friends opposite. You cannot ask a family whose budget is calculated down to the last penny to accept any portion of its essential income at a time like this in the form of deferred obligations. Nevertheless, some forms of expenditure on wages are to-day showing a dangerous increase. I hope my hon. Friends opposite will not misunderstand me; I refer to the enormous sums which are being spent on overtime. I ask them and the Committee to consider whether some portion of this expenditure should be made in the form of Defence Bonds, or other Government security, which could be realised at a later date. I put these points to my right hon. Friend because I think they go to the very root of what he and his colleagues want—the most efficient prosecution of the war, without the danger of inflation, which, if it comes, will hit all classes, and particularly the classes which are the most deserving members of our community.

Sir K. Wood

I want to say a few words by way of reply to suggestions which have been made. I thank my hon. Friends in all parts of the Committee for the criticisms and suggestions which they have made in this brief Debate. My right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) made observations with which, in the main, I agree. I should be among the first to emphasise the importance of care in relation to this vast expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman was followed by the right hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris), whom I have heard speak on the same subject many times. I welcome very much the observations made by him and other hon. Members about Treasury control. I recall that only a short time ago the prevailing wind, so to speak, in this House was that we should sweep aside Treasury control and let nothing impede the winning of the war, but to-day we have heard the contrary opinion expressed. The right hon. Baronet said how careful the Treasury must be. I hope we shall have a proper Treasury control, without, of course, interfering with our war effort.

I welcome very much, and I hope to profit by, all that has been said in the Debate this afternoon. It is not very easy at the present time to exercise in connection with expenditure certain functions which would be normal in peacetime, but I can assure the House that I am only too glad to exercise such control as I have. I can exercise it only with the support of the House and of the country. I must point out at the same time that Ministers in their various Departments also have their responsibilities and that it will be impossible to exercise control unless I have that support which I think I shall have, without conflicting with our plans for the rapid prosecution of the war. It is not so easy to reconcile these two matters. The right hon. Baronet said that I had boasted of the large sums that we had expended, but I do not think that is a correct description, although I share the view of my right hon. Friend opposite and of the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker), in that I would 10 times rather see great financial sacrifice happen than that we should lose the war.

Sir P. Harris

I went out of my way to say that we were in this war to an unlimited extent, but there is no reason why we should not exercise control and see that there is no waste. Waste in materials and labour is the way to lose the war.

Sir K. Wood

I am indebted to my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Sir I. Albery) for his suggestion about a Debate on financial affairs. That is a matter for the Leader of the House, but, for my part, I shall be only too glad to have a Debate of that character in which hon. Members in all parts of the House can put forward suggestions as to how the financial situation should be met. If we have such a Debate, I hope that we shall not merely say how determined we are. What I would welcome would be practical suggestions. At the end of the discussions concerning the last Budget I made a point of reading the speeches, and I think it might also be useful for hon. Members to look through those Debates. There was a lot of talk about what ought to be done and our determination and that kind of thing, but very tow real practical suggestions as to what should be done. There were some. The hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) made some suggestions which I shall remember in future, and I hope that he will continue to support them if they are brought into operation, because they were of a very drastic character, particularly so far as they affected certain members of the community with whom rest the large sums which might have to be made available as regards future taxation. Those are the sort of suggestions I should like to receive. The hon. Member for Leigh asked me whether I could state what the amount of war savings should really be. I am afraid that that is a question which it is almost impossible to answer. What I want everyone to do is to do his utmost, even to the point of sacrifice, to lend all he can to the State.

Mr. Tinker

The right hon. Gentleman referred to satisfactory returns; could he not give us a rough calculation?

Sir K. Wood

I said that it was a satisfactory response because the sum of money which we had received in that way was so considerable. I will look into the matter and see whether I can give any further indication, but everyone must look into his own circumstances. What it would be possible for one man, say a bachelor, and another man with a family, to lend to the State are two different matters. The response, while it has been good and much better than a lot of people thought was possible, undoubtedly must be improved, and I very much welcome the efforts which have been made by Sir Robert Kindersley and others to help us raise this money. What every- one must do is to do his utmost to the point of sacrifice. In conclusion. I would say how indebted I am to the Committee for the observations which have been made. I have not spoken for very long, but I hope that no one will accuse me of failing to recognise the importance of this matter.

Question, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,000,000,000, he granted to His Majesty, towards defraying the expenses which may be incurred during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1941, for general Navy, Army and Air Services and for the Ministry of Supply in so far as specific provision is not made therefor by Parliament, for securing the public safety, the defence of the realm, the maintenance of public order and the efficient prosecution of the war, for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community and generally for all expenses, beyond those provided for in the ordinary Grants of Parliament, arising out of the existence of a state of war, put, and agreed to.

Ordered, "That the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again."—[Captain Margesson.]

Resolution to be reported; Report to be received upon the next Sitting day; Committee to sit again upon the next Sitting day.