HC Deb 04 December 1941 vol 376 cc1285-351

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [2nd December]: That, in the opinion of this House, for the purpose of securing the maximum national effort in the conduct of the war and in production, the oligation for National Service should be extended to include the resources of woman-power and man-power still available; and that the necessary legislation should be brought in forthwith."—[The Prime Minister.]

Question again proposed.

Mr. Stephen: (Glasgow, Camlachie)

On a point of Order. May I ask you, Sir, for the convenience of the House, what you propose to do with regard to the Amendments on the Paper?

Mr. Speaker

I intend to call the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Abertillery (Mr. Daggar).

Mr. Stephen

Are not Members who are in opposition to the Motion to have an opportunity of expressing it? All who have spoken hitherto have been in agreement with the Government with regard to the extension, but there are others who are opposed to it, and I am asking if it is not in accordance with the traditions of the House that the opposition to a Motion should have an opportunity of recording its opposition.

Mr. Speaker

They can always record their opposition in the Division Lobby.

Mr. Stephen

Surely Members should have some opportunity of giving reasons why they are voting in opposition to the Government?

Mr. Speaker

I always endeavour to allow all points of view to be expressed.

Mr. Stephen

Is it not in accordance with the traditions of the House that an Amendment should be put which will express the opposition of Members to the Motion of the Government? While we may vote against the main Question, there are also the reasons in connection with the main Question that one wants to have an opportunity of expressing by a vote. If this Amendment were put to the House, my colleagues and I would not be in a position to vote for it, and if the Government were defeated and the Amendment had to be inserted, we should not be in a position to vote for the amended Motion. I am asking if we should not have an opportunity on having our Amendment put.

Mr. Speaker

The selection of Amendments must rest with the Chair.

Mr. Erskine Hill (Edinburgh, North)

There are two things that matter in this war. They are not vested interests, nor profits, nor private enterprise, nor still less, and certainly no more, are they nationalisation or State ownership nor any of those other slogans or peace-time clichés. The two essentials are, first of all, national unity and, secondly, national efficiency. Without those, beyond all others, we cannot win this war. I mention this early because I think it is a suitable yardstick by which to examine some of the projects that have been put forward so far in the Debate. I would refer first to the important contribution that was made to the Debate by the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). He said, in effect, that the workers would work better if they could have the various aims for which he had been fighting for the last 20 or 30 years. If in fact he was going to be promised nationalisation of the major industries and services, he could assure us that the workers of the country would do what I always thought they were willing to do, namely, to give their 100 per cent. effort for war success. It is an important and novel idea that you are going to bribe in any way any citizen of this country into doing what he ought to do as a citizen of the country. I want to do full justice to what the hon. Member said, by analysing it. I searched in his speech for any evidence that public ownership would make for efficiency, and I could find no word of this. Efficiency was not his yardstick. I shall be grateful to anyone who can point out any reason in his argument that public ownership would make for greater efficiency. He held out as an incentive to the workers the price that might have to be paid by the Government for their full effort. I should like to make clear what the views of myself and my friends are. If you can persuade us in any measure that there will be an efficiency of 51 per cent. compared with 49 per cent., we will agree to it for the purposes of this war, but if you tell us that we must agree with something because, if we do not, someone else will not do his duty to the country, we will never submit to it.

Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke)

That has never been suggested.

Mr. Erskine Hill

It appears most clearly in the speech of the hon. Member for Llanelly. I will deal with the hon. Member's own speech later on. That is an important development, because I do not think that any such suggestion has been made in this country in war-time before. The first example that the hon. Member takes is that of munition works. He makes the complaint that they are not nationally owned, but he does an extraordinary thing after that, because he mentions the example of a munition works—it has been referred to once or twice in this Debate—which has been taken away from public ownership and put into the hands of private enterprise. Why? Because it was not effi- ciently managed under public ownership. That is an amazing example. I think the test must be efficiency if we are to get the best results out of both the people and the machinery and the greatest production. I mention it as an extraordinary thing that the only example which the hon. Member gave, was one which proved the exact opposite of his argument.

Then the hon. Member went on to deal with the question of transport. In transport, again, the test should be efficiency. If the hon. Member had said that he could point to such an example as the London Passenger Transport Board, for instance, as being a success, I would have paid a little more attention to his speech than I did. But judging by the test of efficiency—and I do not want to enter into anything which is really controversial—I think most railway people, whatever their political views, would agree that the handing over of the railway services near London did produce chaos for the first nine months of the new system. We may disagree about the subsequent effects of the change but on that point all those who know railways will be in agreement. What is to be the result if, in the middle of a great war, we take any step which is likely to produce chaos for nine months? Our object must be to build up. Our object cannot be to produce chaos, whatever may be our other ideas and however honestly and forcibly we may hold those ideas. It is far too dangerous to play with fire in a matter of national security. We must be bound by the test of efficiency and efficiency only.

If you take over transport, you must take over every sort of transport. You must take over road vehicles as well as railways and shipping. You must take over vehicles in the possession of holders of "B" and "C" licences. What does that mean? It means that every small man who has his own lorry which he uses for his own purpose, or who has a lorry which he uses for somebody else's purposes as well as his own, will have to come under the control of the State. Is it possible for any intelligent person to think that in the middle of a great war this would not produce confusion and trouble at the very moment when it is most essential that the machinery of transport should be well oiled and running smoothly? I think it must be agreed that, on its merits, such a proposal would be wrong.

Again, there is the question of the coal mines. The coal industry at this time is engaged in supplying the wants of the people and of the great works which are concerned in production. This is a vital service. Does any hon. Member suggest that by altering the management of the coal mines at this juncture we should be helping the war effort? In fact, the mines are all under various Ministries just now and the managements are, as it were, agents for the Government, but I submit that to transfer the ownership at this time, with all the complications that would ensue, would seem to be an impossibly stupid thing to do.

I would base my objection on even higher grounds. I know that hon. Members opposite are true democrats. They would like these decisions to be governed, not by their own particular views, but by the views of the people of this country. Time after time during the last 20 years appeals have been made to the country on this question. What has been the answer to those appeals? The people of this country did not want the proposed charge.

Mr. Rhys Davies (Westhoughton)

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that in my constituency several coal mines were closed a few years ago because of quarrels between private owners, and that if those mines were owned nationally, it is doubtful whether even one of them would have been closed?

Mr. Erskine Hill

The hon. Member rakes a question which would be a very interesting subject for discussion if we were at peace. His point might well be an argument which could be put forward in a peace-time discussion, but my argument to-day is based on the fact that whatever may be our views in peace-time —and I am not now going into the rights or wrongs of the question—in war-time such a change as has been proposed would produce chaos and would be impossible. If I may develop the point which I was making when I was interrupted I would say this: Do not let us try during the war to effect any major change which would properly require the mandate of the people of this country unless we cannot possibly help doing so. What, alone, should be the reason for even thinking for one moment of such a proposal? It would be if you could prove that it would result in greater efficiency and in a greater capacity for winning the war quickly. Here there is no case made out.

I wish now to refer briefly to another important contribution which was made to the Debate yesterday from the front Opposition Bench. I was glad to hear the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. Ellis Smith) say that the test to apply to everything was whether it was essential for the efficient prosecution of the war. Then the hon. Gentleman went on to say that what he wanted to see was the economic planning of the war. What does that mean? The hon. Member must know himself, as well as I do, that it means that in the middle of the war you are to set up a further bureaucracy. What, in turn, does that mean? It means that you are to have all those defects which occur wherever you have bureaucracy, the inevitable conditions under which it takes so much longer for decisions to be made. In war-time, I submit, it is often better to make a wrong decision quickly and stick to it than to make a right decision when it is too late.

Mr. Benjamin Smith (Rotherhithe)

Does not that argument presuppose that at the moment there is nothing wrong with industry at all; and would the hon. and learned Member be bold enough to say that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds, as regards industry at this moment?

Mr. Erskine Hill

Not at all. I do not think that has anything to do with the question which I am discussing. I would, however, if I wanted to be controversial, say that, of course, if industry in this country is at fault, that is because it has been taken too much out of private hands, but I am not going into that question now. I say that any system has its faults but that in war-time it is better to stick to a system which is working reasonably well rather than to attempt to make changes which will result in confusion. I would like to develop this point about the bureaucracy, because in the case of one of the Ministries concerned in this Debate I find examples, sometimes, of the defects of bureaucracy. I find that in regard to works throughout the country, it is often the case that important decisions are not made by the Ministry quickly enough and that this is productive of delays and difficulties. It is so essential, in my mind, that decisions should be rapid that I, personally, would rather see in many Departments a tough man who is able to make decisions for himself and make them at once. I would like to see a great reduction in the number of files passed between junior and senior Civil Servants discussing the rights and wrongs of the case and holding up the vital industry of the country. Under war conditions tough men are necessary because you must have that quick decision which enables the machinery to keep going round the whole time. In place of committees or even in place of the usual routine of Civil Servants' work, it would be infinitely better to have tough men in positions of authority who had powers to decide.

I wish to deal now with the Ministry of Labour. There is, first, the important subject of the women. On this side of the House we are gravely concerned when decisions have to be made which would have the effect of interfering with family life. The family is the unit that counts. However good the nursery, crêche or school may be, there is no way in which we can substitute the care of the mother in any such efficient way as the mother being there herself. For that reason I welcome what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said about the safeguards that he was taking. I would implore him and the Minister of Labour to go carefully into the question of the interviewing of married women and to consider whether it can be done by married women, not spinsters who cannot fully realise the problems. It is difficult, I know, to find the right person, but it is important that the Government should take the women along with them and make them feel they were not being driven but encouraged to give the service that they are anxious to give. I know that many of those who do the interviewing are excellent people, but I would implore my right hon. Friend to look into all the cases of reasonable complaints where the interviewer has given the idea that a woman was not wanted and that her interests did not count. The Minister should be prepared to give instructions to the interviewers, particularly of married women, that they should take the greatest care to see that full justice is done and that women are encouraged to give of their best. One hears that there is a shortage of women to work in Royal Ordnance factories. I wonder whether enough has been done by way of pressing on women the need of that work. In so many grades of society I find that women are unconscious of the need. If the Minister could advertise more and point the way to the directions where women are urgently required, he would get a voluntary response. The House gave him wide powers of direction, and I would like him to use those powers adequately where he can before he seeks further powers. The women of the country, as the men, are willing to agree to anything that they feel to be reasonably necessary for the winning of the war.

As to the men, I cannot help thinking that the ordinary working man is getting distinctly tired of hearing that the working class are not doing their best. I believe that the vast majority of the working men, as of all citizens are doing their best. It is only a small minority, in some cases larger than others, who are not doing their best. I would not address those who are idle or who absent themselves. I would not address managers when they are incompetent, or any other officials. I would take effective steps to see that such conditions were brought to an end. If the Minister of Labour did that, he would have the sympathy, support and loyal co-operation of other workers who have at heart the winning of the war. We want to see more effective means of bringing to an end the bottlenecks that arise in factories and cause delay and a diminution of our war effort. You must deal with them by using what you have in the way of Orders and even by increasing your powers to enable you to do it more quickly. One of the difficulties in the working of the Essential Work Order is the delay before everybody is agreed that action should be taken in dealing with the men affected. There is often a natural desire not to make trouble in a particular works, but unless the men are dealt with effectively and with courage, there will not be an end to what undoubtedly has had some effect on the production of the country.

I would say a word on what is undoubtedly a most difficult question—the gap between the higher wages that some unskilled workers are getting and the wages earned in, say, the coal mines, where men are working arduously on technical work, and in agriculture where men have an arduous day too. It is of the utmost importance to get the feeling that things are well in industry by doing away with the feeling that there are these wide gaps. It is possible to exaggerate them. I read with interest some figures published in the Ministry of Labour Gazette. I do not want to exaggerate them, but if we are ever to get rid of the natural feeling of jealousy which arises among the workers it can only be done by dealing with the question and in some way reducing the gap. It calls for a clear statement about the Government's attitude on the question.

We in this country are in a serious position which some of us are sometimes apt to forget. We may have only four months in which to get still stronger and better able to face the enemy. Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. While we have the opportunity, let us all try to cooperate. Do not let us raise any issues which would tend to make more difficult a truly and really national effort. Let us constantly keep before us that, outside our own interests and our own difficulties, there is one question which is outstanding. That is the defeat of Hitlerism. Unless we are willing to co-operate in a real sense and to forgo anything but what is obviously and clearly the national interest, we shall be failing in our duty to our country in her hour of peril.

Mr. Daggar (Abertillery)

I beg to move, in line 1, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof: this House, while assenting to the extension of the principle of compulsion to the manpower and woman-power still available, is of opinion that, in order to secure the full utilisation of National resources in the war effort, it is essential that industries vital to the successful prosecution of the war, and especially transport, coal-mining and the manufacture of munitions, should be brought under public ownership and control, and that the necessary legislation should be brought in as soon as possible. I am pleased to have the opportunity of following the hon. and learned Member for North Edinburgh (Mr. Erskine Hill), particularly in his capacity as chairman of the 1922 Committee, a first-class revolutionary body. The temptation to do so is very great, but that is not my business here to-day. He suggested that if he were persuaded, he would give consideration to the question of the social ownership of certain industries in this country, and yet he is prepared to go into the Lobby, if necessary, to support a large measure of compulsion. That attitude is typical of the members of the Conservative party. He suggested that we should not interfere with industries during the war, but precisely the same arguments are used when we advocate the same policy in times of peace. It is very interesting to follow him, in view of the fact that all he requires is tough men and gentle women.

In moving the Amendment which stands in my name and those of my hon. Friends, I desire to assure the Government that it is not our intention to create further difficulties for them. We realise that they have sufficient difficulties at the moment, many of which, in our opinion, are of their own making, and that the introduction of an element of competition would not serve the interests of this country. Furthermore, we hope that our action will not be interpreted, as is most criticism to-day, as a desire to weaken the war effort. If that is to be the attitude on all occasions when we rise in the House to voice our opposition to or refusal to accept the policy of the Government, then in my submission there is but one alternative, and that is to be honest with ourselves, to adjourn this House and conduct all its business by postcard. On the other hand, one might introduce a new oath which, in my submission, should read, "I will not embarrass the Government either by speech or vote." We know that there is a war, and the support that we have given to its prosecution cannot be brought into question. We also realise that we cannot even speak of Socialism if we are robbed of a country in which we have an opportunity to practise it. We are always conscious of those two facts.

At the same time we are not forgetful of other facts in the existing situation. Some of us are really apprehensive of the measures proposed by the Government further to conscript men and women not only for military purposes but for industrial purposes, and at the same time to leave important industries to be owned, controlled and managed in accordance with principles more in harmony with peace conditions than war conditions. The workers—and I know some of them— are conscious of the existing situation, and are fully alive to the difference between employment in an industry which exists to create profits for its owners and employment in an industry the object of which is to render complete service to this country and its people. Nothing will convince those individuals that no substantial profits are being made to-day, some of which are being created at a time when our men are being slaughtered in order to preserve the freedom of this country. More, these men are sacrificing their lives in the service of a country that is not prepared to do justice either to their wives, their widows or their children.

I know that some Members of this House appear to be greatly disturbed about the difference between the pay of the soldier and the wages of those who are employed in the essential industries. I suspect that it is not the pay of the soldiers that they are anxious to increase, but that they are more interested in reducing the wages earned by men who are Working excessively long hours. Members opposite have always been notorious as levellers—always levellers down and not levellers up. I notice that, concurrently with this talk about alleged high wages, we always hear of decreased incomes due to excessively high taxation. They never fail to remind us that all income above a certain level—over £10,000, I think— is subject to a total taxation of 19s. 6d. in the £. As the wage earners know, that leaves them a very substantial subsistence allowance. Those individuals, even with that meagre income, can afford to buy cigarettes, and find it unnecessary to arrange interviews with the inquisitorial officers of the Unemployment Assistance Board. And there is this very important consideration, that after this war—and may it finish as soon as possible—their property will be returned to them intact. This question of profit in war-time concerns the workers of this country. No talk about the complications of the Excess Profits Tax will change their opinion.

My hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) claimed that the Government should bring all munition industries under State control. Why control only? In my opinion, ownership is the first essential, and control will automatically follow. Is not State control ineffective at present because ownership is lacking? You cannot effectively plan other people's property. It is an economic contradiction. It is an antagonism at the basis of our present system, which cannot be destroyed by perfectly phrased propositions. When the war opened it became fashionable to criticise those who were conducting it, on the ground that they were endeavouring to do so in accordance with the ideas that prevailed in 1914–18. That attitude may have been right or it may have been wrong—I do not know—but I wish it had been possible to start the production of munitions in accordance with the methods employed at the end of the last war. The hon. and learned Member for North Edinburgh talked about waste in the public ownership of industries. What did we find in the last war? Shells known as "8-pounders" were being produced at 35s. The Government of that day objected to this enormously high price and introduced a costings system, with the result that the 35s. dropped to within the region of £1. Then the Government, still dissatisfied, decided, under the present Lord Addison, to create munition factories. What happened? Precisely the same shell for which 35s. had been charged to the Government was produced for 12s. 6d. That is an instance of the ineffectiveness of control without ownership. What was possible then is possible to-day.

Mr. Austin Hopkinson (Mossley)

Would the hon. Member allow me—

Hon. Members: "No."

Mr. Daggar

I did not interrupt the hon. Member during his speech. The Government's policy has already been accepted by the House, we shall be told, but as the Government have repeatedly declined, since the establishment of this principle, to meet the requirements necessary to improve our war effort, we are entitled to oppose the extension of the principle unless we receive some measure of satisfaction. We are asked to agree to further conscription without the removal first of some of the existing grievances. There have been too many cases of grievance related to this House, and they need no repetition at this moment. Let me refer to the mining industry. Hon. Members know that, in accordance with the terms of the agreement in South Wales, miners were asked to increase their output and to have their wages determined by losses declared by the ascertainment; yet, in the industry as a whole, substantial profits of £10,000,000, £15,000,000, or £20,000,000 a year are made. The Welsh miners are as entitled to a good wage as the Scottish or English miners, and it can be guaranteed to them only by nationalising or socially owning the industry.

Now take the question of transport. We have been asked not to disturb the present arrangement. What is the existing arrangement? Is it not pertinent to comment upon the inconvenience experienced by those who have to travel long distances to their places of employment, and upon the fact that, in scores of thousands of instances, workers, in travelling from home to work and from work to home, have to wait for buses for an hour, or perhaps an hour and three-quarters? The means of transport in this country are deplorable and, more than any other factor, are responsible, in my submission, if not for the destruction of the workers' morale, at any rate for an appreciable lowering of it. We have been reminded that the war will be won in the factories, workshops and mines; the transport system is not helping the people in those places. "Co-ordination" is the magic word when questions of production are raised, but in connection with transport it is completely ignored. We are told—this point is in reply to some of the observations made by the Member whose speech we have just heard—that before the war there were 148,000 lorries operated by 61,000 "A" and "B" licence-holders.

Mr. Erskine Hill

Does not the hon. Member mean "A" and "C" licences?

Mr. Daggar

If the hon. and learned Member will only wait a moment, I will give him the information I have. We are told that another 365,000 vehicles were operated by 178,000 "C" licence-holders. According to the Press, no fewer than 10,000 owners of this means of transport have already decided to form a fighting fund in order to preserve and keep intact their interests. Is not this industry one that calls for some measure of social ownership? The hon. and learned Member who has questioned the accuracy of the figures can obtain them by consulting the current issue of the "Economist." This publication makes the following observation: Progress towards cohesive organisation and closer Government control has been slowest in the case of road transport, mainly because the very large number of independent units in the industry made it administratively the most difficult to fit into a scheme of war transport. I understand that the Ministry of War Transport has a scheme which enables that Department to charter some 4,100 lorries for its own use. According to the "Economist," that scheme, to which we take no exception, is an improvement, but it is voluntary. It gives the Minister a greater measure of control over road transport while interfering as little as possible with the individuality of the operators. I hardly like this term "voluntary," in view of the character of the Bill which we are about to have, or to hear of "interfering as little as possible with the individuality of the operators"; what about the individual liberty of the persons who will be included in the Bill? There is to be individuality for those who are financially interested in the transport system, but such words and phrases no longer exist in relation to the conscription of men and women. Their sacredness in relation to property must not be impugned. Personal liberties are gone, but property rights remain.

What I have said about road transport in general is particularly true in relation to people who cannot go to their places of employment without such transport. Unless the proposals contained in the Amendment are embodied in a new Government policy, the suggestions that have been made to undertake larger measures of control will not solve the problem. I have endeavoured to show that effective control is impossible without effective ownership. One would imagine from the speeches we hear that ownership is dependent upon control, but that is putting the cart before the horse. Control is dependent upon ownership. When we ask for the taking over of essential industries, or even for the conscription of wealth, we are informed that the Government have the power to do both. That information invites the retort, "Why are those powers not exercised, by taking them over?" Are we to conclude that everything has reached so high a pitch of perfection in the production of coal and of munitions of war, as well as in transport, that the exercise of such powers is unnecessary? We shall require stronger evidence from the Government to justify that conclusion than we have had up to the moment.

Like many other hon. Members, I am disappointed with the statement made by the Lord President of the Council and his catalogue of minute bits of property which have been taken over by the Government. We are prepared to make him an offer. We are prepared to permit him to take all that property back if he will undertake to put the proposals of the Amendment into practice. For some time, statements and complaints have been made in this House regarding production generally, but in no instance has there been a satisfactory reply, nor satisfactory inquiries into the charges made against the Minister. Recently my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards) gave a list of complaints that he had investigated. What was the result? The only consideration given to his charges was a funny, insipid letter from the appropriate Minister. This Government, like others, while they can quite simply secure everything that they want, while they can conscript men and women, can at the same time permit to remain intact the industries of this country and the rights of certain individuals to own them. What about an increase in soldiers' pay and dependants' allowances? What about an improvement in billeting allowance? What about an increase in the miserable 10s. paid to the old age pensioners? What about the iniquitous Purchase Tax and the infernal means test? No, there are people in this House, who, rather than make these concessions, rather than permit the people of this country to own its industries, would put the British Commonwealth in pawn. In conclusion, our request is clear, precise and reasonable. We desire the more efficient production of the means of winning this war, and, in winning it, we desire that all those who are engaged in that task shall be satisfied in the knowledge that each citizen is making his or her contribution.

Mr. Dobbie (Rotherham)

I beg to second the Amendment.

I would ask the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour to use the interval between now and the reply by the Minister of Labour in order to review the situation with the idea of accepting the proposals or recommendations contained in the Amendment, which is really an addendum to the Government's proposals seeking to make them more effective. The Amendment is only a very moderate and modest request to the Government, in view of the wide and sweeping character of the Motion. When this Government Motion is carried to-day the last Vestige of our voluntary system will have gone. Block reservation in industry will have gone, and individual reservation will be applied. Compulsory service in the Services for women has been applied for the first time in the history of our country and perhaps in the history of the world. We might therefore expect to give effect to reasonable Amendments here. We know that they have not much power outside, but here in this House we might expect the Government to listen and give effect to reasonable proposals put forward by hon. Members of this House. I have no hesitation in believing that the womenfolk will play their part, as they have done since the beginning of the war, as effectively and as well as the men in this country, or as the women in any other country in the world. We are introducing compulsory service in Civil Defence and in the Home Guard. We are bringing compulsory part-time service into industry, and we are lowering the call-up age for young men and the age of eligibility for service overseas. We are raising the conscription age for men from 41 to 51, and no doubt before the end of the war it will be nearer 60 than 51. Therefore, in view of the wide and sweeping character of the Government Motion, we have no hesitation in asking them to accept the Amendment placed before the House by the hon. Member for Abertillery (Mr. Daggar).

We have now arrived at a conscription age for men which few people thought at the beginning of the war we should ever reach, but the men and women of the working class of this country have shown that they are prepared to make sacrifices beyond pre-war imagination. That is because we desire—and let there be no mistake about this—that this country should win on behalf of democracy and freedom. Do not let those who oppose this Amendment suggest that with us there is any question of being anti-war; do not let them say that we are desirous of impeding the Government in any way. As has been demonstrated since the beginning of the war, we are as anxious as anybody that this country should win, and we desire to strengthen the hands of the Government and to inspire the men and women of the nation. That is why this Amendment has been placed on the Order Paper.

We have heard during the Debate references to time lost through strikes. We on this side of the House challenge and deprecate the making of charges like that against the men and women of the working class. We have heard references to men not working all the time, to production being impeded by men not putting in all possible time at work. The Government have no hesitation in conscripting workers both for the Services and for industry; are they afraid that the representatives of the managerial side will sabotage the situation? Have they not as much confidence in them as they have in the men and women of the working class, when they seem to be afraid—because that is what one is beginning to think—of the owners and controllers acting as Quislings and sabotaging the war effort? You depend on the loyalty of the men and women of the working class. As the Minister of Labour knows better than anyone, the trade union movement has made sacrifices in the giving-up of conditions which have taken 100 years to win. Because of that, because we have set an example, we say to the Government that they have a right to put the same degree of pressure—compulsion—or whatever name you like to call it—upon those who have the responsibility of running industry.

We say that to make more effective our prosecution of the war, industry should be organised, run and worked in a manner that will give greater confidence in the nation generally, by the organisation of the supply of the materials necessary in the workshops, the utilisation of the full knowledge and capacity of the men, and the full capacity of the machinery. We want to take profit out of the production of munitions, as was so well illustrated by the mover of the Amendment. And the people of this country will believe that the Government are sincere in this, if they adopt the principles of the Amendment— the time has gone past for lip service from any part of the House; the people of this country are beginning to get tired of listening to it—when they start to take control of the essential industries for the running and winning of the war.

Transport, mining and the supply of munitions are the three classical instances we have stated. Enough has been said about transport by the mover of the Amendment to convince this House, if they are open to conviction, that the ownership of transport is essential to the effective prosecution of the war. There is, as he has so well illustrated, no coordination between road and rail transport. The last agreement, or White Paper, we dealt with in regard to railroads gave a guarantee to the owners and controllers of the railways but none to the railroad worker. Both the general public and the railwayman are not satisfied that in this hour of danger such an essential industry as the transport of this country should still be in the hands of private enterprise. I do not know how the hon. Member who talked about transport can justify the continuance of road transport and transport generally in the hands of private individuals after the experience we had last winter in regard to the supply of coal, and the difficulties that munition workers have in getting to their work and from it. When the Minister of Labour is calling up hundreds of thousands of people, as he will be doing shortly, and placing them in the new factories, the difficulty of transport will become considerably increased unless he takes the stern measures for which we are asking.

Mr. Denman (Leeds, Central)

Will the hon. Member permit me to ask a question?

Mr. Dobbie

I have only a few minutes. If the hon. Member catches the Speaker's eye, he can tell him all he wishes. The Lord President of the Council said yesterday: The Government will not be timid or halfhearted in taking control of any property or undertaking, to whatever extent may be found necessary, if by that means the fuller development of the war effort is realised."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1941; col. 1218, Vol. 376.] The Minister of Labour may be able, I hope he is, to give a better interpretation of that statement than any of us on this side have been able to do. One wonders why the Lord President tells this House that he will not be timid. Is it because he thinks we are afraid he is timid? Is it because he thinks we know, or believe, that the Government are rather afraid to tackle the owners and controllers of these important industries? I would ask the Minister of Labour, when he replies, if he will inform the House whether he is satisfied with the position of transport in this country, whether he is satisfied with the position regarding the production of munitions and in regard to the production and distribution of coal? If he is satisfied, let him tell us, and tell us why. If he is not satisfied—and there are many of us on this side, everyone on this side, I believe, who are not—with the position of these three industries, will he tell the House what steps he intends to take to make these important and necessary industries more effective in the winning of the war. There will be many other speakers who desire to take part in the Debate to-day, and I will close with that request to the Minister of Labour, and assuring the House once more that those who are associated with this Amendment are not desirous of impeding the Government. We are desirous of assisting them by bringing about the harnessing of industries, which, in our opinion, ought to have been harnessed two years ago if the Government had been desperately anxious to facilitate the prosecution of the war.

Sir Arnold Gridley (Stockport)

I trust that the Mover and the Seconder of the Amendment will forgive me if I do not embark on any such controversial topic. I am quite sure that they are perfectly sincere when they assure the House that they have no intention whatever of doing other than all that is possible to further the vigorous conduct of the war. But I think they will agree that the Amendment does raise very controversial issues.

Mr. Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

So does the Motion.

Sir A. Gridley

The Motion, perhaps, but to a far lesser extent. I would prefer to leave the reply to the Amendment in the far abler hands of the Minister of Labour and National Service. I want, for a few moments, to bring the House back to what I think is uppermost in the minds of most of us to-day—the question of the acceleration of war production. No one, I think, will deny that immense efforts and great progress have been made, particularly during the last 18 months, but the Prime Minister, I thought, in a speech he made on 12th November, drew a comparison with the efforts made during the progress of this war and the last which did not appear to me to ring true. What he said was this, if I may remind the House: We have reached, in the 26th month of this war, and in some ways have surpassed, the deployment of national effort at home, which was not reached until the 48th month of the last war." [OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th November, 1941; col. 33, Vol. 376.] But if my memory serves me correctly, the Ministry of Supply was set up months before the present war broke out in September, 1939. We had, indeed, commenced long before that to strengthen our Fighting Services. I seem to remember that one of the planks of the Conservative platform at the last Election was the determination to fill up the gaps in our Fighting Services. Certainly, after Munich the country and this House took vigorous steps in rearmament. Therefore, a start was made in rearmament long before the outbreak of the present war. This, I think, detracts from the value of the comparison made by the Prime Minister. So I ask, is all yet well with production? In a letter which I ventured recently to send to the "Times", I raised certain aspects of this problem; and since the publication of that latter, I have been glad to read two important speeches, one by the Minister of Labour at Manchester, in which he called for an increase of production by 30 or 40 per cent. this Winter, and the other by the Minister of Supply, who told industry that we have not yet got steam up in production. Here we have, from two of our most important Cabinet Ministers, strong evidence that all is not yet as it might be. I would like to quote from the leading article of the "Times" on 14th November. This article, after referring to Lord Beaverbrook's request that the November output should be double that of September—an absolutely impossible task for industry—said: The specific reference may have been to the output of tanks, but the assertion that we lack steam in our production was undoubtedly general. It was a criticism of production more sweeping and disturbing than anything hitherto heard in the House of Commons, though what has been said there, notwithstanding its patriotic motive, has not always been kindly received. Further on, it says: But something somewhere is still frustrating the fulfilment of an intense determination. I want to call the particular attention of the House to this: From the Production Executive and its powers down to the area boards and the contacts on different planes between the Supply Departments and the supply industries, embracing every essential industry in the land, the whole plan of the production effort should be examined. With that I wholeheartedly agree. Improvements have been made, but defects still exist. The complaints heard in the House of Commons do not arise from nothing. Industrialists are not politicians, and they appeal to politicians very often as their last resort. I quote this sober and constructive criticism in the "Times" in fortification of the view that I hold, that all is not yet by any means right with production. If I may burden the House with just one example of how tardily the cumbrous Government machinery may work, I will quote this case. It concerns a works wholly engaged in producing materials most urgently required by the Admiralty and the Air Ministry, The works are crowded out. Production is carried out under one roof, and, having regard to war risks and to the fact that the company have land available for a works extension away from the main works, application was made to the Admiralty, as far back as June last, for a licence to put down a building about a quarter of a mile away from the existing building. On 23rd July the Admiralty advised that application for a licence should be made to the Ministry of Works and Buildings at Reading.

During August, this was done. Some official in that Ministry then urged that a particular type of building should be adopted. This type the company, rightly, refused, for safety reasons, to adopt. When October arrived, the Ministry of Works and Buildings agreed with the company, and referred the matter back to the Lands Department of the Admiralty. After further delay, the company were informed that the matter had to go before the Board of Trade Controller of Factories at Reading. On 3rd October, two officials from that Department visited the works, and indicated that the necessary licence might be expected in the next few days. The next intimation was that the application had to go before the Contracts Allocation Sub-Committee, presided over by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings, and, later, that it must go back to the Admiralty again, because they had not put it forward, as they could not fit it into their labour allocation programme at the moment. Apparently, in the meantime each Government Department had been given a labour allocation, and had to reduce its programme to keep within the limit of that allocation. Even after all those steps, it was intimated that the matter must go before the Lord President of the Council before final approval could be given. The result of all that meandering through Government Departments has been the absorption of six months in time and in no decision being yet reached. Is it not to be wondered that an urgent matter of this kind should have to run the gauntlet of so many Departments, committees, Ministers, officials, etc.? I give only that one illustration to show what serious delay takes place with the present method.

That raises another point which I refer to with very great respect, but which I feel it my duty to mention. Is the present Minister of Supply the best man to be at the head of a huge mass of technical industries? The munitions establishments were thoroughly satisfied with the former Minister of Supply, a man of very wide experience in all kinds of industries. I know that many would like to see him back in that position if another task could be found for the present Minister of Supply more suited to his obvious and eminent and particular qualifications. I cannot help thinking that if he were relieved of his present departmental responsibilities he might well be of even greater assistance to the Prime Minister, who obviously attaches great value to his counsel.

This House is strangely quiescent in war-time in matters about which it would be extremely restive in peace-time. It is not a good thing that two such important Ministers as the Ministers of Transport and Supply should be in another place. They ought to be in this House, and, if the Prime Minister were not in the Government but back in the corner seat which he occupied for so many years, I think we should hear a great deal from him about the unsuitability, especially in war-time, of two such important Ministers being in another place. In saying that, I do not wish to detract for a moment from the excellent services rendered in this House by the Parliamentary Secretaries of these Ministries.

My next point is that I have no doubt at all that the new proposals of the Government now before the House mark another definite step forward in a real and determined attempt to secure the maximum national effort, and that what they ask will be overwhelmingly approved and granted. But I do ask most seriously this question: Is full use being made of the labour forces already enrolled or of young men still waiting to be called up? Are some Government Departments interfering too much in the control of industry to the deceleration and not the acceleration of output? Are there not serious delays in reaching decisions due to endless machinery such as I have indicated in the illustration that I gave? All these and many other important matters require urgent attention and review by the War Cabinet.

As far as labour is concerned, I agree with what was said from these benches earlier in to-day's Debate. I know from personal contact that the great majority of the working men and women of this country to-day are going all out and doing all that they possibly can. Those who are slacking or who are guilty of absenteeism are a relatively small percentage. I am, as an employer of labour, extremely proud of the performance which the employees in some of the undertakings with which I am connected are giving at the present time. I would like to mention an interesting figure. The employees in a certain works who were very busily occupied in 1938 and have been increased in strength by about 150 per cent. since then are to-day turning out 84 per cent. increased production per head than they were in that busy year 1938. When you have workpeople, men and women, whose heart is in their job and whose effort is shown by such a figure as that it would be shameful not to pay a tribute to the good work which they, and others in many other factories, are doing. I do not attach the fact that we have not got full steam up yet so much to the workpeople as to the fact that our organisation, from the production executive downwards, is not yet what it ought to be.

Never were our production needs more colossal than they are to-day. What is the call upon them? Apart from the home needs for our Island security, we have to keep a constant stream of munitions supplies going out to the Middle East, to threatened Malaya, to North Africa, China, Iceland, Malta, Gibraltar and other places, and, above all, in an ever-increasing stream, to Russia. Before long other countries may be threatened and they may need our material assistance too, if they are to be encouraged to stand up to the aggressor. We hope in time for greater assistance from the United States of America, but here again the actual and threatened strikes in that country give cause for considerable disquietude. Does not all this show with the most startling clarity that the maximum home production of every war munition is urgent and imperative? We must rely mainly upon our own efforts and such assistance as we can get from our own Dominions.

I want to say a word about the Prime Minister and his War Cabinet. It has been forcibly suggested that the War Cabinet as at present constituted is not as efficient a machine of government as it ought to be and as it would be if it consisted of Ministers without such heavy Departmental responsibilities. We know that Cabinet meetings are frequently held at late hours of the night. That may be necessary and inevitable occasionally in war-time, but how can Ministers, the heads of the Fighting Services and the great advising chiefs, alter a hard and harassing day's work, come to a Cabinet meeting, called for half-past ten at night, and which may last for two hours, and deal with the important and vital problems with other than jaded and tired minds? Such men should be free from Departmental responsibilities, and the Prime Minister would thereby be relieved of a good deal of the work which at present falls upon his shoulders, and upon his shoulders only. To use a cricket simile, the Prime Minister is undoubtedly a first-class captain of his side, but he cannot act as wicket-keeper and bowl at both ends, which, as it seems to me and many others, he is trying to do.

I am nearing the end of what I wanted to say, and as I do not often address the House, perhaps I may be forgiven for taking a little longer than I intended. I want to bring our minds back to the first winter of the war when on the Western front everything appeared to be quiet and was quiet. But was Hitler idle during these months? We know what he sprang upon Europe in the following spring. We are now going through a similar period of quietude, but have we any reason to believe that preparations are not being made by the Nazi beasts with the same vigour as they were in that first winter of the war? Who has so little imagination as to be unable to hear in Germany and a dozen over-run countries the roar of the blast-furances smelting out iron, the crunching of the forges shaping great masses of steel, the clattering of the machines making aeroplanes, tanks and guns and the shattering blows of the pneumatic riveters on the plates of ships and submarines, much of it fabricated by forced labour—if it is to live—and all of it intended to be hurled against this Island fortress or other vital parts of the Empire? The perils that surround us and civilisation are still great. That we can surmount them is certain, but it will be if—and only if—Parliament and people are determined that this country shall have the strongest possible Government, decisive war direction for the individual and a munitions industry sustained by experienced organisation and drive. I say to the Government and the Prime Minister, in words of his own phrasing, "We have not a day, nor an hour, nor a minute to lose."

Mr. Buchanan (Glasgow, Gorbals)

I rise to say a few words on the issue before the House. I do not intend to follow the hon. Member for Stockport (Sir A. Gridley), although he is to be congratulated on having done what is to-day a brave thing to do—criticise the Prime Minister. Whatever he may say, he criticised the Prime Minister in the most extreme form. The Minister of Supply does not choose himself for that position; the Prime Minister does it. Cabinet meetings are not fixed by its members; they are fixed by the Prime Minister. Whether he is right or wrong, anybody who has the courage to criticise the Prime Minister to-day deserves, at least, our respect. I do not wish to be drawn into a discussion on issues with which I am not in agreement, but to-day we are debating two issues—the conscription of women and the alternatives as set out by the Amendment. This House is well known for its toleration, and so long as this is a democratic Assembly I claim the right to state my views. Quite frankly, I am opposed to the Government's proposals with regard to the conscription of women, and even if the Amendment had not been moved—and I welcome it—I would still have been resolutely opposed to the proposals.

I am as certain as I am standing here that no Cabinet Minister except the present Minister of Labour could have sponsored such proposals and wanted to have put them through the House. No other one of his Labour colleagues could have done it. His roots are deep in the trade union movement; other Ministers may be skilled and capable, but they have not the same deep roots in the movement. Only a man whose whole life so far has been in that movement could have introduced into this House such a sweeping and far-reaching reform as the conscription of women in this country. If a Conservative or a member of any other party had done it, opposition would have been greater and far more intense than it is. Despite what Members say, logic in these matters does not play too great a part. It may be said, "If you conscript men, why not women?" My answer is that I do not accept the view that women and men are alike. What is good for a man is not necessarily good for a woman. Take boxing. Two men can go into a ring and box before an admiring crowd, but in my native city of Glasgow, or any other part of the country, if two women were to go into the ring, such an action would not be tolerated for 10 minutes. The whole country would revolt. Of course there is a difference between men and women; in every walk of life there are different standards. In some things I think women are ahead of men, but women are not fit subjects to be conscripted into the Armed Forces.

It is no use the Prime Minister saying— because I know Parliament as well as he does—that no woman is to be forced to fight. He knows and I know that women can volunteer to fight and that a number will do so, with the result that the minute you have them doing it there will be an irresistible demand for the same thing to be done by all others. So far as the conscription of women from 20 to 30 is concerned, it is a makeshift. It is an effort to get them through the political machine and arouse as little controversy as possible. This conscription of women is intolerable. There is not a man here of the trade union movement who ever thought he would have lived to see the day when a Labour Minister would have been connected with a measure in this House for the conscription of women.

The Prime Minister said, in the opening remarks of his speech the other day, that it was intended to establish a voluntary organisation for youths of 16 to 18. Of course it is voluntary, but there will be a hundred and one pressures to make it compulsory. A number will join voluntarily, but pressure of every kind will be brought to bear by employers on those who do not join, and within a short time the effect will be that youth will be marched and drilled into a military machine. The House of Commons, with the exception of a tiny minority, is all for carrying on this war. Hon. Members denounce the Fascists, but as I see things, they are at the present time busily building up here the same sort of Fascist State which they seek to destroy abroad. They are seeking to foist it on us, and in some respects what they are doing is worse than what happened abroad, because in some countries, when Fascist measures were brought in, some attempt at any rate was made to tackle the rich. These measures are now proposed, but nothing of that sort is done here.

I often wish that I could get into the frame of mind of believing in this war as others do. I am a politician and it is a terrible thing not to get practice in my art from day to day.. I am debarred from that because I cannot enter the machine which we now have. Even if I believed in these proposals, before I allowed their discussion I would make the Government justify them by proving that they are now using well all the available resources. I know something about the way things are run, not only from the trade union side, but also because I live in a great industrial city. I know the waste that there is. The Minister of Supply is supposed to be a great scientific planner, but if only he could see himself as others see him, he would see a sight. He is the leading phrasemonger of the country, but I wonder whether he has the ability to carry out these scientific plans. In Glasgow, there are women who have been trained to become millers in an engineering factory. They think that after their training they will get a job, but months pass and there is no job. They chase around looking for a job. They go from one place to another for interviews. I can understand employers wanting to interview them, but I cannot understand why employers do not know whether they need a miller or not without interviewing the women. These women are chased from one factory to another and still they get no work. They have to stand waiting to be interviewed for two and a half hours. That is the position with the women that you have; you cannot utilise them, and yet you make proposals of the sort now before us. I wish I could show the House the waste and the maladministration in the engineering industry.

I could even stand the proposals slightly if, before introducing them, the Government had taken some steps to treat half-decently those whom they have already. I do not know anything more shocking and more disgraceful than the treatment of serving soldiers. It is not unfair for a group of Parliamentarians to demand that, before conscription is extended to women, decent conditions should be given to those in the Army already. Let it be remembered that the trade unions can still negotiate concerning wages, but the fellows in Libya cannot negotiate about these things. Hon. Members can get up in the House and talk about munition workers waiting for an hour for a bus, but the fellows in Libya go for 24 hours without a bus and without sleep. It is not unfair for us to say that they should be treated well and decently. Is there one hon. Member who, having regard to present money values, can defend the present treatment of serving soldiers? With regard to allowances, for instance, a question put to the Secretary of State for War gave us the information that one-half of the sons who had applied for an allowance for their mothers had had their applications refused. The same thing applies in regard to pensions to those who have already served. I do not consider that it is dishonourable for the House of Commons, and particularly those who represent the poorer sections of the working classes, to ask that, before the Government are -allowed to do these things, they should give decent conditions to those already serving and those who have served.

As to the Amendment, which asks for public ownership, I must confess that I cannot understand the views of hon. Members opposite. If they want to win the war, I cannot understand why they do not accept most of the proposals that are made from this side. After all, was there anyone who, in peace time, did not feel that there were two or three industries that were ready for public ownership at any time? I remember the late Prime Minister, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, saying in the House, "I am not an anti-Socialist, I am not a Socialist; and when it comes to questions of whether a municipality or the State should own things, I judge each thing on its merits." Judged by that standard, there are three great industries that are ready for national ownership. What are they? They are the mines, the railways and the land. I might add a fourth—banking. Surely it is not possible in these days to leave in the hands of the few the ownership and control of finance. Wives, daughters, and the men in the Services, who are simple folk, do not see why, when they are fighting for their country, they should not own a piece of land. They do not see why their ownership of the country should be confined to a little flower-pot outside their house or possibly a small area in a graveyard.

It is not an unreasonable demand which is being made. I am opposed to the general principle of the Motion, but I accept the principle of the Amendment. I have always held these views as a politician, and I have always felt it my duty to put them forward on suitable occasions. I remember vividly the Minister of Labour, when talking about the conscription of women, saying in this House that it had been tried in Germany and had failed. Hon. Members on the other side of the House urged the adoption of such a scheme, but the Minister put forward a most creditable defence against it. But to-day he is taking a different view. He can make all the safeguards he likes, but once the machine gains control of human life, he is powerless in the matter. With the best will in the world, the War Office and the other Departments are powerless when the machine gets control, except in the few isolated cases where one hears public comment. If I were alone, I would stand up against this terrible thing. The Prime Minister has said that the Government will not touch married women, but once you adopt this scheme of conscription, what reason have you to prevent it applying to childless married women? Never in my wildest thoughts would I have dreamed of conscription of women being introduced during this war. The Minister of Labour is one of the greatest men whom the Labour movement has thrown up, and if I had been told that he was the man who would adopt this proposal, I would never have believed it. It is not with pleasure that I find myself against the Government. It is with sadness and a terrible feeling of depression that I find myself in this position.

Mr. Austin Hopkinson (Mossley)

I think that most of us who listened to the last speaker will find ourselves in a very large measure of agreement with what he said. I should like to be able to go into the question he has raised, but in view of the short space of time available I think we should keep strictly to the Amendment. Hitherto the Debate has resolved itself into a continuation of the age-long discussion of private and national ownership. I am afraid that in the circumstances of the time that form of debate will not get us much further forward.

The mover of the Amendment based his whole argument in justification of the Amendment, upon the entirely fallacious idea—which I did my best to correct, but which unfortunately he did not allow me to do so, and therefore he will go down to history as having said something extremely foolish—that you must have ownership before you can get control; in other words, that ownership and control are synonymous. As a matter of fact, in the industrial concern for which I am responsible I have been able to divorce completely ownership and control for the last 15 or 16 years. I own nothing, but I am the complete autocrat, and my control is more autocratic than any in the country. The reason for this is that the people whom I employ and to whom I give orders know that they get everything out of the concern and that their controller gets nothing. Therefore if I say to a man, "Jump," he jolly well jumps in a way he would not do if I were getting anything out of the concern. It shows that there is no necessity, as was suggested by the mover of the Amendment, to take over the war industries in order to get control. I must apologise to the House for being personal, but I think it may be useful if, after hearing a good deal of theory on both sides of the matter, I give it the benefit of my experience in this particular direction of organising industry for war in a national emergency. It is a system which I have worked for the last 15 years. When I started the scheme in 1926 we had just reached a turning-point in our history. Lord Baldwin, as he now is, had fulfilled the first part of his task. He had prevented the nation from splitting into two as had happened in nearly every other country. We had then to convince the people that the League of Nations could not save us from war, and after that, of course, we could arm and get ready for war

It was when we got over the first stage that I introduced this system, because I was convinced in 1926 of the inevitability of war. It behoved me, being in a position to make suitable experiments, to find out the best organisation for the manufacture of munitions during war. And so I proceeded to introduce this system, and I have worked it perfectly successfully and smoothly ever since. The whole basis of the scheme is that for the period of the emergency the ordinary shares in munitions concerns are not held by the public or the present owners, who are compelled by Act of Parliament to change to fixed interest-bearing stocks, the whole of the ordinary share capital being held by Government appointed trustees and the beneficiaries of the trust being the people employed by that particular concern. The whole point is that this system does not scramble the eggs in such a way that they cannot subsequently be unscrambled. The individuality of each concern and of the whole of the managements are conserved for future use, but during the period of the emergency no one is going to get an ordinary dividend from the concern except those actually engaged in production in the firm—the beneficiaries of the trust. It is a perfectly easy course to take, and merely requires one short Act of Parliament. I am not sure that it could not be done under some already existing Order, by which the ordinary shares of munitions firms shall not be held by the public during the emergency, but shall be exchanged for the fixed interest-bearing shares till the termination of the period of emergency.

I make the proviso that they can be exchanged back, because that makes it to the interest of everyone concerned to preserve the goodwill of the concern. The Government trustee, in the case of the vast majority of public companies engaged in the manufacture of munitions, by holding in his own name the whole of the ordinary shares, has the overwhelming majority of the voting power at a general meeting of the concern. Therefore, if he chooses he can change the board and exercise every other method of control. In other words, he has complete national control without national ownership, with all the difficulties of national ownership. Moreover, there is no disturbance of production. There is no difference whatever in the management or the organisation of the concern. It goes on just as it was.

Most of my work is for the Fleet Air Arm, but I am doing a certain amount for other Government Departments. I, as trustee, have complete control of that place, because I have the voting power. I have further control as chairman and managing director also. Therefore the control is absolutely in my hands, and yet I do not own a penny of the capital. I do not get any salary or any profit whatever. I am the only person who does not get a penny-piece out of the business. Therefore I can make people obey me in a way no other employer can make people obey him. In spite of all the disturbance and the difficulties put in the way of munition workers in producing and all the difficulties put in the way of the managements and the employers also by foolish orders from various Departments, I am satisfied with the amount of work that is done by the men whom I am employing. Our production, as far as I can ascertain from other aircraft works, is miles above that of any of the others.

I am putting forward for the consideration of the Government, not a wild theoretical scheme of planning or something of that sort, but an actual tried-out system in a competitive industry over a series of years by one who perhaps has more intimate concern and experience of these matters than any other Member of the House. I ask the Government to consider whether in the present crisis they ought not to consider something of that sort. Of course, the objection to any form of national ownership is that it scrambles the eggs in such a way that they cannot be unscrambled. My position is very frequently opposed to that of hon. Members above the Gangway, but I grant that some form of State Socialism is far the best organisation during a war. Why? State Socialism is the best and simplest way of getting at the capital resources of the country and converting them into a form where they can be poured out like water, which is what we want in war. In fact, that is the whole object of Socialism—to use capital as revenue. Anyone who has studied Socialist books knows that that is the underlying principle. [Interruption.] It is no use laughing. As a matter of fact, it is so. During peace-time one wants to be building up capital resources, and experience in every country has shown that the quickest and simplest way to build up capital resources is by an individualistic industrial organisation. It may not be an entirely satisfactory method, but it works. The system works, which is the main point. Therefore in a country which is alternating between periods of emergency and periods of peace, you want a system which you can turn into State Socialism instantaneously for war purposes and turn back again to individualism in peace-time for the purpose of accumulating capital for the next emergency. What I put to the House is a system where it is done by a stroke of the pen. You do not destroy anything that is worth preserving. You keep intact the present individuality and the organisation of each concern exactly as it would be under the ordinary competitive system. But you have absolute, complete and autocratic control by the Government of the day through its trustees. I hope the House will consider what I have said. It is not just theory; it is practical, and it has been worked out with an end in view, and that end in view is the crisis which is upon us at present as regards munitions labour.

I hope no one makes the mistake of minimising the serious position of affairs at present. It is no use mincing matters and pretending that you are helping the enemy by letting them know. You have three separate policies being forced on the labour of the country. You have the policy of the rebel shop stewards and the Communist movement, fostered, it is supposed, by certain Members of the Government. Sir Walter Citrine is trying to preserve the trade union idea of the past. You have the Minister of Labour with strong syndicalist tendencies, and there is no definite Government policy for dealing with the crisis in which we find ourselves. I will not quarrel with the Minister of Labour, because he is not present, but it might not be fair to say that some of his orders have had the effect of destroying to a large extent ordinary workshop discipline. That may be a good or a bad thing, but the fact remains that the Emergency Powers Orders have knocked away the props of discipline in the workshops. Trade union discipline has gone, too, under the pressure of the shop stewards' movement, as it did in the last war under the same conditions. Everyone in the trade union movement knows it. They know that the position of the trade unions at present is precarious in the extreme and that the overwhelmingly powerful rebel movement, fostered by people who ought not to foster it, is taking away the authority and destroying the discipline of the trade unions. It is perfectly well known, and the result we see before us. Admiralty work of the highest importance is being held up by ridiculous disputes which any experienced trade-union leader could settle perfectly easily.

That is our position. Everything is delayed, and our troops are not equipped. Even the Navy has to wait for essential supplies, because everything is at sixes and sevens, and for that I blame the Government to a large extent. They would not see, although warned again and again, that this rebel shop-steward movement is big and powerful and will destroy the whole of the discipline of the trade unions unless the Government themselves throw their full power and weight behind the trade unions to help them to resist the movement. It is not too late yet, and I ask the Government to consider whether they cannot work absolutely hand in glow with the great trade unions, particularly in the engineering trade, and help them to maintain trade union discipline, a thing upon which the welfare, and certainly the productive capacity, of the country most largely depends. Unless the Government can do that, they will not get the good will of labour and the trade unions.

If they will go a step further than the system I have described, I think that we may find ourselves getting round this awful corner with less damage to the State than appears to be inevitable at present. That system is not the end of matters. There is a further step which I have worked out and which is under consideration. Everybody must realise that it is an anomaly that a man who is in complete charge of a battleship costing £8,000,000 or £10,000,000, with a ship's company of over 1,000 men who are the best people we can produce—that man, with such an appalling responsibility, is paid simply a captain's pay and allowances. If he were in charge of an industrial concern of the same value and the same human value as well, he would expect to get at least eight times a naval captain's pay. But there is only one proper remuneration for those of us who, like myself, conduct industry. That is something comparable to what we should receive for an equal responsibility in one of the Fighting Services. I have put to the Government already that I am willing to take a naval lieutenant's pay, as I am doing at present, and to accept naval discipline in my capacity as chairman and managing director of my company. My responsibilities are no greater than those of any naval lieutenant in the Service. Therefore, my remuneration ought not to be greater. I go further than that. My manager has agreed to accept the pay and allowances of a naval sub-lieutenant for the duration of the war. We have done this in order that we may prove to our people that it is possible not only to conscript capital but to conscript management as well.

Let us now deal with the question of conscription of labour. I have sacrificed a whole fortune in order to do this thing and in order to be in a position to help the country in an emergency like this which everyone with experience must have known would arise sooner or later. I maintain that any plan for the conscription of labour is bound to fail unless capital and management be conscripted first. I do not see any use in making a proposal for conscripting labour until capital and management have actually been conscripted by the method I have outlined. Then the conscription of labour would be easy enough. Take the case of my own men. With myself as head of the firm receiving a naval lieutenant's pay and allowances, my manager as my second in command with a naval sublieutenant's pay and allowances, the men would get the pay and allowances of corresponding naval ratings. If, instead of my men drawing £6 10s. a week, they are drawing the pay and allowances of naval technical ratings, what becomes of the balance? It simply goes to the profits and comes back to them, as the whole of the profits through ordinary dividends come back to them at the present time. Their position, therefore, if they are conscripted and work under naval discipline will, so far as their own responsibilities are concerned, be the same as at present, with the one exception that they would have family allowances instead of a flat rate of pay whether married or single. I put these things to the House because I feel it is my duty, having made this experiment successfully, to see whether I can possibly help those unhappy people on the Government Benches who have to deal with these things and who in nine cases out of ten know nothing whatever about any of the subjects with which they have to deal.

Mr. Shinwell (Seaham)

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour has listened with exemplary patience to this long and illuminating Debate. We may indulge in criticisms of his policy and administration, but we are grateful for his forbearance. His task is no light one. As the chief provider of man-power for the Forces and war industry, he bears a heavy responsibility. Whatever differences have emerged during this Debate, we are fully conscious of his position. We shall expect from him to-day a considered reply to the many and varied points raised during the Debate. No doubt he will make his own selection, as is natural and reasonable, but we beg him to reply not solely in his capacity as Minister of Labour, but as a member of the War Cabinet responsible for the general conduct of the war. That is essential, because the subject of man-power is closely related to war production. It bears many social implications. It affects morale, more particularly because on the nature and substance of my right hon. Friend's response may depend the fate of the Government's contemplated legislation. On the question of compulsion there is little new to say. Conscription for the Forces was regarded by many people as highly objectionable, but it was accepted as an inevitable necessity. Conscription for industrial purposes is a bitter pill for the Labour movement to swallow. Conscription for women arouses the gravest apprehension in many quarters.

To assume that the maximum number of workers will always ensure the maximum production is a complete fallacy. Therefore, the onus of proof that the projected Measure will increase production lies heavily on the shoulders of the Government. We must be exceedingly careful not to use either the principle of compulsion or its extension in this far-reaching direction in order to provide a cloak covering the defects in the technique of production or in Government policy. Nevertheless, if it can be demonstrated that a further extension of compulsion is necessary in order to achieve the maximum output in relation to our war needs and to direct the war effort to a speedy and successful conclusion, then, subject to the acceptance of certain social and economic adjustments, the proposal will be accorded a large measure of support. The maximisation of war production is our sole concern, but the reservations expressed are of major importance. The Government must prove that the existing volume of labour is inadequate for our purpose and must also satisfy the House that the available labour is wisely and efficiently used.

That is the first consideration to which my right hon. Friend must address himself. Unfortunately, the explanations furnished by the Lord President of the Council in his speech yesterday are unsatisfactory, and, indeed, of no relevance to the submissions made by the Labour party. It is impossible to ignore the representations made by employers, by workers, by trades unions and by shop stewards, together with the reports of the Select Committee on Public Expenditure, regarding the existence of idle and under-employed labour in many factories or the wrong use to which labour is often directed. There may occasionally be exaggerations in such allegations, but the evidence is too definite to be set aside. Whether it is due to changes in design, failure to arrange for continuity in placing orders or to faulty management, the fact remains that the existing volume of labour is not being used to the fullest advantage. This may not be the fault of the Ministry of Labour, but it is a matter to which the War Cabinet must give greater attention. We have referred so frequently to the need for co-ordination that the term is nauseating, but when the Minister of Labour provides the labour and discovers that it is not absorbed with efficiency what are his powers to remedy this defect and is he in the hands of other Departments? It is not too much to ask that before we give the Government the power to call up additional labour the whole position should be clearly explained to the House, and whoever is to blame should be dealt with.

Moreover, can we be assured that every other impediment to increased production is being eliminated? It is alleged that the mobility of labour is being hampered by some employers who cling to their best workers, even when no work is available, because of the expectancy of fresh orders or because of their concern for post-war considerations. What are the Government's powers in relation to the transfer of labour from factory to factory? This applies not only to skilled and semi-skilled workmen but to administrative and technical staffs and to managers themselves. On this latter point a further observation is pertinent. We frequently read reports of workmen being fined for being late or for absenteeism, but rarely do we hear of any member of the managerial staff being penalised, yet there are reports of men who are receiving the benefits of reservation and getting high salaries absenting themselves, and apparently there is no supervision in such cases. We ask for an assurance that all engaged in war industry, whatever their grade, should be treated alike. Penalties and privileges must not have their scapegoats and their favourites, otherwise the conscription is one-sided and will create discontent and impede output.

There is far too much theory about equality of sacrifice and much too little practice. Complete equality, either as regards service or pay or the provision of social services, is not easily attainable during war without a revolutionary disturbance of the whole system of society. It is easy to preach equality for others but not so easy to accept the principle oneself, particularly if it means passing to lower levels, and that is what it does mean for some people, although it provides a higher level for others. But equity—I repeat, equity—and justice and the ironing-out of disparities and anomalies in remuneration and social conditions are quite different matters, and if we cannot reach the ideal state, let us seek to make every possible approach to a standard which is fair and is accessible to all.

It is invidious that men who are directed by the Government into the Armed Forces should be placed in an inferior economic position while those who are directed into industry should in many instances be favourably situated. I do not say that wages should be reduced, because that confers no benefits on the men in the Forces, and, moreover, the wages of skilled and semi-skilled men in vital war industries are far lower than is alleged. But the pay and allowances for men in the Forces and their dependants should at once be largely increased. To take a man from private life, place him in the Forces and give him pay that keeps him in a state of penury and at the same time reduces the social standards of his wife and family is a gross injustice. There are far too many cases of that sort. This inequitable state of affairs must cease forthwith. That is the demand made by the Labour party.

As regards the general question of wages in industry, it is true that many men are earning high wages. It is not surprising that attention should be directed to this situation, because it is so novel to see workmen receiving high wages. Considering the rates paid during peace time, perhaps the less said by some people on this melancholy subject the better. On the other hand, the disparities in wage rates are difficult to understand. A skilled engineer may earn about £4 a week without overtime, hut some unskilled people in the building industry earn much higher wages, as do workers who have only recently been introduced into the munitions industry. My right hon. Friend is reluctant to interfere with the existing wages machinery. He has already interfered with the wage system in dock labour and has introduced the guaranteed week into the coal industry. Those are advantages to the men concerned, and some of us wonder why an effort is not made to create a decent standard for workers in war industries which would iron out some of the wrinkles in wage rates and remove some of the discontent that apparently exists.

Whether this is acceptable or not, we must have some indication of what wages are to be paid when we have the large influx of women's labour which is to be conscripted through the projected legislation. The use of women's labour in large volume is inevitable. If women are to be used to provide cheap labour the economic and trade union repercussions will be extremely troublesome. I acquit my right hon. Friend of any such intentions, but so long as private ownership remains the temptation to employers must be irresistible. We ask for adequate safeguards. Furthermore, the frequent applications by trade unions for increased wages and the regular rejection of these claims by employers are irritating and must to some extent impede production. Men who are discontented about their wages and conditions are not to be blamed for failing to exert themselves, unduly. In such cases the Government should intervene and, having pegged the cost of living, should direct the industry, which is dependent on Government orders, to pay a proper wage taking into account all the factors involved. Nobody asks for a unified wages policy, but something approaching a fair and just wages policy should be aimed at We are pressing for the largest possible measure of equity in relation to wage standards, consistent with the tasks undertaken, the cost of living and other social factors.

Over and above that, we advance the claim that the powers to conscript property implicit in the declaration by the Lord Privy Seal in June of last year shall be as fully exercised as are the powers to conscript man-power. On this principle, the Labour party may be reluctantly compelled to join issue with the Government. We do not approach this matter in any doctrinaire spirit, nor are we advancing our Socialist claims in terms of political controversy, or, for that matter, presenting a demand for the complete socialisation of industry. That must be left for political decision at the appropriate time and in the light of events which none can pre-judge. Our submissions are related, first of all, to the natural corollary of industrial conscription, and, secondly, to the need for establishing an economic organisation capable of fortifying our Forces in the field in their efforts to achieve victory. We honestly and sincerely believe that, in order to mobilise the whole of our war effort efficiently, it is necessary to effect a vast change in our industrial organisation.

Let there be no doubt regarding our declared opinions on this subject. At the Bournemouth Conference of the Labour party, the following declaration was made, almost within the same hour as a decision was reached to collaborate with this Government: While planning for war, the Government must plan for peace and a new society, and thus, railways, the coal industry and substantial parts of the arms production, should be made national services during the war, and the public regulation of finance should be strengthened and consolidated. That is the policy of this party. As can be seen, it is the policy of this party during the war. I invite the attention of the House to the statement made by Mr. Jack Tanner, President of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Speaking in London at a recent meeting, only the other day, he said: Let us have common sacrifice, common effort, a common pool of all the nation's resources in man-power, finance, material, factories and transport. Let everything be put into the kitty in the interest of taking the war to a successful conclusion. That is a statement to which the Government are bound to give their immediate attention.

Whatever the Government may have meant when they announced their intention in respect of the powers over property, there is not a shadow of doubt that the enthusiasm generated throughout the country was due to the conviction that the powers were to be enforced in the most drastic fashion and in the direction of a large measure of State ownership and control. That enthusiasm, so valuable in raising morale, has completely evaporated. What is the reason for the lack of enthusiasm? In the speech delivered by the Lord Privy Seal on 22nd May, 1940, when the memorable declaration was made to the House, he used these words: There will be no profit out of the national emergency. He used these further words: The essential thing is that over a wide field—how wide one cannot say at the moment—industry will be carried on for the community in fact, and not for private profit."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd May, 1940; col. 156, Vol. 361.] Those words are almost the words of the Amendment.

Obviously it is impossible to superimpose on the present system of war production a completely new organisation. Let us consider the possibility. There is the present system of private ownership, with a sprinkling of State factories, and various controls in industry, almost en- tirely dominated by the interests within the industries concerned. Within this framework there are some large firms with their vast army of sub-contractors, and a large number of comparatively small firms. All of these are comparatively independent and isolated units. Apart from a few areas, there is no effective arrangement for transfer of labour and machinery. The sub-contracting system is costly. Many large firms give work to their subsidiaries a long distance away, which involves heavy transport costs and delays. Generally speaking they are all concerned with maintaining their special private interests.

There is no use complaining, because it is natural for private industry to protect itself. It cannot ignore post-war considerations. It must guard its trade secrets. These firms take private work when it is available. Who can blame them? If they are concerned with some raw material, or with some semi-finished article like steel or aluminium, the controls are exercised by the people in the industries, who are naturally determined to do the best for themselves in their various industries. Some operate on the fixed price system and many on the cost-plus system. Many tender for work in the usual competitive peace-time fashion. There is not the slightest vestige of a plan about this. It is just something thrown together in a hastily improvised manner. Nothing about it is related to a coordinated war production effort. Its defects are manifold. Another possibility is to take over all war production, including shipbuilding, and run it as a State affair, using the technical and administrative staffs and leaving questions of compensation to be determined at the close of the war. While this is consistent with the policy of the Labour party, it may be rejected because of the political disturbance it involves. It is extremely doubtful whether it would be acceptable to the Government or to the Conservative party. It must be remembered that the Prime Minister is the Leader of that party. He deprecates the introduction of political controversies.

We are left with a third alternative, which is to create a series of regional boards in certain areas, consisting of persons representing the Government, the technical and administrative staffs and representatives of the workers, giving them full power, subject to Government policy, to organise and supervise all war production in their respective districts. Those powers would include power to transfer labour, managements and machinery, to group the smaller firms and to abolish sub-contracting. In this regard we emphasise two factors: supervision by persons representing the State and bringing the workers into the administration of industry. All orders would be given through the boards and a proper system of accounting established so as to avoid excessive cost and waste. Where State factories exist they should remain, and the principle should be extended. If the management in State factories is regarded as inefficient, steps should be taken by the boards to transfer management of that kind and replace it by more efficient people. Here I must take the Government to task for their decision to transfer State factories to private firms. This was done, apparently, because of inefficient management, but if private firms can obtain the right people, so can the Government. Does my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour agree with the decision to transfer these factories? I cannot believe it, in view of his past declarations? We must have an assurance that the State will resume possession of those factories and that no more transfers will be effected.

Then we come to the key services. The case for a speedy unification of transport on national lines, with State ownership and control, is unanswerable. Reference was made in the Debate to the delays caused by inadequate transport facilities, which are a chronic cause of discontent and go a long way towards impeding production. But the larger the influx of workers into war industry, particularly in certain areas, the more essential it is to exercise effective control of transport arrangements. No such control can be organised except on the basis of complete unification. This is no novel or revolutionary proposal. It may be recalled that the present Prime Minister made a startling declaration more than 20 years ago, in which he called for the nationalisation of railways. Consequently, after the passage of this long time, the proposal may be regarded as exceedingly modest in character, and this was the firm declaration made by the Labour Party's national executive only a few weeks ago.

What applies to transport is equally applicable to the coal industry. The available labour must be fairly used, and this calls for concentration in the most efficient centres of coal production, whether in pits or districts. The country will never get the coal it needs until a large measure of unification is achieved. In this industry there are too many independent units, many of them competing for labour, which is in short supply. The available labour is not spread efficiently nor used to the best advantage. For many reasons the coalowners are either unable or unwilling to respond. It is unnecessary to develop the coal argument further, because it is certain that before long demands will be made by the respective interests for a reorganisation of the coal industry in order to effect the maximum amount of production. The people are ready for almost any demands that may be made on their services. They are prepared to endure trials and suffering, they will not shrink from sacrifices or the imposition of burdens, however heavy, if by so doing they can make an effective contribution to victory. But if there is the least suspicion that while many are willing to render service, others are shirking their responsibilities without just cause, that inequalities abound, that fortunes can still be accumulated, that, in short, some may do well out of war while others give their all, their morale will be sapped and discontent will prevail.

It may be urged that labour has no right to advance its political claims during the war. Indeed, it has been so urged in the course of the Debate. Very well, but equally no other section, political or otherwise, has the right to obtrude its interests and prevent that measure of equity which is the essence of real democracy. We must not take men and women from their homes and their ordinary avocations and subject them to the trials of war without providing them with a decent standard of life; nor should we destroy the livelihood of small traders Without adequate compensation, nor take the services of men and women and misuse them, nor allow one section of the community to gain at the expense of another. All this is foreign to the spirit of democracy. It strikes a deadly blow at national unity. True unity can rest only on the basis of justice and equity.

Of this we may be sure. Nothing that has emerged in the course of our discussion can afford the least comfort to Hitler and his evil associates. Not a word has been uttered which indicates the slightest weakening in our resolve for victory. On the contrary, the Government's Motion, and indeed the Amendment and also every contribution made by hon. Members during the Debate, denote that we arc seeking to strain every nerve to destroy the evil influences that have brought the world to disaster. The Prime Minister promised the nation a harder time. That we shall accept with fortitude, but we make this demand: Those hardships must be borne by all alike. Unless this is achieved, it will stimulate further criticism and indeed opposition which may prove fatal to the Government's retention of office and, what is of infinitely greater importance, to our prospects of victory.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

I think it will be preferable if I deal with the Amendment to the Motion first, in order that any statement I may make on behalf of the Government will not be jerked in, as it were, at the end of a long speech, but that everybody will know at the outset what the Government's attitude to the Amendment really is. This Debate on the whole has scarcely touched, except in a few instances, the issue or the proposition that is before the House. It has been made—and we do not complain—an occasion to raise issues wider than those originally intended, and among these is the whole question of the nationalisation of certain industries.

I should have thought that the question of whether the nationalisation of a particular industry was right or wrong had really ceased to be a matter of controversy, even in peace-time. For what does it amount to? All it means is, I assume, whether or not the State thinks it better in the interests of the community, as they have in the case of telegraphs and telephones and hundreds of things in the past, that the State or a municipality should own a particular service. That, I should have thought, would have been determined on the facts; private owners would have been paid reasonable compensation, and that would be all. Why there is such tremendous excitement about this particular issue I could never understand, because we have been going on doing it for hundred of years and I suppose that we shall continue to do it as the circumstances arise. As things grow to a monopoly, the State always has to decide whether that monopoly must be publicly controlled or left in private hands. It is bound to decide that, and it has to do so in the interests of its own existence, because the State must be the supreme authority. I should have thought that that was beyond dispute.

As I understand it, however, that is not the issue in this Debate. It has been said by the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment, and its supporters, that they are not putting forward this principle of nationalisation of industry as a political objective now, and that advantage is not being taken of the war to promote Bills for the public ownership of particular industries as a political expedient. I hope I am interpreting correctly what has been said. That is what I understand to be the basis of what has been said—that it is not a political move in order that a particular programme may be advanced as an issue, that it is not sought to take advantage of the war and that it is not a political expedient. The Government has to address itself to the question of what the demand is based upon. As I understand it, it is based upon the more successful prosecution of the war, and only that.

Mr. Silverman

And equity.

Mr. Bevin

Equity would be bound up with the more successful prosecution of the war. The test that has to be applied is whether we can more successfully prosecute the war by taking this or that step in relation to certain industries. Let me say this clearly. I do not know what happened at the Bournemouth Conference. I have long ago given up that awfully fatal habit of reading either my own past speeches or anyone else's because we live in a changing world. All I know is that complaint was made of the 1922 Committee. Do not tie yourself to Moses as well.

Mr. Shinwell

Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman refuses to consider the declarations of the Labour Party Conference?

Mr. Bevin

My entry into this Government and that of every one else concerned, had as its supreme object the winning of the war. That is what the National Government was created for. That is what we were asked to associate together for. As my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council made clear yesterday, it is a cardinal point of policy for the Government as a whole that neither interest, property, persons, nor prejudice will be allowed to stand in the way of our achieving that great objective. Whatever comes in the way, that is the test that must be applied—none other. If the argument is seriously advanced that there should be further requisitioning of either property, services, or industry, in order to secure a more successful prosecution of the war, the Government will examine any specific claim, and will deal with it on its merits, guided by this one principle. Equally, if it can be shown that any of the controls already established is not effective, or is not of a character likely to produce the best results, the Government will re-examine the position, with a view to making it more effective. This is in keeping, I should have thought, with the declaration of at least one of the signatories to the Amendment, as recently as 13th November. Let me quote the hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt). He said—and I am reading a past speech, because it is related to the present Debate: We support the Prime Minister in fighting this war under the existing system, and with the existing machinery, although we feel confident that with nationalisation, for example, we would be able to do the job better, because we know that if we started to embark on nationalisation, or any other major measure, now it would have two grave disadvantages. The first is that the change-over would disturb production for a considerable time, and the second is that, by attacking and weakening the Government, we might give much more sinister elements on the extreme Right a chance to weaken the general support of the Government." — [OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th November, 1941; col. no, Vol. 376.] The hon. and learned Member is a signatory to the Amendment. He seems to have come back to the fold.

Mr. McGovern (Glasgow, Shettleston)

This week.

Mr. Bevin

Yes, this week. The next point raised in the Amendment is that of soldiers' allowances.

Mr. A. Bevan (Ebbw Vale)

Has the right hon. Gentleman finished that declaration?

Mr. Bevin

I have finished with the point relating to control and the requisitioning of property.

Mr. Ness Edwards (Caerphilly)

Does the declaration of the right hon. Gentleman mean that the Government will be prepared to examine any specific claim; and, if that is the position, will he indicate how such claims are to be put forward, and how they will be examined?

Mr. Bevin

They will have to be put forward in the House, and they will be examined on the basis I have named— they must be shown to contribute to the more successful prosecution of the war.

The next point is soldiers' pay and allowances. The Government have recently introduced certain changes. We feel entitled to ask the House to agree to give those changes, set forth in the White Paper, a reasonable chance, in order that we may see how they affect the position. It is a very vexed problem, but the Government have the matter under review. We shall welcome a Debate, and, after hearing the views of the House, we shall consider the matter and make an early statement. The Government recognise that the proposed extensoin of the National Service Act imposes on them the necessity for making every possible provision for the wellbeing of those affected, and, in the administration of the pensions scheme proper regard will be had to these circumstances. [Interruption.] This question is raised on the issue of soldiers' allowances.

The other point raised by my hon. Friends opposite is the vexed question of transport. The Government are aware of the difficulties associated with this problem. We have been working at it for a considerable time, and I claim, without fear of contradiction by anyone in possession of the facts, that the changes made by the new Railway Agreement and the altered railway administration have produced very good results. The distribution of coal and other material is far better now than at any time since the war broke out. Many changes have been effected and anomalies regarding differences in fares between omnibuses and trains have been removed. Co-ordination of services in many directions has been made, but we are still left with the problem of what we call surface transport, omnibuses, etc. Here it is a question of whether we have gone far enough in pooling resources and whether we have had sufficient resources to pool in order to provide adequate services.

There is a lot of easy talk about the nationalisation of omnibuses and trams. At the present moment 90 per cent. of the seating capacity of trams and over 60 per cent. of buses is publicly owned by municipalities and public authorities. I suggest to hon. Members that it would make a very interesting debate in Glasgow, in Birmingham and in these great cities, if it were now suggested that you were going to nationalise all these local services, or transfer them from the immediate public control of the elected representatives. It would immediately raise a great political storm in this country. I am speaking with the knowledge derived from a very long association with this particular industry. Therefore you have certain private and individual ownerships existing in certain parts of the country and it is a question of co-ordinating them with the bigger and wider public concerns. I speak as one who represented the men for many years and I would not be prepared to take all those men out of the public control of municipal corporations and hand them back to indirect public departments, even like the London Passenger Transport Board, without very great thought and care as to their future well-being—and I have had a very long experience of the great protection of municipal employment. The Noble Lord the Minister for War Transport has this matter under review. The Government will not hesitate to take any necessary steps to provide as adequate a service as possible for the people who have to be transported to and from their work. Therefore, on the main issues raised to-day on the Amendment and on what has been introduced into the discussion both on the question of our attitude to property and vested interest, or whatever it may be, I think I have made the position of the Government perfectly clear.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Except that it was said 12 months ago.

Mr. Bevin

I turn now to the main issue —the question of man-power and woman-power. I am afraid there has been little chance to indicate to the House the steps which have been taken leading up to the Bill to be introduced to-day, and if the House will bear with me I will try to review as briefly as I can what has happened since the inauguration of this Government. First, I would like to deal with the question of registration. A tremendous obligation is imposed upon my Department by the National Service Acts, under which a total of 6,850,000 men have been registered. In addition there are the registrations for the men over 41, special industrial registrations, aliens' registration, women's registration for employment and the registration for fire-watching: taking these together the Department has had to deal with no fewer than 17,000,000 registrations. I was anxious to mention this because there is a tendency in the House sometimes to bring forward every little complaint that may arise against my staff and exaggerate it out of all proportion. I only ask that the other side should be remembered and for an appreciation of what the handling of 17,000,000 registrations has meant.

Then we had to deal with the question of calling-up as distinct from the question of the supply to industry. There were two principles which we followed. There has been a good deal of assertion in the House that we have acted haphazardly. The first consideration has been the overriding strategical consideration which I regard as the primary duty of the Government. Having arrived at the strategical consideration, which involves the number of men and the period over which they are to be called, we worked out a scheme after the Dunkirk episode of steadying down the calling-up, so that it would relate to the provision of equipment. In other words, we knew there had to be some months of training in the Forces before full equipment could be available and, therefore, stage by stage, we endeavoured to call up men when equipment came in sight. That has acted as a brake and check on the taking away of men from the munitions industry before they were wanted in the Services. I do not claim absolute perfection; in the working out and handling of millions of men there are bound to be errors, but, on the whole, it has been done very well. Then, following our experience of the last war we invented the machinery of reserved occupations, and let me say, in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North-West Camberwell (Major Guest) and others, that this machinery was the only machinery that could have been used at the time and up to now to keep a steady balance between the claims of the Services and of industry.

The third step was the deferment of calling up in order to try to check a drain on key men. The question of dealing with key men has been an extremely difficult one. I make no distinction here between Government Departments and Government management and private enterprise. It is a natural tendency on the part of every management to hold on to its most efficient men. It is an inherent thing. It has been extremely difficult for my officers to go in and root out men of 20 or 30 years' service and tell them to go somewhere else in order to keep the war effort going. When I am asked by the hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Shinwell) whether I have machinery to move men here and to move them there, I reply, "The men have got something to say about that." They are not a lot of marionettes. Take a case that I had not long ago. [Interruption.] I am answering the hon. Member.

Mr. Shinwell

I did not suggest that at all.

Mr. Bevin

We built up a huge undertaking for one of the Ministries in a very difficult place. A very large number of men had to be moved, the local authorities had to provide schools, everything had to be done, and the type of production had to be changed. The decision had to be taken whether we would keep the men there five or six weeks, or move them again. I would not take the responsibility of moving them again, when their families and everything had to be moved. I would rather take the risk of paying them while they were waiting, even though I got uninformed criticism in consequence and was not able to reply because of war circumstances.

Another vexed question is the question of Service tradesmen. There have been very great difficulties to solve. This war makes enormous demands on skilled men for the Services. I have been asked why we are calling up young apprentices as soon as they have finished their time, taking them into the Army, and then putting dilutees in their place. The Services must have them. Look at Libya at the present time. The repair of tanks, getting them back on the road, quick movement, is vital to the safety of the Army in a war of this character. I cannot take dilutees for this. I must have young, skilled journeymen, quick and alert, if these great machines are to be kept on the road. That is a question that has to be faced. I say to the young men of the country, "Come along when you are called; you are rendering an enormous service at a very critical time." I have to put dilutees in their place because I have not other skilled men.

But, on the other hand we are entitled to say to the Army that they must not waste these young men. My sympathy is very largely with the Army in this respect, as I have said on public platforms. Half of the criticism of the Army in this war is due to the fact that all of us agreed to save 6d. on the Income Tax by breaking up the Army in peace time and not having it prepared when war broke out. That has been one of our big troubles. When this war is over, let us remember that. I will never be a party to it again, after what I have seen in this war. I know the industrialists very well, at any rate from one side of the table; I know their expert ability, and I venture to suggest that if there were to be the same inquiry into industry as regards misfits as has been made into the Army by the Beve-ridge Committee just as many misfits would be found. And the industrialists have had longer training. There is an old method you can always adopt to keep the eyes of the critics off yourself, and that is to go for somebody else.

I regret that I am unable as yet to place the Report of the Beveridge Committee before the House. There are issues raised in that Report which are extremely vital to the future organisation of the Services, and I can assure the House that it has been work well done. The investigation of the Committee has been taken into account, and, as soon as possible, the Report will be issued. Then we had to deal with an enormous development of technical personnel. There has been a good deal of criticism of my Department, that we have looked at the question only from a purely unskilled point of view. In co-operation with the President of the Board of Education, a system of State bursaries at universities and university colleges was organised. University fees and maintenance grants are made in a variety of ways. Since the war broke out we have had to create an enormous amount of technical skill to meet the new developments of the war effort. The cost of the six-month courses in mechanical and electrical engineering have all been borne by the State. Training centres and many other departments have had to be created.

Prior to my coming into Office, there was created a Central Register, which has been the subject of a good deal of criticism. The Central Register was never created as an employment agency. It was intended to be an index of available ability which the State could call upon in time of necessity. A lot of people entered their names on the Central Register because they thought they could get rather highly paid jobs. On examination some were found to have ability and others insufficient ability. I have decided to establish in the Ministry of Labour an appropriate appointments department to take over this work. I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Sir H. Williams) will be glad to know that I am entering this field. I believe that the time is coming when, in the higher technical branches of our productive industry right up to management, the State should take a hand in its provision, and not only take a hand in the provision, but appoint the right people in the department to be able to handle it. I think the House will be glad to know that we are proposing now to go beyond the point of mere registration and are establishing a department which will apply to men and women.

We have tried to develop a proper control of labour or personnel, and the principle we have been following is equality of supply both between the Forces and industry. The numbers required for the Forces have been laid down with great care, and in supplying them, as I have already indicated, I have tried to keep a uniform and equalised basis. In May, 1940, as has already been said, powers were passed to direct people, and I decided to exercise these powers with discretion. There has been an enormous amount of criticism that I have not directed people hither and thither, but it is just as easy to upset an industry by direction as to fill it by direction. Therefore the problem of selection and transference has to be handled with care, and you have to know, when you are handling it, the new contracts that are coming out and the districts they are going to, and see that you do not upset the whole business.

The second stage was the Restriction on Engagements Order. There was a good deal of disturbance with advertising and competition, producing an intolerable situation, and I took steps to check that at an early date. That was purely a short-term policy. Then there was the question of special registrations to meet the needs of particular industries, and, under this head, thousands of men and women have been brought back to industries from many of which they were driven through unemployment. They have readily come back and they are entitled to the thanks of the nation for the sacrifices they have made.

The most vexed problem that faced me in the administration of this task was the frightful turnover of labour—what is called wastage. Wastage was probably the biggest contributing factor to low production. The only method that I could invent—and if I may say so without boasting no one seems to have invented a better one—was the Essential Work Order, and although we have been charged, as a Government, with taking things away from labour which are very precious, some of the things that have been taken away they do not want back. It is rather curious that at one meeting it was the employers who were pressing hardest for the restoration of pre-war practices. Probably that is one of the greatest tributes, at least to some of the changes that my Department has made as the result of these Orders. The men were entitled to them. First of all, it restrained the freedom of the employers to discharge. You can never have equality while one citizen can condemn another to unemployment or sentence him to economic poverty. Secondly, it restrained the man's freedom to leave. For the five and a half million people now covered by the Orders there is now the guaranteed week instead of the old casual system. If I have been justified by nothing else, in coming into the Government, I feel rather pleased about that: I am glad that the Conservative Members were under the dire necessity of letting it go through without opposition. It has been said that, in spite of this Order, there have been dismissals. I cannot expect a widespread Order like this to work absolutely perfectly. I would compliment the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. Ellis Smith) on his first speech from —I do not know whether to call it the Front Opposition Bench or the Front Bench Opposite. [An HON. MEMBER: "The annexe."] I thought that was the I.L.P.

I would ask employers and trade unions if they get these difficulties, to let us have knowledge of them as quickly as possible so that we can deal with individual cases. There is to be removal where we get surpluses. I would say to my Labour friends in the House, "Really, are you not exaggerating the amount of this standing about? Is it not probably sometimes due to the operation of the Essential Work Order? What did you have to do before? You were all very efficient, but you were down in a queue at the Employment Exchange. I would rather see you tidying up the shop and getting ready for the next order than standing in a queue. I think that that is a better contribution to efficiency." Sometimes, however good the Orders and the system might be, you cannot keep perfect continuity. No one could, except perhaps in a well-ordered world where all were perfect and all of us sane, but that would be a mad place to live in.

In regard to absenteeism, I think again there is great exaggeration. This is the first time in British history that we have compelled thousands of women, married and single, to work three shifts. No allowance for that has been made in any speeches in the House. Totals are simply presented. Let me tell the House that the wastage in the filling factories, working three shifts, is less than one per cent. per week. There is not an industrialist in the country who has ever got the wastage in his own business down much lower. I think that is a tribute to our efficiency. I accept the view that further improvements can be made, but that is a tribute to the women for what they are going through night and day. That is why, sometimes, I cannot help resenting these odd charges which are thrown out—charges of all kinds. I heard one to-day about our treatment of women in the Employment Exchanges. It has been circulated to our prisoners in Germany that we are badgering their wives and treating them badly. It is not true. It is used against us, and I do think Members ought to investigate cases before they hurl out accusations which can only injure our name.

Let me give another illustration of what the Essential Work Order has meant. When we had to face the Battle of the Atlantic we had to do something quickly for Glasgow and Liverpool in order to help to hold the men. What a criticism there was when we did it. What was worse—and I shall never forget it— advantage was taken of the eight nights of blitz in Liverpool to attack the scheme and the men there. I am glad to have this chance to hurl back to those who did it, the reminder that armies may break under eight nights of blitz and not only dockers who were trying to carry on their work. That scheme has reduced the time of turn-round of ships by nearly two-and-a-half days per ship on the average. That is equal to building nearly 1,500,000 tons of new shipping. The men and the scheme are entitled to the credit for this. Under the Order, I have established the Docks Corporation for all the other ports. This is an entirely new feature. Under this non-profit making corporation, a State-run company guaranteed by the Treasury, every man will be a permanent employee and will no longer be casual. I appreciate the attitude of the ship-owners and dock-owners and the men towards this new company. It gets over a great difficulty. It avoids the rigidity of State control yet gives State backing, and secures a certain amount of flexibility.

I am rather proud of the development of this idea, which I believe might be extended very widely. It is capable of being extended in post-war years to a large number of other industries without destroying initiative or enterprise. I believe both sides should accept it now as a permanent feature. Many other things could be mentioned, like the provisions for the rehabilitation of disabled men, to indicate that all has not been given up, that all has not been one-sided. The Government have looked after the conditions of the workpeople in a hundred-and-one ways as the price of the service they are rendering. Welfare organisations have been mentioned. I have not the time to go into that question, but I want to extend them. Great play has been made of the lack of canteens. In connection with munition work and other Government work canteens are coming into operation at the rate of 100 a month, and of the factories employing 250 workers or over, 85 per cent. now have a canteen. That is not a bad accomplishment in the 14 months, or just over, since the Order was made.

Then there have been the canteen developments in connection with coalmining, and the extension of hostels and welfare arrangements for seamen. We have now arranged with my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary that every consular officer at every port in the world shall be responsible for seeing that the welfare arrangements for merchant seamen are adequate in that port. This is not all that we want to do. We have built—well I do not like to call them hostels and would prefer hon. Members to go to see for themselves what we have built for munition workers. I have slept in many worse hotels. I am rather proud of the management of those institutions. A point was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald) who, I am sorry, is not here, about the welfare provisions for the women we are to call up for the Services. We are not contented, we state frankly, with the amenities for the women's auxiliary Services and we are going into this question with great care. The Service Ministers and I am meeting with a view to getting a better standard of amenities, privacy, and medical attention, and I hope that the mothers of this country will realise that we shall care properly for their girls in all these Services.

Viscountess Astor (Plymouth, Sutton)

Do not give them wet canteens.

Mr. Bevin

In addition to the transference scheme I have preferred in a large number of cases to withdraw people by consent, making the necessary arrangements with many of the big industries. Thousands of women have been transferred by this method over a large area of industries, with this advantage—that proper registers are being kept. The firms who have accommodated the workpeople will be the first on those lists to go back to those industries. The double advantage is that it will be good for the men and women to have the assurance that they will go back, and secondly, good for the firms to get quickly off the mark, into their post-war development.

In this connection I would deal briefly with the present man-power position. We have to consider not only the demand that is made upon us for man-power now week by week and month by month, but also the possibility of great battles. Happily, as the Prime Minister has said, there have been few casualties in this war, compared with the previous war, but this war is not over. Battles have to come, grim as they are, and they have to be faced. Everyone knows that when these devilish machines are let go—really let go —casualties are very heavy. I remember when Gough's Army went to Cambrai in the last war there was a sudden demand for 750,000 men at once. Down came the call, through the trade unions and everywhere else, to try to find them. Arrangements had not been made in advance. Therefore, we were in a dilemma. We had to send thousands of men out, untrained, and unprovided for, involving the cutting down of production at home. I am asked why I want to get all these women and everything else organised. I hope that that crisis will never come, but this House would never forgive me if I, as the custodian of man-power, did not make provision to deal with it. Therefore, I have to visualise not only the immediate call but the possibly greater call that may be made.

In addition to that, other nations of the world are watching us. Many things in this world are in the balance at this moment. It is a most critical time. Whatever I may have said or may have done yesterday, I am conscious to-day in my own heart that the steps we are taking are an example to the world that we would rather be wiped out in the absolutely last resort, than defeated. This may mean the tipping of the scales over a wide area of the world in the next few days. Let those who would tip the scales the wrong way, take the responsibility; I will not. Hitler has got to be beaten.

We have made a survey of the manpower situation with very great care. Suppose we said, in regard to Civil Defence, that as, at this moment, we have had no raids for six months, we could therefore let up. It must not be done. We cannot take the risk. Suppose we said things of that sort in regard to other home Services. We should not be forgiven. Under all these heads, a wide survey was taken to see that every provision was made. It is said that we are harassing the women. I deliberately brought that point to the notice of my colleagues in order to stop any harassing of the women. I do not like using indirect power. I do not like the idea of making staff use indirect pressure, whatever the Minister may do. It is unwise. Do not let us forget that, when the Press come out, as they have been doing, week after week and Sunday after Sunday, saying, "Why does not Bevin harass these women?" They put our advertisements in one corner and damn us in all the other pages. Your staff is apt to think that that is the political background. It becomes infectious. Then, if I have to call women to the Services—and I must have them in the Services to carry out the policy of the Government and get the man-power we want—is it not right that they should be honourably called-up? Is it not right that they should have the right of conscientious objection? Is it not right that they should have the right to appeal to the hardships tribunal? Is it not right that all that should be done?

Earl Winterton (Horsham and Worthing)

We have said so.

Mr. Bevin

But the powers of direction that the House gave me a year ago did not do this.

Earl Winterton

We wanted you to do more.

Mr. Bevin

I am sorry the Noble Lord interrupts; he never asked me to take more powers in regard to military service.

Earl Winterton

Yes, we did.

Mr. Bevin

The Noble Lord is talking about industrial service, and I am talking about military service, which is quite a different thing.

If I may now turn to the legislation itself, what is desired will be expressed quite clearly in the White Paper and in the Bill which is to be presented. I welcome this two-day Debate because the Bill itself only deals with one phase of the powers to be taken and the administrative acts which will have to be exercised. Individual deferment is one of the key points of this new development. If they are to be called to the colours, women will expect to know whether I have people in industry who ought not to be there. I have to balance the two. The two have to run together, and in- dividual deferment will reveal the exact skill, ability, and use of the workers. It will also impose heavy responsibilities upon employers. The employer will be compelled not only to say that a man is a setter, a pattern-maker, a turner or a fitter, but will have to assure us that he is working at that trade. The great complaint of skilled men has been that while they have been anxious to carry on their own trade many of them have not been used as they ought to have been used. In the machinery for the exercise of individual reservation I have created 45 boards in order to bring it nearer to the actual districts where the industries are. A board will consist of a chairman, the deferment officer, the labour supply officer, and the military recruiting officer in charge of the local branch of the Ministry, and will also have attached to it a woman officer, in order that the balance may be held. We believe that under these new arrangements we shall be able to sort out, under proper conditions, the employment and use of man-power. If a man is not returned on an employer's list for any reason, the man, either himself or through his union, can apply for deferment. I am not going to have the system of the old leaving certificate. Therefore, this matter will be the duty not only of employers but the trade unions, and I look for their co-operation. If there is any attempt to victimise anybody the opportunity is there for the Deferment Board to deal with.

Mr. S. O. Davies (Merthyr)

Will the chairman be a person experienced in industry?

Mr. Bevin

Yes. As already stated, the women called up to the Forces will have the same conditions and rights as the men. The next point is the question of the panels and the medical work. I have arranged that women doctors will serve on medical boards—as is the practice now when women are examined, but there has not been the amount of examination that will develop under this arrangement. Therefore, it will be extended in order that women doctors may be in attendance to take care of the women.

In the case of the women called up, we have extended one thing beyond the National Service Act for men. It can be done because of the numbers required and the limitation of the intake for the Auxiliary Services. We shall give a woman the opportunity of going into one of the Auxiliary Services, certain duties in the Civil Defence, or certain specified jobs in industry. This gives an opportunity to women who, for various reasons, may not be able to go away, but who can volunteer for certain forms of Civil Defence in their own localities. Also it gives an opportunity to the woman who prefers industry. She is not given only the choice of serving in one of the Forces.

I have been asked how we are to deal with the thousands of women who are engaged in vital war work now. All women engaged in vital war work will be reserved, according to the list we have already issued of vital war occupations. The same principles and procedure as to reservation and deferment will apply to women as to men; they will be exactly the same. Individual reservation will be very important, because it does give the Ministry a chance to know what is happening to the workers, and it keeps contact with them when they are moved away from home. Then, there will be a large number of women who are engaged on domestic work of a variety of kinds of great urgency and importance, who must be dealt with individually. For them, the opportunity of deferment will be applied on the examination of the cases, so that instead of going round, as now, and dragging people out, as it were, arguing with mistresses, etc., whether or not a servant ought to go, the woman will be able to state her case. It will be up to the employer or the woman to make application for deferment, and then it will be dealt with on the proper lines, instead of the other way round. We will try, when the women are posted to the Services, to post them near their homes as far as practicable.

The other vexed question is the question of married women—a very vexed question. We have decided, after all the representations, to exclude the married women from compulsory military service, though they will be subject to direction to employment. It makes a great deal of difference to the psychology of the men who are in the Forces, especially overseas, and we cannot ignore it. The childless married woman can be directed to work, but we are going to pay very great attention to the women with children and see that directions are not issued to direct them away from their homes. The other point that I have to make relates to training for boys and girls.

Mr. J. J. Davidson (Glasgow, Maryhill)


Mr. Bevin

There will be plenty of opportunities for the hon. Member on the Bill and on the White Paper. I have been asked an enormous number of questions about boys and girls and high wages and so on. This is our first beginning in dealing with the adolescent in an organised manner. It is only a beginning. But you have to know the problem before you can solve it.

Mr. McGovern

The Churchill youth movement.

Mr. Bevin

I would rather have a Churchill youth movement than leave the children in slums unattended. I would rather have that than see the shoeless children we used to have in our great cities. That is the reason we have brought in all the voluntary organisations of this country. There is nothing to stop the trade unions, the co-operative societies, the I.L.P. if you like, having youth movements if they want them. We are making no discrimination. We want variety. We do not want all the people driven into one machine. But we cannot allow the youth of this country to run wild. I hold firmly to the conviction that now is the time to do it. I venture to prophesy that in a few years it will be discovered that we have not only done something for youth in the war, but have laid a foundation that many of our own party will be glad of when they come to develop the great educational system of this country. Although I have had the unpleasant task of applying compulsion in all directions, contrary to anything I would ever have done in peace-time, contrary to anything I have ever stooped to in peace-time, I say now that I came into this Government with my eyes open. I knew the task that would have to be faced. I have never been under any delusion about the German war machine. Nobody in the Labour party can accuse me of that. For years past, when many would not face up to the position, I stood up at conferences, year after year, and tried to make it plain. I say that no one can accuse me of not realising what the Hitler machine meant, long before this war. I came in with my eyes open. I knew, when I responded to the Prime Minister's request to join his Government, what it would mean before I got to the end. I am not going to shirk; and, as a Labour man, I am not going back on anything I have stood for. I can honestly say, if you strike a balance-sheet for the whole period during which I have been

Division No. 2.] AYES.
Adams, D. (Consett) Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hill, Prof. A. V.
Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford) Davidson, Viscountess (H'm'l H'mst'd) Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Adamson, W. M. (Cannock) Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Holdsworth, H.
Albery, Sir Irving Davison, Sir W. H. Hollins, J. H. (Silvertown)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) De la Bère, R Hore-Balisha, Rt. Hon. L.
Alexander, Bg.-Gn. Sir W. (G'gow, C.) Denman, Hon. R. D. Horsbrugh, Florence
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'd, W.) Denville, Alfred Howitt, Dr. A. B.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S. Digby, Capt. K. S. D. W. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (H'ckn'y, N.)
Ammon, C. G. Doland, G. F. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)
Anderson Rt. Hon. Sir J. (Sc'h. Univ.) Drewe, C. Hulbert, Squadron-Leader N. J.
Aske, Sir R. W. Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Hume, Sir G. H.
Assheton, R. Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Hunter, T.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Dugdale, Major T. L. (Richmond) Hurd, Sir P. A.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. R. (C. Ldn.) Hutchison, Lt. Com. G. I. C. (E'burgh)
Balfour, Capt. Rt. Hn. H. H. Ede, J. C. Isaacs, G. A.
Barnes, A. J. Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Jagger, J.
Baxter, A. Beverley Edmondson, Major Sir J. James, Wing-Comdr. A. W. H.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Jarvis, Sir J. J.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. Ellis, Sir G. Jeffreys, Gen. Sir G. D.
Beaumont, Hubert (Batley) Elliston, Captain. G. S. Jennings, R.
Beaumont, Maj. Hn. R. E. B. (P'ts'h) Emmott, C. E. G. C. John, W.
Beechman, N. A. Emrys-Evans, p. V. Johnston, Rt. Hn. T. (Stl'g & Ckm'n)
Beit, Sir A. L. Errington, Squadron-Leader E. Johnstone, H. (Middesbrough, W.)
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Erskine Hill, A. G. Jones, A. C. (Shipley)
Bennett, Sir P. F. B. (Edgbaston) Etherton, Flight-Lieut. Ralph Jones, L. (Swansea, W.)
Benson, G. Evans, Colonel A. (Cardiff, S.) Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.
Bernays, R. H. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.
Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. Fildes, Sir H. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)
Bird, Sir R. B. Fletcher, Comdr. R. T. H. Kerr, Sir John Graham (Scottish U's)
Blair, Sir R. Foot, D. M. Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.
Bossom, A. C. Frankel, D. Kirby, B. V.
Boulton, W. W. Fraser, Capt. Sir Ian Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.
Bower, Comdr. R T. Fremantle, Sir F. E. Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Boyce, H. Leslie Fyfe, Major D. P. M. Lathan, G.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose) Garro Jones, G. M. Law, R. K.
Brass, Capt. Sir W. George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'broke) Leigh, Sir J.
Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Gibbins, J. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Brooklebank, Sir C. E. R. Gledhill, G. Leonard, W.
Brooke, H. Gluckstein, Captain L. H. Levy, T.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Glyn, Sir R. G. C. Lewis, O.
Burghley, Lord Goldie, N. B. Liddall, W. S.
Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L. Gower, Sir R. V. Lipson, D. L.
Butcher, Lieut. H. W. Granville, E. L. Little, Sir E. Graham- (London Univ.)
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A Green, W. H. (Deptford) Llewellin, Colonel J. J.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Grenfell, D. R. Lloyd, C. E. (Dudley)
Cary, R. A. Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd, Major E. G. R. (Renfrew, E.)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Gridley, Sir A. B. Lloyd, G. W. (Ladywood)
Challen, C. Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Locker-Lampson, Commander O. S.
Channon, H. Grigg, Sir E. W. M. Loftus, P. C.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Grimston, R. V. Lucas, Major Sir J. M.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Groves, T. E. Lyle, Sir C. E. Leonard
Charleton, H. C. Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Lyons, Major A. M.
Christie, J. A. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H. McCallum, Major D.
Churchill, Rt. Hn. Winston S. (Ep'ing) Hannah, I. C McCorquodale, Flight-Lt. Malcolm S.
Cluse, W. S. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. MacDonald. Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Cobb, Captain E. C. Harris, Rt. Hon. Sir P. A. McEntee, V. La T.
Colegate, W. A. Haslam, Henry McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.
Colman, N. C. D. Headlam, Lt.-Col. Sir C. M. McKie, J. H.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Heilgers, Major F. F. A. Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Maitland, Sir A.
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Makins, Brig-Gen. Sir E.
Craven-Ellis, W. Heneage, Lt.-Col. A. P. Mander, G. le M.
Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Herbert, Petty Officer A. P. (Oxford U.) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hewlett, T. H. Markham, Captain S. F.
Culverwell, C. T. Higgs, W. F. Marshall, F.

in this Government, of what I have tried to do, with the assistance of my colleagues, in social change, that I have nothing to apologise for, even if I do have to carry out this policy at present.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 336; Noes, 40.

Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Rankin, Sir R. Summers, G. S.
Medlicott, Colonel Frank Rawson, Sir Cooper Sutcliffe, H.
Mellor, Sir J. S. P. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Sykes, Maj.-Gen. Rt. Hon. Sir F. H.
Mills, Colonel J. D. (New Forest) Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury) Tasker, Sir R. I.
Milner, Major J. Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham (St. M.) Tate, Mavis C.
Mitchell, Colonel H. P. Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Taylor, Capt. C. S. (Eastbourne)
Mitcheson, Sir G. G. Richards, R. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'd'ton, S.)
Montague, F. Rickards, G. W. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Moore, Lieut-Col. Sir T. C. R. Ridley, G. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. J. T. G. Ritson, J. Thomas, Dr. W. S. Russell (S'th'm'tn)
Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. (Rochdale) Roberts, W. Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Morgan, R. H. (Stourbridge) Robertson, D. (Streatham) Thornton-Kemsley, Major C. N.
Morris-Jones, Sir Henry Robertson, Rt. Hn. Sir M. A. (M'ham) Thurtle, E.
Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Universities) Rothschild, J. A. de Titchfield, Lt.-Col. Marquess of
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Rowlands, G. Tomlinson, G.
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R. Touche, G. C.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Russell, Sir A. (Tynemouth) Tree, A. R. L. F.
Mort, D. L. Samuel, M. R. A. Tufnell, Lieut.-Comdr. R. L.
Munro, P. Sanderson, Sir F. B. Wakefield, W. W.
Nall, Sir J. Sandys, E. D. Walkden, A. G. (Bristol, S.)
Naylor, T. E. Schuster, Sir G. E. Walker, J.
Nicolson, Hon. H. G. (Leicester, W.) Scott, Donald (Wansbeck) Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Noel-Baker, P. J. Scott, Lord William (Ro'b'h & Selk'k) Ward, Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Nunn, W. Selley, H. R. Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Oliver, G. H. Shakespeare, G. H. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree) Warrender, Sir V.
Paling, W. Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar) Waterhouse, Capt. C.
Palmer, G. E. H. Shepperson, Sir E. W. Watt, Lieut-Col. G. S. Harvie
Peake, O. Shute, Col. Sir J. J. Webbe, Sir W. Harold
Pearson, A. Silkin, L. Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Perkins, W. R. D. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Wells, Sir S. Richard
Peters, Dr. S. J. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. D. Weston, W. Garfield
Petherick, Major M. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich) White, Sir Dymoke (Fareham)
Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W. Smith, E. (Stoke) White, H. Graham (Birkenhead, E.)
Peto, Major B. A. J. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly) Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Plugge, Capt. L. F. Smithers, Sir W. Wilkinson, Ellen
Ponsonby, Col C. E. Snadden, W. McN. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Power, Sir J. C. Somervell Rt. Hon. Sir D. B. (Crewe) Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton Somerville, Sir A. A. (Windsor) Wilmot, John
Price, M. P. Southby, Comd. Sir A. R. J. Windsor-Clive, Lt.-Col. G.
Procter, Major H. A. Spearman, A. C. M. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Profumo, Captain J. D. Spens, W. P. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir K. (W'lwich, W.)
Purbrick, R. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver Wragg, H.
Quibell, D. J. K. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Radford, E. A. Strickland, Capt. W. F.
Raikes, H. V. A. M. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (Northwich) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Ramsden, Sir E. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F. Mr. James Stuart and Sir Charles Edwards.
Acland, Sir R. T. D. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Silverman, S. S.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Sloan, A.
Barr, J. Guest, Maj. L. Haden (Islington, N.) Sorensen, R. W.
Barstow, P. G. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Stephen, C.
Bartlett, C. V. O. Hardie, Agnes Stokes, R. R.
Bellenger, F. J. Horabin, T. L. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Bevan, A. Hughes, R. M. Viant, S. P.
Buchanan, G. McGhee, H. G. Walkden, E. (Doncaster).
Chater, D. McGovern, J. Watson, W. MoL.
Cocks, F. S. MacLaren, A. Windsor, W.
Cove, W. G. Maclean, N. (Govan)
Daggar, G. Maxton, J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Parker, J. Mr. Dobbie and Mr. John Dugdale
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey, W.)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Shinwell, E.

Main Question again proposed.

Mr. Stephen


The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. James Stuart)

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Mr. Stephen


Mr. Speaker

Order. I have to put the Question.

Mr. Stephen

I submit to you, Mr. Speaker—

Mr. Speaker


Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.

Main Question put accordingly.

The House divided: Ayes, 326; Noes, 10.

Division No. 3.] AYES.
Acland, Sir R. T. D. Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Adams, D. (Consett) Edmondson, Major Sir J. Leonard, W.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty) Levy, T.
Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Lewis, O.
Adamson, W. M. (Cannock) Elliston, Captain G. S. Liddall, W. S.
Albery, Sir Irving Emmott, C. E. G. C. Lipson, D. L.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Emrys-Evans, P. V. Little, Sir E. Graham-(London Univ.)
Alexander, Bg.-Gn. Sir W. (G'gow C.) Errington, Squadron-Leader E. Llewellin, Colonel J. J.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'd, W.) Erskine Hill, A. G. Lloyd, C. E. (Dudley)
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S. Etherton, Flight-Lieut. Ralph Lloyd, G. W. (Ladywood)
Ammon, C. G. Evans, Colonel A. (Cardiff, S.) Looker-Lampion, Commander O. S.
Anderson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. (Sc'h, Univ.) Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Loftus, P. C.
Aske, Sir R. W. Fildes, Sir H. Lyle, Sir C. E. Leonard
Assheton, R. Fletcher, Comdr. R. T. H. Lyons, Major A. M.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Foot, D. M. McCallum, Major D.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Frankel, D. McCorquodale, Flight-Lt. Malcolm S.
Balfour, Capt. Rt. Hn. H. H. Fraser, Capt. Sir lan MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Barnes, A. J. Fremantle, Sir F. E. McEntee, V. La T.
Bartlett, C. V. O. Fyfe, Major D. P. M. McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.
Baxter, A. Beverley Garro Jones, G. M. Mckie, J.H.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'broke) Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Maitland, Sir A.
Beaumont, Hubert (Batley) Gibbins, J. Makins, Brig.-Gen. Sir E.
Beaumont, Maj. Hn. R. E. B. (P'tsmth) Gledhill, G. Mander, G. le M.
Beechman, N. A. Gluckstein, Captain L. H. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Beit, Sir A. L. Goldie, N. B. Markham, Captain S. F.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Gower, Sir R. V. Marshall, F.
Bennett, Sir P. F. B. (Edgbaston) Granville, E. L. Mayhaw, Lt.-Col. J.
Benson, G. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Medlicott, Colonel Frank
Bernays, R. H. Grenfell, D. R. Mellor, Sir J. S. P.
Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Mills, Colonel J. D. (New Forest)
Bird, Sir R. B. Gridley, Sir A. B. Mitchell, Colonel H. P.
Blair, Sir R. Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Mitcheson, Sir G. G.
Bossom, A. C. Grigg, Sir E. W. M. Montague, F.
Boulton, W. W. Grimston, R. V. Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Groves, T. E. Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. J. T. C.
Boyce, H. Leslie Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. (Rochdale)
Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose) Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Morgan, R. H. (Stourbridge)
Brass, Capt. Sir W. Hannah, I. C. Morris-Jones, Sir Henry
Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)
Brocklebank, Sir C. E. R. Harris, Rt. Hon. Sir P. A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Brooke, H. Haslam, Henry Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Headlam, Lt.-Col. Sir C. M. Mort, D.L.
Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L. Heilsers, Major F. F. A. Nall, Sir J.
Butcher, Lieut. H. W. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. Heneage, Lt.-Col. A. P. Nicolson, Hon. H.G. (Leicester, W.)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Herbert, Petty Officer A. P. (Oxford U.) Noel-Baker, P.J.
Cary, R. A. Hewlett, T. H. Nunn, W.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Higgs, W. F. Oliver, G.H.
Challen, C. Hill, Prof. A. V. Paling, W.
Channon, H. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Palmer, G.E.H.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Holdsworth, H. Parker, J.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Hollins, J. H. (Silvertown) Peake, O.
Charleton, H. C. Horabin, T. L. Pearson, A.
Christie, J. A. Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L. Perkins, W. R. D.
Cobb, Captain E. C. Horsbrugh, Florence Peters, Dr. S.J.
Cocks, F. S. Howitt, Dr. A. B. Petherick, Major M.
Colegate, W. A. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (H'ckn'y, N.) Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Colman, N. C. D. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Peto, Major B.A.J.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Hughes, R. M. Plugge, Capt. L.F.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Hulbert, Squadron-Leader N. J. Ponsonby, Col. C.E.
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. Hume, Sir G. H. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Craven-Ellis, W. Hunter, T. Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton
Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Hurd, Sir P. A. Price, M.P.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. G. I. C. (E'burgh) Procter, Major H. A.
Culverwell, C. T. Isaacs, G. A. Profumo, Captain J. D.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Jagger, J. Quibell, D.J.K.
Davidson, Viscountess (H'm'l H'mst'd) James, Wing-Comdr. A. W. H. Radford, E. A.
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Jarvis, Sir J. J. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Jeffreys, General Sir G. D. Ramsden, Sir E.
Davison, Sir W. H. Jennings, R. Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.)
De la Bère, R. Johnston, Rt. Hn. T. (St'l'g &C'km'n) Rawson, Sir Cooper
Denman, Hon. R. D. Johnstone, H. (Middlesbrough, W.) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Denville, Alfred Jones, L. (Swansea, W.) Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)
Digby, Capl. K. S. D. W. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham (St. M.)
Doland, G. F. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Donner, Squadron-Leader P. W. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Rickards, G. W.
Drewe, C. Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R. Ridley, G.
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Kirby, B. V. Riley, B.
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Lamb, Sir J. Q. Ritson, J.
Dugdale, John (W. Bromwich) Lathan, G. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Duncan, Rt. Hon. Sir A. R. (C. Ldn.) Law, R. K. Robertson, D. (Streatham)
Ede, J. C. Leigh, Sir J. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Rothschild, J. A. de Southby, Comdr. Sir A. R. J. Wakefield, W. W.
Rowlands, G. Spearman, A. C. M. Walkden, A. G. (Bristol, S.)
Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R. Spans, W. P. Walkden, E. (Donoaster)
Russell, Sir A. (Tynemouth) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver Ward, Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Samuel, M. R. A. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich) Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Sanderson, Sir F. B Strickland, Capt. W. F. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Sandys, E. D. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Warrender, Sir V.
Schuster, Sir G. E. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F. Waterhouse, Capt. C.
Scott, Donald (Wansbeck) Summers, G. S. Watt, Lieut-Col. G. S. Harvie
Scott, Lord William (Ro'b'h & Selk'k) Sutcliffe, H. Webbe, Sir W. Harold
Selley, H. R. Sykes, Maj.-Gen. Rt. Hon. Sir F. H. Wells, Sir S. Richard
Shakespeare, G. H. Tasker, Sir R. I. Weston, W. Garfield
Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar) Tate, Mavis C. White, Sir Dymoke (Fareham)
Shepperson, Sir E. W. Taylor, Capt. C. S. (Eastbourne) While, H. Graham (Birkenhead, E.)
Shute, Col. Sir J. J. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'd'ton, S.) Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Silkin, L. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Wilkinson, Ellen
Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. D. Thomas, Dr. W. S. Russell (S'th'm'tn) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich) Thomson, Sir J. D. W. Wilmot, John
Smith, E. (Stoke) Thornton-Kemsley, Major C. N. Windsor-Clive, Lt.-Col. G.
Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly) Thurtle, E. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Titchfield, Lt.-Col. Marquess of Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir K. (W'lwich, W.)
Smith, T. (Normanton) Tomlinson, G. Woodburn, A.
Smithers, Sir W. Touche, G. C. Wragg, H.
Snadden, W. McN. Tree, A. R. L. F. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Somerville, Rt. Hon. Sir D. B. (Crewe) Tufnell, Lieut.-Comdr. R. L.
Somerville, Sir A. A. (Windsor) Viant, S. P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Major Dugdale and Mr. Munro.
Barr, J. McGhee, H. G. Stephen, C.
Buchanan, G. Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey, W.) Stokes, R. R.
Hardie, Agnes Sloan, A.
Harvey, T. E. Sorensen, R. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. McGovern and Mr. Maxton.

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House, for the purpose of securing the maximum national effort in the conduct of the war and in production, the obligation for National Service should he extended to include the resources of woman-power and man-power still available; and that the necessary legislation should be brought in forthwith: