§ Considered in Committee.
§ [Major MILNER in the Chair]
§ The Chairman
I think it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we first had a general Debate on the subject matter of the Resolution, and that I should then call the Amendment which I have selected. I think it right to inform the House that I propose to accept the first Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) to leave out paragraph (a); and that, in the event of that Amendment being rejected, to call a manuscript Amendment to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Motion, in paragraph (a) to delete £25,000 and to insert £20,000.
§ The Chairman
I am obliged to the hon. Members. The Amendment is in the name 1716 of the hon. Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb), and other hon. Members.
§ Mr. Nicholson
Is it not unusual for a manuscript Amendment to be moved at the last moment like this?
§ The Chairman
The Amendment has been on the Table, and I have considered it; it is an Amendment which I think I ought properly to call.
§ 3.47 P.m.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sit Stafford Cripps)
I beg to move:That there be charged on the Consolidated Fund the following annual sums,—The Committee have before them the Report of the Select Committee over which I had the honour to preside. They will observe from this Report that the decision is not unanimous, having been passed by 13 votes to five. I will deal later with the points on which the Select Committee were not agreed, but I hope it will be realised that there was no difference of opinion on principle. It was recognised, I believe, by all Members of the Select Committee that, under our system of constitutional monarchy, the Heiress Presumptive and her Consort occupy high official positions, involving special responsibilities which call for a certain standard of outlay, different from that of the ordinary individual. They have many important functions to perform as representatives of the whole nation, and, indeed, as representatives of the whole British Commonwealth of Nations. Nothing, I think, could demonstrate this more clearly than the intense interest and enthusiasm displayed by all sections of the population at the time of their marriage, which partook of the nature of a national, and, indeed, I might say, of an international event.
- (a) for Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth during her life, as from the day of her marriage with His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, £25,000 in addition to any sum payable to her under the Civil List Act, 1937;
- (b) for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh during his life, as from the said day, £10,000;
- (c) for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, in case Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth dies in his lifetime leaving a child or children, during any period after her death during which he is living and their child or one of their children is Heir Presumptive to the Throne, £15,000 in addition to the said sum of £10,000."
1717 In these circumstances, it is the practice for Parliament to make adequate financial provision for the proper and dignified discharge of these functions and duties. There can, I am sure, be no doubt whatsoever that it is our duty to make adequate provision for those who are called upon to occupy positions of such great national importance. That is the basic position which was adopted by the Select Committee when they proceeded to deliberate upon this matter.
I will deal first with the allowance to Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth. Differences of opinion, very naturally, emerged when we came to consider the exact financial provision which would be needed in order to support the necessary standards of her establishment. Detailed evidence was given to the Select Committee as to the probable cost of housekeeping, staff, service, transport, and so forth, and of all those obligations which were imposed in the form of expenditure by reason of the functions that would have to be carried out. That, together with a reasonable personal provision of £5,000 a year for personal expenses, amounted according to the evidence, to a sum of £50,000 a year for the Princess, or £35,000 in addition to the £15,000 which she already receives under the former Civil List Act.
As hon. Members will see from the record of the proceedings of the Select Committee, after considerable discussion it was proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb) that an allowance of £20,000 should be voted, in addition to the £15,000 at present paid to Princess Elizabeth, making £35,000 in all. That was put to the vote in the Select Committee, and was defeated by 12 votes to five. After further discussion, a subsequent Motion to raise the amount by £5,000, that is, to £25,000, additional to the £15,000, making £40,000 in all, was passed by the Committee by 12 votes to five.
The members of the Select Committee were anxious, as we all are, to arrive at a unanimous decision, if possible, upon this subject matter, and although this difference of opinion which I have mentioned emerged during the discussion, it marks the anxiety of all persons present to reach a compromise arrangement that, finally, the difference of opinion was narrowed down to £5,000 a year. That 1718 is the margin of the different views taken as to the economies which could be made in the estimate of expenditure in view of all the existing circumstances of the country. The Committee will observe that both the majority and the minority considered, in the present financial difficulties which affect all sections of the community, that some economy should be undertaken, and that the sum granted should not be as great as that estimated by the witnesses.
With regard to the allowance for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, it is, in my view, essential—and this was the general view of the Select Committee—that he should have an adequate income of his own——
§ Earl Winterton (Horsham)
Major Milner, I desire to raise a point of Order. The right hon. and learned Gentleman referred, if I understood him correctly, to certain representations made by the witnesses. Have we the evidence of those witnesses before the Committee, and if not, is it in Order to refer to it?
§ Sir S. Cripps
I do not think I referred to anything stated by the witnesses. I merely stated that evidence of details of different kinds was given to the Committee.
§ The Chairman
The evidence of the witnesses may be referred to generally, but not specifically, if the evidence is not before the Committee.
§ Earl Winterton
Further to that point of Order. It has been held constantly that the evidence of witnesses before a Select Committee, When it is not published, cannot be referred to, either in detail or as to the effect of it.
§ The Chairman
I cannot remember the exact words of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but the general meaning was to the effect that the evidence before the Select Committee caused that Committee to come to such-and-such a conclusion. That seems to me to be in Order. It would not of course be correct to refer in detail to any specific evidence which is not, of course, before the Committee.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I had just turned to the case of the Duke of Edinburgh when I was interrupted, and I was stating that in my view—and I am sure in the view 1719 of the Committee too—it is essential that he should have an adequate income of his own, not only to provide for his own personal staff and expenses—including travelling, charitable subscriptions, and matters of that kind—but also that he may enjoy a proper degree of independence in financial matters. The figure of £10,000 a year, which the Select Committee have recommended by a majority vote should be provided for the Duke of Edinburgh, is the same as the provision customary for the younger son of a King. It is not, of course, based upon a separate establishment, and I commend the Motion on that point to the Committee for their approval.
It will be noted that here, too, there was a disagreement in the Select Committee, although I think it may fairly be said that it reflects only another variation of the same general idea. In fact, it is the combined figure of the two incomes which is the really relevant figure here. I do not think anyone who takes the view that the £10,000 suggested for the Duke of Edinburgh should be reduced would take the same view if another figure were included for the income of Princess Elizabeth. In other words, I think the real difference is between £45,000 and 50,000 for the combined incomes.
My own view, which I recommend to the Committee is that the decision of the majority of the Select Committee should be endorsed, and that we should, therefore, make provision for the Heiress Presumptive and her Consort upon the basis laid down in the Motion. I am sure hon. Members will take the view that whatever we do in this matter must be done with a view to supporting the dignity of the Crown and the national prestige. I suggest this is not a matter in which we should cavil at a few thousand pounds, provided that we are satisfied that the standards set are substantially the right ones.
I do not pretend to have any intimate knowledge of the cost of running such an establishment as the Princess and her husband will need to maintain for carrying out their official duties. I feel that probably there are comparatively few Members of this Committee who could claim any such specialised knowledge. But on the evidence which was laid before us, on the basis of their Royal Highnesses, as is known, occupying Clarence House 1720 as their home in London, I, personally, was satisfied that there is no very large margin that can be allowed for economies if they are to do their work of national entertaining in that house together with all the travelling and other expenses which are inevitable for people occupying the position which they do, with its unique responsibilities.
I am convinced, too, that the estimates that were put forward were economically drawn up. Probably, in normal circumstances, we should have been inclined to accept those estimates as put forward, and it is only the fact that in these times all sections of the people must reduce their standard of living, and the certainty that the Royal Family desire to join their people in these economies, that persuades us to reduce these estimates and to provide a smaller sum than that which has been voted on previous occasions of this kind. A comparison—although there is no exact comparison—but a general comparison with former times will show how large the reduction is from prewar standards, not only as the value of money has decreased by perhaps as much as half, but in the actual sums formerly enjoyed. The usual method of making this provision has been by way of the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall which, in the days before the war, amounted to £80,000 to £90,000 a year free of taxes. Even so, in some cases that was further supplemented on the occasion of marriage. I hope what I have said deals sufficiently with the Motion arising on the Report of the Select Committee.
There are one or two subsidiary points which I should mention. First, as to the Duke of Edinburgh. In the unfortunate event of his becoming a widower he might be responsible for the upbringing of an Heir Presumptive, the child of the marriage. In that event he would require more than the £10,000 a year which is granted him or which the Select Committee have recommended should be granted to him. It is, therefore, proposed that he should, in those circumstances, but in those circumstances only, be granted a further £15,000 a year, making £25,000 in all. Apart from this proposed increase in His Royal Highness's allowance for any period during which one of the children was an Heir Presumptive, it would not be customary to give the children of the marriage any allowance 1721 until, at any rate, they had reached the age of 18 years. That matter can, therefore, best be left over, as the Committee recommends, for future consideration.
The Report refers also to the position of Princess Margaret in the event of the death of Princess Elizabeth. Provision was made by the Civil List Act, 1937, that in such an event Princess Margaret should succeed to the annuity of Princess Elizabeth, because in those circumstances she would have become the Heiress Presumptive. The position now, of course, is changed by the marriage of Princess Elizabeth, and the provisions of the 1937 Act would no longer be appropriate if there were children of the marriage. The Select Committee, therefore, recommended that the relevant Section of the Act of 1937 should be amended to provide for the application of those provisions only in the event of Princess Margaret becoming Heiress Presumptive.
There is one further point with which I should deal; namely, the question whether the sums recommended by the Select Committee should be chargeable to Income Tax. Since the new incomes will he paid out of the Consolidated Fund, They will be chargeable to Income Tax unless an order is made by the Treasury relieving the recipients of the payment of Income Tax. As a major portion of the allowances will be required to meet official expenditure, I think it would be reasonable that a Treasury Order should be made relieving the Princess Elizabeth of Income Tax as to all but one-tenth of her total annuity of £40,000. That is, she would be chargeable as to £4,000 only. Similarly, in the case of the Duke of Edinburgh it would be appropriate that he should be relieved as to four-fifths, leaving him chargeable as to £2,000 a year only.
The Committee will remember that the Royal Message upon this matter stated:His Majesty … being anxious that this provision should be made in such a way as not to impose a burden on His people at the present time when they are faced with grave economic difficulties, is willing to place at the disposal of the faithful Commons a sum derived from the savings on the Civil List made during the war years, with the intent that the provision made by them should, for a period, impose no additional charge on public funds.1722 This matter was taken into account by the Select Committee, and they were informed that it was His Majesty's intention to make from these savings a lump sum contribution of £100,000, equivalent to rather over four years payment of the additional allowance to Princess Elizabeth, if that is on the basis of the majority recommendation. This sum of £100,000 will be taken from the £200,000 which His Majesty was able to invest during the war in Government securities, out of the savings made as a result of the lower expenditure during that period, and on which he has already surrendered the interest amounting to £20,000. These savings on the Civil List are, of course, available to make up deficits on the official expenditure of His Majesty, and, in view of the rise in prices and increases in the cost of salaries and wages, it is clearly necessary that some part of them should be kept in reserve for that purpose.
I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf I am sure, of all hon. Members, of expressing our gratitude to His Majesty for this generous contribution to the Exchequer.[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I beg, therefore, to submit to the Committee the Motion carrying out the recommendations of the majority of the Select Committee, and I hope that we shall be able to secure their passage without very prolonged discussion.
May I also express the hope that such Debate as we may have will be objectively addressed to the issue which emerges from the Report, which is, in effect, whether Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh can maintain the establishment which the dignity and importance of their office require upon £45,000 a year, or, alternatively, whether they will need, as I believe and as the majority of the Committee recommend, £50,000 a year between them for that purpose.
In conclusion, I should like to state how earnestly we hope that this provision, whatever it may be, may help to ensure for the young couple a life of happiness and good fellowship among a people whose honourable devotion they have already earned and will continue to merit, by the simple yet dignified manner in which they will discharge the heavy responsibilities which their high office places upon them.
§ 4.8 p.m.
§ Sr John Anderson (Scottish Universities)
As I have had something to do with such matters in the past, and as I have some measure of responsibility for the particular proposals which are being submitted to Parliament by His Majesty's Government, it is perhaps not inappropriate that I should take up the time of the Committee for a few minutes at this stage. I think there would be general agreement in the Committee that, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has indicated, it is a fortunate circumstance that the main division of opinion likely to develop in the course of Debate today will be not on any matter of principle but on a question of amount, and that the difference is in fact comparatively small.
There are two general observations that I should like to offer to the Committee at the outset. The first is, following what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said, that there is no question here of imposing a burden upon the Exchequer or upon the taxpayer in respect of the requirements of the Royal Family. On a proper view of the matter there is in fact, as the Chancellor has indicated, a windfall arising from the circumstance that there is at present no Heir Apparent but an Heiress Presumptive.
It follows from that circumstance that the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, which would go as a matter of course to a Prince of Wales if we had a Prince of Wales, become in present circumstances merged in the hereditary revenues of the Crown, which, as the Committee know, are surrendered at the beginning of each reign in return for the Civil List. Quite apart from anything which may be recovered by way of Income Tax, and quite apart from the generous gesture on the part of His Majesty, which is recorded in paragraph 9 of the Report of the Select Committee, it results, therefore, that a substantial sum on balance accrues to the Exchequer out of the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall—amounting, I believe in present circumstances, to no less than £90,000 a year.
A second general observation I wish to make—again following the line of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech—is that the Committee is not being asked to make provision for a life of luxury and ease for these young people. I am quite sure that no one here or outside need 1724 envy the position of the young couple—a position which they have of necessity to maintain—or the responsibilities which they have to undertake. I venture to assert that there are few subjects of His Majesty less free to follow their own devices or to indulge their own whims and fancies than the Princess Elizabeth and her Consort. The sums that are being made available for them are not, in the main, for their personal enjoyment. They are largely hypothecated for the maintenance of their position and for the discharge of their public responsibilities.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer told the Committee that he had no personal experience of the sort of outlay involved in the maintenance of such a position as Princess Elizabeth and her Consort are called to occupy. I have had some experience which is perhaps in some degree relevant—if it is permissible to compare small things with great—as for six years I occupied the position of representative of the Crown in one of the Provinces of India. For the maintenance of that position, sums which could only be described in truth as very large were placed at my disposal, but I had no discretion as to the residences I had to occupy, as to the establishments I had to, maintain or, to a large extent, as to the expenditure I had to incur. During my six years of office I was very conscious of the anxiety that besets a man who, out of admittedly large resources, has to sustain a great amount of obligatory expenditure and who has only a relatively small sum available for discretionary expenditure which he could use as a cushion to absorb any unexpected increase in the non-discretionary element of his expenditure.
I venture humbly to submit to the Committee that we ought to do what is right to protect the Royal couple from that sort of anxiety. I would also suggest that it is of high public importance that the sums made available to the Princess and her Consort should be such that it will be continuously apparent to everybody that they are not open to any temptation to accept aid from any extraneous source—possibly from some undesirable source. I do not suggest for one moment that they would yield to such a temptation, but it is important, in my submission, that everyone should realise that they are not open to such 1725 a temptation. I think we owe that to ourselves and to the Dominions, for whose interest in this matter we are in a sense trustees, not less than to the Royal couple.
I therefore venture to offer to the Committee, for what it may be worth, my personal judgment that, in supporting and adopting the recommendations put forward by His Majesty's Government, this House would be making provision which is not generous but barely just. I entirely support the Chancellor in the recommendations he has made and I welcome, if I may say so, the tone of the speech in which he submitted his recommendation, with which I find myself in entire agreement.
§ 4.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Greenwood (Wakefield)
What I have to say will not receive universal approval in the House. I begin by saying that I am a convinced republican and, had I been other than a British citizen, I would have been a very active republican. But it has to be admitted that in this country the Monarchy is now deeply rooted. My hon. Friends on this side of the House know that is true. There was witness to it on the day of the royal wedding. I was myself electioneering in East Edinburgh so I was not on the scene of this great day of rejoicing in London, but it certainly was so. I am a convinced constitutional monarchist so far as this country is concerned, because we have the British Dominions overseas. I do not believe—and this is really fundamental to the case I want to put to the House—that one could have a sort of presidential republic of the British Commonwealth of Nations——
§ The Chairman
I would point out to the right hon. Member we are not discussing the respective merits and demerits of a monarchy or a republic and the right hon. Gentleman should confine himself to the Resolution.
§ Mr. Greenwood
I would not, of course, challenge your Ruling, Major Milner, but what I am trying to put is that constitutionally the British people and the sister nations overseas must be a monarchy. Therefore it is part of my case that whoever is Heir or Heiress Presumptive to the Throne should have "the rate for the job." If we are to maintain—and indeed we must 1726 maintain—the Monarchy it must be maintained with proper dignity. I agree with what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, and what the right hon. Gentleman opposite also said in supporting this Motion, that it is not extravagant as things go. People in different walks of life have different responsibilities. People with responsibilities may shirk them or accept them, but if those responsibilities need material support behind them, in order to fulfil them, that material support should be forthcoming. I hope the House will not divide on a Motion like this.
My right hon. and learned Friend said £5,000 was not a lot of money. I remember being cheered on one occasion, and reproved by some of my hon. Friends, when I talked about pounds, shillings and pence having become meaningless symbols. I was reproved by the Leader of the Opposition on the wireless, on the platform and in the Press, and I was reproved by some of my own colleagues. The only difference in the Select Committee was £5,000 a year. I had a discussion with the Secretary of State for Scotland. We tried to work it out. I believe there is some difference of arithmetic between us. But how small it all is! It would, I think, be unfortunate if this Committee, as representing the British House of Commons, were to let it go forth to the world, where our standing is not inconsiderable that we were fiddling about over miserable bawbees of £5,000 a year.
I hope that my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee will regard this problem in its true perspective as a question of maintaining the dignity of one of the Estates of the Realm; and of doing no more than that, and will think how disastrous it would be if people who are not too friendly to us abroad were scornfully to point their fingers at us and say, "This so-called great people tried to make one of their great institutions live in enforced poverty." [Interruption.] That is what it would mean. I am speaking to my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee. Whether they agree with me or not I do not know. I must, however, speak my mind on this. I was in agreement with my right hon. and learned Friend, who was one of the majority in the Select Committee. I would say that, for the credit of this Committee, for the credit of the House of Commons, for the 1727 credit of our people, we do not want this discussion to descend to the level of an unseemly brawl about money. Rather we want to think about the finer things the country can and will do if we maintain our great dignity.
§ 4.23 p.m.
§ Mr. Lipson (Cheltenham)
I have never before claimed to speak in the House or a Committee of the whole House on behalf of anybody else but myself, but tonight, this being a special occasion, I desire on behalf of all the Independent Members to associate them and myself with this Motion. Personally, I regret that the Select Committee were not able to bring before the House a unanimous recommendation. Even if they were not able to do that, I should have hoped that, having placed their views on record in the Select Committee, the minority would have been content with that. Anyhow, even though they were not able to go so far as that, I hope we shall be spared a Division on this matter.
I am quite satisfied that the overwhelming mass of public opinion in this country would like to see this Committee and the House united over this matter. The country would like us not to be niggardly at all to Their Royal Highnesses in a matter of this kind. Not only the dignity of the Royal House but the credit and good name of the House of Commons are involved. I hope we can agree to avoid a Division, and that we can show to Their Royal Highnesses that we are not only anxious to do the right thing, but that we are appreciative of what they have done and of what we know they will do for this country.
§ 4.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Ronald Chamberlain (Norwood)
I had hoped to have the opportunity of moving the Amendment which stands in my name on the Order Paper, to leave out from "that" to the end of the Question, and to add:the amount of £5,000 of the annual sum of £15,000 payable to Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth under the Civil List Act, 1937, be regarded as personal domestic expenditure in respect of Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh and that the remaining £10,000 together with any further sum to be certified from time to time as necessary by the Comptroller of the Household and payable 1728 by the Treasury be regarded as expenses payments in respect of their Royal duties.However, you have not seen fit to call it, Major Milner; and, therefore, I am obliged to speak in opposition to the proposals which are before the Committee.
I want to make it clear at the outset that, unlike my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood) I have no republican tendencies whatsoever. On the contrary, I am very strongly of the view that the Royal House is essential to the Empire, that it is the linchpin of our Imperial Constitution, and that it is, indeed, the link between all the self-governing Dominions. I think it is very important that I should make that perfectly clear in view of what I have to say in a moment. It is because I believe in this monarchic system that I think the proposals before the Committee are very wrong, indeed. It is because I think that our Royal House is likely to fall into disrepute by reason of these proposals that I am opposing them.
Although I am a firm believer in a monarchy, I think that it must be a system brought up to date and in keeping with the spirit and the temper of the times. I am astonished that Ministers of our party should subscribe to the kind of proposals which are before us now. Those who have spoken so far have suggested that all we are talking about is a little matter of £5,000. That is not, however, the case. There are many other issues much more important than that in connection with these proposals. For instance, is not the form of them, is not the nature of them—apart from the actual amount—are not these things also to be brought into consideration? My view—and I hold it very strongly and very sincerely—is that this whole matter has been approached entirely in the wrong way. We need to do what I think we should have done and what I hope we shall still do, and that is to rationalise the whole system.
Right hon. Gentlemen who have spoken have indicated that they have no idea as to the exact cost of these royal obligations. The right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir J. Anderson) spoke of the tremendous burden on him of his official responsibilities and of his expenditure in connection with them. Surely, in this year of grace the proper and rational thing to do is to make a 1729 reasonable and moderate allowance to this royal couple, for their personal domestic needs and for all other expenses to be charged in a rational way to an expense account? I do suggest that that is rational, that that is sensible, and—what is much more important—that that would put this whole matter in the right light, not only before this Committee but before the country, which, indeed, is not viewing it in a favourable light at all. I do not want to dilate on that matter.
I could refer to my constituents; I could refer to my own post. I think that probably hon. Gentlemen on all sides of the Committee could testify to the dissatisfaction in the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "Not one."] I can only refer to my experience in this matter—to my postbag and to my constituents, many of whom are disturbed at the idea that it takes £40,000 or £50,000 for a royal couple now to live. That is a great disservice to this royal couple, whom we wish to help and to honour. The proper way, the reasonable way, and the fair way, I think, would surely have been to do what I suggest: to give them a reasonable amount—whether it is £5,000 or £10,000 a year, we do not know, and it is difficult for me as a layman to say—but a reasonable amount for their personal expenditure, and then that all their royal duties and obligations should, in a reasonable, rational way, be charged up to an expenses account.
The right hon. Member for Wakefield referred to his own views, so I regret that I am obliged to remind him of an Amendment which he moved just over ten years ago, when the Civil List Bill of 1937 was before the Committee. That is the Bill which provided, among other things, for the payment of £15,000 a year to Princess Elizabeth. Mark you, the opposition voiced by that right hon. Member was in connection with, not £40,000, but £15,000. He now appears to have turned completely in his tracks, and so altered his views that instead of opposing £15,000 he is now supporting £50,000. I do not understand the mental gyrations of the right hon. Gentleman. On 27th May, 1937, he was supported in the Division Lobby by the present Chancellor, the present Prime Minister and the present Home Secretary, on an Amendment in these terms: 1730… this House cannot assent to a Civil List Bill which merely accepts and continues traditional conceptions of state ceremonial instead of recognising that greater simplicity in the daily life of the Court is essential in the modern democratic constitution of the British Commonwealth.Those, apparently, were the sincere views and beliefs of those right hon. Gentlemen 10 years ago. How is it that they have gone full circle and changed their attitude? The right hon. Member for Wakefield then said that the party had given careful consideration to the matter; that he was not speaking merely on his own account or behalf, and he referred to… a system which day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute, by surrounding the Monarch with splendour, separates him from his people."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th May, 1937; Vol. 324, C. 455–6.]
§ The Chairman
I have already indicated that we cannot make this the occasion of a discussion of the Monarchy, either by quotation or otherwise. The sole question before the Committee is the provisions made, in the particular circumstances set out in the Royal Message and in the Motion before the Committee. I also think that the hon. Member is referring to another occasion altogether, when the Committee was discussing a complete Civil List.
§ Mr. Chamberlain
I do not wish to prolong the matter unduly. I think I have made my attitude and views very clear. I was merely quoting what the right hon. Member seemed to be thinking 10 years ago. He is now apparently standing on his head.
Whatever is decided finally on this issue, I hope that in this year of grace we shall come to a more reasonable and rational attitude in this matter. I feel that the course I have suggested as an alternative to the Motion before the House is not only reasonable and rational but a system which is bound to come before long. If the Monarchy and all it means is to survive and to remain in our esteem, some such more rational attitude must be adopted.
§ 4.35 P.m.
§ Mr. Wilson Harris (Cambridge University)
I would prefer not to begin by sounding a note of dissent from anyone, but I am bound to say that the suggestion of the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Chamberlain) that their Royal High- 1731 nesses should be required to put in a weekly expenses sheet, like a reporter on a daily paper——
§ Mr. Chamberlain
I did not suggest that. I referred to State expenses, other than domestic and personal expenses, which should be a rational charge to an expense account.
§ Mr. Harris
—seems to me something between the grotesque and the offensive. I really rise to support the plea made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson), who spoke for the Independent Members, and I should like to associate myself with him in that respect. Obviously, this Debate may take a course which would do credit to the House; or it might possibly take another course, leaving memories which in the future we should rather regret. The investigation of this difficult subject—for it is difficult to assess what is the right expenditure for their Royal Highnesses—has been entrusted, according to tradition, to a Select Committee of the House of Commons. That Select Committee have considered it with care; they had been told that a reasonable estimate would be £50,000, which they reduced to £40,000—a not unsubstantial reduction of 20 per cent. That figure is commended to us with the great authority of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir J. Anderson) a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, and other members of the party opposite who carry much respect, such as the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood) and the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson).
Certain hon. Members on the Select Committee proposed a lower sum. That, if I may say so, was not only legitimate, but entirely proper. Members of the Select Committee, like all hon. Members of the House of Commons, are stewards for the national substance; and if they thought that a lower sum than £40,000 was a proper sum, it was entirely right for them to propose it. Although I do not think it was improper for them to divide the Committee on the subject, like my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham I rather regret that that division is being carried to the Floor of this House. At the same time, if the matter is dealt with 1732 in the right spirit, there is no reason why we should regret any discussion. It is a perfectly open question whether £40,000, as I think, or £35,000, as other people seem to think, is a right sum to allot to their Royal Highnesses. We can discuss that perfectly reasonably, and we can choose between the two.
I would only make this appeal, as a Private and an Independent Member. If, after we have discussed it, in a perfectly good spirit and with open minds, the proposed Amendment is rejected, and it is clear that the general opinion of this Committee is in favour of the higher sum, then I appeal to hon. Members who prefer the lower sum to leave the matter there, to join in a unanimous vote, and, with complete good will, to acept the view of the majority, as we so often accept it in many things, so that it might not go out to the country—after the unprecedented rejoicings of four weeks ago—that this Committee is in any way grudging, parsimonious or hesitating over a provision for their Royal Highnesses which, after full consideration, may seem proper.
§ 4.39 P.m.
§ Mr. Benson (Chesterfield)
Fixing any sum, for any purpose, is extremely difficult unless one has some criterion. There are various criteria which could be adopted for fixing the sum which should go to the Monarch or to the Heir Presumptive. So far as I can see, there are only two very general principles which can hold the field: either we can have a Monarchy which is what might be described as a ceremonial Monarchy; or we can have a Monarchy which might be described as a Scandinavian type of monarchy. Whichever is chosen, we then have some broad general criteria. When we have decided the type we want, the question of fixing the exact amount is a matter which can be disputed ad infinitum. There is no particular virtue in the sum of £50,000, or in a sum of £40,000, or in the proposed sum of £35,000 which we are to discuss later. There is no measure by which we can say one figure is absolutely right, and another is absolutely wrong.
When we are discussing a broad sum, the best estimate we can make is an approximation. Frankly, I am not in a position to make an approximation so close as £5,000. All I know is that if we 1733 plump for a ceremonial monarchy, we are plumping for something rather more expensive than if we plump for a Scandinavian type of monarchy. On the other hand, we are plumping for something a pod deal cheaper than a republic and a president. I think that the guess—and I do not pretend that it was more than a guess—made by the majority of the Members of the Select Committee is quite as good as the guess of the minority. I do not put it any higher than that. What I am quite certain of is that it is fantastic to quibble over £5,000. Do not let us forget that we have a ceremonial monarchy now, and a ceremonial monarchy is a very expensive thing to keep up.
There may be overwhelming arguments for changing from a ceremonial monarchy to a Scandinavian type of monarchy, but I am not prepared to discuss that, and in any case I do not know whether it would be in Order. If and when we come to discuss that, it must be on the Civil List at the beginning of a reign, and not when we are making a supplementary provision for the Heir Presumptive. We cannot discuss basic principles on a Supplementary Estimate, and we are, in effect, discussing a Supplementary Estimate today. We have, for good or ill, a ceremonial monarchy, and, taking the Civil List amount, the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the various sums spread through the Estimates granted year by year, the Crown costs something in the neighbourhood of £650,000 a year.
§ Mr. Benson
I quoted that sum only because I wanted to suggest that we cannot have the Crown upon a ceremonial standard, and the Heir Presumptive on a Scandinavian standard. There has to be some balance between the two. As I said at the beginning, I suggest that the guess of £40,000 is just as good as the guess of £35,000. I think that the discussion is, on the whole, completely trivial.
§ 4.45 P.m.
§ Mr. McGovern (Glasgow, Shettleston)
I will also attempt to criticise these proposals on a reasonable plane, and not indulge in any attacks on the Monarchy, even though I am a republican. I accept 1734 the fact that both the House and the country do not take my view. Therefore, being a realist, one has to conform more to the wishes of the community than to one's personal ideas. I believe that the better way of dealing with this problem would have been to have exempted the Royal Family, that is, the King and Queen, from any revision in regard to their salaries or allowances, and for the advisers to have taken the royal couple and the Royal Family into consultation, and to have said that at this stage, when the country has come out of a world war and the whole community has had to suffer sacrifices and bear tremendous costs and pain, we believe that beginning with this young couple, there should be a departure from past customs and habits, and that, just as the Government are intending to modify the capitalist system, so they want to modify the monarchist institution within that system. We should have said that the young couple should embark upon a more reasonable state of life than has been the case in the past.
I accept the fact, as stated from numerous sources, that a great amount of this money goes towards keeping large numbers of servants and hangers-on of the Court. I think the time has come when that ought to cease, as far as the young couple are concerned. If there are spivs, drones and butterflies surrounding them, we ought to have said that we are proposing a very reasonable attitude in regard to the embarkation on a new form of life by the young couple. I think that the greatest exception is taken in this country, judged from the opinion expressed at public meetings I have attended, to the payment of £10,000 to the young man known as the Duke of Edinburgh. People feel that, while men blinded in the war are being paid 40s. a week, a young man is being taken into the Royal family and handed £10,000 a year, in addition to a cushy job at the Admiralty——
§ The Chairman
I must point out that the hon. Member is not entitled to make any reflection of any kind oh the Royal Family, either implicitly or explicitly.
§ Mr. McGovern
I am not trying to make any difficulties, or to make any attack. Suppose I say that he is given a job at the Admiralty that he has never held before. I could not go into the Lobby and vote for this £10,000, when we are paying only 1735 26s. a week to old age pensioners and 40s. a week to men suffering from tuberculosis and those who have been blinded in the war. I could not square my vote with my Socialist outlook.
Another matter to which I take strong exception, is the statement that £100,000 out of previous savings in the Civil List is being provided to give the fund a start, as it were, for a few years. This £100,000 is being used in order to get the pill swallowed by the country. They must have known that there was a difficulty in the public mind when the proposals were being made, and when the pill was to be swallowed. I say that this £100,000 should not have been used in the form of propaganda. I understand that most rich men give a very substantial dowry to their daughters on marriage. If this £100,000 was to be given, it should not have been used in this way to get acceptance of these proposals. If that was its purpose I think it has failed completely.
The nation and this Committee have a responsibility for advising the Royal Family that there is now a complete change, and that, instead of being allied with the elements of vested interests in the Conservative Party of the country, there is need that they should get more into the minds and lives of the community as the representatives of this country, and live a modified life. No better opportunity could have occurred to leave the older members of the Royal Family on their salaries and emoluments, and to begin with this young couple on a different basis. I take complete exception to the proposals that are made. I think that the Government have failed in not trying to get an effective change in the habits and customs of royalty. We should modify our whole outlook on salaries and other things in respect of them. Therefore, if the opportunity occurs, I shall go into the Lobby to vote against the Motion.
§ 4.52 p.m.
§ Earl Winterton (Horsham)
As a member of the Select Committee, I want to make one or two observations. I do not propose to answer the hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern) in detail. Nor am I going to be led into making a provocative remark about his speech. I think that the best answer to him is 1736 provided in a most admirable leading article which appeared in one of the principal newspapers today—the "News Chronicle." The sentences which I wish to quote are these:It is also true that certain of the moneys are spent in pageantry and ceremony. But if these are to be swept away in even the most egalitarian ecstasy of parsimony, the material gain will be insignificant beside the psychological loss. In these drab days, people will not lightly give up the visible evidence of tradition and ancient sovereignty.These words express exactly the feeling of the people. I think that is a true, measured, dignified statement of the case. In so far as there is a difference of opinion on the subject of the amount, that is a very small matter. The only question is whether any other issue arises. I am not going to impute motive. I am sure that every hon. Member who has spoken in opposition to the proposal is speaking from the point of view of his own convictions and his most sincere beliefs. I am not speaking on behalf of my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee, but in my capacity as a member of the Select Committee, although I think that I shall have their assent.
It is necessary that someone should point out that, while it is quite true that in this Committee the difference of opinion is a sincere and honest one on the subject of what the amount should be, with possibly some variation in the sense that some may wish to see an amount altogether too small, any real opposition—and this should go on record and should be known abroad—to this proposal emanates from one body, and one body only, outside the Committee, and that is the Communist Party. As for the correspondence which an hon. Gentleman opposite has received, I believe that it comes from that source. I think it is as well that it should be so characterised. Why in these matters should we be mealy mouthed? There was a most disgraceful attack in one small Communist paper which enjoys the minimum support in this country. I suppose that no daily paper has had less support——
§ Earl Winterton
I agree, Major Milner, but I am entitled to refer to the elements outside the Committee which are opposed to this proposal. I say that so far as this Committee is concerned, there is an honest difference of opinion between both sides, which I hope will be resolved. There can be no resolution of the opinion of those elements outside the Committee who are opposing this Motion, and who are endeavouring to draw away in every country in Europe from the constitutional fabric, and would equally back out if we were considering an estimate for a republican president.
I believe that the great majority of the people of this country want to see this young couple provided with an adequate sum of money to carry out the duties which are allotted to them by the position which they occupy. The Committee cannot have it both ways. Either they must support to a reasonable degree those who are placed by birth in the position of this royal couple, or say, quite frankly and openly, that they do not want to have such a position occupied. The question before the Committee is one which, I suggest, everyone should ask himself: Is this sum of money sufficient or insufficient, or too much, for the duties which this young couple are called upon to perform? If the Committee will come to a decision on those lines, it will come to a perfectly proper and honest decision. I sincerely hope that in doing so, nothing will be done or said which will make it more difficult for Her Royal Highness and her husband, who, after all, have been performing their duties with the assent and support of 99 per cent. of the people of this country.
§ 4.49 P.m.
§ Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)
I would like, in my most persuasive manner—if I have a persuasive manner—to get hon. Members on the other side to realise that it is necessary to support the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes). An hon. Member behind me said, "What is the criterion?" The criterion ought to be the condition that makes it possible for this young couple to live as one would expect them to live without wasting money on the job. The sum of £100,000 was put into the "kitty." This £100,000 represents savings during the war. That means that out of the Civil List it was 1738 possible to save £20,000 a year. I shall be told that there was austerity during the war for the Royal Family as there was for all the people of this country. Of course, there was. But the people of this country have still to practise austerity.
Is there an hon. Member on the other side who will say that if £20,000 a year could be saved during the war, that is not sufficient, along with the £15,000 to which the Princess is already entitled, to meet the cost of maintaining this young couple? I would ask anyone to say that it was not possible for them to live on that unless they are going to say, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to say, "Yes, there must be austerity for the people, but so far as the Royal Family are concerned away with austerity. Back to the old conditions that obtained when this country was in the heyday of its capitalist boom." I am certain that no Member opposite dare go to the people of the country and say, "You must remain under conditions of austerity, but we shall see that the Royal Family are divorced entirely from the responsibility of practising austerity, and will live as though there was no crisis facing the country." Does anyone mean to say that if £20,000 a year was saved during the war it cannot be saved now, and passed on for the maintenance of this young couple?
The right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir J. Anderson) said, "If we do not grant the amount which is proposed they may be subject to temptation." What puts that thought into his head? Was it because there was a discussion on this question once before, when the Tories voted for a reduction, and as a consequence the Heir to the Throne did not resist temptation? The Tories should forget now what happened on that occasion; they should realise that we are living under a different dispensation, that the temptations which obtained at that time no longer apply. I have received many letters from limbless soldiers, old age pensioners, and all kinds of people in industry, telling me their conditions and budgets. While people have to live under the austerity conditions of the present day, to suggest that controls or austerity should be removed from the circle around the Throne is astounding. What will this young couple spend the money on? They will not spend it on the Communists——
§ Brigadier Head (Carshalton)
Would the hon. Member recollect how he voted recently with regard to his own salary?
§ Mr. Gallacher
I do not remember. Maybe I was persuaded to vote for the increase. If I did vote, I certainly had to be persuaded. But in that there is no comparison with this matter at all. There is all the difference in the world between £1,000 a year, with the expenses involved, compared with £1,000 a week. If I can live on £1,000 a year, including expenses, why is it necessary for this couple to have £1,000 a week? They cannot spend all this money on themselves. I challenge anyone to tell me how they can spend it on themselves.
When the noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) talks so passionately and wholeheartedly about this young couple, he should explain that he is including—perhaps not himself—the whole circle of associates of this young couple. The money is not spent on good housekeeping, on ordinary domestic expenditure. It is the people who gather around who get most of it. Somebody said that we ought to do the right thing. The right thing is to look after the people of this country, who have had to bear, and are bearing, the burden of the crisis today. If we want to do the right thing then Members opposite should oppose the Motion and support the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire. There is no occasion for increasing the allocation of money at the present time. There is plenty of money without this increase to keep the show going so long as it lasts—and I hope it will not last too long.
§ 5.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Paget (Northampton)
I am not a republican; I believe that the Monarchy in his country is a symbol of the most successful association of nations that the world has yet seen, and that we are very fortunate in having so charming and well brought up a girl as the heiress to the Throne. Anything which I may say will not, I hope, be construed in any sense as being a criticism either of the office of royalty, or those who fill that office. Nonetheless, I shall feel compelled to support the Amendment which is in the name of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes), for this reason——
§ Mr. Martin Lindsay (Solihull)
On a point of Order. Do I understand, Major Milner, that you intend to call that Amendment?
§ The Chairman
I see no objection to the hon. and learned Gentleman referring to it and indicating what his views may be.
§ Mr. Paget
My hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) put the matter admirably when he said that what we have to consider is whether there should be a Scandinavian monarchy or a ceremonial monarchy, that is to say, whether the Monarchy should evolve with the people, with modern ideas, with the Monarch and his family living the same sort of lives that are possible for their subjects, or whether they should live on a standard which has become obsolete, the standard of Edwardian days. We are providing this money on the basis of maintaining that sort of standard and to enable this young couple to lead the sort of life which we should describe as the wrong sort of life if anybody else were leading it.
What should we say of anybody else for whom it was proposed to spend something like £100,000 on luxury building within the next two years—because that is what the Clarence House proposition means? What would we say about anybody else who was proposing to live on the standard of a great London residence and a country mansion? We would say that that sort of living is wrong, that it belongs to the past, that it has been rightly put away. We are doing no service to this young couple, or to the principle of Royalty, by supplying them with the means to do things which, if done by anybody else, we should consider wrong. Therefore, in the interests of the continuity and evolution of the institutions of this country, and in order to retain the reputation and affection in which Royalty is being held, we ought not to make this provision.
The noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) suggested that feelings against the proposals outside the House emanated simply from the Communist Party. Believe me, he could not be more wrong. This proposal is unquestionably profoundly unpopular in the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] Very few of us who have to 1741 mix with our constituents have not had that unpopularity brought home very forcibly. I ask hon. Members who have the best interests of the monarchy at heart not to put their heads in the sand over this matter and not to imagine that the generality of the people like this proposal. They do not. We shall be making a great mistake if we make this provision, particularly at this time. At some point the changeover to what may be called the democratic idea of monarchy from the old-fashioned ceremonial idea will have to take place. With this new marriage of an Heiress to the Throne we have the ideal opportunity for that change to a standard of living appropriate to the circumstances of today. We should take this opportunity.
§ 5.12 p.m.
§ Mr. Eden (Warwick and Leamington)
I intervene only for a few moments to present one or two considerations to the Committee which have not yet been put, perhaps from a slightly different angle. It is very important that we should bear in mind that we are dealing with a matter which concerns not only this island but the whole British Commonwealth and Empire. It so happens that geographically, this is the country in which Their Majesties reside and in which the Heiress Presumptive resides. She is in an exactly similar relationship to the great Dominions as to ourselves. His Majesty is now King of each of the Dominions, and she is the Heiress Presumptive to each of the Dominions. It is important that we should keep that point in our minds as we discuss this matter. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] Because that is the most important link which holds the British Commonwealth and Empire together, and because the existence of the British Commonwealth and Empire is an immense contribution to the preservation of peace.
§ Mr. Rankin (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Would the right hon. Gentleman say then, in view of that link and its importance, that some contribution ought to come from the Dominions themselves?
§ Mr. Eden
I hope that hon. Members will not talk in that strain. Really, this is something very much bigger than asking a Dominion to contribute a small sum. That would be a terrible thing to go out from this Mother of Parliaments. I hope 1742 that, upon reflection, the hon. Member who made the suggestion would like to withdraw it.
§ Mr. Rankin
It was a claim which, in the first place, came from the right hon. Gentleman and not from me.
§ Mr. Eden
I do not think the hon. Member could have understood my remarks. I said that we were dealing with something which is of concern to all parts of the Empire, but I meant "concern" not in a financial sense but in the sense of loyalty and the conception of the Crown, which means as much to them as it does to us. It is not a matter of pounds, shillings and pence.
My second point is that this matter would not have come before the Committee at all if it had not happened that we are dealing with an Heiress Presumptive instead of with an Heir Apparent. It would not have come before the Committee because the revenues of the Duchy, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer so well expressed it at the beginning, would have been available, and would have exceeded considerably the sum which is now being allotted. That fact should be borne in mind, especially by hon. Members, of whom I know there are many, who believe that the gentler or fairer sex should always be treated on the same level as the male.
Now I come to the question of the actual figures. To judge from the speech made by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) there is some misunderstanding of what the figure represents. Let me give an analogy from quite a different, although in some sense a parallel, sphere, the diplomatic sphere. The Foreign Office Estimates include very large sums indeed for our foreign representatives abroad. I think I am right in saying that the representation allowance "entertainment allowance" is, I think, the technical term—of our Ambassador at Washington amounts now to about £20,000 a year, and that payments in other big capitals are upon something like that scale. I am not complaining about it or arguing whether the figure is enough or too much. I am just taking that figure as an illustration. So far as I know, there have been no representations here that those sums should be severely curtailed.
1743 That is not the whole story. The ambassador, who has his entertainment allowance, also has his staff found for him and paid for. I do not mean the domestic staff; I mean his secretarial and diplomatic staff. In the present case, Her Royal Highness has to pay for her own secretarial staff. The whole of the staff has to be found and paid for out of this money. Take the £20,000 paid to an ambassador in a great embassy as representation allowance, with all found for him except the actual payment for his domestic staff, and contrast it with the £40,000 suggested here for Her Royal Highness, who has to find all the additional expenditure over and above that which an ambassador has to find. The Committee can see that £40,000 does not seem to be a very unreasonable figure. Add to it the subscription lists which the Royal Family are always called upon to head, and which an ambassador has not to meet in the same sense at all. I say frankly to the Committee that the more I look at this figure and consider what the charges will amount to, the more I doubt whether the figure is really high enough.
§ Mr. Eden
We are dealing with a problem to which I have tried to address my mind fairly. For hon. Members who say that we should not have a monarchy the position is plain. They will vote against any payment at all. It is the duty of those of us who agree that there should be a monarchy to submit a figure to the Committee which is fair and reasonable.
It is exaggeration to talk, as did the hon. and learned Member for Northampton of a royal establishment upon Edwardian lines. We have nothing approaching that standard. The Edwardian figures, as the hon. and learned Member calls them, were more than double the present figure, while the purchasing power of the figures themselves is certainly half the prewar value and therefore is half at least of the Edwardian value. In fact, the sums we put before the Committee are probably about 25 per cent. of the Edwardian figures.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer a question? No matter what the money is worth, the Royal Family were able to live and to save £10,000 a year during the war. Does the right hon. Gentleman say that they should now not do so, and be able to splash it all?
§ Mr. Eden
I know that money was saved during the war because there was absolutely no entertainment, and no heads of foreign States and other such people coming here. I hope that is not going to be the position permanently. I can tell hon. Members opposite that the expenditure of money by our foreign embassies and legations during the war was cut for the same reason that the meeting and entertaining of foreigners was very much reduced. I presume we do not want to cease having this type of thing, and, if not, presumably there will be more expenditure under that head than during the war, and I think savings may be very difficult to effect. I cannot, however, answer for that. All I am answering for is the figures submitted to the Committee.
I have only one other point to make and that is in regard to the suggestion by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Chamberlain) of an expenses account. That again has been considered often in respect of our ambassadors, and it is an extremely difficult thing to do. As Foreign Secretary, I had some experience of that in days when, I say quite frankly, it cost more than one received to carry out the job. The point is that in connection with an expenses account, it is possible to submit every little item to the Treasury, which is extremely tiresome and extremely tedious, and I doubt if it is a reasonable suggestion in a case like this. Even if it were, that does not solve the problem, because unless we are prepared to grant an unlimited expenses account, a figure must be fixed to which the expenses must be related.
§ Mr. Chamberlain
I did not attempt to fix any figure. My suggestion was entirely elastic. The point was that there should be economy and I was hopeful that it would be a very low figure for expenses. I did not fix a limit and my suggestion was more elastic than anyone else's.
§ Mr. Eden
The hon. Member did not fix a figure and that is why I am explaining the point to him. That will not decide 1745 the problem, because there must be a limit to an expenses account unless the Committee are prepared to allow it without control, to which I am opposed. If hon. Members look further into this question and the cost of our foreign embassies abroad, as well as the foreign embassies in this country, they will find that the sums are not excessive. They are not, of course, for the pleasure of the young people. They are to enable them to carry out the duties which they have to perform. If Empire statesmen or Members of Parliament from the Dominions visit this country it is desirous that the Heiress Presumptive should meet them, ask them to lunch and that so of thing. Is not that of value and something which we ought to encourage?
If the Committee chooses to make a financial calculation, I am prepared to wager that the way our monarchy is run today is much cheaper than a republic. That is not, however, the way we want to measure it. What we want to measure is whether this is a fair suggestion to put before this Committee for work which has to be done by the Heiress Presumptive here and in the great Dominions overseas. I am convinced that this is really the minimum, and I hope the Committee will be so convinced and that they will reflect a little more, because I share with the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood) and, I am sure, with the Prime Minister, the view that the Committee should not be divided on this issue.
§ 5.25 p.m.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)
I have very little to add to what has been said by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood) and by the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) on the broad question that faces this Committee. We are not discussing today what kind of monarchy we should have, nor are we discussing the amount of the Civil List, for that is settled at the beginning of every reign. We are discussing one item that arises out of the Civil List. Broadly speaking, if we accept this, then we have accepted the conception of a ceremonial monarchy. The amount of pomp and circumstance has been cut down vastly of late years, and it is quite a mistake for 1746 people to imagine that the Royal Family live exceedingly luxurious and easy lives. As a matter of fact, they work hard, and there is no excess of luxury.
I do not think that this country wants anything in the way of a monarchy that is not ceremonial. There is a great demand all over the country and not only in this country but, as the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington has pointed out, in other parts of the Commonwealth, for visits from Members of the Royal Family. That all costs money, and if the thing has to be done it has to be paid for. When one looks at the amount it is not really excessive for the duties that have to be done. It is awfully easy to talk vaguely about a mass of hangers-on doing nothing. I have not observed it myself, and those with whom I come in contact seem fully occupied.
It is anybody's guess within £5,000 what is the right sum of money. It is very difficult to assess. Suggestions have been put before the Select Committee, and there have been differences of opinion on this matter inside and outside the House, so that it is anybody's guess. I think on the broad proposition, the recommendations of the Committee give the right line for this House and that they are generally accepted by the country. It is awfully easy to take one sum of money and set it against another sum of money without reckoning anything of the cost and what is being done for it. If we put it to the people by saying, "We are going to cut everything down and have no pomp and circumstance, no nothing," we should soon have complaints.
In a democracy such as ours it is wise that there should be some amount of ceremonial. In other countries we have seen an immense amount of ceremonial, far more costly than we have ever had here, to bolster up a dictatorship. I do not like that kind of marching and that kind of business, but we do want a little light, colour and symbolism in our national life. I do not think we are doing more than is necessary, and the present proposals are in accord with our British Monarchy today, which I believe commends itself to our people in this country and in the Commonwealth by the fact that it is in essence simple—simple lives and approachable people.
1747 We want to give the young couple the facilities for doing the kind of work that the general public wants them to do, of visiting round the country, of seeing the people, of coming into contact with the people, and in contact not only with the people in the United Kingdom, but with people outside. I know that is very strongly felt in the Dominions. Therefore, I hope that the House will accept these proposals which are the result of careful deliberations by an experienced body of Members deputed for that purpose by this House. They have done their best to arrive at a figure, but no figure can be absolutely definite and final and it is the best guess than can be made.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
I beg to move, to leave out paragraph (a).
I have listened with respect to the speech of the Prime Minister, but he has left me absolutely cold. That speech was almost entirely cheered from the Conservative benches. I do not think it represents the opinion of Socialists in this country. To those who do not wish a Division to take place on this issue I would point out that it is no new thing. When a similar matter was discussed in 1840 two Divisions took place. On that occasion the Leader of the Tory Party, Sir Robert Peel, refused to take the guidance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir Robert Peel took the attitude that some respect must be paid to the feeling in the country and that too much expenditure was not justified at that time.
I have refreshed my mind by looking up the files of the Debates of those days and of the report in "The Times" of 28th January, 1840. A Radical Member of this House, Mr. Hume, moved to give a sum of £21,000 as against the sum of £50,000 demanded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That was rejected by the House after a very interesting Division. Later the Tories, headed by Sir Robert Peel, took up the point of view that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was too generous in moving that sum for the Prince of that day. There were some very interesting names in the list of the people who went into the Lobby against the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I was not surprised to find that my predecessor in the representa- 1748 tion of Ayrshire, Lord James Stuart, voted against the Chancellor. I was rather surprised to find in the names of those who voted against the Government that of Mr. Hogg——
§ Mr. Hughes
—and still more surprised to find opposed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the name Cripps. The Chancellor of the Exchequer today made a speech which would have made his ancestor—I do not know whether it was an ancestor—turn in his grave. We are accustomed to homilies by the Chancellor on the theme of austerity, but he came marching in today to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance," and, honestly, the things do not mix. At Question Time yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer was asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers)—[An HON. MEMBER: "A united front?"]—if he would:Convene a conference of all heads of Departments, with a view to taking all steps necessary to stop inflation.We all agree with the necessity for stopping inflation. The Leader of the Opposition made a speech at Manchester recently in which he called for a reduction of £500 million in national expenditure. How are we to start? If he were here, the Leader of the Opposition would no doubt say, "Do not start here." In reply to the hon. Member for Orpington, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said:No such conference is required, since all Departments are under constant instruction to avoid unnecessary expenditure."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th December, 1947; Vol. 445, C. 1508.]But here is his own Department coming forward, not as was said by the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood), with a proposal to add a few miserable bawbees to the Civil List, but with the sum of £25,000 in respect of Her Royal Highness. I share with the Chancellor of the Exchequer the view that we wish the Royal couple a life of happiness and good fellowship, but we want to take them out of the gilded cage. We do not want them in the position of having to carry on the tradition, routine and repressions which weighed so heavily on the Duke of Windsor. We are really doing the Royal couple a service in suggesting that their whole way of life should be changed and in keeping their income, which some of us believe 1749 to be quite adequate, at £15,000 a year and not giving an increase or adding to a civil list which has already attained the very large sum of over £430,000.
The Report of the Select Committee is a most mysterious document. There were two points of view on the Select Committee. There was that of the Prime Minister and, judging by the voting record, there was something in the nature of an embryo Coalition. Five of the Labour hon. Members on that Committee were against the four who represented the Government, and the final conclusion of the Committee is not the finding of the Labour M.P.s of that Committee; instead they accepted the leadership of a reactionary like the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir J. Anderson). I do not know what public opinion the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities represents in this Committee, but I assert that he does not represent the frugal-minded, economical point of view of the people of Scotland who, while they are quite prepared to rejoice over a Royal wedding, want to know what it means in actual cost. A statement made by one of the characters in a Bernard Shaw play is relevant:You may be as romantic as you like about love, but you cannot be romantic about money.The right hon. Member for Wakefield said that he was a republican. I would rather call him a dehydrated republican. There was nothing in his speech of the robust republicanism of his predecessors to which I subscribe. If we are to pay "the rate for the job," we must consider what other members of the union are paid for the job. References have been made to the Scandinavian countries. They have no Empire, and some of them seem to be better off without one. I have taken a little trouble to find out what the rate for the job is in Sweden. The direct grant to the royal court, including stipends for the King's brothers and the Crown Prince, amounts to £93,000. For maintenance of the Royal Palaces £75,000, a total of——
§ The Chairman
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but on this Motion we are not discussing either the Royal Family as a whole or the royal palaces; we are discussing a specific Motion relating to the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.
§ Mr. Hughes
I apologise, Major Milner, I was led astray by the remarks of the right hon. Member for Wakefield, who talked about the rate for the job. I have quite convincing figures here relative to the other Scandinavian countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They are much more modest than our figures, and I am safe in saying that the total sum of all these monarchies put together is considerably less than our bill which is produced in the Civil List.
I believe there is a good commonsense opinion in this country that whatever the goodwill of the Royal Family is, we are faced with a time of economic crisis and austerity, that we should start at the top, and that we are not justified in increasing expenditure at this time. I appeal to the Government to give this matter a little further consideration. This is being rushed through the House. The proceedings of that Committee went at an express rate so that the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) who, unfortunately, has been ill, has been unable to express the democratic sentiment of Scotland. The Government realise now, by certain expressions of party feeling, that they may have the Conservative Party behind them on this issue, but they have not the rank and file of the Socialist movement, and they have not the support of the intelligent democracy of this country.
§ 5.43 p.m.
§ Mr. Fernyhough (Jarrow)
I am sure hon. Members opposite—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up."] Hon. Members need not be impatient, they will probably not like what I am going to say. [HON. MEMBERS: "But we want to hear it."] They will hear it in good time. I would ask hon. Members opposite to accept the views I voice today as a genuine and sincere point of, view, in exactly the same way as we accept their opposition to the fabulous amounts which they contend are paid to the Coal Board officials, etc. It is my opinion, and I hold it very deeply, that no married couple are worth £50,000, irrespective of how high and how important is the position they fill.
It appears to me from some of the arguments put forward this afternoon in support of this Motion that there is a feeling abroad that the royal couple will not be able to be dignified unless they are wealthy. Yet some of the most dignified 1751 people I know are some of the most humble and poverty-stricken. Dignity is not synonymous with wealth, and it would be hard luck, as far as these benches are concerned, if we pretended that it was. It is my opinion that the more money we allow the royal couple to have, the farther their lives will be removed from the common people and if, as I am quite sure they want to do, they wish to endear themselves to the people of this country, the relationship will become closer the more the lives they lead are linked with the lives of the mass of the people they represent.
The right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) tried to make a case in support of this Motion by quoting the cost of our embassies and those of other countries. There again, some of us believe that it is wasteful and extravagant, and that in this modern age we ought to cut down on some of that extravagance. As the mover of the Amendment has suggested, at a time like this, when the people are being called upon to make great sacrifices, it seems illogical that we should be granting £50,000 to one couple in order that they may lead a decent and satisfactory existence. I have no hesitation in saying that the Government's Motion does not meet my point of view of social values. The relative importance of people in this country from my point of view is judged by what they do for the country, and I say that the £15,000 already received, having regard to the average wage of the miners, the average wage of the dockers or the average wage of the railwaymen, is ample for the couple to lead proper, useful, and dignified lives. I hope hon. Members opposite, who I know will hate this point of view, will at least believe that those of us who are giving expression to it are genuine and sincere.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Because we have covered a great deal of the subject matter already, I do not propose to answer at any great length, but I would not like to leave unanswered the arguments put forward. I might reply to the argument advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) as regards comparing this with miners and railwaymen. Not long ago we sent a railwayman out as Governor of Tanganyika, but we did not expect him to do it on his railway 1752 pay. The question is, what do we expect people to do, and are we going to provide them with the means for doing it?
I quite appreciate that people may take a different view of what the Heiress Presumptive should do; that is to say, how much entertainment we should ask the Royal couple to do, how many people from the Colonies and Dominions they should be asked to entertain, how many foreigners they should give parties for, how much they should travel about the country to go and see different parts of it—all of which they do personally. They are not like Ministers, they do not get any allowance for travelling. We might want them to give donations to funds. When the Lord Mayor opens a fund of some kind, do we expect them to give a donation to it? If we do, they must have some money to do it with.
§ Mr. Carmichael (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
My right hon. and learned Friend has indicated that the Royal couple, when travelling around the country, pay their own expenses out of the salary which this House gives them. Could we have that repeated? Is it quite definite that they pay all their travelling expenses, etc., when they go out of the country?
§ Sir S. Cripps
Certainly. If they take an aeroplane, they pay for it; if they go by special train or car, they pay for it. It is part of the duties of the job, and this salary is to cover the duties of the job, and it is one of the very heavy expenses of the job. They cannot go alone, they have to be accompanied by certain secretaries and so on. I am only pointing out to the Committee that one must have regard here not to some theoretical consideration but to the practical consideration of what we are asking them to do, and then we have to supply enough money for them to do it. The hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Hughes) suggested that we might be as economical as Sweden. If he will take the populations of the two countries and work out the cost per head, he will find that we are much more economical than Sweden, especially when he bears in mind that this constitutional monarchy relates not only to the British Isles but to the whole of the Commonwealth and Empire.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I was only pointing out the fallacy which the hon. Member might look into when he looks at it again.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am just about to deal with it. He was suggesting this was unnecessary expenditure. I did say when I first spoke on the Motion, perhaps wrongly, that I had had no experience to enable me to judge of these things. But the speech of the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) recalls to me that I have had experience of that kind, and I can assure the hon. Member for West Fife that the pomp and ceremony in other capitals, such as Moscow, is vastly greater.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am only trying to perfect the education of the hon. Member for West Fife on a point about which he says he knows nothing. There is provision always made far heads of governments on a lavish scale, some more than others. We do it with dignity and without undue extravagance, and the provision here for the Heiress Presumptive is, I think, reasonable, and I hope the Committee will accept the proposal.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to '£25,000' stand part of the Question."
§ The Chairman proceeded to collect the voices.
§ Mr. Gallacher
I understood we were going to have a Division on this question—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—We have a right to a Division on this question.
§ Mr. McGovern
There were distinctly calls of opposition, and I think we are entitled to a vote in the Division Lobby, when the matter is being reduced to one vote instead of three. In justification of the speeches made, there should be collection of the votes.
§ Mr. Rankin
I would like your guidance on this particular point, Major Milner. In Committee it has been established that if one voice says "No," a Division must be called. There is a Rule of that nature in Standing Committee; does such a Rule govern the Proceedings of a Committee of the Whole House?
§ The Chairman
I am not clear whether the Committee have appreciated precisely what they were voting on. We were in fact voting on the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) and in my view there were very few voices for the Noes and I did not gather that those voicing their sentiments so uncertainly were serious.
§ Mr. Carmichael
Can hon. Members be given guidance on an issue of this kind? Those calling "No" were quite distinct. It is clear they were overwhelmingly out-numbered by those shouting "Aye," but we are in Committee, and in Committee upstairs one voice can be responsible for a Division. There were anything from half a dozen to a dozen voices calling "No." In my opinion those responsible for the Amendment are not being treated in accordance with what I regard to be the Rules of the House.
§ The Chairman
In reply to the hon. Member, there will be further opportunity. There will be opportunity for hon. Members to vote on the next Amendment, and, if so disposed, to vote on the Motion as a whole.
§ Mr. Braddock (Mitcham)
On a point of Order. I definitely called out "No," 1755 and I claim my right to go into the Lobby against this proposal. I am not interested in the other Amendment, but on this Amendment, as a Member of Parliament, I claim my right to vote.
§ Mr. Gallacher
There was, as you say Major Milner some confusion and hesitancy about the matter. I put it to you that an entirely wrong impression will be created if through a measure of confusion, this Amendment is not frankly put,
§ and voted on. Why should hon. Members be afraid to divide on the Amendment?
§ The Chairman
Having regard to the obvious misunderstanding and to the various expressions of opinion in different quarters of the House, I propose to put the Question again.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to '£25,000', stand part of the Question.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 345; Noes 33.1757
|Division No. 51.]||AYES.||[5.57 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir R.||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Hale, Leslie|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Crawley, A.||Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S.||Hardy, E. A.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H F C||Hare, Hon J. H. (Woodbridge)|
|Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Scot. Univ.)||Crowder, Capt. John E||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.||Cuthbert, W. N||Head, Brig. A. H.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Daines, P.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Darling, Sir W. Y.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Davidson, Viscountess||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||Herbert, Sir A. P.|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Hogg, Hon. Q.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Hollis, M. C.|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Diamond, J.||Holman, P.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J||Digby, S. W.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Bartlett, V.||Dodds-Parker, A. D||Hurd, A.|
|Battley, J. R.||Donner, P. W.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)|
|Baxter, A. B.||Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H||Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness)||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Drayson, G. B.||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool, Edge Hill)|
|Beechman, N. A.||Drewe, C.||Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Driberg, T. E. N.||Janner, B.|
|Benson, G.||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Jay, D. P. T.|
|Berry, H.||Dumpleton, C. W.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.|
|Beswick, F.||Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.)||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Durbin, E. F. M||Jones, D. T (Hartlepool)|
|Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. (Wandsworth, C.)||Dye, S.||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)|
|Binns, J.||Eccles, D. M.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.|
|Birch, Nigel||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Keeling, E. H.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Kendall, W. D.|
|Boothby, R.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Kerr, Sir J. Graham|
|Bossom, A. C.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Key, C. W.|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Erroll, F. J.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Bowen, R.||Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)||Kinley, J.|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan||Fairhurst, F.||Lang, G.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Farthing, W. J||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Follick, M.||Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.|
|Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.||Fox, Sir G.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Leslie, J. R.|
|Buchanan, G.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Levy, B. W.|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Gage, C.||Lewis, J. (Bolton)|
|Burden, T. W.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Lindsay, K. M. (Comb'd Eng. Univ.)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)||Gammans, L. D.||Linstead, H. N.|
|Byers, Frank||Gates, Maj. E. E.||Lipson, D. L.|
|Callaghan, James||George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Lloyd, Major Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Carson, E.||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Gibbins, J.||Low, A. R. W.|
|Challen, C.||Glyn, Sir R.||Lucas, Major Sir J.|
|Champion, A J||Gomme-Duncan, Col A.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.|
|Channon, H.||Gooch, E. G.||Lyne, A. W.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Gordon-Walker, P. C.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Greenwood, A W J. (Heywood)||McAllister, G.|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col G.||Grey, C. F.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Gridley, Sir A.||McCallum, Maj. D.|
|Coldrick, W.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)|
|Collindridge, F.||Grimston, R. V.||McEntee, V. La T.|
|Collins, V. J.||Gruffydd, Prof. W. J.||Mack, J. D.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Gunter, R. J.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Mackeson, Brig. H. R|
|McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|MacLeod, J.||Proctor, W. T.||Teeling, William|
|Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.||Raikes, H. V.||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)||Rayner, Brig. R.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Rees-Williams, D. R.||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.|
|Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Raid, T. (Swindon)||Tiffany, S.|
|Marlowe, A. A. H.||Renton, D.||Titterington, M. F.|
|Marples, A. E.||Rhodes, H.||Tolley, L|
|Marquand, H. A.||Richards, R.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Marsden, Capt. A.||Robens, A.||Touche, G. C.|
|Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)||Roberts, H. (Handsworth)||Turton, R. H.|
|Mathers, Rt. Hon. George||Roberts, Major P. G. (Ecclesall)||Usborne, Henry|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||Vernon, Maj. W. F|
|Mellor, Sir J.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland||Viant, S. P.|
|Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.||Rogers, G. H. R.||Wadsworth, G.|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Ropner, Col. L.||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Molson, A. H. E.||Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Sanderson, Sir F.||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Scott, Lord W.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Scott-Elliot, W.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Morris-Jones, Sir H.||Sharp, Granville||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.)||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Morrison, Maj. J. G (Salisbury)||Simmons, C. J.||Wheatley, Col. M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Mort, D. L.||Skinnard, F. W.||While, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Moyle, A.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.||While, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Murray, J. D.||Smith, C. (Colchester)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Neal, H. (Claycross)||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)||Wigg, George|
|Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)||Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Odey, G. W.||Smithers, Sir W.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Oldfield, W. H.||Snadden, W. M.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||Snow, J. W.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Spence, H. R.||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Parker, J.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Steele, T.||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Pearson, A.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Perrins, W.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Woodburn, A.|
|Peto Brig C. H. M.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Woods, G. S.|
|Pickthorn, K.||Stokes, R R.||Wyatt, W.|
|Platts-Mills, J. F. F.||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)||York, C.|
|Pools, Cecil (Lichfield)||Stross, Dr. B.||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)||Studholme, H. G.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Popplewell, E.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Porter, E, (Warrington)||Symonds, A. L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Price, M Philips||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A, (P'dd't'n, S.)||Mr. Hannan and Mr. Wilkins.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Hynd, J. B (Attercliffe)||Ranger, J.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Keenan, W.||Rankin, J.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Longden, F.||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||McAdam, W.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)|
|Cove, W. G.||McGovern, J.||Scollan, T.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Maclean, N. (Govan)||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Dolargy, H. J.||McLeavy, F.||Timmons, J.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mikardo, Ian.||Watson, W. M.|
|Gallacher, W.||Naylor, T. E.||Willis, E.|
|Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Paget, R. T.|
|Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||Piratin, P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Pritt, D. N.||Mr. Emrys Hughes and|
§ 6.10 p.m.
§ Mr. Maurice Webb (Bradford, Central)
I beg to move, in paragraph (a), to leave out "£25,000," and to insert "£20,000."
This is the manuscript Amendment referred to earlier in the proceedings. The effect of it is to reduce by £5,000 the amount to be granted to Princess Elizabeth. I am very glad that it has been 1758 decided to call this Amendment, because it enables the Committee to consider this matter on the basis on which it was considered in the privacy of the Select Committee. That is the basis on which I think the Committee as a whole should consider it tonight, although, unfortunately, we have not in front of us all the evidence on which we in the Select Committee arrived at our judgment.
1759 It has been suggested that unanimity in this matter is desirable. That has been my view since the beginning of this business. I sought in every conceivable way in the Select Committee to get unanimity. It is no fault of mine that we did not get unanimity. I deplore the way in which matters developed which prevented us from getting unanimity on the basis of the figure it fell to me to move. But more divides us tonight than the sum of £5,000. The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood) and the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) suggested that that difference was negligible. I think that one hon. Member used the word "ridiculous." If it is negligible and ridiculous, why did they not vote for my figure in the Select Committee? Indeed, if it is still ridiculous and negligible, why should they not go tonight into the Lobby in support of this Amendment?
Indeed, as they know, there are differences. We must assume that they decided to vote for the higher amount for reasons which were acceptable to them—solid substantial reasons. I myself, and those associated with me, voted for a lower figure for reasons which were equally solid and substantial. The difference is not merely in the figure. The figure has really become symbolic. The difference is between those who think that at this time the Court should proceed on the existing basis, and those who, like myself, think that at this time there should be some substantial and observable restriction of the existing standards of the Monarchy. That, I believe, is the essential point of difference. I take the latter view. The difference does arise in the mind of the public. It certainly arose in my mind and in the minds of my colleagues on the Select Committee. This difference was demonstrated by the actual figures on which we had to go to work.
I wish that it had been possible to effect what I regard as necessary restrictions in the existing standards of the Monarchy in some other way than the way we have been compelled to take in this Committee tonight. I deeply regret the way in which the matter has had to be developed in this Committee. I deeply and sincerely regret it. For my part, I wish that it had been possible for the Government and the King, in consultation, to agree, and to put before the Committee proposals 1760 for running the new establishment of Princess Elizabeth on a more austere basis. If that could have been worked out and presented to the country, it would have made a deep impression and would have strengthened the Monarchy. It would have made it impossible for the Committee to have become embroiled in the kind of situation in which we are embroiled now.
I accept the view that the Monarchy, since it exists, must be conducted with dignity; but I am convinced, on the evidence submitted to us in the Select Committee, that it could be run in adequate dignity, without in any way diminishing what I regard as the proper standards of the Monarchy, on the figure which would result if this Amendment were accepted. It is unfortunate that one cannot speak about the evidence submitted in the Select Committee. I had the feeling that far too much public money granted in the Civil List seeps away in unnecessary salaries to hangers-on of the Court. I believe that all that needs very careful examination at this time. The Committee could well have taken a good deal of time over it, thought it out, and considered what was proper and desirable. But that was not possible. We had to undertake a very quick job of inquiry and examination. The only short way of doing it was by arriving at some compromise, middle figure. I think that that is unfortunate.
I take the view—and here again I cannot even say what sort of action I took on this matter because we are debarred—that the evidence might well be provided on which the House itself could form judgment. The Report itself states that different figures were mentioned. The House can well assume that these figures were widely divergent. My inclination was to take a figure very much lower than the figure which is the subject of this Amendment; but I actually moved the figure which we are now discussing and which appears in the Report of the Select Committee. I made that proposal as a compromise, in the belief that we could come out of that Committee with an agreed Report, with every party committed to it, thus presenting it to the country as an agreed conclusion representing the whole House of Commons.
It happened—and I deplore it—that we proceeded to discuss the final compromise at a lower rate. I felt that that 1761 was the negation of compromise. I felt that it was an abandonment of what was fair and just between the conflicting points of view. I could not vote for a higher level; nor can I do that tonight. Therefore, having failed to get unanimity, I do not think that the matter can be left there if we are to do justice to public feeling. It is very difficult for us to form an accurate estimate of public feeling. We all tend to exaggerate our own knowledge of public feeling. We all tend to believe that the particular people among whom we move are representative of the wider public opinion, and we make mistakes in that field. I felt very desperately the nature of my position in view of the office I hold in the Labour Party. I took very great care indeed last weekend to ascertain, as far as I could, the point of view of the people I represent in Central Bradford.
I came away from that city in no doubt at all that the point of view I take is the point of view they would take. I have no doubt at all that the country at this time expects the House, in association with the Monarchy, to make some visible, evident, substantial cut in the provision of money for the maintenance of the Monarchy. If we had done that, I think it would have met the demands of public opinion. I am convinced that this Amendment is fully in accord with public sentiment. After very careful inquiry, my impression is that the country desires to retain the institution of Monarchy—I am quite convinced about that—but it desires the Monarchy to be simple, austere, and democratic. It desires some expression of the situation in which we all are, to be reflected in the establishments which are the instruments of the Monarchy. Thus, it requires at this time on this issue a practical demonstration of belt-tightening.
I think that by making this cut, if the Committee adopts my Amendment, although the actual difference between the two figures is small, we shall be making precisely that kind of demonstration. The figure which I moved in the Select Committee was the kind of gesture which the country would appreciate. It will be seen from the Report that £50,000 was the estimated figure of the requirements of the young couple. By reducing that figure by £15,000, which was my proposal, I believe that we should be making 1762 the kind of demonstration which the country requires.
I ask for the support of all sections of the Committee, as a sincere and very earnest demonstration of our common will that even the most cherished of our institutions is not immune from the burdens which every household in this country has to carry at this time. These two young people have a very difficult job, and I do not envy them their job. I am in no sense attacking them or their integrity, and I am fully conscious of the difficulty in which this particular discussion will place them, but I do believe that, by accepting this Amendment, we shall be nurturing the highest principles of the Monarchy, which have been so well set by the King. Since this is a matter of principle, I ask the Government if they would, in the circumstances, and because of the difficulties in which we find ourselves on this occasion, permit my Amendment to be subject to a free vote. If they will, I commend it to the Committee and I ask the Committee to carry it.
§ 6.21 p.m.
§ Sir Hugh O'Neill (Antrim)
I do not think there is very much that can be said which has not already been said, but I feel that the hon. Member who moved this Amendment has spoken with moderation, reasonableness and dignity. He and I were members of the Select Committee, and, as a matter of fact, I myself was also a member of the Select Committee in 1937 which recommended changes in the Civil List at the beginning of the present reign.
I do not agree with the hon. Member that the people of this country think that there ought to be any change in the standards or the general ceremonial aspects of the Monarchy. I think the people of this country are perfectly satisfied in every way with the Monarchy as it exists today. The hon. Member stated that he thought the time had come when the costs of the Monarchy should be very substantially reduced. Surely, the Prime Minister, in his speech, has already made it abundantly clear that the standards have been enormously reduced in recent years, enormously reduced, for example, as compared with Edwardian days. Not only are we proposing for the Heiress to the Throne today a much smaller income than was granted to Heirs to the Throne in the past, but that much smaller income 1763 will itself purchase immensely less than would have been the case even a few years ago.
I was sorry to hear the only thing which I thought was not up to the standard of the rest of the hon. Member's speech when he referred to "hangers-on at the Court." There, again, the Prime Minister, who has more opportunity of judging these matters than I or any other back bench Member of the House, today gave it as his considered opinion that there were no hangers-on at the Court, but that those who had Court jobs and Court duties to perform had a full day's work and were in every way fully employed.
One aspect of this matter, which has already been referred to, but which I feel to be one of supreme importance, is the fact that the King is King not only of this country, but King of all the great Dominions of the Crown, and I feel that, if we have an acrimonious Debate here today, and if we are going to propose to the whole Empire that the whole standard of our Monarchy is to be reduced, it will be something that will redound not to the credit, but to the discredit of our country, and may be a very serious rift in the future unity and prosperity of the Empire.
There is just one other point to which I would like to refer. The hon. Member, at the close of his speech, suggested that there should be a free vote on this matter. I do not know what the reply of the Government will be. I am only anxious to see this proposal carried, but, at the same time, from a constitutional point of view, it would seem a most extraordinary thing for a proposal of this sort, moved by a prominent Member of the Government, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, supported by the Prime Minister and put forward as the Government's proposals for the future upkeep of the Heiress to the Throne, should go to a free vote of the House. In other words, if the Government were going to run away from the Vote, I cannot imagine that that would be in any way in accordance with precedent, or in any way the kind of thing which this House should reasonably contemplate.
§ 6.29 p.m.
§ Miss Colman (Tynemouth)
Like the hon. Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb) and other hon. Members who have 1764 spoken, I very deeply regret the division of opinion which arose on the Select Committee, and we in the minority did our best to avoid it. Some of us who voted with the minority on the Select Committee, favoured a considerably lower figure than £35,000, but we agreed to that figure for the sake of unanimity and in order to secure a compromise. I, personally, am prepared to take the same course again, and I am prepared tonight to vote for this Amendment for the purpose of securing as unanimous a vote as possible and as a compromise.
May I correct a statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the course of his opening speech? The right hon. and learned Gentleman suggested that the minority on the Select Committee would have been prepared to agree to £10,000 for the Duke of Edinburgh if the £35,000 had been accepted for Princess Elizabeth, and that would have meant a difference of only £5,000 between us. May I express my own opinion here that I personally was not and am not prepared to grant the £10,000 for the Duke of Edinburgh, even if the allowance for Princess Elizabeth is reduced to £35,000, and, therefore, so far as I am concerned, the difference is not £5,000 but £10,000.
In speaking to this Amendment, I want to make it perfectly clear, as other hon. Members have done, that my attitude indicates no lack of support for the Monarchy and the Royal Family. In fact, I agree with the view which has already been expressed, that the proposals put forward by the Government are likely to injure the popularity and prestige of the Royal Family. I take that view very strongly, and, equally strongly, I disagree with the opinion expressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Arthur Greenwood), that we are quibbling about £5,000 or £10,000. Our objection is not to the cost to the nation. I have heard the statement made that this annual allowance works out at about a farthing a head of the population. As I say, the objection is not to the cost to the nation; the objection, in my mind and in the minds of many with whom I have discussed this matter, is to the great gulf which this allowance represents between the manner of life of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, and that of the mass of the 1765 people. That is the question of principle in our minds and not, may I repeat it once again, the cost to the nation.
I have taken very careful steps to ascertain the views of members of the public. The noble Lord the right hon. Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) said that all the people outside this House who opposed the proposals of the Government are members of the Communist Party.
§ Earl Winterton
I did nothing of the sort. I said something which is quite different, and in which I persist—that the agitation emanated, in the first instance, from the Communist Party.
§ Miss Colman
When the noble Lord reads HANSARD tomorrow morning he will find that his statement was a great deal more definite than that. But, if he wishes to amend it——
§ Earl Winterton
Those were my actual words. Quite obviously, the hon. Lady does not know the meaning of the word "emanated." For her benefit it means that the origin of this agitation is Communist.
§ Mr. Gallacher
On a point of Order. I think it is necessary, Sir Robert, that I should say here that the Communist Party is not paying the right hon. Gentleman for advertising it.
§ Miss Colman
The noble Lord very easily loses his temper, and it is very usual for him to say things which are extremely cheap. Whether he made the, statement which I thought I had quoted correctly, or whether he made the statement which he now says he made, will be shown in HANSARD tomorrow, but, whichever statement was made it is entirely wrong. The people in my division who expressed their opinion on this matter—not to myself, and not on my suggestion—are certainly not Communists, and are not influenced by the Communist Party. In order to show that I do understand the meaning of the word, neither have their views emanated from the Communist Party. They are ordinary people—shipyard workers, journalists, shop assistants, housewives and others—and in the very careful inquiry I have made, not only in my division, but elsewhere, I find that popular opinion, in general, is one of respect and affection for the Royal Family. At the 1766 same time, I find that there is a very strong feeling for greater simplicity, for less ceremony.
§ Miss Colman
I am stating the opinion as I find it. The opinion as the noble Lord finds it may be different. The noble Lord mixes in different circles from those in which I mix.
§ Miss Colman
I live in a working-class area and I know the opinion of the working people. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] It is no good hon. Members opposite making those extraordinary noises. I express opinion as I find it. I notice that hon. Members opposite approved when I said that the opinion which I find to be common is that of respect and affection for the Royal Family.
§ Miss Colman
Very well then, why contradict the other statement which I made, and which came from the same people? Why should one be correct, and the other incorrect? The answer is, of course, that hon. Members opposite agree with one and not with the other. Therefore, I am telling the truth when they agree, but I am not telling the truth when they disagree. I will repeat, Sir Robert, the second part of the information I have secured, and which does not meet with the approval of hon. Members opposite, is that the desire of the ordinary people is that there should be greater simplicity and less ceremony in the life of the Royal Family, and that the Royal Family should give a lead to the nation in the direction of greater simplicity and less ceremony.
May I support my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford by saying that, in particular, people with whom I have discussed this matter strongly object to the waste of manpower in court circles. I would like to refer once more to the noble Lord the right hon. Member for Horsham. He said—and I hope I am quoting him correctly this time—that we do not want to lose the colour and pageantry of ceremonial.
§ Earl Winterton indicated assent.
§ Miss Colman
I am glad that I have quoted him correctly this time. My opinion is that we can keep the colour 1767 and pageantry on ceremonial occasions, but that, on other occasions, we can have the greater simplicity and less ceremony for which I am asking.
I will conclude by saying that I strongly believe that the strength of the Royal Family in this country lies not in its remoteness from the people, but in its nearness to the people. It has come nearer to the people, very much nearer than it was not so very long ago, but I believe that still greater simplicity would still further strengthen its hold on the affections of the people. Therefore, I have great pleasure in supporting this Amendment.
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
I think there has been a little misapprehension on this matter in the very reasonable and well expressed speech with which the Amendment was moved by the hon. Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb). As I understood him, his argument was that there should be a diminution in standards so far as the Royal House is concerned, in view of the economic emergency at present affecting the country. But the proposal before the Committee is not one which is limited to a particular period. It is aimed at the whole reign, and, surely, it is an excess of pessimism on the part of hon. Members to assume that a period of austerity and economy is likely to continue for the whole of the reign of his present Majesty. In any event, as far as the next four years are concerned, no charge will fall on public funds, in view of the announcement that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was authorised to make on behalf of His Majesty. The period with which we are concerned is a period of more than four years hence, and leading to the end of the reign. Surely, all the emphasis expressed by the hon. Member—and on the previous Amendment by other hon. Members—regarding the austerity being inflicted upon the people of this country today is beyond the point. We are asked to legislate for a period by which hon. Members on both sides of the Committee would hope that, at any rate, the severer part of our austerity will have come to an end.
There was emphasis upon the reduction of standards in connection with the Royal House. I do not want to touch upon 1768 controversial subjects, but that reduction appears in striking contrast to the whole tendency as regards other parts of our political and administrative system. I make no complaint whatever of the increases voted, not only to hon. Members, not only to no less a person than the Prime Minister, but to other public officials. I believe it is foolish and unwise to underpay persons in high and responsible positions, and it is rather curious that hon. Members opposite—or some of them—should be so anxious to lower standards when those standards are of the Royal House but quite willing to accept the raising of standards throughout every other part of our political and administrative system. We of course accept it, when an hon. Member states that his expression of this view is coupled with respect and loyalty to the Royal House. But may I be permitted to say that it is a curious expression of that respect and loyalty to single out them, and them alone, for austerities demanded by the situation.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
The hon. Member for Central Bradford frankly put the view that he was not concerned mainly with the £5,000. He was concerned, as I understood it, with the symbolic importance of that £5,000. He explained his attitude as being a supporter of this Amendment, not because he worried about the £5,000, but because that Amendment had a kind of symbolic importance. If the hon. Member is looking for a symbol of that sort, it is to be found in the Report of the Select Committee of which he was a Member. That Select Committee has recommended a figure lower than the one put to it by the expert witnesses called before it. If the hon. Member is seeking for some gesture of economy it can be found in the findings of the Select Committee. It seems to be labouring matters, and making very heavy weather indeed if, on top of that reduction which the Select Committee was agreed about, he urges a further reduction. All hon. Members must agree with the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he said that it is impossible for any hon. Member of this Committee to budget precisely on this particular matter.
§ Mr. Scollan (Renfrew, Western)
On a point of Order, Sir Robert, I want to 1769 know if it is in Order for any hon. Member of this Committee to refer to the evidence before the Select Committee?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Further to that point of Order, Sir Robert, I submit that the figure was mentioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, without objection by your predecessor, and it appears in the Report.
§ Mr. Scollan
That is the very reason why I raised the point of Order—because it was objected to when the Chancellor was making his statement.
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)
Surely the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. How can a person who is not a Member of the Select Committte divulge what was said in front of the Committee?
§ The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Robert Young)
The evidence is not before the Committee. I do not know what was the Ruling given before I came in, but the hon. Member must not trespass upon it.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
May I respectfully invite your attention, Sir Robert, to the paragraph on the first page of the Report in which that figure is specified? The Report has been presented to the House and includes that figure, which I have quoted, and which, quite properly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer quoted. Therefore, I respectfully suggest that I am entitled to refer to that figure.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I thought the hon. Member was referring to the evidence. If the figure is in the Report, he is in Order.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
It being perfectly true, as the Chancellor has said, that it is quite impossible to budget to a few thousand either way, the symbolic gesture which the hon. Member for Central Bradford requires can be found in the Report of the Select Committee. The majority of the hon. Members who accepted the recommendations of the Select Committee includes the leaders of all three parties and hon. and right hon. Gentlemen of very great experience in public administration. I hope I shall not be thought discourteous to the minority if I say that the names which appear in the Report as being among the majority are names of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen of much greater experience and knowledge of these matters.
1770 Surely, therefore, the reasonable course to follow is to accept the advice tendered to this Committee by the experienced majority on the Select Committee. The hon. Member for Central Bradford can be well satisfied that the point he had in mind has already been made, and the pursuing of this Amendment, and pressing it to a Division, can serve no useful purpose—certainly not the purpose he has in mind. It can only amount to asking this Committee to reject the decision of the majority of the experienced and responsible Members of the Select Committee upon an important matter, the very subject matter of which make it so difficult for hon. Members of this Committee—who have not seen the evidence—to come to a reasoned decision. If the hon. Member persists in pressing this matter he will put hon. Members on both sides of the House in a position of some difficulty. We have not got the evidence and we can only accept the view of the majority of the Select Committee, who did hear the evidence, who represented all three parties, and who came to a very definite and reasonable conclusion.
§ 6.50 p.m.
§ Mr. Mathers (Linlithgow)
I am sure that many hon. Members must feel, as I do, a very great regret indeed that the Select Committee were not able to resolve their differences and come before us with an agreed set of figures. I feel a certain embarrassment in seeking to discuss this matter at all, although I am sure that my embarrassment is slight compared with the embarrassment of those whom we are discussing. I am glad, however, that my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb) put forward his Amendment so reasonably, and I am sure that no one will complain about the way in which he stated his views.
I wish, quite briefly, to submit my point of view on this matter. Now that figures have been mentioned, whatever we may say about the objects of the allowances under discussion, we are inevitably involved in discussing a difference of £5,000 per annum or, if the second allowance is involved, a difference of £10,000 per annum. My hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford said, in effect, that we are discussing whether the Monarchy shall proceed on the existing basis. If we take into account the lower purchasing power of money today, compared with 1771 what it was only a few years ago, it must be agreed that the standard set years ago on the same amount certainly cannot be maintained by the allowances proposed today. I would counsel those who support the Amendment and who wish to reduce the amounts proposed by the Government, to bear in mind that those amounts represent a lower scale of emolument than would have been thought appropriate years ago when money was much more valuable. In my view, we cannot afford not to agree to the higher amounts, because to reduce them would lower the credit of this House in the eves of this country, and the credit of this country abroad. If we reduced these allowances by £5,000 or £10,000 a year we might be involved in the position which was visualised by my hon. Friend the Member for Tradeston (Mr. Rankin) who suggested that the Dominions might contribute towards these allowances. We might suffer the humiliation of having that amount offered to us in order that we could do what I am sure the Dominions believe is the right thing to do for those whom we are discussing.
I feel that in view of all that is involved, and bearing in mind the need for maintaining the credit of this country, we must not be regarded by other countries as being so down-and-out that we have to quibble over an expenditure of £5,000 or £10,000 a year. Therefore, whether we have a free vote or whether the Whips are put on, in the interests of the credit of this House and of this country in the estimation of the Dominions and of other nations, I feel it will be my duty to vote for the higher figures proposed in the original Motion.
§ 6.55 p.m.
§ Mr. Martin Lindsay (Solihull)
I want to refer briefly to two points in the well-expressed and sincere speech of the hon. Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb). They seemed to be the main grounds on which he based his case, and I believe his reasoning was entirely false. He told us that public opinion in his constituency was completely against the higher figure. I can well understand that he might have received that impression, because public opinion upon this subject is utterly uninstructed. Public opinion really does believe that an income of £50,000 is purely a personal income to be spent on oneself. 1772 We have had the case of an hon. Member who had no idea at all that travelling expenses had to be paid out of their Royal Highnesses' income. That being the case, I can well believe that an impression of that kind could have been received by a Member of Parliament making inquiries of that nature in his constituency. I have had the same experience in my constituency on the subject of salaries of Members of Parliament. People believe that £20 a week is a very high salary indeed for a Member of Parliament; they have no conception whatever that there are expenses involved. I think that is very much a parallel case.
The second point in the hon. Member's speech to which I wish to refer is his statement which he stressed—I think he said it three times—that he felt it his duty to oppose this Motion because public opinion is against it. When have Members of Parliament followed public opinion instead of leading it? I think that is a shocking reason for taking a bad course of action for which there is no case, and I very much hope that this Amendment will be rejected.
§ 6.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Nally (Bilston)
I want, first of all, to refer to a valid point which was made by an hon. Member opposite who referred to the fact that, by and large, the majority of the Select Committee were persons older in age and experience than the minority. That seems to indicate one of the differences which exist in the Committee generally. As far as I know, the youngest member of the Select Committee was my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb), and I think it is not without interest that he, the youngest member of the Committee, should have expressed with complete sincerity his faith and belief in a constitutional Monarchy. It is not without significance that he should have led this particular minority group within the Select Committee, because there are enormous differences between the attitude of what I can best describe as the younger generation in all parties towards the Monarchy, and that of the older generation.
The difference is not necessarily one of years, but of approach. I do not know whether hon. Members opposite would be prepared to accept this statement, but I 1773 give my word of honour that it is true. During the last few days I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, younger than I am, who is an official of a Conservative Party association. He expressed to me precisely the views which were expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford. It was felt that, whilst having regard for the constitutional Monarchy, there was plenty of room for greater simplicity and for less extensive ceremonial, carried over so long a time.
The suggestion has been made that this proposal, if it is accepted, involves hardship on the Royal Family. It involves nothing of the kind. What we have in mind is not a proposal which involves trimming down what the Royal Family itself spends. We have in mind—and there is some reasonable certainty about it—that there is an outer circle which surrounds the court where extensive pruning could be carried out in the public interest and in the interest of the Royal Family themselves. There is much that emanates—if I may use the term—from the palaces or royal residences which I am perfectly certain is not fully in accord with the wishes of the Royal Family themselves.
To give an illustration of what I mean—and it is purely an illustration and I do not think it is out of Order—it will be recalled that during the war Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth, was enlisted in a unit of the A.T.S. That was a very nice thing, accepted by all as a splendid gesture at that time. Before it finished, however, it was badly handled. Stories were put out that Her Royal Highness was to undergo training like everybody else, with the nearest sergeant adjacent to that unit, and everybody in the newspaper world, in contact with this, knew the story was phoney. It must have been a source of great embarrassment to the Royal Family themselves, because clearly in the nature of the case it was rank hypocrisy to say that Her Royal Highness—she may have wanted to; I do not doubt that for a moment—could simply go through the normal process.
Equally objectionable to the mass of the ordinary people of the country, irrespective of their political views, was the nonsense that was circulated, and which arrived on the desks of newspaper offices, attempting to prove that at the time of Her Highness's wedding her applica- 1774 tion for clothing coupons had gone through the usual routine and had been dealt with by the usual clerks; that somebody had sat down and decided in this particular instance whether the application should be granted or not. Everybody knows that did not happen. Why should we pretend? I am not suggesting that it should have happened. That is the kind of thing we are attempting to protest against tonight.
There is another point on which I should like some information, if it is available. I have been given two figures as to the annual cost of upkeep of Clarence House which I understand is to be the new residence for the Royal couple. One figure was £12,000 per year, irrespective of capital expenditure. Another figure was 16,000 a year—in upkeep for that one place. I agree that we do not know the entertainment responsibility, although we know it is considerable, that the Royal couple have; but I do not care how wide the obligations are in that particular field, I find it difficult at this time to justify an expenditure of £6,000 per year upon what is, after all, one house. I hope the Committee will accept the Amendment. I appreciate the point raised by an hon. Friend of mine that it may well be that this reduction in the allowance will create some difficulties among sections in the Dominions and that they may make some offer. I am not altogether certain that would be a bad thing. I would like to feel that the Dominions took an even closer interest in these matters of providing for the adequate and proper maintenance of the Royal Family. I do not see that there is anything bad about it.
I ask the Committee to believe that there is as much loyalty, affection and regard for the Royal Family, as individuals, on this side of the House as there is on that side. There may be a little more. One of the things which infuriates me is the positive cruelty of the present state of affairs. These two young people have been placed in the worst possible kind of position, where practically most of their lives is determined for them by others; they will not be able to go out shopping, or go out walking, without being surrounded by crowds, where the whole of their lives will be the negation of liberty. It is from that point of view that many of us take the attitude of which this Amendment is symbolic. I ask the Committee to give the support for which 1775 my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford has asked.
§ 7.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg (Oxford)
I find myself in agreement with a great deal of what the hon. Member for Bilston (Mr. Nally) has said, although I was not absolutely certain that I saw at every stage how he related it to the issue before the Committee. In regard to his last remark, I feel that the answer to what he said about positive cruelty, and the limitations on the Royal Family in that way, is simply that the Royal Family, like all of us, are seeking to serve the country in their own way, and the limitations of which he spoke are their particular burden. We all have our particular burdens, but if we seek to serve our country in our own way, we do not tend to regard them as burdens, but more as labours of love. I do not think we need feel sentimentality about it, beyond the ordinary feelings of loyalty and affection, when we discuss the peculiar position in which members of the Royal Family find themselves.
I want to make a special appeal to hon. Members opposite who happen to disagree with me, and I think I have a right to do so because it is relevant to the arguments which have been presented. Some months ago we had a Debate on the subject of our own salaries and, as hon. Members will remember, I took some part in that Debate. We were faced with almost exactly the same arguments as those with which we are faced today. It was said that we ought to tighten our belts, at a time when everybody else were tightening their belts, and that we ought to show an example. It was suggested that we could not expect a man getting 26s. a week, or even a disabled soldier, to view with complacency a Member of Parliament earning £20 a week. I resisted that argument then and I resist it now. I resist it for the same reason—that this is fundamentally not a reasonable argument to present. Hon. Members, in dealing with their own salaries, faced the fact—and I think rightly—that we were dealing with the upkeep of a public office with dignity and efficiency.
That is what we are dealing with today. We are not discussing whether the Royal Family will live a life of luxury or austerity. If we were, I should be saying that they are already an example to us 1776 in personal simplicity and austerity, and if we could be as certain that we lived as restrained a life in matters of personal comfort as they do, we should be doing very well.
§ Mr. Nally
I think the hon. Member will agree that there is a difference between the question of Members' salaries and the particular matters we are now discussing in this respect, that when we were discussing Members' salaries we had before us all the relevant information upon which it was possible to pass judgment. In this case, the Committee has not the relevant information upon which to pass judgment, and, therefore, we are in a difficulty.
§ Mr. Hogg
In view of that difficulty, the conclusion I draw would be that the hon. Member should be slower to say that the Select Committee is wrong, and not quicker.
I was saying that this is not at all a question of the personal style in which the Royal Family live. Theirs is one of notable restraint and austerity. The real question before the Committee is exactly the same as that we had to deal with on the question of Members' salaries—how a public office can best be discharged with dignity and efficiency. In response to the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth (Miss Colman), who stressed the matter of dignity, I would say that, of course, a man can be dignified on a very small salary indeed. It is not wealth which makes dignity. But what we want in the discharge of a public office is not merely dignity but efficiency. I think that the whole of the argument which has been presented to the Committee both on this and the previous Amendment, and particularly by the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, is really conclusive—that in order to discharge these great public functions efficiently, as well as with dignity, the higher salary is, in fact, the sum which is required. If the hon. Member had asked me, "Did I think, on the whole, that it would be to the advantage of the Royal Family that all the evidence should be published?" my answer would be, "Yes, I think it probably would be." I should think what would follow from that would be that we should get a much bigger majority and a much more nearly unanimous Committee in favour of the higher figure.
1777 I am convinced, from everything which has been said, that in order to discharge this public function efficiently, the higher figure is required, and I am fortified by this consideration. I thought that the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth was wholly at fault when she talked about the great gulf which separates the Royal Family from the people. I do not think there is such a gulf, nor do I think any gulf there might be consists in the fact that they have to discharge important public functions, with aeroplanes and special trains, and other things of that kind. It is not those things which can keep a Royal Family from the people; but they are the things which cost money. We are bound to face the fact that in almost every department of public expenditure, expenditure has gone up. Anybody must have noticed that. We had to make special provision for the Prime Minister. We had to make special provision for a Minister to fly across the world; a very large sum was spent on a single aeroplane for that purpose. We have to make allowances for increases of expenditure of all kinds. In this whole case, even if the majority view of the Select Committee be accepted, we are not merely not making an increase, but we are actually making a smaller provision than in days when costs were very much lower than they are now.
For these reasons, I must say that I thought it was in a sense lamentable that the hon. Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb) and the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth should have used the expressions which they did. The hon. Lady seemed to imply that the splendour of the Royal Family was much greater than it should be, and was something which should be cut down. I think that the people like a bit of colour and want a bit of pageantry. I cannot myself see the romanticism and mysticism of Royalty "rationalised"—to use the expression of the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Chamberlain). When he made that speech, I had a horrible vision of a Treasury official saying that the French Ambassador, when entertained to lunch, must be given Australian burgundy. I had a vision of things that really do not bear contemplation.
§ Mr. Chamberlain
I did not suggest that the persons concerned should be 1778 rationalised; only that the system should be rationalised.
§ Mr. Hogg
It is precisely the system which I should prefer to be left to the experience and public spirit of the persons concerned. I thought that my right hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) was so conclusive on that point. As in the case of an ambassador, or some public functionary abroad in a republican country, there are whole areas of expenditure in which the element of discretion is so flexible that it would not be possible for a Treasury official to exercise proper control without making either the office shamefully squalid or the person perfectly ridiculous. I prefer, therefore, to see this great public office discharged, as it has been discharged, with a measure of colour, with a measure of pageantry, at a cost very much lower than has ever been the case before, and by people who command the affection and respect of the whole of the community.
In passing, let me say that I think that we all feel—certainly not only those on this side of the Committee, but just as much those who are in support of the Amendment as those who are against it—that our dominant feeling for the Royal Family is not loyalty, nor affection, nor respect, but love. We do, in a sense, love them in this country. Our whole attitude towards them is one of love. Even our jealousy of some of the aspects of their public duties which has been displayed tonight is a facet of that. I believe that the right conclusion is to couple generosity with love and to give what the greater part of the Committee desires.
There are only two more things I want to say. The first is this. The hon. Member for Central Bradford tried to introduce an element of what he described as "symbolism" into this Amendment. For the life of me I could not understand what he meant in this connection. I can understand that there was symbolism in the last Amendment. I can understand hon. Members like the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) attaching a symbolic significance to the last Amendment, the object of which was to remove this provision altogether. But I cannot for the life of me see how any element of symbolism can attach to this particular Amendment, in which we have 1779 to choose between the figure of £35,000 and the figure of £40,000, when as a matter of fact the Select Committee, composed of the leaders of all parties and the highest dignitaries in the House have come to the conclusion, not as a matter of pure affection, but as a matter of purely objective consideration, that the figure of £40,000 is the only one which will enable the persons concerned to do their work efficiently.
There is only one other remark I want to add. I want to join my protest to that of the right hon. Member for Antrim (Sir H. O'Neill) against the suggestion that there should be a free vote of the Committee. Normally, as a Member of the Opposition, I am always urging the Government to have free votes, but I am also, I hope, not merely a Member of the Opposition but a Member of His Majesty's Opposition, and I do protest against the notion that, in a constitutional monarchy, His Majesty's Ministers are entitled to run away from their duty of supporting what they think proper provision for the monarchy whenever their back benchers tell them they do not like it.
I am bound to say that, if this were left to a free vote, I should regard it as one of the grossest betrayals of the Constitution I could remember in my time in the House of Commons, quite irrespective of what the result of the Division may be. In a matter of this kind, which affects the dignity and the discharge of one of the most important offices of the State, it is the business of the Government to make up their minds what they consider to be right; and when they have made up their mind what they consider to be right, in my submission their duty is to tell the Committee what they consider to be right, and to ask their hon. Friends—in the technical sense of the word—to support them in their course. If they are also supported by hon. Gentlemen who are not, in the technical sense, their hon. Friends, all the better for them. But nothing could be more cowardly, nothing could be more politically immoral, nothing could be more unconstitutional than, having formed their views of what is right, that they should allow their hon. Friends, in the technical sense to tell them it is all wrong, and that they should run away from their duty to the Monarchy, which is to be loyal to it. For these reasons, I hope, not merely that 1780 this Amendment will be rejected, but that the Government will stand firm in this matter and not allow themselves to be dictated to by anybody.
§ 7.21 p.m.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Perhaps the Committee Would like me to reply now in order that we may come to a conclusion. The hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) has dealt with the question put to me by the hon. Member for Central Bradford (Mr. Webb), as to whether there would be a free vote on this matter. This is, of course, essentially a House of Commons matter, and not one in which the Government intervenes. His Majesty sends a message to the Commons; the Commons have their own Select Committee on the Civil List, of which, by chance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was appointed Chairman, on the proposition of the noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton), and that Select Committee reports to the Commons. This being essentially a House of Commons matter, prima facie the hon. Member for Oxford would not ask to have the Whips put on. I can quite understand that from a party point of view he may, on a particular occasion, feel that it is convenient to take the other line; but looking at it as a good Parliamentarian, as I am sure he is, a matter which is primarily the duty—and the very particular duty—of the House of Commons as a whole is not one on which it is suitable to put on the Whips. If there are genuine and honest differences of opinion upon some matter which the Government do not regard as one of principle, that is a suitable matter for a vote of the House according to its reasoning and responsibility.
§ Earl Winterton
No doubt the right hon. and learned Gentleman will give precedents for that action, which I should have thought was unprecedented. I may be wrong, and there may have been instances in the past when the Government have taken the line he has suggested—that it is not constitutionally the business of His Majesty's Government, in the full power which the Government have, to ask the House of Commons to support a proposal for emoluments to the Crown. No doubt he will quote precedents.
§ Sir S. Cripps
No, I certainly shall not quote any precedents at all. There may 1781 be some or there may not. I have not had the opportunity or the time to look them up. What I say is that the Government may support, as I have supported in introducing it, the Report of the Select Committee, as I, as chairman, have supported the views of that Select Committee. The noble Lord asks the Government to support it with all the means in their power, which means that he wants us to put on the Whips. I believe this is a case in which it is not only feasible but desirable that the Committee should express its views freely. From the point of view of the recipients of whatever grant is made, they would infinitely rather feel that such grant was made by the free will of the Members of the House of Commons than by the compulsion of a party Whip imposed upon them. I think that should be a decisive determination, if such a request is made by the minority of the Select Committee—and, after all, that is what it comes to—in order to express their views, and to test in this Committee whether they are really the majority or the minority, as they were in the Select Committee.
Having said that, I turn to deal with the merits of this difference of opinion. Despite what my hon. Friend the Member for Central Bradford said, I cannot see that there is any difference of principle here. By the mere figures in the Report itself, it is quite clear that everybody agreed that there should be more simplicity and economy than there has been in the past. That is apparent on the face of all the figures. The only question is: should it be a simplicity and economy measured by £10,000 or by £15,000? There can be no principle in whether we economise out of £60,000 by £10,000 or by £15,000. It can be said that as a matter of principle one would like to see a different standard of expenditure so far as the display and entertainment of the Monarch is concerned. For instance, it might be said that we should do away with the horses, which constitute a very expensive item, and are used only once or twice a year. They cost £15,000, or whatever it is, because they have to be kept every day of the year. But I venture to think that if someone were to say, "Here is an easy economy; let us do away with all the horses," the public would be up in arms 1782 against the loss of this sight which they have so rarely that it pleases them.
Therefore, one really is not dealing with any question of principle here, but with something quite different, namely, the estimate of different hon. Members as to what they think will maintain the efficiency and dignity of this office. They have all stated—and, I know, have stated with complete sincerity—that they want the duties of the office carried out decently and with efficiency; and they recognise that it is an office and not a mere payment to private individuals. To hon. Members who take the view—if I may put it in this way—that we are spending too much by £5,000 on this particular office at the present time, in view of the financial difficulties of everybody else and of the country, this also must be said, that the grant which we are getting from the King will pay that £5,000 difference for 20 years. Thus, this is a question whether in 21 years' time we shall be paying £5,000 too much, because the rest is covered and does not fall on us at all.
I am sure the hon. Member for Central Bradford would agree that if he thinks £35,000 is the right sum, he and I would have voted for it whether or not the King had granted £100,000. We are grateful for that grant of £100,000, but it is immaterial to the merits of the case. All we are doing here is postponing the extra £5,000—assuming now that the hon. Member is right and I am wrong—till 21 years' time. It is not a question of principle, whether in 21 years' time the Princess and her husband—perhaps then, we hope, with a large family—will require £5,000 more or less. I really would not like to wager on the value of money in 21 years' time. I only say that because, with all these great uncertainties, we must bear in mind that this is not a grant for one or two years. Unless something happens which we hope will not happen, this is a grant, anyway until the children reach the age of 18; that will be the next occasion—unless circumstances alter—when the question of a grant will come up again.
This is a long-period grant. We are, we hope, somewhere near the bottom of the wave as regards the low value of money, and are, therefore, justified in saying that the economy of £10,000 from the estimate which has been made is a reasonable economy. It emphasises the 1783 fact that the Select Committee, and those who voted in that way in that Committee, think that there should be some reduction of standards, some greater simplicity; and they have signified that by this alteration of the estimate down to the lower figure.
I hope that, in these circumstances we shall be able, without any great difference of opinion, to get through this matter, and to finalise this problem. I am most grateful to hon. Members on all sides of the Committee for the extremely earnest and good-tempered way in which the whole of this discussion has taken place. What-
§ ever the result of it may be, I feel that we have got through this Debate without anything having been said which will cause any distress to these two young people. They will realise that we are all anxious to do what is right, although our views about what is right may differ. I am anxious, therefore, that the Committee will not insist upon making the change contained in this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That '£25,000' stand part of the Question."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 291; Noes, 165.1787
|Division No. 52.||AYES.||[7.32 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||Hurd, A.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.||Digby, S. W.||Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool, Edge Hill)|
|Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Scot. Univ.)||Donner, P. W.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.||Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||Janner, B.|
|Attewell, H. C.||Dower, E. L G. (Caithness)||Jay, D. P. T.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Drayson, G. B.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Drewe, C.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Dumpleton, C. W.||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.)||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Durbin, E. F. M.||Keeling, E. H.|
|Bartlett, V.||Dye, S.||Kendall, W D.|
|Battley, J. R.||Eccles, D. M.||Ken, Sir J. Graham|
|Baxter, A. B.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Key, C. W.|
|Beamish, Mai T. V. H.||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||King, E. M.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.|
|Belcher, J. W.||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Kinley, J.|
|Berry, H.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Erroll, F. J.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Binns, J.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Lang, G.|
|Birch, Nigel||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Follick, M.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E A. H.|
|Boothby, R.||Fox, Sir G.||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Lindsay, K. M. (Comb'd Eng. Univ.)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)|
|Bower, N.||Gage, C.||Linstead, H. N.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Lipson, D. L.|
|Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)|
|Braithwaile, Lt.-Comdr. J. G||Gammans, L. D.||Low, A. R. W.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Gates, Maj. E. E.||Lucas, Major Sir J.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.|
|Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gibbins, J||McAllister, G.|
|Buchanan, G.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Gordon-Walker, P. C.||McCallum, Maj. D.|
|Burden, T. W.||Granville, E. (Eye)||MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Grey, C. F.||Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)||Gridley, Sir A.||McEntee, V. La T.|
|Byers, Frank||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.|
|Callaghan, James||Grimston, R. V.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Carson, E.||Gruffydd, Prof. W. J.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.|
|Challen, C.||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Channon, H.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Hannon Sir P. (Moseley)||Macpherson, T. (Romford)|
|Collindridge, F.||Hare, Hon. J H. (Woodbridge)||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G||Head, Brig, A. H.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford)||Marlowe, A. A. H|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Marples, A. E.|
|Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Marquand, H. A.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Herbert, Sir A. P.||Marsden, Capt. A.|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||Hobson, C. R.||Marshall, D. (Bodimn)|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||Howard, Hon. A.||Mathers, Rt. Hon. George|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Mellor, Sir J.||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.||Roberts, H. (Handsworth)||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Molson, A. H. E||Roberts, Major P. G. (Ecclesall)||Teeling, William|
|Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Morley, R.||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Morris-Jones, Sir H.||Ropner, Col. L.||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.)||Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Morrison, Maj. J G. (Salisbury)||Sanderson, Sir F.||Tolley, L.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Scott, Lord W.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Moyle, A.||Scott-Elliot, W.||Touche, G. C.|
|Neal, H. (Claycross)||Sharp, Granville||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)||Usborne, Henry|
|Nicholson, G.||Shephard, S. (Newark)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)||Wadsworth, G.|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)||Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|O'Brien, T.||Simmons, C. J.||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|Odey, G. W.||Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Smith, C. (Colchester)||Wheatley, Col. M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Paget, R. T.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Pearson, A.||Smithers, Sir W.||Wilkins, W. A|
|Peto Brig. C H. M.||Snadden, W. M.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Pickthorn, K.||Snow, J. W.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Popplewell, E.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.||Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.|
|Price, M. Philips||Steele, T.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. O||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Pryde, D. J||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H.|
|Rayner, Brig. R.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)||York, C.|
|Rees-Williams, D. R.||Stross, Dr. B.||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Raid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)||Sludholme, H G.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Reid, T. (Swindon)||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Renton, D.||Sutcliffe, H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Rhodes, H.||Symonds, A. L.||Mr. J. J. Lawson and|
|Robens, A.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S)||Mr. Benson.|
|Acland, Sir R||Donovan, T||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Driberg, T. E. N.||Longden, F.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)||Lyne, A. W.|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||McAdam, W.|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Evans, John (Ogmore)||McGovern, J.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Ewart, R.||Mack, J. D.|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.||Fairhurst, F.||McKinlay, A. S.|
|Baird, J.||Farthing, W. J.||Maclean, N. (Govan)|
|Balfour, A.||Fernyhough, E.||McLeavy, F.|
|Barstow, P. G.||Foot, M. M.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Barton, C.||Forman, J. C.||Mallalieu, J. P. W.|
|Bing, G. H C.||Gallacher, W.||Mann, Mrs. J.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Gibson, C. W.||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Gilzean, A.||Middleton, Mrs. L.|
|Bramall, E. A.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Mikardo, Ian.|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Gooch, E. G.||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood)||Monslow, W.|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Grierson, E.||Moody, A. S.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Champion, A. J.||Gunter, R. J||Mort, D. L.|
|Chetwynd, G. R||Guy, W. H.||Nally, W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hale, Leslie||Naylor, T. E.|
|Cobb, F. A.||Hardy, E. A.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Cocks, F. S.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Oliver, G. H.|
|Coldrick, W.||Herbison, Miss M||Orbach, M.|
|Collins, V. J.||Holman, P.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Colman, Miss G. M||House, G.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Hudson, J. H. (Eating, W.)||Parker, J.|
|Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)||Paten, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)|
|Cove, W. G.||Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W)||Peart, T. F|
|Crawley, A.||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Perrins, W.|
|Daggar, G.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Piratin, P.|
|Daines, P.||Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Poole, Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Porter, G. (Leeds)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Deer, G.||Leonard, W.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Levy, B. W.||Randall, H. E.|
|Diamond, J.||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Ranger, J.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Reeves, J.|
|Richards, R.||Stubbs, A. E.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Swingler, S.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Rogers, G. H. R.||Sylvester, G. O.||White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Royle, C.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Sargood, R.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||Wigg, George|
|Scollan, T.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Segal, Dr. S.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Shurmer, P.||Tiffany, S.||Willis, E.|
|Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Titterington, M. F.||Woods, G. S|
|Skinnard, F. W.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.||Wyatt, W.|
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Viant, S. P.||Yates, V. F.|
|Solley, L. J.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Sorensen, R. W||Warbey, W. N.|
|Sparks, J. A.||Watkins, T. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Stamford, W.||Watson, W. M.||Mr. Corlett and Mr. McGhee.|
Question put, and agreed to.
That it is expedient to amend the provision made by Section eight of the Civil List Act, 1937, as to that one of His Majesty's daughters who, in the event of Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth predeceasing His Majesty, thereby becomes his eldest surviving daughter, so as to restrict the application thereof to any period during which that one of His Majesty's daughters is Heir Presumptive to the Throne."—[Sir S. Cripps.]
§ Resolutions to be reported tomorrow.