§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ 6.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Shackleton
I was about to say that it is a little unfair of the Opposition and their leaders to charge the Government with vacillation in regard to the increase in armaments and the fact that we have stepped up the rate of armaments instead of deciding once and for all on a single large figure. The fact remains that this is the policy which inevitably, in practice, has to be followed and is followed by every other country in the world, including the United States of America. I really think that particular line of attack does not meet the circumstances of the case.
What, however, is more serious and more damaging is the complaint with regard to the call-up of Class Z men for 15 days, and the suggestion that it will be valueless, the suggestion that if the Government were prepared to follow a stronger line they should in fact call up the men for a longer time. Despite the evasions of the right hon. Member for Woodford, when challenged on it, it is quite apparent to everyone in this House that it is the wish of the Opposition to call up the Class Z men for a longer period and I think that should be made clear and fully recognised. I hope that some hon. Members opposite will have the courage to say precisely what is their 672 view on the matter. It does not help the Class Z man to be told that his time is going to be wasted.
It is quite obvious that the purpose of the call-up, as it has been explained rightly in the Press—I admit the Government failed somewhat in the early days in getting it across, but it is apparent now—is that the Territorial Army is today under strength due to the extended period of National Service and that it is necessary to provide a fill-up of that Reserve Force during the summer. In addition, these and the rest of the men who are to be called up are being called to fill particular technical needs, the "tail" of the Army, to which I know hon. Members opposite object, but which is none the less necessary as part of the build-up of our Forces.
One thing I believe is of great importance and that is that it should be made clear—as I believe the Secretary of State for War is doing in his letters to Class Z men—precisely the purpose of their call-up. I should like to extend that idea so that all men in the Armed Forces should know what they are there for; not only those called up to fill the Reserve, but those actually in the Army, including those fighting in Korea. It is a fact, of which many hon. Members probably have had complaints from constituents in Korea, that there is very little information as to the reason they are there. That is not helped, of course, by statements which have been made that the purpose of the United Nations Forces is the liberation of Asia. That type of counter-revolutionary nonsense is precisely the sort of thing calculated to demoralise any thinking soldier fighting in Korea. I hope the Government will look seriously at this question and see that information is given to our troops in the field.
In the last war hon. Members will remember there was a great deal of talk on the question of war aims, and what we were fighting for. Today I think we might again remember that feeling, but let us hope we can call them peace aims rather than war aims. Sometimes it is difficult to indicate precisely what one is fighting for, but we can often be certain of what we are fighting against. I hope there will be some clear understanding, and that the Government will do their utmost to contradict some of the statements made by other members of the 673 United Nations which make nonsense of the whole of the aims of the United Nations in the eyes of the people of this country.
The right hon. Member for Woodford and also the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) made some references to the situation in the event of a possible sea war, and once again we have been supplied with a number of figures of Russian submarines, culled no doubt, from Jane's "Fighting Ships "or Brassey's" Naval Annual." The figures remind one very much of the figures in those volumes before the war. If one looked at them at the beginning of the war, one would find that Russia was alleged to have between 200 and 300 submarines. During the war I do not know that those submarines played any effective part, certainly not in areas open to them, such as the Baltic. Interference with German sea activities was carried out mainly by the R.A.F., by mine-laying operations.
I believe there is a real naval danger, but it is no good crying, "Bogy, bogy," and producing what I am sure are guesswork figures about the strength of the Russian submarine force. There is no evidence, as far as I know, to support them. When the right hon. Member for Woodford and the right hon. Member for Bromley ask for figures to be given, and say that no security will be endangered by giving those figures, they are showing the most astonishing ignorance. I believe myself that it is not ignorance, because they know perfectly well that information about the enemy has to be kept secret in order to maintain the security of the sources of information.
§ Squadron Leader Burden (Gillingham)
If that is the case, how does the hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Shackleton), account for the figures given by the Minister of Defence which disclose tremendous forces on the part of Russia? Surely the House may take those figures as correct, as presumably they are supposed to be, and therefrom assess the submarine strength as a probability.
§ Mr. Shackleton
I do not know how much the hon. and gallant Member knows about submarine warfare, but it lust happens that, as in the last war on such 674 matters the strictest form of secrecy had to be observed, as hon. Members who were connected with intelligence in Coastal Command or Naval Intelligence will be aware. It reminds me of an instruction always given to intelligence officers in the last war that if any politician came anywhere near an intelligence office, the operations board was to be fudged for fear they should see it, and I think that was the time when the right hon. Member for Bromley was the Secretary of State for Air.
§ Mr. Watkinson (Woking)
As I served in Western Approaches myself, may I put one point to the hon. Member? Let us leave out of account the number of submarines. The other point raised by my right hon. Friend was the extreme danger from the new developments in submarine warfare, such as the "snort" and other things. Is the hon. Member prepared to discount these new developments which render the whole of our escort fleet completely obsolete?
§ Mr. Shackleton
I am on record in this House as stressing the danger of a possible submarine threat. I believe there are these new types, but I cannot believe, in view of the difficulty the Germans had in bringing them into operation, that the Russians can have got very far. I believe there is a danger, but I also know perfectly well, as the hon. Gentleman himself knows, that the effectiveness of the German U-boat during the last war was largely due to the extraordinarily efficient and complicated system of control which the Germans employed. I would only make this point, that comparisons between the German U-boat figures at the beginning of the last war and Russian figures are completely valueless in trying to assess the real danger.
§ Mr. Shackleton
I am sorry I cannot give way again. I have already been interrupted. I want to refer to the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head), which struck me as being a somewhat painful experience for him. The decision had clearly been taken yesterday afternoon to put down this trick Amendment in an attempt to bring down the Government: and it was obviously somewhat painful for him 675 and the hon. Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Low), who are accustomed to discussing military matters seriously and in detail, suddenly to have to move into the political field. For instance, to charge the Government with failing to maintain adequate Armed Forces because our Forces are dispersed all over the world is to ignore the realities of the political situation in the world. Let me make it clear, as has been done repeatedly, that the policy of this Government has been to ensure that positions were not jumped through lack of an adequate garrison to take care of them during the cold war, and we are forced to adopt a certain policy of dispersion in order to maintain strong points throughout the world.
I believe that the Government have taken a very courageous decision in announcing this increase in armaments. I have no hesitation in saying—and indeed any hon. Member who is honest must take the same view—that it is bound to be an unpopular decision. I am proud that it is an unpopular decision for our party. The Labour Party, in particular, is passionately opposed, as I am sure many hon. Members opposite are, to the necessity for re-armament; but the fact remains that we have faced this thing, and the decision has been taken. I think hon. Members opposite are doing less than justice to the Government in the decision they have taken.
I would say frankly that, although there are differences of view in our ranks on this matter, I, who support the Government on re-armament, would far rather be a Member of this party with some hon. Members who do not advocate rearmament than be with some hon. Members opposite such as the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport). He made a speech which struck me as being typical of the outlook of a member of the Conservative Party. I remember that he treated the House to a good deal of wit when he kept telling people to go off and play marbles. I believe he is an ex-Whip and I would suggest to him that he should return to the obscurity of the Whips' bench. He did nothing to strengthen the national unity in this country.
Why in fact, was this Amendment put down? Today is 15th February and perhaps the cry came from Steel House to 676 their clients, the Conservative Party, "The bailiffs have come in, you have got to do something about it. "Or was it because of that feeling once again of "One more heave and we shall heave them out"? If hon. Members opposite go on heaving like that, most of them will have prolapsed vertebral discs. I am sure that this party is united not to let them back at the moment. The Tories talk about vacillation. Their own vacillation has been clearly shown by the Secretary of State for War and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Only as recently as the last Conservative Party Conference, they were talking about 300,000 houses. It is interesting to note that in the Bristol by-election they are not talking about 300,000 houses any more. That political device has, for the time, served its purpose.
The real point is whether this Government, or any Government today, should take an irrevocable decision on foreign affairs policy. Surely, it is, and must be, the aim of the British Government to ensure that irrevocable decisions are not taken either in Moscow or in Washington. That is the purpose and the factor which the Government must have in mind when steering this country through these difficult times. In putting down this Amendment, the party opposite have done no good to this country's reputation abroad. They have certainly shown a national disunity both to the Russians and to the Americans; but it is not without value, because they have shown what their real outlook is and how unfit they are for power in this country.
§ 6.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Turner (Oxford)
I know one person who would have been very happy indeed to have replied to the hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Shackleton), with whom I used to be at school, and that is my learned and very distinguished predecessor, Quintin Hogg, now, very much against his wishes, in another place. It would appear that he has made his maiden speech in that other place and his first shot seems to have penetrated a great deal of the ermine and coronets there. My own quiver—and I think that is the right word, Mr. Deputy-Speaker— is full of more prosaic weapons of war, and I would suggest that it is with prosaic weapons of war that this debate is concerned.
677 It may well be asked what contribution Oxford, "city of dreaming spires," can make to this debate and to our defence programme. They used to say that the sun rose over Magdalen and set over Worcester. Magdalen itself has produced a Secretary of State for War. That must, by any standard, be regarded as a great contribution from our university. Our universities have produced a Prime Minister, a Deputy Leader of the Opposition, an Ambassador in Moscow and an Ambassador in Washington all at the same time yet our university vote, in spite of so much talent and learning, has disappeared for a time, along with other things which we used to value.
Today in Oxford our sun rises over industrial Cowley, and we too have our "Far-Eastern" problems. It is on the industrial aspect of the defence programme that I wish to speak. Both sides of industry, in the two large and many smaller concerns, are ready and willing to respond to whatever demands are made on them by the Government. As during the war, so now, they will, no doubt in common with similar industries throughout the country, take their part in turning the ploughshare into the sword.
But I cannot emphasise too strongly the fact that they need a clear lead from the Government in general and the Ministry of Supply in particular. They need a clear lead and a directive. We want to know whether the policy of the Government is for us to continue earning hard currency or whether we are to contribute on a large scale to the defence programmes. I use the word "programmes" advisedly, for we have had three so far. Whatever the policy is, we must have our metals. We must have zinc, sheet steel and copper, for those are essential to any form of production which affects our industry.
I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Supply what will be the zinc position after March. I should like to know if it is true that when the air lift to Berlin ended we drastically cut our annual quota of 70,000 tons of zinc from Canada, thereby hoping to close the dollar gap. I suggest that there is a possibility that, in closing the dollar gap, we have also opened an industrial gap. What of sheet steel for the largest pressed steel plant in the whole of Europe? No one complains there. It is quite the re- 678 verse, but all are very anxious. We have heard that from Margam later in the year we are to receive a great deal. Much is expected from South Wales. Will there be enough fuel to operate this plant later in the year when it is ready to go into production? If so, will this fuel be provided at the expense of other plants?
I am also very much concerned at the labour situation. Even now, in one concern which has a permitted labour ceiling of 9,500, all the men are working a four-day week. The management and the two main unions involved, while far from satisfied with this, are even more anxious that the position should not deteriorate. But they cannot go on like this, even with a four-day week, for very much longer. In the Morris group, 1,500 of the men are working a four-day week.
I urge right hon. Gentlemen opposite to let us know what the requirements are. May we know soon, so that when demands are made from Whitehall, the labour force will still be available? There is a growing danger that this labour force, largely unhoused and not at present fully employed, may have moved off to other pastures. It is not as though the order books are not already filled with orders from overseas and home customers. They are indeed full, but it must be appreciated that the tooling-up process to which the Chancellor referred, will certainly take six months and may well take even nine months. This cannot be planned, let alone be carried out, unless detailed requirements are made known, and, surely, this is the very least that should be done now so that preparations may be put in hand. I would again emphasise that the willingness to cooperate is there on both sides of industry, as well as the realisation that this is all being done to meet the national need.
Another problem which I should like to put before the House is that of shipping space, and it applies in particular to the motor industry. On the assumption that 1,000 cars take up 10,000 tons of shipping space, a situation arose last month in the Australian market alone, in which 4,000 cars, requiring 40,000 tons of shipping space, were to be exported. The ships were not available, and only 1,400 cars were able to be shipped. There has been a reference in the debate today to the shipping problem, but I cannot believe that Korea can possibly account for the lack of ships. One is led to wonder 679 whether, if I might quote my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gains-borough (Captain Crookshank), ships are not being used to bring coal to Newcastle. I hope that this problem of back-piling will also be considered as well as stockpiling.
I hope these few considerations which I have been allowed to make will not be considered out of place. I have tried to raise them in no querulous mood, but with a sincere wish that these and many other problems may be faced and solved, for it is 1951 and Festival year. It would surely be a calamity if we failed in this direction. In other words, we cannot hope to try to enter into the many cultural and other arrangements which have been made for our Festival year, in which Oxford, at any rate, hopes to play an honourable part, unless we are sure that our defence programme is well on the way and has become more than a matter of speeches, exhortations and phrases, but, instead, one of production.
I would end by saying that it is very obvious that our raw material situation presents a major difficulty, and that the solution must be the primary task of any Government. It is, nevertheless, not an exclusively British problem, for in a Wall Street journal that I saw the other day there appeared the following dramatic headlines:More Synthetic Fibres Creep Into Bed Covers as Wool Prices Soar.And this is the comment of the "New Yorker" of 27th January:Courage, Ines enfants.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Mr. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
I am sure that the House will wish me to congratulate the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Turner) on his first speech in the House of Commons. The one big advantage of a maiden speech is that, at least in one way, one is speaking to friends on all sides of the House. It is possible later to lose them, on both sides of the House, but I am quite sure that the hon. Member, if he continues with the kind of contribution which he has made today—serious, well-conceived and contributing to the wisdom of the House—will find that his speeches will always be welcome and will always contribute to some advance in our progress.
680 Most of us are familiar with his predecessor, and I must confess that we were rather interested to see what kind of hon. Member would succeed him. It was quite impossible to conceive that it would be another of the same kind, for the noble Lord has a sparkling brilliance, or, as some would say, an effervescence of his own. Many of us were interested in his speeches, for he was a hard hitter, well informed and a great debater, and, while it may be regretted that he has gone to another place, apart from the mistaken political opinions which he held, the whole House here misses him. We welcome his successor and look forward to hearing him on very many occasions.
I regret very much that the debate has been bedevilled by this Amendment. Yesterday, we started to discuss the most serious matter in the world, which is how to preserve peace by increasing the strength of this country. To reduce this great subject to a mere political battle on the question of whether the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) is going to regain the seat of power, is to belittle the importance of the whole debate. The way in which that matter has vitiated the speeches of hon. Members opposite has been really deplorable.
The hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles), to whom we have always looked for an intelligent contribution to our debates, really damaged his reputation, so far as ordinary Members are concerned, by the kind of contribution he made today. I thought that some of the statements he made were due to the fact that, being an academic person, he had no acquaintance with industry, but the hon. Gentleman confessed to having been in the Ministry of Supply, and, therefore, he must have known better than to justify the kind of allegation which he made in his speech purely for party purposes.
The regret which I feel about the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford is that he creates two impressions in the country. The first is that this question of defence is of secondary importance to the question of his personal ambition to resume power in this country. Every hon. Member opposite has made that the text of his speech—wanting the right hon. Gentleman to be back in power. The defence and the security of this country cannot 681 depend on any one man, however great a contribution he may have made to history. Therefore, to reduce the debate to that level is not treating the country seriously at this time.
The second point is that the right hon. Gentleman gives the country the impression that he would be disappointed if the Government managed to resolve the present situation without this country being plunged into war. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] The Secretary of State for War last night was making a statement about negotiations, and was greeted with derision from the other side of the House. The alternative to negotiation is to fight. The people of this country do not want war, and I am sure that nobody in this House wants war. If that is so, the right hon. Gentleman has to accept the fact that the Government are carrying out the right policy in exploring every possibility of safeguarding peace without coming to a clash of arms. I hope, therefore, that speeches from both sides of the House will not turn, on suggesting that there should be more belligerence, and that hon. Members will cease to attack the Government's persistence in negotiations.
§ Mr. Anthony Nutting (Melton)
The right hon. Gentleman really cannot have it both ways. The Leader of the Opposition proposed at the General Election that there should be negotiations with Marshal Stalin, but that was dismissed by the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friends on that Front Bench as "a political stunt."
§ Mr. Woodburn
Indeed, if the hon. Gentleman casts his mind back to the war, he will realise that there is nothing more dangerous than these personal meetings of great dictators. Half the trouble from which we are suffering today comes from the discussions and agreements made at those conferences in regard to Germany, Poland and other countries. This is not a matter for individuals. These are great countries which are negotiating with each other, and many complex questions have to be solved. It is not a question of a tea party among three or four people trying to settle the affairs of the world.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I would enjoy pursuing this controversy, but a large number of hon. Members wish to speak, and 682 I think it would be quite unfair to them to do so.
Nothing could be more tragic than that the hopes of mankind should be dashed by further war, and everybody agrees upon that. There is great apprehension throughout the whole population lest our efforts to preserve peace should fail. There is no doubt on that point. Everybody has that kind of apprehension. All of us are pacifists in so far as we want to avoid war, and in that I am with my hon. Friends below the Gangway. The only matter on which there are differences of opinion is how war can be eliminated.
I am convinced from my personal experience and the history of the last 30 years that non-resistance, appeasement and disarmament are absolutely futile. For the last six years, this country and America have tried to talk to Russia about a settlement on Germany, Austria and world affairs, but the only response from Russia has been propagandist speeches endeavouring to undermine and split the countries with whom they are discussing these matters.
This country is not preparing for war, but when we see preparations being made on the other side of the Iron Curtain to set the world ablaze, it would be absolute madness on our part not to build up a sufficient fire brigade to see that the blaze is put out if it ever comes near this country. Therefore, anyone who suggests that we should not do that, is suggesting that we should surrender our liberties and everything else to a people who are prepared to become aggressors.
I am not qualified to discuss the military strategy of war, but I wish to draw the attention of the House and the Government to certain aspects of the production problem so that we may draw lessons from our experience in the last war. During the last war, the right hon. Member for Woodford and his Government proceeded on the basis of an entirely new principle that if machinery could do the fighting, men were not to be asked to do it. That was largely the reason why the casualties in the last war were so much less than those in the 1914–1918 war. During that period the Government of that time built on that principle, and the machinery of war was gradually but steadily supplied to the men, with the result that they were one of the most efficiently equipped armies in the world.
683 My reason for venturing to make a contribution to this debate is that I spent 25 years in the engineering industry and that during the war, along with other hon. Members, I was a member of the Select Committee on National Expenditure which investigated many of the problems of production in Ministries, and very often in the factories themselves. One of the great difficulties at the beginning of the last war was that in July, 1939, the people charged with production were told that the proposed army of 500,000, for which they had been preparing equipment, was to be increased to 5 million. Hon. Members must realise that while we might be able in the course of months to multiply the number of men in the Army from 500,000 to 5 million, no one on earth can in that time multiply by 10 times the factories, the machinery, the machine tools, and all the rest of the plant required.
When the right hon. Member for Woodford became Prime Minister in 1940, he and the Lord President of the Council, who was then Minister of Supply, came right up against this problem. They were denounced for not having tanks and guns, just as if they could have produced those weapons by merely changing the office blotting pad. To produce a new gun, aeroplane or tank requires about six years. It may be done quicker by luck, but if it is going to be, done by the normal process, it requires six years. To have produced tanks of entirely new types in 1940 would have necessitated their being designed about 1934.
I heard a good deal of discussion last night about the Centurion tank. Its design was started during the last war, and it is only now reaching the position where we know what it will do. When the Coalition Government was formed in 1940, the tank problem was at its height. The hon. Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett) was the Director of Tank Production, and in his struggle to produce tanks he found that absolutely nothing had been done between the end of the 1914–18 war and 1939 to design even an engine capable of driving a modern tank. Tanks for the 1939 war had to be equipped with engines developed in the 1914–18 war. That meant that in the middle of the war those responsible for the production of new weapons were 684 faced with trying, first, to design a tank, and then to produce it. One complication with which the hon. Member for Edgbaston was faced was the number of people who claimed to have invented perfect tanks. Members of Parliament fought battles in this House over what was the perfect tank, whether it was a 65, 50, 40 or 35-ton tank. Meanwhile, there was no design of a modern tank available.
Then the plunge was taken in this development and a tank was put into production off the drawing board, and, in spite of all the criticisms levelled at it, the Churchill tank was a marvel of engineering achievement in this country. One of the teething troubles was that when the first Churchill tanks were used, the War Office put a Hussar régiment in charge of them. None of the men of that régiment had seen any machinery before, and naturally many tanks were ruined. It was only when trained men were put in charge of them that they achieved the degree of success which helped us to finish the war. I think that we owe a great deal to those who designed and produced that tank.
The Spitfire only came into production at the beginning of the last war, but fortunately its design had been started in 1933. Had the design not been there in 1933, we would have had no Spitfires in 1939. It was also quite wrong, as I told the House at the time, to blame the right hon. Member for Woodford and his Ministers for the fact that there were few new weapons available in 1940. In order to have had the weapons at that time, it would have been necessary to start their production in 1935 or 1936.
§ Mr. Watkinson
Is not the right hon. Gentleman really making exactly the case that we on this side make, that if only the Government had done what my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition asked them to do last March, we should be 12 months further forward in this production?
§ Mr. Woodburn
I will come to that in a moment. I am not trying to score party points, but am going back into the past with a view to seeing what we can do now in the best interests of the country.
I could give many examples of this kind, but the important thing is that we learned the lesson of 1939. But having learned the lesson, we then had to start 685 from our knowledge of what existed in the last war in order to prepare for the future. The hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton was much more reasonable in his speech yesterday than he was earlier, on this question. Then he criticised the Government for not having started to produce weapons some time ago, and that to some extent is the point raised by the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Watkinson).
It is really no good starting to produce weapons until one knows what type of weapons are required. It is no good building a factory to produce obsolescent weapons. The first thing the Government did after the last war, which was not done after the 1914–18 war, was to put the scientists to work to design the finest weapons this country could possibly have. I explained the matter to some of the radar scientists, and said to them, "You have a free hand to develop the finest mechanisms, but do not ask us to put them into every aeroplane, because, if you do, it will limit the number of inventions to the number of aeroplanes we can afford, but if you go on with your inventions, they can be tried out, and when the appropriate time comes the best of them can be put into production." There is a psychological moment when design must stop in order to pass to production.
After the war, ft was no use starting with bows and arrows when guided missiles had been used, and therefore we had to do research into guided missiles. One thing the Government have never economised on since 1945 is scientific research and development. They have spent £40 million a year and the only cuts in expenditure that did not take place were on research and development. The Government should have credit for that, if hon. Members do not know it already. These back-room scientists in our country, many of them young men, are people of whom we can be proud. They have first-class esprit de corps and I have the experience in Germany of seeing the most expert German scientists taking their hats off, as it were, to some of our young scientists in Government Departments. They produce ideas, but they cannot produce ideas until they know the problem with which they have to deal.
Before one can produce missiles to catch an aeroplane flying at 700 miles an hour, one must find out what the aeroplane is going to do. One cannot 686 start to produce a missile until one knows the kind of weapon one is going to encounter. It is only recently that it has been possible to decide what kind of weapon we shall have to deal with if the Russians try to attack this country. Therefore, in March last it was not possible in many cases to decide what ought to be produced. Moreover, it would have been uneconomic to have started production until one was certain what kind of war was going to be fought
We are beginning to learn a little from Korea, and we have heard Members discussing the Centurion tank. Improvements will be made in that before it is put into mass production. The engineer has an open mind for new ideas and he will learn from past experience. I submit, therefore, that it is a mistaken approach to conclude that we should start producing weapons before we know what weapons should be produced. The person who starts production at the last minute with the most modern and destructive weapon has the advantage, and the person who clutters himself up with obsolete weapons is handicapped.
§ Mr. Silverman
I have no intention whatever of quarrelling with my right hon. Friend, and I am sorry if my interjection upset him, but I do not think it justifies him in making the remark he has just made. He knows perfectly well that I have the greatest difficulty in knowing the intentions of anybody, even in this House, let alone the intentions of other people a long way off, who certainly do not take me into their confidence.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I will withdraw the imputation that my hon. Friend has direct knowledge of Russian intentions, but my hon. Friend always gives the impression to the House that he knows that Russia is not going to attack us and that he knows that China is not going to attack us.
§ Mr. Silverman
If my right hon. Friend the Member for East Stirling (Mr. Woodburn) will be good enough to 687 quote any example of any such speech, I will, of course, withdraw my protest, but so far as I know, I have never on any occasion made any such assertion as he attributes to me.
§ Mr. Woodburn
All I can say is that that is the general impression I have received, and I am certain a good many of my colleagues have had that impression. If it is a wrong one, I certainly withdraw and apologise for misunderstanding my hon. Friend.
I come now to a point which I hope is not controversial, and that is to say that the Ministry responsible for production must ensure the maximum efficiency in industry. That efficiency consists in obtaining the maximum production of reasonable quality at the minimum cost in material and labour. One of the dangers from which we suffered in the last war was the spit-and-polish conception of people who wanted the finest possible weapons and the finest quality in everything. If the War Office and the Admiralty and other organisations demand the last word in efficiency and production, then they are going to reduce the quantity of weapons that we can have. They cannot have it both ways.
Some of the experiences we had at the beginning of the last war were almost amusing. For instance, the average gutter that carries off water is five inches wide. The pipe is three inches, and 95 per cent. of the patterns in the country were for gutters of five inches. Some theoretician at the War Office thought that the War Office must have something better than ordinary industry and so he specified six inch gutters. The result was that the building programme was held up for some time. The same thing happened with baths. The standard pattern for baths in the country is 5 ft. 6 in., but the same genius ordered 6 ft. baths and, of course, there were no patterns to produce them. Fortunately, an experienced builder's merchant drew the matter to the notice of the Select Committee on Expenditure, who brought it to the notice of the War Office. They took action and employed this man to advise on how to get on with a practical job. I mention that not to indict anybody, but to point out that the tendency of military people is to ask for perfection.
688 I can give the House another instance in connection with the 3.5 A.A. gun. In the factory where the gun was produced, we found that the gun carriage was a work of art—like the type of carriage used for carrying Royalty to the grave—with Ferodo brakes, bronze bearings and every conceivable luxury. The gun had a breech-block made out of a forging weighing 2 cwt. It was designed in the most complicated way and took many hours of machining. I said to the manager, "Is it necessary to make a 2 cwt. block or forging of this kind and then turn it down to a weight of perhaps half a cwt?" He said that it was not necessary and that it could be fabricated, but until that time nobody would accept fabrication.
The Select Committee did a marvellous job. During the war they must have saved millions of man-hours by the suggestions they made and their discovery of waste of labour and materials because people were thoughtlessly ordering luxury articles. I have no qualification to speak on the military side, but the information I have from my friends is that the last thing soldiers want is something so valuable that they cannot throw it away when they have to run. They would far rather have more weapons with less luxury than a few delightful exhibition pieces. I do not think that the Select Committee is the best instrument to secure this efficiency, but at that time we broke the rules of the House and short-circuited the system to bring these things to the notice of the Ministry of Supply and the War Office. We advised the setting up of machinery within the Ministeries to do the job and they did so with good results.
For example, among the things we found was that the plates on which the Bofors gun was mounted was being machined down to an eighth of an inch. We discovered that the reason was that the drawing was in millimetres, whereas the steel was in inches and it was being planed down and actually weakened to fit a drawing. Many hours were spent on this job. The Ministry and the Departments concerned with production need experts in efficiency as well as in book-keeping. If they had a trained staff which could go round industry and check these things and get them put right, they would do an immense amount of good in 689 bringing about economy and more production for the Forces.
At one period, the recoil barrel of the 25-pounder was a forging. A firm manufacturing these barrels put forward the proposition that they should be fabricated, but nobody in the Government Department concerned would have anything to do with fabrication, so the firm produced a fabricated barrel themselves and proved that it was a success. The great difficulty they then experienced was that other firms which were manufacturing gun recoils would not accept the idea and went on forging. The Government should set up committees representing all manufacturers of the same article. A production expert should be a member of each committee. He should see that the best ideas in industry are carried into the factories and see that people do not keep on with ancient ideas and thus retard production and waste labour and money.
One of the most effective ways to increase production in this country is to obtain efficient co-operation between workers and management. I went over a great many engineering works in this country and I was pleasantly astonished at the large proportion of them in which there were good relations between workers and management. I am sorry to confess that in Scotland the relations were not always so good as they were in most parts of England; perhaps we have not always the good manners to each other which they have.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I think that even in this House we lack that finesse of charm and appeal towards each other and are more brusque, than our colleagues south of the Border. In some parts of industry relations between employers and management are not good enough, and until the men are treated with respect and made to feel that they have their part to play we shall not get the best out of them. I could take hon. Members to factories where the splendid relations between workers and employers brought maximum production during the war. In can be done, and the best employers have said to me that they are satisfied that if an employer wants co-operation he can get it. The appeal, therefore, must be to the employers; they must take the workers 690 into their confidence and ask the workers to co-operate with them.
Speaking from my own knowledge and experience, I can think of few branches of engineering work in which the workers have not some ideas which would greatly increase productivity. So long as they are treated as "hands" without brains, we shall never get their co-operation. The Ministry must try to introduce this spirit of co-operation into industry. One of the things which poisons the relations between workers and employers is the idea that if the workers work harder, there will be more profit for the boss.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Long experience is speaking. I can give the hon. Member examples from the mining industry and other industries where the workers were given piece-work in order to speed up production and then afterwards the piecework pay was taken away and they were faced with starvation or time pay at the piece rate of production. That went on in many parts of the country and it left a feeling among the workers which has not been eliminated. Until confidence is restored and until it is clear that the productivity of the workers will not be used for the benefit of the few, we shall not get the co-operation which we need.
That brings me to a point over which many of my hon. Friends may be tempted to disagree with me. If profits begin to rise, there will be an inclination to demand a 100 per cent. Excess Profits Tax. Nothing could be more conducive to inflation and the destruction of efficiency than a 100 per cent. Excess Profits Tax. During the war nearly every firm in the country quickly reached its maximum profits, and after that it was money for dirt. They could spend all the money they liked, pouring it out in any direction; it was all Government money. I suggest to the Government that they must adopt some policy as a result of which employers or, factories are spending some of their own money as well as some of the Government's money. A different system must be introduced in that connection.
We had an army of cost accountants all over the country during the last war, and I must confess that most of them must have been quite ineffective. After all, nobody can go into a works and discover 691 in five minutes all that is going on. We should do far better to get the honest firm's own accountant to be our representative inside the works, and to depend on technical cost estimating and spot costing, with inspectors who, although they may not be very much liked, will help to see that the job is done. The old system, which also gave rise to the cost-plus scandals, must be altered.
The farm worker of Montenegro was said to go on working on his farm with his rifle slung on his shoulder. What has been happening east of the Iron Curtain has forced that attitude of readiness on all the civilised nations of the West. It is a great tragedy that the hopes of humanity are to be frustrated by this necessity of working to produce for our comfort and, at the same time, standing by ready to fight. When Russia started her great new system, after the tragedies of Siberia and Czarism, I had great sympathy with her; but nothing has horrified me more than that a country which professed to be trying to work for the common people has brought us to the tragic pass that common people all over the world are going to be driven down into poverty in order to resist the possible aggression of that very nation which professes to help the oppressed.
This Government and this people have stretched their hands across the Iron Curtain to the people of Russia. We have tried to be friends with them. We have got into trouble for being so generous with them, for we did not want to arouse their suspicions by any suggestion that we were holding things back from them. We tried to treat with them; we did everything possible; we sat at the conference table trying to make peace with them. But we have never had the slightest response. We want a response from them and it seems that a point must come when, if we cannot talk to the Russian Government, we must try to talk to the Russian people. It is just as much a necessity for us to reach the Russian people as it is, from the Russian point of view, for them to try to reach our people with their propaganda and their undermining poison.
Our purpose is still peace. Our purpose is still to show that the only way we can live in decency is the way of the rule of law. All the investigations of the 692 philosophers have shown that that can be done only by an international court of justice, an international police force and the enforcement of the law. Nothing can excuse Russia and her satellites for having broken the peace of the world. Once they have done that, they place an obligation upon the whole of our community to act as vigilantes, to see that the aggressor in this world never succeeds; and to establish without doubt that success can come only from peace and prosperity.
§ 7.17 p.m.
§ Mr. Wood (York, Bridlington)
I think none of us could possibly disagree with the closing sentences of the speech of the right hon. Member for East Stirling (Mr. Woodburn). I do not want to follow him into his argument, and I hope he will forgive me if I do not do so, but I must say that I was very shocked by his suggestion that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition would prefer to see this country plunged into war than to see this Government remain in office.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I did not say that. I have a great respect for the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, but I am sorry to say that he gives me the impression—and he gives the same impression to many people in the country—that he is like an old war horse champing at the bit and feeling that he must be in the battle somewhere.
§ Mr. Wood
If the right hon. Gentleman did not say what I thought he said, then I withdraw my remark, but that was the impression which I gathered from his speech. I should like to differ from him in the use of his metaphor of the fire brigade which, he said, was going to put out the fire when it started. I should like the fire brigade so to soak the ground that the blaze would never have a chance of starting. One further point about his speech. He said it was quite a good thing that we were so late in this arms race because, as a consequence, we could have the latest weapons. I do not often find myself in agreement with the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), but I agree with him here that, on the right hon. Gentleman's argument, it would seem to be a good thing if we waited another three or four months before starting at all.
After you have called me, Mr. Speaker, I feel rather diffident in 693 addressing the House as a layman in front of so many members of the military hierarchy, but I want to draw the attention of the House to the problem which we face. I think it is important in these matters that we should consider where we are trying to go. As I see it, the problems divides itself into two. First, there is the long-term problem of providing peace for the world for the next generation and, secondly, there is the short-term problem, which is the protection of this country from possible immediate danger. This second aspect of the problem may be taken as the basis for the first, for it is no use at all planning for the long term if we are not insured against the danger of a European war in the very near future—and, thereby make it less likely.
The long-term need of this country is going to be sufficient strength to deter a possible aggressor. That was amply dealt with in our debate last Monday. I think it will bring with it a great many problems in the next few years, and we and the United States and the other nations of the free world have got to resist the temptation, which will at times be very strong, to try to take short cuts to peace. But our immediate aim is the establishment of an effective deterrent force, not in this country but on the Continent of Europe, and that effective deterrent force, as I see it, will be quite impossible without a very substantial contribution from the European Continent itself, and without a very substantial contribution in Europe from the United States of America. Those two contributions themselves are also unlikely unless we get increased forces from this country in Europe on the ground as soon as possible.
It has been wisely said, I think, that if Soviet Russia were bent on aggression the Russian high command might well value the strategic advantage of surprise more highly than the tactical advantage of having certain troops at certain places at the right time. That may very well be true. Therefore I ask, for what purpose shall we have nine or 10 divisions on the Continent in a month's time if the Red Army decides to move across Europe and reaches the Channel ports two or three weeks after it has started? I believe that the paucity of our Forces in Europe not only endangers our country but also invites aggression, and that 694 it weakens the will of the European nations to resist, and thus lessens their contribution; and we can hardly grumble if the European countries remember the unhappiness of occupation, and, perhaps, the equal unhappiness of liberation, and, therefore, refrain from putting their best foot forward now. I think we should remember on the other side the effect of our contribution and of the contribution of the United States in the Berlin air lift, and what a contribution to the morale to Western Germany that made.
I think we probably all realise the difficulty of superimposing on an economy stretched tightly taut as ours is this measure or any large measure of rearmament. The measures that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced to the House today will certainly not be very popular with any of our people in this country, but the Government have the support of the Opposition for any effective measures which they take to protect this country from aggression and to prevent a third war.
I am quite certain that if adequate measures are not taken now then the money which was spent on socially desirable objectives would be of little benefit. It would certainly be very cold comfort under Communism to think back to the beautiful time that we all enjoyed under the Socialists. Now, this alternative, this distinction, has been put very clearly in an excellent book, "Defence in the Cold War." Either we have re-armament now and benefits later, or we have the benefits now and war later; and that seems to me to be the fundamental alternative that all the people of this country have to face at the present time.
Our immediate contribution in Europe is not only important to ourselves and to Europe but it is also important to the United States. The need we have in regard to the United States of America is to convince them that Europe is worth defending. I found myself in profound agreement on Monday with what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for East Aberdeenshire (Mr. Boothby) about Anglo-American relations. He said that they were not going very well at the moment, and he spoke very strongly about closer liaison, closer co-operation, between the United States and ourselves in military matters.
695 There are and there always will be differences between us and the United States. Each country is likely to be critical of the other, and each tends from time to time to give the other lectures on national deportment. I dare say hon. Members will remember the parody by Artemus Ward of something Abraham Lincoln was supposed to have written to a certain publicist who was trying to win the President's favour. It went something like this:Dear Sir, I have never read any of your lectures, but from what I can learn, I should say that for people who like such lectures as you deliver, they are just the kind of lectures such people like.That, perhaps, fortifies the people of the United States when we read them lectures, and I dare say it would be useful if we in this country remembered those words at the same time.
I believe that we can convince the United States that Europe is worth defending, and I believe that we have the powerful help of General Eisenhower, but I am quite certain that if Western Europe does not quickly develop her efforts the United States will ask, and will have every justification for asking, why should she pour men and equipment into Europe if they are to be overrun by overwhelmingly superior forces? I believe that that all depends on our contribution, not in this country but on the Continent of Europe. I believe that time is short—very short indeed; but I believe that if we act now, although it is late, we can still prevent a third world war.
§ 7.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Yates (Birmingham, Ladywood)
It is indeed refreshing on this side of the House to listen to such a speech from the other side as that which we have just heard, couched in such careful, thoughtful tones, and weighing up the tremendous burden and serious responsibility that is imposed upon the economy of this country by such a programme of re-armament. Many of the speakers in our debates in the last few days have referred to the urgency of the difficulties of the nation, and they have been concerned with speed. Indeed, the Amendment that is now before the House refers to vacillation on the part of the Government.
696 My mind goes back to the period just before the last General Election, when the Leader of the Opposition told the House that the Labour Government up to that time had allowed all our national resources to be gobbled up, and that we had reached a position of national and international bankruptcy. Well, the Government came back, although during the election we were told that the Conservatives were going to reduce expenditure and taxation and that they would reduce the cost of living, and although there was not the slightest thought about imposing on our economy such an enormous burden of defence.
After the Budget of April, in which £780 million was earmarked for defence, the expenditure was speeded up. It seemed to me to be speeded up at a tremendous speed. When we debated it in September I think that some of us felt that the speed was extremely dangerous. Many speakers in this debate have referred to some hon. Members on this side of the House who have felt a difference of opinion about the policy that is to be pursued, yet from what hon. Members opposite have said in the past one would imagine that we were a party of "yes men." It would now appear that hon. Members opposite want this House of Commons to be a Reichstag in which there are no serious differences of opinion. I do not apologise because we claim for ourselves the democratic rights that have always been exercised in this country and in this House.
Last September there was a re-armament programme involving an expenditure of £3,600 million. The hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) was the first to refer to how this programme was to be financed, and he told us that his impression, which I think we all shared, was that in September last the re-armament programme was to be financed with American aid. In fact, the Central Office of Information in November, 1950, issued Leaflet No. 2 entitled "The Cost of Living in Security "which said:What it means to spend £2,000 a minute.During the next three years about £70 will probably be spent on defence on behalf of every man, woman and child in this country. The exact figure depends on the size of American aid.The figure is now to be stepped up from £3,600 million to £4,700 million, which means that on defence £90 per head of the population is to be spent, so that in 697 three years a man with a wife and three children will have contributed £450. We are to spend nearly £3,000 a minute: £30 million a week. That is an enormous burden upon the economy of the nation. No one can deny that.
I should like the House to consider whether between last September and the present time anything has happened to justify us in feeling that there is no possible alternative to a programme of this nature. I was sorry this afternoon to hear my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) criticised for saying that Russia did not want to go to war. I have been interested to read a very responsible American journal, the "U.S. News and World Report "for 15th December, 1950, an extract from which I should like to read to the House:As the world waits for Soviet Russia's next move …Here is a report from Frankfurt, Germany, 80 miles away from a Soviet army, as cabled by Robert Kleiman, Central European Editor, U.S. News & World Report:Admiral Kirk, U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, stopped here in Frankfurt on his way to Washington. He sees no signs in Moscow that Russia expects war now. But the Admiral is making no predictions either way, about next spring. Concurrently, Admiral Kirk detects none of the telltale signs of war that the experts watch for. For example: Soviet Army units are remaining at peacetime strength.'[Laughter.] This is the American Ambassador to Moscow.
§ Mr. Yates
The report goes on:No over-age classes are being called up. No extraordinary movements of troops or supplies have been detected. There is no drive in Russia to build bomb shelters, or restrict civilian consumption of critical materials. There is no shifting of labour away from peace time to war time industries.This is 15th December.And as United States and British military experts in Frankfurt see it …' There is no sign of any build-up of Soviet forces in East Germany. Just the normal replacement of conscripts is going on. A new age-class of raw recruits is arriving from Russia, but older trainees are moving home.'I want to know whether or not that is correct. I do not think it is fair and proper for hon. Members on either side of the House to talk about massive armaments being built up, and continuing 698 to be built up, in Russia, when the American Ambassador makes a statement like that. Perhaps my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour will have a look at that report and give us some answer when he replies to the debate. I want to know whether or not these statements are correct, and whether we must assume that there is no possible diplomatic effort or initiative which can alter the present situation.
§ Mr. A. R. W. Low (Blackpool, North)
Even if what the hon. Gentleman has said is true, it does not get over the difficulty that the Russians have such enormous forces already in being. There is nothing in that report which suggests that that force is being run down. That is the point.
§ Mr. Yates
I am only trying to obtain the necessary facts. Listening to speeches in this House one would imagine that Russia's forces are being built up to such an extent that it is necessary for us now to change the whole basis of our economy, to pass from peace-time to wartime economy, and I want the House to weigh up these considerations. As the "Manchester Guardian" said in its leading article on 5th February:It is no longer possible to pretend that we can re-arm with one hand and build a new Jerusalem with the other.We must not throw away the opportunity of building that fine world which we all desire to see built. I want the facts to be considered. I do not want us to submit to the kind of hysteria in which we build up such fear that we frighten not only the world but ourselves.
I now wish to refer to the question of German re-armament, which is involved in this programme. Some time ago I was very interested in listening to a speech by the noble Lord the Member for Dorset. South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), who had been in Germany but had failed to detect the alleged building up of armed forces or any military intention in Europe by Russia. Recently I spent eight days in Germany, during which I encountered a tremendous body of opinion which felt that no stone should be left unturned to secure negotiation and agreement in Germany.
The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) said yesterday that we ought to make up our minds as to what we are going to do about Germany and 699 see that it is done. I suggest that is a matter upon which the German people themselves ought to be fully consulted, just as we claim the right to be consulted about matters in this country. If we look at any of the Gallup polls in Germany, we find overwhelming opposition to a return to a system of militarism. That was brought home to me most forcibly when the Lord Mayor of Cologne, Dr. Robert Görlinger, told me that in Cologne there were 3,500 damaged gas units and consequently the centre of Cologne still has no gas five years after the war; 70,000 people living in shelters, 160,000 people evacuated, and 60,000 people travelling three or four hours a day to work. He said that bombardment was in the veins of the German people.
I say that the German people are entitled to be consulted as to whether or not they believe that any system of militarism should be again introduced. The finest elements in Germany today are praying, "Lead us not into temptation," in other words, bring not back militarism. [Laughter.] I do not think that it is a matter for laughter to suggest that those are the elements we wish to encourage in Germany, and I make no apologies for having emphasised that point.
I believe that some of my hon. Friends have put down a Motion in which is mentioned the fear that re-armament brings about in the world. I think that the House ought to consider that carefully. I listened to the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head) last night and he gave me the impression that hon. Members opposite are not very interested in negotiations; at least only in negotiations through strength, which, I assume, means that they consider it is no use trying to negotiate a settlement now. We have to wait until we are rearmed and so strong that we can then meet the enemy with power and might.
§ Brigadier Prior-Palmer (Worthing)
What have we been doing for the last six years but negotiate through weakness, and has that had any success?
§ Mr. Yates
There has not been a single suggestion from the Opposition for a diplomatic approach to bring about negotiations. In fact, the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton accused us on this side of the House of wanting to negotiate, but 700 he said, "If you negotiate now, it is negotiation through weakness." One of the things which puts me on the side of the Prime Minister is that I know he believes in negotiating now and will lose no possible opportunity of doing so.
The hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton said that if we negotiated an agreement based on weakness, America would pull out of Europe, and hon. Members would find that Soviet Russia would be on our doorstep. That implies a tremendous fear. If it is true that Soviet Russia has re-armed to the extent stated and the Western Allies have disarmed and are in a position of weakness, I would ask two questions: If it is true, why is it that the Russians have not marched in during the last five years? If it is true that it is their desire and intention to come on to our doorstep, why has that not happened? [HON. MEMBERS: "Because of the atomic bomb."] Why do hon. Members opposite expect the Russians to stay their hands for two years while we rearm Germany and Japan and build up immense forces?
The truth is that as soon as we start to build up a terrifying force it results, as the hon. Member for Anglesey (Lady Megan Lloyd George) said yesterday of the terrifying force of 1939, in terrifying ourselves more than it does the enemy. The more we spend on armaments the more terrified we become. America, we are told, is stepping up her estimates to nearly £15,000 million. America appears to be more frightened and more hysterical than we are. The Leader of the Opposition tried to frighten us today by saying that we had no atomic bombs in this country. Some of us on this side of the House are approaching this matter in the same spirit as that in which Lord Grey approached it 25 years ago. He was the Liberal Foreign Secretary, and, as the first war began, he used these words:The moral is obvious; it is that great armaments lead inevitably to war. If there are armaments on one side, there must be armaments on the other side. The increase in armaments that is intended in each nation to produce consciousness of strength and a sense of security does not produce these effects. On the contrary, it produces a consciousness of the strength of other nations and a sense of fear Fear begets suspicion, and distrust and evil imagining of all sorts. The enormous growth of armaments in Europe, a sense of insecurity and fear caused by them—it was these that made war inevitable. This it seems 701 to me, is the truest reading of history, and the lesson that the present should be learning from the past in the interests of future peace, the warning to he carried on to those who come after us.These are the sentiments that I express tonight. My postbag in the last week has informed me that a considerable number of people in this country want peace and the way to peace. I put it to the Prime Minister that a considerable volume of opinion in this country is horrified that it is considered necessary to have a programme of this nature. All the letters which I have received inform me that that is the case. I have not had one letter to the contrary. It is because I believe in the possibility of peace, given British initiative and determination, and because the Labour Government and Labour Prime Minister believe in negotiations, that I and my colleagues will certainly support them. In doing so, that does not mean that we approve every point of policy in the Government's programme.
The choice is perfectly clear to us. If this country should be governed by a crowd like the Opposition without any constructive peace plan and whose only belief is in re-armament, war would be inevitable. I therefore appeal to the Government to lose no opportunity to pursue the highest diplomatic offensive to ensure that we may have peace and prosperity in this country.
§ 7.50 p.m.
§ Commander Noble (Chelsea)
I do not think that the hon. Member for Lady-wood (Mr. Yates) has told us one single thing with which I agree except, of course, that everybody in this country and in this House wants peace. It is the sort of speech we always get in these defence debates. The hon. Member is perfectly entitled to his opinions. Whether he makes them as a pacifist or for other reasons I do not know, but I leave it to the House to judge. In his opening remarks he made a very good case for our Amendment, because he said he did not think very much had happened since last September to bring about this large re-armament programme. That is exactly what my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) said, and that is the reason why we think that this Government should have started re-arming before.
702 There is a great deal I should like to say about the White Paper before us and about the call-up of reserves, but in view of the short time available and of other Members wanting to speak, I will endeavour to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, on another occasion on those points, when perhaps the legislation is before the House or we are considering the Service Estimates.
There is one point I should like to put to the Minister of Labour. There has been much said already about our manpower, but there has been no mention so far of the Women's Services. The other day I asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what training was available to the women of the Women's Royal Naval Service, and he told me that there was a little voluntary training for officers and no compulsory training for either officers or ratings. In view of the great part that the Women's Services played in the last war and the part they will play at once should there be an emergency, I hope he will tell us something about it and let us know whether any training or any other consideration is being given to this problem.
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)
Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman mean compulsory training?
§ Commander Noble
I was asking about voluntary training for the Women's Royal Naval Service.
I have three points which I wish to make and I shall now come to the first of them. I was very worried by two words used by the Minister of Defence when he said that this great re-armament programme is being built on "practically nothing." Those are the two words which he used, and they bear out what a lot of us on this side of the House have been thinking for the last two years. When we asked questions about the state of our armaments we have been fobbed off with answers that it would not be in the public interest to reveal the information. We have been very suspicious that those answers were not given to protect the strength of our forces but to disguise the lack of them. In view of the Minister of Defence's third bite at the cherry in so short a time, we think there is much truth in what we said then.
I fully appreciate—the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty knows very 703 well what I mean—the very great difficulty of the Government with regard to new construction and production, because, quite rightly, during the last few years millions of pounds have been spent on research. It is obviously heart-breaking to have to go into production when it is known that just round the corner there is some far-reaching discovery which may just make all the difference. I ask the Government to give the greatest consideration to certain specialised items of equipment. Some progress could be made at once and should have been made already for the production of the already standardised equipment with which it may be associated.
May I draw the attention of hon. Members to the letter which appeared in "The Times" yesterday with regard to the Naval Forces, from the president and chairman of the Navy League, who asked that we should be given more information about our forces. I asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty the other day what were our commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty, and he told me that I could not expect him to disclose our commitments in any detail. I do not see why not. We know quite well what divisions we are going to send to the Continent and put at the disposal of General Eisenhower, and I do not see why this country cannot be told whether we can do what we are supposed to do in the naval sphere, because unless we are told what our commitments are we cannot appreciate the position. I hope we shall be told something more about that in the Navy Estimates, and I see that the hon. Member for Park (Mr. Mulley) on going into Committee of Supply is to call attention to the Navy's contribution to the Atlantic Pact Defence.
May I turn for one moment to the question of shipping? It is very seldom mentioned in our defence debates unless my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay), happens to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker. But I was very glad to hear my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) mention it yesterday. I understand from what information I have that our total tonnage now is larger than it was before the war, but I very much wonder how it is distributed and whether we have the right number of the right 704 type. I understand, for example, that our tanker position is good, but what is the position in regard to trooper-lift and what about the conversions that have to take place during an emergency?
I remember when I left the Admiralty in 1945 there was a committee sitting trying to overcome this problem of conversion. During the last war there was very great expenditure and, as the Parliamentary Secretary knows, conversion of ships took up a large amount of valuable dockyard space and valuable labour. I wonder if that committee came to any conclusions. Another point while I am on shipping is the defence equipment for our Merchant Service. Is that being supplied now and are people being instructed in its use?
I was very glad that my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford raised the question of the atom bomb, because it seems very strange in these difficult days that we never hear anything about it from the other side of the House. My right hon. Friend from time to time has pointed out that that is a great standby in our re-armament vis-a-vis Russia. I was rather worried when the Minister of Defence yesterday, in a written reply in answer to a question by the hon. Member for Northfield (Mr. Blackburn), said that since 1946 we have never sent any observers to any of the United States atomic bomb tests. I wonder if we had really taken the trouble whether we could not have had observers at these tests? In the past we have looked at the atomic bomb as a strategic weapon, but, as no doubt the Secretary of State for War will agree, it most probably has its tactical uses as well, and that, no doubt, some of these tests in the United States are directed towards that end. I hope very much that they are.
With regard to the atomic bomb, I would remind hon. Members of the publicity that was given before Christmas to a petition which urged that we should not use the atomic bomb unless it was first used on us. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford said then in this House, that is a very silly position in which to put oneself. I warn hon. Members that it is very dangerous to play on people's emotions for purely political ends. I say that because as the House knows quite well, there have been ample 705 opportunities on the Atomic Energy Commission of the United Nations since 1946 to ban the use of the atomic bomb. This House knows equally well that those efforts which have been made to that end in the Commission have been stultified by the attitude of Russia and her satellites. We have now to realise that the atomic bomb is a weapon of war, and we have to consider it with the other weapons of war.
§ Mr. Harold Davies
This is a matter of vital importance. The hon. and gallant Member is an expert on naval affairs. Will he not agree that all this talk about submarines and the Navy is completely old fashioned because a radio-active sea around Britain will prevent submarines from operating or ships from bringing food in? That point of view is taken by Professor Leo Slizard, a top atomic scientist of Chicago University.
§ Commander Noble
I have not the knowledge which the hon. Member has. I would not say at all that the submarine war that we have known in the past would not come upon us very quickly in another war.
My last point is directed to the overall direction of the efforts which we are making to resist aggression, to what my right hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) has in the past referred to as the over-all strategic concept; and further than that, the co-ordination of our foreign policy with that of the United States. We shall be committing to Europe certain forces to be at the disposal of General Eisenhower, but as we well know to our cost, Europe will not be the only place to which we may have to send forces. We have only to look at Malaya, Indo-China and Korea. We must make quite certain that we have the right machinery to make the right contribution in the right place, and also that we are prepared for what may happen anywhere.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) asked in his speech whether the contribution we are now making is one that is fitted into the Western contribution, the Commonwealth contribution, or what. That aspect of over-all strategy is very important indeed. I was lucky enough for a short time towards the end of the last war to be in the machine of the Combined Chiefs 706 of Staff, as was my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head). He was senior to me then, as he was last night. One cannot help remembering, without committing any breach of confidence, the many occasions when varying opinions were held, but after discussion an agreement was reached and it was upheld by all concerned.
Without that organisation it would have been very difficult indeed to solve with agreement the many problems that arose during the war. It really seemed that something like that organisation should be set up again today. As I have said, that organisation would interlink with our foreign policy and make the whole path very much easier. Although we are all delighted that the Prime Minister went to America the other day after an interval of Eve years, I say with all respect that all he really did when he went was to clear up some of the muddle that had been allowed to accumulate. If we had an organisation such as I am advocating it would avoid that in the future.
As the House knows, the set-up was that the British Chiefs of Staff worked here in London, the American Chiefs of Staff were of course in Washington, and we had there a high level team which for a long time was under the leadership of Field Marshal Dill, who played such an important part in Anglo-American cooperation. They put the British case to the American Chiefs of Staff. When there was any real major problem which might have been more difficult to solve than was a day-to-day problem, the British and American Chiefs of Staff met. That always happened, of course, at all the big conferences such as Quebec, Yalta and Cairo, when the national leaders met. Who can doubt that the problems to be solved now and in the future are no less than those which they have to solve in the war? That is the reason why I urge that this organisation or something very like it should again be set up today. I feel that it would make a great contribution towards the future peace of the world.
§ 8.6 p.m.
§ Mr. Wyatt (Birmingham, Aston)
I have listened to every defence debate in Parliament since the end of the war, and I do not think I have ever heard one in which the Opposition were so determined to turn the subject of national defence 707 into party political gain. It is absolutely untrue that they have, as they would have us suppose, pressed throughout the last five years for greater defences and more expenditure on re-armament. What is true is that we have never before in peacetime had so many men under arms, or so many divisions on immediate call and with the possibility of rapid formation; nor have we ever had so large an Air Force. Nor is there any other country in Europe which could think of mounting so great a re-armament programme today as this country is about to embark upon. That is because of the economy of this country, which the Opposition say has been cribbed and confined for the last six years.
It may be that our defences are not yet strong enough in relation to the Russian forces, but at all events they make a great contribution to Europe's own defence against Russia. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) urged after the war a speedier demobilisation. Yet he tells us in the latest of his recent volumes on the history of the war that he knew all along how the Russians would behave after the war, that he knew all along the sort of things they had in mind in their approach to world problems. Then why did he urge that speedier demobilisation?
§ Mr. Wyatt
I am coming to the hon. and gallant Member. He has been one of those who for the last five years has frequently said, "It is all very well. We have many men in the Army but why have we not more divisions?" What did we hear from him last night, after all these years? He has come to the conclusion that of course it is inevitable that our Forces should be dispersed all over the world, so we had better get some divisions from the Dominions, which incidentally have not yet passed their National Service Measures, as we did years ago—Dominions which have Tory Governments.
§ Brigadier Head
If the hon. Member had listened a little more closely, he would have known that what I said last night was that our trouble was due to the dispersion of an immense number of men in the pipeline going backwards and forwards, due to the fact that the majority 708 of the Regular divisions contained National Service men, and that if we had put up the rates of pay and got more volunteers for the Regular Army in the past, there would not have been so many National Service men going to the Far East.
§ Mr. Wyatt
We have heard that argument before. If the hon. and gallant Member had his way, I think that by far the greater part of the national income would be spent increasing pay in order to achieve the required number of Regulars.
In October, 1949, the right hon. Member for Woodford was, at his own request, taken fully into the confidence of the Government and told exactly what was the state of our armaments. Yesterday he pretended that he did not know what the Minister of Defence was talking about when he said that such and such an item would be doubled and that such and such an item would be increased by a certain percentage. He had all that information in October, 1949. If he thought then that our Forces were inadequate, why did he not say so? Why did he not go to the country at the General Election and say, "I have been told by the Government exactly what the state of our defences is. I cannot give you that information, but I can assure you that they are grossly inadequate and they will require a vast increase in expenditure from us should we win at the next election"?
At the same time, he said he would furnish to the Government a memorandum of constructive proposals to improve our defences; month after month the Government waited for the memorandum from the right hon. Gentleman, and it never arrived. It had not arrived by last July; it has not yet arrived. Where is this memorandum in which the right hon. Gentleman was going to tell the Government how to make the most of their expenditure on armaments? There never was any intention in his mind of producing one. He has not got any real complaint about the state of our defences. The only complaint he has is that he is not Prime Minister.
§ Brigadier Head
The hon. Gentleman has said something which is not true. My right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) has handed in a memorandum to the Government.
§ Mr. Wyatt
He certainly had not handed it in by the beginning of August last year. We have heard no more about it. If it took him from October, 1949, to past the end of July, 1950, to produce the memorandum, he cannot have regarded it as a matter of great importance or urgency.
Hon. Members opposite jeer about some of my hon. Friends who are not as keen as they might be on re-armament because of their pacifist inclinations. I would rather be in a party some of whose members have genuine doubts about re-armament because of their pacifist inclinations, than in a party some of whose members have flirted with the hideous horrors of Fascism.
Three main arguments are advanced against re-armament. One was put by my hon. Friend the Member for Lady-wood (Mr. Yates) a few minutes ago, namely, that it will lead to an arms race. I do not believe that is true. I think the danger is that Russia may feel that we are not prepared or ready to fight should she attack. She cannot possibly think from the size of our forces or of our re-armament programme that we intend to mount an attack upon her. It has been the tragic history of the last two world wars that in each case the aggressor thought that we were not ready or willing to fight when attacked.
The second argument which is used against re-armament is that our economy cannot stand it. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer cleared up that point satisfactorily this afternoon. Obviously, although it will be hard, it will be a burden which our economy can stand, and the risk of straining our economy is not so great as the risk of having a war if we do not exert ourselves to provide the forces which are necessary.
The third argument is that we should not allow this re-armament because it is only being undertaken at United States behest. I would say to those who believe that, that we can only have a strong and independent policy if we ourselves have a considerable strength in arms. It is no good expecting to persuade the United States to adopt our policy unless at the same time we can show that we ourselves are able to go a long way towards standing on our own feet in matters of defence.
710 Mention was made by the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) of American dollar aid. We do not even want American financial aid in this matter. Nothing has done more for our prestige abroad than the fact that we are no longer receiving Marshall Aid. Nothing has done more to make the Russians and the Europeans feel that we are a strong nation than that we can do without that aid. What we do want is a chance to buy and pay for the raw materials that we must have to carry out the great productive effort that is needed to provide the defences.
I believe that this programme isdesigned to provide the necessary deterrent force which we must have if the Russians are not to be tempted to attack us. Only the Government can know with any accuracy what size that force should be, and they must not ask us for less than is absolutely necessary. We have heard it estimated that the Russians have 175 divisions, so I presume that not more than 40 or 50 would be deployed in the West, at any rate in the initial stages of a third world war. During, the second half of this year we shall have 12 Territorial divisions which can be mobolised with some rapidity. We shall have the Class Z Reserve which will be forming four of those Territorial divisions, and those, together with the four or five Regular divisions which can be put into the field quickly in Germany, make a substantial contribution to European defence.
France has promised us 10 divisions for this year and 20 by the third year of the programme. Belgium will probably produce three, and perhaps Holland will produce some also. If the Americans produce the eight which they have promised, it will not be very long before we have a sufficiently strong deterrent force to match the 40 or 50 divisions which the Russians could put into the field. We must remember that the Russian divisions are inferior in size and equipment to ours. I think it is important that it should be remembered in this country, and in Europe that the task of opposing a potential Russian aggression on the ground is not a hopeless one. The Russians will soon be realising that, and certainly by the time they are likely to have an atomic bomb, they will not be inclined to try the odds on the ground. So long as they feel that they cannot get a quick and 711 easy victory, I do not feel that they will be likely to start a war, because it must be obvious to them that in the long run the industrial power of the West must prevail.
But as well as strength we must have clarity of intention. Russia and her Communist associates and satellites must know exactly where we stand on the issue of defence of each particular country. Looked at from the Communist point of view, it is understandable that they were surprised at the Western reaction to the invasion of South Korea. How were they to know that a country which seemed to have been publicly abandoned by America in the military sense, and was about to be abandoned in the economic sense, would apparently be regarded as a vital strategic area which would be defended by troops? Nobody had told them. Today Burma—a faraway country of which we know very little—is threatened by Chinese Communist claims on a part of her territory. Chinese maps are marked showing Burma as being a part of China. What are we going to do if Burma is attacked by Communist China? We have not said anything to Burma. They do not know what their position is.
The same sort of thing applies to Yugoslavia and Persia. We cannot afford to have any misunderstanding about this. The great virtue of the Monroe doctrine was that it was clear and precise, and the time has come when we should say exactly what we would do if there were any further attempt by any Communist Power to overthrow by external force any existing régimes in the free world. We should say that we will come to the aid of those countries, and let there be no mistake about it.
If we are to be strong, and convince both the Russians and Europe that our morale is high in regard to the defence of our own country, it is important that on this matter of defence policy we should be united. In that respect I agree with those speakers on the benches opposite who plead for national unity on defence. I think, however, that they have some odd ways of trying to get national unity on defence. I think that tabling a Motion of censure is an odd way of showing their identity of purpose with the Government in securing national unity on defence.
712 I cannot be convinced that the Tories have a real concern for national unity on defence until they come to the House and tell us what sacrifices they are prepared to make for defence. We on these benches represent those who will be hit the hardest by the rise in the cost of living and drops in the standard of living. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] It will be our constituents in the main who will be hit most by the re-armament programme. It will be the poor people who will have to make sacrifices.
§ Mr. Wyatt
I agree that Members opposite may be inconvenienced, but they will certainly not feel it anything like as much as those whom we represent will feel it. I ask Members opposite what their proposals are for their sacrifices for national unity on defence. When a responsible Tory comes down to the House and outlines his proposals for a capital levy or for some similar tax on accumulated wealth to be put to the service of the nation for defence, we shall begin to believe Members opposite when they plead for national unity on defence.
§ 8.22 p.m.
§ Brigadier Smyth (Norwood)
I hope that the hon. Member for Aston (Mr. Wyatt) will forgive me if I do not follow him very closely in his argument because, although I find it very interesting, we come to very different appreciations and conclusions. For instance, I think that we have to credit the Russians with a certain amount of military intelligence. If they had 175 divisions last July, as the Minister of Defence told us they had, and we know that they are re-arming hard all the time, and if they decide to attack in Western Europe, I am quite certain that they will put into that attack a great many more than 40 divisions. I suggest that they will put into any attack on the West at least 80 divisions, to which we might probably add another 50 from the satellite countries. The hon. Member made an interesting point about Burma and Yugoslavia. I agree that we have to make up our minds on what we are to do should these eventualities occur.
We have to consider the Government's White Paper and the Amendment we have put down in the light of the defence 713 situation as it exists in this country today, and also in the light of the international situation. The call-up of reserves must be an emergency measure—we must consider it merely as a stop-gap. What we have to consider is from where the Government start their programme, what is their object and whether the steps they are taking are likely to achieve that object in time, and whether our present Ministers are capable of carrying these steps out.
I suggest that our object is to prevent another world war—I am quite certain that I have the agreement of everyone on that. While we are taking steps to that end, we propose, and I think the Government propose, to negotiate for peace at the highest level. That was suggested by my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) on 28th March, and it is now, I think, the policy of the Government. We believe that we should negotiate from strength and not from weakness, which is where we are in disagreement with a number of Members opposite. We also firmly maintain that we stand or fall with the United States, which is where we also disagree with a number of Members opposite.
We cannot judge the effectiveness of any defence plans simply by the money that is spent and the number of men in uniform. We have to judge it by the number of efficient fighting formations that can be produced from the money spent. In general terms, large reserves, although they may win a war when it comes upon us, are not the best means of preventing a war from breaking out, which must be our prime object. We want a great deal in the shop window to prevent a war from starting. Our defensive arrangements must not only seem good to us but must look good to the whole world.
I am convinced that had we had two divisions ready in this country to move at short notice, and had we had only half the number of divisions that we used to have before the war in immediate readiness in Pakistan and India, and had we had only one division from New Zealand and Australia ready to move at short notice, there would have been no war in Korea. The aggression in Korea took place only because we had nothing to put into the field; Pakistan and India had nothing, 714 and no arrangements were made for any other countries of the Commonwealth to put any formations into Korea at short notice.
All our measures for social security and a better standard of living are a complete mockery if we are to live continually, as we are doing at present, under the shadow of another world war. I agreed very much with my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) when he disagreed with the Secretary of State for War who said that we should put economy before security.
I now come to the starting point. Where are we starting from? Ever since the war, Russia has been steadily building up an enormous army and air force. That is old history, and the Government have been well aware of it ever since 1946. Our own Forces have been terribly weak. My right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford said on 16th March last:… I do not believe there are a couple of well-formed brigade groups which could be sent abroad at short notice."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th March, 1950; Vol. 472, c. 1287.]How very right he was! When the Korean operations started I do not believe we had even one brigade group completely ready and equipped which we could send at very short notice.
We have spent a colossal amount of money on defence since the demobilisation period. In the five and a half postwar years we have spent something like £6,000 million on our Defence Forces. We have had twice as many men in uniform as we have ever had in peacetime before and we have had conscription as a definite part of our peace-time organisation for the first time in history. We have also seen the terrible run-down of our Regular Forces, which has caused so much of our weakness. We built up no Colonial Forces to replace our Indian Army. I would describe the Government's policy in defence since the war as one of unplanned extravagance through which we have spent a colossal amount of money and for which we have seen very little in the shape of fighting formations before the start of this re-armament programme.
The Government remind me of the story of a woman who went to buy a new hat without first making up her mind what sort of hat she would buy. I dare say that all women do that. She turned 715 the whole shop upside down and tried on about a hundred hats and reduced the place to chaos. Eventually, she took the bit between her teeth, disregarded all advice and chose a hat for herself. When she was presented with the bill she gasped and said, "Good heavens, what a terrible price!" The irritated shop assistant replied, "But, madam, it is a terrible hat." That is what has happened with our defence forces. We paid a terrible price and we got very little for it in the end.
In a humble way, I have studied these defence problems for a considerable number of years, and I cannot remember any time in our history when with such a large expenditure of men and money we were so militarily weak as we are now. I am supported in that statement by two opinions which I wish to quote. I shall first quote an opinion which I value personally beyond that of any other person in the country, that of Viscount Alanbrooke who was our very brilliant and trusted Chief of Staff during the war. Speaking at Camberwell a fortnight ago, he said:Britain has never been less secure than she is now.I am also supported by the Minister of Defence who said yesterday that he is having to build up this programme practically from nothing. Those were very true words. He has a colossal task because he is building up the programme practically from nothing.
There are one or two points in our defence situation which cause me great alarm at present. I will not dwell on the Korean operations, but I feel very perturbed as to whether we really have any over-all combined plan by which we hope to bring those operations to an end. It seems that we greet every eventuality that occurs with an ad hoc arrangement. I suggest that is a responsibility which we cannot turn over to the Americans. It is very much a British responsibility also.
We are affected by the operations in Indo-China because it depends very much on what happens in Indo-China as to how many divisions the French will be able to put into Western Europe. I am alarmed about the situation in Malaya, about which we hear very little these days. We may say that is a private British war and that we do not want to say too much about it but, as I have said before, 716 we do not want any war, certainly no war within the British Commonwealth, to go lingering on. We must try to provide some solution to the operations in Malaya, and I hope we shall hear from the Government how those operations are going.
It is nothing short of a tragedy that the Commonwealth Prime Ministers failed to agree on any solution of the Kashmir problem, because that is affecting adversely not only the people of Kashmir but the people of Pakistan and India. We hear news of a rather desperate famine in India and of great economic difficulties in Pakistan. I feel strongly that until that Kashmir problem is resolved we shall not only have a potential powder magazine in the Indian Ocean area, but India and Pakistan will be contributing nothing to the United Nations in their efforts to keep the peace of the world in the Far East.
Coming back to the really vital problem of the defence of Western Europe, I should like to remark on one or two things which do not seem to me to be going particularly well. We in this House are all delighted that General Eisenhower has accepted the responsible position of Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Forces. However I suggest he is being presented with an unnecessarily difficult problem. When he had a similar job during the war he had to deal with two strong Governments in Britain and America with an overall combined Chiefs-of-Staff, and he could devote himself entirely to the military side of the operation. Now, as we saw when he was over here, he was racing round in an aeroplane from one capital to the other, spending only a few hours in each.
I do not believe that we shall be able to build up the defence of Western Europe until there is some sort of political control and leadership from the top. I do not believe you can expect a general in uniform, however brilliant he may be, to organise and command the Forces in the field and, at the same time, to be travelling round to the various capitals and negotiating with them on the political side. I suggest that it is up to the British Government—because I do not think anyone else will do it—to give that political leadership for the defence of Western Europe which is lacking at the present time.
717 If I might make one remark about Germany, we are all agreed in principle that Germany should contribute to a Western European defence; only we are not in agreement as to what form that defence should take. But I do not think we are seeing exactly eye to eye with General Eisenhower and the Americans on this question of the defence of Europe. May I read one or two extracts from the speech he made when he returned to America the other day? General Eisenhower said:There is one other important element—time. We have to accept the serious military disadvantage, which results from our peaceful and purely defensive intentions. An aggressor can pick the day on which he intends to strike, and he builds up everything on that plan. We on the other hand, have to devise a scheme which we can maintain if necessary over a great many years. … We must be ready at any time, and one of the important times is today. There is not a moment to waste.He went on to say:The goal for the Allied Army would be 40 divisions by the end of 1952.I gathered from the Minister of Defence that we were to supply only four of those divisions, and I really do not know where the others are to come from. If Germany does not make a contribution to her rearmament, from where are we to get those other divisions?
§ Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)
Is it not implicit in the speech by General Eisenhower which the hon. and gallant Member has quoted, that there would be no German contribution in those 40 divisions?
§ Brigadier Smyth
I have read that speech very carefully but I do not read it exactly as the hon. Member reads it. What General Eisenhower emphasised—and I agree very much with it—is that we cannot force Western Germany to re-arm. We have first to establish certain political and friendly relations with Western Germany before we can expect them to make a really effective contribution.
To hon. Members opposite I say that there must come a time when we start to forgive our enemies. We cannot keep Germany down for ever, and the time must come when we bring Germany back into the comity of nations. In the world of sport it has been decided that this year Germany can come back and take part 718 in international sport with the other nations of Europe and of the world. We must consider whether we have not pursued the vendetta long enough. I quite realise all the dangers—I fought against the Germans myself in two wars, so I have no cause to love them—but I think that the time is coming when we have to offer them honourable terms if we are to expect them to make a contribution.
I have been comparing the speech of the Minister of Defence with that of General Eisenhower. The right hon. Gentleman said that in 1952 things will begin to happen. I am sure that that will disappoint General Eisenhower very much, because he hopes that by 1952 a lot of things will have happened if we are to prevent the next war which is threatening.
I want to touch upon a subject regarding the Government's White Paper which has not yet been mentioned—that is, Civil Defence. In the White Paper, the Government rather disregard Civil Defence and say that in view of other factors it is not frightfully important. But Civil Defence is frightfully important, because we may find that the first thing to hit us in the next war will be a bomb on London. Not only Civil Defence, but the Home Guard, also should at present have our earliest and urgent attention.
Just as modern war is won or lost by nations and not by armies, so I am certain that the next war will be prevented, not merely by armies, but by national effort and morale. There are certain things which are absolutely essential for a high national effort and morale. The first of these is that the people must be fed. Secondly, they must be kept warm and reasonably well clothed, and thirdly, and most important, they must be convinced of the justice of our cause and the need for the utmost effort, otherwise I am certain that we shall fail to inspire the British people to a task which to my mind is much more difficult than winning a war—that is, the task of so organising themselves in peace-time that the war which we all fear never takes place. That must be our supreme effort, and I believe that at present we are drifting into the next war at vast expense to the British people. I have not the slightest confidence that the measures now being taken, pursued as they are without due urgency and priority, will effect that object which we all desire.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Major Sir David Maxwell Fyfe (Liverpool, West Derby)
Before I come to controversial matters, may I make two personal remarks? The first is to express my regret to those who have been sitting here unable to take part in our deliberations. I have gone to bed with one of the greatest unspoken speeches in the world on so many occasions that they have my deepest sympathy. The second point is that I would like to add my meed of congratulation on the admirable speech we heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Turner) in addressing the House for the first time and to echo the words of the right hon. Gentleman who hoped we should hear the hon. Member often again.
I do not think that anyone, whatever his politics, can complain about the essential prerequisite of national security being an unequivocal assurance on three things. The first is 'that the Government intend to carry out an effective programme of national defence. The second is that in so doing they will have sufficient support from their own benches to avoid procrastination, obstruction and whittling down of the programme and to make clear to every citizen the gravity of the world situation and the method by which we seek to meet it—that is, by the creation of union in strength among the free peoples. The third is that the criteria of effectiveness are two: first, will it make Britain able to stand up to an immediate attack, and secondly, will it make such a strong and practical contribution to medium-term security—that is, over a period of the next few years—as to enable her to play a proper and sound part in Atlantic and European defence. I do not think many people would object to these as being the touchstones by which to judge the problem.
Therefore, I put it to right hon. and hon. Members opposite who have exchanged with us party volleys—quite properly and of which I never complain—that it is utterly reasonable to be in doubt whether re-armament is possible when the Government must be influenced by its own party situation. What worries us is that the executive of the party opposite, on which the distinguished Members of the Government serve, selected a candidate at a by-election at this time who is a professed pacifist—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—and, although he forfeits the 720 Prime Minister's letter of support and although he has not the slightest chance of winning the seat, yet he is supported at the by-election by those same people on whom the Prime Minister must rely if the responsibility for the defence programme is to be carried out.
If hon. Members opposite were approaching this problem of defence as a united party, I should still say it was insufficient, but if they approach it as a series of disunited, divergent and vociferous individuals, then it is ridiculously inadequate to the situation. I think the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues ought to be grateful to us for one thing, because if the ordinary practice of the House holds, we shall be voting on the Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question." Those words are:That this House approves the policy of His Majesty's Government relating to Defence. …So that the Government, for what it is worth, will be able to collect all those whose views are so entirely different and who have given such eloquent expressions to these views on the platforms at Bristol and give them a chance of voting against their views and supporting the Government.
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
May I say, because I do not want anyone to misunderstand, that I promised the right hon. Gentleman to sit down at a quarter-past the hour, and obviously in a two-day debate he is asking for very reasonable time. So may I ask hon. Gentlemen to bear with me if I do not give way after this?
§ Mr. Hughes
May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman, who is always very fair in debate, if he realises that last Friday I spoke on a platform in Glasgow with a Tory candidate who is a conscientious objector; and does he not think that if the Tory Party are entitled to have a conscientious objector as their official candidate at Kirkcaldy, that should also apply in Bristol?
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
The hon. Gentleman is not the least cunning, but may I say this—that the candidate to whom he refers took a certain course of action at a certain time in the war, according to 721 his conscience, with which I profoundly disagree. But that is quite a different thing from running, at the time when the issue before the country is defence, a man who is opposed to the policy of the Government. I am not complaining about hon. Gentlemen who were conscientious objectors; that is not the point I am making. It is their political action in opposing defence, and that is the point I have made.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I would not have interrupted except that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has made reference to the kind of vote I am going to give. I hope that everybody knows that I am against the re-armament policy. I shall, nevertheless, vote for the Government, because as the right hon. and learned Gentleman perfectly well understands, the Opposition have moved to leave out those words only in order to put in words I should like less.
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) is going to vote as he said. The hon. Gentleman has professed his views and my opinion is one that would appeal to the fair-mindedness of everyone in the House. If we believe that the situation is grave and can be met only by measures of national security, would we take the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne as our aid, assistance and support in putting forward that programme?
I want to come to the specific points. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman to help us on some points and to meet the criticisms which I shall make. First, with regard to the call-up of the Class Z Reserve, he will have appreciated that it surprised us—and I think it must have surprised everyone who studied it—that in the White Paper which we are discussing the object of the exercise is put on the basis of a refresher course; but when the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War was dealing with the subject last night, he put the refresher training course only fourth among the purposes which he thought important. The others were to bring units into being; mobilisation, which I fully appreciate; and administrative testing.
Therefore, it is a matter of some disquiet when we find the head and forefront of the programme put forward one way 722 by the Prime Minister a few days ago, and the Prime Minister's reason relegated into the fourth place by the Secretary of State for War after the passage of a few days. I see the importance of the mobilisation aspect as it affects the Territorial Army. One has some doubt as to how far the mobilisation will be a help, except to those who planned it and who may find some of their mistakes; but I frankly admit that it is something which may well be useful to the Territorial Army.
With regard to the active Army—to use the expression in the White Paper—I have this doubt: the Reservists are to go to units where it is thought that they will carry on. There is a vast number of these units, administrative and technical, many of which do not exist in time of peace in this country. As I understand the requirements of space and time, the period does not permit of men who are being called up to be sent out to the units in Germany and to perform specialist tasks there. Undoubtedly, that is a grave short-coming. To summarise the criticisms, which are reasoned criticisms of the matter, the "Economist" of, I think, 10 days ago said that the strength of the Services will be increased only for home defence, and they added, as I have just indicated, that only the planners and not the men will learn from the exercise.
There is one other point which I wish to put to the right hon. Gentleman and it is about the position of those who were in a reserved occupation during the last war and have left that reserved occupation but are in the position of not being on any Reserve at all. I am not attacking the discrimination which is put forward as being necessary to carry out this scheme, but if we are to take people with us on the question of re-armament and defence, we ought to secure a certain equity among the people. I do not suggest that we should immediately send people into units if they have had no training at all. What I suggest is that the Minister might use the machinery of his Department to get hold of these people and discover the extent of the problem. If there is a considerable number and should the emergency worsen, they might be useful for Civil Defence or other purposes. I think the whole country would applaud and say that was fair.
723 I am still troubled by the paucity of the results. I understood the right hon. Gentleman yesterday to refer to 10 divisions. There will be four and one-third in Germany—and when he refers to one-third, he probably means a couple of battalions in Austria or somewhere like that. [Interruption.] Well, even so, I am glad to hear it. I take it there will be four and one-third divisions. Then, there will be four and one-third divisions overseas in garrisons and work of that kind, and one and one-third at home.
Our complaint—and I do put it to hon. Gentlemen opposite that they should face up to this complaint and consider whether it is not a reasonable one—is that, after the country has provided over £5,000 million for defence over the last years, when the country has given the Government complete powers by conscription and when the Government had received great stocks at the end of the war—when all that has happened, the Minister of Defence should have come here yesterday and said that he was starting from nothing, and the result of his proposals is that—
§ Mr. Shinwell
I was replying to a statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill), and I said that he had built up over a phased programme, through a period of years, sufficient to prosecute the last war vigorously, and that he had started from nothing.
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
I had meant to check the passage, but I listened to the right hon. Gentleman, and several hon. Members today, when the right hon. Gentleman has not been here, have quoted him as saying that. I will verify the matter, and, believe me, I will withdraw it with pleasure if I am wrong, but certainly that was what I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say. May I say this? Whether the right hon. Gentleman meant that he started from nothing, he has to furnish in another few months four and one-third divisions in Germany and one and one-third at home of the Regular Army. I say that that is a hopelessly inadequate response to the sacrifices which the people of this country have made, both in money and in the time of their young men.
The third point I want to press is this. With regard to the R.A.F., I find difficulty in seeing why Class G has been 724 restricted to personnel in the radar reporting units, because there are deficiencies in most of the ground trades in the R.A.F.; but, more than that, what worries me is what kind of planes these 1,000 men of the aircrews are going to have when they go back, and whether there is really any chance of their getting planes of sufficient performance for their work. At the same time, while I do not want to go into details because time is so short, one aspect which has been pressed upon me very strongly and heavily is the question of photography on aerial reconnaissance. It is vital, in the conditions which we are contemplating, that the planes should be able to go on long journeys and make deep flights. I hope that we shall be told whether these planes are going to be available in any reasonable period of time.
§ Mr. Shinwell
May I interrupt the right hon. and learned Gentleman? He referred to a statement which I made. I hope he will allow me to quote it from the OFFICIAL REPORT. Here is the statement:I must say that I am really astonished that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) indulges in laughter, for no one knows better than he what the experience was in the last war in building up a programme over three or four years out of practically nothing."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th February, 1951; Vol. 484, c. 423–4.]
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
If the right hon. Gentleman says that does not make the implication, then I withdraw it, but, as I have already told him, several hon. Members have quoted it today as meaning that he also was in that position.
§ Mr. Shinwell
In fact, what I was doing was, I thought rather generously, if I may say so, paying a tribute to the right hon. Member for Woodford in suggesting that he was able to build up a phased programme from practically nothing to enable the country to prosecute the war vigorously. The right hon. and learned Gentleman might now like to withdraw what he said.
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
As I have said, I understood the right hon. Gentleman to be making that implication. If he was not, I of course withdraw it.
The other point on which we have had no satisfaction during the debate is the question of European co-operation and 725 integration. There are really two points there. There is, first, the refusal of the Government to co-operate with France and to give any encouragement to France in the creation of a European Army. That point has been met. The second point—and here I want to clear up any misconception there may be concerning our words about it—is this: a number of hon. Members opposite have talked about German re-armament. No one that I have heard speak in this House from any quarter is in favour of German national re-armament, and no political party in Germany, at any rate no party that has any strength in the Bundesrat, is in favour of German national re-armament.
What is asked for—and this is one of the great divergencies—is that the Germans should provide contingents to an integrated army, perhaps in a European section of the Atlantic Treaty Powers Army but certainly as part of that Army. I believe that it is in that provision of a contingent to an integrated force that one sees the hope of co-operation between France and Germany, and the curing of the position which has meant so much ill to both in the past.
I now want to deal, very shortly, as I must, with the economic aspect of the matter, and therefore if I make my points in outline, I am sure the House will forgive me. The first point is this. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that the additions would be £500 million to the present level of £800 million for defence in the first year and £1,000 million in the third year. I am taking the figure of £800 million in the second year. I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour could tell us this. Have the Government estimated what the Forces and the production, based on our present figure of £800 million at the time it was estimated, would be simply due to the inflation and the rise in prices, that is, how much of the £500 million is due simply to the rise in prices and how much is due to our increase in strength.
There is a second point I want to press with seriousness, and again I am sure hon. Gentlemen opposite will appreciate how vital this is. The right hon. Gentleman said that his economic calculations are based on the fact that the increase of productivity will decline from 7 per cent. to 4 per cent. I see no reason at all, 726 and no excuse at all, why there should be a decrease of productivity after the first year. I think it is a very serious matter that the Government bring these proposals in such an inchoate and ill-thought-out way that they are admitting there is going to be a decrease of nearly 50 per cent. in our rate of increased productivity because of this programme.
The other point I want to make follows from the figures. If one takes the ordinary increase to the national income at £600 million a year on the 7 per cent. basis that would be, on the Chancellor's figures, £350 million a year. Of that the Treasury will, by the ordinary incidence of taxation, get about half—£175 million. The Chancellor, therefore, has to find £325 million as the gap between that and the increase in armaments expenditure.
That is, again, for the first year. It ought to be less in the next year if the Government get this programme going in a way that will show increased output. It ought to be still less the third year, but, whatever it is, that gap is going to fall on and affect the standard of living of the people of this country. The very fact that there will be that gap lays a heavier and more onerous duty and responsibility upon the Government to make the cuts in their other expenditure for which we have pressed—in central Government, by a check on local expenditure, by reconsideration of the compulsory saving policy that is in force at the moment. All these things must be done, because otherwise we are going to have the vicious spiral going on; and the people who are affected most by this gap which the Government say must happen because of the inequalities of production are those who are suffering from the position of the standard of living today.
The Chancellor said, with regard to raw materials, that he could not be precise about the steps that he proposed to take and how the materials should be steered towards re-armament; but I want to put to him the point that we want to know whether he has considered in what materials there is a real world shortage—apart from sulphur, which he explained—and in what we are merely feeling the effects of stock-piling by other countries. An early opportunity ought to be given to us so that we shall know what is the view of the Government on that matter.
727 Again, and more important, we should know what steps they have taken to deal with stock-piling by the United States and others so that it will not adversely affect us. Again, as I understood the Chancellor of the Exchequer—and he was speaking only in outline—said that the labour force would come first from existing factories turned over to re-armament and where there was at the moment a shortage in some cases; secondly, it would come from where the effects of raw materials would show themselves.
I was happy to note that the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not say it was intended to apply any direction of labour at this time. I should like to get an assurance from the Minister of Labour, whose particular province it is, that that omission was deliberate and correct. The other three points are so clear that I want to put them on record. I am surprised that we have not had more consideration given to them. The Chancellor mentioned the danger of inflation, but he did not relate the question of inflation and disinflation to the problem of mobility of labour. I am sure we ought to know the Government's view on this point—and it is obviously one of the most important—of how mobility of labour is to be obtained.
I turn to my last point, and I promise that I will then conclude. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Well, I have had one or two interruptions. This point concerns restrictive practices. The right hon. Gentleman knows that a long time ago—I think it was two years ago—a committee started inquiring into that subject. We have several times asked about it in the House but we have had no satisfaction. That is a matter which I think ought to be considered when the vital question of this aspect is how we are to keep our production and output going on.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite have challenged us again and again about why we have put down this Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] We have been challenged over and over again; I have been listening to the debate. It is quite true that the hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Shackleton), not only challenged but put the answer himself, because he said it was quite clear that our reason was that we wanted to get hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite out, while they would 728 vote against us because they wanted to keep hon. and right hon. Gentlemen in. He was quite blunt about it.
I want to make the position quite clear, because it would be wrong to speak to this Amendment without saying it. We have said that we have no confidence in the Ministers who are in charge of this programme. With regard to the Minister of Defence, we are bound to look back—and who would not look back?—to the fuel crisis of 1947. When the right hon. Gentleman gave his undertaking to the Z Reservists yesterday that they would not be called up next year, we remembered rather bitterly the undertakings which he gave to industry and the country that there would be no cuts.
Here is one of the most intricate economic and administrative problems ever put before the country. It is in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, whose claim to administrative fame is just in the word "groundnuts." But it does not really stop there. This is the point: in a short time we shall hear the result from Bristol, West, and the result is, of course, perfectly obvious; but suppose it were the other way round. Suppose the winner were Mr. Lawrance, who says, as he is reported in today's papers, "I do not believe in re-armament but if I am returned I will vote for this Motion." The Government are attempting to bring in their programme on the strength and by the votes of those who disagree with their programme and have not the slightest confidence in any proposal which has been put forward. That is a mockery of Parliamentary democracy. The hon. Member for Preston, South spoke the one correct word—that they are voting only to keep us out. [Interruption.] When a great idealist party of the past has come down to that cynical view of the present, the country will judge, and judge soon.
§ 9.20 p.m.
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)
The right hon. and learned Gentleman will forgive me if I spend a few moments in reducing the temperature. I have to make a reply to one or two of the things he said which have a Departmental significance before I follow him into the stratosphere. The right hon. and learned Gentleman asked me one or two questions concerning the mobility of 729 labour. I have discussed this matter already with the representatives of the trade unions and of the employers, and we have come to the conclusion that it would be premature to reach a decision about the direction of labour, if it becomes necessary at all, until we see how the impact of the re-armament programme develops.
I am bound to say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that if it becomes necessary to control the engagement of labour it will also be necessary to discuss with the employers how far their activities also are to be restricted in employing workers in non-essential industries. There is such a matter as the direction of employers as well as the direction of workers. If it becomes necessary to do so we shall deal equitably with both; but we do not think it is necessary to reach any such Draconic decision because, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer said today, in a speech which, I think, will repay close reading, the weight of the rearmament programme falls on a comparatively narrow sector of the economy, and until we see how far the impact has reached it will not be possible for us to find out what steps may be necessary to secure the greater mobility of labour.
With regard to restrictive practices, I deplore them on both sides—on both sides. There is as much Ludditism amongst employers today as there is amongst the workers. However, it is no use, I have found—in fact, it is quite infertile—to ask representatives of trade unions and representatives of employers to meet together for the purpose of considering the abolition of restrictive practices. It is far too negative a form of approach, and what I asked them to do when I last met them was to consider how they could concert together in order to reach optimum production—to take a very much more positive line in the matter; because all that happens when we start talking about restrictive practices is that old memories are revived, old fears are restored, and, before we know where we are, we are fighting traditional battles all over again; whereas if we can get people to sit down and look at the contemporary scene unhampered as far as possible by ancient quarrels and rivalries, and think only of increasing production there is a chance of getting some that way.
730 Let me say also under this heading that I do hope that organised labour in the country will realise the very serious times through which the country is passing. There have been a number of unofficial strikes recently, and some more are threatened. There is in this country at the moment plenty of conciliation machinery that can be used; it is ready; it is available all the time. In fact, we have a more highly organised system of industrial conciliation than any other nation in the world, and people are only inflicting unnecessary losses upon themselves in not making use of it. At the same time, I should like to say that there is a responsibility resting upon managements to try to develop good personal relations. It very often happens that some of these disputes occur because modern managements have not realised that in the absence of the whip of unemployment, common sense must be applied more frequently.
May I say in passing that it is not enough always to look for Communists under the bed. That can be an awfully lazy habit. I remember when I was connected with the coal mining industry; whenever there was an explosion there was always an inquiry, and the inquiry used to be directed wearisomely to the cause of ignition. We always used to say, "Look for the cause of the gas." There are lots of people going about trying to ignite inflammable material, but we must also ask ourselves: Why is the material so inflammable? It very often happens that many of these disputes would never occur if they had not been festered and fostered by personal relationships which could quite easily be, if I may use the term, anodyned.
I have to say something here which perhaps will not be so pleasant to some hon. Members. As hon. Members in all parts of the House know, the size of the Armed Forces fell below expectations because of the manpower position, and it has been found necessary to make a decision that the "blanket" shall be removed from agriculture. [HON. MEMBERS: "Feather bed."] I prefer to call it a blanket. I am trying to use as soft a word as possible. Deferment was granted to the agricultural industry because it was at that time an under, manned industry. That is not now the case. It is no more under-manned than other industries, and therefore it must 731 take its place in providing National Service men. However, farmers will have made their plans for their sowing and this year's harvest on the basis of the previous position. It is not, therefore, thought wise and prudent to start the call up until after the next harvest, which will be 1st November. In the meantime, I shall be consulting with the Minister of Agriculture and the two sides of the agricultural industry on how the call-up can be made with the least damage to agriculture.
§ Mr. Hughes
This is a very important point in my constituency. Does it mean that these men who are called up as Z men will be allowed the alternative of going into the mines?
§ Mr. Bevan
We are not talking about the Z Reserve at the moment. We are talking about the National Service men.
There is also one point of considerable importance that I want to deal with. It has been mentioned in the course of the debate that a statement ought to be made concerning Yugoslavia. His Majesty's Government are alive to the potential threat to Yugoslavia from the swollen armed forces of the satellites which has been emphasised by hostile Soviet and satellite propaganda. Any threat to Yugoslavia, who played a heroic part in resistance to Hitler aggression, is naturally of concern to His Majesty's Government, and we are in touch with other Governments on this. I am sure that the House would not expect me to say more than this at the moment.
732 The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition made a speech today to which, I am bound to say, I find it very difficult to reply. It is like trying to climb up a smooth, flat surface; I can get no hold on it at any point whatsoever. He went from generalisation to generalisation with hardly a concrete noun from beginning to end. It is really quite difficult to understand what is the nature of the indictment. The right hon. and learned Gentleman who wound up the debate did not give us any more illumination. Of course, he threw a few gibes across to the Front Bench here, and said how incompetent we were. I could reply in similar terms. All that I would need to do is to quote from the right hon. Gentleman's speeches before the war about his present colleagues, and I must say that he was much more concrete then than he is now. He has lost his genius for particularity. But I am not going to do it.
The right hon. Gentleman should have seen the faces of his followers when he was speaking today. When I last had the honour of replying to the right hon. Gentleman, I described him as the decoy of the Tory Party. When I saw the faces today, I knew that he had had a transfiguration; he is now the Jonah. They looked like a glum and apprehensive crew, seeing their ship going nearer and nearer the rocks, in charge of a captain who appeared to be witnessing the scene with increasing enthusiasm.
The charge against the Government is that they have been dilatory, inefficient and irresolute, and that they have not made proper preparation for the security of the country. I have been looking at some of the figures. In mid-1939, just a few months before the war, there were 1,300,000 unemployed in Great Britain, and there were, upon our present calculations, at least another 800,000 female workers who would have been mobilised at that time if the economy then had been managed like it is now.
So we have brought into production since then and held in production 1,800,000 people who in 1939 had not been mobilised either for the Armed Services or for the civil economy. That is the first point. I should point out the significance of this. Since the war and since 1945 we have altered the pattern of distribution so that now we have a 733 wider technical base than ever we had before, because there are 400,000 fewer people in the distributive industries than in 1939, and nearly one million more in the engineering and manufacturing industries.
No one knows better than the right hon. Gentleman that the essential prerequisite for a modern war machine is the technical basis of civil industry. Indeed, it will be found that one of the weaknesses of the Soviet armed forces is the narrowness of their industrial base. Far too little attention is given to it. I know that the Soviet Union has accumulated since the war a very formidable striking power, but I am always encouraged by the knowledge that behind that striking power is a very narrow technical foundation. Modern war machines are only kept going by the technicians behind them. Therefore, I am not as much frightened as many people are. I do not under estimate the danger, but nevertheless when we are adding up the figures on the balance sheet let us look at the assets as well as the liabilities.
I am not frightened by the situation, because after all Russia claims—and I think she exaggerates quite considerably here—to have a production of 28 million tons of steel per year. I know she has not got that. She has not got 25 million tons yet. Modern steel power is the best possible expression of arms strength if mobilised, but it is the mobilising that is the question, because so long as steel is consumed by civil industry the technical basis for armed power is there. I do not believe that a nation, however large its manpower, coldly contemplates launching 25 million tons of steel per annum against the combination of 140 million tons per annum.
For Heaven's sake do not let us have so much bogy man talk. I am speaking about those evil people in many parts of the world who are talking as if the third world war had already begun. We deny that. The fact of the matter is that the Tory Party is as old-fashioned as the Communist Party. They are both living in a world that has gone. One has only to read the Communist thesis today to see that it has not changed in the last 100 years since Karl Marx wrote it—and I am a considerable student of Karl Marx.
734 The Soviet thinking has not adjusted itself to the fact that the most revolutionary power in the world is political democracy. She has not adjusted herself to the fact that progress can only be made in modern complicated industrial civilisation on the basis of peace. She still clings to the notion that war is a revolutionary opportunity, and she does so because the Soviet Union was born in war and because she knows that some nations tried to destroy her by war. Therefore she thinks in those terms. But the fact of the matter is that in the last five years not only has the Soviet Union been able to achieve a number of victories but she has also sustained a number of quite formidable defeats.
It has always been assumed that Soviet Marxism would gain its first and easiest victories in the heavily industrialised nations. That was always the assumption. It was because the theory of Marxism was born in Brussels, London, Paris, and New York and not in the agrarian areas. As a consequence of that, she expected to find easy allies. But I am convinced, as I have said before, that the only kind of political system which is consistent with a modern artisan population is political representative democracy.
As the Soviet Union pushes further West she gets more and more theoretical defeats. She has been able under the protection of the Red Army to clamp the satellite States to her breast in the last five years, but the interesting thing is to see the growing hostility to Soviet propaganda in Western Europe and its failure to establish any foothold in Great Britain and in America. This forms the background of the Defence debate, and very important conclusions follow from it, conclusions not drawn by the Opposition at all in the course of the debate.
The curious thing is that the Soviet Union has won its victories in those agrarian parts of the world where poverty is her chief ally. She has not won them, and she will not win them, in modern industrial communities. Therefore, we on this side of the House say that we must put ourselves in the position of armed preparedness, not to tempt her into seeking an easy victory, but, on the basis of that armed strength, to realise that the earliest opportunity must be taken to bring 735 about not appeasement but the pacification of the tensions of the world.
There is all the difference in the world in that. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford said in his speech that only one thing restrained Russia from attack—it was repeated from the Opposition Benches—and that was fear of the atom bomb. Do hon. Members really believe that? The Russians are very brave people. They are as brave as we are. All right; then would we be restrained by fear of the atom bomb?
§ Mr. Churchill
The Russian people will not have much to say to it. They are governed by the oligarchy of the Kremlin.
§ Mr. Bevan
If there is one thing of which the Russian people are aware it is the existence of the atom bomb. Therefore, if there is fear of the atom bomb, it is a mutual fear, and out of that mutual fear, mutual sense may be born. Therefore we ourselves consider—we have always considered on this side of the House—that every opportunity must be eagerly sought in order to try to bring about an alleviation of international tension. But there was little evidence of that on the opposite side of the House.
I really was shocked, because the right hon. Gentleman in the course of his speech said not only was the Soviet Union restrained by the existence of the atom bomb, but it was restrained by the formidable preparations that were being made by the United States at the present time. The shocking thing about the right hon. Gentleman is that he never gives any credit to this nation at all.
§ Mr. Bevan
Never. At least, he never has except when it is under his own leadership. The right hon. Gentleman for the last five years has been talking as if we were flat on our backs. He has been speaking of the nation as being down and out.
The fact of the matter is that in the last three to four years Great Britain has made a greater contribution to defence than any other nation in the world in proportion to her size. Take the expenditures in terms of a national income in 1949. [HON. MEMBERS "Oh!"] Let us have at this stage of the debate some sense of responsibility. The United Kingdom spent in 1949 7.2 736 per cent. of its national income on defence, Canada 2.9 per cent., Australia 6 per cent., the U.S.A. 5.9 per cent.. France 4.2 per cent., New Zealand 2.2 per cent. We were spending all the time although we were building up our resources. Yes, and we have today about 730,000 people in the Defence Forces as compared with about 480,000 in May, 1939. And we have had to sustain garrisons all over the world in different parts.
The right hon. Gentleman talks about the necessity of injecting the re-armament programme with greater energy and greater drive in the economic system—
§ Mr. Bevan
Well, I may have given the right hon. Gentleman far better ones than he himself selected, but that, after all, was what he meant. If he means anything at all by the Amendment, that is what he means. The fact of the matter is, as everybody knows, that the extent to which stockpiling has already taken place, the extent to which the civil economy is being turned over to defence purposes in other parts of the world, is dragging prices up everywhere. Furthermore, may I remind the right hon. Gentleman that if we turn over the complicated machinery of modern industry to war preparation too quickly, or try to do it too quickly, we shall do so in a campaign of hate, in a campaign of hysteria, which may make it very difficult to control that machine when it has been created.
It is all very well to speak about these things in airy terms, but we want to do two things. We want to organise our defence programme in this country in such a fashion as will keep the love of peace as vital as ever it was before. But we have seen in other places that a campaign for increased arms production is accompanied by a campaign of intolerance and hatred and witch-hunting. Therefore, we in this country are not at all anxious to imitate what has been done in other places.
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said today that I would have to call upon the resources of a Celtic imagination to find some arguments in reply to the right hon. Gentleman. I listened to the right hon. Gentleman and I thought that he displayed a sort of Anglo-Saxon naïveté in quoting from the 737 election programme of the Tory Party, because he has told us that that party does not take its own programme seriously. We had from him in the steel debate a description in his own inimitable language of the profundity of his own cynicism. He said:I do not admit as democratic constitutional doctrine that anything that is stuck into a party manifesto"—"stuck in"—I say!thereupon becomes a mandated right if the electors vote for the party who draw up the manifesto. [Interruption.] We are all allowed to have our opinions about constitutional matters. If that principle is accepted, why not shove a dozen more items in? One can always leave them out if there is not time, or circumstances change."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th February, 1951; Vol. 483, c. 1752.]Really, my youthful innocence is shocked by this.
When, therefore, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer called attention to the inconsistencies of the Tory Party's last election programme, it did not abash the right hon. Gentleman at all because he has first and second class items in his programme, as the Nazis had first and second class citizens in their country.
§ Mr. Bevan
I certainly will be the very last person to try to make any resemblance between the right hon. Gentleman and the Nazis, but he is falling into evil ways here; because when the right hon. Gentleman goes to the country next time, what can we believe? He has already told, us that he does not leave all the items in. Would he then be good enough to accent those in which he believes?
And so with the right hon. Gentleman now. The fact of the matter, we know very well, is that this Vote of Censure has not been put down for any other purpose than to hurry up and exacerbate the political situation as much as possible so that the right hon. Gentleman can get into Downing Street as early as possible if he can. It is not the war menace or the Soviet which the right hon. Gentleman fears. That is not his enemy—his enemy is time; and when he goes there, he will leave—[Interruption.] Hon. and right 738 hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like to take it at all; they always like to give it. The fact of the matter—and I have said so before—[Interruption.] It is not for the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) to work up that synthetic indignation. We have heard his Gladstonian asperities on too many occasions.
What the right hon. Gentleman is seeking to do at the moment and what hon. Members behind him are seeking to do is to hurry things up. I must say I can imagine no greater disservice to this country at the moment than to have the hon. Members on the other side of the House sitting on this side of the House. I believe that it is possible for us—I have always expressed some doubts about it, because I am convinced the task we are trying to do is a very heavy one—to reconcile the principles of Parliamentary democracy with these great exertions we all have to make. The right hon. Gentleman is not in tune with the times.
§ Mr. Bevan
Hon. Members opposite thought that in 1945. They thought it last year. They will discover when they have read this debate that all the party opposite is concerned with is to exploit every international difficulty for party purposes, and they will discover I believe, as I said, that hon. Members opposite, like the Communist Party, have fallen behind the times.
It is a fact, a fact that stands out, that one of the most important contributions that have been made to the pacification of the world at the present time was the behaviour of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in securing the friendship of India and Pakistan, whereas the right hon. Gentleman would have still faced that situation with early 19th Century conceptions. We think that the things happening in Asia at the present time are not only the consequences of malignant plottings by the Soviet Union. Do not let us get it wrong. It is certain, of course, that the Soviet Union are doing their very best to work these things up, but the events taking place in Asia at the present time are under the influence of historical compulsions which do not have their seat in the Kremlin at all. We shall deal with them.
739 That is the reason we do beg that we shall not have all these jeers about the re-armament that we are putting under way. We shall carry it out; we shall fulfil our obligations to our friends and Allies, and at the same time we shall try to prevent such an exacerbation of the world atmosphere as makes it im-
§ possible for the nations to come together in peace and harmony and give mankind another breathing space.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 308; Noes, 287.743
|Division No. 37.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Driberg, T. E. N.||Jay, D. P. T.|
|Adams, H. R.||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Jeger, George (Goole)|
|Albu, A. H.||Dye, S.||Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Jenkins, R. H.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Edelman, M.||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Edwards, John (Brighouse)||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Jones, David (Hartlepool)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)|
|Bacon, Mist Alice||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Jones, William Elwyn (Conway)|
|Baird, J.||Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||Keenan, W.|
|Balfour, A.||Ewart, R.||Kenyon, C.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Fairhurst, F.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.|
|Bartley, P.||Fernyhough, E.||Kinghorn, Sqn. Ldr. E.|
|Bellenger, Rt Hon. F. J.||Field, Capt. W. J.||Kinley, J.|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Finch, H. J.||Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Benson, G.||Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Lang, Gordon|
|Beswick, F.||Follick, M.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale)||Foot, M. M.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Forman, J. C.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Freeman, John (Watford)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)|
|Boardman, H.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Lewis, John (Bolton, W.)|
|Booth, A.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Bottomley, A. G.||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||Logan, D. G.|
|Bowden, H. W.||George, Lady Megan Lloyd||Longden, Fred (Small Heath)|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Gibson, C. W.||McAllister, G.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Gilzean, A.||MacColl, J. E.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Glanville, James (Consett)||Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Gooch, E. G.||McGhee, H. G.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Normanton)||Granville, Edgar (Eye)||McGovern, J.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)||McInnes, J.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield)||Mack, J. D.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Grenfell, D. R.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Burke, W. A.||Grey, C. F.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)|
|Burton, Miss E.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McLeavy, F.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Carmichael, J.||Grimond, J.||Mainwaring, W. H.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Gunter, R. J.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Champion, A. J.||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Hale, Joseph (Rochdale)||Mann, Mrs. Jean|
|Clunie, J.||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)|
|Cocks, F. S.||Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)||Manuel, A. C.|
|Coldrick W.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.|
|Collick, P.||Hamilton, W. W.||Mathers, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Collindridge, F.||Hardman, D. R.||Mellish, R. J.|
|Cook, T. F.||Hardy, E. A.||Messer, F.|
|Cooper, Geoffrey (Middlesbrough, W.)||Hargreaves, A.||Middleton, Mrs. L.|
|Cooper, John (Deptford)||Harrison, J.||Mikardo, Ian|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda (Peckham)||Hastings, S.||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hayman, F. H.||Moeran, E. W.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Tipton)||Monslow, W.|
|Crawley, A.||Herbison, Miss M.||Moody, A. S.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Hobson, C. R.||Morley, R.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Holman, P.||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)|
|Daines, P.||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Houghton, D.||Mort, D. L.|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Hoy, J.||Moyle, A.|
|Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Mulley, F. W.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Murray, J. D.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Nally, W.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Hughes, Moelwyn (Islington, N.)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|de Freitas, G.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.|
|Deer, G.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||O'Brien, T.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Oldfield, W. H.|
|Diamond, J.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Orbach, M.|
|Donnelly, D.||Janner, B.||Padley, W. E.|
|Paget, R. T.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Wade, D. W.|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly)||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Watkins, T. E.|
|Pannell, T. C.||Simmons, C. J.||Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Pargiter, G. A.||Slater, J.||Weitzman, D.|
|Parker, J.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Paton, J.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Pearson, A.||Snow, J. W.||West, D. G.|
|Paart, T. F.||Sorensen, R. W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J. (Edinb'gh, E.)|
|Poole, C.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||While, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Popplewell, E.||Steele, T.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W|
|Porter, G.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Wigg, G.|
|Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. S|
|Proctor, W. T.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.||Wilkes, L.|
|Pryde, D. J.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Stross, Dr. Barnett||Willey, Frederick (Sunderland)|
|Rankin, J.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith||Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)|
|Rees, Mrs. D.||Sylvester, G. O.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Reeves, J.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Reid, Thomas (Swindon)||Taylor, Robert (Morpeth)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Reid, William (Camlachie)||Thomas, David (Aberdare)||Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'lly)|
|Rhodes, H.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Richards, R.||Thomas, Iorworth (Rhondda, W.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon Harold (Huyton)|
|Roberts, A.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Roberts Emrys (Merioneth)||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Thurtle, Ernest||Wise, F. J.|
|Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||Timmons, J.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.||Woods, Rev. G. S.|
|Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Tomney, F.||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Turner-Samuels, M.||Yates, V. F.|
|Royle, C.||Ungoed-Thomas, A. L.||Younger, Hon. K.|
|Shackleton, E. A. A.||Usborne, H.|
|Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley||Vernon, W. F.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Viant, S. P.||Mr. Hannan and Mr. Sparks.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Corbett, Lt.-Col. Uvedale (Ludlow)||Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne)||Harvey, Air Codre, A. V. (Macclesfield)|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Cranborne, Viscount||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Crookshank, Capt Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Harvie-Watt, Sir G. S|
|Arbuthnot, John||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Hay, John|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Crouch, R. F.||Head, Brig. A. H.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Crowder, Capt. John (Finchley)||Heald, Lionel|
|Astor, Hon. M. L.||Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Heath, Edward|
|Baker, P. A. D.||Cundiff, F. W.||Henderson, John (Catheart)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Cuthbert, W. N.||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Higgs, J. M. C.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Davidson, Viscountess||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)|
|Baxter, A. B.||Davies, Nigel (Epping)||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)|
|Beamish, Major Tufton||de Chair, Somerset||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount|
|Bell, R. M.||De la Bère, R.||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)||Deedes, W. F.||Hollis, M. C.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Digby, S. W.||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Hope, Lord John|
|Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth)||Donner, P. W.||Hopkinson, H. L. D'A.|
|Birch, Nigel||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Hornsby-Smith, Miss P.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Drayson, G. B.||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence|
|Black, C. W.||Dugdale, Maj. Sir Thomas (Richmond)||Howard, Greville (St Ives)|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Welts)||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)|
|Boothby, R.||Dunglass, Lord||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Duthie, W. S.||Hudson, Rt. Hon. Robert (Southporl)|
|Bower, Norman||Eccles, D. M.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Hurd, A. R|
|Bracken, Rt. Hon. B.||Erroll, F. J.||Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)|
|Braine, B. R.||Fisher, Nigel||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cmdr. Gurney||Fletcher, Walter (Bury)||Hyde, H. M.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W||Fort, R.||Hylton-Foster, H. B.|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Foster, John||Jeffreys, General Sir George|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Jennings, R.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Fraser, Sir I. (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Johnson, Major Howard (Kemptown)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Jones, A. (Hall Green)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Gage, C. H.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W|
|Burden, Squadron Leader F. A.||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)||Kaberry, D.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Keeling, E. H.|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Gammans, L. D.||Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh)||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Carson, Hon. E.||Gales, Maj. E. E.||Lambert, Hon. G|
|Channon, H||Glyn, Sir Ralph||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.||Gomme-Duncan, Col A||Langford-Holt, J.|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Law, Rt. Hon R. K.|
|Clarke, Brig Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Leather, E. H. C|
|Colegate, A.||Grimston, Robert (Westbury)||Legge-Bourke, Maj E. A. H.|
|Conant, Maj R. J. E.||Harden, J. R. E||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr Albert (Ilford, S)||Hare, Hon J. H. (Woodbridge)||Lindsay, Martin|
|Cooper-Key, E. M||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||Linstead, H. N|
|Llewellyn, D.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (King's Norton)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Storey, S.|
|Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)|
|Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Osborne, C.||Studholme, H. G.|
|Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.)||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Summers, G. S.|
|Low, A. R. W.||Perkins, W. R. D.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Pickthorn, K.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Pitman, I. J.||Teeling, W.|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Powell, J. Enoch||Teevan, T. L.|
|McAdden, S. J.||Prescott, S.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Thompson, Kenneth Pugh (Walton)|
|Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of W[...]ght)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.||Thompson, Lt.-Cmdr. R. (Croydon, W.)|
|McKibbin, A.||Profumo, J. D.||Thorneycroft, Peter (Monmouth)|
|McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Raikes, H. V.||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.|
|Maclay, Hon. John||Rayner, Brig. R.||Thorp, Brig. R. A. F.|
|Maclean, Fitzroy||Redmayne, M.||Tilney, John|
|MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)||Remnant, Hon. P.||Touche, G. C.|
|Macmillan, Rt. Hon. (Harold (Bromley)||Renton, D. L. M.||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Macpherson, Major Niall (Dumfries)||Roberts, Major Peter (Heeley)||Turton, R. H.|
|Maitland, Cmdr. J. W.||Robertson, Sir David (Caithness)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Manningham-Butler, R. E.||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Marlowe, A. A. H.||Robson-Brown, W.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Marples, A. E.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Vosper, D. F.|
|Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)||Roper, Sir Harold||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)||Ropner, Col. L.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)|
|Maude, Angus (Ealing, S.)||Ross, Sir Ronald (Londonderry)||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Maude, John (Exeter)||Russell, R. S.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Maudling R.||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Medlicott, Brig. F.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Mellor, Sir John||Savory, Prof. D. L.||Watkinson, H.|
|Molson, A. H. E.||Scott, Donald||Webbe, Sir Harold|
|Moore, Lt.-Col., Sir Thomas||Shepherd, William||Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)|
|Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||White, Baker (Canterbury)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)||Williams, Charles (Torquay)|
|Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Nabarro, G.||Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Nicholls, Harmar||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)||Wills, G.|
|Nicholson, G.||Soames, Capt. C.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Nield, Basil (Chester)||Spearman, A. C. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Nugent, G. R. H.||Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)||York, C.|
|Nutting, Anthony||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard (N. Fylde)|
|Oakshott, H. D.||Stevens, G. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Odey, G. W.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Mr. Drewe and|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Brigadier Mackeson.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ That this House approves the policy of His Majesty's Government relating to Defence contained in Command Paper No. 8146.