§ Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison
I beg to move, in page 2, line 29, to leave out "orders or."
If hon. Members will have a look at the Clause that it is proposed to amend in the way shown on the Order Paper, they will see that subsection (2, a) really applies to performance of duty. The Orders which are referred to in the subsection are Orders by His Majesty covered under the Royal Pay Warrant—things like pensions and disablement allowances, and so on. So the word "orders" in this subsection becomes quite improper.
As has been explained the rest of these pensions and allowances will be on the broad lines of those payable to the Civil Defence service and will, of course, be part of the subject of the Regulations when they appear. Consequently, the House will have a chance of looking at them. That being so, and the subsection 1450 now applying exclusively to duty, it is better and clearer, and eliminates ambiguity if the words "orders or" were to be taken out. That is the whole purpose of this very simple Amendment.
§ 9.0 a.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
This is another example of the complete inconsistency of the Government in presenting this Bill. [Interruption.] The Solicitor-General interrupted me. Would he please repeat what he said? He is afraid to repeat the interruption. The hon. and learned Gentleman has been promoted to the high position of Solicitor-General. I am on my feet—which is more than can be said of some hon. Members opposite—making a submission to the Committee, and the hon. and learned Gentleman interrupts with some offensive interjection, and when he is challenged is too cowardly to repeat it. I say that he is too cowardly to repeat it. I say: Let him get up and repeat what he said.
§ Mr. Shinwell
How infantile. How jejune. It will be noted that the contributions he has made to our debates have consisted of a few offensive ejaculations. I have never known the hon. and learned Gentleman do much more when he sat on this side. We can dismiss him as of no consequence. Is he going out? No. It is the Patronage Secretary, full of vainglory at having succeeded in moving the Closure recently in a most despicable fashion.
§ Mr. C. S. Taylor
On a point of order. Can we get back to the Clause and leave out these personalities?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Does the hon. Member want me to start on him? I shall have the utmost pleasure in doing so.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Even if I did get back to the business the hon. Member would not understand it. He is quite incapable of understanding these matters.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Here we have representatives of the so-called gentlemanly party, who have insulted and lambasted hon. Members on this side, and are now squealing and howling because they are getting some of it back. I have not yet started. When I do they will begin to understand what Opposition is. It is impossible to insult some of them. If someone spat in their faces they would think it was rain.
§ Mr. Shinwell
We have heard enough about that during the past 18 hours. I have heard offensive observations coming from hon. Members on those back benches, and I am sick and tired of it. We are paying them back in their own coin, and they will get a great deal more before we are finished. Is the hon. and learned Member still indulging in interruptions?
§ Mr. Shinwell
How would he understand that? Is he the judge of what gets lower and lower? I do not know. Perhaps he will ventilate his views. Is he a student of biology, pathology, or paleantology? Presumably paleantology, which is the study of fossils, of which he should have considerable knowledge.
The right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members must have regard to the Amendment and not indulge in personalities.
§ Mr. Shinwell
With great respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, when the hon. and learned Solicitor-General interrupted me with an offensive observation nothing was said from the Chair. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order."] There was no appeal then to the dignity of hon. Gentlemen.
I hope that that accusation of partiality is one which is not going to be made again. I have treated both sides of the Committee with fairness and courtesy.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
I do not know, Mr. Hopkin Morris, whether you are aware of it, but there is a little group of hon. Members sitting opposite below the Gangway continually muttering and nattering, but never making any audible observations.
§ Mr. Hughes
Will you now take note of that group who are now interrupting the right hon. Gentleman?
§ Mr. Shinwell
If anything I have said appears to have offended the Chair I withdraw. I repeat, and with no desire to offend the Chair, when hon. Gentlemen opposite, and sometimes right hon. Gentlemen opposite, indulge in offensive observations about myself and my hon. and right hon. Friends we are entitled to reply. If they do not like it they can lump it. I hope that is clear. [Interruption.] Here again, we have the hon. Member for Eastbourne indulging in observations which he has not the courage to get up and repeat so that everyone can hear.
§ Mr. C. S. Taylor rose—1453
I did not hear the observation. I hope that no more of these observations will be indulged in.
§ Mr. Logan (Liverpool, Scotland)
On a point of order. Is it not within your power if hon. Gentlemen do not follow your Ruling, Mr. Hopkin Morris, for you to order them to withdraw from the Chamber?
I made an appeal to both sides not to indulge in these observations. The Amendment before the Committee is the matter to be discussed and it does not add to the dignity of the Committee to make these observations.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I accept what you say, Mr. Hopkin Morris, and withdraw unreservedly any observation regarded as being offensive to yourself. We have had to endure a great deal of this thing from hon. Gentlemen opposite. We are getting tired of it, and if we seek to reply they must not complain. If, in response to your appeal, hon. Gentlemen will express themselves in more courteous fashion I should be only too willing to respond.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite have been trying to push this Bill as expeditiously as possible during the night. We have objected to the Bill because we are dissatisfied with the conduct of the Government in its presentation and the replies they have given to questions we have asked. The Under-Secretary, in what I have stated is a most unsatisfactory statement, said that the reason for this Amendment was that the Government had discovered that the word "orders" was superfluous. My answer to that is that they ought to have discovered it before they presented the Bill.
It is all very well coming along at this time of the morning and telling us, after all the discussions we have had and all the professions from the other side, that these words, which they seek to delete, are regarded as superfluous. I am not so sure that, without any close investigation of the matter, and in the absence of an adequate statement from the Under-Secretary, whether these words should be deleted or whether they should remain. I am not sure; perhaps some of my hon. Friends behind me, who have given more thought to the subject, will be able to enlighten us.
§ Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison
Surely the right hon. Gentleman has had time to make an examination of this Bill, just the same as we have.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I never saw this Bill before the Government presented it. This Bill was not prepared in the War Office, so far as I am aware. Does the hon. Gentleman say that it was in the War Office when he arrived? I understand from what the hon. Gentleman said that he had not prepared the Bill, and I know, from what my right hon. Friend the previous Secretary of State for War said, that he was not responsible for the preparation of the Bill. Certainly, I was not informed at the Ministry of Defence that such a Bill was in existence at the War Office. My hon. Friend the previous Under-Secretary at the War Office can tell us, if he cares, whether this Bill was in course of preparation when he was there, and when there was an opportunity for the Opposition to inquire into this matter.
I am not quite sure what the Under-Secretary means when he said that we had as much time to investigate the meaning of these words as Members of the Government. It is quite beyond my comprehension, but, as so many things said by the Under-Secretary are also beyond my comprehension, I do not care to discuss it any further.
What is left in this part of the Clause refers to Regulations, and I want to give the Secretary of State a warning right away. If we agree to allow this part of the Clause, in its amended form, to pass, it does not follow from that that we are going to withdraw one iota from what we have said in relation to our position regarding the Regulations in general. When the time comes, we shall have to fight that out with the Government, but, meanwhile, I hope that my hon. Friends behind me will interrogate the Under-Secretary to see if he can illuminate their minds more on this subject than he has done in my case.
§ Mr. Wyatt
First of all, perhaps I could clear up the point whether this Bill was ready before right hon. Gentlemen opposite took over. Certainly, it was not prepared when I left the War Office. I cannot understand the implications of the remark that we had as much time as they had, and the only possible explanation 1455 can be that they did not look at the Bill at all.
§ Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison
I did not say "as much time." I said that they had had time. I carefully did not use the words "as much." I said that they had had time.
§ Mr. Wyatt
The hon. Gentleman, who has made such a remarkable hash of his first performance in the Committee, is now trying to wriggle out of what he is in the recollection of the Committee as having said. He said that we had had as much time to look at the Bill as they had had. He now corrects that by saying that we had time to look at it.
Does not that mean the same thing? If we have had time to look at it, does it not mean that we have had as much time as they have had? On his own feeble correction, he is still landed with having said that we have had as much time to examine the Bill as they have had, which must mean only one of two things—either they suggest that we prepared the Bill before they came into office, which is untrue, or they admit that they did not look at it before they put it down on the Order Paper and presented it to the House.
That I am rather inclined to believe because, as I pointed out on Second Reading, it is an almost exact copy of the original flimsy document which we have had to amplify for the last 18 hours of the Regulations passed in 1940 for the Local Defence Volunteers. I do not suppose they bothered to show this thing to the Under-Secretary of State for War before it was rattled off again and presented to the House. Obviously, they would not have had much assistance from showing it to Ministers concerned. Therefore, it is really the case that we have had as much time as they because, having the replica, they did not examine it, hence these curious Amendments.
I have been trying to understand exactly what this Amendment means. Maybe we shall have some assistance from those in charge of this Bill to help us out. As far as I can see it means thatreferences to being on duty shall be construed as references to being present for the purpose 1456 of performing any duty required in accordance with orders or regulations,but that we now leave out "orders or," so that, presumably, the man does not have to obey orders, but only Regulationsto undergo training or exercise.Does it mean that there will be no company, battalion or platoon orders and that the whole thing is going to be done by Regulation? Are we going to have a Home Guard consisting of a diet of Regulations by Parliament, or what? It really seems quite an innocent alteration. It does not add anything but confusion to the Bill. I think the right hon. Gentleman would do much better to stick to our Amendments and not to offer any of his own at all. Perhaps as we go on he will be able to explain to us the exact significance of this remarkable emendation.
§ Mr. Swingler
I think I can add a certain amount to enlighten my hon. Friends because the Secretary of State for War knows perfectly well that he is in a complete mess as regards this Clause for the reason that, some hours ago, he accepted an Amendment by my hon. Friend the Member for Wandsworth, Central (Mr. Adams) in relation to Clause 1 (2) as a result of which Clause 3 (2, a) no longer makes any sense. It has a large number of superfluous words which refer to a part of Clause 1 (2) which has now been cut out by the acceptance of the right hon. Gentleman of the Amendment to which I have just referred.
This is a very good example of where we get to as the result of the determination of the Leader of the House to press this Bill through, because it has not given the Secretary of State an opportunity, which he ought to have had, to bring forward a proper Amendment in order to reorganise Clause 3 (2, a) and to bring it into accordance with Clause 1 (2). The position now is that the wordsother than a duty to undergo training or exercise,which we cut out by the agreement of the Secretary of State from Clause 1 (2), now remain in this particular Clause, and all that the Minister is able to bring forward is one of his usual bits and pieces of Amendments.
He comes forward and says these words "orders or" were put into the Bill, but it is quite obvious that they 1457 ought to be cut out. He says it is self-evident that these words are not necessary, but he does not make any more sense out of this subsection by doing that because it still does not accord with what it must in order to make the definition of duty. The Secretary of State, of course, knows that perfectly well, but apparently he has not had time to bring forward the kind of Amendment he ought to have brought forward in accordance with the Amendment of my hon. Friend which he accepted when we were discussing Clause 1 (2) in order to make a new definition of duty. He found it possible to cut out practically two lines from Clause 1 (2).
Therefore, now we have a subsection of Clause 3 from which the words, "orders or" have been cut out, but the last sentence of which makes no sense. It does not accord with Clause 1. I challenge the Under-Secretary to explain to us what this definition of being on duty means now in relation to Clause 1. Why has the Secretary of State not brought forward an Amendment not only to cut out "orders or", but to cut out "Other than the duty to undergo training and exercises?"
§ The Solicitor-General
The debate on the earlier part took place so long ago that the hon. Member has forgotten what I said. I do not think that the hon. Member for Wandsworth, Central (Mr. Adams), will have forgotten. I indicated to him that it would involve the acceptance of a subsequent Amendment in Clause 3 (2, a)—an Amendment in the hon. Member's name.
§ Mr. Swingler
I am obliged for the intervention of the Solictor-General who now says that the Government intends to accept another of the Amendments put down by my hon. Friends on this Clause. So that we might make sense of this subsection would it not have been better for the Under-Secretary to have asked whether he could tell the Committee exactly what were going to be the words left in the subsection after certain things had been cut out. Instead of that we have had bits and pieces. First, "orders or"; next, "other than the duty to undergo 1458 training and exercises." Then we are going to discuss what the phrase being on duty means in this Bill.
This is just another example of self-confessed slipshod drafting, and the position of the Government is that it has had to accept a series of Amendments from hon. Members on these benches to make sense of the simplest Clauses.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
The Committee is making some progress towards an understanding of this Amendment, and the Clause of which it forms part. It is true, as my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) pointed out, that the Amendment on the Paper, and to which the Under-Secretary referred, only goes part of the way towards the necessary process of altering this Clause; and we on this side of the Committee had to point out the other half that had to be done.
It is true the Solicitor-General pointed out that the Amendment my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme had in mind was foreshadowed when an earlier Clause was under discussion. That position slipped the memory of my right hon. Friend and it appears to have slipped the memory of the Under-Secretary. My hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme and some others of my hon. Friends, it is true, have criticised the Under-Secretary rather sharply. But when I hear the Solicitor-General describing that process of criticising the Under-Secretary as flogging a dead horse it seems to me more unkind than anything said so far from this side of the Committee.
This Amendment draws our attention to the distinction between Orders and Regulations. If I understand the Bill rightly, we can distinguish an Order from a Regulation quite clearly by the form or instrument through which they are made. An Order means an order of His Majesty under the hand of the Secretary of State. A Royal Warrant is certainly an example of an Order. I am not certain whether an Order under this Bill would be synonymous with a Royal Warrant.
I think a Regulation as used in this Bill is synonymous with an Army Council Instruction. I see the Solicitor-General shakes his head. I was looking at the words in the Bill: 1459… and the reference to regulations is a reference to regulations made by the Army Council;".That is why I ask whether for the purposes of this Bill a Regulation is an Army Council Instruction.
Granted there is that difference in form and in the instrument through which they are made between Orders and Regulations, is there invariably a difference in the content? I think the Under-Secretary suggested an Order would deal with money matters, pensions, grants, disablement allowances and so on, whereas a Regulation normally would deal with a disciplinary matter. Were those merely examples or is that a permanent distinction of form?
Can we say safely that an Order not only means an Order made by His Majesty under the hand of the Secretary of State whereas a Regulation means something done by the Army Council, but also that the content of an Order is financial and the content of a Regulation is invariably organisational or disciplinary? If that is not correct it would be helpful if the Government Front Bench would deny it.
§ Mr. Wigg
If the Solicitor-General is to reply perhaps he will help me in my difficulty. I understand, broadly, that an Order is an Order made by the Secretary of State and is commonly called in the Army an Order made by Royal Warrant. A Regulation is made by order of the Army Council. What about Home Guard Regulations? I presume that some time Regulations for the Home Guard will be produced as they were during the war. I think the Minister called them Regulations, bit they are Orders and they will be authorised by Royal Warrant. I am worried about this and find myself in a complete maze. When is a Regulation an Order and when is an Order not an Order but a Regulation?
I make no claim to any knowledge of the law; if I did, I would be myself in the class of a barrack-room lawyer. But what worries me is this: the A.C.I. is restricted in publication, and although it is available in the Library it is not available to the rank and file. Therefore, a situation might arise where the Secretary 1460 of State will be working behind a smokescreen of his own creation, because the A.C.I.s might not be seen. The situation might arise where Home Guard regulations are circulated on a restricted scale and exist on the tables of the adjutant and C.O. but the ordinary chap, who could be held guilty of an offence, might know nothing about them. I hope the Solicitor-General will help us to understand clearly what is in his mind on this subject, paying particular attention to what happens when the Secretary of State promulgates his Home Guard Regulations.
§ Mr. Adams
I have understood that the explanation given by the Under-Secretary was that he did not know these words were in the Bill, and that if he had known he would have taken them out before the Bill was printed. Therefore, it is now necessary for him to move the Amendment, which is locked up with an undertaking that has been given to his supporters in respect of Clause 3, page 3, line 3, "at the end, to insert subsection (4)." I suggest that an order in this context means an Order in Council or a Royal Warrant which could not be brought to this House and prayed against, whereas Regulations would have to lie upon the Table and be subject to the negative Resolution procedure.
§ The Solicitor-General
The hon. Member for Fulham, East (Mr. M. Stewart) raised a serious point with regard to the operation of Orders and Regulations under this Bill. The Committee will note that in the original draft the phrase was used "orders or regulations" in different parts and the phrase was defined. The intention was that all matters dealing, broadly with the internal administration of the Home Guard and, of course, allowances, would be dealt with by Regulation, and that the Order of His Majesty, signified under the hand of a Secretary of State, was the appropriate method for making provision for pension and other grants in respect of death or disablement.
Therefore, this is simply a drafting Amendment to make it absolutely clear that Regulations will be used for prescribing the duties of the Home Guard, as well as Regulations dealing with all other matters of internal administration, whereas the Order referred to in subsection (3) in relation to which there is a drafting Amendment on the Order Paper, 1461 is the instrument which would be used with regard to pensions and other grants in respect of death or disablement. I hope I have made that clear to hon. Gentlemen opposite because there is nothing very much I can add to what is purely a drafting Amendment.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Suppose a man, in the course of his duty, has a fall, breaks a leg, and tears his trousers. If I understand this rightly, in so far as he has broken a leg and is disabled, he would be dealt with in Orders. In so far as the tearing of his trousers is concerned, this being provided for by the 1s. 0d. a week mentioned previously, that would be dealt with by Regulation. I think I have interpreted that correctly, but is it not rather a curious state of affairs?
§ The Solicitor-General
The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that, in relation to pensions and grants in respect of death or disablement in the Regular Forces, these matters are dealt with by Royal Warrant and that other matters are dealt with by Regulation. This Bill follows that precedent with which the hon. Gentleman must be very familiar.
§ The Solicitor-General
I am sorry I did not answer the hon. Gentleman's question. He did ask whether the Regulations similar to the Regulations issued last time, under the Home Guard, would be re-issued this time, and whether they could be re-issued under subsection (3) of Section 3 of the Regulations made by the Army Council. The answer is that obviously Regulations affecting the Home Guard, in whatever form they are published, and this would be a matter of administration, can be made under that subsection.
§ The Solicitor-General
The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that the old Regulations for the Home Guard were issued under the Defence Regulations. Under this Bill, the regulations for the internal administration of the Home Guard will be made by the Army Council. The Bill, with this Amendment, is so drawn that these matters will be dealt with by Regulation, by the Army Council.
§ Mr. R. E. Winterbottom (Sheffield, Brightside)
I want to ask how the Solicitor-General reconciles the use of the words, "orders or regulations," in Clause 1, page 2, line 2, with the proposal to delete the words, "orders or," in Clause 3, as proposed by the Secretary of State, and again in the Short Title, Interpretatation, and Commencement Clause, in subsection (3), page 2, line 40. How does he explain the words, "orders or regulations," differing in each case in the three illustrations?
§ The Solicitor-General
If I dealt with that, I should have some difficulty in keeping in order, because the last question which the hon Member asked deals with an Amendment which is on the Paper and which we will come to. With regard to his question—that is, the deletion of "orders or", the Amendment which is now under discussion—I would point out that it is a purely drafting Amendment, the effect of which is to secure that only Regulations, and not Orders, can lay down what duties will be required.
There has been a good deal of discussion on the 1463 Amendment. Perhaps the Committee can come to a conclusion on this small point.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
I should like to put forward for consideration by the Solicitor-General a suggestion which, I hope, may commend itself to him and will, I think, be for the convenience of the Committee. As there is likely—I begin to feel a little more optimistic —now to be some interval between the Committee and Report stages of the Bill, would it not be for the convenience of Members if the Amendment was withdrawn, with an assurance being given that the matter would be the subject of a further considered Amendment on the Report stage?
That would, I believe, be for the convenience of Members on all sides. It would not prejudice the Solicitor-General. It would involve no loss of face on the part of the Secretary of State for War or of the Under-Secretary. It would be helpful at the stage we have now reached, mentally and physically, if this suggestion received the sympathetic consideration of the Government Front Bench.
§ Mr. Hale
I am very sorry indeed, Mr. Hopkin Morris, to intervene in a discussion the whole of which I have not heard. I am most reluctant to do so, but it seems to me—after all, this is the point I have tried to pursue throughout the debate—that the Amendment really limits the operation of subsection (2, a) in a way which is making this a declaratory law, and a declaratory military law.
Let us try to visualise the sort of Regulations that will be made. I must again protest that every single sentence we have discussed on the Bill is a sentence on which we are given no information and in which we have no knowledge, and that we ought to know what we are discussing. We are discussing—[Laughter.] The Secretary of State for War should not laugh about this, because when the present occupants of the benches opposite were over on this side of the House we had protest after protest about delegated legislation.
Never in the whole history of Parliament has there been produced a Bill which involves so much and so wide delegated legislation, and about which we 1464 have so little information, as the Bill we are now discussing. Even had the party now on this side, when in office, produced so monstrous a Bill as this, our Ministers might have been prepared to answer questions about it, to try to give some information, and to try to clarify this extraordinary difficulty.
What are we now asked to say? We are asked to say that a Home Guard is on duty and, therefore, is subject to military law and liable to come up for court-martial when he is on duty, in accordance with the Regulations.
§ Mr. Hale
No. This is a point, I know, that my hon and learned Friend made on Clause 1, and it may well be that he is right, but we are told by the Solicitor-General that he is wrong. When the Solicitor-General finds out that his interpretation is incorrect, I have not the slightest doubt that we, on the Report stage, shall have an Amendment, to which we cannot table an Amendment because it would be too late, to clear up that point. In other words, we shall probably have an Amendment on the Report stage to say that in the Bill the word "and" means "or." But that is a technical point, and I am not trying to talk about technical points now. I am taking matters of very grave and serious importance.
What is it that we are now being asked to declare? We are being asked to declare that a Home Guard is on duty when he is attending a parade, in accordance with Regulations to be made. But we have not a clue to what the Regulations will be. All we know is that they will not be the same for England and for the Isle of Man; but, apart from that, we have no information of any kind.
With very great respect anybody who looks at this Clause as it had been drawn, "orders or regulations," will see that whatever Regulations may be made, one thing is abundantly obvious; these Regulations must provide for some sort of training, for some sort of tuition, for some sort of parades to be attended. As I understand it, however the Regulations may be formed under Clause 1, it will mean every time a Home Guard does 1465 anything provided for in the Regulations, he will be on duty and liable to the penalties of military law.
Let us try to think of the sort of things that would be laid down, because we can only go on experience and knowledge of the Home Guard in years gone by. Normally, a good deal of time is spent in discussion. In the villages that discussion would normally take place in the bar parlour of a public house, or in the smoke room upstairs—and very appropriate, too. I am not saying that as criticism. I myself have spent some time in the Civil Service.
§ Mr. Hale
I will come to the actual facts of the situation. It is quite important. Is some Home Guard to be subjected to, and liable to court-martial when listening to lectures in a smoke room of a local public house, or when he is receiving a visiting officer to give general instructions as to manoeuvres?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
Will the Solicitor-General expound upon the law in the various Regulations to various platoons up and down the country?
§ Mr. Hale
Unfortunately, there is no Regulation, such as there is for homicide, which would enable a man to plead justifiable dumb insolence arising out of the nature of the lecture being given. May I give one small example of the sort of thing that happens. When I joined the Forces in 1939, my chauffeur drove me over because at that time my driving licence was suspended. He chose to join the Forces with me.
This is very interesting, but the Amendment on the Paper is to delete the words "orders or."
§ Mr. Hale
I am much obliged. I am sorry if I have not made myself clear. We are now saying that military law will be provided by Regulation only. The point is that, in the Home Guard we do get the situation in which the employee is an officer commanding, and the employer is the private soldier, and for one hour of the week the situation is such that the chauffeur can impose military law upon his employer, while for 23 hours a day—or seven times that a week—that 1466 situation is reversed. I do not know whether my calculation is correct, but I will take it for the moment as a hypothesis.
On 3rd September, 1939, my chauffeur decided to join with me, and it was unfortunate that the military authorities took the salve view of my abilities as my colleagues on the Front Bench. I got no promotion, but my chauffeur did. For a time there was a difficult situation. For most hours of the day I was under his orders, but when we went home—and we got a fair amount of leave in the early days—the situation tended to be reversed. That is a situation which is almost constant and static in the Home Guard. It is monstrous to suggest that we are to have a situation in which the squire can be put on a court-martial charge by the chauffeur during one hour a week, and the squire can sack the chauffeur during the remainder of the week. It is an impossible situation.
We are most anxious to assist. We have already made many improvements. But regulations which have to apply to a male and a female Force require a little more consideration, and should have more explanation than we have been given in this debate. I ask him to consider this matter seriously. The whole question of introducing military law in peace-time is becoming more acute as we go on and see the Amendments put forward by the other side.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The Under-Secretary gave us four or five sentences which showed that he had not got to the bottom of this issue and did not understand what it was all about. He made no reference to the Amendments which would have to follow, or of what the hon. Member for Wandsworth, Central (Mr. Adams), had done earlier, and then suggested that we had had as much time as he had to consider this Amendment, and therefore we should be in as good a position as he was to say what we thought it should be. He did correct that later, and said we had not had the same opportunity as he had, but that we had had the time. What the difference is between time and opportunity I am not clear. His remarks also led to the belief that this Bill was drafted by the Opposition when we were in power.
§ Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison indicated dissent.1467
§ Mr. Callaghan
He did not? I am glad to have that assurance. This Bill has nothing to do with the late Government. Our efforts have only come in at the Committee stage. It is important that the Under-Secretary should not leave the Committee with any impression that we shared in the responsibility for the Bill.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am glad to have that assurance. The hon. Gentleman will readily understand why we took exception to his remarks.
§ Mr. Hutchison
I think I said, and I intended to say, that hon. Members opposite had had time to study this as we had, and therefore could come to their own conclusions.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The general point I wanted to make was that we have had less time on an important Bill like this than I can remember in six and a half years in the House. We had this Bill four Parliamentay days before the Second Reading. We met on the morning after the Second Reading to consider what Amendments should be put down, and we put most of them in on the Friday.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am not too sure myself, but it is important if the Under-Secretary says there is an equality of time that I should have the same opportunity of stating why we have not had that equality of time. Having heard the explanation by the Secretary of State for War on the Thursday, we met within 12 hours to consider what Amendments we should put down.
I think we can claim a fair amount of credit that, within 12 hours, as a result of two hours' detailed investigation by some of my hon. Friends we put down Amendments that have found acceptance on the other side of the Committee. I say to the Secretary of State that this is another example of the shoddy—that is not too harsh a term—of the way that
§ this Bill has been rushed that he should come forward with this Amendment now.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The Solicitor-General says that it is a drafting Amendment. He has said it each time he has got up. The Under-Secretary did not make it sound as if it was. He retired early from the battle, but ought to be grateful to his hon. and learned Friend for helping him to explain. The way in which he gave the explanation did not lead me to think it was so. But I am not so sure that it is a drafting Amendment when the whole of the circumstances surrounding it are considered.
We are in this difficulty. We are meeting now nearly at 10 a.m., having discussed these matters through the night. Most of us seem fresh and can think clearly, but we are meeting at this time because the Government are not prepared to give one or two more days of Parliamentary time to consider these matters properly. The Government cannot escape their responsibilities for the situation that has arisen. I think they will feel, when they look back on this episode of Parliamentary history, that they have tried to jump their fences too quickly and rush things too fast.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I fully follow that point. I did not mean to. Our Amendments are effecting considerable improvements to the Bill and, therefore, I feel that we can claim our night's work has not been in vain, and in the time that lies ahead we can toil as profitably.
§ Mr. Buchan-Hepburn rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 174; Noes, 116.1471
|Division No. 19.]||AYES||10.0 a.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Arbuthnot, John||Banks, Col. C.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Barber, A. P. L.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)||Barlow, Sir John|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Astor, Hon. W. W. (Bucks, Wyeombe)||Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Baldwin, A. E.||Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W||Pitman, I J.|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Holland Martin, C. J.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Birch, Nigel||Hope, Lord John||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Hopkinson, Henry||Redmayne, M.|
|Black, C. W.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Remnant, Hon. P|
|Bossom, A. C||Horobin, I. M||Roberts, Maj. Peter (Heeley)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Hurd, A. R.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Bullard, D. G.||Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Ropner, Col. L|
|Butcher, H. W.||Hutohison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)||Russell, R. S.|
|Carson, Hon. E||Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Cary, Sir R.||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)|
|Channon, H.||Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)||Scott, R. Donald|
|Clarke, Col Ralph (East Grinstead)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Kaberry, D.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Cole, N. J.||Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Colegate, W. A.||Lambert, Hon. C||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lambton, Viscount||Soamas, Capt. C.|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Langford-Holt, J. A||Spearman, A. C. M|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Speir, R. M.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)|
|Crouoh, R. F.||Linstead, H. N.||Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)|
|Crowder, John E. (Finchley)||Loekwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)||Stevens, G. P.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)|
|Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|De la Bère, R.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Storey, S.|
|Deedes, W. F||McKibbin, A. J.||Summers, G. S.|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W)||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Donner, P. W.||MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Drewe, C||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)||Thormon-Kemsley, Col. C. N.|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.||Tilney, John|
|Duthie, W. S.||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Finlay, G. B.||Maude, Angus||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr S. L. C.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Medlicott, Brig. F.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Fort, R.||Mellor, Sir John||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)|
|Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Molson, A. H. E.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Godber, J. B.||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Nicholson, G.||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Nield, Basil (Chester)||Wellwood, W.|
|Gower, H. R.||Oakshott, H. D.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Harrison. Lt.-Col. J. H. (Eye)||Ormsby-Gore, Han. W. D.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Wills, G.|
|Hay, John||Partridge, E.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Heald, Sir Lionel||Peyton, J. W. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Heath, Edward||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Mr. Studholme and Mr. Vosper.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)|
|Adams, Richard||Delargy, H. J.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Albu, A. H.||Dodds, N. N.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Driberg, T. E. N.||Jeger, George (Goole)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Edwards, Rt. Hon Ness (Caerphilly)||Jones, David (Hartlepool)|
|Baird, J.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)|
|Bartley, P.||Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||King, Dr. H. M.|
|Bence, C. R.||Fernyhough, E.||Kinley, J.|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Field, Capt. W. J.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Beswick, F.||Fienburgh, W.||Lewis, Arthur|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Finch, H. J.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Blackburn, F.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Logan, D. G.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Boardman, H.||Grey, C. F.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Bowden, H. W.||Griffiths, David (Rather Valley)||Manuel, A. C.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Messer, F.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Hamilton, W. W.||Monslow, W.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Hannan, W.||Moody, A. S.|
|Chapman, W. D.||Hayman, F. H.||Mort, D. L.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Herbison, Miss M.||Murray, J. D.|
|Clunie, J.||Holman, P.||Nally, W.|
|Collick, P. H.||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Orbach, M.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Oswald, T.|
|Parker, J.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||West, D. G.|
|Peart, T. F.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John|
|Plummer, Sir Leslie||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)||Slater, J.||Wire, G. E. C.|
|Proctor, W. T.||Steele, T.||Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)|
|Pryde, D. J.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)|
|Rhodes, H.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||Swingler, S. T.||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Sylvester, G. O.||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Taylor, Robert (Morpeth)|
|Schofield, S. (Barnsley)||Thomas, David (Aberdare)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)||Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Wilkins.|
|Short, E. W.||Watkins, T. E.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Question put accordingly.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Crookshank rose—
§ Mr. Hugh Delargy (Thurrock)
On a point of order. I quite distinctly heard you, Mr. Hopkin Morris, call my hon. Friend the Member for Wandsworth, Central (Mr. Adams). I did not hear you call the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House. Why, therefore, is he standing?
§ Mr. Crookshank
Some little time ago the right hon. Gentleman opposite asked me how long we were going to sit and what proposals I could make to the Committee. I said at that time that I thought we could make a little further progress with the Bill before we reported Progress and asked leave to sit again. I promised to consider the suggestions he made and to see what would be the result on our programme this week if we rose now instead of finishing the Committee stage of the Bill. I am now prepared to make to the Committee certain proposals about the Business.
If we rose now and concluded this Sitting, then for this afternoon's Sitting we would have to ask for the exemption from the Standing Order and the suspension of the 10 o'clock Rule in order to get through the programme. The first 1472 item, Colonel Clifton Brown's Bill, Committee, is formal. Then there is the Public Works Loan Bill, which is urgent, the Japanese Treaty of Peace Bill [Money] and Report thereon, and the Japanese Treaty of Peace Bill, Committee, both of which, in view of the long debate we have already had, will probably be accepted without much discussion, and then we should come on to this Bill and complete the Committee stage followed by the Report of Supply and the Ways and Means Report of 21st November.
That would finish the Committee stage at the Wednesday sitting, and, in accordance with the idea thrown out by the right hon. Gentleman, I am sure that my right hon. Friend would see whether during the course of the debate he could get over the difficulty of how hon. Members are to see the proposed Government Amendments before they appear on the Paper. In view of what I am suggesting I hope that hon. Members opposite will fall in with the suggestion which their right hon. Friend has made.
Tomorrow the business is the Second Reading of the Under-Secretaries Bill, followed by the Report stage and Third Reading of this Bill, which will be interrupted at seven o'clock if necessary for the Christmas food supplies debate. We are suspending the rule as a precaution, and if this Bill is not carried before the food debate we will come back to it after that debate. I recognise that we have had a long night. We have made progress. I am sure that hon. Members will also recognise that they have raised most of the points in which, so far, they have been interested.
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."
§ Mr. Shinwell
While the proposition is not entirely satisfactory from the point of view of hon. Members on this side of the Committee, it seems to leave us with no 1473 alternative. The Government have sufficient majority to carry the Motion to report progress. It would be wise, in those circumstances, and in view of the length of our deliberations on part of the Committee stage of this Bill, to devise some compromise. I would have hoped that it would have been possible to arrange business for tonight so as to avoid another late Sitting. There was a late Sitting the night before last, and, although hon. Members on this side of the Committee appear to be quite fresh, I doubt whether they would care to occupy themselves with another late Sitting tonight.
It remains largely with us to decide how the business shall be conducted. If we persist in arguing the Amendments and new Clauses at length it may lead to a somewhat late Sitting. I think we ought to accept this proposal and see how we get on. If we should find tonight that we have not proceeded far in dealing with Amendments and new Clauses we may require to make a further submission to the Leader of the House. I understand that it was the Government's intention to get the Committee stage at this Sitting, but it was not anticipated that the Sitting would be prolonged into the early hours of the morning. Indeed, in two or three hours time we shall be into the afternoon. That was, not intended by the Government.
We thought it necessary in all the circumstances—and I hope I will not convey any offence at this time—that because of the somewhat unsatisfactory replies to the interrogations that came from this side of the Committee we were compelled to argue some of these matters at greater length. But it was intended to complete the Committee stage. That was the intention of the Government. As I understand it, the Government also hoped to complete the Report stage in the course of the day.
The Government have resigned from that and have decided that the Report stage and Third Reading should be taken tomorrow because it enables hon. Members on both side of the Committee to put Amendments to the Report stage on the Order Paper. To that extent that is an advantage we derive from this new arrangement. It was what we asked for in the first instance, and to that extent we have gained the victory, if the right 1474 hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House will permit me to say so.
I have thought about this, and I have taken counsel in the matter, and I have come to the conclusion that I must advise my hon. and right hon. Friends to accept this proposal because there does not seem to me to be any suitable alternative. We could go on, of course. Subject to the Ruling of the Chair we could debate the Motion to report Progress. That might occupy another hour or so but I can hardly believe that is to the advantage of hon. Members. It seems to me, in all the circumstances, that it would be better to accept this proposal.
I should like to say this, however. I have already referred to the undoubted fact that some of the answers to questions put and statements made by my hon. Friends have not been altogether satisfactory. I hope there has now been enough time to enable the Secretary of State for War and his Under-Secretary and the Law Officers to so devise some of the Amendments for the Report stage as to fit in with some of the views expressed on this side of the Committee in the course of the Committee stage.
As we know, the Secretary of State for War was responsive to some of the suggestions made from this side of the Committee and agreed to incorporate them on the Report stage. He also agreed there would be some other matters worthy of consideration on the Report stage. I hope we shall be satisfied when we come to that part of the discussion on the Bill.
Speaking now for myself, in the course of a 20 hours debate until the early hours of the morning 'it is possible for one's temper to be somewhat frayed and, as we know, in the course of our debates occasionally hard words are said on both sides of the Committee. The most offensive observations of all are those that one does not hear but one can guess at. I must confess, again speaking for myself, that I am very sensitive to those observations and the impressions I derive from looking at hon. Members and right hon. Gentlemen opposite opening their cavities. I presume something is emerging from those cavities and it is offensive.
I am speaking for myself, and certainly not for any of my hon. Friends and right hon. Friends who have been particularly respectful to hon. Members opposite. I 1475 have occasionally said things which, on reflection, perhaps I ought not to have said—not that I wish to apologise, but after all we want to get the business through and to satisfy ourselves we are getting a fair and square deal. I regret that perhaps some of my observations might have given offence to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. That certainly was not my intention.
I advise my hon. Friends to accept this proposal. Let us see how we get on later tonight. If we are dissatisfied with the way things are going we may require to make further submissions to the Leader of the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.