HC Deb 17 February 1955 vol 537 cc692-709

(1) A person who enlisted when he was under the age of eighteen years for a term ending with the expiration of a period beginning with the day on which he attains that age may, within the period of three months beginning with that day, or, if he is then performing his service outside the United Kingdom, within the period of three months beginning with the date on which he next begins to per form his service within the United Kingdom, apply in the prescribed manner to a tribunal claiming—

  1. (a) that he conscientiously objects toper forming military service, or
  2. (b) that he conscientiously objects to performing combatant duties.

(2) The tribunal, if satisfied upon an application duly made under this section that the applicant has established that he has such an objection as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of the last foregoing subsection, shall certify accordingly, specifying the claim which has been established.—[Mr. J. Hudson.]

Brought up and read the First time.

Mr. James Hudson (Ealing, North)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

I have waited throughout the long two days of these discussions, and kept out of other discussions in which I was interested, in order to have the opportunity of raising this matter, as I promised to do during the Second Reading debate.

I understand that you, Sir Charles, would desire me to discuss this Clause together with the other Clauses on the Order Paper in my name, although I shall have to wait for some Ruling about which are in order. These Clauses are intended to carry out the will expressed in the resolution accepted by the Select Committee in theory, if not in practice. It agreed that there should be some such resolution as is worked out in these Clauses, and that it should be put before the House, but it thought that the matter could be better dealt with by being left to the War Office for an administrative decision on what should be done with conscientious objectors, or boys who become conscientious objectors during their life as soldiers.

The Select Committee's report purported to provide machinery by which a soldier who had enlisted as a boy could, on reaching the age of 18, have the right to apply for a discharge on grounds of conscientious objection. The argument put to the Committee, and which I understand the War Office still insist upon, is that such cases are so few that we need not trouble about them other than by giving the sort of promise which has been made about administrative action.

The two cases referred to on Second Reading turned out to be cases in the Navy, although it is still an issue with us, because the Navy gave a promise to the Select Committee that they would deal with the matter in the same way as is promised by the Army. The fact that the Navy did not do so is an indication that what is done by a great Service Department cannot be left to vague promises about administrative action. If the War Office acts anything like as badly as the Navy, there is not much in the promise which has been made. One of the naval cases has been dealt with by an arrangement which compelled the parents to buy out a boy who found himself a conscientious objector at the age of 18. I consider that to be no way out of the difficulty at all.

We now have the case of James Ellis; I have given his address and the facts regarding him. His case is still unsettled. He has been before his commanding officer, and there was some misunderstanding, because it was thought that the commanding officer had said something to him about appearing before a court-martial when he was 18. I have seen a letter from the commanding officer denying that he said any such thing, and I have also heard from the boy that his commanding officer did not say that to him. At no time has the boy made that accusation against the commanding officer.

his boy had come to the conclusion that on conscientious grounds he ought not to be in the Army. I have here a letter from his mother which indicates the sort of difficulty that I believe will grow when these cases increase, as they are bound to do. The mother says that the boy James"— she speaks of him in her letter as "James"— has no father, and when he wanted to join the Army Apprentices School I had to face a very difficult decision—stick to what I knew was right, impose my will upon him and so possibly turn him away from me, or recognise his right to individual choice, stifle my con- science and give my consent. Rightly or wrongly, I chose the latter course. Because of what was my own weakness I feel largely responsible for the situation in which my son now finds himself. He is not yet 17 and the thought that he may have to spend another 10 years as an unwilling soldier appalls me. Well, it appalls me, too, and I hope it appalls every hon. Member that it is possible for such a thing to happen. It may not happen if the War Office promise is carried out that this matter will be dealt with by administrative action. Whether administrative action would lead to the boy's discharge or to the granting of a hearing by a tribunal, I do not know.

10.30 p.m.

But my case, and the case made out by the Committee, as embodied in the suggested Clauses which I have put down, is that the War Office should not be left to decide this issue. The War Office is not an appropriate authority to decide it. In other respects, in connection with such matters, Parliament has decided that military men should be excluded when decisions are taken, as, for example, in the tribunals to which military representatives were once appointed by the War Office and in which, certainly in the First World War, they very much influenced the tribunals in the decisions which they took. The War Office representatives are now entirely eliminated and these questions are a matter for civilian decision.

My Clauses seek to provide, by legislative action in the Army Act, that the young soldier who develops a conscientious objection shall not have his case dealt with by the War Office or the military but shall be given the same facilities as other men who, at 18 years of age, if they wish to appeal on grounds of conscience, can put their case to a tribunal. I should have thought that, with all the trouble it has experienced in the past about conscientious objection, the War Office more than anyone would have been glad to get out of its difficulties in that way.

It is not as though the tribunals were at all slow and careless in the way in which they deal with the matter. That has never been so from the beginning of the use of tribunals. I have with me a book which was written by a distinguished Quaker, John William Graham, about what happened in tribunals and then what happened afterwards in the War Office about conscientious objectors in the First World War. Unfortunately it it too late for me to read extracts from the book, but, in what he describes as a lamentable chapter, he tells of the disgraceful things which happened. Everybody now feels it on his conscience that they were disgraceful things. We do not want them to happen again. We do not want the War Office to have the trouble of having to make decisions which might make it possible for such things to happen again.

In what way do I assume that there may be other cases for the War Office to deal with, such as the case I have mentioned? The boys who start their service at the age of 15 or 15½very often come from orphanages, and sometimes from approved schools; sometimes they have a genuine desire to get a musical education in an Army band with the hope, perhaps, of reaching the Kneller musical institute. That is certainly a very laudable ambition for musical boys. They hope to get into contact with music and find an opportunity in life, but they join before they have had a chance to consider all that may be involved and what they will have to do as soldiers. Later they discover. The drills in which they must take part, the things they hear, the preparations that are made, all bring home to them that soldiering means something more than the band or the other training they get in their special apprenticeship courses. They go through a turmoil of difficulty which leads them ultimately to the decision that, on conscientious grounds, they cannot continue their service.

I appeal particularly to hon. Members of my own party to stand firmly by the boy's right, on his coming to such a decision to a proper presentation of his case before a proper tribunal. I appeal not only to my own colleagues but to hon. Members opposite. I have to admit that in the fight there was in this House to safeguard the right of appeal by conscientious objectors, perhaps the most brilliant speech of all came from a Conservative Member, Lord Hugh Cecil.

He spoke of the conflict between the law of the land and the higher law, and said that when that higher law called on a man to make a decision that higher law should be paramount. He used the remarkable words that the duty of the Christian stood before even the duty of an Englishman. That was Lord Hugh Cecil's view, and it was the view then of many Conservatives.

I ask only that the right of appeal should be retained in the case of those who join at 15 and, as men of 18, make their decision as to continuance of their life in the Army. The cases would be few, but such a decision by this House would relieve the distress and anxiety of a large section of the public.

I have received letters from members of the Society of Friends, and by the central body of that Society have approached me officially, begging that this matter should be dealt with by law. I received a letter yesterday from the Rev. Edward Rodgers, Secretary of the Department of Christian Citizenship of the Methodist Church. I shall not read it all, but he says: Referring to the question of the provision of machinery by which enlisted boys could, on reaching the age of 18 have the right to apply for discharge on the grounds of conscientious objection, we should like you to !:now that you have our support in pressing this point. The numbers affected may be small indeed but the point of principle is a big one.

The Committee would do well to take account of the earnest and sincere views of people in the Churches; the House would do well to maintain the provisions that have been made, which are such a credit to the House, in dealing with a difficult matter. I think that the War Office, if I can persuade the Committee now to back me up in the appeal which I make, would be thankful for having been saved from a very difficult and thankless task.

It is a task which the War Office is not fitted to perform. It is outside the primary job of the War Office of organising an armed force for victory in war which seems to me to interfere with the views of men who subscribe to what they consider to be a higher law and who, in obedience to that law, find themselves compelled to take a line which the State cannot, by force, impose upon them.

Mr. Head

I wonder if it might be for the convenience of the Committee if I say to the hon. Member for Ealing, North (Mr. J. Hudson) that I fully appreciate the sincerity of his views, and how strongly he holds them, on the matter of conscientious objection. This matter was considered by the Select Committee, and he must be aware, in view of the new Clauses which he has tabled, of the machinery which is necessary to deal with these cases concerning boys. We have also been into the subject in the War Office, and again, I think that he knows that there is this single case; although, as he correctly states, I think, there were two cases in the Navy.

What are the alternatives before me? I want at once to assure the hon. Member that we want to do the right thing by the conscientious objector, and I believe he will agree that the tribunals have given a fair deal to these objectors among the National Service men. We want to carry that attitude on through the whole structure of the Army; we do not want to be obstructive. We have had this one case which the hon. Gentleman has brought forward, but it is the only one we have had.

As to the alternatives, I could, first, introduce into the Bill all these new proposed new Clauses, and that would entail quite complicated legislation which is contained only in the National Service Act at present, and I could also by doing so, disregard the advice of the Select Committee. Secondly, I could give a firm undertaking in the matter of administration when we get an isolated case in respect of one of these boys.

Hon. Members opposite may feel that if a boy is a conscientious objector and puts his case forward within what might by some people be called the unsympathetic climate of the Army, such a boy would not get a square deal. If they hold that opinion, I cannot alter it. They may think that generals and members of the Army Council are most unsympathetic and unresponsive towards anybody who has a conscientious objection; but that is not true.

I have thought over what I can do in this matter between introducing this quite enormous machinery into the Bill—and, I emphasise again, against the advice of the Select Committee—and that the Army and the generals should give a hearing to these boys, which the hon. Gentleman fears would be unsympathetic. It would not be, but that is what the hon. Gentleman says. So I give, here and now, the undertaking that whenever a boy puts forward a case such as the hon. Gentleman has in mind, that case shall go, not to the Army Council, but to a Minister on the Army Council. There will be very few of them. I do not want to be critical of the generals, but that does provide for the case to come before a civilian. If the boy is not satisfied, constituents would be able to bring the case to the House of Commons, and the Minister personally would be responsible for the case and answerable to the House.

Without the enormous paraphernalia of legislation, and without wanting to disregard the hon. Gentleman's understandable anxieties, that is, quite frankly, as far as I can go to meet him, and I very much hope that he will accept what is meant to be as good an alternative as I can give.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Henry Usborne (Birmingham, Yardley)

I am sure that this side of the Committee will be delighted to have heard what the Secretary of State has just said, and there may be a great deal in it. This is the first time we have heard that idea and, speaking for myself, I do not think we can evaluate its importance immediately.

I have often wondered, however, and particularly when the right hon. Gentleman was speaking, whether the Committee and he fully realise the depth of feeling that certain people have on this subject. It is essential that boys in the Services should, if they develop a conscientious objection before the age of 18, be treated in identically the same fashion as another man who is called up for National Service. It seems to me very important that the treatment should be the same.

I am aware that if a Service man exercises his right, and the procedure as now described is adopted, ultimately his case reaches a civilian—in other words, the Minister. But quite obviously it has to go through the military machine, and there is always the sneaking feeling that it will be dealt with by a committee of colonels or that it will be dealt with in some way different from the conscientious objection of a brother of that man who had not been called up.

At this late hour, I do not want to keep the Committee one minute longer than is necessary, but I do not think that the people in my constituency who have urged me so passionately to voice their feelings will be entirely satisfied with what we have heard. I think they will want us to press this matter, if we possi- bly can, to the conclusion that the treatment should be on a basis of exact equality, whether the boy joined the Services at the age of 14 or whether he be called up for National Service at the age of 18. I do not want, without further thought, to press the matter immediately, but we ought to hear a little more about this proposal by the Secretary of State before we are able to make up our minds.

Mr. Frederick Willey (Sunderland, North)

From my own experience, I do not think that one could get more sympathetic treatment and consideration than one gets from the Services.

Mr. Donald Chapman (Birmingham, Northfield)


Mr. Willey

That is my experience, and perhaps I may refer briefly to two cases.

I remember a court-martial in which we considered for a long time what was the best step to take. Everyone was most sympathetic, and the court was embarrassed. I remember two cases in which administrative action was taken. Again, everyone in the Services was most sympathetic.

Mr. Ellis Smith

What was the rank of the men?

Mr. Willey

One was an officer, the other a ranker.

The difficulty that I had was with the conscientious objector. In both cases, I think, the genuine, sincerely developed conscientious objection was recognised, but the conscientious objector did not wish to be released by a backstairs method from the obligation which he had undertaken. This difficulty can arise where a youngster goes into the Army and develops a strong conscientious objection. There is, then, a person who is in a peculiar difficulty.

I can anticipate cases arising where the conscientious objector himself would not wish to take advantage of this machinery, and would wish his conscientious objection to be tested in the ordinary way, by a tribunal, like the case of anyone else. When it is a question of conscience we are entitled to legislate for individual cases, even though there be only a small number of them. I feel that such members of the Services as may develop a conscientious objection would prefer to appear openly before a tribunal, express their conscience, and accept the decision of the tribunal, rather than have the matter settled by the administrative method.

Mr. Chapman

We should not accept the Minister's kind offer to meet us half way. The real danger of these cases does not come in times of peace, and in times of settled conditions and unhurried activitity in the War Office. The great danger that will arise in the kind of cases which my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. J. Hudson) has been quoting will be in times when the country is near war or in war.

I cannot believe that it will be the case when we have a period of great national emergency, or with a war actually having started, that we can be sure that an undertaking given by the Minister on the Floor of the Committee, and not contained in any specific Army code or in an Act of Parliament, will be understood and carried out amidst the strain, anxiety and difficulties of such a time. It would be at that time that the real test of the Minister's promise would come.

We should not take the risk that, in those circumstances, the emergency would prevent a boy from having the kind of treatment which the Minister envisages. It is because of that period when the greatest test of the Minister's promise would come, and when the promise would be almost incapable of being fulfilled unless it was contained in an Act of Parliament, that we should press the new Clause on the Minister.

The Minister gave his case away when we discussed Clause 226. His main case against my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) was that this Government could not bind their successors. How, therefore, can the Minister claim to tell us on this new Clause that he can now speak on behalf of all his successors in the War Office? The promise which the right hon. Gentleman is giving to the Committee would have to be honoured by a Minister who might replace him at any moment, and who might not care to honour it in a time of war, and when half a dozen Ministers might replace one another quite quickly. In view of what the right hon. Gentleman said earlier today about binding his successor, I do not know what his promise amounts to. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot say, on Clause 226, that he cannot bind his successor and now claim on the new Clause that he can do so.

I should like to see examined the possibility of these matters being dealt with by the Minister or the Army Council, followed by the possibility of a tribunal hearing the man's case if the Minister refused to accept his conscientious objection. When one is dealing with young lads of 18 it is probably much better for the Army administratively to say, "Perhaps it is best to accept this man's protestations and discharge him. He will not be a very useful soldier in these circumstances, and perhaps we can settle it quite quickly".

If it is a good thing to keep in the Bill a provision that the Minister should deal with this matter, we must provide in the Bill power for the boy himself, on non-acceptance of his objection by the Minister, to appeal to a tribunal. I think that would satisfy my hon. Friend, and it would certainly satisfy me. I also think that it would go some way to meet the right hon. Gentleman's point of view, which is that it would be best for as many as possible of these cases to be settled amicably, by discharge, through the action of himself or the Army Council. I hope, first, that my hon. Friends will not give way—because it is not at times like this that the matter will be decided—and I hope the Minister will perhaps meet us by suggesting the kind of compromise which I have put forward, perhaps on the Report stage of the Bill.

Mr. Simmons

I hope that my hon. Friends will appreciate the Minister's sincerity in making this offer tonight, even if we are compelled to say it does not go far enough. The very fact that we can have this quiet and considered debate on this subject is a tribute to the way in which the idea of recognising conscientious objection has made progress in this country.

We are not discussing now the principle of conscientious objection. That is accepted, apparently, on both sides of the Committee. We are discussing the machinery for allowing conscientious objection to be upheld under certain circumstances. Already the man called up for National Service has the right to go before a tribunal to defend his conscientious objection to military service.

We are dealing with a very special class of persons, and the argument for not dealing with them in the same way as we are dealing with the National Service man is that there are not many of them. I do not think that is an argument at all. It is not a matter of how many wrongs are done, but whether a wrong is being done at all.

If a boy of 18 finds, at the age of 18, having been enmeshed in the military machine from the time he was 15 or 15½, that the stirrings of conscience come, and he feels an uncontrollable desire to express his conscientious objection to further military service, we are not asking any concessions for him compared with a boy of 18 who is being called up for military service—we are asking only for the same rights. If he is to have the same rights, why can he not have the same machinery for those rights to be safeguarded?

Mr. Usborne

On that point, it seems most important that such a boy should have the same rights, for this reason. It may be true, and quite probably is, that there are very rare instances of people in this particular category actually making an application as conscientious objectors, but the public is uncertain whether such statistics are reliable because they know how much more difficult it is for a boy already in uniform to take up that position. They therefore fear that there may be many in uniform who would have applied to a tribunal had they not already been in uniform.

Mr. Simmons

The excuse of the Minister that it would be a waste of time and energy to superimpose this new Clause on the Army Bill, when it becomes an Act, just to deal with one or two cases, is all very well, but what is his alternative? If what my hon. Friend proposes is not the right machinery, the Government ought to tell us what the right machinery is. I am not here to do the thinking for the War Office, but I throw out a suggestion.

It may be possible to incorporate a small Clause into the Army Bill during the Report stage, providing that, on attaining the age of 18, if a boy has conscientious objections to continuing military service he should have the right to use the machinery which is used by men called up for National Service. Some Amendment of that kind might easily be incorporated. We are not paid to do the job of the War Office; the "brass hats" are paid enough as it is, and they might do their jobs properly; but I throw out that suggestion.

11.0 p.m.

Many of us feel very strongly on this matter. We feel that the fact that only three cases have been reported—two in the Navy and one in the Army—is no argument for doing nothing about the matter. We feel that my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne) was right in saying that once these lads are within the military machine it is more difficult for them to find the courage to express their opinions. They feel enmeshed in the machine. But if they knew that they had the right to go, not to their commanding officer or the War Office, but to an outside and impartial tribunal, and have their case tried, many would find it an encouragement to self-expression.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) that these conscientious objectors do not want somebody to do them a favour, or for some kind-hearted Minister to say, "Come on, my lad. Come into my room, sit in front of me at my table, and have a talk—and if you are a nice chap I shall agree that you are a conscientious objector." They do not want that; they want the right to go before a properly constituted tribunal, stand on their own feet and put their own cases. They want to be men. The fact that they are conscientious objectors does not mean that they are cowards. As a matter of fact, the majority have far more courage than a good many men in uniform—and I speak as one who was in uniform in the First World War and who went to a tribunal to defend my brother.

Mr. Charles Doughty (Surrey, East)

I thought that the hon. Member was one of them.

Mr. Simmons

If the hon. and learned Member has something to say, I will give way to him.

Mr. Doughty

I thought that the hon. Member was one of them.

Hon. Members

One of what?

Mr. Doughty

The "conshies."

Hon. Members


Mr. A. Henderson

On a point of order. Is it in order to refer to an hon. Member of the House—who, incidentally, was wounded and lost a leg in war, and has shown all the courage that is necessary—as a "conshie"?

Mr. Doughty

I wish to express my regret. I mistook something that the hon. Member said. I understand that he has a very gallant record in the First World War. I wish to express my regret, and to withdraw my remark.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)

The hon. and learned Member has not withdrawn the offensive remark he made when employing the words "conscientious objector" as a term of reproach.

Mr. Doughty

I have withdrawn what I said. I cannot do more that that. I apologise to the hon. Member. I understand he has a most gallant record in the First World War. I said what I did because I mistook something he said, and because of that I wish to withdraw my remark.

Mr. Simmons

I am sorry to have caused all this trouble, and I accept the hon. and learned Member's withdrawal. It only shows how careful one has to be when throwing sneers about.

The fact that a man has served in Her Majesty's Forces does not make him unsympathetic to, or uncomprehending of, the courage of a different kind which was required especially in the First World War by those who took up the stand of conscientious objection. The note introduced from the other side of the Committee just now was the first of its kind to be introduced into this debate, I am glad to say. When we are discussing these matters of deep spiritual importance, matters which affect the innermost thoughts and feelings of our fellow human beings, we should all exert a greater amount of tolerance than that shown by the recent intervention.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North and I have received a summons from the Christian Citizenship Council of the Methodist Church to support the demand that the conscientious objector shall have the right to go before a tribunal. I appreciate the Minister's desire to meet us to some extent, and I appreciate the fact that the Minister is appalled by the length of the new Clause, which is not the fault of my hon. Friend.

When I was interrupted, I was about to say that during the First World War, when I served as a soldier, I went before a tribunal on behalf of one of my brothers. I was the eldest of a family of eight, having six brothers. One brother was a conscientious objector, while three of us served in the Forces. It made no difference to our comradeship as brothers, and I went before the tribunal on behalf of my brother who was a conscientious objector, although I was in uniform and was a wounded man.

I have four sons. Two of them have served in Her Majesty's Forces and two of them have fought before tribunals and have been declared by tribunals to be genuine conscientious objectors. I am equally proud of the two who had the courage to go before tribunals and claim conscientious objection to war and the two who fought for their country in war.

Let us show some tolerance in this matter. Let us ensure that young boys who are taken into the Forces at the early age of 15 or 15½shall be able to have every opportunity of expressing their convictions before an impartial court empowered to give an impartial judgment when they reach the age when they have a mind of their own, have had some experience, and can think more clearly for themselves, and have come to the conclusion that the step that they took originally was one which is to them morally wrong, and have a conscientious objection to carrying on with military service.

Mr. Head

I wonder whether I can help the Committee at this stage. I was particularly struck by the fact, which has been raised, that a man might feel that if he had an unofficial discharge from the Army Council he was going out through a back door compared with other conscientious objectors going through the normal procedure of tribunal machinery, and might feel that he had not vindicated his bona fides.

I speak without absolute certainty, although I am more or less certain, that if a boy in this position went before a Minister on the Army Council and it was agreed that he should go out, he would be called up by the Ministry of Labour and the normal tribunal procedure would apply.

If that were not the case, it could be perfectly easily arranged with the Ministry of Labour. There is no legal difficulty, because it is an administrative action and the boy would be in the age for call-up for National Service. I can give hon. Members an assurance on that point. If a boy had been acknowledged as a conscientious objector, and had been released by the Army Council, he would, in addition, go before a tribunal.

It was also asked what was the good of administrative action and an assurance from the Secretary of State for War when a few minutes before I had said that one Government could not pledge another. That is abundantly true, but administrative action is quite different from legislation. If I give this assurance, as I have done, about cases of this kind—and this has very often happened to me in the War Office—my successors will be told that there had been an undertaking from a Secretary of State that such and such would be done. That is handed on to the successor. I cannot see a successor refusing to do it.

It would be most unusual for him to refuse, and there is a very vigilant outfit round here. I should not care to be a Secretary of State who dared to refuse, and who found a Parliamentary Question on the Order Paper the following week to ask him why there had been this departure from his predecessor's undertaking.

Mr. Chapman

Would the Secretary of State consider the position where there might be the stress of a great emergency, or an unsympathetic Minister? His assurance would then amount to nothing at all.

Mr. Head

However unsympathetic Ministers are, they have considerable regard for the House of Commons, and I do not think that anybody who has had the experience of being a Minister will entirely dismiss a perfectly reasonable administrative arrangement made for perfectly good reasons. The hon. Member can have as many apprehensions as he likes, but I can assure him that administrative arrangements do not change whether there is war or peace.

I am trying to find a solution and, at this late hour, to conclude the debate and try to meet hon. Members. I would remind hon. Members that this is a difficult problem, because to include this very considerable number of new Clauses would make the Bill very cumbersome. I have given an undertaking and reinforced it by the statement that the boy would, when he is called up for National Service, go through the normal tribunal machinery.

Mr. Willey

I am sure that the Secretary of State is trying to avoid a Division, as we all wish to do. Would he give an undertaking to meet, between now and the Report stage, my hon. Friends who are interested in this matter so that we can further discuss this matter and be satisfied that right of access to the tribunal will be strengthened as the right hon. Gentleman has indicated?

Mr. J. Hudson

As I sense that the Committee is extremely anxious to come to a decision, and although I would be willing to go on in a conciliatory spirit—I am sure that we all appreciate what has been offered to us—I think that this subject is too big for the Secretary of State to settle in the way he intends.

There have been two cases in the Navy. As soon as there was one case, another followed on the same ship when the first was known. As soon as it is known that the Secretary of State said tonight that there was some sort of machiney to deal with this question, there will be far more than one or two cases with which to deal. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would be well advised to accept the proposal we have made and put it into legislative effect.

Mr. Fernyhough

Suppose the boy appeared before his commanding officer, or someone from the Army Council, and was not able to convince them? He would not then get his discharge and come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labour. The position outlined by the Minister would not then obtain.

Question put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 55, Noes 133.

Division No. 36.] AYES [11.15 p.m
Awbery, S. S. Hayman, F. H. Price J. T. (Westhoughton)
Blackburn, F. Herbison, Mist M. Pryde, D. J.
Blenkinsop, A. Holman, P. Rhodes, H.
Blyton, W. R. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Swingler, S. T.
Burke, W. A. Jeger, Mrs. Lena Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Thomson George (Dundee, E.)
Callaghan, L. J. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Thornton, E.
Chapman, W. D. Lawson, G. M. Timmons, J.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Usborne, H. C.
Davies, Harold (Leek) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Wallace, H. w.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mitchison, G. R. Wilkins, W. A.
Evans, Albert (Islington S.W.) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Willey, F. T.
Fienburgh, W. Nally, W. Willis, E. G.
Finch, H. J. Oswald, T. Yates, V. F.
Fletcher, Erlo (Islington, E.) Padley, W. E.
Gibson, C. W. Parker, J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hale, Leslie Peart, T. F.
Hannan, W. Popplewell, E. Mr. James Hudson and Mr. Sin mons
Hargreaves, A. Porter, G.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)
Alport, C. J. M. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hn. H. F. C. Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.
Arbuthnot, John Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
Armstrong, C. W. Crouch, R. F. Heath, Edward
Barber, Anthony Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythanshawe)
Baxter, Sir Beverley Deedes, W. F. Hill, John (S. Norfolk)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Doughty, C. J. A. Hirst, Geoffrey
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Duthie, W. S. Holland-Martin, C. J.
Bing, G. H. C. Errington, Sir Erie Hornsby-Smith, Mist M. P.
Bishop, F. P. Fisher, Nigel Horobin, Sir Ian
Boyle, Sir Edward Fletcher-Cooke, C. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Braithwaite, Sir Gurney Ford, Mrs. Patricia Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Fort, R. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Garner-Evans, E. H. Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.
Brooman-White, R. C. Glover, D. Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Gower, H. R. Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.
Billiard, D. G. Greshant Cooke, R. Iremonger, T. L.
Campbell, Sir David Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Cary, Sir Robert Hall, John (Wycombe) Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Clarke, Col. Sir Ralph(East Grinstead) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Kaberry, D.
Cole, Norman Harris, Reader (Heston) Kerby, Capt. H. B.
Colegate, Sir Arthur Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Kerr, H. W.
Leather, E. H. C. Nield, Basil (Chester) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Noble, Comdr A. H. P. Studholme, H. G.
Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Summers, G. S. (Aylesbury)
Linstead, Sir H. N. Ormsby-Core, Hon. W. D. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Longden, Gilbert Page, R. G. Touche, Sir Gordon
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Peyton, J. W. W. Turner, H. F. L.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
McCallum, Major D. Powell, J. Enoch Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Raikes Sir Victor Walker-Smith, D. C.
Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster) Redmayne, M. Wall, Major Patrick
McLean, Neil (Inverness) Rees-Davies, W. R. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty) Ridsdale, J. E. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Roberts Peter (Heeley) Webbe, Sir H. (L'nd'n & Westm'r)
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Robertson, Sir David Wellwood, W.
Marlowe, A. A. H. Robertson, Sir David Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Medlicott, Sir Frank Roper, Sir Harold Wills, G.
Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Russell, R. S. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Morrison, John (Salisbury) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Woollam, John Victor
Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Shepherd, William
Neave, Airey Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbr'gh, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
NicholollS Harmar Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Sir Cedric Drewe and
Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (K'ns'gt'n, S.) Lieut.-Cmdr. Richard Thompson.

Question put and agreed to.

The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris)

With the leave of the Committee, I propose to put the seven Schedules together.

Mr. Hale rose

The Deputy-Chairman

If there is any objection, I will put them separately.

Mr. Hale

I am not objecting to that; I am raising another point of order altogether. It is that the other new Clauses discussed by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. J. Hudson) have not been put.

The Deputy-Chairman

They have not been put as they are out of order. The Question is—

Mr. Hale

Further to that point of order. My hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North, when he rose to move the new Clause, said that he had consulted the Chair and that he understood it was desired that it and the other new Clauses in his name should be discussed together, but that they could be put separately.

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The hon. Member for Ealing, North rose to move the first new Clause, and that alone was put. The others were out of order.

Schedules 1 to 7 agreed to.

Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, to be considered upon Monday next and to be printed. [Bill 46.]