Army Supplementary Estimate, 1921–22.

Civil Services Supplementary Estimates, 1921–22 – in the House of Commons on 7th November 1921.

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Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £6,720,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charges for Army Services which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1922, to meet Expenditure not provided for in the original Army Estimates of the year, arising out of the Coal Stoppage.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

This Estimate is an echo of the coal strike.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

When the coal stoppage was on, many of us on this side of the House held the view very strongly that it was quite unnecessary, until the ordinary means of protecting life and property had been exhausted, to enrol any special defence force. We maintained that from day to day by argument, and the Government were never able during that period to adduce any single instance in which order could not have been maintained by the ordinary forces open to the Crown. Therefore this expenditure of nearly £7,000,000 has been entirely wasted. I was opposed to the policy of the creation of the defence force, and I shall vote against the Government having the money to pay for the force. One would like to know upon whose information the Government based the necessity for enrolling this defence force. We have had in the last few days something said in this House about the kind of information which is secured for the Government from the underworld of our social system outside. There is nothing more despicable in our public life than that kind of espionage. We are entitled to know, in the defence that the Government may make in asking for this Vote, upon whose information this plan was based. I know that I am correct in saying that it was an unnecessary force from the beginning to the end. It was the introduction into our industrial quarrels of a new factor, which was foreign to the public life of this country. It was absolutely unnecessary and has proved so costly that it amounts to £1,720,000 more than we have just voted for the relief of the starving unemployed. There is the irony of the situation!

Major BARNES:

The Bills keep coming in. This is one of the most interesting little Bills that has beer before the House. Some time this year the Government and the House got rattled, and they passed proposals for the establishment of this defence force, and now we know how much it has cost. The amount mentioned by my hon. Friend is not the real cost. The real cost is not £6,720,000, but nearly £8,000,000. That is what an attack of nerves has cost the country. There was never in the minds of anybody who knew the country any necessity for this force. This is a Bill for carrying on a little war in which there was no enemy. It commenced by the Government taking powers to call up 300,000 men. For what purpose? Not to carry on operations abroad, but to carry on operations at home. The Government thought that the country was in such a state that it was necessary to raise an army of 300,000 men to meet the emergency. Events have proved the Government to have been entirely wrong. We are entitled to know why the Government persisted in this expenditure when at the time of the stoppage it was evident that there was not the slightest likelihood of any serious disturbances taking place. There may have been moments when the negotiations were going on when timid people could have justified the fears that they held, but when the actual stoppage took place it was clearly evident to anybody who knew anything about the country that there was nothing in the nature of disturbances likely to take place that could not be dealt with by the ordinary police force. Against the money that they have spent the Government have set off something which is called a saving. Why are these particular items set off against the total charge? A sum of £833,000 is put down as a saving on the Territorial Army, and that is set off as a saving against the expenditure on the defence force. Surely that is a saving that would have accrued in any event.

Major BARNES:

The hon. and gallant Member shakes his head. We find that the savings given under Head 2 result from the diminished recruiting for the Territorial Army and the smaller numbers attending training. I do not know whether the Minister is going to suggest that one result of raising the Defence Force was to diminish recruiting for the Territorial Army. It is extremely likely that it had that effect, and that when people who were likely to have joined the Territorial Force had brought before them such an illustration of the purposes for which such a force might be used they were dissuaded from joining it. If the Minister puts that forward as one of the advantages we have derived from the setting up of the Defence Force, he is entitled to put that saving down, but if he does not make that contention we are, to a certain extent, being hoodwinked as to the real cost of the force.

My hon. Friend (Mr. Hogge) made a point of real substance when he asked for an explanation of the grounds upon which the Government based the necessity for this expenditure. To mobilise 300,000 men at a cost of nearly £8,000,000 is not a light thing to do. One of my earliest recollections of politics is what is known as the Pendje incident, when Mr. Gladstone came down and asked for what was called a monstrous sum. That request was based upon information, and it is only reasonable to assume that the Government when entering upon this expenditure had some information on which they justified the inception of this force. I would be interested to get some explanation on that point.

In the first paragraph of the Paper which is issued they say that the expenditure under both heads includes the cost of retaining some of the Regular Army, who would otherwise have been returned to civil life, and the cost of moves of Regular units necessitated by the emergency. So some sort of operations were carried on. On what information were those moves taken? Was it supplied by the Civil Intelligence Department, which the Govern- ment is scrapping now? Members on this side of the House who opposed the inception of this force and the expenditure upon it have been more than justified, by the result, for the action which they then took. The effect of this expenditure has been that the Government has had to go in for unwise and injudicious economy. We have just been discussing the question of spending the miserable sum of £5,500,000 to deal with the problem of unemployment, and here we have an expenditure of over £8,000,000 money simply thrown away, and money which, if in the Exchequer at present, would have gone a long way to meet the needs of the moment in respect of unemployment. This is one of the gravest examples of miscalculation by the Government. It has caused them to spend an enormous amount of public money, and thus deprive them of means which would be wanted at present to come to the relief of those who have been overtaken by the wave of unemployment now passing through the land.

Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

The Minister of Health said this afternoon that if it had not been for the coal stoppage the Government would have had very much more money to deal with the problem of unemployment. That is the truth; but the fact that the coal stoppage itself took place was largely the fault of the Government who decontrolled the mines six months before the statutory time for decontrol. Then, again, after the Government had decontrolled the mines the coal-owners served notice upon every man and boy in the mining industry for the purpose of reducing wages in many cases by no less than two guineas a week.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

We cannot now discuss the question of the coal stoppage. The question now before us arises out of the action taken in April last when it was decided to vote the men. It will be quite in order to criticise the general action of the War Office since that Vote was granted as the hon. Member for Newcastle (Major Barnes) has done, but the hon. Member cannot go into the general question of industrial disputes.

Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

I only want to show that the Government provoked the whole business. At any rate the Government were responsible for calling up the military forces when there was no necessity to call them up. The country was never in a more peaceful condition. There was never a dispute of such a gigantic size carried on with so little disorder as the coal dispute, and right throughout the whole dispute there were no manifestations of disorder that could not have been dealt with adequately by the forces of the Crown. Therefore it was merely provocative action of the Government to call out these forces. These men were brought into the mining areas where peace and order prevailed. They were brought in wearing steel helmets and marched right through the place where I lived with fixed bayonets, which was a gross outrage upon the civil population. It has been insinuated by the Minister of Health that the miners were responsible, but the Committee has never been asked to vote money less justifiably than on the present occasion. It may be said that I am not fit to sit in judgment on the Government on this matter. I admit that I am very much biased against the Government, but I may read a quotation from one of our greatest newspapers, not a Labour or a Socialist newspaper, but one of the most influential newspapers circulating in this country. I refer to the "Daily Telegraph." In its issue of 21st July it said at the conclusion of the national lockout of 13 weeks: The miners, who fought a hard battle, have upheld their reputation for stubborn tenacity; and for orderliness; while disorder has been so rare that the few instances in which it may have occurred are not worth remembering. Certainly nobody is a winner. That is the opinion of an impartial writer expressing the views of millions of people in this country after the termination of this dispute. The Government have spent millions of pounds unnecessarily, and now they are trying to throw the blame for this wicked expenditure upon the innocent coalminers of the country. We repudiate the charge made against us by the Government. We say that the Government did take sides with the coalowners during this dispute, and brought down these men on purpose to intimidate the miners. That is our opinion, fortified by the opinion of this great public journal. We feel justified, therefore, in going into the Lobby against this Vote.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

I thoroughly agree with the observations of the hon. Members who have preceded me, but I think they have rather under-estimated the cost, because the truth is that not only were these troops of no use, not only was the expenditure waste, but the troops were sent into the mining areas and were a positive incitement in districts which otherwise were tranquil and orderly. I think my hon. Friends under-estimated the bill for these services, because I read at the beginning of the explanation of this Supplementary Estimate that The bulk of the expenditure under Head 1 consists of the maintenance cost of the Defence Force and the officers and men of the Reserves recalled to the Colours, whose numbers were voted in the Supplementary Estimate for Vote A, dated 8th April, 1921. I ask the hon. Gentleman representing the War Office whether this supplementary item for £6,720,000 covered the whole of the expense of the Army in relation to the coal stoppage? My recollection is that there was a Supplementary Estimate about the time referred to, 8th April, 1921. Will the hon. Gentleman tell us what was the amount then granted? If a sum was then granted, I take it that we have to add that sum to the present sum in order to ascertain what was the total cost. We must also remember that there was a large expenditure in respect of the Navy and in respect of the Air Force. I notice that under Head VI B (3) there is an item "Unemployment Insurance, £936,000." As an explanation of that, there is on page 3 of the Memorandum a rather curious phrase. It says: The Charge under Head VI for Unemployment Insurance represents a lump sum of £7 per head payable under the wording of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, to the Unemployment Fund for each man of the Army Reserve and Defence Force reverting to civil life, in respect of the short period of emergency service now given. The Memorandum goes on: To obviate this unexpected result for the future, an Amendment was made in the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1921. That suggests that the charge of £936,000 arises from a mistake of someone. I wish the Financial Secretary to the War Office would explain those two points.

Photo of Mr James Wignall Mr James Wignall , Forest of Dean

We have heard so much of saving and anti-waste in this House that we are astounded to find that the people who shouted loudest against waste are the people responsible for the absolute waste of the money we are voting now. I am at a loss to know how this enormous amount was expended. We who had an opportunity of travelling the country during the time of the unfortunate coal stoppage knew the enormous preparations of the Government to cope with difficulties that they alone expected to arise. Take my own district, which is a fairly large mining area, with every man unemployed during the stoppage. During the whole period of the stoppage I do not believe there was an extra policeman in the area. There were the usual meetings and demonstrations, but if this Vote could be analysed I do not believe there was an extra 3d. spent in that area. For this great combination of Army Reserve, Defence Force, and all the rest of it, that was gathered together as if the country had gone to war, the money expended was wasted. It makes me feel like a man who has an expensive wife, a wife who buys jewellery and dresses and decorates herself beautifully, and then the poor husband gets the bills. He begins to scratch his head, and to say words that we cannot repeat in this House.

We are in that position to-night. We see the extravagance of the Government, but we are like the aggrieved husband and have to foot the bill. If I had my way and had the power, I would compel every individual who voted for the calling up of these Reserve Forces to pay the bill. There is no hope of that happening. Whether we go into the Lobby or not, we know that the bill has to be paid. I emphatically protest against this wicked waste of money at a time when the nation can least afford it. It is the result of panic legislation. It is the result of nerves and of the fright that took possession of the War Office and those associated with them, because somebody said that the whole country was on the verge of revolution, because someone said that the wicked Bolshevists were stirring up the nation and the Government must prevent it. It is a heavy price which we have to pay for that little bit of a panic. I shall vote against the expenditure as I voted against the calling up of the Reserves at a time when they were not required.

Photo of Mr William Gillis Mr William Gillis , Penistone

After so much discussion on unemployment and so much advice that it was necessary to cut down expenditure, it is beyond my comprehension that any Government should be so short-sighted and guilty of so much stupidity as to incur this expenditure. We have had a deal of talk in this House about optical glasses and about a tariff on them. I should think if anyone wants the tariff taken off optical glasses it should be the Members of this Government. They are so short-sighted that they each require a fresh pair, from the Prime Minister downwards. We have also had a discussion on the wonderful man who gave advice to the Government as to what was occurring in the country, and as to the plans for disorder which the Bolsheviks were making in this country in their efforts to stir up strife. He has been described to us as the most wonderful man in the world, and the benches were more thronged during that Debate than they are this evening. The Anti-Waste benches were also thronged when it was a case of voting for all these men being called to defend King and country, but to-night we see no Anti-Waste party and we have no-one to tell us what was the exact information given to the Government by this wonderful man as to the possibilities of revolution in this country through the coal stoppage. Was that the best advice, the Government could get? Was it advice which they should have accepted as against that which was given them from these benches, namely, that there was no cause whatever for the Government to get the wind up? Now we are called upon to spend nearly £8,000,000 because the Government got the wind up at a time when the ship lay as quietly as possible and the sea was as smooth as glass.

The difficulty with me is to discover, first, exactly where the Government got their advice, and secondly, what they needed with 300,000 men. What was their real object? Did they want peace and quietude in this country, or did they want rows, riots and revolution? Was the Government disappointed because there was not a row, because there was not a, revolution, and because these men could not be used in the same direction as Government authority had been used in Ireland? The miners showed an example to the Government. They showed that under every stress and every disadvantage they, as much even as Members of the Government, could behave themselves like quiet citizens. We told you from these Benches that would be the case. Some of us have spent almost a lifetime in advising the miners that rows and riots and revolutions are no good to the workers of this country or to anybody else. The miners have been trained to that extent, that they acknowledge that principle and practice it. Yet, although told that from these Benches, the Government were so short-sighted as to call these men up. If they were not short-sighted, then they did so intentionally. Let me put it in that way, that the Government called these men up to excite the miners of this country and to bring about riot. There could be no other intention in it, and the only alternative is that the Government are actually as short-sighted as the majority of people believe them to be because of the way they are always going back on their decisions. It scarcely ever starts an engine without reversing it and in this they have again proved themselves wrong. This has been a wicked waste of money, and the Government have shown themselves ready to waste more money than they are prepared to give to the women and kiddies of the unemployed men. We have pleaded with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Agriculture to grant money for the unemployed, but you put a straight jacket on that proposal by the Financial Resolution. If you had put straight jackets on yourselves before you called these men up and stopped this wilful waste, it would have been a kindness to the country, and you would now have had the money for more worthy objects. It is a standing disgrace to the Government and the country that public money should be spent in this way by those who would not heed the advice given them by men who knew the situation thoroughly. If Labour is worth anything, surely its advice in a matter of this kind is worthy of consideration. We have heard a very responsible Member of the Government asking, "Can Labour govern?" If Labour governs any worse than the present Government, then God help this country. I desire to enter the strongest protest against this wilful waste of public money.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel George Stanley Lieut-Colonel George Stanley , Preston

Hon. Members opposite all along objected to the raising of the Defence force and the call- ing out of the reserves, and I am bound to say their speeches to-night do not show any change of opinion. The hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) asked why was the Defence force ever raised. That question was asked during the Debate on 18th April last when the Supplementary Estimate for these extra men was under consideration, and I cannot do better than quote exactly what the Prime Minister said on that occasion: I had rather stand at this box to defend over-insurance than wider-insurance when you have the condition of things with which we were possibly confronted about a week or a fortnight ago.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I really did not ask that, because I heard the Prime Minister give that very futile reason. I asked on whose information the Prime Minister and the Government based their decision.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel George Stanley Lieut-Colonel George Stanley , Preston

I cannot answer that question. I do not think the hon. Member expected that I either could or would answer it. Coming to the actual question of the Estimate, the hon. Member for East Newcastle (Major Barnes) argued that the Estimate was not for £7,000,000, but was really for something like £8,000,000. He argued that the saving which is shown under Head 2 was not really a saving. He is not correct in that. The saving was made up in this way. Before the coal stoppage, recruiting for the Territorial Army was very brisk. During the dispute, of course, there was no enlistment at all in the Territorial force. I may say, however, that the statement that the raising of the Defence Force prevented recruits coming in afterwards to the Territorial force is absolutely and entirely incorrect. They are coming in very well since. During that time, however, there was no training going on. The forces were so much below establishment that it was left to the general officers commanding to decide whether they would have training in camp or not, and the net result was a saving, as is shown on this Estimate, of something in the neighbourhood of £750,000. The hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Hayward) asked what was the Supplementary Estimate of the 8th April. That Supplementary Estimate was presented on the 8th April and was voted on the 18th April. It was not a Supple- mentary Estimate in the shape of money, but in men, for the Defence Force and for the calling up of the reserves.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

This, then, is the whole sum?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel George Stanley Lieut-Colonel George Stanley , Preston

This is the whole sum. The previous Vote was only for the men. The hon. Member for Seaham then asked a question about the Unemployment Insurance Act, and he said there was some mistake by someone. There was not any mistake. A soldier in the regular Army is not insured while in the Army, because he is never unemployed there—he is always very hard worked—but on his discharge £7 a head is paid to the Unemployment Fund, and that insures him for twelve months following his discharge. When the Territorial force does its annual training, under the Insurance Act of 1912 they are treated as if they were civilians in civil employ—that is, there is no break in their status by reason of the short training, both the employers' and employés' contributions being paid by the Army. That was not the case in connection with the Defence force, and therefore it was held that the men of the Reserve and the Defence force were liable for that whole amount. If we had not paid it, the soldiers and others who had come up for the Defence force would not have been entitled to the maximum number of benefits after the end of the time. I may point out that this £1,000,000 goes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund; it is not a direct out-payment except to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. There is no mistake about it. In future it will not be so, because in the Insurance Act, 1921, a Clause was inserted directly dealing with this point. I think I have answered all the questions that were put about the Estimate, and I hope the Committee will now allow me to have this Vote.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Harrow

I must confess that I anticipated a more adequate explanation of this Supplementary Estimate than has been accorded to the Committee. After all, at the time of the coal strike, when the House voted these Measures, the House and the country were faced with a great national emergency, and the House was without information of its own on the situation and accepted the word of the Government that the country was indeed in serious difficulties, and that real trouble was anticipated. That time of stress and danger passed without any untoward incidents of any sort, and the House is now entitled to ask the Government on what information and on what authority they committed the country to this great expenditure for apparently no adequate reason, as things turned out, at all. After all, it is not merely a question of the money involved in this Estimate; it is a much bigger question than that—the question of the dislocation of industry by removing all these men from productive employment.

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

The question of the men was settled on 18th April. We cannot go into that now, and the argument about the advice given to the Government is one that has been used several times already.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Harrow

But it has not been answered.

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

The hon. Member must remember that we are now considering the War Office Vote, and it is only the representative of the War Office in charge of this Estimate who can answer. He has given the answer so far as he was able to give it. That does not justify repetition of the same argument.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Harrow

I submit that I am perfectly entitled to press the hon. and gallant Gentleman for an answer which he refuses to give to arguments that have been advanced in this Debate and which you, Sir, have ruled to be in order.

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

I allowed other hon. Members previously to put that question to the Minister, who has now said that he is not in a position to answer it. He represents the War Office, and the War Office Estimate is now under consideration, and I cannot allow that point to be further dealt with.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Harrow

If the argument is in order, then perhaps I am in order in pressing it.

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

No, I have ruled that that argument cannot be repeated.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Harrow

Do I understand that we are not in order in pressing for an answer to arguments which have been advanced and which have been admitted by you, Sir, from the Chair in the case of other hon. Members?

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

I have given my ruling in regard to that matter.

9.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I think the reply given by my hon. and gallant Friend on behalf of the War Office is very unsatisfactory. You have just ruled, Mr. Deputy-Chairman—and I do not object to the ruling against repetition—that we cannot press the argument again about asking on whose information the War Office raised this Defence Force, but we can, of course, draw attention to the fact that it is possible for the. War Office, or any other Government Department, to spend public money to the extent of £6,750,000 and refuse information to the House on whose advice they spent that money, and we can, of course, vote against it. My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow (Mr. Mosley), who tried to put the point, must content himself with that as his protest, and I invite the Committee to vote against the Government because of the absolutely subversive nature of the reply which we have received. [Laughter.] My hon. Friend, who does nothing in these Debates but laugh, is entitled to that expression of his views, and we on this side are accustomed to that continual reiteration, but, after all, some of us have some regard for the methods by which the Government runs the country, and it is an impossible position, I submit, even to my hon. Friend who laughs, for any Government, even for a Labour Government, if it were in power, to which he would object, or a Liberal Government, to which he would equally object, to spend public money to the extent of millions and refuse to say on whose advice that money was spent. I should have thought that, whether my hon. Friend approved or disapproved of the Defence Force, he would have agreed, at any rate, with that argument. Perhaps he is in the confidence of the Government, and perhaps that is why he does not want the information, but if I were a constituent of the hon. Member I should want to know why he was able to vote nearly £7,000,000 of money for no reason. However, our protest will be made in the Division Lobby. There is one other point which is eminently unsatisfactory. The Financial Secretary says there is no mistake about it, but by reason of the Defence Force spending £6,000,000 the Government found a way of contributing £936,000 to the Unem- ployed Fund. I hope the next time they issue a manifesto to the country as to what they have done for unemployment they will point out that, in addition to the money which we are going to pass in this part of the Session for unemployment, they also spent £6,750,000 in an effort to provide £936,000 for the unemployed.

Photo of Mr John Swan Mr John Swan , Barnard Castle

To ask the miners' section of the community for this Vote is little less than a scandal. I cannot understand how the Government can come with equanimity and ask for this Vote, especially when we understand that, owing to their policy, the industry has been brought into a state of bankruptcy and that they have thrown thousands of our men out of work. We all remember that we repeatedly put up protests against the foolish policy of the Government, that they were involving the country in a very large expenditure and embarrassing people whom they were calling up, with no other objective than seeking to crush the mining community into a state of poverty and getting men from the ranks of the miners to take sides with the employers against the mine workers, the men of their own class. What was more, we knew our own people, and their mentality and the psychology of the miners, and we tendered repeatedly advice to the Government which, had they listened to it, would have made them pause, and no such action would have been embarked upon, especially in the light of the finances of the nation. First of all, there was no need; in the second place, the finances of the country did not justify it. I think, therefore, it is within the right of any Members of this House to ask on whose advice the Government took the action they did.

There is something more. We will have to face, during the course of the week, another item. The Government were responsible for purchasing between 300,000 and 400,000 tons of coal from Belgium during that period, and we shall be called upon to toe the bill owing to the blundering policy of the Government. I suppose we shall be told we are not to ask any questions of the Department which seeks the Supplementary Estimate. What were the facts? The purchase at that very period of coal at 56s. a ton, when it was sold at the pit head here at 38s., I suppose the hon. Member opposite who can smile at such a proposition would say that that was a very good business deal. The taxpayers have got to pay for that blunder. Yet when the miners come along and ask for a grant to assist them over a bad period, money cannot be found to assist them, and at the very time when we are told there is no money in the Exchequer, the Government appeal for this grant, the necessity of which is brought about by their own folly. I hope we shall get good support when we go into the Division Lobby against this blundering policy, which has involved the country in such a heavy expense.

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS - MORGAN:

If our advice had been taken at the end of March or in April of this year, there would have been no necessity to bring this Estimate before the House. We complained of the measures and steps that were taken throughout March, and we went further, and pointed out through the month of April that all the steps that were then being taken, which would entail additional expense, were quite unnecessary. I am not going to follow the hon. Member who has just sat down. He dealt at some length with the advice that was given by somebody in authority, but who was entirely misguided and knew nothing at all about the coal trade or the miners engaged in it. We pleaded then that there was no necessity at all to embark upon a policy that would bring a charge upon the taxpayers of this country, but we were laughed at and told that we did not understand the situation. Early in March we pleaded here for an extension of control of the industry for six weeks. That would have cost, at the outside, anything up to £5,000,000. We were told that it could not be done. Member after Member on these benches said that if the

Government persisted in their policy the damage done to the trade of the country would be at least £100,000,000. We are discussing a Vote to-night which entails close upon £7,000,000 extra, and I venture to repeat that we are entitled to be informed as to who was responsible for guiding the Department at the time we were discussing this matter.

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

That was a matter which should have been dealt with in April last, when the House decided on the policy at that time.

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN:

I am obliged to you, Sir, for guiding me in the right direction, but I think I am entitled to some fuller information with regard to the grounds on which the decision was taken which has embarked the country on the expense in the Estimate. The advice we gave them is amply borne out in the fact that the Government have gone from blunder to blunder. Nobody has seemed to care what has become of the trade of the country, and the taxpayers are now to be called upon to meet an expenditure of nearly £7,000,000, which they should never have been called upon to pay. I think on that ground we are entitled to get some more information than we have got already.

Question put, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £6,720,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charges for Army Services which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1922, to meet Expenditure not provided for in the original Army Estimates of the year, arising out of the Coal Stoppage."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 151; Noes, 43.

Division No. 369.]AYES.[9.15 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteCasey, T. W.Flannery, Sir James Fortescue
Armstrong, Henry BruceChadwick, Sir Robert BurtonFord, Patrick Johnston
Baird, Sir John LawrenceChichester, Col. RobertForrest, Walter
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyChurchman, Sir ArthurFraser, Major Sir Keith
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Cobb, Sir CyrilGibbs, Colonel George Abraham
Barnston, Major HarryColvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeGilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John
Barrand, A. R.Conway, Sir W. MartinGoff, Sir R. Park
Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart.(Gr'nw'h)Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)
Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester)Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)Green, Albert (Derby)
Blades, Sir George RowlandDavidson, Major-General Sir J. HGreen, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)
Borwick, Major G. O.Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar
Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-Dawson, Sir PhilipGreer, Harry
Bowles, Colonel H. F.Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)Gregory, Holman
Breese, Major Charles E.Doyle, N. GrattanGritten, W. G. Howard
Brittain, Sir HarryEdge, Captain WilliamGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.
Broad, Thomas TuckerEdwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Hallwood, Augustine
Brown, T. W. (Down, North)Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Evans, ErnestHarmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)
Campbell, J. D. G.Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.Fell, Sir ArthurHerbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankNeal, ArthurSueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Hood, JosephNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Sugden, W. H.
Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn,W.)Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.Sutherland, Sir William
Hopkins, John W. W.O'Neill, Rt. Hon. HughTaylor, J.
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Parker, JamesTerrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)
Home, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas HenryThomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Hurd, Percy A.Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert PikeThorpe, Captain John Henry
Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald BPerkins, Walter FrankTownshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers
Inskip, Thomas Walker H.Pollock, Sir Ernest MurrayTryon, Major George Clement
Johnson, Sir StanleyPownall, Lieut.-Colonel AsshetonTurton, Edmund Russborough
Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)Pratt, John WilliamWallace, J.
Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Purchase, H. G.Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor
King, Captain Henry DouglasRaeburn, Sir William H.Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)
Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Ramsden, G. T.Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)
Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)Raper, A. BaldwinWaring, Major Walter
Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Lloyd, George ButlerRichardson, Alexander (Gravesend)White, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)Wild, Sir Ernest Edward
Loseby, Captain C. E.Rodger, A. K.Williams, C. (Tavistock)
Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)Roundell, Colonel R. F.Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)
Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)Wise, Frederick
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert ArthurWood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Martin, A. E.Seager, Sir WilliamWorsfold, T. Cato
Mason, RobertSeddon, J. A.Yeo, Sir Alfred William
Middlebrook, Sir WilliamShaw, Hon. Alex, (Kilmarnock)Young, E. H. (Norwich)
Mitchell, Sir William LaneShaw, William T. (Forfar)Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.Simm, M. T.Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr. McCurdy.
Morden, Col. W. GrantSmith, Sir Harold (Warrington)
Murchison, C. K.Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.
NOES.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Hay ward, EvanShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)Hirst, G. H.Swan, J. E.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Kennedy, ThomasThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Cairns, JohnKiley, James DanielThomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Lunn, WilliamTillett, Benjamin
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Mills, John EdmundTootill, Robert
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Mosley, OswaldWalsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)Myers, ThomasWatts-Morgan, Lieut-Colonel D.
Finney, SamuelNewbould, Alfred ErnestWedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.
Galbraith, SamuelRaffan, Peter WilsonWignall, James
Gillis, WilliamRendall, AtheistanWintringham, Margaret
Glanville, Harold JamesRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)Robertson, JohnTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Grundy, T. W.Royce, William StapletonMr. Hogge and Mr. Hartshorn.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Shaw, Thomas (Preston)
Halls, Walter

Question put, and agreed to.