6. "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £ 10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1922, for additional expenditure on the following Air Services, namely:—
|Vote 1. Pay, etc., of the||£||£|
|Vote 2. Quartering, Stores (except Technical), Supplies, and Transport||110,700|
|Vote 3. Technical and Warlike Stores||234,000|
|Vote 4. Works, Buildings, and Lands||111,000|
|Vote 9. Experimental and Research Services||43,450|
|Deduct Excess Appropriations-in-Aid and Surpluses on Votes 6 and 9||802,540|
It is in accordance with the pledge I gave that the second Order for to-day should be the Air Supplementary Estimate. It is in order to carry out that pledge by postponing the Air Estimates which will be taken immediately after we have concluded the discussion on the Supplementary Estimate.
There has been an Amendment in my name to reduce the Vote by £ 100. The reason for my action is the very remarkable amount of money asked for in connection with the recent coal dispute. A sum, £ 309,100, is asked for to meet the expenditure incurred by the Air Force during the three months that dispute lasted. This comes as a very great surprise to those of us who took part in that dispute. A large number of my hon. Friends are like myself, in that they hold a dual position as Members of this House and as miners' agents, responsible to the men, and I have inquired whether during the whole of this dispute, extending over three months, a single aeroplane was seen in any part of the mining kingdom. It would not be in order to discuss the policy which is responsible for this Vote. That policy was agreed to in April of last year, and therefore we are limited entirely to the question of the expense incurred. The Paper which the right hon. Gentleman has supplied is remarkable for the scantiness of its information. There is not a single word as to the number of men employed in the Air Force for this particular business, not a word about the number of machines, not a word as to the places where the machines were employed. The only information that is given to us is something as to pay and allowances and as to clothing and provisions. There is not a single word as to where the performances took place, where the men were stationed, where the bar racks were erected, and under what conditions the men were called upon to perform their duties. The House is entitled, before they consent to the passing of this substantial sum of money, to some information as to the conditions under which the duties were performed, the number of men engaged, and the part of the country where their services were requisitioned. On all these points we are in a state of blank ignorance.
If there is one thing upon which everybody is agreed, no matter how many be the points on which they differ, it is that the most admirable order was maintained throughout the whole mining kingdom, and this was all the more notable having regard to the immense number of those engaged in the dispute, the strong feelings that wore evolved, and the great tribulations which many people suffered. No body of people in any dispute in history exercised such restraint as the miners, and yet we are asked to consent to the payment of £ 309,000 for aeroplane services, although there is not a single resident miners' agent in the whole kingdom who knows of a single place in which any one of these machines was engaged. It would have been a very good thing if they had been seen. One can quite well imagine that when there is a dispute three months unemployment is apt to develop in the minds of the people discontent and laissez faire. They are sick and tired of lounging about, middle-aged and elderly people could not play football, and there was not money for indulging in any other kind of games. It would, therefore, have been very nice if we could have seen some of the aeroplanes, for which this House is called upon to pay, performing interesting evolutions in any part of the mining world. We should have looked with a great deal of interest upon their performances. It would have relieved the men's minds, and would probably have lessened the tension. The Prime Minister paid a high tribute to the wonderful restraint and the social order and discipline preserved by the miners, and a similar tribute was paid by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Why then the necessity for this large expenditure on the Air Force in connection with that dispute.
There is an item for £ 20,000 for transport alone. I cannot imagine how such a sum as that could be incurred for the transport of people required to give their services in the Air Force, which, I understand, could only have been for reconnoitring purposes. So far as the preservation of peace or the restoration of peace in the case of social disorders were concerned, the Government never intended to use missiles from the air to break up meetings. That, I am quite sure, was never in the minds of the Government. They had adequate police forces, and they had adequate military forces to come to the assistance of the police if necessary. Therefore, we take it for granted that there never was the slightest intention to use the Air Force in anything like a military sense as against a hostile population. Why, then, this expense of £ 20,000, and why an expenditure of £ 188,000 for pay and personal allowances, especially when it was known after the first four weeks of the dispute, at any rate to anybody with the slightest sense of perspective, that the miners were not out for disturbance, that they were not out to inflict anything like violence upon the general community. They were a self-contained and restrained body of men, and there was not the slightest prospect of any attack upon the social order of the community. At the outset, fears predominated in the minds of the Government, and rumours were wildly spread that this dispute or lockout was due to Bolshevism, and all kind of bogies were invoked.
After the first four weeks it must have been plain to the dullest mind that there was no necessity for this force, no necessity for reconnoitring, which could be the only possible object for which this force could be brought into play, and that, so far as it consisted of established men, the force could have been put to its proper purpose, and this expenditure avoided. Before a Vote is submitted, I would ask the Minister to give an indication of those disturbed areas in which it was necessary to bring the services of the force into play, and some idea as to where those people were quartered, and as to the numbers engaged. I notice that the pay to personnel of officers amounted to £ 22,000, and that to the men £ 188,000. Having regard to the difference between the pay of the officers and the men, it would seem, so far as one can calculate, that there was one officer to about every 10 men. If this force was brought into effective service, at the beginning of the dispute, and continued in effective service until the dispute ended, there must have been, at the very least, some 4,000 men engaged. It is difficult to understand where those 4,000 men were secreted. There must have been, I take it, 400 officers. It is difficult to know where the pilots were.
In the absence of any detailed information the only conclusion we can come to is that the coal dispute and the miners are again being made the bugbear for a very large amount of money which is being debited against them. It is impossible to say that this large sum, £ 309,000, can be properly charged against any service that was really required or exercised during the three months of the dispute. The miners' dispute is made responsible for everything. There would have been most flourishing trade but for the coal dispute, and there would have been magnificent exports to foreign markets. Nine months after the time, and on a second Estimate, because a previous Estimate was submitted, we are asked for this amount of £ 309,000. No man with any knowledge of the mining districts and the conditions in which the dispute was conducted, can see where even £10 of the money was actually expended. It does seem to us that this money has never been properly expended during the continuance of this dispute, and there is not a single one of us with dual responsibility as members of this House and as miners' agents in our own area, from the North of Scotland to South Wales, who knows where a single penny of this money has been expended. In those circumstances, surely the hon. Gentleman can give, us a great deal more information than is at present vouchsafed. I beg to move the reduction of which I have given notice.
On a point of Order. On this Supplementary Estimate, which is for a sum of £ 10, I submit that the hon. Member is not in order, because you cannot reduce a sum of £ 10 by £ 100.
The questions put by the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. Walsh) are perfectly proper. The whole discussion of policy does not come up to-day, as the House gave its sanction to what the Government asked for as far back as last April. But as to the service which the Air Force was to render, I am glad to be able to give further information. The numbers, roughly, were about 5,000 men. In reference to the question as to the proportion of officers and men, I may point out that in this Service the proportion of officers to men has always been very high, because all the piloting and all the observing are done by officers, and therefore the proportion of officers to men is higher than in any other Service. In reference to the functions which the Air Force was to perform on that occasion, there was no intention whatever on the part of the Government to use them in their military capacity. Their functions were to be mail transporters, to set up in case of necessity a system by which postal communications could be maintained by air. They were also ready to undertake by means of their wireless apparatus the same kind of work in connection with telegrams. They also were prepared to act as carriers for communications and the transport of people rapidly and securely from one end of the country to another. They were placed in their old aerodromes, and no fresh aerodromes were prepared. These reservists were gathered in the different stations in different parts of England, and occupied their time, I am glad to say, not in taking part in the dispute, but in re-fitting a certain number of extra machines, rubbing up their deficiencies, and generally making themselves useful. The number of machines was slightly increased owing to the ability of the men in our various shops.
That answers the chief point made by my hon. Friend. But I would ask the House to allow me to answer a few criticisms which were put forward the other night by hon. Members, some of whom are here, while others are not. The right hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) complained of the system of presenting the Estimate. I do not think that he will feel inclined to blame me in particular for the system. It is what has been decided on by the Treasury as the method to be adopted in presenting supplementaries to the House. He asked why is it necessary to undertake the transfer of certain savings to the Air Force on the Estimate. The answer is that having obtained Treasury sanction, we wish to transfer them as quickly as possible so as to get on the high road to effecting the considerable annual economy which we are quite certain to get as soon as the transfer is obtained. There is no economy in delaying this transfer, and I am glad to say that we can already look forward to a definite saving of some £15,000 a year.
The point is, that it was put on this Vote instead of an the proper Estimates, which will come in course of payment within a few days, in order to make out that the sum spent in 1922–23 is less than it ought to be by this amount.
It is Parliamentary form that attention should be drawn on a supplementary to new works so as to point out a departure in policy as compared with that dealt with in the Estimates presented at the beginning of the year. The right hon. Baronet also asked how the sum of £ 309,000 expended in the course of the coal dispute, was made up. If he will look at page 4 of the Estimates, he will see the details for pay, food, supplies, and transport, of the reservists who were called up. The hon. Member for Hull (Lieut.-Commander Ken worthy) was anxious to have an explanation about the Egyptian stations, and though he is not present, I would like to reply to him as other Members are interested in the question. We have undertaken nothing new. We have merely tried to make the old war stations fit and easily habitable. They are Abusueir, Aboukir, and Heliopolis. The money is expended on keeping them in good condition for the aeroplanes and for officers and men, and is far less than was asked for last year. This reply also answers the hon. Member for the Rutland Division (Lieut.-Colonel Willoughby). The right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) who is not present, also complained that he did not like the procedure adopted under this system, which I have done my best to explain to the House this afternoon and on Tuesday night, and I trust, therefore, that the House will now allow me to have this Vote.
It was perhaps rather unwise for the Labour party on this Resolution to call attention to the very large sums of money which the coal strike cost this country. This is only a Supplementary Estimate for the Air Force. The whole of the reserves were called up, and what the total amount is I cannot say at the moment. They might consider, if that amount had been taken, and the total had been used to reduce the duty on tea, what a comfort it would have been to the wives and families of the working classes in this country. The hon. Member for Ince (Mr. Walsh) is aware that at the moment when the coal strike was threat ened the miners did their best to induce the transport workers and the railway workers to follow suit. If that had happened—
That is the very question that has already been ruled out of order. Authority for the employment of these men was given as far back as April of last year. We cannot now reopen the question of policy.
I will soon bring my remarks to a close. The hon. Member for Ince sought to prove that it was quite unnecessary to call out the Air Force reserves at the time of the coal dispute. I would answer by saying that at that time, if the transport workers and the railway workers had come out, it would have been necessary to keep up communications by means of aircraft for the carrying of the mails and generally for keeping the government of the country going. No one for a moment thought that the great body of miners were disloyal, but there were considerable numbers of people who were out for revolution, who certainly would have joined in any general strike, and that would have made the situation very serious.
The Secretary of State for Air has offered an explanation of the very mystifying factor in this Supplementary Estimate, but in some ways the explanation is even more puzzling than the item as it stands in its original form. The right hon. Gentleman said it was proposed to mobilise the Air Force in order to conduct the postal service of the country. As far as I know, there was never any question of the postal service going on strike at that time. [HON. MEMBERS: "The railways."] The hon. Member for Oldham (Sir E. Bartley-Denniss) said that the railwaymen and the transport workers might have gone on strike, but the Government, as we have been informed on many occasions, had made adequate preparations to deal with that particular situation. Obviously, it the railway system and the transport system had completely broken down, the entire economic life of the country, which is far more important than the carriage of mails, would have broken down also, while, if it could have been conducted by improvised assistance, as was proposed, then also the mails could have been carried by railway and road, and a very grave expenditure would have been avoided. The hon. Member for Ince points out that three weeks before the calling out of the Air Force Reserves the Triple Alliance strike was definitely "off." I would be grateful to the Secretary of State for Air if he would tell us the exact dates of the calling off of the Triple Alliance strike and the calling up of the Air Force Reserves.
The hon. Member for Ince states definitely that the Triple Alliance strike was called off three weeks before the calling up of the Reserves. We ought to clear up any doubt on the subject. The Secretary of State for Air made another point. He said it was or might have been necessary for these Air Force Reserves to transport men engaged in some vital work from one part of the country to the other. There can have been very few cases of that kind. Why could not the ordinary establishment of the Air Force have undertaken the duty? Why could not the ordinary establishment even have undertaken the postal service or such of the postal service as was vital to the life of the country in the event of these contingencies having actually occurred?
Not on that ground. The hon. Member may claim that the Reserves having been called up, the money spent on their pay, or whatever it is, has been wrongly spent, but the policy was decided nearly a year ago.
Mr. J. JONES:
I am not a miner or a railwayman, I represent general labourers. Most of them have to earn their breakfast before they can eat it, and generally they have more dinner times than dinners. We are always the victims of these industrial disputes. Therefore we do our best to avoid them. We try as far as we can to arrange that the workers, who suffer most, shall not be the victims of these industrial disasters, and we want to know why we are called upon to pay these enormous sums of money for providing opportunities for other people to exhaust the possibilities of luxury. An hon. Member opposite suggested that the trade unions were responsible for the troubles existing in the industrial world. This money is an insurance against what the Government imagined to be a revolution. It is £ 309,000 in the case of the miners. Suppose that we grant the fact, if it can be called a fact, that the miners were responsible for the stoppage in the coal trade. I ask, then, who is responsible for the stoppage to-day of a million men engaged in shipbuilding and engineering? It is not the men, for the overwhelming majority of the men have asked for a Court of Inquiry into the dispute. The nation will be called upon to spend probably another £ 500,000 to provide military organisation for beating down the workers in a dispute that has not been caused by labour, but by the people whom the hon. Member for Oldham represents. He is one of the big men of the Federation of British Industries.
Their Chairman is a barrister, so that you are all in the same boat. We say that you have no right to spend the nation's money for fighting the battle of any class or section of the community. That is what you have been doing. This £ 309,000 was spent to fight the battle of the coalowners against the miners, and you are prepared to spend a similar amount to fight the battle of the engineering employers. I protest. I am not a politician. I am here as an ordinary labourer, dragged into this dispute. One hundred thousand of the men of my own Union are now on their beam ends. Their wives and children are being practically forced into a position of starvation because of a struggle with which we have nothing to do. That is the case in every dispute. We are the people who suffer the most. We are brought into it whether we like it or not, and then the whole power of the State is used to force us into a position of inferiority. What advance have we ever got? No labourer in this country has ever got an advance in wages equal to the increase in the cost of living.
I admit that I do not know the rules of the House and do not study them as some other hon. Members do. The only rule I know is the rule of life, and that is that to-day the Government of this country is organised to defend the employers' interests, and that behind the Federation of British Industries stands the Government to fight labour on every conceivable occasion, and this money is simply being used to beat the workers down in this dispute. We protest, therefore, against the money being spent.
We were against the calling up of the Air Force Reserves when the matter was before the House. We protested on the ground that the Government would be merely wasting money on an object for which there was no occasion. Notwithstanding these protests the Government went on in that course, and we should like to ask the representative of the Government to explain how and where this large sum of £ 309,000 was spent.
I represent a large mining constituency and was frequently in those mining districts during the stoppage, and I never saw a single aeroplane or a member of the force in my constituency during the whole 13 weeks. I have discussed this matter with my colleagues from other districts in the British coalfields, and they all had the same experience. They did not see a single aeroplane during that time nor a single member of the Defence Force. Naturally, we are anxious to know how this large cost has been placed upon the British taxpayer. My own personal opinion is that it was quite unnecessary expenditure and that it brings into industrial disputes a new factor which may have a far-reaching effect in political and industrial development in this country. Many of us at the time took the view that it was quite unnecessary, and that it should not have been incurred, so long as the ordinary defence forces of the Crown were capable of protecting life and property. I do not know of a single incident during the whole 13 weeks in which it was found that the ordinary forces of the Crown were not capable of maintaining law and order. It is perfectly true the dispute was fought with grim determination by the mining section of the community, but I do not think there ever has been a dispute, in which such a large number of men were involved for such a length of time, where we had so little disorder. Those matters were pointed out to the Government at the time we were discussing the situation in April of last year. We are now looking to the Government for a detailed statement upon this.
If my hon. Friend intends taking part in this discussion, he will find plenty to do in thinking out the manner in which he will deliver his own speech, without interfering with the way in which I am delivering mine.
The right hon. Gentleman was not in the House in the earlier stages of the Debate, and we can forgive him a want of knowledge, but it will be my duty to check him should he go over the same ground.
I have no intention of covering the same ground which anyone else has covered. Whatever may be my sins and shortcomings in this House, that is not one of the things which can be laid to my charge. It is perfectly true I was not in the House when the right hon. Gentleman who represents the Government gave his explanation. I have, however, discussed it with my hon. Friends since I came in, and I find the explanation was not satisfactory. I was saying, when the interruption was made, or rather when the point of Order was put, that not only do we want a detailed statement as to how and where this money was spent, but we are entitled to get from the Government a statement as to the information on which they thought it necessary to incur the large expenditure involved in the Vote now under discussion. As has been admitted frequently in all quarters of the House, it was found during the course of that long dispute, involving so large a number of men, that there was little disorder. If in such circumstances the Government involves the taxpayers in this large expenditure and wastes money which could have been used for more legitimate purposes, surely when the Government present the bill we are entitled to ask the reasons for undertaking the expenditure.
If this discussion gave one an opportunity of entering into the matter from a wider point of view, than you, Mr. Speaker, would permit, one might venture to suggest possible reasons for the Government's action. All I want to say is that before either this or any other Government brings into industrial matters a new factor such as was introduced on this occasion, there should be the gravest possible reasons. On this occasion there was no reason for such a factor being introduced. Neither this nor any other Government is entitled to spend money in holding the ring, until any section of our people are beaten down by the weapon of starvation and compelled to accept wages or conditions altogether out of keeping with the cost of living which has to be met by the working classes of this country. Notwithstanding that my hon. Friend the Member for the Frome Division (Mr. Hurd) is so well satisfied with the explanation given, I hope before the discussion closes we will have a fuller explanation. As far as we on these benches are concerned, we can be no parties to passing a Vote of this kind, and we shall be bound to carry it into the Lobby, but we hope before we reach the final decision, that we shall have a more ample explanation of how and where this money was spent.
I think every penny of this additional Vote was well spent, and was absolutely needed in the circumstances. It would be a gross piece of ingratitude for any lover of his country to cavil at the Government for the money which they spent on this very critical occasion. If we cast our minds back to that occasion, I think it will be seen that the Government saved this country from a first-class disaster by its precautionary measures. This money was spent as a precaution. The right hon. Gentleman who last spoke (Mr. Adamson) informed us that he did not see any aeroplanes buzzing about in West Fife. They were not needed, but very much more would have been needed if the programme which was in the minds of certain persons had been carried out—that programme which broke down upon what is called by the Communist party Black Friday. The right hon. Gentleman talked of the miners, and especially the miners of West Fife, as being very delightful and lamblike. Everybody knows the miner is a good fellow. There were no better soldiers in the War than the miners. Everybody likes them, when they are left to themselves, but there is no use my right hon. Friend pretending that the miners of Cowdenbeath and Thornton Junction are lambs and doves.
I bow to your ruling, Sir. The point towards which I was verging was that if the programme I refer to had been carried out and the means of transport interrupted, and the railways paralysed, aeroplanes would have been a vital necessity. Luckily, they had not to be put into action, but it was only because of these precautions that the country at the time was saved this great disaster. It is on account of these precautions the present bill was run up on behalf of the country. It was not necessitated by the action of the Government at all, and to cavil at this amount which was spent as a precautionary measure, and which resulted in saving the country from a great disaster planned by the country's enemies, is a wrong course of action. The bill which is now presented to the country, though it was
|Division No. 60.]||AYES.||[7.0 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Forrest, Walter||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gardiner, James||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Gilbert, James Daniel||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Parker, James|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Glyn, Major Ralph||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Pearce, Sir William|
|Bartley-Denniss, Sir Edmund Robert||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Sir Hamar||Pease, Rt. Hon Herbert Pike|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Beck, Sir Arthur Cecil||Greig, Colonel Sir James William||Percy, Charles (Tynemouth)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Gretton, Colonel John||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.||Perring, William George|
|Bonn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray|
|Bennett, Sir Thomas Jewell||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Pratt, John William|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Purchase, H. G.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Harris, Sir Henry Percy||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Haslam, Lewis||Reid, D. D.|
|Brassey, H. L. C.||Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)||Renwick, Sir George|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Brown, Major D. C.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hills, Major John Waller||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hinds, John||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hopkins, John W. W.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Seager, Sir William|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Howard, Major S. G.||Seddon, J. A.|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Hudson, R. M.||Shaw, William T. (Forlar)|
|Cautley, Henry strother||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Cheyne, Sir William Watson||Jameson, John Gordon||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Jephcott, A. R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Sugden, W. H.|
|Cockerill, BriGadler-General G. K.||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Johnstone, Joseph||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Cowan, O. M. (Scottish Universities)||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Kidd, James||Tiyon, Major George Clement|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Wallace, J.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)||Lindsay, William Arthur||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Lloyd, George Butler||Warren, Sir Alfred H.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Locker-Lampson, Com. 0. (H'tlngd'n)||Williams. C. (Tavistock)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Lort-Williams, J.||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Edge, Captain Sir William||Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)||Wilson, Field-Marshal Sir Henry|
|Ednam, Viscount||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Windsor, Viscount|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon James I.||Wise, Frederick|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Macquisten, F. A.||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Mallalieu, Frederick William||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Mason, Robert||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Fildes, Henry||Morrison, Hugh||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Fitzroy, Captain Hon. Edward A.||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Neal, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchity)||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Dudley Ward.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hayday, Arthur||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Swan, J. E.|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Hogge, James Myles||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Cairns, John||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Thomson, T. (Middlesborough, West)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Kennedy, Thomas||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Kenyon, Barnet||Tillett, Benjamin|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kiley, James Daniel||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Foot, Isaac||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian!||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Mosley, Oswald||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Gillis, William||Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Murray, Or. D. (Inverness & Ross)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Mr. Arthur Henderson and Mr. R. Young.|
|Hancock, John George||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Hartshorn, Vernon||Rendall, Athelstan|
First and Second Resolutions agreed to.
I beg to move, to leave out "£ 1,826,000," and to insert instead thereof "£ 1,825,900."
I do this with the object of requesting the Government to give the House some information regarding the very large sums of money which they are asking the House this evening to vote for works, buildings, and lands. At the time when the housing programme has been cut down throughout the country and there is extreme difficulty experienced in every part of Great Britain in finding suitable accommodation for the people at home, it seems to me questionable whether the large sums of money for which the Government are asking in this Vote should be spent this year. We have been told by Members of the Government that their housing programme has been cut down because of an insufficiency of labour and lack of raw materials. In these Estimates there is a large sum of money which must be spent in the employment of skilled artizans whose labour could be diverted to erecting suitable housing accommodation for the people in our industrial areas. Let me direct the attention of the House to one or two items in this Vote. On page 23 the sums of money for the erection of the boys' training establishmen at Halton Park is £ 185,000, and further down on that page there is an additional sum of £ 140,000 for improvements to regimental and other temporary accommodation. It is, I think, within the recollection of the House that the Geddes Committee, when reviewing the total expenditure of the State, dwelt upon the wisdom of postponing even necessary building for the defensive forces at home. That Committee's recommendations, I fear, have not been accepted by the Secretary of State; otherwise, this very large sum of money of practically nearly £ 2,000,000 would not be asked for at a time of extreme financial stringency.
Let me direct the attention of the House for a few minutes to two or three other large items in this Vote. We are accustomed to spending very large sums of money in Iraq. The policy of the Government in that portion of the Globe changes from year to year, yet in this Estimate this year there is a sum of money of nearly half-a-million for additional accommodation and improvements to the barracks in that far-distant country. Surely this is not the time to spend half-a-million—to be exact, a sum of £ 438,000—on the erection mainly of office buildings in that far-away country. We know that the late Secretary of State for War has been anxious to develop the Air Force and that the present Secretary of State has inherited, no doubt, the spirit of his predecessor on that subject, but I think one has just to draw the attention of the House to that one figure. However necessary it may be to provide suitable defence for the different subjects we are going to rule in that far-distant country, having been myself in that country for a short time during the War I am convinced that the millions of money that this country has spent, and is spending to-day, there will never bring any commercial return. It is, I think, quite unnecessary and excessive in amount, and I hope the Secretary of State may give the House some further information on that subject. I will not detain hon. Members by directing their attention to other items, but to ask the House of Commons at the close of the present Financial Year, when every Income Tax payer throughout the country is feeling the extreme hardship of high Income Tax, low profits, and few orders, to vote £2,000,000 for the erection of works and buildings which will require repair year by year and which will require further expenditure as the years go by causes me to suggest that the recommendations of the Geddes Committee on this subject should be adopted in toto by the House of Commons.
I beg to second the Amendment. I do so because it seems to me that this is a very small part of the expenditure we shall be asked to Vote on some future occasion. The item laid before the House at the present moment amounts, as my hon. Friend said, to nearly £2,000,000. We know how in cases of this nature the snowball grows, and if this huge sum is spent now at a time when we cannot and ought not to spend it, I venture to say that we shall see the day when the Government will be asking for a still larger sum in respect of the maintenance and repair of the buildings we are asked to erect. On those grounds, and in order to elicit some statement from the Government as to their reasons for putting this particular Vote before us, I have pleasure in seconding the Amendment.
I should not have intervened had it not been for an observation which fell from my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Sir G. Collins). He told us that he had been to the country on which this money is going to be spent, namely, Iraq. I know that, and he was one of the gentlemen, if I mistake not, who convinced a great many of us after that visit that Iraq was one of the richest countries in the world, and that we ought to retain our control of it. I remember his speeches and his lectures, which were illustrated with admirable photographs, and in which he pointed out, amongst other things, that there were 90 feet of alluvial soil all down that country, that it only wanted good government to become one of the greatest and richest corn producing countries in the world; and now he turns round and says it is not worth spending a penny on it. I can only say that it is a pity that he is now taking that line, which, as it seems to me, is an entire reversal of his previous position.
Sip D. MACLEAN:
The hon. and gallant Member for Renfrew (Sir J. Greig) made a reference to my hon. Friend the Member, for Greenock (Sir G. Collins) with regard to some speeches which he made on the subject of Iraq. With great fairness, the hon. and gallant Member for Renfrew used the necessary qualification in the quotation, when he said that my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock had stated that with good government these things might be made of some commercial use. Quite obviously, there is no good government there, and as long as the present occupants of the Treasury Bench remain there is not the slightest chance of getting any good Government, so I do not wonder that my hon. Friend has moved to reduce the Vote. I want to ask one or two questions in regard to the Vote. Will the Minister in charge explain to us the reasons for the increase, under "G, Rents, Compensations, and Reinstatements," of £333,000, and will he explain what is the meaning of the words in italics near the bottom of page 20 of the Estimates: "Deduct for probable underspending on the Vote as a whole, £250,000." What economies have they in mind which they can indicate to the distressed taxpayer in order to relieve him from some of his anxieties?
I want to direct attention once more to a favourite topic of mine, namely, Appropriations-in-Aid, under the heading "N." They amount to no less a sum than £1,425,000, reducing the total Estimate of £3,251,000 to the comparatively moderate sum of £1,826,000. On page 26 of the Estimate hon. Members will see, under the heading "N," what are the Appropriations-in-Aid. Some of them are quite obvious matters for deduction from the gross Estimate, such as "Rents, sales of timber, hay, etc., £10,000"; "Recoveries for barrack damages and miscellaneous receipts, £20,000"; "Other repayments in respect of works services in the Middle East, £65,000"; and "Arising of works stores, £10,000." But where we get the sum which makes the Appropriation-in-Aid so large, is on Item 3, "Repayments by the Middle East Department in respect of Iraq, Palestine, and Trans-Jordania, £1,320,000." What I want the House to agree with me in is this that the real Estimate which we are asked to pass is not the net Estimate of £1,826,000, but the net Estimate after you have left out this huge sum of repayments by the Middle East Department. The net Estimate really is for £3,100,000. Here we have this bookkeeping manœuvre appearing once again. The taxpayer pays this sum into the Middle East Department, I suppose, and then the Air Force renders the operation which is required of it, and then the Middle East Department repays it. We never shall understand what things really cost until this question of Appropriation-in-Aid is thoroughly examined by the House in Committee and on Report, and we get only those net deductions which to an ordinary business man running his business on common-sense ordinary lines would be considered to fall within the word "net."
The real Estimate for which the Government is asking us to-day is, as I say, not £1,826,000, but £3,100,000, and the House should thoroughly understand that. I protest once again against the constant rubbing out, which we owe, I suppose, to the fertile genius of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, of the Middle East Department in connection with the straightforward War services of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. We shall never get these things straight until that is eliminated. The constant muddle will go on, and the constant temptation to officials in all Departments concerned to seek refuge from some difficulty—I do not suggest any venal motive on their part at all, but refuge from some statistical difficulty—in this irritating muddle of the Army within the Army operating in the Middle East.
I would like to ask a question or two in regard to Halton Park, which is dealt with in this Vote. I have not studied these Votes very closely, but I am amazed to see this item, for if there ever was a place where money was literally poured out it is Halton Park. I do not speak from mere hearsay, because I happened to have had a cottage there after the War, and I saw what was going on with my own eyes during 1917, 1918, and 1919, and I was so astonished at the way in which the money was spent there that I took occasion, when I got into this House, to draw the attention of the then Air Minister to what I thought was going on. To spend £685,000 this year for works is amazing, and I do not know where the money could be spent there. The Vote refers to isolation hospital staff quarters, permanent flight sheds, etc. I should have thought that up to the present the hundreds of thousands of pounds which have been poured into Halton Park could have done all that was required at the place, and I am very loath to vote this money until I get an explanation from my right hon. Friend the Minister for Air which will assure me that the money is being dealt with in a careful way. I have seen with my own eyes how roads were put down, channelled, and kerbed, and laid up to a great wood at the back of Halton Park—roads more fit for Oxford Street than for a village housing an air-training force. I have seen sheds taken down and put up again because they did not turn to the right angle, I have seen lorries going backwards and forwards from the camp to Wendover Station to carry one single parcel—three-ton lorries—and when I came back from ray work in London, I used to see these lorries going up and down. I have seen a lorry, with 12 men in it, going to load at Wendover Station a few camp bedsteads, and, in view of what went on there to my own knowledge, I feel very loath to support this Vote until the Minister has given us a full explanation of what they are doing there, how they are spending the money, and whether the money is being carefully allocated. Why there should be any further need now for lighting and draining the village, I do not know. I see in the Vote they call it a village, and I suppose it is a case of another Gretna, but there is lighting in Wendover, and a waterworks station at Halton, which was put up years ago, and it seems to me that this money must be duplicating expenditure at Halton Camp. For those reasons, I shall be greatly obliged if my right hon. Friend will tell us a little more about it.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) has called attention to the extraordinary juggle that is apparently going on between the Department of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Air and that of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It is like a game which children play at Christmastime called "Hunt the slipper," the object of which is not to be found with the slipper in one's possession, and so the bill for the Middle Eastern services is flung to and fro, apparently, between the Department of my right hon. Friend opposite and that of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with the result that neither of them is ever found with the responsibility for this expenditure definitely saddled and fixed upon his Department. It is in these ways that the House of Commons at the present time is always baffled when it makes any attempt to control expenditure. Until this system of accounting is in some way amended and made more intelligible, until it is possible to hold some right hon. Gentleman definitely responsible for the bill which is incurred, it will be impossible for this House to assert its old control.
There is one question I should like to address to my right hon. Friend in relation to the permanent building, which, apparently, has been undertaken by my right hon. Friend's Department in Iraq—£438,000. We are informed that great masses of troops are to leave Iraq during the course of the current year, and a consequent movement is in progress to evacuate that country so far as the ordinary military forces are concerned. We know that in Votes of previous years, we have been asked to afford money for the erection of permanent accommodation for the troops in that country. The question I want to address to my right hon. Friend is this: Why is it not possible to make use of that permanent accommodation in Iraq which has already been erected, the expense of which has already been borne by this House? Why is it not possible to make use of that accommodation for housing the Air Force so far as barrack accommodation, at any rate, is concerned? Surely the Air Force can make use of those buildings which must actually be standing on the spot at this moment. There is one more question. I should be grateful to the right hon. Gentleman if he would afford us some explanation as to Item A—Staff for Works Services—and tell us exactly what this item comprises, and he characer of the staff which is set out.
In dealing with Halton, which was one of the points raised by the hon. Member for Greenock (Sir G. Collins) I think I shall be able to reply also to my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) and the hon. Member who has just sat down. It is necessary that the House should appreciate what Halton means to the Royal Air Force. First of all, it is within four-fifths of completion. I am not in a position to defend in detail the money spent upon it during 1917, 1918 and 1919, as I was not responsible, but dealing with the accounts as presented to me, I am faced with this situation. Four-fifths of the capital expenditure has already been paid, and one-fifth remains to complete the buildings. It will be noticed that the buildings are divided under several heads, and it would seem a pity to stop now, within so narrow a limit of completion, when the House has already approved of the Air Ministry retaining the principle of training their own boy mechanics in this school, rather than apply to the trade, as suggested by the Geddes Committee. The land at Halton is most suitable, and it may be described as luxurious. I wish more hon. Members had a chance of seeing under what delightful conditions these 2,000 or 3,000 boy mechanics are being brought up. It is hoped that by the time the place is completed, we shall have nearly 3,000 boy mechanics being trained there. It must also be remembered that a very large staff of officers is necessary to train these boys. I think the staff there at present is a little over 100. The House will be more lenient, I think, in their judgment as to Halton, when they appreciate that it is the one and only permanent building the Air Force has got.
Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves that point, may I say that I forgot to mention we were also told that when there were many hundreds of boys there, there were not enough instructors, and when there were enough instructors, there were not enough boys? Has that been put right?
We have already 1,700 boys and 110 instructors there at present, or during the course of the summer, and we are within, I think, a few months of the completion of building to enable us to house the full number before we proceed to consider the policy of prolonging the period of service of these boys.
There is no doubt that a great deal of money has been spent in the last two or three years, and I only took over when it was nearing completion. It must be borne in mind that, besides the housing of the boys, there is the whole of the class-room buildings, and the whole of the shops, which are almost the best shops throughout the length and breadth of the land. Whether money has been spent unnecessarily on roads and paths I am not in a position to say, but I know that when it is completed, and the Force has got itself established there, as I hope it will be in the coming year, it will be economically administered, and it will be an institution of which the country will be very proud indeed.
I pass to the next biggest item to which attention has been drawn. It is Iraq, and here the reply is bound to go a little wide. The proposal outlined by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies is clearly within the recollection of the House, and it will be remembered that the policy of handing over the whole control to the Air Force has meant a great economy. If I remember rightly, it will save £20,000,000; but in order to effect this economy, and not to expose the reduced force to too great risk, it is essential that the concentrated headquarters shall be really secure, and it is in the bend of the river, which has been described before, that the new Air Force concentration is to take place. It has involved the setting up in that perimeter of semi-permanent buildings, and up to now the Army have not had permanent buildings in Iraq, but only very temporary accommodation, more or less. In any case, a good deal of the accommodation would be of no possible use for the policy of this concentrated camp which the Air Force have established in the bend of the river. It has been chosen for several good reasons, one being that the ground necessary for a great aeroplane station is extremely vulnerable. You cannot surround it by barbed wire fences or guard it unless you have some geographical feature to assist you. Therefore the bend of the river has been chosen, leaving only one end which would have to be held if there is any trouble in the country. That must be borne in mind in considering the immense economy that the whole scheme has brought to the taxpayer at home.
There is one other point in this connection. The right hon. Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) contended that the whole system of Appropriations-in-Aid was misleading to the House. Upon that I pass no opinion, but I accept no responsibility for it. It is the manner in which we, who are concerned in the Middle East, have to present our Votes to the House; but it is further complicated, unfortunately, this year by the fact that not only are we ourselves and the Middle East involved, but the War Office also has been involved, and I can understand the House being fogged with the procedure. But there is no intention to hide it from the House, and the fact that my right hon. Friend's attention was so quickly drawn to it is evidence of that. Our new Works last year, amounting to £600,000, were approved by this House. During the course of the year £500,000 was spent, and only £100,000 for new works is being asked for in the Estimates this year. If I could persuade hon. Members to have a look at some of the stations during the winter they would not complain of the expenditure the Air Force has incurred in trying to keep them in order. With regard to Item A—Staff for Works Services—to which attention has been drawn by the hon. Member for Harrow (Mr. Mosley), the increase is due to the fact that we have now got to undertake new obligations and new responsibilities in connection with building abroad, and it is for that reason only that this year the Staff of the Works Department is higher than it would otherwise have been. As regards Item G—Rents, Compensations, and Re-instate-ments—it is important that the House should appreciate that these are reinstatements of land and buildings which we have to do under the Defence of the Realm Act; in other words, it is quite fair to describe it as a war liability.
|Division No. 61.]||AYES.||[7.46 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Gardiner, James||Parker, James|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Gilbert, James Daniel||pearce, Sir William|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Perring, William George|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Greig, Colonel Sir James William||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray|
|Bartley-Denniss, Sir Edmund Robert||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.||Pratt, John William|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Purchase, H. G.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart, (Gr'nw'h)||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)||Renwick, Sir George|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Brassey, H. L. C.||Hills, Major John Waller||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Hinds, John||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Major D. C.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hopkins, John W. W.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Howard, Major S. G.||Seager, Sir William|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hudson, R. M.||Seddon, J. A.|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Cautley, Henry strother||Jephcott, A. R.||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Jesson, C.||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W).||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Cheyne, Sir William Watson||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Cockerill, BriGadler-General G. K.||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Taylor, J.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)||Lloyd, George Butler||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Lort-Williams, J.||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Edge, Captain Sir William||Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Ednam, viscount||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camiachle)||Warren, Sir Alfred H.|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Macquisten, F. A.||Windsor, Viscount|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Winterton, Earl|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Wise, Frederick|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||Mason, Robert||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Molson, Major John Eisdale||Worsfoid, T. Cato|
|Flides, Henry||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Fitzroy, Captain Hon. Edward A.||Neal, Arthur||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Forestler-Walker, L.||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Forrest, Walter||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Dudley Ward.|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hancock, John George||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hartshorn, Vernon||Newbould, Alfred Ernest|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Hayday, Arthur||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Cairns, John||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Swan, J. E.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Johnstone, Joseph||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thomas, Brig. Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Kennedy, Thomas||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kenyon, Barnet||Wilson, James (Dudley)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lawson, John James||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Edwards. G. (Norfolk, South)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)|
|Gills, William||Mallalieu, Frederick William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Mosley, Oswald||Mr. Hogge and Mr. W. R. Smith.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)|
at Halton Park is going to cost £1,400,000, and this is to provide accommodation for 2,000 boys! In other words, each boy is going to cost, as a capital charge, £700. I should like to, draw the attention of the Secretary of State to the recommendations of the Geddes Committee about buildings. The suggestion will be put forward from this side that as there are to-day 1,700 boys receiving instruction in quarters there while the total number the Secretary of State is going to provide for is 2,000, that this work should be delayed, and that it is not necessary at this time to spend £185,000 to complete the work, because it is likely the completion can take place at a lower rate in the coming year.
The other interesting point refers to Iraq. While the airmen for the last four years have been living under canvas the Secretary of State for Air is going to erect permanent buildings in that far-distant country. I think even the Secretary of State will not dogmatise at the present on the Air Force being able to govern that country permanently and successfully. We may hope it may be so, yet the employment of the Air Force in that country is experimental. It may have passed from the experimental stage, but in view of the short period that has elapsed in the employment of the force in that country, to ask the House of Commons this year, not only to find £438,000 for the erection of buildings, but in addition to that, as I see by page 21 of the Estimates, staff for works services in the Middle East, are calling for a further sum of £135,000. Not only are these buildings to be erected, but it is evident the Government are sending a large number of officials from this country, or paying them in this country for work to be done, in that country. Evidently the British taxpayer is going to be asked in the coming year to find nearly £600,000 for the erection of works in that distant country and the employment of staff £or storks services in the Middle East. Surely the Government, having themselves appointed the Geddes Committee, ought at least to pay more than lip service to their recommendations. At a time, too, when they are cutting down their housing and other programmes at home. This should be a year in which all money voted for new works should be reduced to a minimum The number of men in the Air Force is only 33,000. It is to cost £55 this year in new works for every individual employed. It is quite evident these Estimates are not being presented with that care that the taxpayer has the right to demand from the occupants of the Government Bench.
Then I want to ask one or two questions from the Minister in charge of the Vote. I commence again with the point as to the Appropriations-in-Aid, by way of a further illustration of the well-justified complaint which the House has from time to time made, and in which we have the support of the Minister himself. If hon. Members will look at item J (Appropriations-in-Aid), they will find that the total Vote is £2,214,000, and by Appropriations-in-Aid it is reduced to £1,530,000. On page 16 you will find that these Appropriations-in-Aid amount to £684,000, although the particulars of them are quite trifling, such as £1,000, £14,500, £2,500 and Miscellaneous £33,000. Then comes the recurrent item of repayments by the Middle East Department in respect of Iraq, Palestine, and Trans-Jordania, £633,000. I repeat that the items, brought in from the Army accounts, are confusing to the House, and they are not fair to the taxpayer by reason of the fact that we cannot have a proper disentanglement of them, or arrive at the definite cost by reason of the complications to which I have just referred. While there are some satisfactory reductions in this Vote—and I wish this was an effective sample of the other Votes in regard to the amount-of the reductions—will my right hon. Friend tell us why under item B (Barrack. Services) there is relatively a large increase compared with the £37,300 for 1921–22 and the Estimate has gone up by £9,700? What is the real cause of that?
Too much emphasis cannot be laid on the points to which my right hon. Friend who has just sat down has drawn attention in respect of these Appropriations-in-Aid. I was surprised on a previous Vote to hear the Secretary of State for Air pass over, as he did very light-heartedly, the criticisms made by my right hon. Friend on this point, because I do not think too much stress can be laid upon it. On this point the Secretary of State for Air on a previous Vote said he did not intend to comment upon the criticisms of my right hon. Friend.
The right hon. Gentleman says that he takes no responsibility for the system, and that may be so. It is not perhaps the fault of my right hon. Friend, but that in no sense excludes the Government whose responsibility it is, and it is for that reason that every opportunity ought to be taken on the part of those who disagree in this matter of driving it home, and urging upon the Government that they should not introduce a method of this nature which is muddling to the taxpayer. The taxpayer never knows from Votes brought forward in this way with these Appropriations-in-Aid what is being spent, and it is impossible for the taxpayer to know exactly what it is he is asked to spend upon these particular objects. I do hope that in future years Estimates of this sort will not be submitted to the House with the Middle East Department or the Army Department mixed up with other Departments of State, and the taxpayer will then know actually what it is he is asked to spend upon these particular items. I urge upon the Government the introduction of some better method.
I want to ask a question about the reduction in the item for medical services. The reduction in this item in proportion seems to me to be very much larger than in the case of many other items of expenditure under this Vote. The amount for 1921–22 was £141,800. The amount for 1922–23 is £83,400, showing a reduction of £58,400. I should like to be assured that this does not mean any decreases in the efficiency of the Medical Services in connection with the members of the Air Force. I see that altogether there is a net total decrease of £1,575,000. In this respect I should like to point a moral. I am surprised that the Minister for Air should make himself responsible for any economy at all, because 18 months ago, in most interesting letters in the Press, he challenged his critics to point out any item in which economies could be made in Government expenditure, and I find now that even in his own Department he has been able to effect large economies. I hope in the future he will not write letters to the "Times" about the impossibility of economising in any Government Department.
I do not think my right hon. Friend will expect me again to attempt to justify the systems of Appropriations-in-Aid. They have been in operation for a great many years, and I do not myself see how you can do without them, and they are bound to continue more or less. My right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) asked me for an explanation of the increase in the item for barrack services. It relates to the personnel employed in the Royal Air Force, and I have ascertained that the increase is due to the fact that this amount was included in Vote I last year, and this year it is included in this Vote. I am grateful for what has been said in regard to the decreases in this Vote, and I may point out that although they are very substantial they do not apply to this Vote only. The hon. Member for the Western Isles (Dr. Murray) has asked me a question about the item for medical services. I should be glad if the hon. Member would glance at the explanation given on page 16 under Item G, and there he will notice that there is a big reduction in payments to hospitals. In 1921–22 these payments amounted to £132,500, but the Estimate for 1922–23 is £73,000. This is largely due to a new system in the Royal Air Force of dealing directly with big civilian hospitals instead of keeping up expensive establishments of our own. I think what I have said answers the few questions which have been addressed to me.
The right hon. Gentleman will recollect that the Geddes Committee reported that the life of the uniforms issued to the Army and the Navy and the Air Force ought to be extended. They were forced to wear their clothes longer during the War, and that simple principle should apply to the fighting forces of the Crown now. I know that soldiers and sailors place great stress on their smart turn out, but I am anxious to ask the Secretary of State if that direct recommendation of the Geddes Committee has also been turned down. In a former Vote we showed that the Geddes Committee's recommendation in regard to works and buildings had been discarded, and I want to know if this has been done in regard to the question of clothing. The Estimate for this year is £182,500 and perhaps the Secretary of State will give us some information on that point.
I wish to raise one other small point. Under Item H, which is the cost of transport, it seems to me to be very high. The amount put down is £540,200 for the transport of a force which only contains 33,000 men. This seems to me to be rather a large item, because the total transport for the Air Force is over £500,000. Is it possible to use the mail service to the Far East? The point I wish to make is that now old standards must be discarded. Although it may have been delightful in the past to house our men in the best way, and clothe them in the most attractive uniforms, yet we must now readjust our standards, and face the definite reality that the public cannot and will not afford to maintain our Services in the same way as in the past. These are only small items, but it is an example of the carelessness which runs through all their dealings when they approach this subject, not only from a pre-War outlook, but also permeated with the war spirit. We ask the Government to take note of the dissatisfaction in the country, and to readjust the terms and conditions of service more in keeping with the large number of men and women to-day who are suffering from the folly of the present Government in the way of excessive expenditure, which leads to excessive and burdensome taxation.
I beg to move, to leave out "£1,295,000," and to insert instead thereof "£1,294,900."
I move this reduction not by way of criticism on the decrease of the Vote, because I am happy to notice that in every item of this Vote there is a decrease and not a single increase, but I move it as a protest once more—and it is the last opportunity I shall have to-night —against these Appropriations-in-Aid. This is the only way in which we can get anything out of the Government. It is only by persistent and steady criticism, and by the process which is popularly known as "rubbing it in," that we can do this. I propose to carry out that procedure by a Vote in the Lobby on this occasion. I want to direct the attention of the House once again to the fact that these Appropriations-in-Aid amount to a considerable sum—to £898,000. The gross total asked for is £2,193,000, notwithstanding that there is a satisfactory decrease of over £2,000,000, and the Appropriations-in-Aid are arrived at in the familiar style by repayments from the Middle East Department in respect of Iraq, Palestine, and Trans-Jordania.
I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has moved this reduction. It is the only way by which we can bring home to the Government what we think about these large Appropriations-in-Aid which deprive the taxpayer, and indeed this House—for it is only Members who study the Estimates in the way they have been studied by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) who realise what they are being asked to pay—of the knowledge they ought to have. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in the last speech he made on this particular subject said, "Oh, yes, this sort of thing has been the habit of governments for many years. It is a system of which the Government must avail itself, and everything is for the best in the best of worlds." It has been my privilege to be a Member of this House for a considerable number of years, and I venture to say we never had Appropriations-in-Aid of the amount which are submitted to-day. We have never had, and I hope never will have again, anything like the Middle East Department, which dovetails into other Departments, which quite clearly muddles its own accounts and the accounts of the other Departments, and of which we see the results in these large Appropriations-in-Aid. Therefore, with very great respect to the Secretary for Air, I say the analogy he brought forward cannot hold water for a single instant. I am consequently glad that my right hon. Friend has moved this reduction in order to impress on the Government the neces- sity of bringing these Appropriations-in-Aid to an end and of not making similar proposals another year.
There is one point on which I should like a reply with regard to the Appropriations-in-Aid. We have just passed Vote 2, in which there was an increase of £143,000 last year and one of £684,000 this year. In this Vote there is an increase of £534,890. It is not only that the system is bad, but in the two years exposed on the face of this Estimate it is shown that the habit is increasing, and that the amounts are increasing. I daresay if we added the amounts of the Appropriations-in-Aid on this account it would represent the income of a very respectable Department of State. This is not good business. It is not the best way of presenting these accounts to the public seeing that, if the calculation is made, the totals may be found to be simply astounding. Another point on which I should like a little information is with regard to Subhead N, which deals with war liabilities. I notice that last year a sum of £700,000 was spent in meeting the claims of inventors. There are apparently claims still outstanding against the Government for War services, although the Vote taken this year is only half a million. I do not say that the money has not been earned. As far as I have been able to observe in the past the claims that have been made by inventors for what they contributed to the War have not been adequately rewarded so far as money is concerned. The information I want is this: Is this the last contribution of this nature for which we are to be asked? Does this half million of money, to be voted this year, represent the whole of the remaining liabilities in regard to inventors? If not, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us if the liability can be exhausted by the expenditure of so many more hundreds of thousands of pounds, and, if so, how many? I do not want him to give a meticulous figure, but I do suggest that this kind of thing should not go on indefinitely from one Estimate to another without the public being able to tell what has been spent. In these two years £1,200,000 has been asked for. I do not know what was spent in the year preceding, but I do think the House which, after all, has to provide the money, should be given information on these points. In the first place, is this habit of Appropriations-in-Aid to continue, and, if not, when is it going to be stopped? Secondly, what are our future liabilities with regard to the large items under the Subhead N?
I want to draw attention to what may be a very small point. I notice that the Secretary for the Colonies always uses the word "Iraq" in describing Mesopotamia. Why should the other Departments adopt that name? It has manifestly been adopted in order to make people forget Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is not the blessed word which it was before the War, and the country has got absolutely sick and tired of spending money there. As far as I can gather, the only motive for the use of the word "Iraq" is to make people think that the money is spent in some other part of the world than Mesopotamia. I read a speech of the Secretary of State for War the other night, in which he said that the word "Coalition" had an evil smell, and that, therefore, they must change it, and the Liberals adopted the title "National Liberal" from Germany, in order to hide the word "Coalition." But that sort of thing will not do in business documents of this sort. The Government ought not to try to deceive the country in this way, and make the country believe that this money is not squandered in Mesopotamia. The word "Mesopotamia" should be used instead of "Iraq" in the future, so that people may know that this squandering in Mesopotamia is still going on.
I think it would be unwise for me to enter into an explanation of, or to atempt to justify the reasons for, the change from "Mesopotamia" to "Iraq." I should soon find myself wandering on to debatable ground. It will, perhaps, more usefully serve my purpose if I answer the two businesslike questions which have been addressed to me on Vote 3. The first is as to why the Appropriations-in-Aid have increased from £534,000 to £898,000 this year. The answer is that the services we are rendering in Iraq are increasing. They have increased during the last year, and will be increasing during the coming year. It should, however, also be borne in mind that other expenses are decreasing side by side with our increase. The Army expenditure is decreasing at a very rapid rate, indeed, and ours is increasing somewhat.
Last year the Appropriations-in-Aid were put down in one sum of £534,000, and this year the sum of £661,200 represents what the right hon. Gentleman is pleased to call further responsibilities in Mesopotamia. Can he tell us what was the comparable sum last year?
Because it has not been supplied to me. If I had it I should be only too anxious to furnish it to the hon. Member. But I think the explanation which I am giving will really meet his demand. The increase in our activities in connection with the Middle East Department is in squadrons and undertakings on behalf of that Department. In India I should think they are the same. I have no reason to believe that the charge against India has in any way altered. I think that that very nearly supplies the information that the hon. Member desires. As regards the miscellaneous Appropriations, I am not sure what the exact amount was, but I should think it would be about the same figure. With regard to Item M, which is £500,000 this year for War Liabilities (Rewards to Inventors and Miscellaneous Claims), this is a figure over which we in the Air Ministry have no control. The awards are made by the Royal Commission on Inventions, and we are merely instructed to ask in the House of Commons for the money to meet the awards made against our Department. I am trying to ascertain whether it is possible to give any indication as to
I am not able to say whether there is a time limit, but I should rather imagine that there is not. That is a point, however, upon which I can very easily obtain definite information. It is, however, beyond the power of the Ministry in any way to control the amount, as it is settled over their heads by the Royal Commission.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say, with regard to Item M, what proportion of these War liabilities is for rewards to inventors and what proportion is for other miscellaneous claims? I think I am right in saying that under this head are included a large number of claims for broken contracts and matters of that kind, and it would be useful if we could be told exactly what proportion of the amount applies to the one and what proportion applies to the other?
|Division No. 62.]||AYES.||[8.33 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray|
|Bagtey, Captain E. Ashton||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Farquharson, Major A. C.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Fell, Sir Arthur|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cockerill, BriGadler-General G. K.||Fildes, Henry|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Fitzroy, Captain Hon. Edward A.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Ford, Patrick Johnston|
|Bartley-Denniss, Sir Edmund Robert||Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Forestier-Walker, L.|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C H. (Devizes)||Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)||Forrest, Walter|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Eraser, Major Sir Keith|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Gardiner, James|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Edge, Captain Sir William||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham|
|Brassey, H. L. C.||Ednam, Viscount||Gilbert, James Daniel|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John|
|Brown, Major D. C.||Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)|
|Bruton, Sir James||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Greenwood, William (Stockport)|
|Greig, Colonel Sir James William||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camiachle)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Guest, Capt-Fit, Hon. Frederick E.||Macquisten, F. A.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Mallalieu, Frederick William||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Seager, Sir William|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Mason, Robert||Seddon, J. A.|
|Henderson, Lt -Col. V. L. (Tradeston)||Molson, Major John Eisdale||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Morris, Richard||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Hinds, John||Neal, Arthur||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Hood, Sir Joseph||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||Sugden, W. H.|
|Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Taylor, J.|
|Hopkins, John W. W.||Parker, James||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Pearce, Sir William||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Hudson, R. M.||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||Warren, Sir Alfred H.|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Porkins, Walter Frank||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Jameson, John Gordon||Perring, William George||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray||Winterton, Earl|
|Jesson, C.||Pratt, John William||Wise, Frederick|
|Johnson, Sir Stanley||Purchase, H. G.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Rankin, Captain James Stuart||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Remer, J. R.||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Kidd, James||Remnant, Sir James|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Renwick, Sir George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lloyd, George Butler||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)||Dudley Ward.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hartshorn, Vernon||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cairns, John||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Hogge, James Myles||Swan, J. E.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Johnstone, Joseph||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kenyon, Barnet||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lawson, John James||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Wilson, James (Dudley)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Gillis, William||Mosley, Oswald||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hancock, John George||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Mr. G. Thorne and Mr. Kennedy.|
Resolution agreed to.