Honours Lists.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 31st July 1922.

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Captain BENN:

30.

asked the Prime Minister whether he can paw make any statement as to the powers to be conferred upon the Royal Commission on Honours?

Photo of Lord Robert Cecil Lord Robert Cecil , Hitchin

43.

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now announce the names of the Royal Commissioners on the Distribution of Honours; what is to be their reference; and, particularly, whether the reference will permit them to inquire what donations, if any, recipients have made to party funds?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

I regret I am not yet in a position to give the names of those whom it is proposed to appoint on the Royal Commission, but I hope to be able to do so before the House rises. As a matter of fact, three or four of those whose names were suggested to me find themselves unable to serve and we shall have to make a further effort.

Captain BENN:

My question is as to the powers, not the personnel of the Commission. Are they to have power to examine on oath, and to send for persons, papers and records; and when will a statement be made?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

I shall make a statement when I get the Commission together. It is no use making a statement until then, and it is through no fault of the Government we have not got the names completed. Seine of those whose names were suggested by hon. Gentlemen opposite find themselves unable to serve, but, as I say, that is no fault of ours.

Photo of Lord Robert Cecil Lord Robert Cecil , Hitchin

Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to make a statement before the House rises? Does he recognise that the time is short, and if he cannot make a statement as to the personnel will he make a statement as to the powers?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

I hope to be able to make a statement s as to the personnel, but there are still two or three names to be settled—mostly of the other House. As far as this House is concerned, I hope to complete it to-day or to-morrow, but, as I have pointed out, there are two or three of the other House who find themselves unable to serve. I think I should be able to give a complete answer on Thursday.

Photo of Mr Donald Maclean Mr Donald Maclean , Peebles and Southern

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that by passing Resolutions in this House and in the other, all the powers which were brought into being by the Act of last Session can be given to this Royal Commission?

Captain BENN:

Is it not a fact that, if nothing be done until the House rises, even the Prime Minister will not be able to give this Commission the necessary powers?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

If the Commission find they are unable to conduct their own proceedings, they can seek additional powers.

Captain BENN:

Not without an Act of Parliament.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

32.

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now inform the House whether any of the statements of the reasons for which honours were conferred, which appeared in the Gazette of the 4th June last, were incorrect; whether a correct statement will be gazetted for the information of the public; and whether the Resolutions passed by the House of Lords in October, 1917, with regard to recommendations for honours, have since been and are still operative?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

As I informed my hon. Friend in answer to an identical question on Monday last, these matters have been fully debated in both Houses of Parliament, and I have nothing to add to what has already been said.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Did not the right hon. Gentleman in the recent Debate state that he never made any inquiry as to whether any payment had been made to party funds, and will he inform the House how ho reconciles that with the Second Resolution of the House of Lords, which requires him to satisfy himself that any payments or expectations of payments to any party or political fund was directly or indirectly associated with the granting of an honour?

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is it not a fact that I raised this point in the Debate, and asked the Minister present to make a particular note of it, so that it should be replied to; and that no reply has been given?

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

There was a full discussion on the matter, and many hon. Members of this House took part and raised various points, but we cannot now go into all these by way of question and answer.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

But this is as to a matter of fact. I raised the question in the Debate, and I have put it down twice, and I have failed to get an answer.

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

In every Debate which takes place in this House some hon. Member feels that questions which he has raised, or points which he has put, have not been answered, hut a process of cross-examination will never deal with matters of this kind.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Is it not always the inconvenient questions which remain unanswered?