I beg to move, "That this House do now adjourn."
I rise to make this Motion for reasons which I will very briefly explain. I may say that the Motion on which leave to move the Adjournment was given had nothing to do with the question of the behaviour of unemployed workmen in London or any other part of the country; it had nothing to do with the Prime Minister's refusal to see the leaders, which I should not be in order in discussing; it had nothing to do even with the expediency of gathering together in London great bodies of unemployed workers from the provinces. What I do want to do is to clear up, now and for the future, the question of the relation between the Government of the day and the Press of this country. Are the public, when they buy a newspaper, of whatever shade of opinion, to be sure that in it are the opinions of the people who edit and publish the newspaper, and that, if there are official communiqués, they shall be marked as official communiqués; or are they never to be sure that there has not been some pressure put on newspaper editors and others, in times of stress and disturbance, and that communiqués have not been put in as news, at the inspiration of the Government and to hide their origin?
I do not particularly wish to embarrass the Government. My right hon. Friend, if he will permit me so to call him, knows that perfectly well. My object, as we are not in power, is to help the Government to do the right thing, and it is in that spirit that I am raising this question. Evil communications, I am afraid, very often corrupt good manners. The right hon. Gentleman was a great ornament of the late Government for a considerable time, and, no doubt, became very well versed in the methods then used to manipulate public opinion through the Press; but I understand that one of the objects of the formation of the new conservative Government is to sweep away all those irregularities, to get back to absolutely constitutional methods of government—the methods of Disraeli, Gladstone, and so on. In fact, so much has this been the case that, after the present Government came into power, so I am informed, Downing Street was closed to Press representatives. The gentlemen who went in the ordinary course of their professional duties to ask for information at Downing Street, as they were legitimately entitled and were accustomed to do, were told that those days were over, and that no Pressman was to cross the sacred threshold of No. 10 or No. 11, Downing Street, but that this Government was going back to the pre-War practice and was going to be correct in every particular.
That was until after the election. Then, the moment the Government found itself faced with its first trouble, namely, this unrest, and perhaps even menace, due to great masses of our fellow-countrymen being without employment, a hurried message was sent to certain selected organs of the Press. I say "selected." because one newspaper with a large circulation, read as the sole organ of opinion by a great many of our fellow-countrymen, taken in, I believe, in the households of the very highest in the land, read, I am sure, by the majority of the Members of this House, and certainly read by the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, was expressly excluded; and the whole of the provincial Press was left out. In spite of the fact that these men who are supposed to be the cause of this terrible trouble had come from the provinces, the great organs of opinion in the North of England, the Midlands, and the West of England, that do not publish in London, were excluded. Certain selected newspapers were asked, by telephone or by other means, to send representatives to Downing Street, and there they were regaled with a fearsome story of what was going to happen in certain eventualities. Into the accuracy of the information given out to the Press, the methods used to collect it, or the system of espionage under which, I suppose, we are still doomed to live, I do not intend to enter. I do not question the actual material that was given out for publication. I shall have a word to say in a moment about certain aspects of it, but the extraordinary thing is that the newspaper representatives were required, or requested, on no account to publish the fact that this information—giving details of men's careers who were supposed to be the leaders of the unemployed, giving details of the revolutionary plans and plots that they had formed for raising the lieges in rebellion against the Crown—all this was to be published with no hint of the fact that it came from the Government.
That, in my opinion, was a highly improper proceeding, and I think the explanation given by the right hon. Gentleman is very curious. He says, in effect, that he considered that the newspapers' publication of this information, without giving any hint as to its origin, would have more effect on the public mind than if an official communiqué were issued. In other words, the right hon. Gentleman admits that the public believe the newspapers before they believe his own official communiqués. That is the interpretation. The sooner this Government—and I say this in a most friendly way to the right hon. Gentleman—dispel the distrust in the public mind of the official communiqué, the semi-official communiqué, the inspired statement, and all the rest of it, the sooner they will lead the people to believe that the word of Ministers, in writing or spoken, can be trusted, and the better it will be for the country. They are going the wrong way, if I may respectfully say so, by adopting these methods of which I and my hon. Friend who will second this Motion now complain. I wish at this point to make it as absolutely clear as I can that I am not discussing the policy of the leaders of the unemployed. I do not know that I have ever met or spoken to or seen one single person who is at present leading the unemployed workmen. I hold no brief for these gentlemen. One, I understand, is a clergyman of the Church of England, and many of the others are ex-service men, as, of course, are many of the unemployed. I have been in no communication now or, as far as I know, at any other time with any of them, and I am certainly not in any way defending any action that will lead to violence or riot. I wish to make that absolutely clear. I think that, if we have anything to learn from the awful events of the last seven or eight years, it is that force settles nothing, and I hope the Government will not attempt to ride off by saying that I and my hon. Friend, who will second this Motion, are in any way condoning violence or riot, because that would be absolutely contrary to the fact.
Let me pass to the effect that this had. One newspaper that I know of refused to have anything to do with this anonymous communication that was handed to them. They were, I understand, given a typewritten sheet of paper without any mark or Government stamp on it, and they promptly put it in its proper place, namely, the wastepaper basket. Another newspaper did not use
it, but they, very properly as I consider, gave their readers to understand what had happened. I quote from the "Westminster Gazette." Apart from the fact that the "Westminster Gazette" is owned by a very distinguished Nobleman and its policy is well known in the country, I am certain none will accuse it of trying to stir up revolution or anything like it. On 22nd November it warns the public that they must be prepared for a series of Moscow-inspired plots and sensational statements which have a common origin based on the idea that a massed gathering of the unemployed, being refused admission to Downing Street, will disperse and afterwards concentrate by twos and threes in Whitehall, forming into sections of eight men. Then come the following lines:
The 'Westminster Gazette' refuses to accept these anonymous statements and regards it as the duty of the Government to make a plain statement on its own responsibility.
I could not put it better. In an article on 23rd November they say:
Every newspaper will readily give prominence to any Government statement, either of fact or policy, but newspapers ought; not to be asked to give on their own authority news which the Government wishes to disseminate, but for which it will not accept responsibility.
I think that is very fairly put. This method adopted by the right hon. Gentleman puts a very great strain on the newspapers. They are told we are on the brink of a vast conspiracy to raise an insurrection amongst the inhabitants of the country, and that they must help the Government by publishing this information without giving its source. As patriotic men, what are they to do? They do not like to refuse. They feel bound to accept. Further, when newspapers are selected for these confidences, it is a form of pressure which can be brought to bear upon them in the future. Suppose only the papers that publish these inspired statements anonymously are to receive Government information. It puts a very powerful weapon in the hands of the Government of the day against the Press. The late Government, whatever they did, used to invite the sheep and the goats and everyone to their Press Conferences. [An HON. MEMBER: "Did they?"] Yes. [An HON. MEMBER: "No, no!"] If anyone was excluded, that was very improper, but, generally speaking, they invited the whole
of the daily and the provincial Press, and I am told in fact that some conferences at which an hon. Member for one of the Divisions of Birmingham presided were so over-crowded as to be uncomfortably hot. At any rate, the late Government invited them all; but if you are going to begin picking and choosing amongst the papers which give you support, you are bringing a form of pressure on the public Press which is unhealthy and which may lead to very unfortunate results indeed. The freedom of the Press is a very precious thing, and if Governments are going to attempt to manipulate it in this sort of way, it is very wrong. I do not say the right hon. Gentleman would himself at this moment deliberately try to force papers to publish certain things by applying or withholding pressure, but if he once begins selecting whom he is going to invite to Press Conferences, the door is open to that form of abuse that I have attempted to describe, and I am trying to do him a service by putting a stop to it once for all.
On the other hand, certain papers did fall in with the right hon. Gentleman's ideas. I hold in my hand one newspaper, very brilliantly written, the "Pall Mall Gazette," which fell in completely with the Government's plan. They talk of
an organised plan to provoke a riot by dictation of Moscow,
and then we have
Orders from Moscow,
Men who are led by some of the most revolutionary Communists in the country, men who are in almost daily communication with Moscow.
When these great headlines appeared they were widely read in a very respectable paper of this sort, and I wonder there was not a panic on the Stock Exchange. I wonder that ordinary citizens did not make a raid on the gunshops and purchase weapons for their self-defence. This is not the way to get tranquillity in the public mind. We are told we are going to have peace, rest and a clearer atmosphere. We do not want our nights disturbed by these fearsome nightmares. I do not know anything about these unemployed leaders. I do not think I have met one of the men who are at present organizing the movement amongst our
unemployed workmen. The newspapers have been required to publish accounts of these men's records. Apparently the whole of them have been gone over with a small toothcomb and they have picked out certain gentlemen who had the misfortune to come into collision with the civil authorities, mostly men who have been in prison, or fined, or prosecuted for inciting to disturb the peace, in other words, for making speeches. I should have thought the right hon. Gentleman would be a little more sympathetic. Still, other times, other manners. I do not wish to go into that. Here and there they found the record of a man who had committed some horrible crime involving moral turpitude. In any case, I have it on such legal authority as I have been able to consult that these men would have been justified, and would have had a very strong case, if they had sued the newspapers for libel. Then, where would they have been? Would they have said, "This is the responsibility of the Government," and should we have had the spectacle of the right hon. Gentleman and his private secretary arraigned for criminal libel and the old rule of the King committing no wrong? It is unnecessary to stress this point to show, as I think, the extreme impropriety of such an action as getting newspapers to publish the records of these men who are described as leaders of the unemployed. I am not going into the question of their characters, their position, their political beliefs, or past records. I am saying it is not a very chivalrous thing to pillory poor men throughout the Press of London in this way because they are doing what I believe, from what I know of my fellow-countrymen, most of them consider to be an action to try to help men, women and children who are suffering cruelly. It is not a thing I consider quite worthy of the Government of this country.
We are really faced with a very big constitutional issue. The late Government. I believe, was largely brought down through misusing the Press. The famous communiqué issued by Mr. Winston Churchill served the useful purpose of getting him out of the present House of Commons. It was following on one of the conferences with the Press in Downing Street that quite a number of newspapers in London came out with great placards, "War Inevitable," and underneath the word "official" underlined. When that sort of news, issued from Downing Street and flashed round the world, reached the people who were facing each other and might possibly have become combatants, it was really a great miracle—it was largely owing to the great good sense of the soldiers on the spot— that we were not involved in a war the outcome and extent of which no one could prophesy. That was an example of the very worst form of an attempt to mould public opinion, to influence public opinion, by what I think altogether improper means. Are we going to have the same policy pursued? Is the right hon. Gentlemen going back to the methods of issuing proper official statements from the responsible heads of Government Departments to the Press which everyone knows are official statements and can be given the weight and credence they deserve? It depends very much on the Government of the day and its past record. Are we going back to that, or is the Government going to permit newspaper correspondents to call upon them for information upon questions of the day, quite properly, and to give them such information as they like, leaving them to say, "We have this from official sources" or "Our diplomatic correspondent learns from the Government Department"? That is the perfectly proper way, and is quite regular, and works well both here and abroad. Are we going to do that, which I suggest the Government should do in the future, or are we going to continue this attempt to improperly influence public opinion by manipulating the Press, or attempting to manipulate it? If so, we are simply continuing an extremely unhealthy, unwholesome atmosphere which grew up out of the War and from D.O.P.A. and all the other expediences that were used at that time, such as propaganda and the whole business of trying to bludgeon public opinion, which we know so well does tremendous harm.
I invite the Prime Minister to tell us plainly what he intends to do in the future. On this occasion, possibly some subordinate may have exceeded his instructions, but I know the right hon. Gentleman too well to think that he would make that as an excuse. He may himself for the moment have temporarily lost his balance. If so, well, we are charitable; to err is human, and I am sure that we will forgive him. But it is playing with fire. It is not good. It is not fair to the House of Commons. We ought to have these statements on the Floor of the House. It is not fair to the right hon. Gentleman himself, who, I believe, does want to get back to a peaceable and tranquil atmosphere. It is not fair to the Press. It is putting an unfair strain upon them. It is most unfair to pick out this paper or that paper because of its political opinions. It is most unfair to the public. The ordinary man in the street is busy and hard at work, and has not the time to buy two or three newspapers and to weigh up the news and opinions given in each. He wants to know that the news he gets is true, and that no one is trying to mislead him. It is for these reasons that I move the Adjournment.
I beg to second the Motion.
I want to join in the protest against carrying on these bad old traditions of the War. It may have been that during the War we must have espionage and a good deal of underhand or underground work in order to carry the war through successfully. My experience during a War at conferences at Downing Street or at Whitehall was that they were deliberately run for the purpose of giving information of a certain kind. I had a great altercation on one occasion with the late right hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Churchill) about some information he was giving, which I knew was untrue, and which I challenged at the time. It may have been necessary that the Government should in a way give perverted information in order to keep up the spirits of the nation; but there is no such reason now. I should have thought that now the Coalition Government has gone, the Prime Minister would at least-have got rid of this Press Department altogether, and that he would have got rid of the Criminal Investigation Department in regard to political affairs.
I have been in politics almost since I was a child, and I have never known a time when the police have been so active in regard to trade unions and socialist societies as they are now. I have never read at any time such outrageous and ridiculous stories of the aims and objects of trade unions and socialist societies as now. I lived through the period when William Morris and H. M. Hyndman first started the socialist movement in this country. For a little while they were prosecuted. Hon. Members will remember that the police first began to take notes in connection with meetings of socialist societies plus the Irish Home Hide agitation. There was a Debate in this House 30 years ago and a protest was made against the police being employed to attend political meetings of any kind. I have admitted that during the War it may have been necessary, I am not admitting that it was. I am only saying that from the point of view of hon. Members opposite it may have been necessary; but it is not necessary to-day. It is an insult to the whole of the Labour movement to send police of all kinds to take down our speeches in a very rough-and-ready manner. I was sent to prison for a speech that I never delivered. [Laughter] It is all very well for hon. Members to laugh. I can laugh because it did me no harm. I can go to prison and come out and it will not make any difference to me, but I am not a poor man in the sense that other people are poor, people who have no one to speak for them, and who very often are unable to speak for themselves. Therefore, it is not a matter for laughter when police who cannot write correct shorthand are sent to our meetings to take down notes and to publish them in the Press, prosecute the speakers, and send them to prison.
I undertake to say that not one of the men whom you charge with having gone to prison for seditious statements ever uttered the statements that the police charged them with having made. I am as certain of that as I am that I am standing here. I am not making a charge against the Prime Minister. I have a regard for two men whom I met here in the last Parliament, of which I was a Member, one is Lord Balfour, and the other is the Prime Minister, not because I agree one bit with what either of them do or the principles they profess, but I could understand what they meant when they got up to speak, and I did not always understand what others meant. Therefore there is nothing personal in what I am going to say. Somebody got out a Memorandum, and I expect that that somebody is under the jurisdiction of the Home Secretary. This Memorandum was given to certain sections of the Press. This afternoon, to the amusement of the House, the right hon. Gentleman admitted that the "Daily Herald" was left out. Of course, it might have been left out during the period when I was the editor, because I am such an awful person that I would not deal fairly with such a statement. It so happens that the "Daily Herald" to-day is the property of the trade union and Labour movement and is edited by one of the most distinguished journalists in the country, and it is an insult to him that the communiqué was not given to him. Whoever was responsible for this document, they must have known that no self-respecting, independent journal would touch it with a forty-foot pole. He did not give it to the Press Association, nor to the Central News, both of which send news throughout the length and breadth of the country, because I am certain that neither of those organisations would have lowered itself to accept a communication on the terms laid down by the Government that they should suppress the source of their information.
Surely we have, not come to this pass, that we are not able to carry on the business of this country without poisoning the sources of information that the Press gives to the public. Here we are a political party. Our numbers give us status. I daresay that some hon. Members opposite think that we are a very poor lot because we are what we are, but here we are in a certain number, and are we going to allow the Government to use the Press to poison the minds of the public against men who, to a very large extent, are men whom we represent? There are 2,000 in this crowd. There are altogether from one and a half to two millions of unemployed. If there is one section of the community whom I at least try to represent, it is those who are down and out. I do not deny that hon. Members opposite perhaps try to represent them from their point of view. I am not so silly as to say that we have got a monopoly of any of the virtues. The only thing I say is that we think that our proposals for dealing with the unemployment are the only proposals that will solve the problem, and, believing that, we fight for them every time and do what we are doing here on every occasion. But when the day comes when we change over to that side, as it will come, will hon. Members opposite think it right that we should take the Press in hand to dope it in this fashion? There is not one of them who would defend it then.
It is all nonsense to talk of what they are doing in Moscow or Italy. We believe in the principle that, if the working people will use this institution to its fullest extent, we can revolutionise our society without shedding one drop of blood, and that is what we are doing all the time. But your police, through the Government Departments, dope the Press with exactly the contrary view. All through elections the story was told mainly because the police are used in order to spy on the workers and get up these cases against them. We want to protest against that. The Prime Minister said some days ago that our leader (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald) was acting as Rip Van Winkle when he recalled what the Prime Minister and the hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. McNeill) did during the Ulster agitation. I want to say to them that the whole talk of violence in the Labour movement arose mainly after these activities in Ulster.
I have had six of these men this evening in the House. Ninety per cent, of the men whom you dub "criminals" are men who went through the War. One of those who want to see you has every medal except the Victoria Cross. He has gone through the length and breadth of Europe fighting for his country. The others fought too. If even 10 per cent. of them—which is untrue—could be proved to be real criminals in the ordinary sense of the word you have no right to gibbet them in the Press in the fashion in which you did. I think that you have done one of the cruellest injustices to a set of very poor men who are down and out, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will say to-night that a mistake has been made, and that we are not to condemn 2,000 men in this fashion simply because they have among them some people who probably at some time did what they ought not to have done. Who has not? God forbid that I should pass judgment on anybody except myself. You often talk in this House of sympathy. You often say that we have not a monopoly. Let all of us agree that, whether these men axe good men or bad men, they are suffering through an infernal social condition which ought to have been changed years ago. Above all, do not let the Government of the day libel them and lampoon them in the fashion in which they have done.
I have certainly nothing to complain of in the tone of either of the speeches to which we have just listened. As regards the hon. and gallant Gentleman for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) he, I think truly, explained that his aim was to do his best to enable the Government to do right. That has always been the business of every Opposition, and I think that on this particular occasion we must congratulate him on another aim and of having carried it out successfully. The other aim to which I have referred is not only a desire to teach us to do right, but a desire to teach hon. Gentlemen opposite how they could best utilise their strength in order also to teach us to do right. I have no fault to find with that. To come to the charge made against us, really, I have considerable difficulty in finding out exactly what is the crime of which we are accused. The hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull surprised me very much. He paid a compliment to the Government of my right hon. Friend the late Prime Minister which I listened to with extreme pleasure, and which I am not going to contradict. The compliment was that the late Government never selected newspapers, that they gave all their information to every newspaper, that there was no attempt whatever to get particular newspapers to advocate the views of the Government. I daresay that that will be very gratifying to the late Prime Minister, but it is very different from what I have heard from the hon. and gallant Member himself, and from what, if he thinks it worth while, we shell hear from him again if the occasion arises.
The hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) accused me, in effect, though I do not think that he accused me intentionally, of branding these unemployed people as criminals. I am going to tell the House exactly what I did. I received a letter from this body asking me to receive them. That was at the very beginning of the Election. I thought it utterly useless and I declined. I got a second letter the other day. I took it up, and I had before me the verbatim report of the speeches made by speakers who were presumably selected, because they were leaders of this movement, and I had, in addition, the previous records—there is no mystery about them—not of this body as a whole, but mainly of people who have made these speeches, and on reading these speeches I came to the conclusion not only that I would not receive a deputation, but that there was a real danger of serious rioting. It is easy to be wise after the event. I had in my mind the recollection of a very serious riot caused by the unemployed near Downing Street. I thought it was quite possible that something of the same sort would occur again.
Whether rightly or wrongly, I thought that there was serious danger of a riot. I must repeat what I said the other day. A riot, had it occurred, would have had no terrors for me. I do not mean personal terrors; I mean as to its effect on the Government. I am sure that everyone sitting on the Opposition benches realises that if such a riot had taken place it would have weakened and not strengthened the position of hon. Members opposite. I, therefore, had no
motive so far as the Government was concerned. Having read these speeches and that letter, I said to one of my secretaries: "Write a letter declining to see them, and at the same time communicate with the Press exactly what I myself now know." Up to then I had myself no knowledge that, as I now believe—I am bound to say this—these poor people were being exploited, not by the Labour party, which believes that its ends can be got, as the last speaker said, through this House, but by a party which is openly aiming at getting those ends by revolutionary means. I have lots of extracts from speeches to justify that statement. Let me give one:
All I have to say is that the unemployed will not he side-tracked, and they will insist in no uncertain manner to see Mr. Bonar Law, and if we do not see him there will he hell.
It is the report of a speech taken, not as the hon. Gentleman suggests, by an official shorthand writer, but by men who take shorthand notes on the instructions of the police.
Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman is quoting from an official document? Is it not in accordance with the practice of this House that when an official document is quoted, the whole document should be laid on the Table of the House?
I have really no objection to laying on the Table every document I saw, not the least. They were the reports. Let me read another extract which justifies my statement that more than ordinary constitutional means were intended. This was stated at the first meeting:
Now then, you have said 'hear, hear,' many of you, I wonder how many of you will be on parade when I give the word of
command, that we have to make an attack on the House of Commons. We have brought into London over 2,000 unemployed from all over the country who do not give a damn whether they are taken back in coffins so long as we win the fight.
I read the speech made yesterday by a gentleman who, I think, was the main organizer of this movement. He said:
We certainly had sufficient tact and sufficient intelligence to realise, after a careful examination of the position round about Whitehall, that they had sufficient bodies of police, mounted and foot, to give us, possibly, the thrashing of our lives.
What does that show? I do not think there can be any difference of opinion. It shows that they had considered the possibility of a clash, and had come to the conclusion that they would get the worst of it.
On a point of Order. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will consider the advisability of receiving a deputation of the unemployed, in order to prevent the very clash to which he refers?
I think I have justified the case I have made so far. I must leave the House to judge. The question is, with this knowledge in my possession, did I take a wrong action in giving it to the Press? It is perfectly true that there were two methods in which I could give it. One was to give it to the Press Association, but, as has been pointed out, the effect of that would have been to send it all over the country. It would have been a much more elaborate process, and the only object I had in view was to influence London opinion on the following day, when I feared a riot. I did not, as a matter of fact, give any instructions as to the method of communicating information. I say at once and frankly that I prefer the direct method, wherever it is possible, and it is my intention as far as possible to adopt it. The Mover of the Motion said that we were actually interfering with the liberty of the Press. What happened? Two of my secretaries were engaged in this. They saw between them all the London papers, with the exception of the "Daily Herald," in regard to which I gave an explanation at Question Time. In every case they said to them precisely what were my instructions—"This is in- formation which we have received, which we are sure the public know nothing about, and which we think it is in the interest of the public for them to know about." How in the world is that interfering with the liberty of the Press—to give them information which they can use or not as they please?
I think they are under very close examination. The Seconder of the Motion was good enough to say he had a sort of personal liking for myself. I hope, but it is a very big hope, that he will continue to entertain that, in the new relations in which we are placed. In my view we are being punished—if it is punishment, for I do not feel it very severely—for our virtues. The one charge about "doping the Press" has been that a particular line of thought was circulated in every newspaper that could be got to adopt it, in order to impress the views of the Government on the public. What we did was to send for all the leading London newspapers, and I am told my secretaries said to them definitely, "We do not wish in the least to influence your opinion and do not attempt it, because we know we could not, but these are the facts, and you can judge whether to use them or not." How in the world is that attempting to interfere with the liberty of the Press? The hon. Member who moved the Motion seemed to be under a real misapprehension. I believe he was chiefly influenced in bringing this forward by a motive which every Member of the House of Commons—being a little quicker in the uptake than other people— will appreciate. But if what he suggested were true, it would really mean something that was absolutely impossible. If we did attempt to influence the Press, it would be the Press which supports us. Anyone who has read an account of the life of Delane knows that he was constantly met by the Government of the day in precisely the same way as that in which we are accused of meeting the Press.
He was independent, of course, but he was seen by the Government in order to try to have a particular thing put to the public. Therefore, I say, in this case we are being punished for our virtues. If we had adopted the plan of going only to the London papers which support the Government, not a word would have been heard. It is because we decided not to do that in our dealings with the Press, as far as we can, that this charge has arisen. It is our endeavour to give information to the whole of the Press, and certainly not to attempt to get our view expressed through the Press by any special dealings. Of course, as we all know, "Facilis descensus," and the time may come when that will not be so, but I assure the House there is no one in my staff at this moment, and I cannot supply the missing skill, who could attempt to deal with the Press by any process except putting the facts straightforwardly before them. I do not think there is any more to say, except perhaps this, and I would try to urge this point upon hon. Gentlemen opposite. The extracts which I have read are in themselves sufficient to show that this is really a direct fight against the constitutional methods by which they are proceeding. [HON. MEMRWS: "No, no!"]
I quite agree, Sir. Perhaps I went beyond the bounds of Order, but if so I had some little excuse in the fact that I was answering a previous speech from the other side. I have only to say, in conclusion, that there is really no ground for this attack, and I am satisfied that the House of Commons will take that view.
We have listened to a great onslaught, but I submit the right hon. Gentleman has not met the complaint. I do not propose to discuss the wisdom or otherwise of his attitude in not meeting the unemployed. I hold strong views about it, but it does not arise on this Motion. I am not going to discuss the wisdom or otherwise of the quotations which he has read. I hold views on that subject also, but again it has no bearing whatever upon our complaints as to the Government's action. It is somewhat unwise, however, for the Prime Minister to quote precedents, not alone from the late Government, but from years ago, because it is obvious that he himself must have been very disturbed in his own mind as to public opinion on this "doping" of the Press. The very first speech which the right hon. Gentleman delivered in Glasgow referred to it. He said quite openly, so far as he was concerned, he did not intend to influence the Press. [HON. MEMBEES: "And he did not!"] If hon. Members will not interrupt they will probably be able to follow what I am going to say. The Prime Minister can contradict me if I am wrong. There could be only one conclusion drawn from his reference to this matter, and that is, that he attached great importance to it. He must have felt instinctively that the public as a whole was disturbed or there would be no point in his reference. Then, having thus referred to it, the first charge made against the Government after the opening of Parliament is that the Prime Minister himself has broken the principle which he laid down in his Glasgow speech. It is much more serious than that. This is a continuation of a growing practice, and a very bad practice. The Prime Minister asks what crime he has committed? My answer is that if there is a public danger, if there is the menace that he submits to this House, and if he himself was afraid of the consequences likely to arise from the presence of these people, then, instead of selecting one section of the Press, he should have come down to this House of Commons, where he could have had his statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
The dates are against the Prime Minister. Let me point out what this has developed from, because our complaint arises from the fact that this is a continuation of a practice. During the miners' strike—[HON. MEMBERS: "Lock-out!"]—had I relied upon my memory instead of my notes, I would not have made that blunder—during the miners' lock-out, the President of the Board of Trade called together a number of journalists in the Lobby of this House. Having prejudiced their minds with the statements against the miners, he did not have the courage to say to them: "Now, the statements we have made we will stand by, and we give you our authority to quote them." He did not do that. Having given the information, having prejudiced the case, he wound up by saying to them: "Upon no consideration must you mention that this information comes from Government quarters." I make that statement quite deliberately, and we can produce the journalists themselves if it is disputed. Examine that for a moment in the light of this case. That means that whatever the merits of the dispute may be, they can never be considered fairly and squarely, because, no matter how unfair statements made under those circumstances may be, they can never be answered because the charge cannot be properly made. That happened in connection with the miners' dispute by the then President of the Board of Trade, the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, now the right hon. Member for the Hillhead Division of Glasgow (Sir R. Home), and the present right hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. McCurdy), in a room set apart in this House, met a number of journalists again on the miners' question and deliberately said to them: "Upon no consideration must you publish the source of your information." I put it to the House that when the Prime Minister says to us, "What is the crime that I have committed?" I answer him by saying that he has adopted a method that is a continuation of a bad method that must of necessity prejudice any case.
That is the first case I make, but I want to go beyond that. The Prime Minister shook his head when I said he could have come to this House. Let me examine his version of what took place. He said: "I receive a communication from the unemployed, I decide that it is not my duty to meet them; a letter is sent, I receive another communication, and whilst I am considering it I see in front of me the records of these men." That is his statement. Really, it cannot be quite so simple as that. How does it come about that the records of these men are before him? There can be only one explanation.
The explanation must be that those who were anxious to advise him not to receive a deputation thought they would influence his mind by putting these records before him. What other grounds would there be for the records being in front of him? None whatever.
I can answer that very easily. I had seen, in the paper which the hon. Member mentioned, truncated reports of the speeches, and I asked for as full a report as it was possible to get.
If that be so, that immediately disposes of the reason given for not meeting them. I understood the reason for not seeing the deputation was because it was a matter that the heads of the Departments could deal with. Now I gather that the real reason was not that at all, but that the records of these individuals were a barrier. That is the only conclusion that one can come to. The point I am developing is this. The Prime Minister asked what other steps he could have taken. I answer him by saying again that on the day when the reports were published this House of Commons was in Session. He says tonight that he was so apprehensive of the consequences, that the situation was so dangerous, that he felt the only course open was to warn the London public. If that means anything, it means this, that the London public would not be influenced or disturbed by the speech of the Prime Minister, but that it would be disturbed by statements in one section of the Press only. I put it to the Prime Minister that when he joins with us in saying that we want constitutional methods, when he joins with us, as we join with him, in saying that this House ought to be the sounding board for every grievance in the country, when we are anxious to make it the sounding board and to say to our people, "Give us a chance to raise it in the Mother of Parliaments," when they get to know that those responsible for the government of the country are adopting other means than the Floor of the House of Commons in dealing with this very case, you drive them to unconstitutional means. I say quite deliberately that this House of Commons was in Session. All these speeches that have been quoted and all the records of these men—if the Prime Minister states, as he has already stated, that they were a danger to the nation, I put it to him that he should have come to this House of Commons and made the statement where it would have been answered, and the public as a whole could have judged. The Prime Minister read a speech about someone saying they would damn the consequences. This language and these threats are not the prerogative of the unemployed. Supposing, for instance, the Scottish Press—
I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but he makes a long argument to the effect that I should have made a statement in this House. There are many other answers to that argument, but the conclusive one is that this was done either on Tuesday or Wednesday, and the House met on Thursday.
If my right hon. Friend puts that as an argument, I answer him by saying that the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lans-bury), the day after these articles appeared, read them from these benches.
I agree, but what I am pointing out to the Prime Minister is that the difference in the date was a day. The difference was that these statements appeared on the Wednesday in the Press. This House of Commons was meeting the next day, and the Prime Minister, instead of making the statement he did, could have told the Press that he proposed to make a statement to the House of Commons.
I will leave the point as to whether a riot might have occurred. I do not want to be tempted into an argument as to what the Press might have said, because a selected number of the Press might easily have been told some of the incidents that have happened in the House of Commons in the early days when I was a Member. They could have been told of some of the speeches made in the other place about "damning the consequences." [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!" and "Hear, hear!"]
Here, again, we are getting away from the point. This is not a general Debate on an ordinary Adjournment. It is confined to a specific question of the information given to the Press on this occasion.
I have experienced all through a difficulty in limiting myself. I conclude by saying that I hope the Prime Minister's statement means, if it means anything, that he believes not only in freedom of speech. For those who make a mistake, even in speech, the law of this country provides a punishment. Let them be dealt with in that way. Freedom of speech is necessary and good; freedom of the Press is equally necessary. For the past six years the people of this country have grown to disbelieve the Press. They have come to the conclusion that the Government have so influenced and manipulated the situation that they do not trust its statements. I hope the Prime Minister will realise that the object of this Debate to-night is to abolish, once and for all, this bad practice, and that, above all, if he is going to make a statement to the Press he will make it to the whole of the Press and not to a particular and selected few.
I have listened with very much interest to the explanation and partial apology presented to the House by the Prime Minister. Neither the explanation nor the partial apology, however, gets over the fact that the Government of this country undertook to colour the information which was to be given to the people with regard to a very serious and important matter. The Prime Minister said that it was easy to be wise after the event, but it would have been easy to be wise before the event in this matter. It was easy to know, when an information was issued to the Press of the country, laying all sorts of charges against the people who were leading the unemployed on this occasion, that there was behind it an instigation to the worst form of rioting which could possibly take place—a form of rioting which we have seen, not once but many times in this country, in which an unorganised small body of individuals struggling for something which they thought a right and proper duty, have been set upon and driven by those who felt they were doing the Government's duty and taking the Government's part, however mistaken they might have been.
Speaking as a working journalist, I want to point out that this is nothing new, and that, when the Prime Minister adopted this plan, he adopted in its entirety a plan which, unfortunately, has poisoned the springs of information in the papers for a considerable time. We are aware of the efforts which have been made, successfully, to manipulate the Press of this country. I stand here to declare that, so far as the great majority of the working journalists of this country are concerned, they know and reprobate the uses which are made of the Press machinery by the ruling classes of this country. The Prime Minister has quoted the information which was sent to such a journalist as Delane as a proof that the Government were only following out what happened then. That was a perfectly legitimate and proper course. Information sent to an individual journalist, leaving him the power to use his own judgment and to make what use he pleases of it, is a totally different thing from sending out information to practically all the newspapers of the country with one exception. The latter course was meant to poison at once all possible sources of information on this matter. That is nothing new. We journalists grew familiar with it during the War. We knew it so far as the miners' strike was concerned. [How MEMBERS: "Oh, oh," and "strike."] Hon. Members on the other side laugh at the miners, but that does not matter. We knew it during the miners' strike, or lock-out, or what you please. We knew it during the time of the great railway strike. I can remember a circular sent out by the Government of that day to all the papers. I can remember how, morning after morning, in paper after paper, we had intimations of what the people were expected to believe, all coming from the same source, but meant to be read by people as though they came from other sources. I can recall one of the worst records, that of a late hon. Member, now under the care of His Majesty, who wrote articles for the purpose of influencing the people in regard to railway matters.
I want to point out that we have now had this system adopted by the present Government. This system was set going by previous Governments, but it evidently has been definitely adopted at the very beginning of their career by the Govern- ment of the day. The object and purpose of its adoption is, in regard to the unemployed and poor people, precisely what the object and purpose has always been. It is one in which wealth and power is ranged definitely and distinctly against those thrown down by the conditions of life who are making an effort to secure something like a foothold in the society in which we live. My protest is that at the beginning we should find this new Government employing this method, which will inevitably carry them to a further stage than at present.
It has been said by the Prime Minister that in sending out this communication to the Press it was left to the liberty of the Press to use it or not. That is the most Jesuitical argument that could be used. The right hon. Gentleman knows, when he issues such a communication to the Press, that where is no portion of the Press, except that with which he did not seek to [...]amper, that is not amenable to the question of honours and advertisements and communications from official quarters. The Prime Minister knows well, when he sends round to the newspapers such a communication as that, that there is no fear of its not being inserted and used with monstrous headlines to carry out his ideas. If it is wrong that such a communication should be issued to the Press, it is doubly wrong—except that it shows how wrong the original wrong is—that it should be sent out with a deliberate intimation that the source of it is to be concealed. Let the Prime Minister take the responsibility for his opinion, and send out to the Press of the country a statement declaring that the unemployed and those who lead them—although they fought for the country and wear medals— are men not to be trusted and received. Let the right hon. Gentleman say, as an honourable man and a getleman, that that is what the Government declares with regard to them.
These Changes these libellous statements, are, however, to be sent out without any information as to where they come from, and the people, especially of London, are to read the next morning statements which appear to be those of honest journalists seeking the truth, whereas they have been spoon-fed with lies in the sense that these men are made to appear as murderers and people of that sort. There is another point. The Prime Minister has, with a good deal of what we recognise in Scotland as Scottish humility, assumed the tone of one dreadfully shocked with the language used by many of these people at these meetings. But he must remember that comparatively few in this House, certainly on this side, have had the opportunity of university education, and that comparatively few people have the command of the vocabulary that is sometimes necessary to express a strong feeling. The Prime Minister could declare his opinion, when ho was dealing with a question which is now past history, that we should have hell without saying it in that language, but hell we were to have, and the Prime Minister was as guilty as the unfortunate individual who said the same thing without any gloss. I protest, as I said before, as a working journalist, against the continuance of a system which has debased journalism, and made some of the journals of our country a laughing-stock. It is a revelation of the fact that for the past seven years the country has been spoon-fed on propaganda of one kind or another. I hope that as a result of this Debate the Prime Minister will not repeat this offence, and that it will teach the people of this country how much value is to be put upon such information.
I desire to congratulate the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down on the most successful and eloquent maiden speech he has delivered. I am surprised, I confess, that in connection with this Debate the Prime Minister should have taken the trouble to quote old speeches. He himself has made excited speeches in the past, and he might have made allowance for the excitement of probably more excitable men than himself. I remember his talking of Ministers hanging from lamp-posts in Whitehall. That is all I have to say about speeches. He has replied to my hon. Friend with the disarming ingenuity for which he has long been famous, but he does not really answer the two counts. The first is that the Government made this communication to selected newspapers. The second is that the communication was made with an intimation that its official source should not be disclosed. Both of those things are highly improper. I think those who have heard this Debate will agree that there has been no defence of any kind. The Prime Minister has excused himself for omitting the "Daily Herald"; he has not defended himself. Our argument is this. If you make a selection which excludes the "Daily Herald" to-day, what security have you that this exclusion will not be applied to others? You have no security. I do not join with my hon. Friend in praising the methods of the late Government. I believe the late Government in this matter were the originators of a bad method, from which the Prime Minister, in his first speech, announced that he intended to dissociate himself. It is because now, on the first occasion he has the opportunity of dealing with the Press, that he reverts to the worst and most discredited practices of his predeces-
sors, that this Motion is made to-night. The second count is with regard to the non-disclosure of the official source. I think that is an entirely discreditable method of using the Press, and that we should have an assurance from the Prime Minister that this method will not be continued in future. It is because we have no assurance in regard to this, and in regard to selection in the future, that I hope my hon. Friend will divide the House on this occasion.
|Division No, 4.]||AYES.||[9.45 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Clarry, Reginald George||Greenwood, William (Stockport)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)||Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James||Clayton, G. C.||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Coates, Lt.-Col. Norman||Grigg, Sir Edward|
|Apsley, Lord||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W.|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Gwynne, Rupert S.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.||Collox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Collie, Sir John||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)||Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hall, Rr-Admi Sir W. (Liv'p'l, W. I O 'by)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Conway. Sir W. Martin||Halstead, Major D.|
|Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Cotts, Sir William Dingwall Mitchell||Hamilton, Sir George C. (Altrincpham)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Harrison, F. C.|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Harvey. Major S. E.|
|Banks, Mitchell||Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North)||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague||Crooke, J. S. (Deritend)||Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Becker, Harry||Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Davidson, J. C. C.(Hemel Hempstead)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Herbert, S. (Scarborough)|
|Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks)||Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Hewett, Sir J. P.|
|Berry, Sir George||Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hiley, Sir Ernest|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Dixon, C. H. (Rutland)||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Doyle, N. Grattan||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Bird, Sir W. B. M. (Chichester)||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Blundell, F. N.||Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hood, Sir Joseph|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Hopkins, John W. W.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Elveden, viscount||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Howard. Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Erskine-Bolst, Captain C.||Hudson, Capt. A.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury)||Evans, Capt. H. Arthur (Leicester, E.)||Hughes, H. Collingwood|
|Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Hume, G. H.|
|Bruford, H.||Falcon, Captain Michael||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Bruton, Sir James||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Fawkes, Major F. H.||Hutchison, G. A. C. (Peebles, R.)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Fermor-Hesketh, Major T.||Hutchison. Sir R. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Flanagan, W. H.||Hutchison. W. (Kelvingrove)|
|Burney, Com. (Middx., Uxbridge)||Foreman, Sir Henry||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Forestler-Walker, L.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Button, H. S.||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Furness, G. J.||Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Johnson, Sir L. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Campion, Lieut-Colonel W. R.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Garland, C. S.||Joynson-Hicks. Sir William|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gates, Percy||Kennedy. Captain M. S. Nigel|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.||Kenyon, Barnet|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||King Capt. Henry Douglas|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gray, Harold (Cambridge)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Greaves-Lord, Walter||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.||Paget, T. G,||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Parker, Owen (Kettering)||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furn'ss)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Sparkes, H. W.|
|Level, Sir Arthur L.||Penny, Frederick George||Stanley, Lord|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Perkins, Colonel E. K||Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Hundsw'th)||Perring, William George||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Lordon, John William||Peto, Basil E.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Lorimer, H. D.||Pielou, D. P.||Sueter, Roar-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Loyd, Arthur T. (Abingdon)||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Lynn. R. J.||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|M'Connell, Thomas E.||Raine, W.||Terrell Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Rankin, Captain James Stuart||Thomas. Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Thomson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Rawson, Lieut-Com. A. C.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Macpnerson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Margesson, H. D. R.||Rentoul, G. S.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Reynolds, W. G. W.||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Mercer, Colonel H.||Rhodes, Lieut.-Col. J. P.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. p.|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Mitchell, Sir w. Lane (Streatham)||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)||Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Moles, Thomas||Rogerson, Capt. J. E.||Watson, Capt. J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Rothschild. Lionel de||Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Withington)|
|Molson, Major John Elsdale||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Wells, S. R.|
|Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E.||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Moore-Brabaton, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Morris, Harold||Russell, William (Bolton)||White, Lt.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)||Russell-Wells, Sir Sidney||Whitla, Sir William|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Windsor, Viscount|
|Nail, Major Joseph||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Winterton, Earl|
|Nesbitt, J. C.||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.||Wise, Frederick|
|Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sandon, Lord||Wood, Rt. Hn. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J.(Westminster)||Shepperson, E. W.||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Singleton, J. E.|
|Nield, Sir Herbert||Skelton, A. N.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)||Colonel Gibbs and Major Barnston.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Smith, Sir Harold (Wavertree)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Groves, T.||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'd'ne, E.)|
|Attlee, C. R.||Grundy, T. W.||Mathew, C. J.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Guthrie, Thomas Maule||Maxton, James|
|Barnes, A.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Middleton, G.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morel, E. D.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Harbord, H.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Berkeley, Captain Reginald||Hardie, C. D.||Mosley, Oswald|
|Bonwick, A.||Harney, E. A.||Muir, John W.|
|Bowdler, W. A.||Harris, Percy A.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hastings, Patrick||Newbold, J. T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Nicol, Robert|
|Brotherton, J.||Hayday, Arthur||O'Grady, Captain James|
|Buchanan, G.||Hemmerde, E. G.||Paling, W.|
|Buckle, J.||Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)||Pattinson, R. (Grantham)|
|Burnle, Major J. (Bootle)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Phillipps, Vivian|
|Buxton, Charles (Accrington)||Harriotts, J.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hill, A.||Potts, John S.|
|Cairns, John||Hillary, A. E.||Pringle, W. M. R.|
|Chapple. W. A.||Hinds, John||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hirst, G. H.||Riley, Ben|
|Clarke, Sir E. C.||Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)||Ritson, J.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, North)||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Johnston, J. (Stirling)||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Both well)|
|Collins, Pat (Walsall)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)|
|Collison, Levi||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Darbishire, C. W.||Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)||Saklatvala, s.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Salter, Or. A.|
|Duncan, C.||Kirkwood, D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lawson, John James||Sexton, James|
|Edmonds, G.||Leach, W.||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Edwards. C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Linfield, F. C.||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Falconer, J.||Lowth, T.||Shinwell, Emanuel|
|Foot, Isaac||Lunn, William||Short. Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Gray, Frank (Oxford)||M'Entee, V. L.||Simpson, J. Hope|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||McLaren, Andrew||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Smith, T. (Pontefract)||Trevelyan, C. P.||Wignall, James|
|Snell, Harry||Turner, Ben||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Snowden, Philip||Wallhead, Richard C.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Spencer, H. H. (Bradford, S.)||Warne, G. H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Spoor, B. G.||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Stephen, Campbell||Weir, L. M.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Welsh, J. C.||Wright, W.|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Westwood, J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)||Wheatley, J.|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Thorne, w. (West Ham, Plaistow)||White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)||Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy and|
|Thornton, M.||Whiteley, W.||Mr. Lansbury.|
|Division No. 5.]||AYES.||[9.55 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hastings, Patrick||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Rose, Frank H.|
|Attlee, C. R.||Hemmerde, E. G.||Saklatvala, S.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson. T. (Glasgow)||Salter, Dr. A|
|Barnes, A.||Herriotts, J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hewett, Sir J. P.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Becker, Harry||Hill, A.||Sexton, James|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hillary, A. E.||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Berkeley, Captain Reginald||Hinds, John||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Bonwick, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Shinwell, Emanuel|
|Bowdler, W. A.||Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Broad, F. A.||Johnston, J. (Stirling)||Simpson, J. Hope|
|Brotherton, J.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, T. (Pontefract)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)||Snell, Harry|
|Buckle, J.||Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepoots)||Snowden, Philip|
|Burnle, Major J. (Bootle)||Kirkwood, D.||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furn'ss)|
|Buxton, Charles (Accrington)||Lawson, John James||Spencer, H. H. (Bradford, SO|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Leach, W.||Spoor, B. G.|
|Cairns, John||Linfield, F. C.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Chapple, W. A.||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lunn, William||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clarke, Sir E. C.||MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||M'Entee, V. L.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||McLaren, Andrew||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Collins, Pat (Walsall)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thornton, M.|
|Collison, Levi||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.||Trevelyan, C. P.|
|Darblshire, C. W.||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'd'ne, E.)||Turner, Ben|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Mathew, C. J.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Duncan, C.||Maxton, James||Warne, G. H.|
|Dunnico, H.||Middleton, G.||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Edmonds, G.||Morel, E. D.||Weir, L. M.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Mosley, Oswald||Westwood, J.|
|Erskine-Bolst, Captain C.||Muir, John W.||Wheatley, J.|
|Falconer, J.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Foot, Isaac||Newbold, J. T. W.||White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Nicol, Robert||Whiteley, W.|
|Gray, Frank (Oxford)||O'Grady, Captain James||Wignall, James|
|Greenwood. A. (Nelson and Colne)||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Pattinson, R. (Grantham)||Williams. T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Phillipps, Vivian||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Groves, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Pringle, W. M. R.||Wright, W.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Richardson, R. (Houghtan-le-Spring)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Harbord, H.||Riley, Ben|
|Hardle, C. D.||Ritson, J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Harney, E. A.||Roberts, C. H. (Derby)||Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy and|
|Harris, Percy A.||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Mr. Lansbury.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Astor, Viscountess||Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)||Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Bellairs, Commander Carivon W.|
|Alexander, Col. M. (Southwark)||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James||Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Berry, Sir George|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Betterton, Henry B.|
|Apsley, Lord||Banks, Mitchell||Birchall, J. Dearman|
|Archer Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.||Barnett, Major Richard W.||Bird, Sir W. B. M. (Chichester)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)||Blundell, F. N.|
|Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)||Becker, Harry||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'I, W.D'by)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Halstead, Major D.||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Brown, Brig-Gen. Clifton (Newbury)||Hamilton, Sir George c. (Altrincham)||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John|
|Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Bruford, R.||Harrison, F. C||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Brutou, Sir James||Harvey, Major S. E.||Paget, T. G.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hawke, John Anthony||Parker, Owen (Kettering)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)||Ponnefather, De Fonblanque|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Burney, Com. (Middx., Uxbridge)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Herbert Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Perring, William George|
|Button, H. S.||Herbert, S. (Scarborough)||Peto, Basil E.|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Pielou, D. P.|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Hiley, Sir Ernest||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Price, E. G.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Raine, W.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hood, Sir Joseph||Rankin, Captain James Stuart|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hopkins, John W. W.||Rawilnson, John Frederick Peel|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rawson, Lieut.-Com. A. C.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Clay, Lieut-Colonel H. H. Spener||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Held, D. D. (County Down)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hudson, Capt. A.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Coates, Lt.-Col. Norman||Hughes, H. Collingwood||Reynolds, W. G. W.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hume, G. H.||Rhodes, Lieut.-Col. J. P.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hurd, Percy A.||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Collie, Sir John||Hutchison, G. A. C. (Peebles, N.)||Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hutchison, Sir R. (Kirkcaldy)||Rogerson, Capt. J. E.|
|Conway. Sir w. Martin||Hutchison, W. (Kelvingrove)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Cotts, Sir William Dingwall Mitchell||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E.|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Jephcott, A. R.||Russell. William (Bolton)|
|Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North)||Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul||Russell-Wells, Sir Sidney|
|Crooke, J. S. (Deritend)||Johnson, Sir L. (Walthamstow, E.)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth. Putney)|
|Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hompstead)||Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kenyon, Barnet||Sandon, Lord|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||King, Capt. Henry Douglas||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lamb, J. Q.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Dixon, Capt. H. (Belfast, E.)||Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.||Singleton, J. E.|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Lever, Sir Arthur L.||Smith, Sir Harold (Wavertree)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-In-Furn'ss)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Sparkes, H. W.|
|Erskine, James Maicolm Monteith||Lorden, John William||Stanley, Lord|
|Erskine, Lord (Woston-super-Mare)||Lorimer, H. D.||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Evans, Capt. H. Arthur (Leicester, E.)||Loyd, Arthur T. (Abingdon)||Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)|
|Evans, Ernest (Cardigan)||Lumley, L. R.||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M||Lynn, R. J.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||M'Connell, Thomas E.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.|
|Fawkes, Major F. H.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Maicolm||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Fermor-Hesketh, Major T.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Flanagan, W. H.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Foreman, Sir Henry||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Forestler-Walker, L.||Margesson, H. D. R.||Thomson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Mercer, Colonel H.||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Furness, G. J.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Moles, Thomas||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Garland, C. S.||Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Gates, Percy||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|George, Major G. L. (Pembroke)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Watson, Capt. J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Morris, Harold||Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Withington)|
|Gray, Harold (Cambridge)||Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wells, S. R.|
|Greaves-Lord, Walter||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Greenwood. William (Stockport)||Murchison, C. K.||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Nail, Major Joseph||White. Lt.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Nesbitt, J. C.||Whitla, Sir William|
|Grigg, Sir Edward||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Windsor, Viscount|
|Winterton, Earl||Wood, Rt. Hn. Edward F. L. (Ripon)||Yerburgh. R. D. T.|
|Wise, Frederick||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Worsfold, T. Cato||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Colonel Gibbs and Major Barnston.|
Question, "That the Bill be now read a Second time," put, and agreed to.