Orders of the Day — Civil List

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1947.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 17th December 1947

I apologise, Major Milner, I was led astray by the remarks of the right hon. Member for Wakefield, who talked about the rate for the job. I have quite convincing figures here relative to the other Scandinavian countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They are much more modest than our figures, and I am safe in saying that the total sum of all these monarchies put together is considerably less than our bill which is produced in the Civil List.

I believe there is a good commonsense opinion in this country that whatever the goodwill of the Royal Family is, we are faced with a time of economic crisis and austerity, that we should start at the top, and that we are not justified in increasing expenditure at this time. I appeal to the Government to give this matter a little further consideration. This is being rushed through the House. The proceedings of that Committee went at an express rate so that the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) who, unfortunately, has been ill, has been unable to express the democratic sentiment of Scotland. The Government realise now, by certain expressions of party feeling, that they may have the Conservative Party behind them on this issue, but they have not the rank and file of the Socialist movement, and they have not the support of the intelligent democracy of this country.