I support the Amendment because I believe that the Government have grossly misunderstood public opinion on this matter. A good many red herrings, or perhaps I should say, red, white and blue herrings, have been dragged across this controversy by spokesmen of the Government. It has been no wish on our part to raise the abstract question of republicanism. That, I agree, Major Milner, is completely out of Order and I have not attempted to raise that discussion on this issue. What is in Order is the Amendment, which declares that this expenditure is extravagant and unjustifiable at the present moment of economic crisis. Those of us who are of a minority opinion in the Labour Party and in this House contend that we have behind us substantial opinion in the country. That opinion has been expressed in the editorial column of the Sunday newspaper which is a regular supporter of the Government. In a leading article on 14th December, "Reynolds Newspaper" said:
We know that much of this grant of an increase of £50,000 will go in expenses and the maintenance of Royal establishments that are, so to speak, part of the job, but in Britain today a style of living that calls for an income of £50,000 a year is altogether too elaborate. It denotes values and standards that are fantastically removed from the lives of the people, and if Royalty is to remain a political reality, it must cease to be a symbol of an
outmoded pomp and lavishness. The Select Committee on the Civil List has recommended these amounts. In the best interests of the Throne and of the people, Parliament should revise them.
I submit that we are performing a public and a democratic duty in this House this afternoon in asking that these items of expenditure should be revised on the downward scale.