Colonel Sir Henry Evans: I do not think that the hon. Gentleman who has just resumed his seat would have described the present policy of His Majesty's Government in relation to aliens as one of panic if he had had any practical experience at all of what the refugee problem has lately meant to the fall of France, and of the manner in which it embarrassed the movement of the French Army and, indeed, of our own British...
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: May I ask whether the Chair has decided not to call the manuscript Amendment to Clause 1, page 2, line 10, at the end, to insert certain words? It deals with a specific point which has not been covered.
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: It is appearance that we are talking about. If it is so important to state in the Regulations who should be allowed to appear for the prosecution, whether he should be a solicitor or a police officer, it is also very important to decide who should appear for the defence. When courts are set up with these extreme powers, I beg of the Government to make absolutely sure that every accused person...
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: May I support the plea of the hon. Member? There are certain important manuscript Amendments which we shall wish to move.
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not ask the House to proceed further to-night. It is obvious that the Committee stage as such will not be completed for a considerable time yet, and I hope the Government will give us an opportunity of considering whether to press the manuscript Amendments we wish to move on the Report stage.
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: Is it possible, as the law stands at present, to apply martial law to the civil population?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: If in those circumstances the competent military authority makes a mistake, is he liable to be proceeded against subsequently by the persons concerned?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: If the hon. Member's argument is logical, would he not suggest that in France, both in this war and in the last war, a system of martial law should have prevailed not only in areas which were occupied by the enemy or where there was fighting in progress, but in Paris and Bordeaux as well?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: The last speaker and those who have supported his view, appear to my mind to be living in an unreal world. None of us wants to see the conditions to which they have drawn attention obtain in this country, but surely we must not forget that this Bill is specially designed to deal with conditions in areas which, in certain circumstances, will be theatres of war. It strikes me as being an...
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: I do not think it would be very fruitful to pursue the case which has been mentioned, but I rather wonder whether the War Office are entirely in agreement with this Bill. The Bill must have been the subject of a Cabinet subcommittee, and I think it would be a matter for regret if the views of the military authorities had been over-ridden on this occasion.
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: I apologise to my right hon. Friend; I must have been out of the Chamber when he stated that. Those circumstances certainly put a different aspect on the case, but let us consider the matter from this point of view. I cannot imagine that in any campaign during the last 100 years, in the theatre where military operations were taking place any Government or any military force, irrespective of...
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: May I interrupt? Would the hon. Gentleman consider that at a time when the Army was engaged in active operations in the same way as the Navy and the Air Force are now there was any difference of that kind in their morale?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: Has my hon. Friend any reason to believe that Mr. H. G. Wells has consulted Mr. Britling on the views he recently expressed, because it will be recalled that Mr. Britling saw it through in the last war, and I think he must be out of touch with Mr. Britling?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: Will the hon. Gentleman say what the Home Guard area consists of? Does it consist of an Army Command, and what is the rank of the area commander?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: In the unavoidable absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bracewell Smith), I beg to move, in page 33, line 11, at the end, to insert: Provided that if the Board of Trade are satisfied that goods held by any person for the purpose of any business are not owing to special circumstances being used beneficially by him in the course of that business they may if so requested exempt...
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: It is a great privilege to be allowed to follow such a distinguished Army officer in a Debate on the Report stage of the Army Estimates, and it is fitting that I should, in the name of the House as a whole, congratulate him most sincerely on the valuable maiden speech which he has delivered. We are fortunate in having as a Member of the House an hon. and gallant Gentleman who has had such a...
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: Is it not the case that the question and answer were directed to normal peacetime conditions, and had no regard at all to the abnormal conditions pertaining to war-time?
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: I think the hon. Member has misrepresented the Prime Minister's remarks. I think the Prime Minister directed attention to the conditions which might obtain in this country after the war, and that he made it quite clear that there was no division of opinion in the country as to the peace aims of this country in defeating the enemy.
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: There is a practice, about which I am sure my hon. Friend is aware, by which free samples are submitted for a 10-day trial. If the person is satisfied, an expensive bottle of medicine is then sent. Under the Bill, will it be necessary for these people to state the ingredients on the free samples which are circulated in the first instance? If so, they will know exactly what they are getting.
Colonel Sir Henry Evans: On a point of Order. As this is exempted Business, as it deals with the liberty of the subject, and as it is one of the few opportunities that Members have of stating their case, may I appeal to you, Sir, to see whether it is possible for a few more back-benchers to speak before the Home Secretary replies to the Debate?