Skip to main content

Employment Of Military In Cases Of Disturbance

Volume 65: debated on Monday 20 July 1914

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Select Committee be appointed to report in what circumstances and on what conditions His Majesty's military forces should be employed to deal with

disturbances or threatened disturbances of the peace among the civil population."—[ Mr. Gulland.]

I object to this Motion, and am really sorry that the Government should persist in this course. There can be no question about not proceeding with this Motion now. I discussed the matter with the Chief Unionist Whip (Lord E. Talbot) before he went home, and he left me here on purpose to stop this. The Prime Minister has never made any statement about it. He made a statement across the floor of the House about matters to be proceeded with, but this was not one of them. That can be made plain if there is any question about it. I am sorry to have to oppose now, but if the hon. Gentleman wants to take the Motion he can say to-morrow, "I will take it after eleven o'clock," and make it one of the Orders of the Day. Nobody can object to that, but it is not in his power to take it now after it has been thoroughly understood that it should not be taken. I am prepared to give my reasons against the Motion, but I do appeal to the hon. Gentleman not to insist upon taking it tonight. Let him put it down for to-morrow instead of forcing us to proceed with it now.

The hon. Baronet has spoken on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Opposition. This Committee has taken a considerable time in its arrangement, and a long time has been spent upon it altogether, and I think the time has arrived when it ought to begin its deliberations upon matters which are of considerable importance. If the hon. Baronet tells me he is speaking on behalf of the Noble Lord (Lord E. Talbot) in objecting, I am bound to accept his statement.

I wish to protest against any postponement. I should like to point out that the Chief Unionist Whip has four other Whips—[An HON. MEMBER: "Five."]—and it is not very likely he would have gone away and not left one of them behind but leave in command a mere private soldier like the hon. Baronet. If we are to go home now I hope we are not going to be met in the same way on this matter tomorrow.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned"—[ Mr. Illingworth]—put, and agreed to.

Debate to be resumed to-morrow (Tuesday).

Whereupon Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of 17th July, proposed the Question, "That this House do now adjourn."

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Twenty-six minutes before One a.m., Tuesday, 21st July.