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Lords Chamber

Volume 41: debated on Tuesday 13 July 1920

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House Of Lords

Tuesday, 13th July, 1920.

The House met at a quarter past four of the clock, The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

Derwent Valley Water Board Bill

London Electric Railway Companies (Fares Etc) Bill

Moved, That the Order made on the 29th day of April last, "That no Private Bill brought from the House of Commons shall be read a second time after Thursday the 17th day of June next" be dispensed with in respect of these Bills; and that the Bills be now read 2a .—( The Chairman of Committees.)

On Question, Motion agreed to, and Bills read 2a .

Portsmouth Corporation Bill

Read 3a , with the Amendment, and passed and returned to the Commons.

Leigh Corporation Bill

Read 3a , with the Amendment, and passed and returned to the Commons.

Rhondda Urban District Council Bill

Read 3a , with the Amendment, and passed and returned to the Commons.

Proprietary Medicines Bill Hl

My Lords, I beg leave to introduce a Bill to regulate the manufacture and sale of certain medicines and surgical appliances, and for other purposes connected therewith.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 1a —( Viscount Astor.)

On Question, Bill read 1a ; and to be printed.

Business Of The House

A Monday Sitting

My Lords, I desire to put a question to the noble Earl the Chancellor of the Duchy of which I have given him private notice. It is with reference to the business of the House immediately impending. Your Lordships are aware that the Earl of Midleton has a Notice upon the Paper for next Thursday attention to the Hunter Report, and I understand that to-morrow morning another Notice will be on the Paper in the name of Viscount Finlay of a more definite character dealing with the same subject. I understand that Lord Midleton does not propose to proceed with his Notice, but that Lord Finlay had intended to proceed with his upon Thursday next; but it has been intimated to me and others that it would not suit the Government that the Order should be taken upon that day. I have no doubt that my noble friend Lord Crawford will be able to inform your Lordships if that is the case, and, if it be so, then I am sure that it will be for the convenience of your Lordships if he will state to the House what arrangement he would recommend for dealing with this important subject. I may say, from all the information which has reached me, that it is not likely that the debate can be concluded in one evening.

My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Marquess for having given me an opportunity to say that a telegram has just come from my noble friend Lord Curzon, regretting that the prolongation of the Conference at Spa makes it impossible for him to fulfil his hope of being here the day after tomorrow for the Amritsar debate. Lord Curzon is most anxious to be present, and to take part in that discussion, and, accordingly, I would suggest, if it meets with the convenience of Lord Midleton and Lord Finlay in particular, and of your Lordships generally, that the debate should be postponed from Thursday next until Monday. There is, of course, no business on the Paper for Monday, and the whole of the sitting can be devoted to that subject. If, as my noble friend indicates, a second sitting is required, I would suggest that the debate should be concluded on the following day. In that case Lord Parmoor, whom we have approached on the subject, has been good enough to intimate his willingness that his Motion on that day, dealing with the League of Nations, should be postponed, probably until Thursday, July 22. On the whole I imagine that that would best suit your Lordships' convenience.

I do not see my noble and learned friend Lord Finlay in his place, but I think I am not wrong in saying that he would be prepared to fall in with that arrangement.

The sitting, I presume, will be at a quarter past four on Monday?

Harbours, Docks And Piers (Temporary Increase Of Charges) Bill

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a .—( The Earl of Lytton.)

On Question, Bill read 3a .

Clause 1:

Provided that—

(a) Where the undertakers are commissioners or any other authority or public body of persons carrying on otherwise than for purposes of private profit any such undertaking, no modification in the statutory provisions regulating the charges to be made by the undertakers shall be authorised which is more than sufficient, so far as can be estimated, to enable the undertaking to be carried on without loss;

had an Amendment on the Paper, at the end of proviso (a), to insert "and to maintain its financial stability." The noble Viscount said: I may remind your Lordships that in Committee Lord Balfour of Burleigh drew attention to the limiting nature of certain words in Clause 1 proviso (a), which reads as follows—

"… no modification in the statutory provisions regulating the charges to be made by the undertakers shall be authorised which is more than sufficient, so far as can be estimated, to enable the undertaking to be carried on without loss."
To these words he took exception, because he thought, and we, the port authorities of the country, also think, that those words are unduly limiting, possibly dangerously so. He suggested the addition of certain words, which he indicated, and I have adopted those words in my Amendment, because Lord Balfour of Burleigh is not able to attend. On that occasion the noble Earl in charge of the Bill promised to give the matter his consideration, and to make a statement on the next stage of the Bill. Unfortunately, when the next stage came, I was not present, and consequently my Amendment went by default, but thanks to his consideration and kindness, I have this opportunity afforded me to day of moving the Amendment, which will enable me to make a statement.

What I may call the great dock authorities of the country come within the scope of the clause, as they are carrying on their undertakings "otherwise than for purposes of private profit." Of course, the great dock undertakings, like the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and the Port of London Authority, and many others, are not money-making authorities, but simply have to discharge interest obligations on their bonds. Beyond that they have no power or desire to make profits. Under this Bill the powers of the Minister of Transport are pretty extensive, and he may, if he thinks fit, by order provide for the modification—which really means an increase—of most charges, to enable the dock authorities to meet increased expenses incidental to the cost of labour and material. But in the subsection it is provided that no modification shall be authorised by the Minister which is more than sufficient to enable the undertaking to be carried on without loss.

As I have said before, we fear that those words are, unduly restrictive, and that unless we get some expansion of them we may find that in bringing his powers into operation, the Minister will take action which will affect the financial security of the undertakings. For instance, under cover of these words it might be quite possible for the Minister to rule out of account expenditure from revenue upon which the status of the undertaking may rest. I desire to give one or two illustrations as to how the present position may be jeopardised by these words. If you take the Port of London Authority, we are under a statutory obligation, imposed upon us by the Act of 1908, to go on creating a reserve until it amounts to £1,000,000. The Statute does not lay down that this reserve is to be built up by annual payments of a certain amount, but simply leaves us with the obligation. That means, of course, that Parliament. intended it should be discharged. Now it has been our practice year by year, varying according to our financial circumstances, to set aside a sum of money towards building up this reserve—in some years £100,000, in other years £50,000; as I said just now the amounts vary. Now, under these limiting words it would be quite possible, we are advised, for the Minister of Transport to object to our placing these sums of money, as has been our practice hitherto, to the reserve fund, the object of which is to stabilise the financial status of the undertaking. Therefore, we should be impaired if he took that course.

There is another illustration in connection with maintenance that I might give. During the war it was quite impossible for us properly to maintain our buildings, machinery, equipment and anything of that kind, because of the restrictions which were imposed upon us by the Defence of the Realm Regulations and other Government enactments. Therefore, we set aside for deferred maintenance large sums of money which at that time we deemed to be quite sufficient to make up the arrears when the time came for this deferred maintenance work to be carried out. Now we find that these sums, again owing to the increased cost of materials and labour, are altogether inadequate, and therefore we shall have to add to these sums out of our revenue further sums to meet this necessary work. We fear that under the clause as it stands these necessary outgoings might be forbidden by the Minister of Transport. Again, we have a constant charge on our revenue to make good the depreciation in the value of our securities held on account of sinking and reserve funds. Although these securities were of the highest character when bought, they have been subject to considerable depreciation, and we are compelled to provide year by year large sums to restore them to their proper level. We fear that these limiting words might cause the Ministry of 'Transport to object to the setting aside out of our revenue sums for these purposes.

Parliament has clearly recognised that it is absolutely necessary that these authori- ties shall have some, margin of income in order to maintain their credit. In the Port of London Act itself, in the financial provisions dealing with the power of the authority to levy charges on goods, it is expressly provided—I quote the exact words—that
"the rates specified in the Schedule shall be such that, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, the amount of revenue produced thereby will, with the other receipts on revenue account of the Port Authority, be sufficient to meet the expenditure on all the purposes to which the receipts of the Port Authority on revenue account are by this Act to be applied, and—"
I direct the noble Lord's attention specially to these words—
"to provide a reasonable margin for contingencies."
That is what my Amendment in effect seeks to do. I would remind the noble Earl that the Ministry of Transport will, under this Bill, always have the power to reduce the rates when it is shown that a port authority has obtained and exercised powers beyond the necessities of the case.

We fear that the words in their present limiting state will cause us to be subject to such interference that our financial stability may be affected. If, however, the noble Earl can give us a full assurance that the Ministry of Transport has no idea of acting in a sense that will be detrimental to our financial status, I shall not persevere with the Amendment. He gave a promise to Lord Balfour of Burleigh that when the occasion offered he would be able to make some reply to the fears that were expressed. I hope that the noble Earl will be able upon this occasion to give us some satisfaction and to remove our fears.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 25, after ("loss") to insert ("and to maintain its financial stability").—(Viscount Devonport.)

My Lords, I am unable to accept my noble friend's Amendment, but I think I can explain to him in a few words that it is not necessary to fulfil the purpose that he has in mind. The first point I desire to make is that this Bill is of a strictly temporary character, and is introduced for the sole purpose of meeting the increased expenses which will result from the Report of Lord Shaw's Committee. As my noble friend knows, the Bill is limited in its operation to a particular time, and its only object is to enable these increased expenses to be met during the interval in which it will be possible for the various undertakings to promote legislation in Parliament to extend their general charging powers. The Bill does not seek to deal with the general financial stability of the undertakings; therefore, if at this moment one of these undertakings has not made proper provision for its general financial stability, it is not contemplated, nor, I think, would it be proper, that under this Bill special increases of charges should be authorised to enable it so to do. The proper remedy in that case is for the undertaking to seek legislative powers to raise its charges for that purpose.

In so far, however, as the expense put upon them by the Report of Lord Shaw's Committee is immediate and pressing, some relief has to be given to them, and this Bill has been introduced for that purpose. My noble friend, in his remarks, has dealt not with an undertaking which has failed to make normal provision for its financial need of the future, but he has instanced the Port of London Authority, and has told us what are the provisions which this Authority in its wisdom has made in the past. If I understood him aright he is afraid lest the Minister stay come down and say: "There will be no need to raise your charges to meet this new expenditure if you will only reduce your sinking and reserve funds, and diminish the provision that you have hitherto made for future needs." My noble friend, I think, understands that these matters will always be dealt with in the first instance by the Rates Advisory Committee, and I can only say, though I cannot bind that body, that it is unthinkable that a body constituted as is the Rates Advisory Committee would ever say that an undertaking like the Port of London Authority should not make reasonable and proper provision for the future, but that it should attempt to balance its accounts during the next two years by curtailing its capital reserve fund.

I want, therefore, to make it clear that in so far as that provision is made to-day, it will continue. If it is not made to-day, it is not intended that it should be provided for under this Bill. If I were to accept the noble Lord's words they would introduce into the Bill the suggestion that it was passed for the purpose of dealing with the general financial funds of the undertakings. That is not the object of the Bill. I am quite ready to give my noble friend an assurance on behalf of the Ministry of Transport that the Minister has no intention whatever of interfering with wise, proper and normal provision for future financial needs. I would also remind my noble friend that this Amendtment was moved in the House of Commons, and when an explanation such as I have given was made on behalf of the Ministry, the Amendment was withdrawn. I hope that my noble friend will be satisfied with the assurance that I have given him, and will not press his Amendment.

I am much obliged to the noble Earl for his statement. I may say incidentally that. the proceedings in the House of Commons were never reported, and consequently we were not able to follow them. I am, however, quite satisfied with the assurance that has been given, and I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.

Duplicands Of Feu-Duties (Scotland) Bill

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—( Viscount Haldane).

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.


Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

Clause 3:

Interpretation of "duplication of feu-duty."

3. Where under any feu provision is made for payment of a duplication of the feu-duty on the entry of an heir or singular successor, or on any periodical occasion, such payment shall be deemed to be the amount of one year's feu-duty only over and above the feu-duty for the year.

moved to leave out "is" and insert "has been." The noble and learned Viscount said: I may take the opportunity of explaining that my Amendments are proposed in accordance with the undertaking I gave to the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, and I think they do what is required. The first of the Amendments, to introduce the words "has been" instead of "is," is intended to show what the nature of the Bill is. It applies to all instruments, past and future.

Amendment proved—

Page 1, line 9, leave out ("is") and insert ("has been")—(Viscount Haldane.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

moved, after "a," to insert "duplicand or." The noble Duke said: I do not intend to press the Amendments put down in my name if the noble and learned Viscount assures me they are unnecessary. There is a certain amount of apprehension about this Bill because it was only owing to a recent decision that the cases affected arose. There is a great desire that there should be no loophole in the Bill which would either lead to fresh litigation or, perhaps, go beyond what the authors of the Bill intend. The noble and learned Viscount has been kind enough to consider my Amendments, but I would ask His Majesty's Government to give some assurance that this Bill has their approval, in other words, that they consider it really is all right, and that it will settle this question, and not lead to any further difficulties in the future.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 10, after ("a") insert ("duplicand or").—(The Duke of Buccleuch.)

Without dealing with the merits of the particular Amendment moved by the noble Duke I gladly avail myself of the opportunity to reply to the invitation which he extended to me as representing the Government. This Bill has been very carefully examined by the Government. It is proper for any English lawyer to express himself in terms of extreme caution when he deals with any matter which particularly belongs to the practice of Scottish law. But my learned friend the Solicitor-General for Scotland, I am informed, has given the closest attention to this matter, and he, I think, enables me to offer to the noble Duke a reassurance that, in his homely phrase, it is "all right." I may add to that, for what it is worth, the expression of my own opinion that, having given such attention as an English lawyer may be supposed capable of giving to these proposals, I equally am persuaded that they are "all right."

The noble Duke had the courtesy to communicate with me on the subject of his Amendment, and, on very high advice independent of the Government, I ant told that "duplicand" means nothing else but "duplication."

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The next Amendment changes nothing. It merely makes the clause clear.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 12, after ("shall") insert ("unless in the feu right it is otherwise declared to the contrary").—(Viscount Haldane.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 4:

Duplicands to include eu-duty of the year.

4. From and after the commencement of this Act, where under any feu it is provided that on the entry of an heir or singular successor, or on any periodical occasion, payment shall be made of a duplicand or double of the feu-duty, or that the feu-duty shall be doubled, such payment, whether or not it is provided to be made at the same term or terms as the feu-duty, shall be deemed to be inclusive of the feu-duty for the year, and the amount of the casualty payable to the superior shall, for the purposes of the Feudal Casualties (Scotland) Act, 1914, and for all other purposes, be deemed to be the amount of one year's feu-duty only, unless such payment is expressed to be over and above such feu-duty or is otherwise unequivocally declared not to include the feu-duty of the year.

moved, after "feu," to insert "charter." The noble Lord said: Feu is the subject which is conveyed; feu-charter is the document which conveys the subject to the feuar. It shows all the rights of the feuar, and there is also a plan showing the ground feued. It seems to me that "charter"—or perhaps a better word would be "disposition"—ought to be inserted; I see "disposition" is always marked in my feu-charter.

Amendment moved—

Page 1,line 15, after ("feu") insert ("charter").—(Lord Saltoun.)

It is very satisfactory to find that those of your Lordships who come from Scotland are taking so keen an interest in the technical part of this Bill. I have the greatest sympathy with the noble Lord's desire to make anything clear that is not clear, but I have acted on the very highest legal advice, and "feu," although, of course, it means the subject of the feu, is also used for the feu-right, however constituted, and the word is better than "charter" or even "disposition," for this reason. The noble Lord's suggestion is that we should say "feu-charter," but there is another way of constituting a feu, by feu-contract. The feu-contract might be shut out, which would be disastrous. Indeed, in the Act of 1914, which is the ruling Act, the terms are "feu-charter or fen-contract or other deed." Nobody knows what "other deed" might not cover, and I am advised by the very highest authority that "feu" is an expression which covers all those things. It is better to take the general name.

After what the noble and learned Viscount has said, I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

moved, after "any," where that word secondly occurs, to insert "specified." The noble Lord said: The reason I move this Amendment is that there are possibly other occasions when a duplicand may be necessary.

Amendment moved.—

Page 1, line 16, after ("any ") insert "specified").—(Lord Saltoun.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 6:

Commencement of Act.

6. This Act shall be deemed to have commenced and come into operation on the fourth day of April nineteen hundred and nineteen, and all money paid since the fourth day of April nineteen hundred and nineteen in name of duplicand, duplication, or double which would not have been exigible in respect of this Act shall be recoverable at law.

Amendment moved—

Page 2, leave out Clause 6.—(Viscount Haldane.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Veterinary Surgeons Act (1881) Amendment Bill

House in Committee (according to Order): Bill reported without amendment.

Territorial Force Regulations

rose to ask the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the representations made by certain Territorial Army county associations that recruiting for the Territorial Army is being prejudiced by the unsatisfactory Regulations governing the payment to non-commissioned officers and men of their expenses when attending drills; and to move that it is expedient to amend Appendix XIV. of the Territorial Force. Regulations with a view to simple and definite rules being laid down.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I had not intended to preface the Question which I have placed on the Paper by more than a few remarks, but, as I have already told my noble friend, there are one or two observations I have been asked to make on this occasion which are certainly not out of place in dealing with the subject of recruiting. I venture to make these observations in the hope of giving my noble friend an opportunity to make a statement on several points about which there exists considerable uncertainty—an uncertainty which is handicapping those who, like myself, are anxious to do all they can to make the territorial army a reality and a success. I need hardly assure my noble friend that in raising these points I do so in no hostile spirit, but with the object—which I am sure I share with him—of trying to remove those points of uncertainty which are, in the practical work of-recruiting, affecting its success.

I realise that it would not be in order, nor would it be desirable on a Motion such as this, to labour the point as to the very important position which it is intended the Territorial Army should occupy in the scheme for national and, indeed, Imperial defence. The Secretary of State in January last, at a Conference which he held with the representatives of the country Teritorial associations, was very candid, and I am sure all those who are interested in the Territorial Army welcomed the candour with which he dealt with the responsibilities

placed upon that Force and the difficulties which confronted those engaged in its administration. Mr. Churchill said that, in recognising those difficulties, he felt sure they were asking us to undertake a very heavy and difficult task; but the words I should like to commend to your Lordships are those which follow towards the end of his remarks in which—after reviewing the responsibilities that lay, and would lie for some considerable time, on the Regular Army—he said—

"I think that, with such a strain on the limited resources of the Volunteer Army, it will be impossible for them to fulfil their duties unless behind them in a great emergency they can count on the organised aid of their citizen comrades."

I venture to think that the course of events since January in Europe, in the Near East, and elsewhere, has done little to lessen the sense of responsibility of the county associations who, after all, are responsible for raising the Territorial Army.

They must feel and appreciate that responsibility all the more after the grave statement I have just quoted to your Lordships. On May 4, in the other House, the Secretary of State, in answering a question, reiterated the determination of the Government to make the Territorial Army a reality in every respect; and later, in the course of subsequent answers, he gave an emphatic assurance that the Government and the Army Council would spare no effort to make effective the scheme for the reconstruction of the Territorial Force. Delays may have been inevitable. but they were certainly protracted, in regard to decisions on many important points, in the War Office; and this gave rise to a feeling in certain parts of the country that the authorities did not really attach much importance to the Territorial Army. In some places it was even said that they did not much want it to succeed. Though, for my own part, it seems very clear that these impressions are entirely erroneous, I am bound to admit, for instance, that the long time it appears to take in sending out any of the training equipment to the various units, did give some justification to those who were receiving those impressions. This feeling made the work of recruiting still more difficult than naturally it is in the existing circumstances. We have to reckon, of course, with the sense of war-weariness present among that class from which, as has been indicated, it is hoped that the larger number of recruits will be drawn—namely, the trained men. I will not do more than allude in passing to the present industrial situation in the country.

The first point with which I hope my noble friend will deal—it is one of which I have given him private notice—is that of cadets, because this organisation is regarded, and I think rightly regarded, looked at from one angle, as a very valuable source of recruiting for all the Forces of the Crown. It is common knowledge that the number of cadets increased greatly during the war and, among others, the educational authorities throughout the country seemed to realise, in a way of which they gave no indication before, the immense possibilities in a cadet organisation for producing useful citizens. In some counties, notably in my own county of Essex, the educational authorities gave it clearly to be understood that they looked upon it as a most desirable thing that, in the normal organisation of all secondary schools, a Cadet Corps should form an integral part. But in Essex they went further than this, and endeavoured to bring into the cadet organisation those boys who did not go necessarily into secondary schools but who were leaving the elementary schools. As a result of this a larger number of fresh corps were started during the war, and I think I am justified in saying that both there and throughout the country a tine, vigorous spirit permeated the whole of that organisation—among the boys, the parents, and the teachers alike. The task that was undertaken in forming the fresh corps was no easy one. The collecting of funds has always been a great difficulty in this connection, but, in spite of all this, during the war, when patriotic feelings ran high, this movement grew very largely and the workers in it felt confident that the official blessings and verbal encouragements which were showered on them from the War Office would be translated, when the strain and pre-occupation of the war were removed, into real and substantial support and encouragement.

What really happened? I agree at once that it would be very unreasonable to expect this particular subject of organisation to take precedence in any way of the far more vital problem of reorganisation of the first- and second-line Armies; but I think it is reasonable to expect that an organisation which was already in existence, which was so full of promise, and which could so easily become an asset of immense value in the difficult matter of recruiting for all the military

Forces of the Crown, should receive, at the earliest possible moment, at least encouragement and some adequate measure of Government support. For two years these verbal assurances were given repeatedly in reply to the various questions that were put before the authorities, but, in practical effect, very little or nothing has been done. Meanwhile, the majority of these Cadet Corps—and I speak from personal knowledge of this matter—have practically reached a point in which we limy describe their condition as that of being in extremis. It is very easy to understand how public support gradually fell away after the Armistice owing to the lack of official encouragement and financial assistance; and so the devoted work and patriotic endeavours so insistently given to enlisting and organising the Cadets, by those who were not only animated by the knowledge of the benefit that the training would be to the boys individually, both physically and morally, but who also were desirous of discharging what they conceived to be a patriotic duty, became practically impossible to carry out.

I venture to think that it is neither right nor politic that all this energy and all this work, with the value that it represents to the community, should be lost or wasted through the procrastination of those in authority in making up their minds. Since, at the request of my noble friend, I postponed putting this Question, an Army Council instruction has been issued at long last dealing with this subject of Cadets. I should like at once to acknowledge the value of that pronouncement on the part of the War Office. But I am assured by those who have a far more intimate knowledge of the expense of running these various units, especially such as I have described as existing in my own county of Essex, that the grants of 5 s. per head which go to the Commanding Officer are really quite inadequate in giving material assistance to those corps which most need it. While I am sure we are all very grateful for the grant which it has been decided to make, in view of the great potentialities of this cadet organisation and the greatly increased cost of the equipment, for my own part I very much regret that the proposals which have been before the War Office now, I think, for over twelve months and upon which these grants seem to have been arranged, did not receive more attention.

In this connection I should like to ask my noble friend also whether it is true that the General who was in charge of the Cadet organisation in the War Office has now been replaced, as I am told, by a junior staff officer, who has other pre-occupations besides that of administering and dealing with cadet matters. And whether the special sub-division—I think it was T.F. 5—under the direction of the Territorial Forces at the War Office is still in existence for dealin, with these cadet matters.

The other point of which I have given my noble friend notice was in connection with the permission, recently given by the War Office, for Territorial units to go into camp this year, in spite of the fact of their numbers not being up to what is laid I down as the requisite percentage of strength, and what decision has been arrived at with regard to the bonus that will be paid to these men. It is quite clear, of course, as this permission was only given comparatively recently, that it is practically a physical impossibility for these men to go through what was laid down as the requisite number of drills, and I should be very much obliged if my noble friend would give me some information as to how these things now stand in respect of the bonus referred to by Mr. Winston Churchill.

I come now to the Question which is on the Paper in my name. I think it is common knowledge among all those who were concerned with the administration of the Territorial Force as it was before the war, that commanding officers frequently found it extremely difficult to meet the cost of conveyance to drill or to musketry of formed bodies of men. Besides that, in the case of individuals travelling by themselves, they very rarely recovered their expenses in connection with travelling to and from drill. I dare say my noble friend is well aware that before the war, under the Territorial Force Regulations as they then were, there was a good deal of dissatisfaction in regard to this matter—I do not want to put it too high—especially in the case of country battalions, and it was felt to be a great grievance among many men. The question is constantly being asked now of recruiting officers and commanding officers by intending recruits—" Will my expenses for attending drills be paid?" And at the moment it is not easy to give a satisfactory answer to that question. I am assured by those who are actively concerned in this matter that their inability to give a satisfactory answer to this question is having considerable influence in holding men back from joining up.

Very often these minor points have very great influence with men in deciding whether they will join up at once or will delay it, and so on. The matter is not altogether a simple one. One of the reasons why it is difficult to give a satisfactory answer is that we are rather uncertain as to how this matter stands. At the Conference in January Mr. Winston Churchill used these words:—

"For attendance at drills a bounty will be paid at the rate of 1s, per drill up to a maximum of 50."

That was quite straightforward, but, later on, referring to the shilling, he used these words—

"This will relieve those who attend drills of any travelling expenses."

Whatever the Territorial Force Regulations may have been, this certainly is simple and definite. If it is the intention to carry out what appears to be the effect of the words of the Secretary of State, I venture to say it will be very unfair indeed in the way in which it will fall on the individual.

In a great many country districts—I am thinking now in particular of one battalion of the Essex Regiment which, as I very well know, is typical of similar battalions right through the country—the units are, necessarily split up and some men in the old days had to bicycle sometimes as much as ten miles after a hard day's work to their nearest drill station while, at the same time, men in the battalion living in the village or town where the drill hall was situate merely had to walk across the road to attend their drills. Of course if we follow out what has been said, both sets of men will get exactly the same bonus for attending their drills. If I read the words of the Secretary of State correctly, this bonus of 1 s. will be expected to relieve both men of their expenses of attending drills. I think that is obviously unfair.

On the other hand, if these payments are to come under the old Regulations, I must point out how unsatisfactory the position will be. I have stated what our experience has been in pre-war times with regard to these Regulations, and I might also point out that the discretionary power given to commanding officers and county associations must inevitably lead to considerable variations in the decisions. Amongst those who are concerned with this matter it is felt that it would be far better if some precise and definite rules could be laid down for their guidance. It is not impossible to do this, and if it were done it would simplify the position. I should like to know from the noble Viscount, therefore, what the decision of the War Office is with regard to this matter. My own association, the Essex County Association, approached the War Office on the subject. They wrote on April 23 and on May 21, received an answer in relation to the officers, but no reply is yet to hand with reference to the non-commissioned officers and men.

There is one other point on which I hope the noble Viscount will give us an assurance—an assurance which is very much needed at the moment. It has been represented to me how desirable it is that the equipment for instructional purposes should be issued as soon as possible. The absence of this equipment is not only very detrimental in dealing with the men who have already been recruited, but it is also having its effect on those who might be willing to join. Surely out of the immense stores accumulated during the war, and since, it is not impossible to provide the relatively small proportion of the necessary training equipment for the various centres. It would encourage both those who are engaged in the training of the men and those who are trying to get the men to train. It would also be an earnest of the intentions of the authorities in this matter.

An almost incredible case was brought to my notice last week. In one centre there were between thirty and forty gunnery recruits and when I asked how their training was proceeding I was told that it was almost impossible to train the men in gunnery because they were making use of a captured German gun, a war trophy granted to the village. It seems to me a most extraordinary and ridiculous thing that such a state of things should exist at this time. While great credit is reflected upon the instructors by their determination and ingenuity, the circumstance furnishes a most deplorable commentary upon the action, or rather the inaction, of the War Office. Before the war such a state of things might have been understood. The Territorial Army was the Cinderella of the War Office, and one had to submit to anything that one could get. But in these days, after all that has been said, with the immense stores available, it is a disgraceful state of things that circumstance such as I have described should be possible.

I am afraid I have occupied more of your Lordships' time than I originally intended to take. My only excuse must be the importance of the subject with which I have endeavoured to deal in one or two of its aspects. His Majesty's Government, in launching the scheme for the reconstruction of the Territorial Army, laid great stress on the seriousness and purpose of the Force, and we have received every encouragement from the highest quarter in the country, from the King himself, to engage wholeheartedly in the work of this reconstruction as a patriotic duty. I have raised some of the salient points which are handicapping us in our efforts, and I hope the Under-Secretary of State will answer the remarks I have made in the spirit in which they are addressed to him and give us some assurance that these difficulties will be rapidly mid effectively dealt with.

Moved to resolve, That it is expedient to amend Appendix XIV of the Territorial Force Regulations with a view to simple and definite rules being laid down.— (Lord 0'Hagan.)

My Lords, my noble friend is entitled to offer criticisms on the management and administration of the Territorial Force, because, in addition to his legislative position, I understand he is himself actively engaged in assisting in the recruiting of that Force. He has raised several points which, unless he had given me notice, I should not have suspected to be closely relevant to the Question on the Paper. I had better answer the Question on the Paper first as it deals with an amendment of Appendix XIV and the payment of out-of-pocket expenses for noncommissioned officers and men attending drills. He is aware that grants to county associations are given under certain circumstances for expenses of moving units, battalions, and companies, from the headquarters to places where they drill. In most cases, the full grants are not drawn, and then an arrangement is made by which a commuted portion of the balance is used by the county association to form a fund in order to pay, where they think fit and subject to their discretion, the out-of-pocket expenses of non-commissioned officers and men coining to particular drills.

My noble friend in his Question, and also in his speech, suggests that county associations have made representations on this subject. That statement is not strictly correct. Only the Essex County Association has made representations on this point, and we have no reason to believe that other associations are dissatisfied. Although I have every respect for the activities and energy of the Essex County Association, I cannot think my noble friend would ask me to make changes in the Regulations at the request of one association alone. It does not seem necessary to make, and the Army Council have no intention of making, any alterations in the substance of Appendix XIV, especially as these Regulations were revised not very long ago. I can inform my noble friend, however, that the question of the rates paid under these grants is under consideration, and I dare say it will make some difference in the administration.

But I wish to state most definitely that I am not at all prepared to assent to what the noble Lord wishes—namely, that definite rules and instructions should he given to the county associations in time exercise of the it discretion. That is precisely what I do not want to do. The one request, I may almost say demand, which comes from all county associations, is that they shall be left as ranch freedom as can be left to theme in the administration of this money, and I can assure my noble friend that I should go counter to all the desires of the county associations—I am not speaking of Essex, which he knows better than I de if I were to try to tie the county associations by hard and fast rules. I can conceive of nothing more unfortunate for the success of the Force or the efficient discharge of the great duties entrusted to the county associaitons.

His next point was with regard to the bonus. I think his question was as to the arrangement about the bonus of £5 for the training and of £4 for those recruits who attend camp but have not been able to do the requisite number of drills in order to obtain the full bonus. These Regulations are set out in the Army Order issued on July 5. I know it takes a certain time for these Army Orders to be issued and read, and perhaps a certain longer time for them to be understood. I should like to call your Lordships' attention to the Order because it sets out the whole of the new revised rules about the grant of the bonus. In the Regulations is one which clearly states that a man must before November have either performed twenty drills and fired a musketry course, or attended fifteen days' training in camp, My noble friend will see that one of the advantages held out to members of the Force is that they would not have to perform the drills before camp, but have until November 1 in order to complete them. He will realise that that is a very considerable concession and a great advantage to the men.

The third point on which he questions me is in connection with the Territorial Force cadets: I confess I was rather surprised to hear his criticism upon this point. An agreement has been reached—and I should like to say a word about how it has been reached—to give 1s. per cadet to the county association for administrative purposes and 5s. per cadet, and the grants may amount to a considerable sum if, as we hope, the number of cadet companies and their members considerably increase. The old rule has been abrogated by which the number of infantry cadet companies was limited to the different units. There is, therefore, no limit at present to the numbers that may he raised. That concession, in itself, is a considerable one, and after a fresh amount of money has been placed upon the Army Estimates I think it is really ungrateful to come down here and say that it is quite an inadequate sum.

While my noble friend was speaking I referred to the debate which occurred last week, on national economy, and in which the Government was severely condemned and heavily out-voted (by 95 to 23) because it was alleged that they were increasing rather than trying to reduce establishments. Among the 95 I found, to my astonishment, the name of my noble friend. Yet here he comes a week afterwards, and the one complaint which he makes against the War Office is that they are not spending enough upon one particular item. That is an example of what happens. I do not want to criticise merely my noble friend; but he knows perfectly well that these debates about economy are perfectly meaningless, because on the first opportunity for spending money we are criticised because we do not ask the Treasury for more.

I think that those who are familiar with the cadet movement will say that the grant is very generous, and I should like to point this out in justification of the War Office. All the members of an Inter-Departmental Committee, on which the Board of Education and the Home Office were represented, agreed that the cadet movement was an admirable thing and should be supported, but they were all also agreed on another point—namely, that they were not going to find a penny themselves, but that the money should come out of the War Office Vote. Therefore, considering the tremendous demands made upon the War Office Vote, and considering the most unfair attacks made upon the War Office in regard to the spending of money, I submit, on behalf of the War Office, that the Department deserves great credit for having taken upon its shoulders this burden which it need not have taken, because the advantage of the cadet movement lies much more in the improvement of the youth of the country than in any specific advantage to the War Office. Inasmuch, however, as the cadet movement was so anxious, perhaps not unnaturally, to be under the War Office administration, the War Office agreed to take it under its wing. There is, of course, some incidental advantage about getting recruits, but the advantage is far wider than any War Office question, and I think it is most unfair that the War Office should be charged with having dealt ungenerously in the matter.

I think I have dealt with every point mentioned by my noble friend, except that of equipment. He gave me no notice about that, and all I can say is that every effort is being made to provide the proper equipment, for training and otherwise, for the Territorial Force. The difficulties in the way are very great, and if there is any specific case which has come to the attention of my noble friend, I shall be extremely glad to look into it. He will, however, realise that, it is rather difficult to deal with specific cases unless one has an opportunity of looking into them. As regards the Question on the Paper I hope he will be satisfied that these grants, as regards the monetary side of them, are now being revised, and that the overwhelming opinion among the county associations is that they would like to have some latitude in the method in which they dispense the grants, because the county associations—each in its own area—are the best judges of the kind of assistance which ought to be given.

I do not wish to press the Motion, but I desire to say that I am grateful to the noble Viscount for what he has said. I am sure the remarks which he has made will be received with attention and a great deal of pleasure by those who, like myself, are concerned in the administration of the Territorial Force. I am more pleased than I can say with regard to the rules upon which grants would be made to the county associations. As to the remarks which he made about the bonus with respect to the camps this year, the concession is a very considerable one, and one which will be very much appreciated; but, as the noble Lord has said, these Regulations take time to issue and perhaps do not very rapidly reach those for whom they are intended.

Sometimes they are not received in time for them to be considered. With regard to the cadets, I will not endeavour to cross swords with my noble friend who is a far more able dialectician than I am. I would like to emphasise what I thought I had said, which was that I do recognise, as others will recognise, that it is a generous contribution that the War Office has made, and one that will be highly appreciated. All I ventured to point out was not that it was not a generous contribution, but that it might not prove adequate. I quite understand the difficulties under which the War Office is placed in a matter of this kind, but my withers are quite unwrung by sonic remarks of my noble friend. Though I am prepared to go a certain distance along the road indicated in order to get support for this organisation outside the War Office as well as from the War Office, I still think that the grant will very likely have to be increased in future. I ant much obliged to my noble friend for the information he has given, and I ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before six o'clock.

House Of Lords

[From Minutes of July 13.]

Shekleton's Divorce Bill Hl

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read: Counsel called in: Witnesses examined: Moved that the Bill be now read 2a ; agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.

Local Government (Ireland) Provisional Orders (No 3) Bill

Brought from the Commons; read 1a ; to be printed; and referred to the Examiners.

Wear Navigation And Sunderland Dock (Finance) Bill

Brought from the Commons; read 1a ; and referred to the Examiners.

Airdrie And Coatbridge Tramways Provisional Order Confirmation Bill Hl

Returned from the Commons, agreed to.

Croydon Corporation Bill Hl



Returned from the Commons, agreed to, with Amendments: The said Amendments considered, and agreed to.

Liverpool Corporation Waterworks Bill

Returned from the Commons, with the Amendments, agreed to.

acquainted the House, That the Clerk of the Parliaments had laid upon the Table the Certificates from the Examiners that the further Standing Orders applicable to the following Bills have been complied with:

London Electric Railway Companies (Fares, &c.).

Yeovil Corporation.

The same were ordered to lie on the Table.

Gas Regulation Bill

Committee (which stands appointed for Thursday next) put off to Tuesday next.

Ministry Of Health Provisional Order (Gas) Bill






Reported, without amendment, and recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow.

Ministry Of Health Provisional Order (Southampton Extension) Bill

Reported, with Amendments, and recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow.

Central London And Metropolitan District Railway Companies (Works) Bill



Reported, with Amendments.

Gas And Water Provisional Orders Bill

informed the House that the opposition to the Mablethorpe and Sutton Gas Order was withdrawn: The Order made on the 1st instant respecting the commitment of the Bill to a Select Committee in regard to the said Order discharged.

Hastings Tramways Bill

The King's consent signified, and Bill reported with Amendments.

Sheffield Corporation Bill

Reported From The Select Committee, With Amendments

Ministry Of Health Provisional Orders (No 5) Bill

Committee to meet on Tuesday next.

Derwent Valley Water Board Bill London Electric Railway Companies (Fares, Etc) Bill

Committed: The Committees to be proposed by the Committee of Selection.