§ As amended, further considered.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)
moved to omit Clause 146 3, which provided that an act done by a person in contemplation or furtherance of a trade disputes should not be actionable as a tort on the ground only that it induced some other person 147 to break a contract of employment or that it was an interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person, or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or his labour as he wills. Those last words were in direct contravention of the Prime Minister's own description of Liberal policy. The Prime Minister said that—The Liberal policy meant freedom for each man to use the powers and facilities implanted in him.Now this clause was drawn to prevent each man using the powers and facilities implanted in him. In the Bills introduced by the hon. Member for Clitheroe, the hon. Member for Spen Valley, and the hon. Member for one of the Divisions for Yorkshire, no clause of this description was inserted, although there was a somewhat similar clause inserted in the Bill introduced by the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean. This clause not only applied to trade unionists, but it included every other person under its provisions. A great deal had been said about the desire of the trade unions to do nothing that was not legal, but wrongful acts had been done in the past for which, on their recurrence, there would be no remedy under this Bill. If, under the old laws such acts occurred, what was likely to occur when this clause passed into law? He would like to call the attention of the House to what occurred on page 143 of the report of the evidence given before the Royal Commission. On that page there was published the following letter—Dear Sir—I hope you will excuse me for troubling you, but I wish to put before you a few plain facts. When you had no work for me on the 30th March, I went to Messrs. Warings & Gillow's and got a job. I worked that week all right. On the Tuesday, the 7th April, Lowe, the painter's delegate, came on the job at Prestwich; he bullied me in front of the men I was working with, and said I would be fined £2 for working in your shop. He said the club intended to take all I earned in your shop, and all other men as well. The other men can do as they like, but I don't pay any tine for getting a living for myself, wife, and children. On Thursday, the 9th April, I was stopped at Warings. On Monday 29th April, I was going down Market Street; Lowe met me, he bullied me and we had a row; so I told him I would leave the town before I would pay the fine. He said he would follow me. Well, I think I would not go for him. I was born and bred in Manchester and served my time, and if I cannot get a living here for myself and family we will have to starve, I suppose, just 148 because I work for you to get a loaf of bread. Now, Mr. Carr, do you think this is right to be hunted like a convict from place to place? That is what Lowe will do.That was clear evidence that on certain occasions something of this sort went on, and unless the class of persons to whom he was referring were protected by law it would occur again. That man could not bring a civil action against the trade union for interfering with his rights to earn his living like an honest man. Here was another example which occurred in South Wales—On Tuesday afternoon a non-union man was turned out of his lodgings and was followed by a good-humoured crowd as far as Ferndale. Unfortunately for the former he and the crowd arrived at Ferndale just in time to meet the men there going home from work, and upon the non-unionist being recognised the chase was taken up by the Ferndale men. The non-unionist made good his escape.Here was another example—A massed meeting of the 2,000 men on strike at Aberamen in reference to about 50 non-unionists employed in the colliery was held last evening at the Plough pit, when the committee reported that as the result of persistent efforts on their part they had now brought the trouble to a satisfactory and amicable settlement. During the day they visited at their homes all who had not joined as well as all who were in arrears with their contributions, and as the result they had got every man 'up to the scratch,' every man a member of the deputation had been brought into line or had cleared out of the district.It was very evident that under the present law intimidation and the desire to prevent a man exercising his capabilities and his talents as he liked was very prevalent. In view of all this evidence before the Royal Commission, was it wise to extend still further these powers and enact that nothing should beActionable as a tort on the ground only that it induces some other person to break a contract of employment, or that it is an interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person, or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or labour as he wills.He never expected that even this House of Commons would listen to such a clause as that. He trusted the Government would realise the serious position they were in under this Bill. He knew that the Government were obliged to do what they were told by hon. Members below the gangway. [An HON. MEM-BER: That is getting stale.] He hoped the Government would pause and 149 consider before they passed such legislation as this, for there was nothing like it in any other country, and it was absolutely impossible for employers and workmen to compete with foreign trade in this country if commerce was handicapped in this way. People would buy the cheapest article, and the result would be that they would not be able to carry on competition successfully. He still had hopes that the Attorney-General would listen to the voice of argument, and he begged to move.
In page 1, line 24, to leave out Clause 3." —(Sir Frederick Banburry)
§ Question proposed, "That the words down to 'an act done' stand part of the Bill."
§ THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir JOHN WALTON, Leeds, S.)
said the hon. Baronet had always been a strong opponent of this Bill and he was not surprised that he proposed to leave out this clause. The reasons he had given were reasons which had been given before, and he had already endeavoured to meet those arguments and justify the position which the Government had thought proper to take up. The whole of the second part of this clause was framed with a view to giving effect to the Report of the Royal Commission. The Government accepted the conclusion of the Royal Commission, and they had therefore provided that it should not be unlawful for one body of workmen to refuse to work with another body of workmen or even with a single workman for reasons which in their judgment were sufficient. It was clearly part of the law of the land that a body of workmen had a perfect right to refuse to work for any reason which they thought sufficient. It had been held that a man belonging to the Boiler Makers Union had a right to refuse to work with men belonging to the shipwrights, and the result was that the shipwrights on the vessel were immediately discharged. The House of Lords held that they were quite entitled to take that step, and that there had been no breach of the law. He would give another illustration showing that union men had a perfect right to refuse to work with men who were not 150 members of the trade union. It might be wise or unwise but it was the law, and it was because the law had been subjected to so much doubt that it was necessary that the matter should be made perfectly plain. The Government were supported in their recommendation by Lord Dunedin's Commission. The earlier part of this provision contained words which were proposed by the right hon. Member for the Forest of Dean when the Bill was going through Committee and the House adopted them. The hon. Member for Derby on a former occasion had given an illustration of going to South Wales to persuade a large number of men who had entered into contracts with the railway companies in the East End; he tried to persuade them from working under those agreements on the ground that it would be an unfair interference with the strike, but had no sooner opened his mouth than he found himself restrained by an injunction, on the ground that these men were already under contract and therefore he had no light either to approach or to address them. There was a similar case in which a number of Irish labourers were brought over to Whitehaven. and the trade union representative was restrained by an injunction in a similar manner, because the men imported were under contract. It seemed to him very unfair that an employer might recruit a large body of men from outside to take the place of strikers and conceal from them the circumstances of the strike and the issues involved in the quarrel, or the true relations between employers and workmen in that particular district. He was quite aware that there was a doctrine which rested upon two well-known decisions, the Mogul case and Bowen and Hall. Those cases established that if A induced B to break his contract with C he was liable to an action for damages. That proposition was still an essential part of the common law of the country. He knew it was repudiated when first framed by some of our most eminent Judges, and had only received the sanction of the highest tribunal within the last year or two, and this was due to some extent to the feeling excited by trade questions. That branch of the law would not be interfered with in so far as it might arise in relation to trade disputes. For reasons which he had 151 given, it seemed to him essential that this provision should be introduced. He might point out that an action in a Court of law was an action in which malice was the essential element, and it must be the intentional doing of a wrongful act with- out just cause or excuse.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
said that with a great deal that had fallen from the Attorney-General he did not find himself in disagreement. What he did feel was that if this clause was confined to the cases of men being brought in to take the place of others on strike, it would be quite unnecessary to resist the arguments of the Attorney-General. But the clause was drawn so badly that it would apply to a great many other cases to which no reason had yet been given for applying such stringent provisions. It would apply to all breaches of contract in consequence of a trade dispute. He could conceive that the results might be very serious in the case of those under contract to carry out something of a very essential character, perhaps involving the safety of those engaged in the trade. Such breaches might involve very serious consequences indeed, and there would be no remedy against the person who persuaded others to adopt the course of breaking their contracts. He desired to enter a protest against one observation which fell from the Attorney-General. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that the doctrine laid down in the case of "Lumley v Gye" was not part of the common law. He ventured respectfully altogether to differ. It was always part of the common law. It was quite true that a case never arose until the case of "Lumley v. Gye," but surely it was an astounding doctrine to hear from a great legal luminary that the Judges then invented a doctrine which was not part of the common law and applied it to the case before them. The function of the Judges was to interpret the common law, and they did so in that case. He asked the House whether this proposal did not go a great deal beyond the necessities of the case, and whether, if they accepted it, they would not run the proverbial danger of enacting very bad Jaw.
MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS (Denbigh District)
said there was some little 152 misconception in the mind of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London in regard to this clause. As he understood the provision it was that no one who induced another to commit a breach of contract ought to be liable to a third party for that breach of contract. The second point, he believed, which some of them wished to make was that trade unionists should stand in precisely the same relation to the law in this respect as other members of the community. He would endeavour to show how very wide of the mark in regard to the law at present the hon. Member had travelled. As an illustration he would take the case of a girl who was employed as a milliner or a dressmaker and was under contract for twelve months. She was wooed and won by a young man, and she consented to marry. They married at the end of three months. For the purpose of marrying she broke her contract with her employer. Did the hon. Baronet suggest that the bridegroom was to be liable in damages to the employer for having induced the bride to break her contract? He did not think the hon. Gentleman could possibly go so far. He would take another case. He believed that the hon. Gentleman was a member of the Stock Exchange.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
May I point out that the girl would have just cause and excuse for breaking her contract.
MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS
said he was quite certain that the hon. Baronet was under a misconception. There could be no just cause and excuse on the part of the person breaking a contract. The girl would still be liable in damages to the employer, but the question was whether there was just cause and excuse on the part of the bridegroom who was to marry the girl. When they got to the point that there should be no just cause and excuse in inducing a breach of contract, they opened the door to a whole series of cases, of which they said the particular case of the union official advising his members was one. The hon. Baronet was a member of the Stock Exchange, and it was incumbent upon him very frequently to advise clients to break contracts and cut their losses. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] There 153 might be an unfortunate underwriting contract entered into.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
I do not want to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but I wish to say that I have never advised anybody to break a contract.
MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS
said that perhaps they were a little at cross purposes. The hon. Baronet was such a master of finesse that he would not say that he advised a breach of contract, but he was quite sure that, in common with other stock-brokers, when a client placed before him a statement of facts showing that he had entered into an unfortunate contract, he would use a series of arguments which operated on the uninformed mind of the client, and induced him to break his contract. No one had ever suggested that in such a case the hon. Baronet could be liable in damages to the third person with whom his client broke his contract.
MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS
said he was sorry that his words should be taken in that way. He knew that the kind of tiling he was describing constantly happened. In cases for breach of contract over share transactions the expert share broker came along and said that he pointed out certain things to the client which did lead to the breach of contract. He was speaking of things within his own know-ledge. He would give one or two further examples. It constantly happened that a client went to a solicitor and pointed out that he had entered into a contract which to the solicitor might appear to be rather an unconscionable one. In consequence of the advice of the solicitor the client broke the contract, and stood the racket for the breach, but no one had ever suggested that the solicitor was also liable for damages for inducing the breach. Or there was the case of a man who entered into a contract to go out to work for three or five years on the West Coast of Africa. His health broke down and he came home and consulted a doctor. The doctor advised him on the ground of health to sacrifice everything, and to throw up his employment in West Africa. There was a breach of contract 154 there for which the man was responsible, but no one had suggested that the doctor should also be liable in damages for the breach. And why? Because it was held in all these cases that there was just cause and excuse on the part of the person advising or inducing the breach. That was exactly the position which, it was understood, prevailed in regard to the trade union official, the expert adviser of the men. Because he was an export in the matter of industrial conditions and in the matter of economic relations the duty was placed upon him to advise. In giving that advice he should be as immune as any other export adviser. It was not a new principle they were laying down. They were asking that the principle should apply as to just cause and excuse for interference to the trade unionists on whom was placed the duty of advising, and that they should be placed in the category of those who could plead just cause and excuse. There was another misapprehension in the mind of the hon. Baronet. He seemed to be under the impression that an employer would have no remedy against an individual actually breaking his contract. That was not so. There was no suggestion that the actual breaker of the contract should be exempt from damages for the breach which he himself had committed. It was probably not present to the minds of hon. Members that in recent cases, or a number of them, the employers had first of all got their damages out of the individual workmen by fining them £5 or £6 each for breach of contract. Then they had come against the organisation, not for breach, but for inducing a breach of contract, and owing to a technical rule of law the unions had not been able to set up the defence that the case of the employers was satisfied by their having got damages out of the individual workmen. There was only one further point with which he wished to deal. The noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone had said that it would be possible for unions and workmen by means of the operation of this clause to escape from the law in cases where property or life was jeopardised. Probably the noble Lord had forgotten the clause in the Protection of Property Act of 1875, which expressly provided for the punishment of those who struck where the strike jeopardised life. This clause did not exempt men who 155 struck from the operation of that clause, but simply said that they should not be liable merely because they induced a breach of contract or merely because a breach interfered with an employer's business. Those were the only two grounds on which they were exempt. There were other courses known to the law by which men could be proceeded against in spite of the operation of this clause. There was no attempt here, as there had been no attempt in any other clause of the Bill, to confer a privilege on trade unions, but there was an attempt to bring trade unions back to the ordinary law, to remove them from an exceptional position and to bring them within the operation of the law which applied to every other section of the community.
§ MR. LYTTELTON (St. George's, Hanover Square)
said he had a good deal of sympathy with the clause as it stood, but he thought the speech of his noble friend demanded some reply from the Government. He for one wished workmen and trade unionists to have, as far as possible, absolutely fair play in a strike against employers. He thought if an employer had introduced under contract a large number of workmen to intervene in a trade dispute, it would not be in human nature that those conducting a strike should not greatly desire to address those men and say to them, "Now, here is a matter which is vital to us. The whole interest of our profession or industry is at stake. You are coming in in large numbers and intervening in this quarrel. Are you aware of the damage you must do by interfering?" It was only human nature that they should do that. He for one would be entirely in favour of its being pointed out to these men in clear language what they were doing and how adversely they were acting in their own interests in the struggle. But supposing a strike took place, the merits of which were in doubt, and where a vast quantity of property was at stake, as, for instance, in a coal mine where the cessation of pumping, even for forty-eight hours, might involve a loss of thousands or tens of thousands pounds a day. [AN HON. MEMBER: That case is provided for.] Admitting that that was so, there was conceivably 156 a case in which a large amount of property might be involved, and by which a great inconvenience might be caused to the public. A man might go and say, "I have satisfied myself that I shall be able to induce the men working in that mine to break their contract." Surely that was a case in which some remedy should be provided for.
§ VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH (Maidstone)
said the speech of the learned Attorney-General was, in some measure, an answer to an Amendment which he had put down on the Paper to leave out the words "that it induces some other person to break a contract of employment or." It would, perhaps, be remembered that these words were put in at the Committee stage on the Motion of the right hon. Member for the Forest of Dean. They were not originally in the Bill introduced by the Attorney-General, and therefore, they should have a clear statement from him as to the reason why he accepted them, He did not agree with the principle of Clause 3, but he thought if these words were eliminated it might be made workable. If they were retained in the clause it was obvious that it would be possible for a trade union to instigate a strike. He knew it was not the desire of the trade union leaders, as a rule, to instigate strikes, but he thought that if these words were left out of the clause it might modify the pernicious consequences which might ensue from a strike. The words might have an effect the greatness and importance of which it would be hard to estimate. It would be possible for an agitator to incite workmen, not merely to break their contracts, but to throw down their tools, while he could look on and escape all the consequences which would follow. Would that be a satisfactory state of affairs? He thought that trade union leaders took an optimistic view of these matters, and that when these restrictions were removed their position would be very difficult. From the remarks which the Attorney-General made a few minutes ago the impression was conveyed that he was anxious to facilitate strikes. He thought it would be far better to put difficulties in the way of strikes, and that opinion was formed from his experience in the 157 north of England and his observation of the attitude of the Board of Arbitration.
§ *Sir CHARLES DILKE (Forest of Dean)
said he only proposed to move formally to insert after "actionable," the words "whether or not malice be alleged," in order to ask his hon. and learned friend the Attorney - General if he still held the same view of the words "that it induces some other person to break a contract of employment or," put in at the Committee stage on the motion of himself, and accepted by the Attorney-General, as he did when he spoke in Committee on August 3rd.
In page 1, line 25, after the word 'actionable' to insert the words 'whether or not malice be alleged.' "—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ Question proposed "That those words he inserted in the Bill."
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said he was still entirely of the same opinion, and he did not think the words proposed by the right hon. Gentleman were required. The clause, as it stood, was intended to prohibit a certain class of action, and it was the only class of action which could be preferred.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
In page 1, line 25, to leave out words 'as a tort.' "—(The Attorney-General.)
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
moved the omission of Clause 4, the object of which was to prohibit actions against trade unions for the recovery of damages for tortious acts except in certain circumstances. He believed that the other Trade Disputes Bills introduced originally did not go anything like the length of this clause. Those Bills provided that a trade union should not be liable for the proceedings of an agent unless it was proved that that agent was acting with the knowledge and consent of the unions. He thought 158 a good deal might be said for that view, but here there was a great disadvantage in discussing it because that was not the general aspect of the law. In many cases at present a man was liable for the actions of his agent although he did not authorise them or know of them. He believed that the Attorney-General had not only changed the clause from what it was when originally introduced, but that as the clause now stood an officer of a trade union who robbed the funds of the union could not be prosecuted. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No, No."] He thought that that was so. However, the alterations in the existing law made by this clause were so great that it would be necessary to divide the House against it. He could not see any argument for setting up a privileged class. He believed that it was an error to suppose that before the Taff Vale decision trade unions were immune from the law, but supposing, for the sake of argument, that they were, he thought that that was a very wrong state of law, and that they ought to go back and bring the trade unions into the same position with regard to the law as other bodies. He could not understand why the Liberal Party should set up a particular and privileged class. For the last fifty years that Party had posed as the opponents of privilege and monopoly. They had been told from many platforms that privilege and monopoly were espoused by the Tories and that the Liberal Party wished to destroy them. Now. however, it was the Liberal Party who came forward and wished to establish them. They now proposed that a small proportion of the population should be immune from the law and be set above it. They might, it was suggested, do what they liked and use the enormous power entrusted to them to promote acts of violence and intimidation. This was a reactionary measure, which would, in his opinion, rebound and lead to discomfort on the part of hon. Members below the gangway. If hon. Members were going to use their power in this House to pass such measures they would have to face combinations of employers, and big organisations on both sides would face each other. Such a state of things would be inimical both to employers 159 and workmen. The interests of capital and labour were identical, and nothing should be done to promote disputes between them. Supposing these big organisations were formed on both sides, what would become of those who did not belong to either? They would be crushed between the two parties. The clause was one which seemed to him to go far beyond any reasonable demand on the part of trade unions. Trade unions were originally instituted for the purpose of providing sick pay and pensions for the workers, and it would have been perfectly possible for them to protect themselves under the Friendly Societies Act. They had not taken that course for the reason that, rightly or wrongly, they wished to use these funds for strikes or other purposes. No doubt they had a right to take that course provided they did not conduct their trade movements with violence or intimidation and did nothing in breach of the law; but if they did acts for which other persons would be liable to penalties, trade unionists should be liable to the law in the same manner as anybody else. He wished to point out to the House and the country that for the first time in the memory of man Parliament was creating a privileged class, and that was a very wrong thing, to do.
*MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire, E.R., Holderness)
in seconding the Amendment thought the Government would very much wish to accept it and i so get rid of a clause which had proved a tremendous thorn in their side. He supposed there had never been such an ignominious surrender as that made by the present Government. They knew that they were not in a position to accept the Amendment, but on Thursday they had to listen to Ministers attempting explanations where explanations were absolutely impossible. He could not help thinking that the Attorney-General's cup of bitter- ness must have been filled to overflowing when he was compelled to put down new amendments to this clause, but at the dictation of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway he was going to be made to drain that cup to the last drop. His belief was that hon. 160 Gentlemen below the gangway were pressing the Government too far. He believed they were making them go much further than the working men and trade unionists of the country wished them to go. [LABOUR cries of "No, no."] Hon. Members said "No, no," but he might be allowed to give them an example. At the last election an hon. friend of his was asked by the trade unionists of his constituency whether he could give his support to a Trade Disputes Bill, and he said he could support a moderate measure. When asked what he considered a moderate measure he laid before them a copy of the Bill of last year as amended by the Unionists after the Labour Members had retired from the Committee room, and told them that he could support that measure. They looked through it carefully and said that if he were prepared to support it they were entirely agreeable. That, he thought, was sufficient to show that the Labour Members were pressing the Government too far.
*MR. STANLEY WILSON
said he had not his hon. friend's authority to give his name. He trusted the House would take his word. The story was told him first hand by his hon. friend. There was no wonder that hon. Gentlemen below the gangway were proud of the victory they had achieved. They were able to go back to their constituents and say— "We are the men who have coerced His Majesty's Government and have pulled the strings and made the puppets on the Ministerial Bench dance to the tune we called."
He was one of those who pledged himself at the last election to support a moderate Trade Disputes Bill, and he should have made no objection to the measure as originally introduced. He was in favour of the principle of that Bill, but now it was absolutely impossible for him to give it his support. He knew there were many Ministerialists who agreed with the views of the Opposition with regard to this particular clause, and he thought it would be well if they showed a certain amount of courage and 161 supported the opinions they had openly expressed outside. He supposed, however, that at the crack of the Party whip they would be brought into line and be forced to vote in support of the clause.
To leave out Clause 4."—(Sir F. Banbury.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words ' An action against a trade union' stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
said that it must be sorrowfully admitted that at this stage there did not appear much more to be said than had been said before on this clause. That was not because the arguments were not many and weighty as applied to the clause, still less was it because they had been adequately met or answered. Really the net amount of what they had to consider in the present debate was that extremely exiguous quantum of justification which had been offered them from the Government Bench since the surrender of which his hon. friends had spoken and since the speeches were made upon the alternative scheme by the Secretary of State for War and by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Attorney-General had stood to his guns and made the best of a bad job, but what did the justification offered by various members of the Government amount to? Had any one advanced in favour of the privilege proposed to be created by this clause a single argument that would not apply to any other corporation? It was said that this was a case in which the law of agency operated harshly, because the members were widely scattered. But the shareholders of the London and North-Western Railway lived all over the world, and, after all, the members of a trade union had the same means as other bodies of withdrawing their confidence from their executive.
§ AN HON. MEMBER remarked that trade unions did not trade for profit.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
said that was so, but where there was power there ought to be responsibility. Then it was said that the agents of a trade union who might behave in a negligent or tortious manner lived at a great distance from the 162 central executive, and, therefore, it was difficult to control them. But the London and North-Western Railway Company was made liable if one of its engine-drivers was guilty of negligence as far north as Carlisle. The argument applied in the case of every corporation or trading company, whether trading for profit or not. The legislature had given to the unions every attribute of a corporation without giving them the name, and the question was whether the equities and the moralities of the case did not demand that these bodies should not now try to have it both ways. Were they to be allowed to have all the advantages of incorporation, and to stand none of its liabilities. The mere fact that trade unions did not trade for profit, did not distinguish them from other corporations. The clause was objectionable, and ought to have been adhered to in the form in which it was originally proposed by the-Government.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said he did not wish to traverse any ground over which this House had laboured already, but there was one observation he would like to make which if not made now would lose much of its importance. The hon. Baronet had over and over again said this Bill constituted a new departure in legislation. There had been both in the House and in the Press, repeated utterances denouncing the Bill as creating a new class privilege. He wished to explain to the House that that was a complete misconception of the legal position of the measure. Whatever he had said with regard to any new proposals had been said with regard to legislation in the future. So far as the past was concerned, everybody would admit that, historically, the precedent they had in the Acts of 1871 and 1875 would amply support this measure. He was quite aware that the law as created by those provisions must be finally and authoritatively construed by the House of Lords, but this House had had recent and bitter experience of the fact that Parliament might desire to create one thing, and that lawyers might decide that it meant quite another, and the experience which they had had with regard to the legislation of 1902 could historically be shown to be equally relevant to the legislation of 1871 and 1875. He said without fear of challenge from 163 either lawyer or constitutional historian that Parliament in 1871 and 1875 intended to create this immunity, and according to the general assent of politicians and lawyers of that date, and of a whole generation of their successors, down to the year 1901, this immunity had, in fact, existed, and had legislative authority. He was quite aware that to adduce evidence of this would involve quotations from speeches, from history, and from biographies. But it was perfectly obvious that the Liberal Government of 1871 intended to give this immunity, and that the Tory Party in the palmy days of 1875 adopted the charter of their predecessors. That it was not the intention of the Government to do more than perpetuate the historical traditions of the last thirty years in regard to the treatment of trade unions would be generally accepted by a great majority of the House. He would refer to a decision which was infinitely more authoritative than any words of his own— the decision of the Court of Appeal in the Taff Vale case. The decision of that tribunal was reversed by the House of Lords, and as a lawyer he accepted as the construction of the Act of Parliament the decision of the House of Lords; but as an historian and as a Member of that House desiring to get at the intention of the Legislature thirty years ago, he preferred the language of the Court of Appeal. That Court solemnly, unanimously, and clearly came to the conclusion that not only did Parliament intend to create this charter, but that the language of the statute was sufficient for the purpose. Was it not perfectly clear, therefore, that Parliament did wish to deal separately with trade unions in the past and give them the benefit of registration? They were not a legal entity, and not being a legal entity they could not be sued. Having created this state of things, Parliament went on to provide that in respect to a certain class of offences involving tort and breach of contract an action might be brought against the trustees of a trade union. While he did not shrink from defending the proposals now before the House, he wished to make it clear that on the ground on which they were defended by the great majority of the House they were amply warranted. That ground was not the opinion of Parliament to-day, but the opinion of Parliament and of 164 both parties in the State many years ago, confirmed by the continuous record of thirty years of our history. The lamentations in the Press over this proposal left out of sight the liabilities under which trade unions rested by reason of the legislation of 1871.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said, in reference to an observation of the Attorney-General as to the weight of legal opinion, there was certainly no one whose opinion on a matter of law they would listen to with greater respect than that of the Attorney-General, and he did not need to reinforce that opinion by the statement of any Judge. Of course it had always been received, and always would be received, with the profoundest respect. But a rather different class of case arose with reference to an observation made by the Attorney-General and another hon. Member on the Ministerial side on the subject of incorporation. It was very desirable, when they discussed the question of incorporation as a proposal to modify the legal position of trade unions, that they should be quite sure that they understood what trade unionists wanted, and, secondly, it was very desirable that trade unionists should make up their minds what they really did want. If, under no circumstances would they accept incorporation, it was perfectly futile for them to rise and say they ought to have special privileges because they were not incorporated, or to allow supporters to make appeals ad misencordiam on the special ground that they were not incorporated. He did not think there was a person familiar with the history of trade unions, or with legal questions affecting incorporation, who would not be prepared to grant incorporation to trade unions if they wanted it. Anybody who had studied the history of the question was well aware that trade unions would not accept it if it were offered them tomorrow. He asked them on the Second Reading if they would, and they frankly said they did not desire incorporation. Surely, therefore, the demand for special treatment on the ground that they were not incorporated might be dropped. They had been told by the Attorney-General that the immunity proposed to be conferred by this clause had been believed by all parties familiar with the question to have been possessed by trade unions ever since 165 the legislation of 1870. It was wearisome and no pleasure to them to meet what the Attorney-General said to-day with what he had said on a previous occasion, and he did not think there was any desire on the part of the Opposition to take further advantage of the modification of the position, but the hon. and learned Gentleman had himself dealt in a most worthy mariner with that point and had examined in detail the legal arguments with which he now entertained the House. He had said it might be a prescriptive right which trade unionists had enjoyed for over thirty years and which they ought to continue, but "historically there was no foundation for that argument."
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said that he pointed out that they could not carry that prescriptive right further than 1892.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said that he thought the Attorney-General would agree that in 1892 there were some lawyers who thought that an action could be brought against a trade union. Reference had been made to Professor Dicey's letters in the Press. He had pointed out that as the clause stood no action could be brought against the trustees of a trade union if they were to lend a motor-car to a Labour or trade unionist candidate, and if that vehicle were driven over a child. [An HON. MEMBER: "Non-sense."] He heard an hon. Member who was not a lawyer express disapproval in an unusual manner, but if the clause had not that effect he should be pleased to hear what the limiting words in the clause were.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
submitted that without some Amendment no action could be brought against a trade union in the event of such an accident as he had indicated; if the Government contemplated that actions for tort of that kind could be brought against the trustees of trade unions, they had fallen short of granting that immunity to trade unionists which the hon. Gentleman below the gangway believed they had obtained. There was, at any rate, some ambiguity in Clause 4 as to whether in its present form an action of 166 that kind would lie. If it were in such a form as to prevent such an action being successfully brought, it would amount to a monstrous immunity.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
said the Attorney-General had made a very interesting speech with regard to the historical aspect of this question. He was complimented a short time ago for his courage in this matter, and he certainly thought it was courageous to present the historical argument, having regard to his attitude a few day ago. It surely would be insulting to the Attorney-General and to the Secretary of State for War to assume that this clause as it now stood was merely introducing the policy of the Governments of 1871 and 1875. It had been said that the House was only going back to the pre-Taff Vale condition of things. That was not so. Before the Taff Vale decision there a general impression—it was certainly the view of the legal profession—that the funds of a trade union were immune. It would have been perfectly easy for the Government, if it had been their bona fide intention, to have re-created that state of things. They had not taken that course. Not merely was the immunity of trade union funds secured, but at the bidding of one of their supporters the Government had accepted the excision of the remedy by injunction against a trade union.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON, on a point of order, asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was entitled to discuss the clause on the assumption that certain Amendments, neither adopted by nor explained to the House, formed part of the clause as it now stood. The right hon. Gentleman was criticising alterations in the clause that had neither been moved nor explained.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
said that he was answering the arguments of the Attorney-General's speech wherein he attempted to show that there had been no change of policy on the part of the Government.
said that if the discussion were not taken now it might lead to further discussion on the clause as amended. He thought that this would be very undesirable.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
said the argument of the Government last week was that their position was justified by the fact that for thirty years a certain condition of things was believed to be the law, and that condition of things they were going to restore. But he wanted to show the House that the Government had gone far beyond this position. The Government had not only provided for the immunity of trade union funds, as existed before the Taff Vale decision, but they had introduced a new provision to the effect that there should not be an injunction against a trade union; that was to say, the funds were to be immune and the trade union was to be immune in respect of an action brought by any one to restrain them from perpetrating a wrong. That was a very serious alteration in the law, and it was not the condition of things that prevailed before the Taff Vale decision. It was not merely the immunity of trade unions again established, which many would be in favour of, but also the remedy by way of injunction against trade unions removed.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)
said that the substance of the matter was surely whether or not trade unions funds should be immune, and if they were to be immune it did not very much matter by what machinery that immunity was created. The ante-Taff Vale position as it had been understood until two or three years ago. was much more nearly approached by the clause under discussion than by the clause formerly introduced. The ante-Taff Vale position was understood to be, first of all, that funds of trade unions were immune, and in the second place, that trade unions as such could not be sued, and to this day lawyers who had been discussing the matter had failed to find a word for the body which was called a trade union. It had been pointed out that it was not a corporation or a legal entity. The late Lord Chancellor, who was a very able Judge, besides being a man of imagination, could not call it by any other name than a "thing." That was the ante-Taff-Vale position— "a thing" which could not be sued. He was very glad that a decision had been arrived at by taking the collective opinion of those who were anxious to do the right thing, and undoubtedly that 168 opinion was that the best way was to go back to the ante-Taff Vale position, and not only safeguard the funds but also make it impossible for the union to be sued. With regard to action for injunction, that sort of action could create exactly the same kind of mischief against a trade union as an ordinary action, and would make a trade union open to what happened in the case of the Denaby Main Colliery Company. It would enable a master to buy over a member of a trade union, in order to bring an injunction, and put an end to the strike and defeat the weapon which the workmen had against the masters. He might mention the case of a man named Howlett, whose wages were about £1 a week. He was a member of a trade union in Yorkshire, and the employers said to him, "We will make it worth your while to come over to us; we will give you £4 a week to the time of this action, "and in that way the employers were able to use one of the union men who was willing to sell himself for purposes of an action such as the right hon. Gentleman wanted to perpetuate.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
An action by injunction puts an end to the perpetration of wrong. An action against a trade union for damages causes an abstraction of innocent people's money from their pockets.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said that such things as he had described had occurred and the men had been defeated, because there had been a technical breach of rule. Strikes ought to be conducted with fairness. If there was to be a battle the weapon must not be struck out of the hands of one of the parties, and left in the hands of the other. The bogey had been set up that the trustees of a trade union could not be held liable for damage done by the property of the union. In the case of damage done by a cart belonging to a union, or by the falling of a house, or by other property vested in a union, an action could be brought against the trustees in respect of damage. Whether the proviso were in or out, Clause 9 of the Act of 187l should not be repealed. The policy of the Government was properly carried out by the clause in the form in which it now stood.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was not quite sure that he apprehended the opinion expressed by the Speaker in regard to the question put by the Attorney-General. He wanted to know whether they would be at liberty, or whether it would be convenient, to discuss in detail and at length the clause as amended or the clause as it now appeared on the Paper.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
It is open for hon. Members to discuss the clause as it will be amended, because the Amendments which the Government have put down are likely to be carried, and with that probability it would be futile to discuss the clause on the assumption that none of the Amendments proposed by the Government are likely to be carried. Such a discussion as that would not be a real or genuine discussion, and therefore hon. Members are entitled to assume that the Government Amendments will be carried, and to discuss the clause in the form it will take supposing the Amendments to be carried.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I suppose the House will not be precluded from discussing the Amendments as they come up?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the Government had had three policies in regard to this clause. Originally they did not propose to restore the ante-Taff-Vale position. At the end of the Committee stage that became their purpose. Now they proposed to extend the ante-Taff Vale position still further. Hon. Members below the gangway had said that they would be content with the provision that trade union funds should not be touched. But now trade union officials were to be permitted to do a wrong and to go on doing it, when it was admitted to be a wrong; and the Courts were to be compelled to sit by, silent and helpless.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was glad that that intention was repudiated. But would the Government's proposals give effect to the repudiation? What did the Attorney-General mean by his eulogy of the policy of 1871 and 1875, and of "the palmy days of Toryism?" The hon. and learned Gentleman, by his own confession, was quite as great a traitor to the palmy days of Liberalism. He was one of the backsliders—a brand plucked only two or three weeks ago from the burning. He made no reproach to the hon. and learned Gentleman; but why did he of all people get up to lecture the Opposition? If the Opposition were to sit in sackcloth and ashes, let the Attorney-General join their company. If the on that side had to stand in a white sheet let the hon. and learned Gentleman borrow that garment. His reproaches were not very relevant to the issue before the House. He rather agreed with his learned friend that on the present occasion they needed not to spend time in reproaching the Government for their change of front. They had done it before, and they would probably do it again on the Third Reading. He knew that the Government wished that they could have found Members to approve of that change; he would have wished that all the members of the Government had spoken in favour of it. At all events, the Government had entirely altered their view and now admitted that the Bill as originally framed was wrong. Therefore, he left the personal question on one side. The really important question they had to discuss, besides the general immunity of the funds, was the one raised by his hon. and learned friend near him. He did not think after the interruption with which he had been received by the Government and their supporters that they were in agreement as to the actual effect of the words put down by the Government; and they could not discuss the effect of them until they were moved and explained by the Attorney-General.
MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS
said that the right hon. Gentleman had declared that the officials might go on doing wrong without any restraint; but the only question that arose was that the clause would not apply to the unions qua unions, 171 but to the officials. Again, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to have thoroughly misconceived the position as affected by the Taff Vale decision. Previous to that decision they could not sue a trade union for damages or for an injunction, because it was neither a corporation nor a person. Therefore, what they wanted was to get back to the ante-Taff Vale position under which the union was not suable. It had been suggested by the right hon. Member for Sheffield that a trade union was a corporation like the London and North Western Railway. It was quite true that the practical effect of the Taff Vale decision was to saddle trade unions with the liabilities of corporate bodies; but be maintained that by the express enactment of Parliament in 1871, trade unions were shut out from corporate rates and powers.. He asked the right hon. Gentleman, if he supported a proposal to convert trade unions into corporate bodies with all the rights as
§ well as the liabilities of corporate bodies, would he support a proposal to give the trade unions power to enforce rights inter se,the power to force upon unwilling members who might be discontented with the proposed strike the payment of contributions to their unions? If there was anything more than the antie-Taff Vale position to be secured by the Amendments he had moved, he would not support them. He asked hon. Members to point out a single case prior to the Taff Vale decision where a mere aggregate of persons was held liable for anything done by its members or agents. [Cries of "Divide."]
§ Question put "That the words in an action against the trade unions," stand part of the clause.
§ The House divided, Ayes, 342; Noes, 72. (Division List No. 373.)175
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. )||Bramsdon, T. A.||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Branch, James||Delany, William|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Brodie, H. C.||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.|
|Agnew, George William||Brooke, Stopford||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lance., Leigh)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Alden, Percy||Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen)||Dolan, Charles Joseph|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs)||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Duckworth, James|
|Astbury, John Meir||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)|
|Barker, John||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)|
|Barlow, J. Emmott (Somerset)||Byles, William Pollard||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Cameron, Robert||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir. H.||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Elibank, Master of|
|Beale, W. P.||Chance, Frederick William||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward|
|Beauchamp, E.||Channing, Francis Allston||Erskine, David C.|
|Beaumont, Hon. H. (Eastbourne)||Cheetham, John Frederick||Esmonde, Sir Thomas|
|Beaumont, Hn. W. C. B. (Hexham)||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Evans, Samuel T.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Clarke, C. Goddard||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Bell, Richard||Cleland, J. W.||Fenwick, Charles|
|Benn, Sir. J. Williams (Devonp't)||Clough, William||Ferens, T. R.|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo)||Coats, Sir. T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Bertram, Julius||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd)||Freeman, Thomas, Freeman|
|Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Cotton, Sir. H. J. S.||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cowan, W. H.||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Billson, Alfred||Cox, Harold||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Ginnell, L.|
|Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire)||Cremer, William Randal||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John|
|Boland, John||Crombie, John William||Glendinning, R. G.|
|Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Crooks, William||Glover, Thomas|
|Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Crosfield, A. H.||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Cross, Alexander||Gooch, George Peabody|
|Brace, William||Dalziel, James Henry||Grant, Corrie|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Maddison, Frederick||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mallet, Charles E.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Gurdon, Sir. W. Brampton||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rowlands, J.|
|Hall, Frederick||Marnham, F. J.||Runciman, Walter|
|Hammond, John||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Massie, J.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meehan, Patrick A.||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Harwood, George||Menzies, Walter||Schwann, Sir. C. E. (Manchester)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sears, J. E.|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Montagu, E. S.||Seely, Major J. B.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Mooney, J. J.||Shackleton, David James|
|Hemmerde, Edward George.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morley, Rt. Hon. John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morrell, Philip||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Higham, John Sharp||Murphy, John||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Murray, James||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Myer, Horatio||Smyth, Thomas F.(Leitrim, S.)|
|Hodge, John||Napier, T. B.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Hogan, Michael||Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson||Nicholls, George||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Hooper, A. G.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Hops, John Deans (Fife, West)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Steadman, W. C.|
|Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset, N.)||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Hyde, Clarendon||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Idris, T. H. W.||O'Dowd, John||Summerbell, T.|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Grady, J.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Jackson, R. S.||O'Malley, William||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Mara, James||Tennant, Sir Edw. (Salisbury)|
|Jardine, Sir J.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Jenkins, J.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Partington, Oswald||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Jones, Sir. D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Paul, Herbert||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Paulton, James Mellor||Thorne, William|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Torrance, Sir. A. M.|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Ure, Alexander|
|Kelley, George D.||Perks, Robert William||Verney, F. W.|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Walker, H. De. R. (Leicester)|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Pollard, Dr.||Wallace, Robert|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Lambert, George||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Lamont, Norman.||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Radford, G. H.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rainy, A. Rolland||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Raphael, Herbert H.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Lough, Thomas||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Wason, John Catheart (Orkney)|
|Lundon, W.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lynch, H. B.||Redmond, William (Clare)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Rendall, Athelstan||Whitbread, Howard|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Maclean, Donald||Richardson, A.||White, Luke (York, E. R. )|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Ridsdale, E. A.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E. )||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|M'Callum, John M.||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)||Wiles, Thomas|
|M'Crae, George||Robertson, Sir. G. Scott (Bradf'rd)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|M'Killop, W.||Robinson, S.||Williamson, A.|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Wilson, Hn. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||Young, Samuel||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Wood, T. M'Kinnon||Yoxall, James Henry||Pease.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fardell, Sir T. George||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fell, Arthur||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J.(City Lond.)||Fletcher, J. S.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester)||Forster, Henry William||Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East;|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Smith, F. E.(Liverpool, Walton)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Haddock, George R.||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hamilton, Marquess of||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Bull, Sir William James||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hervey, F.W.F. (Bury S. Edm'd||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col W.||Turnour, Viscount|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Valentia. Viscount|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Liddell, Henry||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm.|
|Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J (Birmingham||Magnus, Sir Philip||Younger, George|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Nield, Herbert||TELLERS TOR THE NOES—Six|
|Craig, Captain James(Down, E.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Frederick Banbury and Mr.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Rawlinson.|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Dixon, Sir Daniel||Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)|
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
moved to leave out "or any branch thereof." These words which had been introduced would somewhat interfere with the clearness of the clause, and therefore he moved their omission.
In page 2, line 4, to leave out the words, 'or any branch thereof.'"—(Sir John Walton.)
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
next moved to leave out the words "or officials." He said it was a purely drafting Amendment and would not have the smallest limiting effect upon the clause or upon the Bill. The House would observe that the clause was intended to refer to all actions against trade unions "as such." There were only two forms of action known to the law which had been or could be brought against trade unions. One was an action say against a dozen men who were members and the other was a representative action against a defendant who was sued on behalf of himself and the body. These 176 words "or officials" were not necessary because there might be an official who was not a member, He had consulted those who were more engaged in Chancery practice than he was, and he was assured that these words were not necessary, because no official could be sued unless he was a member. Therefore, in the interest of legal accuracy and of the English language it was necessary that the words should be omitted. It would be ridiculous to make officials who were not members liable, and for these reasons he asked the House to accept the Amendment which would not make one iota of difference in the clause.
In page 2, lines 5 and 16, to leave out the words, ' or officials.' "—(Sir John Walton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill"
MR. CLEMENT EDWARDS
said he very much regretted that in this matter he found himself compelled to oppose the hon. and learned Attorney-General. The omission of these words 177 "or officials" would in his judgment entirely re-impose the mischief which he had sought to get rid of by his Amendment striking out the proviso. He quite agreed with the hon. and learned Gentleman that in the ordinary way there were only two methods of procedure known to the law, one to sue the trade unions as a body and the other to sue a certain number of members on behalf of the other members. There was, however, a third method of procedure laid down in the Trade Union Act of 1871, which expressly provided in certain events that an action might be brought against an official or against a trustee, and it had laid down by Mr. Justice Mathew that there might be an action for tort against such officials. If these words were deleted, although a union could not be sued in its registered name, and its opponents could not, as was expressly decided by the Taff Vale decision, sue the members on behalf of others in a representative action, if they could take two or three officials and not make the action a representative one, they got over again the whole mischief against the union which it was the object of this clause to remove. There were three doors by which opponents could get into the trade union house; the front door under which the union was sued in its registered name; the side door in which a certain number of members were sued in a representative capacity; and the back door—which would be left open by the deletion of these words by suing the officials. He therefore begged the hon. and learned Member carefully to reconsider the position and not to consider this as a mere drafting Amendment. It might be that he should have one or two hon. and learned friends from the Chancery side getting up and saying "You cannot treat it as a representative action unless you have the officials." He quite agreed, but the machinery they were aiming at by the omission of these words was not the machinery of the old Chancery Act, but of the Act of 1871. He would remind the House that in the Taff Vale decision this very point was dealt with by Lord Justice Lindley, who in his judgment expressed himself as having no doubt whatever that if a trade union could not 178 be sued in its registered name, some of its members, namely its executive committee, could be sued on behalf of themselves and the other members of the society, and an injunction or damages obtained in 'Such a case. He further expressed his opinion equally plainly that if the trustees in whom the property of the society was vested were joined in the action an order might be made against them for the payment of all damages and costs. By taking out these words they were going to get at the trustees. His opinion was if these words were struck out, then for the purpose of securing safety and immunity to the trade unions Clause 4 was not worth the paper it was written on.
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said these words were inserted on his Motion. He moved the insertion of the words, and in doing so he was guided by advice as good, he believed, as could be given by anyone. But the words had become connected with the proviso, and the questions whether these words were kept in and whether, the proviso was kept in were inter-connected. His own impression as the matter now stood was that the words were on the whole desirable, and it was for that reason, for the reason of clearness, that he moved them. He had as yet altogether failed to hear any argument as to why it was necessary to strike them out. If a doubt existed in the minds of many lawyers on this side, and if the words did no harm, then he thought they might be retained. There was one argument, which he had heard privately, tending to show they might do harm, but unless that was known he did not see how the House could vote against the words with their eyes open.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said he did not refer to the argument to which the right hon. Baronet referred, because it did not seem to him the true explanation and reason why these words should be omitted. When he moved to omit these words he did so merely to give legal accuracy to the language. It would be idle for an official who was a non-member of a 179 society to be made a party in any action. There were officials who were not members, and it was with a view of meeting that case that he left the words in. A representative action such as had been described was an action in which an official could not be sued. The right hon. Baronet said there had been arguments advanced to him in private; they had of course reached his (Sir John's) ears, and he admitted there was this danger. If these words were left in, the original proviso would have to be reconsidered. He agreed to omit the proviso because it was introduced in the clause as framed in Committee. In his opinion there was nothing in the clause which interfered with Section 9 of the Act of 1871, but he had read in the Press an elaborate and ingenious article, founded largely upon the marginal note for which he was not responsible and eked out by the word "proviso," which was intended to demonstrate that the object of the Government was to take away with one hand all that they had given with the other, and it was in order to destroy that fear and because he thought the proviso had become a source of danger, that he proposed to omit the words. He did not think it mattered very much. If it was thought that these words were required let them stand. But if they did that they must restore the proviso, because if the words stood it would be urged by some ingenious members of the legal profession that by these words "of officials" it was intended to prevent an action being brought against trustees of a trade union who were officials—that inasmuch as by the provisions of the Act of 1871 in a specified class of cases actions might be brought against officials, therefore Parliament meant to abolish Section 9 of that Act. It was in no way the intention of Parliament to do anything of the kind. They did not want to do it directly and they would be ashamed to do it indirectly and in a sinister manner. In his view it was a mischievous piece of drafting to leave these words in, because, if officials were members they could be described as members, and if they were not members they could not be made parties to an action. And it would be very objectionable if it could be made the foundation of the argument 180 that the Government intended to repeal Section 9 of the Act of 1871. He wanted to hear no better argument of the danger of leaving these words in. The only construction he could put on the speech of the hon. Member behind him was that the hon. Gentleman wished to abolish Section 9 of the Act of 1871. If that was not its meaning it could have none. Therefore, inasmuch as he was quite sure they were all at one in this matter, he thought no harm could attend the omission of these words. It was obvious they served no useful purpose and therefore they should be omitted.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said his impression was, and he spoke with all deference, that the hon. and learned Attorney-General was right. But he thought they were entitled to a clear explanation in the matter. If they supported the Government in this was the Government going to recommit the Bill and were the Opposition to be thrown over for the Labour Party, because that had happened before? He did not agree with the hon. Member for Denbigh, but he did not think the hon. Gentleman wished to abolish Section 9 of the Act of 1871. What he understood him to say was that if it was wished to bring an action against an official the same action could be brought as was brought in the Taff Vale case. The hon. Gentleman had referred to the judgment of Lord Justice Lindley which seemed to have some bearing on the point. But he did not think the hon. Gentleman wished to abolish Section 9. He thought this was an important point in regard to the position of trade unions, and if the Government struck out a new line with the Labour Party on it he would support them.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he had listened closely to the hon. and learned Attorney-General who had very nearly converted him, but not quite. Be was quite sure that the aim they had in view was the same. If they left out the words "or officials" it might be argued that they must repeal Section 9 of the Act of 1871, but that was a small point. His hon. and learned friend's argument rested entirely on this, that they could not bring an action against an official of a society unless he was a member of that 181 society. All trade union rules were not known to the house, and it was quite possible that there might be officials who were not members of the trade union. He understood from hon. Members opposite that that was so. But he did not think it at all followed that the word "member" should include the word "official" any more than that the word "shall" should include the word "directly." Therefore, if it was made clear that Section 9, of the Act of 1871 which in respect to actions for tort did not clearly prohibit any claim on the assets of a society, was not repealed, he should be glad if the hon. and learned Gentleman would retain these words, because they wanted to shut the door altogether against societies being sued. If he were a Judge and the right hon. and learned Gentleman were to argue this before him he should not decide this in his favour. But there were Judges and Judges, and there might be Judges who would decide that they might sue a trade union through its officials because the word "official" did not occur in the Act of Parliament.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
asked the Attorney-General whether, in the case of the trustees being made members of a union, an action against them under Section it of the Act of 1871 would not be held to be an action brought against them on behalf of themselves and all other members of the trade union. In that ease an object which all would deprecate might be indirectly brought about.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said that permanent members, such as the treasurer or the secretary, would be selected. As to the liability of the trustees, they were wore only sued when they were officers appointed by the society for the purpose of being sued in the special class of cases mentioned in the section.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES
said that in the main he agreed with the view which the Attorney-General took. He wished to point out, however, that they could not sue an official on behalf of himself and all other members. They could sue him as the representative agent of the society, but not in any other direction, and that was not what this section provided | against. The only difficulty he felt was 182 that under Section 9 of the Act of 1871 it was provided that an action might be brought against a trustee or an officer in respect of property belonging to the society. If he understood the Attorney-General rightly upon a former occasion he conceived that, under Section 9 of the Act of 1871, a man could be sued for actions of tort in relation to a trade dispute. He was under the impression that that section referred solely to actions for breach of contract. He thought it was rather a startling proposition to say that Section 9 of the Act of 1871 covered actions of tort. If that were so, let them suppose that an action was brought against an official and the word "official" was left out. It might be said that they could bring an action against an official, but Section 9 would stand, and it allowed actions of tort being brought against officials. If it only covered actions for contracts then the action fell to the ground. He thought, on the whole, it would be desirable to retain the word "official" if the proviso was retained, and it must be necessary to retain the proviso. He did not think any difficulty would arise if the word "official" were preserved.
§ MR. RUFUS ISAACS (Reading)
said it appeared to him that this, question was not of such great importance as some hon. Members appeared to think. In his view it was only a question of drafting. The only difference between them was how they could best arrive at the words which would correctly interpret what was the intention of the majority of the House. He deprecated very strongly the views of lawyers being expressed on both sides of the House as to the construction to be placed upon these words when they were dealing with a scheme of legislation designed to avoid all further discussion as to what the law was to be in the future. The mere fact that there was some division of opinion amongst lawyers and some uneasiness aroused in the minds of hon. Members was a good reason for seeing if they could keep the words in, and carry out what was the intention of the Attorney-General. He would suggest that they should, first of all, see what was intended, and, when they had arrived at that, see whether it was not possible to use words which would satisfy both the Attorney - General and those 183 who were uneasy about the clause as at present proposed. As he understood the object, it was this. First and foremost no action Was to be brought against a trade union, and he thought that was clear. Then it was stated in the clause that no action was to be brought against members of a trade union or officials. | The difficulty introduced by the word "officials" was that if they kept the word in it must apply to trustees. It was impossible to say that the use of the word "officials" did not cover trustees. If it applied to trustees they must look to the next words "on behalf of themselves and other members." If they said that an action should not be brought against members of a trade union they were not covering the case of the officials. He agreed with what fell from the Attorney-General as to the construction which should be placed upon these words, and that they should not be construed as giving a right to bring an action against trustees on behalf of themselves and all other members. He had bad too much experience of the Courts of law not to know that what one thought was a clear construction of the statute might not be the view held by a Court, and, however they might express their views in this House as to the meaning of a clause, that was of no avail when it came before the Courts of law, which only dealt with the words of the Bill. Why were the words "or officials" desired to be left in? He understood it was for this reason. They wanted to prevent actions being brought against trustees or other officials who might not be members of the union. They wanted to make it quite clear that under no circumstances should the funds of the union be reached by an action against the trustees or officials who were not members of the union. The words ought not to be considered as enabling an action to be brought against them as representing the members of the union. He would j say keep the words in if the Attorney-General saw no objection, provided that they retained the proviso of the Act of 1871, with the addition of words to make the intention of the House absolutely clear. It was not intended that trade unions should be immune, or that trustees should not be sued, for example, for a libel published in a newspaper which was their property. Although his hon. and learned friend might be quite entitled to question 184 the decisions of the Courts and to think they were not the right view to take, nevertheless they were the law as laid down.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES
said he did not suggest that it was not the right view of the law. He suggested that the action referred to did not decide the law against trade unions. It decided that certain funds which belonged to the trade union could be attached as the result of an action of tort brought against members of a trade union.
§ MR. RUFUS ISAACS
said that what the hon. and learned Gentleman had stated was a confirmation of the view which he had expressed. They might have an action brought not against a trade union, but against the trustees of the union for the purpose of attaching the funds of the union, and the trustee might be ordered to hand over the funds to the person making the complaint. He did not care what kind of action they called it, but what they did recognise was that somebody had brought an action for tort and had got payment out of trade union funds for it, and what he was discussing was how far they could prevent that and maintain at the same time the liability of trade unions to pay out of their own funds in respect of any action for tort or damage done arising out of or concerning the property which belonged to the trade union. When they were as far as that it did not seem to him that there was very much between them. They started by no action against trade unions, and it was intended that the trustees should be liable for torts directly concerning or attaching to property. They did not desire immunity from that, and they were ready to pay for any damage that they might cause which arose directly out of the use which they might make of their property. What trade unions wanted to be preserved against, and what this House intended to preserve them against, was the possibility of their funds being used to pay for a tortious act committed by them which did not arise in any way out of the use of their property, or for something which might arise in connection with a strike in contemplation or in furtherance of a trade dispute. If words could be introduced, which he thought there would be no difficulty in devising, for the purpose, 185 first of all of keeping the words" or officials" and retaining the proviso he thought that would meet the case. They wanted to introduce words which would meet every point of objection which had been raised on both sides of the House. He thought the course he had suggested would reconcile the views of the hon. Member for Denbigh Boroughs with those other hon. Members, and would also carry out the expressed intention of this clause. What the House, after all, desired, and was determined to do, was, when it had the opportunity of dealing with this question as it now had, to take care that the question should not pass out of its hands without the position being made so clear that there could be no possibility of misconception hereafter as to what Parliament intended. If, therefore, they could by some such expedient as he had suggested satisfy hon. Members who objected to the deletion of these words, then it merely became a question of drafting, and they would be really doing what the vast majority of the House intended should be done. He suggested that words should be added at the end of the proviso in Clause 4 which would keep in Section 9 of the Act of 1871. If they left in the words "or officials" they might cause some uneasiness which he thought was unnecessary, and it might be thought that an action could be brought against the trustees of a union for a tortious act which had been committed by someone who was not a trustee of a union. It might be said that during a strike one of the officials, not a trustee, had committed a tortious act. They could not sue the trade union, they could sue the officials, but there was a proviso that the liability under Clause 9 of the Act of 1871 should not be affected in any way by the preceding words of Clause 4. If that was the case then this argument would be of use, and although he disagreed entirely with it, he did not think they ought to disregard it. Observations have boon made in the cases referred to which might be construed as indicating that an action might be brought indirectly in that way, so as to get, at the funds of the union, by suing the trustees. When they had sued the trustees the next step was that they got indemnity from the trustees out of the funds of the union. If they had no words as he bad suggested at the end of the proviso in Clause 4 this 186 difficulty would not be met. He thought when they had agreed what words could be added at the end of the proviso in. Clause 4 there was no difference between them.
§ MR. ASQUITH
said he ventured to intervene in this legal discussion in order to make a practical suggestion. It was clear from the arguments submitted to the House that there were two points raised—one a technical point, and the other a point of substance. The technical point was a point of drafting. Recalling to mind his dim recollection of practice in the Courts of Law he should say that the words "or officials "were quite unnecessary in this part of the clause, and that the Attorney-General was absolutely correct in saying that as a matter of drafting they were superfluous. If the House kept the words "or officials" in they must keep the proviso or something substantially equivalent; either both should go or both should remain. He meant that section 9 of the Act of 1871 should remain in force. In order to save time, therefore, and to arrive at a result with the almost unanimous concurrence of the House, they might agree that the words "or officials "should remain, but that at the end there should be something added. He suggested that the words "provided that" should be omitted, but at the end the section should be made declaratory of the law by stating that "nothing in this section shall affect the liability of the trustees of such unions to be sued in the events provided for by the Trade Union Act, 1871, Section 9." Then they might add the words suggested by the hon. Member for Reading, "except in respect of any tortious act committed by or on behalf of a trade union in furtherance of a trade dispute. This alteration would practically carry out the views of all sections of the House.
§ SIR EDWARD CARSON (Dublin University)
said that but for the last few words of the right hon. Gentleman he would have found himself in exact agreement with all he said. It was now suggested that they should add to the portion of the section which contained Section 9 of the Act of 1871 something which he really did not understand. The question raised by the hon. and learned Member for Reading dealt with 187 an entirely new point. He was under the impression that the whole object of this Bill was to put back trade unions to the position they were in, or supposed they were in, before the Taff Vale decision. He understood that the Chancellor of the Exchequer now wanted to give them something more. [Cries of 'No."] Then why were they quarrelling with the 9th section? The section had existed from 1871 down to the present time, and had never been quarrelled with. Now the Government wanted not only to give the immunity which trade unions were supposed to have had before the Taff Vale decision, but to limit the liability imposed upon them by Section 9 of the Act of 1871. That was almost a revolution in the Bill, because that was the clause defining their liability in relation to their property which Parliament granted when setting up the other advantages, or disadvantages as the case might be, of the Act of 1871. The matter was really pertinent here. The hon. Member for Reading, as he understood his argument, stated that he desired especially to guard against such cases as that to which he referred.
§ MR. RUFUS ISAACS
What I was anxious to guard against was the dicta of the learned Judge who decided that case.
§ SIR E. CARSON
thought the hon. and learned Gentleman would agree with him that these were observations made with reference to the ninth section. If so the Government wanted to do something to get rid of those observations, otherwise why did they touch the ninth section at all? If they wanted to leave the liability under the ninth section as before the passing of this Act they had no right to put in qualifying words with regard to it, and he thought they might say that the only object of putting in those qualifying words was to get rid of something which they were afraid might arise, and which had been in existence since 1871. Before they determined this question of officials they ought to have it perfectly clear whether the ninth section was going to be left exactly as it was before this Bill was introduced. He agreed with the hon. and 188 learned Member for Reading that they ought to be perfectly clear and distinct on this point. If it was going to be left, what was the necessity for putting in any qualifying words? and if they were going to put in qualifying words it must be because they were afraid of something in the ninth section. Surely all this meant that in addition to trade unions being put into the position they were in before the Taff Vale decision they wished to put them in a better position under the ninth section than before. There could be no other object. What were the exact words which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to add at the end of the section he did not know. He had read out words which did not seem to him entirely satisfactory, and it occurred to him from the argument of the right hon. Gentleman that he desired to prevent a certain construction of the ninth section. It might be right or it might be wrong; if it was wrong it could be set right in the Courts, and if it was right they should put in words to limit the ninth section. By so doing they would have enlarged the immunity supposed to exist before the Taff Vale decision, and they would be limiting the liability created by the ninth section of the Act of 1871. For his part he quite agreed that no action could be maintained against officials as representing and acting on behalf of trade unions. He did not know under what possible provision that could be so. If officials were members they must be sued as members. On the other hand, it was perfectly clear that under Section 9 trade unions had power by their rules to appoint persons to be sued, and it might be construed that a member was an official under that section. They might take away the advantages of Section 9, and, therefore, so far as he was concerned, he was quite prepared to accept either of two alternatives, namely, to accept the striking out of "officials" and the proviso or to leave in officials and the proviso, but he objected to the third alternative to put in a modified proviso which would in any way affect Section 9 of the Act of 1871.
§ *ME. ASTBURY (Lancashire, Southport)
said the right hon. and learned 189 Gentleman had asked why, if they desired to leave Section 9 of the Act of 1871 intact, they wanted to put in qualifying words. The words which he understood his hon. and learned friend the Member for Reading proposed to add at the end of the proviso were "except in respect of any tortious act committed by or on behalf of the union in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute." The right hon. Gentleman opposite said that if they did not intend to interfere with Section 9 it was not necessary to qualify it, and he asked why qualifying words should be put in. The answer was perfectly obvious. They intended to put in these words if they could in order that no Court should hereafter say that the words of the ninth section qualified this section in regard to a tortious Act of the nature contemplated. What the House was going to enact was that no action should be brought against any trade union at law or in equity against its members, and to thus place the trade union funds in the position in which they were considered to be prior to the Taff Vale decision, namely, that they could not be so attached. That was the clear and definite intention of Section 4 in the Bill now before the House; the House was now asked to leave in the word "officials" in the earlier put of the clause and it was quite possible that some Court might hold that by putting in the word "official" such an official or a trustee might be sued for damages under Section 9 of the Act of 1871 in connection with a trade dispute. Let him say first of all that they could not sue an official under Section 9 of the Act of 1871 except in connection with the property of a trade union. There were however people in this House and outside who thought that that could be done by reason of the dicta of the learned Judge in the case which had been referred to— dicta which he did not believe were intended at all in the sense suggested. If it was not made perfectly clear that that kind of action would not lie under Section 9, then a trade union might be put to all the expense of litigation in the matter, and perhaps of having to go to the House of Lords before getting a final decision. The only reason why they desired on this side of the House to make it clear that 190 Section 9 should not apply to something which, in their view, it was never intended to apply to, was that they desired to prevent any possibility of its having the effect of destroying Section 4 of this Bill.
§ *ME. CLAVELL SALTER
said they were disussing whether two words were or were not to be omitted. It had been suggested by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that those words should remain on account of the fear entertained by hon. Members below the gangway. So far as he was concerned he should have no objection to the retention of the word "officials" provided that the proviso at the end of Clause 4 remained, and he should have no objection to strike out, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer desired to do, the two words "provided that." But he must confess, as he understood the matter, that he should have the gravest objection to agree to any settlement or compromise whatever which involved adding to the proviso the words which his hon. and learned friend the Member for Reading proposed to add. He understood they would have this effect. As the proviso stood and as Section 9 of the Act of 1871 stood, if a trade union, being possessed of certain premises, raised these premises so as wrongfully to obstruct ancient lights or the means of access to somebody's premises it would be liable to be sued. [A LABOUR MEMBER: We do not desire to get away from that.] He understood that that was so. If he understood the words proposed to be added by the hon. Member for Reading one result would be that, supposing the premises of an employer on whom it was desired to exert pressure were next door to the premises of a trade union, and it in order to bring pressure on him the trade union proposely and wrongfully obstructed his ancient lights or means of access, no action could be brought because of the words proposed by the hon. and learned Member. It would be a wrongful act committed by the union "in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute." He ventured very strongly to doubt whether hon. Members below the gangway would desire immunity from such an act as that. These words if added would give immunity for such an act. It was because these words would give immunity to trade unions 191 never before enjoyed that he would be no party to a compromise.
§ *MR. SHACKLETON
said they on that side of the House had been very much concerned in regard to the words of this clause, which were, perhaps, the most important of the whole Bill. By this clause the Government desired to put trade unions back to their old position, and now they had a solution which would be acceptable to themselves as well as to those who formerly differed from them, he was certain that the clause did not give them more than they had before. So far as trade unionists were concerned they had no two opinions on that point, and the only difference which had arisen was in regard to the wording of the clause. All that they asked was that the clause should be clear and intelligable, and that there should be no mistake about it. It was absurd to suggest that trade unions wanted to run away from their responsibilities in connection with their property. They had never made such a claim. What they asked and what they thought they were getting was freedom from those vexatious and one-sided laws with which they had had to contend during the past five or six years. What was claimed by some hon. Gentleman to be equitable law had been proved not to be so. He had shown more than once that acts which the employers had done were strictly illegal, but the trade unions could not prove damages against them. They were now in the position that the employers were level with the unions, and that they should be able to carry on their struggles without the possibility of their funds being got at in a way which was never intended.
§ MR. R. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)
said he did not think that the difficulties and dangers referred to by their learned friends amounted to much. He believed that if this Bill was worked in the spirit indicated by hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, no difficulty or danger would arise.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
moved to leave out; the words "for the recovery of damages." The effect of the clause would then be to prohibit any Court entertaining 192 not merely actions for injunctions to restrain the trade unions from committing any tortious act, but actions for damages. He did not think that logically they could discriminate between actions for damages and actions for injunction against a trade union; and therefore as the action for an injunction against the trade union had gone, the action for damages must also go. No doubt in practice there was considerable distinction between an action which sought damages against an individual and against a trade union, because the remedy sought against an individual was often against a man of straw. But an action for injunction against an individual was not ineffectual to check torts which might be menace, whether that individual were an official of a trade union or a private person, because if the tort were committed there were all the penalties applicable for contempt of Court. On that account the case for immunity from an action for injunction against a trade union was much stronger than immunity for actions for damages. Let him give a case. It was said that Members of a trade union might threaten to break down fences surrounding land, or pull down buildings. Assuming that such acts were contemplated, what was the remedy? There was an action against the leading officials of the trade union, or against the secretary, or against the trustees, or against the leading members of the committee. If evidence was given to she that they were contemplating such an act, the Court would give an order restraining them from committing the act, and if that was not obeyed the criminal law already provided a very drastic remedy which could be sharply and promptly applied to them individually. That remedy remained, notwithstanding the terms of the Amendment, and it could under the law be sharply and properly applied to members of trade unions. It was a remedy against the body which described itself as a trade union. It was said that they might have a successful evasion of an order of a Court. Supposing they restrained the officials of a union from carrying on certain tortious proceedings, it was said that the union having been restrained would elect other leaders to take the places of those who had been proceeded against. That sort of evasion would be impossible, and there would not be the smallest difficulty in the case, because it 193 would be obvious that the resignation of the officials was not bona fide, and that, it was a step taken to evade the order of the Court. The order of the Court therefore would not be evaded by an act of that kind, and it would substitute in the order the new officials for the old officials who had retired. If that view was right what possible objection could there be to the Amendment? Why should they preserve the artificial distinction between actions for damages and other actions? Why should they not have a final settlement of this question, so that it might not be said after this Bill had been passed there still remained the question of injunction to be settled? He did not wish to refer to the facts at any length again, but he would point out that the Taff Vale decision applied not only to an injunction but to damages. He trusted that they were to have a permanent settlement of this question, and that they should without any very nice distinctions restore the ante-Taff Vale state of things. He submitted that when private property was menaced the law would remain just as effective against the individual and against the body as it was now.
Amendment proposed —
In page 2, line 7, to leave out the words 'for the recovery of damages.'"—(Sir John Walton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he intervened with great diffidence in this discussion, which had a very legal aspect. The hon. and learned Gentleman rested the change in the Bill which he now proposed to make upon the ground of logic. He said, "If you are going to relieve them of one kind of liability, you must relieve them of all liabilities." It was not very logical to make this exception in the case of trade unions only as against every other class in the United Kingdom. Why was it that so many hon. Gentlemen in that House were quite ready to commit this breach of general logic? It was because they felt it to be unjust that funds contributed for purposes quite alien to these trade disputes should be endangered by 194 decisions of the Courts of law. It was because they all felt that it was contrary to natural equity that funds contributed for widows, sick pay, and the support of people out of employment should be seized for totally different purposes. It was for that reason that persons inside and outside the House did not wish to see such proceedings carried into effect; but the hon. and learned Attorney-General had gone far beyond the question of funds for sick pay, or the benefit of widows or people out of employment, because in the case of actions for injunctions there was no question of preserving funds raised for these purposes. The hon. and learned Member had said that the law as laid down by the House of Lords would not prevent the Courts from stopping a tortious act on the part of trade unions, because the power of the Courts was as effective in cases where the tortious acts were committed against individuals as it was if they were committed against a corporation. But was that the fact? The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that if it was the wish of a trade union to exercise some tortious policy, and an injunction was obtained against the treasurer and all the other officials of the union, they were by that means restrained by the powerful arm of the law from exercising their tortious policy. But it was suggested that new officials might then be appointed and that a new Judge would have to be appealed to and that the proceedings might go on in a new form. The hon. And: learned Member said, "Oh, that is impossible, because the Courts have ample power to prevent an evasion of their orders." Thus according to the hon. And learned Gentleman when they had an injunction against the officials of the union, that in effect was an injunction against every individual member of that union carrying out any tortious policy. If that was so, what did the Government gain by the Amendment? Why did they not at once admit that the injunction was against a trade union in its corporate capacity? It appeared to him that the logic to which the Attorney-General appealed broke down. The question at issue was simply whether a wrong prepetrated by a trade union should be allowed to continue or not, and if the Attorney-General's Amendment was accepted he left the public no remedy against tortious acts by a trade union.
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir W. ROBSON, South Shields)
did not think that the Leader of the Opposition appreciated the second point which his hon. and learned friend attempted to deal with. If they were to give trade unions the Status which they possessed before the Taff Vale decision, the best plan was to give them that status not only with respect to actions for damages, but with respect to injunctions. The Bill as it originally stood prevented actions for injunction, but his hon. and learned friend said that he thought the better way of bringing about a settlement of the whole question was to treat both classes of action as being identical. Then he proceeded to deal with the question of an injunction as against individual members.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the Attorney-General was dealing with the change in the Bill, but the objection taken was that there was no use in getting any injunction against individual members of trade unions because they might change their officers. In reply the hon. and learned Gentleman said that if an injunction had been obtained against the secretary, say Mr. A. B., if he were removed from office and another member took his place they would not have to apply for a fresh injunction, as the Courts would recognise that it was an attempt to evade their authority, and they would use their powers against Mr. A. B. If that was so, there was no difference between taking that course of action and bringing an action against the whole of the body in its corporate capacity.
§ SIR W. ROBSON
said there was an immense difference between taking an injunction against a number of individuals and obtaining an injunction against a corporate body. The old evils were not in any measure introduced when an injunction was obtained against a series of individuals, as they were when an injunction was obtained against a central official which operated personally against that official. His own opinion was that if proceedings were taken against a single individual injunctions would have to be obtained against successive individuals. There was no proceeding in law so rapid as that of obtaining an injunction. The most rapid proceeding was the issue of a writ, but an injunction was 196 almost as rapid. A man go at once to a Judge in chambers and could set out the facts in an affidavit, and in twenty-four hours get his injunction against the offending individual. The injunction would at once proceed, and as often as the person was changed the Court could pursue with an injunction. But still that would be a long way short of proceeding against a trade union as if it were a corporate body. The right hon. Gentleman had just said it would be the natural consequence of a rapid series of injunctions. Nothing of the kind. They were still along way short of anything in the shape of an attack in which a corporate body had to be made a defendant in an action. An injunction could not be enforced by imprisonment, nor could damages be obtained from a corporate body. Therefore, if trade unions were to be proceeded against at all, an action for an injunction against the individual members would be found to be a very effective remedy indeed. It was the most effective remedy that was known to the law, and it would be applied to those officials of the trade unions who could be shown to have deliberately broken the law.
§ *MR. STEWART SMITH (Westmorland, Kendal)
said it was difficult to understand when the House had arrived at the decision that trades unions should not be sued for damages that the remedy by injunction should be allowed to remain against the trade union, and that its funds should be liable in execution to aid the operation of this injunction. The equitable remedy of injunction was only in relief of the common law remedy of damages and ancillary to it, and it was difficult to understand why, when they had dismissed the mistress, they should retain the handmaiden. If the position before 1901 was to be restored, it should be restored wholly and not in part. Let the House suppose the case of an action for an injunction against a trade union. It could be brought in one of three ways. It could be brought for an injunction against the trade union, against the chief officials of the trade union, or against both. The two remedies for a breach of injunction were committal and sequestration. If the trade union alone was the defendant, the remedy by committal was not operative. A trade union could not be committed. If the officials of the trade union alone were 197 defendants, not only could they be committed for broach of the injunction, but anyone who acted in breach of the injunction with knowledge of it could be committed, not because he was a defendant who had been joined in the action, but because he had boon guilty of contempt of Court by aiding and abetting the broach of the injunction. The notice of the injunction and the breach of it were the only two things to be established against any person to ensure the remedy of committal. It was perfectly immaterial whether the action was brought against a trade union alone or against the principal officers of it. And if that were so, there could be no advantage to anyone in merely retaining the trade union as a nominal defendant. The procedure against the effects of a trade union was well known and commonly exercised. With all respect to the hon. and learned Attorney - General it was not necessary when one set of officers had been put in the place of another to amend the writ. It was sufficient to bring to their notice the fact that the injunction had been granted, to bring proof of the notice, and the remedy would follow. In a recent case before one of the Chancery Courts the law and practice was stated in this manner. "Anyone who assists another in breach of injunction can be punished for contempt of Court for so doing, equally with the person concerned." So it was only necessary to show knowledge of the injunction, and the remedy for its breach followed. It was said that this could be evaded by calling on the trade union officers to resign and filling their places with now men. Those who made this suggestion credited the trade union officials, if they pursued that course, with a simplicity of character they did not deserve. The trade union officials knew all there was to be known about strikes, and they had learnt the lesson, which they would never forget, that if a strike did not immediately collapse it was because there was strong public sympathy behind it. There was nothing so likely to alienate public sympathy in a law-abiding population such as ours as a contemptuous disregard of the judgment of a Court of Equity. There was another remedy for an injunction, that was the remedy of sequestration. It was difficult to see, if the House established the principle that trade union funds were not to 198 be liable for damage, how this remedy could be supported. If a writ of sequestration be issued, and its property passed into the hands of a sequestrator, the result would be to paralyse the whole administration of the union as a friendly society. Strike pay and sick pay would be stopped, and the union would be in a far worse position than if damages were recovered against it. Payment of damages would leave the balance of the funds free, but a writ of sequestration would at once paralyse the administration of the whole fund. So that if they were to affirm, and they had affirmed, the principle that trade union funds were not to be mulcted in damages, they ought to affirm the principle that they should not be indirectly attacked by sequestration. It was said that the opposition to this Amendment and to this Bill came from employers. He did not believe it. Employers were quite willing to have the same immunity as the trade unions in respect to in- junctions; and if there was a fight it would be fought on level ground and neither party would have any advantage from its new position. But would there be a fight when each party came to understand the strength of the other? He did not think so. Negotiations would be found to pay better, even though lawyers had to be introduced to aid the disputants. The opposition to this Amendment and to this Bill came and would come from that little knot of his professional brethren on the Opposition Benches. They said the effect of this Bill was to violate the symmetry of the law in one special particular. He agreed that that was so, but if the result was to remove an admittedly great and crying hardship, then the Bill would justify itself notwithstanding that the perfect symmetry of the law might be thereby affected. He was certain that the Bill would cause no real hardship, and it was in that belief that he proposed to vote for the Amendment.
§ *MR. CLAVELL SALTER
said he had listened to the speech of the Attorney-General and to other speeches to see if he could find anything in support of this Amendment or any principle on which it could be contended that it was right and politic to place trade unions above the ordinary civil law. He listened, 199 without agreement, but with great sympathy, when it was urged that it was impolitic and hard to lay upon funds subscribed in large measure for other and better purposes the possibility of being taken in execution for the wrong-doing of trade unions. This Amendment was not based upon that principle; it could not be based upon it, because in order to protect trade union funds they did not need to protect them from the operation of the clause by way of injunction. The Attorney-General said, "Our desire is to restore the ante-Taff Vale position, and we desire to restore it completely." The speech of the Attorney-General on this Amendment had been the last and logical step in the extraordinary series of surrenders which had marked his path upon this matter since the day when he implored the House not to create a privileged class. He now urged them not merely to set trade unions above the law, but to be sure that it was done in a most thorough and effectual manner; he said that if they no longer left trade unions open to action for damages, but left them open to an action for an injunction they were taking away the less effective and leaving the more effective remedy. Was this plea for the ante-Taff Vale condition of things a principle on which the Government was prepared to act in regard to other matters? The principle was that where the law was supposed to be in a particular condition and the House of Lords decided that the supposition was erroneous, then the law should be changed. The House of Lords had a way from time to time, and so had other High Courts of law, of showing that common notions of the law as widely held had been erroneous. How long was it since they were told in the Court of Appeal that the ideas they all entertained with regard to the Education Act of 1902 were widely erroneous? Was the Government prepared to initiate legislation to enact the law as it was erroneously supposed to have been in that respect? Then, again, was the Government prepared to bring in legislation so that the law in regard to licenses should be what it was erroneously supposed to have been before "Sharpe v. Wakefield?" Why should this principle apply in one case and not in another? The Attorney-General had told them there would be some redress by taking proceedings 200 against individuals. He denied that. A man whose premises were being invaded by large numbers of people day by day was not likely to bring an action against individuals. Whom was he to sue, and how was he to enforce his rights? It was obvious that a man's only real remedy by way of injunction was to go to the body which instructed these men, and to ask that the funds which enabled them to do-wrong should be made liable. How was it an argument for putting trade unions outside the law to say that there was an alternative right against individuals? The hon. and learned Member who spoke last said this Bill as proposed to be amended would remove a hardship. He could understand that being said when it was a question of exempting trade union funds, but how could it be reasonably claimed that they were removing a hardship when they provided that a man who was suffering from an admitted wrong was to have the Court closed against him in any action he might wish to take against the body that had injured him? Was it to be seriously contended that it was a hardship that a trade union was to be ordered by the Court to cease wronging any man? His hon. and learned friend who spoke last had said that the objections to this Bill would come from a small knot of his professional brethren. He thought he would find that objections to this part of the Bill, which sought to place trade unions outside and above the law and on a precise equality in that respect with the Crown, would meet with wider disapproval than his hon. and learned friend supposed. He-would ask that if there were any principle, policy, justice or expediency on which it could be proposed to create a privileged class of this kind someone would tell them what it was. To his mind there was one ground, and one ground only, for this Bill, and that was that organised labour, being politically strong, was following the course which other strong classes had followed in the past. It was seeking special privileges and benefits for itself, regardless of the other classes of the community. The reason, and the only reason, for this shameless proposal to close the Courts against the man who had been injured by a trade union was that it was demanded by a powerful party, and that ill consequences would follow to the Government if they refused it.
§ *MR. MICKLEM (Hertfordshire, Watford)
wished to point out that although he was in favour of the Amendment because he believed it meant that not only would an action for damages not be brought, but also an application for injunction prevented, yet he very much doubted whether the Amendment went far enough. The Act provided that an action against a union for recovering damages in respect of any tortious act alleged to have been committed should not be sustained by the Court. He did not know what the practice might be on the common law side of the Courts, but on the equity side, if an injunction wore applied for in respect of an act which had already been committed, it would not be obtained; and he observed that the clause, as drawn, dealt with an act which had been committed, but not with an act threatened to be committed; and he thought the proper Amendment would go a little further than this, and omit the words, "for the recovery of damages, in respect of any tortious act alleged to have been committed by or on behalf of the trade union." They could only get an injunction for an act which was threatened, and therefore the mere omission of the words, "for the recovery of damages," would still leave it open to the individual to bring an action against a trade union, not as provided here for a tortious act alleged to have been committed, but for a tortious act which was to be committed in the future; and he submitted that the true Amendment to carry out the intention of the Government, and certainly what he understood was the intention of most of the members of the Liberal Party, and all members of the Labour Party, would be to omit the further words, and say that an action should not be brought against a trade union. Unless the Amendment was accepted in that way it would be open for an employer or anybody else to bring an action to restrain by injunction an act which was threatened in the future. With regard to the general question raised during the discussion, he would say that he did not in the least understand the argument that this Bill placed a trade union above the law, and put it on an equality with the Crown; nor did he see anything in the contention that the principle here adopted was that if the House of Lords came to a decision which they did not like, 202 then they were to go back upon the legislation which had been decided contrary to the view. What they here wanted to go back to in one sense was the ante-Taff Vale state of things—in other words, they wanted to have the law made what it was intended to be in 1875. When they talked of putting trade unions above the law, what did it mean? A trade union was different in its composition and entity from anything else. His hon. and learned friend did not say that a golf club was above the law because when some members of the club committed a tortious act the club could not be sued. These trade unions were quasi-corporations which stood alone. They had not the rights of corporations and could not sue their members. They were a particular form of body introduced with a special object, and it was absurd to say they were above the law. When the hon. and learned Gentleman said it was shameless that a man should suffer a tortious act without having a remedy, he would submit with great deference that he was talking nonsense. He did not wish to use a rude expression, but what he wished to imply was that no one ever suffered a wrong from a union, he might have suffered a wrong from individual members of a union, and whenever that was the case he had the same remedy against them as against anyone else. The objects of a trade union were distinct from those of any other body. There was no other body in any sense like them except clubs. They desired to leave the trade unions in that position, and they ought not, by a side wind, toilet the Courts come to decisions different from the intention of the Act. Let it be made perfectly clear not only that there should be no action for damages, but also for an injunction.
§ *MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)
thought it was to the advantage of everyone that some action should be able to be taken against the individual. In the case of a trade dispute, if the representative of a trade union was the cause of very much damage it certainly was an advantage to the community if action could be taken against him. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had recently said that there was a great deal of insincere nonsense talked in regard to this Bill, and he dared say a considerable number of hon. Members would agree with that; but 203 he thought those who had listened during the last seven or eight years to debates in this House would remember that the right hon. Gentleman himself had taken the same line of action as he took in regard to this Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself had been one of the strongest advocates of the position the Opposition now took. In a speech on May 8th, 1903, he said that he did not think it would be expedient from the point of view of combinations either of employers or of workmen that Parliament should be asked to lay down that large trade organisations should not be responsible for the unlawful acts, if they were unlawful acts, shown to be committed by their agents, if they really were their agents, within the scope of their authority. That was exactly the line which the Opposition took at the present time, and it was absurd to say that the differences between the right hon. Gentleman and his friends were purely technical. He would like to ask the Solicitor-General a question in reference to damages. Supposing a trade union had an office in a certain part of a certain town, and they built up a wall between themselves and the neighbouring house, doing damage to the latter property. Would there be any chance of suing the trade union for damages under such circumstances? He would also like to refer to the speech made by the hon. Member for Mid Durham. He himself was connected with the county of Durham, and he might say that there was no one more highly respected in that county, both by employers and employed, than the hon. Member for Mid Durham. In a speech which the hon. Member made recently, he showed clearly that his intention was that trade unions should not be granted absolute immunity from the law of conspiracy. With regard to a question raised by an hon. Member as to the attitude of employers, he would like to say that those who were Members of this House would be just as anxious from a political point of view to vote for a Trade Disputes Bill. Everyone who represented an industrial centre knew that in taking action against a Bill of this kind they ran the risk of losing their seats, and it was only naturally to be supposed that if they ran that risk they would like to diminish it as much as 204 possible. But looking at it from the point of view of justice it was not unreasonable for them to believe that the Royal Commission on Trade Disputes, endeavoured to find a fair verdict with regard to this question, and that their verdict was a right one.
§ SIR W. ROBSON
said the case which the hon. Gentleman had put of a trade union official building up a wall against the premises of a neighbour would not be a trade dispute; and, in any event, there would be undoubtedly in such a case an action against the trustees, or the guardians of the trade union under Section 9 of the principal Act. Not only would there be an action, but there would also be an injunction against them.
§ MR. RAWLINSON
said he was not going to say one word about the general policy as to whether or not it was advisable to carry this Amendment, but what he wanted the House to understand clearly was that if this Amendment were carried they were making a very great concession to the Labour Members; they insisted on this Amendment through) the Committee Stage of the Bill, and they were insisting on it now. They insisted on it in Committee because they said it was an important Amendment. As a lawyer, he agreed it was a most important Amendment from their point of view. In the Committee Stage the Attorney-General himself said—With regard to injunction the object of the clause was to safeguard the funds of a union, and in an action for injunction there was no attempt to claim damages from the funds of a union.The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent then pointed out that, having regard to the admission of the Attorney-General, the words "for the recovery of damages" seemed to be dangerous and sinister, and he pressed the Government to omit such words. After that the hon. and learned Member for Reading made a very strong speech in support of the Government's position in refusing to strike out these words. He urged most strongly that this was a very important Amendment, and he hoped if they voted in favour of it they would realise that they were certainly altering the Bill very materially.
§ Question put.206
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 45; Noes, 312. (Division List No. 374.)207
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F.||Cross, Alexander||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dalrymple, Viscount||Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Dixon, Sir Daniel||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Barrie. H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Fell, Arthur||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Bertram, Julius||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Fletcher, J. S.||Turnour, Viscount|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Forster, Henry William||Valentia, Viscount|
|Bull, Sir William James||Gardner, Ernest (Berks., East)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Haddock, George R.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hambro, Charles Eric||Younger, George|
|Cave, George||Hunt, Rowland|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Sir Henry||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lambton. Hon. Frederick Wm.||Rawlinson and Sir Frederick|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dalwich)||Banbury.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Craig. Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Nield, Herbert|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Buxton. Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Ginnell, L.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Byles, William Pollard||Glendinning, R. G.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cairns, Thomas||Glover, Thomas|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Cheetham, John Frederick||Gooch, George Peabody|
|Agnew, George William||Clarke, C. Goddard||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Clough, William||Greenwood, Hamar(York)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)||Hall, Frederick|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Corbett. C. H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Hammond, John|
|Astbury, John Meir||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Cowan, W. H.||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r).|
|Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.)||Cox, Harold||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Baring Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Cremer, William Randal||Harwood, George|
|Barlow, John Emmott (Som'rs't)||Crooks, William||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Crosfield, A. H.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Barnard, K. B.||Crossley, William J.||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Dalziel, James Henry||Hazel, Dr. A. E.|
|Beale, W. P.||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Beauchamp, E.||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Beaumont, Hn. W.C.B(Hexh'm)||Delany, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Henderson, J. M.(Aberdeen, W.)|
|Bell, Richard||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Dobson, Thomas W.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Dolan, Charles Joseph||Higham, John Sharp|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Donelan, Captain A.||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Bethell, J.H. (Essex, Romford)||Duckworth, James||Hodge, John|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness)||Hogan, Michael|
|Billson. Alfred||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Holden, E. Hopkinson|
|Black Arthur W.(Bedfordshire)||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Bolton. T. D. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Dunne, Major E. Martin(Walsall)||Hooper, A. G.|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset, N.|
|Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Bowerman, C. W||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Brace, William||Elibank, Master of||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Erskine, David C.||Hudson, Walter|
|Branch, James||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Hyde, Clarendon|
|Brigg, John||Evans, Samuel T.||Idris, T. H. W.|
|Bright, J. A.||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Everett, R. Lacey||Jackson, R. S.|
|Brodie, H. C.||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Brooke, Stopford||Fenwick, Charles||Jardine, Sir J.|
|Brunner, J.F.L (Lanes., Leigh)||Ferens, T. R.||Jenkins, J.|
|Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J T(Cheshire)||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Fullerton, Hugh||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)|
|Burke. E. Haviland-||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Jones, Sir D.(Brynmor Swansea)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Gill, A. H.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Jowett, F. W.||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Kekewich, Sir George||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Kelley, George D.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Counor, John (Kildare, N.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Laidlaw, Robert||O'Dowd, John||Steadman, W. C.|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||O'Grady, J.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Lambert, George||O'Malley, William||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Lamont, Norman||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Partington, Oswald||Sullivan, Donal|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Paul, Herbert||Summerbell, T.|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Levy, Maurice||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Lough, Thomas||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Lundon, W.||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Lupton, Arnold||Pollard, Dr.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Lynch, H. B.||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Thorne, William|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Raphael, Herbert H.||Tomkinson, James|
|Maclean, Donald||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')||Toulmin, George|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Ure, Alexander|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Verney, F. W.|
|M'Callum, John M.||Rendall, Athelstan||Vivian, Henry|
|M'Crae, George||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th||Wadsworth, J.|
|M'Kean, John||Richards, T. F (Wolverh'mpton)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Richardson, A.||Wallace, Robert|
|M'Killop, W.||Rickett, J. Compton||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Ridsdale, E. A.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Maddison, Frederick||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Marnham, F. J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Weir, James Galloway|
|Massie, J.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Meagher, Michael||Robinson, S.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Meehan, Patrick A.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Menzies, Walter||Roe, Sir Thomas||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Runciman, Walter||Williamson, A.|
|Mond, A.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)|
|Montgomery, H. G.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Mooney, J. J.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Winfrey, R.|
|Morrell, Philip||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Young, Samuel|
|Murphy, John||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Murray, James||Sears, J. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Myer, Horatio||Seaverns, J. H.||Whiteley and Mr. J. A|
|Napier, T. B.||Seely, Major J. B.||Pease.|
|Nicholls, George||Shackleton, David James|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r)||Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.)|
§ MR. MICKLEM
moved to insert after the word "committed" the words "or threatened." He said that an injunction did not lie for an act that had been committed, but it lay for an act that was threatened, and therefore to make the clause perfectly clear he thought the House would do well to add the words "or threatened."
*MR. HEEBERT (Buckinghamshire. Wycombe)
seconded the Amendment, He thought in order to make the clause clear it was necessary to insert these words. It might be held that when an injunction was applied for in a case where a wrougful act had been committed and it was desired to restrain its continuance or repitition that such an 209 application would be held to be an action in respect of a tortious act alleged to have been committed; but the words would not cover the case of an act that was only threatened, and where no wrongful act had been committed at all.
In page 2, line 8, after the word 'committed' to insert the words 'or threatened.'" —(Mr. Micklem.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ LORD R. CECIL
said that this was a kind of legislation which would lead to trouble in the future. The present was the last occasion on which the House would have to consider the words of the Bill, and if there was any necessity for introducing the words in the Amendment the House ought to have had an opportunity of seeing them in the Bill, or at any rate they ought to have been put down on the Notice Paper. It was impossible for the House to form any judgment on the effect of an Amendment such as this at a moment's notice. If the Amendment was necessary the Bill could be re-committed, and then they would know where they stood. He hoped that the Amendment would not be pressed now.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
said that they had been told very clearly that the proposed words were not necessary. It had been said over and over again in the Courts and elsewhere, that the most fruitful source of confusion in the interpretation of Acts of Parliament was the insertion of words which were unnecessary From a very cursory inspection of the words he was disposed to agree with the hon. and 1earned Attorney-General that they were unnecessary, but they might have something in them. It was however a disastrous principle to adopt words on a casual suggestion which could be construed in one way or another, and so make the House of Commons a laughing stock.
§ *MR. HORRIDGE (Manchester, E.)
said he was glad that the hon. Member had brought forward this Amendment, because everybody would then know 210 what the Act meant. Without it, if the fear that the Act did not apply to threats turned out to be well founded, a tremendous instrument of oppression would be put into the hands of the masters.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
entered his protest against these words being inserted. There seemed to be a great difference of opinion as to what they meant. He understood that the hon. and learned Gentleman had said that these words meant that if a trade union did any act a Court of law could not prevent the union doing it. Was that the ease? The hon. Gentleman did not deny it; therefore, as a layman, he understood that the effect of the inclusion of these words was that a trade union might do anything it pleased, and that a Court of law had no power over it. Was that right? He must divide against the Amendment.
§ MR. MICKLEM
said that, as he understood the Attorney-General had ruled that these words were unnecessary, he begged leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES
moved to leave out the words "or on behalf of," and explained that he proposed to add by a later Amendment, after "union" the words "or by any person or persons acting, or purporting to act on behalf of the trade union." The object of his Amendment was to make the clause carry out what the Government professed, and what the hon. Members opposite had in view. He did not in any way recede from the position he had taken up from the first, that alike in the interests of trade unions and the public the large immunity claimed by this Bill was undesirable. Further than that, if this Bill remained in the form in which it now stood it was mere waste paper. [LABOUR cries of "Order, order."] He was persuaded that the Bill in the form in which it was drawn would not be accepted by the House of Lords. [Renewed cries of "Order, order."] The result would be that legislation which was urgently needed would be defeated by errors of drafting. That, however, was beside the immediate question of the Amendment. 211 The object of the Amendment, he repeated, was to secure that the immunity sought for by the trade unions should not be defeated by errors in drafting. He was conscious that his hon. and learned friend the Attorney-General would, perhaps say that the attitude he took in regard to drafting was not right, and that Judges of common sense would put the construction he desired on the words in the clause. The standard of common sense which obtained amongst lawyers was different from the standard of common sense which obtained amongst the Judges. They had had numerous instances, where the obvious intention of Parliament had been defeated by a too narrow and too literal construction of Acts of Parliament by the Judges, and it was this very narrow and literal construction which he feared. There was a conflict of authority amongst lawyers as to the construction of this clause, which provided that no action should be successful in respect of "any tortious act alleged to have been committed by, or on behalf of, the trade union." He appealed to the Attorney-General whether these words stopping at "trade union" did not specifically and adequately cover any ease of action of a trade unionist, whether committed by the express authority of the trade union or without it. His contention was that the words "or on behalf of" were either surplusage or mischievous. He wished to put to the Attorney-General a possible construction of the clause if these words "on behalf of" were left in. The hon. and learned Gentleman might say that the construction was a far-fetched one, but he contended that it was quite possible for the Courts to hold that the words would not only cover acts committed under the express authority of the union, but acts committed by an agent under implied authority. He was not in this matter relying upon his own judgment, as he had consulted many legal friends of higher authority than himself on the subject. It seemed to him and those he had consulted that it would be perfectly competent to the Courts under this section to hold that where a tortious Act was committed by an agent without express authority, but with the implied authority he enjoyed as an agent, that act would bind the society. He knew that the Attorney-General would get up and say that the case he was 212 putting was far-fetched and hypothetical. Without wishing to say anything about our tribunals, the members of which, he knew, wished to discharge their duties with impartiality, he could not help-thinking that when they were changing the law so fundamentally as it was being changed by this Bill the Courts might apply the strictest construction to the language used in the Statute. He did not know a single case, and he spoke from a pretty large experience, where the trade union had expressly authorised the committal of a wrong, and all the trade union cases had arisen through an agent violating his trust, or exceeding his authority. That was a mischief which they ought to guard against by this Bill, and the Bill as it was drawn now opened up a very real danger because a Judge-might hold that as the Legislature had drawn a distinction between the act of an agent and the act of a principal, this clause did not protect the union against torts committed by the agent under-implied authority. He knew that this matter was highly artificial and technical, and one which ought to be settled by the draftsman and by the Attorney-General. He would suggest that the clause should read "in respect of any tortious act alleged to have been committed by the union or by any person or persons acting or purporting to act on behalf of the union." He was desirous that the Bill should not be defeated by a side wind, and that the object which hon. Members conscientiously had in view should be carried into effect. That was the reason why he had moved his Amendment, but if the Attorney-General took up the position that the section was drawn properly he should not press his Amendment, but leave the responsibility with his hon. and learned friend.
§ VISCOUNT TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)
asked as a point of order whether they were to discuss both the Amendments of the hon. Member or only the first one.
said he would first ascertain if the first Amendment was seconded. Did any hon. Member desire to second it?
§ No hon. Member rose to second, and. the Amendment dropped.213
§ MR. LAMBTON (Durham, S.E.)
moved after "trade union" to insert "in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute" He said that he had always understood that the object of the Bill was to regulate trade disputes, but in the clause before them there was no mention of trade disputes. In every other clause the words "in furtherance of a trade dispute" were to be found, but in this clause alone those words were missing. He was not in favour of the Bill. He thought it was badly drawn and he objected to giving this unlimited power to trade unions as against the general public.
§ MR. F. E. SMITH
seconded the Amendment, which he thought was a very necessary one, as the public were entitled to a reasonable degree of protection when they were not parties to the quarrel. He repeated the question he had asked earlier in the evening as to the possibility of making trade union funds liable in case of injury to a child from a motor-car lent by a trade union during an election. He disputed the view of the Attorney-General that an action would now lie against the trustees under the Act of 1871. He understood that hon. and learned Gentlemen on that side of the House found in the words of Mr. Justice Mathew a suggestion that in an, action brought against a trade union the property of the trade union, though collaterally involved, was liable, although such an action was an action for tort. That seemed directly in the teeth of Clause 4. He remembered when this point was raised in Committee the hon. and learned Attorney-General said the decision of the Court in the case referred to was after all a decision of a Court of First Instance, by that seeming to imply that there was a Court of Appeal. He submitted that what Mr. Justice Mathew said was to be accepted as law, but he did not gather that the hon. and learned Member for Reading accepted for himself the direction of Mr. Justice Mathew in that case. The importance of this was that the one observation of the learned Judge in that most admirable judgment, the one most disputable thing in the whole of that judgment, was the one and only observation on which the Attorney-General could found his answer that the liability for negligence in the 214 motor car case was one that could be paid out of the trade union funds. There was, and he spoke with great confidence, nothing in the words of Section 9 of the Act of 1871, which any Court of law would admit as sanctioning such a thing. In regard to the judgment of Mr. Justice Mathew in the case of Linacre, there was nothing in the words of the learned Judge to justify the suggestions made. The words of the ruling Act were explicit and clear, and there was nothing in them which would sanction any action for tort. The decision in the case of Linacre was a surprise to the legal profession. There was nothing in it from first to last which in any way excluded the liabilities of trustees beyond the Act of 1871, although there were dicta in that decision, and the decision itself did suggest that it might be extended. He was glad to hear an hon. Member below the gangway say that this particular immunity which they were arguing to-day was not wanted. Supposing this clause had been passed into law and an action had been brought like that of the case of. Linacre; an action formulated to recover damages for tort. The direct answer to such an action would be that the Act of Parliament had said that an action could not be against a trade union to recover damages for a tortious act. And there was nothing to support such an action in the judgment of Mr. Justice Mathew except that which the hon. and learned Member for Reading said he dissented from, and in respect to which the Attorney-General said that after all there was a Court of Appeal. He was inclined to discount, much as he admired the gifts and eloquence of the hon. and learned Member for Reading, what that gentleman had said.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said that the action under Section 9 of the Act of 1871 was not against the union at all. It was an action against the trustees of the union, because it was the intention of Parliament in 1871 to make a union non-suable. The Government were keeping alive an action not against the union, but against the trustees—an action not with regard to torts generally, but a certain special class of wrong indicated in the section.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said the words of Clause 4 so far as they were material were these—An action against a trade union or any branch thereof, whether of workmen or masters, or against any members or officials thereof, on behalf of themselves and all other members of the trade union for the recovery of damages in respect to any tortious act alleged to be committed by or on behalf of the trade union shall not be entertained by any court.That in the clearest possible way said an action for tort should not be brought against a trade union. The Attorney-General had taken away the action of tort against trustees in the earlier part of the section, and preserved it in the proviso. The real truth was that the Attorney-General when he drafted this clause took the same view of Section 9 of the Act of 1871 that anyone would take. Section 8 vested the property in a trustee, and Section 9 said that if the property were attacked then the trustees were to be entitled to defend the property. Then the Attorney-General had told them that that conferred on a third party the right to bring an action for negligence in such a case as that described in respect of an injury from a motor car.
§ to the House of Commons at this moment, and therefore he wished to talk common-sense, and to ask the House to form an independent judgment of what was the obvious meaning of this section. It was clearly to give a right to the trustees of trade unions to defend their property, and certainly it did not mean to give the right to a third party to bring an action of tort against them. If this clause were confined to trade disputes he did not care what became of the suggested proviso. He did not believe that Section 9 of the Act of 1870 was in any way affected by this Bill, whether the proviso was there or not; but if they did not insert these words they did not confer adequate and proper protection on third parties.
§ VISCOUNT TURNOUR
said that having regard to the fact that the Bill dealt with trade disputes, it seemed to him that the Government should have no objection to accepting the Amendment, and certainly no valid objection had been put forward by any Member of the Government.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 69; Noes, 344. (Division List No. 375.)219
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn Sir Alex. F.||Dalrymple, Viscount||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dixon, Sir Daniel||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balfour, Rt Hn A. J. (City Lond.)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fell, Arthur||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Roberts. S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fletcher, J. S.||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Forster, Henry William||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bartram, Julius||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Haddock, George R.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hambro, Charles Erie||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Edm'ds||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cave, George||Hunt, Rowland||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent,.Mid)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Keswick, William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Younger, George|
|Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—.Mr.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Lambton and Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Turnour.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Cross, Alexander||Nield, Herbert|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Crossley, William J.||Hope, W. Bateman(Somerset, N-|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Dalziel, James Henry||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Horridge, Thomas Gardner|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Agnew, George William||Delany, William||Hudson, Walter|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Hyde, Clarendon|
|Allen, A. Acland(Christchurch)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Idris, T. W.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Dobson, Thomas W.||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Dolan, Charles Joseph||Jackson, R. S.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Donelan, Captain A.||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Atherley-Jones. L.||Duckworth, James||Jardine, Sir J.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness||Jenkins, J.|
|Baring, Godfrey(Isle of Wight)||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)|
|Barlow, J. Emmott (Somerset)||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor(Swansea)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Dunne, Maj. E. Martin (Walsall)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Jowett, F. W.|
|Beale, W. P.||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Elibank, Master of||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Beaumont, Hn. H.(Eastbourne)||Erskine, David C.||Kelley, George D.|
|Beaumont, Hn W. C. B.(Hexham||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Evans, Samuel T.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Bell, Richard||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Everett, R. Lacey||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Fenwick, Charles||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)|
|Bethell, J.H.(Essex, Romford)||Ferens, T. R.||Lambert, George|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Lamont, Norman|
|Billson, Alfred||Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)|
|Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire)||Fuller, John Michael F.||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Boland, John||Fullerton, Hugh||Lever, A. Levy(Essex, Harwich)|
|Bolton, T.D.(Derbyshire, N. E.)||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lever, W.H.(Cheshire, Wirral)|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Gill, A. H.||Levy, Maurice|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Ginnell, L.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Brace, William||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Glendinning, R. G.||Lough, Thomas|
|Branch, James||Glover, Thomas||Lundon, W.|
|Brigg, John||Gooch, George Peabody||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Bright, J. A.||Grant, Corrie||Lynch, H. B.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Maclean, Donald|
|Brunner, J. F. L.(Lancs., Leigh)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Brunner, Rt Hn. Sir J T.(Cheshire)||Hall, Frederick||Macpherson, J. T.|
|Bryce, Rt Hn James(Aberdeen)||Hammond, John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal, E.)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||M'Callum, John M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||M'Crae, George|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||M'Kean, John|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Harwood, George||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Byles, William Pollard||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||M'Killop, W.|
|Cairns, Thomas||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Haworth, Arthur A.||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Chance, Frederick William||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Maddison, Frederick|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hedges, A. Paget||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Clarke, C. Goddard||Hemmerde, Edward George||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Cleland, J. W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Clough, William||Henderson, J.M.(Aberdeen, W.)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)|
|Cobbold, Telix Thornley||Henry, Charles S.||Massie, J.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J(S. Pancras, W)||Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Cooper, G. J.||Higham, John Sharp||Meagher, Michael|
|Corbett, C H(Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Hobart, Sir Robert||Meehan, Patrick A.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Menzies, Walter|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Hodge, John||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Cowan, W. H.||Hogan, Michael||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Cox, Harold||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Mond, A.|
|Cremen, William Randal||Holland, Sir William Henry||Montagu, E. S.|
|Crooks, William||Hooper, A. G.||Montgomery, H. G.|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Richardson, A.||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Morrell, Philip||Rickett, J. Compton||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Ridsdale, E. A.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Murphy, John||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.)|
|Murray, James||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)|
|Myer, Horatio||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Napier, T. B.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'rd||Thompson, J. W.H.(Somerset, E.)|
|Nicholls, George||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Thorne, William|
|Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r)||Robinson, S.||Tomkinson, James|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Roe, Sir Thomas||Toulmin, George|
|O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid)||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Ure, Alexander|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Rose, Charles Day||Verney, F. W.|
|O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Runciman, Walter||Vivian, Henry|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Wadsworth, J.|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)||Wallace, Robert|
|O'Dowd, John||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Walton, Sir John, L.(Leeds, S.)|
|O'Grady, J.||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N||Schwann, Sir C.E.(Manchester)||Ward, John(Stoke upon Trent)|
|O'Malley, William||Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne||Ward, W. Dudley(Southampton)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sears, J. E.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Seaverns, J. H.||Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan)|
|Partington, Oswald||Seely, Major J. B.||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)|
|Paul, Herbert||Shackleton, David James||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Silcock, Thomas Ball||Whitbread, Howard|
|Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)||Simon, John Allsebrook||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Pearson, W.H.M.(Suffolk, Eye)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||White, J.D.(Dumbartonshire)|
|Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Sloan, Thomas Henry||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Philipps, J. Wynford(Pembroke||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Pollard, Dr.||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wiles, Thomas|
|Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Stanger, H. Y.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Price, Robert John(Norfolk,E.)||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Williamson, A.|
|Priestley, W.E.R.(Bradford, E.)||Steadman, W. C.||Wilson, Hon. C.H.W.(Hull, W.)|
|Raphael, Herbert H.||Stewart, Halley (Greenoek)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'||Strachey, Sir Edward||Winfrey, R.|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Young, Samuel|
|Rees, J. D.||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Sullivan, Donal||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th)||Summerbell, T.||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Richards, T.F.(Wolverh'mpt'n)||Sutherland, J. E.||Pease.|
§ MR. LAMBTON
moved to insert after the word "court" the words, "if such action be brought by or on behalf of any workman or master engaged in the dispute." As the House did not accept the last Amendment it was absolutely necessary to have something in the clause to limit the action of trade unions when the Bill was passed into law. When the Attorney-General brought in the Bill in March last, there was nothing whatever in it about certain matters now included, and he wished to ask the hon. and learned Gentleman why this great change had been made. He thought it was due to the action of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil. They all knew that the Government in the hands of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil was as clay in the hands of the potter, and 220 although the Attorney - General was a subordinate vessel in this Government, the potter appeared to have been able to mould him according to his will. He felt great sympathy with the hon. and learned Gentleman in his unfortunate position. While he listened to the speeches of the hon. and learned Gentleman in the course of these debates he could not help thinking of the lines of Omar Khayyam—I remember as I passed one dayWatching a potter thumping his wet clay,And with its all obliterated tongueIt murmured, 'Gently, brother, gently, pray.'He must say that he regretted to see that the hon. and learned Gentleman's tongue had been obliterated—that tongue which was so wise, and just, and states- 221 manlike, on the earlier stages of the Bill. Since then, on the hon. and learned Gentleman's own confession, he had not carried out the intention of the Government which was expressed when the measure was first introduced. He would give another quotation. He believed the House liked quotations. He would suggest as a motto for the Attorney-General Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor. That had often been quoted in this House, but he ventured to think that it had never been quoted more appropriately than on this occasion. And to what was due this change of front on the part of the hon. and learned Gentleman who represented the law of this country? Those who went to the Attorney-General for advice in future would say "Oh, yes, I know the right course, but I intend to follow the wrong one." He wondered that the trade unionists were so shortsighted as to refuse to accept his previous Amendment, and he presumed that they would oppose the present Amendment. What was this demand that was made? It was a demand by the Socialists; but what an extraordinary demand it was for them to make. It was a demand for the protection of capital and nothing else—the capital of the trade unions and the capital of the unions of the masters. They all know how the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil and his friends regarded private capital, but their opinion in regard to their own capital was very different. Every protection would be removed from property in that respect. Private property was to have no rights, and when they came to collective capital it was to be put above the law. He could not see how the Government could say that this was a just Bill or that it would even carry out their own object. Everybody must acknowledge, that trade unions must have funds, else they could not conduct their strikes. They also agreed that they should be placed on an equality with masters in trade disputes. He did not wish to see their funds interfered with when they were used in a proper way. What he objected to was unlimited power being given to combinations of workmen to do all degrees and sorts of things. The Bill was not limited to disputes between masters and men. It had to do with trade unions as defined "by the Acts of 1871 and 1876. The immunity given was carried far beyond 222 trade disputes. It gave immunity to immense collections of capital, such, for instance, as the soap trust and other combinations formed in this country. They were giving under this Bill extraordinary power to collective capital. It was one of the most extraordinary Socialistic measures brought in by any Government in recent times.
§ MR. LAMBTON
said the object of his Amendment was to protect ordinary civil persons in this country who were not parties to a trade dispute, so that they would be able to bring an action against a trade union. He begged to move.
In page 2, line 9, after the word 'court' to insert the words 'if such action be brought by or on behalf of any workman or toaster engaged in the dispute.'"—[Mr. Lambton.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said he could not accept this Amendment. It altogether narrowed the Bill and obstructed the whole object of the clause.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had hoped that they would have something more in the nature of an argumentative speech from the hon. and learned Gentleman. He said that it narrowed the Bill. Of course it narrowed the Bill, otherwise his hon. friend would not have moved it. The real point was that they were admittedly giving masters and men great privileges in respect of their organisations. It was to make it possible to say that trade disputes should be fought out with the gloves off, and that none of the limitations which were placed on the action of ordinary societies should be placed upon them. They ought to discuss this Amendment. So far as he knew not a single representative of the employers on the 223 other side of the House had said a single word on the Bill. It might be the case that they liked it, or it might be for some other reason which he did not know. They were concerned in this House, not merely with disputes between masters and men, but with the public generally; and when they were arming either the workmen or masters with powers, not against each other, but against a third party, the public, was it not time to consider whether the power given either to the men's union or to the master's union was not too great? Were they seriously to be told that a great combination in a struggle with their workmen was to be empowed to inflict injuries on the public without any remedy which the public had against other associations? If the London and North Western Railway Company had a great controversy with their men, and it might be right so far as the men were concerned, or so far as the London and North Western Railway Company were concerned, to do away with the limitations in regard to the action of corporate bodies; but was the London and North Western Railway Company, for instance, or any great railway combination, to be allowed to do anything they pleased to the injury of the public in course of a dispute with workmen without any power on the part of the public to interfere at all? Everybody knew, and nobody better than hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, that in other countries, if not in this country, there was a steadily increasing organisation of large masses of capital under relatively small control. Were they going to allow combinations of that sort, without remedy to the public, to do whatever they liked to the public without any power of redress?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said there might be a difference between the collectivist idea of hon. Gentlemen opposite and that of the hon. Member. He did not know whether the hon. Gentleman had any idea of the collectivist theory 224 being the rule in this country. He had no such hope or fear that it would be in his time or that of the hon. Gentleman. But in the meantime they were not legislating for a collectivist society, but for a society which, in spite of the Labour Party, was still individualistic and the real question was whether they were going to give to the great corporations, whether of workmen or of masters, these enormous powers, not merely against each other to fight their battle out without fear or favour, but against the public which would be perfectly helpless if this Bill was passed in its present shape. That was the question before the House; and the brief and weary interjection of the Attorney-General could not, even by his warmest apologist, be said to afford anything in the nature of a reply to the-Amendment.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
said that, if the right hon. Gentleman would allow him to say so, he had put the case extremely fairly. The only point to which he took objection was his allusion; to the London and North Western Railway. It was quite true that if this clause was put into their hands it would not be abused, any more than by the leaders of the trade unions. But that was no reason why such power should be given to them. Was there not something, he wondered, behind this Bill? Was there not, perhaps, some intention of putting into the hands of the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil some power with the view of making his class the governing class of the country, as he had said on Sunday last? He would say to the Attorney-General that before giving; that power by this Bill he should pause.
§ *SIR FRANCIS LOWE (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
said that as no answers had been given by the Government to the questions raised upon the Amendments he begged to move the adjournment of the House.
§ MR. SPEAKER
refused to accept the Motion made by the hon. Member for 225 Edgbaston, and put the Question, "That thosu words be there inserted."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 67; Noes. 354. (Division List No. 376.)229
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F||Cross, Alexander||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dixon, Sir Daniel||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon A.J.(City Lond.)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fell, Arthur||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester)||Fletcher, J. S.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Barrio, H. T. (Londonderry, N.||Forster, Henry William||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gibbs, C. A. (Bristol, West)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East.|
|Bertram, Julius||Hambro, Charles Eric||Smith, F. E.(Liverpool, Walton)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Stanley, Hn. Arthur(Ormskirk)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart.||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Staveley-Hill. Henry (Staff'sh.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S Edm'ds||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill. Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Butcher. Samuel Henry||Hunt, Rowland||Thornton, Percy.M.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Cave, George,||Kimber, Sir Henry||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Ceil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart)|
|Ceil, Lord" John P. Joicey-||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Younger, George|
|Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Courthope, G, Loyd||Nicholson, Win. G. (Petersfield)||Lambton and Lord Robert|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Nield, Herbert||Cecil.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Bowerman, C. W.||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Brace, William||Cowan, W. H.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bramsdon, T. A.||Cox, Harold|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Branch, James||Cremer, William Randal|
|Agnew, George William||Brigg. John||Crooks, William|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bright, J. A.||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Allen. A. Acland (Christchurch)||Brouklehurst, W. B.||Crossley, William J.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Brodie, H. C.||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Brooke, Stopford||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Brunner, J. F. L.(Lancs., Leigh)||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S )|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J T(Cheshire)||Delany, William|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bryce, Rt. Hn James (Aberdeen J)||Dewar. Arthur (Edinburgh, S|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Dickinson, W. H.(St. Pancras, N.)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, K.)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Barlow, John Emmott (Som'rs't||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Dolan, Charles Joseph|
|Barnard. E. B.||Buxton, Rt. Hn.Sydney Charles||Duckworth, James|
|Barnes, G. N.||Byles, William Pollard||Dunean, G. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Beale, W. P.||Cairns, Thomas||Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne|
|Beaumont, Hn. H.(Eastbourne)||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knigh||Dunne,,Major E. Martin (Walsall)|
|Beaumont, Hn. W.C B(Hexham)||Cawley, Frederick||Edwards, Clement ( Denbigh)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Chance, Frederick William||Edwards Enoch (Hanley)|
|Boll, Richard||Cheetham, John Frederick||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Elibank, Master of|
|Bonn, W.(T'w'r H'mlets, S. Geo.||Clarke, C. Goddard||Erskine, David C.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Cleland, J. W.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas|
|Bethell, J.H. (Essex, Romford)||Clough, William||Evans, Samuel T.|
|Billson, Alfred||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Eve, Harry Trelawney|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Collins, Sir Wm. J (S. Pancras, W.)||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Black, Arthur W (Bedfordshire)||Coopor, G. J.||Fenwick, Charles|
|Boland, John||Corbett, CH (Sussex, E, Grinst'd)||Ferens, T. It.|
|Bolton, T.D (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lamont, Norman||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman.||Leese, Sir, Joseph F. (Accrington)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Lehman, R. C.||Pollard, Dr.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Lever, A. Levy (Essex. Harwich||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Gill, A. H.||Levy, Maurice||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Ginnell, L.||Lewis, John Herbert||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Gladstone Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Lloyd-George. Rt. Hon. David||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Lough, Thomas||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'|
|Glover, Thomas||Lundon, W.||Redmond. John E. (Waterford)|
|Gooch, George Peabody||Lynch, H. B.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Grant, Corrie||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Rees, J. D.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Maclean, Donald||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Richards, T. K. (Wolverh'mpton)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Macpherson, J. T.||Richardson. A.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Mac Veagh, Jeremiah (Down. S.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Hall, Frederick||Mac Veigh. Charles (Donegal, E.)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Hammond, John||M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||M'Crae, George||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||M'Kcan, John||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Robertson. Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||M'Killop, W.||Robertson. J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Harwood, George||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Robinson, S.|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||M'Micking, Major G.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Maddison. Frederick||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Mallet, Charles E.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Marnham, F. J.||Rowlands, J.|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Runciman. Walter|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Massie, J.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel. Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Meehan, Patrick A.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Menzies, Walter||Schwann. C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne)|
|Higham. John Sharp||Mond, A.||Sears, J. E.|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Montagu, E. S.||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Montgomery. H. G.||Seely, Major J. B.|
|Hodge, John||Mooney, J. J.||Shackleton, David James|
|Hogan, Michael||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson||Morrell. Philip||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Silcock, Thomas Hall|
|Hooper, A. G.||Murphy, John||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Murray, James||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset. N)||Myer, Horatio||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Napier, T. B.||Smeaton. Donald Mackenzie|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Nicholls, George||Smyth. Thomas F. (Leitrim. S.)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hudson, Walter||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Stanley. Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Idris, T. H. W.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid)||Steadman, W. C.|
|Illingworth. Percy H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Isaacs. Rufus Daniel||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Stewart-Smith. D. (Kendal)|
|Jackson, R. S.||O'Connor. John (Kildare, N.)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Jardine, Sir J.||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Strauss. E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Jenkins, J.||O'Dowd, John||Stuart. James (Sunderland)|
|Johnson. W. (Nuneaton)||O'Grady, J.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Jones Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Summerbell, T.|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Malley, William||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Jowett, F. W.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Taylor. Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Kearley. Hudson E.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Partington, Oswald||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Kelley. George D.||Paul, Herbert||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan. E.)|
|Kennedy, Vincent. Paul||Paulton, James Mellor||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Pearee, Robert (Staffs. Leek)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Thompson. J. W. H.(Somerset. E.|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Pearson. Sir W.D. (Colchester)||Thorne, William|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Tomkinson, James|
|Lamb. Ernest H. (Rochester)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Torrance. Sir A. M.|
|Lambert, George||Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke||Toulmin, George|
|Ure, Alexander||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)|
|Verney. F. W.||Waterlow, D. S.||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Villiers, Ernest Amherst||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Vivian, Henry||Weir, James Galloway||Winfrey, R.|
|Wadsworth, J.||Whitbread, Howard||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||White, George (Norfolk)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersfd)|
|Wallace, Robert||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Young, Samuel|
|Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n)||Wiles, Thomas||Pease.|
|Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||Williamson, A.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. EUFUS ISAACS
said the Amendments he had to propose had already boon discussed at some length by the House and therefore he need only formally move them. He proposed to amend the clause by leaving out the words "provided that." That did not affect the clause in any way, and thon they started again from the words, "Nothing in this Act shall affect the liability," and continued to the end of the section, but he proposed instead of the words "such unions" to insert "trade unions"; that made the clause read better. These were drafting Amendments.
In page 2, lines 9 and 10, to leave out the words 'provided that.'
In page 2, line 11, to leave out the words 'such unions.'
In page 2, line 11, to insert the words 'trade unions.'"—(Mr. Rufus Isaacs.)
§ Amendments agreed to.
§ MR. EUFUS ISAACS
said he proposed to add at the oriel of the clause the words of Section 9 of the Act of 1871, namely—Except in respect of any tortious act committed by or on behalf of a trade union in contemplation or in furtherance of any trade dispute.In doing so he took the opportunity to explain that he did not dissent from the words of Mr. Justice Mathew or challenge his judgment. He had only dissented from the interpretation which ' some persons had said could be placed upon these dicta. He begged to move.
In Clause 4, at end, to add the words, 'Except in respect to any tortious act committed by or on behalf of a trades union in contemplation or in furtherance of any trade dispute.'"—(Mr. Rufus Isaacs.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said there were two points which required some explanation. One was in regard to the words "trade dispute." Why had the Government refused to admit words in the earlier part of the clause restricting this to a "trade dispute" when they thought these words so necessary now? Why the Government should a few minutes ago have refused to limit this question to a trade dispute and should have done so now passed his comprehension. If he rightly understood him, the hon. and learned Member for Reading thought Mr. Justice Mathew was right in his judgment, and that the effect of this Amendment was to save the trade unions.
§ MR. RUFUS ISAACS
said the judgment of Mr. Justice Mathew was a judgment in respect of a tort committed for which the trustees of trade unions were sued arising out of a matter which was not a trade dispute. The effect of these words was to prevent a person getting at the funds of a trade union in an action for damages for a tortious act committed during or in pursuance of a trade dispute. They were not to limit the operation of Section 9 of the Act of 1871.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
asked whether the hon. and learned Member would enlighten the House by saying why these words were required unless it was necessary to limit the scope of Section 9 as interpreted by Mr. Justice Mathew. Why introduce these words, and why, if it was intended to limit the scope of Section 9, was it said there was no intention to modify that section?
§ MR. RUFUS ISAACS
said the operation of this Amendment would not affect the decision of all torts not concerned with trade disputes, but there were certain observations by Mr. Justice Mathew which had been interpreted wrongly by certain persons, and the introduction of these words would be to make it quite plain that those words did not apply to torts not having reference to trade disputes. It was solely for the purpose of preventing any possibility of any doubt as to the judgment of Mr. Justice Mathew being confined to that which he had decided that he moved his Amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
understood the hon. and learned Gentleman was of opinion that Mr. Justice Mathew had boon grossly misrepresented.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the hon. and learned Gentleman also thought that no reasonable person reading that judgment would fall into the error from which the hon. and learned Gentleman wished to save them; but he rightly thought that no hypothesis was too extravagant when they were dealing with the opinion of lawyers, and, in that case, even against the lawyers they had better protect themselves. It was a matter on which the hon. and learned Gentleman spoke with absolute authority, and as he had no opinion at all on the 232 matter, he must leave it to be thought out by lawyers in the House.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
movedadditional words providing that the expression "trade union" should include any combination as defined in the Acts of 1871 and 1876, notwithstanding that such combination might be the branch of a trade union.
Amendment proposed —
In page 2, line 17, at end, to add the words 'and shall include any combination as therein defined notwithstanding that such combination may be the branch of a trade union.'"—(Sir John, Walton.)
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
moved to insert the following definition:—"In this Act and in the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, the expression 'trade dispute' means any dispute which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment, or with the conditions of labour, of any person, and in Section 3 of the last-mentioned Act the words 'between employers and workmen' shall be repealed." He said it had over and over again been observed that the Bill as it stood would enormously increase the range of trade disputes and might even include disputes between traders. They were all agreed that trade disputes should be limited to those concerned with questions of employment and conditions of employment. He used the word "person" in the definition, as was suggested by an Amendment of his learned friend the Member for Reading, as there were some persons by whom unions were formed who might not come within the term "workman." The word should be wide enough to cover every person employed in any trade, business, or industry.
In page 2, line 17, at end, to add the words 'In this Act and in The Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, the expression 'trade dispute' means any dispute which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment, or with the conditions of labour, of any workman, and in Section 3 of the last mentioned Act the words 'between employers and workmen' shall be repealed.'"—(Sir John Walton.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ LORD R. CECIL
proposed to add to the Attorney-General's proposed Amendment the following proviso:—"Provided always that the expression shall not include any agrarian dispute or dispute of a political character."
§ MR. SHACKLETON
asked whether the Amendment was in order. The kind of dispute contemplated by the noble Lord must be one between landlord and tenant and not between employer and workman.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
said it would be better to dispose of the Attorney-General's Amendment first and consider the addition to the Amendment afterwards.
§ LORD R. CECIL
moved an Amendment providing that the expression should not include any agrarian dispute or dispute of a political character. He thought it was quite plain that this clause legalised picketing subject to the definition of a trade dispute. Boycotting consisted of doing acts which in themselves, apart from agreement and conspiracy, were not actionable, and only became actionable because of the added importance caused by the combined action of a large number of people. This was allowed as long as it was done in contemplation or further- 234 ance of a trade dispute, and what did that mean? He submitted that, judged by the Attorney-General's definition, it was quite clear that many of the best known acts of boycotting in Ireland would have been legalised by this Bill. For instance, a combination to dismiss work- men because of the votes they had given would be a trade dispute, and a combination to carry out that dispute would not be actionable under the first clause of this Bill. He did not believe the stories one sometimes saw in Liberal Papers that there had been any conceited attempt to influence votes by action of that kind. But no one could doubt that many of the disputes that had occurred in Ireland would have come within the terms of this definition.
§ SIR JOHN WALTON
said they had had, at various stages of this Bill, references to boycotting in Ireland. He thought they had already expressed the opinion that that subject was foreign to the scope of this Bill, because those disputes were confined to disputes in reference to the tenure of property. Inasmuch as this Bill was confined to disputes as to the terms of employment of portions employed in some industry, trade or manufacture, he submitted that it could not refer to the terms on which a tenant hold his land.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said he understood the ruling was that it would be made quite clear that this definition did not relate to such matters as arose in Ireland and therefore it would be better not to discuss it.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
From the first I have taken the view that it would be stretching language too far to include agrarian disputes in the words "trade 235 dispute." Clearly disputes of a political character cannot be included in that term. It seems unnecessary to specify a number of disputes, literary disputes, journalistic disputes, and so on. The series may be very long. I cannot help thinking that this Amendment is unnecessary, and if it is superfluous then it is irregular and out of order.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said a dispute might occur in Ireland of this character. There might be the question of the employment of some particular men on a particular farm. A dispute might arise in precisely the same kind of way as in regard to the employment of a blackleg in a trade dispute. It would be a dispute connected with "the employment of any person" and it would come within the precise meaning of the Attorney-General's clause, and unless some such words were put in, there would be a very large number of disputes in Ireland which would be brought within the terms of this Bill.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
thought the words "trade dispute" would entirely exclude everything in the nature of an agrarian dispute or a dispute of a political character. The Attorney -General had now defined trade dispute as something which took it out of what was technically meant by a trade dispute and had put it into a position which would never be described as a trade dispute, and it really brought it into the class of case which his noble friend had in view in moving this Amendment.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
If I were the Judge in this case and had to decide it I have no doubt about it personally, but I feel inclined to rule now that this Amendment is not in order on the ground that disputes of an agrarian and political character cannot be trade disputes.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
pointed out that the difficulty arose from the definition of 236 "trade dispute" which had just been introduced by the Government.
§ MR. CHARLES CRAIG (Antrim, S.)
pointed out the class of case which Members from Ireland had in their mind's eye when they asked the House to consider this Amendment. In a town, for instance, a bootmaker might through a difference with the local branch of the United Irish League be in their black books; he might be employing a certain man, and the United Irish League might order that man to leave his employment. That seemed to him to come under the definition of a "trade dispute;" that was to say, it was a dispute connected with the employment or non-employment of a person. The reason that they objected to the employment of that man might or might not have some reference to an agrarian dispute. The man might have made himself obnoxious to the United Irish League in a variety of ways, and therefore he said that the Amendment which the noble Lord had put down met the case. It was right that in Ireland they should guard against what might happen under this Act which was never intended to apply to such cases.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
I do not think that any Judge in interpreting this Act would ever so divorce the ordinary meaning of "trade dispute" from the meaning as defined by the Act. I do not think it ever could cover an agrarian dispute, and therefore I think that the Amendment is superfluous.
§ Bill to be road the third time Tomorrow.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Resolution of the House of the 4th August last.
§ Adjourned at twenty-six minutes after Eleven o'clock.