§ (1) There shall be deducted from the pay of every seaman and marine within the meaning of the Naval and Marine Pay and Pensions Act, 1865, and of every soldier of the regular forces (other than His Majesty's Indian forces and the Royal Malta Artillery) the sum of twopence a week, and there shall be contributed by the Admiralty and the Army Council respectively in respect of every such seaman, marine, and soldier, out of moneys provided by Parliament for Army and Navy services such sum per week as may be prescribed: Provided that this provision shall not apply to a seaman, marine, or soldier who has re-engaged for pension unless he so elects.
§ (2) The sums so deducted and the contributions so made shall be paid to the Insurance Commissioners, and by them carried to a separate account, and there also shall be credited to that account—
- (a) in the case of a seaman, marine, or soldier serving at the commencement of this Act (other than those who have re-engaged for pension), the reserve values of such seamen, marines, and soldiers;
- (b) in the case of a seaman, marine, or soldier who has, before his entry or enlistment, been insured under this Part of this Act, and paid contributions thereunder, the amount which would have been credited to an approved society had he been transferred to such a society;
- (c) two-ninths of the amount calculated in the prescribed manner which would be payable from year to year in respect of benefits (including expenses of administration) to seamen, marines, and soldiers from whose pay deductions are made under this Section had they been members of approved societies, and had been employed within the meaning of this part of this Act.
§ (3) On the discharge of a seaman, marine, or soldier, from whose pay deduc- 1486 tions continue to be made up to the date of his discharge there shall be debited to the said separate account and credited to the approved society of which he is or becomes a member, or if he is not and does not become a member of such a society within the prescribed time from his discharge, there shall be carried to his credit in the Post Office fund the transfer value which would have been payable in respect of him had he been a member of an approved society during his period of service and the contributions payable in respect of him during that period had been paid in full:
§ Provided that if he proves to the satisfaction of the Insurance Commissioners that he has been unable to obtain admission to an approved society on account of the state of his health he shall, instead of becoming a deposit contributor, become entitled to benefits under such scheme as is hereinafter mentioned.
§ (4) The Insurance Commissioners may, after consultation with the Admiralty and Army Council, prepare a scheme for conferring on persons who, having been seamen, marines or soldiers, prove to the satisfaction of the Insurance Commissioners that they have been unable to obtain admission to approved societies on account of the state of their health, sickness and disablement benefit at the rate of five shillings a week, and for the administration of those benefits, and for the payment of such benefits out of the said separate account, and for carrying to that account any contributions payable under this part of this Act by or in respect of such persons, and this part of this Act shall apply to the persons to whom any such scheme applies subject to the provisions of the scheme:
§ Provided that—
- (a) there shall be repaid to the account, out of moneys provided by Parliament, two-ninths of the sums expended on such benefits;
- (b) if a person who having re-engaged for pension is invalided without a pension or with a pension of less than five shillings a week, he shall (whether or not deductions have continued to be made from his pay up to the date of his discharge) be entitled to benefits under the scheme with this qualification that if he is in receipt of pension he shall be only entitled to such benefit as would with his pension amount to five shillings a week.
§ (5) This Section shall, subject to such adaptations and modifications as may be prescribed, apply to men belonging to the Fleet Reserve When called out on actual service, and to any men of the Army Reserve when, called out on permanent service or to men of the Territorial Force when called out on embodiment.
§ (6) Where a man of the Fleet Reserve, the Army Reserve, or the Territorial Force is called out for training, he shall for the purposes of this part of this Act be deemed whilst so called out to be in the employment of the Crown.
§ Mr. FORSTER
On a point of Order. I should like to ask whether it would be agreeable to you, Mr. Whitley, and to the Committee that we should pursue the same course on this Clause that we pursued on Clause 34. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's peculiar method of commending his scheme has led to such singular inconvenience to those of us who have taken part in this discussion that I think we are entitled to ask for some larger measure of latitude than would otherwise be the case. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has showered Amendments upon us. We had a shower on Friday last, and we have another shower to-day.
§ Sir GODFREY BARING
On a point of Order, Mr. Whitley, is the hon. Gentleman entitled to make a speech when raising a point of Order?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I think I am right in saying that we were put to some disadvantage in being called upon to discuss this immense series of Amendments upon short notice. If I may offer one word of comment on the statement contained in the memorandum [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no," and "Order, order."]
§ Mr. FORSTER
I think I have said enough to make the point clear that, if it would be agreeable to you and the Committee generally, it would be convenient to Members of the Opposition, if we had a general discussion before we come to the Amendments.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It seems to me that most of the Amendments standing in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer 1488 are consequential upon the first one, and, therefore, it would be a matter for allowing Members on the first Amendment, which involves the consequential ones to review the field of the Amendments and also Amendments to these Amendments put down by other hon. Members. If that would meet hon. Gentlemen's views I propose to allow the discussion upon the first Amendment to proceed on these lines.
§ Mr. SANDYS
Would it be in order on a general discussion to raise the question of the Territorial Forces?
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member has an Amendment on that subject, but that is not a part of the scheme of this Clause, and I am afraid when he comes to it he will not be in order on merits. It would not be possible to deal in this general discussion with the question of the position of members of the Terrtorial Force except when serving.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
I beg to move, at the beginning of Sub-section (1), to insert the words:—For the purpose of providing seamen, marines, and soldiers with such benefits during their term of service and after their return to civil life as are hereinafter in this Secton mentioned.It is true what the hon. Member said that I am proposing rather a drastic series of Amendments to this Clause. It in also true that this is not the first time that I have proposed changes, and very severe changes, in some of the Clauses of the Bill, but may I remind the hon. Member that I said from the first that I would do so. My proposal was to place this Bill on the Table of the House for criticism, not merely inside but outside the House, 1489 and no pride of parentage would prevent me from mutilating the Bill if I thought it would improve its efficiency. I have always taken that view when in opposition, and I repeatedly pressed upon the Ministry that it would be far better if the Government took the House more into their confidence, invited suggestions, and altered their Bills much more frequently. I have persistently pursued that course, and I hope I shall be able to do it right to the end.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I do not quarrel with the Chancellor of the Exchequer for amending his Bill. I want him to amend it a great deal more. What I quarrel with is that he gives us such short notice.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I thought the hon. Member complained that I had showered Amendments upon the Committee, and I thought he was complaining of the fact that I had showered Amendments. I regret we could not give longer notice, but I do not think the time consumed in preparing Amendments was at all lost, and although I agree that hon. Members have not had as full an opportunity of examining these proposals as I would have liked them to have had, I assure them there was not a moment lost in the preparation of the Amendments. What is the capital proposal? Let us first examine what the problem is with which we are faced. The problem is provision for soldiers and sailors after they quit the Service. During the time they are serving they get their medical attendance, hospital treatment, and their wages subject to certain stoppages, which are not a matter for this Bill, but purely a matter for discussion on the Estimates. The only subject that can be relevant to this Bill are the benefits under the Bill. What is to be done on the Army Estimates with regard to possible stoppages is a question entirely for the Army and those who control the Army and Navy, subject to the direction of this House. That is the position with regard to soldiers and sailors during the time they are in the Service.
§ Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
In speaking of service, does the right hon. Gentleman include the second term which the men undertake?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The Noble Lord is rather anticipating what I have to say. I was dealing with the position before this Clause comes into operation. I will deal with that subject when I come to the alterations 1490 I propose to make, and if I forget the point perhaps the Noble Lord will remind me. Soldiers and sailors are often stranded with practically no provision if their health has disappeared, and as hundreds leave the Service every year with their health broken down they are constantly met either in the workhouses or dependent upon the charity of their neighbours or of some institution. I think that that state of things is a perfect disgrace to a country like ours, and I thought that at any rate something ought to be done in this Bill for improving that condition of things. They suffer, especially, I think, in the Navy, a good deal from consumption, and I am not sure whether it is the same in the Army. A great many of them suffer from phthisis and other tubercular disease, and the moment tuberculosis is discovered in a soldier he is told that his services are no longer required; he is discharged, and there is no real provision for him at all. I fail to see why this country has stood that state of things so long, because the disease is very often acquired in the service of the country, and it is a very trying service indeed in the Navy.
Rheumatism is another disease from which a good many of them suffer. That complaint practically disables them from all service and prevents them earning their livelihood after they have been discharged from the Service. As there is no provision at all in this respect we propose that some provision should be made. The provision which we made originally, after very careful consideration by our actuaries, we find can be modified as far as contributions are concerned and improvement as far as advantages are concerned. It took a long time to enter into the matter, and we were convinced, after a long examination which the actuaries were able to give to it, that an improvement might be effected. I must say here that we received very considerable assistance from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans), and I am sure the gratitude of the soldiers ought to be extended to him for the assistance he rendered us. I had the pleasure of discussing the matter with the hon. Member more than once, and he has evidently taken a vast amount of trouble in the matter. The proposal which I submit to the Committee is the result of the labours of the actuaries and officials and the hon. Member for Colchester.
This is the plan. The soldier and the sailor will pay 1½d. instead of 2d. The Admiralty and the War Office, who are in 1491 the position of employers, will also pay 1½d. or its equivalent. I will come to that point later on. Then, of course, the State will pay two-ninths of the benefits exactly as they do in the case of any other insured person. I now propose to describe the machinery of insurance. I understand that the sailors join at the age of eighteen and a soldier joins at the age of nineteen. That means that the vast majority of the sailors and soldiers at present are not members of any society at all. That, however, will not be the case in the future, because most of them will be members of some society or other before joining the Service. What is required is that you should have some machinery to deal with the transitional period when the vast majority are not members of any society at all. This is our proposal. We propose that the soldier and the sailor shall have an option, to be exercised within three months after the commencement of the Act, to join any approved society. In the case of soldiers on foreign stations some allowance must be made for the fact that they cannot exercise their option within three months. Their contribution will then be paid to the society which they join, and then they will be just like ordinary members of any society. I will come to the benefit. If they join the Odd-fellows or the Foresters or any other society now in existence, or which will be set up after this Bill has become law, they will be just like ordinary members of that society. We suggest that the option should be exercised within three months, but I understand a suggestion will be made that it should be altered to six months, and six months' option will be given if that meets with the approval of the Committee. If the option is not exercised within six months, then the contribution will be paid to a special Navy and Army Insurance Fund, and he will remain in that during the time of service. On leaving the Service he can join any society he likes.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
That is not so. As a matter of fact, there will be competition for him. The hon. Member thinks they will not have him because he is broken in health.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
If on leaving the Service he is broken in health, then he 1492 goes on to the fund, and that fund has to give him 10s. or 5s. a week until he has recovered, and, when he has recovered, any society will be glad to get him.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
He can join any society he likes six months after the commencement of the Act, or six months after enlistment he can join any society he chooses. We cannot prescribe the society. We cannot force a man to join any particular society on leaving the Service. If he is a member of the Army and Navy special fund he can then, if he chooses, join an approved society, and, out of that fund, a transfer value is paid which will make it worth the while of that society to have him, because seven years of his life has gone in the Service. They could not take him at sixteen or eighteen years, and therefore we give a sum of money that ought to induce the society to accept him. That money will be paid to the society that takes him in order to induce them to accept him as a civilian member. If he fails to exercise that option after he leaves, or if any society refuses to take him for some reason or other, then he goes on to the Post Office fund, and his transfer value will be paid to that fund. Now I come to the benefits. During his term of service he receives maternity benefit and medical attendance. That is why he is only paying 1½d. per week.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I thought I had made it perfectly clear that, subject to stoppages, with which I have nothing to do in this Bill, and which are purely a matter for the Estimates when the point comes to be considered, he gets all benefits. If he is discharged through ill-health at any time he receives full benefits. If he is in a society, the benefits are paid by the society, and if he is a member of the Army and Navy special fund the benefits are paid out of that fund. He gets his pension every week during the first period of sickness, and 5s. a week for the rest of the term of his disablement right up to the time when he becomes entitled to an old age pension. He receives medical 1493 attendance and sanatorium treatment as well as the other benefits which are given by the society in respect of this money.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
He will receive the 5s. up to the date he becomes entitled to his pension. He receives, in fact, exactly what every civilian will receive. He is in the same category as a civilian, and gets all the benefit the moment he breaks down in health. If the society is able to give him more, he will get exactly the same advantage as the civilian, and a society well managed ought to be able to give him considerably more. As I have explained, if he is not in a society, he will receive his benefits from the Army and Navy fund. If he leaves the Army broken in health, he will go straight on to the fund. There may be a great deal of criticism on some parts of this scheme, but, broadly, I wish to point out that the soldier and sailor will pay 1½d., and the Army and Navy will pay another 1½d., while the State comes in with two-ninths of the benefit, exactly the same as in any other case. During the time he is in the Service, the only thing he will receive will be the maternity benefit, but if he breaks down during service he will go straight on to the fund. After leaving the Service the transfer value will enable him to go straight to a society, and he will get 10s. a week for twenty-six weeks, and 5s. weekly during the whole term of his disablement, together with medical benefit and sanatorium treatment. That is our new proposal. The Committee will realise that it is one of very considerable importance, and I hope it will see its way to dealing with it practically as a Second Reading proposal. Should it be desired to raise any Amendments, I trust it will not be necessary to discuss them at any great length.
I think the Committee is very much indebted to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his brief description of the new plan. The right hon. Gentleman rather misunderstood my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks when he was complaining of the change. It was not the change from the old plan of the Government to a new plan that gave ground for complaint; it was rather the method and time which was chosen, though I think I may say that part of that has been inevitable, because, owing to the very heavy work of the Chancellor 1494 of the Exchequer in other directions, the right hon. Gentleman necessarily could not give all that attention to this Clause that he could have given if it had been the only Clause in the Bill. But the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate how difficult it is for those Members of the Committee who have not been following the Debates very closely when the Government put down Amendments on a Saturday morning, and then produce a new Clause on Tuesday, which is not in the form of the Amendments.
No; I think the right hon. Gentleman suggested that the sickness benefit was to be payable for twenty-six weeks, and the Secretary to the Admiralty confirmed that view. It will be found that under the original Amendment it was only to be payable for thirteen weeks. That is not a drafting Amendment, and there may be other alterations which come within the same category. What has happened is that the day on which we are asked to consider the new Amendments we get a new Clause which very considerably varies them. It was only at noon that we got the actuaries' report, which seeks to justify this Clause. It is really of the financial part of this plan that I am going to complain, rather than of the scheme itself. I thank the Government for having accepted a great many of the Amendments which stood in my name; there are some others which I am going to move in the course of the Debate.
Before I do that I want to remind the Committee that there are many thousands of men serving in the Army and Navy who, as they are under discipline, cannot agitate for themselves, and have not been able to take part in the deputations to and interviews with the Chancellor of the Exchequer from time to time. Neither have they been able to appear in the Lobby of the House of Commons or to approach Members of Parliament, for they have no organisation. It is true that one of the friendly societies, in which Service men are enrolled, has written to the right hon. Gentleman, but the majority of the Service men have had no spokesman at all in connection with this Clause. Therefore it is all the more necessary for the Committee to be, not only strictly fair, but even a little generous; and, if there is any question of doubt, it should be given on the side of the soldier or sailor, and not of the 1495 Treasury. There is a point of doubt in connection with the finance of this Clause, and that is proved by the attempt of the Government actuaries to show that there are no statistics available.
I am going to assume that the Committee understand the scheme of the Government as to the manner in which soldiers and sailors will be dealt with in the future. There will be large numbers of them already members of approved societies before they enlist, and 1½d. will be deducted from their pay. That will go to the societies, so that, as far as the men are concerned, the insurance will make little or no difference, except that they will get the maternity benefit. Then there are some who will not be able to join societies—it may be because they are neglectful, or it may be for some other reason. They will remain on the hands of the Government. For them the Army and Navy special insurance fund has been created, and they will have the same deduction from their wages. On leaving the Service they will take their transfer value with them. There is a danger that in consequence of their state of health no friendly society will accept them. That risk is provided against by the Government placing them on the Special Army and Navy fund, and from that they will get the full benefits as if they belonged to an approved society. I am glad to note, in passing, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer said he believed that most of those who enlist in the Army will in future be already members of some society or other before they join. That is an important point for the Committee to bear in mind, because a large financial question turns upon it. I may say, at once, that the Government has in this scheme put before us something which looks quite well, and, if it were financially sound, I would readily accept it. But it is not financially sound, and no approved society will be able to take soldiers or sailors without running undue risks. And that brings me to the first real point of difference between the Government Amendments and myself. The Committee will notice that the Government proposes that the two-ninths of the benefits which the State add to the contributions made by and on behalf of the men, amounting to between £80,000 and £90,000 a year, is all to be paid into the Army and Navy special fund. No part of that is to be paid to friendly societies which take in soldiers and sailors. The effect of that will be that the £80,000 to £90,000 is spe- 1496 cially set aside for the purpose of taking in those men who leave the Service not having the same usual rate of health as civilians. It is admitted that there are men leaving the Army who are in a worse state of health than the average civilian, and for that purpose the whole of the two-ninths, amounting to £80,000 to £90,000, is proposed to be taken by the Government and put into the Army and Navy special fund. Let the Committee consider this matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer just now said that he hoped in future the majority of the men will be members of approved societies before they join the Services. If that is the case, then the whole of that two-ninths ought to be paid to the approved societies and not to the Insurance fund, because the Insurance fund will have no claims upon it. If they are all members of the societies then the societies will have to meet the claims. If they are all members of the Insurance fund then the Insurance fund will have to meet the claims. The truth lies between the two. A large proportion will be members of friendly societies, and some small proportion will remain on the Army and Navy Insurance fund, but there can be no justification for taking the whole of the two-thirds and putting it into the Insurance fund and not giving the Insurance societies almost, if not quite, a rate able proportion. I say so because there will be some section against the Insurance fund and in favour of the friendly societies, more especially amongst those who are now in the Services and who have not yet joined the friendly societies. Those people who are in less than the average health and whom the approved societies will not take will be thrown upon the Army and Navy fund. For those people a special grant ought really to be made. As to members who belong to friendly societies before they enlist, that section against the Army and Navy fund will not exist at all. The whole of the two-ninths ought to be dealt with rateably, and I have put down an Amendment suggesting that. The Government tell us that the actuaries say there ought to be a deduction off that two-ninths of a reasonable sum, and I am quite prepared to take that into consideration. The actuaries, in their report, which came into my hands at twelve o'clock this morning, have made their figures balance, or balance within £11,000, by assuming that there will be no members of approved societies in the Army, and, assuming that the whole of these 1497 members will come on the Army and Navy fund, and by doing that they think they are justified in taking the two-ninths. They say, "It is impossible to estimate how many men will actually join the societies, but having considered the special effect on the fund of any large number of men so doing" (and this is really a gem which the Committee should consider), "we are of opinion that the effect of such abstention from the fund will not adversely affect it."
It will not adversely affect it, but if they all become members of the friendly societies it will make a present to the fund of between £80,000 and £90,000. It seems to me the Government cannot let the matter stand here. As it is they have attempted a scheme which is intended to induce men to join friendly societies—the Chancellor of the Exchequer states that will in fact happen in future before enlistment—and then they take the fund which ought to be distributed amongst members of the friendly societies and appropriate the whole of it to the Army and Navy fund, which is required for the special degrees of risk. Another point in the Amendments of the Government militates against success. No reference whatever was made to friendly societies and management. If the 200,000 or 300,000 men are to go into friendly societies some sort of allowance should be made for management. The allowance for civilians is 4s. a year, equal to a penny a week contribution. So much as that will not be required, because the men will not be on benefit during the time of service. There will only be maternity benefits. The full 4s. is not therefore required, but 1s., equal to about a farthing a week, will be required. I have put down Amendments in order to meet that point. Again, the soldier and sailor is not in any direction dealt with equitably as compared with the civilian. When the civilian is ill and in receipt of sick benefit no contribution is required from him. The Service man is compelled to contribute while he is in hospital, and some deductions are even being made from his pay. It is a very small matter, but although it is small it must not be smiled at by those on the Front Bench and allowed to rest. It must be dealt with, because it is these small pin-pricking irritations which will go to harm the scheme in the Services. Then I want to know from the Government what their position now is in regard to Service pensions. In the first scheme embodied in the Bill as introduced a man was to have invalidity benefit 1498 of 5s., and that was to be reduced if he was in possession of a Service pension. If he had a pension of 3s. 6d. a week, earned really as a matter of deferred pay, that 3s. 6d. was to be taken off the 5s., and all he was to get out of the Insurance fund was 1s. 6d. That is one of the Clauses struck out by the Amendments, but nothing is said about whether the Service funds are to be taken into account except that it is to be left to regulations I want, in whatever regulations are made, to provide that no deductions shall be made from sickness and infirmity benefit on the ground that the man is getting a Service pension. He ought to have both, and there ought to be no doubt about it. The next important point is one on which the Government has refused to meet me, and that is the question of hospital stoppage. I want to try and put fairly before the Committee the case in regard to hospital stoppage, and in this matter the help of the Committee is wanted. The Government have improved matters up to a point, but here they will not meet us at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said this is not a question of insurance, but a question that ought to come up when discussing the Army and Navy Votes. I hope to show the Committee that it is not a question which should come up on the Army and Navy Votes at all. It is a question of either sick pay for those who pay for it or something in exchange for sick pay. In the Army 7d. per day is deducted from pay when the man is in hospital, and he also loses corps pay and messing allowance. The actual amount of deductions for hospital stoppage alone in 1910–11 was £60,000. That is the gross figure. From that ought to be deducted the separation allowances, but as the War Office have no record of what the amount of separation allowance is, I cannot give the actual net figure. Taking the gross figure it amounts to this, that soldiers in hospital have to pay £60,000 a year for hospital treatment. If they are paying contributions under the Insurance Bill, it seems to me that that is an insurable risk which ought to be included. They ought to be able to insure against those deductions of £60,000 a year. That is the position as regards the Army. With regard to the Navy, 4d. to 10d. is deducted from the pay of a man in hospital after the thirtieth day and up to the ninety-first day. After the ninety-first day, if a man is still in hospital, he loses his pay altogether. Now the cost in 1910 for deductions made from pay between the thirtieth and ninety-first 1499 days was £3,500. The amount of pay lost after the ninety-first day is not known; there is no record. The man is struck off the pay roll. An Amendment I have put down on the Paper is to provide that the man while in the Service shall receive his sick benefit, or in lieu of sick benefit such sum as shall be equal to his hospital stoppage—equal to the actual loss of pay which occurs to him if he goes into hospital. The cost of that would be about three farthings per week. There are two arguments against it. One argument is the discipline argument, and the other the finance argument. The discipline argument amounts to this, that the man ought to be penalised because he is in hospital, for if you do not deduct something from his money he will shirk his work and go into hospital, and get medical comforts, and get other men to do his work. That argument entirely breaks down. What I am asking is that the men should now be allowed to insure at the cost of an average 4s. in the Army and Navy. There are 16,000 men who are at present members of friendly societies. If it is right to let them join societies and receive 12s. a week when in hospital, surely it is absurd to say that it is contrary to discipline to allow men in the Army and Navy to insure for 4s. a week. Then there is the malingering question. It is more easily dealt with by men in the Services than by civilians. As regards the civilian part of this Bill, you have to rely upon co-members of the friendly societies and on their doctors, and in Services you have also to rely on the other men in the Service and the doctors. The other men in the Services do not want a man to malinger, because if they let him malinger in hospital they have to do his work. Nobody will allow a man to go continually sick, when by doing so he makes another man do the work. With regard to the doctor, now that the free choice of doctors has been given, he will have little or no hold upon the civilian, but mark what his position in the Services is. A man in hospital is under discipline. The doctor has only to say, "get up and go," and the man has to get up and go, for the doctor is an officer whom he is bound to obey. Therefore, from the malingering or discipline point of view there is no case to meet.
From the finance point of view I really marvel at our moderation in only asking for hospital stoppage, because there is a 1500 greater financial margin than is required to give hospital stoppage. I have a task which is not at all easy, I have to ask the Committee to follow me while I deal with some figures. The financial question is, who is to pay for the benefit if ¾d. is added to the cost of the scheme because hospital stoppage is given. Is something to be added to the 1½d. which is deducted from the Service men, or is something to be added to the contribution made by the Admiralty and the War Office (which is the employers' contribution), or is it to be divided. I say at once that it is to be added to the contribution of the Admiralty and the War Office, because they are not, as the Bill stands, even with the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Amendment, paying anything like their rateable proportion as ii they were civilian employers. The soldier and the sailor is paying a great deal more than the civilian who is getting the same wages. The civilian is to pay 4d. The soldier and sailor is directly paying 1½d. But he is paying already for medical attendance, medical comforts, and medical treatment, and for what is equivalent to sick pay—namely, the continuation of his wages, board and lodging while he is sick. The medical treatment and sick pay under the Bill is worth 3½d. He is paying that because it is not already in his wages. If it were not for the fact that he got medical treatment, with board nad lodging while he is sick, he would be receiving more pay than he does. He in fact gets pay and payment in kind. If you take away the payment in kind you are reducing from his wages the cost of the payment in kind, which is 3½d. a week according to the actuaries' report. I say that the soldier under this Bill is now paying 3½d. by way of reduction from his wages. The 1½d. and the 3½d. make up a contribution of 5d. a week, which is 1d. more than the civilian is paying. The Army Council and the Admiralty, on the other hand, are paying about 1½d.; a little more because of their guarantee. The guarantee is worth nearly one-eighth of a penny. I make them a present of that one-eighth because it doese not largely alter the contribution. I suggest that the hospital stoppage is worth ¾d. You can make it a 1d. if you like. They are now paying 5d. a week, and they have a pennyworth of hospital stoppage. That will bring the Service man's contribution down to 4d. a week. Take the 1d. and put it on to the contributions to be made by the Army and Navy, and you will increase their contribution 1501 from 1½d. to 2½d. That will be 1d. a week less than the civilian employer pays. I say, therefore, that the soldier is paying more than the civilian, and that the soldier's employer is paying less than the civilian employer. I say that there is plenty of money to provide what is required for the hospital stoppage. In saying that, I am only applying precisely the same principle the Treasury have applied to their contribution. They are paying not two-ninths of the benefits soldiers and sailors are getting, but two-ninths of the benefits soldiers and sailors have had if they had been members of friendly societies entitled to full benefits. So that they are giving soldiers and sailors exactly the same contribution that they are giving to the civilians. If that principle were followed by the Army Council and the Navy then the 3d. and not 1½d. would be paid.
I once more thank the Government for having gone part of the way in doing justice to the Services, and I hope that they will on consideration, see that in order to make it a real measure of justice, they must give the two-ninths rateably to the approved societies as well as to the members who are in the Army and Navy fund, and that justice also requires that they should not shelter themselves behind pleas of discipline or pleas that it will be more conveniently dealt with on the Army and Navy Votes, but that they should now deal with the question of hospital stoppage by adding the necessary ¾d. to the contribution made by the Admiralty and the War Office.
§ Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
The Services will be very thankful to the Government for the new line taken in these Amendments with regard to the insurance of men in those Services. They will also be very grateful to the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans), who has worked very hard on this question, which is a most intricate one, and to whom is mainly due the credit for the improvement the Government has made in the Bill. There are some further improvements we hope to get, and I should like to emphasise certain points the hon. Member has made in regard to the opinions of the men in both Services. He stated that the men are under discipline, and that they are therefore not entitled to either meet or send deputations to this House, because it is against the law, and I think rightly against the law. But at the same time those of us who know their feelings 1502 should represent what the men think on this question. The real point is that whatever is put into this Bill should be absolutely clear, so that the men can understand it. If you have a doubt among the men that anything they are ordered to do compulsorily is not clear, there is a chance of the men thinking that there is something unfair and that the Government are taking an advantage of them. Clause 36 says:and there shall be contributed by the Admiralty and the Army Council respectively in respect of every such seaman, marine, and soldier, out of moneys provided by Parliament for Army and Navy services such sum per week as may be prescribed.What does "such sum as may be prescribed" mean?
§ Lord C. BERESFORD
The matter should be made definite, so that the men on the lower deck or in the barrack may not ask what is the sum, for the Government do not give any sum. It is a bad principle to leave things indefinite. The Amendments say that the Government are going to insure the solvency of the fund. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to give an example of that which will satisfy the men. For instance, if the fund is short by £2,000, that the Government will guarantee that amount. The men will not understand ensuring solvency as put in the Bill. The idea that men in the Services do not join the friendly societies is very erroneous. So far as the Navy is concerned, the men before 1870 never joined, but in that year we lost the ship "Captain," which resulted in the loss of something like 500 men; there being no fund for those men's relatives. The Government had to appeal to charity. The Services naturally resent anything in the nature of charity. The men themselves got together, and that is what started the Manchester Unity Lodge of the Seamen and Marines of the Fleet. That men do join these societies is well known in the Services. They have worked the military and naval lodges extremely well, to the great benefit of the men who joined them.
I support the hon. Member for Colchester in regard to hospital stoppage. That is a matter which wants clearing up, and I hope the Government will give way, either by doing away with that altogether or by adopting the plan suggested by the hon. Member, namely, that the Govern- 1503 ment should pay something in proportion to what is paid now with regard to sick people when they are civilians. The proportion has no parallel at all with what is paid to civilians. The Army pay is 7d. a day from the day a man goes in, and the Navy pay is 10d. a day for thirty days, provided the pay is over 1s. 7d. a day. They pay 8d. a day after thirty days, provided the pay is under 1s. 7d. The case of the boys is particularly hard, for they are particularly liable to illnesses. They have to pay 4d. a day out of their 7d. a day. I think that is very hard on the boys. Many of them join, and do what they can for their parents at home if their people are not well off. I understood the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state that the Army joined at nineteen and the Navy at eighteen.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Lord C. BERESFORD
If you have only ten of them you must deal with them. In the Navy all the seamen class join as boys, and the boys have to pay 1½d., as do the men in both Services. It is hard on these boys that they should have to pay the same as men, who take much larger wages. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speech led the Committee to understand that the men in the Army were nineteen and that the men in the Navy were eighteen. But it is the boys' case that I am taking up. The proportion of interest that he pays for insurance—that is, the 1½d.—is too high in both Services, according to the pay he gets. I differ from the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway as to the total amount of the stoppages. I make it £64,000 for the Army, and £3,400 for the Navy. But the Navy has no account of the pay that is stopped after the ninety days. After the ninety days in the Navy a man gets no pay at all, and it comes particularly heavy to his family, if he has any, under these conditions. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his opening speech to-day, remarked that it was a disgrace to this country that so many men of both Services, through no fault of their own, should suffer in health and accident, to which they are particularly liable in the Navy, and up to this 1504 date should have never received any pay to carry them through their illness. I am sure both Services will be most grateful to see that this is at last recognised, and that these men who have done their duty to the Service and the State, and have suffered so severely, will now be recognised in this Bill. I did not quite understand whether the soldier and the sailor get for their 1½d. the right of transfer. I understand that they get maternity benefits and sanatorium benefits.
§ Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
I am making these points so that the men will clearly understand it all. The right hon. Gentleman's speech might have been a little more clear as to these two points. Are the men who re-engage for a second term allowed to pay the 1½d. after that?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
No, it was always optional, but it was 2d. before and it is 1½d. now. It is compulsory for the first period of engagement and then it is optional, but it ought to be pointed out that if a sailor does not keep up his payment during the optional period and goes into the Army and Navy Insurance Fund, the period during which he might have paid, and did not pay, will be treated as in arrears in respect of the benefits.
§ Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
I quite understand. The men were not clear whether they could pay what is now 1½d. and was 2d. It is quite clear now. Another point with regard to maternity benefit. A soldier or sailor may be away on foreign service. Who is going to administer these benefits? If it is to be the Army and Navy Bureau I must object strongly. The position will be this. The man will have to apply to his adjutant, colonel and general, or commander, captain and admiral, and a very long time 1505 would elapse before it got home to the bureau. It ought to be entirely under the friendly society, which understands the matter perfectly and would at once administer to the wants of the mother. That is a point on which the men feel very acutely in both Services. They will never trust a fund of this class to be administered by the officers of the Army and the Navy, and I think they are quite right. They would prefer to have the funds administered by the society, which has administered them for many years and would do it much more quickly and more efficiently. I think the Committee will entirely sympathise with the hon. Gentleman's point about pensions. A man who earns his pension and has worked for it, must have been a good man. It is almost impossible that he should have been a bad man. He has risked his health and his life in many cases and has earned his pension, and it ought not to count at all with regard to what he gets from these benefits. It is like anybody on shore taking on a workman and trying to get him more cheaply because he is a pensioner. It is altogether wrong, and the pension should not count at all in regard to these sick benefits. I shall be glad if the hon. Gentleman will answer these points and make them quite clear in order that the men may understand what is proposed for their benefit.
§ Sir REGINALD POLE-CAREW
I wish to support what has been said by the hon. Member (Mr. Worthington-Evans) and the Noble Lord (Lord Charles Beresford), and I wish to thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of the Army, for the Amendments he has already made, and if I make any criticisms I hope they will be taken as simply a desire to help the men and not to embarrass the Government. First, with regard to pensions, it must be recollected that the pension is part of the contract under which a man joins the Service. If a man does his duty in such a manner that he is allowed to re-engage for pension, it not only shows that he is a good man, but that the State has appreciated the fact, and he has gained what he contracted for when he joined. Therefore I think anything in the shape of benefits accruing from the Insurance Fund should be entirely beyond and outside the pension he has gained. Further, there is a pension which is given for wounds received in the Service. It is calculated on the amount of disability caused by the wound and, if a man is totally disabled, 1506 naturally he gets a larger pension than if he gets a slight wound and is only partially disabled. That pension, too, should not be taken into account in calculating the benefits under this Bill. There are such things also as wounds breaking out afresh or rheumatism setting in, or some ailment accruing from the effect of the wound. It is manifestly unfair that, because a man has been given a certain sum of money in consequence of disability caused by a wound, supposing that wound was to increase in seriousness, or supposing some ailment should accrue afterwards in consequence of the wound, he should not be permitted to get from this Insurance Fund an increase because of the pension given him for the wound. With regard to the 1½d., I understand it has to be paid in to the friendly society. There are at present 16,000 men already insured in friendly societies. I want to know whether that 1½d. is to be paid in as a portion of the contribution which the man already pays to his society, or whether it is outside and above that contribution. If a man has to pay 4d. or 6d. to his society and is mulcted in 1½d. besides, it becomes a very severe tax. I trust that if the 1½d. is paid in in this manner it will be deducted from the sum which he already pays to the society.
That brings me to a point which I think is worthy of consideration. A man insures in a society against hospital stoppages. If he is married on the strength it is not so important for him as if he is married off the strength. The man married off the strength is the man who is worst off in the whole Army. Under these new rules he will get maternity benefit, but that is all. I want particularly to urge that hospital stoppages should be considered by the Under-Secretary for War. I want you to understand and to take into consideration that whereas we are now making the men pay this contribution over and above what they have paid before when they contracted to serve with the benefits they get now, they will get no more benefits under this Bill than they did before with the exception of maternity benefit while serving.
I want the Government to consider whether the hospital stoppages cannot be done away with altogether. If they cannot, let us have something else. There is an Amendment on the Paper which proposes that they should be refunded. I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) that 1507 if we cannot secure the abolition of hospital stoppages the money should be repaid. Why not treat the soldier with a little more generosity? Remember that the Admiralty and the Army Council are in a different position to any other employer. A man goes on service and is shot. What happens to the 1½d. he has been paying? I wish the Government to be a little more generous with soldiers and sailors. A man may have been serving ten, fifteen, or twenty years, and paying the 1½d. Then he is shot, and the whole of that goes into the pocket of the employer. I think that is a very strong reason why we should do away with hospital stoppages. Then there is the case of Reserve men. I do not know what is going to happen in their case, and I should be glad to hear from the Under-Secretary for War. Reserve men are practically of two classes. There may be three. "A" gets 7s. a week, and "B" 3s. 6d. That man is expected to pay the same contribution when in the Reserve as he does when serving in the Line, and he is not to be relieved. If the employer pays him 7s. a week, you may calculate that at about one-third of the ordinary rate. Why should not the employer pay a third more towards his contribution? If he gets 3s. 6d. a week, it is one-sixth. Why should not the employer pay, say, a 1d. extra? I think that is worthy of consideration. I would also point out that the time a man serves in the Reserve is the time he is worst off in the whole of his existence. It is true that he gets a retaining fee. It is also true that if he has to keep up his contributions he may have nothing else but the retaining fee to keep them up on. I do earnestly hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take that into consideration, and see what can be done for the man in the Reserve. He is liable to be called out at any moment, and he consequently has difficulty in getting employment. He gets a very small retaining fee, and if he has to pay his contributions or be disqualified for not paying them, then he is likely to lose the whole of his contributions.
MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
There are one or two other points in regard to which I would like to ask for further information from the Under-Secretary for War. The Chancellor of the Exchequer just now took great credit for what he had done for the British soldier. It 1508 sounded extremely well until it came to be analysed. I do not mean to say that the right hon. Gentleman did not mean to do well for the soldier, but I think the benefits which he gets while in the Service are very much less than the right hon. Gentleman realises. Let us see what the benefits really are. The right hon. Gentleman said, first of all, that the soldier got maternity benefit, for which he has to pay 1½d. a week. A great deal of good maternity benefit will be to the majority of soldiers! First of all, only a certain number of men in the Army are allowed to marry. In the case, for example, of the Foot Guards, very few are allowed to marry. They go away at twenty-one or twenty-two years of age, and maternity benefit is very little to them. It is only a benefit to one or two people in a regiment. So far as maternity benefit is concerned when he is abroad, he gets that already from the regimental doctor, who looks after his wife. The man has to pay for that, and that is a point which sometimes people do not appreciate. In that particular case the Government are better off than before. It is part of the doctor's duty to attend in a maternity case when the soldier is abroad, so that when you are considering maternity benefit you must remember that the Government do really very much less than a civilian employer.
Then there is sanatorium benefit. There I think, everybody in the Army must be most grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have seen a good many boys leaving the Army, and when cast off getting no benefit. But does the right hon-Gentleman know the percentage in the Army who get consumption? I do not know. I should not say that it is over 1 per cent. Therefore, we have 99 per cent. of the men who are not going to have any benefit from this. You have, therefore, the short service men and those who do not marry who do not benefit under the Bill at all. As soldiers are a particularly healthy set of men compared with civilians, of course it becomes harder still. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer said the soldier gets his medical benefit, but I would point out that he pays £60,000 a year for it. I think I have anticipated the right hon. Gentleman's reply. He shook his Head a moment ago when it was said that the Government were not going to give way on the point of hospital stoppages. Therefore we may say that, although the men get this great benefit of medical relief, they pay £60,000 a year for 1509 it. Another point is that the Government do not pay in respect of employers' liability for soldiers. If a soldier hurts himself on parade and goes into hospital, he has to pay hospital stoppages all the same. If there is an epidemic, and he becomes ill, it is not his fault, but he has to pay hospital stoppages. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would try to get rid of him in a fever hospital.
There are many diseases due to the conditions of service. There is, for example, rheumatism. A man gets a chill, and has to go into hospital on account of the exigencies of the Service, and he has to pay 7d. per day for it. The excuse has been made in regard to discipline, but, speaking from any small professional knowledge which. I have got, I say that that is absolute nonsense. You can keep up discipline without fining a man when he goes into hospital. Malingering is not stopped by the 7d. per day, but by the public opinion in the regiment. Therefore, as has been pointed out by the hon. Member for Colchester, the Government are really the worst employers in the whole lot. It has to pay a less contribution than the ordinary employer. I cannot see why they should not pay more. It is sometimes forgotten that a soldier runs a big risk. He is sent to bad climates. He has no control of his movements. He has to go there. He cannot choose his barracks, and sometimes the barracks are precious bad. He runs the risk of injury while on service, and he ought to have better treatment, if possible, and not worse treatment, than civilians. Another point to which I wish to refer is in regard to sick pensions. If soldiers and sailors in future are to get sick benefits, and so forth, are these sick benefits going to take the place of pensions? May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to answer that question?
MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
It would be very easy to say "No" now. I think we may take it that sick pensions are not to be paid in future. I think the right hon. Gentleman is going to say so. British soldiers and sailors might be treated as well as convicts and other prisoners. One person is treated free in hospital while the other has to pay.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I desire, on behalf of the Government, to thank the Members of the Committee in all parts of the House 1510 for the way they have approached this problem, and I am quite sure that both in the barrack-rooms of the Army and in the messes of the Fleet there will be great appreciation of the universal sympathy and solicitude shown for the soldier and sailor by hon. Members. I am sure, further, that notwithstanding one or two things which were said by the Noble Lord the Member for West Perthshire (Marquess of Tullibardine), when the cryptic language of Parliamentary Papers and Amendments, and the phraseology of the Clauses, are translated into popular, understandable terms, this new or altered Clause will be as popular as it ought to be in both Services. I wish further to associate myself with what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in expressing his gratitude for the help rendered to him by the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans). I agree with one thing which was said by the Noble Lord the Member for Portsmouth (Lord C. Beresford). He said that so far as we can do so, everything must be made perfectly clear and perfectly simple. If there is anything left in any undefined form, somebody will think that the Government is "having" him. Therefore, let us by all means make it perfectly clear. There is every reason why we should do so. I do not say that this is too generous a scheme. Certainly not. But it is a generous method of providing for the soldier or sailor at the end of his service. Let me deal with the points which were put by the Noble Lord as clearly as I can. The soldier or sailor pays 1½d. a week if he is a member of an approved society or goes into an approved society, and we ought to encourage him all we can to join an approved society. It is a fact that, except in the case of boys, in a few years' time practically all the men who enlist will already be in approved societies, and we shall desire that they should continue as members. If they join an approved society then we pay 1½d. If they do not join one or cannot get in ultimately, then we pay such sum per week as may be prescribed. The Noble Lord says that that is indefinite, and that people will say, "We are paying 1½d. and the Government is not paying anything at all." I do not see how that is to be avoided. I think that the hon. Member for Colchester will agree that we have here a fluctuating obligation. What we undertake to do is to guarantee the Army and Navy fund to the men who are not in an approved society. And all those who are concerned in the matter may take 1511 it from me for what it is worth that we shall certainly pay into that fund, I think the hon. Gentleman agreed, more than 1½d. per week per man.
Only if you deal fairly with the two-ninths benefits. If you keep the whole two-ninths you would have £90,000, so that you will not be paying much more than ½d.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I cannot accept that argument. We cannot do otherwise than we say. We will pay such sum per week as may be prescribed. If we could make it perfectly definite, as in the case of members of an approved society, we should do so, but in respect of these men that is all we can do. I am quite sure the Treasury will find as time goes on, leaving this question of the two-ninths for hypothetical benefit as it is, that they will be paying in respect of the men who join what I will call the Army and Navy insurance fund at least 1½d. per week.
§ Lord C. BERESFORD
Why not put that in the Bill or some figures, so that the men will not be thinking that the Government meant nothing?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I do not think that is practicable. What I want to insist on is that where we use these words in a general way the Government will pay certainly as much as the men. The Noble Lord asked about the secondary period of re-engagement. As the Bill originally stood with regard to the men who contributed during the first period, during the period of re-engagement for pension they could continue if they liked. The soldier or sailor who is a member of an approved society who continues his payments right down to the time of his discharge, compulsory and optional, will carry into civil life the full transfer value, as if he had been a civilian member of an approved society during the whole time of his service. The soldier or sailor in the approved society—this has not been made clear—if during the optional period he does not contribute, and is a member of an approved society, forfeits his transfer value on discharge. With regard to the maternity benefit, I rather thought that the Noble Lord disparaged its value. I am quite sure that both sailors' and soldiers' wives, particularly soldiers' wives married off the strength of the regiment—
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
No doubt the obligation to pay falls on the unmarried man. Certainly the proposal to give the maternity benefit to sailors' and soldiers' wives, whether on the strength of the regiment or not, will be a very great boon and will be much appreciated. If the soldier or sailor is in an approved society, the approved society will administer the maternity benefits. If he is not in an approved society he is therefore in the Army and Navy Society, and it would have to be administered by that society. There is no one else to administer it. Further, the maternity benefit will be paid irrespective of the domicile of the parents, whether in foreign parts or at home, whatever the circumstances. On discharge, if the soldier or sailor is a member of an approved society, and has kept up his payments, he will go out with full rights as if he had been a civilian member of the approved society. If he is not in an approved society, and has not joined and cannot join because of his health, then he goes into the Army and Navy Fund. He will only go into the Post Office deposit when on leaving the Army or Navy he cannot prove that his health is so bad that no approved society will take him. If he did not join the approved society and is in good health, then he joins the Post Office department. But if his health is such that he could not get into the approved society, then he passes on to the Army and Navy fund. Then he gets medical treatment, medicine, sanatorium benefit, maternity benefit, sickness benefit of 10s. a week for the first twenty-six weeks and 5s. disablement, those benefits being subject only to the period of optional payment, which he might have made and did not make, being counted, as I have already said, as in arrear.
In regard to the pensions to which the Noble Lord refers I do not know why he said we are going to abate them. The benefits that were secured to a man under this will not be abated in respect of any pensions, whether for wounds, hurt, disability, or long service. In regard to the man who goes into hospital and is discharged from the Service as incurable with some form of tuberculosis contracted in the Service, I am sorry to say it is a fact that for a good many of those men there has been nothing in the past but to come on the rates and go into the workhouse infirmary. In 1908 we had 357 sailors treated for some form of tuberculosis, in 1909 there were 330, and in 1910 1513 there were 268. In 1908 there were 283 of those cases discharged as unfit for further service, in 1909 there were 222, and in 1910 there were 218. These men will have sanatorium treatment on discharge. With regard to the two-ninths the hon. Member for Colchester said, "You want to get the men into an approved society and keep them there." I agree with that as a general policy, and we reserve the two-ninths value of the hypothetical benefit for the Army and Navy fund. Now, he says, "If you do that, the approved societies will not take any man in. They will not find it worth their while." I think he is wrong. We consider as times go on the men who are going on the Army and Navy fund will be what I may call the residue in the matter of health, the men who cannot get into approved societies, as against the character of the lives going into approved societies. We have, therefore, thought it desirable to take the two-ninths hypothetical benefit and credit it to the Army and Navy fund. I do not think that the hon. Member is right in saying that, because we have done that the approved societies will not be anxious to get the men into the societies as time goes on. On the contrary, my impression is that there will be considerable competition for these men, both by the industrial societies and the affiliated orders. But all I can do at the moment is to explain the reasons that led us to take this two-ninths hypothetical benefit, and credit it to the Army and Navy fund instead of distributing it.
Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that the residue will appear in the age of enlistment at nineteen and a-half, or that they will not all be in sound health then?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Yes, but at the end of their career there is a considerable number of men whose health will be largely broken and those men will find it difficult to get into approved societies. It is because we know that that we have put this two-ninths hypothetical benefit to the credit of the Army and Navy fund. My right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for War (Colonel Seely) will be glad to deal with the question of hospital staff, and, on behalf of the Government, and as one who has been associated some years with the Admiralty, and as the son of a non-commissioned officer in the British Army, I thank the Committee very much for the sympathetic way in which they have treated this problem.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
I wish to add my opinion to those already expressed as to the way we have received these Amendments. We only received the first lot on Saturday, and though many of us had Amendments on the Paper, we were not even sent the amended Clause, and had to send to the House for it after twelve o'clock to-day. It is all very well for right hon. Gentlemen opposite who have been working at this Bill, and also for my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans). But for back-bench Members who have not had the advantage of meeting Members of the Government it is extremely hard to deal with this Bill, unless we are given better facilities and allowed to see the amended Clauses in more ample time. Everyone admits that the amended Clause is a very great improvement upon the original Clause, but that is only because the original Clause is absolutely indefensible. The Government proposed to take 2d. from the man, and the result of that would have been that the Admiralty would have paid a great deal less than 1d. Consequently this amended Clause, which will make them pay equally with the man, is a great improvement. One point which the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down dealt with is the question of the two-ninths' benefit. The point made by the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) was that if the two-ninths' benefits is not to go to the friendly societies in the same proportion as to the Navy and Army insurance fund, the friendly societies will not be glad to receive the men into their organisations, because it will not pay them to do so. The hon. Gentleman did not meet that argument at all. He said, and I think quite rightly, that perhaps the Navy and Army insurance fund will have greater liabilities at the end of the time; in other words, that they will have taken men who are bad risks, and consequently will have more expenses.
But that is no reason at all why they should take away from the friendly societies the two-ninths. It is a reason for spending more money, or for putting on the Army and Navy Votes a greater charge to meet the heavier expenses. It is no reason at all why the friendly societies should be robbed of the two-ninths. In the actuarial report the amount of the friendly societies is 1.08d. for contribution and 28d. for maternity; that is, their liability, 1.38d., and in exchange for that liability they have the 1½d. They have to 1515 provide administrative cost and take almost the very risks of invalidity which are taken by the Army and Navy insurance fund. In the past the friendly societies have taken the men of the Navy and Army because, as a rule, they did not claim sick benefit, and consequently the society was able to make up out of a great many of these payments left in abeyance for the extra invalidity which soldiers and sailors incur from climatic and various other causes. The friendly societies were glad to take them, because they were able to make up out of the non-sick benefits left in abeyance. Now they will have.14d., out of which they have to pay for administration, and it is only right therefore that they should have a just proportion of the two-ninths, and an extra sum might be put on the estimates as an additional generous gift by the Government to make up to those who have fallen by the wayside while serving their country. What are the benefits which the soldier gets? He gets, we are told, maternity benefit, and he also gets sanatorium benefit. As regards sanatorium benefit, it affects very few men indeed in the Service. Those who are married on the strength already receive what is practically maternity benefit, because wives are looked after and taken into hospital, and so on. Those who are married off the strength are a very small proportion generally, therefore they have this very small benefit in return for the 1½d. The sanatorium benefit of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke is a very small benefit indeed.
I have here the figures given in the Annual Health Report of the Army, and the number of men who are invalided on account of consumption is only 1.6 per thousand—not per cent., but per thousand. The number of men invalided from rheumatism, which was alluded to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is a great deal less—it is only.03 per thousand. I think this works out at something like 30 men invalided in 1909 out of 230,000 men serving. These are very small benefits indeed to give them in exchange for charging them 1½d. a week. The extra benefit which I should like to see given to them is that already brought forward by the hon. Member for Colchester—that is, a benefit equivalent possibly to hospital stoppage. I will not argue again the question of malingering, but if there is any section in the community in which malingering 1516 will not increase as a result of the Bill it is in the Army and Navy, where men are looked after closely, not only by the officers, but by the doctors, who have military command, and also by their comrades. The pay of the infantry soldier, after the cost of his mess allowance, is only 7s. a week, and if you take out of that 4s. 1d., you leave him 2s. 11d. Surely, it would be possible for the Admiralty and Army Council to give the extra ¾d. for hospital stoppage. If the man has to pay 1½d., at any rate they might very easily stand the extra cost which it will entail. Why should they get off so much easier than our railway companies and great firms? Are they paying soldiers and sailors, their employés, such a magnificent wage? We all know that soldiers and sailors are paid very low wages, comparatively speaking, and I can see no reason at all, therefore, why such great safeguards should be put against the Admiralty and the Army Council paying something more like the 3d. which the ordinary large employer has to pay, and if they give only another ¾d. they would be able to give this hospital stoppage.
There are one or two points which I think have not been alluded to yet, in reference to the Reservists and the Territorials. By the last Sub-section of the amended Clause the Naval Reserves, the Army Reserve men, and the men of the Territorial Force, when called out on embodiment. That is that these men are called out in time of war, and in that event it means that they come back on this scheme, paying the 1½d. I do not understand why their contribution should not be maintained at the outside rate, I mean the rate outside military or naval life. These men, while they have been in the Reserve, have in all probability got married, and they want sick benefit because their pay will be reduced, in regard to hospital stoppage, and they will be unable to send their wives the money which they would otherwise have sent out of their pay. Surely it would be right for the Admiralty and Army Council to make some special arrangement by which in time of war you could make up the Reservist's contribution to a higher rate, either with the friendly societies, or through some arrangement with the Navy and Army Insurance fund, so that they would be able when sick to draw sick benefit and to provide some money for their wives and families. Another point which arises on the question of the Naval, Army and 1517 Territorial Reserves, has reference to the training period, and not to active service. It has been stated that these men when so engaged would be deemed to be in the employment of the Crown. As I understand, that means that the Army Council and the Admiralty would pay the employers' contribution.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
The Admiralty would pay the 3d., and the Army Council in the same way would pay 3d., just as the employers pay 3d. If that be so, I presume that the men would pay 4d. In that event, we have another case where the man should be assisted to make up the 4d. One must remember that at the time the man is not receiving civil pay and is back on to the small wage again, and therefore, the Admiralty and the Army Council should assist him to make up his own contribution to 4d. There is a further question with reference to this matter. Section A of the Army Reserves consists of men who have served for over one or two years. That is a small body of men, I know, but still these men serve on the condition that they may be called out at any moment, even before all the rest of the Reserves are called out, and before the Territorial force is called out. These men receive 1s. a day, paid by the Army Council, and that amounts to 7s. a week. I put forward this proposition, that these men are partly employed by the Army Council and are paid 7s. a week as a retainer if their services are required, and also partly to make up for the fact that they find it harder to get employment, because they may be called out at any moment. These men who are being paid partly by the Army Council should, in my opinion, have something paid for them by their part employer, the Army Council. I have put down an Amendment that the Army Council should pay one-third of the contribution. Twenty-one shillings a week may be taken as the ordinary wage of a man in civil life. The reservist in section A gets 7s. a week, or one-third of that amount, and I submit that the Army Council should therefore pay one-third of the employer's contribution. Either that might be paid so as to let the outside employer have the 1d., in which case it would promote the employment of the Army Reservist belonging to section A, or it might be paid into either the friendly society or the Army and Navy insurance fund, so as to provide 1518 extra benefit for these men in times of unemployment, and so on. The same thing applies to men in the Army Reserve sections B and D, in which the men are getting 3s. 6d. a week. That is also a retainer, and that might be described as one day's pay, practically. As that is one day's pay, why should not the Army Council bear one-sixth of the employer's contribution, namely, ½d. per week, which in a few years—for the men in sections B and D remain as long as ten years—would form a benefit for the employés? During that ten years it would amount to quite a respectable sum, which would go towards helping him in times of extra sickness, and should he become a deposit contributor, or even if he were in a friendly society, it might be used for more benefits. I put these forward as suggestions, but I think everybody will realise that it has been very hard indeed to raise serious criticism on this Clause because we have not had sufficient time.
I was much struck by an observation which fell from the last speaker on the Front Bench that he thought this Bill would be popular in the Army when it was generally and universally understood. Why it should be popular when it is merely to take 1½d. per week from men already badly paid I cannot possibly conceive. If 90 per cent. of the men like to pay for other people's children they are quite different men from what they used to be in my day, because in my day 5 per cent. were allowed to be married on leave and 5 per cent. without leave, and I should be glad to hear from the Under-Secretary for War whether it is still the case that men without leave will be allowed the maternity benefit.
It makes very little difference when 90 per cent. of the men will have to pay for other people's children. We come to the question of malingering, and we are told that deductions have to be made for hospital because the men would malinger unless those deductions were made; or, rather, would do more liable to do so. Anybody who understands the Army, and I should hardly like to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer does, never having been in it, knows that malingering in the Army is practically impossible with the Army surgeons and the 1519 non-commissioned officers constantly there. Any man who malingered in the Army would have such a bad time from his fellow soldiers when he came out of hospital that he would not do so twice. Every man has to be out of bed one night in seven, and he is not likely to let other men malinger. The soldier does not care to be out of bed so often as certain Members of this House. He appears to be fond of bed, and gets as much as he can of it, and therefore he is not likely to allow his fellow soldier to malinger and deprive him of it. There is then the case of the married men. I am not lucky enough to be a married man, but in the case of married men they are not surely going to malinger and lose their pay, while their wives and children would also lose the pay they would ordinarily get.
As to maternity benefits, a point raised by the Noble Lord the Member for Portsmouth (Lord Charles Beresford), may I ask in the case of the wives at home will they get the maternity benefit without having it sent from China or India or somewhere else? We are told it is to be got by transfer, ending up probably in the War Office, against which I have nothing to say when I see the Under-Secretary present. The War Office is not a perfect machine sometimes, and I have known cases that took six months to dispose of, and I have known cases that occupied eighteen months. If a woman has to wait eighteen months for maternity benefit she would almost as soon be without it. We are given to understand that the Territorials will still have to pay 4d. when they go out training, and that the Government will pay the other 3d. per week. In the past, as many of us know, the employers have paid the wages of the Territorials while they were out, but we can hardly hope they will go on doing so now that they have to pay the 3d. per week. If the Government could possibly see their way to do away with the payment of the 4d. while the Territorials were out, I think it would make that service a great deal more popular than it is at present, which should appeal to the Under-Secretary for War when he remembers how short he is of men in the Territorial Army. I trust he will see his way to answer these points, the main one of which is that the woman should get her maternity allowance as soon as she can possibly obtain it from home and not through ever so many channels in the Army.
§ Mr. HOHLER
This Clause is really a new Clause, and I have to make a bitter complaint that it has not been printed so as to make it intelligible. We have got to pick it out here and there. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the close of the last adjournment, hoped that all the Amendments would be put down, I think he might have had some consideration for us when he proposed this amending Clause at the last moment. For myself, I wish to treat this from the point of view of being a sailor or a soldier. I fully appreciate the voluntary statements that are made between my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but as I was never called into consultation with him, I am allowed to criticise the Bill from the standpoint of a Member of this House. It seems to me we have had enough of these settlements which have been going on outside the House. Speaking for myself, I do not appreciate this Clause, nor do I commend it. The first branch of the Clause deals with the man who is a member of an approved society when he joins the Army or becomes one within three months. The Financial Secretary to the Admiralty said that in future in almost every case the man joining the Army or Navy will be a member of an approved society. It is therefore of immense importance to see what this man is getting and what he is not getting. One thing is perfectly clear, and that is that there is to be a compulsory deduction from his wages of 1½d. per week. It is also clear that the only thing he can receive from the Crown is 1½d. per week, and in regard to that the Crown promptly forfeit it, because they are going to create out of that the reserve value.
We have had no opportunity of investigating the justice of this Clause. What is really the reserve value in regard to a man who joins the Army somewhere between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two? Sixteen is the age for entering into insurance up to sixty-five for the civilian element outside, and the deduction to be made is one-five-ninths of a penny. Therefore, in regard to men medically sound, since every man has got to pass the doctor and who are under the age of thirty years and engaged for non-continuous service in the Navy of twelve years, and in the Army seven years, you are dealing with the best lives and deducting 1½d. Where the liberality comes in I fail to see. This Section is drawn up very 1521 much on the lines of the Ten Commandments. It begins, "Thou shalt not do this," and "Thou shalt not do that." There is not a single benefit under this Bill that he will get of the enumerated benefits, as I am not speaking of the additional benefits which may exist in a hundred years, except maternity benefit. I venture to doubt if the proportion of young men who are married in the Army who are re-engaged for a second term, that is, for pension, can be 5 per cent. In this period of seven years' service in the Army or twelve in the Navy non-continuous service, I wonder how many children they are going to have, while 6s. 8d. is paid to the Government. What they are to be thankful for I am at a loss to understand.
I say, in my view, that this first branch of this Clause is nothing more or less than plunder of the soldier and sailor, and I say they will so understand it. You are taking 1½d. from them and giving them nothing but maternity benefit. That is the position. We are told in direct terms that he shall not be entitled to medical benefit, sanatorium benefit, or sickness or disablement benefit. Of course not, because he gets them already, until they throw him out for being in bad health, so that he is getting absolutely nothing for his 1½d. per week, except maternity benefit, which, I say with all respect, is a genial fraud. That is my view of it. Let us just see what else he is going to get. He is mulcted, and I use that word advisedly, in the sum of 1½d., and I want the Committee to bear two things in mind. First of all, he is a member of an approved society, a compulsory member in the sense that he is compulsorily called upon to contribute under the Bill. Let me assume that he is a member of a trade union or a friendly society, and we know a great many mechanics go into either branch of the Service. Let me assume further that he is paying towards his friendly society a sum of 6d. per week to get the benefits of that society. He will still have to continue that payment of 6d. per week, as well as the l½d. Where is your provision otherwise?
§ Mr. HOHLER
I think you are wrong, but I will look at Clause 55. That Clause has nothing to do with it. It says:—Any registered friendly society or branch which provides benefits similar to these.That has got nothing to do with it, and I will not read it further. It is simply that 1522 friendly societies can provide benefits other than those under the Act out of surplus funds. I must try a better Clause than that. My point is that the men, in order to command benefits which they wanted, not because the Crown came in saying that they were compulsory, but as prudent men, insured themselves in a trade union or a friendly society. Why? These men consider that they have obligations not only to themselves, but to their wives and families, and they want to secure, in the event of sickness, that their families shall be well provided for. This is equally true in regard to hundreds of young fellows who enter the Services who have widowed mothers and sometimes families dependent upon them. They make allotments in favour of their widowed mothers, or, it may be, younger brothers, in order to maintain them, and they are entitled to be treated on that basis if they are to be insured. But they will have to continue their payments. The friendly society must keep two separate sets of accounts—one account of the man as a member of the friendly society and another of the man as a member under this Bill. I cannot see that the Bill gives a single benefit except maternity benefit. The man is mulcted in 1½d., and if he continues in the friendly society he has to continue his payment.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Colonel Seely)
The hon. Member is really quite in error. If the man belongs to an existing friendly society his contributions may be reduced.
§ Mr. HOHLER
Let us read it. [The hon. and learned Member read the Clause.] That does not touch the point. That is only in regard to benefits that he is to receive; if he is not to receive them you cannot make a reduction. The Under-Secretary for War is no doubt the soul of intelligence, but let me suggest to him that if by the limiting words of the proposed Amendment a man is not entitled to receive these benefits the reduction cannot be made.
§ Colonel SEELY
The Amendment is on the Paper. But perhaps I had better reply to the hon. Member later.
§ Mr. HOHLER
If you please; one at a time. In my judgment the men in the 1523 Army and in the Navy will be absolutely defeated in their desire to claim that which is their right if we allow this Clause to go through. That is my view, and I will be no party to these wonderful Amendments. The next part relates to persons other than those who are members of an approved society. Similar observations apply in reference to their 1½d. and the benefits they will receive. I will not repeat the point which has been so admirably made about stoppages. My protest against this part of the Clause is substantially that the men are only to come upon the Army and Navy fund if they prove that the state of their health is such that they cannot obtain admission to an approved society. I expect that that will be very difficult. How many of these men will there be, and what will be the position of the others? They will be simply thrown as Post Office contributors on the Post Office fund. If the Government had given the option to every man in the Army and in the Navy who was not a member of an approved society to become a member of this Army and Navy fund, I admit that they would have done great good. But the mere admission of these poor fellows who, by virtue of ill-health are stranded, is so small a matter comparatively in view of the true considerations which should operate, that in my opinion it amounts to nothing. I wish the Committee to bear in mind that there is already provision, inadequate though it may be in some respects, for disability pensions. Continuous service men in the Navy, and men who have engaged for pension in the Army, can get them for life, but men in non-continuous service in the Navy, or in the first period of engagement in the Army, can, broadly speaking, only get them based on a scale of three months per year. But they do get disability pensions. Therefore, it is no great matter that we are asking, because if you brought on to this fund the whole body of men who are not members of approved societies, you would create an insurance and get rid of that which we have always protested against, namely, the Post Office contributors' fund.
The other evening the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sherwell) moved, and the Government accepted, an Amendment under which the Post Office contributors' scheme was to be merely temporary, and was to be reconsidered in three years' time. Let us not do that with regard to the Army and the Navy. Let us get once 1524 for all in the Army and the Navy something really satisfactory. I cannot see why, when you have admitted how bad your proposal is in reference to the Post Office contributor, you should not say at once in regard to men in the Army and Navy, who are all picked men, sound in body, "If you are not members of approved societies you shall all join the Army and Navy fund." A further Amendment on the Paper states:—If a man is discharged for misconduct he shall not be entitled to such benefits, or he shall be entitled to benefits at such reduced rates as the Admiralty or Army Council shall determine.Why, I cannot for the life of me conceive. If I commit any crime short of murder, and am dismissed for misconduct, why am I not to be entitled to that for which I have paid? It seems to me an obvious injustice and wholly repugnant to the spirit of the Bill. What does it matter if I have committed a forgery, or if I have insulted my officer? If I have paid for the insurance I am entitled to it. Why am I not to get it? I ask that that proposal should be expunged, and I trust that something will be done to meet the other points that I have made.
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
I fully agree that the soldier and the sailor are not getting true value for their 1½d. In that view I think I shall be supported by Members of the Government themselves, because in the Actuaries' Report issued today, signed by Messrs. Hardy and Wyatt, Government actuaries, I find this statement:—The liability of the society will be represented by an average weekly contribution of 1.36d. per man, leaving a margin of .14d., or about 10 per cent. of the contribution of 1½d. per week provided by the Clause.It might be possible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider whether he could not utilise that margin in meeting some of the criticisms made by the hon. Member for Colchester. I refer more especially to the question of hospital stoppages. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that this is not the time to raise that question. By the kindness of the Chairman, however, other Members have been allowed to say something on the subject, and therefore I may follow in their wake. The question of hospital stoppages has been raised on the Estimates over and over again. Both last year and the year before the hon. Member for Portsmouth and I brought up the question, but the 1525 Government did not see their way to meet us on the point. Now we are asked to leave the question alone and to bring it up on the Estimates in the coming year. Hon. Members will probably agree that if the question is brought up again next year the result will be very much the same as on the last two occasions. It does seem to me—and I think it will probably seem so to the Committee—that this is a very opportune moment for introducing the question of hospital stoppages. This is a National Insurance Bill, and under this Bill various benefits are to be given to men who subscribe for them. These benefits, so far as civilians are concerned, include medical benefits and hospital treatment. Why should the civilian receive hospital benefit free, and that benefit be denied the soldier and the sailor? The Government say in respect to the soldier and the sailor that it is included in their pay. I admit that so far as the technical part of the inclusion goes. We were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer earlier in his speech that medical benefit and hospital treatment are given to soldiers and sailors while they were in the Service. He entirely forgot that the soldier and the sailor pay for their hospital treatment.
It used to be the case when sailors were enlisted that they were told they would receive free hospital treatment. I think I am right in saying that when they join now that phraseology is entirely omitted. Why? Because it is known that both sailor and soldier are paying for their hospital treatment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is right when he says that they receive medical benefit and hospital treatment, but they receive that medical benefit and hospital treatment as a portion of the wages which they receive. At any rate they only receive hospital treatment free for thirty days. After thirty days they have to pay for whatever hospital treatment they receive until ninety days are reached. After ninety days the money is stopped altogether. Therefore I submit that the soldier and the sailor in this respect pays himself for his hospital treatment. This is an opportunity for the Government to be generous; an opportunity which may never occur again. The hon. gentleman the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) has shown the Committee very clearly that the Government will have in their hands a sum of money which will allow them to pay for the hospital stoppages. I have shown them from their own 1526 paper that they will have a certain margin. The margin which the hon. Gentleman the Member for Colchester has shown is even larger than that. I make an appeal to the Government to use that margin for the benefit of paying for hospital stoppages, either by way of a refund or in some other way. It is absurd to think that in a Bill of this kind there should be no means whatsoever of dealing with the question of hospital stoppages.
I pass on to the question of the Service pension. The Government, when they brought in their Bill, and in its original form, deducted certain sums of money from the soldiers and the sailors who were fortunate enough to receive pensions. They have found, as they know, that that Clause is most unpopular in the country. They have found that soldiers and sailors have risen in resentment against it. I am glad to say that now, whether upon their own initiative, or by it being forced upon them, they have agreed, I believe, not to deduct money from the soldiers and the sailors because of their pensions given for services for the benefit of their country. I would therefore congratulate the Government upon at last having come to a commonsense view of the matter, and of doing at least something for the soldier and the sailor who has done so much for us. I am not quite clear upon that point as to whether in all cases the soldier and the sailor will receve a full pension. I shall expect those hon. Gentlemen who represent the Government when they reply to tell me whether or not it is a fact that on no occasion and under no circumstances whatever would any deduction be made from this pension earned by the soldier and the sailor to pay for his benefits under this Bill.
We come to the question of maternity benefits. I am not going to say that the maternity benefit is not a very useful benefit. I think it will be very well received, both in the Army and the Navy, but I must point out that it is a very small benefit indeed, and it is hardly represented in the 1½d. which is paid by the soldier and the sailor. If the soldier and the sailor, especially the latter, is compelled to pay his 1½d., as he will be compelled to do, and the hospital stoppages are not taken over by the Government, how do the Government suppose that he will be able to continue to pay—as he does pay now—to a friendly society in order that while he is in hospital his wife and children may be supported? If the 1527 Government are in earnest they will place it in the power of the soldier and the sailor to do away with that insurance that he now finds it necessary to enter into with the friendly societies, and they will give him the money which he now has to pay for Hospital stoppages. There is not much to add to what other hon. Members have said upon this matter of stoppages; in fact, it is perhaps a little difficult to follow after so many have spoken on it. But I have been told that a very distinguished Member of this House has said that unless a thing is stated three or four times hon. Members never understand it. Hon. Members cannot complain that the subject of hospital stoppages has not been brought to their notice on three or four previous occasions, and if I have mentioned it again I hope it will sink into the minds and the consciences of Members of the Government, and that they will find themselves in a position to grant the request made.
§ Colonel BURN
We have had a great deal of discussion about this question, but there are one or two points I do not think have been brought to the notice of the Committee. As shortly as possible, may I say that this is a question which will affect recruiting for the Army. We all know that the soldier is not well paid at the present time, and if he is going to be mulcted in these hospital stoppages it will not only be no incentive to recruiting, but it will be a deterrent. A good deal might be done for recruiting, which is not too flourishing in the country at present. If soldiers and sailors were going to be treated generously I think it might have a good deal of effect in bringing the right class of men for enlistment to the Army. I think that applies not alone to recruiting, but if the soldier has something to look forward to, and if a man is going to be paid during his term of service this 1½d., it will be to the good. The soldier will know that at the end of the period of service he will get something for what he has already paid. Unemployment is rife amongst soldiers as they take their discharge, and taking that into consideration, if the Government could treat the soldier generously now he is in the Service, and would take into consideration the possibility of the man being unemployed at the end of his period of service, and the consequent difficulty he will have in keeping up his contributions, it would be well. I would ask the Under- 1528 Secretary for War to take the matter into consideration, because I think it would certainly affect the class of men joining the Army. All of us on both sides agree that the Army and Navy deserve generous treatment, and that it is the duty of the Government to do all they can to encourage recruiting and to get the right sort of man into the Army.
§ Colonel SEELY
I think it will be perhaps convenient to the Committee if I reply on the point which is the one chief point at issue between us—the question of hospital stoppages—and also just to give a word or two in reply to the two specific points which have been raised, though, of course, we can deal with those points on the Amendments which deal with them. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down thinks—and I for one agree with him—that we should endeavour to treat the soldier and the sailor generously under this Bill. I stand here to-day to say, after having given this as much thought as I am capable of, that I do honestly believe, and, I think, can prove to the Committee, that we are treating the soldier generously under this Bill. The very fact that the actuaries who originally examined this scheme thought it would be necessary to charge the soldier 2d., and that that amount has now been reduced to 1½d. a week, the very fact that in their last report the actuaries show how very narrow the margin is—if margin there be—and also the fact of inquiries that we have conducted through our officials at the War Office, show that there appears a great possibility that the margin left will be very small.
It seems to me to show that we are treating the soldiers generously under this Bill. Seeing in what position a soldier will be in when this Bill is passed into law? Everyone, with few exceptions, in the country, under the Insurance Bill, is to be insured against the sad consequences that follow unexpected sickness and disease. The soldier is no exception to that rule. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a notable passage in the speech in which he introduced the Bill, dwelt especially upon the scandal—as he called it—to this country of the evils which befell the soldier and the sailor who left the Services before time. Broken in health, while not in a position to prove that his illness was specifically due to his service, under the Treasury ruling it means that he is helpless. Under this Bill that scandal—if scandal it be—will at last be removed, and the scandal— 1529 I always regard it as a scandal—of the consumptive soldier will go too. I served upon a Committee on that very question at the War Office before I had the honour of sitting on this Bench. It is therefore a subject in which I have special interest.
Many hon. Members, notably an hon. Gentleman who sat below the Gangway on the Labour side (Mr. Summerbell), now unfortunately deceased, made it his life's work to try to get rid of what he called the scandalous treatment of the tuberculous soldier. At least that scandal is now removed. At the present time, when the soldier is found with tubercule in the lungs he is at once discharged from the Army. It is the rule that he should be instantly discharged—for obvious reasons—for there is the terrible danger of infection. The soldier is isolated in hospital for a short period, and as soon as that short period is terminated of a treatment not enough to cure him, under the rules of the Service, and for the sake of the Army, he is discharged to his home. What befalls him there I know from personal knowledge. It is indeed most distressing, but now, if this Bill becomes law, there is an end to that. It is true he has to pay 1½d. a week. It is perfectly true, as the hon. and gallant Member for Andover says, that by no means all soldiers, fortunately, get tubercular disease. A great many of them do not. They get married, or they leave on account of various disabilities at the end of a portion of their service. But this is an Insurance Bill, under which all those who are less fortunate in the community, including the soldier, is to have consideration. And what does this Insurance Bill do for the soldier who has to leave the service with tuberculin? Instead of being pushed away to his home and disregarded by the State, he will be taken charge of and assisted by the State, and will, we trust, be cured. He will be freed from all anxieties of communicating the complaint to those around him.
If it was only for the proper treatment of the tuberculous soldier, it will be worth while to pass the Army Clauses. The same argument applies to all diseases that may befall the soldier. This is an Insurance Bill. A great many soldiers suffer from various diseases and disasters, and they will be insured from all risk of being sent back to beg their bread owing to the incidents of disease or accidents. That is the case of the broad question, with which I have only briefly dealt, put 1530 by the hon. Member for Colchester, whose assistance in this matter I should like to cordially acknowledge. The hon. Member says it is well that the soldier should be insured and pay for insurance. These things will be of great advantage to the soldier, but the hon. Member says, "Are you sure you are not making him pay too much, or are you sure that you are yourselves paying enough?" and it is upon that ground chiefly that the hon. Gentleman says we ought not to have hospital stoppages. In case that is opposed he says there is a margin which could be well spent in that way. I think his view is that if the hospital stoppages for any reason be not given up, then we ought to find other means of expending the money or of reducing the soldiers contribution.
Before I deal with the latter point, may I deal with those who do not take that view, but who say that upon abstract grounds hospital stoppages ought to be stopped. I think the Noble Lord the Member for Portsmouth, who speaks with such authority on behalf of the Navy, seems to take that view. There are very different methods of treating this question, but I think I can give good reason to show that this is not a desirable time for dealing with the question of hospital stoppages. Supposing it were a desirable time, and I do not admit it, I have found a great many soldiers strongly opposed to the abolition of hospital stoppages. See what it would mean. It would mean that the soldier who finds himself in hospital would receive full wages as well as all the extra comforts of the hospital. That does not happen to the civilian workmen, and the working classes of this country, of whom the soldiers are part, would not view with peculiar favour a system under which you take public money in order to use it for the benefit of one particular class, so that the soldier should be as well off and better off in hospital than when he is not in hospital, for whatever cause, because such a thing does not happen to any other class of the community. Let me take another point. I am not going to deal with the question of malingering, because, as a matter of fact, that is a matter to be dealt with on the Army Estimates. It is a matter of Army policy whether that policy is wise or unwise. The Insurance Bill is a measure intended to see that a man does not suffer unduly under sickness.
§ Lord C. BERESFORD
We never claim that we want the whole of the hospital 1531 stoppages removed. The hospital stoppages brought about by men through their own fault should be paid, but about half the men in the Services go to hospital not through their own fault.
§ Colonel SEELY
That is most interesting. The Noble Lord says we do not want to abolish hospital stoppages altogether, but we will use some of the funds in this Bill for hospital stoppages. Can we, in an Insurance Bill, go into the whole complicated question of hospital stoppages in the Army and Navy? I frankly say no.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
Surely the question of hospital stoppages has been frequently mentioned. It is mentioned in the actuarial report on the Amendment Clauses.
§ Colonel SEELY
If the Committee decided to abolish hospital charges altogether, no doubt it would be perfectly competent for them to do so. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says, with great truth, this is not an attempt to do it, and this is not the mode of dealing with disciplinary matters like that. Let me tell the House what the position is. Sometimes there are full remissions, and the whole of a man's pay is paid in cases where he suffers from injury received in the actual performance of his military duties. A soldier on parade may be thrown off a gun carriage, and the carriage may run over his leg. In that case the whole of the hospital charges are remitted. Then there is a very large class of half remissions; such, for instance, as where a man suffers from sickness caused by military exigencies, including diseases such as are common to tropical climates—pneumonia, due to exposure, or other things beyond a soldier's control. In some of these cases he will get the whole remission of the hospital stoppages; in some he will get half. I submit, if it can be shown that the soldier from the actuarial point of view, is not paying too much, you ought not to complicate this Insurance Bill by dealing in it with Army and Navy matters of this kind, and if it is admitted that the soldier is paying too much, which I deny, then the last way you ought to deal with it is this way, by putting complications into this Insurance Bill. In regard to the case of whole remissions and half remissions, there are cases of half stoppages where the illness is due to the man himself. Sometimes a man goes from one category to another, or from one ailment 1532 to another. Is this the moment to deal with such immensely complicated matters as these?
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if this is not the moment when should we get another opportunity. I understand that a man in the Army is to pay 1½d. per week more than he had to pay before. If that is the case, and if the only benefit during his service is something which 90 per cent. will not receive, why should we take something from the man who receives nothing?
§ Colonel SEELY
The hon. and gallant Gentleman has anticpated what I was going to make my second point. He says why not include hospital stoppages, because they should be directly part of your scheme. Outsiders are insured against sickness, why should not the soldier be. I shall endeavour to show that that is the worst way of redressing the balance, if there be a balance, in favour of the soldier because of the immense complication. I think most people, if they consider the remarks I have addressed to the Committee, will agree that this is matter of complication which we do not wish to commit. The hon. and gallant Gentleman asks, "Are we to have a chance on the Army Estimates." If you think all this system should be stopped it is only necessary that it should be pressed, and it would be done. If no technical difficulty should arise, I give a pledge on behalf of the Government that those wishing to raise this question will have an opportunity for adequate debate and decision on this question of hospital stoppages upon the Army and Navy Votes. I think that shows that we are not afraid of meeting the case. Now it is said, is it fair that the soldier should pay 1½d. per week and yet should not get full benefit, if he is in hospital. The answer is, he is not paying this 1½d. in respect of sick benefit at all. Not in the least. If he was paying one 1½d. in respect of sick benefit and disablement benefit it would be wholly inadequate. If he was paying for that, he would, of course, have to pay an amount like 4d. which the civilian pays. He only pays 1½d. in order to be entitled to a transfer value and to become an insured person at a certain time. If at any moment in his career he gets pneumonia, tuberculosis, or falls sick in any other way, instead of being thrown upon the streets he is ensured for the rest of his life and by paying that 1½d. he obtains his benefits. The maternity benefit is a small though valuable matter. The 1533 soldier is paying for the enormous advantage of becoming an insured person afterwards. If he is lucky enough, and passes through the Service and never gets ill and comes to the end of his time, of course he will be paying more or less for nothing. But so will everyone else who pays 4d. for sickness and disability and other benefits. He is paying 1½d. in respect of deferred benefit and the immediate advantage of being an insured person. He pays for that 1½d. If he paid less it would not pay for him on the scheme.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Gentleman has had his opportunity. If I were to allow him to interrupt in this manner, everybody in the House would be getting up.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Colonel SEELY
I shall be glad to have a further conversation in private with the hon. and gallant Gentleman. I am convinced that I can really make him see this point—at least, I shall try it. It is said we are not paying a sufficiently large proportion of this insurance. To that there are two very simple answers. In the case of the civilian the employé pays 4d., the employer 3d.—in other words, the employer takes three-sevenths of the cost. In the case of the soldier and the sailor, the employer, which is in their case the Army Council and the Admiralty, pays not three-sevenths but three and a-half, and pro tanto the soldiers and sailors are better off. There is another argument. It may be said, "It is all very well, but you are only giving reduced benefits." At any rate, the soldier is a man paying on a reduced scale, as are others under this Bill, and if he is paying under a reduced scale you ought to pay him on a reduced scale as well. May I point out that the soldier is better off than the agricultural labourer, because in the case of soldiers and sailors the abatement is at the normal rate of 1½d., and the abatement of the employer is only 1½d., instead of 3d., so that in these two particulars it is fair to say that the soldier and the sailor are better off than anybody else under the Insurance Bill.
I come to the final question, on which I fear we cannot come to an agreement, in regard to stoppages, upon which the hon. Member for Colchester thinks we are wrong. After the most careful consideration we have convinced ourselves that, far from making the soldier pay too much 1534 from a strictly actuarial point of view, we are probably making him pay rather too little. The view of those specially responsible for the Army—I do not think my hon. Friend (Mr. Tennant) who sits near me will deny what I am going to say—is that a terrible loss will fall upon the Army funds. My hon. Friend has protested tome in almost violent language about the loss to Army funds, which, he says, will be very considerable, and when he comes to present the Army Estimates they will say, "We do not care what this money is for, it is all very well to say it is because we have been generous to the soldier, but we have to look to the total amount." My hon. Friend tells me that there can be no doubt that there must be a large addition to the Army Estimates on this head, but I must leave it to my hon. Friend and his excellent advisers to fight it out with the hon. and learned Member for Colchester. I adhere to the course taken by the Government, and I am glad that we have seen our way to be generous to the soldier and the sailor, because I am sure they deserve it. I believe this proposal will be a great boon to the soldier and the sailor, and I think it will help recruiting. That we have been generous there is no doubt, and it is impossible for us to add further to the burden without greatly adding to Army and Navy funds.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am sure everyone welcomes the advent of the right hon. Gentleman in the discussions on this Bill for he has spoken with a knowledge of the subject which is denied to many of us. I think I shall have to traverse some of the statements he has made and advance some argument which I hope will induce the Committee to take a different view to that which the right hon. Gentleman advanced. I should like to add one word to the general expression of congratulations which have been given to the hon. Member for Colchester in connection with the redrafting of this Clause. I know from practical experience, with what tireless energy and unbounded enthusiasm my hon. Friend has worked at this particular branch of the subject. He has made the question of the treatment of the soldiers and the sailors under this Bill especially his own care, and he may reflect with great pride upon the success which has attended his efforts, and upon the impress which he will leave upon the Bill. In the beginning of his speech the right hon. Gentleman referred to the generous treatment dealt out to soldiers and sailors by 1535 this Bill, and he called as a witness the narrowness of the margin which the actuaries' estimates allowed, and he advanced an argument to show that the Government were devoting practically the whole of the money realised by the contributions to the benefit of all the soldiers and the sailors. He said "Look how the actuaries have altered their original figures." May I point out that the actuaries had only to deal with the figures of the Bill as it was presented to them in the first instance. It was never suggested that the soldier or the sailor ought to pay 2d. The actuaries had to deal with the 2d. as it stood in the Bill, and they had to base their calculations upon the Bill as it stood. I think that goes a very long way to prove the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester that, when the actuaries are enabled to revise the value of the contribution they are able to give larger benefits for a reduced subscription.
The right hon. and gallant Gentleman dealt with the question of hospital stoppages, and on that point I confess that he did not convince me in the least. I say that with regret, but it is none the less true. The right hon. Gentleman spoke about the impossibility and propriety of dealing with the question in this Bill. He said, "This is not a matter for the Insurance Bill at all, but it is a question to some extent of Army discipline, and the proper place to deal with it is on the Army Estimates." But you are dealing with soldiers and sailors in the Insurance Bill, and it is because you are dealing with them in this Bill that the question arises. To my mind it arises in this way: we are bound to see that we give to the soldiers and the sailors fair value for the contributions we take from them. We have been careful to do that in respect of all classes of the community which this Bill affects. Rightly or wrongly—I think rightly—we take the view that the soldier is already making some payment towards the cost of medical and hospital treatment in the reduced pay which he gets. That is the position before this Bill affects him. My hon. Friend has estimated the amount necessary to cover medical and hospital treatment the soldier now gets at 3½d. per week. The Committee is bound to bear that in mind when fixing their contribution for the small benefits which you give them so long as they are serving. I think you are bound to bear that in mind. The right hon. Gentleman says if you compare the general scale of contributions as a 1536 whole with the scale you are inviting the soldiers and sailors to contribute upon you must be driven to the conclusion that the soldier and the sailor are being most generously dealt with. The right hon. Gentleman very conveniently left out the contribution which the soldier and the sailor already make to hospital treatment, and it is on that account that my hon. Friend laid so great a stress upon the necessity for dealing with the question of hospital stoppages. I should like just to remind the Committee what it was my hon. Friend suggested. As far as I understood him, he did not suggest that this should be done in all cases.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am going to tell the Committee. What he suggested was that you should give the benefit of so much of the contribution as would be realised by the payment of 1d. per week. I think the Committee probably are not bearing in mind the figures on which my hon. Friend based his case. I will put the matter very briefly. The value of the contribution which the soldier makes for medical and hospital treatment is put by the actuary at 3½d.; therefore the actual payment which you call upon the soldier to make under this Bill is 1½d., or a total of 5d. The amount the Navy and Army contribute is 1½d., and it will be obvious to the Committee that the relation between 1½d. and 5d. is very different from the relation between the 3d. which the ordinary employer pays to the 4d. which the ordinary employé pays. It is on that ground that my hon. Friend says that presumably the State is as good but not a better employer. I think the State ought to bear the same proportion, or something like the same proportion, as the ordinary employer. If you admit that there is any justice in that argument—and I cannot see how you can deny it—then the State is not paying its proper proportion under the present proposal. My hon. Friend says, "Let the State assume the burden of another penny and let it insure the soldier for so much as a penny will secure him, and let that amount go to reduce the hospital stoppages." I think the right hon. Gentleman will find that in other portions of the Bill sickness due to misconduct is taken out of the sickness benefit, and sickness benefit is not given in respect to a sickness due to a man's own misconduct. That is so in the Clauses relating to the Army.
1537 I do not think there is the extraordinary complication about dealing with the soldier and the sailor which the right hon. Gentleman fears. The whole Bill is extraordinarily complicated, and I do not in the least envy the people who will have to administer it. I do not think the proposals my hon. Friend has made will add to the complications of the Bill in the slightest degree. I am sorry I was not in the House when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Admiralty dealt with the question of the administration of the fund when a soldier or sailor is abroad. I want to raise a point on that in connection with India. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman referred to it. I do not believe it has been mentioned at all. I suppose I am right in saying that when men in the Regular Army are serving in India they are paid by the Indian Government, and, therefore, the Indian Government will necessarily deduct 1½d. from their pay. I apologise to the Committee for my ignorance on this point. But are our men paid in Indian or English currency? I take it that when the 1½d. is to be sent home, as it, must be in the case of these soldiers who wish to continue members of a friendly society, it will be subject to the fluctuations of exchange. Or will it always be 1½d.? It will be obvious to the Committee that friendly societies will have a very legitimate grievance if when they are led to expect 1½d. they get it subject to a deduction. I hope to have an opportunity of dealing with that point on an Amendment by one of my hon. Friends, but I thought it right to mention it now, because, although it may have been provided for, I have not yet heard any explanation. The Committee will, I think, feel satisfied that a very great improvement in the Bill has taken place as a result of the Amendment which I am now suggesting. We believe there is room for still further improvement and we hope we shall be able to make some impression on the Government by some of our proposals.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. H. J. Tennant)
I only want to say one word in answer to the question with regard to the position of the Army in India. I am informed that the value of the rupee does not fluctuate now. It is a fixed sum. But in any case the sum fixed in the Bill will remain what it is—1½d. I should like to correct an impression to which the hon. Member for Chatham has alluded. He spoke of this Bill as if it were the Tenth Commandment. I do 1538 not feel that any defence of that Commandment is required by me. The hon. Gentleman's difficulty was not so much with regard to the reduction, which he said could not be made, as in regard to the position of the man who is now contributing his 6d. to his society or trade union. I can assure the hon. Member I have been informed by my right hon. Friend that an Amendment in regard to that is already on the Paper on Section (4) of Clause 65, so that under that Clause a man already contributing 6d. will be able to deduct 1½d., and will only pay 4½d. to his approved society while continuing his membership.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I understand the right hon. Gentleman thinks that under this Bill the soldier will be better treated than the civilian. I believe 4d. a week for twenty-six weeks entitles the civilian to the full benefit. But the soldier pays 1½d. a week for six years, which, I believe, is stated by the actuaries to be the average of a soldier's service. I calculate that 4d. a week for twenty-six weeks amounts to 8s 8d., whereas 1½d. a week for six years comes to much more than double that sum. Is that treating the soldier better than you are treating a civilian? It seems to me you are making a soldier pay more than double before you give him the benefit which accrues to the civilian after twenty-six weeks' payment.
§ Colonel SEELY
Although it is quite true that the soldier is to pay 1½d. a week for six years, it is equally true that he may only pay it for one year and yet get all the benefits under this Bill.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Colonel SEELY
I propose, in lieu of the Amendment, which it was intended to move at this point, to substitute the following:—In Sub-section (1) leave out the words, "other than His Majesty's Indian Forces and the Royal Malta Artillery," and to insert instead thereof the words "soldiers of His Majesty's Indian forces who are natives of India, the Royal Malta Artillery, and native soldiers of any regiment raided outside the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I will take the form of words suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. I suppose there is no complication likely to arise from the inclusion of the words, but it seems rather a peculiar thing to limit the exemption to those members 1539 of the forces who are natives of India. I should have thought it was rather hazardous to limit it in that way.
§ Colonel SEELY
We considered this point very carefully in the Adjutant-General's Department, and tried to devise a form of words which would be watertight. There might be a half-dozen other forms, but I think these are probably the best to insure that we shall not exclude anyone from the scope of the Bill who wants to come in.
§ Colonel SEELY
They will not want to come in. This only proposes to deal with the case of soldiers in India.
§ Further Amendments made: In Sub-section (1), leave out the word "two-pence" ["sum of twopence a week"], and insert instead thereof the words "three halfpence."
§ Leave out the words "in respect of every such seaman, marine, and soldier."
§ After the word "Services" ["Army and Navy Services"], insert the words "in respect of every such seaman, marine, and soldier who has joined an approved society in the manner hereafter mentioned the sum of one penny half-penny per week and in respect of every other such seaman, marine, and soldier."—[Mr. Lloyd George.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
I should like the hon. and gallant Member to address me on the question of whether that involves a charge on a Money Resolution.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
This involves a charge upon the Army Council and upon the Admiralty. It is not one which will prejudice a Financial Resolution.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Is not this bringing in a new party altogether? It deals with the Army Reserve called up in a civil capacity.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
This affects men who are paid by the Army Council 1540 and are serving in the Army Reserve, A, C, and D. The men are mentioned in the Clause, but only in the last two paragraphs. They are mentioned where they are called up for training and where they are embodied, but they are not mentioned in a civil capacity. It will be quite in order will it not to move this Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I confess I am not quite clear on the point. But subject to anything that may arise later I will give the hon. Member the benefit of the doubt.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "prescribed" ["as may be prescribed"], to insert the words "and for every man serving in the Army Reserve whilst not called out on permanent service, the sum of one halfpenny per week, to be carried to his personal credit in his own society."
The men now in the Army Reserve are paid a sum of 3s. 6d. a week when they are in sections B and D. That is practically one day's pay. That is paid by the Army Council to the man when he is serving outside the Army and as a retainer for his services. Under the circumstances, as the Army Council are paying this sum, I am asking that they should contribute one half-penny per week to be carried to the man's personal credit in his society.
§ Colonel SEELY
I would ask the Chairman's ruling why an Amendment of this character is not out of order as adding to the public charge. I rise, not for the purpose of in any way burking discussion, but because it might affect other Amendments of a similar character. Under the scope of the Bill there must be two-ninths payable out of the Insurance fund itself.
I think my right hon. Friend is wrong when he says two-ninths are affected in any way. Two-ninths are two-ninths of hypothetical benefits. The Government's two-ninths is a hypothetical sum equalling the benefits these people would get out of the residue. This ½d., if it is allowed, would come entirely out of the residue. There are three funds that go into the insurance account. There is the fixed contribution of the man; there is the fixed contribution representing the two-ninths (that is not affected by anything we do in the way of altering this Bill); and there is the Army and Navy fund and balance to approved societies.
§ Colonel SEELY
Surely it is clearly laid down in Sub-section (3) of this Clause that two-ninths shall be paid. Two-ninths of what? Two-ninths of certain contributions. What else can it be?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid I am not clearly convinced that it does come within a Money Resolution, and, therefore, I must allow the hon. Gentleman the benefit of the doubt.
§ Colonel SEELY
I am very glad, because I hate to have discussion baulked on a technical point. I feel we cannot accept the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, although we must sympathise with the object he has in view. It would
§ place a charge upon the Army and Navy, which, in our judgment, they cannot bear.
I am sorry the Government cannot accept this Amendment. It is a clearly reasonable one, and one which would not cost the Government much. It is one of which the right hon. Gentleman has admitted the justice. He has refused it, but he has not refused it by argument. I suggest that my hon. Friend should press his Amendment to a Division, and I will support him.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 100; Noes, 204.1543
|Division No. 374.]||AYES.||[7.40 p.m.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Malcolm, Ian|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Ashley, W. W.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Balcarres, Lord||Forster, Henry William||Norton-Griffiths, John|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Foster, Philip Staveley||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gardner, Ernest||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barnston, H.||Gilmour, Captain J.||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Goldman, C. S.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Grant, J. A.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (M'tgom'y B'ghs.)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Helmsley, Viscount||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Boyton, J.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hill, Sir Clement||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hills, John Waller||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hohler, G. F.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hunt, Rowland||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Norman, (Kent, Thanet)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Major|
|Falle, B. G.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Archer-Shee and Mr. W. Peel.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Adamson, William||Brunner, John F. L.||Crumley, Patrick|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Armitage, R.||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, E. William (Eifion)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dawes, J. A.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Dillon, John|
|Barnes, G. N.||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Donelan, Anthony Charles|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Cameron, Robert||Doris, William|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duffy, William J.|
|Benn, W. (T. Hamlets, S. George)||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Clancy, John Joseph||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Clough, William||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of|
|Black, Arthur W.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Boland, John Plus||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Falconer, James|
|Brace, William||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Cotton, William Francis||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|France, G. A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Geider, Sir W. A.||Logan, John William||Radford, George Heynes|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lundon, T.||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Gibson, Sir James Puckering||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Gill, A. H.||Lynch, A. A.||Reddy, M.|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richards, Thomas|
|Glanville, H. J.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||McGhee, Richard||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Macpherson, James Ian||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robinson, Sidney|
|Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Callum, John M.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Hackett, J.||M'Laren, H. D. (Leicester)||Rowlands, James|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Samuel, J. (Stockton)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meagher, Michael||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Meeham, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sheeny, David|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Simon, Sir John Alisebrook|
|Harwood, George||Millar, James Duncan||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire, N.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Snowden, Philip|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morrell, Philip||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Munro, R.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Neilson, Francis||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nolan, Joseph||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hoit, Richard Durning||Norman, Sir Henry||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wadsworth, John|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Nuttall, Harry||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wardle, George J.|
|Johnson, W.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||White, J. (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Dowd, John||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Ogden, Fred||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Grady, James||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Malley, William||Wiles, Thomas|
|Jowett, F. W.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Keating, M.||Palmer, Godfrey||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Parker, James (Halifax)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Kelly, Edward||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (1), leave out the words "this provision shall not apply to" ["Provided that this provision shall not apply to a seaman"], and insert instead thereof the words "no such deduction shall be made from the pay of."
§ In Sub-section (1), after the word "has" ["a seaman, marine, or soldier who has re-engaged"], insert the words "completed the period of his first engagement, and has."
§ At the end of Sub-section (1), add the words "within the prescribed time, and that no contribution shall be made by the Admiralty or Army Council in respect of any week in respect of which such a deduction is not made."—[Colonel Seely.]
§ Amendment proposed: To leave out Subsection (2), and to insert instead thereof:
§ (2) A seaman, marine, or soldier—
- (a) who was at the date of his entry or enlistment an insured person and had joined and was at that date a member of an approved society; or,
- (b) who within six months from the date of his entry or enlistment, or, in the case of a seaman, marine, or soldier serving at the commencement of this Act, within six months after the commencement of this Act or within such longer period as may be prescribed, joins an approved society for the purposes of this Part of this Act;
- (i) The employed rate shall be three-pence, and the deductions made from his pay and the contributions made in respect of him by the Admiralty or Army Council shall be treated as the contributions paid in respect of him;
- (ii) He shall not be entitled to medical benefit, sanatorium benefit, sickness benefit, or disablement benefit;
- (iii) Maternity benefit shall be payable notwithstanding that both he and his wife are resident outside the United Kingdom at the date of the confinement, and the society may arrange with the Admiralty or Army Council for the administration of the benefit through the Admiralty or Army Council;
- (iv) The sum to be retained out of each weekly contribution by the Insurance Commissioners towards the discharge of their liabilities in respect of reserve value shall be one penny half-penny, instead of one penny and five-ninths."
§ "(3) With respect to seamen, marines, and soldiers who have not joined an approved society as aforesaid the following provisions shall have effect:—
- (a) The sums so deducted and the contributions so made as aforesaid in respect of such men shall be paid into the national health insurance fund, and out of such sums there shall be retained by the Insurance Commissioner towards discharging their liabilities in respect of the reserve values created under this part of this Act the like amount as if such men were members of approved societies, and the balance shall be credited to a special fund to be called the Navy and Army insurance fund,
- (b) There shall also be paid into the Navy and Army insurance fund in each year out of moneys provided by Parliament a sum equal to two-ninths of the amount, calculated in the prescribed manner, which would have been payable in that year in respect of medical sanatorium, sickness and disablement benefit (including expenses of administration) had all seamen, marines, and soldiers from whose pay deductions are made under this Section been members of approved societies and entitled to such benefits as employed contributors;
- (c) The weekly contributions to be made by the Admiralty and Army Council in respect of such men shall be such as may from time to time be required to keep the Navy and Army insurance fund solvent;
- (d) If any such man was at the date of his entry or enlistment a deposit contributor he shall, for the purpose of dealings with the sum standing to
1546 his credit in the Post Office fund be treated as if the Navy and Army insurance fund had been an approved society, and he had at the date of his entry or enlistment become a member of that society;
- (e) In the case of a seaman, marine, or soldier serving at the commencement of this Act there shall be credited to the Navy and Army insurance fund such reserve value as would have been credited to an approved society had he at that date become a member of the society as an employed contributor. Provided that no such reserve value shall be credited to that fund if at the date aforesaid he had re-engaged for pension, unless he elects to have deductions made from his pay or unless, not having so elected, he becomes on discharge entitled to benefits payable out of that fund as hereinafter mentioned.
- (f) Every such man shall, until discharged, be entitled to maternity benefit payable out of the Navy and Army insurance fund, and shall be entitled to such benefit notwithstanding that both he and his wife are at the date of the confinement resident outside the United Kingdom, and the benefit shall be administered by the Admiralty and Army Council either directly or through local health committees."—[Colonel Seely.]
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed new Sub-section at the end of paragraph (i.), to add the words:—There shall also be paid to his society in each year out of moneys provided by Parliament a sum equal to two-ninths of the amount calculated in the prescribed manner which would have been payable in that year in respect of medical, sanatorium, sickness, and disablement benefits (including expenses of administration) had he been a member of an approved society and been entitled to benefits as an employed contributor.I do not want to reargue the financial proposition, which I have already dealt with to some extent, but I should like the Committee, as this Amendment seems to be of extreme importance, to understand what they are asked to vote for. The Government is rightly trying to make it worth 1547 while to approved societies to take in Service men, and they are trying to induce Service men to join approved societies. Unless this two-ninths of the benefits to be contributed to by Parliament is given to those members who join the approved societies, as well as given to those who join the Army and Navy fund, then they will fail to accomplish their object, because it will be impossible for the societies to take these men in. There has been an attempt to answer this argument. The Under-Secretary of State for War said that I challenged the actuaries' calculations. I did not do that at all. The actuaries do not advise that the approved societies can afford to take men in for the contribution that is given to them. You cannot find a single statement in the actuaries' report which leads the House to suppose that they think that the approved societies are getting enough to induce them to take these men in. If the right hon. Gentleman puts it to them they will admit that at the age of nineteen and a-half, the average age of enlisting, there is no selection possible. A man may join a friendly society, or the Army and Navy insurance fund, at that age, and no one can say whether one man is a better life than another. At nineteen and a-half they are examined for health, and they are equally healthy whether they join an approved society or the Army and Navy fund. At that time there is no selection in the insurance sense at all.
The more men who join the approved societies the more the approved societies will have to look after the special invalidity which falls to the lot of the soldier. The more you get into the societies the more insolvent they will become unless you give them two-ninths of the benefit. Why do you want this sum of two-ninths for the Army and Navy Insurance fund? It is because you think there is some special invalidity attached to the soldier and sailor. There can be no other reason for paying this £80,000 or £90,000 over and above the level rat eof contributions into the Army and Navy fund, I think it was admitted from the Treasury Bench that if you pay that sum into the Army and Navy Insurance fund it is because you think there is a greater degree of invalidity for the soldier and sailor. If that is the case, bear in mind the point that at nineteen and a-half, more men would be going into the approved societies than into the Army and Navy Insurance fund. These societies will require their share of the two- 1548 ninths just as much as the Army and Navy fund. I agree there is a selection as regards men now in the Services, because those who go out in the next year or two will, of course, be good lives, and be able to join approved societies. Those who are not will have to join the Army and Navy Insurance fund. If the right hon. Gentleman, instead of insisting upon the Amendment, will say that if you make a sufficient allowance for the admitted selection which occurs to-day, but as regards the future they will have the two-ninths, he will be meeting us fairly, and meeting approved societies fairly, and he will make it possible for them to take in these lives. Unless he does that he is making a show of putting people into approved societies, and he is making it impossible for them to go there. I am not saying that on my own authority. I have asked a well-known actuary, who has been advising me in several matters, and who has also been consulted by the Government—there is no secret about the matter, it is Mr. Watson. He is certainly of opinion that there is an extra invalidity risk, and that it will be something like 1d. a week. This two-ninths is almost exactly 1d. a week. So I move here that two-ninths should be given in the words of my Amendment. I do not think there has been any sort of answer to this point. It must be admitted that this friendly society will have a large number of men with an extra invalidity risk, and no extra allowance whatever is made to them on account of this. It is not as if the Government offered us ¾d. or ¼d. or a ½d. They are offering nothing. In these friendly societies there will be a large number of people with an extra invalidity risk, and we cannot point to a thing in the Bill which will provide the funds which will enable them to meet the risk which is being put on them.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
I strongly urge the Government to make some concession on this point, because it is really one which will very materially affect the success of their Amendment in trying to get men to go into friendly societies. There is only a margin of.14 of a 1d. on their own actuarial report. That must be totally insufficient to provide, first, for administration, for which there is no allowance made whatever, and also for this extra invalidity. I am quite sure the Government must want as many men as possible to go into the friendly societies while they are in the Service to give them 1549 a good start in life. If they do not succeed in meeting the friendly societies it is quite certain that the scheme must be a failure.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Tennant)
I am sure the hon. Gentleman will admit that this is an extremely complicated matter, and one which it is not very easy for the amateur to grasp fully in all its bearings and all its details. If I should go astray, having not been very long in my present position, I ask the hon. Gentleman's forgiveness. I think there is some misconception as to the origin of this two-ninths. The two-ninths is a hypothetical benefit which would have been given to a man if he had been something other than that which he is. The healthy lives will go out as soon as they leave the Service to the approved society, which will be encouraged to take them. The hon. Gentleman spoke as if the approved societies were being badly treated. That is not so at all. The approved societies will have a large selection of good lives, whereas the fund of which we are the custodians and the guardians, for the solvency of which we are responsible, will have to protect the sick and those who have lost their good health and are really the lame ducks. That being so, I would appeal to the Committee not to insist upon this being given all round, because it will have a most deleterious effect upon the funds for which we are responsible. If it were done I feel confident myself that we should be saddled with nothing but the lame ducks, and we should have consequently thrust upon us a position which must make us insolvent. If that should happen, we should have no other course before us but to ask the House to increase the Army Estimates, and that would be a position I should deprecate very much, because people are not very nice in their discrimination as to the causes which have led to the Government asking for an increase in the Vote to keep up the Army. They merely point to the fact that the Government are increasing the Army Estimates. The hon. Member (Mr. Worthington-Evans) made an admission. At any rate the whole of the two-ninths was not in his view applicable to the approved societies. He did not suggest that the whole of it was deserved or desired. I suggest to him that none of it ought to be given inasmuch as it is only a counterpoise which has been given for the very bad cases we have to provide for. I do not say this is the last word upon the subject. I should like to know whether 1550 there may be other arguments brought forward in the course of the Debate, and therefore I am not going to pose as being absolutely adamantine, but I am very anxious that pressure should not be put upon the fund for which we shall be responsible, and that it may not be a bankrupt fund, therefore I should hope the Committee will not accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. AMERY
As the hon. Gentleman has promised not to be adamantine I hope he will consider certain further arguments on this point. I think he missed the point made by the hon. Member (Mr. Worthington-Evans), because in the case of men at this moment in the Army there will be a certain number of lame ducks. The official average age of entry into the Army is 19½, but all who know anything about recruiting know that it is a good many months younger, and you cannot say for a great many years what proportion of lame ducks there will be. At 18 you cannot say what their state of health will be afterwards. There is no selection. Further, there is a strong argument in favour of the men getting this two-ninths. Under the particular form of this Clause, men in the Service who belong to an approved society are the only people insured in this country who get no contribution whatever from any source except their own 1½d. The 1½d. which is supposed to be given them by their employer, the State, is never given them at all. It goes straight towards the redemption of reserve values. The reserve values only are a benefit to men of thirty-three or thereabouts. The whole of this class of men who enter the Service are between the ages of sixteen or seventeen and twenty-five. To all of them that reserve value subtraction does not represent any benefit they get, but a benefit given to an entirely different class of people, except as regards the infinitesimal fraction of reserve value accruing over sixteen years of age, some ten, twelve, or fifteen shillings altogether. I submit, therefore, that these men are in the position of getting no addition whatever to their contribution, which is forced from them, and the full value of it I do not believe they get. So I submit there is a very strong case indeed on behalf of these men. This hypothetical two-ninths brings out very clearly the unsatisfactory character of the whole two-ninths method instead of a flat contribution, and in fact if the Bill did contain a flat contribution of 1d. or 2d. a week towards each man, I do 1551 not think anyone can deny the right of these men just as much as any other class of insured persons who get the full value of their money. It is only because of this dodging and muddling about the two-ninths that the point is obscure and these men are not going to get the justice to which they are entitled. They are compelled to contribute, and they are the only class of people compelled to contribute in the whole country who do not get a single addition from any source whatever to the amount of their contribution.
The right hon. Gentleman dwelt on the generosity of the Government in redressing the old scandal about tuberculosis. That scandal is common to the whole of industrial society. The men who suffered from such disease and were discharged were left to chance, but it is only setting the matter even to give them redress like everyone else. It would be monstrous if soldiers should not get it. These men are getting nothing whatever from any outside source. That is a disadvantage to them, and personally I think it may be a serious disadvantage to their societies, inasmuch as they are more liable to specific diseases than other persons. This is an Amendment which, I hope, will be pressed to a Division, but I hope, before that happens, the hon. Gentleman will show himself reasonable and will consider it. I know the intentions of hon. Gentlemen opposite are generous. I am sure they mean to be generous to the soldiers, but in this case, though there has been a very substantial and real advance on the original form of the Bill, even now the soldier has not been done justice to. The great thing is that the men in the Service should be in substantially the same position as the farm labourer or the ordinary employed worker.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
I hope that the words proposed by the hon. Member (Mr. Worthington-Evans) will be considered in a sympathetic spirit. It seems to me that the proposals of the Government cannot carry out the object they themselves have in view. They desire, I understand, that there should be an opportunity for Service men to join approved societies. While I do not profess to identify myself with every argument used by hon. Gentlemen opposite, the fact is put before the House that the largest friendly society, the Odd-fellows, have rightly stated that under present circumstances they could not take these men. Therefore, while I do not 1552 press for the exact words of the Amendment, I join in pressing the Government to consider this question with a view to making some concession which will get rid of the grievance.
§ Lord C. BERESFORD
I never heard such an extraordinary argument in my life as that which came from the Front Bench. I do not know what office the hon. Gentleman holds, but his argument was not whether the men were well treated or not, or whether my hon. Friends were stating the facts, but whether the Army Estimates were to be increased or not. That has nothing whatever to do with it. These men are compelled to pay their 1½d., and they have no right to approach this House or to combine or to ask whether they are right or wrong, and to bring out such a lamentable argument as the Army Estimates is ludicrous. I have never heard such an argument in my life, and I shall be very glad if another hon. Gentleman will get up and let us have some sort of argument with some commonsense in it.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The question whether sailors have any right to come here to have justice done to them is not the question before the Committee. The question is whether, having made the provision which we make for them in this Bill, approved societies will be able to take them. It is a question whether we have treated approved societies fairly, and whether this Amendment is made or not will not affect the benefits we are bound to give them. The hon. Member for Colchester understands the position. I say we will have to deal with the residue of lives in the Army and Navy fund, and for that reason we have taken the whole of the two-ninths. My hon. Friend says that 1½d. is not enought to induce approved societies to take our men. We want the men in the approved societies. We would rather have them there than in the special fund, and I confess that I view with some misgiving the expressions of some authorities like the hon. Gentleman. I think they will be very glad to have them. I am sure that the competition between the industrial societies to get these men will secure that there will be considerable desire on the part of the various approved societies to get these men in. I do not want to entertain the idea of the possibility of the men not getting into approved societies in any way, and I am therefore prepared to make a concession. I am prepared to propose an 1553 amendment of paragraph (iv.) of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Amendment, the effect of which will be to give to approved societies an additional halfpenny. That will bring up the sinking fund of sailors and soldiers to a penny and five-ninths. We are willing to meet the hon. Member for Colchester and his Friends half-way. I think that is as far as we can go. It would be very much worth the approved societies' while to take these men.
What the right hon. Gentleman says is quite true. He has met us half-way, but I do not know whether half-way is far enough. I would point out to the Government that it is in their interest, as they well know, to get the members of the Services to go into friendly societies, because they relieve themselves of any future claims, while the friendly societies have to take these claims. If the right hon. Gentleman is advised that a ½d. is enough I will not press my Amendment. Personally, I do not think it is. If the Government take the responsibility for it, and find later on that a ½d. is not enough, because the friendly societies are not doing anything practical for the soldier and sailor, and are putting on a strict and severe life test, the responsibility must be on them. I have given what care I could to the calculations, and so far as I can guess it is not ½d. but 1d. that is required. The right hon. Gentleman has now taken a certain ¼d. that I was looking out for by taking the 1d. and five-ninths down to 1d. The sum I was going to reduce it to was 1¼d. I want that ¼d., and some time or other I will put in a claim for it. I will do it, perhaps, on the maternity benefit. It is quite ridiculous to suppose that a series of friendly societies are going to form themselves more or less specially for the purpose of carrying out this Bill. I believe they will do it if they can run it without loss. I believe that a friendly society will be formed in connection with every regiment, and if that is done there must be some cost for administration. Under the provisions which the Government propose there is no provision whatever for cost. I want a shilling per man per annum, and that is represented by the ¼d. I was going to ask the right hon. Gentleman to reduce the figure to 1¼d. in order to get that ¼d. If he will put it on the Army and Navy insurance fund it will meet the point I have in view. Leaving the responsibility on the Government, I do not propose to ask the Committee to divide on this Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment made: In paragraph (ii) of the proposed Amendment, after the word "entitled," insert the words "under this Part of this Act."—[Mr. Worthington-Evans.]
I beg to propose, at the end of paragraph (ii.), in the proposed Amendment, to add the words, "and no deductions under this part of this Act shall be made from the pay of any seaman, marine, or soldier while he is in hospital."
The contributions would cease to be payable while a man was sick and in hospital. It is not a case of hospital stoppages at all. The 1½d. should not be deducted from his pay. If that is done automatically the Army Council and the Admiralty have not to make contributions during that period, and that must be a matter of consideration to the Front Bench when they are so carefully guarding that fund.
§ Colonel SEELY
I would like to accept this because, as the hon. Member has pointed out, it would be a saving to Army and Navy funds, but my advisers inform me that it would be unwise to accept it.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
Can the right hon. Gentleman not give us some reason? We do not see why these men should pay while they are sick any more than people outside.
§ Colonel SEELY
Good or bad, the principle of the Bill is that a man receiving a wage should have a sum deducted. The soldier or sailor is always receiving some wages. In the case of a great number of them in hospital they receive full wages, but in the case of all they receive some.
§ Mr. AMERY
I do not think there is any minor deduction in the case of farm labourers and other classes of people whose wages does go on. In that case the parallel falls to the ground. The right hon. Gentleman has already mentioned how many complications as to hospital stoppages there are, but this would not add much to the complications.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 82; Noes, 185.1557
|Division No. 375.]||AYES.||[8.30 p.m.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Falle, B. G.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Ashley, W. W.||Fell, Arthur||Malcolm, Ian|
|Baird, J. L.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Norton-Griffiths, John|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Forster, Henry William||O'Grady, James|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Foster, Philip Staveley||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barlow, Montagu (Salford, South)||Gardner, Ernest||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Barnston, Harry||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (M'tgomy B'ghs)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gilmour, Captain J.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Goldman, C. S.||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Grant, J. A.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gretton, John||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Boyton, J.||Helmsley, Viscount||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hills, J. W.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cave, George||Jowett, F. W.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Dixon, Charles H.||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Locker-Lampion, G. (Salisbury)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||R. Pole-Carew and Mr. Amery.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Elverston, Sir Harold||Logan, John William|
|Adamson, William||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lundon, T.|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Falconer, J.||Lynch, A. A.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Farrell, James Patrick||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Armitage, R.||Ffrench, Peter||McGhee, Richard|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Gibson, Sir James Puckering||M'Laren, H. D. (Leics.)|
|Barnes G. N.||Gill, A. H.||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Gladstone, W. G. C.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Bentham, G. J.||Goldstone, Frank||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meagher, Michael|
|Black, Arthur W.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Boland, John Plus||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hackett, J.||Millar, James Duncan|
|Brace, William||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Munro, R.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Harvey, A. G. C.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Buckmastsr, Stanley O.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Harwood, George||Nuttall, Harry|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Clough, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Higham, John Sharp||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Holt, Richard Durning||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Crawshay Williams, Eliot||Johnson, W.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Radford, G. H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dawes, J. A.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|De Forest, Baron||Joyce, Michael||Reddy, M.|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Keating, M.||Richards, Thomas|
|Dillon, John||Kellaway, Frederick George||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kelly, Edward||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Doris, William||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lambert, George (Devon, Molton)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Duncan, J. Hastngs (Yorks, Otley)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Lewis, John Herbert||Rowlands, James|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton)||Tennant, Harold John||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Verney, Sir Harry||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Sheehy, David||Wadsworth, John||Winfrey, Richard|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Waring, Walter|
|Snowden, P.||Watt, Henry A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Webb, H.||Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
I beg to move, at the end of paragraph (iii.) of the proposed Amendment, to add the words, "There shall be repaid from time to time to such society out of the Navy and Army insurance fund hereafter mentioned the amounts so paid."
The effect of this Amendment is that the maternity benefit, which costs.28d., which is a shade over a farthing a week, would be repaid to the societies by the Army and Navy insurance fund, and the object of that is to provide the societies with a management fund. At present they have no margin in the 1½d. which is allowed them to carry on the registration of their members, the registration of clearances or transfers from one society to the other, the investment of their funds, the secretary's salary, and all the various other small expenses of administration. I admit that they would not be as large as the ordinary society's expenses, but they must be something, and there is nothing provided by the Bill for the purpose of paying these expenses. If the Government want, as they obviously must want, Service men to join the friendly societies, then at least they should give the friendly societies the possibility of forming funds for administration. Therefore I suggest that the maternity benefit should be repaid by the Army and Navy insurance fund, which would have the effect of giving the friendly societies a shilling a year per member, out of which they could pay for administration.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I am afraid I cannot accept the proposal. The hon. Gentleman said that there is nothing in the 1½d. for management. My hon. Friend is not often wrong, but I think he is wrong on this occasion.
I said there was nothing, but my hon. Friends on this side have several times referred to the.14d. Literally, I said there was nothing, but I ought to have said there is this.14d., which is next to nothing.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
In my opinion the.14d. amounts to half the value of the maternity benefit, and if that is next to nothing I should like to know from what point of view the hon. Member regards the maternity benefit. He must have a very small idea of the value of the maternity benefit. I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am very disappointed that the representative of the Government who has just spoken cannot assent to this Amendment, because there is not the slightest doubt that the cost of the administration of this particular fund is not going to be light. The actual charge is not going to be so easy as the right hon. Gentleman would have us believe, and in actual practice the burden of the work thrown on the secretaries of the societies will be far larger than he has any idea of at the present time. It is only right and reasonable to make ample provision for the cost of administration, and I do not at all agree that.14d. will really suffice for management.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 71; Noes, 186.1559
|Division No. 376.]||AYES.||[8.45 p.m.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Barrie, Hugh T.||Campion, W. R.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Cassel, Felix|
|Baird, John Laurence||Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Cautley, Henry Strother|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Cave, George|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Boyton, James||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Bridgeman, William Clive||Dixon, C. H.|
|Barnston, Harry||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Doughty, Sir George|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Hills, J. W.||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Hume-Williams William Ellis||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Fell, Arthur||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Forster, Henry William||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Magnus, Sir Philip||Touche, George Alexander|
|Gardner, Ernest||Malcolm, Ian||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Goldman, Charles Sydney||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)|
|Grant, J. A.||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Gretton, John||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Henderson, Major H. (Abingdon)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Mr. Shirley Benn and Major Archer-Shee.|
|Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Adamson, William||Goldstone, Frank||Nuttall, Harry|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Armitage, Robert||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Hackett, John||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Barnes, George N.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Harwood, George||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Helme, Norval Watson||Radford, George Heynes|
|Boland, John Plus||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Brace, William||Higham, John Sharp||Reddy, Michael|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Richards, Thomas|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Holt, Richard Durning||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Bryce, John Annan||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Johnson, William||Robinson, Sidney|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rowlands, James|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Clough, William||Joyce, Michael||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Keating, Matthew||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Kelly, Edward||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Sheehy, David|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Cotton, William Francis||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Levy, Sir Maurice||Snowden, Philip|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lewis, John Herbert||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Logan, John William||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lundon, Thomas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Tennant, Harold John|
|De Forest, Baron||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dillon, John||McGhee, Richard||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Doris, William||Macpherson, James Ian||Wadsworth, John|
|Duffy, William J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Waring, Walter|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||M'Laren, H. D. (Leicester)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Webb, H.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Marks, Sir George Croydon||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Falconer, James||Masterman, C. F. G.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Meagher, Michael||Wiles, Thomas|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Ffrench, Peter||Menzies, Sir Walter||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Millar, James Duncan||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Munro, Robert||Winfrey, Richard|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Gibson, Sir James Puckering||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||Nolan, Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
§ Amendment made to proposed Amendment, leave out, in Sub-section (2), paragraph (iv.), the words "halfpenny, instead of one penny and five-ninths," and insert instead thereof, "And the remaining five-ninths of the penny shall be paid out of the Navy and Army Insurance Fund hereinafter constituted."—[Mr. Lloyd George.]
§ Mr. FORSTER
There is an Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans), and I understand unless the words he suggests are put in there is nothing really to provide that the payment shall be made through the society.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, at the end, to insert:
(g) Every man, whether he has joined an approved society or not, shall, until discharged, be entitled to receive a weekly sum payable out of the Navy and Army insurance fund equal to the amount, if any, deducted from his pay as hospital stoppage less any separation allowance.
We have already argued the merits of this question, but I must express my disappointment that the Government cannot see their way to meet us on this. We must hope that they will consider the question between now and the next time we have the opportunity of raising it.
§ Mr. FORSTER
The mere fact that we are dealing with soldiers and sailors may possibly affect the question between now and next Easter before the Bill comes into operation, and we shall have the opportunity of rediscussing this question, I hope when we come to the Estimates, or the Army (Annual) Bill, or whenever we deal with this particular problem, that we shall be able to persuade the Government to take the view we now hold and which they do not hold.
§ Colonel SEELY
In response to the suggestion by the hon. Gentleman opposite I gladly renew the pledge that an opportunity shall be given on the Army Estimates or on some other suitable occasion—I 1562 assume that the Army Estimates would be the most convenient opportunity—fully to discuss this question. I have already given reasons why the Government do not view the proposal on its merits with favour; therefore I cannot give any pledge of reconsideration, but it will be in the hands of the Committee to decide the matter when the time comes. I give an undertaking that the Government will see to it that an adequate opportunity is given should any technical difficulty arise, not only fully to discuss this question, but to decide it.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I hope the right hon. Gentleman may be persuaded to reconsider his decision. I know perfectly well that there is a great deal in what he says. He has told us that if a soldier falls sick after the payment of one week, and has to leave the Service he may draw all the benefits of the Bill.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
How ofter does that happen? The actuaries tell us that six years is the average. I think the right hon. Gentleman might reasonably reconsider the point. You are not treating soldiers and sailors in the same way that you are treating civilians. I am sure that the Committee desire that fair play should be given to soldiers and sailors, and I sincerely hope that if the Government refuse to listen to us we shall get the support of the Committee in the Division.
§ Mr. AMERY
I am sure the Committee is satisfied that this question of stoppages will be raised on the Estimates at some future time. As a question of military discipline and procedure there may be, and I think probably is, a very strong case in favour of continuing the system. On the other hand, as a question of insurance, I submit that it is a particular kind of stoppage against which it is natural and proper to insure, and against which men do insure at the present time. Therefore, if you are compelling men to enter into an insurance, thus diminishing the money that they have free, you ought to consider whether in whole or in part this is not a desirable benefit to give them. I do not want to argue the case in general, but take one instance—the case of men married off the strength. Their wives, in any case, have a very hard time even when the men have full pay. But if such a man falls ill and goes to hospital 1563 the amount of money that the wife has available is cut down to 3s. or 4s. I hope that the question of giving hospital stoppages, not universally but in certain cases, will really be considered. They are already subject to all sorts of variations and gradations, so that the mere ground of complication is not sufficient to justify the rejection of a perfectly proper and desirable form of insurance.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
I am not at all satisfied with the right hon. Gentleman's statement that we shall have an opportunity to discuss this question on the Estimates: It is not a matter for the Estimates at all. We are not asking for the system of hospital stoppages to be discontinued. What we are asking for is that
§ some equivalent to hospital stoppages shall be paid to insured men. That is an entirely different matter. If the question is raised on the Estimates, we know perfectly well that the War Office will never dream of giving up £60,000. I hope the Amendment will be pressed to a Division, as it raises an extremely important point. One thing I am certain of is that, if the Government do not agree to the proposal now they will be obliged to deal with it later on if they are still in power, in that Amending Bill which is absolutely certain to follow this Insurance Bill.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 83; Noes, 189.1565
|Division No. 377.]||AYES.||[9.5 p.m.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fell, Arthur||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Fletcher, John Samuel||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Forster, Henry William||Perkins Walter Frank|
|Balcarres, Lord||Foster, Philip Staveley||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gardner, Ernest||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gilmour, Captain John||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Barnston, Harry||Goldman, Charles Sydney||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldsmith, Frank||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gretton, John||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Helmsley, Viscount||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Boyton, James||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Campion, W. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hope, J. Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cave, George||Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||R. Pole-Carew and Major Archer-Shee.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Brunner, John F. L.||Dawes, James Arthur|
|Adamson, William||Bryce, John Annan||De Forest, Baron|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Dillon, John|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Doris, William|
|Armitage, Robert||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Duffy, William J.|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Clough, William||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of|
|Barnes, George N.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Falconer, James|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Black, Arthur W.||Cotton, William Francis||Ferens, Thomas Robinson|
|Boland, John Plus||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Ffrench, Peter|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Crumley, Patrick||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Brace, William||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Gibson, Sir James Puckering|
|Gill, Alfred Henry||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Reddy, Michael|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richards, Thomas|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Goldstone, Frank||McGhee, Richard||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Macpherson, James Ian||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Gulland, John William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Hackett, John||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Robinson, Sidney|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||M'Laren, H. D. (Leices.)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Rowlands, James|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Meagher, Michael||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Harwood, George||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Millar, James Duncan||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Mooney, John J.||Sheehy, David|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Munro, Robert||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Snowden, Philip|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nolan, Joseph||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hoit, Richard Durning||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Tennant, Harold John|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nugent, Sir Walter Russell||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Nuttall, Harry||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wadsworth, John|
|Johnson, William||O'Dowd, John||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Grady, James||Waring, Walter|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Webb, H.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Parker, James (Halifax)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Joyce, Michael||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Kelly, Edward||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|King, Joseph (Somerset, North)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Lambert, George (Devon, Molton)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pringle, William M. R.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Radford, George Heynes|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Raffan, Peter Wilson||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Logan, John William||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry||Mr. W. Jones and Captain Guest.|
|Lundon, Thomas||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In Sub-section (3), after the word "deductions" ["from whose pay deductions continue to be made"], insert the words "have been made and."
§ Leave out the words "said separate account and credited to the approved society of which he is, or becomes a member, or if he is not and," and insert instead thereof the words, "Navy and Army insurance fund and if he becomes a member of an approved society within the prescribed time from his discharge there shall be credited to that society, or if he."
§ After the word "shall" ["shall be carried to his credit"] insert the words, "unless he becomes entitled to benefits out of the Navy and Army insurance fund as hereinafter mentioned."
§ After the word "service" ["during his period of service"] insert the words, "and in the latter case the reserve value, if any, credited to the Navy and Army investment fund in respect of him shall be cancelled."1566
§ Leave out the words, "and the contributions payable in respect of him during that period had been paid in full:
§ Provided that if he proves to the satisfaction of the Insurance Commissioners that he has been unable to obtain admission to an approved society on account of the state of his health he shall, instead of becoming a deposit contributor, become entitled to benefits under such scheme as is hereinafter mentioned."—[Mr. Lloyd George.]
§ Amendment proposed: To leave out Sub-section (4) and to insert instead thereof,
§ (h) A man discharged from service as a seaman, marine, or soldier who proves that the state of his health is such that he cannot obtain admission to an approved society may, if he so elects, on making applications to the Insurance Commissioners in the prescribed manner and within three months of his discharge, or such longer time as may be prescribed, become, subject to regulations made by the Insurance Commissioners after consultation with the Admiralty and Army Council, 1567 entitled to benefits (other than additional benefits) provided under this Part of this Act at the full rate, the cost of which benefits shall be payable out of the Navy and Army insurance fund, and such benefits shall be administered by local health committees or otherwise in such manner as may be prescribed by such regulations as aforesaid, and any contributions paid under this Part of this Act by or in respect of him shall be paid into that fund; Provided that—
- (i) the rate of sickness benefit shall be reduced, in the case of a man who entered into insurance after the age of sixteen or who is in arrears, to the like extent as it would be reduced in the case of an employed contributor who is a member of an approved society who entered into insurance at the like age or who is in arrears to the like extent, so however that the rate of sickness benefit shall in no case be reduced below five shillings a week;
- (ii) there shall in each year be repaid to the special fund, out of moneys provided by Parliament, a sum equal to two-ninths of the amount expended out of the fund on such benefits as aforesaid, including the expenses of administration;
- (iii) if the man was discharged for misconduct he shall not be entitled to such benefits, or shall be entitled to benefits at such reduced rates only as the Admiralty or Army Council may determine.—[Mr. Lloyd George.]
§ Mr. FORSTER
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposed Amendment, to add, at the end of paragraph (h),(i) no deduction from benefits shall be made on account of any pension to which a man may be entitled.I hope I shall have better luck with this Amendment than I had in some of my former attempts. I think it is admitted by the Government that they do not intend that there shall be any deduction for payment on account of pensions to which men may be entitled. If so they can have no objection to putting in the form of words which I move, which make it quite clear upon the face of the Bill that that is the intention of the Government, the Committee, and everybody taking an interest 1568 in this matter. I hope the Government will accept these words.
§ Mr. FORSTER
The right hon. Gentleman says that the Government agree to that policy, but I do not understand him to say that they agree to accept the Amendment. If they agree to accept the Amendment I should be happy, and I will tell the Committee why it is necessary to put in these words. These pensions are payable subject to regulations to be made by the Insurance Commissioners. If the Government assent to the course I recommend that there should be no deduction on account of pensions, and if that is made clear upon the face of the Bill, the regulations made by the Commissioners will be subject to that proviso. If the matter is left open, and if there is nothing in the Bill to show that pensions may be left out on account, then I am afraid the Insurance Commissioners and other people might have powers to do what this Committee do not want them to do. That is the reason why I want these words put in so as to make it perfectly plain that there is to be no deduction on account of pensions. A man has earned his pension; he joined the Service before this Bill saw the light of day at all. He is entitled to his pension by service given, and I do not think it ought to be left in the power of anybody to make such deductions as might be made if these words were not inserted in the Bill. This Amendment can do no harm; it only carries out the policy as indicated by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I beg to move, in paragraph (i.) of the proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "who entered into insurance after the age of sixteen or."
If these words are left in, the effect will be that men will be charged a rate of contribution, to use the language of the Bill, appropriate to their aid. That is to say, that the older a man is when discharged from the Service, the higher will be the contribution he will have to make to the fund. My hon. Friends and I have formed the opinion that when this Army and Navy fund was established there was going to be a flat rate contribution for all men in the Service of 1½d. We did not in the 1569 least appreciate the fact that when a man had been discharged the contribution he was to make from the fund was to vary according to his age. Of course, in the case of men who entered into insurance at the age of sixteen, the Government may say that would not affect a very large number of persons, because immediately after the Bill becomes law it will be the business of everybody to become insured at the age of sixteen. That is perfectly true as regards persons who have reached the age of sixteen, but it is going to throw very great hardships upon the 300,000 odd men who are in the Service now if, when they are discharged, they have to pay instead of 1½d., 3d. or 4d., or some other indeterminate figure, which varies with their age. I should like to hear some justification for the retention of these words. So far as I am advised at present, I should ask the Committee to divide against their retention.
§ Mr. HOHLER
This is a matter which I am sure will receive some answer from those responsible for the interest of the Army and Navy. A juster case I do not think was ever advocated. Under the Clause with which we have already dealt there is a deduction made from every soldier and sailor in regard to service value, and that deduction is 1½d. per head per week. Having got your reserve value, what do you propose to do in reference to our sailors and soldiers? Having got that reserve value, you say that ultimately these men, now upon the Army and Navy fund, are only to get a rate of sickness benefit which shall be reduced in the case of men who enter into insurance after sixteen. The bulk of the men in the Service, in fact, the whole of them, except the buglers and drummer boys, are now over sixteen. You are taking reserve values from them, yet when they fall upon this fund for the purpose of benefits you refuse to give them their rights. In other words, you are going to take this deduction twice into account. That point must be clear to hon. Members opposite and to those now in charge of this Bill, and I ask the Government to amend this Clause by omitting those words. You are saying to these men, "I am not going to give you the benefits credited to you in the reserve values for which you have paid, and I am only treating you as if you had insured after sixteen without regard to your reserve value." I never heard of a greater injustice, and I ask the Government to amend this provision.
§ Mr. TENNANT
I believe my hon. Friend is in error when he says that this man who comes in at sixteen has a reserve value. I am informed that that is not so, and that he has no reserve value. The fund could not bear the charge, and it is quite impossible for the Government to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. FORSTER
We have to deal with the whole of these questions at such short notice that I am not very clear upon this point. Surely the 1½d. to be deducted from the pay of every man and to be paid by the State should create a reserve value. If not, what are reserve values for?
§ Mr. FORSTER
You are going to deduct 1½d. per week from the wages of the men who are now serving, and you are not going to give them the benefit of the reserve value. This is a very extraordinary thing. The Committee generally understood that the result of what we were doing was to deduct so much from the wages of every man, and in return you are going to create a reserve value for him, so that if he left the Service after his period was ended he could join a friendly society, remain a member, draw full benefits, and get every advantage given to the other members. It now appears that these advantages are only to be given to the people who join in the future, who have entered into the Service at the age of sixteen, or not later. That throws a totally different light upon the proposal, and it means that no man who is now serving is going to get full benefit, although you take from him exactly as much as you take from the man who enters at the age of sixteen, who is going to get full benefit. I think that is a very curious state of things. I know very well that we cannot blame the hon. Gentleman opposite, for he has only lately been appointed to his office, and I do not doubt that he has been put to as much trouble and inconvenience as we have been put to by the sudden changes which have been made in this Bill. We cannot, therefore, blame him for not appreciating our point. I am not satisfied with the answer the Government have given us, and unless we get some better answer I must press this Amendment to a Division.
§ Mr. HOHLER
I would like to call the attention of the Financial Secretary to the War Office to the Clause itself, and then 1571 I think he may give the go-by to his advisers and follow common-sense. In the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Amendment on the Amendment Paper the hon. Member will find in Sub-section (3) the following provision:—
"(3) With respect to seamen, marines, and soldiers who have not joined an approved society as aforesaid the following provisions shall have effect":—
Therefore, I am dealing with the case of a man who is not a member of an approved society. Sub-section (a) of the same Clause provides as follows:—(a) The sum so deducted and the contributions so made as aforesaid in respect of such men shall be paid into the national health insurance fund, and out of such sums there shall be retained by the Insurance Commissioners towards discharging their liabilities in respect of the reserve values created under this part of this Act the like amount as if such men were members of approved societies, and the balance shall be credited to a special fund to be called the Navy and Army insurance fund;I need not read further because the meaning of those words is perfectly clear, and it is not open to doubt. It means that you are deducting 1½d. in regard to those men, and the Clause requires amendment.
§ Mr. HOHLER
There is a deduction of 1½d. made for the reserve value. You are making precisely the same deduction in regard to the men who are not members of an approved society, and under the Sub-Clause I have just read it is laid down that out of such sums there shall be retained by the Insurance Commissioners a sum towards discharging their liabilities in respect of the reserve values created under this part of the Act. That is why we are proposing this Amendment. Sub-Clause (h), which is the guiding and directing part of the Clause and makes operative what follows, says:(h) A man discharged from service as a seaman, marine, or soldier who proves that the state of his health is such that he cannot obtain admission to an approved society may, if he so elects, on making application to the Insurance Commissioners in the prescribed manner and within 1572 three months of his discharge, or such longer time as may be prescribed, become, subject to regulations made by the Insurance Commissioners after consultation with the Admiralty and Army Council, entitled to benefits (other than additional benefits) provided under this part of this Act at the full rate, the cost of which benefits shall be payable out of the Navy and Army insurance fund.Therefore you have got the case which I am dealing with of a man not a member of an approved society, in regard to whom deductions for reserve values have been made who is unable to join an approved society. I think that is perfectly clear. I think I have made my argument good from the language of your own Bill. That being so, what happens? After being discharged, he comes upon the Navy and Army fund, and what do you propose to do? The proviso cuts down his rights. It says:Provided that—(i) the rate of sickness benefit shall be reduced, in the case of a man who entered into insurance after the age of sixteen.Where is the justice of that proposal? You have already made the man make provision for the fact that he has entered over sixteen years of age. You have already deducted his reserve value, and having deducted that you are going to deduct it again by treating him as if he had not entered at sixteen. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has often told us that everybody is to be rejuvenated, but this man does not want to be treated as sixteen twice over. He has paid for his reserve value, and it is clear those words ought to come out. I hope that from the Financial Secretary to the War Office and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty I shall have the kindest consideration of the arguments I have advanced. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty is always most sympathetic in these matters, and I am sure he will give this matter his attention.
§ Mr. AMERY
The difficulty is really one of drafting. The hon. Gentleman opposite simply desires to put these men in the same position as members of an approved society. They may enter the society at any age. I hope the intention of the Government is to apply the same rule to soldiers and sailors, and I trust that that will be made quite clear.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for calling attention to this matter. It may require a verbal Amendment. This is not intended to apply to men in the Service at the commencement of this Act; it is intended to apply to men who, at some future time, may come in at, say, the age of nineteen and may not be insured. I think this point can be dealt with on Report.
§ Mr. FORSTER
That is satisfactory not only to myself but to the Committee as a whole. I am very glad to find that this is a mere misunderstanding, and not in any sense of the term a deliberate misunderstanding.
§ Mr. CASSEL
Would the hon. Gentleman take account of the case of a man who after sixteen has continued to be at college or school. That case is specially provided for by approved societies, and I think it should be equally applicable to the soldier or sailor. I think in regard to this Sub-section (4) of Section 9 will require to be amended on the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I beg to move, in Sub-section (iii.) of the proposed new Clause to leave out the words, "he shall not be entitled to such benefits." It will then read, "If the man was discharged for misconduct he shall be entitled to benefits at such rates only as the Admiralty or Army Council may determine."
I feel very little is necessary to be said on this subject. The hon. Member for Chatham has already raised the point. It seems to me that the words of the Clause as framed are almost vindictive in their character. If a man has paid in 1½d. a week for a number of years he has earned his benefit, and it is not fair that, because he misconducts himself towards the end of his service he should forfeit all he has paid in. I have known cases of men of almost exemplary character in the Army who, through some loss of temper at the end of their service, have committed the offence of striking a non-commissioned officer and have been discharged from the Service, losing all the benefits to which their service would otherwise have entitled them. I feel sure when the right hon. Gentleman considers this question he will see the advisability of accepting this Amendment.
It seems to me a great hardship that a man who is guilty of misconduct should forfeit all the money he 1574 has subscribed out of his weekly wage. It may be that an act of misconduct which, in military life, is deemed to be very serious, is not in civil life considered to be of the same gravity, and unless a man is deprived of the benefits in civil life it seems to me a soldier ought also to be deprived. I would ask the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to take out this Clause altogether. I do not think there is any fairness in it. A man's own subscription for insurance purposes should stand to his credit in any case. Whether or not the War Office or Admiralty subscriptions should also stand to his credit is another matter.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I very much sympathise with the view of those who say that a man, having bought his benefit, should not be deprived of it for any offence which can be dealt with by any other machinery. His insurance benefit ought not in such a case to be prejudiced by his conduct. The Amendment supposes that if a man is discharged for misconduct he should only be entitled to such benefits as the War Office or Admiralty may decide. I am very much disposed to think that the best plan is to knock this out altogether. So long as a man can be punished in other ways it is undesirable as a matter of equity and fair play that the insurance which he has bought should be modified in any way.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am very glad to hear the announcement which the hon. Gentleman has just made. As the hon. and gallant Member pointed out, offences and the punishment for them may vary in degree so far as civil and military life is concerned. Friendly societies now have their own rules, which enable them to expel members who contravene them, but in no case does its expulsion carry with it the very terrible calamity imposed by this Clause. Expulsion from a friendly society does not deprive the man of all benefits. He may join another friendly society or may pass into the ranks of Post Office contributors. Therefore it seems to me exceedingly hard and unjust that we should deprive him of the benefits he has paid for because of his misconduct. It would be much better to take the course suggested by the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite and remove this provision altogether.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Perhaps the hon. Member will withdraw his Amendment and move the deletion of the Clause.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I am prepared to withdraw my Amendment, and do move to leave out paragraph (iii.)
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment to the proposed Amendment agreed to.
§ Proposed Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (4), to insert:
(4) In the application of this part of this Act to a man who is or has been a seaman, marine, or soldier, and to whom this Section applies—
(5) Discharge shall in the case of a seaman, marine, or soldier who on the completion of any term of service is transferred to a reserve include such transfer."
- (i.) the date of his entry or enlistment as a seaman, marine, or soldier, or, if he was serving at the commencement of this Act, the date of that commencement shall, unless he was an insured person at the date of his entry or enlistment, be treated as the date of his entry into insurance;
- (ii.) deductions from pay, with the corresponding contributions made by the Admiralty and Army Council, shall be treated as payments of contributions at the employed rate for the purpose of reckoning the number of contributions made in respect of him, arrears, and transfer value, and for the purpose of qualifications for becoming a voluntary contributor.
§ Mr. ANNAN BRYCE
moved, as an Amendment, to add at the end of the proposed Amendment—(6) The marriage of a soldier without leave shall not be deemed a cause of forfeiture of maternity benefit.I hope the Government will accept this slight modification. It cannot apply to very many people, and it seems very hard the benefit should be lost by a man marrying without leave.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
We do not intend that a woman not on the strength should lose her maternity benefit. The Amendment is unnecessary. The point is covered.
§ Mr. FORSTER
The only doubt present in my mind is whether or not under the regulations governing marriage on the strength there might be an opportunity for the Insurance Commissioners to make regulations.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am very anxious there should not be any power given to the Insurance Commissioners to make regulations to do what this Committee does not want to be done. We do not want maternity benefit to be denied to people who marry off the strength, and I cannot see, for the life of me, why you should not say so It does not complicate the matter, and it does not throw any burden on the fund. It is very much better to have the words in in order to make our intention perfectly clear.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I will look into this, but I do not think the words are necessary. I am afraid there would be some conflict if we put the words in here. I desire that this maternity benefit should be given to such women married off the strength of the regiment. If necessary, words will be put in to carry out what is desired by my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. TENNANT
I think the words come in Sub-section (2) (c), "be payable," means that it is payable to everybody.
§ Mr. FORSTER
It is a special provision. We do not wish to leave it to any one to deprive a person marrying without leave of the maternity benefit.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Look at Clause 8, paragraph (e). Whether the woman lives on the strength or not she is the wife of an insured person, and she is eligible for maternity benefit. I have no doubt about it, but I will look into the matter. I do not want these words, because they conflict with the phraseology of the other parts of the Bill.
§ Mr. FORSTER
If you look at the general provisions of the Act you will see in Clause 8 that every insured person gets medical benefit, maternity benefit, and so on. Under this Clause they do not. Under this Clause there is a special 1577 paragraph saying that they are not to be deprived of sanatorium benefit, sickness benefit, or disablement benefit.
§ Mr. CRAWSHAY-WILLIAMS
May I call the attention of the hon. Member to the paragraph with regard to members who are not members of approved societies, which says that every such man shall until his discharge be entitled to his maternity benefit out of the Army and Navy Insurance Fund. Does not that meet the case put forward by the hon. Member?
§ Mr. CASSEL
It is clear that a soldier is not an insured person. If you look at Clause 1 an insured person is defined in such a way as to exclude soldiers and sailors. It says "insured persons are persons employed within the meaning of this Act." If you look at the definition of employment, you will see that soldiers and sailors are specially excluded.
§ Mr. TENNANT
We have been spending the whole of this afternoon trying to make soldiers and sailors employed persons. Clause 36 entirely settles that.
§ Mr. CRAWSHAY-WILLIAMS
Paragraph (iii) says that a seaman, marine or soldier shall for the purposes of the Act be treated as if he were an insured person.
§ Mr. HOHLER
That only refers to those soldiers who within six months become members of approved societies. That does not, in my opinion, cover the point. I think the point is covered by the language of Sub-section (2) (iii). That covers a man who is a member of an approved society, and then Sub-section (3) (e) seems to cover the case of a man who is not a member of a society.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendments made: At the beginning of Sub-section (5) insert the words, "The foregoing provisions of."
§ In Sub-section (5), leave out the words "Fleet Reserve when called on actual service," and insert the words "Naval Reserves when employed on service during war or any emergency."1578
§ In Sub-section (5), leave out the word "any" ["and to any men of the Army Reserve."].
§ In Sub-section (5), leave out the word "or" ["or to men of the Territorial Force"] and insert instead, thereof the word "and."
§ At the end of Sub-section (5), add the words "but, except as aforesaid, shall not apply to any such men."
§ In Sub-section (6), leave out the words "Fleet Reserve," and insert instead thereof the words "Naval Reserves."
§ In Sub-section (6), leave out the words "called out for training," and insert the words "being trained and is in receipt of pay out of the moneys provided by Parliament for Navy or Army services."
§ In Sub-section (6), leave out the words "called out" ["deemed whilst so called out"], and insert the word "engaged."—[Dr. Macnamara.]