§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £31,590, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1912, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Offices of the Insurance Commissioners in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and of the Joint Committee."
§ 4.0 P.M.
This Estimate is modest looking in its proportions, as it only affects £31,590, but, if looked at well, it will be seen it really deals with a much larger sum. Salaries, wages, and allowances amount to £18,890. That is for a short period of the year. It is not even for a full three months, seeing a large number of the appointments have been made for a much smaller period. I reckon the annual cost of salaries, wages, and allowances is at the rate of £100,000. Included in this Estimate is £12,200 for special inquiries and travelling. That sum is practically entirely for the expenses of the official lecturers who have been sent about the country. I am going, to submit that expenditure, at any rate, is entirely wasted expenditure. They have been sent on the impossible task of endeavouring to explain the Act, which no man can explain until the regulations of the Commissioners have been published and until the actuaries have at least made their preliminary report so as to enable anyone speaking on the Act to explain the alternative schemes which are based upon the actuaries' calculations. In addition to that we find a note on the Estimate that there is an expenditure on stationery and offices included in other Votes. In answer 1559 to a question in the House, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has told us that stationery expenses to the extent of £10,000 have been incurred, and that office accommodation has already cost £13,400. The first question I should like to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is, What is the total estimated expenditure for a complete year? Giving us the figures piecemeal like this does not enable us to come to any conclusion as to the real estimated expenditure on what one might call the head office of administration of the Insurance Act.
A White Paper has been issued by the Government explaining the steps which have been taken to bring the Act into force. The Paper tells us that two sets of regulations have been issued, and that a large number of committees and subcommittees have been appointed. Throughout there is an obvious desire to parade the activity of the Department. In addition, there has been a large number of lecturers appointed, some ninety-six, who are being paid salaries of from £3 10s. to £6 6s. per week. In addition to those direct payments, they are being given travelling expenses and also hotel or maintenance expenses while they are away from home. I want to ask why these two sets of regulations have been made, and why these committees and lecturers have been appointed before the advisory committee, which was to be constituted as one of the first steps to be taken, has, in fact, been appointed? The Committee will remember that Section 58 of the Act provides—that the Commissioners shall, as soon as may be after the passing of the Act, appoint an advisory committee for the purpose of advice and assistance in making the regulations.What the Commissioners have done is to make the regulations first and delay the appointment of the advisory committee. The answer, no doubt, will be that they are taking steps to appoint the advisory committee, and the White Paper does, in fact, give some information upon that point. I would ask the Committee to consider, having regard to the specially wide powers that are given to the Insurance Commissioners, whether the House, when it passed this Act, ever intended that the Insurance Commissioners should exercise those powers unchecked by any advisory committee. I remember it being stated in the Debate that, although these powers were very wide, they could only be exercised in conjunction with an advisory committee which was to be fully representative 1560 of all interests—the workmen's interests, the employer's interests, and every interest, and that it was safe to give these wide powers to the Commissioners. They have been making regulations without any advice from the advisory committee; they have been appointing lecturers and a large number of officials, and I venture to think, if the advisory committee had been appointed, as it ought to have been appointed, as the first step after the passing of the Act, then certainly the mistake of appointing these lecturers would never have been perpetrated.
I will deal with the lecturers first. On 21st February the Financial Secretary, in answer to a question, said the engagements of the lecturers were, of course, non-political. There is some ground for saying that at least all of the lecturers are not non-political people. Whether they were appointed in the belief that they were non-political, and whether it is purely accidental that they have developed political proclivities since I cannot pretend to say, but I would ask the Government to consider at any rate the action of some of the lecturers with a view of seeing whether they cannot put an end to their temporary appointments. Before I do that, I would like the House to consider for a moment the instructions given to the lecturers. They were issued to the lecturers on 27th January, and I would like the Financial Secretary to say whether any meetings addressed by these lecturers were held before these instructions were issued. I have a strong suspicion they were. By 24th February, 539 lectures had been given up and down the country. The first course of instructions to the lecturers was not held till 19th January, and it seems to me these lecturers must have been extraordinarily active if between 27th January and 24th February they had managed to hold 539 meetings. In these instructions to the lecturers some very good advice has been given. I will just call the Committee's attention to one or two portions of them. The, lecturers are told:—No political statement or allusion is allowed and no reference to politics or to politicians must be introduced.In another place the lecturer is told:—All suggestions for amendment of the Act must be put aside as beyond the province of the lecturer.Then directions are given as to answering questions. They are to be answered apparently out of a book called "Questions and Answers for Lecturers," or from other publications the Commissioners may be going to issue. I think these questions 1561 and answers would be extremely useful to Members of the House, if they could be issued to them and even to a wider public. If these are correct answers given to ordinary questions, then they ought to be published very widely indeed, and, if they are not correct, then they ought to go through the ordinary check of public discussion before they are put into the hands of lecturers who are officially explaining the Act. A list of lecturers has been appointed, and, if one examines that list and tries to see what qualifications are possessed by those lecturers, one finds there is very little information at all. I amused myself this morning in taking an occupation test to see whether the lecturers appointed are from their previous occupations likely to be able to explain such an intricate Act. Lawyers, accountants, and other professional gentlemen might, of course, be able to explain the Act, but there is also a builder, a retired Excise officer, a compositor, a coach maker, a miner, a quarryman, a saddler, and a carpet planner. There is not much to be got from the occupation, so one must ask the Secretary to the Treasury for some further information with regard to the lecturers. Care has been taken to make the identification of the lecturers extremely difficult. Frequently, a common name is given with merely an initial, and it is extremely difficult to identify the particular man.
If one takes the list of Irish lecturers, I can show the House the difficulty there is. I do not pretend to have any personal knowledge of any one of these gentlemen, but there is a very well-informed article in the "Times" of 20th February, on which I am going to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to kindly answer some questions. There is a lecturer, S. J. Bolton, who is described as "S. J. Bolton, accountant." I would like the Financial Secretary to say whether he is the same person as Samuel Bolton, accountant in the office of the "Freeman's Journal." There is another gentleman, D. Edwards, described as "a writer on social and insurance subjects." I should like the Financial Secretary to say whether this is the same gentleman as Mr. Dudley Edwards, who is secretary of the Dublin City and County Liberal Association? Then there is J. Grey. Is he the same gentleman as J. Grey, secretary of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians in Cork? There is W. Walker, described as "organising secretary of the Carpenters' and Joiners' Society in Belfast." Is he the same gen- 1562 tleman as the leader of the Labour party in Belfast? There is a gentleman called M. Doyle, commercial agent and lecturer. Is he the same person as Michael Doyle, lately Nationalist Lord Mayor of Dublin, and is he the same gentleman who is reported, when delivering a lecture in county Wicklow, to have said this:—Referring to the servants' question, I am surrounded with instructions, but I may use my discretion in regard to this. The servants question has been used by a section of the Press in a very peculiar way.And, in reply to a vote of thanks, he added:—I am precluded from saying anything about, politics, but I will say this: I remember one Act of Parliament which it was said would beggar a considerable section of the merchants of this country. That was the Budget. It was said it would ruin a great many people, and it has turned out it did not ruin them at all. As a matter of fact, they are getting extra profits.If that is one of the official lecturers, and if that is the M. Doyle referred to in the list, he seems to have taken a quick opportunity of breaking one of the regulations in his instructions. The directions were that—No political statement or allusion is allowed. No reference to politics, even by way of illustration.I do not now what the meaning of his reference to the Budget was, but, assuming it was by way of illustration, even in that case he broke the rules laid down for him. I ask the Secretary to the Treasury what steps he is going to take in connection with Mr. Doyle? This meeting, and most of these meetings, were private. I have one or two reports of meetings which have been held, and these reports go to show that these lecturers have broken their instructions. The bulk of these 500 meetings have been private, and it is impossible therefore to give any sort of account of what has taken place at them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was quite angry with me because I asked the Financial Secretary whether I thought that those lectures were required for the purpose of creating an atmosphere which was likely to be favourable to Liberal measures. We say that this lecturer, Mr. Doyle, at any rate, was doing his best in that direction. It is quite true that the Chancellor of the Exchequer immediately said that the speech in which he spoke about a political atmosphere was not in any way referring to these lectures. I know he said that on 2nd February; but I ask hon. Members just to try to put themselves in the position of the public for one moment. Mr. D. Edwards is in the Irish list as an official lecturer. He goes to a meeting having been well known in his locality as Mr. Dudley Edwards, the Secretary of the 1563 local Liberal Association. How on earth are the members of the public whom he is addressing to know whether he is creating an atmosphere as Mr. Dudley Edwards or is there only as an official lecturer tied down as Mr. D. Edwards. I personally should expect that it would be very difficult for the public to draw this nice distinction.
With regard to Scotland, I want to ask the Financial Secretary whether F. A. Hamilton, compositor and printer's reader, Edinburgh Town Council, and ex-president of the Trades Council, is the same gentleman who is reported to have made a speech in Edinburgh as an Insurance lecturer? He is reported to have said:—There is one thing I wish to point out and it is that I am quite willing to answer any question regarding the Act. But if any argument springs up I have got instructions to refuse to argue the question with you. Ton are simply to take my statement as being correct, and if you don't, well, I cannot help it.He was following instructions, and his words were greeted with laughter in brackets. He went on:—At the same time, I have also to inform you that any statement I may make with regard to the provisions of the Act you have got to take with a grain of salt, even although I am the official representative. In the same way, it must not be taken for granted that whatever statement I make will be exactly the attitude which the Commissioners will take up, but, just as the lawyer does, we think we know the law just as well as Commissioners do.There was further laughter at that point. I ask the Committee seriously to consider what is the value of lectures given by a man who is hedged about in every statement he makes in the manner described in this case. He is in the position of a lecturer who is in an indefinite position, and who is unable to give a plain and straightforward description of the Act or unable to answer a question, or, at any rate, to answer the intimate questions which the questioner really wants an answer to, and he will continue to be unable to do so until the Regulations are published and calculations are made by the actuaries. With regard to Scotland, again, there is in the list another gentleman called Mr. Mackenzie. He is described as "a retired Excise officer." I want to know whether he is the same person who has been notoriously very very active in electioneering work for the Liberal party in Ross-shire. At the last Election, and the Election before he practically ran the campaign. I think it must be the same man, because I have a report of a speech which he made, and I am going to ask the House to consider it for a moment. I have two reports: The first speech he made was to 1564 the Easter Ross Farmers' Club, and the second was at Keith. He did not have a nice time in the first case, and on the second occasion he opened the meeting With prayer, and that is really all that is reported of that meeting. I will deal with the first meeting, of which there is a longer report. First of all, the president of the Easter Ross Farmers' Club said, one of the things that we have to do was to hear a delegate from the Insurance Act Commissioners to explain the Act. In asking for that, the club went on the assumption that the Commissioners were to be equal to what they had forecasted and that they were not to send a party to discuss the Act with any political bias. But instead of that they had sent into their midst a gentleman who was well-known as an organiser in their district, and it was for them to say whether they would hear him or not. If they were to bring politics into the club they would never agree. There was a discussion as to whether he should be heard or not, and finally it was resolved that he should be heard. Mr. Mackenzie then proceeded to address the meeting. He said it was quite true that he was a politician, but he could take part in anything that was for the welfare of the country. The chairman, a little impatiently, said:—We do not want any speech, we are here to consider the Act.Mr. Mackenzie then proceeded to refer to a Mr. Byars, which seems to have given some offence. Next he proceeded to read a paper on the Act, explaining the contributions made by different people affected, and then proceeded to deal with the benefits. The president then asked him whether he was going to touch upon anything connected with agriculture and Mr. Mackenzie replied:—I have nothing in particular, the Act applies to every kind of employé. All that I can say is that power is given to the Commissioners. No Act has been passed where so much power has been given to the Commissioners. I must confess to you that we are in a measure at sea. I would wish to have printed instructions. There are certain things I dare not touch because the Commissioners are at present dealing with them now. If they as farmers found it better to pay once in six months, the Commissioners would accept that and would do anything to make the Act work smoothly. If they had any scheme or suggestion they thought would work out better, all they had to do was to submit it to the Commissioners who were anxious to meet the wishes of everyone as far as possible.Finally, some one asked a question of Mr. Mackenzie whether he had any authority to represent the Commissioners in what he had said, and he very properly said he had no authority to bind the Commissioners. There was one further question 1565 by a Mr. Munro, who said he understood the lecturers were to meet with the Commissioners, be instructed in the Act, and sent out to explain it, and Mr. Mackenzie said:—That is the case, and you cannot possibly understand it unless you have heard these lectures. I was a week in London and a week in Edinburgh.Then Mr. Scott wanted an amendment, and this is what I complain of in Mr. Mackenzie. Mr. Scott asked:—In the event of agricultural districts generally protesting against the casual labour Clause, do you think there is any chance of the Commissioners deleting it. If that could be done, it would put a stop to much opposition.To that Mr. Mackenzie replied:—That was before the Commissioners in London and it was left with them to form rules in connection with it. I think within a few days the Commissioners will send off their decision on that point.
I had not the slightest notion whether it is or not. I am not aware of having seen it before until it was handed to me this morning. If the hon. Gentleman has got another report of this meeting which differs from this I shall be very glad to collate the two editions and see whether the points I have been referring to are not referred to in it. This gentleman, Mr. Mackenzie, seems to have clearly broken his instructions referred to in the White Paper. He tells the farmers that if they wanted the Act amended what they have got to do was to make representations to the Commissioners, and he gives as well as he can a promise that the Commissioners will consider their representations with a view to removing the Clauses to which they particularly take exception, namely, the classification of casual labour in the Act, while his instructions were not to discuss any question of Amendment, if indeed he had any instructions, and I am inclined to doubt whether he had at that time. I ask the Financial Secretary to say—the date of the report is the 9th, and it referred to the previous Friday, which must have been the 2nd February—whether they had instructions at that time or not. He will notice what was said by the lecturer, that it would be better if he had written instructions.
Yes. I will lend the hon. Member the paper from which I am quoting. Of course we have only been able to find very few reports of these meetings, because most of the meetings have been private, but I doubt very much whether, after even those reports that have come to my knowledge, the Prime Minister would be able to repeat his statement that not one halfpenny of public money had been used in connection with any agitation or meeting held for the explanation of the Act. Clearly these meetings, those to which I have referred at any rate, are not meetings merely for explaining the Act as it now stands. One lecturer dealt with a reference to the Budget which is clearly a political matter, and the other dealt with a proposed Amendment which the lecturer practically pledged the Commissioners to consider. With regard to the English appointments I cannot say I have very much specific knowledge, although there is one gentleman who was asked to apply for a lectureship, and did apply for a lectureship, and, having been asked to go, he went before two of the Commissioners, and the first question that was put to him at that interview, to use his own words, "The first question they asked had reference to my previous political work." He happens to be a well-known lecturer and a well-known speaker in the Conservative interest, and three days later he received from the Insurance Commissioners a statement that he was not going to be appointed because they had already sufficient lecturers appointed in that district. That might have been a pure coincidence, but if it was it was extraordinary. If there was no question of politics in the appointment it is extraordinary that the first question that was put had reference to the nature of his previous political work.
Yes; I do not want to give the name. I do not want to advertise the man who has not been appointed. The letter says:—I am a Conservative, and known as such in local politics. On February 26th, on the invitation of the National Health Insurance Commissioners, I attended at their offices in Whitehall with a view to appointment as lecturer. I was interviewed by two Commissioners.1567 (Their names are given.)The first question they asked had reference to my previous political work. Three days later they informed me that they had already a sufficient number of lecturers in the district.P.S.—My expenses were paid by draft on the Treasury.Then one other point to which I want to call attention is the use which the Government has made of one of their salaried officials, Mr. Alfred Watson, the actuary. I am not desirous of saying one word in any sense against Mr. Watson. I do not believe a better appointment could possibly have been made. It is not anything he has done nor is it any reflection on his capacity that I want to make. What I object to is the use which was made of him by the Government. The moment he has been appointed he has been turned into a party instrument. On 16th February he was instructed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to write a letter for the purpose of controverting certain statements which have been made by the Noble Lord (Lord Robert Cecil). That letter is addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it begins, "In accordance with your instructions," and every paragraph practically begins with the name of the Noble Lord, and is directed specifically to some statement which the Noble Lord had made in a controversy which he had been carrying on with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I think it is an abuse of public officials that they should be employed for the purpose of newspaper controversy, and lay themselves open to the criticism which all men engaging in newspaper controversy are bound to lay themselves open to. My criticism is not directed against Mr. Watson, but against the Chancellor of the Exchequer for employing a man paid out of public funds for the purpose of agitation and controversy in connection with the Insurance Act.
I want now to turn back to the White Paper. One of the important duties, especially of any lecturer who is dealing with groups of domestic servants or of hospital nurses and is asked to explain the Insurance Act to them, would be to give them full and proper information as to Section 13, under which very different benefits can be given, and which was introduced as the direct result of the servants' agitation. As the position stands to-day, there is no one who is able to give any information upon that subject. The Commissioners themselves cannot give it. I have here a letter from the Commissioners in reply to a letter asking whether schemes could be ap- 1568 proved under Section 13, and the Commissioners say in reply, quite correctly, that until the Government actuaries had got out the figures in connection with the reserve values it was impossible for anyone to submit for approval any scheme under Section 13, because any calculations must necessarily be based upon the reserve value table. That table is not yet published. No schemes, therefore, can be formulated under Section 13, and the lecturers are going about the place advising people to go into societies for the purpose of benefits without being able to put before them the alternative benefits that they might get if they waited a little longer. Instead of spending so much public money on lecturers it would be infinitely preferable if some money were spent by the Commissioners in getting out the calculations which are necessary in order to enable nurses, servants, clerks and others to make up their mind which form of benefits are most suitable to their case, and if some assistance could be given in the formation of these new societies. At present the servants have no funds, they have no actuary, no organisation and no office, and it is almost impossible for them, to start a society, however much they may wish to do so. Rather than use the funds in payment of lecturers, who cannot possibly explain the Act, because it is not complete, it would be far better to spend some of these funds in providing machinery for the starting of new societies.
In this White Paper we are told that model rules for approved societies have been published, and we are told that pamphlets are going to be published, that arrangements have been made and that all pamphlets should be approved, though it does not tell us by whom. I should like to ask whether all these model rules, all the pamphlets, all the questions and answers and instructions given to the lecturers can be laid on the Table, or otherwise put at the disposal of Members of Parliament, because all of us are being bombarded with questions from our con-stituenies or societies that we know as to what steps they ought to take. We ought to be instructed just as much as the lecturers ought. I should like the Financial Secretary to give us an undertaking that we shall have these various documents sent to us as soon as they are published. I wrote myself to the Insurance Commissioners on 14th February asking whether they desired me to apply for each specific document, or whether they would put me on the list so that I got all the documents 1569 which were published from time to time. No doubt they are very busy. They sent me a formal type-written answer, but I have had no further reply.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Masterman)
made an observation which was inaudible in the Gallery.
I think other Members will probably like to be treated in the same way. If their names were put on the list, with instructions that all these documents should be sent to them, I think it would add to the convenience of the House. I am not going to move any reduction, but I hope I have, with moderation, tried to raise some point upon which this side of the House, at least, requires further information.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I should not have intervened had it not been that the hon. Member (Mr. Worthington-Evans) went out of his way to cast a stigma upon the Insurance Commissioners, and upon one gentleman in particular, Mr. Murdo Mackenzie. I have known him for a long time. His attitude in life has always been clear and decisive. I do not for a moment deny that he has been all along a Radical of a somewhat extreme but very honest sort. When Mr. Mackenzie was in London, at the request of the Commissioners, I went to see him, as became me, being his Member of Parliament here, and when I called upon him I found a most extraordinary combination. I found this extreme Radical having sweet communion with an extreme Tory, Mr. Byles Black, also a lecturer under the Commission. He has already fought twice in Scotland, and has been beaten by a Liberal candidate. Those two gentlemen came from Scotland at the request of the Commissioners, and heard their lectures, and went back to lecture in the various districts to which they were appointed. I do not know what the fate of Mr. Byles Black has been, but I was extremely disappointed to see that in my county of Ross-shire there was such a remarkable degree of intolerance as was exhibited by the farmers' club. The facts are very simple. Mr. Mackenzie was asked to go to the Highlands of Scotland, firstly, because he is a man who is respected by every person who knows him, secondly because he is a man who has been accustomed to tour the north of Scotland speaking on various political subjects and especially upon temperance, and, thirdly, he was one of the 1570 few men in the north of Scotland who could speak on so complicated a subject in the Gaelic language. Mr. Mackenzie was for many years a resident in the eastern part of Ross-shire. Most of the farmers' clubs in Scotland are largely Tory, and I understand that the farmers in the east of Ross are largely Tory also. These gentlemen were asked to receive a lecturer to explain to them, as agriculturists, how the Act affected them. Mr. Mackenzie went to Ross-shire, and was sent to lecture to the farmers' club. He was informed, I am told, and I think this paper bears me out, that his name was on the agenda paper in order to lecture to the farmers' club. He attended the meeting of the club at the request of the farmers. I gather from the report, against which I have nothing to say—I know the editor of the "Ross-shire Journal," and it is a well-conducted paper, and I have no doubt the report is perfectly accurate—that he was present during the time they discussed whether he should be heard or not. Any more unpleasant or uncomfortable position for a gentleman to be in I cannot imagine. We find that when the question was put to the vote, twelve men in the club voted that he should be heard and ten voted that he should not. If the report of this meeting in this Tory paper were circulated to Members of the House, I think they would take a very different view of these proceedings from that which they would have taken if they were to rely solely upon the extracts which the hon. Member has read. It is my duty, I think, to read certain extracts. This is what happened. The report is headed "Will Mr. Mackenzie be heard?"The President said one of the things they were to do that day was to hear a delegate from the insurance Act Commissioners explain the Act. In asking for that, the club went on the assumption that the Commissioners were to be equal to what they had forecasted—that they were not to send a party to discuss the Act with any political bias. Instead of that they had sent into their midst a gentleman who was well-known as an organiser in their district, and it was for them to say whether they were to hear him or not. If they were to bring politics into the club, they would never agree.Mr. J. Young, Cadboll, moved that they do not hear Mr. Mackenzie, the lecturer. They had nothing against Mr. Mackenzie, but owing to his strong feeling on politics, he moved that they do not hear him, and that they request the Commissioners to send up an un-biassed gentleman to explain the Act.Mr. Mackenzie was present, and he got up and asked:—Might I make a remark?The President: No, not at this stage.Mr. Scott moved that Mr. Mackenzie be heard. It did not matter, he said, what his political views were, but, like respectable farmers, they ought to hear him. He thought that until Mr. Mackenzie touched on politics they should hear him.1571Mr. J. H. Budge seconded Mr. Scott's motion and stilted that if they did not hear Mr. Mackenzie they would be taking up an intolerable attitude.The President said they had nothing against Mr. Mackenzie, but the question was whether they thought the Commissioners dealt fairly with them in stating that they would send up someone without any political bias. It was by way of protest he thought it should be put to the meeting.A vote was then taken, when, by twelve votes to ten, it was agreed to hear Mr. Mackenzie.Now the fun begins:—Major Cuthbert said he lodged his dissent, and left the meeting, and one or two members followed him.Mr. Mackenzie then proceeded to address the meeting. He said it was quite true he was a politician, but he could take a part in anything that was for the welfare of the country.The Chairman: We do not want any speech. We are here to consider the Act.Mr. Mackenzie proceeded to refer to a Mr. Byars who had come to the county.The President: If you cannot take the Act, you must sit down. We must have the Act or nothing at all.That was after Mr. Mackenzie had only spoken two sentences.Mr. Mackenzie for the nest few minutes proceeded to read a paper on the Act. He explained the contributions to be made by the different people affected, and then proceeded to deal with the benefits.The President: If you could touch upon anything which affects agriculturalists it would be preferable. Have you anything to say from an agriculturalist's point of view?Mr. Mackenzie: I have nothing in particular. The Act applies to every kind of employé. ….The President: We are here as farmers. We only want to hear about the clauses affecting agriculture.Mr. Mackenzie: Very well, I had better ask you to put questions.Could anything be more reasonable than that? The lecturer thought there was no better method than the Socratic method of question and answer. That showed that Mr. Mackenzie would prefer to leave out anything in the nature of political feeling.The President: Are we to take your statements as authoritative? Are you talking with the sanction of the Commission?Mr. Mackenzie: I have been sent out by the Commissioners, but I am not authorised to make any promises on their part. If you find that I have said anything contrary to fact then you should report it.Then Mr. Mackenzie went on, and answered any questions that were asked. I think, if I might say so with all respect, the reception Mr. Mackenzie got from the farmers of Easter Ross is typical of the reception which hon. Gentlemen opposite and their friends in the country are willing to give to the lecturers who go to explain the Act. There is no doubt at all that an objection was taken to Mr. Mackenzie on political and not on personal grounds. Those who know him know that there is no man more honest and anxious to fulfil the duty entrusted to him, and the fact that he 1572 refused to discuss the Act with any political bias shows that to be the case. But what would happen if the Tory candidate were asked to go to any constituency and address a trade unionist meeting, most of the men being Liberals. I am perfectly satisfied that every single one, whatever his political views were, would give that man a fair hearing, especially if, as was the case with Mr. Mackenzie, he was sent on the special invitation of the trade union whose members were anxious to hear the Act discussed. There is no excuse for the action of the Easter Ross Farmers' Club, and still less excuse for using this case as one where party feeling had been shown for the purpose of making an attack upon His Majesty's Government. This is quite a typical illustration of the action of the Commissioners. Two men, holding diverse political opinions, were asked by the Commissioners to come and prepare for lecturing on the Act. I think, also, it is typical of the action of the Government in desiring that the principles and objects of the Act should be understood. I am extremely sorry that Mr. Mackenzie's name should be raked up in this way. I think the Government have shown wisdom in choosing such a man to go to the North of Scotland—a man who is able to explain the Act to the people in the Gaelic language. Unless the intolerance which is being evidenced on every occasion by hon. Gentleman opposite ceases, the failure of the Act will be to their discredit, and their discredit alone.
§ Sir ALFRED CRIPPS
I think the speech we have just heard shows how difficult it is to have an impartial discussion of anything in regard to the Insurance Act. I do not want to attack anybody, but I believe the position of the Act and of public opinion in regard to it make it impossible that the lecturers will in any way carry out the instructions issued by the Commissioners. I put it on the ordinary grounds of human nature. You cannot expect nice impartiality with respect to a matter which is full of acute controversy and full of disputed points. It is no good sending down a lecturer into the country and telling him that he is merely to give the meaning of the Act and nothing more. He cannot do it. The moment a lecturer deals with a matter of this kind he is bound to give his own colouring and his own view as to what the Act really is and what it means. Let me give an illustration. Suppose you send the lecturer down into a country district and he is asked 1573 whether the flat rate principle imposes a heavier tax on the poorer people of the community, what is he to answer? Is he to answer "Yes" or "No"? The answer must be in accordance with the opinion he holds. If he answers accurately, he must tell them that the effect of the flat rate is to put a heavier tax on the poorer people. But is he likely to answer in that way? Can anyone suppose that a lecturer in these circumstances can answer by the card without giving further illustrations as to what the Act really means?
So far as I am aware, this principle of appointing lecturers paid by the Treasury to explain an Act after it has been passed is entirely without precedent, and I should like to ask hon. Gentlemen opposite this question: Suppose that after the Unionist party passed the Education Act of 1902 they had proposed to appoint lecturers, to be paid by the Treasury to explain the Act in all parts of the country, what would have been said by hon. Members opposite? It would have been said that it was a most monstrous form of political corruption. Then, again, supposing that after the passing of the Licensing Act we had appointed at a heavy cost to the country lecturers to go about explaining the provisions of the Bill, what would have been the outcry on the part of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and, I think, quite properly? Why! they would have said, "It is nothing less than political corruption, because you are using public funds for party purposes." You may say what you like about the instructions given to the lecturers in the present case. I have read them, and anything more absurd could not be imagined. You may say that the lecturers are to be men without political bias one way or the other, but no man can go about explaining the Act without becoming an apostle of it, and without becoming a lecturer in favour of the Government, supporting the Act for which they are responsible at the present moment. If we once embark upon the principle of paying lecturers with Treasury money for such purposes, I think we shall have gone a long way towards the degradation of public life in this country.
I have a very strong opinion that when a lecturer's remarks or the records of them come up before the Commission in London, the amount of remuneration will very much depend upon whether he showed himself in favour of the Act or not. That is human nature. The lecturer has to send up a report which is to be short and strictly to the point. Supposing he 1574 sends up a report which shows that, although he has been trying to be perfectly impartial, he is really not in favour of the Act, is he likely to be continued as a lecturer? It is to disregard ordinary human nature to suppose that anyone can be quite impartial in regard to a matter which at present is the subject of so much controversy. Every lecturer who tries to take up a most unbiassed position will be the one who will have least employment in future. The lecturer who seeks to support what the Commissioners have to carry out, and endeavours to make the Act a success, will be the lecturer who will have increased employment.
I would not mind if this was done at private expense instead of at the expense of the Treasury, but we are now officially sanctioning by this Vote, for the first time, the payment out of public funds of what are really political lecturers for party purposes. Do not let us, when considering the merits of one lecturer or another, give the go-by to that. I should have said the same thing if this had been done in regard to any Act passed by the Unionist party. It is demoralisation from whatever party a principle of this kind comes. In my experience it is a unique demoralisation, and we ought on the earliest occasion, in the interest of political purity, to protest to our utmost against degradation of this character. I would ask whether it is necessary to have these lecturers. I think this is a very important question when dealing with matters of Government legislation in this country. If the Act had been passed without the guillotine the case would have been different. It is the floor of the House where it ought to have been threshed out in order that the people of the country might have a chance of understanding it. That is the object of Debate in ordinary representative Government. We do not pass legislation until the country has had an opportunity of really knowing what is being placed upon them. Here we had a purely bureaucratic system. We had a Bill introduced before the subject had been discussed in the country—a Bill which involved a very large amount of additional taxation. When the Bill came into Committee it was dealt with in such a way that three-fourths of it was neither understood nor explained.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I will not pursue that matter. But surely it is relevant to ask whether it is necessary to have these lecturers. I say it is, because, instead of the Bill being discussed as it ought to have been discussed, the Government adopted a bureaucratic method of passing it first and making it understood after.
The Debate must be confined to the administration of the Act. We cannot go into how the Act came to be passed.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I submit to your ruling, but, on the point of Order, suppose we are dealing with a question of administration as to whether lecturers were necessary or not, am I not in order in saying that the lecturers ought not to be necessary if the Bill had been passed in the ordinary way, apart from bureaucratic methods?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
As this is not a Supplementary Estimate, but a new Estimate, would it not be in order to discuss anything which it is in the power of the administrators to do without legislation, or which they have done without legislation; and has it not been always the rule that free discussion is allowed on an Estimate provided you do not bring in something which a Minister in charge cannot do without introducing fresh legislation?
I do not understand that that is a point which I have ruled. The point in which I ruled was that it is not in order in this Debate to refer to the proceedings under which this Act became an Act. That is a matter of past history, and is not open to discussion in this Debate. The Debate must be confined, however wide its limits, to the administration of the Department and the Estimates now before us.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not in any way question your ruling, I only ask whether my statement was not correct, with the view that Members who are going to join in the discussion might know what they might discuss?
On the point on which I am ruling I have to adhere to the ruling which I have made.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
Surely, when dealing with a question of administration and an Estimate which is being discussed for the first time, we may deal with all matters affecting the administration if we do not 1576 deal with matters of legislation. Suppose I put it that a question affecting administration is whether this Act had been understood or not at the time it was passed, I submit, without going into past history at all, that it has a distinct bearing merely on the question of administration, and on nothing else. Of course, if I am going to be ruled out of order on that, I bow to your ruling at once, but it was only in that way that I was dealing with the matter, and to that extent.
I must not have made myself clear. It is not in order in this Debate for reference to be made or arguments used as to the methods of procedure under which this Bill became the-Act which we are now discussing. It is open, of course, to the hon. Member to criticise the appointments of the Administration and to say, as he has already said, that lecturers might not be necessary, but he was going into, as I understood him, a discussion of the Time Table under which the Bill was passed, and, of course, he knows this is not open to discussion.
§ Sir A. CRIPPS
I am much obliged for what you have said now. As regards your ruling, it is certainly not my intention to go into the Time Table of the passing of the Act, nor, as far as I have gone, do I think I was going into it. Without going any further into what took place last Session, I am going to put this: It seems to me to be quite inconsistent with the notions of representative Government, which means a full discussion, so that the electors may have knowledge of what is done, that it should be necessary in particular cases to appoint lecturers in order that the people of the country may ascertain what the nature of the legislation is. That seems to me to be a very strong point. Suppose, in this case, you are going to justify the appointment of lecturers paid by public money, how can you refuse an appointment in any other case where we have new legislation? And, more than that, when the new legislation is of a complicated character, as this undoubtedly is, when it is of a character with reference to which there is a great difference of political opinion, and when the matter is one in reference to which there is acute controversy at the present moment, and belongs to the very class of legislation in reference to which there ought to be no political bias as regards either the administration or its explanation. If a precedent is set now, is there any Act which may hereafter be passed by either political 1577 party in reference to which you may not, on behalf of the Government or the Treasury, have political emissaries sent all over the country under the name of lecturers? I say that this scheme of lecturers who merely make known what the Act is is impossible. No one, without talking absolute nonsense, could go down and lecture on those lines. Directly you leave that standpoint and give explanations in the true sense of the term, you must give your explanations in a biassed form, and I protest, on the grounds of political morality, against this, as the first attempt to use the Treasury for nothing more than political party purposes.
§ Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
I wish to say one word in reference to a passage in the speech of the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans). He mentioned some Irish matters as to which in ordinary circumstances myself and my Friends would wish to have something to say, but in the circumstances of this Session we do not desire to enter into any controversy about Irish administration, or to do or say anything in reference to this purely British action for which we have no responsibility. As the matter has been mentioned by the hon. Member I feel bound to make clear that our abstaining from any part in this discussion must not be taken as constituting in any way an approval or condemnation of the administration of this Insurance Act in Ireland or the appointment of the Insurance Commissioners or organisers. The whole question will have to be investigated from top to bottom hereafter, and for the present I refrain from embarking on any comment on the subject.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I am sorry that the hon. Member for Ross-shire (Mr. Macpherson) has left the House, because I would have liked to point out that from the description he gave of the meeting of the Ross-shire Farmers' Club all that the Ross-shire farmers did was to say, "Can you give us an explanation upon what really interests us. That is as regards the question of agriculture?" Mr. Mackenzie said that he could not say anything on that, and when he said that they apparently did not want to hear him, and I must say that seems to me to have been sound judgment on the part of the farmers of Ross-shire. I would like to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he really believes in the advantage, from the point of view of the nation, in the expenditure of this sum of money upon these lecturers? My hon. and 1578 learned Friend (Sir A. Cripps) has said that this is a new principle, and that on no other occasion has any Minister or any Government appointed lecturers at the expense of the Treasury to explain an Act of Parliament. I think I am right in saying that the practice of the Government hitherto has been much stronger than that. I have always understood that when an Act was passed the interpretation of that Act was left to the Courts of Law. It is only about a month ago I had a letter from a constituent of mine who wrote indignantly that he had written to the Home Office asking the Home Office to explain to him a certain thing in the Employers' Liability Act of 1906, and they refused because they took up the attitude which I have always understood to have been the attitude of all Governments, that this is a question for the Courts of Law and not for the Department.
This constituent of mine wrote a very indignant letter asking me to ask a question in the House, and to take the matter up. Being, I hope, strictly constitutional in my ideas, I replied to my constituent to this effect, that the Government were only following the precedent which all Governments had always followed, and that if he desired information upon this point he should apply to a solicitor. That was, I think, the proper course to have taken. Judge of my astonishment when I find that under this particular Act the Government are doing exactly what they refused to do only a month ago under another Act. Here is the letter which they wrote to my constituent:—Home Office, Whitehall,9th February, 1912.Gentlemen.—In reply to your letter of the 24th ultimo on the subject of the Workman's Compensation Act of 1906, I am directed by the Secretary of State to say that he regrets he cannot undertake to advise private persons on questions of the interpretation of the Act.Is not that exactly what has been done here? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Are not the farmers' club private persons? Did they not ask to be advised upon the interpretation of the Act, and did not this gentleman at first say he could not give any interpretation, and if they asked him questions he would see what he could do? Is not that advising private persons on the interpretation of the Act? If they did not do that what they were doing was giving a political lecture, though it arouses the ire of hon. Gentlemen opposite when we say that that is what is going on. The letter continues:—Which can only be authoritatively determined by the Courts of Law.1579 And now I would like to ask hon. Gentlemen how we can reconcile the action of the Home Office in replying to my constituent in that form with the action of the Treasury in appointing these gentlemen to go wandering about the country advising private people upon the interpretation of an Act of Parliament? If the hon. Gentleman will turn to page 20 of the Supplementary Estimates he will find that what we are asked to do is to provide one chairman, who is to have £2,000 a year as a maximum, one deputy-chairman, six Commissioners, and one secretary. Then there are allowances to the secretary for acting as legal adviser—professional charges outside the ordinary appointment; and there are eight principal clerks, who commence at £550 a year and rise to £700. My point is—if the hon Gentleman will give me his attention for one moment—that we jump from the secretary to a principal clerk. The White Paper which was circulated to-day or yesterday regarding the operation of Part I. of the Act, on page 8, makes mention of the assistant-secretary, Mr. Brock. There is nothing in the Estimate about an assistant-secretary. This is a new post which has been made, and which is outside, as I understand, the Vote which we are asked to sanction. The salary for this new post is not a salary commencing at £550 and rising to £700, but a salary of £850. If my information is correct, and I believe it is, this gentleman has been appointed to a post with a salary of £850 when he was very nearly at the bottom of the names sent in by the Admiralty. When he obtained this appointment he produced to the Commissioners a private letter from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, whose private secretary he was.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Does the hon. Baronet mean that he was a private secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty apart from the Civil Service?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
No; he was acting in the Civil Service as private secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty—[An HON. MEMBER: "Dr. Macnamara."]—and he obtained the letter from that gentleman. I do not know whether that can be considered as properly appointing an official to a post, but as to that I must leave the Committee to judge. There is the further point that this new post is not in the Estimate, and the post for which this gentleman applied was 1580 the post of secretary. These questions are not pleasant ones to bring forward, but one has to do one's duty, and if the funds of the country have to be used for these purposes, I think it is only right that the attention of the Committee should be drawn to the fact. Nothing would delight me more than if the hon. Gentleman could assure me that I am wrong in what I state.
§ Mr. JOWETT
I wish to ask the Secretary to the Treasury for an explanation with regard to three appointments which are notified on page 8 of the White Paper that has been issued to-day. Members of the Committee will recollect that during the latter part of last Session, in answer to various questions put by Members of the House, the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave explicit assurances, regarding the appointments that had been made under the Insurance Act, that there would be safeguards against any such thing as appointments made apart from merit. I myself asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 11th December, last year, if he was able to say that no applications for posts under the proposed National Insurance scheme would be invited or considered or any appointments made by the Insurance Commissioners until the particulars of the posts to be filled up had been published, and information regarding the duties and qualifications as could be given had been publicly announced as being available, on request, to intending applicants. The reply was that there would be issued in a few days' time a White Paper giving information regarding such preliminary arrangements as could be decided at that early stage. I then put a supplementary question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to whether he would undertake that no appointments should be made in the meantime, to which he replied that no important appointments would be made: perhaps two or three clerks for immediate purposes, but no really important appointment. That seemed to be entirely satisfactory, having regard to previous experience concerning the appointments made under the Labour Exchanges Act. One needed to be careful, and the reason I put questions so explicitly was with a view to receiving a definite and categorical reply.
The replies to which I refer seemed to be quite definite and satisfactory, and the only thing which remained for one to do was to wait until the White Paper was issued. A White Paper was subsequently 1581 issued, bearing the date 14th December. On the back page of that White Paper, signed by Sir Robert Morant, a definite pledge was given on behalf of the Commissioners, and signed by them, to the effect that, in the case of any particular posts, should it be necessary for them to have applications from outside the Civil Service, announcements would be made from time to time in the Press. Judge of my surprise—and I take it that Members of the Committee will be equally surprised if they follow the facts—when I find that there are no less than three appointments mentioned on page 8 of the White Paper issued this morning of gentlemen who have been appointed from outside the Civil Service, and without any such particulars or announcements as were explicitly and definitely promised. First, there is the principal clerk, Mr. E. Hackforth, who, at the time the selection was made, was secretary to the Brighton Education Authority, and formerly in the Civil Service under the Board of Education. There were two other first-class clerks in the persons of Mr. J. R. Brooke, a journalist, and Mr. B. W. Devas, a barrister, appointed. It appears to me, and I think that what I say will have the approval of Members of the Committee, that in these appointments there seems to be a distinct breach of the promise that was made. The consideration arises as to the most difficult position in which Members of this House have been placed because, in acting in conformity with the pledges given across the floor of the House, they are put at a disadvantage if those pledges are to be departed from afterwards and without their knowledge. We have all, or most of us, given positive and definite assurances to those who have applied to us in regard to these posts that there was no possibility of our giving them assistance as Members of the House of Commons. We further told them—at least I have done so over and over again, to one after another—that the pledge was in existence, and that before any appointments were made full particulars were to be given in the Press. Announcements were to be published as being the only way by which everybody would have a fair and open chance to obtain an appointment if he were fitted to do the work. Unless it is subject to an explanation, which I cannot conceive to be possible, I must enter my protest against these appointments in the face of the definite and clear announcements that have been made.
§ Mr. W. PEEL
There are one or two points that I desire to comment upon in 1582 regard to the appointments that have been made. In the first place, I think the whole system of appointments of lecturers would never have been thought of if the Government had not been losing a considerable number of by-elections, and that was the origin of the whole thing. It is therefore necessary to scrutinise rather carefully under what circumstances some of these appointments have been made. The hon. Baronet has already referred to the appointment of Mr. Brock, and I desire to ask one or two further questions on that appointment. I may observe, in passing, that it is a splendid thing to be private secretary to a Minister now-a-days. I only wish I had a son old enough to be private secretary to a Minister, he would get a post in the Civil Service in a couple of years at the most. There have been a good many instances lately of private secretaries being promoted in India and elsewhere to all sorts of advantageous and very lucrative positions. It is of some interest to know whether this gentleman—who, I am informed, is getting £850 a year and whose salary does not appear upon the Estimate, though I suppose it will appear there on some future occasion—really was private secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty. I want to know whether it is or it is not a fact in regard to these posts that offers were made to the heads of the Admiralty and of the Army to nominate a certain number of persons suitable for positions of this kind at a salary rising from £500 to £700 a year. Is it true that this particular post was refused because the salary was not high enough, and that afterwards the post suddenly received an income rising from £800 to £1,000 a year, and that this was accepted by the private secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty. Is it further the fact that there are two gentlemen among the principal clerks who, instead of getting the comfortable salary of £850 to rise to £1,000, get a minimum of £550 to rise to £700? Is it also the fact that these two gentlemen, Mr. Wynne and Mr. Richards of the Admiralty, are both of them far senior to this gentleman who has got the post above them, and that in doing this work of the Commissioners they have been put below a man who is much their junior, and who has only been at the Admiralty some four or five years. I really think, in the interests of the purity of administration and of straight dealing and of the Service, that this matter should be cleared up. The next point I desire to 1583 mention brings in another private secretary of a Minister, but only incidentally, and it is in connection with the action of the Welsh Commissioners. The protest I am going to enter this time is as an English Member, because Englishmen are so much trampled on by the surrounding nationalities, who are getting far too powerful in my opinion, that I think the slightest encroachment ought to be resisted vigorously by the race to which I happen to belong. The Welsh Commissioners sent round a circular in Welsh. [HON. MEMBERS: "Read it."] Owing to the weaknes of human nature I think I had better read it in the English translation. I may frankly confess my Welsh is somewhat indifferent and my accent might not be very clearly recognised. The circular states:—The Commissioners are anxious to give every possible help and every information in their power to meet the convenience of the Welsh people of Wales.The passage to which I wish particularly to call attention is as follows:—For the first time in the history of public administration, a Government Department has been established in the Principality. The Commissioners therefore will have an opportunity to be of service to the Welsh people in a more effective manner than has hitherto been possible.That circular was sent round to a number of persons in the county of Shropshire, and, among others, to an English clergyman. The excuse offered was that it was in the diocese of St. Asaph, which, it is well known, encroaches into Shropshire in its ecclesiastical boundaries. Almost all the people speak English there, and even those who do speak Welsh also speak English. Surely the circulars and orders of these Commissioners ought to be confined to the Welsh counties, and we ought not have this encroachment on our English counties. The only way in which the private secretary comes in is that among the Welsh Commissioners I note the name of one of the late private secretaries to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I know the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a keen Welsh Nationalist, and it may be that that gentleman is doing what he can to put forward the boundaries of Wales and to impinge and infringe on the limitations of our English counties.
I have examined with some care the instructions which are given to lecturers, and I think they are very remarkable, because they exhibit an almost morbid terror and anxiety lest any of those lecturers should deal with any political question. The instructions are so close 1584 and so nervous and so morbid that I fail to see how it is possible almost for anybody to give a lecture, or any consequential lecture, and comply with the conditions. First of all, I think the authority of the lecturer must be a good deal diminished if he has to announce at the beginning that nothing that he says will bind the Commissioners. When that is announced, I do not think the information on the working of the Act is of very much value. The lecturer has got to make no political allusion, and no reference to politics must be introduced even by way of illustration. Just think how enormously that curtails the eloquence of those gentleman; the whole range of political activity, even by way of illustration, is cut off. How very dull those lectures must be. I cannot help thinking that some of the persons going to these non-political lectures will go across the way where another lecture is being given by some members of the Liberal Insurance League. I do not think there will be any want of political allusion there, but rather that the lectures will be filled with such allusions and their whole object will be that. This clearly suggests that those cold, uninteresting, non-political Government lectures are established in order that people may be so bored by them that they will go to the more interesting, fascinating, Liberal lectures on the other side. We are in this difficulty: we have got to try and somehow distinguish between what are political and what are non-political lectures.
I wish to ask the Secretary to the Treasury a question about the training of the lecturers. On page 5 of this White Paper it is stated that the Commission undertake to send officially trained lecturers to meetings of the executive committees, and I see also that fifty-three persons are now on the books of the English Commission as officially trained lecturers. It takes a good deal of time to make a lecturer. I know something about the training of lecturers on other subjects, and I do not understand how in the short space of four or five weeks you could have produced so large a number as fifty-three officially-trained lecturers. I cannot help thinking that there must be in the public mind very great confusion and difficulty in distinguishing between those official lecturers and the lecturers sent down by the Liberal Association. It is most curious to note the coincidence of time, no doubt accidental, between the establishment of the association and of the Government lecturers. It was only a few weeks ago since we had the very remarkable speech of the 1585 Patronage Secretary to the Treasury, who, by his statement, seemed to have forgotten all the speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the assistance that had been received in the Act from Gentlemen on the other side. The Patronage Secretary said that for the future the Liberal party were going to shoulder the whole responsibility of the Act. Whether that is done from a nice discrimination of party interests, or other reasons, I leave to those who are acquainted with the ways and systems of the Liberal party. Anyhow, at that time it was felt most necessary in other ways, apart from those official lecturers, to establish what was well described by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as an official atmosphere. I should have thought that the speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have been sufficient to explain the Act without any further lectures. It seems, however, that this refreshing fruit requires a special temperature in which it may flourish. Therefore you have these lecturers in order to produce the special atmosphere.
There is, I think, bound to be great confusion in the public mind between those two sets of gentlemen, and I cannot help feeling that there must have been some intention in the Liberal mind to produce that sort of confusion, because it is impossible, when you have in the same town on the same evening two sets of lectures, one of which is to produce an atmosphere and the other of which is to have no political allusion, that the people will distinguish between one and the other. One gets the idea that public money is being spent for Liberal propaganda, and that may do a great harm, not only to the people, but, I am afraid, to the Liberal party itself. I should have thought that the Act was so wonderful that it needed no introduction. "Good wine needs no bush," and I should have thought that the working of the Act would have been enough assistance without any of those misconceptions of which we hear so much in the Liberal papers. I should have much preferred that some sort of explanation should be given to agricultural labourers, because they are going to come off very badly in those organisations, and especially those small societies, many of which are now being wound up because they do not like the terms on which they have to unite with other societies. I hear that the big societies are going round recruiting as hard as they can among the agricultural labourers, so that, instead of the agricultural labourer being able to take advantage of 1586 his extra health, and to get larger benefits, he is going to be pooled with the less vigorous inhabitants of the towns, and thus will lose the advantages which he gets from residence in the country, while the extra something will go to the benefit of the town inhabitants. Some of those matters might have been explained. This whole scheme of lectures is advertising the wares of the Liberal party, and it is an advertisement which, I am afraid, will severely fall on the heads of those who instituted the system.
§ Mr. WALTER ROCH
There are one or two points with regard to the Welsh Commissioners as to which I desire to obtain some information from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. It is rumoured in Wales in the Press, with regard to the future patronage which is now in the hands of the Welsh Insurance Commissioners, that an advisory board is going to be created. Personally, I think that would be very desirable, and I should like to hear it confirmed. Beyond that it is rumoured that that advisory board which is already in the air, is contemplating the creation of a set of regulations to guide them, and that they are going to lay down two classes, and to restrict one set of appointments to university graduates, while the other set is going to be left open. That has created a good deal of feeling throughout the whole of Wales, and I should be glad to hear whether that is confirmed or not. With regard to the Welsh Commission, complaints have reached me from various sources that posts are being filled up without due notice being given to people who may think they are fit to apply. I know that advertisements have from time to time appeared in the Press, but I would like to have it from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury that before any other posts are filled up, publicity will be given to the fact that they are open, so that anybody who feels that he is fitted may have a due opportunity of applying for them. I hear also that some of the appointments which are going to be filled are to be restricted entirely to the Post Office. I do not say whether that is desirable or not, but I should like to have it confirmed, because the people who are applying may be saved the trouble of sending in their testimonials, while at the same time the Commissioners have made up their mind that the positions are to be filled from the Post Office. I think that is almost in the same category as the matter of advertising.
1587 I do wish that the Financial Secretary would impress on the Commissioners to say what they are going to do, and to advertise and make it as public as they possibly can. Those are the points of detail as to which I should like a little more information. In referring to the question of patronage generally, I wish to say at once that I make no charge of any kind against the Welsh Commissioners. All that I would like to impress on them is this: Wales is a small country, and however good your administration may be, when you have patronage in the hands of private individuals it is dangerous anywhere, and it is undesirable anywhere, but it is infinitely more dangerous over a small area. I hope that the Financial Secretary will indicate that this private patronage, particularly in Wales, but also over the whole country, is going to cease in the personal way, and that in connection with the appointment of officials some Civil Service examination or some standing committee or permanent body will be set up, so that these questions of personal patronage will cease altogether under the working of the Act. I am not saying that it has been exercised unfairly or in a corrupt manner, but men who apply for appointments for which they think they are fitted and do not get them always attribute their failure to the fact that they have not had strong enough personal backing. That is a grave matter in the administration of the Act, and I hope the Financial Secretary will be able to give some such assurance as I have suggested.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
It seems as if it were destined that every page in the history of the National Insurance Act should be cursed by the radical vice of its origin and enactment. As it was rushed in legislation, so it is being rushed in administration. It was said of Joseph II. that he always took the second step before he took the first. It seems to me that in connection with this matter the Government take half a dozen steps before they take the first. It is really the rushing of the matter to which I wish to draw attention, particularly in connection with the appointment of the jobbing staff under the Act. All these jobbing staffs are open to grave objection, and it is inevitable, when you have jobbing work of this kind, that you should have a suspicion of jobbery about it. The last thing you want in connection with this Act is a suspicion of jobbery. I contend it is very hard 1588 on the men who are going to be employed. It is absolutely impossible to lecture with fullness of knowledge or any pretence of real benefit upon an Act which is itself only a framework. The best university lecturer could not do any good with this Act until the regulations are made under it and the vast blanks filled up. I will take one point, and not in any party spirit. These lecturers will have to deal with the medical benefit. In what spirit are they to deal with if! They cannot really explain what is contemplated, because the Insurance Commissioners have not, and it is doubtful whether they ever will, come to terms with the medical profession. Are they to take the anti-professional line? Apart from questions of party politics, there is the question of professional interest. Are they to follow the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his denunciation of the medical profession as guilty of the meanest conduct ever known in the history of the country? That point will come up. It is a very serious thing that lecturers should be asked to deal with the claims of the doctors to further recognition without knowing in what way the question will be met. Many of us hold, no doubt, that unless the co-operation of the medical profession is secured the Act cannot be worked. Are the lecturers to explain that? Or are they to say, "Follow the practice of existing friendly societies, and beat the doctors down to 4s."? This is a point which is not directly political; but, personally, I cannot understand how a body of men with the knowledge of the Commissioners can have referred to politics as if it simply meant party politics. This Act must be partly political. It affects the body politic, and in that sense it is political as well as economic. It is impossible to avoid politics. I suppose they meant party recriminations in the way in which the term is sometimes used and abused here and on the platform. But in some way the Act must be political. It cannot avoid dealing with politics.
Take the case of difficulties arising under Section 13. As the Committee knows, additional benefits may be given for the same purposes as substituted benefits. Are the lecturers to deal with that from the point of view of the criticism that was offered by the organisations which were working whilst the Act was under the consideration of the House? They must take some notice of the claims made on behalf of domestic servants and different classes of labourers. Without that there can be 1589 very little profit in their lectures. Supposing a lecturer goes down into the East End of London. He is face to face there with the difficulties of the casual labourer. Is he to point out that the Act is defective because, whilst it provides for something below the flat rate judged by the wage per day, it does not deal with the question of the wage per week, and therefore bears very hardly on those who are employed at a somewhat high rate but only for a few days in the week? These difficulties must crop up, and it seems to me that it is almost a scandal that, without any of these points having been solved or dealt with, a large staff of men should be taken on for jobbing work of this kind, with the certainty that they cannot do any real good, and that they can only deal with it on the same general lines as a Second Reading Debate in this House. Until the details are filled up you cannot properly explain the Act. I have been present at several great conferences of friendly societies in London, particularly those of the Manchester Unity and the Hearts of Oak, and these questions came up and were discussed. When the lecturer is expected to give information he will have to say he has no information to give, and that he is forbidden by the regulations to trench on what might have the colour of party politics about it. Therefore it seems to me that the very vice of which we complained in the legislation is being intensified tenfold now by this hurried appointment of men to rush the Act through anyhow.
Surely the case alluded to by hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) also bears upon this point. We have Estimates submitted to us which do not correspond with the information in the White Paper as to the appointments to the higher offices. This question is much more than a personal one. I do not doubt for a moment that the Civil servant who has been private secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty is a very capable person, who will well discharge the duties of his office. But surely it is a grave thing that, when it was sought to obtain the most capable members of the Civil Service who were willing to come forward to put into action a measure of great social significance, the terms of service were not fully made known. Circulars were sent round to the offices inviting men to come forward for appointment at certain salaries. After the names had been sent in, as I am told, a new post was created with a different grade of 1590 salary, and one who has no doubt done very good service is called to the post. That seems to me symptomatic of the whole of the administration of the Act, and again bears the mark of this extraordinary hurry which will certainly not do the Act any good in operation, and will cause it to be viewed with suspicion in the Civil Service as well as outside. If ever there was a case where the Government ought to have been metriculous in the observation of the proprieties, it is this Act. It has been ruled that we cannot go into the conditions under which the measure was passed in this House, but we know that there are difficulties in the administration in this case which are not common in regard to Acts of Parliament. I do not care if there have been some precedents for the appointment of lecturers. You can find precedents for anything in this country. The tin kettle is said to be a precedent for the steam-engine. You can always find a tin-kettle precedent. But what you wanted in regard to this Act was that you should have a clean sheet from the very first, and that in the mind of the public as well as of the Civil Service, in its administration it should be above suspicion. I think we are beginning very badly and unfortunately, and I only wish that the exigencies of party had not entered so largely into the administration. There was no necessity to rush this in the way the Government have done. They might have taken their time. If they had done so, the Act, in the long run, would have had a better chance. The Commissioners themselves cannot have digested it properly in the few weeks they have been in office, and as to the gentlemen who have been appointed to serve under them for varying periods, their plight is the most hopeless of all. It is in their interest, in the interest of the jobbing staff of the Commission as well as of its permanent servants, that I protest most earnestly against the manner in which the Act is being treated now that it is on the Statute Book by those who are responsible for its administration.
§ Mr. E. F. WOOD
I wish to associate myself with everything that has fallen from my hon. Friends, more especially from the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. H. Lawson) as to the absolute impossibility of securing impartial or open-minded lecturers on this subject. I think it has been proved absolutely clearly that, on a subject of this kind, which creates at once prejudice and enthusiasm, it is almost 1591 impossible for anyone to preserve an open mind. If a man has an open mind on a subject like this, the chances are that it has nothing in it. Anybody who has studied the Act is bound to have a strong and decided opinion upon it. I wish to ask the Secretary to the Treasury how long these lecturers are likely to be continued in office. I am well aware that it is stated in the White Paper that the lecturers have been warned that their appointment is only temporary, and that they must not be surprised if they are not reappointed. I think the Committee may fairly claim to be told what the Government expect will be the length of time for which the services of these lecturers will be necessary. The answer will probably be that it depends on the ability with which the lecturers discharge their task, and upon the rapidity with which in consequence the country is educated. Looking at the instructions given to the lecturers it is somewhat unpromising that in the first paragraph the Commissioners refuse to allow the lecturers to pledge their authority upon any of the points about which they are asked. If a man is supposed to be explaining the policy of the Government, and is told before he begins that what he says may, and very likely will be thrown overboard by the Government he is supposed to represent, you are asking such a man to discharge an impossible task. There is no reason why on these terms the education of the country should ever be completed.
I wish also to call attention to a further mistake in the figures submitted to us. It will be within the recollection of the Committee that my Noble Friend (Viscount Helmsley) felt it his duty yesterday to draw attention to a similar point, and to show that on these Estimates there was a mistake of something like £30. It is a small matter, but it shows the careless and hasty manner in which the Estimates are framed. If the hon. Gentleman who represents the Treasury will be kind enough to look at Subhead II. (a) he will see that the figures dealing with salaries, wages, and allowances show a total of £18,890. If he will carry his mind to page 20 and onwards, which show the details of that sum, he will see, first of all, that England accounts for £9,750, Wales £2,230, Scotland £2,655, Ireland £2,110, and, lastly, the Joint Committee £2,055. If the hon. Gentleman does not mind doing a little mathematics, he will see that these sums add up altogether to 1592 £18,800, not, as on the Estimate, £18,890. I do not pretend to be a mathematician, but I have done this sum six times within the last ten minutes, and I have been unable to find myself in fault. If the hon. Gentleman can enlighten me I am sure I shall be extremely pleased. I am bound to say that on the face of it it looks as if these figures had been carelessly framed, and I think that the gentleman who added up the figures, having said that five and five make ten, has forgotten to carry one forward. That may be the explanation of it. If so, then the gentleman who added up the figures has my sympathy.
§ Mr. HAMAR GREENWOOD
With two points raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) I find myself in agreement. The first was that that referred to a book that may, or may not, have been issued, entitled "Questions and Answers under the Insurance Act," by the National Insurance Commissioners. The second point is in reference to a letter written by Mr. Watson to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and used in the public Press. As to the first point relating to the book, if the Commissioners have published this book it becomes a semi-official publication, and I submit, with the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Colchester, that every Member of this House and every member of the public have a right to that book. I am bound to say that I do not think the Commissioners would be well advised to issue such a book at the present time, because there are many questions in connection with the Insurance Act that no one would like to specifically, definitely, and finally answer. But if the book is issued I want my book! In reference to the letter written by Mr. Watson, I take the same position in this matter that I took in connection with the book published by General Sir Ian Hamilton, that no Minister has a right to use a communication from a Member of his Department unless he signs that communication himself and takes the public and ministerial responsibility.
So much for my agreement with the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Colchester. In reference to his criticism of appointments under this Act, I wish to say that with all his care, and with all his acknowledged capacity in reference to this Act, and with all the use no doubt of the drag-net of semi-opposition, he has only found seven names out of all the names connected with the administration 1593 of this Act which he can criticise at all. Of those seven, five are Irish lecturers and two are Scottish lecturers. There is not a single one of the Commissioners for England, of all the clerks for England, of all the officials for England, or of the lecturers for England with which the hon. and learned Gentleman can find any fault at all—[An HON. MEMBER: "Or Wales"?]—or even poor Wales. A list that can stand such a scrutiny by such an acknowledged master of the National Insurance Act, is a list that is the best testimony to the purity of the appointments under this Act. It seems that one gentleman whom the hon. and learned Gentleman specially called the attention of the Committee to is an ex-Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. It was suggested by one of the speakers that because this gentleman had been Lord Mayor of Dublin he was not fit to be a lecturer under the Act. I feel like condoling with any Lord Mayor who has come down from such a mighty pedestal to be a humble speaker under the National Insurance Act. [An HON. MEMBER: "He may not have come down."] If he has not come down he has declined in importance in leaving the chair of the great city of Dublin to be a lecturer under this Act. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Well, that is my opinion. I heard with amazement the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for South Buckinghamshire say that these lecturers were political emissaries. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] Yes, and that is a common view often expressed, although not so often in the House as out of it: that everybody under this Act, from Sir Robert Morant downwards, is a strong Radical, and has received his appointment because of his Radicalism. Some men can say things like that, and no one pays much attention to them; but when an hon. Gentleman like the Member for South Bucks makes such a statement, I think it is going just a bit too far. It is a monstrous thing that a statement like that should be made by him, and by others not so important as he, when he cannot put his finger on any single appointment in the White Paper of which it can fairly be alleged. Can any evidence be produced satisfactory to this Committee that men have been appointed because of their political tendency? I repeat that no doubt the greatest scrutiny has been given to all these lists, and if it were possible to show that a single man had been appointed because of his political leanings that man would be held up as an example of the unrighteousness of this Government.
1594 The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London referred to the appointment of Mr. Brock, a Civil servant, recently the private secretary of the right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, that his appointment as assistant-secretary was full of suspicion, and ought to be inquired into. He said what to me is an amazing thing, that that appointment was made by reason of a letter written by the right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty to the National Insurance Commissioners. What I want to know is: if such a letter was written, how does the hon. Baronet the Member for the City know anything about it? Even if such a letter were written, is it not a well-known fact that these Civil servants should—at any rate, in the main—represent the best in character and the best in capacity that this country produces? Is it not a fact that these men are frequently transferred from one Department to another because of their great efficiency? The whole bogey of seniority is properly not allowed to interfere with the promotion of well-known and well-proven Civil servants. I think the hon. Baronet the Member for the City spoke very unworthily indeed when he tried to show that a private letter from one Department to another Department was the cause of the appointment, and when he tries to throw a stigma not only upon the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty but to throw a stigma, undeserved though it might be, upon a Civil servant whom personally I do not know. As a Member of this House I am prepared to support our great Civil servants under the National Insurance Act or under any other Act, because I believe ours is the best Civil Service we could possibly have. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down regretted that there was an element of suspicion surrounding the administration of the National Insurance Act. Who raised that cloud of suspicion? Who has made the charges of political patronage against the Government? Who to-day brings charges under the head of political emissaries, jobs, and other unworthy words, without producing a single case, unless we take into consideration the seven of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Colchester?
§ Mr. HORNER
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.
I do so in order to call the attention of the Committee very briefly to the administration of the Act in respect to 1595 Ireland. As we are aware, there is a separate Commission for Ireland. This Commission at the present time is sitting in London. If the hon. Gentleman turns to page 5 of the Memorandum of the Steps Taken Preliminary to the Operation of Part I. of the Act, he will find that the English Commission, which also sits in London, has held conferences with many of the officers of the greater friendly societies, dividing societies, trade unions, industrial insurance companies, and also with organisations and societies of women whose members are affected by the Act. These were conferences at which questions connected with the setting up of the first local insurance committees and other matters were discussed. So far as the Irish Commission is concerned it is sitting in London, and there is no communication whatever between those in Ireland who are interested in the working of the Act and the Commissioners.
§ Mr. HORNER
Then I am misinformed. I was under the impression that the Irish Commission was sitting in London. At all events, at the present time the Act is in a most hopeless confusion in Ireland; in fact, in a state of chaos. In Ireland we have got no such thing as great friendly societies. The only great friendly societies, so far as I know, are branches in Belfast of societies in Manchester and other English centres. We have got no society, except the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which in reality is a political organization—
§ Mr. HORNER
The Foresters are a branch of the English society. May I also draw attention to the appointments which have been made in connection with the lecturers. I find of the appointments that have been made in England that many of the ladies and gentlemen are graduates of universities, members of the learned professions, and so on. In Scotland more than half are graduates of the university, 1596 four are advocates, and so on. In Wales about half are graduates of universities and the others are members of the legal profession, but when I turn to Ireland I find there is not a single graduate of any of our three great universities, with the exception of one gentleman, who is a dispensary medical doctor. I make no personal attack upon any of those fortunate individuals who are now lecturing upon the intricacies of the Insurance Act, but they are not the type of people who have the confidence of any class in Ireland. Amongst those giving lectures in Ireland I do not find any selected from the ranks of the legal profession, either solicitor or barrister. To my own knowledge there have been members of my own profession in Ireland who have been writing upon this Act as it was passing through this House, and who have a most intimate knowledge of the Act and of the country. Why were they passed over? I find also, with regard to the amount of money these wandering gentlemen are allowed and pocket, that in Ireland £1,400 has been devoted to these people for travelling and other expenses in connection with explanatory lectures, while in Scotland only £1,000 and in Wales £900 has been allowed. Travelling expenses and subsistent allowance in Ireland amounts to £1,800, as against £500 in Scotland and £550 in Wales.
On Tuesday last the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said that in Ireland the Commissioners have sanctioned Sunday lectures upon the Insurance Act, which have been presided over by parish priests and, at least in one place, by the bishop of the diocese. In Wales and Scotland no Sunday lectures have been held. First of all, I object on principle to public money being spent on Sunday lectures, and I object to public money being spent on Sunday lectures for another reason. There are a great number of Protestants in the south and west of Ireland who, as a matter of course, will not go to lectures given upon Sunday simply because they are given on Sunday, not because they are presided over by the parish priest or the bishop. I move this reduction because I want the Irish Commissioners to sit permanently in Dublin; secondly, because the class of lecturers should be altered, and a better class of lectures given; and, thirdly, in order that these lectures may not be given upon Sundays.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I have frankly to ask the indulgence of the Committee, as in 1597 the circumstances I am afraid I am speaking under some physical disadvantage, but I will do my best to answer the various questions, and I think my task will be rendered easier by the fact of the moderate and comparatively non-controversial nature of the discussion. It will, I hope, enable me to avoid as far as possible purely controversial matter. At the same time I should like to make the reservation that if it is desired I should deal with the more controversial nature of the subject I shall be glad to do so. The Debate to a very large extent has turned upon the advisability of the policy adopted by the Commissioners of all the four countries in making special efforts in order to give information concerning the Act. I may say, and I hope this will not be regarded as controversial in character, that the charge concerning these lectures has varied from day to day, and almost from hour to hour. It is very difficult, even at the end, to know what it is really that hon. Members object to. The first charge was that we were financing out of the Insurance Commissioners' funds the work of the Liberal Insurance Committee. That of course is quite inaccurate. When that charge was disproved it was said that although our lectures were ostensibly under the auspices of the Government Department, they were in fact, and in character, political in their nature. That charge was immediately disproved by the general instructions which had been issued to lecturers, and which one hon. Member opposite said were almost morbid in their determination that no kind of political allusion should be allowed. When I announced that the lectures were in the main going to be private lectures at the invitation of organisations, suggestions were made, I think by the hon. Member for Colchester, of all sorts of secret political influences being used, and of these private meetings being converted into efforts to insure the apotheosis of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I replied to the hon. Member that the privacy of the meetings were because they were private at the desire of the organisations themselves, and not at the desire of the Commissioners who had no wish for privacy at all in the matter.
Then when I said that in Scotland the lecturers had been largely in public, especially in the districts where there were no friendly societies I was furiously attacked for having spent public money in giving information to insured persons which would help them in the choice they 1598 would have to make between now and next July. Before I gave the names of the various lecturers engaged by the Commissioners I was told that they would be party hacks and mostly Liberal agents, but when I announced as a demonstrative example—and I can assure the Committee the Commissioners themselves cannot tell me the politics of the great majority of their lecturers—that I knew two of them were ex-Unionist candidates for Parliament, I was then denounced as having inquired from Civil servants what their political opinions were, and when finally I was asked to give the occupation of the gentlemen who are appointed to these temporary appointments, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Colchester attacked me on account of the occupation of some of them, with what I am quite sure was not intended to be a sneer, but which looked like one, because some of them were members of the working classes.
Mr. WORTHINGTON - EVANS
Will the hon. Gentleman allow me? I did not really sneer. It was not intended, nor in fact was it a sneer, to say a man was a member of the working class.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I said the hon. Gentleman did not intend it to be a sneer. I hope that from the very beginning one may lay down the principle that because a man is a saddler or a coal miner, that that is not an unsuitable occupation for a lecturer to be drawn from.
What I said was that from their occupations their was no indication of special ability to lecture, and I then said we must inquire further, and I said I had an informative article from the "Times" of the 22nd February from which I would ask questions in pursuance of further inquiries. I am in the recollection of the Committee as to what I did say.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I fully accept the explanation of the hon. Gentleman. This system of conducting information through Government Departments has been attacked with some vehemence this afternoon. It is said there is no precedent for a Government Department using public money to convey information concerning Acts of Parliament to people affected by these Acts. The hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) contrasted the refusal of the Home Office to give information on delicate legal points with giving information concerning a new Act which, he said, was never done by any Government Depart- 1599 ment. If there was no precedent I should be quite prepared to defend our action in this case. I know of no Act in which such important changes are to be made by people affected by this Act in a comparatively short space of time. If you realise that 14,000,000 of insured persons have got to choose to join approved societies unless they sink into the ranks of Post Office contributors, that all the big friendly societies have to go through some sort of reconstruction, that many of the smaller societies have to make plans for amalgamation, and that a large number of the population have to choose whether they desire alternative benefits, I think there is a case, even if there was no precedent for making special efforts.
As a matter of fact, in spending money to explain a new Act of Parliament we are following almost the invariable principle followed in connection with all new Acts dealing with complicated social legislation. Leaflets and books have been distributed by all the great social Government Departments in connection with all Acts of Parliament of recent years immediately after these Acts were passed. When I was taken away from my position as Under-Secretary at the Home Office I was actually preparing a pamphlet explaining the Coal Mines Act, which the House passed last year, to the population affected by that Act. The Board of Trade distributed leaflets setting out how employers and employés would be affected by the Trades Boards Act. Leaflets and circulars were sent to employers calling attention to the advantages of the Labour Exchanges Act passed by the Government. The Board of Agriculture and Fisheries have always adopted this plan. They have over 200 leaflets, and they circulated over 1,250,000 of them giving information. In connection with agriculture circulars are sent to the persons concerned. I see among the total leaflets "How to get a small holding," published after the Act of 1908, and showing how to create an atmosphere, as one hon. Member styled it, favourable to the working of the Small Holdings Act. These were paid for by the Government.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I will come to that in a moment. The criticism was made that these kind of leaflets and explanations should not be sent out. I have seen long pamphlets setting forth the terms of the 1600 Workmen's Compensation Act to which the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) referred.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I shall give precedents from the Government of which the hon. Baronet was so great a supporter for six years. He mentioned the Workmen's Compensation Act. There was issued from the Home Office in 1906, certainly following a precedent in connection with the Factories Act, passed by the previous Government, a long and comprehensive memorandum which adopted a very similar principle to that used by us. That is to say, it told persons affected what the explanation of the Act was; and it strongly advised them also to read the Act itself and to make themselves familiar with all its provisions. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say, "That is all very well as regards-pamphlets, but were there any lecturers, or have meetings been held, public or private, in connection with similar Acts of Parliament?" In connection with social Acts of Parliament which affect the working classes, the various Government Departments involved have always endeavoured to bring people together and inform them how they were affected by these Acts. Under the Labour Exchanges Act the Board of Trade sent down lecturers from the office to call big meetings together which were announced by bills and posters paid for by the Government, and addressed by officials of the Board of Trade. In the case of the Trade Boards Act, 1909, the same policy was adopted. I have here a sample advertisement of a meeting, printed by the Stationery Office, which announcesa mass meeting of workers engaged in ready-made and wholesale bespoke tailoring will be held in the Great Assembly Hall, Mile End.Amongst the speakers announced were Mr. G. R. Askwith, the head of the Labour Department of the Board of Trade, who was in the chair, Mr. W. B. Yates, J.P., of the office of Trade Boards, Mr. T. E. Harvey, M.P. (Warden of Toynbee Hall), Mr. W. A. Appleton (Secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions), and the Hon. H. W. Lawson, M.P. I have no doubt that was a selection of speakers which gave great satisfaction. An hon. Member opposite interrupted and said that this kind of thing had only been done by the iniquitous Liberal Government.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
Yes, that meeting was summoned by the Board of Trade officials, and Mr. Yates and I were asked to be present to explain points or make criticisms.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I do not object to the criticisms, because I think that is a satisfactory method of giving information. There are plenty of other examples, but, as I have already explained, I do not want to weary the House with them. I can give others in connection with the work of Government offices. Here I have the Annual General Report of the Department of Agriculture for Ireland. It says:—It is felt that correspondence alone would be an inadequate means of explaining a new and complicated Act, and of working out a highly technical scheme with bodies who are under no obligation to adopt them. The department has consequently, in the person of their representatives, been ready to visit the local authorities and confer with them on the spot.That was not found sufficient, and a series of pioneer lecturers to give all the information possible as to the Act for a reason which is a perfectly good one "in order that local authorities and the public generally, and especially the working classes," should understand what the Act was going to confer upon them. That was by the Unionist Government in 1900. That seems an entirely analogous case to the Insurance Act. I do not want to make a party score out of this. All I want to show is in each case the complicated details of a complicated Act had to be brought before a large number of people who would have to make a choice in a comparatively limited space of time. If there had been a Government Department to administer the Insurance Act, we should have used the permanent officials, but there was no such Government Department to administer the Insurance Act, and a department is now being made. If this work had to be done at all I am quite sure the Insurance Commissioners took a right view when they regarded it as part of their duty. Necessarily it had to be done by new men.
The Insurance Commissioners were very reluctant to take into their employ permanently a large number of new men, and therefore the only other alternative was to obtain the best men possible for temporary work, many of whom had had experience in insurance work and in public lecture work and who were willing to carry on the work under those conditions. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen opposite who have insinuated political and other forms of corruption in this matter will believe me in the 1602 statement I make, but I say without a word of hesitation that so far from that being the case, the possibility of that charge arising in connection with these temporary lecturers has always been before the Insurance Commissioners, and they have gone out of their way to try and induce men who were not known to be Liberals in politics, and men who were Unionists in politics, to take on this work, believing if they did take on the work they would do it loyally and in the spirit laid down by the instructions. Many of them have come in and done so. I have no intimate knowledge of the case referred to by the hon. Member for Colchester, but I say quite frankly, if any attempt was made to find out the political opinion of that gentleman it was with a view to obtaining a gentleman of a political persuasion opposite to that of the Government.
May I draw the hon. Member's attention to the fact that we are now discussing a Motion to reduce Item A by £100, and the speech of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is now dealing with Item D?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
May I make an appeal to the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Tyrone to withdraw his Amendment until I have answered these questions, and probably he can move it again afterwards?
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
In Ireland there is often very great controversy concerning appointments as to whether they are Protestants or Catholics. In accordance with the basis of population may I point out that the appointments in Ireland would have been something like twenty Catholics to five Protestants? As a matter of fact, under this Act, the Irish Commission have appointed to these temporary appointments ten Protestants and fifteen Catholics, which is twice the number to which the Protestants would naturally have been entitled upon the basis of population. I am quite sure the Commissioners made those appointments in order that they might be able to deal with the details of the Act in a way that would appeal to men of all politics to assist in the working of the Act, reserving their right to propose amendments when the proper time comes. I will proceed seriatim with the various questions which have been put to me. 1603 The hon. Member for Colchester asked me what the expenditure for the year would be, but I cannot answer that question till the estimates come in. The hon. Member will recognise that we have, in an unprecedented manner, tried to meet the wishes of his Friends and himself by giving full details of these Supplementary Estimates. I have not been able to give every detail of every appointment because they are being made from day to day, and the staff is working twelve or thirteen hours a day, and consequently I am anxious to get more appointments made. If the hon. Gentleman will look at the bottom of the Supplementary Estimates, he will see at the end a detailed account for the salaries of those who have been appointed under "provision for additions to staff in the remainder of the year, £2,500." Since the Estimate was issued there have been additions to the staff, and one is the gentleman whom the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London spoke about in the early part of this Debate.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Yes, that is exactly what there is. It is the item "provision for additions to staff for the remainder of the year."
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The hon. Member will find it on page 20, and it includes appointments which are being made from day to day. The Insurance Commission is getting a staff together from various other Government Departments, and not a week passes without some more additions being made to the staff. It is in order to provide money for that purpose the Committee is now being asked to vote. £2,500. In the Estimates themselves, which I hope will be published very soon, there will be full detailed accounts of every position that is required.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
May I ask the hon. Member whether it was known by the Civil Service that the appointment of that grade was to be made?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I cannot answer that question off-hand. What happened was that all the Civil Service were asked to apply if they wished to serve under the Insurance Commission. Various Members have applied, and the Insurance Commissioners selected from them. They may have selected from those who did not apply.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Was it not announced to those who did apply that the highest posts offered would be those running from £550 to £700 per annum, whereas since that time one gentleman who has been recommended—the private secretary to the Secretary to the Admiralty—has been appointed to a higher grade at a salary of £850 to £1,000?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I am informed that no such announcement was made, but I will inquire. The hon. Member for Colchester asked me why we had made regulations before the advisory committee was appointed. The only regulation which has been made is one which necessarily had to be made before any advisory committee could be appointed. By the definition in the Act the advisory committee has to include representatives of approved societies, but no unregistered society could become an approved society until we issued the regulations laying down the character of the constitution by which it could be made an approved society. Therefore, that regulation must of necessity be issued before the advisory committee was appointed. I can assure the hon. Gentleman every step is being taken to hasten the appointment of the advisory committee, and it is to my very great regret that the announcement of it has not been made weeks ago. The advisory committee has not in the main to be appointed by individual selections of the Insurance Commissioners—it would be comparatively easy to appoint it rapidly if that was the case—but it has to be appointed by selections from representatives of the great organisations of employers, of approved societies, of trades unions, and others. Those are communicated with, but their replies are not always easy to obtain rapidly in the selection of names. I hope very shortly, however, to be able to announce the appointment of the advisory committee.
The hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) asked me if any meetings were held before the printed instructions were issued. I am told none were held in Ireland or Wales before these instructions were issued as printed instructions. Ten were held in England and four in Scotland before the Joint Committee had approved of the instructions, but the substance of those instructions were given verbally beforehand to the lecturers concerned. He has asked me as to the names and number of lecturers. I cannot tell him whether the names are the same as the appointments 1605 which have been announced in the newspapers, because I am not sure whether the names which had been announced in the newspapers are correct or not. I know some of them are the same. I know, for instance, Mr. Walker, whom he mentioned, is the Mr. Walker who occupies a high position among the trades unions of Belfast, and who, I believe, is a confirmed Unionist in politics. I think the hon. Gentleman is correct in his identification of name with name, but I cannot give any information with regard to the identification with occupation which the "Times" newspaper has alleged. I think the question of the lecturer specially engaged to speak in the West of Scotland has been already dealt with by my hon. Friend the Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson). The quotations given by the hon. Member for Colchester demonstrated to all who heard them the very great care of the lecturers not to deal with political matters and not to make the meetings of a political character for the aggrandisement of the Liberal party. I think the hon. Member for Colchester should take care not to assume that the printed reports of lectures are always correct, because I am informed, for instance, that the printed report as given in an Irish newspaper of the lecture to which he alluded, I think of Mr. Doyle, bears very little relationship to what actually took place. The allusion to the Budget was an interpolation from a member of the audience. There are, unfortunately, certain people, maliciously-minded people, who are endeavouring deliberately to put difficulties in the way of working this Act. Therefore I utter that word of warning to my hon. Friend. I know nothing is further from his thoughts than any desire to do that. It is shown that, instead of extending political propagandism, the lecturers have been carrying out the instructions given to them loyally—sometimes in Scotland with humour; but I don't know that they're any the worse for that.
The only charge that can be really advanced is that the mere fact of giving information and explanation concerning an Act passed by the Liberal Government must of necessity redound to the credit of the Liberal Government, but that is not our fault. It is not our fault the Insurance Act has been made recently a party measure. You may say no lecture ought to be given, and that this lecturing work ought not to proceed when one great political party has said, if it comes into power before the Act gets into operation, it will repeal it. But when this lecturing 1606 began no one knew that this was to be the policy of the Conservative party, considering that neither on the First nor the Second nor on the Third Reading did they divide against it. And even if that was the policy, so important is it that people should be informed what the Act is that really the Government in power had no alternative, especially in view of the amazing misrepresentations which have been carried on, than to communicate to the people authentic information concerning the Act, and I am sure there is no single one of the Supplementary Estimates on which I have more reason to believe the people approve of the measures which have been taken. I have here a long series of letters which we have received from various organisations which have held meetings, and from persons who have been at those meetings, expressing gratitude to the Commission for the steps they have taken, and showing that the statement of one hon. Gentleman opposite that it is impossible to give information concerning the Act until the regulations are completed is really putting it too high. It is quite easy to give a large amount of necessary and accurate information concerning the Act without waiting for the regulations which have to be completed. Here, for example, is a letter from the secretary of the Northumberland and Durham Miners' Association:—I beg on behalf of our management committee to express our gratitude and appreciation of the assistance rendered to us at our delegate meeting by your worthy representative. His speech and his ready answers to all inquiries were instructive, interesting and convincing. By his help we were able to come to a decision much sooner and at less cost than could have been done otherwise.That is the decision to apply to become an approved society, which is exactly what everyone in this House wants every trade union and every friendly society to do. Here is another one from Galgate:—We should be glad to avail ourselves of the help of one of the appointed lecturers, as there appears to be so much misrepresentation of the Act in this part. We should be extremely glad to have someone who is able to put the true facts of the Bill to the members. There are several societies about here who are contemplating winding up, and, unless we have someone who is able to explain the Bill thoroughly, I am afraid our society will go the same way. An early reply will oblige.An hon. Gentleman this afternoon challenged me on that, and said societies were being dissolved as a result of the passing of the Act. Why are they being dissolved? Because they are being told that the money which they have accumulated is going to be grabbed by the Government. In every way the disadvantages of the Act are being placed before them and the advantages of the Act are being concealed.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I will give a quotation to show the influence on the mind of a member if the Committee will pardon a story which is perhaps a little irrelevant. The chairman of the Scotch Commission told me he was interrupted in his labours by an old woman who climbed up his stairs and demanded an interview with him, and who insisted on not going away until the interview was granted. She said she wanted a plain and specific answer to a question from a Government authority. She was in two friendly societies, and she wanted to know if it was true Mr. Lloyd George was going to grab the money she had accumulated in her societies. Of course, there has been a by-election in Edinburgh, but I am not using that as any accusation against any specific political opinion. I say that whilst that opinion is about you cannot blame societies for dissolving and trying to get the money, and, therefore, it is essential the Government should tell them the true facts through their lecturers.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
The hon. Gentleman made a specific charge and implied that hon. Members on this side of the House—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."]—had at all events given their countenance to the statement, if they had not actually persuaded people, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was going to grab the money in their friendly societies. I ask you, Sir, whether that accusation should not either be substantiated by a quotation or be withdrawn?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I made no specific charge at all against any Member of the House. I say these things are being said, and everyone knows they are being said. I said that where meetings have been held to explain the Act—it has happened in my own Constituency in Bethnal Green—this point has been brought up again and again, and large numbers of the societies believe it to be true, and they are told it is true. I never suggested for a moment they were being told by Members of this House.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Here is another example of the kind of letter being 1608 received every day. It is from the Ancient Order of Foresters, "Duke of Argyle" Lodge:—The result upon those of our members who attended the lectures has been highly satisfactory in the direction of removing the doubts caused by the numerous misrepresentations advertised and insisted upon all over the country. I am desired to tender to the Commissioners the grateful thanks of those members who attended the lectures for the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the true meaning of the Act.I can give case after case in which great employers of labour have asked that lecturers may be sent down to explain to their men the operations of the Act. I can give case after case in which the chairmanship of the meeting has been taken by well-known Conservatives and Tariff Reformers.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I do not quite understand the purpose of that interruption. If the Noble Lord can bring me any case where the lecturers have not explained the true meaning—
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
The expression "true" begs the question. In a matter of controversy when some persons, as the hon. Gentleman says, explains the disadvantages, it is not the business of the Treasury out of public money to explain the advantages. That is partisanship propaganda.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
You can see the instructions which have been given to them, and I believe they are abiding by those instructions. Their instructions are to give information concerning the Act, which is the law of the land, without extolling the Act, on the one hand, if they happen formerly to have been Liberals, and without depreciating the Act if they happen formerly to have been Conservatives; and I believe, until I have any evidence to the contrary, that is being complied with.
§ Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us what accurate information the lecturers give in regard to the medical benefit?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I have already said that in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for the London University. The hon. Member for Colchester suggested Mr. Watson had gone entirely outside his duty 1609 in a letter recently written "Times."
§ 7.0 P.M.
I particularly did not make any sort of attack on Mr. Watson. I did not say it was outside his duty. On the contrary, I said he was following instructions, and I complained of the instructions having been given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Of course, I do not wish to misrepresent what the hon. Gentleman said, but he complained of the letter which was sent, under the instructions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by Mr. Watson. What actually happened? A controversy arose concerning a certain society in this House, and the Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin (Lord Hugh Cecil) took an opposite view to that adopted by my right hon. Friend. In the course of the controversy the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised the House that an actuarial report should be laid on the Table by Mr. Watson. That report was accordingly laid, and it was attacked by the Noble Lord, who said it was an incorrect statement. What Mr. Watson did was to prepare a memorandum for the press to show that his report was not incorrect, and that the Noble Lord must have misunderstood it. I submit that that was a perfectly proper thing for Mr. Watson to do, and for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to instruct him to do. The Member for Colchester asked me if I could promise to provide all the literature issued from time to time by the Insurance Commissioners. If it is the wish of Members of this House that they should receive this literature in the same way as they receive Blue Books, I shall be very glad to make arrangements for it, because, certainly, the Insurance Commissioners are only anxious that the literature should be fully brought before the House of Commons.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
At the moment I do not see any objection at all to that, and if the hon. Gentleman will put down a question I will give him a reply. Now I come to what I regard as an important question by the hon. Member for West Bradford (Mr. Jowett). He complained of what he thought was the violation of a promise made in December by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that all appointments made outside the Civil Service 1610 should be advertised. I think if he looks at the promise and at the White Paper he will see that he is not quite exact, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the White Paper reserves the right to the Commissioners, in special cases, of appointing me a whom they thought fit. On the whole, I agree it is desirable that appointments made outside the Civil Service should be advertised and brought to the notice of those interested, and bearing in mind the manner in which hon. Members of this House are pestered with letters every day, asking them to use their influence in regard to appointments, I cannot imagine any better policy. The fact remains that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the promise he made to the House, reserves to himself the power in making emergency appointments to go outside the Civil Service for that purpose.
§ Mr. JOWETT
What I complained of was that after the White Paper of 14th December was issued, containing a definite pledge that Press notices would be issued regarding any appointment made outside the Civil Service, those appointments to which I have referred were actually made.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I think if the hon. Gentleman will refer to the White Paper and to the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer he will see that there was no such definite pledge. But that is no part of my case. These three second-class clerks were chosen immediately the Welsh Commission was appointed in order to cope with the actual physical conditions of the office at Cardiff where there was a mass of correspondence to be dealt with. They were appointed, in the first instance, on emergency appointments. The later appointment of Assistant Secretary was widely advertised. Then there is the question of appointments in connection with the English Commissioners. They come under the same head. Legal Gentlemen had to be appointed at once to deal with the matter, and the journalist whom the hon. Member objects to was, I think, first selected as secretary to the Chairman of the English Insurance Commission, to deal immediately, before December 14th, with the work which required to be done. He was a distinguished writer on the "Morning Post" and had a special knowledge of insurance work. But all these appointments were anterior to the arrangements now referred to, an arrangement which I hope will be maintained.
1611 Then there is a personal question in connection with the appointment of a Civil servant. I am very reluctant to go into details of questions regarding the transference of a Civil servant from one Department to another. In all Civil Service Departments the right is reserved to choose men for places for the higher posts. As far as I know, in connection with this particular place, no priority or order was put forward by the Admiralty in connection with those who wished to apply for the appointment, and the Chairman of the English Commission assured me that they recognised that the gentleman appointed was one of the ablest young men in the Civil Service. The ordinary inquiry was made of the Secretary to the Admiralty, to whom he was private secretary as to whether he was suitable for the work. I think the Committee will realise that a detailed discussion on the transfer of a Civil servant from one office to another is undesirable, inasmuch as it may imply a quite undeserved stigma upon those who did not get the appointment, and that I think we would all be very reluctant to suggest. Then there is the inquiry by the hon. Member for Pembrokeshire (Mr. Roch). The Welsh Commission have been considering a scheme for future appointments on the lines so well expressed by the hon. Member, with a view to relieving themselves from the personal difficulty of being continually badgered to use their personal interest in the matter. This scheme includes the appointment of an advisory committee, representative of various bodies. It is now before the Civil Service Commissioners, and, in due course, will come before the Treasury for sanction. I think the hon. Gentleman will find that it meets his wishes.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I believe there is no condition laid down that the appointments to the first division shall be limited to university graduates.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I cannot answer that without notice. Only four members who are appointed did not belong to the Civil Service. I do not know whether or 1612 not they were university graduates. One of the hon. Members for Yorkshire asked me how long the lecturers were to serve. They are all temporary appointments. I believe they are only continued from week to week, and I hope that, as soon as the requisite information has been conveyed to the great masses of persons who are interested, and especially to the members of trade unions, friendly societies, and other organisations, this money will no longer be required to be spent. But I cannot give any date when that will be. We had to-day an appeal from an hon. Member opposite to make special efforts in connection with remote rural districts. We are most anxious that agricultural labourers should receive full explanations and obtain a full knowledge of this Act, and should learn that they can, if they please, make approved societies or agricultural labourers. I thank the House for the patience with which it has listened to me. It would be very ungracious on my part if under the circumstances I entered on any note of controversy. I had the pleasure of listening to and applauding the very generous remarks made when this Bill was first introduced by the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Sevenoaks Division (Mr. Forster), who said:—Speaking, if I may, on behalf of my hon. Friends on this side of the House, I will say that, believing as we do, yon are animated by the sole desire to confer a lasting benefit upon all classes of the community, so we will aid you in the perfection of the details of your scheme with all the zeal, all the ability, and all the good will that we can give.The hon. Member for Sevenoaks fully carried out that assurance, and again and again during the long Debates on the measure we had to thank him for the action he was taking and the suggestions that he gave. The Government have carried out their promise of last December that there shall be no interference on their part with the appointments of the Commissioners. They were appointed by a Commission of impartial Government servants, whose politics are certainly not Liberal, on the advice which they received after application to the university boards, to the working men's educational associations, to the trade unions, and friendly societies and all others who might be expected to know the special qualifications of these men. Is it really worth while for us to continue in this House to continue a wrangle of name against name, in which one is compelled to cap every name of a man supposed to be associated with Liberal principles with that of a man who is an ex-Unionist candidate or who may happen to have been a lecturer on the 1613 Tariff Reform League. If hon. Gentlemen opposite would really carry out the promise made by the hon. Member for Seven-oaks, they would not lose any party advantage by so doing. They would rather gain, and thereby they would help to make this Act, what many of their newspapers first called it, the greatest social reform this country has ever seen.
§ Mr. ALFRED LYTTELTON
The hon. Member who has just sat down asked for a non-controversial treatment of this subject, and then appealed to the speeches of my hon. Friend, the Member for Seven-oaks (Mr. H. W. Forster). No doubt it is true that this Bill was received in a friendly spirit at first, and it was recognised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in August that the undertaking of the Unionist party had been fully carried out, and in that month he himself paid a most handsome tribute to the assistance he had received up to that time. We all know what happened afterwards. It was not the doing of this party but of that party that this matter passed into the arena of partisanship. We all know what happened in the election at Hull long before a single word of a controversial character had been uttered by anyone on this side of the House, long before the note of party was sounded. It was when we met again in October; and up to that time not a single word had been said by any Member of our party which could possibly have changed, or could reasonably have changed, that tone. Then, in October, the gag and the guillotine were put upon this measure, and all hope of treating it in that non-controversial and generous spirit to which the hon. Member has referred, all possible hope had vanished.
§ Mr. LYTTELTON
I pass from that. Only a very few words were necessary to explain that it is impossible for the party for which I speak at the present moment, after the Act has been taken up by the party opposite as their own, to treat this matter as a non-controversial matter. There are only two matters upon which I wish to trouble the House, and both to my mind are matters of extreme public importance. I quite agree with the hon. Member who has just spoken that the really important point which is involved in this discussion is with regard to a Bill, 1614 such as this Bill, which in many respects has now passed into a highly controversial arena, whether it is right or in accordance with public principles that lecturers appointed by the Government should be employed to popularise a Government Bill. Let me remind the House of what are the plain facts of the case. A very large political organisation for the express purpose of popularising this Act in a party sense has been formed about contemporaneously with this organisation of lecturers who are paid by the Government. The Government lecturers are selected all over the community, they are trained for a very brief time at Whitehall, they are paid, many of them, at a rate which must be admitted to be a handsome rate for them. They are fully maintained at hotels and places where they go, and during their stay in London—and I say it is contrary to human nature to say that men paid by the Government, selected by the Government, and maintained by the Government in order to popularise and explain this Bill—nobody who knows anything of human beings would say otherwise—it would be absolutely impossible that the great majority of these men should not become partisans of the Bill itself. If you take the fact that these men have been so appointed, and that this organisation has been set up at the same time, and that there are lecturers of this great party organisation which itself sends them out throughout the country to give lectures upon the same subject, lecturers who say they are doing so in some cases not with any party object, how is it possible with this extraordinary confusion between these two organisations that the people of this country should not be persuaded that the party organisation is very often the Government organisation and the Government organisation is the party organisation?
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will say that that is a harsh view taken by me as a political opponent with regard to this matter. I submit to every man I address here whether it is not natural and inevitable that these lecturers, the great mass of them, so paid, so trained, so commissioned, will become partisans of this Bill itself; but I have an authority which no hon. Gentleman opposite will deny is a considerable authority in favour of that view. Nobody who is a constant reader, as I am a constant reader, of the "Westminster Gazette" will doubt the ability of that paper, and nobody can doubt that it fairly represents the views of hon. Gentle- 1615 men opposite. How has this organisation of lecturers by the Government struck the "Westminster Gazette"? I find the Lobby Correspondent of that paper says:After careful inquiries I gather that the reduction of the Government majority in St. Rollox was due in the main to dislike of the Insurance Act. This dislike was not confined to the workers, but was shared to some extent by Liberal employers, and was, of course, fanned by the usual Tory misrepresentations on the subject. The fight was waged with great skill and determination by the Liberal organisation, and such a drop in the majority was hardly expected. But the trough of the wave has been reached so far as the Insurance Act is concerned, and there are now signs that it is being better understood. The moral of the election should seem to be the need of more lectures on the Act.Hon. Gentlemen opposite thought that I was pressing them harshly, but have I up to the present said anything half so harsh as this from their own political party newspaper? I say it is not creditable to this House, nor creditable to the Government, that the rough draft of a Bill should be cast out upon the country, not understood of men, and that political lecturers such as have been described, doing such work as this, should be employed at the public expense to popularise the Bill. The Members of this House are paid £400 a year each, and I do not think that this House is doing its duty, I do not think they are earning their salaries by turning out what are mere rough drafts of measures. I think it is discreditable when this considerable amount of money is spent on remuneration of Members of Parliament that another heavy sum should be spent in explaining and popularising this Act by a public lecturer.
How has the hon. Gentleman dealt with this subject? He said there were ample precedents. I do not wish to say anything in the least unkind, I know he spoke under physical difficulties, but surely he does not think the reading of a few testimonials, perhaps from political allies, can carry the matter very much further. Still less, surely, does he think that precedents for this action are set up by those memoranda with which we are all perfectly familiar from the Local Government Board, the Education Board, or the Home Office, explaining non-controversial Acts which are difficult of construction, and which in those cases are explained upon the authority and responsibility of the Government Department itself. What earthly parallel is there between such memoranda as these giving legal advice, say, upon subjects like trade boards, a totally non-controversial Act, or Labour Exchanges, also totally non-controversial, or the agricul- 1616 tural Grant in Ireland, also non-controversial, what parallel is there existing between the memoranda sent out from the actual Departments themselves, which they issue on their own responsibility, and in which they stand by the advice they give to the public, and the lectures given by these men who are appointed in this way for whom the Department takes no responsibility, who, as they say themselves, cannot bind the Department by the advice they give in their lectures. I listened most carefully to the speech of the Secretary for the Treasury, and I never heard him attempt to answer either the Member for Tower Hamlets (Mr. H. Lawson) or the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) when, they pointed out how impossible it would be in the absence of regulations for these lecturers to perform their duties efficiently. These lecturers are appointed, and are doing the work in the manner I have described, and it is impossible to spend public money in remunerating them, to spend it efficiently, because the lecturers themselves are without the material with which they can make their lectures efficient.
With regard to medical service, medical relief, hospitals, casual labour, and other matters, all is still left in blank, and if the lecturers were challenged on these points they could not give a satisfactory explanation. Not only is the appointment of these men undesirable, but it is also a hopeless waste of public money, because they cannot perform their duties efficiently. I suppose they would not be justified in quoting the famous ninepence for fourpence if they were asked what advantage was given by certain sections of the Act. It would not satisfy anybody, not even the most humble of their listeners. They would be under the greatest possible difficulty if they were asked to explain these matters to which I have alluded. I have left details alone, but I am bound to say that many of the points put by my hon. Friends have been left absolutely unanswered by the Secretary to the Treasury. But one very important matter of principle was raised early in the Debate. It is a matter which could have been answered if it was capable of an answer. Full notice was given. It was alleged most specifically, and I repeat the allegation on information I have from behind me, that an office was published as open at a salary of £550 to £700 a year, that no application was made by anybody whom 1617 the Government thought competent to take such a post at that salary and without further public notice at all in the Departments, and without any further notice to applicants, the salary of the office was raised to £850 to £1,000 a year, and a gentleman about whom I know nothing, I daresay he was perfectly competent, was appointed to the office without the public ever having an opportunity of knowing that an appointment at that salary was vacant, and without therefore ever having an opportunity of making application for it.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
It is an appointment out of the Civil Service. It has nothing to do with the public at all. There was no necessity to advertise it to the public.
§ Mr. LYTTELTON
It was offered in the first instance to two Public Departments at a certain salary. When that salary failed to secure an applicant whom the Government thought suitable, the salary was raised from £850 to £1,000 without any opportunity for the two Departments which had been originally consulted to make application for the office.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
These appointments were not offered by the Commissioners to Public Departments. The Commissioners appointed the men and take full responsibility for the men they chose, and they can choose any man they like, out of any Department they like, at any salary they please.
§ Mr. LYTTELTON
No one disputed those very obvious facts. One must be very innocent to suppose that if it is known in two great offices, and the Government take care that it should be known, that
§ there was a vacancy at £550 to £700 a year, and when these two Departments did not produce anybody, and when suit able men declined to offer for the post at that salary, it surely is very unfair to those two Departments that the salary should be raised without their knowledge, and that a man from another Department should be taken in at that higher salary. After all, the principle is the same, and ought always to be adhered to. Those people who are likely to apply for the post ought to be informed of what salaries they can expect in it. The Government ought not to withhold from any portion of the Civil Service the information that the salary has been raised from that which they originally tendered. Nothing can be more important in these matters, whore the Government has such enormous patronage, that that patronage should be most scrupulously used, and every possible public information should be given to all Civil servants who are concerned in the matter, and the information should not be partial and insufficient. By such means the most serious scandal would inevitably result unless these precautions were taken. I have not dealt with a great many matters of detail which have been brought before the Committee, but in substance those matters of detail have scarcely been dealt with by the Financial Secretary, and the many questions which have been suggested have been wholly unanswered.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 218; Noes, 135.1621
|Division No. 27.]||AYES.||[7.35 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Devlin, Joseph|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Dewar, Sir J. A.|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Dillon, John|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cameron, Robert||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Alden, Percy||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Doris, W.|
|Armitage, Robert||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Duffy, William J.|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Chancellor, H. G.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Clough, William||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Clynes, J. R.||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Barnes, George N.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Cotton, William Francis||Ffrench, Peter|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Flavin, Michaer Joseph|
|Boland, John Pius||Crooks, William||France, Gerald Ashburner|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Crumley, Patrick||Furness, Stephen|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred|
|Bryce, John Annan||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Gill, A. H.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol)||Gladstone, W. G. O.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Delany, William||Glanville, Harold James|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Goldstone, Frank||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Masterman, C. F. G.||Rowlands, James|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Meagher, Michael||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Hackett, John||Menzies, Sir Walter||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Millar, James Duncan||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||Molloy, M.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Mooney, John J.||Sheehy, David|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morgan, George Hay||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morrell, Philip||Shortt, Edward|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Higham, John Sharp||Muldoon, John||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Hodge, John||Neilson, Francis||Snowden, Philip|
|Holmes, Daniel Thomas||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Nolan, Joseph||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Norman, Sir Henry||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hudson, Walter||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Nuttall, Harry||Tennant, Harold John|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Dowd, John||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Ogden, Fred||Trevelyan, Charles Phillips|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Grady, James||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Malley, William||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wardle, George J.|
|Kilbride, Denis||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Waring, Walter|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Webb, H.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lansbury, George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Pointer, Joseph||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Leach, Charles||Power, Patrick Joseph||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pringle, William M. R.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Lundon, T.||Radford, G. H.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|McGhee, Richard||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Reddy, M.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|M'Callum, John M.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r)||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Chambers, James||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hoare, S. J. G.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Craig, Captain James (Down, E)||Hohler, G. F.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Craik, Sir Henry||Horner, A. L.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Doughty, Sir George||Jackson, Sir John|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Duke, Henry Edward||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Falle, B. G.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Fell, Arthur||Knight, Captain E. A.|
|Bennet-Goldney, Francis||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gardner, Ernest||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mils End)|
|Boyton, James||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gibbs, G. A.||Lloyd, George Ambrose|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Goldman, C. S.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Goldsmith, Frank||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. B.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownies|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Grant, James Augustus||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Cassel, Felix||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mackinder, H. J.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)|
|Cave, George||Harris, Henry Percy||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Moore, William||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Quilter, William Eley C.||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Rawson, Col. R. H.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Mount, William Arthur||Remnant, James Farquharson||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Neville, Reginald J. N.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Newman, John R. P.||Royds, Edmund||Valentia, Viscount|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Nield, Herbert||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Sanders, Robert Arthur||White, Major G. H. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Sanderson, Lancelot||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Paget, Almeric Hugh||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)||Spear, Sir John Ward||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Perkins, Walter F.||Stanier, Beville||Younger, Sir George|
|Peto, Basil Edward||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Staveley-Hill, Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Earl Winterton and Mr. Astor.|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Stewart, Gershom|
§ Question put accordingly.1622
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 223; Noes, 108.1623
|Division No. 28.]||AYES.||[7.45 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Gill, A. H.||M'Laren Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Glanville, H. J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Alden, Percy||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Armitage, Robert||Goldstone, Frank||Meagher, Michael|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Griffith, Ellis Jones (Anglesey)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Molloy, M.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hackett, J.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Mooney, John J.|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Morrell, Philip|
|Boland, John Pius||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Muldoon, John|
|Brockleburst, W. B.||Hayden, John Patrick||Neilson, Francis|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Helme, Norval Watson||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Henry, Sir Charles S.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Higham, John Sharp||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hodge, John||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Holmes, Daniel Thomas||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Holt, Richard Durning||Nuttall, Harry|
|Cameron, Robert||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hudson, Walter||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Dowd, John|
|Clough, William||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Ogden, Fred|
|Clynes, J. R.||Jones, Edward R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Grady, James|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Malley, William|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jowett, Frederick William||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Joyce, Michael||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Crooks, William||Keating, M.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Kilbride, Denis||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||King, Joseph (Somerset, N.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Pointer, Joseph|
|Delany, William||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lansbury, George||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Radford, G. H.|
|Dillon, John||Leach, Charles||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Doris, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lundon, Thomas||Reddy, Michael|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||McGhee, Richard||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. I.||Roberston, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macpherson, James Ian||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Callum, John M.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Curdy, C. A.||Rowlands, James|
|Furness, Stephen||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Tennant, Harold John||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Toulmin, Sir George||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Sheehy, David||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Shortt, Edward||Verney, Sir Harry||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Walton, Sir Joseph||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)||Wardle, G. J.||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Snowden, Philip||Waring, Walter||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Webb, H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Ashley, W. W.||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harris, Henry Percy||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Harrison, Broadley H. B.||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Helmsley, Viscount||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Hill, Sir Clement||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (M'tgom'h B'ghs)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hoare, S. J. G.||Rawson, Col. R. H.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hohler, G. F.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Horner, A. L.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Houston, Robert Paterson||Royds, Edmund|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Boyton, J.||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Knight, Capt. E. A.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Larmor, Sir J.||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'm'ts., Mile End)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cautley, H. S.||Lewisham, Viscount||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cave, George||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (St. Geo., Han. S.)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chambers, James||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., South)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Winterton, Earl|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Moore, William||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Mount, William Arthur|
|Goldman, C. S.||Neville, Reginald J. H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. R. S. Gwynne and Mr. Fell.|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Newman, John R. P.|
|Grant, J. A.||Nield, Herbert|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit upon Monday next.