§ (1)Minimum rates of wages and district rules for the purposes of this Act shall be settled separately for each of the districts named in. the Schedule to this Act by a body of persons recognised by the Board of Trade as the Joint District Board for that district.
§ Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the operation of any agreement entered into or custom existing before the passing of this Act for the payment of wages at a minimum rate higher than that settled under this Act.
§ (2)The Board of Trade may recognise as a Joint District Board for any district anybody of persons, whether existing at the time of the passing of this Act or constituted for the purposes of this Act, which in the opinion of the Board of Trade fairly and adequately represents the workmen in coal mines in the district and the employers of those workmen, and the chairman of which is an independent person appointed by agreement between the persons representing the workmen and employers respectively on the body, or in default of agreement by the Board of Trade.
§ The Board of Trade may, as a condition of recognising as a Joint District Board for the purposes of this Act any body the rules of which do not provide for the members representing workmen and the members representing employers voting as separate classes and for giving the chairman a casting vote in case of difference between the two classes, require that body to adopt any such rule as the Board of Trade may approve for the purpose, and any rule so adopted shall be deemed to be a rule governing the procedure of the body for the purposes of this Act.
§ (3) The Joint District Board of a district shall settle general minimum rates of wages and general district rules for their district (in this Act referred to as general district minimum rates and general district rules), and the general district minimum rates and general district rules shall be the rates and rules applicable throughout the whole of the district to all coal mines in the district and to all workmen or classes of workmen employed underground in those mines, other than mines to which and workmen to whom a special minimum rate or special district rules settled under the provisions of this Act is or are applicable, or mines to which and workmen to whom the Joint District 322 Board declare that the general district rates and general district rules shall not be applicable pending the decision of the question whether a special district rate or special district rules ought to be settled in their case.
§ (4) The Joint District Board of any district shall, if it is shown to them that any general district minimum rate or general district rules are not applicable in the case of any coal mine within the district or of any class of coal mines within the district, or in the case of any class of workmen, owing to the special circumstances of the mine or class of mine or workmen, settle a special minimum rate (either higher or lower than the general district rates) or special district rules (either more or less stringent than the general district rules) for that mine or class of mines or class of workmen, and any such special rate or special rules shall be the rate or rules applicable to that mine, class of mine, or class of workmen instead of the general district minimum rate or general district rules.
§ (5) For the purpose of settling a minimum rate of wage the Joint District Board may subdivide their district, and in that case each part of the district as so subdivided shall, for the purpose of the minimum rate, be treated as the district.
§ (6) For the purpose of settling district rules, any Joint District Boards may agree that their districts shall be treated as one district, and in that case those districts shall be treated for that purpose as one combined district, with a combined District Committee appointed as may be agreed between the Joint District Boards concerned, and the chairman of such one, of the districts forming the combination as may be agreed upon between the Joint District Boards concerned, or, in default of agreement, determined by the Board of Trade, shall be the chairman of the combined District Committee.
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (2), leave out the word "minimum" ["at a minimum rate "].
§ Leave out the word "that" ["than that settled"], and insert instead thereof the words "the minimum rate."
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to add the words "and in settling any minimum rate of wages the Joint District Board shall have regard, amongst other matters, to the average daily rate of wages paid to the workman 323 of the class for which the minimum rate is to be settled."
Some direction, it was considered, ought to be given, or might be given, to the District Committees and to the chairmen as to the basis on which they might take into account the consideration of the minimum rate which they are about to make. We were asked to go further than that, and to say that the minimum rate of wages settled under the Act ought not to be less than the existing rates of wages. We did not see that we could settle or limit the operation or the power of the District Committee representing both sides. The House will remember that in Committee the Prime Minister undertook, if it would meet the general desire, to put certain words in, and the words of this Amendment are practically the identical words he read out to the Committee.
§ Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
This Amendment relates to one of the most important considerations of the Bill. I should have preferred the words of the Amendment which stands lower down on the Paper. But I hope that we may interpret the intention of the Amendment which has been put down by the Government to mean that it is their intention to make it perfectly clear that existing agreements, customs, and rates of wages in each particular district are to be the governing considerations for the District Board when it comes to consider the matter. I hope also it is their intention to include both the miners and day-wage men, as I understand was the undertaking given to us on a previous occasion. I think if that is made perfectly clear at the present time it will have a stronger effect in inducing the men to go back to work than any other provision of the Bill. I should like the hon. Gentleman to explain whether the proposed chairmen of the Joint Boards will be bound by the same considerations in regard to this matter. In other words, will they take into account when they give their casting vote the existing rate of wages, the existing agreements, and customs as governing considerations? If we get a satisfactory assurance upon that point, I believe, in the absence of the figures which we ask for, that this Amendment will go further than any other provision to settle the strike.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, if this Amendment is accepted will it cut any further discussion out? I have an Amendment further down. 324 They both deal with the same point. I think my Amendment is a little more effective.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the House decides, that the Joint Board should take these matters into consideration, I should say it would not be open for the House to consider the second Amendment.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
Then I beg that the discussion should go on on this particular point. I am quite certain that the objects desired by the right hon. Gentleman will not be served by the form of the Amendment. The words "shall have regard" seem to me to be rather vague and loose. "Other matters" does at least make it a little better, but that the Boards "shall have regard" to is just as intangible as the whole Bill from beginning to end. My Amendment a little later was to make it obligatory that the existing rate of wages in the district affected must be the minimum rate. I think that is the intention of practically every Member who has spoken in this House. It is, indeed, the intention of a very large number of employers in the United Kingdom. I am not giving any secrets away when I say that 65 per cent, of the employers in the kingdom were prepared here and now to pay the existing wages as a recognised minimum, and on the understanding that peace was assured to them for about two years. I certainly think that if the Government are in earnest in saying that they want a reasonable minimum wage; if they are in earnest in saying that having found 65 per cent of the employers willing some time ago to give this thing, if it be a fact that 65 per cent, of the employers were prepared to give the present rate of wages as the minimum rate as an assurance of peace being granted to them for a reasonable time then, I think, it is right that the employers should take their courage more resolutely and carry out the Amendment I have on the Paper, so that in no case shall the minimum rate be under that already existing in the district. The mere intimation that the Board "shall have regard" to it does not carry it any tangible distance. The Bill is a thing of shreds and patches. I say with great earnestness, as a citizen of this country, that when this Bill does pass it will be the duty of every citizen to make the best of the Bill. I say that openly and seriously and I am prepared to take the consequences that may follow. Our citizenship should be higher than our trade union, and with me it will be, and I appeal to the 325 Government to help us to that end. An immense responsibility rests upon the miners' agents. I know it is easy to bandy words in this House and to talk of the leaders running after the men and the leaders being afraid. We are not afraid, but we want some condition that will give us hope and that will give the men hope. My Amendment, so far as I am capable of understanding the English language, will carry out the ideas intended. I am afraid the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman will but leave the whole thing vague and insecure, and for that reason I hope the Government will not insist upon their own Amendment, but will accept the form of words which I suggest. I do not know whether I could move my Amendment in the form on the Paper, but I was thinking that perhaps it would be permissible for me to move to amend the official Amendment in this regard, and if that were so I should move after the word "shall" in the Government Amendment ["the Joint Boards shall have regard"], to leave out the words "have regard amongst other matters to," and to insert instead thereof the words "not fix a rate of wages less than." The Amendment would then read:—
"In settling any minimum rate of wages the Joint District Board shall not fix a rate of wages less than the average daily rate paid to the workman of the class for which the minimum rate is to be settled."
§ Sir COURTENAY WARNER
I beg to second the Amendment. I should like to say this is one of those points that I do not think affects the principle of putting a fixed sum into the Bill, while it gives at the same time the satisfaction to the men of knowing that they are going to have something tangible. There has been a great deal said about the difficulty of getting the men back to work, and that the leaders ought to recommend them to go back to work. But it is difficult to get men back to work unless their leaders can give them some definite assurance that they will not be in any worse position than they were before. I think that could be done by an Amendment like this, which distinctly lays down that this Bill is intended to improve their position, and that when this Bill is passed they can go back to work with the assurance that their position will be no worse, and that there will be a minimum rate fixed. The strike will then be brought to an end much sooner than otherwise.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
I cannot but feel the Government will acquiesce in my appeal not at all events to accept these words. Of course, if they accept these words, they are simply going back on everything they have said. It would mean not only inserting the Schedules which we have resisted, but it would mean inserting something more than the Schedules, because, at all events all through the federated areas, it was practically agreed that the minimum rates are less than anything like what you say is the average or normal rate. How can a minimum rate possibly be an average rate? The average rate is formed between what may be the highest and the lowest rate of pay, by which means eventually you arrive at an average. How can you ever have a minimum that has anything to do with an average? My objection to the Government Amendment is that it introduces the word "average" into the Bill. It seems to be an absolutely false standard to give to the District Boards. If they are to be advisory words it is an absolutely wrong principle, because you call their attention to something that never could be a minimum wage. The average wage could never be the minimum wage, and it seems to be absolutely bad drafting to put such words into the Bill. So far' as the owners are concerned the Government have consistently, in answer to our Amendment, said, "Leave these matters to the District Board; they will consider them"; and the undoubted presumption was that that was what the Government intended to do. When we moved Amendments we were always met with that argument.
During the discussion we have had two things promised us—two declarations that would help us in coming before the District Boards. One promise was that the employers should be safeguarded. The Government have given way to-night and withdrawn these words. Another promise was that we should be given a certain amount of time to get ready our pits before the minimum rate came into operation, from the desire to hasten the application of the minimum rate. That also has been withdrawn by the Government. They have withdrawn all declarations in favour of the owners. I ask them to withdraw this declaration which they are now inserting in favour of the men. So much on the general principle. But the immediate thing, I ask the Government most 327 earnestly, is this. They have gone aside from the view which they held throughout, namely, that the Act ought not to lay down general directions to the Board, but that they should be left to exercise their own judgment. I ask now that we ought not to have the judgment prejudged by the fact that when they study the Act they shall only find one direction, and that is to attend to the average daily rates of wages. Because, if they do that, it will influence their judgment to such an extent that we shall not get the unprejudiced decisions we should all like to have. I ask the right hon. Gentleman how he can connect the average with the minimum rate? I am sorry he did not tell us what he means by daily rate of wages paid to the workman of the class affected. I am aware of no instance, except in Durham, where they have what they call a county rate that might possibly come under that description. But apparently this is a daily rate of wages. How did the Government get it? It is not a wage paid to hewers, because it is not a daily rate compared with the work the hewer does. What, therefore do they mean? Do they mean the particular wage that is paid in what are called abnormal places when a man is taken from his work and sent to do special work for the management? If that is considered the average rate of wage it is nothing of the sort, because it is very much better. That is the wage they give to a good man for doing special work when they draw him out of his place where he would be earning a large amount on piecework. Then they have to give him a high daily wage to remunerate him. That certainly could not be called a daily rate which is to be given to the arbitrators as a factor in establishing the minimum wage, which would be very much lower. We have had no explanation of this matter from the Government. When this suggestion was thrown out by the hon. Baronet the Member for Mansfield (Sir A. Markham) we were discussing the question of the day wage men. When it is applied to the hewers it is in my opinion going back entirely upon what the Government has put forward. I protest against this proposal as a breach of the agreement which has been carried out by the owners, and if necessary I should put the House to the trouble of a Division. We have had no explanation why the Government has gone back, and by a side wind they are endeavouring to introduce this Schedule. It is on that ground I oppose this Amend- 328 ment and the Amendment of the Government.
§ Mr. W. E. HARVEY
I hope the Government will accept this Amendment. If it is not accepted then you are going to get fresh trouble and more unrest. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] Well, I will give reasons for the faith that is in me, because I am speaking of something I know. There are 7,000 men under one company in my county, and this company has agreed to pay the minimum wage for normal or abnormal places. If the stalls are abnormal—bad roofs, bad roads, or water in the roofs—then this wage is paid; but if the men do not earn the wage in a normal stall owing to the shortness of tubs, unequal distribution, or bad management, then they are paid this wage, and it applies to 7,000 men under one company. Supposing the Joint Board is at liberty to reduce these wages, who can keep these men at work? Why they would at once strike no matter what anybody said. If this Bill passes, and their minimum is to be fixed by the Joint Board at less than what they are having now, do you think the men would work? There is no man in Europe could get them to work under such circumstances. I say these wages must be retained, and nobody must have power to reduce them.
That point is covered by an Amendment which I inserted in Committee. The point the hon. Member is making is, if a man is at present, by agreement or custom, receiving a certain rate of wages, and if the minimum is fixed below this rate, it will be brought up to the minimum. The Amendment I inserted in Committee will cover that altogether as long as the custom lasts.
§ Mr. W. E. HARVEY
If I have the assurance that the rates paid now—that is, the existing rates—are not going to be interfered with, that meets my point.
As the Bill stands now, with the verbal Amendment I put in just now, it provides "that nothing in this Act shall prejudice the operation of any agreement entered into or custom existing before the passing of this Act for the payment of wages at a rate higher than the minimum rate settled under this Act." I 329 think that meets what my hon. Friend desires. If a man is receiving 8s. a day, and afterwards the minimum rate is fixed at 7s., that man will not be affected so long as the agreement exists, and he will continue to receive 8s. per day. I may say that I have no objection to leaving out of my Amendment the words "amongst other matters."
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
This is a Minimum Wage Bill, and not an Average Wage Bill, and if this Amendment is accepted you will be producing the ridiculous result alluded to by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne, that you are not to have a minimum wage less than the average existing wage. If you make a minimum wage above your present average wage, you are destroying the incentive to work, and if you are going to pay a minimum average of existing wages, you are going much further; if you are going to make two things comparable, they must bear some relation. If the desire of hon. Members opposite is that the men shall be no worse off working under the new conditions than they are now, then it is perfectly right to say, from their point of view, that any future minimum shall not be less than the existing minimum; but to say the future minimum shall not be less than the existing average, is not dealing with things that are comparable. There is a further point. Under Clause 3 of this Bill, the minimum when fixed is only capable of revision in one of two events. If employers and employed both agree, then it may be revised, but if the minimum is operating favourably for the employed, it is not likely that there will be an application for a revision, and so that alternative may be put aside. The only other alternative in which the Board may revise the minimum is after a year and three months' notice. So, if you get altered pay conditions, it may be fair to revise prices. The effect of any such Amendment, even the Government Amendment, and still more the Amendment to the Amendment, would be that though conditions have altered which preclude the possibility, commercially speaking, of continuing wages at the existing minimum, you cannot alter that for a year and without three months' notice, to expire at the end of the year. You are going to introduce a state of things which will compel the owner to keep his mine open and pay a wage he cannot pay because he cannot get an agreement, which is the only other alternative. It is not business. It is a vice to 330 compare a future minimum with an existing average, and, if you are going to keep the minimum of the future, you ought to deal with that minimum in relation to the existing minimum of to-day.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I am quite sure the House will welcome the declaration made by my hon. Friend the Member for the Ince Division (Mr. Walsh) as to the spirit in which he and his Friends intend to work this Schedule when it becomes law. Everybody will appreciate the patriotic spirit in which he spoke, and nothing could augur better for the future than declarations of that kind. I am sorry, particularly bearing in mind the way in which he has approached the discussion of this matter, that the Government cannot accept the Amendment to the Amendment which he proposed. The view which is embodied in the words on the Paper in the name of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade really carry out exactly what was argued for and stated by the Prime Minister in the discussion on Friday. They carry out almost I think in the ipsissima verba. what he stated. Those words have this effect with regard to the average day rate of wages. When dealing with the minimum wages the Joint District Board must; have regard to the average daily rate which is paid in that district to a workman of that class. That is what is intended, and that is what we thought the House had really agreed to and considered the right course to take. It is certainly what the Prime Minister proposed, and I do think it is the fullest extent to which the Government can go. It will cover the case if the day men, and it will cover the case of the hewer who is engaged at day rate. It will cover both those cases, and it will mean that when the Joint District Board has to consider this question of fixing the minimum rate it will not be bound rigidly by the average daily rate, but must take into account what is the average daily rate in that district.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I should have thought the Joint District Board would have no difficulty in determining the daily rate.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
What is the average daily rate? Are you to take all the rates and then strike an average?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The right hon. Gentleman surely does not suggest the Joint District Board will not know how to arrive at the average daily rate. Having regard to all the circumstances and on the facts before them, showing what is the average daily rate, they have to come to a determination of fact as to what they think is the average rate paid in that district. That is the point, I think.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
My question is a simple one. What does average mean? Does it mean that all the rates paid to men in the district shall be taken, and an average struck from them?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I think if the right hon. Gentleman had looked at the words which follow he would have seen the answer to his question. It is the average daily rate of wages paid to workmen of the class for which the minimum rate is to be settled. A particular class will be taken and surely the Joint Board can settle what is the average. There is a serious difficulty in applying existing rates which, in the absence of an agreement, cannot be altered for a period of fifteen months. What in that case the Board will have to say is, "We think, as a result of our inquiries and of the representations made to us by both sides, such and such would be the average daily rate for the district." As a matter of fact the existing rate might be particularly high in a given place at the time that the rate has to be fixed. I have been asked by the hon. Member for North-East Lanark whether this will apply to day men. That point has already been answered. Then it was asked if it would apply to chairmen. It certainly would.
§ Sir C. CORY
I, too, want to know what average rate means. Suppose you have six collieries in a district on varying rates would you add the rates together, or would you take the number of men in each colliery, calculate their wages, and divide the total by the number of men. How do you propose to get at the average?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I should have thought that the words were quite plain. 332 As I have already said the Joint District Board, in fixing the minimum rate, are to have regard to what is the daily rate of wage paid to the workmen of the class. When dealing with a particular district, surely the Joint Board will be able, on representations from both sides, to settle the average daily rate of wage paid to the workmen of a given class. That is all they are asked to do. These words carry out what was stated in the Debate on Friday.
§ Sir C. CORY
I have had no answer to my question, and I ask for a reply, to which surely I am entitled.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
I regret very much that the Attorney-General has not seen his way to accept the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for the Ince Division (Mr. S. Walsh). I can assure the Government and the House that if this Amendment had been accepted it would have gone a long way in the direction of making the Bill acceptable to the miners. During the course of the Debates on this Bill we have had Member after Member getting up and stating that they could not accept the Schedule of rates put forward by the miners' representatives without examination, and that it would simply be taking those rates without having an opportunity of discovering whether they were fair rates or otherwise. The owners, in the course of the negotiations that have gone on regarding the question, have also stated that the Schedule of rates attempted to fix a higher wage than was actually being earned in the respective districts that the Schedule covered. The Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend would obviate that difficulty, because the Joint District Board would only fix the minimum after careful inquiry, and after they had taken every possible means of discovering what was the actual average wage being earned by the various classes of workmen in their respective districts. If an individual minimum wage was fixed on that basis, I do not think that the coal owners would stand to lose so much as they are attempting to make us believe that they would lose. I think that it would cause the coal owner to take greater care in giving the men proper facilities for doing their day's work. That is exactly the opposite of what is being done to-day. During the past five or six years we have had no less than 150,000 extra persons dumped into the mines of the country, with the result that the mining population has had short working time, and has had a greater spell of the unemployment problem 333 than ever we had during any previous period in our existence. If this Amendment is to have the effect of causing the management to readjust their methods with a view to giving the workmen greater facilities, so that the workmen would have an opportunity of giving them the best day's work they were capable of doing, I do not think the colliery owners would stand to lose so much as they are trying to make us believe they will do. I hope that, notwithstanding what has been said by the Attorney-General, the Government will yet see their way to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not agree to the deletion of the words "amongst other things." I think it must be common knowledge to everyone that where you have a reference to an arbitration, where you get one particular matter specified "amongst other things," to which the arbitrator is to give attention, that is the principal thing to which the arbitrator will give attention. Therefore it is quite sufficiently introduced if you have the words "amongst other things." If you leave out those words there will be a great temptation to the District Boards to consider nothing but the average daily rate of wages existing in the district. I understand it is the intention of the Government that the District Boards shall not only consider the average daily rate of wages, but shall take into consideration all the other matters which are pertinent and material. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman why not leave in the words "amongst other things," so as to make it perfectly plain that the average daily rate of wages is not the only thing which must be considered. I will ask him to reconsider the opinion which he expressed just now, I think somewhat hastily, when he said he had no objection to the deletion of those words. Everyone must have recognised the sentiments which the hon. Member (Mr. Walsh) expressed, but if he insists upon his Amendment, will he not really be preventing the objects which he has in view, because if he succeeds in inserting in this Clause the words "the District Boards shall not fix a rate of wages less than the average daily wage," surely he will prevent a great many of these Sections being worked at all. Let me give an instance. There is a provision that if a District Board finds that a particular mine or group of mines ought not to have the district 334 rate applied, they may consider the conditions applicable to the mine or group of mines. If he gets a hard and fast provision in the Bill that the District Hoards shall not fix a rate less than the average rate in the district, the District Hoards will not be able to give effect to that provision.
§ Sir ALFRED MOND
I, for one, very much regret the attitude the Government has taken up in this matter. After all we have not conceded, as far as the Bill is concerned, the two main points which the miners have been contending for the whole of the time—namely, the Schedules for the hewers or the figures for tins day men. The object of the Bill when it was introduced was to get the strike settled, and I think the Amendment is much more likely to be effective in that direction than the very vague language inserted by the right hon. Gentleman. The reason why many Members refused to insert the figures was because they felt that one figure would not do for the whole of the country. What the hon. Member has proposed is not to have a hard and fast figure all over the country, but to take the existing rates in the districts. That is a reasonable proposal, and one which the Government might very well have accepted Some reference has, been made to an agreement with the coal owners. I should like to know what the object of an agreement with the coal owners is. The coal owners have refused to come to the assistance of the Government in settling the strike. If they had agreed to the 5s. and 2s. we should have finished the Bill. I do not say whether they are right or wrong, but they have refused to settle on that question, and I do not see that we are bound in any way by an agreement such as is said to exist. We are trying to pass this Bill to settle the dispute, and therefore I think that an alleged agreement with the coal owners—an agreement of which we are not cognisant, and to which we are not in any way parties—should not bind us. If such an agreement exists, we should know its terms. I know from conversations I have had with most moderate trade unionists in my own Constituency that one of the fears the men have, rightly or wrongly, is that somehow they are going to be disadvantaged in the fixing of the minimum rates. That is one of the reasons why we want a minimum rate indicated an the Bill. I should have thought that under any Bill any reasonable Conciliation Board would 335 naturally have regard to the average rates. There should be such directions given to the Boards as would enable the men to form some idea of what the minimum rates are to be. We are told that we should not hamper the Boards. I do not see why we should adopt such an attitude. Nor do I see that we should be paralysed by any instructions given to the bodies we create. I do not see why we ought not to give instructions. It is our duty to give instructions as to what are our intentions. We have had speeches from hon. Members who are continually getting up and saying that they are in hearty sympathy with the principle of the Bill, and that they are in favour of a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, but when we come to putting anything in the Bill we are told that we must not do it, and that we should leave it to outside bodies. If the Amendment goes to a Division I will support it.
§ Mr. SANDYS
I oppose this Amendment because it has been urged upon me by the representatives of the collieries in Somerset that if embodied in the Bill it would have a very disastrous effect on their industry. The right hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment said it was necessary to have some directions embodied in the Bill to enable the Boards to settle the minimum rates with regard to the various classes of workmen. He said that he considered this average daily rate should form the basis for consideration. I do not yet understand whether this is to apply to piece workers or not, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to clear that up. I should like a further explanation as to how this is going actually to work out. If it is going to be the governing consideration, and if the Boards are going to fix a minimum wage by that governing consideration, and supposing that a certain body of men are earning 5s., and another body of men employed at the same class of work are earning 7s.—the average working out at 6s.—is the Board to regard that amount as the governing consideration and to fix the rate at 6s.? Suppose that the Act has been in operation for twelve months, then on three months' notice being given the whole question can be reconsidered. Meantime the average has been altered. Those who were previously paid 5s. are now paid 6s., while those who were paid 7s. previously are still paid 7s. Consequently the new aver- 336 age will go up to 6s. 6d. If, therefore, that is to be the governing consideration observed by the District Board, then when it comes on for consideration the next time the same advance will occur. It seems to me, therefore, that this is a most serious fallacy in this Amendment which I would like the right hon. Gentleman to clear up.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
The previous Amendment safeguarded the existing rates. The District Board has no power to interfere with them in fixing the minimum. What we are now considering is the case of men who are paid very low wages, and what rate is to be fixed for them. The Government Amendment proposes that infixing these rates—
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I take the name on the Paper. The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Buxton) says that regard is to be had, among other matters, "to the average daily rate of wages paid to the workmen of the class for which the minimum rate is to be settled." What my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. S. Walsh) proposes is to leave out the words "have regard," and insert "shall fix a rate not less than the average of the wages paid to workmen of that class." Perhaps the Government think that it is a small point. We do not. "Have regard" is undoubtedly a sort of indication to the Joint Board of what they are to have in mind when fixing the rate of wages. If you say in plain language, not lawyer's language, but the language of the average man, "fix a rate not less than," everybody understands that, and it will tend to make the Bill more acceptable to the miners. With regard to the point raised by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Sandys) and others, you might spend a little time here discussing what an average is. That does not affect this. It is a term perfectly known to the trade, and perfectly familiar to employers and employed, which has grown up and become part of the language of the coal trade, and what appears to hon. Members as difficult will present no difficulty in reality when the matter comes to be considered by the owners and the workmen and the Joint Board. On the face of it, obviously it means the average earnings per day of the class of men for whom the wage is to be fixed. That is what the Amendment says, and, I believe, what it means, and if you 337 are going to give the Joint Board any sort of guidance at all in the matter, you could not give them any safer guide than the average earnings when you propose to fix the minimum. I hope, therefore, that the President of the Board of Trade will accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend, which makes clear what is now obscure and does not alter the meaning, because, obviously, if we want the District Board to do what my hon. Friend says it should do, the words he proposes would make the matter perfectly clear.
§ Mr. E. JARDINE
If this Amendment of the hon. Member, who always speaks so fairly in this House, and who has the admiration of all parties in trying to soothe this fearful and bitter quarrel, were accepted, the effect would be this: All will admit that if two men working in the same position, one, a man of superior physique, energy, and of greater skill, will earn twice as much as the other man who is lazy, incompetent, and unskilful, when both are working under exactly the same conditions. The one will earn 10s. and the other 5s., and I think no one will dispute that, who understands labour. The effect of this Amendment would be at once to establish that, where the average piecework price was a fair price, admittedly a fair price, you take these two men, one earning 5s., because he is incompetent, or for some other reason, and the other earning 10s., and you add the two sums together—you can add together the earnings of 200 men if you like—and you immediately make an average of 7s. 6d. The Amendment, if accepted, therefore, would simply mean that the incompetent or lazy man would have his wages raised 50 per cent., and he would be getting 25 per cent, from the man who was earning twice the money. It is a most dangerous Amendment, and one which I hope the Government will realise that it is impossible to accept. Even the 5s. and 2s. would be preferable to the Government's acceptance of this Amendment. I therefore oppose it.
§ Mr. AINSWORTH
I would suggest that the difficulty might be got over by leaving out the word "average." To begin with, the principle of the minimum wage is ipso facto accepted. I think the object of my hon. Friend below the Gangway is that the workman, in submitting his case to the District Board, is not to be damnified by their decision. The workman is not in future to get less than he is getting now, and the meaning of that would be that the Board would have to consider 338 the circumstances under which the man is working, and they must also consider the circumstances of the colliery in which he is working at the present moment. I think to insert these words "average daily rate of wages" of the district is an absurdity. We all know that in mines circumstances vary extremely, and what is a fair rate of wages in one mine is not necessarily a fair rate in another. Why should we tie the hands of these Boards in any way whatever? Why should we not leave it to both parties, who are properly represented before the Board, under a chairman who, no doubt, will be thoroughly impartial. No point vital, either to the employer or the employed, could be overlooked. How could it be overlooked? The miners would haves their representatives and the employers would have their representatives, and either side could call attention to any particular point. If we advise the Board to have regard to one particular point, they may assume, though I do not think they ought, that that particular point is the standard on which they are to base their decision. It seems to me that we might get the instructions to the Board framed in a clearer way than in the words now proposed. I would recommend the taking out of the word "average" and to make it clear to the Board that no workman is to be damnified in any way for his present position. That, I understand, is in the Bill now. If that is so, all we have got to do is to get rid of the word "average" and avoid unnecessary instructions to the Board.
§ Mr. JAMES MASON
I desire to draw the attention of the House to the effect which the acceptance of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Gentleman might have on Clause 3. Clause 3 provides for the revision of the minimum wage at the end of a year, and that the revision shall be determined by the same rules as are laid down for the primary fixing of the minimum wage. The hon. Member for Ince (Mr. S. Walsh) proposes that the minimum wage shall be not less that the average daily wage that exists now. If the minimum is fixed at not less than the present average it is quite obvious that from now onwards, all wages below that being eliminated, that the average must necessarily become higher than before. Consequently, at the end of the year, when the revision takes place, the minimum fixed again must necessarily go on increasing, and must be fixed at a higher rate, quite independent of any justice or reason given 339 for it. Consequently it will always be in the interests of one party to claim revision to get a higher average than before.
Mr. J. W. WILSON (Worcestershire, N.)
I may refer to the words of the Prime Minister on Friday, on which I believe this Amendment was literally drawn. I prefer the words of the hon. Member for Ince, the "existing wage" being a more definite carrying out of the words than the "average wage." I think the House will see, when I read the Prime Minister's remarks, that the words are open to verbal correction. The Prime Minister said:—Next, in regard to what was said by the hon. Member for Mansfield (Sir A. Markham). I should not in the least object to a provision being inserted in the Bill in appropriate terms that in settling the minimum of the wage regard should be had by the Joint District Boards to the average daily rate paid for work of that class in the district. I do not think that any Joint District Board which understood its functions would fail to take this into account. I think that that would be the very first thing which they would take into account, and I think that everybody would agree on this. How they could proceed to decide without taking that into account passes my comprehension. But naturally if there is any apprehension on that point, and if such apprehension as there is would be allayed by the insertion of specific words to that effect, I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government would be very happy to accept an Amendment of that kind"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd March, 1912, col. 2270.]I think that that answers the criticism with regard to the Government Amendment which we are now considering. If the words "average daily wage" are open, as I believe they are, to much of the criticism which has been passed upon them, I would suggest the substitution of the words "existing rates of wages in the district." That would faithfully and fully carry out the Prime Minister's pledge of Friday last.
§ Mr. AMERY
If the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Ince were accepted it would be distinctly against the interest of the mine owners to employ any men at a wage above the average, because by so doing they would be raising the average wage for a large number of men, and therefore the very effect of the Amendment would be to lower the maximum down to the average. The whole object of the minimum wage, whatever meaning is given to the words "have regard to," is that it should be substantially below the average wage, so as to give an inducement to people to do efficient work, and it should be above the abnormally low wage which is created by abnormal places or deficiencies in the mine. The whole object of this Bill, I understood, was to enable men to earn a 340 tolerable wage even in difficult, abnormal, unfair circumstances. But if you once make the wage of the worst workman as good as the average between the bad and the best workmen, you destroy every incentive to efficiency and every inducement to an owner to employ good men and pay them a good wage.
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
It is necessary to be quite clear as to what the Amendment of the hon. Member for Ince is. My colleague suggested that the words were "a rate not less than the average daily rate," but another Member has suggested that the word "existing" is used without the word "average." That would be fatal. As far as South Wales is concerned, the whole controversy has arisen over abnormal places. If you are going to take as the minimum the "existing" wage, you may have a minimum of 1s. 4d.
§ Mr. E. JONES
Then the hon. Member does not propose to insert the word "existing." He wishes to provide only that it shall not be less than the average daily rate. I cannot see why there is all this objection on the part of owners to the Amendment, and I certainly cannot understand why the Government are not accepting it. The Prime Minister's words mean that, if they mean anything at all. An hon. Member says that it is putting in the Schedule. It is nothing of the kind. Take the position in South Wales as it would work out if you agreed to the form suggested by the hon. Member for Ince. First, assume that you have a colliery now paying a minimum rate. Under a Clause already in the Bill that colliery will come out; it stands apart. Suppose the minimum for the future is 7s. 6d., and you have a colliery now paying 8s., that colliery will continue to pay 8s. Divide the collieries that remain into two classes—the few that pay good rates of wages and the many in South Wales which, according to the owners, are doing badly and pay low wages. Let us see how we can work it out for the coal owners as well as for the miners if you ask the Board to fix it at not less than the average daily rate. Take a good colliery with good seams and good roads, where the bulk of the men are earning good normal wages that must necessarily be much above the average. It will not affect those collieries one bit. Take those collieries that are paying rather badly—if we believe the owners—what is going to be the position there? I really 341 cannot see that here this is going to be of very much value to the miners. The whole position, so far as South Wales is concerned, is this: Here you have a number of stalls in a colliery where a number of men earn normal wages, and a large number of men in abnormal places earning ridiculously low wages. Obviously, if you are going to put these ridiculously low wages that have been in existence for the last twelve months in South Wales and which have created the whole of this controversy and forced this strike upon the country, to strike the average, it must necessarily be a very low one, considerably lower, I think, than the Schedule of the Federation.
Therefore I want to press upon the Government that if they will work out the effect of this section by section they will find that there is not very much in it for the miners in figures. I cannot see at all upon what ground the coal owners are raising any objection to it. There is no serious objection that can be raised on the ground of the classes of workmen. Take the day wage men. The coal owners now pay the day wage men an average — or more than an average, 4s. 11d., 5s., or 4s. 6d. If, then, the coal owners' contention is right, they need have no fear of a minimum fixed above the average. I hope the Government may see their way to accept the Amendment for other reasons. There is not much in it financially for the miners, but there is very much in it so far as a settlement of this strike is con-
§ cerned. We have not been able to accept the figures urged by the men. This thing is substantial—very substantial, as I think it will be in sentiment, in the effect and power that it will have tomorrow upon the minds of these thousands of men. It is mainly upon those grounds that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Ince made the speech that has earned for him many compliments. I do appeal to the Government at this last moment to reconsider, and not to stand upon little questions of detail and forms of words when there is this great controversy that we want to get settled. I appeal again in the hope that the form of words may be accepted by the Government.
§ Mr. GIBBS
I do not like this word "average." If the average is going to be the minimum, it will mean ruination to some of the mines in this country. In Somerset and Bristol, if the average were made the minimum, it would mean an enormous increase in the cost—so great that many mines would have to be closed up. The Board of Trade, when they went into this matter, found that an increase in the working cost of the Bristol mines would mean that they would have to be closed altogether.
§ Question put, "That the words 'have regard' stand part of the pro posed Amendment."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 101.345
|Division No. 57.]||AYES.||[11.10 p.m.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. S[...], J.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Cooper, Richard Ashmole|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Cory, Sir Clifford John|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Bentham, G. J.||Courthope, George Loyd|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Bigland, Alfred||Craig, Captain James (Down, E)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Black, Arthur W.||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)|
|Armitage, R.||Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Booth, Frederick Handel||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Baird, J. L.||Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Dairymple, Viscount|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Boyton, James||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Bridgeman, William Clive||Davies, Timothy (Lines, Louth)|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Brunner, J. F. L.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Doughty, Sir George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Butcher, John George||Du Cros, Arthur Philip|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Campion, W. R.||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Eyres Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Faber, George D. (Clapham)|
|Barnston, Harry||Castlereagh, Viscount||Falconer, J.|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Cave, George||Fell, Arthur|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts., Wilton)||Chaloner, Col, R. G. W.||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Clough, William||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue|
|Beauchamp, sir Edward||Clyde, James Avon||Fleming, Valentine|
|Gardner, Ernest||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|George, Rt. Han. David Lloyd||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Gibbs, G. A.||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Glanville, H. J.||Macmaster, Donald||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Goldman, C. S.||Macpherson, James Ian||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Goldsmith, Frank||M'Callum, John M.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Grant, J. A.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Greene, Walter Raymond||M'Laren, Hon.F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches,, Crewe)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Griffith, Ellis J||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Manfield, Harry||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Masterman, C. F. G.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hen. Lewis (Rossendale)||Mort[...]no, Percy Alport||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morgan, George Hay||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, W.)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mount, William Arthur||Swift, Rigby|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Munro, R.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks. Abingdon)||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Nuttall, Harry||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Ogden, Fred||Touche, George Alexander|
|Hickman, Col T. E.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Hills, John Waller||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Shee, James John||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Waring, Walter|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Parkes, Ebenezer||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Hunt, Rowland||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Trades folk|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Perkins, Walter Frank||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Peto, Basil Edward||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|King. J. (Somerset, N.)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Winterton, Earl|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Leach, Charles||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Ratcliff, R. F.||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Lloyd, George Ambrose||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South shields)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Adamson, William||Dickinson, W. H.||Hinds, John|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Hodge, John|
|Alden, Percy||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Hogge, James Myles|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Barnes, G. N,||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Hudson, Walter|
|Barton, W.||France, G. A.||John, Edward Thomas|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Gill, A. H.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brace, William||Goldstone, Frank||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Jowett, F. W.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Lansbury, George|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Dawes, J. A.||Henry, Sir Charles||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Dr Forest, Baron||Higham, John Sharp||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Middlebrook, William||Rowntree, Arnold||Wardle, George J.|
|Millar, James Duncan||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Smith, Albert (Lanes, Clitheroe)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Snowden, P.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Worrell, Philip||Spicer, sir Albert||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Needham, Christopher T,||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Neilson, Francis||Sutton, John E.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|O'Grady, James||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Thomas James Henry (Derby)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Wor[...]s., N.)|
|Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wadsworth, J.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Richards, Thomas||Walters, Sir John Tudor||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Walton, Sir Joseph G.||Roberts and Mr. Pointer.|
|Rowlands, James||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I beg to move in the proposed Amendment to leave out the words "amongst other matters."
I understand the Government are prepared to favourably consider this Amendment. It goes rather further than the pledge given by the Prime Minister last Friday, and, therefore, as it would clearly, in the ordinary course, restrict the Joint District Board to the average daily rate of wages, I beg to move.
§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
I hope the Government will not yield to this Amendment. The Government have all through the two Debates in Committee and on Report said they will not give directions to the Joint District Boards, but will leave them to decide for themselves. If they take out these words, they do leave one simple direction in the Bill. As long as these words are in the Bill, they will consider this with other matters. If you take them out it shows a desire to limit their consideration to the one question of the average wage which we do not think desirable. The Government have yielded a good deal this evening, and I hope they will not yield any more.
I propose to agree to leave out these words which, in my opinion, are not of very great importance, as they neither greatly restrict nor greatly add to the directions to the District Boards or chairmen. This Amendment was made in accordance with instructions given by the Prime Minister in response to the appeal of the hon. Member for Mansfield, on Friday. But attention was drawn to the fact that these added words might possibly limit what he desired, namely: that this question of the average daily rate should be a matter to which the attention of the District Board and the chairman should be especially called: it was suggested that the addition of the words might weaken that purpose, and under the circumstances, in accordance with the undertaking my right hon. Friend gave to the 346 House he desires that these words should be excised. Personally, I think the Amendment without the words will be more effective for the purpose the Prime Minister had in view.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
A more laboured excuse for accepting an Amendment was never offered before. The Prime Minister made it perfectly plain in his statement on Friday that in agreeing to accept the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Mansfield he was only agreeing to something which he said the District Committees would do without any direction. In carrying out that idea it was specially put in that the District Committees were to consider amongst other matters the average rate. The words "amongst other matters" were deliberately put in for the express purpose of limiting the Committee in the decision it was to come to, and by taking them out, what the Government are now doing, is deliberately lessening the powers of the Committee, while they have themselves explained over and over again that the whole principle of this Bill is that matters can only be dealt with by the Committee, and that no definite instructions of any kind should be given by the House of Commons. I think the concession the right hon. Gentleman has just made is a very inadvisable one. If the matter is pressed to a Division, I should vote against leaving out these words, but I hope my hon. Friends will not think it necessary to take up much time in discussing a matter so plain that everyone can understand it.
§ Mr. NEWTON
On Friday last I asked the Prime Minister a question to which he gave me a courteous reply. I asked the right hon. Gentleman whether any instructions would be drawn up for the guidance of chairmen as far as securing the safeguards which the Government were anxious to apply for one party to this dispute. The reply of the right hon. Gentleman was that it would be most improper that any instructions should be 347 given to the chairmen of these Joint District Boards. I shall be very glad now to hear from the Attorney-General how he reconciles the giving of guidance and instructions to the chairmen in the interests of one side with the statement of the Prime Minister that in the interests of the other side it was most improper that any instructions should be given.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I think the hon. Member who has just spoken has forgotten what it was the Prime Minister did say with regard to this matter. I will refer the Leader of the Opposition to the words of the Prime Minister, from which he will see that by leaving out the words "amongst other matters" we are carrying out exactly the pledge which the Prime Minister gave to the House, and which we thought the House had agreed to. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why put them in?]
§ Mr. J. WARD
Is it not a fact that in moving this Amendment to-night—I made a note of it at once—that these words were left out, and were they not left out when the Amendment was read from that box.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The President of the Board of Trade undoubtedly stated that he was willing to leave them out, because there had been representations made about them. I will read the words used by the Prime Minister on Friday. It is these words we are dealing with.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Surely, when an hon. Member says that we are doing something contrary to what the Prime Minister has stated, I am justified in referring to the words the Prime Minister used. The right hon. Gentleman said:—Next, in regard to what was said by the hon Member for Mansfield (Sir A. Markham) T should not in the least object to a provision being inserted in the Bill in appropriate terms that in settling the minimum of the wage regard should he had by the Joint Districts Boards to the average daily rate paid for work of that class in the district."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd March, 1912, col. 2270.]
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I can only deal with one point at a time. The Leader of the Opposition asked me to read the rest of the speech. What does he mean?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
That is this:—I do not think that any Joint District Board which understood its functions would fail to take this into account."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd March, 1912, col. 2270.]That carries out exactly what I was stating to the House. That was that regard should be had to the average daily rate. Some fears were expressed by hon. Members below the Gangway as to the use that might be made of the words "amongst other matters," if inserted in the Amendment, and they consequently say, "we prefer to adhere to the exact words used by the Prime Minister on Friday." It is in order to give effect to that that we propose to leave out these words.?
§ Mr. NEWTON
It is no doubt my fault, but the Attorney-General did not understand what I said when I referred him to the Prime Minister's answer to the question I put to him, a question which he very courteously answered, although it was a Friday.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
That surely does not touch the point. Undoubtedly the question was raised, and has been discussed again and again, as to giving definite and distinct instructions in the Bill to the Joint District Board. This carries out exactly what the Prime Minister said, and what we thought was agreed upon by the whole House.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
May I put a question to the Attorney-General? Is it not intended that the District Board should consider other matters besides the average daily rate? [HON. MKMBERS: "Of course it is."] Then why in the world do you leave out the words "amongst other matters." If you leave out the words, and give an express direction to the tribunal to have regard to one particular matter, is there not a grave risk that that tribunal will come to the conclusion that that is the only matter which they have to decide?
§ Question put, "That the words 'amongst other things' stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 147; Noes, 267.351
|Division No. 58.]||AYES.||[11.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gardner, Ernest||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Gibbs, G. A.||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baird, J. L.||Goldman, C. S.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goldsmith, Frank||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Grant, J. A.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, W. R.||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Barlow, Montagu (Salford, South)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barnston, H.||Haddock, George Bahr||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Barrie, Hugh T. (Londonderry)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Bathurst, C. (Wilts, Wilton)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Helmsley, Viscount||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Royds, Edmund|
|Begland, Alfred||Hills, John Waller||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Hohler, G. F.||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Boyton, James||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Bridgeman, w. Clive||Horner, Andrew Long||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hunt, Rowland||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Butcher, John George||Ingleby, Holcombe||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Campion, W. R.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cassel, Felix||Knight, Capt. Eric Ayshford||Swift, Rigby|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Larmor, Sir J.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Cave, George||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Lewisham, Viscount||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||McCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Mackinder, Halford J.||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Macmaster, Donald||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Malcolm, Ian||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Winterton, Earl|
|Doughty, Sir George||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Mount, William Arthur||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Fell, Arthur||Newdegate, F. A.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Remnant and Sir A.Griffith-Boscawen)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Brocklehurst, William B||Duffy, William J.|
|Adamson, William||Brunner, J. F. L.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Burke, E. Haviland-||Edwards, Enoch, (Hanley)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)>|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, II.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, II.)|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Cawley, H. T. (Heywood)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Armitage, R.||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Ffrench, Peter|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Clough, William||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||France, Gerald Ashburner|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gill, A. H.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Barnes, George N.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Glanville, H. J.|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Crumley, Patrick||Goldstone, Frank|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Barton, William||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Davies, Ellis William (Eiflon)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Davies, Sir w. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Dawes, J. A.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Black, Arthur W.||De Forest, Baron||Hackett, J.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dillon, John||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)|
|Brace, William||Donelan, Captain A.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Brady, P. J.||Doris, William||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthy Tydvil)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Meagher, Michael||Rowlands James|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Meehan, Francis E. (Leltrim, N.)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Middlebrook, William||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Millar, James Duncan||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Molloy, Michael||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Higham, John Sharp||Molteno, Percy Alport||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Hinds, John||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charlec E. H.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Hodge, John||Morgan, George Hay||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hogge, James Myles||Morrell, Philip||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Munro, R.||Snowden, Philip|
|Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hudson, Walter||Nannetti, Joseph p.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hume-Williams, W. E.||Needham, Christopher T.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Neilson, Francis||Sutton, John E.|
|John, Edward Thomas||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nolan, Joseph||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Mehioneth)||Nuttall, Harry||Tennant, Harold John|
|Jones, Leif Straiten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Dowd, John||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Joyce, Michael||Ogden, Fred||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Grady, James||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wadswotth, J.|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||O'Malley, William||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Walton, sir Joseph|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||O'Shee, James John||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Lansbury, George||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wardle, George J.|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Waring, Walter|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Leach, Charles||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Watt, Henry Anderson|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Webb, H.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||White, James Dundas (Glasgow)|
|Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Pirie, Duncan V.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Lundon, T.||Pointer, Joseph||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Lynch, A A.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Williams, Llewellyn (Carmarthen)|
|McGhee, Richard||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford)||Wiliams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|M'Callum, John M.||Reddy, M.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Richards, Thomas||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W.S. (Lines.,Spalding)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Manfield, Harry||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
§ Question put, "That the words 'and in settling any minimum rate of wages the Joint District Board shall have regard to the average daily rate of wages paid to the workman of the class for which the352
§ minimum rate is to be settled' be there inserted in the Bill".
§ The House divided: Ayes, 265; Noes, 139.355
|Division No. 59.]||AYES.||[11.42 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Bowerman, Charles W.|
|Adamson, William||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Brace, William|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Brady, P. J.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Barnes, G. N.||Brocklehurst, W. B.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Brunner, J. F. L.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling)||Barton, W.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Byles, Sir William Pollard|
|Armitage, R.||Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewelyn A.||Bentham, G. J.||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Black, Arthur W.||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Booth, Frederick Handel||Chapple, Dr. William Allen|
|Clough, William||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rattan, Peter Wilson|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lansbury, George||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Reddy, Michael|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Leach, Charles||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Levy, Sir Maurice||Richards, Thomas|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Lewis, John Herbert||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Lough, Rt. Hon, Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Davies, Timothy (Louth)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lundon, T.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|De Forest, Baron||Lynch, A. A.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Den man, Hon. R. D.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Dillon, John||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Donelan, Captain A.||McGhee, Richard||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Doris, W.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Rowlands, James|
|Duffy, William J.||Macpherson, James Ian||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||McCallum, John M.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Manfield, Harry||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Ffrench, Peter||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Marks, Sir George||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Snowden, P.|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Gill, A. H.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Meagher, Michael||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Glanville, H. J.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leltrim, N.)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, W.)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Meehan Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Middlebrook, William||Swift, Rigby|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Millar, James Duncan||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Molloy, M.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Tennant, Harold John|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Hackett, J.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Morgan, George Hay||Thorne, W. (West Ham)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morrell, Philip||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Werthyr Tydvil)||Munro, R.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Needham, Christopher T.||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Neilson, Francis||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Wardle, George J.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Nolan, Joseph||Waring, Walter|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nuttall, Harry||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Webb, H.|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wedgwood, Josiah c.|
|Hinds, John||O'Donnell, Thomas||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Dowd, John||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hodge, John||Ogden, Fred||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Grady, James||Wiles, Thomas|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Malley, William||Williams, J. Glamorgan|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Shee, James John||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|John, Edward Thomas||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs,, N)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Jowett, F. W.||Pointer, Joseph|
|Joyce, Michael||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. H.|
|Keating, M.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Baird, John Lawrence||Banbury, Sir Frederick George|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Balcarres, Lord||Banner, John S. Harmood-|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William, R.||Baldwin, Stanley||Barnston, Harry|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Goldsmith, Frank||Orde-Powlett, Hon. William|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc, E.)||Grant, J. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Haddock, George Bahr||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Helmsley, Viscount||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Boyton, James||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Butcher, John George||Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Campion, W. R.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Horner, Andrew Long||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Cave, George||Hunt, Rowland||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Clyde, James Avon||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stewart, Gershom|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Knight, Captain E. A.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Larmor, Sir J.||Sykes, Mark (Hull Central)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lewisham, viscount||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Touch, George Alexander|
|Dairymple, Viscount||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Mackinder, Halford J.||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Macmaster, Donald||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Doughty, Sir George||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport))|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Malcolm, Ian||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M,||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Fell, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Winterton, Earl|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honlton)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Fleming, Valentine||Mount, Wiliam Arthur|
|Gardner, Ernest||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Newton, Harry Kotingham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||G. Lloyd and Mr. Pollock.|
|Goldman, C. S.||O'Neill, Hon. A, E. B. (Antrim, Mid.)|
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (2) after the word "for" ["provide for"] insert the words, "securing equality of voting power between."
§ Leave out the words "voting as separate classes."—[Mr. Buxton.]
§ Mr. L. HARDY
I beg to move in Subsection (2) to leave out the words "casting vote," and to insert instead thereof the words, "deciding voice."
I think it must be clearly seen that while it may have been possible for Conciliation Boards to settle rates with a casting vote that when it comes to Boards which have to decide all the intricacies of district rules, safeguards, and all other matters, that it is very important that the chairman should have the deciding voice and not merely a casting vote. The Government have tried to avoid making the chairman into an arbitrator, but they cannot do so. They will have to face it in Clause 4, where they make him into an arbitrator. I do ask the Government to consider whether it is not most desirable 356 that this question should be left so that all these matters can be decided on their merits and not merely on a question of a casting vote. Under Clause 4 the chairman becomes the District Board in order to bring about a settlement within the time. When he becomes a District Board what power does he have. That is only a temporary clause, and you have to look back to Clause 2 to discover what his powers are. I think it is desirable that some clarifying words should be introduced. I press on the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider this question of the casting vote in order that these matters may be decided on their merits.
As the Bill stands, the chairman has a casting vote only in what I may call the earlier stage of the proceedings, and if the Joint Board are unable to come to an agreement as to rates and rules, then he has the power of deciding for himself. It was proposed on a former occasion that the chairman should at the initial stages, have this power of decision. I promised to 357 consider the matter, at the same time stating that I preferred the process proposed in the Bill. I have considered that point, and I adhere to the view I then took. We all desire that in the earlier stages the chairman should act rather as a conciliator than as a chairman with powers of decision. I think that is the better way of getting agreement, and that is the procedure well known in the coal mining trade. From that point of view it would be a mistake to give the chairman too great a power at the earlier stages of the proceedings. If in the end the two sides are unable to agree, then the chairman will have to decide the rules and the rates. As regards how far the Clauses 2 and 4 conflict, I have Amendments on the Paper to make the point clear, and I think there is no doubt whatever that the Clauses will not conflict.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment made: "In Sub-section (2), after the word "classes" ["between the two classes"], insert the words "of members."—[Mr. Buxton.]
§ Mr. WALSH
I beg to move, in Subsection (3) to leave out the words "other than mines to which and workmen to whom a special minimum rate or special district rules settled under the provisions of this Act is or are applicable, or mines to which and workmen to whom the Joint District Board declare that the general districts rates and general district rules shall not be applicable pending the decision of the question whether a special district rate or special district rules ought to be settled in their case."
Considerable attention was given to this matter in the Committee stage, and I rise only to suggest that the sub-division of which this Clause is capable should be, if not prevented, at least much limited. The first part has special reference to the formation of a Joint District Board for a particular area which may be described as a joint district, but the latter part very seriously undermines the value of the earlier portion. It is whittling down the value of the measure. If there is any value in the Bill it is that there shall be a definite district within which the rates are settled, and the employers have something like equality of conditions. If you begin to break up the districts and have smaller areas, employers in those areas may have to meet unfair competition, and the workmen may not be on equal terms.
§ 12.0 M.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. Gentleman says that we discussed this at some length in Committee, and I do not think any useful purpose would be served by discissing it again. But the words read into this Subsections that follow. The hon. Member will see that there are some Amendments put down by the Government.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (4). This is, I conceive, the very worst Sub-section in the Bill. Subsection (3) is already subdivided dovn to "classes of workmen" to whom the general district rules and minimum shall be applicable, but this subdivides down to the classes of workmen in any mine. There are Amendments on the Paper in the name of the right hon. Gentleman, but we are anxious to delete the Sub-section. It serves no useful purpose. It would really play into the hands of the employers, who would get small bodies of men to agree to be exempt from the operation of the general district rule. It would do away, or very largely do away, with the efficiency of collective bargaining in the mines.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
I beg to second this Amendment. The Amendment put down by the President of the Board of Trade does not meet the point raised by us. There are a number of large colliery companies in various parts of the coalfield. Some are employing as many as ten to twelve thousand men, and have a large number of pits under their control. Some of these pits may be pits at which no profit is being earned, while taking the whole concern, a good profit may be earned. These groups under the Amsndment of the President of the Board of Trade would have the pits where no profit was beang earned brought up and reviewed. That would not meet our poin at all.
I do not think my hon. Friends have quite grasped the effect of my Amendments to Sub-section (4). We have given the matter careful consideration and great attention, and we thnxc it is quite as much in the interests of the men as the owners that the District Board should have some power of elasticity with regard to certain groups of mines. As the Clause stood in the Bill, these powers not only applied to groups of mines, but to single mines, and to classes of wcrkr men in mines. My Amendments exclude 359 that, as I think it would have extended the elasticity too far. We limit the application to classes of single mines, and we take out the words "any classes of workmen" for the reasons given by my hon. Friends, because the impression left upon members on both sides of the House who studied the Sub-section, was that it gave powers to the District Boards to take men working in particular mines, and to fix a different minimum rate for them. That was never intended, and we have cut out these words and the words remaining will be "groups of mines." That will keep the elasticity from the Boards, but will not in any way interfere with the general principle on which the Bill is based. I think that really meets the case made by my hon. Friends, and I hope it will meet with the general assent of the House. There will be sufficient elasticity, but not excessive elasticity, given under the Clause as it will be when amended.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
One question as to the word "groups." The President of the Board of Trade conveyed that it was not the intention of the Government where there were different seams in a mine that the men should work under different conditions. There are cases where one seam in a mine may be profitable, while another could not pay higher wages without leading to its closing. If you are going to fix the same principle for one mine you destroy the whole question of differentiation. I have a mine in my mind where the average wages earned by men working at one seam of coal would be 10s. 6d., and at another seam in the same mine the average would be 9s.—a difference of 1s. 6d. I know another mine where the average wage earned at one seam is 9s., and in the second seam 7s. What does a "group" of mines mean, then? Does it mean one mine or two or three or four mines?
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
I beg to move in Sub-section (4) to leave out the word "shall" ["(4) The Joint District Board of any district shall"] and to insert instead thereof the word "may." The word "may" is not so imperative as the word "shall," although I admit that the Amendments to be moved by the President of the Board of Trade are an improvement on the Clause as originally drafted.
§ Sir RYLAND ADKINS
I wish to support this Amendment. The object of it is that discretionary power should be given to the District Boards.
§ Amendment agreed to.
I beg to move in Sub-Section (4) to leave out the words "coal mine within the district or of any" and to insert instead thereof the words "group or."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
As the Clause originally stood if there were a certain number of mines in a district and only one was just paying, then the District Board could not take into consideration the circumstances of that mine. As the Clause will read with this Amendment the group of mines will have to be considered. As far as I can see there is nothing which defines what a group is, and "group" is a word which the District Board will have to define. It must mean more than one. In case there are six or seven mines in a group, and if out of that number there is one mine which is only just paying, that mine will have to be shut up or worked at a loss. I cannot conceive what is the object of giving the District Board discretionary powers to consider special cases and then putting a limitation on them and thus preventing them doing what it was the intention of the Government they should do. It is evident these words very seriously alter the power of the District Board to deal lightly with mines where, if the actual minimum rate for other mines is applied, the only result will be that they will be closed and the workmen will lose their employment. Having settled a very large number of Amendments in Committee, we are asked by the Government on the Report stage, which was supposed to be formal, to reverse what we have already done. I will not say they have departed from their pledges, though they are really sailing rather near the wind on this occasion. Unless the Attorney-General can inform us how it is meant to define a group, and unless I am wrong in thinking the re-Bult will be to destroy poor mines altogether, I think we ought to divide upon this Amendment.
I always thought we had a Report stage rather with a view to considering questions which had been discussed in Committee, and especially questions to which the Government said they would give their attention to see whether Amendments should be made. This is one of the cases where after careful consideration we did think if you had a whole series of mines excluded from the minimum rate fixed for a district there would be a considerable curtailment of the application of the principle of the Bill. It is not likely that the particular case to which the hon. Gentleman referred will occur. What is likely to occur is that a group of mines, which, of course, must be more than one mine, or a class of mine of a particular character, might be shown to be in a peculiar position and might deserve special consideration. It would then be for the District Board and for the chairman to consider whether under these circumstances proper cause could be shown for treating them in a different way. I have already explained that the words "different class of workmen" has given rise to some misunderstanding. Really the words are not necessary. They are covered by the words "group of mines."
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I must say I do not understand the object of this Amendment. It seems to me to be entirely contrary to the principle on which this Bill was introduced to the House. The provision was deemed so very important that, although but comparatively few details were given when the Bill was brought in, this matter was specially mentioned, I ask the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider his decision. The sole object of the differentiation is that if the mine is found to be of such a nature that it cannot be worked at the same minimum rate of wages as other mines in the district, the effect of this Bill shall not be to close the mine. Any District Committee would desire to make such a provision ii it could possibly be done, and the natural instinct will be to have the area as wide as possible. But to deliberately make this Amendment is contrary to the principle of the Bill, and is done with an object which cannot possibly be justified to the House.
§ Mr. BOOTH
The case of a group of mines in West Yorkshire is fully met by this section as amended. But I think it will not add to the smooth working of the Board to enable a particular colliery at any time to keep on raising its own case. 362 In West Yorkshire there will be from twenty to forty mines at least that would go as a group, and it would not help the case of any one of them if it tried to hold out for a separate decision on its own account. But I think the effect of this proposal will be entirely opposite to what the miner's representatives wish, and I wish to throw out this caution. The change no doubt meets our case in West Yorkshire: we shall be considered as a group. But should there be one colliery in a different locality which desires a very low minimum the effect will be disadvantageous to the rest because very probably the District Board and the chairman will hesitate to decide upon a minimum which they enow will close even one mine, and it will most likely be found to be the case that, the miners themselves will come forward for an amendment of this Act in the future in an entirely opposite sense. I mention this in order to put the House in full possession of the possibilities of the position. The change meets our case in West Yorkshire, but it may be there is an odd mine which stands in a unique position, and then the operation of the Amendment will be as I have stated.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
It seems to me that the Government Amendment is a most fatuous proposal whether in the interests of the men or of the owners. It does, not appear to me to be likely to make for peace. If you have a district in which there are two mines to whose special conditions the general district minimum rate could not apply you can consider them separately. But if it happens to be a district in which there is only one such mine to which the minimum rate would not apply it cannot be dealt with separately. It is an absurd proposition. Hon. Members must see there is not really any advantage to them whatever. Sub-division was provided for in Clause 6, as originally drawn. I think it is a great pity that the Government have given way on this point. There is a good deal in what has fallen from the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth), that by insisting on keeping your district larger and not taking into consideration the cases of special individual mines you will tend to prevent the District Board from fixing so high a minimum rate as they might otherwise do.
§ Sir C. CORY
May I put the case of a district in the Rhondda Valley, where at one pit coal of second class value is drawn, while in the same area there are other pits 363 which produce only very high priced coal. Would you have the same minimum in both cases?
§ Mr. AMERY
I would venture to put one further point. So far as I understand the wording of the proposed Amendment, a District Board may be empowered to make special arrangements in the case of one district where there are three mines employing about fifty men apiece, and may not be empowered to make special arrangements for one mine where there are 1,000 men employed. Surely the wording of the proposed Amendment is entirely unsatisfactory.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I wish to ask whether it is the intention of the Government that the word "mine" shall mean a colliery, or shall mean a seam. In Lancashire the word "mine" means one of the seams, and a colliery may have as many as five or six mines in it, while two or three collieries may each have six-seam mines. Considerable confusion has been caused in that way. The hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) used the word "mine" as if he meant a colliery. The whole sense of this Amendment will be quite different from what hon. Members think it is, unless we make the meaning quite clear.
§ Sir ARTHUR MARKHAM
That will come under the definition of a coal mine contained in the Coal Mines Regulation Act.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
That is rather an important point, and it ought to be made quite clear. May I ask the Attorney-General whether the word "group" means mines in the same locality or contiguous to each other?
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
Take the ordinary level of drifts. Does it mean that house coal drifts are one group and that steam coal drifts are another group?
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
I have handed in a manuscript Amendment which I think will deal with the point. It provides that in sub-divided districts, sub-division shall be made by the Joint District Board in respect of seams as well as in respect of localities, so that the sub-division should be not merely superficial—that is to say, it shall not be horizontal, but, what is far more important, vertical. There might be a far greater difference between seams as to conditions of quality and thickness and prices if taken vertically than if taken superficially. But that matter will more properly be discussed on Sub-section 5, and I only thought it might assist the House if I informed it that I have an Amendment down on the subject.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
It may be my fault or the lateness of the hour, but the President of the Board of Trade's answer conveyed no meaning to me whatever. He said that if the mines were separately dealt with by the Joint District Board it might seriously imperil the principle of a minimum wage. I do not know what the principle of the minimum wage is, and I do not know whether the Government know. But the minimum wage is to be adjusted to the circumstances of the case, and why not to the circumstances of each, case and not only to the circumstances of every two or three cases? This is meant as a concession to the Labour party, but it does not seem to me that the Labour party or anyone else get anything out of aa arrangement frankly foolish. If you can trust a District Board with all the enormous powers this Bill is going to give them you can surely leave them the question whether the mines can be dealt with separately or in a group. I think the Government, after reflecting for twenty-four hours, might have produced a defensible Amendment of a little more intellectual creditability than the present one.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 112; Noes, 255.367
|Division No. 60.]||AYES.||[12.34 a.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc, E.)||Boscawen, sir Arthur S. T. Griflith-|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Boyton, J.|
|Baird, J. L.||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Bridgeman, W. Clive|
|Balcarres, Lord||Benn, Ion H. (Greenwich)||Burn, Colonel C. R.|
|Banner, John S Harmood-||Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Butcher, J. G.|
|Barnston, Harry||Bigland, Alfred||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred|
|Barrie, H. T.||Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortetcue||Cassel, Felix|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hohler, G. Fitzroy||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Cave, George||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hunt, Rowland||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Knight, Captain E. A.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Larmor, Sir J.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lewisham, Viscount||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lloyd, G. A.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Starkey, John R.|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Swift, Rigby|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Macmaster, Donald||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Malcolm, Ian||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Morrison-Bell, Cant. E. F. (Ashburton)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Glazcbrook, Capt. Philip K.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Tryon, Capt. George Clement|
|Goldman, C. S.||Mount, William Arthur||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Newdegate, F. A.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Grant, J. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Parkes, Ebenezer||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks.,Abingdon)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Perkins, Walter F.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Hills, J. W.||Peto, Basil Edward||Frederick Banbury and Mr. J. Mason.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Dawes, J. A.||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Adamson, William||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Dillon, John||Hudson, Walter|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Donelan, Captain A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Doris, W.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Duffy, William J.||John, Edward Thomas|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Ruthcliffe)|
|Armitage, R.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewell[...]n A.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jowett, F. W.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Essex, Richard Walter||Joyce, Michael|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Keating, M.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Ffrench, Peter||King, J. (somerset, N.)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstable)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lamb, Ernest Henry|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||France, G. A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S. Holton)|
|Barnes, George N.||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lansbury, George|
|Barren, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Gill, A. H.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)|
|Barton, W.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Leach, Charles|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Glanville, H. J.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Goldstone, Frank||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bonn, W. W. (T, Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Greenwood, Granville (Peterborough)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Lundon, T.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Guest, Major Hon, C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Brace, William||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Brady, P. J.||Hackett, John||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||M'Callum, John M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||McGhee, Richard|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Manfield, Harry|
|dough, William||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hayward, Evan||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Helme, Norval Watson||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Henry, Sir Charles||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Crawshay-Willlams, Eliot||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Meagher, Michael|
|Crumley, Patrick||Higham, John Sharp||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hinds, John||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Middlebrook, William|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines, Louth)||Hogge, James Myles||Millar, James Duncan|
|Davies, sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Molloy, M.|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Power, Patrick Joseph||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Morrell, Philip||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Munro, R.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wadsworth, John|
|Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Redmond, William (Clare)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Richards, Thomas||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Neilson, Francis||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wardle, George J.|
|Nolan, Joseph||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Waring, Walter|
|Nuttall, Harry||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Watt, Henry A.|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Webb, H.|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Rowlands, James||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Rowntree, Arnold||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|O'Dowd, John||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Ogden, Fred||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|O'Grady, James||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Scanlan, Thomas||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Malley, William||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|O'Shee, James John||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Williamson, Sir A.|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Palmer, Godfrey||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Pearce, Robert Staffs, Leek)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Spicer, Sir Albert||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Young, w. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Phillips, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Pointer, Joseph||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Tennant, Harold John|
Question, "That the words 'group or' be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made:—
§ Leave out the words "or in the case of any class of workmen."
§ Leave out the word "mine" ["of the mine or class"], and insert instead thereof the word "group."
§ Leave out the words "mine or workman," and insert instead thereof the word "mines."
§ Leave out the word "mine" [''that mine or class"], and insert instead thereof the word "group."
§ Leave out the words "or class of workmen."
§ Leave out the word "mine" ["applicable to that mine"], and insert instead thereof the words "group or."
§ Leave out the words "mine, or class of workmen," and insert instead thereof the word "mines."—[Mr. Buxton.]
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I beg to move the deletion of Sub-section (5). I think after what has already taken place in Subsection (3) and Sub-section (4), the necessity for Sub-section (5) has practically disappeared. The protection now given by the Bill extends to classes of mines in any district or group of mines in any district 368 upon good cause being shown to the District Board. Surely there is no need for any further sub-division? The Noble Lord below the Gangway wanted to know the reason why, if it was right to give; protection to any group of mines, it was not equally right to give protection to any one mine, or, indeed, as he put the question, to any single workman. I wonder whether the Noble Lord has ever heard of the process known in arithmetic as the greatest common measure. That surely is the whole object of the Bill to begin with that the greatest common measure of agreement shall be found in joint district for which the Board acts, and that, so far as that greatest common measure applies the decisions of the Board shall apply; but that there may be, as we have never denied certain conditions that would entitle a particular body of employers perhaps to relief. That has been amply provided for. The relief necessary in exceptional cases has been amply provided for in Sub-sections (3) and (4). You give power to separate your district in Sub-section (3), for special treatment of special classes. In Sub-section (4) you have enabled groups of mines or classes of mines to be taken, and surely that is as far as you ought to carry your exemptions.
This seems a different point from the last. This gives power, if the District Boards desire, to divide any particular district into parts. In the Committee stage an Amendment was moved by the hon. Member for Barnard Castle in which he suggested that instead of allowing the committees to sub-divide to an unlimited extent they should be allowed to divide a particular district mentioned in the schedule into two parts. That seemed to me a very reasonable proposal. The next Amendment I have put down will limit that power of division to two, except by agreement, and, I hope, under the circumstances, my hon. Friend will allow the Sub-section to remain in.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Further Amendment made: Leave out the words "a minimum rate," and insert instead thereof the words "minimum rates."
I beg to move after the word "district" ["district rules"], to insert the words "into two parts or, if the members of the Joint District Board representing the workmen and the members representing the employers agree, into more than two parts."
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I confess I do not know whether the Government have inquired how far this Amendment will apply to the case of Scotland. The House will see on referring to the schedule that Scotland is given as composing one district. The effect of this Amendment would be that the Joint Board, acting through the neutral chairman as conciliator and arbitrator, would not have power to subdivide the whole of Scotland into more than two districts. I frankly hesitate to think that that is desirable. There are at least five separate districts in Scotland where different classes of conditions prevail. These are Lanarkshire, Fife and the Lothian, Ayr and Dumfries, Argyll, Stirling and Dumbartonshire. I may point out to the House that Staffordshire is divided into three parts, an additional part having been added in Committee. These are North, South (excluding Cannock Chase), and Cannock Chase. Really it seems to me that if these powers of sub-division are necessary in the case of Staffordshire, at least power ought to be given in the schedule, if it is thought desirable after the full consideration of the Board, and acting under the opinion of the neutral 370 chairman, to so sub-divide Scotland. Possibly the Government have considered the point, or perhaps it has not occurred to-them; but, in any case, I should be very glad to know their view. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman will complain, of my raising the matter.
§ Sir C. CORY
I think the same thing applies to the case of Monmouthshire. If you agree to the Amendment, certainly you ought to separate Monmouthshire from Wales.
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
I should like to invite some reason from the Government as to why a district may be divided into two without the agreement of the representatives of the employers and the men, but may only be divided into three or more if they agree. On what principle can that be based? I do not want to travel further than the immediate Amendment, which may have a very serious effect upon an Amendment which I propose, with. Mr. Speaker's permission, to move after this, with a view to defining more closely what shall be a district for the purpose of the Bill, and with a view to enabling subdivisions to be more elastic. There can be no logical reason why a district should be a district in two parts without agreement, and should only be a district in three parts or more by agreement. There is no reason in it at all. If you are going to trust the chairman and Joint District Board, why not trust them more fully? Why limit them? I cannot help suspecting that because this Sub-section is disagreeable to some hon. Gentlemen on the other side below the Gangway this modification is proposed. We have it that they do not want sub-division at all, and as you would not get agreement there could not be more than two parts to a district. I would also point out that the district which you are getting under this section as it stands is a district reckoned solely by surface.
To take the example given by my hon. Friend (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson), Scotland may be divided into two sub-districts without agreement, but how many classes of coal as regards quality and thickness, and how many conditions of work and differences of price at the pit-head exist throughout Scotland? And yet you are to treat the whole lot as one. The thing in itself is ridiculous. By a previous Amendment the question of the average daily rate has already been dealt with. If Scotland is to be divided into at most two-parts without agreement, what is going to happen 371 with regard to the average daily rate? It has got to be reckoned all over Scotland without reference to the different conditions. When the Joint District Board comes to consider the question of the minimum rate they will be very slow to adopt one which would have the effect of shutting down mines, and, therefore, so far as the men are concerned, they are likely to get a, lower minimum than they would get if the subject were treated with more elasticity. It is a matter which rests very largely upon the conditions in different seams underground. You may get a seam, as the hon. Member for Mansfield (Sir A. Markham) says, where a miner may fairly ask as a minimum wage for his day's work 7s. 6d., 8s., or 9s., or in the same seam only 5s. or 6s. If the minimum is fixed with reference to the best seam you are not going to work the worst seam at all. If it is fixed with reference to the worst seam, the miners are not going to get as much as they might fairly expect from working the best seam. Those, therefore, who are opposed to elasticity are really injuring the cause they seek to promote.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I think the last remarks of the hon. and learned Gentleman are directed more to the elasticity of the Sub-clause than the particular Amendment with which we are dealing. We have already discussed that at some length, and passed it. The case of Scotland was undoubtedly considered, and considered very? carefully. What is intended by the Amendment is that there should be one sub-division in that agreement, and thereafter you may further sub-divide subject to agreement. It would be very easy, of course, to say, as no doubt the hon. and learned Gentleman has said, why should you do it a third time by agreement, whereas before you do it by order of the District Board?
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman wishes to appreciate my point. As I understand, the last clause dealt with what the District Board might do within its district. This Clause deals with what the district shall be. It is a totally different point.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
What we are really dealing with here is the sub-division of districts. We considered what was put to us in Committee, and came to the conclusion that it was reasonable there should be some limitation placed upon the right 372 of sub-division, but no limitation where there was agreement to sub-divide, and that is the Amendment we are now upon.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
For the last thirteen years we have had one Conciliation Board for the whole of Scotland, and one district rate of wages. During that time we have had all the various classes of coal to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has referred, and I have never heard, even on the part of the employer, any desire for sub-divisions.
§ 1.0 A.M.
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
I beg to propose an Amendment, the character of which I have already indicated. I do not intend to trespass further on the time of the House, but I do attach importance to the Amendment. It is not on the Paper, but I have given notice of it to the Government. The Amendment I propose is to insert at the end of the Sub-section (5) the words "and in making any such Sub-division a seam underlying the whole or any part of the district may, for the purpose of fixing a minimum rate, be treated by the Joint District Board as a district." This is not a proposal to create new boards. It is the same Board dealing with the same district. The next point is that you do get in the same district a number of different seams and also in the same shaft different seams, and different profit and different selling power. The hon. Member who spoke just now (Mr. Adamson) was good enough to refer to my ignorance of Scotland. Let me refer him to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Take these counties as a district and fix your minimum wage in reference to the top hard seam or in reference to the low main seam. The one can fetch a much higher price than the other and can enable much higher wages to be paid to the worker You want elasticity. The greatest importance exists in distinguishing between the different seams underground, even in the same district. I would remind the House that we have no definition of a mine here. If you did have even the definition, which the hon. Member for Mansfield has alluded to, you would still have difficulties unless you accept this Amendment. What I want is to give a wage an reference to the possibilities 373 of the mine, and to give the fairest wage you can. You should not deal with the matter from the superficial point of view, but from the point of view of the seam.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The difficulty in the way of accepting this Amendment is that the districts are all mapped out geographically and not with reference to the seams running from one county into another. If we did not deal with them as here we would get into the most hopeless confusion. Supposing the same seam ran from Northumberland into Scotland, you would have a Joint District Board dealing with Scotland.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I am dealing with the matter in regard to the seams. The Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman is affected by the Clause we have already dealt with, and is therefore, unnecessary, because its object, I think, is carried out without adding the words the hon Member desires.
§ Mr. W. E. HARVEY
The hon. Gentleman has as great a lack of knowledge with regard to Derbyshire as he had with regard to Scotland. He cannot have any knowledge with what operates in Derbyshire. What obtains there is that for a very long time we have had an arrangement with the coal owners throughout the whole of the county. It has worked so harmoniously that we are desirous to retain it. It is not necessary that we should have a division in Derbyshire. The owners would not like it. It is well known by those who live in the districts surrounding Derbyshire that we have managed our business as well as anybody in the whole of the United Kingdom, and we have not done so by a division of districts, but by a united district. It does come with bad grace from a stranger to tell us to alter a system which has operated so well in these districts.
§ Amendment negatived.