§ Mr. HODGE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury (1) if he is aware that on the Advisory Committee of the National Insurance Act (England) there are two workmen representing dock labour, two representing seamen, two representing the textile industry, three representatives of the National Union of Women Workers, and two of the Women's Trade Union League; and can he state the reasons for this dual representation and the omission of a representative thereon of the important iron and steel industry; (2) if he is aware that the next most important industry in South Wales to coal-mining is that of the tinplate and sheet mill industry; if he is aware that, while the miners have two representatives and three representatives have been selected to represent the seamen and dockers on the Welsh Advisory Committee under the National Insurance Act, no representative of the workmen and workwomen employed in the tinplate and sheet mill industry has been selected; will he take action by appointing a representative workman thereon to represent such industry; and (3) if he is aware that dissatisfaction exists amongst the workmen employed in the iron and steel industry in Scotland in consequence of no representative of that important industry having been selected upon the Advisory Board (Scotland) under the National Insurance Act; is he aware that the National Union of Clerks and the National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen, and Clerks have each one representative, constituting dual representation; and, seeing that an important industry has been neglected, will he undertake to rectify the omission?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The English, Scottish and Welsh Commissions, in selecting trade unionists for their respective Advisory Committees, have adopted the same method as the Joint Committee. This consisted in grouping trades according to the classification of the Board of Trade Official Directory Cd. 5619, and then taking one or more persons recommended by unions in one or other of the trades in each group. Members are appointed to give assistance of this kind and not to represent the particular interests of any union or association or friendly society to which they may belong; and they have not therefore been selected on the basis of the proportionate strength of different unions or friendly societies. This method was adopted as the best practicable one, 16 consistent with the necessary restriction upon the total numbers selected, of securing that the main types of knowledge and experience required in the administration of the Act should be available for the advice of the Commissioners.
§ Mr. HODGE
Does the hon. Gentleman consider the iron and steel trade a staple industry, and, if so, how is it that no representative of that staple industry has been placed upon the Advisory Committee; and can he state any group that represents that particular industry which has presently a representative upon the Committee?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I understand that the classification in the Board of Trade Directory classifies the iron and steel trades with similar allied trades, and representatives of these similar allied trades have been placed on the Advisory Committee.
§ Mr. JONATHAN SAMUEL
Is it not a fact that the iron and steel industry is one of the largest industries; in fact, I believe the productive capacity equals £114,000,000 per annum—