HC Deb 28 April 1913 vol 52 cc945-64

I beg to move, "That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty praying His Majesty to disallow the Regulations made by the Scottish Insurance Commissioners constituted under the National Insurance Act, 1911, and dated 2nd April, 1913, as to the manner of appointment or representatives of insured persons on Insurance Committees."

Under the Insurance Act the Insurance Commissioners have power to make regulations for the appointment of insurance committees. The Act provides that in each county and county borough an insurance committee is to be elected, and there may be in addition district committees for boroughs and urban districts. The insurance committees are to number from forty to eighty, and three-fifths are to be elected by insured persons resident within the area, and these regulations affect the election of the three-fifths. The powers of the insurance committees are to make reports on health, and report as to any excessive sickness in any area, and in addition they are charged with the duty of administering the sanatorium and medical benefit within the area. Under Section 59 of the Act the Insurance Commissioners have power to make regulations for conferring on societies the power of appointing representatives on those insurance committees. These powers have been exercised by regulations which are dated April 2nd, as to which I am moving this Motion. Unless objection is taken to these regulations, they have exactly the same effect as if they were incorporated in the Act, and I rather think that they will be unalterable, save by another Act.

I very much doubt whether even the Insurance Commissioners themselves could alter them. So it is now or never we are to sanction these regulations, or object to them. My complaint is first as to the apportionment of the representatives among the various societies containing insured persons, who are entitled to have representatives on those committees; secondly, as to the method of electing delegates to choose the representatives; and there is the further point that the powers and duties given to the clerks of the Insurance Committees are contrary to the intention of Parliament in passing the Act. I also think that the Commissioners by these regulations have assumed powers which the House of Commons never intended to give them. There are eighteen pages of these regulations. I think that I may assume that every Member of the House has not read them, so that it would be well to outline them briefly. I take exception to these regulations because they are the first that have been issued. As hon. Members are aware, there is Home Rule in connection with the administration of insurance, and the English, Scotch, Irish and Welsh Commissioners, to some extent at any rate, are independent of each other. The Scotch Commissioners have led the way in formulating these regulations—I do not know that there is credit due to them on that account—and the other Commissioners may possibly follow their example, so that it is well that not only the English Members but the Scotch Members should understand very shortly the effect of the regulations.

The duty of the clerk of the Insurance Committee is to ascertain the number of insured persons within the area of that Insurance Committee. Then the clerk has to ascertain the electoral unit for the purpose of the election of representatives to that Insurance Committee. The method of ascertaining the electoral unit is to divide the number of insured persons within the area by the number of representatives who are to be appointed by the members in that area. For greater simplicity I will assume that within any given area there are 500,000 insured people, and that there are forty-eight representatives to be elected by those insured people. On that calculation the electoral unit would be something over 10,000 insured people. It of course will vary in different districts, but assuming that there are 500,000 within any one area, and that there are forty-eight representatives to be elected, which is three-fifths of the highest number, then the electoral unit will be 10,000 people. The electoral unit has got to be borne in mind, because upon that depends the method which the society has to adopt for the purpose of electing its representatives. The clerk has to divide all the societies within the area into two classes—Class A and Class B. I would remind the House that in most areas there will be insured persons belonging to almost every society. All the big societies will certainly have one or more members in every area; so that the House must not regard it merely as societies having their head offices in an area. They must regard the persons who are to have the power to elect as members belonging to any society which has even one member within that area.

There are to be two sorts of societies. The A societies are to be societies which have more members within that area than the electoral unit. The A societies will be societies which have more than 10,000 members inside that particular Insurance Committee's area. The B societies are those societies which will have less than 10,000 members within that electoral area. Then the clerk of the Insurance Committee has to make a return to the Commissioners. The House will observe that although he is the servant of the Insurance Committee, the Commissioners may alter the return he makes. The clerk is told to make a return of the number of insured persons and the number of representatives within the electoral unit, and he has to carry out the whole of the work. The Commissioners have an overriding power over the clerk of the Insurance Committee, and they may alter his return. That is subject to appeal, not by the Committee, whose servant the clerk is, but any person within the area may make appeal from the Committee to the Insurance Commissioners. The A societies have power to appoint one representative for each group of members equal to the electoral unit, that is 10,000 members. They elect direct to the Insurance Committee. For the B societies a different procedure is adopted. They are to elect delegates. Each society, no matter how many members it has got, is to elect one delegate, and the group of delegates is to form a sort of electoral college, and by a process which I shall explain later, those delegates are to elect the representatives of the B societies on the Insurance Committees. I want to call the attention of the House to one of the chief objections.

In any given area—take Glasgow for example—there are as many as 7,000 or 8,000 members of one particular society. Not being up to the electoral unit they will be grouped among the B societies also in the same town. There will be a large number, perhaps a hundred societies, having very few, perhaps indeed ten or twenty or thirty or forty members of their society resident, within say the Glasgow area; but each of these societies will be entitled to appoint one delegate, and the clerk is under obligation to call a meeting of delegates and then those delegates vote for representatives of the B societies. At that meeting each delegate has one vote and the House will observe that a society of perhaps only two members—and I am told there are such in Glasgow—will be able to appoint one of those two members a delegate for that society to go to that meeting and vote with just as strong a voice and as much influence as the society of seven or eight thousand members—no matter how many it has got so long as it is not an electoral unit. I ought to say that if at that meeting of delegates one third of the delegates demand another form of voting or what is equivalent to a card vote then the votes given by the various delegates are multiplied by the number of their constituents so that in effect you have a card vote. But it requires one third of the delegates present before such a card vote is taken, and I submit there is great risk of the bigger of the small societies being entirely unrepresented upon the Insurance Committees because in a case which is not improbable in any insurance area in which say ten of the societies represent half of the insured persons and another 190 societies in the same area represent the other half, those who represent the ten societies will never be able to get the third which is necessary in order to get that card vote.

The result of that would be that the very small societies having but little interest in the work of that particular Insurance Committee would be able to monopolise the B society representation at the expense of those who perhaps have got amongst them, although few in number, half of the insured persons within that district. In addition the clerk has got to fix the meeting place of those delegates, and in some districts there will be many hundreds of them, without consultation with the Insurance Committee whose servant he is; nor has he to consult the various societies who have got to send their delegates or even the delegates themselves as to whether the place or the time is convenient to them. I submit that that is a most incomplete and clumsy form of attempted representation of the insured person. I have indicated two ways in which it may fail to give representation to those insured persons who are members of, probably the more important of the B societies and without going into detail I wish to point out how the proposal may be altered and to make one or two suggestions so that the House may compare them with the procedure proposed by the Commissioners. The A societies ought to have one representative for the first electoral unit, and a higher unit should be fixed for the additional representatives that they may have; otherwise one or two big societies may monopolise the representation upon the Insurance Committees.

When I say "monopolise" I do not mean that they will have all the members, but that they will be able in some districts to appoint two, three, four or five representatives who will work together, and there is not the slighest doubt that the combination vote in such a case will carry a great deal more power than the vote of isolated units which meet together merely for this purpose of representation. As regards the B societies, I believe that the delegate meetings are impossible and will fail in practice. Even if they are possible I suggest that the proportion of representatives ought to be in accordance with the membership of the societies and not in accordance with the number of societies which happen to have members in any given area. In other words, there ought to be a card vote right through as regards B societies, without the requirement of a demand on the part of one-third of the members. Either the card vote system is right—and if it is right it ought to be adopted from the commencement—or it is wrong—and if it is wrong it ought not to be adopted even if one-third of the societies demand it. With regard to the appointment of delegates, it is absurd that a society with two or three members in an insurance area should have the same right as a society of 7,000 or 8,000 members. There ought to be one delegate for every thousand members after the first 500, so that the larger of the B societies might have a greater representation amongst the delegates and consequently a better opportunity of appointing representatives, than a mere counting of heads affords.

My other complaint was that two great powers have been reserved to the Insurance Commissioners. Under Section 25 the Insurance Commissioners may allow a member to be on more than one insurance committee. These committees are supposed to be representative of local areas, and I submit that it is not desirable that there should be created a sort of professional class of representatives of insured persons on insurance committees. If you allow one man to be on two or more committees, you will do your best to throw into the hands of a semi-professional class the representation which was intended to be secured for the insured persons only.


There is no pay.


I am by no means sure of that. They are entitled to travelling expenses, at any rate, and, as the hon. Member knows, there is an agitation proceeding in favour of their being paid for their services in addition. I am not at all sure that they ought not to be paid by someone, whether by the Insurance Commissioners or someone else, but that is outside the province of this particular Resolution. Therefore I will confine myself to the line of objection which I have been stating. Under Section 27, in the event of default, the Insurance Commissioners have power to come in and make good any default in the election. Let the House remember that these are elections of Insurance Committees which are in existence at the present time. Surely the power should be left with the Insurance Committees and ought not to be taken back by the Insurance Commissioners! Section 32—and I will call the attention of the House to this—says that the clerk has to appoint his own deputy. It will be remembered that the clerk is the servant of the Insurance Committee appointed and paid by that Committee. Under these regulations he is to be allowed to appoint his own deputy, without conference or consultation at all with the Insurance Committee. If the clerk dies, or resigns, or is disqualified, instead of the Committee appointing his substitute the Insurance Commissioners are to appoint him. I fancy the Commissioners are going to leave the Committee to pay. But over the heads of the Committee the Commissioners are going to do what I say. Throughout these regulations too much power of an independent sort is vested in the clerk. He is not required to report to the Insurance Committee in a single case; in every case he has to make his returns and reports to the Commissioners. In fact the clerk is turned into a servant of the Commissioners and the master of the Committees. That, to my mind, is a negation of local self-government, and a step towards the central bureaucratic management to which the Commissioners seem to be drifting. It is for this House now or never to say whether they will sanction these regulations. The time is up on Wednesday, and there is no further opportunity. They become automatically incorporated in the Act unless to-night exception is taken to them. I ask the House with some confidence not to approve of these regulations submitted to it. It may be said: "Why has no outcry come from the country? Why is it left to the Member for an English constituency to raise the question?" [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I will answer that. I did not do it of my own volition. I did it because I had a large number of communications from Scotland. Why they did not communicate with the Scottish Members I cannot tell. They did communicate with me. Why there has been no outcry amongst the public I think I can explain.


Why did the hon. Member not move his petition last week?


If it is of interest to the House, I will tell the Members it was put down for Thursday, but I gave way to my hon. Friend the Member for South Somerset (Mr. Aubrey Herbert) for his Motion, which was considered of some urgency. The reason for no great public outcry is, first that there are very few Members of this House who take the trouble to read the numerous regulations which are issued, and the general public knows nothing about them. But they have been before the Aberdeen Insurance Committee—not for approval, but in order to appoint a Committee to deal with any objections which the Approved Societies might make to the return presented by the clerk. Owing to the extent of the powers the Chairman of the Aberdeen Insurance Committee said:— He raised the matter in the (Scottish) Advisory Committee, and while he had got practically the approval of all present, he was told that they had already a time table drawn up, and they could not alter it. But that Committee might lodge a protest in some shape or form. Another member of the Committee said:— It seems that we are gradually nearing a point when two or three gentlemen in Edinburgh are sitting and having a monopoly of things, and it is humbugging all progress in the country. They ought to protest against the regulations being forced upon them. It was simply a farce meeting there, and having things placed in their hands and being told to register them. And it is a farce.


Was any resolution passed?


I will hand the report to the hon. Gentleman. [An HON. MEMBER: "Agreed."] I do not know whether it was agreed or not, but he can see for himself. It seems to me the House ought not to be a party to forcing the Insurance Committees to accept regulations which have never been before them, and which have been strongly objected to by a number of members of the Advisory Committee, and which have been taken by the Advisory Committees because they are told there is a time table dependent upon them, and that they must accept them or else they would throw the whole working of the Act out of gear.


I beg to second the Motion. These regulations set aside the general principle the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the House insisted on when the Act was being passed. They tried to introduce a bureaucratic system which I am quite sure it was not the intention of the House to encourage when the Act was before the House.

The SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Masterman)

The hon. Member has drawn the attention of the House to certain points which I may justly describe as minor points dealing with matters in connection with regulations framed by the Scottish Commissioners and approved by the Scottish Advisory Committee for the benefit of Scotland. The hon. Gentleman did not seem very clear as to what happened in connection with the making of these regulations, or the future operations of these regulations. In somewhat alarming terms he told the House it was now or never as to the future appointment of these Committees, or rather three-fifths of the new Committees to represent the insured persons on the Committees of Scotland. They are in their very character experimental, and they apply to these elections and necessarily to these elections alone. In fact, the very last sentence of the regulations say "They shall come into force, etc., and shall remain in force unless and until altered or varied by any subsequent regulations or orders made or issued by the Commissioners," and as to their powers, the regulations were framed to meet a difficult question by the Scottish Commissioners in close consultation with the representatives of the advisory committees and approved societies of Scotland and in the verbatim report I have received the very words are used which were mentioned by the hon. Member "Agreed, agreed," and I think there were only two objections. In fact I have not the slightest doubt that in these regulations the Scottish Commissioners have behind them the overwhelming opinion of the representatives of the approved societies of Scotland. What does the hon. Member complain of? He made much of one point which really is very small. It was raised in the Advisory Committee by one gentleman but he got very little support. The point was that the work of organising this election under the regulations lay upon the clerk of the Committee. Directly you begin to consider the alternatives you find that there are really no alternatives except one. The alternative would be to deal with the Committees appointed by the Provisional Insurance Committee or the Insurance Committees themselves and if that had been done the election could not have been completed by the proper date. From the nature of the conditions in large portions of Scotland it is with very great difficulty that the Insurance Committees are got together. Argyilshire has not a large number of insured persons and every meeting of the Insurance Committee for travelling expenses alone means an expense of something like £65. It would be absurd and monstrous to saddle the approved societies with those expenses instead of allowing the clerk to the Committees to carry out the election, who is practically the returning officer in the election. The hon. Member says that if the clerk is allowed to do this he should not be allowed to appoint a deputy in case of illness. Here the Scotch Commissioners have followed the example of the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1879 which empowers the clerk to appoint a returning officer and the clerk to the body concerned acts practically upon his own initiative being in fact uncontrolled by the authority. It would be absurd to ask the House to override the opinion of Scotland in connection with the election of the Insurance Committee. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] One reason is that one meeting costs £65 to call the members of the Committee together.


You do not want a special meeting.


There would have to be a meeting of the Committee at that unnecessary expense, and even then they would have to delegate the duty to the clerk. The Insurance Committees are quite satisfied with the method adopted. The other point in one upon which I ask for the sympathy of the House, in favour of the course adopted by the Scottish Insurance Commissioners, and that is the method of election. The Commissioners have tried to carry out this method governed by two considerations. The first is to avoid the expense which would necessarily be entailed at anything like a general election similar to the county councils or the guardians elections, the cost of which the approved societies would have to bear; and the second is that in such election the small societies and those representing women should not be swamped by the members of the big societies. When the system came up for my approval I stated on my own authority from the knowledge I gained when the matter was debated in this House, that I did not believe the House of Commons would approve of any regulations that would allow the members of the large societies, trade unions and collecting societies, and the larger friendly societies to monopolise, as they might by a simple election, the whole of the representation, and I urged that there should be provision in the election, whereby the smaller societies and the societies representing women should receive a fair proportion of representation. I approached certain representatives of the large societies and more especially the representatives of the collecting and industrial trade societies, which appear to have come in for a good deal of obloquy because they have such a large representation among the newly insured persons. When I pointed out to the larger societies that they ought to be generous enough to approve regulations which would allow an over-representation, if anything, of the smaller societies, not one of them made any objection at all; on the contrary, they said they were only too glad to do so. They recognised that if all the representation was given to the larger societies probably very few women would be elected on the Insurance Committees, and it is most important that some women should be elected. All these various types are now grouped together, and they will find representation through the delegates of the little religious societies and small political societies, all representatives of certain types bound together by comradeship and loyalty to their society, and that they ought not to be squeezed out in the election of these Insurance Committees. It is under those two dominating influences, the avoidance of expense to the approved societies and the adoption of a system something like that of proportional representation to give the smaller societies and the women's societies a chance, that the Scotch Insurance Commissioners have devised these schemes. It was under those conditions that they were approved by the Scotch Advisory Committee, and it is under those conditions that I ask the hon. Member not to press his Motion.


I confess I am inclined to think it is rather unfortunate that this discussion, through no fault of those on this side of the House, and per haps through no fault of the Government, should have been taken on regulations issued by the Scotch Commissioners, because, as my hon. Friend has pointed out, if these regulations are approved, it is highly probable that in due course they will be followed when regulations are issued for other portions of the United Kingdom. The House is therefore now asked to approve of regulations which will be issued by each set of Insurance Commissioners. Therefore, I do not think the challenge why this question was raised by an English Member has any substance in it; indeed, it is completely met by the fact, as all the House knows, that my hon. Friend has taken a very special interest in regard to insurance matters, and I have no doubt because of that he has received communications from Scotch correspondents which would not be addressed to those Members who sit on the Government side of the House and who take a very considerable interest in the matter. Apart from that, it does seem to me that there are substantial grounds for objecting to the form of the regulations which are now before the House. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that, so far as the delegation of duties to the clerk is concerned, that may not be of so much importance as some of the other points, but I confess it does seem to me that the completeness with which apparently everything to be done under these regulations is put upon the clerk does not tend to raise the status of these Committees. It would have been much better if the Committees had been allowed to do these things. The matter might have been brought up at one of their ordinary meetings. The duty would probably in most cases have been put on the Committee, and would have been carried out on instructions from the Committee. Why in the world the Commissioners have instructed the Committee's clerk to do the Committee's work instead of the Committee doing it themselves, I cannot understand. I confess the light which the right hon. Gentleman has thrown on the cost of meetings of the Insurance Committee, namely, £65 for one meeting, makes one doubt whether even this insurance scheme will be able to stand the heavy burden of administration. To my mind it would have been more business-like—more in accordance with the recognised responsibilities of Insurance Committees if this duty had been left to them to carry out according to their views and if the clerk had acted under their orders. On that ground I venture to ask the House to consider whether it is prepared to sanction the method adopted in Scotland—a method which may ultimately be applied to other parts of the United Kingdom—as a proper way of starting this very important scheme.

Coming to the point which the right hon. Gentleman admitted was a more important matter, namely, the method of election, of course we are all agreed that it would be unfortunate if the larger societies or associations were to be allowed to dominate these Insurance Committees. As I understand, my hon. Friend's chief complaint was that the method of electing representatives would result in the small societies getting not merely a fair but a far too large representation. No doubt the smaller the number of representatives the greater the convenience. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that it is desirable the small societies should be represented, but the point is whether the method adopted in this regulation does not secure that the small societies will get a representation far beyond what they are entitled to either in regard to influence or to number. I rather gather that my hon. Friend desires to point out that those interested in associations and societies whose numbers may not come up to the electoral unit standard, but yet may come near to it, will find their representation under the scheme not a bit better, practically speaking, than that of these very small societies. Is not that calculated to create a great feeling of dissatisfaction and discontent among many of the societies concerned. These are the considerations which I understand my hon. Friend to raise, and I confess I have doubts of what the right hon. Gentleman has said is a satisfactory answer. The question is whether these regulations by the Scottish Commissioners would not have been better if they had been considered by all the bodies of Commissioners together, so that the system now being inaugurated could be properly applied by all four sets of Commissioners. Would not joint consideration have tended to avoid the difficulties now raised? My next point is that the regulations are to be in force for three years, and it may be that they will require amendment—


The election takes place next July.


But the election will regulate the matter for three years, and to my mind that is the most difficult time of the organisation. It seems to me a little more consideration should have been given, and that the objections taken to the regulations are well founded.


I do not know whether it is permissible for a Scottish Liberal Member to intervene in this discussion. As a Scottish Liberal Member it is a matter of some gratification to me that the Scottish Commissioners should be at least a month in advance of the other Commissioners in formulating these regulations. I make no complaint that this matter was raised by an English Member. It is not for us on this side of the House to complain if Scottish Conservative Members do not consider themselves competent to raise or discuss these matters. It does not concern us to object to the Scottish Conservative Members taking their lead from English Members in this matter, indeed, it strengthens our case for Home Rule. We have always held that we on this side of the House represent the dominant view of the Scottish people that Scottish affairs should be managed in accordance with Scottish opinion, whereas our opponents in Scotland care little for Scottish opinion and are quite content that Scottish affairs should be managed in accordance with the dominant English opinion. Therefore I make no complaint that this object lesson has been given to us from the other side. I should not be surprised if the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Scott Dickson), when his party is returned to power, is quite content to accept a Scottish Secretary from the English Members.

I listened very attentively to the criticisms of these regulations made by the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans). There were four criticisms. Three of them, I think, were somewhat small, niggling, I might almost say of a pedantic nature. In the first place he considered that in the grouping of societies the larger societies were over-represented. They are represented strictly in accordance with the number of their members. In the next place he was of opinion that too great powers are reserved to the Commissioners. The powers which are reserved to the Commissioners are simply the powers of adjusting the difficulties that may arise in the course of the election of committees. [Interruption]. I intend to complete my remarks. This is a matter that does concern Scotland. It is desirable that our views upon the matter should be thoroughly understood by the electors of this country. In the third place, the hon. Member's criticism was that the clerk was placed in a position too independent of the Committee, whose servant he is, in fact that by these regulations the Commissioners were making the clerk rather the servant of the Commissioners and the master of the Committee. That seems to assume that the duties placed upon the clerk in this case are duties which involve some decision on questions of policy. There is really no question of policy involved. It is purely mechanical matters which are handed over to the clerk. Some arrangements have to be made for the election of representatives of insured persons, and for the apportionment of representation amongst the groups; but those duties are purely mechanical, and in no way is he placed as a master over the Committee.

12.0 M.

I should now like to refer to the last point, in which the hon. Gentleman, I think, had a real case. He referred to the representations of insured persons who happen to be members of B societies. The method of election proposed is that all these societies should be grouped together, and that each society should elect one delegate, and that these delegates voting together should elect the representatives for the Insurance Committee. It is quite true that a large number of these societies have small membership. In Glasgow there is a large number of societies which have only one member. Of course, they are large societies outside Glasgow, and may have thousands of members, but it so happens that they have only one member each in Glasgow. Each of these societies would be entitled to elect one delegate, whereas other large societies having 6,000 or 7,000 members would only have power to elect one delegate. There is, of course, provision if the election of representatives is disputed, for a card vote, but that can only be obtained if one third of the delegates demand it, and I understand that the hon. Member's case is that in the case of these societies with very few members it would be difficult to get the requisite third to demand it. The difficulty probably would seldom arise. It would seldom be the case that these small societies would be so numerous as to prevent the third being obtained, but it might conceivably arise in one or two cases. I always understood the hon. Member was regarded as the champion of the small societies, and as one who was anxious that the small societies should not be crowded out and extinguished by this Act. He now comes forward as the champion of the large societies against the small societies. We Liberal Members for Scotland are very anxious to see the small societies preserved, and to see them have a real and effective voice in the administration of the insurance benefits. These regulations do in effect give them a voice which their mere numbers would not have entitled them to have in the administration of the benefits. From that aspect of the matter, although there may be a grievance from the point of view put forward by the hon. Member, I think we may fairly and justly rest satisfied with the regulations.


When I first had my attention drawn to the regulations, I confess I felt inclined to vote with the hon. Member opposite, but after the discussion which has taken place, and in view of the saving Clause, I submit that it would be unwise to press the Motion to a division. If these regulations became the law of the land, and if a division was challenged, I should certainly vote in favour of the Motion now before the House, but in view of the fact that it does appear that there is power to amend the regulations later on, I think the matter should be allowed to remain for the present. If, as the right hon. Gentleman says, this matter has been submitted to the Scottish Advisory Committee, and if these regulations have been arrived at as the result of consultation between the Scottish Commissioners and the Advisory Committee, it is undesirable to press the Motion. I cannot quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman in the remarks he made with reference to the magnanimity of the collecting societies. May I point out that the obligation of appointing women is imposed on B societies, while A societies are allowed to go scot-free.


I think the hon. Member is referring to some other draft regulations.


The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the necessity of getting women representatives. The whole obligation of getting women representatives is thrown upon B societies. With regard to collecting societies, pure and simple, let me point out the facts. Take Glasgow as an example. In that city if the electorate is to be 10,000, it is clear that all the A societies will get their representatives direct. There is not a single trade union in the city of Glasgow which is likely to make up an electoral unit of 10,000. [An HON. MEMBER: "Less than that."] I will put it at 8,000 or 7,000 if you like. Therefore it is just possible that the amalgamated societies represented by my hon. Friend the Member for the Blackfriars Division (Mr. Barnes) will have no chance of direct representation on that Insurance Committee. Let me point out the danger of this proceeding. In Lancashire numerous small societies have arisen, and we shall take special care that these regulations shall not be applied to them without protest. In Lancashire there are 280 societies with a membership of one, so that if this principle were carried into effect, you would get 280 delegates elected by themselves. So that the principle itself, unless it is duly safeguarded, is really a great danger to the election of the Insurance Committees upon a representative basis. But in view of the fact that there is a safeguard in the regulation itself so that it can be amended if desirable as the result of experience, and through being submitted to the Advisory Committee in Scotland, I do think that after the protest that has been made the regulations may be allowed to stand, but that we should watch very carefully the regulations made subsequently by the English Commissioners.

Major HOPE

I wish to state the case for small boroughs with a population under 20,000 which have no representation provided for them on the County Insurance Committee under these regulations. The Insurance Committees have the power of making considerable expenditure on medical and sanatorium benefit, part of which has to be borne by these boroughs.


These regulations only refer to the three-fifths representatives of insured persons on the Insurance Committees.

Major HOPE

No. 33 of these regulations refers to the representation of county councils and town councils on the County Insurance Committee. All I wish to suggest is that the Scotch Insurance Commissioners should be instructed to appoint under Sub-section 2 (e) of Section 59 of the Act delegates from the town council of small boroughs which are not represented to represent them on the County Insurance Committee.


On a point of Order. May I point out that the Address only asks for an alteration to be made as to the manner of appointment of representatives of insured persons on Insurance Committees. It does not refer to any alteration of the kind that the hon. Member is now bringing up.

Major HOPE

Why, if that is the case, is Rule 33 of these regulations put in at all—that where any part of the cost of medical or sanatorium benefit is defrayed by a county council or a town council the Commissioners may increase the representation of the council on the Committee, and may make a corresponding diminution in the representation of insured persons in such a manner and at such times and for such periods as the Commissioners may determine.


This Motion does not challenge all the regulations. It only challenges certain ones.

Question put, "That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty praying His Majesty to disallow the Regulations made by the Scottish Insurance Commissioners constituted under the National Insurance Act, 1911, and dated 2nd April, 1913, as to the manner of appointment of representatives of insured persons on Insurance Committees."

The House divided: Ayes, 32; Noes, 191.

Division No. 78.] AYES. [12.10 a.m.
Baird, John Lawrence Hambro, Angus Valdemar Sanders, Robert Arthur
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Helmsley, Viscount Stewart, Gershom
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon) Taibot, Lord E.
Butcher, John George Joynson-Hicks, William Thynne, Lord A.
Cassel, Felix Lane-Fox, G. R. White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Courthope, George Loyd M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A. Yate, Colonel C. E.
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Younger, Sir George
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Newman, John R. P.
Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Gilmour, Captain John Peto, Basil Edward Worthington-Evans and Major Hope.
Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Pollock, Ernest Murray
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Booth, Frederick Handel Cullinan, John
Acland, Francis Dyke Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)
Addison, Dr. C. Brady, Patrick Joseph Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Agnew, Sir George William Brunner, John F. L. Dawes, J. A.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Carr-Gomm, H. W. Delany, William
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood) Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Chapple, Dr. William Allen Devlin, Joseph
Arnold, Sydney Clancy, John Joseph Dewar, Sir J. A.
Baker, Harold T. (Accrington) Clough, William Donelan, Captain A.
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Clynes, John R. Doris, William
Barnes, G. N. Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Dufly, William J.
Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.) Condon, Thomas Joseph Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Cotton, William Francis Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George) Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)
Black, Arthur W. Crooks, William Essex, Sir Richard Walter
Boland, John Plus Crumley, Patrick Esslemont, George Birnie
Farrell, James Patrick Low, Sir F. (Norwich) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Ffrench, Peter Lundon, Thomas Reddy, Michael
Field, William Lyell, Charles Henry Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Lynch, A. A. Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)
Fitzgibbon, John Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Flavin, Michael Joseph MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Furness, Stephen Macpherson, James Ian Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Gladstone, W. G. C. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Robinson, Sidney
Greig, Colonel J. W. McGhee, Richard Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Griffith, Ellis J. Manfield, Harry Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke) Marshall, Arthur Harold Rowlands, James
Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Martin, Joseph Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Hackett, John Meagher, Michael Samuel. J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Middlebrook, William Scanlan, Thomas
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Millar, James Duncan Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Molloy, Michael Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.
Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Mond, Sir Alfred M. Sheehy, David
Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Morgan, George Hay Sherwell, Arthur James
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Shortt, Edward
Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Muldoon, John Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook
Hayden, John Patrick Munro, R. Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Hayward, Evan Murphy, Martin J. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)
Hazleton, Richard Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C. Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Helme, Sir Norval Watson Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hemmerde, Edward George O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Henry, Sir Charles O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Toulmin, Sir George
Higham, John Sharp O'Doherty, Philip Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Hinds, John O'Dowd, John Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Holt, Richard Durning O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Malley, William Watt, Henry Anderson
Hughes, Spencer Leigh O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Webb, H.
John, Edward Thomas O'Shaughnessy, P. J. White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Shee, James John White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) O'Sullivan, Timothy Whitehouse, John Howard
Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) Parker, James (Halifax) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Parry, Thomas H. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Joyce, Michael Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Keating, Matthew Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Williamson, Sir Archibald
Kellaway, Frederick George Pointer, Joseph Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Kelly, Edward Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Kilbride, Denis Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham) Wing, Thomas
King, J. Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford) Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)
Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Pringle, William M. R.
Lardner, James C. R. Radford, G. H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Levy, Sir Maurice Raffan, Peter Wilson Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Lewis, John Herbert Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)

It being after half-past Eleven of the clock upon Monday evening, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order. Adjourned at Seventeen minutes after Twelve o'clock.