§ Sub-section (1) of Section eighty-seven of the principal Act shall be read as if the following proviso were added thereto:—
§ Provided that where the Board of Trade are satisfied that a workman who has lost employment by reason of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute at the factory, workshop, or other premises at which he is employed is not one of the grade or class of workman concerned in or responsible for the trade dispute they may waive the disqualification imposed under this Section.
§ Clause brought up, and read the first time.
§ Mr. HERBERT CRAIG
I beg to move, "That the Clause be now read a second time."
When the original Bill was considered on Report I brought forward a Clause attempting to deal with an admitted hardship which occurs in any great industrial 1709 dispute between any sections of skilled workmen, such as the engineers or ship riveters and their employers, owing to their labourers being thrown out of work. In those big disputes the men who labour for the skilled workmen are not in any way concerned in the dispute. They have not behind them, as the skilled workman has, a rich union, if they have any union at all. Their conditions of labour and remuneration will not be affected by the dispute in question. I think it is admitted on all sides, and certainly the Government admitted it three years ago, that it is very desirable to find some provision whereby when such a situation takes place, the labourers, who have during all these years been compelled to contribute towards unemployment benefit, and who find themselves, through no fault of their own, involved in a big trade dispute, should during such a period get some of the unemployment benefit towards which they have contributed. On the former occasion when I moved an Amendment seeking to achieve this object by discriminating in words between the skilled workman and the labourer, the present Attorney-General took exception to it purely on the ground that it was so difficult to interpret those words. He said also on that occasion in 1911 that if only they could achieve the same object by some other form of words he would most gladly consider the matter, as he was most anxious to meet the undoubted hard case which ought to be met. Therefore, I now try to achieve the same object by giving a discretionary power to the Board of Trade in a dispute of the kind to which I have referred to say, as regards the labourers whom we have in mind, if they are not of the class or grade of workmen concerned in or affected by the trade dispute that, therefore, they can waive the disqualification which is imposed by Clause 87 of the principal Act. It would be perfectly easy, as everybody knows, to say in any given trade dispute which class of workmen are or are not affected by or concerned in that dispute. I know that officials of the Board of Trade raise all sorts of bugbears, such as that two boys in a drawing office might get up a dispute and that the whole of the unemployed would come on the Unemployment Fund. That is purely imaginary, as that is not the way big trade disputes are carried out. In any case, the powers conferred by this new Clause on the Board of Trade are purely discretionary. If they 1710 thought there was any collusion about the trade dispute they could refuse to certify any class of workmen for waiver of the Disqualification Clause.
I may be met on this occasion, as on a former occasion, by the objection that this would upset the finance of the scheme. I would remind the House that this, at best, is not an actuarial scheme of complete insurance. The men who are entitled to benefit during the period of unemployment are only entitled to a limited number of weeks benefit, which represents very largely their own contributions to the fund, and to a large extent it is their own fund. The Board of Trade have the power to prescribe the number of weeks' benefit which shall be granted and, within certain limits, the amount payable, so that if my Clause is passed the Board of Trade could limit either the number of weeks or the amount of unemployment benefit to which the workman is entitled.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I have listened carefully and I find it to be my duty to raise the point that this would establish an additional charge. I am not in a position to prove it, but I think the Board of Trade must know. It seems to me if a large number of additional persons are brought into benefit, it must increase the charge on public funds, and a proposal of that kind, I submit, cannot be moved on Report.
Strictly speaking, it increases the charge on the unemployment fund only, and not necessarily on the Treasury.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Treasury contributes a third, and therefore, if the charge is greater, the charge on the Treasury is greater.
The Treasury contributes a third of the contributions paid, that is of the contributions of the employers and the men, and not of the total amount.
§ Mr. H. CRAIG
It is not for the Treasury to guarantee the fund, which is exhaustible, and the Board of Trade have power to say how many weeks' unemployment benefit shall be paid. There would, therefore, be no necessity to have a larger amount.
§ Mr. WILKIE
The men are paying for the benefit they desire to receive, and therefore it is not an extra charge on the Treasury, but on the ordinary fund.
The carrying of the hon. Member's new Clause would probably mean a certain extra charge on the Unemployment Fund. I do not see how that need necessarily involve an extra charge on the Treasury.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must accept the statement of the Secretary to the Board of Trade that there is not an extra charge placed on the Treasury, and if there is not the hon. Member can proceed.
§ Mr. H. CRAIG
The state of affairs which I contemplate is that which has directly arisen during a great trade dispute. In the North-East of England with which I am familiar, there has not been a dispute of that character since the passing of the Act, but the time is sure to come when we shall have some big trade disputes in shipbuilding and engineering. I desire to ask the House whether it would not be wise to grant to the Board of Trade some new authority so that you may be able to meet the bitter cry which will then arise from these poor labourers, who are the underpaid workmen in those industries—a cry that will arise because those men will find themselves in the only kind of unemployment which they really have to fear, and will find that although they have been forced to cultivate during all those years they are deprived of any unemployment benefit when the occasion arises.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to second the Motion.
This Clause is of the most vital importance to many of my Constituents and those of my hon. Friend on Tyneside. When this Clause, or something intended to attain the same object, was before the House on a previous occasion, we were told that there were two difficulties in the way. The first was that it would give rise to great difficulties in interpretation. In regard to the present Clause, I do not think there can be any such difficulties. I will undertake to say that any dispute where terms were arranged between the parties concerned—say, a rise of wages or a shortening of hours—there would not be the slightest difficulty in any works in saying which men were affected by the arrangement and which were not. If you can do that, 1712 surely you are perfectly well able to interpret the terms incorporated in this Clause. The other difficulty with which the Government said they were faced was that, if such a Clause were incorporated, they would be interfering in trade disputes and taking sides as between employer and employed. I say, on the contrary, that unless this Clause is accepted the Government are taking sides between employer and employed. If the Government are going to say that unemployment caused by a trade dispute is not to be an occasion for benefit to those who are unemployed through no fault of their own, I submit that that is doing something which will aid the employers in the dispute. Let the House recall for one moment what, when we were discussing the Bill in 1911 in our various constituencies, we all put forward as the real basis of Part II. of the Act. It was that where a man was unemployed through no fault of his own, the State was to provide him with unemployment benefit in return for the contributions which he had made. I do not believe there is a single Member, whether on the Treasury Bench or elsewhere, who for a moment suggested that so long as the unemployment was not the fault of the workman himself, so long as he was in no way responsible for it there was any case for depriving him of benefit.
That being the way in which the Bill was put before the people and accepted by them, that being the ground upon which they anticipated the payment of their contributions, labourers and all classes of workmen, especially in the North of England, feel that they are being defrauded of their benefit, and that by so doing the Government are taking sides on the part of the employer. If it is to be said that where a man is unemployed through no fault of his own, but in consequence of a trade dispute, he is to have no benefit, what is the result? It means either that these labourers, if they belong to a union, must be thrown upon the funds of that union, which is all to the benefit of the employer in a trade dispute, or that the labourers must starve, which is equally to the benefit of the employer in bringing a trade dispute to an end. Therefore, I say that, so far from its being taking sides against the employer to accept this Clause, it is taking sides with the employer if this Clause is rejected. For this reason I hope the Secretary to the Board of Trade will accept the Clause. It is of vital importance to the very class of people who were most concerned in the passing of the Act. 1713 The higher classes of workmen—skilled mechanics, shipwrights, boilermakers, and so on—are able to look after themselves, and in most cases did so. They are the class of men who belonged to friendly societies previously. But the labourers, the underpaid and poorest class, were just the very class for whom the Act was originally passed. If you do not accept this Clause, you are defeating the original objects of the Act. I feel that we ought to press the Government to accept the Clause, because it is in keeping with the principle on which the Act was founded, and with the principle which we all preached in our constituencies—
§ Mr. SHORTT
I will except my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract, because nobody ever knows what he does preach in his constituency. We take it that he preached a different principle from everybody else.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I am afraid you did, but nobody agreed with you. The Clause is in keeping with the principle which most of us, at any rate, preached, and it simply carries out that which was the desire of the country. In these circumstances, I ask my hon. Friend to accept the Clause.
My hon. Friends have put their case with both force and moderation, and I can assure them again, of what they are well aware, of the complete sympathy of the Board of Trade with the case they have put forward. I must, however, protest against the account given by my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle (Mr. Shortt) of the manner in which unemployment insurance was urged upon the country before the carrying of the original Act. We did not go about saying that we proposed an insurance against unemployment which was to cover the cases of men thrown out by trade disputes. I, at any rate, never committed myself to such a position. I think the House will in justice recall the fact that at every stage of the discussion of that measure this point, which is the most difficult of all, has come up again and again, and those in charge of the measure have always insisted that the object of this unemployment insurance is to guard against economic unemployment, and not against 1714 unemployment arising out of trade disputes. It will be obvious to hon. Members, if they look at the case as a whole, that it was necessary from the first to take up that position. The scheme is one to which masters and men alike contribute. To justify such a scheme to the nation it was necessary to make it clear at the outset that the scheme would stand neutral as regards trade disputes.
My hon. Friends have drawn a pathetic picture—I do not say that it is overcharged'—of the position, especially of the poorer labourers, in certain trade disputes. It is quite true that these men often have no share in bringing about the disputes, and they are apt to suffer most severely from, them. We have never denied the reality and the existence of that very hard case. What my hon. Friends do not, I am afraid, realise is that if you attempt by such a provision as they have drafted to open the way to put on the funds any class—for you cannot limit it to the labourers—who are thrown idle by a trade dispute, you open the way to hundreds of impossible situations, and to a great many kinds of hard cases that will be just as hard the other way as the case of the labourers. We have never denied the reality of that case. What we have said is, and I repeat it now, that as regards unemployment arising out of strikes, the obvious method of provision is that of insurance on the part of the unions themselves. The Unemployment Insurance Act does not represent the whole possibilities of provision. As my hon. Friends are aware, a great many of the unions make provision for their own men in reference to both strike, unemployment and other forms of benefit. The proper way of dealing with this evil is for the men in question to provide by a separate insurance of their own against strike unemployment. I am not arguing so much against the mere amount. In point of fact I think my hon. Friends exaggerate the amount of unemployment caused in the way they speak of. We have taken statistics from three trades—building, engineering, and shipbuilding—and they show that the average number of working days lost per head is, in a given year, 96 per cent. in economic unemployment, and only 4 per cent. owing to trade disputes; so that this particular case, when it turns up, does not represent a very widespread source of unemployment distress. However that may be, the arguments remain the same.
1715 This fund draws alike upon employers and employed, and it would be an abuse of its purpose to quarter on the fund at any time men who are unemployed in virtue of a dispute with their employers, even though they are innocent as regards the setting up of that dispute. I have only to put to my hon. Friends the difficulties which will arise in the general application of their Clause, I think, for them to see how impossible it would be for us to act in the way they propose. In the first place it is suggested that the benefit is to be dispensed within the discretion of the Board of Trade. Here you are making the Board of Trade over-ride the function of the Umpire, the independent judicial officer who now decides as to whether or not unemployment benefit is due. It is surely out of the question that the Board of Trade should come in and, by using a certain discretion, over-ride the function of the Umpire whose office was deliberately constituted for this purpose! Several Clauses have been proposed. They vary somewhat in form, but I should put it thus: It does not matter whether you seek to meet the difficulty by making the Board of Trade use their discretion, or whether you seek to set up any formulæ which shall work mechanically. It will be found impossible. At least that is our view and experience. I can assure hon. Members that the matter has been discussed many times by the Board of Trade experts in the hope of finding out a way to meet the case, but from all our experience it appears to be impossible to find any means of meeting this difficulty which would not open the door to most intolerable anomalies. It has sometimes been suggested that you could simply ascertain whether or not a given person is a combatant in the sense of being associated with a strike; but it frequently happens when different trade sections are combined in one general organisation—for instance, the moulders and pattern-makers, who are in a general union or amalgamation—
Well, there are other instances where a general federation may help or subsidise one or any of the sections of the body which may happen to be in a trade dispute. One section of the amalgamation may be the real originator of the trade dispute, and another section would be thrown idle owing to the dispute. Those sections are involved in the case of one set of works. Supposing the general body— 1716 say, the Federated Shipbuilding and Engineering Trades—in such a case gave a subsidy to the section that happened to make the dispute, would that not involve theoretically the other sections, and would not they be considered in the dispute so far as they—
§ 1.0. P.M.
I think my hon. Friend does not see my point. I am putting the case from the point of view of the Act. In such a case the question would be for us to seek to apply the principles of this Act. Where the general organisation, with a number of sections approving of it, gives support of a subsidy to one section that happens to be in a trade dispute, that does not alter the official responsibility of the others concerned. That is the kind of difficulty that faces us. The hon. Member for Tynemouth suggested that we had made up a childish picture of an imaginary difficulty. I assure him we are doing nothing of the kind. We are dealing with very real problems and very real difficulties. In discussing the whole matter I would just say, as regards the later Amendments, that there is one proposing to make the matter one of grade in dealing with the subject. Here, again, difficulty is sure to arise. "Grade" varies to a very great extent in some trades. Men are in some industries classed in grade according to the machinery they happen to be working. As regards some trades—builders' labourers, for instance—there is a great variety of grades. The use of the expression "grade" does not contemplate that kind of variety. It would be impossible to say as regards some of the grades whether you would class them amongst the body of skilled or unskilled men. At least by the adoption of any one of the Amendments on this subject now before us it would be extremely difficult, and would, I repeat, involve us in insoluble problems, and certainly would set up a kind of duty that the Board of Trade could not possibly accept without reducing to an absurdity the position of its Umpire. I would remind hon. Members below the Gangway further that the application of the principle they are seeking to apply would certainly not make for trade unionism, because, if you were to carry out the idea in general that the non-combatant is to be relieved, then the non-combatant would, I take it, in the majority of cases be the non-unionist.
No doubt my hon. Friend would out of his generosity be prepared to run that risk, but it is a consideration that ought clearly to be taken in account. I have suggested that the proper way of dealing with this matter would be that the trades in question should organise and provide funds of their own. Such an insurance would, in the interests of labour, be better in the long run. There is one more suggestion made to deal with the matter, that is that in regard to such trade disputes the employer concerned should be allowed to certify whether or not, in his opinion, a certain body of men should get benefit as being innocent in the dispute. There, again, complicated considerations arise. I would remind hon. Members that some employers would be very willing to certify benefit for nonunion workmen. Apart from that, it surely is clear that by giving employers the power to settle who is to be regarded as fairly entitled to benefit you are creating an extremely arbitrary set of operations. Different employers would settle the question on different lines, at different times. There is no general principle on which you could expect employers to agree.
You would have one employer certifying that certain men should get benefit, and you would have another employer certifying that men similarly situated should not get benefit; so that if we adopted the employer principle we would again create a larger number of anomalies than even exist now. We do not deny the existence of the hardship, but we do consider that the hardships caused by the adoption of any one of the expedients proposed would lead to a larger number of anomalies than at present exist, and would further be in conflict with the fundamental principle of the Act. I should consider the Act was in the very gravest danger if you set up a special case in which the employers' contributions to the fund should be turned to account for the maintenance of an actual strike. My hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle gave us an ingenious forensic argument to the effect that by not giving the employés money, so to speak, in support of strike, you are helping the employer. I think anyone who will compare the two arguments—that is, our argument and his reply—will see he is using a disparity of considerations. Our position is 1718 that the employers contribute to the fund, and if you give unemployment benefit from that fund to the men who are out of work because of a dispute in the works of a given employer, you are taking his money in support of a trade dispute against himself. My hon. Friend says if you do not give these men unemployment benefit you are supporting the employer. I put it to him that there is really no such deduction, and that in the case he puts there is no analogous or antithetical process; and though I admit the force of his argument, we are unable to accept it.
§ Mr. WILKIE
I find that to-day on this point we are further away from an understanding than we were three years ago. I thought that experience and time would have shown the representative of the Board of Trade the necessity of removing this irritating complaint on the part of the men. It is an irritating complaint. The hon. Gentleman who has spoken tells us that it was never intended to pay unemployment benefit to men thrown out of employment through the want of work arising through a trade dispute. How does that apply? Take the case of a shipyard where there are a great number of men employed. A dispute takes place with one section of the men. The other sections have nothing whatever to do with it, but they are paid off through want of work because of a dispute in another section with which they have nothing to do. Is not that the same as if there was no work for them? If there was no work for them and they had to go out, they would receive out of work benefit. According to the construction of the Act, men doing the same class of work in that shipyard, but in another building, if thrown out of work, would receive unemployment benefit. That fact ought to come home to the mind of the Board of Trade, and they ought to have met us, and the effort made by the hon. Member for Tyne-mouth is one of the various ways in which the Act might be administered in a less offensive manner. The Board of Trade tell us that they are not taking part in the dispute, but we say they are, because the previous custom of the trade was, when there was a dispute in one particular branch the other parties did not interfere; but now they lock the men out. The hon. Gentleman's argument was that we cannot pay unemployed benefit because you are in a dispute. In that way you are widening the area, and making every little dispute into a very much larger one.
1719 The other point the hon. Gentleman referred to was the non-combatants. He told us that they would be the non-unionists, but they would be nothing of the kind. Take a shipyard. All the workmen are in one society or another from the labourers upwards. It does not refer to the non-combatants but to the men of the allied trades who have neither lot nor part in the dispute. In 1911, notwithstanding the ingenuity of the Attorney-General, who was then Solicitor-General, he did not succeed in clarifying this matter. We repeat there is no intention on our part representing the workers to claim this unemployment benefit for a strike policy or militant policy. What do the Government fear? Would they tell us this. I am continually asked by members of my trade, "What does the Government mean?" and it was put to me to ask the Government, do they fear that they are going to help the working men against the big rich mammoth companies. Is that their fear? One would think from the sympathetic statements made here from the Government Bench about the workman thrown out of work through no fault of his own that they had real sympathy with him, and that they would sympathise with the demand that workmen thrown out of work through no fault of their own should receive unemployment benefit. They are victims through want of work. I for one cannot see where there is any benefit, under existing circumstances, to the employer. It is the very opposite to my mind. There has been very good trade for some years but when you come to the years of bad trade every little difficulty will be increased, and that is the reason why we are anxious to keep disputes confined as much as we can. If this Act is carried out without Amendment it will increase the difficulties and will cause more disputes and will not be any benefit to the employers, but will be a great danger to industry. Therefore, I hope that this appeal to the Government from their supporters, as well as on the common ground of humanity, will have effect. I hope this matter will be so altered that the men who are out through no fault of their own should receive unemployment benefit, for which they pay.
§ Mr. H. W. FORSTER
I am very reluctant to give a vote without saying a word on this question. I will only take up two or three moments' time of the House, 1720 because my position is perfectly well known. I am going to support the Government in their resistance to this Amendment, and I shall do so because I think the reasons given by the hon. Members who moved and seconded this proposal were fully weighed and fully discussed when the Insurance Bill was before the House several years ago. It was then stated, and I think very wisely, that this question of National Insurance against unemployment should be entirely apart and shut out from any question of trade dispute. Has there been anything that has occurred since the Act to lead hon. Gentlemen, wherever they sit in this House, to a conclusion that this decision was wrong? The two hon. Gentlemen responsible for the production of this Clause dilated upon the question of hardship. They sought to engage our sympathy for those thrown out of work, not by any action of their own but by reason of the action of others. We all of us sympathise with the hardships and sufferings caused to those who are the innocent victims of trade disputes. We are no less full of sympathy with them to-day than we were three years ago when all these matters were settled, and I have not been able to discover anything which has taken place in the industrial world or the insurance world, which leads me to think that the House of Commons was wrong on the former occasion. The hon. Member for Newcastle told us that he had described the benefits of this Bill to his constituents, and led them to expect something different from that which is now promised. I am afraid he was following a distinguished example in purusing that method, but I will not carry that line of argument further, because we might enter upon controversial grounds which I am very anxious to avoid. There is one effect of this Clause which has not been touched upon, and it is this: If you are going to throw the burden of these payments upon a fund to which employers contribute as well as the employed, and, if as I believe, employers would strongly resent such a proceeding as this proposed here, it seems to me you run very considerable risk of total lockout, which seems to me very undesirable. All I wish to do is to make my position clear. I have not the slightest doubt in my own mind that we shall be doing a great disservice to unemployment insurance if we carry this Clause.
§ Sir H. ELVERSTON
With great respect to the hon. Member who has just sat down and the hon. Member for Tyneside, I must say that, whilst the Act is mainly intended to benefit those who are out of work owing to fluctuations of trade, still those who were present at the discussions cannot help thinking that the Act did contemplate helping men in the position of being out of work through no fault of their own. I would remind the representatives of the Board of Trade that when the Attorney-General was discussing this question of benefits or non-benefits as the result of a strike, he used these words:—It is not fair on the workman that you should put him under a special penalty merely because he happens to have as fellow-workmen a lot of people who normally would not be his fellow-workmen at all.Proceeding, the Attorney-General said:—If a clause can be designed which does not throw into the power, either of an employer or a union, to enlarge or diminish at leisure the list of people to whom benefits apply we shall be glad to consider it.He really did contemplate bringing within the Act the men who are thrown out of employment as a result of the strike for which they are not directly responsible. A definition was brought in that trades commonly carried on as a separate business should be allowed to benefit under the Act. The point we make is that in many large establishments at the present time a number of trades commonly carried on as distinct trades happen to be crowded into one building, and as a result of that the members of those trades are disqualified. It has been said that spinning and weaving are commonly carried on in different factories and therefore may be fairly regarded as separate businesses if they are carried on in one building. Therefore, we argue the principle is admitted and it is the duty of the Government to take up and deal with this point, and that is why we support the Amendment which we have brought forward to-day.
The Act does actually provide for the case of the composite establishment, and in that case, where industries are usually carried on as a separate trade under one firm, the Act gives what the hon. Member wants. It was in regard to that that the Solicitor-General spoke, and what he proposed to do on that head was actually done by the Act.
§ Sir H. ELVERSTON
If you can differentiate in that way, it would be quite easy to carry the point a little further and give us what we are asking for. The 1722 right hon. Gentleman, when criticising this Amendment, implied that employers would certify to the Board of Trade who ought to come under the Act, and that would be the end of the matter, but that would increase the difficulties of the Board of Trade. We say that if employers certify and the unions certify in such cases, and there is an agreement between the two parties, surely those people could not be regarded as parties to a dispute, and most certainly they ought to have the benefit at the present time. Some people will argue that if this proposal were carried it would interfere with the financial scheme of the Act. I would remind the House that I do not think that anybody really knows what are the final financial results of this Act either in Part one or Part two. The actuaries in every case have very carefully safeguarded themselves by pointing out in their reports the inadequacy of available data, and the consequent measure of uncertainty as to the results which exist all through. This is a tentative and experimental Act, and you can very safely add to the Act the new Clause which we are suggesting to-day. This Clause certainly permits the Board of Trade to act as arbitrators under certain circumstances, and we think they will be able to do that without any great embarrassment. So far I am not convinced that there is any great danger financially or otherwise in the Clause which is proposed.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I rise to do something which is a rather rare event in this House, and that is to support both Front Benches. On this occasion I do not think we need to dwell very long upon this Clause because it is one which would throw the whole machinery of the Insurance Act out of gear, and it will not fit in anywhere. The speech of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Wilkie) is a condemnation of this Clause, which, in my opinion, would only make the position of things worse, for it would set trade union against trade union, and grade against grade. I think it is a false view to take to imagine that the poorly paid grades always get the largest benefit. I would remind my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, in reply to the case which he put forward, that it is quite common to have labourers throwing the skilled artisan out of work. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] Trade unionists on this point are split into two camps. In cases where the labourer throws the skilled 1723 artisan out of work, perhaps the latter is getting £6 or £7 a week and is a member of a strong union, and you are going to put all these men on the funds, a course which will very much deplete them in the case of the labourers. I do not say whether this course is right or wrong, but I say it has nothing to do with the Insurance Act. This Act was passed to deal only with trade fluctuations and economic laws, and when once you go into the region of trade disputes you will ruin the Act, and disappoint all your friends. No one will more bitterly regret this Clause, if it is passed, than my hon. Friends who are now supporting it, and I am sure that the people they are trying to help will reproach them most bitterly when they find the thing in chaos.
§ Mr. BOOTH
This Clause will operate against the advocacy of the hon. Member for West Ham, and it will not work in the way he imagines. It really will not. If I thought that it would I would take a different view. I will ask the Labour party whether they are prepared to support the Mover and Seconder of this Clause in the proposal that employers of labour in a district where there is a trade dispute are to send down a selected list of the people whom they think ought to have unemployment benefit? You could not carry that in my Division, or in the Division of the hon. Member. I challenge anybody to go to the working-classes, and particularly the militant trade unionists, and carry the proposal that an employer at a time when there is some dispute on shall be in any way a party to giving a list of those entitled to unemployment benefit. I am perfectly certain that the Trade Union Congress would throw the thing out.
§ Mr. CLYNES
The matter under discussion would be made much clearer to some of us if we knew what would be the position of the Amendment of my hon. Friend for South-East Lancashire (Mr. Hodge) on the disposal of the proposed Clause now before the House.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I take it that the words do not cover exactly the same ground, but I think the principle is the same, and I should be inclined to think that it would be disposed of by a Division taken on this Clause.
§ Mr. CLYNES
That makes the matter clear to us, and we conclude that we have only before us the proposed Clause which so far has been under discussion.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not think it covers exactly the same ground, but I think the principle is the same. I have an open mind on the matter, and, if in the course of the Debate it turns out that the Clause is substantially different from the one we are now discussing. I could not stop it being moved.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The arguments which would be used in support of the hon. Member's Clause would be very much of the same character as the arguments being used now, and I do not want the House twice over to hear the same arguments. Of course, the hon. Member is entitled, if he claims it, to move his Clause when the time comes, but I would humbly suggest that it would be undesirable to go over all the ground again in argument.
§ Mr. WATSON
Is it not the case that the later Clause would let in the sympathetic striker, and is not so limited as the present Clause, which confines it to the case of a workman in the same employment as the other grades which are affected by the trade dispute? The later Clause seems to let in a person in another trade altogether.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I said that they do not cover exactly the same ground, but that I thought the principle was really the same.
§ Mr. CLYNES
The principle in these two Clauses is the same, but there is a difference in what we might call the machinery of them. In the Clause now before the House the question would be 1725 left mainly for the Board of Trade to decide as a matter of judgment and of fact whether certain trades or grades were directly involved in a trade dispute or not. Under the other Clause in the name of my hon. Friend the position would be distinctly stated in the terms of the Statute. The issue before the House is this. Men who are in a state of strike, or who are directly locked out by their employers because of some difference between them, caused either by the action of the employers or the men, are not entitled to unemployment benefit. All other men, in no way the cause of the quarrel, and being in no way able to gain as the result of the struggle, are, we claim, entitled to benefit. They are just as much out of work as they would be if they were thrown idle through any ordinary economic agency. We believe the claim we are making is an honest one, a reasonable one, and a just one, and I can assure the House that those of us who have close connection with the workings of the relations between employers and employés and affairs in industrial districts are conscious of a very deep sense of injustice in the minds of workmen because of the operation of the law as it stands. The hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the House alluded to his extraordinary position in being able to support both Front Benches. His arguments, I think, were equally extraordinary. Surely he drew upon his imagination and romanced more than usual when he talked about labourers who have £6 and £7 a week!
§ Mr. CLYNES
The House will be well aware that there are very very few, I should say not 1 per cent., of the workmen covered by the Act who enjoy so substantial a wage as £6 or £7 a week. That is quite a piece of imagination on the part of the hon. Gentleman. The argument against the Government on this question is that they are not what they claim to be. They claim to be neutral, to be standing aside from wage disputes. They do no such thing. After the experience of two and a half or three years they are not accepting the position as it was understood when this matter was first considered by the House. In the earlier stages of this discussion it was clearly understood that it was an experimental stage which we had reached, and appeals were made to us to wait and 1726 see how time and experience would disclose the rights and wrongs of the question, and enable them to be dealt with. If the speeches made by responsible men at that time are examined it will be seen that we were asked to accept the situation in that sense. We claim now that we can show considerable wrong is being done to thousands of men who are compelled to insure, but are not able to get any benefit whatever at the only time in their industrial experience when they are thrown in a state of idleness. We say the law should either take no side or should take the side of all, and not discriminate between one and the other. Let me give an illustration.
There are at this moment in the county of Lancashire certain works wholly stopped. They are big engineering works employing up to 4,000 men. A month ago 500 men in these works tendered notices for certain changes and concessions. A week passed by, and the firm stopped the works altogether. Five hundred men out of 4,000 had raised the issue and made demands. The rest of the men made no claim. They did not side with the 500, and in no sense were they combatants in the issue which is now being fought out in the town of Accrington. The Act does not stand aside and say that the 3,500 can have no benefit. The law at present selects a number of the 3,500, and deals with their case, which is now reaching a point when the Umpire will have to decide whether they are entitled to benefit under the law as it stands. That is discrimination and partiality. It is selecting a section of men for benefit, because they are in a certain part of the premises—and penalising other men, because they happen to be removed only a short distance from the other workmen. That is the law as it now operates. I submit it is neither logic nor justice. The law ought to treat evenly those who happen to be victims. It ought not to treat them sectionally. It ought not to say that those who will get no material benefit as a result of the dispute shall have no benefit under the operation of the law. There are men who are so regularly employed as never to be thrown out of work, except as the result of the operations of a trade dispute. Some of us who have had twenty years' close association with the working of these trade disputes can say, on the strength of our experience that there are numerous cases where trade is so steady and work so regular, where it is not subject to seasonable 1727 changes that men are never thrown idle, unless by the operation of a trade dispute. It is not fair to compel these men by law to insure themselves when you deprive them at the only period of unemployment they are ever compelled to experience—unemployment due to a trade dispute—of the benefit for which they have paid.
As to this Clause being against the working of the trade unions, and even in favour of non-union men, our answer to that is that we are prepared to face the risk of any loss that may arise from a change in the law. Under any circumstances we have to carry the non-union man, collect for him, and support him if he has not been wise enough to be in any sense insured for unemployment benefit, so that this change can in no sense operate against the prospects of success from the purely trade union standpoint. It is a common experience that has arisen from the operation of the law as it is, that it tends to provoke men to become combatants. As it stands it is an incentive to sympathetic strikes. If you put men in the position of saying that they are to get no benefit at all unless they can get it through their trade union, you compel them to assume the position of strikers, and to make common cause with their fellow workers and to present their claims on a much larger scale than if you left them in the position of receiving justice, so long as they stand aside and do not form any part of the general body of strikers. I submit that the Government, if it is not using too strong a term, is not quite keeping faith with those, who, two and a half or three years ago, they invited to go through a period of experiment. There are 2,500,000 men insured under this part of the Act, Many thousands of them have been in a state of dispute in this city since January last. Thousands of these men cannot help it. They were made the victims of a certain act on the part of the employers, and they are being supported in one form or another. People are begging for them. Collections are being organised, and bread and food are being distributed. These men have suffered this sense of wrong during this long period. Had they been in receipt of the benefit for which they were compelled to pay, a limit would have been set to that benefit by the law itself. The statutory limit is a guarantee which the law maintains against anything in the nature of in- 1728 solvency or undue expenditure of the money in a wrong form. I submit that experience has made out a claim, and that the necessities of justice and equity require that some change should be made in the law, not for the advantage of the trade unions, not for the advantage of non-unionists, but as a matter of simple justice to the man who is compelled to pay for a benefit which he is now deprived of.
§ Mr. PETO
I will very shortly put the view of the National Federation of Master Builders before the House on this Clause. The Mover and Seconder of the Clause naturally stated only one side of the case. They took the case of labourers thrown out of employment by a strike in which they have but little material concern. But they forgot, and the House should be reminded, that the opposite side of that case is not very rare. I would ask the House to consider what would be the effect of adopting this Clause, if, for example, labourers in the building trade in any large centre went on strike, and consequently there were no men to wait upon the skilled workers, who are nearly always members of trade unions, and who may be thrown out of employment through the labourers' action. It might be held to be perfectly right that they should receive this unemployment benefit if they were quite unconcerned in the strike, but this Clause says they shall receive it whether they are unconcerned or not. I have here an actual case which recently occurred in Nottingham, where, only a year or two ago, the builders' labourers, who were members of the local trades council, comprising most of the trades employed in building, went on strike for an advance of wages, with the approval of the trades council actually signified by resolution. Usually, in such cases, approval would not be signified by resolution, and it would be left an open question whether there was any connection between the labourers' strike and the other trades with which they were engaged. Then, again, there is the question of contribution towards the unemployment benefit. It was decided, when this Bill was before the House and in Committee upstairs, in 1911, that the contributions should be equal on the two sides, because the whole principle of the Bill is that it should deal with what the Parliamentary Secretary calls economic unemployment, seasonal or ordinary trade unemployment not unemployment caused by trade disputes. The moment we get beyond that, the question 1729 immediately arises that there are two sets of contributors, and if you introduce the question of paying unemployed benefit in the case of a dispute, you are actually using the money contributed by the employers, in order to prolong the dispute, by the payment of unemployed benefit, as well as the ordinary strike pay paid by the men's organisations.
§ Mr. PETO
The Seconder said he was pleading the cause of men who were in no way responsible for the strike. We should get on very dangerous ground if we pass a Clause which proceeds upon the basis that it is possible for anybody in a labour dispute to discriminate as to who are and who are not responsible for it. The hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Wilkie) referred to Section 87, and the provisions made for localising of trade disputes, but the Debate, with a few exceptions, has proceeded as if there were no such provisions. It was carefully thought out at the time, and Section 87 was passed, which provides that where separate branches of work which are commonly carried on as separate businesses in separate premises are, in any case, carried on in separate departments on the same premises, each of those departments shall, for the purposes of this provision, be deemed to be a separate factory or workshop or separate premises, as the case may be. You cannot go further than that in dividing off the sections of men who are actually engaged in a trade dispute and those who ought to receive unemployment benefit. The hon. Member who mentioned the Accrington case complained of the way in which that has been interpreted. He said it was only a matter of men working a few yards further away. I do not believe that in interpreting that Section any such stupid method has been adopted by the Umpire as measuring the distance one man is working from another. There is nothing about distance in the Section at all. It is only necessary he should use common sense to see if it is a separate trade, or a separate branch of a trade, and that it is not concerned in the dispute. I do not believe that in carrying out the principle of this part of the Act it is desirable to go any further in the direction of allowing any interference in the question of trade disputes. The hon. Member for Dundee said he wished it to be clearly understood by the House that they had no intention of using this Clause or this principle to 1730 assist trade unions in their trade disputes. I, of course, accept the hon. Member's statement that they have no such intention. It may be the intention of those who move and support the Clause, but it is absolutely impossible, if we pass a Clause of this kind, not to make this Act, which was meant to be a provision for a totally different kind of unemployment, a means of interfering in trade disputes.
The very fact that the employer's contribution is equal to the contribution of the employé's makes it perfectly clear that the benefits secured by those contributions were never contemplated to be of the contentious nature which strike pay really is. That being so obviously equitable, I feel sure that however the House might have been divided from a political party point of view, the Act could never have been passed without it. We admit it is a great experiment which has not yet been fully tried. It could not have been passed if the proposal had been that employers and employés should contribute week by week the same amount, and the moment there was a trade dispute all the employers' contributions should be taken and used for the support of one party in the dispute. One hon. Member said in support of the Clause that there was plenty of room within the actuarial calculations and the finance of the Act to impose this further burden upon it. It is absolutely impossible to say what may be the demand for the very purposes for which the Act was passed in the case of trade depression and things of that kind, and what may be the effect upon the finance of the Act even in the course of the next few months—certainly in the course of the next few years. During the whole time the Act has been in force unemployment has been at an unusually low level. It is a very fortunate thing, upon which all hon. Members may congratulate themselves, that by that means very considerable funds must have been built up. We are all glad that the demand has been postponed so long as it has, and the demand may not be made upon the funds for the next few years. Whatever be the basis upon which the actuary has founded it, there is no doubt that there will be a considerable demand upon the fund to meet the unemployment the Act was intended to meet, and it would be the gravest mistake, from the actuarial point of view, to load the fund up now in respect of benefits to be paid during a trade dispute, upon which the original calculations were not made.
§ Mr. PENRY WILLIAMS
I desire to say a few words in support of this Clause. It has been stated here that the employers would object to a provision such as this in the Amending Bill. I venture to say there is not a single employer in this country who would object to a provision of this kind. What is the position when the two parties to a trade dispute are ranged one against the other? The employer's breakfast is the same, and I believe there is not a single employer who would like to see his workmen starve. I do not believe that employers would object to any man, who is not directly concerned in a trade dispute, getting 7s. a week with which to support himself and his wife and family during the course of the dispute, and before I believe that any employer would object to this provision, I should like to hear evidence from somebody to show that such is the case. The hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) seemed to think that we did not urge the acceptance of Part II. of the Insurance Act in the North of England because it would cover cases like those we have had before us to-day. We had just gone through two very serious labour disputes in the North of England, one in 1908 and the boilermakers' dispute in 1910, and the whole thing was fresh in our minds, and there is not a single Member of the House who did not urge the acceptance of this Act from the standpoint that it would cover the case of a man who was not directly interested in the dispute. I certainly did myself. I voted with my hon. Friend (Mr. Wilkie) on his Amendment on 1st December, 1911, and I voted for my hon. Friend (Mr. H. J. Craig) on his Amendment. This is a very small matter. If I understood the Under-Secretary rightly he said that 96 per cent. was economic employment, and only 4 per cent. was unemployment due to trade disputes.
I should point out that I do not pretend to forecast what would be the effect on unemployment of putting in this Clause. I have simply given the experience of the past. You might have a very different proportion.
§ 2.0 P.M.
§ Mr. P. WILLIAMS
That is quite so, but at present we can only go on the figures we have got, and it is shown by the 1732 Under-Secretary himself that only 4 per cent. of this unemployment is caused by trade dispute. That is an infinitesimal proportion of the total amount of unemployment that we are attempting to deal with to-day. The Board of Trade has to decide day by day much knottier points than they would be called upon to decide if this Amendment were added to the Bill, and they need not decide them themselves. They can set up an Umpire, a judicial authority, who would not be liable to Parliamentary pressure from Members or their constituents. Much has been made of the question of Parliamentary pressure, but I think if you set up an Umpire and left it to him to decide there would be no objection to that. The hon. Member (Mr. Peto) instances the builders' labourers and builders' dispute in London. My answer to that is that the Board of Trade, under this permissive Clause, would say, "We will not consider your application for relief. We will not remove the disqualifying conditions, and you will have to submit to unemployment benefit being stopped." It is entirely a permissive Clause, and if we had joined with hon. Members on the Labour Benches, and you had an arbitrary provision, we should have been met by this fact. The Board of Trade would have told us, "You cannot insure another risk unless you recast the whole financial proposals of the Bill," and that is why we have made this Clause permissive. The Board of Trade need not, if they so desire, add one penny to the cost of administration of this Bill. They will get claims from these people who think they are ill-used. They will then be able to see to what extent there is a real grievance under the original Insurance Act. Of course, I recognise to the full that it would not be enough to state that it is bound to be attended to sooner or later. There is a grievance here. There is a man who is in no way connected with the dispute, and who has a large family dependent upon him. The employer knows that he is in no way responsible for the dispute, the union knows that he is in no way responsible for the dispute, and his fellow workmen know the same thing. Everyone seems to know but the Board of Trade, and the Board of Trade can find out perfectly well if they like. In any ease, I trust that the Government will leave this to the judgment of the House, and will not put on the Government Whips against the Amendment. Let us all vote 1733 in accordance with our consciences, and if the Government Whips are taken off I believe there is not a single Member in any quarter of the House who will not be willing to remove this disqualification.
§ Mr. HODGE
When this question was discussed upstairs the Government only just succeeded in defeating the principle contained in the Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"] That is a demonstration of the way in which the Committee were impressed by the arguments which were put forward in favour of this proposal, or at any rate, a proposal which went a shade further than this. The Parliamentary Secretary, in an interruption while the hon. Baronet (Sir H. Elverston) was speaking, made a statement that is not quite consistent with the facts. Let me give a case. I think this will appeal to the hon. Member (Mr. Peto) if he knows anything about the heavy iron trade. There was a dispute at Palmer's shipbuilding works since this Act came into operation, and the men in the steel works were thrown idle, but, because of the strike of blast-furnace men, they were refused unemployment benefit under this Act. In the North of England it is common for pig-iron manufacture and steel making to be run as one concern, but in South Wales the manufacture of pig iron is conducted by a different company from those who are engaged in steel making. If there was a strike of blast-furnace men in South Wales, the steel workers and the tin-plate makers, who are working for different firms, would be paid, whereas at Palmer's they were not paid. That shows the gross injustice of the present system. Let us take the case of the iron founders. They come out on strike. Their labourers are not consulted. They have not a voice as to whether the iron founders will come out on strike or not, and any protest which they made would not be listened to. They are the sufferers as the result of the act of the iron founders, and I say that they ought to be paid as a simple act of justice. All this about non-unionists benefiting is simply a red herring thrown across the path of the trade unionists to try and prevent them working and receiving this that we are endeavouring to get. The non-unionist has a contribution deducted from his wages just as the unionist has, and why should he be debarred from getting that that he has paid for?
With respect to the employers, I think those who listened to the hon. Member 1734 (Mr. Penry Williams) would be glad to hear what he had to say so far as the employers are concerned. Might I give one striking instance of it. One of the greatest firms in this country, Armstrong, Whitworth and Company, had a big dispute at Elswick some two years ago, where the steel men were out and the labourers, a very numerous body of men, were thrown out. The firm, on being approached, declared that they would be glad to see the labourers in their employment receiving unemployment benefit because of the fact that he had nothing to do with the strike at all. My only regret is that we cannot prevail upon our hon. Friends to withdraw this Amendment in favour of the Amendment which stands in my name, which, I think, makes the matter clearer. I hope the House will support the new Clause, and if it gets a Second Reading, probably the best method would be that I should move as an Amendment thereafter the new Clause of which I have given notice.
I am very much disappointed at the attitude which the Board of Trade has taken up on this Clause. I think they might well have acceded to the representations which have been made to them by the hon. Member for the Gorton Division (Mr. Hodge), who gave one or two very cogent instances of the way in which this benefit has worked in the past. I think that for the future we might very well see to it that those who are unemployed through no fault whatever of their own should not be debarred from the savings which they have, to a very large extent, contributed under the provisions of the Act. I have listened to the Debate right through, and I was rather surprised to hear from the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Booth) that the Mover and Seconder had embraced, in their advocacy of the Clause, the proposal that the employer should be the arbiter as to whether benefit should be paid to a certain class of men, and as to whether that class of men were connected with the strike or not. I never heard them use any words which would indicate that they advocated the Clause upon that ground. I think that was, as a matter of fact, a suggestion by somebody else. I do not think that anyone who has advocated the Clause has any such intention in his mind, and I do not think that it would work, or that it would be just. I am sorry that we are not going to have this Clause accepted. 1735 I think it is a just Clause. I cannot quite agree with what was said by the hon. Gentleman with regard to the way in which this matter was put to the constituencies. He probably at the time of the election indicated that this was an insurance against depression of trade, yet the Act is called an Unemployment Insurance Act. If it was meant to be an insurance against depression of trade, I think it would have been better to call it an insurance against depression of trade.
My hon. Friend has reproached me for the attitude taken up by the Board of Trade. [An HON. MEMBER: "Speak up!"] The hon. Gentleman has himself said that we originally advocated this measure solely with the view of providing against economic unemployment. He says that if it was intended to provide against depression of trade it should have been called a measure to provide against depression of trade. We could not have called it by any other name than that used. Whatever may have been said in the constituencies, those in charge of the Bill explained that the purpose of the Bill was to provide against unemployment—to deal with economic unemployment—and it is away from the purpose of the Act to bring in unemployment which is caused by strikes. The hon. Member contended that the employer should not be the arbiter, and he considered that the hon. Member for Pontefract did not properly interpret the speeches of the Mover and Seconder. What does the Amendment say? It says:—Provided that where the Board of Trade are satisfied that a workman who has lost employment by reason of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute at the factory, workshop, or other premises at which he is employed is not one of the grade or class of workman concerned in or responsible for the trade dispute they may waive the disqualification imposed under this Section.There is no other possible way of ascertaining the facts. You must include the employer for one. We could not accept the mere declaration of the workmen that they were not responsible for the strike.
§ Mr. H. CRAIG
The hon. Member for Pontefract suggested that the employer should not be the sole arbiter in deciding who is responsible.
It is quite immaterial how the thing would be done. It is clear that it would lie with the employer to certify. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] If the hon. Member asks the Board of Trade to come to the conclusion that the workman should decide, and that the employer should not be consulted, we could not accept that.
§ Mr. H. CRAIG
Does my hon. Friend say that the Board of Trade would always accept the word of the employer?
The Board of Trade will have to go upon evidence as regards the real responsibility in a trade dispute. As was pointed out by the hon. Member for North-East Manchester (Mr. Clynes) one section in a factory consisting of 500 could strike and throw idle 5,000. If a strike is conducted by one section acting in its own name, it is obvious that that section can throw the rest out and leave them entitled to come on the Insurance Fund. If that were made legal it would offer inducements to such agreements being made between different sections in the same factory or workshop.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Workers may be thrown out of employment through no fault of their own in cases where there is no agreement with those who strike.
I do not understand the hon. Member's point. An hon. Member referred to a case where about 4,000 workers were thrown idle by the act of a few hundreds. If you make it legal in that way for 4,000 to come on the fund you give an inducement for arrangements by which in a factory or workshop a few hundreds can come out on strike, knowing that the rest who are thrown idle in consequence will come on the fund. I would remind my hon. Friend that the Board of Trade would be driven to go to the employer to, at least, take his evidence, and at the worst the Board would have to decide between the position of the employer and the position of the employed. As I pointed out, the Board could never undertake such a responsibility. The hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. P. Williams) talked about an Umpire. We have an Umpire now.
I have given the general argument against the Clause. I have indicated, I think, clearly the principle involved, and the contingencies which may arise have been pointed out by the hon. Member for North-East Manchester. Neither this nor any other similar Amendment could be accepted without striking a blow at the very structure and purpose of the Act.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Apart from those offered by the Front Benches, there have been only two defences of the law as it stands at present—one by the hon. Member for Wiltshire, from a brief supplied by the Master Builders' Association, and the other in a speech of the hon. Member for Pontefract. The latter found himself in the unusual position of supporting the two Front Benches. Like my hon. Friend, I view with suspicion any alliance between the two Front Benches. But I think that there is occasion for even more than suspicion when we find a triple alliance between the two Front Benches and the hon. Member for Pontefract. The Secretary to the Board of Trade was so impressed by the speech of the hon. Member that he did not content himself with defending the lather difficult case which he has to meet this afternoon, but he also took it on himself to defend the speech of the hon. Member. That, indeed, was a task from which even his dialectical ability was not quite suited. The hon. Member for Pontefract took a most extraordinary position. In the first place, he said that this proposal would upset the whole financial basis of the Act. Then he said that he was in favour of another Clause further down, which went even further and which consequently would do more to upset the financial arrangements of the Act. He certainly gave the impression to the House that his main objection, apart from that of the financial stability of the fund, was to the machinery, and that if there were not this objectionable machinery he would be inclined to vote for it. In the circumstances I am not substantially misrepresenting the hon. Gentleman. His contention that this Clause would destroy the financial basis is one that cannot be maintained. As to the financial basis, there is, we know, a statutory limitation put upon the amount. The hon. Member for Pontefract is competent to 1738 speak on the first part of the Act, and dealing with insurance on the same basis as on the first part of the Act his argument would be perfectly valid. But obviously it is invalid in relation to insurance under Part II. of the Act. The second objection made is that the proposal is contrary to the principles of unemployment insurance, that this is an insurance against unemployment due to economic causes, and not an insurance against unemployment due to trade disputes, or any other industrial causes. But the main Act makes an exception which destroys this general argument. The exception is that, under certain conditions, unemployment benefit will be paid if a man is thrown out of work owing to a trade dispute. The question which we are discussing now is simply the limits of this exception.
It seems to us who support this Clause that the limit in the original Act is an artificial limit, which is calculated to cause a sense of grievance among the workmen. The exemption there made is only made in favour of workmen who have been employed on the same premises, but are, however, employed in trades which are nominally carried on in different premises. In these circumstances, workmen thrown out of work are entitled to unemployment benefit. The question whether they become so entitled is determined by the arbitrator. We hold that the limitation which expresses the matter as depending on whether the trade is usually carried on in separate premises or not is an artificial limitation, and we desire to put the law on a basis of broad, general principles. Undoubtedly this restriction has caused a greater sense of injustice and grievance than any other provision in the unemployment Section of the Act. May I remind the right hon. Gentleman, who was so whole-hearted in his advocacy of the law as it stands, that at by-elections Unionist candidates have got many votes on account, not simply of the law as it stands, but of misrepresentation of the law as it stands. I know of one by-election in Scotland where this matter was, indeed, a burning question. In the Govan Division of Lanarkshire there was great difficulty in dealing with this question when the grievance was put forward that not only was the restriction in the Act as it stands, but that under no condition could a man get unemployment benefit if he was out of work as the result of trade disputes.
1739 Here we are endeavouring now to extend the right of unemployment benefit, and those Gentlemen who are taking advantage of the restriction in the original Act to get votes at by-elections are here now to support the Government in maintaining the state of things to which they have objected. We have a right to complain that the Unionist party, who objected to this in the country, are not taking the opportunity of using their weight in the House to impress on the Government the necessity of amending this objectional provision. [An HON. MEMBER: "How do you know? "] The only speeches which have come from the Opposition are from the right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench and the hon. Member for Wiltshire. Both of these have been wholeheartedly in support of the Act as it stands. I think it is only fair when such criticism is made in the country that the influence of the Opposition should be exercised to obtain a modification of the Act when the opportunity is given. Had such influence been exercised I think Chat the attitude of the Government would have been different, and that the Clause now under discussion, or some other Clause, would have been adopted, and this great grievance would have been remedied.
Mr. TYSON WILSON
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Devizes, it is said, was speaking for the Federation of Master Builders. I think that it ought to be made quite clear that he was speaking only for the London Federation of Master Builders, and not for the Provincial Federation. In connection with the anomalies which arise under the present Act in the case of a dispute, I may state what took place in the case of Howard and Bullough of Accrington. There was a strike which was followed by a lock-out. Since the lock-out the case was referred to the Umpire and to the Court of Referees, I believe, as well. It has been decided that the spindle and flyer makers who work for this firm are entitled to unemployment benefit, but that the iron grinders and glazers who finish off these spindles are not entitled to unemployment benefit. This is a most ridiculous position of affairs. I could give numerous similar illustrations of what is taking place in various parts of the country where there are disputes in textile engineering works. I am very much inclined to think that the reason why the Secretary to the Board of Trade does not accept this Amendment is because he 1740 thinks that it would do great damage to the finance of the Bill. I do not think that it will, because, just as in the case of Howard and Bullough the great bulk of the men locked out are entitled to unemployment benefit, and it is only two or three, or perhaps a dozen, people in subsidiary employment who are deprived of unemployment benefit. Take the dispute in the building trade in London. Under present circumstances, of two men discharged from the same firm, one has got the benefit and the other has been refused it. I am surprised that the Parliamentary Secretary opposes this Clause, which would remove the anomalies and confusion which now arise, while the men all round would be better satisfied. I appeal to the hon. Gentleman to take off the Government Whips, and let us have a straight vote.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
After the severe criticism of this particular Amendment the Government ought to consider their position, because I am perfectly certain that if the Whips were taken off it would be carried by a very large majority. So far as we on the Labour benches are concerned we are certainly going to vote in favour of the Amendment, and I hope my hon. Friends will stick to their guns whether the Government are beaten or not. So far as we are concerned we regard this as one of the most important proposals and we wish to see it adopted. I, myself, and the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Wilkie) speak with a great deal of authority and power behind us in regard to this particular Clause. We speak for the Engineering and Shipbuilding Federation, which has a membership of 250,000. Resolutions have been passed unanimously, innumerable times, in favour of the principle of this Clause, because men have found, after having contributed towards this fund, that when they are thrown out of employment, in many instances they are not able to receive any benefit at all. As I understand, the hon. Member for Colchester and the hon. Gentlemen on the Front Opposition Bench are only going to vote against this Amendment, though they agree with it in principle, in case it might, as they say, "burst up the fund"; otherwise they would vote in favour of it. As a matter of fact nothing of the kind would happen. You have fewer strikes during a time of depression; it is during a cycle of good trade that the vast majority of the men in different parts of the country think that they are not getting what they are justly entitled to, 1741 and they strike. It is in consequence of the pig-headedness of a number of employers of labour who refuse to make concessions that strikes take place. Anyone who has watched the history of the Trade Union movement, and goes back ten, fifteen, or twenty years, always finds that it has been in the cycles of good trade that more strikes have taken place than in the periods of depression.
Employers sometimes make extreme demands, while, on the other hand, workmen in many instances, refuse to be persuaded by their officials, and a strike takes place. We have tried to ascertain what would be the cost resulting from the Amendment, and we have ascertained that it would be about £180,000 per annum. At the present time there is a balance of about £3,000,000. We have been told upstairs, as we were told on the Second Heading of the Bill, that as soon as there was a cycle of bad trade the result would be that the £3,000,000 would melt like snow under the sun. In my own view, I think a long time would elapse before this fund became insolvent. Anyone who reads the history of the trade union movement will find that during the last ten years the average amount which it has paid in unemployment benefit works out at £400,000 per annum. In view of that fact, it does seem to me that, with a balance of £3,000,000, this fund is quite solvent, and, even if the Government were called upon to pay £1,000,000 per annum, there is that balance of £3,000,000 to go on with. There is another question which concerns a very large number of workmen. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade pointed out that there might be a number of men grouped together, as in the Shipbuilding Federation, and that a few engineers might strike and the boilermakers would be thrown out in consequence. In such a case it is the duty of one organisation to come to the assistance of another, but, as a rule, each organisation has to stand by itself and pay its own men. In the Accrington case, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade tried to impress upon the House that the engineers and a thousand boilermakers had taken it upon themselves to issue a notice because the firm had refused an advance of wages. It is a rotten firm to work for on account of the low wages paid to the men, and that was why they asked for an advance of wages. Other men had no quarrel with the firm at all, but the firm, to spite the engineers, shut down the whole 1742 of the works, throwing out between 4,000 and 5,000 men. There was no need to shut down the works, but it was done because the firm is non-union. It is too late in the day for any firm to take up that attitude, and any firm which does so will get the worst end of the stick. I have been very much surprised at the absence of the President of the Board of Trade. I do not know, except that he thought he was going to get a bit of a hammering, why he has left all the work on the shoulders of the Parliamentary Secretary. I do not say, of course, that the Parliamentary Secretary is not quite capable. I do think the Government ought to seriously reconsider their position, especially as this proposal will not mean more than about £180,000.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
I think there should be no difficulty in giving the approximate amount, and I thought £180,000 was mentioned. Taking the number of strikes and lock-outs for eighteen months, that amount would seem to cover the matter, and as well there is a sum of £3,000,000 in hand. I am glad to see that the President of the Board of Trade has returned to his position. If the Government are not prepared to reconsider their position, and are going to sit tight, then so far as we are concerned we are going to force a Division. There is not a single Member on the Front Bench, or the hon. Member for Pontefract, who could succeed at meetings in their Divisions or in any industrial centre in getting resolutions passed against this Amendment. I throw out that direct challenge, and I say that any Member who votes against this proposal is voting against the rank and file of the people in their Divisions.
§ Sir W. PHIPSON BEALE
I admit, representing a large industrial constituency, that I could not get a Resolution passed against this Clause, which I have no doubt would be popular, but I do not think it is a Clause which we can rightly or properly introduce at this stage. I am quite willing to face any objection that will be taken to my action, because I believe it to be based on sound reason. The object of the Clause is to give the Board of Trade a discretion as to men not concerned in or responsible for a trade dispute, and it is said that that would not deplete the funds. No doubt if within the scope of the Act 1743 that would be a very desirable thing; but, in my opinion, it is not right at this late period to propose to extend the benefits in the way now submitted. I know it has been said that the calculations as to premiums and payments are very uncertain, and that the Board of Trade would take care as to those matters. I do not think that is a sufficient answer to the objections to the Clause. I do not think it is wise or right or fair to give a discretion which can only give rise to the expenditure of the surplus fund. The effect of a strike is to cause a great deal of loss and injury to shopkeepers and others, and I do not think it is logical or right to pick out this one class of people who have previously been left out of benefit without considering all other sections affected by the strike. This proposal is only possible because of the use of the term "unemployment" as regards this particular class. You cannot use that word as to shopkeepers and other classes affected. I have no doubt most of the difficulties that have been put forward by the Board of Trade, and which have been discussed by several hon. Members, might be got over, but I cannot get over the principle which was enunciated by the hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Forster), namely, that this Act hitherto has proceeded on one system of insurance, and there is no equity or reason for calling for an extension of it to this particular class at this particular period.
§ Mr. J. HOGGE
I am sure all of us will regret that the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken is not again seeking to enter this House; and, therefore, he will not have to set himself the problem which he suggested might be set at the beginning of his speech. With regard to his last argument that a new principle is raised, the question is already settled in Section 87, and this is only a matter of whether that principle shall be extended or not. I did not rise to meet the arguments of my hon. Friend, and otherwise I might have pointed out, as to his suggestion that the small shopkeepers would be affected by the strike, that surely, if men on strike draw unemployed benefit, it would be very much better for the shopkeepers whom my hon. Friend wants dealt with. I imagine, therefore, if we go to a Division, he will go with us. I rose to say that I think so large a question as this ought to be rediscussed now that the President of the Board of Trade has come into the House. The 1744 last speaker suggested that this was not the time or the occasion to adopt this provision. I would like to remind him that these very large issues concerning very large sections of working men in the country are decided in Committee upstairs on Bills which really ought to be discussed here. It is extremely difficult, owing to the restriction of numbers, to obtain places in the Committees upstairs in order to discuss these points. The bulk of the discussion this afternoon has taken place in a rather empty House, for which there may be an adequate explanation, and in the presence of four, sometimes three, Under-Secretaries. But this is a question of policy, and I am certain that the Parliamentary Secretary would have given way long ago if he had been able to consult his superior, and his superior could have got access to his colleagues. What has been said on the Labour Benches with regard to our support of this Amendment need not have been said. Whether we are relieved from the Government Whips or not, many of us are going to vote against the Government. This is a question involving ordinary arguments of justice. The men who are deprived of unemployment benefit are the very men who are heaping up the £3,000,000 which is to meet extraordinary difficulties when periods of unemployment come upon us.
I imagine that even we who have not yet been drawn into the arena of the war storm have been spending large sums of the nation's money in getting ready for that occasion if necessary. Why not spend a little money, which, after all, is the money of the men themselves, to prevent industrial war in this country? It is much better that we should be preserved from industrial war and have a continuance of industrial peace than that that should be avoided by the non-acceptance of this Amendment. I cannot understand the argument that, if this Amendment were accepted, it would promote strikes. Why are the men who are gathering up this money going to exhaust the fund that will keep them when unemployed? It would mean flying in the face of their own preservation. On the other hand, why are employers going to take advantage of it? I can see no merit in either argument. I wish to say, in the presence of the President of the Board of Trade, that we feel very keenly on this point. It is art injustice that these men who, through no fault of their own, but owing to an 1745 artificial restriction in the machinery of the Act, are prevented from getting their due, should now have it denied them by legislation. That is a point we cannot and do not intend to concede. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw the opposition of the Cabinet to this particular Amendment, and so enable this and the other parts of this otherwise excellent Amending Bill to be secured. I appeal to him as one who has perhaps more sympathy in this matter than any other Member of the Cabinet; he has been through the mill of these industrial matters; he knows the difficulties of men in that position, and he knows that working men look to him as the special representative of their interests in the Cabinet. I therefore appeal to him to yield this point and allow the Amendment, either in its present or in some other form, to be included in the Bill.
The hon. Member for South-West Ham (Mr. W. Thorne) spoke of candidates at by-elections who criticises the existing law, but would not vote for this Amendment. I wish to say that I was one of those candidates who criticised the original Act, but I certainly propose to vote for this Amendment. It seems to me absolutely safe, because it is left entirely to the discretion of the Board of Trade to decide whether the workmen are in any way responsible for the unemployment. If it is left to the Board of Trade to decide whether or not workmen are insurable under Part II., I think it is equally safe to leave it to the Board of Trade to say whether their benefit shall be payable under this Clause.
§ Mr. WATSON
I had thought that my vote on this Amendment would be sufficiently eloquent of my view. But judging by previous experience of Amendments and Motions on labour matters which hon. Members opposite have not always carried to a Division for fear of disturbing the Treasury Bench, I do not wish, by not speaking, to miss the opportunity of making it quite clear that I am in favour of the principle of this Amendment. I have said so on the platform before now. I am not sure that I agree with my hon. Friend about the Board of Trade, but whether or not the particular method proposed by the Clause is the best, that is not a question for the Second Reading.
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
I want to express my sympathy with the desire 1746 contained in this Amendment, that men; who are insured shall get what they pay for. If I thought that they were not getting what they paid for, I should certainly support the Amendment. But in fact they are getting what they pay for, and if this Amendment were carried it would be-necessary to charge a higher contribution than 2½d. I know the hon. Member for South-West Ham (Mr. W. Thorne) said that that would not be so. He made an actuarial calculation while on his feet, with a facility which I envied, and told us that there would be no draft worth mentioning upon the fund if this Amendment were accepted. Indeed, he said there was a fund of £3,000,000, which he seemed to think was a sort of widows' cruse which would never fail. But, as we know, that is for another purpose. In my judgment, if this Amendment were carried, the contribution would have to be increased. The Mover and Seconder of the Amendment seemed to be oppressed by exactly the same feeling, because they said that if it were carried the fund would not be bankrupted, because either the number of weeks during which benefit was payable would be lessened, or the actual amount of benefit reduced. I ask hon. Members to realise whose benefit would be reduced. Not only the people who succeeded in getting benefit under this Amendment, but every insured person would suffer. For this reason I cannot support the Amendment. Hard cases have been quoted, and I fully sympathise with them. You have to remember, however, that this is a compulsory Act, rigidly enforced, and where you have that class of compulsion you are bound to have hard cases, because the Act is not sufficiently elastic to meet the cases in the same way as a trade union, limited to one class of workmen or one particular trade, could do. This Act applies not to-one class or to one trade, but to all insured persons, and, applied with the rigidity of an Act of Parliament, it is bound to press hardly on some. It has been said that "the men for whom this Amendment is moved, are the men who have nothing whatever to do with the strike: it was not their fault that they lost their work." With that I agree, but are the hon. Members who support the Amendment prepared to carry that argument to its logical conclusion? Suppose-there is a strike. Suppose there is a vote in a trade union as to whether or not there should be a strike; the majority of the union vote that there shall be a strike. 1747 Are hon. Members opposite prepared to give to the minority, who have voted against that strike, unemployment benefit? [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"] Is that minority to have exactly the same position as here suggested?
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
They may or may not; but according to the advocates of this Amendment for benefit under these circumstances—
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
They are going to strike unwillingly. I do not know whether the hon. Member heard the case I put. These are people deprived of their work through no fault of their own, and it is these people I understand that the Amendment is intended to cover! [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"]
§ Mr. PRINGLE
That majority join the trade union knowing that they may have to come out on strike by a vote of the majority.
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
I am quite prepared to accept the fact that they do get 12s. 6d. per week from the union, but that really does not meet the point at all. The broad case made for this Amendment, which personally I have got sympathy with, is that these men who are deprived of their work through no fault of their own should get benefit. Is not that the case? Very well, are the minority of a trade union which decides on a strike by a vote of the majority not people who are deprived of work through no fault of their own? They have voted against the strike. Are they not deprived of their work through no fault of their own, and if you are going to do as suggested here in favour of those for whom this Amendment has specially been advocated, you have got to do it also in favour of that minority in the trade union! The moment you do that, you are going practically by your trade union to give a subsidy out of the unemployment fund to a minority of the trade union who opposed the majority of their comrades. I do not believe that hon. Members really mean that. There is one other and equally great objection to 1748 my mind from the point of view of the workmen. That is this: the employers will say, and justifiably say, that there are means by which the unemployment fund can be used for the purposes of subsidising a strike. I do not suppose that that is denied, so I shall not go into details to show how. But once the employers think that, they have an easy remedy in their hands, that is, that wherever there is a sectional dispute to lock out the whole of the men in their works. If they do lock out the whole of their men, there is not one man connected with those works who can get employment benefit.
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
That is not so under the Act. The hon. Member is thinking of the building strike. They do not get it so long as the lock-out goes on, unless they have left that employment and taken other employment, and lose their employment with the second employer.
§ Mr. CLYNES
May I explain the situation? We have 4,000 men employed under a certain firm. That firm has a number of separate establishments practically on the same ground in the same town. They are pursuing different trades in those separate establishments, but they are covered by the one strike or lock-out. The men in one establishment who, say, happen to be spindle makers, are entitled to their benefit, because they are in a different establishment to the other men, who are, say, moulders' labourers. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"] That is exactly the case in the Accrington dispute.
§ 3.0 P.M.
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
The hon. Member, if I may say so, is right in small, exceptional cases covered by one of the Sub-sections of Section 87, and that was the effort that we made in Committee upstairs—the hon. Member remembers it!—to meet so far as we could the very hardships which have been argued so long today. There are such cases where one employer is carrying on businesses in the same premises which are usually carried on in separate premises, but with that exception my general statement is right. If you carry this Amendment you are playing into the employers' hands, because wherever there is a small sectional strike in self-defence he will be obliged to lock out the 1749 whole of the men. In my judgment that is not for the benefit of the men, in the long run, and for the reasons that I have given I will not support the Amendment. I realise that this is intended to deal with an extremely difficult matter which, in my judgment, the Board of Trade ought to consider very carefully between now and next time we have an Amending Bill. I am not altogether hopeless that something will be done that will really deal with the majority of grievances, but this way is wrong; this way is going to do more harm than good.
§ Mr. ALBERT SMITH
I should not have risen to reply to the case of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down in regard to the men voting in the minority in a trade union, except for the fact that there is no case in any shape or form. Every member of a trade union joins and has to act in accordance with the rules of the union. Generally speaking, the majority at a meeting of members decides what action that trade union will take, and the minority who attend that meeting have the privilege of raising their voices against the action suggested by the majority. Suppose the case of a man who does not belong to a trade union and never has. What happens? If the man agrees to abide by the trade union decision given by a majority present at that meeting to come out on strike, in company with his fellow-men he is provided for by the rules in the shape of strike pay; consequently he will not be given, nor will he require unemployment benefit. The hon. Member seems to me—I do not think he
§ does it purposely—entirely to misunderstand the position of the workman who is not employed, and the one who has not had a say in the matter of being thrown out of employment. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade mentioned various economic reasons for men being thrown out of employment. I quite agree there are economic reasons. There is the case of the employer who refuses to take an order, not because it would not pay, but because it will not reach the standard of profit that he wants to make; consequently he refuses it, and the men suffer. The same economic reasons, but from a different standpoint, happen when that same employer locks out men who have no interest at all in a dispute—who punish the men who have only come out in support of the dispute, and who have never had a voice in it: by compulsion of the employer they are deprived of having any benefit from that towards which they have contributed. I think that is a very hard case. If employers have the power to punish men in this way, I consider it is very wrong indeed. We require this Clause, or a Clause, at any rate, approximating to this ideal. To-day we have not had a single attempt even to amend the Clause to meet the wishes that the Board of Trade may have, and if we had had some sympathy at all shown towards it there would have been some encouragement. I earnestly ask hon. Members to support this new Clause.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 84; Noes, 171.1751
|Division No. 209.]||AYES.||[3.5 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Hardie, J. Keir||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Barnston, Harry||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Bowden, G. R. Harland||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hills, John Waller||Pratt, J. W.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hodge, John||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hogge, James Myles||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Houston, Robert Paterson||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Clynes, John R.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rowlands, James|
|Crooks, William||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Currie, George W.||Jowett, Frederick William||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Leach, Charles||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Fell, Arthur||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Goldsmith, Frank||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Tickler, T. G.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Greene, Waiter Raymond||Marshall Arthur Harold||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Watson, Hon. W.|
|Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Morrell, Philip||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Hancock, John George||Newton, Harry Kottingham||White, Major G. D. (Lancs, Southport)|
|Wilkie, Alexander||Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S. W.)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)||H. J. Craig and Sir Harold Elverston.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Alden, Percy||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Dowd, John|
|Armitage, Robert||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||O'Malley, William|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Harris, Henry Percy (Paddington, S.)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shee, James John|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Boland, John Pius||Higham, John Sharp||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hinds, John||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Boyton, James||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Prothero, Rowland Edmund|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Radford, G. H.|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Illingworth, Percy H.||Reddy, Michael|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jardire, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs, Heywood)||Joyce, Michael||Robinson, Sidney|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||King, Joseph||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Clough, William||Lardner, James C. R.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Larmor, Sir J.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Colonel A. R.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Cullinan, John||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Sheehy, David|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lundon, Thomas||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines, Louth)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Maclean, Donald||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Delany, William||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Devlin, Joseph||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Stewart, Gershom|
|Dillon, John||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Sutherland, John E.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Tennant, Rt. Hon. Harold John|
|Doris, William||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Duncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Meagher, Michael||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Waring, Walter|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Webb, H.|
|Esmonds, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Molloy, Michael||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Mooney, John J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Morgan, George Hay||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Falconer, James||Morison, Hector||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Mount, William Arthur||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Ffrench, Peter||Muldoon, John||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Field, William||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Murray, Captain Hen. Arthur C.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Forster, Henry William||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Neilson, Francis||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Gill, A. H.||Nolan, Joseph||Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
The next new Clause, dealing with the question of ("Contributions to be Refunded in Certain Cases"), has been dealt with by the second new Clause added to the Bill. The next new Clause—(Disqualification for Benefit)—must also be taken to be covered by the decision the House has already a moment ago come to.
§ Mr. CLYNES
We were assured, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that although in principle the Clause disposed of and the 1752 Clause standing in the names of my hon. Friends were the same, yet there was a difference in the machinery features of this Clause, and it was quite understood that there should be an opportunity for a separate test of the question in the Division Lobbies, although, of course, not a second Debate.
§ Mr. HODGE
In the Clause which has just been divided upon we were considering an administrative point. The administration was placed in the hands of the 1753 Board of Trade, but in the Amendment which stands in my name it becomes a part of the Act of Parliament, and therefore I think it is altogether different in principle.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
These two new Clauses have been to a considerable extent debated together—in fact, the proposal of the hon. Member for the Gorton Division has really been advocated more than the one which the House has already disposed of. I was suggesting that the decisive majority of the House just now on the previous Clause might be taken to cover this one as well, but if the hon. Member is willing to move this Clause without further debate, I shall allow him to do so.