HC Deb 01 July 1915 vol 72 cc2073-4

The following paragraph shall be substituted for paragraph (d) set out in Subsection (1) of Section 1 of the Defence of the Realm (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1915, and shall be deemed to have been contained in that Act, namely:—

(d) To regulate or restrict the carrying on of any work in any factory, workshop, or other premises, or the engagement or employment of any workman or all or any classes of workmen therein, or to remove the plant therefrom with a view to maintaining or increasing the production of munitions in other factories, workshops, or premises.


I beg to move, after the word "work" ["the carrying on of any work"], to insert the words, "experiment or research."

The object of this and subsequent Amendments is to give the Minister of Munitions the same powers over laboratories as he takes over factories and workshops.


I think these Amendments are quite unnecessary. We do not want to commandeer universities and colleges. They have placed their laboratories at our disposal, and I cannot think of any case where we could have used these powers.


The difficulty is that the authorities are quite willing in every case, but they are governed by Statutes and Orders in Council which will be in the way. I thought it would give him power to sweep away all these Statutes. If my right hon. Friend thinks it is completely covered I will not press it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: At end of Clause add the words, "or to regulate and control the supply of metals and material that may be required for any articles for use in War." [Sir C. Henry.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


I should like to point out that this is an enormous development and enlargement of the Clause in the last Defence of the Realm Act that we have passed. It extends the provisions of the former enactment so that it applies to any work in any premises of any workman or any class of workman. I really do not see that it is necessary at all to have it in the Bill. I believe there are such ample powers given elsewhere that it seems a perfectly unnecessary provision and also an extraordinary enlargement of the powers of Ministers, and I think some explanation ought to be given of it.

Question put, and agreed to.