§ Order for Committee read.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I beg to moveThat it be an instruction to the Committee on the Bill that they have power to divide the Bill into two Bills, one dealing with the establishment of an Industrial Court and Courts of Inquiry in connection with trade disputes, and the other to continue for a limited period certain provisions of the Wages (Temporary Regulation) Act, 1918.Motions with a similar purpose to that for which I move this one have often appeared on the Order Paper, Such Motions have been designed to interfere with the progress of some particular measure or to obstruct the purpose of the Government and to consume the time of the House with some ulterior object. I assure the House, if any assurance be needed under that head, that no such motive prompts those of us who are putting forward this Motion. We ask for it the earnest and sympathetic consideration of the Minister of Labour. I do not want to revert to the theme of finance, from which we have now passed, but I am sure the House will agree when I say that no energy and no money could be better expended in the public service than the energy and money expended in saving the enormous losses in wages, in profits, in commerce and in trade which arise from industrial disputes. We are as anxious as anyone in this House can be to devise the best possible means for establishing the most conciliatory method that can prevail in order to compose differences which arise in our trades or to prevent them from arising. I am sure that object and purpose has the sympathy of those who take part in labour questions in this House. The Motion is not designed to obstruct. I think I can show it is a constructive proposal deserving of sympathetic attention. We cannot content ourselves with preaching conciliation in the country or appealing to employers and employed to settle by amicable means the differences which arise between them. The best place for conciliation to begin is in this House, and we must have conciliatory methods as well as conciliatory terms if we are going to attain the object we have in view. In other words, these ends are not going to be reached by the Government forcing upon a minority in this House legislation, such as that embodied in this Bill. The Bill may pass. Its passage would not indicate any success in 93 attaining the object in view It might pass and not be worth the paper on which It is printed. A course must be followed by the Government in this matter which for certain will not merely attract but secure the good will of the trade unionists, without whose good will legislation of this character falls to the ground, no matter how solemnly it may be passed by this House.
We have in the earlier stages of this measure put to the House some general reasons for taking separately these very dissimilar parts of the Bill. There is one urgent need on which there is common agreement. It is the need of making now legislative provision for continuing a state of things which would terminate on 22nd November. It is important to provide now for a situation which would be one of chaos on 21st November if it were not provided for. There is no urgency in respect to the alterations which are proposed in regard to the Courts of Arbitration—I mean there is no outstanding public urgency. I understand that there are certain questions of personal convenience relating to those who have, in a very patriotic and self-sacrificing way, given their time and their services, involving in some instances personal loss in the public interest. There are questions of public convenience and interests of that kind, but there is no outstanding public concern requiring two of the three parts of this Bill. We are anxious that the present law with regard to guaranteed wages should continue, and there will be agreement in all parts of the House, I should hope, as to at least five lines, which are the most important lines in the whole Bill. This urgent matter is to provide for a temporary situation created by the War. It is only a few days ago since those of us who have any responsibility in this House for legislation of this character had an opportunity to consider the matter, and we have been able in a short time to call together small conferences of men representing their executives and councils, but in no sense yet empowered to act for the millions of men who are covered by legislation of this kind, and it is clear that there is a great deal of misunderstanding in the case of this very large number. There are hundreds of trade unions concerned in legislation of this character and they represent millions of men few of whom have heard anything about the Bill except what they might have read in the Press, 94 and fewer of whom have so far been able to convey any instructions either to those who act for them at these conferences or to those of us who sit in this House to deal with industrial and other matters. So it will not do to expect the workers to accept something which practically has to be forced upon them in them way. You I cannot have agreement in industry unless I you practice agreement in the business of; legislation in this House so far as that legislation affects industry, and on that account we regretted that we were driven to oppose in the Lobbies the Motion to suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule. That does not indicate a spirit of good will, a spirit seeking agreement and conciliation in these industrial affars, and you cannot, unless you have such a spirit and pursue your legislation accordingly, attract the good will of the trade unions or in any sense expect them to respond to legislation of this kind. I believe if we in this House assented to a Bill of this kind, and allowed it to pass, with our blessing or without it, our action would immediately be resented outside, and we should very soon be told we had no authority to go so far as in short space of time we are required to do. Trade unions are very slow-moving bodies. They must assemble in their brandies and in their districts. They must have meetings, one instructing another to give authority which finally filters through to some few men who are empowered to speak or to act for them. But on this most important matter, proposing a new and permanent feature in respect to conciliation, in respect to arbitration, in respect to inquiry, in respect to penalties—on these matters the rank and file of the trade unions have had no opportunity whatever of making known their feeling, and it surely is not in the interest of harmony in trades and industries that measures of this kind should be forced upon them. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman can see his way to accept literally the terms of this Amendment, but we very seriously suggest that it is essential to do so, and should he see his way to meet us he can depend at least upon our good will and co-operation with regard to the two objects of machinery for inquiry and machinery for arbitration.
I was among those who in the earlier stages of the War did what we could to persuade the rank and file of the workers as to the national necessity on that occa- 95 sion for accepting both the principle and the practice of arbitration for all disputes of every kind, at least while the War was on. I see no reason why the working classes generally should not consider arbitration as to them a less costly and wasteful process for settling differences than the weapon of the strike, which so frequently has to be used. But we cannot teach the workers the lesson of arbitration, and mould their minds in that direction, by now forcing upon them what will appear to many of them, although literally it is not, to be forcing upon them a form of compulsory arbitration. I know there is a good deal of freedom in it, but when it is coupled with the process and procedure of inquiry, there are elements of compulsion which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will not be able to explain away. On the urgent matter we are agreed. We want to provide for 21st November. On these two other matters issues are raised which as yet we have had no time to consider, and if the right hon. Gentleman is assured of the good will and co-operation which I can extend to him, I trust he will be able to see his way not now to compel us to deal with legislation for which we have no authority whatever from a large number of men whom we claim to represent.
§ Major HILLS
The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Clynes) always speaks with such reasoned force, and carries such weight in this House that when I differ from him I do so with great reluctance. Still, on this point I am quite clear that I differ. I hope the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Horne) will not divide the Bill into two parts, and I hope the Bill will be carried. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Clynes) gave two main reasons why the Bill should be divided, and he made his own view quite clear. He wishes the part concerning wages to be passed at once, and that which concerns arbitration and inquiry to be postponed to the distant future, and if I do not misinterpret him, not to be passed at all. He gave two reasons why he wished the Bill divided. The first was that there was no urgency for passing legislation for arbitration. The case for arbitration, however, is very urgent, and the right horn. Gentleman himself has played so distinguished a part in many arbitrations that I was surprised to hear him say 96 there is no urgency for it. I quite agree that the urgency is not of the same instant character as it is for the Wage Bill, but still who can view without dismay the prospect of a disturbed time in trade and no machinery for arbitration? I think the Government would not have done its duty unless they had at the first possible moment started machinery for arbitration. So much for urgency.
I come now to the second point. The right hon. Gentleman says the Government were forcing this legislation on a minority, and he claimed the right for all those whom he represents to be consulted, and to express their opinion before the Clauses concerning arbitration and inquiry are passed. First of all, he says the Government are forcing compulsion on the trade unionists. I have read the Bill with some care, and I see no compulsion at all in it. If the right hon. Gentleman sees any vestige or trace or taint of compulsion I will join with him in trying to eliminate it. It is purely a voluntary Bill, and no-one need use the Arbitration Court unless he wishes to. But does not this doctrine, that we have to wait till special bodies of opinion—large and important bodies I agree—are consulted, depend on the reasonableness of the legislation? If this were something entirely new and distasteful to large sections of the community they ought to be consulted, but voluntary arbitration has been before the community for years past, and the right hen. Gentleman himself has taken a very prominent part, in that discussion. I do not think it could be claimed that this is a new subject sprung suddenly on the country. The large majority of people who have been interested in settling disputes have looked upon arbitration as the first and final remedy. They do not regard it as a great step up to compulsion. I regard the voluntary system as the best and the final system, and I do hope that my right hon. Friend will not accept this Instruction, but that the House will insist on carrying the whole Bill.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I should always desire to meet any request of my right hon. Friend opposite, because, as my hon. Friend (Mr. Hills) has just said, he always puts forward his plea in the most moderate and most reasonable fashion. I should be particularly responsive to what he asks this afternoon, because he puts it upon the necessity of obtaining good will for the working of this measure. There is nobody who realises 97 more fully than I do the necessity of that good will as foundation of the success of the measure, but the sacrifice which my right hon. Friend asks me to make is too great, for this reason, that it involves disaster to the Bill itself. He asks that we continue the stabilisation of wages. He seems to think that that requires nothing more than Part III, of this Bill, but I would remind him that he would not get stabilisation of wages at the present time without modifications and amendments in the provisions of the Interim Regulation Act. It is true that the employers agreed to the continuance of the Interim Act, but it was upon condition that the one-sided character of that Act was elminated and the trade unions and the employers' associations were put upon the same basis. To that extent, at least, it was necessary that the provisions of the Act should be modified. That is not all You cannot stabilise wages and you cannot say that no man shall be paid less than a prescribed rate unless you have a tribunal in existence which can say what the prescribed rate is, and in cases where a wage has been substituted, what the substituted rate is. Therefore you do require a Court of some sort. He says that we should continue the Court we have. I have had the greatest possible difficulty during the last six months in continuing the Court we had. It was admittedly an Interim Court. It was to last until May of the present year. It contained a body of people who gave their services during the War and who, realising the condition in which we were after hostilities had ceased, were anxious to serve their country still further if the opportunity were given. But it is no longer possible to get that service. It is only by persistent persuasion that I have succeeded in keeping that Court together during that period, and it was plain that we had either to get a permanent Court set up at the present time or to forego altogether an institution which has rendered during all these troublous times the very greatest possible service to the country.
The point is put forward by my right hon. Friend as if we were proposing something that is quite new in respect of this Industrial Court. The idea is not at all novel. We have all been talking, about voluntary arbitration for years. At least, we have had three years of voluntary arbitration, and it is impossible to say that the organised working classes of this country do not realise what voluntary arbitration 98 is, and what a Court of voluntary arbitration means, because nearly all the trades of this country have some time or other at some period been before that Court. Not only is it not novel, but I am the merest plagiarist in what I am proposing in this Bill. I find in a document which has been quoted, canvassed, and discussed in every trade organisation in the country this sentence:For these reasons it would appear desirable that there should be a Standing Arbitration Council on the lines of the present temporary Committee on Production, to which differences of general principles and differences affecting whole industries or large sections of industries may be referred, in cases where the parties have failed to come to an agreement through their ordinary procedure, and wish to refer the differences to arbitration.That Report was written and published on the 31st January, 1918. It has been before the country all that time, and when I look through the distinguished signatories of that document I find the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes). It is the Whitley Report. There is no document of more world-wide fame than that Report, and in proposing to set up a permanent Industrial Court I am doing nothing more than following the recommendation which was made by the gentleman who signed that Report. What about the Court of Inquiry? The subject of the Court of Inquiry was also before that same Committee, who reported upon it in equally favourable terms. The Report says:We suggest that the Ministry of Labour should be authorised to hold a full inquiry when satisfied that it was desirable, without prejudice to the power of the disputing parties to declare a strike or lockout before or during the progress of the inquiry.They conclude their Report by saying:Where the parties are unable to adjust their differences, we think that there should be means by which an independent inquiry may be made into the facts and circumstances of a dispute, and an authoritative pronouncement made thereon, though we do not think there should be any compulsory power of delaying strikes and lockouts.That is exactly what you find in this Bill, and I do not think so badly of my right hon. Friend to imagine that there is a single labour organisation in this country which does not read with the greatest care every pronouncement he makes. There is only one other matter to which I need refer. My right hon. Friend talks of the difficulty of getting the support of the various organisations which are represented in this House. It is a somewhat 99 new doctrine with regard to every form of legislation that you must necessarily have your constitutents canvassed before you can give an opinion. It would be foolish for any Member of this House to put forward such a plea for delaying legislation that he had to take the opinion of his constituents, and it is particularly foolish on the part of gentlemen who represent the Labour party in this House, because they have a form of organisation to which there is nothing comparable in the country. My right hon. Friend says, "We have no authority to agree even to such a minor measure as this." I see sitting beside my right hon. Friend the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), who can exercise authority, without consultation with anybody, over the whole country.
§ Sir R. HORNE
At least I say this, that gentlemen who are in a position to exercise authority with so complete command of their followers have no need to complain that proposals which have been before the country for so long require to be still further canvassed among their constituents before they can agree to them. I regret that I am not in a position to meet my right hon. Friend's request, and I have sufficient confidence in his good will to believe that I shall not lose it by the course I have taken.
§ Mr. A. HENDERSON
I think I shall be doing the Minister of Labour no injustice if I say that he has replied to my right hon. Friend on an entirely false assumption. He appeared all through his speech to assume that my right hon. Friend is opposed to the principle of the Bill. That is not so. I think the same assumption was made by the hon. Member for Durham (Major Hills). What we object to is the method which has been adopted in associating in the same form legislation which has not been sought for, to my knowledge, by either the employers or the trade unionists. During the long inquiries that were held at the opening of the present year, by the Joint Committee of employers and trade union representatives, by the Committee appointed at the first Industrial Conference, over which my right hon. Friend presided, I do not remember during the whole inquiry that the form of arbitration referred to in this Bill —which, if I may say so, is being rushed through this House at a speed altogether 100 unwarranted—was sought for by either parties to the Conference or to the Joint Committee. What did the trade unionists ask for? They approached the Minister of Labour and suggested that there should be a further extension of the Wages (Temporary Regulation) Act. It does not seem to occur to my hon. Friend the Member for Durham that if the request of these trade unions had been granted, and the Wages (Temporary Regulation) Act had been extended for the further period, a form of arbitration would have remained, for under that Act, as he must know, there is a Court of Arbitration working, and as it has worked since the passing of the Act, so it would have continued to work under the extension of the Act. He seemed to have the idea that we were rejecting altogether voluntary arbitration. We asked for it in the form in which it has been in operation.
§ Major HILLS
I quite agree that there is a system of arbitration contained in the Wages Regulation Act, but that arbitration is very limited, and is concerned entirely with one thing—rates of wages.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ MR. HENDERSON
I do not know whether my hon. Friend would admit that he was seeking arbitration in his Bill for anything more than the readjustment of wages differences. I should be pleased to hear, when he makes a further speech, that he is trying to carry arbitration much beyond the scope provided for in the Act to which I have referred. It appears to us that if the Industrial Conference which was charged with going into the question of unrest, representing as it did the whole of the employers and practically the whole of the trade unions, made no appeal for this form of legislation, and if it is to be passed, it should be passed when the subject has received the fullest and the most careful consideration. I presided the other day over a conference hurriedly called at which many of the larger unions were not able to have their representatives owing to the conditions in which the conference was summoned, and they were positively hostile to certain of the Clauses of this Bill, and asked for time in order that they might consult their constituents, meaning the trade unionists. I know that it may be suggested from the other side that we will go too far if we hold up legislation until the whole of the trade unions have been consulted.
101 In view of the experience which we have had during the past six or eight months and the tremendous amount of unrest that has existed, surely in a matter which so vitally affects the trade unions there should be consultation. As my right hon. Friend knows, when this Bill was first brought to their notice it contained one Clause which so aroused the suspicions of the whole trade union movement of this country that it created an atmosphere altogether foreign to the securing of proper consideration for even voluntary, much less compulsory, arbitration. And so with our desire to assist the Government and my right hon. Friend, we come along and say, "Divide your Bill. Let us extend the Wages Temporary Regulation Act, but as to these Courts of Arbitration, let us go into the question of arbitration on wider and broader lines with plenty of time to meet the difficulties of the trade unions." I have no hesitation in saying that if that were done, agreement could be reached. From a very long experience of trade union leaders of this country I believe that the overwhelming majority of members and trade unionists are as anxious as could be any Members of this House to set up such conditions as will secure industrial peace. It is an altogether mistaken idea to think that the trade unionists of this country are anxious for trouble, as is so often charged against them.
I was sorry that my right hon. Friend could not respond to the appeal of the Mover of the Resolution, but I ask him, if he cannot give us all that we have asked for, to say, "I will postpone putting into operation this proposal of Courts for a while. Let us have a further investigation and take time to see whether you cannot by mutual agreement set up some Courts of Inquiry" If that were done I believe that some agreement would eventually be reached that would be mutually satisfactory. But to try to enforce it now, when the suspicion has been created that there is an attempt to take away the foundations upon which trade union law rests, when they think that you have not entirely removed the attempt by Clause 3 of the first Bill to destroy the Trades Disputes Act, is, I think, to create an atmosphere the most unfavourable to what is desirable in the interests of both employers and employed. So I appeal to my right hon Friend to consider even now whether he will not suspend putting into operation the 102 new Courts of Inquiry, and be content with an inquiry such as there was under the Wages Temporary Regulation Act with its Courts of Arbitration, and if that were done, and time were given, I have no doubt that he would be able to get from the trade unions that which will serve his purpose.
§ Mr. JOHNSTONE
I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has suggested to the Minister of Labour a way out of the difficulty. I trust sincerely that he will consider carefully the suggestion that has been made of dropping meanwhile that portion of the Bill which deals with Courts of Inquiry. On the Second Reading of the Bill I spoke against Courts of Inquiry because I think that they are unduly provocative. I think that they introduce into this Bill an clement that is likely to cause trouble and militate against the smooth working of the parts of the Bill with which everyone will certainly agree. And if the right hon. Gentleman only carries through the House that portion which provides for a continuation of the Wages Regulation Act and leaves for further consideration the question of Courts of Inquiry, I believe that it would be in the interests of the industries of this country and of employers and employed. I speak on this question as an employer of labour who has had a great deal to do with the Labour movement throughout the country, and especially in reference to the question of grievances as between Labour and Capital. I do feel that the way in which these Courts are established is throwing down an apple of discord. Both sides are required to be heard and Reports have to be made, but this carries matters no further. If there had been associated with the proposals a compulsion, on all parties to attend and submit to compulsory arbitration, I could quite understand the necessity for Courts of Inquiry. But when you have dropped compulsion and are going to rely upon conciliation, as the Industrial Courts under this Bill provide for, then I do not see the object of this proposal.
The right hon. Gentleman might go, a little further with regard to the Industrial Courts. These Industrial Courts are to be set up to provide machinery for both parties to come together to a conference and to take advantage of it. They come without compulsion, but if the Industrial Courts were to investigate the whole case and had power to make full inquiry without threat- 103 ening pains and penalties they could come to a satisfactory conclusion. If its proceedings are made public the public will ascertain what the facts are and where the difference has arisen. But if you add to the Industrial Courts the provisions as to these Courts of Inquiry with all those Clauses as to proposed penalties, it will vitiate the whole proceedings of this Bill. It will be quite sufficient if the Industrial Courts have power to call for documents. If the parties come forward in the Court and agree to submit their cases to it there is no objection to this suggestion. But do not introduce these Courts of Inquiry, which I am perfectly satisfied will destroy the whole value of the Bill, and I would appeal to the Minister in charge to concentrate on the Industrial Courts alone.
I want to associate myself with the view of my right hon. Friend the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. Henderson). I do not think that the Minister in charge of this Bill will lose anything in accepting the proposal we make. There is a mistaken idea abroad that Labour leaders themselves are the persons who desire strikes. I may appear to be somewhat in a difficult position, having regard to recent events, but I can only observe this, that anyone who had to undertake the responsibility of a strike would know perfectly well that it is not quite such an easy task that he would welcome it. But I want to put this point to my right hon. Friend. It is perfectly true that Parliament has no right to say that we must have the consent of every section of the people to particular legislation that we believe necessary in the interests of the community. In that connection I have no hesitation in saying that the Minister is on safe ground. But he knows perfectly well that the request that we are now making is only a request that is carried out in practice in every Bill that is introduced.
My right hon. Friend would admit at once that if a Bill was introduced into this House affecting financial matters the Chancellor of the Exchequer would at once get up and say that he had consulted the financial interests in the City and had got their agreement. More than once the Chancellor of the Exchequer has admitted from that Box in justification and in defence of his proposals that he has secured agreement with the financial in- 104 terests in the City. Those of us who remember the Insurance Act going through this House know perfectly well that there was no phase of that Bill which was not discussed with, and in the main agreed to, by the interests involved, long before the particular Amendments came before the House. And the House ought to keep clearly in mind that mere lip service in this House is valueless. If every Member on these benches agreed to a proposal and that proposal was turned down by the unions that we represent, we would not have served it further or helped the Ministry by any support we might give in this House, and I think it far better, however unpopular it may appear, and however unpalatable it may be for the moment, for Members only to give support to proposals as to which they believe they can carry their members with them rather than lead the House to believe that they can support something that will afterwards be repudiated by the members concerned.
After all, we are dealing in this matter with a measure which, unless it carries the goodwill and acceptance of the trade union, movement of the country, is absolutely valueless. Do not let us play with that. If this House carries this unanimously and the Labour movement decide to-morrow that they will not have it, what becomes of it? You have got to see that hard fact. If, for instance, this Bill were made to apply to the pay of women and we say we will not have it, how are you going to compel us to have it? Alternatively the same thing applies to the employers, if the employers say "no," as some employers, have said. It is known that we have had disputes in this country for three months where, although the men have agreed to arbitration, the employers have refused, and the Minister of Labour has been compelled to say from his place in this House, and in private conversation, "I have dons all I could to persuade the employers and the employers disagree. There is no Act of Parliament which compels." I believe there is an opportunity now, in spite of what is said about industrial unrest, to set up machinery that will enable the fullest inquiry to be made before a strike is resorted to. I believe that that machinery is necessary, but I submit also that if the machinery is going to be effective it must carry with it the good will and the co-operation of both sides.
What are the facts in regard to this Bill? A request was made for the continuance 105 of what is called stabilisation of wages. The Prime Minister himself, in the first meeting with the trade unionists following the Armistice, clearly indicated to them that, in his judgment, it would be unwise not to continue the War wage. That was the Prime Minister's own statement, and that was the first step in what is called the Wages Regulation Bill. There was a request made to continue that, so that the rest of the organised workers would come into line with the railwayman, whose wages are stabilised until September of next year. But in the proposal we are now considering the Government goes beyond that, and says, "Yes, we agree to those provisions, but we want them accompanied by certain other terms and conditions." I put it to the House that that fact in itself must create a suspicion in the minds of the men. It is no good to burke it. They never requested any new machinery. Incidentally, there is machinery in operation to-day that provides for conciliation and arbitration, and its adoption is open to any trade union or body of organised workers, as it is open to the employers. The request we make is that you separate this Bill. We request that, not because we are going to oppose the second part of the Bill. Do not make any mistake about that. There will be no opposition to the second part of the Bill, though there will certainly be Amendments proposed. We believe that our proposal will strengthen the Government's position. We believe that it will be accepted in a better spirit, and that it is preferable to the Government going forward and saying, "The only terms upon which wages are stabilised until September next year are terms that we insist upon in the introduction of new machinery." The hon. and gallant Member for Durham in his support of the Labour Minister's position made a statement, the meaning of which I am quite sure he could not be aware of. He suggested that if our Motion is carried all efforts at arbitration and conciliation are wiped out.
I will give the illustration of an award last week. A fortnight ago the whole of the engineering trades appeared before the Arbitration Court with an application for 15s. per week. We believed that it was a justifiable application, and that we could prove that it was a fair amount. We stated our case, giving 106 facts and figures. On Thursday last the award was issued. It gave, not 15s. but a third of 15s., that is 5s. What was the action of the trade unions? They did not resent the verdict. They felt that the award ought to have been more, and that their case had been unfairly dealt with; but they acted honourably to the agreement, and every one of us who was involved immediately urged the acceptance of the award, although we felt it was not an award warranted by the circumstances. Incidentally that Court is now in operation, and if this Bill is separated, as we suggest, there is nothing whatever to prevent that tribunal going on independently of the Bill. The second point is this, that independent of that Court there is also a panel that can be appealed to. My right hon. Friend (Sir B. Home) will not deny that, apart from the engineering trades, any union, any body of employers or employés, can make application to him to-day and arbitrators can be appointed to consider any case in dispute. That proves conclusively that in the Motion that we are now submitting we are not taking away the powers of conciliation or arbitration that are already in existence. I believe the real method of conciliation or arbitration must be by agreement with the unions. It is no secret that the miners and the railway-men, who are outside the pale of this Bill, are suggesting their own method and machinery. We believe that if the employers and ourselves can agree upon some tribunal, that tribunal will have a fat-better chance of success than would a tribunal which is forced upon us, to which neither of us agrees. Conciliation can succeed only if the machinery is accepted by both sides. Arbitration can be successful only if both sides have confidence in the Arbitration Courts. No amount of legislation can establish that. In other words, it is good will amongst those concerned that is wanted. I hope the Minister of Labour has not said the last word; if so, it will be unfortunate for his Bill. It will be unfortunate for the success of this new scheme if we are compelled to go into the Lobby against it, because—it is no use disguising the fact—our dividing against this proposal will mean that a very large number of people in the country will mistrust the scheme. They will say that it has been rushed through, and that there was no need to rush it through. I hope the right hon. 107 Gentleman will agree to separate the Bill. That will at least show to the workers that the Government are not enxious to rush the Bill and are not making a bargain in stabilising wages at the expense of interference with trade unions.
I feel that the second part of the right hon. Gentleman's very interesting speech was a more or less complete answer to the first part. I hope the Minister of Labour will persist in his attitude and not separate the two parts of the Bill. I would appeal to the House, in considering whether or not it is going to support the Government, to pay rather more attention to what the Bill does and rather less attention to what, from some of the speeches, one hears about it. It has been said that something is going to be forced upon the employés. There is from beginning to end not a single word of compulsion in the Bill. No employer and no workman need go to this Court of Arbitration unless he likes, nor are its awards made compulsorily binding. Under these circumstances it is perfectly idle to talk about compulsion. There is, however, the possibility of confirming and continuing a voluntary form of arbitration which, as speaker after speaker from the Labour benches has said, has been extraordinarily effective in the past. The right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) gave us a very forcible example when he cited the arbitration last week in the engineering industry. By giving that illustration does he not give the very best example in the world to prove that this system of arbitration is both understood and practised already in all the great trade unions of the country? There are, it seems to me, two considerations of a more general character which have been overlooked. The first is this. I was extremely sorry to hear the suggestion put forward that Members of this House were to treat themselves as delegates and not as representatives. The hon. Members who put that argument forward are not slow on many occasions to say without hesitation that they speak for the whole of the Labour world. I am looking far beyond the immediate purpose or compass of this Bill. If there is one thing that is necessary now, it is to restore the prestige of Parliament as Parliament. You will never restore that prestige if Members are considered as delegates and not as representatives who exercise their own discretion. There is another argu- 108 ment I wish to advance. A number of speeches made on this Bill have conveyed the suggestion that it is a matter which concerns merely, two parties to industrial disputes—the employers on the one side and the employés on the other. That is a wholly wrong way of looking at this Bill. There is always a third party to disputes, a third party which stands to suffer by every dispute, and a party whose duty it is to know the inside and have a knowledge of every industrial dispute. That third party consists of the general public of this country. I am quite sure that the general public are looking to us in this Bill to give them an opportunity of coming in. If this Bill were divided, there would not be Parliamentary time to carry the provisions dealing with arbitration and Courts of Inquiry, and we would have lost an opportunity which the public; are looking to us to seize. I therefore hope that the right hon. Gentleman will adhere to his decision.
§ Captain O'GRADY
The hon. Member who has just spoken has referred to the question of the general public and industrial disputes. I am not going to speak about the recent railway strike except to say that when the history of that comes to be written it will have a different complexion from that which is now put upon it by some people. The separation of this Bill will in no degree either lessen or prevent Arbitration Courts which are already operating. In only one instance has an award of the Court been resisted, and I think it is correct to say that forty-eight out of forty-nine or fifty trade unions have kept the terms of the awards since the War started. We got an award the other day of 5s. where 15s. was asked. I represent a federation of 1,250,000 people who are involved in these awards, and I am perfectly certain that the award I have mentioned, as far as my information goes, will be operative for the next four months. The House must remember you cannot get people to go to Courts of Arbitration by compulsion, and I venture to say that the overwhelming majority of the employers' federation of this country will refuse to g" to Courts of Arbitration under any form of compulsion. During the War the federation got an agreement signed and sealed between themselves and the employers with regard to observing wages awards for a period of four months, and that agreement has not been contravened except in. one instance. In the two hearings prior to the last October hearing we claimed an 109 increase and were turned down, no one knows why except the Court, but we never questioned the Court's decision. Protests were sent up from some of the unions, but the executive committee said, "We have entered into a compact, we have gone into this Court willingly," and although we were turned down, yet for six months in a very trying time, with one exception, that of the ironfounders, the agreement was observed.
Let me tell the House quite frankly, and I beg of the House to accept what I say, that you have got to rely upon the honour and integrity of the unions themselves, and if you do that you will get our people to go to the Courts much more willingly than under compulsion. In fact, they will not go by compulsion. You can take a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. [An HON. MEMBER: "There is no compulsion in the Bill!"] The first portion of the Bill accedes to the request of the unions to continue the Wages Temporary Regulation Act. That Act was the means of settling differences, and the unions want to continue the course adopted during war-time in this time of transition. I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree with me that I am giving no confidence away when I say that the great bulk of the employers of the country objected to the extension of the Act on the ground that if cost of foodstuffs came down stabilisation ought not to exist. They rejected the proposal in the first place, but I think by common agreement employers and employed recognise that the first portion of this Bill is essential. An hon. Gentleman said just now that there was no compulsion in this Bill. I would ask him to look at the second Clause, and I would put him the question, Will the Employers' Federation, under the terms of this Bill, produce all documents to the Court of Inquiry?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
I am afraid the whole course of the De-babe is tending to a review of the Bill, which is quite beyond the scope of the Motion before the House, which is to divide the Bill into two parts.
§ Captain O'GRADY
I would ask the House to quite appreciate our position. We are always in favour of arbitration. I have said over and over again upon platforms to our members wherever there is an industrial dispute it is because of absolute lack of reason somewhere. Therefore, following that line, I am in favour of 110 conciliation and arbitration. I think it is an extremely foolish thing that there should be lock-outs or strikes since, as I say, they must be due to lack of reason somewhere. We are absolutely in favour of conciliation and arbitration and much closer co-operation between Capital and Labour. There are common grounds of mutual interest which in my judgment ought to avoid disputes. When that is said, do not let us go out of our way to erect by Statute something that will interfere with the good relations which have existed since 1914, and which continue to exist. I venture to say to the Minister of Labour that it will be better for him to set more reliance on the Industrial Councils which have been set up than on a Bill of this character. The right hon. Gentleman knows, perhaps better than most Members, that the Industrial Councils have done a great deal of good, if you like, in rubbing off the angularities of this people concerned. I beg of the House to have regard to the good feeling which is growing and developing under the Industrial Councils, and to accept the Amendment.
§ Sir R. HORNE
By leave of the House, may I say I do not share for a moment the vaticinations of my hon. and right hon. Friends opposite as to what will occur if this Bill be passed? I am perfectly certain that the working classes have got a great deal more intelligence, than to believe that this Bill carries compulsion anywhere, or that the Industrial Court about to be set up is something very different from that to which they have been accustomed. I am confident also, if any suspicion of that kind does exist in their minds, that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are perfectly adequate and competent to clearing that suspicion completely away. It only requires an explanation of the terms of this simple Bill to bring it home to the mind of everybody. You have got here a Bill which, with Amendments which are down on the Paper, will give everybody in this country a voluntary opportunity, and only a voluntary opportunity, of clearing up those elements of difference which the last hon. Gentleman who spoke has referred to and deprecated. So far for the Industrial Courts. As to the Court of Inquiry, nothing is more familiar to the public mind at the present time than the demand upon the part of the whole Press of the country and the great bulk of the population for some knowledge on the part of 111 the country of the issues at stake before the parties come to any violent action. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) said in his speech that he regarded the setting up of a Court of Inquiry as the best part of the Bill, and I am perfectly certain it is so regarded by a very large number of our citizens. Accordingly, I regret, as I have already said, that I cannot meet the request which has been put to me from the Benches opposite, and I am perfectly certain that no trouble or difficulty need follow upon that refusal if really we all have the desire which everybody has expressed to come to an end of the causes of difference.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
The right hon. Gentleman has really not touched the point of this Amendment at all. In your ruling, Sir, you pointed out that the Motion before the House is not on the merits of the Bill, but on whether the two parts of the Bill necessarily go together. I submit that whether the Industrial Court be a good thing or whether the Court of inquiry is a good thing is not the question before the House. I agree cordially with my right hon. Friend the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) as to the merits of these Courts, but the question we are discussing now is whether the two parts of the Bill necessarily go together. One part says that Industrial Courts shall be set up, and the second part says that wages shall be stabilised for a further year. The question is, Are those two propositions so germane that they cannot be separated, and are they both so urgent that we must take them at once? I submit that the case made out by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) is complete. It is the fact that the stabilisation of wages is urgent, because the Act terminates on the 21st November, and, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman says that we should take that part of the Bill now; but as to the other question, we desire to have more time to express our opinion and wider opportunities of consulting the interests concerned. It is useless to attempt to force a measure on the trade unions if they do not want it. You may lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink, and in forcing this Bill through the Minister would only be beating the air if the trade unions have not had an opportunity of considering it. On those grounds I have much pleasure in supporting the Motion before the House.
§ Lord R. CECIL
One word in reply to the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down. Surely he, in his experience, knows quite well, however plausible the argument he has used, it is quite unsound. He knows that if we divide this Bill and postpone the part dealing with Courts of Inquiry and Arbitration, it means that that part of the Bill is dead for this Session, in view of the immense pressure on the Government time that there already is. I feel perfectly certain that that part of the Bill would be lost. The hon. and gallant Gentleman says it is no use forcing arbitration on the trade unions. I agree, but this Bill does not force arbitration on the trade unions. It proposes a particular kind of arbitration for their acceptance; they need not accept it unless they like. That is the whole of the arbitration part. I attach much greater importance, and I would not have intervened except to say it, to the Court of Inquiry. I am one of the third parties to these disputes. I am neither an employer nor a working man, nor is my hon. Friend opposite, but our interest in these matters is enormous, and in some respects it is greater than that of either of the direct parties, because we are a far more numerous body, and to my mind the Court of Inquiry, or something of that kind, is really vital. I venture to appeal to my hon. and right 'hon. Friends opposite, is it not true that nine-tenths of these industrial disputes arise out of misunderstanding, because the two parties do not understand one another, and still more because the general public is quite in the dark as to what the real rights of the dispute are? We have set up a League of Nations. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not yet!"] Well, we have done our best, and I am sure, if my hon. Friend has his will and if I have my will, we will spend our last strength in securing an efficient League of Nations. But what is the machinery? The whole theory of the machinery is that we shall have an inquiry so as to allow public opinion to know really what are the rights of the dispute between the parties. Is not the analogy perfect; is not that really what we want—light, more light, publicity, more publicity? That is the real way to avoid misunderstanding, and I venture to appeal to my hon. and right hon. Friends opposite not to do anything which will imperil the execution of this really admirable experiment to try and remove in an authoritative way the cause 113 of all disputes, namely, the misunderstanding between the parties and ignorance of public opinion, which is unable therefore to exercise its full weight on the side of justice, whichever it may be.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must remind the House once more that it is a little beyond the scope of the present Motion to discuss the merits of the three parts of the Bill.
§ Mr. HODGE
There appears to me to be an impression that in the Motion which was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Platting only trade unionists are seeking for this, but that is not so. The employers of labour are equally alarmed with the workmen. The Minister of Labour received this morning a deputation asking that so far as the great iron and steel trades are concerned they shall be absolutely excluded from the operation of this Bill. The Noble Lord need not be afraid; if the House agreed to divide the Bill, and that part dealing with the Industrial Courts did not go on, there are still Arbitration Courts in existence under the old Conciliation and Arbitration Acts. There is no Member of this House who will charge me with being opposed to industrial arbitration, because in the iron and steel industry for sixty years conciliation and arbitration have been tested and tried with great success, so much so that the employers to-day were before the Minister of Labour expressing to him their dread of the passing of this Bill in its present form as endangering the record that they have, so far as that particular trade is concerned, built up. I ask that this Bill should be divided because of the fact that no one has had any opportunity of really considering its provisions and coming to a real understanding as to what the effects of the Bill are going to be. If you are going to have to stabilised Court of Arbitration, it will never give satisfaction, but under the present system, where both sides can select their own umpire with an independent chairman, when the award is made it is accepted. In the iron and steel industry during the whole sixty years' experience neither the workmen nor the employers have ever kicked against an award. I think that is a record to be proud of, hence the reason why they are afraid of this Bill and ask that it should be divided, the Industrial Court not to be gone on with until the trade as a whole has had an opportunity of really consider- 114 ing the problem. May I say that in that demand the employers and the workmen in that industry are absolutely at one, and I hope in the light of that experience the House will bring some pressure to bear upon the Minister of Labour to accede to the Resolution to divide the Bill. May I add one other reason why the Bill should be divided? During the whole period of the War, as the result of the machinery in that industry, there never was a stoppage of work. The employers, as I have said, ask that the Conciliation Acts as they exist to-day should not be tampered or interfered with, and they pressed upon the Minister of Labour their point of view this morning. I hope, therefore, that even yet the Minister of Labour will reconsider the attitude he has taken up, and will split the Bill as has been suggested, giving the employers as much as the workmen the opportunity of considering this problem, because the Bill has been brought forward with such undue haste that neither the associations of employers nor the associations of workmen have had any real opportunity of considering its merits.
§ Mr. JESSON
I want to support this Motion, and I do not want to give a silent vote. I regret that the Minister of Labour cannot see his way to accept it, as I look at it from this point of view. I am a trade union official of thirty years' standing, and I have been in a good many disputes in my time. They have caused a serious amount of suffering on everybody concerned, and I am most anxious to do everything I possibly can to remove those disputes by substituting arbitration wherever possible, but I am up against this particular fact: For over a hundred years we have had this conflict between Capital and Labour, and we are not going to wipe that out in five minutes. My next point is that we have already got set up a large number of Whitley Councils that have been set up voluntarily. That good work is still going along. In addition to that, we have other conciliation boards that have not adopted the Whitley Council machinery at all, but machinery entirely of their own, and therefore the only industries concerned are those industries which have not yet come together with regard to establishing machinery for conciliation, and as far as they are concerned I think the Bill should go on, because you get disputes occasionally in which not only a few hundred thousand trade 115 unionists, but the whole of the people in the country are concerned, and it is only right and fair that those people who are concerned, and who at the same time have no voice in the dispute at all, except that they have to put up with the suffering, should know what is the real cause of the dispute. It seems to me that we cannot force this Bill upon the good wishes of the trade union movement of this country. We have got to get their practical sympathy and support for it, and I believe that with what is already at work, coupled with the proposal that we should split this Bill—although I do not agree with postponing either part of it—but if we can divide it for the time being and take the part relating to the stabilising of wages first and the other part afterwards we shall do more to gain the goodwill of the people most concerned, that is, the trade unionists of this country, than anything else. I therefore desire to express my approval of this Motion.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. IRVING
I want to ask the House to agree to this Motion, whatever the Minister of Labour may think about it. Do not let us treat this subject as we have undoubtedly treated too many since I have been in this House, like an afternoon debate in a Pleasant Sunday Afternoon, one side merely trying to get the better of the other. Let us try to come to the realities of the situation. I, like the Noble Lord opposite (Lord E. Cecil), am one of the third parties, inasmuch as I am neither employer nor workman at the present time, and although in material matters his stake may be greater in the issue than mine, after all, all that I have is at stake, and that is all that any other Member of this House can claim to have. We have come through a world-wide cataclsym, about the ultimate issue of which I had very little doubt at the commencement. But, since the signing of the Armistice, I have been filled with apprehension as to how we are to get through the after-war conditions, and build up a stable system in which peace and the opportunities of a livelihood shall be offered to all the people, of this community and not merely to a part. This apprehension is not based upon any other knowledge than what I have of the working-class movement, extending certainly over forty years. I would urge those who have refused to agree to the suggestion we have made to consider that 116 aspect of the proposal. No one has yet even attempted to controvert the statement that we made, that the passing of this Bill is not urgently required merely for the purpose of carrying on, at any rate for a time, arbitration and conciliation methods, and until yon can controvert that statement, it is idle to pretend there is any urgency at all. There is not. Then I would ask those who want to make speed, in what position they are going to be if they come up against the organised trade union movement which to-day in this country is stronger than ever it was before, and that is only preparatory to it being yet stronger still. Does the right hon. Gentleman think it a sufficient reply to hurl the serio-comic flattery at this Bench that we, or those more particularly responsible, have only to go to the Constituents to explain matters to them, and to put everything right? Such a response to the request that has been made to him is unworthy of the position he holds. One of the leading newspapers I was reading yesterday pointed out the basis upon which a large amount of suspicion in the trade union movement would inevitably arise if this Bill were forced through with the indecent haste which is being attempted, and cited what all of us remember, that all those things were said in time of war with regard to the National Registration Bill, and that all the arguments put up against that proposal, upon the score that it would lead to Conscription in its turn, were urged as being arguments to which no consideration ought to be given. Whether one came as a consequence of the other does not matter. The one preceded and the other followed, pretty much as the night follows day, with very little interruption between.
If you refuse to comply with the reasonable request that if Courts of Inquiry and Arbitration, even for voluntary purposes, are to be set up, the employers on the one side and the workers upon the other ought to have been taken into consideration, and such measure of agreement as is possible should have been arrived at before this measure was brought before this House at all, I submit that if you want not speed but delay at best, and the absolute overthrow of your intentions at the worst, the-procedure by which you are attempting to force this House and the servile majority at the Government's command—It is all very well for hon. Members to laugh, but those who have sat here have seen it. I have seen with my own eyes many a man 117 who has gone back on principles I have known him to express for a long time, merely because he has the dog-collar of the Government's recognition upon him. I want hon. Members to consider this calmly, and perhaps much more calmly than I can feel at the present time, because these things are to me vital. I have gone through the mill of the working class too long and suffered in my own family too much, now that the time has come to close the issues between us, not to recognise that we are not here for a mere Debate, but for a settlement—an honourable, decent, and, if possible, peaceful settlement, satisfactory as far as possible to both sides. You may pass this measure to-night by the majority at your command, but what effect will that have, in so far as the trade unions refuse to accept, upon the reasonable ground that they have never yet been consulted on the matter? Then you will be face to face with a position far worse than anything you can contemplate now, and, as a matter of fact, that effort of speed would have put you back to an indeterminate time, but certainly longer than anything you have to face now. Secondly, when you come to consider the question, as you will have to consider it, whether you like it or not, you will have to face it then in a situation of suspicion and distrust which will be largely enhanced by the effort to force the Bill through to-day. As one Noble Lord said, if you divide this measure, the part that is suspended can never be resuscitated and will ultimately die. Then why on earth should it not die? That the Bill might die does not prove the death of the idea, surely? The idea will not die, but will live and will receive its resurrection at the I lands of a Government which has given it further and wider consideration in consultation with the two aides concerned in this great economic question, and will resuscitate the idea in the terms of a new Bill which can probably be accepted by this House with very little discussion at all.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I hope the hon. Member who has just sat down will not think I am one of these "servile majority" with the "dog-collar round my neck." [An HON. MEMBER: "But there are a lot of you there! "] I would not venture to answer for any of my Friends, but I can claim a certain amount of freedom of speech for myself, sufficient for me under present conditions. At any rate, I hope the hon. 118 Gentleman will not attribute servility to me if I would press upon hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite what is, to some of us, the very real disadvantage of endeavouring to force a Division on the, Motion to divide this Bill into two parts. It is difficult really to deal with this question briefly without transgressing your ruling as to going into the merits of different parts of the Bill, but may I say one or two words on this question of separation? I do urge the point, because I realise for one, as I am sure many do, that, supposing the whole Bill is gone on with, we are anxious that it should go on with the good will of hon. and right hon. Members opposite. It is true that the Bill has been brought in at short notice, and I candidly could have wished for my own part to have had a longer time as a member of the third party, as the Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin (Lord E. Cecil) said, really to consider it from the point of view of the third party, which has an equal interest in these disputes. Therefore, from that point of view, I share the opinion of Members opposite in wishing we could have had more time to go into the details of the Bill.
But, as it has been brought in now, the question before us is, Are we or are we not to consider it altogether? There are three parts. There is Part III.-which it is understood on all sides and agreed must clearly be passed into law with a minimum of delay, and the question for decision is, Are we or are we not to leave out Parts I. and II.? The right hon. Gentleman, speaking for the, steel industry, has claimed for it a great record in matters of arbitration, and we would all gladly acknowledge it. But may I just point out—and I speak under correction—that Part I. of the Bill, to which I myself do not attach so much importance, does not really fasten upon any trade union any new mode, unless they really wish to apply for it, and they can go on with their previous methods of settling disputes if they want to, and are not compelled to adopt the procedure under Part I. if the Bill is passed. With regard to Part II., many of us do attach, rightly or wrongly, a very great importance to its value. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down said that if this importance is attached to it, surely it will be brought forward at some subsequent time as a measure by itself. I am sure 119 hon. Members who are accustomed to the course of business in this House are fully aware that if a measure of this kind is dropped when it has come up to this stage there is a great likelihood that no place will be found, in the great congestion of business, certainly this Session, and it looks hardly likely in the next Session.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
If the hon. Member thinks it is a desirable method, cannot we really go forward with it this afternoon, instead of postponing it? The very desirability of it makes it desirable not to postpone it, and in so far as really no disadvantage is imposed upon either side, it would be a pity to impose a delay on the passing of this part of the measure, which a decision to divide the Bill into two parts would inevitably do.
§ Mr. ADAMSON
One word on what has been said by my hon. Friends with the view of trying to prevail upon the Minister of Labour to reconsider his attitude upon this Amendment. The most important element in legislation of this character is that it should carry the common consent. What hope has the Minister of this Bill being successful when he knows that, at this juncture, it carries neither the consent of the employer nor of the employed. My right hon. Friend near me (Mr. Hodge) has just informed the Committee that there has been a joint deputation of employers and workmen discussing this very matter with him to-day. During the course of the Debate this afternoon we have had another employer in the person of one of the Members for Renfrew appealing to the Minister of Labour to withdraw this part of the Bill for the time being. There are certain members on the opposite side who seem to think that my hon. Friends who have taken part in the Debate are of the opinion that this part of the Bill carries the idea of compulsory arbitration. That, is not so. What we, however, do contend is that the Minister of Labour is forcing upon us this part of the Bill before those who are vitally affected have had time to go into the whole matter and consider the contents of the Bill in a way that will guarantee its acceptance. I want further to say to the Minister of Labour that arrangements have been made for a special meeting of the trades affected by this measure being held on Friday. The representatives 120 are meeting for the purpose, of seeing what the Bill is like after it has passed through the Committee stage. It is quite legitimate that those vitally affected by a measure of this character should be entitled to meet and consider after it has passed through its Committee stage how it is going to affect them. The Minister of Labour has refused, on behalf of the Government, to agree to the Amendment put forward by my right hon. Friend. If this special meeting, in view of what has occurred to-day, takes up a hostile attitude to the Third Heading I want to ask the Minister of Labour seriously what hope has he of this Bill being successfully administered? In view of what has been said, and the issues involved, those of us representing Labour have told the Committee and the Minister of Labour that we are in favour of arbitration and conciliation. I have been associated with the movement for thirty years. During the whole of that time I have been in favour of all disputes, as they have arisen, being settled by conciliation and by arbitration rather than by strikes. I am not going back upon that. In view of all that has been said, I think the Minister of Labour will be well-advised—and I make this final appeal—even yet to agree to the Amendment of my right hon. Friend. Feeling is bound to arise, if this matter is carried to a Division, that will endanger the successful administration of this Bill when it becomes an Act.
Upon one point— [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"]—I want to say a word. The right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has welcomed the passage of this Bill in Committee, and has just told us there is to be a meeting called together to consider the Bill after it has passed the Committee stage. If we accept the proposition he puts forward we would be frustrating that meeting. Like others here, I am not an employer of labour, but merely a member of the public. What was the great reason put forward by the hon. Member for Derby during the recent strike for something that he sought? He and his friends said—and we all felt it was perfectly true—that the public had heard very little of the dispute from either side. Therefore, the sooner this measure is passed the better. It would give the public the earlier opportunity of forming an opinion, of coming to a conclusion, and of making up its mind on these matters. For that reason the second part of the 121 Bill is, to my mind, the most urgent, and I hope the Government will not separate it from the other parts.
That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Bill that they have power to divide the
|Division No. 129.]||AYES.||[6.25 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Smith, Capt. A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Irving, Dan||Spoor, B. G.|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Jesson, C.||Swan, J. E. C.|
|Bell, James (Ormskirk)||Johnstons, J.||Taylor, J. (Dumbarton)|
|Benn, Captain W. (Leith)||Kenworthy, Lieut. Commander||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish-||Lunn, William||Thorne, Colonel W. (Plaistow)|
|Brown, J. (Ayr and Bute)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Tootill, Robert|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Newbould, A. E.||Wallace, J.|
|Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)||O'Grady, James||Waterson, A. E.|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Edwards, J. H. (Glam., Neath)||Rees, Captain J. Tudor (Barnstaple)||White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)|
|Galbraith. Samuel||Rose, Frank H.||Wignall, James|
|Glanville, Harold James||Rowlands, James||Young, Robert (Newton, Lanes.)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh)||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Short, A. (Wednesbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.— Mr.|
|Hartshorn, V.||Sitch, C. H.||T. Wilson and Mr. T. Griffiths.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. Artnur|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Edge, Captain William||Knights, Captain H.|
|Allen, Colonel William James||Eyres-Monsell, Commander||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George|
|Archdale, Edward M.||Falcon, Captain M.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar|
|Atkey, A. R.||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)|
|Bagley, Captain E. A.||Farquharson, Major A. C.||Lewis, T. A, (Pontypridd, Glam.)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Fell, Sir Arthur||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Hunt' don)|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Lonsdale, James R.|
|Barlow, Sir Montagu (Salford, S.)||Foreman, H.||Lorden, John William|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Forestier-Walker, L.||Lort-Williams, J.|
|Barnston, Major H.||Foxcroft, Captain C.||Lowe, Sir F. W.|
|Barrand, A. R.||Ganzoni, Captain F, C.||Lyle, C. E. Leonard (Stratford)|
|Barrie, Charles Coupar (Banff)||Gardiner, J. (Perth)||Lynn, R. J.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||M'Lean, Lt.-Col. C. W. W. (Brigg)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gilbert, James Daniel||Macleod, John Mackintosh|
|Bennett, T. J.||Gilmour, Lieut. -Colonel John||Macmaster, Donald|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Grant, James Augustus||McMicking, Major Gilbert|
|Betterton, H. B.||Gray, Major E.||McNeill, Ronald (Canterbury)|
|Blair, Major Reginald||Greame, Major P. Lloyd||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-||Green, J. F. (Leicester)||Maitland, Sir A. D. Steel-|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Greenwood, Col. Sir Hamar||Malone, Major P. (Tottenham, S.).|
|Breese, Major C. E.||Greig, Colonel James William||Marriott, John Arthur R.|
|Buchanan, Lieut. -Colonel A. L. H.||Griggs, Sir Peter||Martin, A. E.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Guinness, Lt.-Col. Hn. W. E. (B. St. E)||Mitchell, William Lane|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hacking, Colonel D. H.||Moles, Thomas|
|Burn, Colonel C. R. (Torquay)||Hall, Lt-Col. Sir Fred (Dulwich)||Molson, Major John Elsdale|
|Burn, T. H. (Belfast)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.|
|Campbell, J. G. D.||Hamilton, Major C. G. C. (Altrincham)||Morris, Richard|
|Carr, W. T.||Harris, Sir Henry P. (Paddington, S.)||Morrison, H. (Salisbury)|
|Cautley, Henry Strether||Haslam, Lewis||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.|
|Cayzer, Major H. R.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Murchison, C. K.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Herbert, Denniss (Hertford)||Murray, Maj. C. D. (Edinburg, S.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Hilder, Lieut-Colonel F.||Murray, Hon. G. (St. Rollox)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm, W.)||Hills, Major J. W. (Durham)||Murray, William (Dumfries)|
|Cheyne, sir William Watson||Hinds, John||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Coates, Major sir Edward F.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G.||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Hope, Lieut.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)||O'Neill, Capt, Hon. Robert W. H.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hopkins, J. W W.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Colvin, Brig.-General R. B.||Hopkinson, Austin (Mossley)||Parker, James|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Home, Sir Robert (Hillhead)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Coote, Colin R. (Isle of Ely)||Howard, Major S. G.||Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Courthope, Major George Loyd||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Craig, Captain Charles C. (Antrim)||Hume-Williams, Sir Wm. Ellis||Perring, William George|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hurd, P. A.||Philipps, Sir O. C. (Chester)|
|Curzon, Commander Viscount||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H.||Pinkham, Lt.-Colonel Charles|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Jackson, Lt.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York)||Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Jodrell, N. P.||Pownall, Lt.-Colonel Assheton.|
|Dawes, J. A.||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Pratt, John William|
|Denison-Pender, John C.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Dockrell, Sir M.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)||Purchase, H. G.|
|Donald, T.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Rae, H. Norman|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Kerr-Smiley. Major P.||Raeburn, Sir William|
|Du Pre, Colonel W. B.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Ramsden, G. T.|
Bill into two Bills, one dealing with the establishment of an Industrial Court and Courts of Inquiry in connection with trade disputes, and the other to continue for a limited period certain of the provisions of the Wages (Temporary; Regulation) Act, 1918.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 46; Hoes, 204.123
|Raw, Lieut-Colonel Dr. N.||Strauss, Edward Anthony||Wigan, Brigadier-General John Tyson|
|Reid, D. D.||Sturrock, J. Long-||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Richardson, Alex. (Gravesend)||Surtees, Brig.-General H. C.||Wilson, Capt. A. Stanley (Hold'ness)|
|Roundell, Lt.-Colonel R. F.||Sutherland, Sir William||Wilson, Colonel Leslie (Reading)|
|Samuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)||Sykes, Col. Sir A. J. (Knutsford)||Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)|
|Samuel, S. (Wandsworth, Putney)||Terrell, Capt, R. (Henley, Oxford)||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Sanders, Colonel Robert Arthur||Thomas-Stanford, Charles||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, W.)|
|Scott, A. M. (Gias., Bridgeton)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)||Woolcock, W. J. U.|
|Scott. Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (M'yhl)||Worthington-Evans. Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone)||Thorpe, Captain John Henry||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Shaw, Hon. A. (Kilmarnock)||Townley, Maximilian G.||Young, Sir Alfred William|
|Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Walters, Sir John Tudor||Young, Sir F. W. (Swindon)|
|Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Young, William (Perth and Kinross)|
|Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander||Wardle, George J.|
|Stanley, Col. H. G. F. (Preston)||White, Colonel G. D. (Southport)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Lord E.|
|Steel, Major S. Strong||Whitla, Sir William||Talbot and Captain F Guest.|
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ [Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]