§ Again considered in Committee.
§ [Mr. ENTWISTLE in the Chair.]
Postponed Proceeding resumed on Question proposed on Consideration of Question,
That a sum, not exceeding £8,560,339, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Ministry of Labour and Subordinate Departments, including the Contributions to the Unemployment Fund, and to Special Schemes, and Payments to Associations and Local Education Authorities for administration under the Unemployment Insurance Acts; Expenditure in connection with the Training of Demobilised Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men, and Nurses; Grants for Resettlement in Civil Life; and the Expenses of the Industrial Court; also Expenses in connection with the International Labour Organisation (League of Nations), including a Grant-in-Aid.
§ Question again proposed, "That Item A (1)—(Salaries, Wages and Allowances)—be reduced by £100."
§ Miss BONDFIELD
I have to deal with one or two points in detail in connection with the general comments, and I should like to deal further with the question of electricity. I think it is rather important that, in a case of this kind, the opportunity should be utilised to the fullest possible extent for the purpose of giving such information to the country as is in our possession, and I should like, with the consent of the Committee, to give in detail some of the developments which have taken place in connection with this electricity programme. The remarkable growth of the industry under the Commissioners since 1919 is indicated by the following figures. The capital invested in 1919 in the electricity supply undertakings was approximately £99,447,384; at the end of 1922 the amount invested was £144,299,060, an increase of no less than 43 per cent. The generating plant installed had a capacity of 2,143,659 kilowatts up to 31st March, 1923. The Commissioners sanctioned new generating plant to the extent of 1,279,087 kilowatts, an increase in three years of 60 per cent. The number of units generated was 3,694,000,000; in 1922–23 the number had reached 4,572,000,000, an increase of 24 per cent. The investigations of the Commissioners showed that there is great 2534 scope for the further development and use of electricity. Such developments include a considerable expansion of railway electrification and the possibility of supplying collieries, textile mills and other industries.
The point that I want to drive home is that the Government have considered all these developments in connection with electricity, and they are perfectly satisfied that, while it is gratifying that there has been this development, it is by no means keeping pace with the development of electricity in other countries, and that there is still room for a united effort thoroughly to electrify this country. To use a phrase of a right hon. Gentleman on this side of the Committee, he would like to electrify the Government. I can assure him that the desire of the Government to electrify the country is even more intense, and is part of the plan that the Government is pursuing. It is not a party question. This question is one of vital concern to the efficiency and development of out-industries as a whole, and it is necessary to visualise, not merely the present progress, gratifying as it may seem in relation to what we had in 1919. I want to pay a tribute to the Electricity Commissioners. I think we will all agree, those of us who have knowledge of the details of the work, that they have done magnificently. But I want to repeat that this is a matter in which the importance of electrical power has to be popularised, and it is in that direction that I venture to elaborate my remarks. It is not sufficient even to continue to develop electrical plant unless, at the same time, we can develop the number of users of the plant, and make it an economic proposition. Speaking from the point of view of the domestic use of electricity, I cannot conceive of any development in our country that is going to do more for the life and health of our people than the electrification of this country. It moans the abolition of the grime and misery of our great industrial towns, and it means life itself to large masses of men, women and children.
There is one other point also, and that is the question, referred to by one or two hon. Members, of the position of ex-service men in relation to the building trades. There have been trained for building work 8,000 disabled ex-service men, of whom 75 per cent. are employed 2535 in the building trades. I want to submit to the Committee that the building trade is carrying 75 per cent. of the 8,000 disabled ex-service men, and it is a big blow for that trade to bear in view of the fact that they have absorbed them that large numbers of building trade labourers are out of work. Figures were quoted to-night as to the number of builders' labourers still registered in the Labour Exchanges as unemployed. We all know the case with regard to the bricklayers, but I submit that when we are asked to tell the building trades that they must absorb this, that and the other we have to remember that this is a question of the industry itself as a whole stating that it cannot be responsible for the quality of its work until those who are engaged in it are fully trained under a proper apprenticeship system. They further state that unless these people are taken at an age before their muscular development concludes it is almost impossible for them to become expert workers. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite who know nothing about the technical details of the work and know nothing about muscular development find it very easy to laugh, but exactly the same thing applies to various branches of trades.
You cannot get men whose muscles are set, and who have gone into the carpentry trade to be trained to be able to keep pace with the men who began to use planes before their muscles were set. Numbers of ex-service men whose muscles were set were too old at the time when they started training for what is a very skilled process, and were unable to maintain it because they could not endure the strain on a particular set of muscles. They were entirely unaccustomed to it. There are at present still in training at the building trades centre under the Ministry 160 men, and there are completing training with employers 540 men. Those figures have to be added to the 8,000. While it is clear that the number of applications for training have become less that is undoubtedly a matter for sincere congratulation. I am not satisfied, and nobody is satisfied, that there should be any ex-service men not yet absorbed, but local propaganda and the efforts of the King's Roll Committees seem to me to be the satisfactory way of securing the absorption of these ex-service men.
2536 I agree with the hon. Member for Bethnal Green that the problem of continuous employment is one of the most difficult and that it has to be considered after a much closer analysis of the figures of labour. I am inclined from observation to think—and here I speak with all diffidence because there are no statistics—that we shall find on analysis that a large number of men who cannot get employment and who have been continuously unemployed for two or three or four years are men who are getting elderly in their trades. This presents us with another problem altogether—by what steps we can endeavour to remove at both ends of the labour scale, to keep young people from coming in, and to take off the older people at an earlier age, because the employer cannot unreasonably be expected to maintain a large proportion of the old people, and while the young people must come into the trade and it is necessary that the young people should learn their trades, yet the bulk of the work of the world ought to be placed on the shoulders of the able bodied and not on those of the young or the old. Therefore in so far as the figures for unemployment are swollen by elderly men that is a problem to which the Government is turning its attention from the standpoint of seeing if anything can be done out of national resources to withdraw them at an earlier age from the labour market.
On the subject of employment exchanges, I accept the criticism which has been made with regard to the inefficiency of the buildings, particularly in the London area, where the difficulty of obtaining proper sites has been very great. But I suggest that we are faced with many years of arrears in our building programe. Year after year estimates have been put in for structural alteration, but the money has never been spent, and we find that the building programme is overdue by four or five years. We have got an allocation of £150,000 for adjusting and improving the employment exchanges, all of which it is intended to spend and some of which has already been spent on actual operations in improving the employment exchanges. I deplore that there are so many inadequate employment exchanges. The thing cannot be put right in a week or a fortnight. It takes time, but the money has been allocated to the exchanges, and 2537 is being spent, and the work is proceeding as rapidly as possible.
There were other points used which depend on statistics. Here again I would direct attention to the fact that owing to, in my opinion, wrong views of economy certain forms of statistics which were very valuable records were dropped, and because these statistics were not kept up to date the Government were without necessary information. We have made a beginning in restoring these vital statistics, without which there are many things with which we cannot definitely proceed. I am glad that many speakers have recognised the joint responsibility for the condition of affairs which exist to-day. I claim for the Government that, not only have they fulfilled the pledge that the Prime Minister gave on taking office, but they have more than fulfilled it. They have fulfilled the pledge of continuing the work consistently and honestly whatever they found in progress, without any reduction of attempt to detract from the credit of those who started the schemes, and they have carried them on because they were schemes moving in the right direction.
We have carried on schemes with regard to electrical undertakings, roads and other matters which have been mentioned, and we have assisted materially in connection with trade facilities and in other ways in the development of trade. The figures in regard to Russian trade show promising development as the result of the changed situation. In 1913 the Russian imports were £6,633,000 and the exports were £2,610,000. In 1923, before the de facto recognition of the Russian Government, the imports were £900,000 and the exports were £647,000. In 1924 the imports had risen to £2,263,000 and the exports were £308,000. These figures represent the value of merchandise, and are not adjusted to show the change in values. I have now dealt with most of the points that have been raised, and I hope that the Committee will give us the Vote to-night, believing that the Government has quite honestly and earnestly carried out the pledges made by the Prime Minister in taking office in the circumstances in which he found himself.
§ Mr. HANNON
I am sure that the Committee will have fully enjoyed the delightful speech which we have just had 2538 from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, and if occasionally her intimate knowledge of industry was a little wide of her enthusiasm, I am sure that the Committee will forgive her, but when she accuses Members on this side of the Committee of not having any knowledge of industrial organisation, I am afraid—
§ Miss BONDFIELD
I did not say that. What I said was knowledge of a particular industrial process of the people.
§ Mr. HANNON
Why deny us a little knowledge of a particular industrial process? I do not see why the hon. Member and her colleagues should have a monopoly of the knowledge of these particular processes. I want to put to the Minister of Labour, whose thunderous eloquence this afternoon will, no doubt, be read through the country to-morrow with mixed feelings by thousands of working people—I want to put one or two questions to him. [Laughter.] If hon. Gentlemen opposite who laugh can derive any satisfaction from the speech of the Minister on unemployment this afternoon, I make them a present of it. I do not want to pursue that subject now, because the Minister of Labour has had a full dose of criticism, and when he faces his own constituents in Lancashire he probably will have a little difficulty in satisfying them that he has achieved the substantial progress which he tried to infuse into his speech this afternoon. What has he really done to promote the development of electricity supply and the electrification of railways, upon which he and the Parliamentary Secretary laid so much stress? During the last 18 months a series of schemes, carefully considered, has been submitted to successive Governments. My right hon. Friend the Member for North-West Camberwell (Dr. Macnamara) knows that even in his day seriously considered schemes for the development of railway electrification came before him, and he will agree, as succeeding Ministers of Labour and Prime Ministers agree, that that is one of the most appropriate means of employing skilled labour.
Very early in the career of the present Minister of Labour questions were put to him on the subject, and on the schemes that had been before his predecessors. He was asked to take the obvious step, responsible as he was and is, for improving 2539 the conditions of employment in this country, by bringing together the chairmen and general managers of the railways, and consulting with them as to the means by which the schemes that had been submitted could be put into operation. I now ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any progress has been made in the continuance of these friendly consultations, tending to the development of railway electrification? Has he accomplished anything, for example, in getting the Southern Railway to recognise the immense advantage of electrification from the point of view of public convenience, from the point of view of the earning power of the railway itself, and from the point of view of providing a large volume of employment? In the case of the London and North Eastern Railway, schemes were in progress on the old Great Eastern in the time of his predecessor, has he done anything to encourage the company to expedite the electrification of the suburban lines? The Minister knows that there is a traffic problem in the neighbourhood of London which cries aloud for solution, apart altogether from the question of unemployment. He would have the entire sympathy of the public by giving every possible facility to the railway companies to proceed with the least possible delay with the development of these important schemes. He knows that during the past few years the most competent engineers in Europe and America have been consulted on the advisability of these schemes, and in every case the reports have shown that in a reasonable period of time the propositions submitted to the Government would be revenue-earning.
I would also ask whether the Minister has considered the possibility of encouraging the extension of credits to some of the new European communities which are struggling to re-establish themselves, particularly those which have balanced their Budgets and stabilised their currencies, and are making substantial economic progress. Take, for example, the three Baltic States. In those States a great effort is being made to put the whole economic and social system upon sound foundations. They are entirely friendly to this country, and they are anxious to cultivate trade with this country, but difficulties exist owing to the necessity of allowing a 2540 somewhat prolonged credit. It would be a distinct advantage to those who desire to sell manufactured goods to these new communities if the right hon. Gentleman, in consultation with his colleagues at the Treasury, would consider whether slightly more generous terms of credit could be devised under the Export Credits scheme, in the direction of the extension of this trade. Again, in the case of a country like Yugo-Slavia, with its immense national resources, a balanced Budget and substantial progress in every direction, in spite of many internal political difficulties—unhappily there is something like a Labour party in that country, too—has the right hon. Gentleman considered how far, in conjunction with his colleagues, he can help that country to obtain extended credits and greater purchasing power for our manufactured goods?
I want the right hon. Gentleman also to take into sympathetic consideration a project of profound importance to us in the Midlands. He has had it before him. I refer to the project for improving canal navigation between Worcester and Birmingham. Birmingham stands to-day, in the front rank of the intelligence of the whole world. I venture to suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that if he would have a competent judgment upon any question whatever, I would commend him at once to Birmingham. In Birmingham we are anxious to improve our communication with the sea. The right hon. Gentleman has had before him already proposals for the enlargement of our canal navigation. By means of a comparatively small expenditure upon the widening of the canal, without entering upon the huge project contemplated by the Royal Commission which reported upon canal development in that part of the country, the Government could considerably improve the transport facilities in the Midlands, and I hope, when the right hon. Gentleman has had an opportunity of considering more fully the details of the scheme, he will give it his sympathetic consideration.
At the instance of hon. Gentlemen opposite we have heard lately a lot about Russia. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not profoundly more important for the Government to concentrate upon the development of Empire trade, closer commercial relations 2541 with our own people, and the extension of better economic arrangements under our own flag, than to waste so much time and so much thought upon Russia, which holds out no possibility at present of giving employment to anyone in this country? Quite recently I have been on the Russian frontier. I have had the advantage of meeting a good many persons engaged in carrying on a comparatively small trade with Russia, and, within the limits of barter, they are doing comparatively well. But every one of these men whom I met at Warsaw, Berlin and Vienna told me that, in the present collapsed condition of the whole structure of Russia, it was impossible to expect a volume of trade worth consideration for 10 years to come. Why should we neglect the vast opportunities within our Empire, in every State under the Crown, and why should we not concentrate upon these with all the vigour and enthusiasm which Members of the Government have frequently shown upon questions affecting Russia? It is much more important to devote such energy to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Crown Colonies, than continually to keep harping upon Russia, which is sterile from the point of view of giving us any trade. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman one or two questions with regard to the administration of unemployment insurance benefit, if I am in order.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HANNON
I would like to say that in this country to-day, whatever Government is in office it will have the fullest sympathy of all classes of the community for the development of measures to relieve unemployment. Speeches such as the right hon. Gentleman made this afternoon, and the comparison between January and May of last year and January and May of this year, will not find employment for people in this country. What the right hon. Gentleman must tell this House, if he is to give satisfaction, is that in the great cities of this country he is, week by week, by the promotion of revenue-earning schemes opening up opportunities for the employment of people who are now walking the streets, and receiving unemployment insurance 2542 benefit. The right hon. Gentleman has been an intimate student of economics for a great many years. He has examined the European problem, I understand, in all its aspects, and he might give a little thought to the home problem. More important than making speeches, from the point of view of the masses of workpeople to-day in Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, is that there should be a scheme in actual operation offering opportunities of employment.
I am quite sure that the whole trend of this discussion will leave the impression upon the mind of the country that the present administration, from the point of view of finding employment for the people, is a gigantic failure. The whole thing has been a make-believe from the day they came into office. During the Election they went into every part of the country, and promised everything from the blue-sky downwards. I spoke in a great many constituencies during the Election, and everywhere one went one was faced by the generous conception which the ordinary Labour candidate had of the wonders he could accomplish when his party came into office. That is a kind of deception upon the electorate for which the party in office will have to pay very shortly. They perambulate this country, and pretend to provide food for the people, who find afterwards that it is a stone. I am quite sure there has never been an administration founded upon such a rotten foundation, having regard to its own electoral programme, than the Government now in office in this country.
We have had examples in the past of promises made by leaders of parties and individual candidates, but take the Manifesto of the party in office, issued before the General Election, the deliberately considered collection of their own views of what ought to be done for the working classes of this country, and examine how much of that they have really tried to accomplish. I would ask my hon. Friends who come from the Clyde, and for whose honesty I have the greatest possible respect, because they really infuse into this House, when they speak, an atmosphere of reality—I would ask any member of that compact and highly intellectual little group, misdirected as they are, to give their opinion of the programme of the Government. It would be one of the most delightful pieces of criticism one could 2543 study. I would look forward with intense joy if I could see next week, in "Forward," a clearly expressed and pungent criticism of my hon. Friend opposite when he comes to deal with this Debate. The time has come to face this problem with earnestness and sincerity. You are not going to put the people of this country into jobs by talk. It is because the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues have deplorably failed to carry out their promises, that the whole feeling of the people will rise against them when they next appeal to the country.
§ Mr. SHAW
I rise to enter into no political discussion. The only thing in the way of political discussion I am going to say is, it is a remarkable fact that, with all these brilliant ideas, the hon. Gentleman's party did not realise the possibilities of the situation. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hannon) has raised points of very great importance and I am going to try to give him an answer. Whatever party one belongs to, there are certain things that ought to be common to us all. I do believe that there are great possibilities not only of employment, but of increase of efficiency, in the railways. I have said it before, and I say it now. It is possible to make great improvements, and negotiations are proceeding to that end. The hon. Member has specifically mentioned the Southern Railway. Certain developments have taken place there, and estimates show there are five new steamers in hand. It is estimated that £5,500,000 will be spent on electrification, £2,500,000 of which ought to be spent this year. I agree with every word he said as to the necessity of this work being done, and the Government will try to help him and his friends to get it accomplished. I think everyone who has studied the circumstances knows that a reduction in certain costs is eminently necessary if the industry of this country, particularly the export industry, is to be successful. Men of good will in all parties can help towards that end. The hon. Gentleman will find no more willing helper for his ideas than, if I may say so, the Minister of Labour. With what he says about the new States I find myself also in cordial agreement. The Government will be well advised to take into account what he has said, and I am sure they will use their powers as wisely as they can to help commercial men who 2544 wish to open up arrangements and negotiations for business with these countries, particularly because one of the best ways to make friends with the people is to enter into commercial contact with them in the exchange of goods. I do not think hon. Members will find the Government lacking in any way in that respect.
§ Mr. SHAW
If the hon. Gentleman will wait a moment, he will find I am going to deal with that subject, as I dealt with it this afternoon. With regard to the canal from Birmingham to Worcester, I can give a definite undertaking that if a scheme is presented, if a private Bill is sought, there will be no difficulty in getting assistance under the Trade Facilities Act for that scheme. Then with regard to Russia and our Empire, the present Government are in favour of developing trade both with Russia and with our Empire, as far as it is possible to develop both; and, indeed, with every other country in the world. There may be differences of opinion on fiscal matters, but there is no difference of opinion at all as to the necessity of developing our Empire to the fullest possible extent. I have risen simply to answer the definite questions that have been put.
§ Mr. COMYNS-CARR
I have listened with interest to the explanations of the Minister of Labour of the performances of the Government with regard to the promises which were put before the country by their party at the last Election. The schemes have not emerged from the hat, but, at all events, we have heard all there is to be said, I should imagine, at this stage, at all events, with regard to them. I notice with interest—possibly there is some connection between the two subjects—that only two evenings ago a Second Reading was given after 11 o'clock to a Bill which had previously received some opposition from at least one hon. Member above the Gangway. This opposition was withdrawn. It was a Bill for the prohibition of the coursing of rabbits, which are brought in captivity to the place of entertainment. I cannot help thinking it was intended for the protection of the rabbits which were to emerge from the hat of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister 2545 of Labour. Certainly, every endeavour has been made this afternoon to prevent them being unduly coursed in this House. I myself do not complain so much of the meagreness of the schemes which the Government have been able to explain to us that they propose to take up, as of the expectations which were raised in regard to those schemes before the Government took office. I cannot help thinking myself there must be many hon. Members sitting behind the Front Government Bench who are, in their hearts, bitterly disillusioned and disappointed. There are many hon. Members sitting on those benches who really believed in those expectations and who, in their turn, led the electors who supported them to believe in them. I cannot help thinking it is to those sincere supporters of the Labour Government that the proceedings of this afternoon must have given such bitter disappointment and disillusion.
It seems almost lacking in sportsmanship to pursue unduly the proposals which have been put forward for the development of schemes for giving work to the unemployed. I myself take the view that it is far better to pursue a policy which will liberate the energies of the people of this country to develop schemes for themselves, than for the Government to bring forward and pursue those schemes. I confess to having very little confidence in the ability of this Government, or indeed of the machinery of government, to initiate and carry out schemes of the character which ought to be initiated and carried out under such circumstances as we have been passing through during the past two years. If it were not for some of the conditions which prevail in this country, which, in my opinion, unduly hamper and restrict the development of public works of the kind that we have in mind, those schemes would be carried out by the people of this country themselves, without the necessity for the right hon. Gentleman searching for rabbits in his hat. My firm belief is, that we are prevented at the present time by the conditions prevailing in this country with regard to land tenure and the system of rating and taxation, which hamper the development of our national resources. If the Government would pursue more energetically the policy which they, in common with the Liberal party have 2546 advocated, of removing those restrictions, we would find that these developments would take place by the energy of our own people. Looking at these schemes, which have been so much under discussion—railway schemes and canal schemes—we find the results, if they are carried out, almost invariably the same. In the first place, as soon as a vast capital expenditure has been incurred by whoever undertakes the carrying out of a development of that kind, there is imposed on the top of that capital expenditure a huge burden of rates and taxes, the valuation for which is based upon the very expenditure which has been incurred in carrying out the scheme. That is a tax upon production which, at the present level of rating and taxation, is of a prohibitive character. It is prohibitive on a vast scale as applied to railways, canals or electrical developments; it is prohibitive, on a smaller scale, as applied to housing or agricultural development of any kind, large or small.
I do not so much blame the Minister for not producing schemes, as I blame the Government for having taken no steps to relieve industry from the burdens which it now bears. If the Government would pursue the policy of land reform and the reform of rating and taxation to which they are pledged, it would not be necessary for the Minister to come to this House to defend schemes, or the lack of schemes. We should see that development of industry which would relieve our unemployment problem following automatically upon the removal of these shackles, instead of requiring to be stimulated and promoted at the public expense by schemes under the control of the Government. I blame, not so much the inactivity of the Government as regards producing or carrying out schemes, as the fact that they have allowed the public to believe that such schemes were going to be produced. In the constructional industry, the industry of public works, unemployment is above the general average level of unemployment throughout the country. It seems a deplorable thing, apart from the drafting of men into the industry of public works construction who are not suited to it, that you actually have at the present time with all these demands for the development of public works, a level of unemployment in the particular industry 2547 devoted to that purpose higher than the average level of unemployment in the country. I should be sorry to see a Debate on unemployment close without somebody rising to point out this fundamental matter which is at the root of the whole question of development and employment. I do not wish to go into all the details of the argument which are no doubt familiar to the majority of the Committee. To my mind, all these discussions as to whether the Government should promote this or that are to a largo extent beside the point when they do not remove the shackles, which would result in those developments being promoted automatically, if only they would undertake what I believe to be the sound and right policy in this matter.
I most sincerely and firmly condemn the inaction of the Government, because it is in that direction which I have indicated rather than in the particular direction which has been more under discussion during the greater part of the evening. But at the same time I cannot help thinking that it is a deplorable fact that such expectations should have been raised when, as a matter of fact, it now appears, after four months, not merely that the schemes which were talked of are not in operation, but that they cannot even to-day be actually produced. It seems to me that it is no use saying that the Government have not a majority with which to carry the schemes which they would like to carry. The fact that they might or might not carry them does not in the least prevent them from producing them if they exist, and if they have the schemes, and if they are really the schemes which will solve the problem and which were indicated in their election promises, then I think they might at least have the courage to produce them and to invite the House to pass its opinion upon them. I, for one, if they are not produced, shall assume, and I think I shall be bound to assume, and I think the country will assume, that they are not produced, not because they could not be carried, but because they do not exist.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Webb)
I congratulate the hon. and learned Member for East Islington (Mr. Comyns-Carr), who has just sat down, on having introduced a little 2548 variety into this rather scrambling Debate. The hon. and learned Member, by way of a change, blames the Government, not altogether for not having done enough, but for having, as far as I understood, done really too much.
§ Mr. WEBB
The hon. and learned Member will have an opportunity of hearing what I have to say on that point later on. The hon. and learned Member's point seemed to be that it would be very much better than attempting to employ the unemployed by what are artificial means, to remove the shackles upon industry and set free individual enterprise. I say that that is a variety. The Government are blamed for having attempted, following in the steps of the late Government, to provide employment. We ought, apparently, to have abandoned those attempts to find employment and applied ourselves to removing the shackles on industry.
§ Mr. COMYNS-CARR
I did not say that the Government ought to have abandoned anything which they had done. What I said was that they ought to have done something else, and in addition to anything that they had done.
§ Mr. WEBB
What I understand the hon. Member means is that the Government, while on the one hand removing the shackles from industry should, on the other hand, again put on those shackles. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no," and Laughter.] It may be quite easy to raise a laugh on that point, but I am endeavouring to follow up the principles enunciated in the Debate, so far as I lay claim to have heard it. What appears to be the charge is that the Minister of Labour, not having done what he had no power to do, and what did not fall within his duty to do, and what neither he or his colleagues could have done in the time, is culpable. I quite realise that I shall be quite unable to turn back upon what I may have said, and use this Debate for the purposes of electioneering. I am endeavouring to the best of my ability to deal, in all seriousness, with what I understand are the points involved. My right 2549 hon. Friend the Minister of Labour has been blamed for not carrying out, for not producing a remedy for unemployment which hon. Members opposite assert to have been promised, and to have been declared in the programme of the party to which he and I belong. Hon. Members opposite have over and over again repeated that, doubtless in all sincerity, that the party to which I belong had a remedy for unemployment. [HON. MEMBERS: "They said they had it!"] Hon. Members opposite themselves have been coming forward with what they declare to be a remedy for unemployment in which they firmly believe, and they have propounded that remedy in the form of a policy of fiscal protection.
§ Mr. WEBB
There was a very peculiar psychological result to that policy, in fact, it was a sort of fiscal thrill. The newspapers supporting hon. Members opposite immediately saw a rival remedy, and they insisted in believing that the Labour party had a remedy of the same order, and they sought for it and declared that we had it. They said that our remedy was the Capital Levy. Hon. Members opposite brought forward a policy in the nature of Protection, and the newspapers insisted upon finding a remedy of a parallel nature in the Labour programme, and they pitched upon the Capital Levy. That is in the Labour party programme, but I deny that it was ever put forward as a remedy for unemployment.
What we stated was that there was no remedy for unemployment under the existing system, and that the only remedy was a radical transformation of the industrial system by what hon. Members opposite have called Socialism. As a matter of fact, what the Labour party recommended was that there should be this transformation of the industrial system, and that in no other way could you remedy effectually unemployment in this country. Other suggestions were put forward for the immediate relief of unemployment, and now we are being denounced for not putting our full programme into operation. We have only been in office 16 weeks, and we are being held up to opprobrium for having deceived the electors and having taken our salary under false pretences.
2550 I do not know whether hon. Members can keep their countenances when they denounce us for not putting these remedies into operation in the course of 16 weeks. But we are told that we held out expectations. While, however, these remedies might be put into operation with a majority—[HON. MEMBERS: "Go and get it!"]—we never said that we could do it while we were in a minority. If hon. Members suggest that any Member of the Labour party said that he was going to carry out all this programme, or any part of it, with a minority, at any rate, we did not, and we took office in a minority knowing that, obviously, we could not carry out these things. What was our duty? Our duty was to deal with the immediate problems before us, to do what we could, week by week, under the conditions. That was our duty, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour has been doing that, and doing it successfully. He has not turned aside to pursue things which could not be done in 16 weeks, and which would require legislation, which cannot even be initiated now. We are accused because we proceeded in this way, but really all this kind of criticism recoils on those who make it. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
On a point of Order. I really cannot hear what the right hon. Gentleman is saying.
§ Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down described this as a "scrambling Debate." I do not think that any more accurate description than that could be applied to the speech which he has just delivered. He has been scrambling from one point to another, following the example of those who have preceded him, and endeavouring to find, at the last moment, some explanation of that unfortunate sentence in the Labour party's Manifesto which claimed that they, and they alone, had a positive remedy for unemployment. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman has made it an excuse for having done nothing whatsoever to remedy unemployment, that the positive remedy which his party had in mind was Socialisation—that is, as I understand, the nationalisation of the means of production and distribution. [HON. MEMBERS: "And exchange!"] The memories of hon. Gentlemen opposite are so short that they have already forgotten what were the actual words of their manifesto. I happen, for greater convenience and accuracy, to have made a copy of those words, which I will proceed to read to the right hon. Gentleman, in order that I may refresh his memory, and show him what is the fact, that in the Labour party's manifesto nothing of the kind was claimed at all. The positive remedy is a strictly limited programme of development of various national resources—not nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange. After saying that the Labour party had this positive remedy it went onThe Labour programme of national work includes the establishment of a national system of electrical power supply.I call the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the fact that that is the only instance of the use of the word "national."
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman really cannot fool the people twice that way. If Socialisation was the remedy why was it not in the manifesto? If the programme of work was intended to be carried out why does he not carry it out? Let me go on. After the electrical power supply, "The development of transport by road, rail and canal"—the word "national" is not mentioned—"the improvement of national resources by land drainage, reclamation, afforestation, town planning"—a fine remedy that for unemployment—"and housing schemes." Let me point out to the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Lady, both of whom claimed that this programme could only be carried out over a long period of years, that the next sentence in the manifesto was as follows:These not only provide a remedy for present distress"—2552 But they are not providing a remedy for the present distress. Even the Minister of Labour, who was anxious for electioneering purposes to claim for his Government the reduction of unemployment which has taken place since his Government came into office, although he knows as well as I do that he cannot claim credit for a single man put in employment, can only claim a figure of reduction in the few months that he has been in office which was considerably less than the corresponding figure for last year. They cannot have it all ways. We have had three different lines of defence. First of all comes along the Minister of Labour and says, "We have done the work. We have put men into employment." [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Then how do you reconcile that with the leading article in the "Daily Herald" this morning, with its headline:Why the Labour party cannot provide work for the workless.Then comes along the Noble Lady opposite. [Interruption.] The uniforms have come already, and I daresay the peerages will not be very long. She says, "It is a very difficult thing to work out schemes for the relief of unemployment. They take a long time. There are a great many difficulties to be encountered All sorts of people have to be communicated with." Then she tells us that in the year 1917 the Labour party had thought of all the schemes that have ever been put into operation. If they have had time to think out their schemes ever since the year 1917, they cannot expect that we are going to allow them to remain in office another seven years to think out something better.
All they can claim up to now is a decrease in the numbers of the unemployed, amounting to something less than we had last year in the same period, due to no action of the Government. Then, at the last moment, and probably after a stormy meeting with the Parliamentary Labour Committee, the right hon. Gentleman has once more gone through the Labour party's manifesto, and has told us, in a series of phrases which were repeated with considerable effect by the right hon. Member for Rusholme (Mr. Masterman) that in each case he is going into the whole subject for setting up a Committee of Inquiry to see what may be done at some time in the future.
2553 Really, this is playing with the electorate. We are told when we criticise the Government that we are exploiting the situation for party purposes. The party opposite last year and the President of the Board of Trade denounced us for schemes which they declared to be totally inadequate. The right hon. Gentleman said that we ought to produce something ten times as great. He complained that we did not find work for dealing with unemployed women. What work has he found for dealing with unemployed women? Hon. Members opposite have no right to claim for themselves a consideration which they never extended to us. Our charge against them is that at the last Election they exploited the unemployed for their own purposes; and they are trying to exploit them now. We have had the Prime Minister telling the people of the Parliamentary Labour Club that they are amassing great reserves of armaments—they are all for disarmament except in this country—and that they are going to use them to the very last in the next Election.
That is their whole policy; it is all an electioneering policy. The Prime Minister's plan, as he has now disclosed it to us, is something better than the one he brought forward at the last election. At the last election he made promises, but at the next election he is going to keep them expecting. Certainly, the Debate this afternoon has given plenty of encouragement to those who feel that this is the great slogan for the Labour party—"Keep them expecting." Keep them expecting while the right hon. Gentleman sets up more Committees, while he goes into the whole question, while he begins to think what can be done, and while he plumes himself upon the policy of the Foreign Minister. It struck me, as I dare say it struck many hon. Members, what an extraordinary thing it was that in the whole of this Debate this afternoon, which began with that long dissertation upon foreign policy from the Minister of Labour and claiming success which we all hope will come to the Prime Minister, but it has not come yet. Others before him have started with equal hopes of attempting transformations in foreign policy. They have not always come off, and it is as well not to boast until you are quite certain. But is it not extraordinary that while the right hon. Gentleman devoted all this 2554 time to foreign policy, and upon the important relations which we have with foreign countries, he forgot entirely to mention the subject of Imperial policy.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not remember. Perhaps hon. Members can remind me of what the right hon. Gentleman said. [HON. MEMBERS: "Textiles" and "India."]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
What is the right hon. Gentleman's policy, then, in order to increase trade with the Dominions and Colonies? For, after all, I think the President of the Board of Trade told us last night that the exports of this country to the various parts of the Empire were actually greater than those to the whole of Europe. What are the Government doing to develop that trade? What credit can they take for the improved relations which they have brought about with the Governments of the Dominions? What is the moral gesture that they have made? [An HON. MEMBER: "Dry rot!"] Australia, Canada, Jamaica, British Guiana, one after the other—we read how motions are being tabled in the Legislatures, suggesting that they will have to reduce the preference which they give to our manufactures, and which are the cause of this tremendous trade, equal to our trade with the whole of Europe and exceeding it. They will have to reduce that in order to conform to the new policy, and the new gesture.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I have said my say. It is a surprising thing to me that hon. Members who listened with avidity and with patience to stories all about relations with Russia want to stifle discussion the moment it becomes a question of the Empire. We charge against this Government that having gone to the electors with a definite pledge which put 2555 unemployment and the cure of unemployment in front of their programme, they have done nothing to redeem their promises, and that so far as taking any positive action is concerned their action has been in the direction of reducing the employment already in existence. The hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour told us that the Prime Minister had fulfilled the pledge which he gave on taking office. What we want is the fulfilment of the pledges which he gave before he took office. Hon. Members sitting behind on those benches, after having been thoroughly cowed at a private meeting beforehand may pretend that they are satisfied. [Interruption.] We are not satisfied and the country will not be satisfied. We shall vote for the reduction of the salary of the Minister, who has not only not fulfilled his pledges, but has not even performed the ordinary duties of his office.
promises that were made at the last General Election by hon. Members who sit above the Gangway. I would remind them that this was the kind of thing that was said:
While working all the time for a co-operative commonwealth the party pledges itself, if returned to power,"—
[HON. MEMBERS: "Power!"]
immediately to deal with unemployment and to try to make life more tolerable for the poverty-stricken masses of the country. With regard to unemployment we shall utilise and organise all the resources of the nation, as was done during the War for the makers of munitions, to provide work for every unemployed man or woman. Work on a basis of national utility can be found if the Government so wills.
§ Mr. BALDWIN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 210; Noes, 244.2559
|Division No. 78.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Clayton, G. C.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Harvey, C. M. B. (Aberd'n & Kincardne)|
|Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. (Glas, C.)||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Apsley, Lord||Cope, Major William||Herbert, Dennis (Hertlord, Watford)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.||Herbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hill-Wood, Major Sir Samuel|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Austin, Sir Herbert||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Baird, Major Rt. Hon. Sir John L.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hogge, James Myles|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hood, Sir Joseph|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hope, Rt. Hon. J. F. (Sheffield, C.)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hore-Belisha, Major Leslie|
|Becker, Harry||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase||Dawson, Sir Philip||Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Dixey, A. C.||Howard, Hn. D. (Cumberland, Northrn.)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.|
|Berry, Sir George||Duckworth, John||Hughes, Collingwood|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Huntingfield, Lord|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Elveden, Viscount||lliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||England, Colonel A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Ferguson, H.||Jenkins, W. A. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Brass, Captain W.||FitzRoy, Captain Rt. Hon. Edward A.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Forestier-Walker, L.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Frece, Sir Walter de||Kay, Sir R. Newbald|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Gaibraith, J. F. W.||Kedward, R. M.|
|Burman, J. B.||Gates, Percy||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John||King, Capt. Henry Douglas|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Lane-Fox, George R.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Gretton, Colonel John||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Guest, Capt. Hn. F. E. (Gloucstr., Stroud)||Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir P.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. W. E.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Lorimer, H. D.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. (Dulwich)||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Lumley, L. R.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Harland, A.||Lyle, Sir Leonard|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Harney, E. A.||MacDonald, R.|
|McLean, Major A.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Remer, J. R.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Rentoul, G. S.||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Mason, Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K.||Richardson, Lt. Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Robinson, W. E. (Burslem)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Morrison-Bell, Major Sir A. C. (Honiton)||Ropner, Major L.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Nesbitt, Robert C.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wells, S. R.|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Russell-Wells, Sir S. (London Univ.)||Weston, John Wakefield|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H.|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wilson, Sir Charles H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Savery, S. S.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Pease, William Edwin||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Penny, Frederick George||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, Major Rt. Hon. Edward F. L.|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furness)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Perring, William George||Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Phllipson, Mabel||Spero, Dr. G. E.||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Pielou, D. P.||Stanley, Lord||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Steel, Samuel Strang|
|Rankin, James S.||Stewart, Maj. R. S. (Stockton-on-Tees)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—|
|Rees, Sir Beddoe||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Commander B. Eyres-Monsell and|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Falconer, J.||Lansbury, George|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Finney, V. H.||Laverack, F. J.|
|Alden, Percy||Foot, Isaac||Law, A.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Franklin, L. B.||Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)|
|Alstead, R.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lawson, John James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North)||Leach, W.|
|Attlee, Major Clement R.||Gavan-Duffy, Thomas||Lessing, E.|
|Ayles, W. H.||George, Major G. L. (Pembroke)||Lindley, F. W.|
|Baker, Walter||Gillett, George M.||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Banton, G.||Gosling, Harry||Loverseed, J. F.|
|Barker, G. (Momnouth, Abertillery)||Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome)||Lowth, T.|
|Barnes, A.||Greenall, T.||Lunn, William|
|Batey, Joseph||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||McEntee, V. L.|
|Berkeley, Captain Reginald||Groves, T.||Macfadyen, E.|
|Black, J. W.||Grundy, T. W.||Mackinder, W.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Guest, J. (York, W. R. Hemsworth)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Bonwick, A.||Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maden, H.|
|Briant, Frank||Hardie, George D.||Mansel, Sir Courtenay|
|Broad, F. A.||Harris, Percy A.||March, S.|
|Bromfield, William||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Marley, James|
|Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby)||Harvey, T. E. (Dewsbury)||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Hastings, Sir Patrick||Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)|
|Buckle, J.||Hastings, Somerville (Reading)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Haycock, A. W.||Middleton, G.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hayday, Arthur||Millar, J. D.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hayes, John Henry (Edge Hill)||Mills, J. E.|
|Chapple, Dr. William A.||Healy, Cahir||Montague, Frederick|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hemmerde, E. G.||Morel, E. D.|
|Church, Major A. G.||Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South)||Morris, R. H.|
|Clarke, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)|
|Climie, R.||Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hillary, A. E.||Morse, W. E.|
|Clynes, Rt Hon. John R.||Hindle, F.||Mosley, Oswald|
|Compton, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Moulton, Major Fletcher|
|Comyns-Carr, A. S.||Hothouse, A. L.||Murray, Robert|
|Costello, L. W. J.||Hodge, Lieut.-Col J. P. (Preston)||Murrell, Frank|
|Cove, W. G.||Hodges, Frank||Naylor, T. E.|
|Crittall, V. G.||Hoffman, P. C.||Nichol, Robert|
|Darbishire, C. W.||Hudson, J. H.||Nixon, H.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Isaacs, G. A.||O'Connor, Thomas P.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich)||O'Grady, Captain James|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Dickie, Captain J. P.||Jewson, Dorothea||Oliver, P. M. (Manchester, Blackley)|
|Dickson, T.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||O'Neill, John Joseph|
|Dodds, S. R.||Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Owen, Major G.|
|Dukes, C.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Paling, W.|
|Dunnico, H.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. (Bradford, E.)||Parry, Thomas Henry|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern)||Jowltt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Pattinson, S. (Horncastle)|
|Egan, W. H.||Kennedy, T.||Perry, S. F.|
|Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)||Kenyon, Barnet||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Pilkington, R. R.||Smith, T. (Pontefract)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Potts, John S.||Snell, Harry||Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth)|
|Purcell, A. A.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Warne, G. H.|
|Raffan, P. W.||Spears, Brig. Gen. E. L.||Watson, W. M. (Duntermline)|
|Raffety, F. W.||Spence, R.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Ramage, Captain Cecil Beresford||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Webb, Lieut.-Col. Sir H. (Cardiff, E.)|
|Rathbone, Hugh R.||Stamford, T. W.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Raynes, W. R.||Starmer, Sir Charles||Wedgwood, Col. Rt. Hon. Josiah C.|
|Rendall, A.||Stephen, Campbell||Weir, L. M.|
|Richards, R.||Stewart, J. (St. Roffox)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Stranger, Innes Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Ritson, J.||Sullivan, J.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Sunlight, J.||White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)|
|Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)||Sutton, J. E.||Whiteley, W.|
|Romeril, H. G.||Tattersall, J. L.||Wignall, James|
|Rose, Frank H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Williams, Lt.-Col. T. S. B. (Kennington)|
|Royce, William Stapleton||Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)||Williams, Maj. A. S. (Kent, Sevenoaks)|
|Royle, C.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Thornton, Maxwell R.||Willison, H.|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Thurtle, E.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Scurr, John||Tillett, Benjamin||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)||Tinker, John Joseph||Windsor, Walter|
|Sexton, James||Tout, W. J.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Woodwark, Lieut.-Colonel G. G.|
|Sherwood, George Henry||Turner, Ben||Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)|
|Shinwell, Emanuel||Varley, Frank B.|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Viant, S. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Smillie, Robert||Vivian, H.||Mr. Spoor and Mr. Frederick Hall.|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
§ Question again proposed. Debate resumed.
§ Several HON. MEMBERS rose.
§ It being after Eleven o'Clock, the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next (26th May).2560
§ The remaining Order were read, and postponed.