§ Miss WILKINSON
I beg to move, in page 30, line 22, to leave out Subsection (1).
In moving this Amendment, I hope that we shall receive the same cordial support from the Government Benches which we received when we moved a somewhat similar Amendment on Clause 6. This is part of a series of Amendments by which we object very strongly to the Government's policy in deciding under what circumstances a widow shall lose her pension. I would ask hon. Member's opposite to look at the terms of this Sub-section:If any woman in receipt of a widow's pension under this Act is convicted of an offence.It does not say what kind of offence. It does not say how serious or otherwise that offence may be, but it does say that if she is so convicted she may lose her pension. The offence may be trivial. She may not have paid her dog licence at the proper time. She may have been prosecuted for having set her chimney on fire, and yet under this Clause she may be reported to the Minister. I am not suggesting that that is likely to happen, but I am pointing out that that is what the Hill says. It will not be the benevolent intentions of the Ministry that will be considered in a Court of Law, but what the Bill actually says.
There are comparatively serious offences of which a woman may be convicted in a Court of Law, and the magistrate may consider that he ought to report her to the Ministry. Take, for example, shoplifting, or other forms of stealing. You are paying the woman an amount on which she cannot possibly live, and she may be driven in desperation to such a crime as that. Some magistrates take very serious views of any offence against property, and a woman may be convicted of an offence of that kind and be reported and lose her pension, although such offence? are not of a kind that in any way necessarily affect her ability as a mother. There are certain offences which render her unfitted to have charge of children or to have a pension, but both offences are amply dealt with in Clause 6, which provides that where certain offences are committed the pension may be taken away from the widow and may be administered for the benefit of the woman and her children. That is logical, 1163 because she may be utterly unfitted to have charge of the money, and it is better that someone should administer the money for her.
In this case, it is suggested that the children remain with the woman and the woman 6hall be punished by a fine of 10s. a week for an unspecified period and for an unspecified offence. That is extremely unjust. A man may be convicted of exactly the same offence, and may be fined or sent to prison, but nothing happens in regard to his pension; but a woman who is convicted and either fined or sent to prison may be fined for the rest of her life 10s. a week or for such time as the Minister thinks expedient. That is a most unjust and unfair penalty to place upon the woman. Not only do you punish a woman who commits an offence—that is bad enough—but you punish the innocent children. The woman has to live, and if you take away her pension of 10s. a week and continue her allowance in respect of the children, it means that if she has three children, instead of living on 21s. she has to live on 11s. Therefore, for this offence the woman is penalised and her children have to be semi-starved in addition.
Yon are adding a completely new terror to the lives of these poor women. It is the poor woman who will have to suffer. The rich woman may commit the offence of shoplifting and be regarded as a kleptomaniac to be looked after by her relations. Where it is a poor woman, she is fined or sent to prison and then the majesty of the law is satisfied by fining hon. 10s. a week for the rest of her life or for such period as the Minister may determine. I would ask hon. Members opposite who are lawyers whether they consider that is just. It may be said that that would not be done except in a grave eventuality. In that case, why not put it in the Bill, or why not let it be dealt with under Clause 6? If the offence is so serious that the woman should be punished like this, then she is not fit to look after her children. We all know that certain magistrates consider crimes against property as amongst the gravest that any human being can commit. We may even have that type of person in some future Minister of Health to whom such cases may be 1164 reported. I appeal to the Minister to show in regard to this matter the same very reasonable attitude that he showed when we made a similar appeal on Clause 6 (4). I hope that this Subsection will be withdrawn and that Clause 6 will be allowed to cover the whole of the offences that the Minister has in mind.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I beg to support the Amendment. One need only add a few words to show the indefensible character of the proposal. It says that a widow, if she is convicted, may be deprived of her pension. What about the married woman over 65 who has a pension, and who commits exactly the same sort of offence? She is not punished in this way. She may steal a small article, but she does not. lose her pension, but a widow of 65 who has a widow's pension and who steals a small article will lose her pension. How can that be justified? An old man drawing a pension may be guilty of theft and may be convicted and sent to prison. Of course, he does not get his pension while he is being supported in prison, but nothing else happens to him; but, if a widow in similar circumstances happens to be convicted for an identical offence and sent to prison, she can be deprived of her pension for all time. How can that be justified, especially when it is borne in mind that the very Act of Parliament which enacts only a suspensory disqualification of the old age pension is an Act of Parliament whereby the State grantee is called upon to surrender what the State grants? There is some justification for a State grant being withdrawn if the grantee misconducts himself in a very bad way, but even then the grantee—an old man or an old woman—is not deprived of the pension. It is. in fact, only suspended. The Post Office does not pay for keeping a person who is being kept in gaol or in a lunatic asylum or in a hospital.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I support the Amendment. I cannot understand how this Subsection ever came into the Bill. There is no justification for it in equity. If the Minister is not prepared to make a concession, I think we ought to appeal to the Attorney-General to bring his legal mind to bear upon this Sub-section. If a woman is brought before a Court of Law she ought to be punished by that Court according to the merits of her case, and 1165 the matter ought to end there. This Sub-section imposes a further penalty to an unlimited extent. It holds an added terror over her, which depends entirely upon the Minister's own will as to the extent of her penalty. There is the further point that a married woman whose husband is alive may get a pension, and although she commits a misdemeanour her pension goes on, but in the case of a widow who commits a similar misdemeanour or felony the Court may report her to the Minister of Health and the Minister may decide to take away her pension for such time as he thinks fit. The effect of the Sub-section may be to influence the magistrate or Judge who is trying the ease. Supposing a magistrate or a Judge thinks fit to report a woman to the Minister, it is quite probable that he may seek to diminish the sentence that he would impose, in view of the possibility that the Minister may take action. I cannot see that there is any justification for this Sub-section, and I hope the Minister will see fit to withdraw it.
§ Mr. GERALD HURST
I support the Amendment because the Sub-section does not achieve a good purpose, and, even if it has a good purpose in view, it is inaptly worded to achieve that purpose. It is clear that it does not apply to the more serious offences, because Sub-section (3) incorporates into this Clause the provisions of the Old Age Pensions Act with regard to those offences for which the culprit is sent to prison. While the culprit is in prison the pension will stop in any event. Therefore, apparently Sub-section (1) is intended to refer to offences of a far less grave character. The Mover of the Amendment pointed out that there is no definition of the offence. It may be of a most trivial character. It certainly could not be of a grave character. Before a statutory right based on contribution is taken away you must have a far more stringent test by which to apply an act of disqualification than is applied in the case of a dole or a gift made as an act of grace by the State.
Here you have a statutory right interfered with because of an offence which is undefined and which must be an offence of a character less grave than one which carries with it the penalty of imprisonment without the option of a fine. Certain cases have been pointed out where 1166 a person might be convicted for disobeying a bye-law of some borough with regard to some trifling matter. There are a thousand and one minor cases in which this Clause might become operative, and it will be competent for any magistrate in a case of that sort to report to the Minister the person who has been accused with a view not only to inflicting a fine but depriving that person of a statutory right of pension. That is against the whole spirit of the Act. It is sex discrimination, and in its present form totally unjustified. It may be that the true aim is to deal with the case of prostitution, because one gathers from Sub-section (2) that a woman is to be disqualified if she is cohabiting with somebody other than her husband. If the Clause is aimed at prostitution, then let the Clause so read that it refers to cases of prostitution and those cases only. In its present form it is highly objectionable to a very large number of Members on this side of the House.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I desire to support the Amendment on one further ground which has not been mentioned. What I fear very much will take place under this Sub-section is something like this. A woman will be suspected by the police of a certain course of life of which they disapprove. They will wait until she is convicted of some quite trumpery offence of a quite different character. The magistrate having in mind the suspicion that she is doing something that is wrong will report the case to the Minister who, in certain circumstances, still having this suspicion before him, will deprive the woman of her pension, not on account of the offence for which she is convicted but on account of this other suspicion with regard to which she has had no opportunity of proving her innocence. It has been within the knowledge of the House that this method of dealing with offences that cannot be proved in a Court of Law has been growing in this country of late. I oppose this sub-section on the grounds mentioned by the hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson), and also because I believe that it is aimed at increasing the power of punishing people on suspicion which is very injurious to the community.
§ Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY
I join with other hon. Members in supporting this Amendment. There is great objec- 1167 tion to the words in this Sub-section "is convicted of an offence." Why should not the offence disqualifying for a pension be clearly stated in the Sub-section? I suggest that it is not stated for the simple reason that the Sub-section only applies to certain offences committed by a certain class of women, and I would just like to draw the attention of the Committee to what I said on Sub-section (4) of Clause 6, that until you get some alteration in the law there is one law for one class of women in this country and another law for another class. This is the only one case in which a magistrate may fine or commit to prison on the uncorroborated testimony of a police officer alone. That is a condition of things which should not exist in law.
Most of these cases would come before unpaid Magistrates. Very few cases would come before paid Magistrates, and this might result in hundreds of cases being reported to the Minister of Health by certain benches of Magistrates. Is it right that the Minister of Health should have to bear the burden of saying whether the pension should be taken away or not? It would be impossible for him to go personally into all the cases that would be presented to him, and these cases would be decided not by the Minister himself but by his officials. Therefore, on these grounds and on other grounds which were mentioned in the Debate on Clause 6, I support this Amendment. This is a contributory pensions Bill, and inasmuch as a man or a woman has paid toward the pension, you have no right to take that pension away. If we insure our lives or insure against accidents in a commercial company, would it be held for one moment that, because a person commits a crime, probably a petty crime, that an insurance company would be at liberty to say, "You shall not have a penny of all the money which you have paid"? On that point, also, that as long as a person has paid for a pension no offence which he has committed should prevent him from getting his pension, I support the Amendment and trust that the Minister of Health will accept it.
I cast a hurried glance around the Committee just now to see if any hon. Member's face preserved a friendly character or 1168 any hon. Member gave any indication of rising to support this Sub-section. Though the Sub-section is of importance it is not, perhaps, an essential part of the Bill, and, in view of the demonstrations which have taken place. I think, that perhaps my best course would be to take what the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) a little while ago called a strong line, and execute a strategic movement to the rear. But having removed an apprehension from the minds of hon. Members by this announcement, I may be permitted to say just a few words, at any rate, to justify the original insertion of the Sub-section in the Bill.
I should begin by explaining the purpose and reason for its insertion. It was, of course, not intended to be operative in cases of miner offences. The whole purpose of this Sub-section was to prevent the occurrence of what might be come a public scandal. That was the payment of pensions, contributed to largely by the State, to persons who were carrying on a course of conduct which was not merely injurious to themselves—and I recognise the force of an observation that was made, I think by the hon. Member for Exeter (Sir R. Newman) on a previous Clause—but I am thinking of the case in which people are doing things not only injurious to themselves but, as a consequence of their action, injurious to the community as a whole—people who are doing anti-social acts. Though I propose to withdraw this Sub-section now, I believe that sooner or later it will come back—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It may not come back exactly in this form, but sooner or later it will be found that something has to be done to prevent such a scandal as I have suggested.
I do not think that the question of sex discrimination enters into this Subsection. I know that it has appeared to do so to some hon. Members, but we are dealing here not with people of 65 and upwards. In their case the two sexes are in the same position, and whether the person is a man or a woman the Section does not apply. We are dealing here with the case of young women, and there is no parallel case in the male sex. Therefore, it cannot be argued that there is any sex discrimination. Secondly, we must not assume that any Court in the first instance, and the Minister in the second instance, is going to be entirely 1169 destitute of common sense. That is the assumption which underlay the argument of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment, and it seemed to receive some support from the hon. Member behind me.
I submit that it would be perfectly easy to limit the kinds of case which would be dealt with under this Sub-section, and even to limit the period during which suspension might take place. I would not have stood on the question of cancellation at all. I would have been prepared to confine the discretion of the Minister to limited kinds of cases and a limited period during which the suspension might take place. I rather agree that the Sub-section as it stands appears to go further than was the intention of the Government. I think that those difficulties could have been removed, but I do not think it worth while, in view of the attitude of the majority of the Committee, to endeavour to retain the Sub-section, and therefore, although I wish my words to remain on record, I will agree to the Amendment.
§ The DEPUTY- CHAIRMAN
I was about to put the Amendment in the form that the words down to "Act" in line 23 stand part, in order to save the subsequent Amendment, but in view of the statement of the Minister I will put the Amendment to leave out Sub-section (1).
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
§ Miss WILKINSON
I beg to move, in page 20, line 36, at the end, to insert the wordsprovided that she shall have the right to appeal to a Court of Law.In thanking the Minister of Health For what he has done, while we are discussing Sub-section (2) of Clause 21 I wish to make clear that we have no objection to the principle of the Sub-section. Obviously, if a woman is being maintained regularly by a man, she is in the same financial position as his wife, and perhaps a better position. Therefore there is no question as to whether she should get a pension. But in suggesting that we take away the right to the pension, hon. Members on various sides have shown that they agree that the penalty is so great that we ought to be quite 1170 sure that what we are taking away the pension for has actually been committed. I suggest that there might be a great many borderline cases in which it is very difficult to say whether a woman is as a fact cohabiting with a man or not, and in those circumstances she ought to have in some way the right of being able to appeal.
Take the case of a woman who is a housekeeper in the house of a working man, a woman who is herself a widow and is looking after a widower and his children. She may have her own children with them. That is one case. Another is the case of a lodger who is living with a widow and children. Anybody who knows anything of working-class life, or any other class of life in the community if it comes to that, knows how easily scandals can arise, and how Mrs. "So-and-so" starts talking, and anonymous letters are sent, and we have had quite sufficient experience of anonymous letter writing in connection with the Ministry of Pensions to know that once that sort of thing starts a woman may be unjustly deprived of her pension without any right of appeal.
I want to make it clear that we are not asking that the Minister, before taking away the pension, should prosecute the woman in a Court of law. Cohabitation is not an offence under the law. We are asking that the woman shall have the right to appeal. We are really giving away a. good deal in this. It would be perfectly logical for us to argue on Sub-section (2) exactly as we argued on Sub-section (1), that this pension had been paid for, and that therefore, whatever a woman's cause of action may be, when she has paid for that pension, she ought to have it. As one hon. Member said, "You would not deprive a woman of the money due to her if she had paid into a commercial insurance company for a widow's endowment policy," if there is such a thing. I think this Clause should be withdrawn, and I ask the Minister to consider whether he will do that. If he will not consider that, will he at least accept the Amendment? It is extremely important, because we do not want to have a woman deprived of her pension without any right of appeal, merely on the scandal-mongering of some neighbour. It is impossible for the Minister to go into 1171 the details of this Clause as they are submitted to him. Before this Bill has been in operation long, a routine will be set up, and Clauses will be decided by-routine, and unless the woman's right of appeal is carefully safeguarded, a good deal of injustice may be done. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that the withdrawing of this Clause, or the acceptance of the Amendment, would not cost the Exchequer anything. We are merely asking for something which is right in justice and equity.
The hon. Member has perhaps not quite appreciated the provisions already existing in the Bill. She said that cohabitation was not an offence. Under the Bill for a widow to draw a pension, while cohabitating, is to commit an offence. Under Clause 33, the person who draws a pension by knowingly making any false statement, is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. There is no discretion there in the hands of the Minister.
§ Miss WILKINSON
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that by this Bill he is adding a new crime to the domestic crimes for which a woman may be punished, the punishment not applying in the case of a man?
§ Miss WILKINSON
You are punishing by a fine the widow for doing something for which the man is not punishable in any way.
You are providing here that the widow of an insured man is to receive a pension for life, unless she re-marries. It is possible for the woman to evade that by not marrying, but living with a man, and it is to prevent her doing that, and, therefore, cheating the Fund, that this Clause has been introduced. That is why it is made a crime, and a new crime, because the offence did not arise before this scheme was introduced. If the Minister had evidence 1172 given to him that a woman was cohabitating, and her pension was taken away under this Sub-section without her being convicted in a Court of law, that case would come under Clause 28, Sub-section (2), and she would have a right of appeal against the order of the Minister.
I have not had that point raised before. I am advised that that is so, but, in any case, another word in the Clause would make it clear.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
Except by the award of the Minister. That would be quite different from the decision of the Court.
We are not talking about the decision of the Court now; we are talking about the decision of the Minister. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment is afraid that the Minister may take away the pension, and the woman would then have no right of appeal. If the Minister did take such action, she would have a right of appeal under Clause 28, Sub section (2). Therefore, the point that the. Mover of the Amendment has made is met already in the Bill and the Amendment is not necessary.
§ Mr. A. GREENWOOD
As I understand it, drawing a pension when there is cohabitation is an offence under this Bill. If cohabitation has been proved in a Court of law and the pension has ceased to exist if does not seem to me that the Minister has any locus standi in the matter. Surely it is not for the Minister to say?
There can be no question of a Court of law, unless there is a prosecution for the offence. I was dealing with cases where there was no prosecution, but where information had been received. If on such information the Minister took away the pension, the widow would have a right of appeal.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Would the right hon. Gentleman explain exactly the steps that would be taken. A woman, according to some information given, is cohabiting. What are the actual steps before the removal of the pension? What will happen?
Information having been received, the Minister would probably refer the matter to a local authority, and ask them to make such investigations as they thought necessary and to inform him of the result. If, as a result of the report made to him by the local authority, he is satisfied that cohabitation is taking place, he would no doubt stop the pension. In that case the woman would have a right of appeal. It would still be open to the Minister to prosecute the woman for having knowingly received the pension when she was cohabiting. The question then would be whether she should be punished or not; it would not be the question whether she should continue to receive her pension or not.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is the woman going to have an opportunity of submitting her ease in person to the local authority or to any selected body dealing with the case? As far as one can judge, the procedure to be followed by the Ministry would be something like this: Some person who is not kindly disposed to the widow would send an anonymous letter to the Minister. The pension would be stopped and the widow might never get an opportunity of submitting her case in any way. When a pension is stopped under the existing Ministry of Pensions procedure, the woman may appeal against, the decision. She submits a letter in which she embodies her own case to the best of her ability. I would like the right hon. Gentleman to tell us when, if ever, the widow is to be permitted to submit her own case in person, and if she does get that privilege, to whom she will be permitted to submit her case. Neither Clause 29 nor Clause 33 is clear on that point. How is the case to be dealt with by the referee? Will the widow have an opportunity of putting her own case? If not, will she be permitted to have the assistance of some legal authority, so that at least she will be certain that every point is put? As has been said, this is a contributory pensions scheme, and before one widow's pension is taken away, we ought to ensure that she has had every opportunity afforded her, at least to prove that she has in no way been immoral. Fair play ought to be given to her.
§ Mr. DENNIS HERBERT
This Amendment raises rather a serious point, and I hope that we may have some assistance from the Attorney-General. What 1174 occurred to me first, when the hon. Member moved the Amendment, was that it was obviously unnecessary, because if a pension to which a person is legally entitled is withheld on insufficient grounds, presumably the person concerned is entitled to sue in the Courts of Law. I am afraid that the Minister, when he replied, disturbed me a little by his reference to Clause 28, and when he spoke of reference to certain referees on the part of anyone who was dissatisfied with the award of the Minister. It looks to me very much as if this is one of those cases where the subject is going to be deprived of the right of resort to the Courts, and to be put off by the referees. What will the procedure be, supposing that the right of appeal is not taken away? Will the unfortunate pensioner, whose pension was improperly taken away, in order to sue for that pension have to file a petition of right, or what course can she take? Can she sue the Minister in his capacity as Minister? I do not know. It would be interesting if the Attorney-General would give us his views upon this point, and as to the right of the pensioners generally in the event of a pension being involved.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MELLER
Might I ask whether the procedure proposed under this Bill is not procedure very common to that under the National Health Insurance? As I understand the position, it is this. In this Sub-section we have the case of a woman who is receiving a pension and at the same time cohabiting. Report is made to the Minister, and, under Clause 33, having made some inquiry, he finds that a prima facie case has been made, and he issues his order that the pension shall thereupon be stopped. The woman says, "I disagree with the award of the Minister, and I claim to have my case heard by a court of referees appointed by the Minister." The court makes its award, and it can give an award which is contrary to the decision of the Minister. Let me recall to the Committee the procedure common under the National Health Insurance Act. A member makes a claim against an approved society. The society says, "We do not think your claim is well-founded, and we do not propose to meet the claim." The member thereupon, acting under the rules, can apply for 1175 arbitration. The arbitrator may give the award in favour of the society or in favour of the insured person. But, in any case, it is not the final court, because the insured person can go to the Minister of Health and say, "Will you, under the Act, appoint a referee to determine the case?" and he, having heard the case of the insured person, that person has the right to appeal, and I assume the procedure will be the same under this Bill. In the case of a woman, no doubt there will be a woman assessor sitting with the lawyer. The case is heard in a Court of Law, and, so far as the National Health Insurance Act is concerned, the proceedings set up under the Ministry of Health have been eminently satisfactory, and I know of no complaints against the procedure which has been adopted. You have the satisfaction of knowing that this course of procedure has been tried for a period of something like 13 years, and has not failed, so that the Committee may very well say to the Minister, "In this matter your experience has been good, and we are prepared to trust you."
§ Miss WILKINSON
I have consulted with the hon. and learned Member for Wallsend (Sir P. Hastings). He has looked into the matter raised by the Minister of Health, and thinks it well to withdraw this Amendment, provided that the Minister, when we come to Clause 28, will put in "or decision," so as to make the position quite clear. I ask leave, therefore, to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Lieut.-Colonel LAMBERT WARD
I beg to move, in page 20, line 36, at the end, to insert the wordsor if she is proved to be leading an immoral life.The case of a woman cohabitating with a man is dealt with in this Clause, but I think, from the point of view of the homo life, and from the point of view of the welfare of the children, it is a more serious matter to be indulging in immorality. In my opinion, the withdrawal of the previous Sub-section makes an Amendment of this character still more necessary. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister himself said when he withdrew that Sub-section that some safeguard or other might be necessary to deal 1176 with the case of prostitution, and I submit that this Amendment does provide a safeguard against prostitution, which, in the opinion of many people, and in my opinion, would be far more disastrous from the point of view of the children's welfare than the mere act of cohabiting with a man.
§ Mr. HARNEY
There is an Amendment immediately following in my name, and I do not know whether it will be regarded as covered by the Amendment in the name of the hon. Lady which she has just withdrawn. My Amendment covers a good deal of the same ground, but it puts it more specifically.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not think the withdrawal of the last Amendment in any way prejudices the hon. and learned Member. If the Amendment were accepted, he would have to recast it, but the withdrawal of the last Amendment makes no difference.
In considering the proposal put forward by my hon. and gallant Friend, it is well to remember that the Sub-section with which we are now dealing is not based upon the sexual immorality of the woman. It is based upon the fact that, by the act of cohabiting with a man, she is evading what is an essential part of this scheme. It is on the ground, therefore, of evasion of what is an essential part of the scheme that we put in this Sub-section, and not on the general ground that the woman is leading an immoral life. I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment on other grounds. There is no question in this case of prosecution, much less, of conviction in a Court of law. My hon. and gallant Friend does not say how proof is to be established that the woman is leading an immoral life. If it is to be the duty of the Minister to investigate in order to satisfy himself, I must respectfully decline.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I beg to move, in page 20, line 36, at the end, to insert the wordsif the Minister, after due inquiries, so decides.Provided that the woman shall have an opportunity of presenting her case personally or through a third, person on her behalf to a person or persons appointed by him.1177 I do not move this Amendment in order to reopen what was discussed by the hon. Lady, but the matter was then, left, in my submission, in a very unsatisfactory state. As I understand the position of Subsection (2) it is this. Of course, it is no offence for a woman to cohabit with a man, any more than it is for a man to cohabit with a woman, but it is said that, since you deprive a widow of her pension if she re-marries, it would be a rather anomalous thing to say she can continue to have her pension if she lives with a man without marrying. That I can quite understand, though even there there is a distinction, because if a widow re-marries, she is deprived of her pension because she has taken on another man whom the law places under an obligation to maintain her. But if she merely lives with a man, the law does not stand behind her, and that man can desert her the very next day, so that the cases are not alike. In one case, it is said she should lose her pension because the man is under an obligation to do what otherwise the State would do for her, whereas in the case of cohabitation she ought not to lose it, because the man is under no obligation to do what the State does for her. I do not press that, because it would be open to grave misconstruction, and would be regarded throughout the country as a premium on immorality. But what I think has not been made satisfactory is this. As I read the Bill, it says the woman shall be disqualifiedif and so long as she and any person are cohabiting together as man and wife.Who is to disqualify her? Not a word is said. Is it the Minister who is to disqualify her? Is it the local authority? Is it a disqualification by law, which has to be found out by appeal to a Court? Secondly, what is the disqualification for? Cohabiting. Is it for one night, two nights, three nights, four nights or any period? These are matters which cannot be left in this nebulous position, and, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman's answer to the hon. Lady was not really at all conclusive, because he said, "If you look further through the Bill, you will see that, assuming she is disqualified for cohabiting, then if she continues to draw her pension, she commits an offence, and can be prosecuted." That is all based on the assumption that she 1178 has committed the disqualifying offence. We want to ascertain how that disqualifying offence has been brought home. I have put in my Amendment the words, "if the Minister, after due inquiries, so decides." There you have, for the first time, put in the Clause that somebody has to decide the fact of cohabitation, and my Amendment leaves it to the Minister. I hope if the right hon. Gentleman will not accept my Amendment in this form, that he will accept it in some form which will ensure a decision as to whether there has been cohabitation by someone; secondly, that, upon that decision there shall be an appeal; and, thirdly, that the unfortunate woman herself shall have a say in the inquiry as to whether she has been cohabiting.
§ Mr. DALTON
I want to enforce, by way of question, one of the points the hon. and learned Gentleman has put. Is there a legal definition of cohabitation or not? If the right hon. Gentleman the Minister does not know, perhaps the Attorney-General will tell us. The thing is left quite vague, and if some layman has to decide on the matter of legal interpretation, we shall be in a complete fog.
I think the hon. and learned Member's words would not make matters much better, because he himself has not indicated what it is the Minister is to decide. There are two questions here. There is the question of the disqualification, and the question of the fact of cohabitation, and the fact having been established, then the disqualification follows automatically. I am advised that the Clause as drafted has the effect of leaving it in the hands of the Minister to decide upon the question of fact as to cohabitation and the definition is, generally speaking, perfectly well understood. The inquiries which the hon. Member suggests should be made will of course be made and I am quite ready to look at this Sub-section again in the light of the observations of the hon and learned Member who moved the Amendment. I will see whether it could be better or more clearly worded in order to carry out the intention which I have described and which, I think, is the intention in the mind of the hon. and learned Member himself.
§ Amendment negatived.1179
§ Motion made, and question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
Before we part with this Clause I should like to ask one question which I had intended to put to the right hon. Gentleman before he replied on the last Amendment. It is understood under this Clause that the machinery for penalising anybody committing an offence will be upon the lines provided in the National Health Insurance scheme and, so far as I know, there has not been much complaint as to the working of that scheme. Any scheme must provide for cases of this kind even though they are very rare, but when a woman is penalised by the withdrawal of a pension, consequent upon the fact that she has been cohabiting, I would like to know whether that penalty remains in force against her even though the co-habitation may cease. I think it would be wrong to pass legislation which would penalise the woman throughout her whole life simply because she had been found to commit an offence of the kind I have indicated. An hon. and learned Member opposite made some remarks about power to sue for benefits of this kind. So far as my knowledge goes there is no such power, and I know of no provision which would entitle an insured person under the Unemployment Insurance scheme, the National Health Insurance scheme or the Old Age Pension scheme to go to a Court of Law and sue for benefits. I am unwilling to give power to the legal profession to exploit this scheme as they are exploiting some other schemes. I am sorry to see so much money wasted on legal costs in connection with workmen's compensation, and I feel satisfied that the Minister realises that none of this money ought to be expended as money is expended, sometimes recklessly, in connection with workmen's compensation cases. I hope the Attorney-General will appreciate my point—that where a woman is penalised under this Clause, the penalty should be for a given period only, and that should she be given the opportunity of redeeming herself.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am very glad to be able to answer this question. I think I can do so quite shortly and satisfactorily. If the hon. Member looks 1180 at the words of the disqualification he will find that the woman is disqualifiedif and so long as she and any person are cohabiting together as man and wife.The moment cohabitation ceases ipso facto her qualification is restored.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Personally I do not feel disposed to agree to this Clause becoming part of the Bill unless we have a further definite understanding from the Parliamentary Secretary or the Attorney-General that the widow in every case will be given the opportunity of submitting her case to an impartial tribunal. One need not go over the arguments already submitted, and the results of the present procedure are so well known that it is unnecessary to repeat them, but surely the Parliamentary Secretary or the Attorney-General ought to guarantee to the Committee that when cases of this kind occur some better provision will be made for the widow to submit her case than is made under the Ministry of Pensions at the present moment. Let me put a hypothetical case based upon cases which have already happened, where widows have been deprived of pensions under the present Ministry of Pensions arrangement. The breadwinner is carried away prematurely, leaving a family behind, and the widow perforce must apply to the guardians. She is very often invited by the guardians to perform some kind of work, such as washing, and in case that is not available, then they ask her if she can take in lodgers. Lodgers are imposed upon thousands of women in older to eke out the inadequate sums granted in Poor Law relief.
Take the case of a widow, in these circumstances, who, under pressure from the guardians, accepts a lodger under her roof and later gets on friendly terms with some other individual, who is a potential husband. Surely it is not yet a crime in Britain for a widow to contemplate matrimony for the second time. Let us assume that nature follows the usual course and that an offence under this Bill is committed, and that the woman subsequently finds that the man in whom she is placing her faith has turned tail and has left her in her sad condition. The fact that she has a lodger under her root is prima facie evidence that cohabitation has been taking place, and unless something is done so that her full case can be sub- 1181 mitted, she will lose her pension and will never have an opportunity of proving her case or justifying her actions. There are oases on record where widows' pensions have been taken away, and the widow herself has never had an opportunity of putting her case to a supposed impartial tribunal. Therefore, I do not think that we ought to allow such a provision to be repeated in this Bill. Men and boys and women all have to pay for these pensions before the pensions can be received, and they ought not to be deprived of those pensions and run the risk of having their characters brutalised by a section of the community which very often knows nothing about the situation which has resulted in an accident—to say the least of it—to the widow. Before we allow this Clause to pass in its present form, we ought to know whether in the Regulations or in some later Clause, such as Clause 28 or Clause 33, some definite provision will be made whereby a widow will be enabled to present her case to a tribunal either of local men or of National Insurance referees, or some body before whom she can put every part of her case and explain the whole circumstances with a fair, even chance of retaining the pension.
Mr. T. THOMSON
I wish to join in the appeal that has just been made to have an assurance before we leave this Clause that machinery will be provided whereby a woman may have every opportunity of making out her case. Reference has been made to the machinery under the National Health Insurance Act in regard to appeals, but I submit that there is a great difference between the two cases. In the one case the authority set up was the Minister of Health to deal with appeals against an approved society, but in this case it is an appeal against the Minister himself, and the Minister occupies a dual capacity; he sets up the authority, and he decides the appeal. Therefore, it stems to me that some additional protection is necessary, and I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will give an assurance that the women whose cases are brought under this Clause will have every opportunity of making known their eases and of having assistance in placing them before whatever authority is set up. It is very important that a House such as this is, composed predominantly of men, 1182 should not do anything to place women who have to come before these courts at a disadvantage. We want to be particularly chivalrous and even meticulous to see that they have every advantage in making good their cases when they are brought under this Sub-section.
§ Mr. KELLY
I hope we shall divide against this Clause. I certainly cannot understand why it should be placed in this Bill, because one does not find the same restrictions in regard to pensions for civil servants or those in the Array and Navy. There is no such disqualification attaching to those people, and why we should place it in this Bill is something that I cannot understand. As I say, I hope to have an opportunity of going into the Division Lobby against it. I want to join in the appeal with regard to those widows who, because of their position, are compelled to take in lodgers in order to eke out a living. I know of one such case, where I, along with others, have investigated the whole circumstances, and I cannot find a scrap of evidence that warranted the Government Department taking away this widow's pension, but, because of statements made by people who did not like the woman, and for no other reason at all that I could discover, the widow has lost her pension and has been dealt with in that way for a considerable time, and we have not been able to have the position altered. Knowing full well how local committees who advise Government Departments treat such cases, I hope the Committee is going to divide against this particular Clause remaining in the Bill. Sub-section (2) is quite as bad as Subsection (1), which the Government have already agreed to withdraw, and I hope even yet that they will agree to the withdrawal of this Sub-section.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
It is obvious, from the language of the last speaker, that it is no good trying to convince him, because he is going to divide against the Clause, whatever happens—we have no intention of withdrawing it—but there may be others whose minds are more open to reason, and for their benefit I may explain that the object of the Clause, as it now stands, as, indeed, has already been stated by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, is that the pension is given until re-marriage. If you allow a woman, by the mere device of not 1183 going through the ceremony of marriage, to live with a man as his wife and continue to draw this benefit, you are, as a previous speaker has said, putting a premium on immorality, and that we are not prepared to do.
Now I want to answer the more serious questions put to me, and I hope to give a satisfactory answer to both of them. Both the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) and the hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) were anxious to be assured that there would be an opportunity for the widows to put their case. There is every intention that there shall be that opportunity. As we understand the Clause, the decision of the Minister that a particular widow is disqualified by reason of cohabitation would obviously be subject to appeal under Clause 28. My right hon. Friend has said that he will make sure that that is so, and, therefore, hon. Members on both sides may be quite sure that there will be an appeal under Clause 28. When you come to Clause 28, you will find, under Sub-section (2), that the appeal is to be made, not, as the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough thought, to somebody appointed by the Minister, but to somebody selected from a panel of referees, to be appointed in accordance with regulations, made, not by the Minister, but by the National Health Insurance Committee, and as the Committee has already heard, the National Health Insurance Committee has been operating precisely similar powers under the National Health Insurance Act for some years past.
The procedure was explained by my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Meller) better than I can do it, and he has told the Committee how ample provision is made that every case that comes before these panels is heard in full and that the person who appeals has an opportunity of fully stating his or her case, and, although I am speaking in the presence of people who know better than I do, I think it is a fact that the procedure which has been there laid down has operated quite smoothly and with satisfaction to all parties during all the years that it has been in operation. We propose that the same procedure shall be used with regard to this Bill as has been 1184 used successfully with regard to the previous one, and a procedure which, as I have said, does in fact provide for the widow to have an opportunity of stating her case.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
The Minister has not explained why the Government propose to make a difference between one woman and another, and it seems to me that the widow, who has the least chance of any, is to be made a scapegoat under this Clause. I have had some experience of the poor, a very long experience, and I know only too well the position of the widow with children. A widow appearing before a board of guardians which has no soul—and some have not—is told, because she is living in a locality that is only decent, that the rent is too great, and that she must get out of that part of the town or village into some other part, where she may pay less rent, and consequently neither widow nor children have any chance. I plead for the widow, that we should give her an opportunity. She has enough enemies without the law making more. There are plenty of people who are always ready to do her an unkindly act. That has been my experience all alone the line, and I trust that, after these matters have been placed fully before the Government, they will say that the widow has as much right to justice as any other body coming under this Act.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
I listened to the Attorney-General with great foreboding, because I think it is the first time that a provision of this kind has been inserted in any Statute. I do not think you will find any precedent for inserting a vague excuse such as this for depriving somebody of something for which they have contributed and to which they are, therefore, entitled. I rest my objection on this: I quite realise the Attorney-General's point that it is obviously undesirable and against the taxpayers' interest that a person should avoid marriage in order to obtain the pension for which re-marriage is a disqualification. That is a perfectly comprehensible point, but it has hitherto been the pride of English law that it has been specific and definite, and to insert in an Act of Parliament a phrase of this kind, that for cohabitation a person shall be disqualified, without defining what cohabitation means, seems to me to be placing the law on a very vague basis and to be placing 1185 the woman in a very degrading position, You may say that there is a reference to the Court of Referees, and a decision; but what sort of trial is that going to be? How is the woman going to be represented? What is the charge against her? Are you going to draw up an indictment and say that this woman did this, that and the other at certain times, or in what way are you going to bring this charge against her? In what way is she going to be able to meet it? This is a very serious point.
I do not think there is a precedent in English law for setting up an offence which you do not define in clear and specific terms. Then, another ground on which I object to the Clause is this, that the Minister becomes a moral arbiter. He becomes a censor of morals. The Minister of Health was not selected for his particular appointment because of his moral qualifications, not because of his ability to discriminate between good and evil in an ethical sense. He was selected, presumably, because of his political capacity. If you are going to call upon him to exercise a kind of moral jurisdiction you are placing him in a most invidious and unfair position. You are saying to him in effect there is something of the devil about that particular woman, and you have to decide what actually took place! How can the right hon. Gentleman do it? He has not the apparatu.3 for deciding. He cannot call the necessary evidence, and, therefore, he cannot give a fair decision in the matter. You are setting up for the Minister an office for which it is obvious he was never intended at all. I hope that between
§ now and the Report stage that this aspect of the matter will be considered. Anybody may become a Minister of Health nowadays, whatever his views may be. A lady may become Minister of Health. Mrs. Grundy herself might be appointed to that august position, and under her ægis and regime we do not know what might happen. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am told she is very anxious to get here. Many more women will be then disqualified than under the broad and just jurisdiction of the present Minister. I feel it is the most serious point, and I resent the suggestion put forward. I, however, quite appreciate the reasons for which it has been put forward, but I think those reasons should be couched in language which can be "understanded of the people" who have got to suffer for it. I quite understand that while a person has to be maintained in a public institution that you ought to deprive him or her of benefit under this Bill-if you are spending money on them. But there is no reason whatever to select one particular form of moral iniquity which you call cohabitation, and say it is a very much graver thing than any other thing which can possibly be done. As a matter of fact, everybody knows that there are many more serious crimes, or sins, and greater sins, than cohabitation. Why do you not,select some of these? There are many more sinful things than cohabitation, and I submit it is very unfair to select this particular one.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 241; Noes, 125.1189
|Division No. 276.]||AYES.||[6.45 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gates, Percy|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Chapman, Sir S.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Alexander, Sir Win. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Christie, J. A.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Clarry, Reginald George||Grace, John|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Clayton, G. C.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cooper, A. Duff||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Balniel, Lord||Cope, Major William||Guinness. Rt. Hon. Waiter E.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Couper, J. B.||Gunston Captain D. W.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.||Mall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Harland, A.|
|Berry, Sir George||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bethell, A.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. w.||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootie)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Davies, Maj Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovit)||Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Dawson, Sir Philip||Herbert, S,(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Dixey, A. C||Hogg, Rt. Hon Sir D.(St Marylebone)|
|Broun-Lindsay. Major H.||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Brown, Maj. D. C.(N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Drewe, C.||Holt. Capt. H. P.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Edmonson, Major A. J.||Homan, C. W. J.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Elveden, Viscount||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Burman, J. B.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)|
|Butler. Sir Geoffreyo||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Fermoy, Lord||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Fielden, E. B.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Fleming, D. P.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Classes, J. D.||Ford, P. J.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Cazalet Captain Victor A.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Kennedy. A. R. (Preston)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Ganzoni, Sir John||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Storry Deans, R.|
|Kinloch Cooke, sir Clement||Perring, William George||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Strickland, sir Gerald|
|Lane-Fax, Colonel George R.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Pielou, D. p.||Sugden, Sir Wilfred|
|Loder, J. de V.||Plicher, G.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Looker, Herbert William||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Lougher, L.||Preston, William||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Price, Major C. W. M.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Raine, W.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Mac Andrew, Charles Glen||Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Rawson, Alfred Cooper||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Rentoul, G, S.||Waddington, R.|
|McLean, Major A.||Rice, Sir Frederick||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Ward, Lt.-Cot. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Ropner, Major L.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Making, Brigadier-General E||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wells, S. R.|
|Margesson. Captain D.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Meller, R. J.||Sandon. Lord||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Merriman, F. B.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Savery, S. S.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Shaw, Capt. W. w. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Simms, Or. John M. (Co. Down)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Moreing, Captain A. H.||Sinclair, Col T. (Queen's Univ-, Beilst)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Skelton, A. N.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Staney, Major P- Kenyon||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Ripon)'|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Newton, Sir D, G. c. (Cambridge)||Smithers, Waldron||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'l'd.)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Spender Clay, Colonel H.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Oakley, T.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sdsn, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Orsmby-Gore, Hon. William||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G-(Westm'eland)||Captain Douglas Hacking and|
|Penny, Frederick George||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Mr. F. C. Thomson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pentypool)||Montague. Frederick|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Groves, T.||Morris, R. H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Grundy, T. W.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Owen. Major G.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Baker, Walter||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Barnes, A.||Hardle, George D.||Potts, John S.|
|Barr, J.||Harney, E. A.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Batey, Joseph||Harris, Percy A.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Ritson, J.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hastings, Sir Patrick||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Bromley, J.||Hayday, Arthur||Robertson, J. (Lanark. Bothwell)|
|Buchanan. G.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burniey)||Robinson. Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Charleton. H. C.||Hirst, G. H.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Clowes, S.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Rose, Frank H,|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sakiatvala, Shapurji|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sexton, James|
|Compton, Joseph||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Connolly, M.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Cove, W. G.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness).|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Kelly. W. T.||Smith. H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Rennie (Penlstone)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Snell, Harry|
|Dennison, R.||Kenyon, Barnet||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Duncan, C.||Kirkwood, D.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lawson, John James||Stephen, Campbell|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lee, F.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollex)|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Weish Univer.)||Livingstone, A. M.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Forrest, W.||Lowth, T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lunn, William||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Thurtie, E.|
|Glilett, George M.||Macdonald. Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gosling, Harry||Mackinder, W.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Viant, S. P.|
|Greenall, T.||March, S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maxton, James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Whiteley, W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Wiggins. William Martin||Windsor, Walter|
|Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah||Wilkinson, Ellen C.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Westwood, J.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Warne and Mr. T. Henderson.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Brass, captain W.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Briggs, J. Harold||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool.W. Derby)||Briscoe, Richard George||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Chapman, Sir S.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Chilcott, Sir Warden|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Brown, Maj. D. C.(N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Christie, J. A.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Bullock, Captain M.||Clayton, G. C.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Berry, Sir George||Burman, J. B.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Bethell, A.||Burney, Lieut..Com. Charles D.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Couper, J. B.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Butt, Sir Alfred||Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Blundell, F.N.||Campbell, E. T.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Casseis, J. D.||Crook, C. W.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar)||Raine, W.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel|
|Cunlitte, Joseph Herbert||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rawson, Alfred Cooper|
|Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Remer, J. R.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Davidson, (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Hurd, Percy A.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Strettord)|
|Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F, (Somerset, Yeovil)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Jacob, A. E,||Rye, F.C.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Jephcott, A. R.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Drewe, C.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sandon Lord|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Elveden, viscount||Lamb, J. Q.||Savery, S. S.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Little, Or. E. Graham||Shaw, Lt. Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G,||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Finburgh, S.||Loder, J. de V.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Fleming, D. P.||Looker, Herbert William||Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Univ., Beltst.)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lougher, L.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Forrest, W.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Lumley, L. R.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E,||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||McLean, Major A.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macmillan, Captain H.||Stanley, Hon. o. F. G.(Westm'eland)|
|Gates, Percy||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Storry Deans, R.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel w. H.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Grace, John||Meller, R. J.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Greene, W. p. Crawford||Merriman, F. B.||Tasker, Major R. Ingo|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Meyer, Sir Frank||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Waiter E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Waddington, R.|
|Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Easthourne)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hammersley, S, S.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Harland, A.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wells, S. R.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Oakley, T.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Harvey, Major s. E. (Devon, Totnes)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hasiam, Henry C.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Penny, Frederick George||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V, L. (Bootie)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Perring, William George||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Philipson, Mabel||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hogg. Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Pielou, D. p.||Wood. R. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Pilcher G.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Holt. Capt. H. p.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Wragg, Herburt|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Preston William|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Major Cope and Major Hennessy.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. VI. (Fife, West)||Cove, W. G.||Guest. J. (York, Hemsworth)|
|Adamson, w. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Guest, Dr. L, Haden (Southwark, N.)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbor')||Dalton, Hugh||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Hall. G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hardle, George D.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Day, Colonel Harry||Harris, Percy A.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Dennison, R.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Barr, J.||Duncan, C.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Henderson, Right Hon A. (Burnley)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Broad, F. A.||Gibbins, Joseph||Hirst, G. H|
|Bromley, J.||Gillett, George M.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Buchanan, G.||Gosling, Harry||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Charleton, H. C.||Greenall, T.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Clowes, S.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Compton, Joseph||Groves, T.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Connolly, M.||Grundy, T. W.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Kennedy, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Potts, John S.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Kirkwood, D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thurtie, E.|
|Lawson, John James||Riley, Ben||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Lee, F.||Ritson, J.||Viant, S. P.|
|Lindley, F. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Livingstone, A. M.||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Lowth, T.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Lunn, William||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Scurr, John||Westwood, J.|
|Mackinder, W.||Sexton, James||Wheatley, Bt. Hon. J.|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Whiteley, W.|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilkinson, Ellen c.|
|March, S.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Maxton, James||Sitch, Charles H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighiey)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Montague, Frederick||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Morris, R. H.||Snell, Harry||Windsor, Walter|
|Morrison. R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wright, W.|
|Oliver, George Harold||Stamford, T. W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster. Newton)|
|Paling, W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Warne and Mr. A. Barnes.|
Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 22.—(Residential qualification of pensioners, etc.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Sir A. Mond)— in page 21, line 11, at the beginning, to insert the words "Except as hereinafter provided "—is unnecessary. With regard to the next four Amendments, standing in the names of the hon. Member for the University of Wales (Captain E. Evans), the hon. Member for Peckham (Mr. Dalton), and the hon. Member for Devon-port (Major Hore-Belisha), they raise practically the same issue, and I suggest that they should all four be discussed together. I do not say necessarily that Divisions might not be taken on them separately, if they were thought to of sufficiently important, but I think the discussion must embrace all four.
§ Mr. DALTON
I beg to move, in page 21, line 13, to leave out paragraph (a).
I am moving this Amendment in the absence of the six Liberal Members who had put their names to an Amendment, and whose interest in the Bill is waning or who are taking a late meal. I regard this Clause as being very objectionable. The paragraph which I am moving to omit creates yet another offence. Under the last Clause, cohabitation becomes an offence: and under this Clause foreign travel is to be made an offence. The Clause provides that persons absenting themselves from Great Britain, even though they have crossed to Northern Ireland, will lose their pensions during the period of their absence. I cannot imagine any purpose which this provision is sup- 1190 posed to serve, except that of effecting a mean and unjustifiable economy. It if no longer the case, as it was at one time, that foreign travel is the monopoly of the rich, and I am very glad that it is so. It is one of the most hopeful signs of the times that foreign travel is being brought more and more within the reach of sections of the community who at one time were unable to afford it. Organisations such as the Workers' Travel Association are doing most excellent work, and making a very practical contribution towards international understanding by enabling large sections of those among whom these pensioners will be found to take holidays in foreign countries as cheaply, very often, as they do here.
While a person going to Margate for a fortnight will retain his pension, anyone crossing the Channel to some resort on the French or Belgian coast will lose it. As I understand this Clause, it applies both to old age pensions and to widows' pensions; perhaps I shall be corrected if I am wrong. That means that an old man or old woman who crosses to France in order to stand by the grave of a son killed in the War is deprived of pension for the period of absence. Many other examples could be quoted to show the extraordinarily objectionable and arbitrary nature of this Clause. Even crossing to Ulster is an offence which will entail loss of pension. T think these considerations alone, though many others could be added, suffice to show that paragraph (a) should be omitted.
If this Amendment be not accepted, what machinery is to be set up in order 1191 to trace the movements of pensioners crossing the Irish Channel or crossing to France or Belgium? It is quite true that by an elaborate method of liaison with the Foreign Office and other agencies of espionage it might be possible to trace people, but it is going to add considerably to the cost and the trouble, and I think that on grounds both of justice and of administrative expediency the case made out for the Amendment is unanswerable. That does not mean that it will not be answered, but I submit that it cannot be answered in any very satisfactory manner.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
I cannot understand why residence abroad should be added to the undesirable occupations which this Bill desires to prevent. I would ask the Attorney-General, or whoever is going to reply, what is to happen in the case of those engaged in His Majesty's forces. You are exacting contributions from them, and yet you say that if they should choose to settle at a foreign station, as many of them do, then they cannot get a farthing of benefit for any of their contributions. Have the Government considered the position of these officers and men? If not, I feel sure that they will accept this Amendment? Nothing is more common than that a wife should join her husband abroad and remain there, and it seems inconsiderate and ill-considered that you should put this provision into this Clause.
One of the main objections to the pre-War Pensions Act is this inhibition against foreign travel, because you prevent an old man joining his son in Canada or going abroad for any other purpose. However desirable this may be in a non-contributory pension scheme, it certainly cannot be justified in a contributory pension scheme. There is no insurance company in the country which would deprive persons of benefit upon the ground that they did not happen to be residing in this country. It is mainly on account of the position of those engaged in His Majesty's Service that I support this Amendment. There are many other servants of the Crown who go to places like India and Shanghai and who may so like the climate that they stay there. Under these circumstances I fail to see how this Subsection can be justified.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
May I first correct a misapprehension? The Mover of this Amendment said that this was a new offence created under this Bill, and whoever went abroad forfeited his pension, and that there would have to be elaborate machinery set up to ascertain when a person was out of Great Britain. When one looks at the Clause closely, it will be found that it does not do anything such as the hon. Member seems to imagine. Nobody forfeits any pension who travels. The only point is that the pension is not payable while the person is abroad, and if one of these insured persons indulges in foreign travel, he can go abroad for six weeks or two or three months enjoying foreign travel, and when he comes back he can draw the arrears of his pension. It is an entire mistake to suppose that this Clause automatically forfeits the pension if anybody goes abroad. All it does is to provide that while the person is abroad he shall not draw the pension, and the maximum he is allowed to draw at one time is three months.
The question of a persons movements does not really arise, because if the pensioner is abroad he cannot come to the Post Office to get his pension money. It would be almost impossible to provide, as desired by the Mover of this Amendment, that when these old age pensioners and widows are travelling abroad they should be provided with facilities for obtaining their 10s. a week at whatever foreign resort they might be visiting. The real purpose is to provide that, if they are absent from Great Britain, they cannot, while away, receive the pension payable to them, and they will not get it until they come back. In paragraph (b) we provide that the maximum amount they can draw is three months, and there is no question of a penalty being placed on foreign travel.
It has been suggested that this is a new departure, but so far from this being the case, I would like to point out that this provision has been taken out of the Old Age Pensions Act. 1911. which has been the law for the last 14 years. If hon. Members will look at Section 5 of the Act of 1911, they will find precisely the provision which has been called by some hon. Members an unprecedented novelty and 1193 an infringement of the rights of citizens. I am now dealing with the point that this disqualification is said to be an unprecedented innovation. It is true that the Old Age Pensions Act did not deal with contributory pensions, but with pensions given to aged people, but it gave them on certain conditions, and one of those conditions was exactly the one we are now discussing. Therefore there is no question of it being an unprecedented innovation, and it is merely a re-enactment of an existing restriction. It is said that this restriction is unreasonable because there would be members of His Majesty's Forces abroad who would stay there until 65, and they would not be able to draw their pension. I doubt whether many of them remain in the Force until they are 65 years of age, but those who stay abroad until they reach that age would not be taking on those duties after leaving the Force, and therefore they would not be insured persons.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If the retired member of the force is not an insured person, whether in England or not, his widow does not get a pension.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Obviously, if she dies while he is an insured person, she will not be there to draw the pension.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If a member of the force retires he would in every case drop out of the insured persons and he would not be contributing to benefits.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I will look into that case, but, as far as the general scheme of the Bill is concerned, people who are resident outside Great Britain are not insured persons. The position with regard to people who go abroad is that they can go abroad for three months and come back and draw 1194 their arrears of pension, and continue to be entitled to their pension. The only loss that would be sustained in such cases would be that, if they started on a long trip and did not come back within three months, they could not then draw the excess pension beyond the three months. That provision, as I have said, has been taken from the Act of 1911, where, as far as I know, it has worked quite satisfactorily. It does not seem unreasonable, because any provision that people abroad should be entitled to pension would lead to very great administrative difficulties in regard to payment, and also in regard to ascertaining, in the case of a widow, whether she was still alive, or had remarried, or otherwise become disqualified. It would be quite impossible to deal with matters of that kind, because the people concerned might be in various parts of the world, possibly even at the other end of the world. I think that when the Clause is looked into it will be seen that there is really no grievance, and no more reason in this case than in the Old Age Pensions Act, 1911, to provide that people abroad shall continue to draw pensions while they are away, although there is no machinery available.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
May I ask the Attorney-General to consider this Clause in the light of possible developments in the distribution of population within the Empire—
§ The CHAIRMAN
There is another Amendment dealing with that point, which I propose to call presently, and we cannot have two discussions.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have ruled that the first of those was unnecessary, but the one to which I am referring will be called separately. It is the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Attercliffe (Mr. Cecil Wilson), in page 21, line 14, after the word "Britain," to insert the words "and not in any of His Majesty's Dominions." The particular case of those who are resident within the Empire would come in on that Amendment.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
I understood you to rule that the four Amendments could be dealt with together, and that was why I rose to put this point.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Do I understand that there will be an opportunity to discuss this point on that Amendment?
§ Mr. TAYLOR
And, even if this Clause be passed, will it be possible on the later Amendment to consider the cases of people who leave this country at the age of 65 and go to reside, say, with their sons in Cadada?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am not speaking of the Clause being passed, but of the discussion on the point raised by the hon. Member. All I have said is that I propose to call an Amendment dealing with the case of those who go to the Dominions, and we cannot have two discussions. That case will coma under that Amendment, and not under the present Amendment. I have taken great care to save that Amendment in the way I put the question, and the whole question of those who go, not abroad, but to other parts of the Empire, will come in on that Amendment.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The Attorney-General is an exceedingly skilful debater, and usually puts his points with extreme lucidity, but I am bound to confess that on this occasion he has failed to convince me that the parallels he has quoted between the Act of 1911 and the present Bill are altogether on all fours. He has quoted the Act of 1911 as giving some ground for the insertion of this three months' disqualification in the present Bill, but surely the distinction is that, in the first case, the State granted a pension to persons who were 70 years of age, while in the present case the moneys received by the persons have been paid for by themselves. That does seem to me to constitute a very real difference between the cases, and to show that the circumstances are not on all fours. I suggest that the Government should reconsider their decision on this matter. When the State is granting a pension, it might be perfectly right to insert the Clause referred to in the Act of 1911, and it may be that it has worked quite well, but the circumstances here are different. In the case of the Act of 1911 it might be argued that generally there would 1196 be no hardship, because the recipients of such pensions would not be in a position to travel abroad to any great extent; but in this case the thrift disqualification has been swept aside, and, therefore, that argument does not arise. The main argument in favour of this Amendment is the one referring to the three months' disqualification. The recipients have paid for this pension, and have a right to get it, no matter how long they may be out of the country having paid for the moneys which they hope to receive.
§ Sir MALCOLM MACNAGHTEN
I was extremely glad to hear that the Attorney-General will give his careful consideration to the case of Members of His Majesty's Forces who might lose their pension by residence abroad. May I invite his attention to a particular case, which I think is deserving of special consideration, namely, the ease of those members of His Majesty's Forces who are recruited in Northern Ireland? I am entitled to appeal on their behalf more especially because it appears, from the Reports of the Director-General of Recruiting, that it is from Northern Ireland that the larger number—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think this, too, is an argument proper to the subsequent Amendment in the name, of the hon. Member for Attercliffe.
I want to detain the Committee for a moment to clear up a matter with regard to soldiers taking their discharge, or to their widows or their families, abroad, which, unfortunately, owing to a slip of my tongue in putting it, the Attorney-General, with his usual legal skill, was able to evade instead of replying to it. The point which he did not answer, and which he was saved from answering owing to his ability to take advantage of my slip, was that you are going to mulct serving soldiers every week, every month, and every year of their service you are going to collect money from them by stopping it out of their wages, whether they want to pay it or not, and then, if these men, after serving their country in one of the Dominions or Colonies or in some other place abroad, marry out there, as many of them do, and have children out there, they have to pay 1197 during all those years and are going to receive nothing at all for it. It may be all right—although it is doubtful—under the Act of 1911, where something is given without people paying for it, to make all these rules and difficulties in obtaining their benefit, but any insurance company that ventured to go to the public of this country and say, "Pay us so much a week, and then, after you have paid it for years and years, we will decide if your moral character and the place where you live entitle you to receive the pension," would do very bad business. I would suggest to the Minister in charge of the Bill that it is most unfair to take advantage of the State's authority to levy compulsory contributions in this very unfair method of State trading. I also want the right hon. Gentleman to give us some reply to the question raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham (Mr. Dalton). He wanted to know what was going to happen to an Irish woman who had lived here with her husband, perhaps both of them having paid insurance contributions for a very long time. The husband dies and the woman voluntarily goes back to her parents in Ireland, and the Government step in and say, "We have collared your money, but we are not going to give you any kind of pension for it just because you choose to live in Northern Ireland, where your parents are, instead or in England." It seems to me if any commercial company adopted that method of carrying on business, we should be united in stigmatising it accurately as barefaced robbery. What we would not permit in commercial companies under our jurisdiction, we should certainly not permit ourselves to inflict upon the hapless electorate of the country. The same thing, of course, applies to people who, after spending their years in British industry, giving at least as much to British industry as they take out, wish, as many old people do, to return to their birthplace when they are getting old. Are those people, if they want to go back to their country, to be robbed of their pension under a mean and pettifogging Act of this description? I hope, if the Government are going to persist in the Clause, they will at least meet us and give us a straightforward reason for doing so, and not merely shelter behind meaning- 1198 less debating points which do credit neither to their skill nor to their kindness of heart.
§ Mr. RILEY
I wish to call attention to a case to which it seems to me the Government cannot have given adequate consideration. It is the case of the many thousands of Englishmen who, particularly during the War, made connections and associations with foreigners in Belgium, France and Germany and married Belgian, French or German women and have since then settled down in this country with their wives. What is the Government going to do? As the Clause now stands, it would appear that the widows of all these men, thousands of them, when they lose their husbands, it may be at 50 or 60 years of age, desire to go back to spend the remainder of their lives with their people and they have no pension at all. Upon what ground can a Clause of that kind be defended, particularly in view of the fact that the husband has to contribute during the whole of his working life, and the widow at the end finds that she has to be tied down absolutely to remain in this country, though she may have no friend or relations here? I do not see how that can possibly be defended—depriving a widow of that class of the right to a pension to which her husband contributed. Then you have the case of young men marrying Belgian, French or German women coming and settling down in industry, working and paying the contributions, and in many cases the wives themselves go into industry, and are liable, of course, for the insurance contribution. Under the Clause as it stands that type of person will be deprived entirely of benefit unless she elects to stay in this country after her husband has died. You have also the case, for instance, of the large number of Belgians in particular who came over to this country shortly after the outbreak of the War and were occupied in trade here. Many of them remained after the War, marrying possibly women from Belgium but spending the whole of their industrial life in this country, paying the contributions, and when the husband dies, the wife is compelled to remain there without friends or relations. That is an aspect of the Clause which is entirely unjustifiable and the Government should make some arrangements to meet it.
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
I should like to assist subsequent discussion by putting before the Parliamentary Secretary a point he might deal with on another Amendment but arising out of the Attorney-General's speech. The Attorney-General gave us a comparison which is entirely erroneous. He compared this Bill with the Old Age Pension Bill of 1911. There was another Bill in 1911, the National Insurance Bill, and we have been told over and over again that this Bill is modelled on the provisions of the National Insurance Act. I should like to know why the Attorney-General took the comparison from the Old Age Pensions Act and not from the National Insurance Act. Under the National Insurance Act this very case is dealt with. If a member of a. society emigrates, arrangements are made by which, if he joins a foreign society which gives a similar benefit, he can go with his transfer value. That, I know, breaks down because there are no such foreign societies, but by the next Section such a member, if he wishes, can have his transfer value placed to his account as a deposit contributor and can withdraw that sum if he is so inclined. That is the parallel and I should like to know why the right hon. Gentleman chooses the Od Age Pensions Act of 1911 and not the National Insurance Act, 1911. The difficulty in the National Insurance Act now is that most of these emigrants do not know their rights and do not therefore draw this money. But the money is there if they wish to obtain it, and surely the proper procedure is to adopt the principle of the National Insurance Act and say that in such a cafe those who come under the provision should know their rights and obtain their money.
§ Mr. OLIVER
The inference to be drawn from the Attorney-General's observations is that pensioners who reside abroad must of necessity have some other means whereby they support themselves. Many engineering firms in this country are opening out in different parts of the world. In the engineering trade in particular, a company with which I was associated for many years have opened a place in France and also a place in the United States. What is going to happen to these people who have contributed for their pensions? If they go to reside in 1200 the United States or in Paris, are they going to be denied this pension, for which they have been paying no doubt for many years? I would like the Attorney-General to apply himself to that point and, if possible, give an answer.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I would like to make one or two observations on statements of hon. Gentlemen opposite to clear up one or two matters so far as this Clause is concerned. I want to make it perfectly clear that, from the point of view of the administration of the scheme, it is obviously impossible to deal with such cases as were mentioned by the hon. Gentleman opposite. He gave an instance of someone who had contributed in this country for some time and married a Belgian and then went to live in Belgium. Subject to the qualification I am going to make,. I know of no pension scheme, private or public, which would permit of people going abroad in that way.
§ Mr. RILEY
I think the hon. Gentleman does not understand. There is the the case of the English soldier coming back from Belgium, settling down in this country for the remainder of his life, paying contributions, and when the husband dies, his wife, who was a Belgian woman, goes back to Belgium. Her husband has paid for her pension.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I quite see the point. The answer to that is that the pension was paid for subject to the conditions of the scheme. The Belgian woman, in marrying a British man, becomes a British subject, and it would be impossible for us to administer a scheme of this kind to people dotted up and down various Continental cities. It is practically an impossibility. I think we must have some regard to the administration of the scheme. How could any scheme which we set up in this country be administered in the case of the lady to whom the hon. Gentleman has just referred? She has gone back to Belgium, another woman has probably gone to France. It would be impossible for any scheme to be administered under those conditions. We would not know whether the conditions of the scheme were being fulfilled. It is for that reason that we are bound to make conditions with people who come into the scheme. I am only dealing with the point of view of the Belgian woman who marries a British man.
§ Sir K. WOOD
If a woman living in Belgium obtained the benefits from this country, how is she going to get them, and how are we, from the point of view of administering this scheme, to see that she is complying with the conditions of the scheme? We could not say in the case of a woman living in Belgium or France if these conditions are being complied with. It is unfortunate, if you like, but obviously any machine would break down if you saddled on to it administration in regard to women in every country under the sun. I want to point out to the Committee a matter which at any rate I think will mitigate the position. I do not myself regard this as a hardship. I think people who insure under a British scheme must comply with the conditions which would be imposed by any scheme whether contributory or non-contributory. I believe, if this were a non-contributory scheme, that it would be equally impossible to administer it to people living in any other country. Obviously it must be part of any British scheme, contributed to by employers and employés, that it must be administered in such a fashion that we can see the conditions are being complied with. Obviously we cannot see that the conditions are being complied with if people are living abroad. I am impressed with two matters which I shall mention and I think we shall have to see what can be done. I am impressed with the case of, say, a soldier maintaining his wife abroad, as in some cases happens, and, we will say, he dies. What is the position of his widow? Is she to be deprived of the pension or not? I think in the great majority of cases obviously the widow will return immediately to this country and she will then be in receipt of the pension. There may be a few cases which I myself would be very anxious to meet. In a case where a man has served his country and is quite properly under the regulations, I would like to see if possible if anything could be done. Clause 34 does give power to the Minister to remove difficulties in certain cases and I hope this may be so dealt with. I will look and see whether that is sufficient and whether there is any possibility of helping that very small class. Most Members of the Committee 1202 will agree that in 99 cases out of 100 when the man dies under such unfortunate circumstances, the woman returns here. She will receive a pension.
There is the case also of Northern Ireland. We have a new Clause on the Paper, on page 1712, which is entitled:Provisions as to reciprocal arrangements with other parts of His Majesty's Dominions.That gives us power, which I hope will be put into force where other Dominions have made pensions arrangements such as our own, whereby we shall be able to make the necessary arrangements by which people can transfer from one scheme to another. I do not know myself of any particular scheme which has been set up by the Dominions at the moment and, of course, Northern Ireland will come under this Regulation, but in the event of any Dominion setting up a scheme of this kind it will give power to the Minister to make reciprocal arrangements between the two schemes. So that, if a man goes from this country to, say, Canada, he will then be able, under arrangements which we shall make, to have his benefits and liabilities transferred. That is an arrangement which we have already on the Paper and I hope something may be done. So far as Northern Ireland is concerned, we already have had some conversations and negotiations on this aspect of the matter. That really is simply the position under the proposals of the Bill. I do not think there is anything unfair. We have to administer a British scheme subject to British conditions. An hon. Gentleman said the Old Age Pensions Act was not a fair example and talked about National Health Insurance. The only difference between our suggestion and theirs is in connexion with people being allowed to take some small sum from a deposit ac-count. As he knows, Section 19 of the National Health Insurance Act. 1924, says that subject to the provisions of that Section a person shall not be entitled to any benefit during any period in which he is resident temporarily or permanently outside the United Kingdom. Broadly speaking, this is on the lines of that Act, because of necessity it must be so. If we had to make an arrangement such as the hon. Gentleman indicated, by which people could take a small sum from a deposit account, it would simply mean 1203 additional cost to this scheme which has not been provided for. I think it better not to complicate the scheme with a provision of that kind. In this Bill we have to take up the broad principle that, while dealing with the cases I have mentioned, if a person does go to reside permanently abroad, it is impossible to administer benefit to them. The Committee may disagree with the views I have put forward, but I hope after the statement made by the Attorney-General and myself in complete explanation of the position, that, in the interest of the progress of the Bill, they will come to a decision now.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The CHAIRMAN
In view of the explanation that has been given, I think the point of the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Londonderry (Sir M. Macnaghten) is covered in the new Clause which is to be proposed, but if the hon. and learned Member wishes to raise the point now, he would be in order.
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
I beg to move, in page 21, line 14, after the word "Britain" to insert the words "or Northern Ireland."
Under this Bill men serving in the Ulster Regiments are compulsorily insured. The widows and children of these men will in most cases be resident in Northern Ireland and if no reciprocal arrangement be made with Northern Ireland, such as the Parliamentary Secretary hag suggested may be made, these widows and orphans will under this clause as drawn, be deprived of all benefit unless they abandon their homes and come to live in Great Britain. I hope the Minister will take into favourable consideration the point that these people ought to receive the prescribed benefits whether the reciprocal arrangements is or is not made. There is no reason why the men of the Ulster Regiments and their widows and children should be subjected to a disability in regard to benefits to which the men of the English and Scottish Regiments are not subjected.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I have great hopes that the new Clause on page 1712, which we propose to move, will meet the point raised by the hon. and learned Member, because I have great 1204 hopes that Northern Ireland will be able to make some scheme similar to this. I appreciate the points raised by the hon. and learned Member. Under the circumstances, I hope he will not press the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CECIL WILSON
I beg to move, on page 21, line 14, after the word "Britain" to insert the words "and not in any of His Majesty's Dominions."
The Parliamentary Secretary has stated that there was no parallel case for pensions being paid outside the British Isles. In quoting the National Health Insurance Act, 1924, he forgot that in the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1924, we have a Section which provides for the payment of increased pensions to persons residing outside the British Islands. If there is one scheme already in operation which provides for a payment of pensions in any part of the world, it is not too much to ask that this Bill should be extended to the British Dominions.
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
The Committee appreciates the difficulty in dealing with foreign countries, but I do not think that there need be any difficulty in dealing with our Colonies and Dominions. We always have a certain organisation there in connection with docks and naval bases, and I am sure that our Dominions would be only too glad to facilitate any arrangements by which residents in their territory will receive weekly or monthly subsidies from this country. We ought to try to encourage widows to take their children to the Dominions, and I would rather see the pension doubled to these people than taken away from them. We should do everything we can to encourage women who are so unfortunate as to lose their husbands when on service in the Dominions or Colonies, to stay out there, provided the climate is suitable. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will sympathetically consider this matter, and see whether it is not possible to provide an additional attraction, and not put an additional burden on a widow, who wishes to take her children out into the Empire.
§ Mr. J. BAKER
I want to draw the attention of the Minister to the fact that this is the narrowest definition of residence we have in either of the Acts involved in the passing of this Bill. Where 1205 is the Isle of Man for the purpose of this Bill, or the Shetland Isles, the Orkney Isles or the Channel Islands? Approved societies have members in this country who are recommended a change of air for the good of their health by a medical officer, and they can grant permission for the insured person to go abroad, or to go to Northern Ireland, and they can and do administer their benefits in respect of those persons. Large numbers of Irish people come over here to work, and pay contributions, and there is nothing more natural than when these men are unemployed, or when they grow old, they should desire to go home to their own country. We have a decision by the Court of Referees under the Unemployment Insurance Act that an Irishman working on the Clyde and paying contributions on the Clyde, and during trade depression going home to Northern Ireland, is available for work on the Clyde and entitled to unemployment benefit and receive his unemployment pay. I think the Minister should not be quite so keen on restrictive provisions, as they appear to me to be, in this Bill, and that he ought to give us at least a broader definition of Great Britain.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I appreciate the difficulty in which the Minister is, but it should not pass the wit of man to devise words which will deal with this very important problem. As the Bill stands, widows who would be entitled to this pension are to be penalised for emigrating to other parts of the British Empire I always like to regard the British Empire as one, and I understood that the policy of the Government, at a time like this, with such a large number of persons unemployed, was that persons should be encouraged to emigrate to other parts of His Majesty's Dominions. By this Bill the Minister unwittingly is imposing a penalty on a certain section of the community who emigrate to Australia, Canada or New Zealand, and the case is not similar to that of old age pensions, because, at any rate, they have paid in part for their pensions by their contributions. If the Minister cannot make a concession on these lines something should be done to provide for a surrender value. It is thoroughly unsound to suggest that a person enjoying these benefits should be severely penalised for carrying out what is largely the 1206 policy of His Majesty's Government to increase the movement of our population to our Dominions.
§ Sir K. WOOD
In answer to the questions put to me, I am informed on good authority that the Shetland Islands are part of Scotland and the Scilly Islands are part of England, and that, so far as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are concerned, if they wish to participate, they would have to formulate a scheme of their own before reciprocal arrangements could be made. It is not through any desire to prevent the payment of benefit to people who go to these places that we oppose this Amendment, but for the simple reason, which I endeavoured to indicate a little while ago, the difficulties of administration. I think that the Committee as a whole would be anxious to encourage people to go to our Dominions and let them have the pension, but if the hon. Member would for a moment put himself in the position of those who administer this scheme, he will see that if you were simply to say, "You are to pay the pension to anyone going to Canada or Australia," the scheme, so far as they are concerned, would break down to-morrow.
What we are endeavouring to do in the Amendment which my right hon. Friend has put on the Paper is to encourage the Dominions to make schemes of their own, so that we can have reciprocal arrangements. That may be a slower method of getting to the goal, but fast methods are often rather dangerous. When the Committee come to make a decision they have to have regard to the people who make the contributions, and to the fact that we have to make safeguards so far as they are concerned. The hon. Member suggested why not make an arrangement about people having benefit as a deposit contributor. Our experience of National Health Insurance shows that that is practically a dead letter. This Amendment is endeavouring to safeguard a very small portion of the people. Obviously so far as old age pensioners are concerned they will not go to the Dominions. They will stay here. There would be only an infinitesimal number and the administrative difficulties make it practically impossible. No one can say that the pension would be properly paid in Canada and Australia unless reciprocal arrangements were made 1207 with the Dominions. For these reasons we have again to ask the Committee to reject this Amendment.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Once you give a lump sum payment, it must be taken from the contributions of other people. I have endeavoured to put my own personal views forward, that pensioners must abide by the condition that they should draw
§ their pensions in this country. I am very anxious to promote reciprocal arrangements with the Dominions, and I believe that the best way would be to encourage them to formulate schemes such as this. Directly you give a lump sum or a surrender value it means that you must take the money from those who contribute in this country.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 138; Noes, 247.1209
|Division No.s 278.]||AYES.||[9.55 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hartshorn. Rt. Hon. Vernon||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hastings, Sir Patrick||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. B., Eland)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hay day, Arthur||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Amman, Charles George||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sandon, Lord|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bilston)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootie)||Scurr, John|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, G. H.||Sexton, James|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, w. (Bradford, South)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Pretton)|
|Barr, J.||Holt, Capt. H. p.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Batey, Joseph||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Broad, F. A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bromley, J.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Snell, Harry|
|Buchanan. G.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Charietron, H. C.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Clowes, S.||Kelly, W. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Compton, Joseph||Kirk wood, D.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middiesbro, W.)|
|Connolly, M.||Lawson, John James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, F.||Thurtle, E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lindley, F. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Livingstone, A. M.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lowth, T.||Viant, S. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lunn. William||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dennison, R.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Warne, G. H.|
|Duncan, C.||Mackinder, W.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||MacLaren, Andrew||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Forrest, W.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||March, S.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Gillett, George M.||Maxton, James||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Gosling, Harry||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Morris. R. H.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Greenall, T.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Naylor, T. E.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Oliver, George Harold||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Owen, Major G.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Groves, T.||Paling, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Potts, John S.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wright, W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Riley, Ben|
|Hardie, George D.||Ritson, J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Harris. Percy A.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Allen Parkinson.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Brass, Captain W.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bethell, A.||Briggs, J. Harold|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Briscoe, Richard George|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Blades, Sir George Rowland||Broun-Lindsay. Major H.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Blundell, F. N.||Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C,(Berks, Newb'y)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Bullock, Captain M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Burman, J. B.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W,||Hammersley, S. S.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Philipson, Mabel|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Harland, A,||Pielou, D. p.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Pilcher, G.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Harvey, Majors. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Preston, William|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Haslam, Henry C.||Price, Major C. W. M|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hawke, John Anthony||Raine, W.|
|Cazalet, Captain victor A.||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Rawson, Alfred Cooper|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.||Remer, J. R.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Chlicott, Sir Warden||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Christie, J. A.||Homan, C. W. J.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hopkins, J w. w.||Rye. F. G.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cope, Major William||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Savery, S. S.|
|Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hume, Sir G. H.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Croft. Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Crook, C. W.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Univ., Belfst)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jacob, A. E.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro)||Jephcott, A. R.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kino'dine. C.)|
|Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Somerville, A, A. (Windsor)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Lamb, J. O.||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Davidson, J.(Hertl'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Loder, J. de V.||Storry Deans, R.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Looker, Herbert William||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W H.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lougher, L.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Dixey, A. C.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Drewe, C.||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||McLean, Major A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Macmillan, Captain H.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Fairfax, Captain J, G.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Waddingon, R.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Finburgh, S.||Marriott, sir J. A. R.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Fleming, D. P.||Meller, R. J.||Warner, Brigadier-Genera! W. W.|
|Ford, P. J.||Merriman, F. B.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Wells, S. R.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Frantis E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Gates, Percy||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Goff, Sir Park||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Womersley, w. J.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Grace, John||Nuttall, Ellis||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Oakley, T.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Penny, Frederick George||Douglas Hacking.|
|Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Perring, William George|
I beg to move, in page 21, line 15, to leave out paragraph (b).
We have had an explanation from the Parliamentary Secretary to the effect that the Clause as it stands means that if a person resides outside the United 1210 Kingdom for a period of over three months, when he returns he is entitled to only three months' arrears. I fully appreciate that when a person is permanently resident outside Great Britain there is a difficulty of administration, but I fail to understand what difficulty of administra- 1211 tion arises if a person is outside Great Britain for three, six, nine or even 12 months. I would give as an illustration in favour of my point, the case of the person who falls ill under the National Health Insurance scheme. Where a person falls ill under that scheme and is without dependents, he may enter an institution in this country or in any other country and remain in that institution for two or three years. When he comes out of that institution he can claim the whole of the benefits. That point is a very strong one.
This Clause would seem to be capable of a rendering that is not meant. The Clause reads:A sum shall not be paid on account of a pension—I feel sure that it is not the intention of the Clause to deprive the claimant to a portion of that pension, if three months elapse before the first demand is made for the pension. But if anyone desires to read into the Clause the meaning that if a pensioner, claiming the benefit for the first time, does not obtain the benefit within three months, the claim would fall to the ground because he did not obtain the benefit within three months, that meaning could be read into it.
- (a) to or in respect of any person while that person is absent from Great Britain; or
- (b) if payment of the sum is not obtained within three months after the date on which it has become payable."
§ Sir K. WOOD
I suppose everyone may differ as to the exact period laid down. The hon. Gentleman himself, by implication, said there must be a period of some sort. We must, from the point of view of administration, have some period fixed, and we think three months is a very reasonable period. I think it is a generous and not an unfair one. Many inquiries will have to be made, and, in fixing the period of three months, you are doing a fair thing by the insured person, and not inflicting undue inconvenience on the administration.
The hon. Gentleman rather invited me to make a suggestion. I see there is an Amendment down to make it six months. Will he 1212 consider the acceptance of Chat Amendment?
§ Mr. PALING
As the hon. Member has pointed out, three months is a very short period. The hon. Member opposite said, in reply to the last Amendment, that not many people receiving the old age pension would go abroad.
§ Mr. PALING
At the present moment we are doing all we can to encourage men and women to emigrate, and we do not-put anything in the way of emigration to other countries, too. There are thousands of men and women going out of this country to our Colonies. They may do fairly well, but not well enough to enable them to pay a visit home. On the other hand, they may leave parents here who, under this scheme, come into pension at 65. They have not earned enough while working to be able to afford to visit their sons and daughters abroad, but at 65 years of age, it may be that, with the small sum they have saved, and with the possibility of pension coming in, they would be able to pay a visit to their sons or daughters in the Colonies, and I think the hon. Gentleman will admit that three months in a case like that would be a very short period. I am sure he would be one of the last to wish to stop those visits. This limitation of three months would impose hardships on people of that description in scores of cases, and I am sure if the hon. Gentleman could be assured that one case of hardship or a dozen cases were to occur by inserting this period of three months, he would agree to lengthen the period. I do not think there is any question of administrative difficulty. The money need not be paid, but if the old people knew that while they were away the money was accumulating, and, on their return, would be paid to them, in many cases it would make the whole difference between going and staying at home
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The Parliamentary Secretary stands at the Treasury Box and beams beatifically at the Opposition, but has not advanced any argument against the Amendment. I must continually insist that people should not be deprived of benefits after paying for what 1213 they have a right to expect. While one may agree there are limits which must be set up, if the hon. Gentleman will accept six months instead of three months, I think we might agree that there should be no further Division on the point. I ask him to use his influence with his chief, who is as kind-hearted as he is himself, and does not, I am sure, want to do any injustice. I am not charging him with that, but I think there will be an injustice
§ if this period of three months be insisted upon. Therefore, I suggest that the Government agree to six months.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word ' obtained,' in page 21, line 15, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 258; Noes, 125.1215
|Division No. 279.]||AYES.||110.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Dalkeith, Earl of||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Homan, C. W. J.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J, (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. w.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon, Stanley||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Drewe, C.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Benn, sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Bethell, A.||Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Jacob, A. E.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Elliot, Captain Walter E,||Jephcott. A. R.|
|Bird. E. R. (Yorks, W. R., skipton)||Elveden, viscount||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Erskine, Lord [Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).|
|Blundell, F. N.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Fielden, E. B.||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Finburgh, S.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Brass, Captain W.||Fleming, D. P.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Ford, P. J,||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Forrest, W.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Lougher, L.|
|Broun-Lindsay. Major H.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Brown, Maj. D.C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fraser, Captain Ian||MacAndrew, Charles Glen|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Bullock. Captain M.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||McLean, Major A.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Ganzoni, Sir John||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Burman J. B.||Gates, Percy||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Mac Robert, Alexander M.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Maitland. Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Goff, Sir Park||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Gower, Sir Robert||Meller, R. J.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Grace, John||Merriman, F. B.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Greene, W, p. Crawford||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, city)||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Gretton, Colonel John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark. Lanark)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Moreing, Captain A, H.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hammersley, S. S.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Newman, Sir R. H. S. O. L. (Exeter)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Harland, A.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Harrison, G. J. C.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Oakley, T.|
|Cockerill, Brigadler General G. K.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Haslam, Henry C.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Cope, Major William||Hawke, John Anthony||Ormsby-Core, Hon. William|
|Couper, J. B.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Owen, Major G.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Crook, C. W.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Perring, William George|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Philipson, Mabel|
|Curtis Bernett, Sir Henry||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pielou, D. P.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Pilcher, G.|
|Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Preston, William||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Price Major C. W. M.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Raine, W.||Skelton, A. N.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Wells, S. R.|
|Rawson, Alfred Cooper||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Rees, Sir Beddoe||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Smithers, Waldron||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Remer, J. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Spender Clay, Colonel H.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Starry Deans, R.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Ropner, Major L.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Strickland, Sir Gerald||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Rye, F. G.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Womersley, W. J.|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Sandon, Lord||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Waddington, R.|
|Savery, S. S.||Wallace, Captain D. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mol. (Renfrew, W.)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Lord Stanley and Captain|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Harris, Percy A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hastings, Sir Patrick||Sexton, James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Barr, J.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stephen. Campbell|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy, T.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clowes, S.||Kirkwood, D.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawson, John James||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lee, F.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lindley, F. W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Connolly, M.||Lowth, T.||Thurtle, E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Trevelyan. Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mackinder, W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacLaren, Andrew||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cay, Colonel Harry||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duncan, C.||Maxton, James||Westwood, J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Morris, R. H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, North)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Riley, Ben||Wright, W.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)||Ritson, J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Hardle, George D.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Warne.|
§ Mr. BARNES
I beg to move, in page 21, line 15, to leave out the word "obtained," and to insert instead thereof the words "applied for."
This Amendment will give the Minister an opportunity of explaining the term "&c." which follows the marginal note "Residential qualification of pensioners." Sufficient has been said on this Clause to 1216 indicate that delay may occur on the part of the Department, arid if that should be the case, I do not see that the pensioners should have any rights denied them because of such delay. My Amendment rather aims at making it, clear that, pro viding the application is in for any sums due, delay on the part of the Department should not deprive pensioners of their rights.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am glad to give the hon. Member an assurance on that point. The Clause saysif payment …. is not obtained within three months after the date on which it has become payable,and the date on which the pension becomes payable is, of course, the date on which the application has been made. Therefore, if there is any delay on the part of the Department in proving claims, it dates back to the time when the application was made. In fact, in another part of the Bill we take power to make a sort of advance pending the proving of claims, but my hon. Friend can be assured that the pension becomes payable from the time when the person makes the application, provided, of course, that all is in order.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I would point out that this Clause gives very limited rights to these people who have a legal claim on the Fund, The opening words are: "A sum shall not be paid on account of a pension," and now you are setting up a very elaborate organisation to deal with, not a small section of the community, but the greater part of the community, that is coming within the purview of the Bill. I think that these insured persons want more protection than these words seem to provide. There wants to be very much more discretion to pay this money in case of hardship, incase of failure to apply owing to ignorance, or other circumstances, and it seems to me that, as now worded, with only three months allowed for sustaining a claim, and no discretion left to the
§ Minister, there is not adequate protection to the persons insured. After all, these sums are not given by way of gratuity; they are sums to which these people are entitled. Therefore, we have an obligation to provide them not only with the money, but with ample safeguards.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Captain BOURNE
I beg to move, in page 21, line 16, to leave out the word "three" and to insert instead thereof the word "six."
I do not want to detain the Committee at present, so I shall simply move the Amendment.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Then let me say "observations." The observations that I made previously as to leaving out "six" and inserting "twelve" might be as well addressed to this particular Amendment. We believe the period in the Clause to be a reasonable one, and I trust that my hon. and gallant Friend will accept that view.
§ Question put, "That the word 'three' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 252; Noes, 134.1221
|Division No. 280.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Briscoe, Richard George||Chilcott, Sir Warden|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Christie, J. A.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W, Derby)||Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Clayton, G. C.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bullock, Captain M.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burman, J. B.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Barclay-Harvey. C. M.||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Cope, Major William|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Couper, J. B.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Bethell, A.||Butt, Sir Alfred||Crook, C. W.|
|Birchall, Major J, Dearman||Campbell, E. T.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Bird, E. R (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cassels, J. D.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Chadwick, sir Robert Burton||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Boyd-Carpentor, Major A.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Dalziel, Sir Davison|
|Brass, Captain W.||Chapman, Sir S.||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.|
|Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Raine, W.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rawson, Alfred Copper|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hurst, Gerald B.||Reid, Capt. A S. C. (Warrington)|
|Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Remer, J. R.|
|Drewe, C.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Jacob, A. E.||Roberts, Samuel (Herelord, Hereford)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Jephcott, A. R.||Ropner, Major L.|
|England, Colonel A.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Rye, F. G.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Salmon, Major I.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnhan)|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Lamb, J. O.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Fermcy, Lord||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Sandon, Lord|
|Fielden, E. B.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Finburgh, S.||Lockor-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Savery, S. S.|
|Fleming, D. P.||Loder, J. de V.||Shaw, Lt-Col. A. D, Mol. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Looker, Herbert William||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Lougher, L.||Simms, Dr. Joan M. (Co. Down)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Skelton, A. N.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n& Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||McLean. Major A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gates, Percy||Macmillan, Captain H.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Macnaghten, Hon. sir Malcolm||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Gott, Sir Park||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Margesson, Captain D.||Storry Deans, R.|
|Grace, John||Marriott. Sir J. A. R.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Meller, R. J.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Merriman, F. B.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Meyer, Sir Frank||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Waddington, R.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. S. M.||Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R.(Eastbourne)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Warner, Brigadler-General W. W.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wells, S. R.|
|Harland, A.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wilson, Sir c. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wilson. R. R (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Oakley, T.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Penny, Frederick George||Wolmer. Viscount|
|Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.||Porring, William George||Womersley, W. J.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset. Bridgwater)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Phillpson, Mabel||Wragg, Herbert|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Pleiou, D. P.|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Pilcher, G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Lord|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Preston, William||Stanley.|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W, (Fife, West)||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Greenall, T.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Compton, Joseph||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Connolly, M.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Grundy, T. W.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dalton, Hugh||Guest. J. (York, Hemsworth)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southward, N.)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Day, Colonel Harry||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)|
|Barnes, A.||Dennison, R.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Barr, J.||Duncan, C.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, c. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hardle, George D.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Harney, E, A.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Harris, Percy A.|
|Broad, F. A.||Fenby, T. D.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Bromley, J||Forrest, W.||Hastings, Sir Patrick|
|Buchanan, G.||Gibbins, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur|
|Charleton, H. C.||Gillett, George M.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Clowes, S.||Gosling, Harry||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Hirst, G. H.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Paling, W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Potts, John S.||Thurtle, E.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Riley, Ben||Viant, S. P.|
|Kennedy, T.||Ritson, J.||Warne, G. H.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Lawson, John James||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Lee, F.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Westwood, J.|
|Lindley, F. W.||Robinson, W. C.(Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Livingstone, A. M.||Saller, Dr. Alfred||Whiteley, W.|
|Lowth, T.||Scrymgeour, E.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Lunn, William||Scurr, John||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Sexton, James||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Mackinder, W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|March, S.||Sitch, Charles H.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Maxton, James||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Windsor, Walter|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Snell, Harry||Wright, W.|
|Morris, R. H.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Stephen, Campbell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Oliver, George Harold||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Mr. Wallhead and Mr. Groves.|
|Owen, Major G.||Taylor, R. A.|
Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ CLAUSE 23.—(Residential qualification of persons in respect of whose insurance pensions are payable.)
§ Amendments made: In page 21, line 23, after the word "pensions," insert the words "under or by virtue of this Act."
§ In page 21, line 27, leave out the word "continuously."—[Mr. N. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
I beg to move, in page 21, line 28, to leave out the words "two years," and to insert instead thereof the words "one year."
This Clause lays down that unless a person has been continually resident in Great Britain prior to this date he loses his pension. It is considered that the two years' period provided under this Clause under any circumstances is likely to create a few hard cases, and these would be diminished if instead of two years we substitute one year.
It is admitted that there might be a few hard cases under this provision, but if the hon. Member will look at the first part of Sub-section (1) he will find that they are "subject as may be otherwise prescribed." That ensures that conditions may be provided for under the Regulations, and I am advised that those Regulations can only be made by way of mitigating the restrictions.
§ Sir PATRICK HASTINGS
There is just one question that I should like to ask 1222 on this point. Why is it that the Minister assumes that the phrase "subject as may be provided" includes Regulations? As far as I can follow this Clause, there is nothing in it that says that, but I am asking for information. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"] Why does the Minister say that there is power to make Regulations which affect Clause 23 in the sense of mitigating any hardship that might arise? It may be that there is such a power, but I confess that I do not see it.
§ Sir P. HASTINGS
I see that, but is that really so? It says that ho may make Regulationsfor prescribing the manner in which claims to a pension may be made.
§ Sir P. HASTINGS
It may be that paragraph (f) is wide enough to meet the difficulties. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"] If hon. Members will remain quiet, I think they will have no difficulty in hearing what I am saying. [An HON. MEMBER: "Do not be rude!"] There is one other question that I should like to ask. I quite agree that the removal of the word "continuously" has assisted very much in this Clause, but I think there may still be a very grave difficulty. I do not know whether the Attorney-General has considered it from this point of view. What, exactly, is the meaning of the provision as to a person being 1223 resident in Great Britain for a period of two years? Supposing, for instance, that a person, at a time of pressure, were sent by his employer to somewhere like Egypt for a period of one or two months, is it intended that he should be entitled to benefit or not? I think it might be very difficult to say. It certainly might give rise to difficulty. Would such a person be resident for a period of two years if within that period he was working for an indeterminate period abroad, and was, therefore, residing abroad, for his employer, for three months or six months? I think the Attorney-General might tell us, at least, what is intended, so that we may see whether it is carried out.
I cannot help thinking that the word "resident" is a very difficult word. It means different things in almost every Statute. Whether or not a person could be said to have been resident in Great Britain for a period of two years if he had been sent abroad to work for a period of three months or six months, would, I think, be a very difficult question, and, if it is intended that a person in those circumstances is to be entitled to benefit, I cannot help thinking that it might be made a little more plain. I quite agree that the question whether it is 12 months or two years is really not of very much importance, provided that we really understand what it is that the Government intend by this provision, and, if the Attorney-General could tell us what is actually intended, it might very well be that the question of its being one year or two years might not arise.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am very glad to answer my hon. and learned Friend's question as far as I can. As he knows very well, "residence" is a term which occurs quite commonly in Acts of Parliament, and he and I have both discussed it in more than one case, especially in Income Tax cases. Certainly, in such cases as those to which he referred, of a person being sent temporarily on a job out of this country, with the intention of coming back as soon as his work was over and resuming his home in England, which, in normal cases at any rate, he would retain for his wife and family, it would. I should have thought, have been quite clear that he was resident in Great Britain all the time, and I think I could 1224 produce authorities which would satisfy my hon. and learned Friend; but if there be any doubt in any case, then the Clause contains the provision to which attention has already been called, "subject as may be prescribed," and under paragraph. (f) of Clause 29 the Committee will find that the Minister has power to make regulations for prescribing anything which under this Act is to be prescribed. Therefore, if any difficulty should arise in interpretation such as that which the hon. and learned Gentleman was afraid of it might easily be put right by regulation, and we are not taking away the control of the House of Commons over such regulations because they have to lie on the Table of the House.
§ Sir P. HASTINGS
I should be quite satisfied provided that by acquiescence or otherwise the Minister assures us that it is the intention of the Government that if a man goes abroad with the intention of coming back to this country during the 12 months for a limited period of three or six months he shall be treated as a person resident in this country for two years, and if a difficulty has arisen upon it we may return to the House of Commons and ask for some regulation which will carry that into effect. If that is so, I shall be satisfied.
§ Mr. N. MACLEAN
A point arises here which ought to be made a little more clear than it is. There is the case of the worker employed in a Government dockvard. He may be sent out to Malta or Hong Kong. [HON. MEMBERS: "Singapore!"] He may be sent to an even warmer climate than that. He may be sent to one of the many Government dockyards and he may be there for three years. Under this Clause, if he came back he could not qualify until it became time for him to come to the pension period. He is going to be ruled out according to the reading of the Clause. I can quite follow the reason, as far as a layman can follow paragraph (f) in Clause 29, for "prescribing anything which under this Act is to be prescribed." That is rather a wide power to give the Minister of Health.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN indicated dissent.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I am glad to know it is not as wide as I think it is likely to be. I should object to giving the Minister such 1225 wide powers because hon. Members know perfectly well the complaints that have arisen and the friction that is taking place over regulations made by various Departments which operate very harshly upon the people to whom they apply. I do not feel inclined to give any wider powers to a Department than it is possible for that Department to obtain from the House. If we can lay down definitely and clearly the way to get pensions and the conditions under which they can qualify for those pensions in an Act of Parliament we shall do away entirely with any friction which will arise by regulation. I should also like to ask the Minister, if he thinks it worth while to make that point clear, whether it is his intention, before any regulations are put forward as submitted in paragraph (f), that they shall be laid before the House and may be, discussed.
I think the hon. Member is under a little misapprehension as to the meaning of Clause 29. It does not widen the power of the Minister at all. All it does is to say he may make regulations for prescribing, not anything at all, but anything which is to be prescribed under the Act. It is the Act itself, therefore, to which he should apply in order to know what are the matters as to which the Minister may make regulations. He goes on to say that, as it does not state in this Clause, and possibly elsewhere, exactly what is to be in the regulations, the Minister is given wider discretionary powers than ought to be given him. I will ask him to reflect what will be the consequences of insisting on putting into the Bill itself every kind of case. Supposing that you missed a case, suppose you do not think of anything then, in order to bring that new case into the category of the Bill, you have to pass an amending Act, whereas under the Bill there is always power for the Minister to make new Regulations to meet the case which has not been foreseen, and if he makes that Resolution he is bound to lay it on the Table of the House so that it can be considered and discussed. With regard to other points, I would remind the hon. Member once more that we are dealing here with two years prior to the date on which a man attains 65, and I do not think we must assume that large numbers of people are going to be sent out to 1226 Hong Kong just two years before they attain 65. If there are such, they will be dealt with in the Regulations, and it is precisely to meet this class of case that it has been inserted in this Clause that the Minister be able to make Regulations for mitigating hardships that otherwise might arise.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
There is an Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne).
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member will see that that point is covered and the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford is unnecessary.
§ Amendment agreed to.
I beg to move, in page 21, line 41, at the end, to insert the words,or, in case of a child under the age of two, since the date of birth.In this Amendment we have anticipated a cry of another grave injustice.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. WADDINGTON
I beg to move, in page 22, line 5, at the end, to insert the words(iii) This Section shall not apply to any insured person where the trade or profession requires such person to be temporarily employed outside Great Britain, or, where the right to a widows' or orphans' pension shall arise in respect of any insured person so employed, the widow or orphan to or in respect of whom the pension would be payable was resident outside Great Britain for a period contemporary with the employment outside Great Britain of the insured person.The object of this Amendment is to safeguard a very large and important class of the community who consider that under the provisions of the Clause they are not safeguarded, that is the large body of men employed in the textile machinery works who have to go abroad to erect machinery and whose period away from England may be anywhere from three months to two years. That has been dealt with to some extent by discussion on previous Amendments but the words of the Clause in themselves do not give the security which is wanted. Under this 1227 Amendment if a worker is insured his wife and child who may come for benefit as widow and orphan will be protected under the Amendment. There can be no question as to the desirability of absolutely safeguarding the rights of this class, and I hope the Minister will accept the Amendment.
These cases are covered by the discussion which we had on the previous Amendment. Such cases, when they arise, will be dealt with by Regulations.
§ Mr. WADDINGTON
Subject to the assurance of the Minister that these cases are definitely covered in the Regulations which are to be prescribed, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
Are we going to see the Regulations before we part with the Bill? No one doubts the right hon. Gentleman's good faith, but it is a reasonable request that a draft of the Regulations should be laid before the House before the Bill goes to the Report stage. Is the Minister going to do anything of that sort?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN indicated dissent.
§ Amendment, by leave withdrawn.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
I beg to move, in page 22, line 8, at the end, to add(3) This Section shall not apply to sailors, soldiers, and airmen insured under the provisions of the Act, or to other insured persons employed under the authority of the Crown.I want a declaration made as to how sailors, soldiers and airmen will be dealt with.
As far as the Amendment applies to service men, they will be provided for in the Regulations. If we made the suggested provision for the other persons referred to in the Amendment, we should be met with similar demands on the part of employés of private firms.
Are we to understand that the whole of the men who are employed in the armed services of the Crown are simply to be dealt with under Regulations? If so, it makes it more important 1228 that we should see something of the Minister's intentions in writing. He may, of course, refuse to answer or to lay the Regulations, but it does not seem to be reasonable.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
The Minister said that the Regulations would only apply to what he termed hard cases. I take it that he meant individual cases, or a small number of cases. Here we have a section who will be brought under this insurance scheme consisting of a large number of individuals, and I should imagine that instead of regulating their conditions for pensions by Regulations passed by this House, we are in duty bound to include the conditions in the Bill itself.
I do not think I said that the Regulations would apply only to a particular class of cases. I said that they would be designed to cover hard cases, and I gave a definite assurance that they are intended to cover all the cases of men who are serving in the Forces of the Crown.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Are we to take it that under this Bill, instead of stating definitely and explicitly how large bodies of people are to have their particular claims for pensions adjudicated upon, they are to be dealt with merely by Regulations which will have to be debated in this House after 11o'clock at night?
§ 11.0 P.M.
The only class of case that would require to be dealt with under these Regulations are service men, who will, according to the terms of their service, be required to be resident outside this country. Those will be the Regulations, but that does not apply to all cases of men serving in the Army.
§ Mr. HARNEY
Is this, Clause to apply to soldiers, sailors and airmen insured under the provisions of this Bill? If it is not to apply to them, what is the objection to accepting the Amendment? All that the Amendment says is that it shall 1229 not do what the right hon. Gentleman says it is not intended to do. Why not put it in black and white in the Bill?
Because that is not all that the Amendment says. It applies to others than those serving in the forces.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
Will the right hon. Gentleman accept it if the concluding portion of the Amendment is omitted?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN indicated assent.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment made: In page 22, line 8, at the end, add
(3) This Section shall not apply to sailors, soldiers, and airmen insured under the provisions of the Act."—(Major Hore-Belisha.]
The following Amendment stood on the Order Paper in the name of Lieut. -Colonel HENEAGE: In page 22, line 8, at the end, add
(3) Regulations may be made by the Minister for a reciprocal agreement with the authorities concerned in the British Dominions or Colonies whereby a portion of the qualifying period provided for under Sub-section (1) may be spent in the Dominions or Colonies.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Since the Amendment standing in my name has been tabled, I am glad to say that the Government has introduced a Clause embodying the main objects which this Amendment was intended to promote.
As the matter can be discussed on the Government Amendment (to be inserted after Clause 31) I do not propose to move this Amendment.