HC Deb 17 July 1925 vol 186 cc1714-51

I beg to move, in page 1, line 9, to leave out Sub-section (2).

Before moving this Amendment, may I say one word as to the position as regards Summer Time? Under the Act of 1922 Summer Time is in existence, and it has been in existence since 1916 for a period from the third Saturday in April to the third Saturday in September, or, rather, until two o'clock on the following Sunday morning. If this Bill were not in existence or were not passed, Summer Time as now constituted would not be endangered, but would be continued under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. The first Clause of this Bill makes Summer Time perpetual, and neither in Committee nor on Second Reading has there been any objection to that proposal. Everybody recognises, I think, that there is a concensus of opinion as to the value of Summer Time, and the only question we have to deal with to-day is as to when it should commence and when it should end. I would impress this on the House, because from correspondence in the newspapers, and particularly letters referring 'o doctors' opinions as to the value of Summer Time, there seems to be an idea that Summer Time itself is in danger. The only question is as to a fortnight at the beginning of the period and a fortnight, or possibly another week, at the end. The Amendment in my name is to continue the status quo, that is to say, that Summer Time should commence at two o'clock on the Sunday morning following the third Saturday in April and should end at two o'clock on the Sunday morning following the third Saturday in September.

From the experience we have had in the nine years of practical working of Summer Time, there are three things on which, I think, everyone will be agreed. One is that the period must begin on a Sunday morning, and two o'clock is the time selected by the railway companies as being the easiest time at which the change over can be made. I do not suggest that any change should be made from two o'clock on the Sunday morning. My second point is that experience has shown that we must all conform to summer time. There was for several years an idea that certain industries should disregard summer time and work by sun time, but except in a few distant places from stations and railways that has been found to be impracticable, and the hours have been fixed to be in keeping with shopping hours and school hours, because the whole affairs of life are largely dependent upon the clock.

My third point is that whatever date is agreed upon France and Belgium should come into line. It is only of recent years that they have adopted our mean time in France. There is, I know, a difficulty in regard to continental traffic, but as regards summer time in France and Belgium, whatever date we fix there will still be a variation of at least one hour in summer time in France and the most westerly point of Ireland. The promoters of this Bill propose to add about a fortnight at the beginning of the period and a fortnight or three weeks at the end of the period, and make Summer Time end on the first Saturday in October. Summer Time is undoubtedly a great advantage to urban workers, but it is no advantage to those engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Everybody recognises the great advantage to urban dwellers so far as the existing period of summer time is concerned. The advantage to the urban dweller of the extra early fortnight in April, however, is quite negative. In April the sun rises at 5.38 in the morning at a time following winter when the ground is cold and has not been aired, and there is no advantage to be got by putting the clock forward and making everybody rise an hour earlier. On the contrary, it will affect in this way a vast-number of people, because every early riser in the country will have to get up, and continue to get up, for at least a fortnight or three weeks in the dark for that much longer period than they would otherwise have to do.

That is a very great hardship, and it can only be justified if there is some corresponding and overwhelming advantage to the urban population by the extension of the period by a fortnight in the month of April. So far as the agricultural industry is concerned, with which I am more directly interested, summer time is of no advantage. On the contrary, it is detrimental. It is costly, because it requires workmen to work on the farm at a time, except in the middle of the summer months, when they cannot profitably be employed, and it is only an advantage in the way of giving the workmen an extra hour's overtime, but so far as the summer month we are in at the present moment is concerned, the hours at which they begin working and continue up to 9 o'clock at night are much too long for the men to work. In England we have to put up with this in agriculture, and I say nothing further on this point so far as English farmers are concerned. But I base this part of my case on the interests of all workpeople who are early risers, whether they work on farms, in mines, or belong to that large section of the community that has to get up early to go to London, or catch early trains. I say that in all these cases this proposal is a great hardship.

The same arguments apply to the expiration period if it is extended as proposed in this Bill. To the last fortnight or three weeks in September the very same considerations apply except when you come to the North of England where September is a much more important month as far as agriculture is concerned because it is the great harvest month. In September the sun rises at 5.37 in the morning and that means that it is daylight for some time after 4.30, but by putting the clock forward this is altered to the extent of one hour, and it means that an enormous number of people will have to get up in the dark for that period to enable them to start their work at 6.30 in the morning. For those reasons, unless the urban population can show that there is an overwhelming advantage to be gained to them in return for the injury done to the early riser in the morning, I say that this Bill ought not to be extended and I challenge the supporters of this measure to show that there can be any such advantage so far as this period is concerned.

Of course, I have to recognise that September is a holiday month for England, and at seaside resorts, country towns and urban areas, where holidays cannot be taken by everybody at one and the same time, we must recognise that there has to be some different consideration applying to the month of September than to the early part of the year. The existing dates were settled by a Committee in 1921, under the Chairmanship of Mr. J. W. Wilson, when evidence from all parts of the country and all kinds of trades and occupations was placed before it, evidence on which the existing dates were arrived at, and we have no material for altering that decision at which they arrived. We have no means of gauging the number of early risers in the country.

Although a very good case could be made that no sufficient time has elapsed since that compromise was arrived at by the whole of the House of Commons, so near since as 1922, I do feel, for my own part, that this is a matter which should, if possible, be amicably settled. It is in the interests of the whole of the community that the full demands of those who are in favour of the Bill should not be yielded, and the promoter of the Bill has made an offer which he thinks generous, though I cannot accept it as generous. He has expressed his willingness, on behalf of the promoters of the Bill, to give up the early part of the period and make Summer Time start—as my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) suggests in his Amendment that it should start and as it at present starts, provided he had the full period demanded by the Bill at the end going possibly to the 7th of October, namely, the first Saturday in October. Though I think we might have had a better offer from him, I do think that it is in the interests of everybody that there should be some give and take in this matter with a view to the Bill starting amicably, and I wish to say, as Chairman of the Conservative Agriculture Committee, after discussing it with the various members, that we have come to the conclusion that a peaceful and amicable settlement is of the very greatest importance, and we agree to accept the compromise which the hon. and gallant Member for North-West Hull (Colonel Lambert Ward) offers. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, if the House be willing to accept that compromise, I myself, so far as it rests with me, should be willing to withdraw my Amendment. [Hon. Members: "No!"] If, on the other hand, the promoters of the Bill were to insist on further terms— I know that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North-West Hull will stick to his word and bargain—I should, of course, vote for the Amendment standing in my name.


In addressing the House for the first time, I crave its indulgence. I want to speak as the representative of a constituency where the majority is not agricultural. Although approving, as I do, in making Summer Time permanent, I am strongly against any increase of the present time. I speak as a Scottish farmer, and especially as an Ayrshire farmer, where I have farmed until two months ago, when my lease expired, and I gave the place up. I think people do not realise the hard times through which the Scottish farming industry is passing at the present time. I know, having talked to a great many of these men, that they do not keep accurate books. They know the high cost of the feeding stuffs which they have to buy for to cattle in the winter, and they know that the price which they get for their milk hardly recompenses them for the wages and rent which they have to pay. If they kept books, I feel confident that they would find that they are doing worse than they imagine. Unless one keeps accounts accurately it is impossible to tell, with the diminishing value of the stock, how one stands. Of course, up there the farms are small, and, with the allowance which they get for their wives and families, the rental usually comes below the figure on which Income Tax is charged. Therefore, there is no incentive for them to keep books. Even on those farms where there is a small tax charged it is a very difficult matter for people not accustomed to book-keeping to fill up Schedule B, and on that account I am sure a great many are paying Income Tax, which, if they were able to keep a proper account, they would find they are not liable to pay.

I am not going at all into the disadvantages of this Summer Time, because they have been very fully expressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) who has just moved the Amendment, but I would like to say that from my own constituency, only a small proportion of which consists of farmers, I have had numerous and keen protests against increasing the length of Summer Time, whereas any requests which I have had from the town dwellers there for an extension of Summer Time have been only half-hearted. I know the advantages from the point of view of the town dweller. I know, having worked in an office myself, that one looks forward to the evenings becoming longer, so that one can get a bit of golf, and, if that were the only point of view, I could understand why city dwellers are entirely in favour of the increased length of Summer Time but we want to take the broad view, and, as the agricultural industry is undoubtedly at the present time in a very hard state, I hope that there will be no addition made on the compromise which was arrived at only three years ago, because I do feel, although it is in a minority, it is a most important industry, and that this means a great deal to it.

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

I should like to be allowed to intervene as a private Member for five minutes. I hope very much that the House will come to a decision to-day. I hope it for the sake of our own dignity, and because undoubtedly a very large proportion of the people of this country expect and desire that we should do so. I just want to say a word to some of my hon. friends about the attitude which I propose to take to-day. I not only represent and nave always represented an agricultural constituency, but my natural symphathies in this matter are entirely with the agriculturists and with the "six-o'clock-in-the-morning man." He is a man for whom I am most sorry, because he is the man hardest hit. On the other hand, as a practical politician, I have to look at the possibility of our getting our way. I know we cannot do it; and it is very much wiser to agree with your enemy when you are in the way with him, and that I propose to do to-day. I am going to advise my friends, for that reason, to support the Amendment of my right hon. friend the Member for Wells (Sir ft. Sanders), and I would point out, to those who may feel that they would like to carry on the struggle, even to the prevention of the Bill getting through today, that, if they do that, the only result will be that next year a Bill will be brought in and they will lose everything.

I was asked only a day or two ago whether I could prevent that. A Prime Minister, perhaps, may be able in that capacity to do certain things, but he cannot run permanently in opposition to popular feeling, and I doubt very much whether I could carry many of my colleagues with me. I am quite certain, therefore, that the only politic action, if we hope to secure anything, is to support the Amendment of my right hon. Friend to-day.

I should like to say a word about what fell from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley). He spoke about the compromise which has been offered as not erring on the generous side. I do not quite en- dorse that. I am very grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for North-West Hull (Lieut.-Colonel Lambert Ward) because, after all, when you are in command of the battalions, any compromise is generous. I welcome it, and I hope very much that the House will take it. I hope, also, that we shall not waste time in discussion. Let those of us who wish to protest make our protest in the Division Lobby, and get on with the Bill.


Those of us who have been in opposition to this Bill, who come from the mining districts of England and Wales, would have liked the status quo adopted. I made that suggestion at a meeting upstairs the other day, and in doing so put the cat amongst the pigeons; and, as I saw the feathers fly, I realised that it was impossible to get the status quo. Knowing, therefore, that it is a case of compromise, and that one should try to get something while he is living, and not seek for the moon after he is dead, I feel that we should take this compromise and make the best of it. Our objection, in the mining districts of England and Wales, is largely against the 1st of April being the commencing date. It is the early commencement, and not the end, that we object to so much.


May I say that my hon. Friend must not speak for the county of Durham as being in agreement with the rest of the miners?


I was not speaking for anyone who was in support of the Bill, but for those who were in opposition, and I am a loyal member of the Miners' Federation, who are against this Bill. In the attitude I am taking with regard to it now, I want to associate myself with the Prime Minister's suggestion that we in this House should not delay the passing of the Bill to-day, but should let it go through with the compromise that has been offered. I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman who has moved this Amendment that the compromise is not too generous, but it has been offered to us, and, knowing that we cannot wreck the Bill, even if we desired to do so, because of the numbers in the House, and knowing that this compromise means so much to us, I hope the House will, without too long a delay, pass the Bill on the compromise that is being put forward.

Lieut.-Colonel LAMBERT-WARD

In view of what has been said by the Prime Minister and others, I should like to explain that for the past fortnight I have been genuinely doing my best to obtain a compromise—a compromise which, while not betraying the interests of the vast majority of people who are so urgently demanding the extention of Summer Time, would at the same time be acceptable to the large body of our opponents, so that we might remove that bitterness and ill-feeling which is only too likely to be left should this Bill be forced through in the face of a determined minority. As I have said, I have genuinely done my best, and I have failed, largely owing to the difficulty which the opposition found in tabling an Amendment which would give satisfaction to their various interests, and would at the same time not absolutely rain the Measure.

The differences of opinion which exist amongst the Opposition are shown by the number and variety of the Amendments which they have tabled. There is the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders), the effect of which would be to exclude from the scope of the Bill the first fortnight in April. That is an Amendment which commands much support in many quarters of the House, and it is one which I should be only too willing and ready to agree to, provided reasonable unanimity could be come to on the other side. But the lion, and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) has an Amendment down to exclude from the scope of the Bill the first fortnight in April and the last fortnight in September. That, frankly, is an Amendment winch I do not think would be acceptable to the great majority of people, and the majority of the hon. Gentlemen who support the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead cannot see their way to agree with the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells.

To create a little worse confusion, there is another Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for South-West Norfolk (Major McLean), the effect of which would be to leave out three weeks at each end of the period, and neither he nor those who support him will accept the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead or the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells. As if matters were not already sufficiently involved, there is still another Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston), the effect of which would be to leave out a month both at the beginning and at the end of the period, and neither he nor the hon. Members who support him will accept either the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for South-West Norfolk or that standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells.

I should, here and now, like to say how much I appreciate the attitude of the hon. Gentlemen with whom I have negotiated, and I should like to pay a tribute to the absolutely straightforward way in which their side, at any rate, has conducted the negotiations. No one, of course, who knows personally any of the Gentlemen with whom I have conducted these negotiations would for a moment believe that anything else would be done, but, at the same time, they have been so straightforward in their negotiations that perhaps they will pardon me if I say so on the Floor of the House. Unfortunately, directly I attempted to obtain a compromise, it became obvious that my efforts were taken as a sign of weakening. At the meeting that we had the other day upstairs an hon. Member told me that the sword of Damocles was hanging over the Bill, and it was only on that account that I had endeavoured to compromise. That, I may say, is not the case. But I am anxious to obtain a compromise, and, as far as I am concerned, the offer I made to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells still stands, but at the same time I can only bind myself. I cannot bind any of the promoters of the Bill or other Members of the House. With a great deal of difficulty I succeeded in obtaining the sanction of the promoters of the Bill, and what I considered a sufficient number of Members, to offer that compromise. The compromise was refused, and the hon. Gentleman who has spoken from the Front Opposition Bench took a leading part in rejecting it, so I can only pledge myself that, as far as I am concerned, and provided there is unanimity on the other side of the House, I am ready; but at the same time you must understand that a compromise is a compromise, it is not a present, and there is no point in my arriving at a compromise with certain sections of the Opposition if another section is to use that compromise as a jumping-off point. In the event of this offer failing to go through, it seems to me the only thing to be done is to adopt the suggestion that was made by the Home Secretary on the Second Reading, namely, that the dates at both ends should be left to the House. These are democratic days and that is a democratic suggestion. As far as I can see, failing agreement, the most satisfactory way of deciding this question is by a free vote of the House.


After the views that have been expressed by the Prime Minister, it is, of course, rather uphill work for me to put before the House the position of Scotland. We are not antagonistic to the principle of Summer Time, but we say this question ought to be settled in a spirit of compromise which recognises and takes into account all the important factors. The Government recently appointed a conference to advise them as to what should be done in order to encourage agriculture. It was com-posed of four sections interested in agriculture. There were six landowners, six farmers, two smallholders and, I think, four workmen on it. They presented a unanimous report in which, as regards Summer Time, they said this: Summer Time for any period cannot but affect agriculture adversely and if the proposal for a full six months of summer time is persisted in it will go a long way to cancel the beneficial effects which we earnestly hope our recommendations may have the means of bringing to our. fundamental national industry. That committee brought forward very useful recommendations for the benefit of agriculture, and when we remember what the Prime Minister has asked the country to do, when we, remember the appeal he made that agriculture ought to contribute more to our national welfare, and that provision should be made for more people working on the land, is it wise that at this time, immediately after that report has been unanimously presented, we should make a stand which not only-means no heed to that recommendation, but which absolutely goes contrary to it? We see all around us at present industry suffering and being carried on under very adverse conditions. Do we not see that agriculture, at least in these times, ought to be more encouraged, instead of being cast down? I recognise, of course, that this House of Commons is composed in the majority of urban representatives, but can we afford, at a time when our main industries are severely depressed, to take an action which would undoubtedly inflict serious injury to the basic industry of agriculture? Agriculture is the mother of all industries, and this question deserves the sympathetic consideration of all Members. We can, if we take wise steps in encouraging more housing in our country districts, keep our people living in larger numbers in the rural districts. I make an appeal to the Prime Minister and to the Members of the House to remember that all the compromise we ask for is that about 10 days at the end of September should be cut out of this Summer Time period. Otherwise how can we expect the farmers in Scotland to sow a crop which they have not the chance of reaping? [Interruption] Someone says "Rubbish!" If he knew that September was the harvest month in Scotland I think he might not be so unkind and uncharitable to the agricultural industry of Scotland. We are ready to accept a compromise on this question. We thank the promoters of the Bill for the concessions they have made as regards England, but in asking them for a small further concession of 10 days in September we think we are acting in the best interests of the nation and we hope the urban Members of the House will realise it and give us their support.


I have listened with the very greatest respect to the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. He is the first Member who has approached this question from the point of view which I think is by far the most important at present. The most important point, of view is the prosperity of the industries that are affected. This is a time when the two greatest and most fundamental industries in the country are going through times of the greatest depression and difficulty. I am not going to attempt to speak for the mining industry. Others will do that. But in agriculture the whole House knows not only that it is passing through a period of the greatest depression, but that this Bill will inevitably add to the financial costs of production in the industry. Therefore, it is folly to get up, as the Prime Minister did, and talk about the dignity of the House demanding that we should not oppose this Bill. Justice to the agricultural industry demands that we should give the sturdiest opposition to the Bill.


The hon. and gallant Member misunderstood me. I did not say that the dignity of the House demanded that we should not oppose this Bill. I said that the dignity of the House demanded that we should get through the Bill to-day.


Justice to the agricultural industry demands that we should give the firmest, the most resolute opposition to this Bill, and support every Amendment that comes before the House. The Prime Minister has appealed to us to accept an Amendment which sacrifices entirely the agricultural interests of Scotland. We are not concerned with the fortnight in April nearly so much as with the month of September. April makes very little difference to us. What we are concerned about is the harvest month of September in Scotland. The harvest in the far north of Scotland goes on far into October, very often. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for those in this House who have the interests of Scottish agriculture at heart, to afford the most resolute opposition to this Bill.

The hon. and gallant Member for North-West Hull (Lieut.-Colonel Lambert Ward) rreferred to the compromise which he has negotiated, and paid compliments to the hon. Members Who had negotiated with him so pleasantly. Did he attempt to negotiate with the Scottish interests? Did the Scottish interests ever give Him any indication that they would compromise in regard to their harvest time? He says there is no point in making a compromise when one section of the Opposition only regards it as a jumping off point to get some other concession. What is the good of arriving at a compromise which does no good but does harm to the country and the interests which we are here primarily to represent? This compromise has nothing in it whatever for Scotland. It gives nothing to the Scottish agricultural industry. We are prepared to come to a reasonable compromise. Summer Time in any degree affects the interests of agriculture, but we are prepared to sacrifice our interests to some extent if we can. get some satisfaction for the Scottish agricultural interests, and the satisfaction which we demand, and which we must have if we are to relax our opposition to the Bill, is the fortnight at the end of September and the first week in October. That is the very least that we can accept.

12 N

The hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Captain MacAndrew), who made an attractive maiden speech this morning, referred to the hard times through which agriculture is passing. The whole House knows that every word he spoke is true. The Government attempted to call a. non-party conference in England to discuss the question of agriculture, because they realise that it lies at the very foundation of a healthy, economic life in this country. Ibey were, unfortunately, unable to do so. They made the same attempt in Scotland and met with a greater measure of success. I do not entirely support the method which was adopted in arranging the membership of that conference, but it was to a very large extent successful in that you got a large number of representative, well-known landowners, agriculturists, farm servants, and excellent smallholders together to discuss this question without any party spirit and with the sole object of arriving at a conclusion helpful to the industry to which they all belong. That conference made a. definite recommendation on the question of Summer Time. They said: We feel some reluctance in concluding our report with a reference to a subject on which the views of agriculturists have already been so fully and cogently expressed from many quarters; but it is one of such importance and has so direct a bearing on the questions submitted to us in our terms of reference that we cannot refrain from reiterating these views in the strongest, possible manner. To begin it at 1st April and even worse, to continue it through the harvest month of September, would weigh the balance heavily against agriculture, and in the later districts of Scotland "— such as the district where I come from— where under normal conditions the grain harvest is a difficult and speculative business, would make all the difference between possible success and certain disaster. Do hon. Members wonder that all those who represent Scottish agricultural constituencies are not concerned so much with the dignity of the House as in resisting proposals which we believe may spell "the difference between possible success and certain disaster" to the interests of the industry which we represent in Scotland? The Report proceeds: It would also lead many to give up milk production, already a very burdensome occupation for the farmer and his employés. In conclusion they say: All we need say is that, if the proposal for a full six months' Summer Time is persisted in it will go a long way to cancel the beneficial effects which we earnestly hope our recommendations may be the means of bringing to our fundamental national industry. The Government has appealed to this Scottish national agricultural conference to help them to find a policy which will be of benefit to the industry, and the Prime Minister this morning refuses to accept the verdict which that conference has given on a matter which they regard of such vital importance to the industry in Scotland. In these circumstances, I repeat that we shall continue to give our opposition to this Bill. In deference, not to what the Prime Minister has said— though I have the utmost respect for him —but to your ruling, Mr. Speaker, I will not traverse the ground or elaborate the arguments on the merits of the case which have been lightly touched upon By the hon. Member who moved the Amendment and, more seriously, by the hon. Member for Forfar (Sir H. Hope), as regards Scottish opinion on this matter.

This is a question which is far above party. The hon. Member for Forfar and the hon. Member for East Fife (Sir Alexander, Sprot) and others have been working very hard to resist the imposition of this Bill on Scotland. In this matter Scottish agricultural opinion of all shades is absolutely solid. The hon. Member who preceded me referred to some divisions among the opponents of summer time, but there is no doubt that the Scottish Members for agricultural constituencies are solid in giving opposition to this Bill unless we get some satisfaction in regard to September. Here is a resolution passed by the Sutherland Branch of the National Farmers' Union: The Sutherland branch of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland, while entirely opposed to the whole system of Summer Time, is willing as a compromise to agree to a Summer Time not exceeding four months in the year, and strongly urges upon the Members of Parliament for the county, in the interests of agriculture, to use every endeavour to secure the restriction. of Summer Time to the four months May to August inclusive. Resolutions of that kind have been passed, I am sure, by every branch of the Farmers' Union throughout Scotland, from Caithness to Berwick. I received a letter from the President of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland the other day saying: The financial burdens, for the month of April, would consist of the cost of one hour's longer artificial light in the morning with no compensating advantage in the evenings; and for the month of September would certainly mean very much increased cost of securing the grain harvest, even if the weather were favourable. Evidence of that kind cannot be gainsaid by any Member of this House. The so-called compromise which the Prime Minister asks us to accept is nothing more than a sacrifice of agricultural interests in Scotland. The ties between the agricultural industry and the general life of the country are closer in Scotland than in England. In England you have a sort of agricultural caste; in Scotland the sons and daughters of the small holders and of the farm servants go into the cities and they all come back to their own homes for the summer holidays. I am confident that though they would probably want as a matter of convenience and recreation to have the Summer Time Bill, they would not want to permit the interests of the great primary industry of Scotland to be sacrificed in the way in which the Prime Minister proposes. The whole demand of Scotland, if Scotland were to vote on this question, would be that there must be a compromise which would give the Scottish agricultural industry those weeks of freedom from summer time which are of particular importance at the time the harvest is garnered.

The Prime Minister said that we cannot always get our own way, and must come to a sensible compromise. That is true but we want to have no Summer Time at all. We admit that we cannot get that, and our next position is, keep it to four months, May, June, July and August. We have even gone further than that in the effort to make a compromise. Therefore it is not for the Prime Minister to lecture Scottish agriculturists. Though the Prime Minister says that he is grateful for this compromise, I say that it is our duty to oppose it as resolutely as we can. I agree that individual Members of the Party opposite have done their best to resist the demands of the promoters of this Bill. But they have been let down by their leader and I am sorry for their embarrassment. I hope that they will stand firm in this matter of the interests of the agricultural industry in Scotland. If they do that I believe they will succeed in proving to the Scottish farmer that they are interested as well as we all are, in doing our best in the interests of agriculture.


My antagonism to this Bill is no less sincere than that of the hon. Member who has just addressed the House. The whole Scottish agricultural interests are opposed to any extension of summer time. They even want that summer time shall only apply to the months of May, June, July, and August. They are not opposing permanent summer time, but they are in favour of the minimum of disadvantage as regards Scottish agriculture. I want to face facts. I recognise that there is a majority in this House in favour of summer time. I do not think that they are wise. I think that they are not fairly considering the claims of agriculture in pressing their point of view in this House to carry through this House whatever they want.

Again, I want to face facts. There has been a compromise offered by the Member responsible for piloting this Bill through the House, and we have his statement that unless the compromise is accepted he and his friends are going to take all that is in this Bill. Recognising that I want to save as much as I can for the benefit of Scottish agriculture, I wish that the compromise had occurred at the end instead of at the beginning of summer time. I believe if the compromise had been offered to delete September from the operation of the Bill it would have met partly if not wholly the demand made by Scottish agriculture. It is not always wise to use the strength which you have, because the time may come when there will be a majority in this House to repeal summer time and give back to Scottish agriculture what it wants in connection with real summer time instead of man made summer time. Again I appeal to those responsible for the Bill to consider our objections. They are not made in a frivolous manner or for the purpose merely of obstructing the Bill. The Prime Minister has pointed out his own personal view, but I would like to point out that the Prime Minister in his Election Address said: I regard it as vital that the great basic industry of agriculture should be not merely preserved but restored to a more prosperous condition as an essential balancing element in the economic and social life of the country. For a permanent solution of the agricultural problem a common agreement between all parties is desirable. The Unionist party, if returned to power, will summon a representative conference in the hope of arriving at an agreed policy by which the arable acreage may be maintained and regular employment and adequate wages secured to the agricultural worker. There has been a conference in Scotland, and that conference has turned down any proposal for extending summer time. There has been no common agreement. My charge against the Unionist party is— because it is they who can accept or reject this proposal—[Hon. Members: "No"]— you have the numbers. There are Members on this side who are even prepared to vote against the decision of the British Miners' Conference. They claim that they are representing their constituents. I claim that I am representing mine, and that every Unionist vote given to-day by Unionist Members from Scotland is a vote given against their constituents so far as agricultural constituencies are concerned. You have the power to make summer time permanent, as it is at present, or to curtail it either at the beginning or at the end. But you have the majority, and I at least, as one of those who have their names down to an Amendment desirous of getting for Scottish agriculture only four months in the year as permanent summer time, am prepared to accept the compromise not because I like it—[Hox. Members: "Which compromise?"]—the compromise which is supported by the Prime Minister—but because we have the statement made by the Member responsible for carrying through this Bill that if we do not accept the compromise his friends and he are out for the whole Bill.

In these circumstances I am prepared to accept the compromise. I believe that it is wise when there are large forces against you, and your numbers are small, to retire for the time being, and when our numbers are large I at least will be one of those who will be introducing into this House the necessary Bill to amend or repeal this Summer Time Act as it will be then. I believe that it is all wrong, and that it is especially against the best interests of agriculture. It is true that this Bill does not compel anybody to get out of bed earlier in the morning. I am prepared to admit that. But the boss can compel the worker to get up an hour earlier. [Hon. Members: "No!"] Oh, yes, there is no mistake about that. If the boss said that I was to be there at 6 o'clock and I arrived at 6.5, there was no work for me. While it is true that this Bill does not compel the agricultural worker to get out of bed an hour earlier and it does not compel the miners to do so, yet we have to consider what would happen if the time for starting work is put an hour earlier. The ones who are to be affected are those of the working population who start work very early in the morning, at 4, 5, or C o'clock, to suit the convenience of others who start at 8, 9, 10. 11, and 12 o'clock, or do not work at all. The strength either of a man or a party or a nation is proved only by his or its generosity. The strength of the promoters of this Bill will be proved if they are move generous to the Scottish agriculturists.


I rise for the purpose, I frankly confess, of making an appeal, and doing nothing more. The hon. Member South Midlothian (Mr. Westwood) most truly said that the big battalions are with those who wish not merely to make summer time permanent but to extend its duration. Is it too late in the day once more to put before the supporters of the Bill the position of some of those on this side of the House? We are in favour of making summer time permanent; there is no question about that. That is the real question which interests the country. I believe that there is a real anxiety, both in city and town, lest the present Act be not made permanent, lest it should be repealed or fail to appear in the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. To the permanence of summer time we are no enemies. The only question is what the length of the period is to be? On that I venture to make an appeal to the promoters of the Bill. I would recall the fact that the present duration of summer time was itself the result of a compromise. It was the result of the consideration of a Committee, I think of this House, which deliberated on the whole question only a couple of years ago and suggested that the duration of summer time should be from the third Sunday in April to the third Sunday in September. That duration was accepted. What is the argument which has made it possible for anyone to say that the deliberate decision of this House a couple of years ago was wrong? No argument has ever been put forward.

I appeal to supporters of the Bill to accept the present deliberately fixed period and to join with us in making that period permanent. Is that a foolish appeal? Surely it is a reasonable appeal. I do not pretend to minimise the importance of April, but I do beg the House to realise that the crisis of the agricultural year is the harvest. It is a crisis unlike any in ordinary industry or in the shops. It is the crisis of the year. When you get north of the Trent, and particularly when you get across the border, the crisis in the bad years comes late in September. In that fortnight every moment is of value. And for this reason. September is the month of heavy dews. Anyone who goes out in the morning must see the heavy dew in the grass during the last week of September. That heavy dew is lying upon the ricks, upon the barley and the wheat, and it is impossible to gather this in because of the damp. Therefore, it is necessary to wait until the dew has evaporated, and it is that curiously small point that makes the case for my appeal. The Bill gives us an extra hour of the day which is perfectly useless for the critical operation in hand. I ask you to consider the needs of the agriculturists whose harvest is not garnered until towards the end of September. Too much has been said to-day as if town Members and country Members were at daggers drawn. Surely that will never do. Surely, if we are to be of any use as a party or a House, we must try to look at things from a national point of view. The real question here is whether you are going to subordinate economic practical reasons on the side of agriculture for amenity reasons on the side of the town. I do not believe that even now I am making my appeal to the supporters of the Bill in vain. I ask them to make summer time permanent and to retain the present period of its duration.


I wish to voice more especially the considered opinion of the medical profession inside and outside this House. Arguments in favour of the Bill seem so overwhelming, and objections so trivial, that it is hard to understand why there should be any difficulty about it. This is a measure of far-reaching importance to the health and happiness of the community. It is really one of the most important Bills that have ever been before the House and ever will be before the country. I would refer to the profound significance of medical unanimity upon the Bill. Medical unanimity is a portent so extraordinary that I think it ought to have very special weight. The British Medical Association, at its meeting in 1923, passed this resolution: That the British Medical Association regrets that Summer Time has been curtailed thi6 year, as it is our opinion that Summer Time is beneficial to the health of the nation. In 1921, the Society of Medical Officers of Health, which speaks with special authority on the health of the nation, passed the following resolution:— The Society regards the institution of Summer Time as a. great benefit to the community as a whole, and can find no sufficient evidence to support the view that it must prove detrimental to the health of infants and young persons. That resolution was confirmed in 1923 and in 1924. In connection with a deputation to the Home Secretary, the medical officers of health brought to his notice the resolution that summer time was a benefit to health, and Mr. Williams, of the Doctor Barnardo Homes, said the more summer time they had the better it would be for the health and well-being of the inmates. I desire to say a few words on the argument that summer time is hurtful to children. That point of view was perhaps best stated in a letter which appeared in the "Times," signed by "A Mother of Four"—children I presume—to the effect that it was difficult to get the children to sleep in the evening under the summer time Regulation. That opinion was immediately refuted in a subsequent letter from "Medical Father of Five," who completely rebutted the arguments in it. I have been connected with the staff of a London Hospital for children, and I say, without any hesitation at all, that the statement as to the difficulty of getting children to sleep is unmitigated "tosh." We have no difficulty at all in getting the children to sleep in the afternoon, any more than we have in the morning.

It is not sufficiently realised that children, as a rule, wake very early, though they are not allowed to get up, because it would inconvenience the household. They are kept in bed doing nothing, and it makes not the slightest; difference to them if they get up in the morning rather than remain in bed doing nothing. I should like to emphasise another aspect of this question, which I do not think has been dealt with at all completely, and which I think relates to one of its most important results. A profound change has taken place in the habits of the people, as a result of the introduction of this system. The hour in the early afternoon makes all the difference. It is now worth while to go for a walk or to enjoy a game of cricket or tennis in the evening, and in the case of a large section of the community—the 1,250,000 allotment holders—work on the allotments is much more satisfactorily carried out in the summer evenings, and the additional hour is a benefit.


The hon. Member seems to be supporting the whole Bill. I must point out to him that the Bill as a whole was dealt with by the House on the Second Reading. We are now concerned only with the more limited question as to what should be the dates of beginning and ending the summer time period.


I urge very strongly that there should be no curtailment of the time. I appeal strongly for the full six months, whether it begins in late April, and ends in late October, or whether it begins in early April, and ends in early October. But I want the six months, the full six months, and nothing but six months. Those for whom I speak wish me to present that demand to the House, and I ask hon. Members to make one job of it, and to have the thing done in a wholesale and complete manner. If I may make one further reference to the effects of the Measure, I should again emphasise the enormous importance of additional fresh air in the lives of the people, and on all these points I earnestly ask hon. Members to support the full Bill and the six months' period.


I appeal to the supporters of the Bill not to be misled by this Amendment. The compromise which we have offered has not been received in a very gracious spirit, and the opponents of the Bill do not seem to realise that, in giving away a fortnight, we are giving away a great deal. It has been suggested by the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Lamb) that the supporters of the Bill represent a small but vocal number of people. After the speeches we have heard, and anticipating the speeches which, no doubt, we have yet to hear from my hon. Friends, I think we can all agree that this description applies with equal force to the opponents of the Bill. The only difference between the hon. Member for Stone and the other opponents of the Bill is that he was willing to accept, as a reasonable compromise, the offer made by the supporters of the Bill. I hope those who are in any doubt on the question of the compromise will throw out this Amendment, and vote on the compromise which is to be considered later on the two subsequent Amendments. The agricultural opposition is, I think, very much exaggerated, because agriculturists never have agreed and never will agree. When this question was before the Committee presided over by Mr. Wilson in 1921, the Committee found then that the agriculturists were very much divided, and I have agriculturists sitting on both sides of me, and neither speaks to the other. My hon. Friend on my right (Major Colfox) expresses views in his constituency which I understand are entirely at variance with the views held in the adjoining constituency, though both are agricultural constituencies, and therefore I think we shall never get any concensus of opinion from the agriculturists.

There are many agriculturists in various parts of the country—I will not say in Scotland—who are, not only not opposed to the Bill, but are very much in favour of it, and are in favour of the six months' period. We have agriculturists who are broadminded enough to admit that this is only a question of organisation. The same remark applies to the opposition from the point of view of the children being unable to sleep in the evening. That again is entirely a matter of organisation, and I never could understand why a mother who was able to send a child to sleep in the middle of the day, could not do so in the evening under the Summer Time Act. The opposition to the Bill is a small, but vocal, opposition, organised on a large scale. Since the Second Reading. I have received many letters in favour of the six months' period, and less than a dozen in opposition to the Bill. The first letter I received in opposition to the Bill was from a lady in the Midlands, who was kind enough to suggest that I was not in my right mind when I seconded the Motion for the Second Reading. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Some hon. Members endorse that view, but, at any rate, my mental derangement was only of a temporary character. The lady wound up by saying that she was the mother of nine, and that the last had been still-born, owing to the Summer Time Act. That only shows the far-reaching effects of legislation, and although we deplore that sort of thing, I am sure we cannot help it. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the British Medical Association and its branches all over the country are strongly in favour of the six months' period. The members of the teaching profession all over the country also testify that summer time has been of the most inestimable value to the health and general welfare of the children. One has to consider that, although a majority are going to benefit by this Measure, a minority must undoubtedly suffer, but that is so with all legislation, and I think the minority who will suffer by this legislation will be very much smaller than in most cases. We have to remember, too, that the majority will benefit enormously in this instance.


I am glad to have the honour of putting the views of a mining constituency on this Bill, and may I say that I speak for more than my own constituency. I speak for at least nine divisions in the county of Durham, and I would like to advance one or two reasons why I support this Bill. Generally, the miners of Durham are working in four shifts, 25 per cent. in each shift, one commencing work as early as 4 o'clock in the morning and getting out of the pit and home at half-past 11. On account of having to rise so early, these men must seek rest in the afternoon, and to them an hour of God's sunshine in the evening means a great deal. There are no men who give up so much daylight and who are hidden away for so long as are the miners of this country, and I want them, for their own health's sake, to have that last hour of daylight. The second shift is even worse. They are in at 10 in the morning, and they get home at about half-past five. Is it not a great advantage to these men and boys, who are kept in the mines until that hour, that they shall have an extra hour of sunshine at least, and especially in the month of September? There are thousands, nay millions, of people who are working until a very late hour, and it will be against their health to curtail the summer time in the month of September.

As I have said, an extra hour of God's bright sunshine means a great deal to those who are inhaling during their work many things that are not good for their health. It means also a great deal to our young people, and if they cannot have the advantage of indulging in outdoor games, I am afraid they will adopt worse things. I want an esprit de corps inculcated into the minds of all our miners, and I want to make them good citizens. We have always argued that we in the Labour party are doing our best to make good citizens in this country, and the more we can bring these people in contact in friendly rivalry in all these games, the better it will be for them and for us. I have only risen to put the views of the Durham miners, I doubt whether any other portion of the coal field of this country has so emphatically demanded this Bill as they have. Durham and Northumberland are with you, because of the conditions imposed upon them, and their conditions are different from those in any other coalfield, starting earlier and working later. Consequently all that we ask is that they shall have what the country can give, and that is the additional hour at evening when it is bright for them to enjoy it.


I only desire to remind the House that we have met to-day in the spirit of compromise, and if it is not going to be a compromise it is going to be a failure. I could speak equally forcibly in support of six months of summer time as the hon. Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair) spoke in support of four months. I could say with equal force that the case for the shop assistants, the factory hands, and the town workers is overwhelming, and has been made out time after time, and does not require advocating here to-day, but there is a demand on the part of a small minority, and we all have to give away something to the small minority, so that we are desirous this morning of making a compromise and giving two weeks in the month of April, but a compromise must be a compromise. We cannot give all our goods away, and hon. Members who represent agricultural interests or a minority of the agricultural interests, may I say, should remember that. I am convinced that there is a growing number, week by week and year by year, of agriculturists who are quite prepared to accept this Bill for the full time, and who are already adjusting their days' tasks to the new conditions, and if time went on I believe the whole of the agricultural industry would realise the value of the advantages to be secured by it, but we do not want to put it off year by year, wasting Parliamentary time discussing this question indefinitely.

We hope to get a settlement, and in the hope of getting a settlement to-day, and getting this Bill permanently on the Statute Book, we are willing to give up a certain time in April. The question is whether the opponents of the six months are going to accept that compromise. Are we to go into the Division Lobby time after time to fight for the full six months? We can easily make out a case for the full six months, but I appeal to the House not to let this Bill go through in a spirit of acrimonious discussion and with fierce differences that will lead afterwards to bad feeling. Let us accept the compromise, because, after all, this is a House where more good is done by the method of compromise than by fighting everything out to the bitter end. I rose to appeal to the small minority from the North of Scotland. We believed that Scotland was a progressive country, but they are not talking up to their reputation. Scotland has always been a progressive country, but when in a minority they must realise that the senior partner, England, has a voice in this matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] We do not want to press our claims against Scotland, but to-day we represent the overwhelming mass of the town workers, factory hands, and people generally, and in that spirit I appeal to the House to accept the concession.

Several HON. MEMBERS rose


I think it is my duty now to remind the House that, unless Members are not prepared to come to a decision on this earlier question, it is not within my power to give the opportunity for which they have been asking so strongly. I desire, before we conclude these proceedings, to give the opponents of the Bill an opportunity of putting their own Amendment before the House. But if the Debate be prolonged on these earlier questions, I shall be bound to give the closure on the whole Bill, and their opportunity will be lost. I suggest, therefore, that the House might be ready now to come to a conclusion on the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley), and on that of the right hon. Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders)—in page 1, line 12, to leave out from the word "the" to the word "first," in line 14—which seems to be acceptable, and then proceed to deal with the remaining contentious question in regard to Scotland.


Do I understand it is to go out that Scottish Members are to remain silent after that last speech, and that we are not going to get the opportunity in this British House of Commons of voicing the interests of Scottish agriculture?


I have not noticed silence on the part of the hon. Member. My intervention was for the very purpose of finding the opportunity for Scottish Members to have their particular Amendment brought before the House.


On what you have said, would it not be possible for the Scottish Members to vote on my Amendment? After what has been said about the compromise, I myself would be inclined to withdraw it, but I feel that cannot be done, having regard to what the Scottish Members wish to vote upon. I should not be entitled to vote upon my Amendment, having regard to the compromise, and I would suggest therefore that the Scottish Members could get all they wanted by voting on the Amendment before the House.


Is it not the fact that all the Scottish Members who have spoken are on one side of this question?


At the beginning I said it was my desire to give the Scottish Members a separate opportunity of dealing with the question, if they so wished. I said it would be much better if we could dispose of this preliminary Amendment, and the one following dealing with April; and then would be the opportunity for Scottish Members to raise their point of view. If it be agreeable to the House, I will now put the Question.


You are quite right, if I may be allowed to say so, to preserve the right of the Scottish Members to put their point of view, but might I respectfully suggest to you that some English Members, who hold rather strong views on this subject, should also be allowed to express their views on this particular Amendment, which, to my mind, is really the crucial Amendment in the whole discussion to-day? I would like to reinforce the appeal made by the hon. Member for North Paddington (Mr. Perring) for a spirit of sweet compromise. [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"] I think I may say, without any fear of contradiction, that the opposition to this Bill has been carried on with extreme moderation. It is, of course, absolutely vital that a compromise in this matter should be effective, and I would therefore draw the attention of the House to the fact that the existing

law on this matter is a compromise. It was a compromise arrived at only a very short while ago, and, therefore, I would appeal to hon. Members throughout the House to respect that compromise and to support it in the Division Lobby now. I would make that appeal more especially to Scottish agricultural Members and to others. Obviously, it is not possible for the permanence of this Bill to get all that they desire, but if opponents will all concentrate upon the particular Amendment now under discussion, I have very little doubt that we shall be able to carry that point of view, in the face of the rather noisy support this Bill has received.

Lieut.-Colonel LAMBERT WARD rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."


Before that is put—


The Question must be put forthwith.

Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'the' in line 12, stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 204: Noes, 68.

Division No. 300.] AYES. [1.0 p.m.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Cluse, W. S. Ganzoni, Sir John
Albery, Irving James Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Cobb, Sir Cyril Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Cooper, A. Duff Gosling, Harry
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Cope, Major William Grace, John
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Courtauld, Major J. S. Greenall, T.
Atkinson, C. Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)
Attlee, Clement Richard Crawfurd, H. E. Gretton, Colonel John
Baker, Walter Crook, C. W. Groves, T.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Hacking, Captain Douglas H.
Barnes, A. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)
Barr, J. Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Curzon, Captain Viscount Hanbury, C.
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Dalton, Hugh Harrison, G. J. C.
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Davies, A, V. (Lancaster, Royton) Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Bennett, A. J. Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hawke, John Anthony
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hayday, Arthur
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Day, Colonel Harry Hayes, John Henry
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Dennison, R. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Doyle, Sir N. Grattan Henderson, Rt. Hon. A, (Burnley)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Dunnico, H. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)
Brass, Captain W. Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Hilton, Cecil
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Elliot, Captain Walter E. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)
Bromley, J. Elveden, Viscount Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Holt, Capt. H. P.
Bullock, Captain M. Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Hopkins, J. W. W.
Butter, Sir Geoffrey Fairfax, Captain J. G. Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Falle, Sir Bertram G. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Fermoy, Lord Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Foster, Sir Harry S. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Fraser, Captain Ian Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)
Clayton, G. C. Frece, Sir Walter de Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Jacob A. E. Nelson, Sir Frank Sitch, Charles H.
Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Kelly, W. T. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Snell, Harry
Kennedy, T. Nuttall, Ellis Spender Clay, Colonel H.
Kenyon, Barnet O'Connor, Thomas P. Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden, E.)
Knox, Sir Alfred Oman, Sir Charles William C. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Lansbury, George Palin, John Henry Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Penny, Frederick George Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Little, Dr. E. Graham Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Perkins, Colonel E. K. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Perring, William George Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Loder, J. de V. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Taylor, R. A.
Looker, Herbert William Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Lowth, T. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Phillpson, Mabel Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)
Lumley, L. R. Pilcher, G. Tinne, J. A.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Pilditch, Sir Philip Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Wallace, Captain D. E.
McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Preston, William Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Maclntyre, Ian Radford, E. A. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Macmillan, Captain H. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wells, S. R.
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland) White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple
March, S. Russell, Alexander West (Tynamouth) Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Margesson, Captain D. Salmon, Major L. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Sandeman, A. Stewart Wilson, R. F. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Sanders, Sir Robert A. Winby, Colonel L. P.
Meyer, Sir Frank Sanderson, Sir Frank Wise, Sir Fredric
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Scrymgeour, E. Wood, E. (Chest'r, stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Montague, Frederick Sexton, James Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby) Wright, W.
Moore, Sir Newton J. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Murchison, C. K. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Naylor, T. E. Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Univ., Belfst.) Colonel Lambert Ward and Mr. Cooper Rawson.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Edmondson, Major A. J. Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Everard, W. Lindsay Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Neville, R. J.
Batey, Joseph Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrst'ld.)
Berry, Sir George Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Pleiou, D. P.
Blundell, F. N. Gunston, Captain D. W. Price, Major C. W. M.
Boothby, R. J. G. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Briscoe, Richard George Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hartlington, Marquess of Skelton, A. N.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Hennlker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Christie, J. A. Huntingfield, Lord Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hurd, Percy A. Templeton, W. P.
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. John, William (Rhondda, West) Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Kindersley, Major Guy M. Warrender, Sir Victor
Crookshank Col. C de W. (Berwick) Lamb, J. Q. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Dalkeith, Earl of Lee, F. Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W. R., Ripon)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) MacAndrew, Charles Glen
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Dean, Arthur Wellesley McLean, Major A. Sir Harry Hope and Colonel Sir
Dixey, A. C. MacRobert, Alexander M. A. Sprot.
Drewe, C. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn

Question "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.

Amendment made.

In page 1, line 12, leave out from the word "the" to the word "first" in line 14.—[Sir R. Sanders.]


May I say, Mr. Speaker, that I was going to move a further Amendment, but am satisfied with the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley).


What is the hon. Member moving?


To explain the matter in untechnical language, it has been compromised.


The proposal to leave out the extension of the time in April has just been accepted by the House and decided. Therefore the one point that remains is as to what is to be the date in the autumn on which summer time is to end.


I wanted to say that I accepted the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley), which is to vote against September. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] As far as I am concerned, I desire to withdraw my Amendment.


I beg to move, in page 1, line 14, to leave out the words "first Saturday in October."

This is an Amendment to secure the concession of a very few days in September, which are invaluable for the ingathering of the harvest in Scotland. I appeal to the House to realise that we are discussing a most serious question. The agricultural industry of Scotland occupies a prominent position in the agriculture of Great Britain. If it is to be carried on in a proper manner, it is essential that we should have some small concession as regards the month of September. I do not want to dwell on the fact that this House is an urban House of Commons, but I would appeal to Members to realise that this great industry of agriculture is worthy of consideration. On behalf of the agricultural community in Scotland I beg to move the Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.


In view of the last agreement, I shall have to put the Amendment in a slightly different form. It will be: In clause 1, page 1, line 14, to leave out the words "first Saturday in October," and to insert instead thereof, "fourth Saturday in September." The Question I have to put is, "That the words 'first Saturday in October' stand part of the Bill."


If Scotland had her own Parliament—[Laughter.] I repeat, if Scotland had her own Parliament, the question of passing a six-months' summer time Bill would never be discussed there, and it is only, I am sure, because of the ignorance of many hon. Members—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!'']—I mean what I say, it is only the ignorance of many hon. Members south of the Tweed of the conditions that exist in the North of Scotland that allow them to treat this question in the way it has been treated to-day. It is not realised that in the harvesting of the agricultural crops in the North of Scotland the last fortnight is a vital matter. A great deal has been said this morning about com- promise, and quite rightly so, for the whole of life is built up of compromises. We are as anxious to compromise as any other party in the House, but you cannot ask a man to compromise with his life. The compromise plan that has been talked about this morning has only taken into account two interests, but there is a third party, and that is Scotland. The hon. Member who spoke from behind the Treasury Bench a short time ago said England was going to have its way without regard to Scotland. This is the British Parliament, and Scotland is entitled to give voice to its opinions. The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. C. Rawson) said no two agriculturists are agreed upon this subject, but I can assure the House that agriculturists in Scotland are agreed, and the best opinion in Scotland has said that four months is the utmost that should be allowed for summer time. We are willing to compromise on that. We were willing to keep the existing period. The Amendment that is before the House relates to the last fortnight of the period. I earnestly appeal to the House to see that the agricultural interests of Scotland receive due consideration in this British Parliament. The hon. Member for Cambridge (Sir D. Newton) made a moving address to the House earlier in the Debate on the general question, and I do not intend to delay the House by going into matters which have been laid so fully before it, but I appeal to the generosity of English Members in considering this question, which is vital to the interests of Scotland.


I hope hon. Members who are intending at the present moment to vote against this Amendment, realise that they will give Scottish agriculture such a slap in the face as it has never had in the whole of its history. In view of the report of the Scottish Agricultural Conference, which was set up by the Government under the auspices of the Secretary for Scotland and the Prime Minister, a report which states that the adoption of the full six months' period of summer time would gravely affect the interests of Scottish agriculture, I ask the House to consider this question very seriously. We are asking for a concession of only a week or 10 days. I am not going into the general question again, the arguments being well known. The hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Skelton) has explained to the urban Members from England that in Scotland in September we have dew in the morning, and I hope that will thoroughly sink in. It is almost impossible to cart wet corn in the early morning, and that makes farming operations very much more difficult, so that our objection to the final week is based on really practical considerations, as it would make it infinitely more expensive to harvest the crops.

Urban Members are always urging agriculturists to produce more corn, but they will not get more corn if they give the farmers such slaps in the face as this. I quite recognise that there are certain hon. Members who would prefer us to scrap agriculture in this country and get all our corn cheap from Russia—that is well known—but I do appeal to those hon. Members on the Unionist side who, even if they do sit for urban constituencies, have in the past expressed at least lip-service to agriculture, to consider the position of affairs very carefully. Do they realise that if they vote against this Amendment they are driving us into the arms of those who advocate Home Rule for Scotland? I would say to those who believe in the Empire that, if they send us to Edinburgh, the Empire is going to be in grave jeopardy. An hon. Member said that in the face of superior forces the call for the retreat was necessary. That is not the view taken by all of us, and I say that if we are going to represent our constituents, who are unanimous in this matter, we Scottish agricultural Members have no option but to get out our dirks and to fight to the end.


As a past President of the Home Rule Association for Scotland, I am greatly elated at the new recruit we have received, and I welcome him into our ranks. I venture, however, to say that if we had a Scottish Parliament, as one day we will, it would be discovered that there are industrial as well as agricultural constituencies in Scotland, and that they might have something to say on a question of this kind. I have received circulars from the Farmers' Union in Scotland, and one of them was bold enough to say that if the industrial districts desired summer time in the months of April and September they could put the matter right for themselves by setting their own clocks one hour forward. That is a two-edged argument. The agriculturists could put themselves right by keeping their clocks where they are, as indeed they do already in the Island of Lewis and in some other parts of Scotland.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

They cannot do it—breakfast time—milk delivery.


The King's Writ does not always run in the outer isles. As a matter of fact, they have not yet adopted what they call "Lloyd George Time" in those outer districts. In the past, farmers in Scotland have very often kept their clocks one hour forward. I know of one case where the man keeps his clock an hour-and-a-half forward, and he says it is a great advantage when you are doing it yourself, but when everybody else is doing the same you reap no advantage. I have received a further communication which I thought was quite unnecessary so far as I was concerned. It was to this effect: The agricultural constituents in your constituency are depending upon you speaking on the Report stage of the Summer Time Bill on their behalf, and I hope you will do so, and speak at as great length as possible. I will give the House the benefit of the reply I made to that letter, which was as follows: I have your letter of the 13th inst., and while I am desirous of considering agricultural interests, I am not prepared to limit Summer Time to four months, or to be a party to talking out the Bill, as you suggest in the second paragraph of your letter. I welcome the compromise which ha9 been arrived at, although I prefer that it should have been taken off September rather than off the month of April. I can assure my Scottish friends that I speak not without some interest in this matter. I speak as a farmer's son, and I have had to deal with this question: therefore I am able to deal with it from an inside knowledge of the industry. I have taken part in the operation of carting home the corn which has been spoken of, and when I could do that with the clock standing an hour in advance of the sun time, I do not see why it cannot be done at the present time. Besides this I have to consider my own duty, and while T feel in regard to the compromise that I am doing all I can for the agricultural interests, I must remember the con- stituency which I represent, and I will give two or three figures which are conclusive as to my own duty in regard to any further limitation of summer time.

I represent a constituency in which the housing conditions are amongst the worst in Scotland, in which 72.3 per cent. of them do not go beyond the single apartment. Only 27.7 of my constituents are living in houses beyond the two-roomed house, and 24.7 of my constituents are living in more than four to a room. Having regard to all these young people who are penned up in these single apartments and the immense benefits that this Bill will bring to those people who have no possibility at present of pure air indoors. I think the argument is overwhelming, and I regret that I cannot do more for the agricultural interest of Scotland at this time. I trust they will accept the situation, and I believe that the agricultural interest will be able to adapt itself to the new conditions.



May I ask the House to come to a decision now on this point, because there are a number of small Bills on the Paper. I think our Scottish friends have made out an admirable case. I hope we shall now be able to take the sense of the House in regard to this Amendment.


May I ask the Home Secretary, when the instructions in regard to this Measure are issued from his Department, to see that they are couched in language which the people can easily understand. In my own domestic circle on the last occasion, my girl sat up religiously until 2 o'clock on Sunday morning, to put the clock on.


I will certainly take that matter into consideration.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes. 228; Noes, 56.

Division No. 301.] AYES. [1.27 p.m.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Charleton, H. C. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Albery, Irving James Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Clayton, G. C. Glyn, Major R. G. C.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Cluse, W. S. Goff, Sir Park
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Gosling, Harry
Ammon, Charles George Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Grace, John
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Cooper, A. Duff Greenall, T.
Atkinson, C. Cope, Major William Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E.)
Attlee, Clement Richard Courtauld, Major J. S. Groves, T.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L. Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)
Baker, Walter Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)
Barnes, A. Crook, C. W. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.
Barr, J. Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Hacking, Captain Douglas H.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Hanbury, C.
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Curzon, Captain Viscount Harrison, G. J. C.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Dalton, Hugh Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Bennett, A. J. Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Haslam, Henry C.
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton) Hawke, John Anthony
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Hayday, Arthur
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton. W.) Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hayes, John Henry
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Day, Colonel Harry Hennessy, Major J. R. G.
Brass, Captain W. Dennison, R. Hilton, Cecil
Brassey, Sir Leonard Doyle, Sir N. Grattan Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Dunnico, H. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Broad, F. A. Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Elveden, Viscount Holt, Captain H. P.
Bromley, J. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M) Hopkins, J. W. W.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Fairfax, Captain J. G. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Falle, Sir Bertram G. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Bullock, Captain M. Fermoy, Lord Jacob, A. E.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Foster, Sir Harry S. Kelly, W. T.
Caine, Gordon Hall Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)
Campbell, E. T. Fraser, Captain Ian Kennedy, T.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Frece, Sir Walter de Knox, Sir Alfred
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lamb, J. O.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Ganzoni, Sir John Lansbury, George
Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Little, Or. E. Graham Nuttall, Ellis Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) O'Connor, Thomas P. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Lacker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Palin, John Henry Strickland, Sir Gerald
Loder, J. de V. Penny, Frederick George Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Looker, Herbert William Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Lowth, T. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Perring, William George Sykes, Major-Gen, Sir Frederick H.
Lumley, L. R. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Taylor, R. A.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon) Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Pielou, D. P. Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell-(Croydon, S.)
McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Pliditch, Sir Philip Thorne W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Maclntyre, Ian Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Tinne, J. A.
Macmillan, Captain H. Preston, William Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Bedford, E. A. Viant, S. P.
Makins, Brigadier-General E. Remer, J. R. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Rice, Sir Frederick Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
March, S. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Margesson, Captain D. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Salmon, Major I. Wells, S. R.
Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Salter, Dr. Alfred White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple
Meller, R. J. Sandeman, A. Stewart Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Meyer, Sir Frank. Sanders, Sir Robert A. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Sanderson, Sir Frank Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Wise, Sir Fredric
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Scrymgeour, E. Wolmer, Viscount
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Sexton, James Womersley, W. J.
Montague, Frederick Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby) Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R,, Ripon)
Moore, Sir Newton J. Shaw. Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y) Wood, E. (Chest'o, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst) Wright, W.
Murchison, C. K. Sitch, Charles H. Young Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Naylor, T. E. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Nelson, Sir Frank Snell, Harry TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Spender Clay, Colonel H. Colonel Lambert Ward and Mr. Cooper Rawson.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Gunston, Captain D. W. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh
Batey, Joseph Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Berry, Sir George Hartington, Marquess of Price, Major C. W. M.
Briscoe, Richard George Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Henuerson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Skelton, A. N.
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A. Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Christie, J. A. Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Huntingfield, Lord Sprot, Sir Alexander
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) John, William (Rhondda, West) Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Dalkeith, Earl of Kenyon, Barnet Templeton, W. P.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Kindersley, Major Guy M. Thurtle, E.
Dixey, A. C. Lee, F. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) MacAndrew, Charles Glen Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Everard, W. Lindsay Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Winby, Colonel L. P.
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. McLean, Major A. Windsor, Walter
Fleming, D. P. MacRobert, Alexander M.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Neville, R. J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. James Stuart and Mr. Boothby.

Bill read a Second time.

Further Amendments made:

In page 1, line 15, leave out the word "respectively."

In page 1, leave out from the first word "the" in line 15, to the word "third" in line 16.—[Sir R. Sanders.]