HC Deb 30 July 1925 vol 187 cc675-777

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.


May I ask, Mr. Speaker, for the convenience of the House, if you will be kind enough to state what Amendments you propose to select to be taken on the Bill?


I have had the opportunity this morning of a conversation with the right hon. Gentleman and with some other hon. Members sitting on my left, and I have made a provisional selection of ten Amendments which I am prepared to put to the House. It will be necessary to have the help of the House, if that is to be possible.

The first Amendment is that which stands in the name of the right hon. Gentleman, to leave out Clause 1.

I understand that a Division only will be taken on the next one, which stands in the name of the hon. Member for West Notingham (Mr. Hayday).

The third is the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Aberdare (Mr. G. Hall), raising an important point, which is likely to take some little time.

The fourth Amendment on Clause 1 is the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), which will require a short time.

Then, with regard to the Amendments on Clause 3, there is first the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Newton (Mr. R. Young).

There is next an Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. L. Thompson).

Then there are two Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). The first follows the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Sunderland, and the second is the last Amendment on the same page of the Order Paper.

The next Amendment is that of the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn) on Clause 4.

The last Amendment is the Government Amendment, also on Clause 4.


Are we to understand that you rule all the other Amendments out of Order? Let us understand. Has there been an arrangement with someone that we are to take these Amendments and that the other Amendments are not to be taken? I want to know whether we are to be allowed to move some of the other Amendments. There is an Amendment in my name on page 1 of the Order Paper referring to paragraph (a) of Clause 1. That is a very important Amendment. Are we not to be allowed to move it?


That is not my intention. I think that those Amendments are all covered by the Amendment which precedes them, to which I have referred, which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Aberdare, and discussion on them could only be a repetition of the points dealt with in discussing the preceding Amendment.


With reference to the Amendment to Clause 2 standing in my name, there is no other Amendment to Clause 2 on the Paper, and as the power of extending the time is to be given to the Minister, surely we should have some opportunity of discussing the conditions in which this power will operate. With reference to the points raised with regard to (a), (b), (c), and (d), last year when the Unemployment Insurance Act was passed because the discretionary power of the Minister was taken away, and the unemployed man was given a statutory right, all those conditions were put in to make it more difficult for him, because the discretion was withdrawn. Therefore we should be allowed to have a Division in reference to at least those provisions (a), (b), (c), and (d), as they are a matter of great importance to the unemployed.


I will further consider that, and if the discussion on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Aberdare be not unduly prolonged, I will see if it be possible to call the other Amendment, for the purpose of a Division.


With reference to Clause 2, which is of great importance, may I point out that I attended the sittings of the Committee regularly, and there was no discussion on a point which is raised here for the first time? I ask, in view of the fact that the Amendments were put down without any cognisance of the Front Bench, whether it would not be possible to have a discussion on that?


With regard to the Amendment on Clause 2, the reason I have not selected it is that it deals with a matter of administration, and not a matter of legislation. It is not in accordance with the scope of the Bill, and is not in order.


With regard to the point in respect of the Clause which gives the Minister the power of waiver for an extended period, would it be possible to have a discussion if I put down an Amendment to leave out Clause 2 in order that we might deal with some points which arise? Would it be possible to hand in a manuscript Amendment to leave out Clause 2?


I will consider that.

  1. CLAUSE 1.—(Amendment of s. 1 (3) of Unemployment Insurance (No. 2) Act, 1924, 14 and 15 Geo. 5, c. 30.) 40,361 words, 4 divisions